Tuesday, March 17, 2015

South By Southwest 2015 Music Festival: Free Downloads, Webcasts, & More

SXSW Music 2015 logo
See below for details on free SXSW Music downloads and more.

Today is not just St. Patrick's Day, it's the kickoff of the music portion of the sprawling South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. Here's our guide to how to take part in SXSW Music if you're not there, an annual (usually) feature of Podcast Party.

NPR Music is doing its usual extensive coverage, including song downloads and streams, live webcasts, podcasts, previews, and more.
(If you want a lot more free song downloads from SXSW 2015 artists (and we mean a lot), go to the unofficial SXSW torrent page. It features two parts containing a total of more than 8 gigabytes of tunes.)

NPR hasn't announced a webcast schedule yet, but we'll update this post when (if?) they make this info available. They also do "late-night dispatch" podcasts each night of SXSW Music, in which each of the NPR Music correspondents on hand sum up the best acts they've seen that night (sometimes recorded in random places like a parking lot).

[Update, March 18th: NPR's SXSW showcase takes place tonight and while it won't be streamed live, it will be posted online "in the days after the concert." The show features Australian Courtney Barnett (playing her new, not-yet-released album live) ... Belgian singer Stromae, who's gotten hundreds of millions of views for his video "Papaoutai" ... and TV On The Radio, playing tunes from their latest album, "Seeds."]

Santa Monica's KCRW also has great SXSW coverage. Start with this article on "Newbies to Know at SXSW 2015." And see KCRW Music during the week for more coverage.

Also, check out Podcast Party's coverage from previous years, including 2013, 2012, and 2011.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sharon Van Etten Plays New Song at Hometown Gigs

Brooklyn-based Sharon Van Etten played two shows at Warsaw in her home borough this week on the latest leg of her tour to support her most recent album, "Are We There." The fans in attendance at Wednesday's show (including various members of the New Jersey native's family) heard a lot of songs that album, and were also treated to a new song, "I Don't Want to Let You Down," which Van Etten debuted on "The Ellen Show" last month (see video below).

Van Etten has been a Podcast Party favorite for several years now, since her breakthrough album, 2012's "Tramp." Last year's "Are We There" continues her progress as a singer, songwriter, and bandleader, and despite her success she maintains her quirky, humble demeanor. (She had to re-start perhaps her best-known song, "Serpents," after realizing her guitar was in the wrong tuning.)

Her band, which includes back-up singer and multi-instrumentalist Heather Woods Broderick, is always in good form, and the heartache and emotion in Van Etten's lyrics and singing on her records are just as evident in her live performances.

She's off to the Asia-Pacific region and Europe for a bunch of shows, but will be back in the States for some festival gigs, including Boston Calling, Sasquatch, and Governors Ball in New York. (See all Sharon Van Etten tour dates.)

Sharon Van Etten with Brad Cook and Heather Woods Broderick at Warsaw.
Sharon Van Etten with Brad Cook and Heather Woods Broderick at Warsaw Wednesday.

Warsaw, a club situated inside the Polish National Home in Greenpoint, is the only concert venue we've been to where you can get kielbasa and pierogies made by Polish ladies. Now that's a bonus you're not going to get anywhere else. (I had the kielbasa hero, a piece of the sausage on a short hoagie roll, with sauerkraut. Mmmm.)

Polish poster and condiments at Warsaw.
You can grab some pierogies or kielbasa at Warsaw.

Opener Leon Bridges is an impressive newcomer, performing blues and R&B tunes in the tradition of classic artists like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. He's been playing a number of dates on Van Etten's current tour and is working on his first album.

Leon Bridges and band at Warsaw.
Leon Bridges and band at Warsaw.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 CMJ Update: Outlaw Roadshow Begins Today; BV Saturday Lineup Announced

CMJ rolls onto its third day (and night), and here are a couple of updates (see our first CMJ 2014 post here). The Outlaw Roadshow, created by blogger Ryan Spaulding and Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz, is back this year and its three-day run of free gigs begins tonight at 7 p.m. at Bowery Electric (the venue for all three shows). Check the link, for you might still be able to RSVP for the shows (but make sure to get there early even if you do get confirmation).

outlaw roadshow poster CMJ
The Outlaw Roadshow begins tonight at CMJ. See details below.

Tonight's Outlaw Roadshow lineup features Hollis Brown, Matt Sucich, Christian MacNeil & Seamonsters, Lily & the Parlour Tricks, Dan Blakeslee, and more. See the Bowery Electric website for more info.

Besides being free and having some good talent, the Outlaw Roadshow has this year's best CMJ poster hands down, in our opinion.

Brooklyn Vegan has now posted the lineup for its free Saturday day party. And the headliners are none other  than the NJ-based metro area punk favorites, Titus Andronicus. (See the full line-up on the poster below, and RSVP here.) Oh, and there's free beer, rum, and tattoos, BV notes. Sounds good to us. Both the Friday and Saturday shows are at Baby's All Right.

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 CMJ Music Marathon Starts Today! Tips on What to See

CMJ banner
See tips below on the best bands to see at CMJ 2014.

Prepare for live-music overload: the five days of the CMJ Music Marathon starts in just a few hours, Tuesday, Oct. 21st. That means hundreds of bands will be playing all over New York City. And you can see a lot of them for free (note: you may have to RSVP for many free shows, and then show up early because even with an RSVP the gigs are first come, first serve). And there are lots of unofficial shows, as well.

If you've got a flexible schedule and can make it to the daytime showcases, so much the better.

To dive into the massive number of acts, take a look at the official CMJ schedule (and download their free Oct. 2014 mixtape, featuring tunes from Purling Hiss, Young Magic, Matthew Dear, and more). For a more manageable, curated look at what's worth seeing, check these links (we've added more as we've come across them):

Here's a sampling of just a few of the showcases and other events going on during CMJ (which runs from the 21st to the 25th):
* No Sleep till CMJ II unofficial showcase from No Sleep Records & Brooklyn Vegan (Oct. 21st, 6 p.m.) at The Paper Box, Brooklyn with John Nolan, '68, Chris Farren, Run Forever, & more
* Bowery Presents day party (Saturday, Oct. 25th) at Piano's with The Wytches, Circa Waves, Water Liars, DMAs, & more
* Conscious Coupling showcase by Father/Daughter Records and Miscreant Records (Friday, Oct. 24th, 2 p.m.) at Silent Barn, Brooklyn with Comfy, Flagland, Girlpool, Bent Shapes, Leapling, & more
* Brooklyn Vegan free day parties (Oct. 24th & 25th, 12 Noon) at Baby's All Right, Brooklyn with Twin Peaks, Single Mothers, Protomartyr, & more (on Friday; Saturday lineup to come)

Rest up, check these lists and the CMJ website, and prepare for a great five days of live-music bingeing!

Monday, October 06, 2014

2014 CBGB Festival - Schedule, Ticket Info, and More

CBGB the club is just a memory, but its namesake music festival in New York is back for a third year. The 2014 incarnation, which runs from Wednesday, Oct. 9th from Sunday the 12th, once again features live music, film, panel discussions and workshops, and more. (You can find the full CBGB festival schedule here, and a similar version at Brooklyn Vegan.) The events take place at various venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

It's baaaack! See details on this year's CBGB Festival below.

Billy Idol gives the keynote address (along with an acoustic performance) at Center 548 (548 W. 22nd St.) on Thursday, well timed for his new album and autobiography. (Listen to Idol talking about his book on WNYC's Soundcheck.)

Among some of the other highlights of this year's CBGB Music & Film Festival: a free show at Bowery Electric on Thursday, and The Muffs at the Bell House and Macy Gray at City Winery, both on Friday. (See the full club show schedule here.)

And again, CBGB Fest will feature a free concert in Times Square: this year's (on Sunday) features Jane's Addiction, Robert DeLong, Devo, Surfer Blood and We Are Scientists. The show kicks off at 11 a.m., with Surfer Blood scheduled for 1:15 p.m., Devo at 4:30, Robert Delong at 5:25, and Jane's Addiction at 6:25 (all taking place at the Times Square South stage).

Film events include the world premiere of "Hardcore Devo Live;" "The Winding Stream," a film on the amazing musical legacy of the Carter and Cash families; and a 30th-anniversary screening of "This is Spinal Tap."

Each club show, film screening, and panel is individually ticketed; there are no all-festival passes. See specific links for music tickets, film tickets, and tickets to talks, panels, and other special events.

For more takes on what to see at this year's CBGB Festival, check out articles from the New York Post and Rolling Stone (all written a few weeks ago, before final schedules were issued). And follow CBGB on Twitter for updates.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Plenty of Great Free Americana Shows in NYC This Week, Plus St. Vincent

If you're a fan of folk, country, or any of the other genres lumped into the Americana category, this is your time to overindulge in free concerts in New York. This week is the annual Lincoln Center Out of Doors Americanafest NYC, the last week of the LCOOD series that features a blowout of great shows.

See the schedule below for Lincoln Center's big Americanafest.

The 2014 Americanafest is no exception, with a week of shows packed with artists like Rosanne Cash, The Lone Bellow, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Cassandra Wilson, and Charles Bradley. Most shows take place at the Damrosch Park Bandshell, but see the Americanafest page for links to specific show pages, where you'll find locations as well as information on the artists (including videos).
  • Wed., 8/6 - Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Robert Ellis, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thurs., 8/7 - Tift Merritt, 7:30 p.m.
  • Fri., 8/8 - Cassandra Wilson, The Campbell Brothers: "A Sacred Steel Love Supreme" (a film honoring John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme"), 7:30 p.m.
  • Sat., 8/9 - The Devil Makes Three, Old 97s, and John Fullbright, 1:30 p.m.
  • Sat., 8/9 - "Heroes of American Roots: From the Historic Films Archives," 1 and 4 p.m. (a rare film montage of musical performances by artists such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elvis Presley, and Woody Guthrie)
  • Sat., 8/9 - Rosanne Cash, The Lone Bellow, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, 6 p.m.
  • Sun., 8/10 - Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Bobby Patterson, and the Music Maker Blues Revue, 5 p.m.
  • Sun., 8/10 - Roots Symposium, 1 p.m., including "Heroes of Americana: From the Historic Films Archives," introduced by Joe Lauro; "Talkin’ Blues:" Music Maker Relief Foundation’s Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Ironing Board Sam, Dom Flemons, and Tim Duffy in conversation with Coleman “Spike” Barkin; and SiriusXM’s “Buddy & Jim Show” with Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale
If adventurous contemporary rock is more your style, you've got another free option for Saturday night: St. Vincent and San Fermin play a free show at Celebrate Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m.