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Sarah Kohrs and Wanda Houston at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington

Wanda Houston Sarah Kohrs Mahaiwe - 67Great Barrington, MA - When it comes to music in the Berkshires, there's more to life than just Tanglewood. Case in point: the 113 year old Mahaiwe theater, where last night I heard a stunning show by local singer-songwriter Sarah Kohrs and former Broadway star Wanda Houston, backed by a full band of brass, guitars, and drums. Part jazz, part alt-country, Kohrs' songs lay bare the trials and tribulations - and ecstasies and joys - of falling in and out of love. Switching between piano and guitar, Kohrs sounded like the best of Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, and Carol King, with a bit of Loretta Lynn for good measure. Not a bad way to spend a rainy night in the Berkshires. 

Next time you're up this way, check out Kohrs with her musical partner, Mark Tuomenoksa, who regularly perform as Tumo-Kohrs. Schedule here.

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The Neighbourhood at New Haven’s College Street Music Hall

by Katie Zepf

IMG_2957NEW HAVEN, CT - On Friday, California's The Neighbourhood paid a visit to New Haven's College Street Music Hall, located just outside the Yale campus. Known for their blending of alternative rock with electro-pop, the band - singer Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Zach Abels and Jeremy Freedman, bassist Mikey Margott, drummer Brandon Fried - delivered an energetic performance before a revved up crowd.  They played a total of 16 songs from their albums I Love You., #000000 & #FFFFFF, Wiped Out!, and their newest self-titled release. Halfway through the set, Rutherford crowd surfed over the audience, giving excited fans a chance to see him him up close. The band closed out with their top hits “Sweater Weather” and “Stuck with Me”, ending the night with just as much energy as they began.

Before The Neighbourhood, LA noise rock outfit HEALTH played a very loud set, sounding no less ferocious than when we first heard them in 2009:

"At first listen, HEALTH are like a lot of other no wave bands: fast, hard, loud, thrashing guitar and drums. But they layer in these hypnotic, almost ecstatic techno sounds that make you want to get up and dance. And, then, they unleash a terrible bass that rumbles through your chest like a Marshall Tank. Before long, the whole thing sounds like a nighttime air raid, dropping guitar hits like napalm."

Opening the night on a quieter note, San Francisco's Field Medic (a.k.a.Kevin Patrick Sullivan) played lo-fi folk songs on acoustic guitar and harmonica, including a freestyle piece about juice (as suggested by the audience).

College Street Music Hall, which opened in 1926, features both a standing general admission floor with elevated rows and a seated balcony. Personally, I loved the layout, as it allowed for those who didn't necessarily want to be in the more aggressive pit (unlike myself) to enjoy the music from the comfort of chairs. Concessions were also solid: there was a a taco stand outside the entrance, as well as multiple bars that served food and drinks during and after the show.

The Neighbourhood is playing numerous festivals and headlining slots throughout summer, and returns to New York in the fall for shows at Brooklyn Steel (October 5th) and Terminal 5 (October 6th). Full tour dates can be found here.


Northside Festival #10 - Thursday

by Steven Pisano

20180607-_DSC9007Each June, the Northside Festival brings to Williamsburg and Bushwick a long list of interesting conferences revolving around today's tech and media worlds, but what always interests us most at Feast of Music is of course music--lots and lots (and lots) of music. This year marks the festival's tenth anniversary, and over 300 bands are playing Thursday through Sunday with something for just about everyone.

On Thursday at Brooklyn Bowl, the line-up featured three self-professed "weirdos" and "geeks" who brought a DIY rap sensibility to their musical views of the world. To be honest, we never knew this was a niche, and it almost seems too much of a niche within a niche, but in a way this proves Northside's role in supporting performers across a wide spectrum.

Leading off the 3-hour concert was a singer known as Sammus (born Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo), a PhD candidate in science at Cornell University who is now based in Philadelphia. If you are a fan of the Nintendo game "Metroid," you would recognize her name coming from the game character Samus Aran who protects the universe from Space Pirates.

As you might expect from a singer/songwriter/rapper/teacher working on a doctorate, Sammus writes smart, socially conscious, and sensitive songs that surprise with their literate lyrics. Sammus also surprises by being angry at people (but in a nice way)--at people who made fun of her name when she was a kid, at people who misbehave on social media, at a**holes in general.

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Summer 2018 Music Preview

Celebrate Brooklyn
Hard to believe it's already June, and while this year's Gov Ball has already come and gone, the music is just starting to move to the great outdoors. Below is a preview of some of our favorites - check out our Summertime list on the right for updates throughout the summer. 

Celebrate Brooklyn: (June 5-August 11) NYC's best outdoor music venue celebrates it's 40th year with another stellar lineup that kicks off with Chicago rapper (and Microsoft shill) Common on 6/5. Other free shows include Aimee Mann (6/21), Branford Marsalis (6/29), Kronos Quartet (7/14), and a stellar closing weekend with Godspeed YOU! Black Emperor (8/10) and The Breeders with Speedy Ortiz (8/11). Benefit shows this year include a killer double bill with Grizzly Bear and Spoon (6/20), The Decemberists with M. Ward (6/13), and Courtney Barnett with Julien Baker and Vagabon (7/25). 

Northside Festival (June 7-10): Northside is now a decade old, and the clubs will be jammed across Williamsburg and Bushwick with the latest in cutting edge music, alongside stalwarts such as Caspian, Deerhoof, and Liz Phair. Sunday afternoon brings a Block Party to Bedford Ave, with bands and vendors running all the way to Metropolitan Ave.

NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks (June 12-17): What were you doing when you were 11 years old? Well, if you're Jordan Millar and Camryn Cowan, you're having your music played by the New York Philharmonic at this year's parks concerts, courtesy of the Phil's Very Young Composers program. (They also play music by Bernstein, Saint-Saens, and Rimsky-Korsakov.) The Phil visits all five boroughs next week with conductor James Gaffigan; details here

SummerStage (June 2-September 27): This sprawling series returns with a wide spectrum of music performed in parks across all five boroughs, most of it free. Highlights include a Canada Day celebration headlined by Broken Social Scene (7/1), Afrobeat scion Femi Kuti and Positive Force (7/29), a New Orleans fest with Trombone Shorty, Galactic, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and (8/8), and Angelique Kidjo covering The Talking Heads (9/27).

Make Music New York (June 21): Celebrate the longest day of the year with this citywide musical happening, with performances on street corners, plazas and parks from sun-up to sundown.

Warm Up at MoMA PS1 (June 30-September 1): NYC's best tea dance enters its third decade at MoMA PS1, with an architectural installation featuring large-scale, interactive mirrors - and hopefully some misters. Tickets include museum admission. (LI City residents get in for free.)

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