August 27, 2014
by Bill Pearis
North American fans of '80s/'90s kiwi pop have had it good lately. The Clean are touring in support of Merge's great (and affordably-priced) Anthology box set; Flying Nun has set up American offices and have reissued LPs by The Bats, The Verlaines and The Clean; and just today we got the news that Peter Jefferies would be touring for the first time in 20 years.
More news, though mainly just for folks in (or visiting) NYC. Peter Gutteridge happens to be in town and has been convinced to play a show while here -- his first-ever American performance. Gutteridge spent time in original line-ups of both The Clean and The Chills before starting noise-rock band Snapper in the early '90s. In 1989, he put out a solo album, Pure, which was reissued recently by 540 Records and which he'll be performing in full at the show. You can stream that in full below.
Also on the bill is Mega Bog, aka Seattle resident Erin Birgy, whose new album, Gone Banana is out September 23 on Couple Skate. (That label is now part of the Omnian Music Group umbrella which includes Captured Tracks, Flying Nun and more.) It's hazy, charming bedroom indiepop and you can stream a couple tracks from it below.
The Palisades show also has IJI of which Birgy is also a member, plus EZTV who make Marshal Crenshaw / Nick Lowe style powerpop (they were pretty good at Baby's All Right opening for Jacco Gardner earlier this month). $10 at the door. Flyer for the show, plus streams of all on the bill, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Brooklyn psych rockers Prince Rupert's Drops are releasing the followup to 2012's solid Run Slow with a new album, Climbing Light, on November 11 via Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records. Its first single, "Dangerous Death Ray," is a trip back to the acid-induced sounds of the late '60s with groovy basslines, wah-pedal guitar solos, and equally throwback vocal melodies. It premieres in this post and can be streamed below.
The band plays around their hometown a good amount, and their next show will be this Friday (8/29) at Baby's All Right with Love As Laughter and August Wells. Tickets are on sale now.
Song stream below...
by Ian Chainey
The prolific Kevin Drumm and Jason Lescalleet have crossed paths before, cutting the EP The Invisible Curse last year which received the wink-wink Soundcloud tag of 'power ballad.' Their newest collaboration is The Abyss, out on Erstwhile Records and available at Jason Lescalleet's Discogs store. For this album, both droners sink their teeth into something darker. Or, at least, that's the spin I put on it. That filtered-through-the-self reaction is one quality making drone unique and fascinating to those who regard it as more than a wall of noise. Good drone, the stuff we have here, is like an executable program rather than a concrete statement of purpose. It'll swallow what you're feeling, run it though its internal workings, and spit something out that tells you as much about yourself as the artists that made it.
The nine minute preview we've received of the near-50 minute "The Echo Of Your Past," a cut culled from the second of The Abyss's two discs, opens with a deep bass rumble, sounding like a plane damned to taxi for eternity. It's an expansive tone, something of a sound engineering marvel. More abstractly, it's like Drumm and Lescalleet uncovered the pitch of a planetary body grinding against dark matter. But, like good drone, it operates under the idea that there's an infinite amount of infinity within every nook and cranny. Phantom tones rise and fall in the background before another set of machinery starts crunching away in the sample's middle. From there, "The Echo Of Your Past" modulates into a stinging major chord.
So. . . what does it mean? Is it Proustian recall in slow motion? Is it a way to engage with the fact that recorded sound is always in the past, never in the present or future? Or is it just meant to inspire whatever it inspires, a brief detour to mindfully explore our existence, a pursuit we usually avoid while attending to self-imposed day-to-day tasks? As music's mood ring, drone would probably just answer, "Yes. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees." Drumm and Lescalleet do a great job providing the right confines for that Q&A.
Kevin and Jason will celebrate the new album with a release show on September 4 at Trans-Pecos with support from violinist C Spencer Yeh. $10 at the door gets you in.
In addition to The Abyss, Kevin Drumm will release Trouble via Editions Mego on October 13 which the label has tagged as one of his quietest albums. You can hear a sample here. And Jason Lescalleet dropped Much to My Demise this year, the album that he toured to support in April.
You can hear "The Echo Of Your Past" below.
by Bill Pearis
Grimes new single with Blood Diamonds, "Go," now has a video, co-directed by Claire herself with her brother Mac Boucher under the collaborative name Roco-Prime. It's like some kind of Tarsem/NABIL collaboration as imagined by Hype Williams. There's swordplay and flowing scarves in the desert, hypercolor slo-mo dancing, splashing about...pretty much the whole gambit of over-the-top music video imagery. Also: voice of Solid Snake David Hayter reading from Dane's Inferno. But what does it mean? Claire offers some insight:
It's our take on Dante's inferno. The circles of hell reflect more contemporary issues though. We shot a bunch at the salton sea which is basically an apocalyptic wasteland filled with dead fish because of human carelessness, the bullet hole hallway a la korn freak on a leash etc etc. If you look closely you can find clues. Haha, but in the usual fashion it is also abstract enough to just be a trippy visual accompaniment to the song.Interpret for yourself -- check out the "Go" video below...
The new Alt-J album is less than a month away (due 9/23 via Canvasback), and though their tour doesn't hit NYC until November 16 at Beacon Theatre (sold out), they'll be here much sooner for an intimate show on September 2 at Le Poisson Rouge at 9 PM. It's one of NPR's 'First Listen Live' shows, which means they'll be playing the new album in full and it will stream at NPR Music's site. You have to RSVP for a chance to get in. Follow NPR Music on Twitter to find out how.
Updated tour dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Bellows is the project of Brooklyn songwriter Oliver Kalb, who you may also know as a member of Eskimeaux and Told Slant, whose main members Gabby Smith and Felix Walworth (respectively) are both in Bellows. Rounding out the Bellows lineup is Henry Crawford, aka Small Wonder, who like Oliver, Gabby and Felix is a member of the art collective The Epoch. Bellows' new album, Blue Breath, comes out next week (9/2) via Dead Labour (pre-order), the same label that released this year's Big Ups album. It's an album of bedroom folk/pop that's more than a little indebted to early Sufjan Stevens, but it's refreshing to hear someone keeping that kind of stuff alive in 2014. A full stream of the album premieres in this post and can be listened to below.
Bellows and Eskimeaux will be heading out on a tour together which begins at Brooklyn's Shea Stadium on Friday (8/29). Also on that bill is The Ugly Club, Terrible Terrible and Stargazy. The tour continues at SUNY Purchase the next night with The Hotelier and hits other NY and NY-area places including Rochester, Albany, Bard College, Troy, and New Brunswick. All dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Brooklyn's Backwords are set to release their new album, Nest, on September 16 via Campers Rule. The band, which features multiple members who both write and sing lead, decamped to a Sunset Park warehouse to record the album, the bones of which were done live to tape. There's ambition here, too, in the writing, arranging and production -- Backwords have come a ways from their more simple, folkier beginnings. We've got the premiere of opening cut "I'm Not Lying," which takes the Spector/Ronettes beat and then goes in different directions. You can stream it below.
Backwords will celebrate the release of the new album in their hometown at Baby's All Right on September 20. Wild Yaks, Dead Stars and Radical Dads are also on the bill and you get a limited-edition cassette of the album with entry. Advance tickets are on sale now.
Flyer for the release show, new song stream and album cover art below...
photos by Dylan Johnson, words by Andrew Sacher
Perfect Pussy / Joanna Gruesome @ Shea - 8/26/14
The stacked Perfect Pussy / Joanna Gruesome / Potty Mouth / The Love of Everything tour kicked off last night (8/26) with a sold out show at Brooklyn's tiny Shea Stadium. It was a great show all around, and packed almost the entire time. Pictures are in this post.
The Love of Everything, aka Joan of Arc's Bobby Burg, kicked things off with a one-man-band set consisting of Bobby's voice, guitar, bass, synths, and a crude drum machine all going through a loop pedal. In a way, Love of Everything was the odd band out on the bill. It was the only one that wasn't a "band" in the traditional sense, and the only one whose songs didn't revolve around briskly strummed distorted guitars. But what he did have in common with the rest of the bill is his music came from a place of rawness and passion, rather than a traditional idea of "technique," something Bobby is undeniably a veteran of.
The energy level began to rise when Potty Mouth followed with their set of poppy punk, but really rose once Joanna Gruesome took the stage for one of the best sets I've seen of theirs yet. Joanna Gruesome are equal parts twee pop and more aggressive punk, but the energy of the latter is what wins out at their shows. All band members thrash around the stage like a hardcore band while singer Alanna McCardle stands at the mic, commanding the crowd with ease. For one song during this set, she took her mic off the stand and gave her wildest performance of the night. The rowdiness of the crowd matched that of the band, at one point causing Alanna to ask them to chill with the moshing ("that's fun for about five of you... and there's way more than five of you here").
There was a pause in the show after Joanna Gruesome, because Perfect Pussy were running late. But once they finally got there, they ran up on stage without a soundcheck and got the room going as nuts as it was for JG. Perfect Pussy's sets are short, but they pack more uninhibited aggression in 15 minutes than many rock bands can in double or triple that time. Last night was no exception, as the band went hard with minimal breaks from start to finish, and it ended with noise guy Sean Sutkus making controlled feedback minutes after the rest of the band had left the stage.
The tour continues, and splits this Friday (8/29), as Joanna Gruesome return to NYC on their own to headline a free South Street Seaport show with Big Ups, and Perfect Pussy/Potty Mouth play Asbury Park. Potty Mouth will also be back for a Cake Shop (9/3) show next week.
More pictures from Shea, below...
photos by Adela Loconte
Interpol @ Mack Senate Stage 8/26/2014
Interpol played LA's Mack Senate Stage last night (8/26), a special concert presented by KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. The show celebrated the forthcoming release of the long-running NYC band's new album, El Pintor, which is out next week via Matador. (Stream it at NPR.) That album's "Breaker 1" and "Same Town, New Story" made their live debut last night. Full video, pics and setlist from the KCRW show are in this post.
NYC, meanwhile, will get two El Pintor release shows next week: The Met's Temple of Dendur on September 2 (sold out) and Bowery Ballroom on September 4 (tickets on sale Thursday [8/28] at noon). And they'll be back this fall for two sold-out Terminal 5 shows.
Video and more pics from Interpol's KCRW show below...
Although he's never cultivated as high a profile as some of his contemporaries, Peter Jefferies can be found dangling from just about every important branch of New Zealand's post-punk family tree. Over the course of a decade and a half, he's wended his way from fronting the aggro-punk Nocturnal Projections to co-starring (with brother Graeme) in the dour This Kind of Punishment to his role as in-house tape manipulator at the Xpressway label. It's on his solo records -- and the collaborations in which he's allowed to take the reins -- that the expansive sweep of Jefferies' vision can best be appreciated. [Trouser Press]Superior Viaduct just reissued Peter Jefferies' 1994 album Electricity which marks its first release on vinyl. You can stream a couple tracks from the reissue below. Last year, De Stijl reissued his acclaimed 1990 album, The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World, and that can be heard via Rdio.
As part of the Electricity reissue, the New Zealand musician will be touring the US for the first time in 20 years. That tour starts in NYC at Issue Project Room on October 1 where he'll perform two solo sets. Tickets for IPR are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with songs streams, below...