August 25, 2014
by Andrew Sacher
Somos at Webster Hall Studio in June (more by Mimi Hong)
Boston rockers Somos put out their debut album, Temple of Plenty, earlier this year on Tiny Engines. If you've yet to hear it, it's a great mix of punk and indie rock and a recommended listen. You can stream it here and order a copy digitally or on vinyl. The band now made a video for one of its tracks, "Lives of Others" (dir. Ryan Dight & Jane Urban) which splices together a lot of seemingly random film clips that start feeling less random by the video's end. Check it out below.
by Andrew Sacher
Casey Jack are releasing their self-titled debut album this week (8/26) via Rough Beast Records (part of the Frenchkiss label group), and it's a solid record of punky indie rock with catchy melodies, nice harmonies and a definite edge to it. You can pre-order it on vinyl or iTunes, and get a taste of it from the brand new single, "Home," which premieres in this post.
by Wyatt Marshall
Isis at Irving Plaza in 2009 (more by Paul Birman)
The influential hardcore/post-metal band ISIS, now disbanded, is unfortunately being confused with the terrorist group of the same name. ISIS (the terrorist group), which stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has shocked the world with a rapid expansion of a so-called caliphate in recent weeks, and for its brutal killings of Shiites and minorities including Christians, Yazidis, and more. Last week, ISIS militants claimed responsibility for beheading the American journalist James Foley, a turning point in the United States' stance towards the group, which led to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calling ISIS "beyond just a terrorist group" and "beyond anything that we've seen."
Some have mistakenly directed their anger at the terrorist group at the band instead. In an interview with ABC, Isis's drummer Aaron Harris said the attention caught the band off guard and that the band has received "off-color comments" on their Facebook page, which the band has changed to "Isis the band." (Their website similarly is Isistheband.com) Fans have also emailed the band saying they are reluctant to wear the band's shirts in public as they have received "off-color comments."
A representative from the band's label, Ipecac, told ABC that, "It is an unfortunate situation and of course a few less than enlightened people are not seeing the distinction between an inactive band of musicians and a band of terrorists involved in current world affairs."
The Austerity Program commiserated:
So nice to see ISIS popping up in the news. Now they know how we felt back in 2010.— Austerity Program (@usterityprogram) June 23, 2014
Isis the band included a number of members of the post-metal band Palms as well as Aaron Turner of Hydra Head Records. Palms, which also includes Chico Moreno of Deftones, are touring soon. Check out all dates listed below...
by Bill Pearis
Multi-instrumentalist Nick Sowersby creates music from his garage in Collingwood, Australia, but he's not garage rock. As Sunbeam Sound Machine, Nick crafts blissed-out dreampop. After dropping an EP last year, SSM will release Wonderer, which was produced by Stu of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and will be out in November via Dot Dash / Remote Records. We've got the premiere of the ethereal "Real Life" from the LP which you can stream in this post. Check it out, along with another track, below...
by Bill Pearis
Brazilian band Wannabe Jalva make self-described "uterus space-groove rock" and have been doing so since 2010. There's pop smarts and big hooks in that space groove uterus of theirs, as can be heard on their new EP, Collecture, which will be out October 15. We've got the premiere of "One Way Street" from it and you can stream that, along with a few other tracks, below.
Wannabe Jalva will be heading up to NYC in October for some shows, including dates during CMJ. While no shows during the fest have been announced yet, a couple immediately after are on their schedule: Trash Bar on 10/26 and Pianos on 10/28.
Interpol in Las Vegas last week (more by Adela Loconte)
Interpol already announced a few album release shows including one at The Met and they've now added another in NYC happening at the intimate (for their standards) Bowery Ballroom on September 4. Tickets are already on presale (which may be sold out by now) and the general on-sale begins Thursday (8/28) at noon.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher
Arcade Fire @ Barclays Center - 8/24/14
Arcade Fire completed the three-night Barclays Center run of their current tour last night (8/24). Like the first two, Dan Deacon and the reunited Unicorns opened, but this one was extra special because it also included an opening set from New York's legendary Television.
The Unicorns kicked things off early at 7:15 PM, and unfortunately the soon-to-be-filled venue was mostly empty for them, but this rare set (one of six dates they're playing this year) was a treat for those in attendance. They mostly stuck to material from their classic Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?, and despite Nick Diamonds and Alden Penner's more "serious" recent projects, they retained all the quirk from their Unicorns days for this show. Alden and Nick both ran around on stage, cracked jokes ("Some people have told us now that they've finally seen us they can die happy ... that is very accurate"), and seemed to be having a genuinely good time on stage playing those old songs. We certainly had a good time hearing them.
Television followed with an excellent set that included half of the classic Marquee Moon ("See No Evil," "Prove It," "Torn Curtain" and it's sprawling title track), but was more of a jammy psychedelic trip than a rehashing of old favorites. The band, whose lineup is 3/4 of the one that recorded Marquee Moon (Jimmy Rip in place of Richard Lloyd), are now almost 40 years past the release of that album and they don't perform all that frequently, but they were dead on last night. The interlocking guitar solos went on endlessly without dragging, and the rhythm section was locked in for all those jams. As improvisational as some of it sounded, parts like the ending of the instrumental break on "Marquee Moon" were exactly like the album. It was as powerful blasting from the stage at Barclays Center as it was the first time you heard it on record.
Immediately after Television's set, Dan Deacon got started on the small stage on the opposite end of the floor, hosting a huge dance competition on Barclays Center's ground floor which ended with the whole floor dancing. A second dance competition was then framed as a battle between Brooklyn DIY venue Death by Audio and NYC print-only show listings publication Showpaper. This was the second recent show we've attended that a now-big act playing to a lot of people in NYC gave props to Death by Audio from the stage (the last was Future Islands). Also spotted dancing in the crowd to Dan Deacon was fellow bald, bearded indie music maker Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav (Dan thanked him at the end). Dan's set was both a fun/funny activity for the crowd and an entertaining precursor to what was to follow.
Arcade Fire then took the stage at 9:30 for a 2-hour set (encore included) which was all thrills. At least in the world of music blogs and music twitter, Arcade Fire have gotten more than a little criticism for the last year or so of their career, which has included an elongated album rollout, lots of costumes, cover songs, and other gimmicks. But last night's show was such a truly good time, you'd have to be bitterly cynical to have been there and felt otherwise. Yes, it is a huge spectacle built for the huge venues they now typically play (this was their third arena show of the weekend in Brooklyn, and all three were full), but they do it without falling into bombast.
One of Arcade Fire's first NYC shows was ten years ago at the tiny Mercury Lounge (October 2004 to be exact). Core members Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, and Sarah Neufeld were all on stage that night, and impressively they're all still there ten years later. This time around they're joined by multiple other musicians (including sax genius Colin Stetson who you can catch in a more intimate environment at Baby's All Right TONIGHT (8/25)), a few people in paper mache bobblehead masks, dancers, confetti, and an elaborate light show, but they make it all unmistakably their own. The Arcade Fire of 2004 may not have written the dance-heavy "Reflektor" or "Sprawl II," but when the Arcade Fire of 2014 plays them right next to "Rebellion (Lies)" and "No Cars Go," nothing sounds out of place. The setlist was heaviest on Reflektor and lightest on Neon Bible, but it mostly felt like a very well curated collection of the many sounds Arcade Fire have made over the years, each song flowing perfectly into the next.
You know by now that Arcade Fire have been doing location-specific covers on this whole tour, and with NY Dolls' David Johansen (as Buster Poindexter) joining them for a cover of "Hot Hot Hot" on Friday, followed by Marky Ramone joining for two Ramones songs on Saturday, and Television opening last night's show (not to mention Deborah Harry joining them at Coachella), it seemed like a pretty good bet that they'd keep the CBGB theme going for this final show. And they did. But Television, though their opening set fit the theme, did not end up being the guest. Win Butler, like Dan Deacon before him, did point out how amazing it was to play with Television though. In fact, Win said last night's show was the best lineup of bands they ever played with at one show.
Arcade Fire & David Byrne
The CBGB-themed cover ended up being Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," after a fake-out of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" playing through the PA as The Reflektors mimed the song from the smaller stage at the back of the floor. Nobody from Suicide joined them for this one, but they brought out Talking Head David Byrne (who was also on stage with Arcade Fire almost ten years ago) to sing guest vocals, complete with white face makeup on. It seemed like a good bet that David would be joining them when we heard he was spotted in the building, and we're pretty sure he was even out dancing in a mask to Dan Deacon. (There was a rumor they'd be covering Bruce Springsteen after someone got a hold of the setlist early, uploaded it to setlist.fm, and must have mistakenly not realized Bruce's recording of that song is in fact a Suicide cover.)
"Dream Baby Dream" segued into "Here Comes the Night Time," followed by "Normal Person" (which included Win singing "New York I love you, but you're bringing me down" over the intro, further teasing those of us who were hoping for a James Murphy cameo), and then the show ended with the longest-ever version of "Wake Up." Even after the song's huge ending and the crowd's applause, Win started singing the "whoa-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh" part again as he and the band walked off stage, then the horn players joined back in, and the whole band proceeded to leave the stage in marching band fashion (the same way they had entered the venue 2 hours earlier) playing the song even once the PA was turned off until they fully exited the room.
Pictures of the third and final night are in this post (though unfortunately none of the openers this time). Saturday pictures HERE. Friday pictures HERE. More from Sunday, with a video of the Suicide cover and AF's setlist, below...
Jessie Ware at Flow Fest 2014 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
We mentioned not long ago that to get tickets to Jessie Ware's upcoming tour you had to enter via a ballot on her website. The NYC show happens on October 28 at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, and it turns out they've actually decided to release some regular tickets to the show that you can purchase. Tickets for NYC go on sale Wednesday (8/27) at 10 AM.
Jessie also recently spoke to NME about the Kate Bush comparisons she's gotten:
It's a massive compliment to be compared to her. I don't think I'm anything like Kate Bush. I mean, I just... I'm not there yet. She inspires me. I love the femininity in her voice and the way she uses it but I don't really see how I'm like her. But there's definitely been influence from Kate in some of the more high-registered stuff for this album ['Tough Love']. I definitely think on this album I've been like, "Let's make it a bit more Kate".Jessie also mentions in the interview that she has a ticket to Kate's first live dates in 35 years, which begin this Tuesday, August 26 (all at London's Hammersmith Apollo). Don't take any pictures, Jessie!
I just think the way she puts across a song with such emotion and feeling, there's nobody quite like her.
In other Kate Bush news, BBC recently aired an hour-long documentary where they talk to St. Vincent, Bat for Lashes, Elton John, Bret Anderson (Suede), comedian Steve Coogan and more. It's really good and can be watched below...
by Andrew Sacher
David Strange is a session musician, a former touring guitarist in Courtney Love's band, and he's also a solo artist and will be releasing a self-titled EP on October 14 (pre-order). He recorded it in Yoko Ono's home studio, the same place Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl's band, GOASTT records. Charlotte also recorded the EP with David, producing and arranging everything and providing backup vocals. Like GOASTT, David is interested in bringing back the psychedelic sounds of the late '60s and the EP's first single, "Mean World," does a pretty good job of this. You can check it out for yourself -- its video premieres in this post.
by Bill Pearis
Still more Australians touring around Gonerfest: Angie (aka Angela Garrick) has been in such bands as Ruined Fortune, Southern Comfort, Circle Pit and Straight Arrows, and her solo album, Turning, came out last year on Memphis label Easter Bilby Records. If you dig sneery psych punk, you'll probably dig this and the album can be streamed below. She's touring with Sydney's Nathan Roche whose very good 2013 album, Watch It Wharf, is in the Sic Alps / early Ty Segall mode. You can stream that below too.
Sharing the rhythm section of Joseph Ireland and Mike Spyros, Nathan and Angie hit NYC on September 22 at The Flat and will hit the city again after Gonerfest on October 9 at a venue TBA. All dates are listed below.
The show at The Flat is with yet another Australian band: duo The Gooch Palms, from Newcastle, who make bare-bones garage pop as heard on last year's worthy Novo album. (Stream it below.) In addition to the 9/20 show at The Flat, they'll also play Cake Shop on September 19 with Weird Womb and Life Stinks, then Death by Audio on September 20 with Ed Schrader's Music Beat, New England Patriots, and Mr Transylvania. All dates are listed below.