March 5, 2015
Stew & Double Nought Spy Car
A decade ago, Stew (of The Negro Problem and the Tony-winning Passing Strange) teamed with LA prog/surf instrumental combo Double Nought Spy Car to make an album together funded by the American Composer's Forum. The record, titled Panorama City, had a few guidelines: "create instant songs, no rehearsing, no second takes, no jamming." Stew explains further:
K, I cheated, as I had written down a few lyrical fragments that morning in a notebook which I sang from. But the best lines I promise you came to me via the spell the music cast that day in Panorama City, powered by G-d and conjured by the law firm of Lacques, Doten, Watkins and Berardi. I think the best compliment that we could be paid is by the people who don't think it was all totally improvised. But it was. No stops and starts, no overdubs, no previously agreed upon anything. It's a very Californian vibe, a nice combo of trust and confidence, old-heads, new strings, and damaged musical psyches with enough pop sensibility still left in their Don Kirshnerized-Aylerian DNA to party, a deeply satanic-Buddhist mushroom cult that exists only as long as the record button is depressed but seeking help. We let this music sorta hang out on a shelf for way too long and yet it seems like now is the perfect time to listen to it ... from a safe distance. Releasing records is the best revenge and our mad way of loving you.Due in part to Passing Strange's success, the album got backshelved but is now coming out April 14 via 11 Foot Pole. Its 10 tracks are distillations of the sessions into song-length form, but there will be a digital-only release of the entire four-hour session. You can stream three tracks from Panorama City, including "Blowoff Therapy" which premieres in this post, below...
Shamir will release his debut album, Ratchet, on May 19 via XL Recordings. The Las Vegas native made the record here in NYC at Silent Barn with GODMODE's Nick Sylvester producing. That's the cover art above and you can check out the tracklist and an illustrated statement Shamir made about the album, below.
Shamir will be at SXSW this year, playing one of Pitchfork's parties and NPR's official showcase, both on March 18, and other shows there. He's got tour dates in May, too. All dates are listed, along with the video for last year's "On the Regular" single (which is on the album), below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Charles Elmore
Two '90s/'00s post-rock vets, Bryce Chambers of Ester Drang and Johnathan Ford of Unwed Sailor, teamed up a few years back to form a new band together, Native Lights. They put out their debut single, "Blackwater" (backed by a cover of OMD's "Of All The Things We've Made"), in 2010, and now they're set to release their self-titled debut album on March 17 via Passive Recordings (pre-order). They've already put out two songs from the album, and we've got the premiere of a third, "La Rosa." It's an atmospheric slow-burner led by Bryce's melancholic singing, but it's got a backbone too. Listen below.
Native Lights are also hitting the road, playing a few dates of the Wray tour, SXSW, and making a couple stops with mewithoutYou. No NYC shows at the moment. All dates are listed below...
photo: Spoon at ACLTV taping in 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Once again, Hype Machine returns to SXSW for five days of Hype Hotel presented by Feed the Beat. It runs from March 17-21 at 1100 East 5th Street, Austin, TX. As usual, they've got some pretty big and exciting names with many of the lineups curated by different blogs like Gorilla vs Bear and Consequence of Sound.
The lineup includes Spoon, Best Coast, Twin Shadow, Autre Ne Veut, Earl Sweatshirt, Rae Sremmurd, iLoveMakonnen, Hudson Mohawke, Hundred Waters, Alvvays, Sophie, King Tuff, Twerps, Viet Cong, Yumi Zouma and more, plus a few DJs including DJ Carles.buzz. The exact schedule will be announced soon,, but meanwhile you can RSVP.
This year's Hype Hotel also celebrates Hype Machine's 10th birthday, and is co-sponsored by Mazda, Taco Bell, Tito's Vodka, and Miller Lite.
Full lineup below...
SXSW starts in a couple weeks and if you've been recently or read about it or seen pictures, you know that corporate branding is omnipresent there. One of the most infamous and blatant examples was the Doritos stage that looked like a giant vending machine, with the stage being the part where the snacks come out. This year, McDonald's, one of SXSW's "Super Sponsors," is throwing a party and they asked Brooklyn band Ex Cops to play. They declined and co-frontman Brian Harding posted an open letter to the fast food giant on the band's Facebook. Here's a couple excerpts:
This week our band was asked to play the McDonald's Showcase at the annual South by Southwest, also known to music insiders as "SXSW."You can read the whole thing below. It will be interesting to learn what artists are going to play the McDonald's SXSW party.
Their selling point was that this was "a great opportunity for additional exposure," and that "McDonald's will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc"
I don't, and doubt that they know what this means either.
Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald's can at least pay their talent a little. Right?
"There isn't a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately)"
As of 2013, McDonalds is valued at 90.3 billion dollars.
I will also go ahead and save time for any schill / troll rebuttals; "Are the other showcases paying you? No one is holding a gun to your head!" This is true. It is our choice (pretty much) to fly to Austin, play shows without soundcheck, and get paid nothing to a little. But hear this loud and clear, we LOVE making music, it is what we do, and despite some of its very apparent flaws, SXSW still provides a decent venue to be heard by some people who are really there to hear new music and not just do blow with dudes who wear square toe loafers.
It is a horrifying and gross reality when one sees the true nature of corporations and their pathetic attempts to achieve relevance with millennials. Doritos received a lot of flack for their stage a couple years ago, but i'm going to assume they paid Lady Gaga.
Right before they head to SXSW, Ex Cops will play Brooklyn Night Bazaar on March 13 with My Midnight Heart, Montreal band Heat, and Heaven. That show is free. All upcoming dates, including the SXSW shows they are playing, are listed (along with their whole open letter to McDonald's) below...
Dean Tartaglia has played in a few projects over the years, including The Flats with lead singer Chris Kerekes and Chris's brother Mat (singer of Citizen) on drums. Dean also leads his own band, Secret Space, which will be releasing a split with The Flats on May 7 via Known Pleasure Records. Secret Space are contributing the Hum-esque track "Stay For A While," and we've got the premiere of that song's video. Watch below, and you can download the track (name your price) at bandcamp.
(photo via Google Maps)
However you look at it, the world of New York high culture was given a surprise dose of glitz on Wednesday, when Lincoln Center announced that David Geffen, the entertainment mogul who has shaped cultural tastes in pop music, art and movies, will donate $100 million to renovate -- and rename -- Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, at Lincoln Center.The Fischer family was persuaded to give up the name in November in hopes of luring a major investor (they also got $15 million). Though best known as a pop music bigwig (owner of Geffen Records, DGC Records and others), Geffen, 72, told the Times, "I love classical music. Music is music. We need all the support that we can get."
Mr. Geffen's gift will help pay for the hall's gut renovation, which is expected to cost more than $500 million. Although construction is not scheduled to begin until 2019, the building will become David Geffen Hall this September, with the start of the Philharmonic's 2015-16 season. - [The New York Times]
photo: Natural Child in Chicago, 2014 (more by James Richards IV)
Before that spring tour, Natural Child will be in Austin for SXSW. The band were last here for one of Death by Audio's final shows. No word on new music, but all Natural Child dates are listed, along with "Ain't Gonna Stop" video, below...
photo: Patti Smith in Austin in 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
The snowy weather may cause some cancelations, so be sure to check with the venue before heading out tonight. You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
TIbet House US benefit w/ Philip Glass, The Flaming Lips, Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, Patti Smith, Sturgill Simpson, Dev Hynes, Ira Glass, Debbie Harry @ Carnegie Hall
A cavalcade of amazing talent comes out in force to support Tibet House US. Tickets are still available. Where else will you see Philip Glass, Ira Glass, Sturgill Simpson and The Flaming Lips all on one bill?
Will Butler, TEEN @ Bowery Ballroom
His brother Win gets most of the spotlight, but the Arcade Fire's Will Butler is a talented singer and songwriter too, as can be heard on his first solo album which is out next week on Merge. Tonight's the record release show. Sold out.
The Growlers, Broncho @ Baby's All Right
Party rockers The Growlers released Chinese Fountain back in September which found the band in a laid-back mood, drawing inspiration from twangy early-'60s rock, with a few danceable numbers in there as well. Tonight's their second show of a five-night-stand at Baby's All Right with Broncho.
Punch Brothers, Gaby Moreno @ Beacon Theatre
Chris Thile is one of the more prolific guys in modern bluegrass. He reunited Nickel Creek last year, and now he's already got a new Punch Brothers album and is on tour with them too.
Hundred Waters, Mitski @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Both Hundred Waters and Mitski mix folk and art pop, with the former going in a more fleshed-out and sometimes-electronic direction and the latter in a more lo-fi indie direction. Great double bill.
Regal Degal @ Elvis Guesthouse
It may not be a first, but it's a first for us: this is a "record announce" party for Regal Degal's new album, Not Now, which will be out in May via Terrible. Hey, any excuse for a party.
EULA, No Bra, GULL, Martin Bisi @ Palisades
It's the release party for local noise rockers EULA, and Martin Bisi (who produced the album) also plays a set with former members of past bands he's produced, Sonic Youth and Swans. No Bra's post-punk performance art is worth catching too.
Fox Millions Duo (Kid Millions + Greg Fox),
Steve Gunn & Mary Lattimore, Laura Ortman, Matthew Regula @ Silent Barn
UPDATE: Steve Gunn and Mary Lattimore are unable to join tonight due to weather conditions. The show will go on with Greg Fox / Kid Millions Duo, Matthew Regula, Laura Ortman, with a "snowy modular synthesizer workshop" and reduced admission: $8
Curren$y @ B.B. King Blues Club
New Orleans rapper Curren$y remains crazy prolific (he last released a mixtape in the fall and has an album planned for this year) and he's pretty active on the road too. Catch him in NYC tonight.
Nude Beach, Bodega Bay, Dances @ Bowery Electric
Nude Beach make late- 70s-inspired power pop and do a ton of justice to the sound. This is one of two upcoming hometown shows for the NYC band at the moment, and it's free with RSVP.
Bloodshot Bill @ Union Pool
Tandoori Knights member, King Khan & BBQ/Mark Sultan collaborator, and solo artist in his own right, Bloodshot Bill has a voice that can go from a guttural growl to disarming falsetto, sometime within a single phrase. His take on blues and rock n' roll is best experienced live.
Haybaby, Whitewash, Chimes, Bueno @ Shea Stadium
Brooklyn's Haybaby make a promising mix of punk, post-punk and indie pop, and they recently signed to Tiny Engines for their upcoming debut LP.
DRKWAV (ft. John Medeski, Skerik, and Adam Deitch) @ Brooklyn Bowl
This trio of prolific jam banders -- John Medeski, Skerik (Les Claypool's Fancy Band, Mad Season) and Adam Deitch (Lettuce, 50 Cent) -- teamed up as DRKWAV to make jazz fusion which resulted in their debut album, The Purge, released last week.
Alex Winston, Royal Tongues @ The Westway
Alex Winston's new singles have seen her going in a more conventionally pop direction than her 2012 debut album, and if you want to see how those translate live, you have a chance tonight.
Craig Ferguson @ Town Hall
Now that he's free from hosting a late night talk show, Craig Ferguson has time to get back into standup and starts his three-night run at Town Hall tonight.
Holy Ghost! (DJ Set), A/JUS/TED, Le Youth @ Output
DFA mainstays Holy Ghost! spin like they play live -- heavy on '80s-era synths in a electro/postpunk/new wave.
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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