Deer Tick Celebrate 10 Years of Bandom Under 'Covers'

Deer Tick
Tradition dictates that gifts for a 10th anniversary be either tin or aluminum. But on the occasion of Deer Tick's own decennial as a band, they're the ones doing the giving: They're presenting fans in the New York area with...(insert rimshot here) rock. And a lot of it: For five nights in a row at the Brooklyn Bowl, the lineup will cover an entire album -- by Devo, the Beatles, NRBQ, Elvis Costello, and Lou Reed (plus a second set of their own material) -- and on the sixth eve they'll do their own songs in a fan-chosen set. That's a lot of rehearsal. And in the ballpark of 40 cover songs to learn, all from albums released before anybody in Deer Tick was even born. But as singer/songwriter John McCauley understates, "We just thought it would be fun to do. I guess we figured we're going to be taking some time off next year -- still recording stuff, but we've been playing so much, and I'm about to have a daughter, so, you know, this will be the last time we play in New York for kind of a while."

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Wrekmeister Harmonies Drape Bushwick in Pastoral Doom - 12/14/14

Categories: Concerts, Metal

Wrekmeister Harmonies
Better Than: That Scott Walker + SunnO))) record. Yeah, I said it.

"I was nervous. I didn't know if anybody was gonna show."

J.R. Robinson a/k/a Wrekmeister Harmonies is enjoying a post-show cigarette and breathing a helluva sigh of relief. The "pastoral doom" overlord needn't have pondered that nightmarish scenario, because a shit-ton of his doom-and-drone-seeking worshippers did in fact flock to DIY art hub Signal Gallery in Bushwick, where the Chicago-based, ink-
covered WrekHarm architect -- in all his bearded glory -- presented a rare local performance of Then It All Came Down, his second long-form mammoth composition.

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The 10 Most Bizarre Justin Timberlake Fan Reactions to Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake
Better Than: Taylor Swift's star-studded birthday party.

As Justin Timberlake closes out his most recent run of the 20/20 tour, he made a stop at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and brought along the borough's most famous rapper, Jay-Z, for a hit-packed set. Here's what some of the biggest JT fans had to say:

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The 11 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/15/14

Categories: Listings, Live

Publicity photo by Michael Schwartz
This week: You can see Tinashe on Monday, December 15, at the Highline Ballroom.
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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Listen to 'I Can't Breathe,' the Haunting Song for Eric Garner, by We Are Temporary

Categories: Interviews

Mark Roberts, an electronic music producer who works under the name We Are Temporary, knows his latest song, "I Can't Breathe" -- out Tuesday and about the death of Eric Garner -- is manipulative.

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2014's Top Country Albums Prove the Music's Flourishing, Radio Be Damned

Categories: Country

Here's my imitation of executives in Nashville: "Let's put the one that sounds like a Lionel Richie ballad right after the tailgating song with the AC/DC power chords." This year's country-music crop boasts some marvels, but I've never found less to like in the albums pumped out of Music Row, where sequencing three strong tracks in a row is as long-gone a tradition as Nudie suits. Even the best big-biz album on this list, Miranda Lambert's Platinum, demands editing on the consumer end: You'll like a lot, and you'll skip more than you should have to.

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Charli XCX Plays It Too Safe With Her SNL Performance

Despite the fact that she co-wrote and lent her voice to "Fancy," one of the most indisputable hits of 2014, the world is still arching eyebrows over Charli XCX and what exactly she's all about. Is she a pop tart banking on plaid miniskirts and '90s nostalgia in the hopes of finding her own voice in the wake of tired trends? Is she pop's next big thing, an artist who's more than capable of writing the catchiest of hooks and delivering them with an equally distinguishing voice, like Lady Gaga before her? Is she a flash in the pan or a strong talent who's earned her shiny new acclaim, this Saturday Night Live spotlight, and a shot at headlining her own agenda instead of that of her collaborators in 2015?

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Taylor Swift Celebrates Her 25th Birthday at the Z100 Jingle Ball to Screams of Adoration

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Taylor Swift performs onstage during iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014, hosted by Z100 New York and presented by Goldfish Puffs at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2014, in New York City.
Better Than: Listening to these pop hits at a bar filled with SantaCon goons.

Attending Z100's Jingle Ball is like being thrust into a crash course on what's dominating today's Top 40 charts. On December 13 at Madison Square Garden, the annual holiday concert bill was the largest it's ever been: Sixteen different performers took the stage, many of them returning more than once for duets and collaborations over the course of the four-hour performance. As a result, the holiday show's pace was relentless and sometimes individual sets were so brief that only one song (or a dizzyingly fast medley) was spit out by the fresh-faced pop stars in the spotlight. The hurried pace of the night launched the audience into a state of constant stimulation -- it's a similar sensation to flipping through TV channels or absentmindedly surfing YouTube videos.

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Swans Punish a Sold-Out Crowd at Warsaw in Greenpoint

Swans publicity photo via Facebook
Michael Gira at work with Swans
Better Than: Standing in front of a sputtering jet engine.

On Friday night at Warsaw (261 Driggs Avenue) in Greenpoint, Swans performed to a sold-out crowd of masochists, who seemed to welcome the punishing drone as though it were candy. Many in the crowd wisely wore earplugs. The sheer volume of Swans easily overpowered anyone who was silly enough to forget their pair at home. Speaking in purely referential terms, only My Bloody Valentine is louder. But while My Bloody Valentine's legendary 20-minute dissonant noise-pummeling takes place in the middle of "You Made Me Realise," Swans maintained that level of intensity for their two-hour set, giving in only occasionally for Michael Gira to scat-sing or for the band to transition between songs.

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John Waters & Music: A Love Story

Categories: John Waters

Stage 48
John Waters just looks like he has a cool record collection.
This Sunday, the great John Waters brings his annual Christmas show to City Winery. An absolute Christmas fanatic, Waters also just so happens to be marking 10 years since the release of his curated compilation album A John Waters Christmas. While some were surprised at the time that the Baron of Bad Taste would be releasing a collection of holiday tunes, Waters has actually been very music-minded his entire career. To score your journey to hear him this weekend, we've put together this history of John Waters and the music of his life.

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