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by Andrew Sacher

Jungle

London's Jungle released their debut EP, The Heat, earlier this year, and though the sounds on it have been around for decades, they're delivered in a way that's entirely of the moment. Production-wise, Jungle operate in a very post-James Blake way, but unlike most artists for whom that descriptor applies, there's a real vintage-ness here, recalling the period of funk and soul just as those genres started transitioning into disco. They've got Marvin Gaye croons, Chic basslines, and sharp Earth Wind & Fire falsettos, but you can't even call those artists "out of style" when you consider records like Channel Orange and Random Access Memories are some of the most talked about albums of late. Jungle do the sound well too; each track on their four-song EP is a winner. Check out the video for the title track, and stream the other three, below.

Jungle will be crossing the Atlantic in 2014 to make their US debut in Austin for SXSW. No other North American dates have been announced at the moment, but stay tuned.

Video and streams below...

Continue reading "Jungle released their debut EP, making US debut at SXSW (video & streams)"

Polica @ Radio City Music Hall in September (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Polica

Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...

Polica, Marijuana Death Squad @ Webster Hall
Polica's blend of folk-style songwriting with indie pop and R&B aesthetics is as great live as it is on record. They were recently here opening for The xx, but now you can catch them at a headlining show, as they taken on Webster Hall.

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival
Tonight's the first full night of the multi-venue Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (last night was the pre-show), and though all the shows should be great, our show of choice tonight is the one at Music Hall of Williamsburg which features one half of TNGHT, Lunice, Yeezus contributor Evian Christ, and upcoming rapper Rockie Fresh. Other BEMF shows include Erika, BMG, Souffront, Patrick Russell, Mike Servito, Bryan Kasenic @ 285 Kent Avenue, Sliink, Nadus, DJ Reck, Ezrakh, DJ Slow @ Glasslands, Letherette @ Villain and John Digweed, Naveen G, Mario Basanov, Nicholas Matar @ Output.

Mick Turner, Mike Wexler, Matteah Baim @ Union Pool
Dirty Three guitarist (among other things), Mick Turner, is set to release his new solo album, Don't Tell the Driver, on November 19 via Drag City which was recorded over the last four years, is a concept record and being described as a "post rock opera."

Os Mutantes, Capsula @ Le Poisson Rouge
Brazilian psychedelic legends Os Mutantes play tonight with fellow South American band Capsula.

Twin Peaks, Drowners, Gang of Youths @ Baby's All Right
Chicago's glammy garage rockers Twin Peaks played MHOW last night with Born Ruffians and tonight headline here (formerly listed as "Laura Palmers" and "Secret Guest"). This is also another chance to catch prettyboy pop-rock combo Drowners. Late night, Pearl Necklace's Bryce Hackford will DJ.

Widowspeak, Pure Bathing Culture, Spires @ Bowery Ballroom
Widowspeak just released a new EP, The Swamps, last week which offers up more of their spooky, whispery sounds. Tonight's show also features synthy Vetiver side project Pure Bathing Culture and Spires' paisley-colored pop.

The Low Anthem, Robert Ellis, Grandchildren @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
The Brooklyn Night Bazaar is now open with free shows every weekend, and tonight's is from indie folk collective The Low Anthem. Robert Ellis, who's also on the bill, opened for Deer Tick in NYC last night.

Sinead O'Connor @ City Winery
This is the first of three sold-out shows at City Winery for the Irish singer.

The Business, The Welch Boys, 45 Adapters @ Mercury Lounge
UK Oi vets The Business play tonight, which could get wild like it did in 2011.

Sleeping Bag, Shark?, Rozwell Kid, Porches @ Silent Barn
This is a good bill, especially for anthemic Brooklyn garage rockers Shark? and the Exploding In Sound-signed Porches. Porches are about to release a split with LVL UP on 11/26 via Birdtapes/Double Double Whammy, and you can stream both sides of that below.

Tombs @ Saint Vitus in April (more by Caroline Harrison)
IMAGE


Tombs, Primitive Weapons, Empty Flowers, Anicon @ Saint Vitus
This is a great local metal bill, including two big hitters: the atmospheric Tombs and the post-harcore-leaning Primitive Weapons.

Hard Nips, Mean Creek, Life Size Maps, Haybaby, Butterscotch Stanley @ Shea Stadium
All-girl Japanese punk band Hard Nips, who are a lot of fun live, headline this overall good line-up of local acts.

Lucero, Titus Andronicus, The Menzingers @ Terminal 5
Fans of punk-tinged heartland rock/folk rock and vice versa shouldn't miss this show, because all three bands expertly deliver that sound.

Sunset Guns, Typefighter, Heeney, Black Mountain Revival @ The Grand Victory
The band we're most looking forward to on this bill is Typefighter, who make very good post-Weezer power pop.

Tiers, Dead Leaf Echo, The Harrow @ Cake Shop
Coldwave duo (and Cult of Youth-related) Tiers have their record release party which also features superior local shoegazers Dead Leaf Echo.

Polar Bear Club, Citizen, Diamond Youth, Sainthood Reps @ The Studio at Webster Hall
Polar Bear Club has taken out some pretty great openers for this tour, including the anthemic emo-punks Citizen, power poppers Diamond Youth, and post-hardcore rippers Sainthood Reps.

GAG, Shoxx, Goosebumps, Pleasure Industry, IVY @ Fitness
Olympia's GAG chug away with a heavier, thicker, and darker take on the kind of power chord riffage that's been in punk's repertoire since the earliest days of hardcore, and they've got a seriously maniacal vocalist. See what you're in for via the live video embedded below. This is also the last-ever show for Shoxx (whose drummer Elser Nino is also now in Merchandise), and local punk band Goosebumps are always worth catching too.

NY Comedy Festival
The 10th annual NY Comedy Fest is underway and tonight's shows include Maria Bamford, Bill Burr, and Charlie Murphy.

China Crisis @ Iridium
Liverpool's China Crisis took the '70s yacht rock aesthetic and brought it into the age of mid-'80s New Romantics. Their glossy pop still sounds pretty good today.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.

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Continue reading "What's going on Friday? (Polica, BEMF, Widowspeak, Twin Peaks, China Crisis, Os Mutantes, Mick Turner, Porches, more)"

photos by Dylan Johnson, words by Bree Roberts

Black Lips
Black Lips

Black Lips, and their documentary, are on tour, and the band played a show at Music Hall Of Williamsburg on Monday November 4th with Subsonics and Weird Womb, before hitting up Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday 5th November with Tweens and Habibi. Pictures from the Manhattan show are in this post, but I was at the one in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn punks Weird Womb opened the show. They amused the crowd with their self-deprecating humor and between song quips, "Lets do Four Loko and Five Hour Energy drinks- it's a Four By Five!", but singer Dakota seemed mostly keen to just get off stage. This made more sense later, as I learned the guitarist had no voice and should have been at home drinking lemon tea.

Described as "the best band in Atlanta" by the Black Lips-and chosen for this show and others on the tour by the band specifically for that reason- Subsonics, who remind me a little of the always awesome 'The Gories', came out like a surf punk garage noir dream, and rocked it out for their whole set. My personal favorite band for the night, Subsonics killed it with songs from their new release 'In The Black Spot' (Slovenly Recordings)- 'Too Damaged' rocked, as did the older hit "Frankenstein". Singer Clay Reed was definitely channeling the late Lou Reed a little tonight with his vocals and stance, and the crowd was more than receptive. Subsonics have been around since the early 90s and hopefully with more exposure will gain the recognition they so clearly deserve.

The venue packed to capacity as the Black Lips came on stage. The last time I saw them was Halloween 2011 at Webster Hall with Puerto Rican rockers Davila 666- who are no longer active. I don't remember much of that shit show, because I was wasted like most of everyone else I know that was in attendance (including the bands) - but from what I recall- they played technically better tonight. 'Dirty Hands' was a bright light sing along for the entire room, and 'Bad Kids' will always be a crowd surfing highlight. Even the fluffy haired, leopard print fur coated Bebe Buell copycat groupies that were endlessly pushing in front of me knew the lyrics to that one. The only criticism with Black Lips is that they keep getting better, smoother, more shiny- less Black Lips! The stage antics they built their reputation on are over. Black Lips are all grown up now, ironically on Vice Records, and in case you didn't notice- Vice is all grown up now too. The old school antics are gone. They're Beastie Boys gone from talking about your Right To Party to talking about Buddhism. I'm not hating, everyone needs to pay their bills. As a reviewer though; it does make for a less interesting show. Nobody got their dick out, nobody pee-ed, it was post-garage punk by numbers; delightfully inoffensive rocknroll. Very "nice"- your mom would have loved it. I quite liked it too.

More pictures from the Bowery show, wild crowd included, below...

Continue reading "Black Lips played Manhattan with Tweens & Habibi (pics), Brooklyn with Subsonics & Weird Womb (review)"

inside Vinyl Fantasy (photo by Lauren Carol Smith)
Vinyl Fantasy

Rough Trade NYC, the new Academy Records Annex and Captured Tracks shop in Greenpoint aren't the only new record stores Brooklyn's getting this fall. Vinyl Fantasy recently opened on 194 Knickerbocker Ave in Bushwick, selling mostly (in their words) classic rock, jazz, and blues records, and they plan on stocking comic books soon too. From the looks of their Facebook, they recently got in Public Image Ltd's 'Metal Box', and for what it's worth, there looks to be Melvins and Sleep posters on their wall (above).

The store also hosts a monthly art opening with a different featured artist each month. The next one happens on November 15 with Jo Rigol.

Williswmburg

Gawker has posed the question we've all (or nobody has) been wondering: "What's the Williamsburg of Your City? Responses so far include:

"Isn't Williamsburg just full of non-arty assholes now though? It has douchey thump-thump nightclubs and drunk guys yelling "Greg! Did you fuck her?" at one another down the street."
Another says:
"Chicago. Wicker Park is Williamsburg and Logan Square is Bushwick... Although Logan Square is probably just past the development tipping point and is giving way to places like Pilsen & Avondale for the poor cool kids."
And:
"in Austin, I'd say that Eastside is our Williamsburg. I could of course kill the hipness if I were to move there. :-)"
And:
I'd say in Philly that "Fishtown" is where you will find the most amount of people sporting thick-rimmed glasses and flannel shirts. The Barbary is probably you go to place for a hipster-scum dance party.
and more fun ones like:
Williamsburg is the biggest neighborhood in Brooklyn, it has a lot of different sub types of douche. There's still hipster douche, the burgeoning waterfront banker douche, and even the longstanding Hasidic douche.
Get in on the conversation at Gawker, or just check out the new guest-filled Yoko Ono video, below...

Continue reading "Gawker commenters debating "What's the Williamsburg of Your City?" (and "what's its Bushwick?")"

photos by Chris Tuite

Johnny Marr @ The Fillmore
Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr performed "The Right Thing Right" from his solo album, The Messenger on Conan on 11/5, four days after his North American tour with Meredith Sheldon (ALAMAR), which started on Halloween in Anaheim, hit The Fillmore in San Francisco, a show we have pictures from in this post. There's more of them below with the video from Conan too.

Johnny's next tour stop is Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin this weekend. NYC gets a show at Webster Hall on November 16 and tickets are still available. If you're going and want to keep the Smiths vibes going, save your ticket stub for an afterparty at Knitting Factory where your ticket will get you $5 off a ticket to see Morrissey/Smiths tribute band The Sons and Heirs play. You can also then yell, "That's not how Johnny Marr played 'Panic' earlier tonight!!!" If you want to be a jerk.

Dates, pictures and setlist from The Fillmore, and Conan video, below...

Continue reading "Johnny Marr on tour, played Conan & The Fillmore (pics, setlist, video); Sons & Heirs play NYC afterparty"

out of context photo VIA...
nazis

"Neo-Nazi music is a pervasive problem in Germany. Government officials say the songs aid recruitment of young people into extremist groups. But officials say banning such music to protect Germany's young people isn't as easy as it once was because musicians are increasingly sly about what they put out." [NPR]

The National at Barclays Center in June (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The National

St. Vincent is the latest artist to review a record on Michael Azerrad's website The Talkhouse. Her target? The new Arcade Fire:

Google search #1: Madonna "Like a Virgin" bass sound.
(The bass sound on "We Exist" vaguely reminded me of Madonna's 1984 classic Like a Virgin.)
Result: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
(Unconfirmed and will likely need to follow Nile Rodgers on Twitter and hope he @replies to my query directly.)

Unsatisfied, I contacted Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire drummer) and asked what they'd used for the bass. Turns out it was NOT a Prophet but a Korg MS-20 -- the vintage kind, not a new one or Reason, nerds! He even sent me a picture of the exact one! I was glad to have one pressing matter settled, but I continued down a Madonna rabbit hole and downloaded The Immaculate Collection. No "Oh Father"?????? Grievous oversight, Sire Records.

Related search: Is Seymour Stein still alive?
Result: Yes.

"FLASHBULB EYES" IS SUPER SICK AND DUBBY! KING TUBBY?! KING DUBBY?! AM I THE ONLY NON-STONED PERSON TO EVER MAKE THAT PUN?

Google search #2: Very-tall-men-fronted rock*^ bands
(Related: Glenn Danzig height)
*Co-fronted! No disrespect, Regine!
^Catch-all term for music in 2013 featuring at least one guitar
Results: Turns out Bryan Ferry isn't even that tall: 6'1". Some people just seem tall. Also Joey Ramone. (Apple autocorrected this to "ram one" -- usually so puritanical, Apple! Loosening your tie or was that a Joel Osteen-esque slip-up?)

Okay, so maybe "review" is a stretch in this case, but whatever St. Vincent wrote about the album and/or her Google searches is quite a read.

In other St. Vincent news, she is part of the recently-released Boardwalk Empire soundtrack, which also features Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith, and Matt Berninger of The National (among others), and can be streamed HERE.

And speaking of The National songs on soundtracks, after contributing a song to Game of Thrones last year, they now appear on the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack along with Patti Smith, Antony, The Weeknd, and more. The soundtrack will be out on November 19 via Lionsgate/Republic and you can stream The National's contribution, "Lean," now, below...

Continue reading "The National release new song for Hunger Games soundtrack (listen); St. Vincent reviews new Arcade Fire (read)"

by Doug Moore

Majeure

You may recall that Japanese post-rock stalwarts Mono are briefly touring North America later this month. Joining them for much of their tour will be the one-man electronic music act Majeure. Majeure is the side(ish) project of Zombi drummer A.E. Paterra. As with Zombi, Majeure's music is a mix of electronics and live musicianship, though its one-man format shifts the emphasis towards synths and sequencing. The same basic stylistic ingredients are at play: '70s-era film score music, 20th-century minimalism, and Can-style krautrock.

Majeure will release the followup to his 2012 album, Solar Maximum, with a new EP, Romance Language, on November 12 via Temporary Residence. A full stream of the EP premieres in this post, and if you like what you can hear, you can preorder it here. Listen below. The rest of Majeure's quickly-growing catalog is also available on Bandcamp.

As discussed, Mono's tour, with Majeure in tow, hits NYC on November 18 at Le Poisson Rouge. TIckets for that show are still available. All upcoming dates are listed, along with the EP stream, below...

Continue reading "Majeure releasing new EP (stream it), touring w/ Mono (dates)"

Ex Hex

When we booked Mary Timony's new band Ex Hex back to back with Mac McCaughan of Superchunk (who also happens to be the co-founder of Merge Records), we knew it was a BV-CMJ match made in heaven (not to mention Mary's other band Wild Flag is signed to Merge), but we didn't know the extent of it...

I guess Mac really liked their set, because Merge just announced they've signed Ex Hex too! Merge writes:

We are delighted to announce the addition of Ex Hex to the Merge roster. Hailing from Washington, DC, Ex Hex is Mary Timony, Betsy Wright, and Laura Harris.

On the occasion of Ex Hex signing to Merge, Mary contributed the following information about the band:
Ex Hex is what your older brother's friends listened to. "Roxy Roller" and "Virginia Plain" rumbling from the Kenwood in the basement.
It's what your babysitters listened to, and it's what stuck with me.
Ex Hex is a power trio: guitar, drums, and bass.
We are thrilled to have found a home at Merge.

Ex Hex will release their debut album in 2014, and a tour is in the works including the SXSW Festival in March.

Mary adds:
I first met Mac and Laura in 1993 when Helium was playing shows with Superchunk; it's hard to believe that was twenty years ago! 
 
Merge is an iconic label with a roster full of artists that I admire and I'm so psyched that Ex Hex is on board!
Congrats to Ex Hex and Merge. Read more about the BV-CMJ show HERE. Watch a video from their set below..

Continue reading "Ex Hex signs to Merge!"

Thalia Zedek

Thalia Zedek reunited with her old band Come and released her first new solo album since 2008 earlier this year. Now, before the year ends, she'll be doing a few more Northeast dates including one in NYC on December 12 at Mercury Lounge with O13. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (11/8) at noon. All dates are listed below.

Thalia recently spoke about what it was like reuniting with Come in an interview with Color Is Its Own Reward:

It was really incredible to be able to do that; we were so lucky! I think the thing that really took me by surprise was how incredibly comfortable and confidant I felt playing with Sean, Arthur and Chris. I NEVER worried about having a bad show, it just felt like I was surfing or something, they were the wave and all I had to do was not fall off my board. It felt really, really great!

Your live shows are incendiary and I am constantly amazed by the amount of passion that you muster, especially when you put so much physically into your performance. What do you enjoy about the live experience?

The live experience is really what it's all about for me. Music is a "performing art" and it's a tribal and communal activity in every culture the world over. I feel things when I'm performing that I never feel when I'm recording or rehearsing.

All upcoming dates are listed, along with a video, below...

Continue reading "Thalia Zedek playing shows in December (dates)"

Built to Spill at BV-SXSW 2012 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Built to Spill

Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...

James Blake, Nosaj Thing @ Terminal 5
Mercury Prize winner James Blake returns to NYC for his second two-night run at Terminal 5 of 2013 tonight. If you haven't seen him yet, don't let his downtempo sounds fool you into thinking it'll be a boring show; even in a live setting James has been anything but. Nosaj Thing opens and is worth catching too. This is night 2.

Deer Tick, Robert Ellis @ Webster Hall
Twangy bar rockers Deer Tick always bring a beers-raised good time, and with their fifth album Negativity out now, they've got plenty of material to choose from (and they're not too shy to throw in a few covers either).

Skream, MK, Oneman, Curses, Route 94 @ Output (BEMF pre-party)
The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival starts tomorrow, but tonight there's a pre-show at Output (which doubles as their weekly INPUT party) headlined by dubstep pioneer Skream. The openers aren't too shabby either, especially including Detroit house vet MK.

Fat History Month, Celestial Shore, Krill, Palehound @ Death by Audio
This is a great all-around bill for indie rock fans with the fuzz-folky Fat History Month, mathy indie pop band Celestial Shore, eccentric rockers Krill, and noisy singer/songwriter Palehound.

Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Anasazi, Koward @ 538 Johnson
Hank Wood and the Hammerheads combine organ-filled garage rock with furious, classic-style hardcore punk, and it makes for some super-fun live shows. NYC's intense, gothy post-punks Anasazi are not to miss either, and for Boston hardcore band Koward, this is their first NYC show in two years.

B-52s @ Brooklyn Bowl
These new wave survivors remain basically a party in a can, and they'll be popping the top tonight.

John Hodgman @ Union Hall
Erudite funnyman John Hodgman has one of his "Secret Society" shows tonight. Clearly the secret is out -- it's sold out.

Built To Spill, Slam Dunk, The Warm Hair @ Irving Plaza
Buit to Spill are kings of jammy music for people who don't like jammy music, courtesy three of the '90s greatest indie rock albums.

Born Ruffians, Twin Peaks @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Canadians rock outfit Born Ruffians are currently touring in support of new album Birthmarks. If you're going tonight, do get there early to see Chicago's punky/catchy Twin Peaks.

Federico Aubele, Leif Vollebekk @ Littlefield
Argentine singer-songwriter Federico Aubele blends dub, ambient, tango and other genres into a sound all his own; Canadian Leif Vellebekk falls a little more into traditional singer-songerwriter territory.

Lazy, The Hairs, Lame Drivers @ Cake Shop
Kansas City group Lazy do not sound like their name, making speed-fueled, melodic punk that might've fit in the early-'80s LA scene. They're playing with punkish locals Lame Drivers and The Hairs.

Slava, Phedre, Rioux, Rimar @ 285 Kent
This installment of the multi-sensory electronic music party Connect includes schizophrenic producer Slava, experimental indie duo Phedre (mems. Doldrums and Hooded Fang), psychedelic dance producer Rioux, and funky chillwaver Rimar.

Rudimental @ Bowery Ballroom
UK dance four-piece Rudimental are bringing their pop-house party to NYC for two sold-out nights this week. Tonight is the second.

Ital, Shumi, Nooka Jones @ Bossa Nova Civic Club
Ital has his roots in abrasive punk bands, and though that may not come across in the electronic music of his current project, it does when he delivers on stage and never settles for being a standstill knob-turner.

Tod Seelie's 'Bright Nights' book party w/ Japanther, The So So Glos, Unstoppable Death Machines, Ken South Rock, Amour Obscur @ Silent Barn
This is a party for Tod Seelie's new book Bright Nights, which documents 14 years of photographing the undersides of New York City life, with a bunch of local rock bands, which should make for a pretty good time.

Heliotropes, Flown, Black Lagoon, Beech Creeps @ Acheron
Fuzzy NYC rockers Heliotropes got their debut album out earlier this year, and continue to do a ton of local shows. Tonight they're at Brooklyn punk club Acheron.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.

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Follow @bvChicago for just Chicago stuff.
Also follow @bvAustin for just Austin stuff.

Be our friend on Facebook too, and BV Austin's friend on Facebook and BV Chicago's friend on Facebook.

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What else?

photos by James Richards IV

Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck at the House of Blues on 10.29.2013
brian-wilson-12
jeff-beck-1

Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck, who just finished touring together, recently played House of Blues last Tuesday (10/29). Wilson performed a variety of songs from the Beach Boys' discography, and even had Beck join him on stage for a couple of tunes. Pictures from that show are in this post.

More photos from House of Blues, and setlists, below...

Continue reading "Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck played House of Blues (pics, setlist)"

by Doug Moore

Vastum

A few years back, people talked about "the old-school death metal revival" as though it were a transient movement that would pass relatively quickly, like the thrash revival. It's pretty clear now that this niche style is here to stay; new-ish bands in the vein have produced some of the best metal albums of 2013.

Vastum's new album Patricidal Lust is among them. We premiered the San Franciscan troupe's first LP in full over at Invisible Oranges this morning; we also caught up with the band for a short interview about the process behind the album and their unconventional lyrics. Here's an excerpt:

Typically when it comes to sexual depravity in lyrics, black metal bands have sort of cornered the market on serious, real-life darkness, while death metal bands have often been stuck riffing on post-"Fucked With A Knife" tropes. Patricidal Lust is certainly sexually explicit, but it's darker than just about anything I've heard. What was the impetus behind taking this lyrical approach?

Daniel: I tend to distinguish between erotic and sexual, "sexual" being an invention of late nineteenth-century human sciences. So there is a kind of dialectic between the sexual and the erotic in that we are sexed through language and culture, that we are in a sense violated by language, involuntarily submitted to it, which is an intrusion, a penetration; but that there is an excess that is not contained by the sexual and this excess is the erotic. This is horrifying beyond representation. It is the nameless and faceless dread that trumps any kind of horror one can experience directly. Only an indirect approach, an oblique one, captures this kind of horror -- and even then this horror is only captured in the negative, in something that is not, something repudiated and impossible to integrate, something that resists symbolization. I think that Lori Bravo evokes this phenomenon in some of her lyrics; there are explicitly sexual themes that cannot be contained by the sexual and spill over into the bizarre, the unknowable, the mystical, and the erotic.

Leila: For me, images of perversion are expressed not in isolation but are embedded within a larger context of an experience that is indescribable, confusing, or difficult to put into words. These images are just hints, or flashes of the larger horror moving invisibly in the darkness.

Heady stuff. You can read the full interview at IO. Vastum don't have any live dates lined up, as the band underwent considerable member turnover during the album's recording, but they reportedly plan to get back into the live realm soon.

Stream Patricidal Lust in full below...

Continue reading "Vastum streaming new LP (read an interview with them too)"

by Jonathan Dick

Lucero @ Terminal 5 (more by Mike Lerner)
Terminal 5

Memphis, Tennessee's Lucero are as much country as they are punk, or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, the band's sound since their inception in 1998 has evolved along with their fans who are devoted to the refusal to be compartmentalized as the band is themselves. Lucero's latest, Texas & Tennessee, saw the band sidestep the more involved sounds of previous releases without sacrificing the core element of songwriting that continues to underscore their signature sound. On tour now with Titus Andronicus, they return to Terminal 5 in NYC this Friday, November 8th, with Titus and The Menzingers for what is sure to be a great show. I had the opportunity to talk to vocalist/guitarist Ben Nichols about his writing process, appreciating his roots, and how he hopes this Terminal 5 show won't be like the last.

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My first question just concerns the formation of Lucero, Ben, and how you've seen the band evolve since then.

Ben: We started in '98 or something like that. Actually, our first show was in April of '98. There's definitely been an evolution over those fifteen years. We started off trying to go against the grain and playing these punk rock shows and just playing the quietest, slowest, saddest music possible. It was mainly just me and Brian Venable, the guitar player, who started the band. Then we had Roy and John, and we became a drunken rock n' roll band pretty fast after that. Then we hit the road, and yeah...we were quite possibly a too drunken rock n' roll band. There were some dark years in the middle there. Actually, for the last six years, we've had Rick Steff on the piano, and we added a horn section for a couple of records. That kind of brought us out of the darkness. As far as me, personally, is concerned...it made me really enjoy playing music again. The touring had kind of just worn me down, but adding those extra elements and those instruments - that really got me excited about the band again. With the last two records it's evolved into this...I don't know...the Memphis sound and the Memphis roots, we've definitely tapped into those sources a little more than we did in the past. We're kind of more comfortable with being a Memphis band. I think we're more comfortable showing where we're from a little bit and letting those roots show. Now we're this rock n' roll soul band. I don't know. I'm not sure what the hell we are [laughs]. There's still some country songs. Actually, the next record will probably be fairly countryish. It's a big ol' mess of fifteen years that's tough to remember.

continued below...

Continue reading "an interview with Ben Nichols of Lucero (who are on tour with Titus Andronicus now, playing Terminal 5... again)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

MIA @ T5 11/4/2012
MIA

MIA's new album, Matangi, came out this week. Surrounding that, Maya talked with NPR where she explained a little about the album title (Matangi is the Hindu goddess of music), which also relates to her troubles with a certain "offensive gesture" during the 2012 Superbowl that she now claims was actually a Hindu hand gesture:

It's the Matangi mudra... in America you have gang signs, and people throw up initials and stuff like that. Well, 5,000 years ago, there was thing called a mudra, which is your sitting position when you do yoga or you're meditating or praying or whatever. And you have different ones based on what you're meditating over. There's not a lot of them that are named after gods and goddesses, but the middle finger is specifically named Matangi -- the Matangi mudra.
NPR followed that, basically, with a "really?" to which Maya replied, "Yes. Do you like that? (Laughing) It's good, isn't it?."

MIA was just in NYC for two shows at Terminal 5 and an appearance at the YouTube Music Awards. We already posted a set of her first T5 show (11/1) and now we've got a set from her second show at the venue which happened on Monday (11/4) in this post, plus bigger versions of some of these photos up on Facebook. After those shows, MIA then played an invite-only affair in Bushwick last night (11/5) presented by SPIN and the Soho House. Did anybody go to that?

More pics from Monday's T5 show, including a few of openers Partysquad, below...

Continue reading "MIA says Superbowl middle finger was a Hindu hand gesture, played Terminal 5 again (and a party in Bushwick) -- pics"

by Doug Moore

Ihsahn is one of the most influential musicians to emerge from the Norwegian black metal scene of the early '90s. His best-known band, Emperor, were among the first to introduce keyboards to the style. (For better or for worse; you can make a strong case that no BM band has used keyboards as effectively since.) Since Emperor's dissolution in 2001, Ihsahn has become one of the most prolific and well-regarded solo artists in the metal world. Since 2006, he's released five solo albums under his own name, all while juggling occasional Emperor-reunion live appearances.

We interviewed him over at Invisible Oranges today. The interviewed touched on his recently-released new album Das Seelenbrechen, the crazy-fast pace at which he works, and his uncomfortable relationship with the black metal scene. Here's an excerpt:

Well, if you're bringing up Emperor -- let me get the boring question out of the way -- what are the odds I will get to see an Emperor show here in America?

I'm sorry to say that will probably not happen, no. It's impractical due to who is in the band and who can get a visa.

But you've also only played two solo shows in the US, while you're about to play three in Japan. Why not more?

It's so difficult to do all the paperwork and get a working visa for everyone involved. I assure you it's more tedious than getting everyone to Japan. It's so hard to get promoters to pay for petitions and file work for visas back and forth through the embassy. You wouldn't believe it. For the most part I've been doing European shows, but not even that many of them. The shows I've played in the US in the past both as Emperor and Peccatum, and recently with ProgPower and Maryland Deathfest, have been a great time, but I'm one person and I mainly stick to festivals for the sake of priorities. Japan is streamlined, because they're all very small businesses, and easy to work with. It's easy to go and play three shows in three days.

That light touring schedule must enable you to keep making these solo records so quickly.

Yes, for me that is the priority, but I've come to enjoy playing live again, very much thanks to the people I've been working with. Leprous is very professional -- no drinking, no partying. I trust them, and they always come through. My tour manager is fantastic. Everything is in order on that front. But it's my priority to spend my time in the studio writing new music and producing music for others. I actually have some projects coming up where I will be doing more production work.

It's been less than two years since Emerita. That's a very rapid release.

It made sense because this is kind of a different album. I didn't think waiting two years and then releasing something as far-fetched as this, and then waiting another two years before maybe a more metal-oriented album. It just made sense to do this quite shortly after. Most of the time, I try to focus on every second year releasing an album. It just fits my schedule to do it like that. Inspiration wise, I don't feel I've run out yet, particularly not now that I've been able to do something so different. Now, I have a lot of time for the next one already.


You can check out the rest of the interview over at IO. Das Seelenbrechen is out now via Candlelight records. It's available digitally via Bandcamp or on CD.

Stream the entire album below...

Continue reading "Ihsahn (ex-Emperor) released a new album (stream it and read an interview)"

Laurie and Lou (more by Chris La Putt)
Laurie & Lou

Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed only met in 1992, believe it or not, and didn't actually get married until 2008 but had been a couple since almost the very start. Laurie gave a short eulogy to their local paper, the East Hampton Star, but has now given a longer tribute to her husband, who died on October 27, that will appear in the November 21 issue of Rolling Stone (which has Reed on the cover):

I guess there are lots of ways to get married. Some people marry someone they hardly know - which can work out, too. When you marry your best friend of many years, there should be another name for it. But the thing that surprised me about getting married was the way it altered time. And also the way it added a tenderness that was somehow completely new. To paraphrase the great Willie Nelson: "Ninety percent of the people in the world end up with the wrong person. And that's what makes the jukebox spin." Lou's jukebox spun for love and many other things, too - beauty, pain, history, courage, mystery.

Lou was sick for the last couple of years, first from treatments of interferon, a vile but sometimes effective series of injections that treats hepatitis C and comes with lots of nasty side effects. Then he developed liver cancer, topped off with advancing diabetes. We got good at hospitals. He learned everything about the diseases, and treatments. He kept doing tai chi every day for two hours, plus photography, books, recordings, his radio show with Hal Willner and many other projects. He loved his friends, and called, texted, e-mailed when he couldn't be with them. We tried to understand and apply things our teacher Mingyur Rinpoche said - especially hard ones like, "You need to try to master the ability to feel sad without actually being sad."

You can read Anderson's entire piece at Rolling Stone.

ABH

Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes is currently on the road in support of his new solo EP, and that tour hits Chicago on November 13 at Double Door. Tickets to that show are on sale now. All remaining dates are listed below.

In related news, Albert has done a few interviews lately discussing drug addition the current state of the Strokes. From his interview with Rolling Stone:

You've opened up about your addictions to cocaine and heroin in the press recently. I'm curious, how do you get to such a bad place?

If I told you, you wouldn't believe me. [Laughs.] No, I'm serious. Looking back on it, with my head on my shoulders, when you're young you first get buzzed and it was kind of fun to try different stuff. I was always open to all of it, and then something just clicks. "This helps me focus, this helps me shut down the voice in my head." I found this thing that helped me do that. But there's all these other side effects that you don't feel at first, [but] after years and years of doing it, I finally realized, "If I start doing drugs in the morning, then I don't feel bad from the night. It all kind of weirdly so innocent at first. Then eventually you just don't do anything. You're just really fucked up for a chunk of time and then you just have to stop, because you have to do something. Or you're just tired.

I was never a "maintain" guy. I was never, like, "Let's just do just enough so that no one notices." I was always, like, "I'll just destroy myself for as long as I could, and then I'd be like, Ok. I need a break." And the break wouldn't be stopping everything, but it would just be stopping shooting up. I'd be like, "Oh, I'll just drink, and smoke, and take pills. I'll just slow down." And that's the only way you can function. Weirdly enough, whenever I'd go tour with my solo stuff, I'd always stop everything. So I'd always be in the worst place on tour. I'd be broken.

...

The Strokes really means something to people. But it's surprising you haven't done a real U.S. tour in years. Why?

Just to lay low. [Laughs.] Um, it's not against the fans. It's not against them. I mean, we feel that way about each other and the songs, so it's amazing to hear that fans feel the same way. I don't think that'll go away. I think it will only make it better when everything starts, you know?

[Comedown Machine] was the last record for RCA, so now you can do whatever you want.
Yeah, I mean, I guess so. In so many ways, yeah. I think we're still playing with that idea.

What do you think the future of the Strokes is?
You're asking the wrong guy, man. [Laughs.]

But you're in the band!
I'd ask the captain of the ship.

All dates are listed, along with the new-ish video for "St. Justice" from Albert's new EP, below...

Continue reading "Albert Hammond Jr. playing Double Door on tour, discussed addiction & the state of The Strokes"

James Blake at MHOW in 2012 (more by PSquared)
James Blake

Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...

Dot Wiggin Band, Jad Fair & Gilles Rieder Blanche Blanche Blanche, Beef @ 285 Kent Avenue
As one-third of The Shaggs, Dot Wiggin helped create what is perhaps the most famous outsider art album of all time (The Shaggs' The History of the World). She just released her first-ever solo album, Ready! Get! Go!, via Alternative Tentacles. Tonight's show is with another famous outsider, Jad Fair of Half Japanese.

Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd @ Barclays Center
JT made a major comeback this year with The 20/20 Experience, an excellent addition to the recent wealth of forward-thinking R&B and an unlikely record from one of pop music's biggest stars. Tonight he continues his extensive international tour at Brooklyn's Barclays Center with a newer, comparatively smaller R&B forward-thinker opening, The Weeknd.

DJ Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman), Matthew Hawtin @ Guggenheim Museum
Richie Hawtin is a regular on the electronic-festival scene, and tonight he goes where some his contemporaries have gone before, to a museum. It's the pre-party to the Guggenheim International Gala.

Young Galaxy, Mister Lies, Brothertiger @ Knitting Factory
Montreal's Young Galaxy make sophisticated dancepop with an anthemic bent -- they swing for the bleachers but don't think they're the center of the universe. It does, however, make for a good live show.

Midlake @ Mercury Lounge
Midlake and singer Tim Smith parted ways a year ago, and the band scrapped a half-finished album, eventually making Antiphon which is out this week. Minus Smith, Midlake have eschewed much of their mossy folk in favor of proggy rhythms and engaging arrangements. Not a bad thing at all. This show is sold out.

Rudimental, Redlight @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
UK dance four-piece Rudimental are bringing their pop-house party to NYC for two sold-out nights this week. Tonight is the first.

Rudimental, Redlight (DJ Sets) @ Baby's All Right
If you didn't get tickets for MHOW, both Rudimental and Redlight will be doing DJ sets earlier in the night at Williamsburg's Baby's All Right. There's complimentary drinks and it's free...but you do need to RSVP.

Rob Delaney (book launch) @ Powerhouse Arena (FREE)
The comic's first book -- Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. -- was released this week and he'll be reading from it tonight at this DUMBO bookstore/art space. 7 PM.

Purling Hiss, Household, Lazy @ Shea Stadium
Having just wrapped up a tour with The Men, low-fi psych band Purling Hiss headline this show tonight. Their new album, Paisely Montage, came out last week and you can stream a track below.

Jason Lescalleet, Circuit Des Yeux, PC Worship, Driphouse @ Silent Barn
Silent Barn's got an all-around great bill for experimental music tonight. It's the NYC stop on noisemaker Jason Lescalleet and genre-bender Circuit Des Yeux's tour, and the show is being opened by two quality locals. Check out a new Jason Lescalleet video below.

James Blake, Nosaj Thing @ Terminal 5
Mercury Prize winner James Blake returns to NYC for his second two-night run at Terminal 5 of 2013 tonight. If you haven't seen him yet, don't let his downtempo sounds fool you into thinking it'll be a boring show; even in a live setting James has been anything but. Nosaj Thing opens and is worth catching too.

Tim Kasher, Laura Stevenson, The New Trust (members of Velvet Teen) @ The Bell House
This is a very good triple bill of artists that split the line between emo/punk and indie rock, headlined by Cursive frontman Tim Kasher, who's out supporting his new album, Adult Film, which Laura Stevenson appears on.

ARMS, Friend Roulette, Abandoned Warehouse @ Union Pool
After taking time off for life stuff, ARMS are back with an appealing new EP and tonight play with the underrated Friend Roulette.

The Head and the Heart, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Quiet Life @ Webster Hall
Sub Pop-signed folk collective The Head & the Heart have two big sold-out NYC shows this week, and tonight's at Terminal 5 is the biggest. Make sure you're there in time for Thao & the Get Down Stay Down too.

Melvin Van Peebles @ The Cutting Room
Author, filmmaker, musician, father of Mario and generally well-known hep cat Melvin Van Peebles plays with his band "Wid Laxative" (because they "get shit movin') tonight.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Roger Waters, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart @ The Theater at MSG
The annual Stand Up for Heroes returns for his seventh year with some pretty big names and at a bigger venue than the past (last year's was at Beacon Theatre). The event benefits injured service members, veterans, and their families, and is part of the 2013 New York Comedy Festival.

Perseus, Jonas Rathsman, Moon Boots, Issac Tichaueur @ Output
The French Express label is behind some of the better "house revival" stuff going on right now, and tonight the label's tour with four of its artists hits NYC. If you're into dance music, this whole bill pretty much rules, and you shouldn't miss it.

Cherie Currie, Miss Guy, Kore Rozzik @ Gramercy Theatre
Former lead singer of The Runaways, Cherie Currie hasn't been the most active musician of her fellow ex-bandmates, but from the sound of her new single, she's still got it, and tonight's show will hopefully be a welcome return to NYC.

Jetzt Collective, Nana Grizol, No Magic @ Death By Audio
Athens, GA's Nana Grizol make wide-eyed folk pop and do so with a cast of musicians that is often in the double digits.

Big Terrific @ Cameo Gallery (FREE)
Max Silvestri hosts the free weekly comedy show in the back of Williamsburg's Lovin' Cup. Tonight's line-up features Jim Tews, Naomi Ekperigin, and Wyatt Cenac.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.

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New Jason Lescalleet video below...

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday? (James Blake, Jason Lescalleet, Dot Wiggin, Cherie Currie, Nana Grizol, Midlake & more)"

photos by Caroline Harrison; words by Doug Moore

Melt-Banana @ Saint Vitus - 11/1/13
“Melt

Japanese noise-punk greats Melt-Banana hit Saint Vitus this past Friday (11/1) as part of their month-long North American tour. Brain Tentacles and Vaz provided support.

I missed the first two acts at this show because I was down at Grand Victory catching the opening date of Cleric's US tour, which was rad in its own right -- legendary avant-garde composer John Zorn showed up to support them, which is a rare sight indeed. It was a bummer for me nonetheless, because the openers for the Melt-Banana show were both great. Vaz, which features former members of Hammerhead, are as true-blue and badass as noise rock gets in 2013, and they kill live.

Brain Tentacles, meanwhile, is a noise/jam collaboration between Yakuza vocalist/saxophonist Bruce Lamont and Municipal Waste/Burnt By the Sun/Discordance Axis/Human Remains/Phantomsmasher/zillion-other-bands skinsman Dave Witte, who's one of my favorite drummers. Tombs frontman and occasional BV contributor Mike Hill joined them on bass for a song, too -- though he apparently had no prep time whatsoever and learned the tune in the Vitus basement before the show.

The circumstances surrounding Melt-Banana's set made me a little nervous beforehand. Though they're an unbelievably dynamic live act, they're touring this time around without a live rhythm section, instead playing to preset bass and drum tracks from a laptop. (I was hoping that Witte, who recorded an LP with Melt-Banana several years back, would hop by the kit for their set. No dice.) It rarely works out when really percussive rock acts like these guys play to programmed tracks, but their mixture of gear expertise and sheer spasmodic energy carried the day. Sole remaining members Yasuko Onuki and Ichirou Agata must be pushing 40, but they still bounce and flail around the stage like teenagers. Agata's noise licks are truly freakish; the unearthly sounds he wrenches out of his battered SG and huge pedal board are one-of-a-kind. Pictures of Melt-Banana's set (and both openers) are in this post.

Meanwhile, speaking of Cleric they just released a new song, "Resumption," which you can stream (via Decibel) below.

Vaz also just made a video for their song "Visiting Hours" off their LP of the same name. Check that out below as well. Vaz have a number of other upcoming dates, including another NYC show on December 8 at Baby's All Right. Tickets for that show are not on sale yet, but you can check Ticketfly for updates.

More pictures and some videos from Saint Vitus, along with the Cleric stream and Vaz video and dates, below...

Continue reading "Melt-Banana, Brain Tentacles & Vaz played Saint Vitus (pics); Cleric released a new song (listen)"

Autumn Defense

The Autumn Defense (John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco) have announced that they'll release their new album, Fifth, on January 28 via YepRoc. They recently released the album's single, "None of This Will Matter," which you can stream, along with the artwork and tracklist, below.

The Autumn Defense also have some dates scheduled for 2014, including a NYC show happening on February 11 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale today (11/6) at noon. They're also playing SXSW. All dates are listed below.

In other Wilco-related news, Jeff Tweedy is going on a solo tour this December (no east coast shows though). All of his dates are listed, along with the Autumn Defense stream, artwork, tracklist and dates, below...

Continue reading "The Autumn Defense releasing a new LP, touring; Jeff Tweedy touring too (dates & streams)"

by Andrew Sacher

French Express

If you've been paying attention to the "house revival" that's been much talked about in the wake of Disclosure's success, then you may have noticed that the French Express label is behind some of the better people (like Chris Malinchak) currently doing this sort of thing. Back on October 30, the label kicked off a tour with four of its artists, Perseus, Moon Boots, Jonas Rathsman, and Isaac Tichauer, at LA's Boiler Room and that tour continues through this Saturday (11/9). It hits NYC TONIGHT (11/6) at Output, where you should go if you wanna dance your ass off until 4 in the morning. Tickets for tonight's show are available here and here.

All remaining tour dates are listed, along with streams from all four artists, below...

Continue reading "Perseus, Moon Boots, Jonas Rathsman & Isaac Tichauer on French Express tour, hitting NYC tonight (dates & streams)"