October 9, 2015
by Bill Pearis
Kurt Heasley has reactivated Lilys for two special Brooklyn shows this weekend at Baby's All Right which will focus on the band's early-'90s dreampop material. With help former Lily Don Devore (who's currently of Sick Feeling), the assembled band includes members of MGMT, Ducktails, The Sea & Cake and we hear there might be some surprise guests, too. Tonight's late show at Baby's is sold out, but you can still get tickets to Sunday's show (10/11). Says Heasley of this weekend, "We are giving our best to life, hopefully leaving this place a little more beautiful."
In other news, Lilys' classic (ahead of its time, really) 1994 album Eccsame The Photon Band is getting a vinyl reissue via Frontier Records. It's out October 30 (pre-orders are available) but will be at the merch table this weekend for those going to these shows. You can stream the album below.
by Bill Pearis
Montreal synthpop act Seoul are currently on tour and will be in NYC on Saturday (10/10) at Rough Trade with tourmates Young Ejecta, as well as Lightning Bug. Tickets are still available but if you'd like to go for free we're giving a pair away. Details, and the list of all remaining tour dates, below.
Meanwhile, Seoul have handed over their single "The Line" to NYC producer Baile who takes the bouncy original and chills it down to late night comedown territory. The remix premieres in this post and you can stream it, along with the original, below.
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Fuzzed-out Western Massachusetts punks Blessed State are back with a new EP called Slipstream, which we're premiering in its entirety. Slipstream is the follow-up to last year's Head Space, and its out October 16.
Blessed State have always drawn from the styles of late '80s and early '90s alternative rock, and on Slipstream, they have softened up some of the edges of their caustic sound. The 4-song EP is crunchier, cleaner, and hookier than Head Space, sounding a bit more Dinosaur Jr. than Husker Du. The vocals are no longer screamed, and there are enough catchy fuzz-bombs here to give MA neighbors California X a run for their money. And call me crazy, but I detect a bit of My Bloody Valentine worship on the heavy, forward-driving final song "Seconds." You can stream the whole thing below.
Blessed State are playing a few shows behind the new EP, including a release show in their hometown of Northampton with Left & Right, Gay Mayor and Dirt Devil, and another Western MA show with the excellent Boston hardcore band Boston Strangler.
You can preorder Slipstream, either digitally or on cassette, here. Stream the EP and check out Blessed State tour dates below...
photos by Greg Cristman
The Field / Heathered Pearls @ Baby's All Right 10/7/2015
Swedish electronic musician The Field stopped in NYC ahead of this weekend's III Points Fest in Miami to play a packed, sweaty show at Baby's on Wednesday (10/7). Brooklyn's Heathered Pearls, who released new album Body Complex back in August, played a long set for an opener -- nearly an hour and a half -- that included two women carefully painting of a bouquet of flowers. After that The Field (aka Axel Willner) took the stage in front of the enthusiastic sold-out crowd who weathered the heat. Did you go? Check out more photos of The Field and Heathered Pearls below.
by Bill Pearis
Montreal-based garage pop duo The Muscadettes released the Side A EP this past spring, and they're ready to follow it up with the Side B EP on November 6 via PaperCup Music. We've got the premiere of one of its tracks, "Stray Cats," which is one of the band's dreamier songs. (Also its lead guitar line reminds me of the horn charts on "Apache" by Incredible Bongo Band. But I digress.) You can stream it and another track from Side B, below.
The Muscadettes are playing M for Montreal's annual Friday CMJ showcase at Arlene's Grocery (10/16, 11 PM set) with Solids, Chocolat, Nancy Pants, Look Vibrant, Elliot Maginot (and free poutine at 7 PM). They've also got a couple other CMJ shows: Tuesday, October 13 at Rockwood Music Hall (5 PM set) with Lucy & La Mer, The Walking Sticks and Oh, Cassius; and then they'll also play Elvis Guesthouse on Saturday, October 17 (4:30 PM set) for the free PaperCup day party with Racoon Fighter, Little Racer, Suburban Living, The Teen Age, and Weekender.
CMJ show flyers and song streams, below...
Kelela continues to push the boundaries of R&B on her new Hallucinogen EP, which is out today (10/9) on Cherry Coffee/Warp. Check out the video for "Rewind" from that EP, below.
In support of it, Kelela will play two US shows in December. The first is in NYC on 12/2 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and then she plays LA on 12/11 at El Rey. Tickets for NYC and LA are on sale now.
Silent Barn say they're nearly done with repairs and reconstruction of their show space following the fire two weeks ago, and are scheduled to reopen "in about 1 week." That means a lot of their CMJ week shows will stay put, like the Sean Nicholas Savage / Promise Keeper show on Thursday (10/15), and the Dull Tools CMJ hangover show on Sunday, October 18. Whether the Wichita Records 15th Anniversary party with Adveata, Cheatahs, Murals, Oscar and Dreamcrusher on Wednesday (10/14) will stay remains to be seen.
You can see the full list of upcoming events (some have been moved to other venues) which include a few benefits, like tonight's sold out show with Alex G, Frankie Cosmos and more. Silent Barn will host cat adoption event "Meow Day" in their backyard on Sunday (10/11).
FADER just wrapped up a week of free NYC shows and now they've got more NYC show plans coming right up. FADER Fort returns during CMJ from October 16-17 at Converse Rubber Tracks (130 Hope St in Brooklyn) and goes from 7 PM to 2 AM each night.
The full lineup and schedule is still TBA, but we know Allan Kingdom, Kehlani and Bosco are confirmed. The shows are free, but you do need to RSVP, which is open now.
Having released the Lossy EP earlier this year, Maya Postepski (of Austra/TRST) will release her second album as Princess Century, titled Progress, on October 16 via Paper Bag. As on previous releases, it's deep in the world of cosmic disco, with arpeggiated synths always simmering and detours into dark alleys. If you like Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to Midnight Express, you will probably enjoy this trip as well. Says Maya:
This record is quite personal / intimate for me. I hope you can come into it and see the lightness and playfulness, as well as the dark we all hold within. The sound is meant to communicate a great love and desire for affection with you. I want you to know me better.Get to know Princess Century better right now -- a stream of Progress premieres in this post. Check it out, and the video for "Domestic," below.
It's not surprising that Vince Staples didn't mince words when we recently spoke over the phone. Quiet but in no way reserved, Staples speaks with the same clipped tone that provides his delivery as a rapper one of its most distinctive qualities. Aside from the Long Beach native's unadorned method of exposition, his lyrical content itself is perhaps the most disarming of the 22-year-old rapper's characteristics. Releasing a handful of mixtapes starting with 2011's Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1, Staples offered listeners a preamble of sorts with last year's Hell Can Wait EP. Garnering well-deserved notice not only for its improved production but primarily because of the rapper's unapologetic candor, the 7-track, 24-minute EP was a jarring glimpse at how confrontational the rap genre can be without overselling the message by egotistical grandstanding.
With this year's release of Staples full-length debut, Summertime '06, Hell Can Wait plays like a cautionary tale foreword to the powerfully unnerving narrative Staples is able to evoke without needless sensationalist tactics. Similar only in its scope, Summertime '06 like Kendrick Lamar's How to Pimp a Butterfly is not so simply a retelling of the black American narrative from a 21st century perspective. An hour-long trek into the vulnerability, bitterness, and apprehension at the core of Staples' own self-doubt, Summertime '06 could have very easily toed the mainstream hip-hop party line of cocksure self-aggrandizement. It's not to say that Staples doesn't exude his own kind of confidence, but rather that his self assuredness originates from as much failure as it does success, as much fear as courage.
Though autobiographical in its concept, Summertime '06 doesn't ostracize listeners with unclear translations of Staples' experiences. Instead, in calculated lockstep method, the rapper finds a common thread through the lenses of adolescence. For Staples, gender, ethnicity, class, and all manner of socioeconomic backgrounds are no more daunting of a reality for anyone than the American adolescent. While unsurprisingly dismissive of and casually indifferent to his own merits as an artist, Staples betrays an immediate passion when we discussed that concept in our recent conversation:
BV: With Summertime '06 there's been the assumption that you're being self-deprecating, but do you see it more as self-awareness because you are in this constant state of critiquing your lyrics and delivery?
Vince Staples: Honestly, bro, I don't even think that far. I make the music, and my model is big enough for that. I don't think it would have taken off if it weren't for that. And if it comes across a certain way, or gives off a certain energy, people have to understand that I make it in the moment. The way people perceive it or where it comes from is open for interpretation. I mean, I won't say I'm self-aware or anything else like that. I'm just myself. You make the music you need to make, and I need to make my music.