by Bill Pearis
The Soft Pack @ Cake shop in Feb (more by Gabi Porter)
The Soft Pack are here again, the first real shows in town they've played since releasing their debut album on Kemado: tonight (3/31) at Maxwell's, tomorrow (4/1) at Mercury Lounge, and Saturday (4/3) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I've seen these guys a zillion times (and written about them nearly as much) but they remain one of my favorite current live acts. That said, I'm just a tad bit more excited about the bands who they've brought with them on tour: Nodzz, Beaters, and Male Bonding.
Geeky, funny, tuneful Nodzzz were relatively quiet in 2009 -- at least compared to some of their San Franciscan brethren -- touring early in the year and only releasing one single. Mind you, it was an excellent one, "True to Life," which made by Best of the 2009 list. They're bound to have a new record in the works, so hopefully we'll get a bunch of fresh tunes.
Beaters, from The Soft Pack's hometown of San Diego, are signed to Zoo Music, the label run by husband/wife duo Brandon of Crocodiles and head Dum Dum Girl, DeeDee. If you're familiar with their roster at all, you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect: dark, over-caffeinated, paranoid, heavy on the reverb. You can check out their single "Fishage" at the top of this post.
The Music Hall of Williamsburg show adds UK punks (and Sub Pop signees) Male Bonding who also play with The Smith Westerns and So Cow on Sunday (4/4) at Mercury Lounge.
Of the two, I find Dom a little more interesting. There's some of that fifth-generation cassette tape chillwave sound going on, no doubt (which I'm getting a little waterlogged from frankly). But they've got some good songs under that hiss (check out "Bochicha" on their MySpace) and appear to play real drums and guitars (as well as crappy old synths) so I have hopes that their live show will prove less gauzy.
Golden Girls are more straight-up indie rock, a duo on recordings but are a four-piece live. Raucous and on the sloppy side, and with a single about cigarettes, you can draw a line from Golden Girls back to the Replacements pretty easily. They've only got two singles out so far, and I'm definitely curious to hear more.
A few more picks, by night, to take you through the weekend, along with tour dates and videos and stuff, below...
Wednesday, March 31
Abe Vigoda, taking a brief break from their tour with Vampire Weekend, are playing a headlining show tonight at Mercury Lounge. I saw them twice in Austin during SXSW and these guys have really come a long way, both musically and as performers, from when I first saw them play at the Seaport two years ago. What once was skronky noise, is now controlled skronk with catchy tunes. The whole show is worth checking out, with Cleveland's Cloud Nothings (who've got a whale of a drummer), spooky post-punk sextet Effi Briest, and new Captured Tracks signee MINKS.
Thursday, April 1
If you're going to see Japandroids' sold out show at Bowery Ballroom, you're probably already going early to catch L.A. sensations Best Coast, but I'll just add that they were one of the best bands I saw at SXSW. I like Best Coast's singles, but they're so drenched in reverb you might think they're just another Vivian Girls. But live, they are a different band, almost no reverb, allowing the songs, and Bethany Cosentino's amazing voice, to really shine through. Their new drummer makes a world of difference too. Best Coast play headlining shows next week (4/6 at Knitting Factory, 4/7 at Mercury Lounge) and more on that next week, but you should definitely make an attempt to catch them while they're here.
Friday, April 2
Toronto's nerdtastic synthrockers Woodhands are at Brooklyn Bowl for only $5.
'90s Britpop fans take note: Ash are playing Santos Party House. Having given up on the LP format, the band are halfway through their "A-Z Series" in which they're releasing a different single every two weeks that are somehow related to letters of the alphabet but it seems to be a loose concept at best, but some of the songs are pretty good. Some perspective: While Ash have been around since the early '90s, they were teenagers when they started. Singer Tim Wheeler is only 33.
And lastly, Girls are at Webster Hall with Dum Dum Girls opening. DDG's debut album, I Will Be, was released this week and is pretty great I think, one of my favorites of 2010 so far. They're good live, too.
That's gonna do it for this week. Tour dates, videos, etc follow...
The Soft Pack - "Answer to Yourself" at SXSW 2010
The Soft Pack - 2010 Tour Dates
03.31.10 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
04.01.10 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
04.03.10 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
04.06.10 Montreal, QC La Tulipe
04.08.10 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
04.09.10 Chicago, IL The Empty Bottle
04.13.10 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
04.18.10 Indio, CA Coachella
Dom - 2010 Tour Dates
Apr 1 Pianos NYC New York, New York
Apr 5 cake shop New York, New York
Apr 9 rm 109 agr eng bldg zoomass slamherst FRIENDSHIP BRACELET Amherst, Massachusetts
Apr 23 RPI caw! caw! n vulpixic Troy, New York
May 22 POPFEST 2K1o AFTR PRTY glasslands gallery Brooklyn, New York
Jun 11 pa's lounge Boston, Massachusetts
Golden Girls - 2010 Tour Dates
Apr 1 WORCESTER INVADES NEW YORK: Pianos NYC w/ DOM New York, New York
Apr 5 WORCESTER INVADES NEW YORK: Cake Shop NYC w/ DOM + Byrds of Paradise New York, New York
Apr 9 Mass Art w/ High Places + Truman Peyote Boston, Massachusetts
Apr 10 Diamond Junction Bowling Alley w/ High Places Palmer, Massachusetts
Apr 16 Burning Mill Records Showcase w/ DOM Amherst, Massachusetts
Apr 18 Great Scott , WTBU showcase! Allston, Massachusetts
Apr 24 Clark U: NOISE DAY w/ Lightning Bolt Worcester, MA, Massachusetts
Best Coast - "This is Real" at SXSW 2010
Best Coast - "This is Real" @ Max's Wine Dive 3.20.2010
Uploaded by brooklynvegan. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.
Best Coast - 2010 Tour Dates
Apr 1 Bowery Ballroom w/ japandroids New York City, New York
Apr 2 MACRoCK Festival at Clementine Harrisonburg, Virginia
Apr 3 The Barbary w/ reading rainbow Philadelphia
Apr 5 Meat Locker Montclair, New Jersey
Apr 6 Knitting Factory w/ the bitters + the babies Brooklyn, New York
Apr 7 Mercury Lounge w/ the bitters New York City, New York
Apr 12 The Friendship Cove Montreal, Quebec
Apr 13 The Garrison Toronto, Ontario
Apr 14 Magic Stick Detroit, Michigan
Apr 16 Schuba's Tavern Chicago, Illinois
Apr 17 WIUX Culture shock Bloomington, Indiana
Apr 21 The Great American Music Hall W/ Camera Obscura San Francisco, California
May 1 Camden Crawl London
May 2 Jericho Tavern Oxford
May 3 Joiners Arms Southampton
May 4 Whiteheat at Madame Jojos London
May 5 Louisiana Bristol
May 6 Bodega Nottingham
May 7 Manchester Deaf Institute Manchester
May 8 Korova Liverpool
May 9 Captain Rest Glasgow
May 10 Shopkeepers Leeds
May 11 Hare and Hounds Birmingham
May 12 Upset the Rhythm at Old Blue Last London
May 13 Great Escape Festival at Freebutt Brighton
May 14 Great Escape Festival at Komeida Brighton
May 15 Pleasure Night at Waalserook Ghent
May 16 Ekko Utrecht
May 17 Molotov Hamburg
May 18 White Trash Berlin
May 19 Venue Debaser Malmo
May 20 Svanen at Jazzhuset Gothenberg
May 21 Faglarna at Debaser Stockholm
May 22 Loppen Copenhagen
May 23 Blau Mannheim
May 24 Ostpol Dresden
May 26 ISC-Club Bern
May 27 Cafe La Danse w/ THE SLITS!! Paris
May 28 Primavera Festival Barcelona