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September 22, 2014

by Andrew Sacher

JUNA

Athens, GA's JUNA call themselves "heavy and sad music" which is both a nice way of getting around the "e-word" and also a pretty apt description of their sound. They're self-releasing a new album called On Courage, which follows 2013's Heteroglossia EP, this Saturday (9/27) and a full stream premieres in this post. They take the atmospherics of post-rock, add some sludgy distortion and a couple palm-muted chugs, and a vocalist who can go from sensitive to throat-shredding without falling into overblown melodrama. It's good stuff, and you can listen below.

Their only date at the moment is a hometown release show on Saturday, but hopefully they'll make their way to NYC soon too.

Continue reading "JUNA releasing 'On Courage' (stream it)"

by Arielle Gordon

tig-notaro

If you're a fan of comedy and lived through 2012, you probably have heard (or at least heard about) comedian Tig Notaro's fantastic set dealing with her cancer diagnosis, Live. The recorded set was released through Louis C.K.'s five dollar sales model, selling over 50,000 downloads, and was eventually nominated for a Grammy. But any fan of alt comedy will remember her hilarious bit on Taylor Dayne (video below), her multiple appearances on This American Life, or her podcast, Professor Blastoff.

This week, Tig begins a headlining comedy tour she's calling "Boyish Girl Interrupted," with stops all over this great nation, including one date in NYC. Catch her at Town Hall November 6 as part of the NY Comedy Festival. Tickets are on sale now.

All tour dates, plus video of that Taylor Dayne story, below...

Continue reading "Tig Notaro going on "Boyish Girl Interrupted" tour, dates include stop at NY Comedy Festival"

Blothar at Riot Fest Chicago (more by James Richards IV)
GWAR

Vulvatron at Riot Fest Chicago (more by James Richards IV)
GWAR

After some confusion about who GWAR's new members are and what they do, most notably Vulvatron, GWAR have issued a public statement:

GWAR, the most brutal band in existence, has bolstered its ranks leading up to the GWAR Eternal Tour. The Berserker Blóthar and Vulvatron are the latest intergalactic warriors to be banished to the pathetic mudball known as Planet Earth. Blóthar; a fat, filthy, frozen space viking, will take over as GWAR's lead vocalist. The role of the red-hot cybernetic spitfire known as Vulvatron is more mysterious...Both will feature prominently in the anticipated GWAR Eternal Tour - which promises to be the most shocking and entertaining rock show of the year! Get to know your new masters before they grind you to a bloody pulp!
As previously mentioned, Blothar is played by Michael Bishop, formerly Beefcake the Mighty. More details on each character are listed below.

It was recently reported (and re-reported all over the place) that Vulvatron was "co-frontperson", but as we can see now, she is actually just "more mysterious". Both characters were already seen live at Riot Fest Chicago (and Blothar played the GWAR-B-Q). Both can be seen again on all the tour dates listed below...

Continue reading "GWAR clarify who their new members are (Vulvatron & Blóthar), and what they do"

ASDIG @ Baby's All Right in July (more by Amanda Hatfield)
ASDIG

A Sunny Day in Glasgow, just released a video for "Double Dutch" which is off this year's impressive Sea When Absent album. You can watch that below. The band, who are somewhat scattered geographically these days, will be convening for a short Northeast tour between Christmas and New Year's Eve, kicking off at Rough Trade NYC on December 27. That show, and most of the other dates, is with friend and collaborator Jason Bartell. Tickets for the Rough Trade show go on sale Friday (9/26) at noon.

All dates are listed, along with the "Double Dutch" video, below...

Continue reading "A Sunny Day in Glasgow made a new video (watch), announce Northeast dates in December"

Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull will celebrate her 50th anniversary as an artist this year with her 20th album, Give My Love to London, due September 29 via Dramatico in Europe and November 11 via Easy Sound in North America. She had a lot of impressive contributors on hand while making the record. A press release reads:

Produced by Rob Ellis and Dimitri Tikovoi and mixed by Flood, it features an impressive roll call of studio collaborators including Adrian Utley (Portishead), Ed Harcourt, Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos (The Bad Seeds). Songwriting contributors and co­conspirators - with Faithfull penning the majority of the lyrics - include Nick Cave, Roger Waters, Steve Earle, Tom McRae and Anna Calvi.
Its brand new single, "Late Victorian Holocaust," features lyrics by Nick Cave. Stream that, plus one written by Rogers Waters and an Anna Calvi collaboration, below...

Continue reading "Marianne Faithfull releasing a new LP, streaming collabs with Nick Cave, Roger Waters & Anna Calvi (listen)"

by P Squared

King Crimson @ Best Buy Theater - 9/18/14
King Crimson

The sleeping giant became the roaring beast this past week as King Crimson rolled into town for four shows at NYC's Best Buy Theater Thursday (9/18) through Sunday (9/21). Specifically titled The Elements of King Crimson, this lineup has also been referred to as KC Mark VIII. Before going any further, let it be known that yes, I am a Crim geek. I am one of those who has sat in a room with headphones on for hours obsessing over their albums and songs as well as having seen the band live previous times. So after a long exhausting week I headed into the theater for night 1, tired as hell and not sure if I would be able to stay afloat for the entire evening. Unfortunately it did not start out well. Apparently everyone decided to arrive at the same time so the lines to get into into the theater were crazy long and moving slowly. Suddenly as I got to the front, some genius (apparently from the band's management) decided to shut the doors as the band came on stage giving out the edict that no one else could come in until the second song was done. Hmm, yeah, with a much older crowd, already imbibing and having paid a lot for tickets... well you do the math on how that went over. I'm standing outside the doors listening to one of my favorite bands kick into "Larks Tongues in Aspic pt 1." Argh. Luckily they rescinded the order after the first song and swung open the doors to let everyone else in.

Once we were in, King Crimson was already at a major high point, playing "Pictures of a City" from their second album In The Wake of Poseidon. The mellotron, so prominently used on that record is replaced by 3 drummers heavily blasting away: Pat Mastelotto, whose been with Crimson for a number of years now and 2 semi newbies, Bill Rieflin, who toured with R.E.M the last few years of their existence, and Gavin Harrison from the band Porcupine Tree previously. (And as an aside if you love prog, Steven Wilson the leader of PT has been remastering/remixing some classic albums and they sound great.) The setup has the drummers in front spread out and behind them a level up are the sublime Tony Levin on bass, singer-guitarist Jakko Jakszyk, and the return of the phenomenal Mel Collins on flute and array of saxes. Finally all the way in the corner lies Der Leader, Robert Fripp.

Not going to bore you with too much of the tech talk and geek info because you don't want to know that. You want to know if it rocked. Yeah it did. It kind of blew me away. This was not your father's King Crimson. It was heavier and less, for lack of a better word, proggier. While the keyboard and mellotron flourishes were still there at times, it was to minor effect. This lineup was driven by three major elements: the heretofore mentioned triple attack drumming, Professor Fripp's astonishing guitar work which was on full display -- the stabbing staccato punctuations, the long extended notes, the beautiful melodies and yes the "Frippertronic" effects -- and the third element and really what defined the show for me was Mel Collins. He was on fire. Driving some of the songs with his gentle flute playing only to give way to some serious skronking tenor sax shrieks. Was great to have him back in the fold.

The setlists for the tour have pretty much stayed the same. We got classic songs like "Red" and "One More Red Nightmare" from 1974's Red, which is the latest album to get the massive KC box set treatment (The Road to Red and it kills). "One More Red Nightmare" in particular was gigantic in this configuration with a drumming onslaught that would give the Melvins a run for their money (Dale Crover loves Crimson). "The Letters" from 1971's Islands and a few from the great Larks Tongues in Aspic. There was even a pretty funny running gag, a looped audio transmission of an inept journalist trying to ask Fripp some probing questions about the band. It was the last song before the encore and the final song of the evening though that drove everyone into the stratosphere. From Red, the rarely performed "Starless" and to end the evening, a song Fripp refused to play for years, "21st Century Schizoid Man" from the first LP In The Court of the Crimson King.

It was a show to remember. So many different styles of music on display. Ornate folk, 1970s style hard rock, prog, free jazz and the Crim even got funky at times. Were there disappointments? Of course, how could there not be. For one, I've never been completely sold on Jakko as a vocalist. He certainly is no John Wetton and not even Greg Lake. As well, this configuration of the band is less free form and experimental than previous lineups. There were not many extended workouts here. Finally, while I can't complain about the setlists, I would have loved to see what this setup could do with songs like "Easy Money" or the as yet unreleased/only heard live "Doctor Diamond." Hell I would have killed for anything off the studio/live Starless and Bible Black album which is so underrated and such a beast.

Who knows where King Crimson goes from here? Fripp has hinted this might be it and the few new tracks they played were basic instrumental type things. Cross your fingers for more because after shows like this, it's clear the awoken giant still has a lot of life left in him.

A few more pictures of night 1 and the setlists from all four nights, below...

Continue reading "King Crimson played 4 nights at Best Buy Theater (night 1 pics & review, all 4 setlists)"

centro matic

Denton, TX's Centro-Matic have been together for nearly 20 years, mining a vein of psych somewhere between Crazy Horse and The Flaming Lips, having released 11 albums -- all pretty good -- including this year's rootsy Take Pride in Your Long Odds (stream it via Rdio). All good things must (should?) come to an end, and Centro-matic recently announced that the band are going on indefinite hiatus. Wrote frontman Will Johnson:

For a handful of reasons, the time finally feels right to celebrate the existence of this thing, then let it rest. I do think that the four of us will embark on some musical endeavor together again, but can't say that it will be within the realm or tone of what Centro-matic has done.
Before that, however, Centro-Matic will be going on one last tour, which will include two NYC stops: December 11 at Rough Trade with Joseph O'Connell's long-running lo-fi indie project Elephant Micah and December 12 at Mercury Lounge with Will's New Multitudes bandmate Anders Parker & Cloud Badge. Tickets for both those shows go on sale Friday (9/26) at noon with an AmEx presale for the Mercury Lounge show beginning Wednesday (9/24) at noon.

All dates are listed, along with a video from the new album, below...

Continue reading "Centro-Matic released new LP, calling it quits after Farewell Tour in December (dates, streams)"

Krill (photo by Ethan Long)
Krill

Quirky indie rockers Krill released their newest EP Steve Hears Pile In Malden And Bursts Into Tears earlier this year via Exploding In Sound, and now they're teaming up with two of their labelmates, Ovlov and LVL UP, plus the great Radiator Hospital for a 4-way split due October 14 via Double Double Whammy/Exploding In Sound. Krill's new single "Peanut Butter" appears on the split, and you can check that out below.

Krill also have a ton of tour dates coming up this fall. The tour hits NYC on October 2 at Shea Stadium with Sorority Noise, Told Slant and Pinegrove, and then they return to NYC for CMJ. So far they're playing the official EIS showcase on October 24 at Trash Bar with Ex-Breathers, Lost Boy?, Flagland, Kal Marks, Dirty Dishes, Two Inch Astronaut and Geronimo!; and then they play EIS's unofficial CMJ party/birthday party on October 25 at Silent Barn with more bands TBA. That Trash Bar show's got a great lineup all around, and chances are the Silent Barn one will too. Stay tuned. All of Krill's dates are listed below.

In related news, former Krill drummer Luke Pyenson moved to London for school after leaving the band, and while there he formed a new band, Brunch. Brunch will be coming to the US for a short Northeast tour in the fall which includes a couple of the stops on the Krill tour. They won't be at any of their NYC shows, but they do play NYC the same night as Krill's Shea show on October 2 at Silent Barn with LVL UP, LVL UP's DDW labelmate Mitski, and the Run for Cover-signed chiptuners Crying (whose Elaiza Santos sings on the new LVL UP album). Brunch put out a self-titled EP this past August, and you can stream that with their list of dates below.

Speaking of that LVL UP album, a full stream premiered over at Stereogum. You can also stream that, with the Krill and Brunch streams/dates, below...

Continue reading "Krill streaming "Peanut Butter," touring, playing CMJ; ex-Krill drummer's band Brunch released an EP & touring too"

heavy trash

It's been about four years but Heavy Trash, Jon Spencer's rockabilly band with Matt Verta-Ray (Madder Rose), are revved up again with some new added moonshine in the gas tank: Montreal wildman Bloodshot Bill who's vocal capabilities can go from a guttural growl to a yodel within a syllable. No word on new recordings, but Heavy Trash will hit the road for a Northeast tour this fall on which Bloodshot Bill will also do an opening set. So far no NYC shows, but they'll play Ithica, NY's The Haunt on October 8 and Hudson, NY's Club Helsinki on October 9 (tickets).

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Jon Spencer's rockabilly band Heavy Trash are back in action, touring in October with Bloodshot Bill (dates)"

JEFF

As mentioned, JEFF the Brotherhood are set to release an EP of covers, titled Dig the Classics, which will be out via Infinity Cat/Warner Brother next week (9/30). We've got the premiere of The Wipers' classic, "Mystery." Says singer/guitarist Jake Orrall:

To quote the great Shellshag (who also covered this one on their "Fuck Society" covers record), "This song should be a standard, every band should cover it". This includes us obviously.
Give it a listen, plus their cover of Pixies' "Gouge Away" (which premiered at SPIN), below.

JEFF will soon be on tour, too, playing their NYC spiritual home, the soon-to-close Death by Audio on October 12 (sold out), and also Santos Party House on October 13 (tickets). Both those shows are with tourmates Diarrhea Planet.

All upcoming JEFF tour dates, plus those streams from the new covers EP, below...

Continue reading "JEFF the Brotherhood share Wipers and Pixies covers from new EP (listen)"