Song of the Week

Song of the Week: Josh Abbott Band’s ‘Hangin’ Around’


Earlier this week, I caught Josh Abbott Band‘s debut headlining set at Bowery Ballroom in New York. It was as if I was transported to the South watching the band play and it makes sense why: they’re from Texas.

The room was packed with hardcore fans singing and dancing — might I add two-stepping — along throughout the entire show. I haven’t seen a crowd that energetic in a while. Throughout their raucous set they played some of their older classics including “She’s Like Texas” and “Taste,”  as well as performed some songs off their upcoming EP Tuesday Night due out on Sept. 23.

While their set was lively, complete with electric, acoustic and bass guitar alongside banjo, fiddle and drums, Josh Abbott Band segued effortlessly from the more upbeat numbers to the softer ballads. Current single “Hangin’ Around” had the crowd singing along. And, long after their performance ended it was implanted in my head. An ear worm of a song, “Hangin’ Around” catches your ear from the very start of the track. The fiddle accompanied by Abbott’s memorable lyrics make it nearly impossible not to dance and sing along.

Listen to “Hangin’ Around” below. Josh Abbott Band’s EP Tuesday Night will be available on Sept. 23.


Concert Reviews

Black Taxi, Lights Resolve, The Bright Light Social Hour Bring Energetic Sets to NYC

For over four hours last night, live music fans at Bowery Ballroom got just what they needed: three solid performances from three phenomenal acts. Impressive guitar licks, heart-pounding drum rhythms and surprising collaborations were infused throughout each band’s set.

Whether it was Southern rockers The Bright Light Social Hour enticing the crowd with foot-stomping and 70s-esque rock & roll, Long Island trio Lights Resolve captivating with soaring guitar landscapes and catchy choruses or New York’s Black Taxi invigorating all with their energetic stage antics during their CD release show, each showcased what live music is all about.

Shortly after 9 p.m., The Bright Light Social Hour took the stage and transported the room into a Southern honky tonk where guitar riffs were aplenty and minute long instrumental interludes were expected and enjoyed. The Austin, Texas, based act impressed with alternating vocalists, spot-on harmonies and soulful growls. The energy skyrocketed on tracks like “Detroit” and “Bare Hands Bare Feet” off their debut self-titled full-length, released last year. With the crowd jumping and singing along word for word, striking keytar accompaniment, and all the rock & roll elements strongly showcased, The Bright Light Social Hour is one band to watch in 2012.

No doubt a hard act to follow, Lights Resolve continued the high energy performing many tracks off their debut full-length, Feel You’re Different, as well as older fan favorites. The seductive “Sew It Up” kicked off the set with a dark bass part and frontman Matt Reich’s mesmerizing vocals while “Happens Every Day” continued the intrigue with killer guitar riffs peaking and falling at the most opportune moments. The aggressive “Misfire” demonstrated the trio’s eventual arena status while epic set closer “Another Five Days” continued to showcase Lights Resolve’s staying power with sing-along choruses, perfected musical buildup and sweeping guitar parts.

Headliners Black Taxi rocked Bowery Ballroom until well after 1 a.m. Their album release show, the band played many tracks off of We Don’t Know Any Better. Whether it was Ezra Huleatt, dressed in feathers and hand paint, running into the crowd and jumping off the venue’s balcony, an enticing horn section mid-set or alternating vocals between each band member, the Brooklyn-based act had the entire venue captivated, never knowing exactly what would happen next. Electronic beats mixed in with intriguing singing styles, handclapped rhythms and gritty guitar kept concertgoers screaming for more. Tracks like the sexy “Friend” and “Tightrope” had Bowery Ballroom dancing up until the last song was played.

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: "These Times"

Just over two years ago I caught SafetySuit’s impressive set at Bowery Ballroom and quickly became a fan. Their powerful live show had me wondering why I never heard of the talented Nashville-based act before. Last week, the band released their sophomore album, These Times. They enlisted the help of fans for the music video and title track and the album.

Of “These Times,” frontman Doug Brown says it was written out of a social need.

“As a band, we were talking a lot about the songs on the record, and obviously, a lot of songs are gonna be about relationships, love and loss; that’s the most common emotion people have. But as we were looking at the track, we felt like something was missing: what the pulse of the nation is right now,” he said. “When we started thinking and talking about that, ‘These Times’ sprang out of that. The chorus goes, ‘Sitting alone here in my bed/Waiting for an answer I don’t know that I’ll get/I cannot stand to look in the mirror I’m failing.’ You just get tired of being on the short end of the stick; I think a lot of people feel that way.

“There’s a lot of people out there who would kill to just have a job so they can provide for their families. It’s tough, man—it’s tough for people, and that sucks. But we didn’t want to leave it at that, so we wrote, ‘These times are hard/But they will pass,’ and that’s important to remind people of. We’ve made it out of bad times before, and we’ll make it out again.”

Watch the poignant video below and for more on the band visit their Website.

Concert Reviews

Rogue Wave Bring New Tunes, Dance Party, and Nada Surf to Sold-Out NYC Show

Photo Credit: Jon Klemm courtesy of

The night after their record release, Rogue Wave have much to celebrate. Their first album in over two years, Permalight, brings a new sound and optimism. And, considering what frontman Zach Rogue and drummer Pat Spurgeon have been through the past few years, this comes as no surprise.

For my complete review and photos of Wednesday’s sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom, visit


Come Out To Bowery Ballroom Tonight!

I have been anxiously awaiting this night for months! My two favorite New York-based bands, The Canon Logic (pictured above) and Lights Resolve will be playing Bowery Ballroom tonight, Thursday, August 13th. I’m sure you’ve read my previous coverage and interviews with both bands, but this is a show not to be missed. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are sure to sell out, so get there early.

Very rarely have I witnessed a show with multiple bands that really resonate with the crowd and Bowery will be the place tonight. Openers include The Rivalry and Jet Lag Gemini.

If my excitement doesn’t entice you enough, check out these live streams from The Canon Logic and some unreleased material by Lights Resolve. And, if you do decide to make it out be sure to leave a note in the comments and we can meet up!

Concert Reviews

White Rabbits Impress At Sold-Out New York Show

The approaching holiday weekend didn’t deter concertgoers from attending White Rabbits’ sold-out concert at Bowery Ballroom last Thursday night. As they performed an hour-long set of older fan favorites as well as tracks off their most recent release, It’s Frightening, White Rabbits had all in attendance captivated by their live show.

The band’s energy was undeniable from the moment they took the stage for first track, “Rudie Fails.” Whether it was Steve Patterson’s vigor while playing piano or guitarists Alex Even and Greg Roberts jumping around onstage, White Rabbits kept the crowd engaged. Their constant interaction was impressive and permeated throughout the venue.

The lack of between-song banter didn’t matter. Concertgoers were there to see a powerhouse set from the Brooklyn-based band and that’s what they got. Led by dual vocalists Patterson and Roberts, each voice matched the energy of the songs showcased and, at times darker musical accompaniment provided. One highlight was seeing the array of instruments played by the six-piece. Throughout the performance, most band members rotated between helping out on percussion, tambourine as well as keyboards, and always managed to keep things fresh.

The band’s set moved quickly and with great diversity. Alternating from more upbeat track “The Lady Vanishes” to slower ballad, “Company I Keep,” Patterson left the piano for the first time of the night and proved he has just as much energy manning the mic alone as he does on the keys. Older tracks like “The Plot” and “While We Go Dancing” seemed to draw the most excitement while the crowd favorite of the night was vigorous “Percussion Gun.” With half the band playing the drums and the audience dancing and singing along word for word throughout the track, White Rabbits had the audience begging for more and they didn’t disappoint. As they took the stage for an encore, the show ended shortly after midnight to a satisfied audience. And, from the looks of it, the band had a blast as well.

It’s evident from Thursday’s show that White Rabbits is one band to be on the lookout for. With a slot at this year’s All Points West festival, there’s a good chance we’ll be hearing a lot more from them soon.

The Antlers opened up the night and played a 40-minute, six-song set. While the three-piece band has more of an ambient, atmospheric vibe, they had trouble winning over the audience. More onstage interaction between the band members could have resulted in a different outcome. While tracks like “Two” have much potential, less musical accompaniment and more vocals would have made for a much different concert experience.

Cymbals Eat Guitars brought along much-needed energy as the venue began to fill up shortly after 10 p.m. Their mix of indie, alternative rock, and, at times screamo, left the audience questioning what would come next. But, isn’t that what live shows are all about? The band interacted well onstage, which only kept the crowd more fascinated.

While Cymbals Eat Guitars have been compared to Built to Spill and early Modest Mouse, regardless of the comparison they definitely put their own spin on their material as could be witnessed throughout the entirety of their set. Songs like “Cold Spring” had solid electric guitar features while frontman Joseph Ferocious was a fun sight to see while jumping around onstage. Having received rave reviews by music publications and blogs alike, the band is on the cusp of indie greatness.

You can read this review, originally posted on Venus Zine here.