December 9, 2013
by Bill Pearis
OG '90s shoegazers Swervedriver have been back in action since 2008 or so. My first-ever post on BV was about them and when they played Music Hall of Williamsburg that year, I wrote:
"Swervedriver came out and just killed it. Like the last ten years never happened. Jaw-droppingly, why-aren't-you-still-a-band-and-making-records good. And maybe it's just the decade that's passed, but they almost seemed better than I remembered."As to the "why aren't you still making records" part, they now are. The band are currently recording their first album since 1998's 99th Dream. Today (12/9) they released their first new single in 15 years. It's called "Deep Wound" (you may have seen them play it on Fallon when they toured last year) and it's got the overdriven guitars and soaring melodies the band are known for. It's good. The cover art, above, looks like their early Creation EPs too. You can stream it -- and the "Dub Wound" b-side that was mixed by Ride's Mark Gardener (!) -- below.
Kim Gordon & Jutta Koether
MoMA PS1 is currently featuring a retrospective on visual artist Mike Kelley, whose work -- often using cloth toys and dolls -- has been highly influential. Indie rock fans might recognize his orange knit doll on the cover of Sonic Youth's 1992 album, Dirty. This is the largest exhibition ever of Kelly who died last year at age 57. It's up through February 2.
As part of the retrospective, MoMA PS1 is holding Mike Kelley Sunday Sessions, including that Chris & Cosey show where they're performing a "live remix" of post-Throbbing Gristle project X-TG on January 5. While advance tickets are sold out, we are now told if you want to go there will be a few tickets available at the box office on day of show. That show starts at 1 PM with the performance at 4 PM.
There is another Sunday Session for the closing day of the retrospective (2/2) featuring a collaboration between Kim Gordon and visual artist Jutta Koether. The two (pictured above) have worked together several times before (like the recent IPR benefit) and will create a unique event for the occasion. The event starts at 4 PM and tickets are on sale now. Kim's band Body/Head also play Mass MoCA on Saturday (12/14) in North Adams, MA (their only upcoming date).
This Sunday (12/15) there is a non-musical Sunday Session called "Mike Kelly Moving Forward" that will present "new ideas about the influence of his work going forward. With lectures by Elisabeth Sussman (The Whitney Museum of American Art), Stacy Wolf (Princeton University), John C. Welchman (University of California, San Diego; chair Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts). Artists Rachel Harrison, William Pope. L, and Joe Scanlan comprise a panel discussion." Tickets for that are on sale now.
DIIV at Webster Hall in 2012 (more by Dan Bracaglia)
We recently mentioned that Perfect Pussy will be playing a New Year's Eve party at Baby's All Right, and that the rest of the lineup was still TBA. More artists have now been announced and the lineup is looking pretty impressive: reverby indie rockers DIIV, heavy shoegazers Nothing, punky indie rockers Potty Mouth, and still more TBA. Maria Sherman is DJing. Tickets for the show are on sale now, and will include a coconut champagne toast and some sort of open bar (details TBA).
Stream some tracks below...
by Doug Moore
Peter Walker with William Kunstler
Peter Walker is one of those semi-famous '60s-era figures whose influence reaches further than his name. A disciple of Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, as well as a close personal associate of the famed leftist lawyer William Kunstler (whom he's pictured with above) and Timothy Leary, Walker has lived a colorful globetrotting life that reads more like a myth than a musician's biography.
Walker recorded just two albums in the '60s and then stopped releasing music entirely for almost 40 years. Still, his fusion of American-style finger-picking with Spanish flamenco and Indian raga modalities resonated strongly enough with the likes of Thurston Moore and Jack Rose (the latter of whom he influenced substantially) that they convinced him to come out of retirement for a collaborative semi-tribute album in 2006. He released an entire album of new work, Echo of My Soul, the same year.
Walker continues to ease gradually back into the public eye. His third studio album, the 1970 one-take solo effort Has Anybody Seen Our Freedoms?, lay fallow for 43 years before he finally released it via Delmore Recordings in November. He's also playing his first NYC show in seven years (and his only show of 2013, evidently) at Union Pool on December 18, with support from local fixture Zachary Cale. Tickets are on sale now. If you ever nerd out on virtuoso acoustic guitar performance of the Rose / John Fahey / Leo Kottke sort, this show is a must-see.
Stream Walker's new album and an older tune below...
Action Bronson at VICELAND at SXSW 2013 (more by Dylan Johnson)
As discussed, NYC rapper Action Bronson has a few shows coming up, including a Noisey-presented hometown show at Irving Plaza on January 10. Since we last spoke, that show has sold out, but he's added another happening the next night (1/11) at the same venue. Tickets for the newly-added show are on sale now.
Updated dates are listed, along with a stream of his Blue Chips 2 mixtape, below...
Blog-turned label Awesome Tapes From Africa had a top-drawer 2013, releasing Penny Penny's legendary 1994 South African deep house album Shaka Bundu, plus the muggy grooves of Dur-Dur Band's 1985 Volume 5 LP. Standout by a league, though, was this enchanting one-man-band collection from 1985. Anyone who's fallen for Mulatu Astaqué's languid Ethio-jazz simply has to hear this, stet. Using multi-tracked electric piano, accordion and analogue synth, [Hailu] Mergia makes serpentine Ethiopian jazz, but trades in the usual folk instruments for big fat beefy synth leads. Comfort food, prime for scoffing.The above quote is from FACT's 50 best reissues of 2013, where Ethiopian one-man-band Hailu Mergia came in at #5 for his 1985 album Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument, which Awesome Tapes From Africa reissued earlier this year. Pitchfork gave the reissue a 7.4 and called it "not quite like anything else you've ever heard." Hailu recently spoke to Aquarium Drunkard about the recording process:
AD: But Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument is a different sort of album. You did everything yourself, a home-studio type project?You can stream a track from the album, "Shilela," below, and the album is available to purchase in vinyl, CD, and digital formats.
Hailu Mergia: Yeah, that's right. So what I did was I chose the old songs with accordion, and I put accordion as a lead. Then I put a Rhodes piano, an electric Rhodes piano. Fender. And then I put a Moog synthesizer and a drum machine. The drum machine was like, at that time in 1980's like a kind of new fashion. And then the rest, old fashioned. So what I did, for remainder of my life, accordion was like a really important instrument in my life before I changed to organ. So people, usually they love accordion sound, and when the organ came to Ethiopia, all of a sudden, the accordion sound was missed by everybody. So when I brought in this new mix of these different instruments, the sound is good, the sound is modern and old fashioned. The melodies are very nice melodies, so because of this, everybody had some kind of.... nostalgia.
Hailu Mergia will be coming to NYC this month to play a show at Baby's All Right on December 19 with Low Mentality and Highlife. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Song stream below...
by Andrew Sacher
NYC art pop collective Friend Roulette are planning to record the followup to this year's I'm Sorry You Hit Your Head LP this week at Silent Barn's studio with Julian and Carlos from Ava Luna, but ahead of that release they'll be putting out a new 4-song EP, Grow Younger, on February 6 via Goodnight Records. That EP will feature the new single, "I Guess," which makes its premiere in this post. "I Guess" is the kind of rhythmic art pop that Sufjan did on Age of Adz and St. Vincent did on Strange Mercy, and if you liked those albums, you might find something to dig here too. You can stream it, along with another, comparatively calmer EP track, "Rocket Dog," below.
Before Friend Roulette begin recording at Silent Barn's studio, they'll also play a show at the venue tonight (12/9) with Tiny Hazard, Comadrome + Ratfoot + Ginny Benson, Textiles, and Passage (DJ). Admission is $7 at the door. More info at the Facebook event. Other upcoming dates include a show New Year's Day (1/1) at Pianos with Glockabelle and Star Rover and one on February 5 at Baby's All Right with Zula and Celestial Shore.
Song streams below...
Metronomy's new album, Love Letters, which will be out in March via Because/Elektra and if you haven't heard first single "I'm an Aquarius" yet you can stream it below. Before the album's release, the band will be coming to North America for press and will be playing NYC while here and BrooklynVegan is very happy to be presenting the show. That show happens at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 5. Tickets go on sale Friday (12/13) at 10 AM with an AmEx presale Wednesday (12/11) at 10 AM. It's their only announced North American show at the moment.
Single stream below...
Arcade Fire at MSG in 2010 (more by Jonathan Bayer)
ArcadeFire.com and Reflektor pre-order presales start Tuesday (12/10) at 10 AM and a Live Nation presale starts Thursday (12/12) at 10 AM. General on-sale begins this Friday (12/13) at 10 AM. Tickets for their other two Barclays dates are still available.
Pixies at Bowery Ballroom in September (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
After the Pixies lost original bassist Kim Deal and then lost her replacement Kim Shattuck (of The Muffs), they've now announced the addition of another new bassist, Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan, The Entrance Band). As discussed, their tour comes to the NYC-area on 1/19 at Capitol Theatre (tickets) and 1/21 at NJPAC (tickets) with FIDLAR. Since we last spoke, more dates have been added to that tour and all of them are listed below.
The PIxies also just made a new video for "Another Toe In The Ocean" form their recent EP-1. You can watch that, along with the list of dates, below...