October 30, 2014
Paul Reubens made a big announcement on Fallon last night. Watch below...
As you know, Manhattan club Don Hill's is reopening as The Hills, and though a public opening date still doesn't seem to exist, there is a Halloween party happening there, and it's free with RSVP. The occasion, in addition to it being October 31st, is the Damned show at Irving Plaza, for which this is the afterparty. The Damned members Dave and Pinch will be DJing.
The Damned are on tour and also play Philly (tonight) and Asbury Park (11/1). If you'd like to try and go to Irving Plaza for free, we're giving away a pair of tickets within our big Halloween show roundup post.
by Bill Pearis
With his mask that is already all kinds of creepy (shades of Leatherface, no?), Nobunny seems born from a schlock horror movie. So it makes 100% sense for him to star in his own slasher flick, in this case an elongated video for his song "Nightmare Night" from last year's Secret Songs. Written and directed by Ardavon Fatehi and Jenny Messer, it's a well-shot, funny film that owes much to '80s horror (with a little Repo Man in there too) and features appearances by Colleen Green, as well as members of Mean Jeans. Just in time for Halloween, check it out below.
When Gary Mundy formed Ramleh and the Broken Flag label in 1982, he was a primary participant in the UK power electronics scene, which attempted to outdo the industrial template first drawn by Throbbing Gristle. Very much a product of their time, his recordings were violent sonic bursts laced with proto-fascist and misogynist imagery, given vulgar titles meant to shock. Mundy and co-conspirator Philip Best quickly rose from this noise ghetto by applying the scene's best aspects (experimentation, improvisation, volume) to a more traditional rock format. Along with its sister group Skullflower, Ramleh laid the foundations for improvisational noise rock with a stubborn intensity that catered to no one. The band rarely issued records in quantities greater than 500, live shows were few and far between and cover art and liner notes were filled with cryptic drawings, photographs and abstract writings. Their sound remained reliably rooted in an unwavering formula: plodding heavy drums, an endlessly repetitive low-end bass groove and wave upon wave of guitar screech. - [Trouser Press]British power electronics and noise rock pioneers Ramleh, who are currently Anthony di Franco, Gary Mundy, and Martyn Watts, will be playing two rare NYC shows in NYC in early 2015: January 28 at Home Sweet Home for Nothing Changes with JFK and Kleistwahr, and then January 29 at Saint Vitus with JFK, Alberich, Theologian, and York Factory Complaint. Ramleh are promising each night wil completely different, divergent sets. Tickets to both shows go on sale Monday (11/3) at noon.
JFK is one of Anthony di Franco's solo projects, and Kleistwahr is the solo moniker of Gary Mundy. The three local acts on the VItus show fit the bill well too, and you can also catch Alberich at the same venue on 11/6 (tickets). These are Ramleh's only North American dates that we know of. A few Ramleh streams below...
by Andrew Sacher
Sick Feeling at BV-RBSS show at Palisades (more by Ryan Muir)
When we first heard Sick Feeling's tracks on Soundcloud, they came off like a scuzzy lo-fi punk band, but "Liberal Arts," the first single from their debut LP, Suburban Myth, is much different. This one has the band -- whose lineup includes members of Ink & Dagger, Trail of Dead, Trash Talk and more -- sounding more like something that could've come out on Equal Vision in 2001. The production is much higher quality than those early tracks, the riffs are dissonant and metallic, and singer Jesse Miller-Gordon sounds like he's killing his vocal cords with every note. It's a great song, and you can check it out (via FADER) below. The album comes out January 20 via Terrible Records and Geoff Rickly's Collect Records.
Sick Feeling will also be touring the West Coast in November with Geoff Rickly's band United Nations, which is pretty much a perfect pairing. All of those dates are listed, with the new song, below...
TVOTR at Governors Ball 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
TV on the Radio's new album Seeds is coming out November 18 via Harvest, and their tour in support of it includes sold-out NYC shows at The Apollo on 11/18 and MHOW on 11/21 & 22. Now there's one more chance to see them though, and it's an intimate one. They'll play Rough Trade on November 19 which is free as long as you purchase their new album from the Rough Trade store and get a wristband, starting 11/17 at 11 AM.
Updated dates are listed, with streams of two tracks from the new album, below. You can also download a third track via Samsung.
by Andrew Sacher
New Gods were formed in 2013 by members of various Seattle bands and so far have a demo and the Sex & Destroy EP out. Their next release will be the What Did I Say? EP on Painter Man Records (pre-order), and we've got the premiere of the video for the title track in this post. Sounding something like Henry Rollins shouting over a Kurt Cobain riff, "What Did I Say?" is a ripper. Check it out for yourself below.
Bo Ningen @ BV CMJ 2014 (via @brooklynvegan instagram)
CMJ 2014 is now just a fading handstamp on our inner wrist (and maybe a slight ring in our ears). We've posted photos from our various parties and other shows we caught but we thought, before we put the fest to bed entirely, we'd pick our favorite performers from the week. This year, it just ended up that many of the bands we were looking forward to (and often had play our shows for that reason) were the ones who wowed us the most. Here's our Top 11 bands from CMJ 2014 (in alphabetical order):
Amason: This supergroup of Swedes, featuring members of Dungen, Miike Snow, and Little Majorette, made their NYC debut as part of a "It's a School Night" party hosted by onetime KEXP DJ Chris Douridas. Bowery Hotel is way swanky and the whole thing felt very LA to me (though I haven't been on the West Coast in 10 years). Amason's sound is rooted in piano-driven '70s MOR and the whole thing could've gone the wrong way, but their skilled musicianship and songwriting won out. Even through bad sound and squalls of unintended feedback, they were terrific. Sometimes middle of the road is right where you wanna be. [Bill Pearis]
Beach Slang: Beach Slang are already my personal favorite new band of this year, and their set at our official showcase only confirmed that even more. More so than any band I saw at CMJ, they had a huge chunk of the crowd who knew every word -- even when James Snyder stepped away from the mic -- and their first EP came out six months ago. The band, whose lineup includes former members of Weston, NONA and Ex Friends, play huge guitar rock anthems that recall The Replacements, Jawbreaker, and yes, early Goo Goo Dolls, but once you dive into their lyrics, earworm melodies and thrilling live show you won't be thinking about comparisons. [Andrew Sacher]
Bo Ningen: I don't have the stamina or zeal that most CMJ show-goers do so I limited my 2014 CMJ experiences to about 8 hours of the BV day and night shows on Saturday at Baby's. I am not as much of a music buff as some BV staffers, so I go into these shows completely without prejudice or preference. The highlight of the entire day for me was Bo Ningen. Shrouded in a dense fog and backed by lighting that was either a dull glow or a seizure inducing, blinding strobe, Bo Ningen blasted through a set that was a cross between Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, early Dungen, and the Boredoms with a dash of anabolic steroids and bi-polar disorder. When silhouetted, Bo Ningen cast a surprisingly intimidating presence with their long hair, ankle length 'skirts,' and frenzied stage acrobatics. Their set was deafening and frenetic but, at the same time, completely cohesive and compelling. And loud. And at times frightening and, when accompanied by brutal strobe lighting, panic-inducing. Within their cacophony, there was definitely a musical structure but it merely held everything together by a thread and gave everything such a loose and frenetic tone. I found the Bo Ningen experience to exhilarating, scary, profound and absolutely unique. [Klaus Kinski]
Cayetana: I hadn't seen Cayetana since before their debut album had come out, and they were good then but this time they were better in every way. Part of it is that it's nice to see them now that I'm familiar with the songs and it was nice to be surrounded by a crowd who also was, but the band is also noticeably tighter and more confident. It can be cliche to say they "get better every time," but Cayetana definitely do and at this rate their future looks very bright. [AS]
Dilly Dally @ BV CMJ (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Dilly Dally: Toronto's Dilly Dally were one of the bands we were excited to see, and even as early as noon on a Friday they exceeded expectations. Their sound is great, and not easily pigeonholed. Singer Katie Monks has a voice that can turn into a roar at any given moment, but they're not really a heavy band -- it's more mid-tempo indie rock. That said, they're no slackers on stage either. They're clearly a band who's locked in and look like they belong up there. Only a few Dilly Dally songs have come out so far, but if that set is anything to go by, they may have a pretty promising album on their hands. [AS]
Fat White Family: Fat White Family are the only band on this list I saw twice at CMJ this year -- and within 10 hours at the same venue no less -- and they killed it both times. The Fat Whites look like genuinely gross dudes and they like to remove layers of clothing during their sets (which is all part of the appeal), but they're also excellent, wild performers. Crowd involvement is a part of it up front, and frontman Lias Saoudi often ends up in the audience, but even from the back of the room they're a sight to see. As far as their sound goes, it's kinda like if the Brian Jonestown Massacre had a little more Stooges in them and were on even more drugs. It's great stuff. [AS]
Girlpool: I caught Girlpool twice last week, and they were one of the few bands I deliberately watched a full set of, versus cutting out partway through, which is what usually happens as a photographer at festivals like CMJ. Their lyrics ring true, and are particularly satisfying delivered in catchy harmonies and minimally backed with just guitar and bass. [Amanda Hatfield]
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizrd: Along with Girlpool, these Australians probably played the most shows during CMJ. It felt like everywhere I went, there was the 'Giz knocking people's socks off, sometimes through sheer momentum and frenetic energy. With with three guitarists, two drummers, two singers and the occasional flute (some of these duties overlapped), they were a psych-garage semi with no brakes down a steep incline. Was there more than one song or just one really long insane one? I can't remember but it's an awesome blur. [BP]
Protomartyr: Total bias alert: Protomartyr's Under Color of Official Right will be my #1 Album of 2014 by a longshot. (Any band that sounds like Mark E Smith fronting a garage Chameleons...but from Detroit, is going to do it for me.) So it may not surprise you that I saw all four of their CMJ shows, all of which were great for different reasons: they played two new songs at Knitting Factory; tailored lyrics of "Tarpeian Rock" to be about BV comments section at our day party at Baby's; inspired a crazy pit at Death by Audio; and just basically blew the lid off Cake Shop where frontman Joe Casey admitted "First time I was at Cake Shop they served Sparks. I got really drunk and yelled at Sean Lennon." [BP]
Tweens: Garage pop trio Tweens aren't the most innovative songwriters, but what they lack in originality they make up for in pure energetic delivery. It's almost impossible to be bored at a Tweens show -- the trio speed through songs and both the band and the crowd are on a total rush. They're tight, they sound full, and they put a lot of power into those sugary songs. I loved them at SXSW earlier this year, but this one blew that away. [AS]
Ultimate Painting @ Rough Trade 10/25/2014 (via @soundbitesnyc)
Ultimate Painting: There's a reason bands have been aping The Velvet Underground's style for 40 years -- done right it always sounds great. Ultimate Painting do it very right. Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Haore (Veronica Falls) embrace their full-sleeve influences (with dashes of early Creation and Flying Nun records) with songs that would've held up back in the day too. While their album is great, hearing and seeing that guitar interplay live is a total jolt of electricity. At their Cake Shop show on Thursday, they even dared to cover The Beatles ("If I needed Someone"), making it their own, too. [BP]
Who were your favorite CMJ bands this year?
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Brett Barto
'90s-era emo vets The Jazz June are less than two weeks away from the release of their Evan Weiss-produced After the Earthquake (due 11/11 via Topshelf), their first album of new material in 12 years. We've already posted three tracks from it, and now we've got the premiere of a fourth, "Short Changed." Unlike their labelmates and fellow '90s band Braid, who's new record mostly sounds like classic Braid, there are few signs on "Short Changed" and the other singles that this is the band who made The Medicine. That album basically perfected The Jazz June's brand of emo, and presumably feeling like they had no more to say in that style, its followup and (up until now) final album Better Off Without Air was a much more experimental record.
Now they've reinvented themselves once again. "Short Changed," like previous singles "Over Underground" and "Ain't It Strange," is fuzzy indie rock that sounds more like it would have been on Merge in '92 than Initial Records in 2000. And since that early '90s indie rock style is fully back thanks to countless younger bands pulling from it, the new Jazz June stuff sounds totally modern. If you're already a fan of the band you probably don't need any convincing to listen to this, but if you're unfamiliar it's a fine starting point. Check it out below.
The Jazz June just headlined our CMJ showcase and they have a FFF Nites show coming up in Austin with Mineral, Knapsack and Into It. Over It. As discussed, this winter they'll tour with Field Mouse and return to NYC on December 27 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for that show are still available.
New song stream and list of dates below...