May 29, 2015
photo: Action Bronson at Sasquatch 2015 (more by Debi Del Grande)
Following criticisms of NXNE booking a free Action Bronson show in Yonge-Dundas Square, one of Toronto's busiest common areas, the festival initially defended their decision to book him and said, "Those who are offended by an artist are invited to check out other Festival showcases." They've now issued a new statement on the matter:
We at Northby Northeast (NXNE) are very proud of our 20 plus years relationship with the people of the City of Toronto. And for almost ten years we've shared Yonge-Dundas Square with you to present free, all ages shows open to the public. YDS is the city's space and as such we are obliged to listen to how the city and community want it used. A significant number of Torontonians have indicated their desire to have Action Bronson not perform at the Square. As annual guests in this space we feel we must accede to the strong wishes of the community and honour their input.Stay tuned for any more updates.
As a result, we will not be presenting Action Bronson at Yonge-Dundas Square but, hopefully we will still be presenting Action Bronson as part of Northby. We remain fundamentally committed to presenting this artist on a Toronto stage. We are not moving the Action show because we believe in censoring him or any other artists. In fact, we find the limiting of artistic expression distasteful. When artistic expression is limited, freedom and the evolution of ideas is often the casualty.
Hopefully, Action Bronson will accept our invitation to play at another, ticketed venue in the city so the public can decide for themselves if his work has merit. We booked Bronson, in part, because of his latest excellent disc, Mr. Wonderful.
We hope that this series of events does not foster some type of artistic chill in Toronto and its public spaces. Yonge-Dundas Square must remain a dynamic place where many viewpoints are expressed not just culturally but also at political events and rallies staged there.
We are heartened by the community engagement that has been taking place around this YDS show. This debate continues an important conversation about violence against women and its depiction in art and culture that is long overdue. We salute all of those who fight this battle and we would encourage everyone who has signed the petition or been engaged by this conversation to commit themselves personally to continuing the fight against violence against women. We at Northby pledge to continue being part of this discussion with the intent to help act as agents of change.
The Directors of North by Northeast
As mentioned, Cold Beat, which features members of Grass Widow and Erase Errata, will play NYC Popfest on late Sunday afternoon (5/31, 5:30 PM) at Littlefield as part of the all-day show that also features Eternal Summers, Club 8 and more. Tickets are still available.
They've expanded their East Coast / Midwest tour, including a couple more NYC appearances. The same night as their Littlefield show, Cold Beat will play Silent Barn (5/31) with OCDPP (featuring Cassie Ramone and Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls), In School, and Arm Candy. More info on that show here. Then they'll play Union Pool on June 10 with Dream Police (featuring members of The Men), as well as Melt which is a new Cassie Ramone project. That show is $10 at the door.
In other news, Cold Beat will have a new album, titled Into the Air, out on September 4. Stay tuned for more details. Meanwhile, all tour dates are listed below.
Long-running UK electronic duo Autechre haven't released new music in a couple years, but Sean Booth and Rob Brown will be bringing their heady, glitchy brand of dance music to North America this fall. (Maybe they'll have something new out by then?) Their tour, which also features Cygnus and DJ Rob Hall, includes an NYC stop at Brooklyn Masonic Temple on October 3. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with an Rdio stream of 2013's Exai and a few other streams/videos, below...
photos by Ryan Muir, words by Andrew Sacher
Chris, Hallie & Jeff / Screaming Females / Mimi on the Hoops
The Chris Gethard Show made the move from public access to cable network Fusion last night (5/28), and Chris and a number of his talented friends celebrated in style with a BrooklynVegan-presented premiere party at Rough Trade NYC. Chris began the night asking if anyone was a fan of TCGS, which was met by roars from the majority of the crowd, and most of the room was bopping around to openers Hiccup, whose lineup includes Hallie Bulleit and Alex Clute from TCGS' house band.
After Hiccup, Chris returned to the stage to introduce the next musical guest, Jeff Rosenstock. As anyone who's seen a Jeff show knows, Jeff Rosenstock fans LOVE Jeff Rosenstock and they go hard the whole time he's on stage. He played as a power trio which included his former Bomb the Music Industry! bandmate John DeDomenici on bass. Chris introduced them and got the performance started with an "EAT MORE BUTTS!" chant (a tradition). That went on for four or five minutes and had pretty much the whole crowd involved. That crowd involvement didn't die once, even during the more lyrically advanced songs. Jeff played stuff off his new solo album, We Cool?, which the crowd already knew all the words to. And when he brought out Fake Problems' Chris Farren to play stuff from their collaborative Antarctigo Vespucci project, the crowd knew all the words to that too. The whole place basically never stopped jumping around (including Chris Gethard, who was in the jumping mob of people for almost the whole set), both on stage and off.
For Jeff's big finale, he brought Chris Gethard back out on stage to sing lead on a Smiths cover (Chris's favorite band), and then Chris and Jeff led the crowd in yet another "EAT MORE BUTTS!" chant. Soon, they were joined by Hallie from Hiccup/TCGS and then she took over the chant in an even crazier way. (Less baseball game chant, more rap metal yelling.) This big grand finale included her and Chris lying on stage, Jeff's guitar making its way through the crowd, and more shenanigans before finally ending with just Jeff's trio playing a piano/synth/xylophone coda.
After all that craziness, the night could have ended there. But of course it didn't, because the main reason the event was even happening had yet to begin: the screening of The Chris Gethard Show's cable TV debut. The episode, which was a bit dark on Rough Trade's screen (sorry about that!), included some impressive guests for his debut, including Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, who go back with Chris to their UCB days and also work with him on their cable TV show, Broad City. The premise of the episode was acknowledging weird things about your weird body and then totally owning it, and Chris, Ilana and Abbi had guests either Skype in or show up in person to celebrate their bodily weirdness. I won't ruin anything in case you haven't seen the episode yet, but one detail is that it includes a "Genital Chamber" (watch a clip from that part below). To paraphrase Chris, how can you make the move to cable TV and not incorporate genitals? Ending the show was a musical performance from more old friends The Front Bottoms. (Members of TFB were also in attendance at the premiere, but none made appearances on stage.)
After the screening, Chris took the stage again and thanked everyone for watching, and brought out a few other TCGS cast members, including Shannon Patricia O'Neill, Murf, and crowd favorite Mimi on the Hoops for her hula-hooping routine.
Then Chris brought up another musical performer, his Don Giovanni labelmate Mal Blum. Mal and Chris performed their collaborative song "Crying at the Wawa" from Chris's comedy album, My Comedy Album, which came out on Don Giovanni last year. Then Chris left the stage and Mal did a solo cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" (which her DG labelmates Downtown Boys recently recorded a cover of too) followed by one of her own songs.
Chris Gethard and Mal Blum
Finally to wrap up the night was a set from Don Giovanni's shreddingest [sic] band, Screaming Females. Though Screaming Females aren't the sing-along kind of band that Jeff Rosenstock is, and they included no chants about eating butts, the crowd was just as enthusiastic for them. Mimi returned to the stage for more hula-hooping during their set. People all over the floor and in the balconies were dancing and jumping around, and of course the band was great as always. They were super tight, Marissa Paternoster's solos were face-melting as ever, Marissa even crowd surfed, and we got a great setlist with old favorites like "It All Means Nothing" and "I Don't Mind It" mixed in with stuff from their great new album.
Screaming Females (who also gave a performance and Q&A with Ted Leo at Apple Store SoHo a day earlier) next play the area opening for Bouncing Souls in NJ in July. Chris Gethard has more NYC shows, including the Vulture Festival at The Bell House this weekend, and one with Mal Blum, who plays Palisades on 7/2, the day after Hiccup play there with Chumped. Chris Farren next plays NYC in July on his tour with Rocky Votolato and Dave Hause.
Set your DVRs to start taping The Chris Gethard Show on Fusion if you can. Check out more pictures from last night's Rough Trade show and a clip from the first episode, below...
photos by Christina Domingues
MCEVERS: I'm wondering if this record in some ways is a love note to a city that no longer exists. I mean, you kind of came up from kind of, you know, the down-and-dirty Lower East Side. Are you sort of pining for an old, gritty New York on this record?On the road promoting their extremely entertaining new album, Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion brought their tour back to their NYC hometown at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night (5/28). Pictures from their set, and one of opener Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, are in this post.
SPENCER: Not really. I mean, I'm not - I'm not 20 years old anymore. I'm - you know, the city's changed a lot, but I've changed a lot as well. So I don't mean this record to be a nostalgia trip. I don't mean it to be a complaint that, you know, the city's not the same as it used to be and that's a terrible thing. Of course, there are things about the New York City from 20, 30 years ago that I miss, most definitely. But, you know, no way do I want to turn back the clock.
MCEVERS: Yeah. I mean, do you feel like a city makes a musician who he is? You know, I mean, like, you know, could Lou Reed have happened anywhere else other than New York City? I mean, do you think New York City is - is in you?
SPENCER: Yes, I think so. And I guess that's the - part of the point we are trying to make with this album. We're trying to pay respect to our home and to the great artists that have come before us and have paved the way and that have lived here, you know, in whose, you know, footsteps we're walking. - [WABE]
by Bill Pearis
Beijing trio Birdstriking, who met at a Carsick Cars show in their hometown, make punky, anthemic, shoegazy rock. The band released their debut album back in 2012 which is being reissued by Anton Newcombe's A Recordings on June 12 (Birdstriking and the BJM toured together a while back). There's an almost Swedish vibe to what they do (it reminds me of Soundtrack of Our Lives or Union Carbine Productions) and you can stream the album below.
Birdstriking are in North America for their first-ever tour here which starts this weekend in Los Angeles. They'll be on the East Coast soon, playing Brooklyn's Baby's All Right on June 15 with Acid Dad, and Hamish Kilgour. Tickets are on sale now.
All tour dates are listed, along with the album stream, below...
Hudson Mohawke at Irving Plaza - 5/28/15 (photo via @couchgodd)
Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke brought his tour to NYC last night (5/28) for a show at Irving Plaza, where he debuted his new live show. It was his first show with a live band, and here's how show presenters Noisey described it in their review: "It was, for the lack of a better slang word, lit. We would've included fire emojis in our headline, but that's unfortunately technology we don't have available just yet." Maybe someone should get on that. Check out a video from the show below.
HudMo has other shows coming up, including a few recently-added festival appearances like Fun Fun Fun Fest (with Venom, NOFX, D'Angelo, Dag Nasty and others) and Pitchfork Paris (with Beach House, Deerhunter, Rhye, Spiritualized, and more TBA). Updated dates are listed below.
HudMo also recently debuted a lot of material off his upcoming Lantern album on Benji B's BBC Radio 1 show, including his Antony collaboration, "Indian Steps." You can listen to the "Hudson Mohawke Album Special" here.
One of the events in this summer's Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park series is a free screening of Paris Is Burning on June 26, which initially also included a live set from Le Tigre's JD Samson. JD already dropped off the show after comments on the Facebook event page criticized the promoters for not including any queer trans people of color (QTPOC) on the lineup. (If you aren't familiar with Paris Is Burning, to quote Wikipedia, "it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it.")
A Change.org petition was also launched around that time to get the event cancelled. A few of their concerns included:
- Although NYC's LGBTQ communities are majority TQPOC and NYC's Ballroom community mostly black and latinix gay men, transsexual women, trans-feminine folks, trans men, trans-masculine folks, and queer women, the event was initially slated to feature a line-up that included NOT ONE PERSON from the documentary or the present THRIVING ballroom community and NO PERFORMERS OF COLOR. This is an erasure of our communities which this documentary purports to be representing.You can read more here. The petition also asks Celebrate Brooklyn/BRIC to apologize to the affected parties, cancel the event, and "fund an event that is curated and staffed by the communities harmed by this event." It also asks Paris Is Burning director Jennie Livingston to apologize, "use the platform that you've gained through our stories to speak out against the atrocities that are killing us daily," and "pay retribution to the survivors and communities of the people you exploited in Paris is Burning with all future proceeds."
- We are also concerned that this is a pro-gentrification event since the music/acts chosen to accompany the screening were geared towards the tastes of new white middle-class residents of Brooklyn and did not culturally reflect the indigenous existing TQPOC communities of Brooklyn or within the film.
- While Jennie Livingston and Mirimax profited immensely off of this anthropological foray into the lives of low-income TQPOC ballroom members, through years of lies and dishonesty, Livingston was able to use people for the sake of her own fame and has been living off of their stories ever since. In the meantime, most of the original cast has been murdered or has died in poverty. This is exploitation of a vulnerable population who trusted Jennie to do right by them.
The petition notes JD's decision to remove herself from the event, but asks her to "remember that accountability is a gift and that you should continue to seek ways to be accountable to the trans-feminine communities you've hurt historically if you seek to call yourself an 'activist' and 'ally'."
Celebrate Brooklyn responded on Facebook, writing:
BRIC has been listening to and learning from the online discussion about our planned June 26 screening of Paris is Burning and the surrounding line-up. We understand now that the original line-up should have included members of the ballroom and QTPOC communities, who are the subject of Jennie Livingston's path-breaking documentary.You can read the rest of their statement here, but meanwhile that revised lineup was just announced and looks like this:
Having recognized that we made a mistake in the planning of this program, we have been working to figure out how best to right our course. We have now done what we should have done when we initially planned the event: reached out to QTPOC organizations and individuals, and members of the ballroom community, to gain their insights and hear their ideas for the program. We apologize for not having done so earlier.
After this consultation, the revised line-up, which we hope to finalize in the next few days, will include artists and programming from the QTPOC and ballroom communities.
BRIC's screening of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Paris Is Burning will feature an introduction by director Jennie Livingston and by Junior LaBeija and Dr. Sol Williams Pendavis, both of whom are featured in the film. Before the screening, fellow Paris Is Burning cast members Grandfather Hector Xtravaganza and Jose Disla Xtravaganza present The Houses United Ball: Celebrating Brooklyn, which will feature members of the Houses of LaBeija, Ninja, Mizrahi, Khan, Infinity, Milan, Princess and Xtravaganza. Vjuan Allure will DJ before and during the ball.It's unclear at the moment if the petition will be taken down now that the lineup has changed.
Move over Maryland Deathfest and your Mobb Deep booking, the Bushwick Collective Block Party returns this June and will put quality metal like Black Tusk, Sannhet and Primitive Weapons up against... Fat Joe! There's also blues from Daddy Long Legs & RL Boyce, and other diverse bands like Black Black Black, Passaway, Marching Teeth, Capsized, DJ Evil Dee and more.
In addition to the music, there's street and graffiti artists painting live, food trucks, a beer tent, face painting, a family/kids friendly section, balloon twisting, merchant vendors and more. It all goes down from noon-midnight Saturday, June 6 by Troutman and St. Nicholas in Bushwick. Full lineup and more info below.
by Bill Pearis
The Fresh & Onlys @ SXSW 2009
In 2009, Castle Face released The Fresh & Onlys' debut album, one of two they'd release that year. It was culled from dozens of songs Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin recorded (with help from Wymond Miles) in off-hours from their jobs at Amoeba Records in San Francisco. There were lots of leftover songs and now Castle Face is putting out Early Years Anthology which gives us another look into that very prolific first year of the band. You can stream "Sunglasses" from it (via Stereogum), below.
Castle Face's GM, John Dwyer (you also may know him from his band Thee Oh Sees), writes his own press releases and gets a little wistful with this one:
These were carefree times.Early Years Anthology will be out August 31, and Castle Face is also repressing their debut album which has been out of print for a while now.
We were young enough to put our bodies to the test every night on the 7 x 7 mile patch of the bay
The endless wars seemed less at home
Songs were hanging off the branches heavy, plump and threatening to rot on the vine if they weren't polished and put to tape
The band was on their 3rd live drummer but the line up in The Fresh & Onlys recording tower was a consistent group of pop soldiers writing, working, and whiling away the hours
A beeramid of cheap cans, endless dope smokery and a pretty strong vibe of dudes who would play together into oblivion.
Tape spilling over itself
Drum kit covered in mufflers
A chest of shitty percussion toys
Lots of ideas and multiple secret weapons at their disposal:
Shayde Sartin: the beast from out east, the thud of a heavy slow bomb...the best bass player in the bay
Unaccredited infinite times on records that were made better by his finely crafted skills.
I can pick him out on records instantly.
Wymond "the count": you can almost smell his hair on his hooks
If there was a stage monitor in your living room his fence-climber boot would be on it
Wymond always had the riff that made the jets of the song take off.
Listen and you'll see what I mean
Tim Cohen: the man behind the beard
Some would say the leader. In the game as long as Bette Midler
Cohen writes great songs in his sleep I think
Once referred to by a buddy as "like 3 weirdos in one"
Think of these as basement tapes, a companion to the first F+Os castle face release (which itself deserves another listen)
I remember watching some of these tunes get banged out live in a sweat pit in Oakland
The sound guy so gacked out that there was no sound guy basically
ah memories..." John Dwyer, Feb 16th 2015