April 14, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield
James Vincent McMorrow @ MHOW - 4/11/14
McMorrow garnered the best response from Cavalier, which fuses his gloomy folk-mindedness with lethargic, hip-hop undertones. When McMorrow's crackling alto reaches the utmost limits of his vocal range with lyrics, "I remember my first love," young girls fidget excitedly and grown men get teary-eyed. McMorrow is at his best when all other distractions are eliminated: the pyramid light fixtures, the laser projections, the supporting band. With nothing but a keyboard, he crooned out a blueprint rendition of the last track on Post Tropical, Outside, Digging. When he articulated the hard-sounding syllables, flecks of spit dance above his head like swirling dust motes in the spotlight. [CMJ]Dublin singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow brought his North American tour to NYC for three shows, including Bowery Ballroom last Wednesday (4/9), Gigstock at The Green Space on Thursday, and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday. Like he's been doing on this tour, he split the sets pretty evenly between his Bon Iver-esque 2010 LP Early in the Morning and his Bon Iver & James Blake-esque 2014 LP Post Tropical. Opening the Bowery and MHOW shows was Canadian songwriter Aidan Knight. The above review is of the Bowery show and pictures from MHOW are in this post.
Steely Dan @ Beacon Theatre, 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Steely Dan, who played seven nights at Beacon Theatre last fall, will be on the road for most of Summer 2014 on tour. The "Jamalot Ever After" tour, as they're apparently calling it, will hit the NY area for a few shows, including two night's at Huntington, NY's Paramount Theatre on September 13 & 14. They'll also play Red Bank, NJ's Count Basie Theatre on September 3 & 4, Morristown, NJ's Mayo PAC on September 9 & 10, Ceasar's Atlantic City on September 12, and Wallingford, CT's Oakdale Theatre on September 16.
Tickets to the Paramount and Ceasar's Atlantic City go on sale Friday (4/18) at 10 AM with an AmEx and venue presale for the beginning Wednesday (4/16) at 10 AM. Tickets for Count Basie Theatre and Mayo PAC go on sale Friday at noon, and the Oakdale Theatre go on sale May 2 at 10 AM.
All tour dates are listed below...
Lonnie Holley at MHOW in 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Outsider artist Lonnie Holley, who we wrote about around the time of his shows with Deerhunter and Bill Callahan and who has made fans out of (and since collaborated with) Deerhunter's Bradford Cox and Black Lips' Cole Alexander, will return to NYC for two shows this week. First, he plays a night show on Tuesday (4/15) at Baby's All Right with no wave legend and experimental composer Arto Lindsay (of DNA and others), and Georgia. Georgia also joins Lonnie for his set, and maybe Arto will too? Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Other Music, which will turn 20 next year, will open at 10 AM for RSD. It doesn't quite have the room for in-store performances and shopping at the same time (like at Rough Trade), so they have up to this point just booked musicians as DJs. Lonnie's set will be the one actual live performance this year though. The rest of the day is DJs and the lineup includes Pop. 1280, Com Truise, Xeno & Oaklander, Pete Swanson, Matana Roberts and more. Full schedule is listed below.
Black Lips have been on tour since March in support of their new album Underneath the Rainbow (co-produced by Patrick Carney of fellow "black" band Black Keys). The leg with Natural Child kicks off in Richmond tonight (4/14) and hits NYC this week at Webster Hall on Thursday (4/17). Tickets for that show are still available, but we're also giving away a pair. Contest details and list of updated dates below.
Speaking of Black Keys, they just released the title track to their upcoming album, Turn Blue (whose artwork [above] happens to look a bit like Black Angels artwork). The record was produced by frequent collaborator Danger Mouse. The track premiered on Patrick Carney's SiriusXM show Serious Boredom, and you can stream it, along with with previous single "Fever" and the tracklist, below.
Black Lips and Black Angels also both play Austin Psych Fest.
words and photos by Joshua Ford
Upon his return home to Paris after the 2014 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN (and after touching down on four continents in just four weeks, a NYC show at Baby's All Right included), Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))), Nazoranai and countless other projects, graciously took some time to discuss his three performances at this exceptional U.S. festival with Joshua Ford.
Friday's lineup at Big Ears had O'Malley performing a solo set, focused on the volume/tone/drone aspects of his body of work most commonly associated with Sunn O))). On Saturday the festival reached critical mass at one o'clock am with O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi and Keiji Haino performing a smoldering improvisational set as Nazoranai (who play the Wick in Brooklyn on May 21). A scant nine hours later, at noon on Sunday, O'Malley and Ambarchi switched gears and performed two written compositions by modern composers Alvin Lucier and Iancu Dumitrescu.
FORD: How did your involvement with Big Ears come about? Was it the plan from square one to have you be involved in that capacity, on multiple days, and have you play three sets?
SOMA: We got an offer for Nazoranai to play, but at the time we didn't have any other things going on in the states, so it would have been very expensive to fly everyone over. I'm American but I live in Paris; flying myself from Europe, Mr. Haino from Japan and Oren from Australia to play one show is pretty expensive. You know, it's to the advantage of the festival to try and get more out of it. We all play in different formations, we're up for that, and it gives a chance to stay for the weekend. It kind of blossomed from there, and I'm really glad that happened.
by Bill Pearis
J&R's now-closed storefront (photo via @gr1fter)
J & R Music and Computer World, a mainstay music and electronics store in Lower Manhattan for 43 years, closed its doors on Wednesday to redesign its space on Park Row.While the brick and mortar storefront is closed, you can still order from J&R's website.
The move was foreshadowed in October, when the store scaled back its footprint between Ann and Beekman Streets. Once occupying eight buildings on those blocks totaling 300,000 square feet, the business was resized to five floors each at 1 Park Row and 15 Park Row. Rachelle Friedman, who with her husband, Joseph, opened J & R across from City Hall in 1971, acknowledged at the time that as part of the changes they were laying off some employees. - [NY Times]
J&R's record store was always a good place to go for Record Store Day items and was always my go-to place for tech stuff, though when I went to buy a headphone adapter there last summer the staff looked at me like I was crazy.
In happier news, Wrecords By Monkey, which makes jewelry, accessories and home products out of old vinyl records is opening a storefront, The Crate, at 304 Boerum St. in Bushwick. In addition to wares, they'll sell $1 used records and new vinyl from local musicians. The store has its Grand Opening on Saturday (4/19) which is Record Store Day:
We will be having an opening party for our new storefront The Crate on Saturday, April 19th from 12 to 9pm in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The party will have live silkscreening on reclaimed vinyl and a display of our newest collection. FREE beer, as well as DJ sets from APSPDR+ and Silent Rider and an exclusive after party from 7 to 9pm featuring DJ Codes. Limited tickets for the after party are available for free and can be picked up at the store starting at noon that day.Flyer for the opening party is below.
In other non-RSD record store news, The WFMU Record Fair returns from May 30 - June 1 at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. No word on special events and DJs yet. Stay tuned.
And before that we'll have the return of the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair on May 10 which this time is part of the Red Bull Music Academy, with DJ sets from Caroline Polachek, Autre Ne Veut, Tanlines and more.
by Andrew Sacher
Kelis at SXSW 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Kelis returned to the live stage at SXSW this year after three years off from touring, and the R&B/neo-soul singer has now announced a full (but brief) North American tour for this June. The tour brings her to NYC for a show on June 13 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (4/18) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (4/16) at noon. She also tours Europe before and after. All of her dates are listed below.
The tour is in support of her new album Food which comes out next week (4/22) via Ninja Tune. It's her first album on an independent label, following a decade-plus career of often-underrated pop (she's much more than "the girl who sang 'Milkshake'"), and was produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. The album is a huge departure from its predecessor, 2010's dance-pop Flesh Tone, instead coming closer to Erykah Badu's (neo) soul and the early '70s days of the genre too. You can hear the whole thing now on NPR. Also at 4 PM EST today (4/14), NPR will host an interview about the album and you can get involved on Twitter. Here's the details:
At 4 p.m. ET on Monday, April 14, we'll all hit play on this First Listen, and for an hour Kelis will take questions and tell stories on Twitter about creating an album that sounds like nothing we've heard from her before. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #AskKelisNPR and following @iamKelis and @NPRandB.Check out a new live video of "Friday Fish Fry" (performed on KCRW) off the new album, with the list of tour dates, below...
The NY Times ran a great profile of musician Robert Aaron who was busted with lots of heroin in his apartment after cops barged down the door looking for someone to pin Philip Seymour Hoffman's death on...
If drugs were a part of his evolution, they were not the center. For concert tours and a three-year residence in Paris, he said, he stopped using heroin without much difficulty. James Chance brought Mr. Aaron into his punk-funk band James White and the Blacks in 1981 and has worked with him ever since, taking him on tours of Europe and Japan. In all that time, he said, Mr. Aaron's drug use never interfered with his playing.Now out of jail on bail, Robert expects to still be crucified, but meanwhile has been playing some gigs including one with Chance. Read the whole thing at the NY Times.
"Not at all," Mr. Chance said. "He's always been a total professional. Robert's like the most versatile musician I've ever worked with."
Like other friends interviewed for this article, Mr. Chance spoke protectively of Mr. Aaron, whom he called "a real gentleman."
"There's a whole image that people get from the media about people who use narcotics, that they're completely crazy and unreliable," Mr. Chance said. "That's not necessarily true. There's a lot of people who are totally functional, and you would never know that they used anything. And Robert is one of them.
by Bill Pearis
Factory Floor are releasing "How You Say," originally on last year's terrific debut LP, as a single via two EPs this month. The first of those is out this week (4/15) and features a host of remixes by Invisible Conga People, Daniel Avery and Gunnar Haslam. This is the first we've heard from Invisible Conga People since their 12" on DFA back in 2011. Their remix makes its premiere in this post. Stream it, and check out the original's new video, below.
Meanwhile, Factory Floor just played Coachella yesterday (4/13) afternoon and will do so again this Sunday (4/20). Those appearances are part of the band's first North American tour, and that hits NYC on April 23 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets are still available. That show and the DC show are with Protect-U, who tour with Peaking Lights after.
One more thing, Factory Floor also recorded a KEXP session while in Seattle and you can stream that here. Updated tour dates, plus the remix premiere, are below...
The National at Beacon Theatre in 2011 (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
As discussed, The National are touring extensively this year and that tour already includes Celebrate Brooklyn shows at Prospect Park on June 17with Phosphorescent and 6/18 with Lord Huron. Both of those shows are listed as sold out, but the band have now added a third Prospect Park date happening on June 19 with MS MR. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (4/18) at noon with AmEx and National Fan presales starting Wednesday (4/16) at noon, and a Celebrate Brooklyn presale starting Thursday (4/17) at 10 AM.
Updated dates are listed below...