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Blackstrap, Stereolab, Echo & the Bunnymen, Glasvegas and more in this Week in Indie

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Blackstrap – Repulsion (MP3)

Echo and the BunnymenThe biggest event of the week, at least in some circles, is Echo & the Bunnymen‘s show at Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday (10/1) where they will be playing their classic 1984 album, Ocean Rain, in full with a 16 piece orchestra. The idea of hearing “The Killing Moon,” “Silver” and the gorgeous title track in their proper string-swept glory is pretty enticing, as is witnessing the album’s weirder moments, like “Thorn of Crowns” and “The Yo-Yo Man,” which they probably haven’t played in 20 years.

This is the second of three Ocean Rain concerts the band are doing, and at the September 12 Royal Albert Hall show they broke the night into two sections: opening with a 12-song set of hits (“The Cutter,” “Lips Like Sugar,” “Villiers Terrace,” etc) and then a short break before getting into main event. I imagine we’ll see a similar (if not exact same) set on Wednesday. Good tickets, which aren’t exactly cheap during these wintry economic times, are still available.

Added value: openers Glasvegas (who I’ve written about before) for which, thanks to some some visa issues, may be their first American show and whose album is currently in the UK Top 20. They’re also playing a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday (10/4) and a few more U.S. show as well.

StereolabThe other big event this week, in my mind, is Stereolab‘s three-night stint at The Filmore at Irving Plaza. Tim, Laetitia, et al are supporting what I think is their best album in a decade — the tight, bouncy, poppy Chemical Chords. I’ve seen a handful of Stereolab over the last 15 years (most recently Town Hall in 2006) and they’ve always been good but I’m hoping these will be especially memorable, especially coming off such a stong album. And though Chemical Chords is short and punchy, you can still expect some 10-minute one-chord jams. It is Stereolab after all.

All three nights feature different openers: Thursday is Atlas Sound and Van Allen Belt (tix); Friday has Anti Pop Consortium (tix) ; and Saturday is Monade and Le Loup (tix).

Tuesday night I’ll be at the Bird and the Bee at the Spiegeltent.

Blackstrap
Blackstrap

And finally, looking ahead a couple weeks, Sweden’s Blackstrap are heading to the U.S. for a short American tour, including some CMJ dates. Mixing shoegaze and straight-up rock, Blackstrap fit somewhere between Serena Maneesh and Soundtrack of Our Lives on the Swedish sonic landscape. Blackstrap have flown a bit under the radar compared to other Swedish bands of the moment, but their new album, Steal My Horses and Run, is out now on TeePee Records (where they fit quite comfortably beside labelmates The Warlocks and The Brian Jonestown Massacre). It’s one of the better produced rock records I’ve heard in a while and really makes we wish I still had a car. Blackstrap are great crank-it-up driving music. They’re also one of these bands that when you hear the record you just know they’re going to be good live.

All tour dates and videos below….

Glasvegas 2008 Tour Dates
Sep 29 Great Scott Bar Allston nr Boston, Massachusetts
Sep 30 North Star Bar Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ????
Oct 1 Radio City Music Hall (supporting Echo & The Bunnymen) New York, New York
Oct 2 Ottobar Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 3 Rock & Roll Hotel Washington, Washington DC
Oct 4 Mercury Lounge – SOLD OUT New York, New York
Oct 18 Moshulu – SOLD OUT Aberdeen
Oct 30 The Venue – Dumfries – SOLD OUT Dumfries, Scotland
Oct 31 Ayr Town Hall – SOLD OUT Ayr, Scotland
Nov 22 Rockpalast Festival Essen, Germany
Nov 27 Kings Dock (supporting Echo & The Bunnymen) Liverpool
Nov 28 Anson Rooms – SOLD OUT Bristol
Nov 29 Sin City Swansea
Nov 30 Junction Cambridge
Dec 1 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – SOLD OUT London
Dec 3 Trent Uni – SOLD OUT Nottingham
Dec 4 Wulfrun Wolverhampton
Dec 6 Plug Sheffield
Dec 7 Met Uni – SOLD OUT Leeds
Dec 8 Academy 2 – SOLD OUT Manchester
Dec 10 53 Degrees Preston
Dec 11 University Hull
Dec 12 Digital – SOLD OUT Newcastle
Dec 14 Whelans – SOLD OUT Dublin
Dec 15 Spring and Airbrake – SOLD OUT Belfast
Dec 16 Barrowlands – SOLD OUT Glasgow

Stereolab

Stereolab – 2008 Tour Dates
Sep 29 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, North Carolina
Sep 30 9.30 Club Washington, Washington DC
Oct 1 Trocadreo Theatre Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 2 Fillmore at Irving Plaza New York, New York
Oct 3 Fillmore at Irving Plaza New York, New York
Oct 4 Fillmore at Irving Plaza New York, New York
Oct 6 Paradise Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 7 Club Soda Montreal, Quebec
Oct 8 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, Ontario
Oct 9 Crofoot Pontiac, Michigan
Oct 10 Vic Theatre Chicago, Illinois
Oct 12 First Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 14 Gothic Theatre Denver, Colorado
Oct 17 Showbox Seattle, Washington
Oct 18 Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon
Oct 19 Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct 21 Fillmore San Francisco, California
Oct 22 Fillmore San Francisco, California
Oct 23 Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, California
Oct 24 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, California
Dec 12 The Pavilion Cork, Cork
Dec 13 Tripod Dublin, Dublin
Dec 14 Black Box Belfast, Northern Ireland
Dec 16 Oran Mor Glasgow, Scotland
Dec 17 Academy 3 Manchester, Northwest
Dec 18 Concorde 2 Brighton, South
Dec 19 Koko London, London and South East

Blackstrap

Blackstrap 2008 US Tour Dates
Oct 16 Mercury Lounge /w. Little Ones New York, New York
Oct 17 DC9/Liberation Party Washington, Washington DC
Oct 18 Fredericksburg Fredericksburg, Virginia
Oct 19 Garfield Artworks Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Oct 21 Grog Shop /w. Asobi Seksu Cleveland, Ohio
Oct 22 Empty Bottle /w. Asobi Seksu Chicago, Illinois
Oct 23 Frankies Toledo, Ohio
Oct 24 WOXY Session Cincinnati, Ohio
Oct 25 Bell House/CMJ Brooklyn, NY, New York
Oct 26 Bar New Haven, Connecticut
Oct 27 TT The Bears /w. Von Bondies Cambridge, Massachusetts

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