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May 19, 2015

Courtney Love

Courtney Love, who is currently on tour opening for Lana Del Rey with a member of The Hold Steady in her band, is now releasing a 7" on the label that Wavves runs. (Technically it's a split release between Wavves' label Ghost Ramp, and Crush Music, which Courtney, Wavves, Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco and others are signed to.) The a-side is "Miss Narcissist," which you can stream below, and the b-side is "Killer Radio," which will only be on the physical version which is coming out soon.

The artwork for the single was designed by Courtney. Check that out, with the song stream, and her upcoming list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Courtney Love releasing a single on Wavves' label (listen)"

by Andrew Sacher

photo by Mitchell Wojcik
Mutoid Man

Mutoid Man, the power trio with members of Converge and Cave In who make killer heavy rock, have shared a second single from their upcoming album, Bleeder. The new song's called "Reptilian Soul," and like a lot of their best songs do, it injects their hardcore/metal roots with a big dose of bluesy swagger. This one also comes kinda close to QOTSA territory. Check it out below.

Mutoid Man have a BrooklynVegan/Invisible Oranges/Party Smasher Inc-presented tour with Dillinger Escape Plan and Primitive Weapons coming up, which hits NYC on June 20 at Irving Plaza. Tickets for that show are still available. The tour also hits DC, Boston and Philly with Rosetta.

Bleeder comes out June 30 via Sargent House. Listen to previous single "Sweet Ivy" here and the new one, with their list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Mutoid Man release "Reptilian Soul" from 'Bleeder' (listen)"

photo: Courtney Barnett @ SXSW 2015 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
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You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...

Courtney Barnett, Chastity Belt, Darren Hanlon @ Bowery Ballroom
With a terrific new album and charmingly awesome live show, it's no wonder Courtney Barnett sold out three nights at Bowery Ballroom. If you're going, be sure to get there for Seattle's Chastity Belt and onetime Lucksmith member Darren Hanlon.

Mastodon, Clutch, Graveyard @ Central Park SummerStage
If you like your metal more on the "heavy rock" side, this is a pretty amazing triple bill all around. Mastodon and Clutch are the co-headliners, and we're told we can "expect surprises" from them. They've collaborated on stage before, so maybe that will happen again tonight?

Peter Gordon & Love of Life Orchestra, Michael Beharie, Diamond Terrifier, VHVL, Das Audit, Blue Jazz TV @ Baby's All Right
Watched over by saxaphonist Peter Gordon, Love of Life Orchestra has, over the years, counted Laurie Anderson and the later Arthur Russell as members. The current lineup -- which includes Gavin Russom and OG lineup trombonist Peter Zummo -- will be playing Arthur Russell instrumentals tonight.

Ufomammut, Usnea @ Saint Vitus
Italy's Ufomammut have been making killer psychedelic doom for over a decade, and this year's Ecate on Neurot is another excellent addition to their catalog. Despite their long-running career though, they've never gone on a North American tour until now. Portland's Relapse-signed doomers Usnea are opening.

FKA twigs @ Brooklyn Hangar
FKA twigs has always incorporated dance and fashion into her persona, but apparently these three shows at Brooklyn Hanger are going to be more that a concert. Titled "Congregata," she says they're "an insight into my mind, my roots, my inspirations. a swelling conceptual performance using dance, performance and my music to date to create a world that I want you to share with me." Wearing Alexander McQueen and armed with 10 dancers and a wall of lasers, this two-hour performance piece is visually stunning. Sold out.

Drowners, July Talk, Slothrust @ Brooklyn Bowl
Not a bad triple bill of poppy indie rock, featuring the Strokes-meet-Britpop sounds of The Drowners, Toronto's July Talk, and  neo-grungers Slothrust.

Jon Fine, Ted Leo @ McNally Jackson
Onetime guitarist for Bitch Magnet (now editor of Inc. magazine), Jon Fine will talk with Ted Leo about his new memoir, YOUR BAND SUCKS: What I Saw At Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear). 6:30 PM, free.

Michael Che @ Knitting Factory
Having just finished his first year as co-anchor of SNL's "Weekend Update," the very funny Michael Che celebrates his birthday tonight. Special guests are promised, we're hoping for Riblet.

Violent Femmes @ Rough Trade (2 shows)
They're about to go on a summer tour of outdoor amphitheaters with Primus and Barenaked Ladies, but  Violent Femmes play the much more intimate Rough Trade tonight. The late show is sold out but you can still get into the early show by purchasing their new EP at the store.

LODRO, Gold Dime, Air Waves, Shop Talk @ Silent Barn
Some very good local bands play this show, including the dark, bluesy LODRO, Gold Dime (featuring members of Talk Normal and Dreebs), and underrated Air Waves.

Jane's Addiction, A Place to Bury Strangers @ The Capital Theatre
Veteran alt-rock outfit Jane's Addiction are playing their 1988 major label debut, Nothing's Shocking, and if you're going, do check out longtime Brooklyn noisemakers/guitarthrowers A Place to Bury Strangers.

Sam Cook-Parrot, Matthew Milia, Tall Juan @ 603 Upstairs
Radiator Hospital's Sam Cook-Parrot will be playing his band's songs solo at this DIY spot, with support from Frontier Ruckus' Milia, and The Beet's Tall Juan

Crown the Invisible, The New Lines, Balancer, Monuments @ Union Pool
Brooklyn shoegazers Crown the Invisible celebrate the release of their new album, Aporia Daze, tonight. (Stream the album below.) They play with excellent baroque psych band The New Lines.

Jason Isbell, Craig Finn @ The Space at Westbury
It's a double bill of two quality songwriters: former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn. They do it again tomorrow at The Cap too.

Laura Cantrell, The Human Hearts @ Union Hall
Singer, songwriter and former WFMU DJ Laura Cantrell is playing Union Hall every Tuesday in May. The "Springtime Songbook" residency promises "country and folk music for urbanites." Also on the bill are The Human Hearts, led by terrific songwriter and indie mainstay Franklin Bruno.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.

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What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Tuesday? (Courtney Barnett, Mastadon, Peter Gordon, Violent Femmes, Ufomammut, FKA twigs & more)"

May 18, 2015

photos by Mimi Hong, words by Andrew Sacher

American Nightmare / mewithoutYou / crowd
2015 Skate and Surf - Day 1
2015 Skate and Surf - Day 1
2015 Skate and Surf - Day 1

Asbury Park's 2015 Skate & Surf Festival went down this past Saturday (8/16) and Sunday (8/17) with a handful of great bands both days. The festival takes place right on the oceanfront by the boardwalk, with the two main stages in the grassy Bradley Park (overlooked by Convention Hall), two smaller side stages on a fenced off section of Ocean Avenue, and an even smaller tent with bands too. It was super easy to move around and see at least a portion of everyone you wanted to. It wasn't one of those festivals where you spend time waiting around for a band to come on.

An early highlight for me on Saturday was the shapeshifting mewithoutYou, who have a new record coming. They played the recently-released "Red Cow" from that, as well as one other that hasn't been released yet. Plus we got a good sampling from the rest of their catalog -- the heavy ("January 1979," "Bullet to Binary"), the epic ("In A Sweater Poorly Knit"), the whimsical ("All Circles"), and more.

I then caught a bit of Nora and I would have seen American Nightmare after that, but my misjudgment of time and the festival's long food lines (they only had two vendors besides a stand in the alcohol tent with wings and nachos) caused me to only catch two songs. On the bright side, I caught their last-minute Saint Vitus show on Sunday night, which was the best thing I saw all weekend.

The best thing I saw at the actual festival though, was Thrice. It was their first NYC-area show since ending their three-year hiatus, and despite Dustin Kensrue saying on stage that he was rusty, they were anything but. They opened with the atmospheric sludge of "Firebreather," a song that in hindsight has more in common with Baroness or Torche than most of the artists considered similar to Thrice, and immediately you knew you were watching a seasoned, impossibly tight band. They thrashed around on stage in the most natural, un-choreographed way possible, and the level of musicianship each member has is really a remarkable thing to see.

Thrice
2015 Skate and Surf - Day 1

After "Firebreather" came "The Arsonist" into "Stare at the Sun" into "All That's Left," and it pretty much seemed like this set was unstoppable. It wasn't perfect though. If you ask me, Thrice are at their best when they're at their heaviest, and their decision to follow "All That's Left" with five softer/slower songs (mostly from the latter half of their career), was kind of a lull in the set. (Personally, I would have taken more than just one song off The Illusion of Safety over that whole slower section.) Those complaints aside though, Thrice came back in strong with "The Artist in the Ambulance" into "Silhouette" (the heaviest song in the set next to "Firebreather") into "Deadbolt," the oldest song they played and still a monumental Thrice song after 13 years. Their full setlist is below.

Other highlights throughout the day included raspy punks Iron Chic, the grungy Superheaven, melodic hardcore bashers Defeater, metal/punk rippers Cancer Bats, and Celtic punk lifers Dropkick Murphys. Pictures of those bands, everyone mentioned above and more, continue below...

Continue reading "Skate & Surf 2015 day 1 pics & review (American Nightmare, Thrice, mewithoutYou, Defeater, Dropkick Murphys & more)"

by Jayson Green (of Violent Bullshit, Orchid, etc)

Jon Fine of Bitch Magnet, Don Caballero, 'Your Band Sucks', etc
jon fine

Unlike most rock memoirs, Jon Fine's YOUR BAND SUCKS: What I Saw At Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear) is not a tale of triumph. It's something much more relatable. His band, Bitch Magnet, never made it big. They never defied the odds and overcame. None of that mattered. They did it anyway. YOUR BAND SUCKS is a true window into why we make art at any cost even when it seems like the world doesn't care. Jon has been making weird, loud fucked up rock music for over thirty years in bands, along with Bitch Magnet, like Vineland, Coptic Light and Don Caballero. You can hear Jon talk about it in person with Ted Leo at McNally Jackson in NYC Tuesday May 19 at 6:30 PM. After that he'll be touring the country talking with people like Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Clint Conley of Mission of Burma. All of his live dates are listed at the end of this interview.

I recently sat down with Jon over a Meat Hook sandwich in his old neighborhood Williamsburg to talk about his truly excellent book.

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BrooklynVegan: I was surprised when I read the book. I thought it was going to essentially be an anecdotal history of independent rock music...

Jon Fine: ...like Our Band Could Be Your Life.

BV: Exactly, or Please Kill Me, but this is not that. It's an intensely personal memoir about your obsession with rock music. Did you know right away that's how you wanted to structure it?

JF: I knew it was going to be a memoir, but the other books that have been written as memoirs about this time period were written by people who were famous. I knew I was not and kind of had to make a virtue out of that. I was interested in the bands that I knew, and I really liked, who weren't the big bands. I mean no one knows these fucking bands. People kind of know Slint very vaguely, but Bastro, Slovenly...you probably hate these bands.

BV: I hate some of them, but it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you like the bands or even if you know the bands because it's not about the bands necessarily. It's about you and your relationship/addiction to music.

JF: That was kind of what I was hoping for. To me this was a very interesting moment in American culture. This isn't the kind of book that gets into it like "and on this alternate version of 'Rocks Off' is the 8th take that they did in Montreux and you can hear Keith nodding off..." (laughs). You don't need that level of interest.

It's a really personal book. I couldn't think of any other way to write it. I didn't want to write a history because that's kind of been done, but at the same time I wanted to bring other people into it. I just really wanted to know what it was like for these other bands that were in this middle to lower tier with us. Most of them eventually have to stop doing it. The other rock memoirs from this genre, like Dean Wareham, Bob Mould, Juliana Hatfield they all kind of end with them still "doing it" in a fashion. With a lot of these bands in the book, we all had to stop because it wasn't an option to support yourself. I'm not talking about getting rich; I'm talking about paying rent and feeding yourself. Whether it's Anne Eickelburg of Thinking Fellers, or Mark Robinson of Unrest, or Justin Chearno and Scott DeSimon of Pitchblende, you hit this wall in your thirties. I just find that really interesting and not just because it happened to me. I hope other people do too.

continued below...

Continue reading "an interview w/ Bitch Magnet's Jon Fine about memoir 'YOUR BAND SUCKS'; book tour starts in NYC (Ted Leo included!)"

photo: Title Fight at SXSW 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Title Fight

Gainesville punk festival The Fest returns for its 14th year from October 30 - November 1, and today they added a bunch of more bands to their lineup. Additions include Title Fight, Modern Life Is War, another reunion show from The Progress, Into It Over It, Pet Symmetry, As Friends Rust, Pianos Become the Teeth, Smoke Or Fire (playing Above the City), Bigwig, Loma Prieta, TWIABP, Cayetana, Superheaven, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), Told Slant, War On Women, Pujol and many more. Full list of additions below.

The newly-added bands join Desaparecidos, The Menzingers, mewithoutYou, The Jazz June, Beach Slang, Iron Reagan, Modern Baseball, Lagwagon and many more.

Tickets go on sale June 1. Lineup additions below...

Continue reading "The Fest 14 adds bands (Title Fight, The Progress, Modern Life Is War, As Friends Rust, Smoke or Fire, PBTT, Bigwig, more)"

photos by P Squared Photography

Mac DeMarco / Chelsea Wolfe / Flaming Lips / Fuzz @ Levitation Fest 5/10/2015
2015 Levitation Fest Day 3
2015 Levitation Fest Day 3
2015 Levitation Fest Day 3
2015 Levitation Fest Day 3
2015 Levitation Fest Day 3

"Who wants to hear the most muthafuckin' psychedelic song of all time?" That was Mac DeMarco bassist Piece McGarry asking the crowd during the final day of Levitation Fest (5/10). The three-day event used to be known as Austin Psych Fest, so of course the crowd wanted to hear it. They immediately launched into a cover of Coldplay's "Yellow." Between Mac and the main stages' closer, The Flaming Lips, Levitation 2015 ended on a light note. And a thankfully dry one, as reports earlier in the week called for Sunday to have heavy thunderstorms and maybe even tornadoes. Instead, it just felt like it was going rain the whole time (aka hot and muggy).

Most people on Sunday were excited about the 13th Floor Elevators reunion but lots of great sets happened, including A Place to Bury Strangers, Fat White Family, Sean Lennon's The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Nothing, ZZZs, Chelsea Wolfe (subbing for Melody's Echo Chamber), and a sweaty closing-fest set from Ty Segall's proto-metal trio Fuzz.

Pictures from Levitation day 1 are HERE and day 2 are HERE. More pics from Levitation day 3 below...

Continue reading "Levitation day 3 in pics: Mac DeMarco, Fuzz, Chelsea Wolfe, Flaming Lips, Fat White Family, Black Angels & more)"

Jay Z at Terminal 5 - 5/16/15 (via @mirsadness)
Jay Z

Jay Z's intimate "B-sides" shows happened at Terminal 5 on Saturday (5/16) and Sunday (5/17). Jay promised a night of older songs and deeper cuts, and he followed through on that promise with "Young Gifted & Black," "Streets Is Watching," "Friend or Foe," "Show U How To Do This," and a lot more. He did do some big hits like "Clique," included a few freestyles, brought out Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Young Jeezy, Jay Electronica and more, and held a moment of silence for the late BB King. You can watch a video of the full night 1 set and check out the setlist, below.

Continue reading "Jay Z played "b-sides" at Terminal 5 (full set video, setlist)"

Jeffrey Lewis

As New Yorkers who ever need to commute between Williamsburg and Manhattan surely know, the L train hasn't been running between those two boroughs on nights and weekends since late March. Luckily, it finally ends this Friday (5/22), but the struggle has been real for almost two months and Jeffrey Lewis feels it too. He's recorded a new song called "Train Song" which isn't a Vashti Bunyan cover, but an ode to the pain inflicted on us by the MTA with a chorus of "No L, no L, no L, no L, the MTA fucked us and made our lives hell." Nod along in agreement below...

Continue reading "Jeffrey Lewis writes ode to the L train being fucked (listen)"

by Bill Pearis

Cold Beat (photo by Abby Banks)
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San Francisco's Cold Beat, the band featuring Hannah Lew (Grass Widow) and Bianca Sparta (Erase Errata) who made one of my favorite albums of 2014, will be playing their first East Coast shows next week. The first stop is NYC Popfest, where they were just added to the May 31 Littlefield show with Club 8, Eternal Summers and more. Tickets are still available. All dates are listed below.

That is not the only change to the Littlefield Popfest show. Russian band Palms on Fire dropped off, and Canadian band The Holiday Crowd has been added. Additionally, #POUNDSIGN#, who were originally playing Sunday night, are now part of the Friday (5/29) show at Cameo that also features The Loft, The Catenary Wires are more (tickets). And The Loft's Pete Astor will now also be doing a solo set at the free daytime show at Baby's All Right on Saturday, May 30. Updated schedule is listed below.

If you'd like to go to NYC Popfest for free, we're giving away a pair of passes that will get you into every event. Details, plus Cold Beat and Holiday Crowd album streams and Popfest schedule, below...

Continue reading "Cold Beat playing East Coast shows, including NYC Popfest (win tickets to whole fest!)"