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March 27, 2015
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Laura Marling @ Mohawk 3/19/2014 during SXSW
In spite of the heavier tone of her new material, the electric part of the set is quite short. "We're going to tone it down a bit," she said, taking up her acoustic guitar for "Walk Alone," one of Short Movie's quieter moments, followed by "David," whose lyric "A wasted love is a life of regret" she sings with the full-throated emotion of a wizened woman. The earlier music that she sprinkles through the set is rearranged and the phrasing adapted slightly so that new emotion is wrung out. "The Muse" and "Master Hunter" are played faster and fuller. It sounds fresh, and she seemed to be having a lot of fun performing them that way, barely pausing for breath. - [Village Voice]UK singer-songwriter Laura Marling released her acclaimed new album, Short Movie, this week and celebrated here in NYC with a show at Warsaw on Monday (3/23) with her Domino labelmate, Villagers. You can check out the setlist and video of Short Movie's title track and "Gurdjieff's Daughter" below. We caught Villagers the next night (3/24) at Union Pool.
Right before the NYC show, Marling was in Austin for SXSW and we caught her on Thursday (3/19) at Mohawk, which was rechristened House of Vans for the week. Pictures of her set there are in this post.
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Mew / Iceage @ BrooklynVegan SXSW @ Red 7 - 3/21/2015
The three 2015 BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 wrapped up on rainy Saturday (3/21) with a multi-genre lineup across the venue's inside and outside stages. Check out Friday pics HERE and HERE. Thursday is HERE and HERE. Saturday is in this post.
Kicking the day off inside was the hyped, XL-signed UK electronic artist East India Youth who played solo with a variety of synths and drum machines. He was followed by a rare US appearance by Vietnamese rapper Suboi (with Fool's Gold-signed DJ Sammy Bananas). She was the first Vietnamese artist to ever play SXSW, the BV show was one of only two sets she played in Austin this week, and it definitely seemed like an excited crowd came out specifically to see her. Before SXSW she played San Francisco, and since SXSW, was in NYC (last night).
Then it was Philly's Alex G whose DIY indie rock was as entertaining as his deadpan stage banter. Following Alex was The Lees of Memory, the current band of Superdrag singer John Davis and guitarist Brandon Fisher, who were joined by four other musicians. Their album is shoegaze, but the live show was more like the '90s alternative of Superdrag and (in this writer's opinion) one of the day's most enjoyable sets.
Things got darker and more intense after The Lees for Ex-Cult, whose abrasive psych punk was loud, in your face, and full of attitude. That kind of intense attitude didn't go away when post-punk pioneers The Pop Group followed. It's easy to throw around the phrase "ahead of their time," but The Pop Group's set even sounded radical in 2015. Frontman Mark Stewart praised the US for having a great underground music scene, which was pretty amazing coming from a person still embodying underground music over 35 years after his band's debut album. Iceage, a comparatively much newer band who owe much to the scene The Pop Group helped start, wrapped up the day on a high note.
The Pop Group / Screaming Females @ BrooklynVegan SXSW @ Red 7 - 3/21/2015
The outside stage began with Australia's Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders (who also played NYC last night), a quirky crew fronted by the Nick Cave-like frontman Jack Ladder and featuring a cast of backing musicians (Kirin J Callinan included) who all looked like very different genuine weirdos (in a good way). Their set of baritone-fueled new wave was great, and Jack's stage banter was funny too.
They were followed by Public Access TV, the new-ish New York band who hearkened back to the city's early 2000s garage rock revival. They've since gotten some very bad news while still out on tour.
Then it was soulful singer Gabriel Garzon-Montano, whose voice first caught our ears on the new Drake album and sounded great live too. The filled-in-trying-to-stay-dry crowd was into him too. Things then changed pretty drastically as UK folk punk Frank Turner played solo acoustic, which was a pretty great laid-back set to hear outdoors mid-afternoon. He was followed by a band who weren't laid back at all, the shredding punk trio Screaming Females. We caught them back in NYC only a few weeks prior, but no matter how many times we see them their shows never fail to be totally intense. Then came Ceremony, the ever-changing punk band who played an excellent set with material from most phases of their career. They also played songs off their new album coming out this May, which had serious Joy Division vibes.
Frank Turner @ BrooklynVegan SXSW @ Red 7 - 3/21/2015
Then wrapping up the day was my personal favorite set of the BV day parties (and maybe of everything I saw at SXSW): Mew. The proggy, dreamy Danish band paired stuff off their new album (like "Satellites") with older favorites (like "Am I Wry? No" into "156"), and all of it sounded great. The fact that this year was a very rainy SXSW was unfortunate, but it started coming down pretty hard during Mew's set and that whole atmosphere was perfect.
Thanks to our sponsors MailChimp, Dropkloud, and Esurance (who let 30 people skip the line each day) for helping make it all possible. If you unlocked our party playlsts on your phone with the DropKloud app, you can go listen to them now. If you're still in Austin, you can still unlock them when at Red 7 with the app installed on your phone. Thanks also to Sailor Jerry for supplying drinks to our bands.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
photos by P Squared Photography; words by Andrew Sacher
Torche / Nothing's crowd
Torche put out their killer new record Restarter on Relapse last month, and last night (3/26) they brought their tour with Nothing and Wrong to NYC for a sold-out show at Saint Vitus. The new album is Torche's heaviest since In Return and possibly their most psychedelic ever, and that came across even more so at last night's show. The droning quality of much of the new record was in full effect, and Torche were in total attack mode. We got almost all of the new record, but also plenty of older favorites too including "Healer," "Kicking," "In Return" and a handful of others.
Before Torche, their Relapse labelmates Nothing put on an equally awesome set, opening with one of their heaviest songs yet, the sludgy/grungy "July the Fourth" off their recent split with Whirr. Tons of favorites from last year's Guilty of Everything LP followed ("Bent Nail," "Dig," "Get Well," etc) and they had the front half of the room in a wild mosh pit the whole time. Opening was Wrong (ex-Capsule, Kylesa, and featuring Torche's drummer), whose Helmet-y jams were a fine start to the night. Pictures of all three bands are in this post.
Torche, Nothing and Wrong are all on the upcoming Nirvana tribute, Whatever Nevermind, which Robotic Empire is putting out on April 18. That comp also includes La Dispute (who play NYC tonight), Boris, Cave In, Touche Amore, Thou, Young Widows and more. The only song that's out from it at the moment is Circa Survive's cover of "Drain You," which you can stream below.
Torche also just put out the video for "Annihilation Affair" off their new album. That video and more pictures and setlists from the Vitus show, also below...
photos by Sachyn Mital
Vietnamese rapper Suboi recently made her US debut in San Francisco, followed by two SXSW shows (one of which was a BrooklynVegan party), and then a sold out NYC show last night (3/26) at Baby's All Right. Suboi's set was short but energetic, and she got the audience involved a number of times, including when she taught them the Vietnamese words for what essentially means "fold your hands." Her set was prefaced by Heems-booked DJ sets from Indian producers Hashback Hashish and Sandunes, from New Delhi and Mumbai respectively.
Pictures are in this post and continue, along with a video from her set and two of her music videos (both directed by BV photographer Bao Nguyen), below...
March 26, 2015
photos by Tim Griffin, words by Andrew Sacher
Rat Fist / Pianos Become The Teeth / Single Mothers
The three 2015 BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 continued on Friday (3/20), once again bringing a handful of bands to the venue's two stages from noon to 6 PM. This one was co-presented with Invisible Oranges.
Unfortunately, Walter Schreifels' band Vanishing Life had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, so Creepoid were moved from the outside stage to the inside stage and the show got a slightly later start. But other than that (and some rain), day 2 went off without a hitch.
Philly's Creepoid, who since ran into some legal trouble, started the day on a psychedelic note, with hazy smoke machines filling the room and their bass and their swirly logo (emblazoned on their bass drum) lit up from inside the drum. It was the perfect setting for their rocking shoegaze. After them it was Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band. The band's currently a power trio, and while Kevin's equally (or better) known for acoustic singer/songwriter stuff, they stuck mostly to their harder material which was a great fit for the day's bill. After them was The Velvet Teen, the shapeshifting rock band who are about to release their first full length in nine years on Topshelf. They played mostly stuff off that album, and the new songs sound good: like a mix of their indie rock early years and the artier tendencies they took on later on.
After Velvet Teen, the inside stage went officially into heavy mode with Canadian punks Single Mothers. They were in beast mode as usual and got a good amount of the crowd rowdy as well, with a handful of people up front shouting along. Then came their Canadian neighbors KEN mode who have a new bassist and a new album on the way that they previewed a handful of songs from. The new stuff has them sounding a little less metallic and a little more AmRep noise rock. It sounded great. They were followed by Power Trip, who recall a handful of early thrash and crossover bands but sound way too urgent to come off as retro. Like they tend to do, they had the whole room turned into a total madhouse. Wrapping up the inside stage was United Nations, one of Geoff Rickly's current bands. Their album makes a joke out of punk rock (while also being a killer punk album), and they did the same at their show, pairing their crushing set with stage banter that sarcastically poked fun at things like McDonald's' presence at SXSW. And for one song, Geoff broke out his old mask.
Meanwhile, the outside stage began around 12:30 with Rat Fist, a trio featuring members of No Age and Pissed Jeans who played a solid set indebted to garage and early punk. They were followed by Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, who are currently on their first US tour and were one of the bands we were very excited to finally check out. They sounded great, and their singer's excitable stage presence was fun to watch too. Then came their Run for Cover labelmates Pity Sex, whose hard-hitting shoegaze sounded as good as ever. Up next was Pianos Become the Teeth (who share a rhythm section with United Nations), who played an intense set pulling almost entirely from their newest album, the post-hardcore band's first without screaming. Then the day ended with two veterans: first Mac McCaughan of Superchunk who previewed his upcoming debut solo album, and then shoegazers Swervedriver who just put out their first album since 1998 that (perhaps thanks to bands like Pity Sex and Creepoid) doesn't sound dated at all.
Thanks to our sponsors Dropkloud, Esurance (who let 30 people skip the line each day) and MailChimp for helping make the party possible. If you unlocked our party playlsts on your phone with the DropKloud app, you can go listen to them now. If you're still in Austin, you can still unlock them when at Red 7 with the app installed on your phone. Thanks also to Sailor Jerry for helping keep our artists relaxed.
Pictures from Thursday HERE. Saturday coming shortly. More from Friday below...
photos by P Squared Photography; words by Bill Pearis
Kate Tempest @ Mercury Lounge 3/24/2015
"Don't clap, it'll make it cheesy," Kate Tempest told the crowd at Rough Trade, heartfelt, as she enthused about playing her first show in MC mode in Brooklyn, home to heroes like Mos Def and Biggie. This was the last show of her first American tour -- "a trip that absolutely changed my life" -- and she was positively beaming onstage. You couldn't help but smile or shout back at her genuine enthusiasm. Backed by an excellent band that included her producer/collaborator Dan Carey on synthesizers, a drummer (everything seemed to be played live to me) and a backing vocalist, Tempest absolutely mesmerized from the second she hit the stage. It is hands-down the best live performance I've seen this year.
She is not the female version of The Streets. She is not Lady Sovereign. See her live and you'll know. The songs on her debut album, Everybody Down (based on her new novel, Hold Your Own) and are detail-rich stories of everyday people trying to connect in a world of constant distractions. Being human to each other, doing things that matter, never giving up -- subjects that are not new but Tempest delivered with passion and conviction and serious flow. We need more like her.
Interesting side note: one of the things that gives Kate Tempest's album such a distinctive sound, musically, is the use of the ribbon-controlled Swarmatron analog synthesizer, which Dan Carey played last night. Leon Dewan, creator of the machine, was at the Rough Trade show and Kate gave him a big shout-out from the stage.
Kate played Mercury Lounge with opener Jack Garratt on Tuesday (3/24) and pictures from that show are in this post. NYC has one last chance to catch Kate Tempest this go-round, albeit in a different format. She'll be at the WORD bookstore in Greenpoint tonight (3/26) at 7 PM to celebrate the US release of her books Brand New Ancients and Hold Your Own. It's free, but WORD is small so get there early.
Kate will be back in May, playing Governors Ball. More pics from Kate Tempest's Mercury Lounge show, plus setlists from both NYC shows, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Kero Kero Bonito / Chastity Belt @ Hype Hotel, SXSW 2015
London trio Kero Kero Bonito seem as much influenced by Blue's Clues as they are by Sleigh Bells and Cibo Matto, so it's no surprise that they were more illustrative with their costumes and sets than any other artist we saw this week. Songs about graduation came with cap and gown, songs about birthdays came with wraparound cone hats, and songs with mid-song telephone conversations came with an actual rotary phone to ring and be answered. If single "Picture This" gets as big as it deserves to be, the group could do more to revitalize the Polaroid than anyone since André 3000. - [SPIN]The Hype Machine's Hype Hotel presented by Feed the Beat has been a fixture at SXSW for a few years now, and in 2015 occupied its biggest space yet, offering up shows curated by music blogs from around the world.
We stopped by on Thursday night (3/19) for Gorilla Vs Bear's showcase, catching sets from Chastity Belt (who also played one of our day parties), ramshackle Spanish garage rockers Hinds, and UK trio Kero Kero Bonito who employed a variety of props and costumes to flesh out their live show. Pictures from all three are in this post. We left before Autre Ne Veut, Leon Bridges, and Yumi Zouma (who we caught earlier that day at our own show).
There was free Taco Bell at Hype Hotel again, but this year they also had a Mazda car made into a playable instrument with Mogees technology. Best Coast, in addition to playing Hype Hotel, got a chance to try playing the Mazda. You can watch that, and a full recap video of Hype Hotel along with more pictures, below.
Hinds @ Hype Hotel, SXSW 2015
Kero Kero Bonito are not playing NYC (at least not any time soon) but do have a very catchy new single about taking cameraphone pictures.
More Hype Hotel pictures and videos, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Villagers @ Union Pool - 3/25/15
Villagers (aka folk singer Conor O'Brien) has a new home-recorded album on the way, which (from what we've heard of it) is sounding like his barest material yet. He came to NYC this week to open Laura Marling's post-SXSW show at Warsaw on Monday (3/23) and then to play his own smaller show at Union Pool last night (3/25). Last night's show was about half new stuff, and half older ones. He was also accompanied by a harpist (who also played some keys and did some background vocals), and the two of them sounded lovely together.
Zachary Cale opened the show. More pictures (including one of Villagers' setlist) below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Ceremony @ BV-SXSW at Red 7 - 3/21/2015
Ceremony were just down in Austin for SXSW last week, playing a few shows including the BrooklynVegan Saturday party at Red 7. The shapeshifting band previewed a few songs from their upcoming album, and while people often use "sounds like Joy Division" to just mean "post-punk," these new Ceremony songs really sounded like Joy Division. Not a bad thing though, because Ceremony do it well.
Now the album's officially been announced, and studio recordings for two of the tracks, "The Separation" and "The Understanding," are out. Check them out for yourself in the band's new video (dir. Ross Thomas), below. The album's called The L-Shaped Man, and will be out May 19 via Matador.
The band also announced a few tour dates, including a NYC show happening July 1 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show will be on sale soon via Ticketmaster. They're also performing songs from the new album this Friday (3/27) at Kinfolk 94 (94 Wythe Ave in Brooklyn) at 6:45 PM. RSVP here, but admission is still first come, first served.
All dates are listed, with more pictures of their BV-SXSW set, the album artwork and new video, below...
March 25, 2015
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Glue on Lamar Pedestrian Bridge - 3/19/15
Like there tend to be in Austin during SXSW, there were a few late shows on the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge last week, two of which included local hardcore band Glue (Thurs 3/19 and Sat 3/21). We caught both of those, and Glue's sets at both were especially apeshit. Whole place was a big mosh pit, and Glue were raw as hell.
The first show had them joined by a typically short and abrasive set from noise/hardcore duo Uniform (ex-The Men, Drunkdriver), a shambolic set from psych punks The Ukiah Drag, and the night ended with the highly-confrontational Pharmakon.
The second one had Houston hardcore band Dress Code, who had the place in a similar frenzy to Glue, and punky riff rockers Sheer Mag, who had much of the crowd huddled around the band much like they did in NYC just before SXSW. Pictures of both bridge shows are in this post.
Glue come to NYC soon for New York's Alright, during which they'll play The Wick on April 19 with Dawn of Humans, Heratys, Raw Distractions and Urbanoia. That's a day show (3 PM doors), and tickets are still available.
Sheer Mag also have a NY's Alright show. Theirs is a late one (11 PM doors) at Acheron on April 18 with Vanity, Bad Noids, Tapehead and
Uniform also put out a new song today via Stereogum. Listen to that, plus the ripping "Backwards Society" from Glue's 2014 S/T EP, with more pictures from the bridge shows, below...