The Dead Exs, Bowery Electric, 7/10/11


Last month, NTSIB friend @popa2unes reported on The Dead Exs record release party, and now I’m here to heartily second his ringing endorsement of the band. I got to see them this weekend, when they were back at the Bowery Electric for an early show. One of the highlights of the evening was that I was not the only one dancing this time.

The Dead Exs are David Pattillo (dp) on vocals and guitars and Wylie Wirth on drums, and their sound is a delicious blues-funk stew lightly seasoned with garage-rock flair.  If you get a chance to see them live, do it; their show is a raucus good time, messy and loud in all of the best ways, if sometimes unintentionally so. And by that I mean dp’s finger-slide made a break for freedom half-way through the evening, but it was swiftly recaptured and they went right back to rocking out.

As an example, here is Shut Up and Love Me, from their Bandcamp:
Shut Up And Love Me by The Dead Exs


Here are a few more pictures from … Continue reading

The Wild Joys of Living: Emily Zuzik

IMG_9432Emily Zuzik

Emily Zuzik is a veteran of the New York City music scene, but you might also recognize her voice from Moby’s latest record – she collaborated on a track called The Low Hum – or from television and movies: her songs have appeared in Smallville, Ticking Clock, and Fifth Form.


IMG_9436L to R: Wes Hutchinson, Ryan Vaughn, Emily Zuzik and Brian Killeen.


She has just released her seventh record, The Wild Joys of Living, and I had the pleasure of attending her show at The Living Room – a venue as tiny and cozy as the name would suggest – this past Saturday night, where she played the record in its entirety. Ladies and gentlemen, it is delicious. The songs run the gamut from sweet pop morsels to fuzzier, more aggressive rock and roll. I was especially fond of Motels, which is about naughty things people do in motels, and also You’re The One, which is sweet but not treacle-y love song.

As a taste, I … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: Whitesnake


I saw Whitesnake at Irving Plaza last week – now there is a sentence I never expected to write – and about two songs into their set, it occurred to me: these are the kind of rock stars I fell in love with the first time. Not these specific rockstars, maybe, what with Whitesnake having been reconstituted several times since they started, but certainly of this general type: the shredding, hair-flying-everywhere, flowing-shirts-and-leather-trousers flavor of musician.


Though I certainly do have a massive soft spot for Whitesnake in particular, and this incarnation of the band is a solid one. David Coverdale sounds great, and he’s got some heavy metal all-stars behind him, with Doug Aldrich (Dio) and Reb Beach (Winger) on guitars, Brian Tichy (Foreigner) on drums, Michael Devin (Lynch Mob) on bass and Brian Ruedy (Bret Michaels, Brian “Head” Welch, of KORN) on keys.

The set was a mixture of old and new songs – Whitesnake has a new record out! – and … Continue reading

Rock and Roll Dreams Come True: Meat Loaf at Irving Plaza, 2/23/11


This is Evan Watson , of Evan Watson & The Headless Horsemen . He’s a bluesman from Indiana, though right now his home base is in Tarrytown, NY. I saw him last week when he opened for Meat Loaf at Irving Plaza (!) by himself, minus his Horsemen, and, while I’m not much for the blues, I could tell he would be delicious for people who like fancy picking over a steady slow roll. He’s also got a fantastic rumble-growl voice to go along with all of that, so, blues enthusiasts: you should check him out.


And here is where I have to back up and explain that, for all I was on “spring break” last week, by Wednesday I was inexplicably thin-skinned and heartsore, and in dire need of some cheering up. Meat Loaf at Irving Plaza turned out to be exactly what I needed. I have to explain also that Irving Plaza is tiny, or at least, it is significantly smaller than the places Meat Loaf normally plays, in … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Gold Motel

Greta Morgan of Gold Motel

Greta Morgan of Gold Motel at the High Line Ballroom

The day I saw Gold Motel was bitter, bitter cold, and windy. In addition, New York has, like everywhere else, gotten a lot of snow this winter. Basically: I was ready for a burst of summer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what I got, because they played a set full of songs that made me want to find a convertible and drive towards the sea with the wind in my hair. Including my favorites Safe in L.A. and The Cruel One.

The tour they are on with Hellogoodbye, Jukebox the Ghost and Now, Now Every Children is winding to a close, but if you are on the West Coast you can still catch them.

A few more pictures from the evening:

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Biffy Clyro and Moving Mountains

So, the night before I witnessed loud music performed by men in suits, so did Jennifer. And then she witnessed loud music performed by half-naked men. Sounds like a good night to me.


This is Moving Mountains; they are from Purchase, New York, and, while they might be wearing suits and grandpa sweaters, their music is like an oncoming freight train. I seriously was not expecting the periodic bursts of James Hetfield-style ogre roar that I heard Saturday evening, but I assure you I enjoyed them tremendously. Also they sound very different live then they do on MySpace, much heavier, and the drums and bass combine into a tidal wave of percussive power. If you aren’t headbanging during their set, I think you might be dead inside.


And this is Biffy Clyro, of Kilmarnock, Scotland. They’ve been around since 2000, but I only learned about them this year, via the unlikely agency of UK TV show The X Factor, when contestant Matt Cardle covered their song Many … Continue reading

Rainy Day Saints/Frosting/The Godfathers at the Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH, 2.13.11

Rainy Day Saints

When I had previously seen Rainy Day Saints, their sound mix was muddy, making it difficult to gauge anything but a beat. Sad to say, this night was more of the same. Even sitting at the bar situated at the back of the Grog Shop, the sound seemed to be mixed for some point 20 feet behind the back wall. They might be a great band, but if they don’t gauge their sound mix down a little, it’s going to be hard to tell.


“This song’s on capo 1, everybody.”

Chicago band Frosting have a full complement of women and bald dudes and a good sense of humor. The group, led by a singer/guitarist who is not bald or a woman but does sort of look like a mashup of Doug Fieger and Mark Arm, powered through an upbeat set of guitar pop. A post-song comment from the singer gives a good idea of … Continue reading

Benjamin Riley Band/Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine/Patrick Sweany at Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO, 2.10.11

To continue Patrick Sweany Month here at NTSIB, we are pleased to have a guest review of Patrick’s recent CD release show in St. Louis by our friend Nate Burrell, along with some wonderful photos by Nate and another talented photographer, Kate McDaniel.

On a cold and icy Thursday evening in south city St. Louis, music fans braved the elements to go out and see an absolutely stellar 3-band bill at Off Broadway – our city’s premier music venue. With the stage lights beaming down, headliner, Nashville-based rhythm and soul rock-n-roller, Patrick Sweany grabbed his pale green guitar, stepped to the mic and shouted out “All right, St. Louis, how ya doin’?” and immediately started into a hot set that melted the stage and unthawed the ears of anyone unfamiliar with his signature sound. Backed by an extremely tight bassist and a drummer with metronome like precision, Sweany burned through a few numbers from early in his catalogue before unleashing live versions of tracks from his recently released 5th album That Old Southern Drag. Showcasing his commanding guitar work and his beautifully raspy, soul-filled voice, Patrick stomped, shredded, and howled out tune after tune for 75+ minutes, leaving the crowd … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Panic! at the Disco / Walk the Moon

This week, Jennifer reconnects with one of her favorites and discovers a new Ohio band.

Last Tuesday, Panic! at the Disco played their first U.S. show in almost two years. It was an amazing evening, but before I tell you about it, I’d like to introduce the opening band, Cincinnati, OH natives Walk the Moon:


I am not quite sure what the facepaint has to do with anything, but: they have hot funk grooves powered by two drummers – one whom is also the lead singer – and in addition said lead singer is in possession of a killer disco falsetto. They immediately engaged and kept the attention of a restless crowd, and the reason I took so few pictures of them was because I was busy dancing. I’d also totally go and see them at their own show in the future. You can listen to them on bandcamp and also they will be at SXSW. If you’re going down there check them out, you will not be disappointed.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Iron and Wine with Edie Brickell

This week, Jennifer visits with a couple of old friends, watches Sam Beam rock out (and get Dylan’d for his trouble) and has some choice words for the monkeys at the circus.

Occasionally my adventures in modern music appreciation feel a bit like being at a big party with a lot of pleasant strangers, where I’m half wandering between intriguing conversations and half hiding behind a potted palm with a cocktail thinking Who are these people and what is going on here? And then the crowd parts and a familiar but rarely-seen face appears, and I feel a surge of relief and affection and want to stop and chat and see what they’ve been up to all this time.

One of these moments occurred last Saturday night, when Edie Brickell & friends (including Charlie Sexton!) took the stage at Radio City Music Hall:


In case you are now squinting your screen thinking Edie who?: she had a big hit with What I Am in 1988, and then in 1992 married Paul Simon (MTV nation emitted a collective WHAT? at the time) and essentially fell … Continue reading