Author: Flippin' Amasian

Anderson East – Bowery Ballroom

Anderson East - Bowery Ballroom

Anderson East might’ve said on stage that he felt intimidated by New York, but he sure didn’t show it during his performance last Friday night at the Bowery Ballroom. From his opening song “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em” to his closing cover of “All These Things That I’ve Done,” Anderson had the sold-out crowd dancing and singing along to every word of his 17-song set.

Along with running through all the tracks from his debut album Delilah, Anderson sprinkled in a number of crowd-pleasing covers throughout the show, including a surprisingly fun version of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.”

After missing out on getting tickets to Anderson’s Mercury Lounge show over the summer and seeing him play just a handful of songs a couple months ago when he opened for The Lone Bellow, it was really good to see him play a full set. While he sounds great on his album, he’s even better live. He’s got the voice and charisma to grab your attention, and the talent to keep it. Plus, he knows how to work the crowd. Ever the charmer, he gave a few lucky fans roses from the stage as he closed out the show.

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Go see Anderson live if you can. And if you missed him, hopefully some pictures from the front row will help tide you over ’til he tours again.

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Muse – Barclays Center

Muse - Barclays Center, Brooklyn (1/27/2016)

Last year I was lucky enough to not only grab a ticket to Muse’s show at Webster Hall, but also to get a coveted spot in the front row. Since the Webster Hall show, Muse has embarked on another tour to promote their new album, Drones. And while their recent show at Barclays was much, much larger, their new 360° stage setup helped a lot in bringing the band closer to its fans.

Camera in hand, I made my way to the barricade again and snapped up some shots of the band. Check out some of my favorites below! And while you’re at it, maybe throw this on in the background.

Check This Out: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Can you guess when “Let the Good Times Roll” was released? How about “Coming Home” or “Only You”? The 1950s, do you think? Or the ’60s?

The correct answer is: 2015. That old school sound’s making a comeback, and hopefully it’s here to stay. So far, the new JD McPherson, Leon Bridges, and Anderson East records have been spinning on repeat, but now there’s another album to add to the rotation: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.

Rateliff’s released a few solo albums and EPs before, mostly in the singer-songwriter/folk-rock vein. But with the addition of his new backing band the Night Sweats, he’s got a whole different sound. More soul. More rock. More energy. More everything. Take a listen:

Artist: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Song: “S.O.B.”
RIYL: Songs that make you want to dance, stomp, and howl so loud your neighbors will want to kill you, but you’re just like “Whatever, homie, I’ma do me”

Like what you hear? How could you not?! Check out the whole album. Do it. Don’t make me hunt you down. I’ll find you.

::menacing stare::

Do you recognize this man?

I got an original Tony Millionaire drawing of a guy I don't recognize as a pledge reward for the McSweeney's Kickstarter. Here it is.

A few months ago I made a pledge to McSweeney’s Kickstarter campaign. As part of my pledge reward, I’d get an original Tony Millionaire drawing from The Believer. Cool, right? Only thing is, I got my drawing in the mail this week and have absolutely no idea who the guy in it is. Thought maybe it’d say on the back, or there’d be a label of some kind with his name, but nope. Just the drawing.

According to the Kickstarter page, most of the drawings are “portraits of musicians, writers, artists, or philosophers.” I tried to think of which musicians/writers/artists/philosophers looked like the man in the drawing and at first glance he reminded me of Woody Harrelson, in a “fourth cousin three times removed” kind of way. I’m 99.99% sure it’s not him, though.

The simplest solution would be to email/tweet the Believer folks with something like, “Sup? Got a drawing of this guy. Who is he?” But that would be so… easy. This could be much more entertaining.

First, I asked my more literary and artistically-inclined friends. One guy Chris went, “¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” then elaborated, “Looks like it could be any white guy.”

My friend Jen said it might be Paul Newman. It’s a better guess that Woody Harrelson’s fourth cousin three times removed, but I’m still not sure.

Everyone else I asked either didn’t know, or just wanted to talk about the fact that I paid $100 for a drawing of a guy I couldn’t recognize. Haters gonna hate.

Then for fun, I uploaded the picture onto one of those “Which Celebrity Do I Look Like?” sites. I figure if there are sites that can tell you which famous person you look like, they should be able to scan the drawing of an actually-famous person’s face and tell who it is, right? Wrong. Turns out those sites don’t work on drawings, and I tried a bunch. Foiled again!

Since my friends weren’t much of a help and facial recognition only works on, well, real faces I guess, I figured I’d try another way. What if, instead of my small circle of friends, I had the whole city helping me figure out who this guy was? But how? Glad you asked!

A picture of a guy who isn't Woody Harrelson, I don't think.

I’ve got a giant urge to print a few hundred of these bad boys out and plaster them all around the city. I might do it, see what happens. But on the off chance you know who this mystery man is, please contact me immediately. Thanks, and remember, it’s not Woody Harrelson.

Concert Catch-up

The last couple months have been hectic, but I was still able to catch a few great concerts. Since I last posted, I’ve seen The Low Anthem, Patrick Watson, Barnstar, Josh Ritter, Lydia, The Early November, Josh Ritter (again!), Damien Rice, and Andrew Bird play. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Check out some pics and a brief recap of each show below.

The Low Anthem and Patrick Watson – Music Hall of Williamsburg (5/28/15)

The first time I saw The Low Anthem was when they opened for Josh Ritter in Tarrytown in 2009. I had no idea who they were, but loved everything they played. Since then, I’ve tried to catch each of their city shows.

In May, they opened for Patrick Watson. Seemed odd to me since they’ve headlined tons of shows here before, and I’d never heard of Patrick, but figured I’d go anyway. It was a good choice. While I came to the show for The Low Anthem, it was Patrick’s set that blew me away. Guy’s got the dreamiest falsetto and his live band is excellent. Think I’ve got a new obsession.

Barnstar! and Josh Ritter – Tarrytown Music Hall (5/29/15)

Nothing like seeing your favorite musician play in your favorite venue. I’ve gushed and gushed about Josh before. You get the picture: I adore him. This time his opener was Barnstar!, a bluegrass-for-people-who-don’t-like-bluegrass band, led by Josh’s bassist Zack Hickman. These guys know how to play. No photos this time, but did manage to get a short snippet of Barnstar!’s cover of “When My Time Comes” by Dawes, and Josh’s “Good Man.” Catch these guys live if you can.

Lydia and The Early November – Bowery Ballroom (6/2/15)

Having grown up in New Jersey, I’ve been able to see The Early November play tons of times. So many times that I’ve lost count. When they announced they’d be playing an NYC show, I made sure to grab a ticket. These guys are just as good as I remembered (even without the bassist Serg, who a few people annoyingly kept shouting for). On the downside, I had a killer upper respiratory infection (damn you, tree pollen!). If you attended the show and happened to be standing beside me, sorry if my coughing grossed you out.

Josh Ritter and Damien Rice – Celebrate Brooklyn (6/17/15)

I was already excited about getting to see Damien play in nearby Prospect Park, but when Josh Ritter was added to the bill as an opener, I was ecstatic. Josh was all smiles during his set, as usual. Damien was on the opposite side of the spectrum, playing with devastating angst. It’ll always astound me how doesn’t need a full band backing him to make some noise — just give him a loop pedal and get ready to be blown away.

Andrew Bird – le poisson rouge (6/25/15)

Before departing for a European tour, Andrew Bird played a show here in the city to warm up. Got treated to a few new songs (which sounded great) and lots of old favorites. It was my first time seeing him play a full set, before I’d only seen him as a part of Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders, and that was more than a few years ago. Good to finally hear some of my favorite songs live. In the middle of his set, Andrew talked about how he finds eye contact creepy (I feel you, dude), hence all the closed-eye shots below.

What’s next?

Lots of shows to look forward to this month. Most pumped about getting to see AA Bondy play again, especially since the last time I saw him perform was eight years ago. Good things coming, stay tuned.