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October 24, 2014

photos by Chris La Putt

Tweens / PAWS / Lee Bains III @ Arlene's Grocery 10/22/2014
Tweens
PAWS
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

While Amanda was at Pianos on Wednesday (10/22), fellow BV photographer Chris La Putt was at nearby Arlene's Grocery for the Never Better CMJ day party where there was a rockin' bill of grungy Scottish trio PAWS, southern sleazy riffmongers Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, poppy/punky Tweens, and Manchester, UK's attitude-heavy PINS. Then, as a palate cleanser, he swung by Rockwood Music Hall to catch soulful Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees.

Pictures from those sets are in this post, with more below...

Continue reading "more CMJ Wednesday day party pictures: Tweens, PAWS, Lee Bains III, PINS & She Keeps Bees"

Photos by Greg Cristman

Ideal Bread / The Microscopic Septet / Number Stations
Ideal Bread
The Microscopic Septet
Curtis Hasselbring's Number Stations

Cuneiform Records has been home to a stylistically diverse -- yet united in avant-garde leanings -- roster for three decades and the label celebrated their 30th anniversary with a show at ShapeShifter Lab in Gowanus on Wednesday (10/22). Three of Cuneiform's artists played: Ideal Bread injected some whimsy into their set of Steve Lacy covers by using spatulas, books and handbags as percussion to jolt the crowd at the start of their set; The Microscopic Septet's front line of saxophones was impressive; and trombonist Curtis Hasselbring's current project, Number Stations, opened the night. Pictures from the whole evening are in this post and continue below...

Continue reading "Cuneiform Records celebrated 30th anniversary with Ideal Bread, The Microscopic Septet & Number Stations (pics)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"Courtney Barnett's ramshackle gigs are now serious fucking rock shows" - Eve Barlow

"Came to New York just to see Courtney Barnett. Totally worth it" - Steph Mangan

Courtney Barnett
San Fermin

Courtney Barnett was one of the artists to see at last year's CMJ, and it turned out that the hype was real. She's gotten increasingly (and deservingly) more popular since then and returned for just one CMJ show this year, a Webster Hall show on Wednesday (10/22) on her co-headlining tour with San Fermin. Courtney went on first, but it felt like it should have been reversed considering a good portion of the room left before San Fermin's set.

Norwegian artist Mikhael Paskalev opened. More pictures from the show, below...

Continue reading "Courtney Barnett & San Fermin played Webster Hall with Mikhael Paskalev (pics)"

October 23, 2014

photos by PSquared Photography, words by Andrew Sacher

Thurston Moore
Thurston Moore

The Thurston Moore Band -- aka Thurston Moore, his former Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley, My Bloody Valentine bassist Deb Googe, and guitarist James Sedwards -- brought their tour in support of their brand new album The Best Day to Saint Vitus Tuesday night ("we're on our tour of Northeast black metal clubs," Thurston joked on stage). Thurston's new album is the most Sonic Youth-sounding thing he's been involved with since The Eternal, and he's definitely got the right band for the job. James Sedwards is a bit more of a J Mascis type than a Lee Ranaldo (he threw a few wailing guitar solos in there), but Deb held down that SY-style bass playing really well and it was fun to watch her rock out on a small stage in comparison to seeing her with MBV last year. And of course Steve and Thurston have insane chemistry. It's impossible to not wish Kim and Lee were on stage too, but during some of those noise buildups it almost felt like being at a SY show.

Opening the night was their tourmates PCPC, the collaborative band that Andrew Savage and Austin Brown of Parquet Courts formed with members of PC Worship. This year, Andrew and Austin already have a Parquet Courts album out and a Parkay Quarts album on the way that they recently put out a track from, but it was a mystery as to what PCPC would sound like. Turns out they sound... a lot like Sonic Youth. You could argue it was almost a little too similar to be opening for Thurston Moore, but PCPC did it well. Their set had plenty of noise jams too, but these were definitely well-written songs, kind of in the Bad Moon Rising style. Andrew splits lead vocals with one of the PC Worship members, and though Austin doesn't sing in this one, he still stands there looking a lot like a young Thurston Moore. Andrew had jokes too -- "Have you had enough? Or are you thurston for some moore?" Heh heh.

The Thurston/PCPC tour returns to NYC on Sunday (10/26) at Rough Trade. That show is sold out but we're giving away tickets.

Video of PCPC's set and one of Thurston playing "Psychic Hearts," with more pictures from Saint Vitus, below...

Continue reading "Thurston Moore Band & PCPC (Parquet Courts + PC Worship) played Saint Vitus (pics, review, videos)"

photos by Chris La Putt

PINS @ Cameo / September Girls, CYMBALS, J. Fernandez @ Cake Shop
Pins
September Girls
Cymbals
J Fernandez

Before and after his visit to Puddles Pity Party, BV photographer Chris La Putt hit some CMJ shows on Tuesday (10/21). In the afternoon he went to the Cake Shop day party which had a nice selection of some of the week's busier acts, including sometimes Kurt Vile associate Boyd Shropshire, UK dance/rock act CYMBALS, Glasgow, Scotland's Casual Sex, Ireland's September Girls, and Chicago's J. Fernandez and Curtin. Then after Puddles, he stopped by Cameo in Williamsburg to check out Mancherster, England's punky PINS. Pictures from those sets are in this post.

You can also check out Amanda Hatfield's CMJ day 1 pics (Peter Matthew Bauer, Lydia Ainsworth, more) and stay tuned for lots more CMJ coverage. More from Cake Shop and Cameo below...


Continue reading "more CMJ Tuesday pictures: September Girls, PINS, CYMBALS, Boyd Shropshire, Casual Sex & more"

photos by Chris La Putt

Puddles Pity Party @ Joe's Pub 10/21/2014
Puddles Pity Party
Puddles Pity Party

Puddles Pity Party, the sad clown with a golden voice, came to bring despair to NYC across two shows at Joe's Pub on Tuesday night (10/21). We caught the early show, where Puddles spent a lot of time getting up close and personal with the audience, which was hilarious to watch (if it wasn't happening to you). Among the covers performed was a moving rendition of Celine Dion's iceberg-sized 1997 hit "My Heart Will Go On," set against a photo montage of Waterworld star Kevin Costner. While not for those with acute coulrophobia, PPP was a good time for all concerned. Pictures from the show, including a few backstage portraits, are in this post and continue below...

Continue reading "Puddles Pity Party played Joe's Pub (pics)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis

Girlpool / Nai Harvest / September Girls / Ultimate Painting
Kanine CMJ Day Party
Kanine CMJ Day Party
Kanine CMJ Day Party

The CMJ week day party action picked up on Wednesday (10/22) and Ludlow St is still a safe bet, as is the now-annual Kanine party at Pianos, which this year was co-sponsored by fellow indie label Slumberland and SESAC. A good portion of the BV staff was there -- we posted Flowers pictures already, and pics of the rest of the day are in this post.

Glasgow's Pinact started the day downstairs. Partially due to their two-piece set up and anthemic fuzz rock, it's been easy to compare them to Japandroids, but live they sounded a bit more like early Nirvana (his hair-covered face may have been part of this too). They were good, and definitely sounded full for a two-piece.

I missed SEOUL upstairs but caught the next act there: another two-piece rock band from across the Atlantic, the UK's Nai Harvest. Though he was going through two guitar amps and a bass amp, I noticed the lack of low end a little more with these guys, but they still put on a good show. Some of their songs (like "Hold Open My Head" and "Buttercups") have enough hooks to compete with the '90s indie rock bands they're obviously influenced by, so it'll be interesting to see where Nai Harvest go next. They played a couple new ones and said a new LP is coming next year.

Literature
Kanine CMJ Day Party

After that, Literature and Girlpool played simultaneously upstairs and downstairs (respectively) and I caught a little of each. Literature's indie pop is clearly UK-inspired (down to the fake British accents) and though bands in this style can stereotypically be a little weak live, Literature were nothing of the sort. The drummer and both guitarists are super energetic on stage, and they clearly have a good time with it. At one point the singer ended up standing on one of Pianos' benches with his guitar out Chuck Berry style.

I ended up catching less of Girlpool than I wanted to (they only have a few songs out so far, it was a short set), but it seemed pretty clear that they do in fact have a lot of buzz behind them. The downstairs room was packed when I got in, but I caught their last three songs from the back of the room. They sounded good -- I wouldn't say they need a drummer but I'd be curious to hear what they sound like with one. They're definitely commanding vocalists though, and their songs are tight. You can catch them again at the free BV day party on Saturday.

The last band I caught at Pianos was another from Glasgow, PAWS, playing the downstairs room. I saw PAWS a couple times when they were supporting their first record, but this was my first time seeing them on the new album tour, and it's clear that they're only getting better. They were easily the most seasoned-sounding band I saw yesterday and a hell of a good time. They also at one point brought out the singer of their tourmates Flashlights to sing backup vocals on a song, and then PAWS acted as his backing band for a Flashlights song. - Andrew

Ultimate Painting
Kanine CMJ Day Party

Bill here...Meanwhile, upstairs were Spring King, who make the same kind of shouty, wordy, excited indie pop as Martha and Spook School. They were good. Much more up my alley were Ultimate Painting, the band featuring Veronica Falls' James Hoare and Jack Cooper of Mazes, who basically feed off the Velvet Underground "What Goes On" mode and they do it very well and hearing that style of guitar live is always a thrill. I then ran downstairs to catch a bit of September Girls' set in the main performance space. I'd heard mixed reports of their SXSW sets, but they seemed to have sorted themselves out, as the couple songs I heard sounded great with their harmonies and barrage of guitars.

At that point I was on DJ duty in the downstairs bar and was unable to catch any of the other bands, including Beach Day, Happyness and headliners The Ocean Blue who mixed new songs with '80s college radio hits like "Between Something and Nothing."

Before hitting Pianos, Amanda stopped by Cake Shop to catch Italian dreampop band Be Forest. Pictures from their set, plus lots more from Cake Shop, below...

Continue reading "CMJ day 2 pics: Girlpool, Nai Harvest, Ultimate Painting, Be Forest, Literature, September Girls, Ocean Blue & more"

Flowers photos by Amanda Hatfield

Fat White Family @ Glasslands very early this morning (photo via @sacha-lecca)
FWF

Flowers @ Kanine day party, Pianos 10/22/2014
Flowers

flyer

It's just about time for our two free day parties which happen Friday, October 24 & Saturday, October 25 during CMJ at Baby's All Right, from noon-7pm (actually a bit later) each day. RSVP HERE. 21+ to enter. We're excited to announce that we've added UK bands Fat White Family and Flowers to the Saturday lineup. Those were the two TBA's and the full schedule looks like this:

FRIDAY, Oct 24 @ NOON @ Baby's --- FREE (RSVP)
12:00 Dilly Dally <---- FIRST U.S. SHOW
12:45 The Wytches
1:30 Tweens
2:15 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
3:15 Protomartyr
4:00 The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die
5:00 Single Mothers <----- ONLY CMJ SHOW
5:45 Twin Peaks

SATURDAY, Oct 25 @ NOON @ Baby's --- FREE (RSVP)
12:00 Residual Kid
12:45 Bully
1:30 Flowers
2:15 Girlpool
3:00 Bo Ningen
3:45 Beverly
4:30 White Fence
5:15 Fat White Family 
6:15 Titus Andronicus

SATURDAY, Oct 25 @ 8pm @ Baby's --- $15 (tickets)
8:00 Sport (France)
8:45 Cayetana (Philadelphia)
9:30 Beach Slang (Philadelphia)
10:15 Pity Sex (Ann Arbor)
11:10 The Jazz June (Philadelphia/London)

Complimentary Sailor Jerry rum drunks beginning at 1pm each day. Complimentary Bell's Brewery beer at noon each day while it lasts. On Friday we're giving away a keg of rare Bell's Sweet Potato Stout. Multiple varieties of the craft beer will be available for purchase too. Free tattoo raffle, courtesy of Sailor Jerry, begins at noon each day.

Fat White Family headlined last night's NME showcase at Glasslands, playing a 2AM set where, from what we can tell, pants stayed on this time, but was a typically wild chaotic show otherwise. Be prepared for anything (and perhaps everything if you know what we mean.) Bo Ningen and Girlpool also played the NME showcase and are on our Saturday day party lineup as well. RSVP here. Our official CMJ showcase with The Jazz June, Pity Sex, Beach Slang and more happens immediately after (tickets; limited CMJ badges being accepted too).

Flowers (one of our 20 out-of-town bands to see at CMJ), meanwhile played three shows yesterday, including the Kanine/Slumberland/SEASAC day party yesterday at Pianos. Singer/bassist Rachel Kenedy has a voice that will make the hair on your neck stand up (a bit like Young Marble Giants' Alison Statton) and the band definitely have something live that doesn't quite translate to their excellent debut album. You should catch Flowers somewhere this week, and our party is their final CMJ show. They'll be touring the UK with The Wedding Present next year month, too. Pictures from their Pianos set are in this post and more from the rest of Kanine's day party are coming soon.

More pics from Flower's set at the Kanine day party below...

Continue reading "Flowers & Fat White Family added to free BV day party! (check out our full Fri & Sat schedule)"

October 22, 2014

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Peter Matthew Bauer @ Baby's / Lydia Ainsworth @ Union Pool, CMJ 10/21/2014
Peter Matthew Bauer
Lydia Ainsworth

CMJ got underway here in NYC on Tuesday (10/21) and our intrepid photographer Amanda Hatfield was out all day covering the action. She started at Tell All Your Friends' day party at Baby's All Right with sets from local psych-pop band Spires, hotly-tipped UK at MONEY, another UK band Happyness (one of our 20 out-of-town bands to see) and former Walkmen bassist Peter Matthew Bauer.

Doprah @ The Studio at Webster Hall 10/21/2014
Doprah

Next was was a trip into the city for the annual New Zealand Showcase (now at The Studio @ Webster Hall): Chelsea Jade spent much of her set singing amongst the crowd; Doprah have drawn comparisons to Portishead and The xx which aren't entirely unwarranted.

The #1s @ Union Pool 10/21/2014
The #1s

Finally it was off to Union Pool for YVNYL's showcase with Irish powerpop band The #1s, Montreal rockers HEAT, the crystalline guitar pop of Chicago's J. Fernandez, and Toronto-based classically trained singer-songwriter Lydia Ainsworth. The latter's set included a string section, though it got off to a late start due to technical difficulties.

Pictures from all bands mentioned here are in this post. More below...

Continue reading "CMJ day 1 pics: Peter Matthew Bauer, Lydia Ainsworth, Doprah, The #1s, Happyness, J. Fernandez & more"

photos by Greg Cristman

The Empty Hearts @ Knitting Factory - 10/18/14
The Empty Hearts

The Empty Hearts, aka the band featuring Blondie's Clem Burke, The Cars' Elliot Easton, The Romantics' Wally Palmer and Chesterfield Kings' Andy Babiuk, brought their current tour to NYC for a show at Knitting Factory on 10/18 with Party Lights. They were introduced by The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt, which was appropriate since he named their band. In addition to performing their entire new album, they did a few Cars, Romantics and Blondie songs too, and squeezed in some other covers including "I Wanna Be Your Man." Pictures of the show (including one of the setlist) are in this post and continue, with some videos, below...

Continue reading "Blondie/Cars-related band The Empty Hearts played Knitting Factory with Party Lights (pics, setlist, videos)"

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