Generationals, Malajube, Echo & the Bunnymen, Kelley Stoltz, Gross Relations, Radical Dads, Shark?, Vacation, Karaoke Underground & more in This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Generationals – Trust (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations – No Lines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations – Blame the Record (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? – Down Low (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? – Shark? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore – Sparrow (MP3)
I take you away from trying to figure out the identity of The Modern Weepers (my favorite comment guess: Hard-Fi) to talk about shows happening this weekend. As always, this being New York City, there’s lots of great options.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are in town this week with Generationals and the two bands play tonight (5/11) at Mercury Lounge (sold out!) and tomorrow (5/12) at The Rock Shop (not sold out!). Dale Jr Jr also play Kidrockers on Sunday [5/14] at the Rock Shop with Pearl and the Beard.
I feel like there’s been enough talk about Dale, whose dreamy brand of synth rock can be heard on their pretty good upcoming album It’s a Corporate World which is out June 7. So I’m here to talk about Generationals who are surely one of the few indiepop bands in New Orleans. Unlike Big Freedia, they haven’t appeared yet on an episode of Treme but their new album Actor-Caster is loaded with clever, tunefull pop. What they do isn’t particularly cool at this second in time, but I think stuff like this is never really out of style. You can download the title track to last year’s great Trust EP at the top of this post and there’s a widget below that will get you two tracks from Actor-Caster for the price of your email.
Also here this week for a couple shows are Montreal’s Malajube , playing The Rock Shop tonight (5/11) and will be at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/13) with the epic and amazing Besnard Lakes (and Nova Scotia’s Wintersleep). If you were in Austin for SXSW this year, you may have seen Malajube at our SXSW day party this year we co-presented with M for Montreal who we are co-presenting a show with this Friday in Brighton (if anyone is headed to the Great Escape).
Like a lot of folks, Malajube made a big impression on me in 2006 with their record Trompe-L’Oeil and, even more, their string of fantastic CMJ performances that year. The tunes were catchy, they were great live, the language barrier didn’t matter so much. I must admit 2009’s Labarinthes didn’t make much of an impression but I’ve really been enjoying the band’s brand new album La Cavern. The album is out now in Canada and will be available in the U.S. sometime soon on MB3 Records. Maybe they’ll have it at the merch tables this week.
The new album walks the line between guitar pop and space rock and I keep imagining them performing songs like the vaguely disco “Le Blizzard” on the Muppet Show. There’s a general soft filter ’70s vibe to the whole of La Cavern that feels very comforting. You can listen to the whole thing via a streaming widget doohickey at the bottom of this post.
Echo & the Bunnymen are at Irving Plaza on Friday (5/13) and Saturday (5/15) playing their first two albums — 1979’s Crocodiles and 1980’s Heaven Up Here — back to back, in their entirety. This may not be quite as exciting as seeing them at Radio City doing Ocean Rain with a full orchestra, but it’s still pretty awesome.
Especially because the albums are post-punk classics. Crocodiles is all scratchy nervous energy and contains no mediocre songs whatsover. I could list them all if you wanted, each one amazing. The whole thing still sounds fantastic. Heaven Up Here is considerably darker, more paranoid but no less definitive. “Over the Wall” is one of their best-ever songs. These two records are also a great showcase for Will Seargent’s guitar-playing that still sounds innovative today. I’m a little sceptical of Mac’s ability to belt out these songs — it’s gonna be a workout on his pipes — but the chance to hear deep cuts like “All That Jazz,” “It Was a Pleasure,” “Happy Death Men,” and “With a Hip” is exciting.
Opening for both shows is Bunnymen megafan Kelley Stoltz, who has covered Crocodiles in its entirety, both on record and as an infrequent but incredible tribute act that also featured Spiral Stairs of Pavement and Shayde Sartin who’s now in The Fresh & Onlys. (They played CMJ 2003 at Arlene’s Grocery, it was awesome.) Anyway, Stoltz is now an established artist in his own right, putting out terrific records on Sub Pop when not playing drums in Sonny & the Sunsets. So if you’re going to this show, do go early.
We now enter the local band portion of This Week in Indie. Let’s start with L Magazine 8 Bands runners-up Gross Relations who are playing three times this week: tonight (5/11) at Don Pedro with Raccoon Fighter and The Horehounds, then tomorrow (5/12) at Bruar Falls with deVries and Hunktronic, and on Friday (5/13) at Cake Shop with The Bynars, Field Mouse and Infinity Hotel.
The band have been releasing a series of digital singles via their bandcamp page, all of which exemplify their brand of supercatchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock. You can download the A-sides of the last two at the top of this post. “Blame the Records” is especially good. As I said previously, those keyboard lead lines make for easy comparisons to the Rentals which I’m gonna guess is probably what they were going for. Which is fine — the hooks are undeniable.
Radical Dads, meanwhile, were actually picked by the L Mag as one of those 8 Bands You Need To Hear and I certainly agree. And hear them you can Thursday at Cake Shop. The band’s debut album, Mega Rama, is out next month and it’s pretty damn good. I hear a lot of ’90s DC here — more Simple Machines and DeSoto than Teenbeat — whether that was intentional or not. Which means, basically, strident, melodic indie rock. The record is also a contender for my favorite album art of the year, done by Michael Deforge, which you can see below. Also below is yet another widget, this one will allow you to stream or download Mega Rama track “New Age Dinosaur.” Oh, and they are quite good live.
Also playing that Cake Shop show tomorrow are Shark? whose debut album True Waste comes out May 24. The band worked with former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone on the record and what I’ve heard sounds really good. You can download two tracks from the album up top, and Shark?’s Pixies-ish theme song is pretty fun.
And lastly, I’d like to write a little about Vacation who are opening for Oberhofer at Coco 66 on Saturday night (5/14). The band are pretty new. What started as a solo project for Paul Greenfield Daly, formed into a band during one of the blizzards this year. Vacation have only played out a couple of times (Brad Oberhofer was in the live incarnation briefly.) But I really, really like the songs available as free downloads on Vacation’s Bandcamp site. While I wouldn’t call it synthpop, Vacation are definitely danceable, kind of groovy and motorik. The track “Jean” in particular sounds like a hit to me, definitely check that one out.
That Coco 66 show also has the lately ubiquitous Widowspeak, and with Oberhofer that makes for a pretty good Saturday night. If you can’t make it this weekend, Vacation are playing Pianos on May 22 with Dinner at the Thompsons.
OK that’s the big stuff this week. Here are a few more picks, day-by-day:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11
It’s a night of well-dressed pop at Glasslands with Princeton and the High Highs. I keep meaning to catch High Highs again, I was impressed when they played with Radio Department last year.
We haven’t heard from locals Gray Goods since last year’s Northside Fest. They emerge from their cocoon, sonically reborn, tonight at Union Pool, with Zachary Cale and D. Charles Speer and the Helix.
THURSDAY, MAY 12
What Dirty Beaches lacks in band members he makes up for in attitude and atmosphere. See him and his comb at Mercury Lounge where he’ll play with the gigging-est band in Brooklyn, Widowspeak. It’s an early show.
Laugh it up at the first anniversary edition of monthly comedy/music/variety extravaganza SUPERSHOW which is happening at Coco 66. This month has a new short from Marcel the Shell director Dean Fleischer-Camp, some puppeteers from the Jim Henson Company, UCB’s Blink-182 and more. Free!
FRIDAY, MAY 13
Do not go outside for fear of bad things happening!
Or go see MEN and Savoir Adore at the second of the L Magazine sponsored AUDIOPHILE events happening at the Brooklyn Museum. Free with museum admission. Savoir Adore have a few more NYC area shows coming up and they’re all listed further down. Be sure to check out their swell new single, “Sparrow,” at the top of this post.
Weekends, Total Slacker and more are at Monster Island. Total Slacker, who have an album coming out sometime soon, are heading out on tour in a week and all those tour dates are below.
Dirty Beaches play again, this time at Glasslands.
SATURDAY, MAY 14
Karaoke nights aren’t too often notable, but this one is different. Austin’s incredible live band Karaoke Underground are making (I think) their first ever NYC appearance at The Rock Shop. If you’re an indie/punk fan, the song list is INCREDIBLE, everything from The Buzzcocks and The Fall to LCD Soundsystem, Pavement, Pulp, Yo La Tengo…. whoa this could be really fun.
And that wraps up this edition of This Week in Indie. Posters, videos, a thousand widgets, and tour dates are below.
Generationals – Ten-Twenty
Generationals – 2011 Tour Dates
05/11 New York, NY Mercury Lounge *
05/12 Brooklyn, NY The Rock Shop *
05/13 Washington, DC The Red Palace *
05/14 Philadelphia, PA Kungfu Necktie *
05/17 Arlington, VA IOTA Club & Café *
05/18 Richmond, VA The Camel *
05/19 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 *
05/20 Atlanta, GA The Earl *
05/21 Nashville, TN The Basement *
05/24 Birmingham, AL The Bottletree *
05/25 Oxford, MS Proud Larry’s *
05/26 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s *
05/27 Dallas, TX Club Dada *
05/28 Austin, TX Emo’s *
06/25 New Orleans, LA Tipitina’s
07/07 San Antonio, TX The Korva
07/08 Tempe, AZ Sail Inn %
07/09 Tucson, AZ Club Congress %
07/10 San Diego, CA Casbah %
07/14 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
07/16 Davis, CA Sophia’s Thai Kitchen %
07/17 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios %
07/19 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern %
07/20 Boise, ID Neurolux %
07/21 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court %
07/22 Denver, CO Underground Music Showcase %
07/23 Santa Fe, NM Corazon %
07/24 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory %
07/26 Baton Rouge, LA Manship Theatre %
# = w/ Oh No Oh My
* = w/ Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
% = w/ Gardens & Villa
Malajube – Synesthésie
Malajube – LA CAVERNE
Malajube – 2011 Tour Dates
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11TH BROOKLYN, NY @ THE ROCK SHOP
FRIDAY, MAY 13TH NEW YORK CITY, NY @ BOWERY BALLROOM
SATURDAY, MAY 14TH ALLSTON, MA @ GREAT SCOTT
Echo & the Bunnymen – 2011 Tour Dates
11th May Washington – 9.30 club
12th May Philadelphia – Trocadero
13th May New York – Irving Plaza
14th May New York – Irving Plaza
16th May Toronto – Phoenix Theatre
17th May Chicago – Vic Theatre
19th May San Francisco – Warfield Theatre
20th May Las Vegas – Red Rock Casino
21st May L.A. – Club Nokia Theatre
22nd May Anaheim – House Of Blues ‘BUY’
25 May San Miguel Primavera Sound
4 – 5 June Cork XSW
9th June Heineken Jammin Festival
2 – 3 July Chester Rocks
8 – 10 July Lounge On The Farm
9th – 17th July Latitude Festival
22nd July Wickerman Festival
23rd July Gwyl Gardd Goll Festival
29 – 31 July Kendal Calling
5th August Belladrum Festival
6th August Newcastle Ignition Festival
23rd September Dublin Olympia Theatre
24th September Manchester Palace Theatre
25 September Birmingham Symphony Hall
26 September London Palladium
28 September Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’
29 September York Grand Opera House
30 September Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Radical Dads – New Age Dinosaur
Radical Dads – 2011 Tour Dates
May 12th Cake Shop | NYC w/ Shark?, Old Monk, The New Colossus
May 20th Glasslands | Brooklyn, NY w/ Cymbals Eat Guitars, Mirror Mirror, The Yellow Dogs
June 9th Cake Shop | NYC w/ EULA, Gross Relations, Electric People
June 16th Northside Fest / ALBUM RELEASE SHOW! Union Pool | Brooklyn, NY w/ Pursesnatchers
June 18th Northside Fest Spike Hill | Brooklyn, NY
June 24th Memories Bar | Chicago, IL
June 25th Project Lodge | Madison, WI
June 26th Frank’s Power Plant | Milwaukee, WI
June 28th Off Broadway | St. Louis, MO
June 29th Zanzabar | Louisville, KY
June 30th Russian Recording | Bloomington, IN
July 1st Cafe Bourbon Street | Columbus, OH
Total Slacker – 2011 Tour Dates
may 19 LOS ANGELES @LINK DEN –fmly nite– tba,tba,
may 20 SAN FRANCISCO @hemlock tavern
may 22 OAKLAND @ sugar mountain *jaymes crowe presents*
may 24 PORTLAND @ Mississippi Studios w/TOTAL BROS
may 25 SEATTLE @ Vera project w/ Allo Darlin’, tba, tba all
may 26 (driving )
may 27 DENVER @ Rhinoceropolis w/ Vitamins, tba, tba
may 29 ROCKFORD– (tba )
may 30 MILWAUKEE ( tba )
june 1-3 CHICAGO ( tba )
june 4 DETROIT @ The Majestic w/ tba,tba
june 7 TORONTO @ Teranga *curated by daniel woodhead *
june 9 BOSTON – PELLY TWINS PRESENT (tba -tba )