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NYC Pop Fest, Acrylics, Vaselines, Springfactory, Cake Shop, Spiral Beach & more in This Week in Indie

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Springfactory – On the Back of Your Bike (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Springfactory – Get Out of Bed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Tartans – The Cats of Camerford (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire – Horoscope (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire – Letter from a Voyage to Sweden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Liechtenstein – Roses in the Park (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Vaselines – Son of a Gurn (MP3)

Pop Fest

Firstly, an update on NYC Popfest which starts tonight (5/14) and runs through Sunday (5/17). Advance tickets are sold out for the Saturday (5/16) show with The Radio Dept., Pants Yell! and The Secret History at The Bell House, as has the all-day Sunday show at Cake Shop, though the latter should have tickets at the door. The good news is The Radio Dept. have been added to the Friday night (5/15) show at the Don Hill’s which already includes Sweden’s Liechtenstein, the spiffy pop of Finland’s Cats on Fire, L.A. band The Tartans and local boy Don Lennon. If you ask me, this is the unmissable show of the weekend. Tickets are still available through the Popfest website. Also, if you can’t make the show Friday, both Leichtenstien and Cats on Fire play Bruar Falls on Tuesday, May 19.

In other Popfest news, another Swedish band, Stockholm’s Springfactory, have been added to the free day show on Saturday at Cake Shop. There’s a couple MP3s of theirs to check out at the top of this post. The fest kicks off tonight with an all-locals show at Cake Shop featuring Knight School, Soft City, Dream Bitches, The Metric Mile, My Teenage Stride and the Ballet. Full Popfest lineup is at the bottom of this post and there are loads more MP3s from just about all the bands HERE.


There’s lots of other non-Popfest stuff going on this weekend, much of it making me wish I could be in two places at once. Cameo Gallery tonight (5/14) plays host to two Dirty on Purpose offshoots: Joe and the Flying Spoons which is guitarist Joe Jurewicz country-tinged outfit that features a chorus of girl backup singers; and Pursesnatchers which is drummer Doug Marvin’s solo project that is the closest in sound of any of the DoP splinter groups to the original. Also on the bill: awesome duo Sisters who I’ve written about recently and were runners up in this year’s L Magazine thing; and Acrylics who make lovely synthy pop not dissimilar to The Rosebuds. The three songs on Acrylics’ MySpace are all quite good, definitely worth checking out whether you plan on hitting this show or not.

Cake Shop

Cake Shop is celebrating its four-year anniversary this month with a series of special-event Saturdays. This Saturday’s (5/16) seems especially special: an ADD-friendly marathon of 16 bands playing four songs each (natch), with different drink specials in between each band. And it’s only $4 to get in. The party kicks off with Knight School at 8PM and finishes with Moonmen on the Moon, Man (supposedly from San Diego but who look suspiciously like Cake Shop owners and staff) around 1AM if they stay on schedule. In between, My Teenage Stride, The Beets, Boy Genius, Air Waves and more will get their 15 minutes. Check out the flyer below for the full list of bands and set times. This sounds like a blast.

Spiral Beach
Spiral Beach

I should also mention that Toronto’s Spiral Beach are in town this weekend playing three shows: Tonight (5/14) at Death by Audio, and two shows on Friday (5/15): an early one at Fontana’s, and then a house show at 265 Mikibbin St in Bushwick. Spiral Beach opened for Sloan at Bowery Ballroom a couple years ago and I wrote at the time: “I don’t even know how to describe them. They’re a bit like the Coral or the Zutons, by way of Oingo Boingo (minus the horns). Psychotic circus music?” They were a lot of fun. The band’s 2007 album, Ball, just getting released in the U.S.

The Vaselines

And last but not least… The Vaselines! They play Sunday (5/17) at Bowery Ballroom (with Woods) and tickets are still available; Monday’s (5/18) show at at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Adam Green is sold out. The band played Seattle on Tuesday and The Finest Kiss had this to say:

Seeing the Vaselines last night was like sex on the second date. The first date was last summer at Sub Pop 20 festival. Their set at Marymoor Park last July was just about perfect with Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee’s sexually tinged funny stage banter and even better harmonies, they were easily the highlight of that perfect summer afternoon. After a first date that goes so well, you always kind of prepare yourself for a letdown on date number two. You start to see the imperfections, maybe a few wrinkles or a bald spot. The Vaselines may have their imperfections, but I’m still blinded by lust to really notice any of them. Francis joked saying that you may think you’re at the wrong gig if you’re looking for the people on the poster, referring to the much younger looking Vaselines that adorned the advertising for the show. They also tried to explain their long absence with wild stories of Eugene becoming a Hare Krishna, explaining his lack of hair, and Frances’s time in prison for allegedly getting facials with underage boys…

The better sounding Vaselines is probably due to the band being better musicians than they were 20 years ago. Even though they sounded less ragged, they still have the attitude and humor that made them so special in the first place. There is no way that anyone at this gig went home disappointed from this gig, besides sounding great, they played every single one of their songs and even graced us with two brand new ones.

The band’s classic compilation, The Way of the Vaselines, just got reissued on Sub Pop as a two-CD/3-platter-vinyl deluxe edition, now retitled Enter the Vaselines and it’s just essential. And go see them if you can.

Flyers, videos, tour dates and the full popfest schedule after the jump…


Cake Shop

Cake Shop

Cats on Fire – “Tears in Your Cup”


Thursday May 14th
Venue: Cake Shop

Knight School (NYC)
Soft City (NYC)
Dream Bitches (NYC)
The Metric Mile (NYC)
My Teenage Stride (NYC)

* * * * * * * * * *

Friday May 15th
Venue: Don Hills

Don Lennon (NYC)
The Tartans (CA)
Liechtenstein (SWEDEN)

+ Mondo Indie Dance Party

* * * * * * * * * *

Saturday Afternoon FREE show!
Saturday May 16th
Venue: Cake Shop

Hidden Ghost Balloon Ship (MI)
The 1959 Hat Company (OH)
Strega (NYC)
Springfactory (SWEDEN)

* * * * * * * * * *

Saturday May 16th
Venue: Bell House

Computer Perfection (MI)
Eux Autres (CA)
The Secret History (NYC)
Pants Yell! (MA)

* * * * * * * * * *

Sunday All-Dayer
Sunday May 17th

Venue: Cake Shop

Steve Goldberg (PA)
Boy Genius (NYC)
A Faulty Chromosome (TX)
Very Truly Yours (IL)
The Smittens (VT)
Rose Melberg (CANADA)
Afternoon Naps (OH)
The Drums (FL)
The Icicles (MI)
Casper and the Cookies (GA)
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names (SWEDEN)

Moonmen on the Moon, Man – Cake Shop’s 3rd Anniversary, 2007

Spiral Beach

Spiral Beach – Voodoo

Spiral Beach – 2009 U.S. Tour Dates
May 14 – Brooklyn, NY – Death By Audio (all ages)
May 15 – New York City, NY – Fontana’s (21+ early show)
May 15 – Brooklyn, NY – 265 McKibbin St, unit #210 (all ages)
May 16 – Philadelphia, PA – 5507 Locust St (all ages)
May 17 – Providence, RI – AS220 (all ages)

The Vaselines – “New Song” – Neumo’s Seattle, 5.12.2009

Vaselines – 2009 Tour Dates
Friday, May 15 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto Canada
Saturday, May 16 – Metro, Chicago IL
Sunday, May 17 – Bowery Ballroom, The, New York City NY
Monday, May 18 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY
Thursday, May 28 – Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona Spain

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