November 24, 2015
by Andrew Sacher
Former D Generation frontman Jesse Malin released not one but two albums this year, New York Before the War and Outsiders. He's more recently made a video for "San Francisco" off the latter, a twangy rocker that's a little like Summerteeth-era Wilco. It was directed by Dave Stekert and premieres below. You can pick up Outsiders via One Little Indian and Velvet Elk, Jesse's label with Don DiLego.
Velvet Elk is also throwing its first annual holiday benefit show on December 29 at Bowery Ballroom. Jesse and Don are both playing, as is Velvet Elk artist Hollis Brown and Hidden Cities. Tickets are on sale, and a portion of proceeds will benefit The Bowery Mission. Show flyer below.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Angel Haze celebrated her new hard-edged mixtape Back To The Woods with a Baby's show back in September, and right now she's on a proper tour in support of it. That tour included another show in her hometown of NYC last night (11/23) at SOB's. Angel's a super confident performer who had no trouble commanding the crowd, and they clearly loved her. She invited a bunch of audience members up on stage, a couple of which flashed the crowd (she did tweet beforehand: "NY BETTER TURN ALL THE WAY THE FUCK UP TONIGHT. I WANT TITTIES & MADNESS"). Rock NYC was there, and they write:
Last night she was the Babe Ruthless, flirting with the girls, her androgynous, gender neutral visage was a come on for the wimmin who were coming on to her. And she was in the mood to play -right away she upped the ante again and the place exploded. From an early rave to "On Fire", to a gigantic singalong to "The Wolves" to an energizer bunny jump along "Babe Ruthless" and to a penultimate "New York" followed by encore (Sia featured on the record) "Battle Cry", this was through the roof hip hop.We missed the first opener, Stella, but more pictures of Angel and the second opener ShowTuFli below...
by Andrew Sacher
It seems like "Queen's Speech Ep. 4″ really made you more of a popular name around the internet. Why do you think that is?UK rapper Lady Leshurr has been around for a few years, contributing her vocals to Orbital's "Wonky," Basement Jaxx's Something About You," and more. As the interview quoted above points out, she's been getting a lot of hype for her own material thanks to the suddenly-viral "Queen's Speech Ep. 4." It's already gained her comparisons to Azealia Banks and Nicki Minaj (who she remixed more than once and sampled on "Queen's Speech 2"), and it's easy to see why it's taking off. Check out some of her stuff below.
I think "Queen's Speech 2″ really hit it off. But, for the Americans to find out about me, most of them found me through there ["Queen's Speech Ep. 4″]. There's a guy called DeLorean that posted my video on Facebook and he's got like 30 million views now. And I think he brought a lot of attention to that. So it's mainly him just posting that. Now, Erykah Badu shared some love, she said it's ill. And Natalie from Floetry. It's just crazy the people that are reaching out to me who's showing respect and love. It's overwhelming really. [The Boombox]
Leshurr comes to the US to make her NYC debut on December 12 at Gramercy Theatre. Tickets are on sale now. It's her only upcoming US date, but she has couple other international shows. All dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
It's been five years since we've heard anything new from The Coral, but they're now back and will release their eighth studio album, Distance Inbetween, via Ignition Records on March 4. The Coral's last album was 2010's lush, sparkling, paisley pop Butterfly House -- my #18 album of that year, stream album via YouTube below. (2014 saw the release of The Curse of Love which was recorded in 2005.) For the new one they've apparently taken a more on-the-fly approach. Says frontman James Skelly:
Before we started making the album we had discussed that we wanted it to be more minimal and rhythmical. We thought if you've got a rhythm section thats been playing together for almost twenty years, why not make that the centre of the songs?There hasn't been a song released from Distance Inbetween yet, but you can watch a teaser trailer, check out album art and tracklist, as well as a list of 2016 UK/UE tour dates, below.
Meanwhile, former Coral member (and sometimes member of Arctic Monkeys' live lineup) Bill Ryder-Jones just released his third solo album, West Kirby County Primary, via Domino. It's rough-hewn, literate guitar pop -- he's adept at a hook and a turn-of-phrase -- that really shows off his skill as a songwriter. You can watch videos for "Catharine and Huskisson," "Two To Birkenhead" and "Satellites" and stream the album via Spotify, as well as check out his upcoming tour schedule below.
photo by Son Le
Just after Tournament signed to The End Records, Brooklyn's Heliotropes did too. The band are set to put a new album out on the label Spring 2016. Singer Jessica Numsuwankijkul says, "I'm very excited to release our upcoming album. We've been working on it for a while now and we're very pleased to work with The End, who are gracious enough to remind us to do normal stuff like make album artwork."
Listen to Heliotropes' 2013 album A Constant Sea below...
by Andrew Sacher
Last month, Roger Harvey released his debut album Twelve Houses, a nice dose of heartfelt poppy indie that we said fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Antlers, Death Cab and Youth Lagoon should check out. One of the album's more rocking songs, "City Deer," has been given the video treatment. It juxtaposes shots of Roger and his band playing in an open field against a whimsical romantic storyline. The video was directed by John Skip Volcsko (full credits here) and premieres below.
Roger also has dates coming up, including an opening slot on one of the Bouncing Souls holiday shows at The Stone Pony. He plays the December 28 show, which also has The Loved Ones and Static Radio NJ. Tickets are still available.
He also has some 2016 shows with The Loved Ones (but not their NYC show, which Cayetana play). All dates are listed below...
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart recently released their new "Hell" single that comes with Felt and James covers (order yours), and now they did a one-off cover of another artist: Tori Amos. Singer/main member Kip Berman recorded it himself, and it's a stripped-down take on "China" off Tori's 1992 debut album Little Earthquakes that was reissued earlier this year. Kip writes on Facebook:
Have a listen to a simple home recording I did tonight of "China" by one of my heroes Tori Amos over on Stereogum. Our last show for a while will be in Hong Kong on November 29, so I thought this would be a nice way to say thank you to all our fans and friends around the world. Without you, none of this would be possible. We get the chance to play the music we love, meet incredible people and see places we'd never get to see. To everyone that's ever supported us, let us crash on their couch, or just said hi after a show - thank you. x KipThat Hong Kong show is the day after they play the Neon Lights festival in Singapore with Chic, Mogwai, Sun Kil Moon, Blackalicious, and more.
Meanwhile, Tori Amos released the original cast recording for her musical with Samuel Adamson, The Light Princess, last month. Kip tweeted, "New @toriamos is really good. I guess when you're magnificently talented and a visionary, that doesn't go away after 25 years."
You can listen to "Darkest Hour" off that, with Pains' "China" cover, below...
photo: My Morning Jacket in Austin in October (more by Tim Griffin)
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
My Morning Jacket, Woods @ Beacon Theater
My Morning Jacket returned this year with their very solid seventh album, The Waterfall. They always shine as a live band too, and tonight begins their four-night run at The Beacon in support of it. Each night has a different (and also good) opener. Tonight it's folk rockers Woods.
Stevie Wonder @ Madison Square Garden
Stevie Wonder has been on tour playing his classic 1976 double album Songs in the Key of Life, and he brings that tour back to NYC tonight.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic @ B.B. King's
It's a tough night for fans of classic funk/soul/etc though. The equally legendary George Clinton hits BB King's.
Mayhem, Watain, Rotting Christ @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
The double bill of Mayhem and Watain was already a must-see for black metal fans the first time it happened this year, so thankfully they're doing it all over again. This show's in a more intimate venue than last time too.
Fishbone, Murphy's Law @ House of Independents (Asbury Park)
Asbury Park's newest venue House of Independents opens tonight, and they're starting off with a bang. It's a great double fill of ska/funk/metal/whatever band Fishbone and NYC's long-running punk staples Murphy's Law.
Yonatan Gat, Pill, The Yin Yangs @ Knitting Factory
Yonatan Gat is very much a "see it live" musician, as he and his band's style -- usually set up on the floor and highly improvisational -- can be described (as I have before) as in-your-face. If you're ok with that, his shows are highly recommended. We also like the skronky sax-fueled postpunk of Pill, too.
Father, Alex Russell, 9th Grade, Lord Narf @ Baby's All Right
Awful Records is throwing this party that, among other things, has their buzzy rapper Father on the bill.
Cake Shop Comedy @ Cake Shop
If you miss Big Terrific and Hannibal Buress' Sunday night show at Knit, and are looking for a new free, weekly comedy show that happens in a rock club and sometimes has big name talent stop by unexpectedly, "Cake Shop Comedy" might do the trick. Tonight's guests are Joe Mande, Matt Ruby, Ana Fabrega, Travis Rust, Phoebe Robinson and Tim Dillon.
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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November 23, 2015
Club Soda photos by Bruno Destombes; words by Bill Pearis
Duchess Says / Chocolat @ BV M for Montreal showcase 11/21/2015
Pure insanity. This is how you end a festival. Duchess Says singer Annie-Claude is a bit like a gremlin, spreading gleeful mayhem wherever she goes. Saturday night, headlining the BrooklynVegan M for Montreal showcase and post-Grimes fesival closing party at Club Soda, she and Duchess Says dialed it up to the max and the audience were her willing playthings. She walked atop them, parted them like the red sea, had them all sit down on the floor as she tormented fans individually, invited them up on stage for a mid-set dance party (and onstage crowd-surfing!) and generally had us wondering "what's next?" the whole show. I have seen Duchess Says many times over the last seven years and this was by far the most bonkers, awesome and flat-out fun show of theirs I've witnessed.
While Annie Claude is the focal point, the band's music -- warped synthpunk -- is what helps power things. Popular in their hometown, Duchess Says are virtually unknown everywhere else. That may change, however, as a handful of new songs were catchy as hell and sung in English. Not that you really need to understand what she's singing -- one of their best-known songs, "Tenen Non Neu," has her basically yelling "bleep bloop" noises along with the synthesizers -- but it does give English-speakers some thing to hold onto. And at a tornado of a show like this, that can be helpful.
I realize I am biased as this was BV's show, but this all-Montreal lineup was without a doubt my favorite show at this year's M for Montreal. Also on the bill were Chocolat, band who initially seem like just a very good psych-garage band but are soon defying pigeonholing with every song. There are delicate harmonies, motorik krautrock rhythms, and proggy chord changes. They are also crazy loud. And crazy good.
Before that: Country, a duo comprised of infamous Montreal gadabout and restauranteur Beaver Shepard, plus a guitarist/keyboardist in (very little) bondage gear. Serious is not a word you'd associate with this project -- this band screams "we don't give a fuck" -- but they've actually got some really good songs which, perhaps do to Shepard's singing style, kinda sound like the Cure. Fun, if weird.
Another duo, Organ Mood opened the night with a multimedia set. Christophe Lamarche, who is Chocolat's keyboard player, handled most of the music which was made with a mix of analogue synths and MCPs, ranging from Tangerine Dream style textural washes to Giorgio Moroder-esque arpeggiated disco; Mathieu Jacques handled the visuals via four overhead projectors where he swapped out illustrations, color overlays and some real-time drawing. It was a fascinating, very cool start to what was an awesome, eclectic, very Montreal evening. Photographs from the BV showcase (minus Organ Mood, unfortunately) are in this post.
Bronswick / Paupière
Earlier in the day, was another very Montreal event -- the annual M for Montreal Francophone showcase at Cafe Campus. Most of the other English-speaking "delegates" at M are not so interested in all this overt Frenchiness, and this definitely hosts some of the stinkiest fromage of the fest, but there are always a couple gems. This year I can recommend three: Bronswick, a duo who were like Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin but on a 1980 synthwave tip; Safia Nolin, whose powerful voice and jazz-tinged folk broke through language barriers; and another synthpop act, Paupière, featuring We Are Wolves drummer Pierre-Luc Bégin, two other singer/keyboardists and a rather chic look. Very cool.
Recap of M for Montreal day 1 is here, day 2 is here, day 3 is here, and pics from Grimes' day for 4 performance are here. Streams of Bronswick's debut EP, Safia Nolin's new album, Limoilou, and a Paupière single, plus more pics from the BV M for Montreal showcase, below..
photos by Bruno Destombes; words by Bill Pearis
Grimes @ Metropolis, Montreal 11/21/2015
M for Montreal always concludes their week of festivities with a big show at the gorgeous Metropolis Theatre. This year's was maybe their biggest yet with very au courant hometown hero Grimes, who had just released her acclaimed new album Art Angels. The absolutely adoring crowd was determined to have the time of their lives and hung on Claire Boucher's every move, shrieking when she picked up the mike or did just about anything else. With a team of dancers dressed in dayglo black light outfits, plus smoke machines and lots of lasers it was quite the spectacle. Despite having a walking cast on her right leg, Claire really gave it her all and seemed to be having a good time (perhaps finally over that flu that dogged her recent NYC appearances). No Aristophanes for this show but she did invite some of her friends onstage to dance to "REALiTi."
Like at the NYC shows, Nicole Dollanganger opened the show, and as Andrew described, it was a bit incongruous to see her flanked by two very metal looking dudes. Her guitarist also played the kickdrum, as well as a crash cymbal with the head of his guitar (which is a little funny to watch from an otherwise deadly serious-looking dude, lets be honest). Chelsea Wolfe is indeed an apt comparison and while it's not really my thing, it still mostly worked. The audience was definitely into it.
Saturday night also featured the official BrooklynVegan M for Montreal showcase with Duchess Says, Chocolat and more. Pics and writeup from that are coming soon. Meanwhile, more photos from Grimes and Nicole Dollanganger at Metropolis, below...