Entries tagged with: 1900s
by Bill Pearis
Chicago residents and HoZac labelmates Bare Mutants and Outer Minds are on the road together currently, a tour that rolls through NYC tonight (5/3) at Cake Shop and Friday (5/4) at Union Pool. There's a few other dates left on this short tour, all of which are listed at the bottom of this post.
Bare Mutants are fronted by Jered Gummere whose distinct baritone you may recognize from his other band, The Ponys. The group also features The 1900s' Jeanine O'Toole, and the Mannequin Men's Seth Bohn. With a droney, organ driven sound, comparisons can be made to Crystal Stilts or Crime & the City Solution. Outer Minds, meanwhile, are a little more groovy and jangly, while still within that Hozac garagey sound.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: 14 Iced Bears - Inside (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 14 Iced Bears - Like a Dolphin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 14 Iced Bears - Hay Fever (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The 1900s - Babies (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tuung - Don't Look Down or Back (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Blank Dogs - Northern Islands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dead Gaze - This Big World (MP3)
14 Iced Bears
I did a double take when I saw that UK indiepop cult heros 14 Iced Bears were playing The Rock Shop on Thursday (11/11). I didn't even know they had reformed. They're associated with the jangly C86 scene (though not actually on that famed cassette) and released singles on seminal indiepop labels Sarah and Slumberland. You can download three songs at the top of this post, all of which are on the Slumberland-released singles comp In The Beginning. A little more on the band from Slumberland:
Formed in 1985 by Rob Sekula, 14 Iced Bears ably blended shambolic pop with a psychedelic punk edge that set them apart from their C86 contemporaries. Inspired by bands like the Stooges, Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators and Echo & the Bunnymen, Sekula injected the then-nascent indie-pop sound with a twisted dose of noise and experimental menace. While still owing plenty to the Byrds/Ramones influences evident in the output of labels like Creation and Pink, it was this dark 60s flavor that always set the 'Bears apart. [Slumberland]If you can find 14 Iced Bears 1988 debut album, it's an underheard classic of the era. I also really like their fuzzed-out cover of "Summer Nights" from Grease, which was my introduction to the band. If you like Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Dream Diary and Crystal Stilts, here's some OG indiepoppers making a rare, totally unexpected appearance on American shores. The band broke up in 1992 and these are their first shows since then. Highly Recommended. The band are over, ostensibly, for Popfest New England which happens this weekend, but are making a short Northeast tour out of the visit. All 14 Iced Bears tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
The other super-exciting this weekend is the return of Chicago's The 1900s who haven't played NYC in almost two years. They play an early show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (11/11) and then The Rock Shop on Saturday (11/13). Their new album, Return of the Century, is pretty fantastic, somewhere between Velvet Underground and Fleetwood Mac, brimming with perfectly crafted pop. Says Chicagoist:
The 1900s have many musical precursors, but it seems unfair to name check any of them since the group has obviously labored so hard to create something of their own. And in that they've succeeded. Return of the Century is surrounded by a golden warmth, coursing through every harmony and bittersweet guitar chord. The band has mastered the art of creating a genuine atmosphere, as opposed to taking musical shortcuts to convey sentimentality, and it's impossibly not to lay back and luxuriate in the sound washing over you. Previously The 1900s excelled in mirroring sounds from the past, and the sonic dressings haven't changed, but now there's a genuine and unique beating heart giving their tunes life. It's like watching the difference between four-color print and HD TV, only through gauzy pastels.You can listen for yourself -- the whole of Return of the Century is streaming via a widget at the bottom of this post. And if you haven't already, you can download an MP3 of single "Babies" at the top of this post. And I do urge you to go see them. The 1900s are just as skilled live, and a lot of fun too.
If you don't mind paying again 'cause it's a separate show, you can stick around after The 1900s play at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (11/11) and catch folky UK act Tunng. They also play Bruar Falls on Saturday (11/13). The band have gone through some line-up changes since their last album, most notably the departure of singer Sam Genders (he of the Robert Wyatt-esque voice).
Losing their singer/songwriter could prove disastrous (see: The Concretes new LP review in P4K) but Tunng's fourth album, And Then We Saw Land, is pretty good, if a little more straight-up folk pop than their previous albums which mixed acoustics with glitchy electronics. Laptops still make appearances here and there, but the new LP is breezy pastoral stuff. You can download "Don't Look Down or Back" at the top of this post, and watch the video for single "Hustle" at the bottom. The Mercury Lounge show is the first of a short North American tour, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
There's so much good music coming out on Captured Tracks lately much of it in single form. If you haven't heard Craft Spells' "Party Talk" or Soft Moon's "Breath the Fire," you should definitely seek them out. Don't forget about Blank Dogs, the musical alter ego of C/T major domo Mike Sniper. Blank Dogs new album, Land and Fixed, has come a long way from the murky, effects-overload of their early EPs into new sonic clarity. There's still a lot of delay and chorus effects but it no longer sounds like it was recorded in a bog. If you like the weirder side of early Mute Records (Fad Gadget seem a big influence), or the dark pop of Ohio cult legends My Dad is Dead, give BD's new album a listen. It's pretty good.
Really more of a studio thing, the Blank Dogs Live Experience has been a bit more of a mess, but Sniper has formed a new power trio version of the band and given the strength of the last few records it may be time to revisit. They play Friday night at Glasslands as part of a really good bill. Also on the bill: Mississippi's Dead Gaze (super-catchy bedroom recorded pop, check out an MP3 above); Swimsuit (new band from Fred Thomas of City Center/Saturday Looks Good to Me); and the jangly psych-pop of Minneapolis Velvet Davenport (who also play Shea Stadium on Saturday [11/13]).
That's the main stuff this week. A few more picks, night-by-night, of things not covered above.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10
I'd kind of forgotten about Favourite Sons who haven't released an album since 2006's underrated Down Beside Your Beauty. But after a dormant period they're about to release it's follow-up, The Great Deal of Love, and play Union Pool tonight. (Watch a video of the title track at the bottom of this post.) Singer Ken Griffin, who sounds a little like Ian McCulloch, fronted the excellent but mostly forgotten '90s band Rollerskate Skinny (seek out 1996's Horsedrawn Wishes, it's a lost classic).
Tonight at Bruar Falls is what is likely Pursesnatchers' last show for what will likely be a while, as Doug Marvin and Annie Hart are expecting a bundle of joy any second. They're on at 8PM and it's FREE.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The 1900s - Babies (MP3)
When last we checked in with Chicago's 1900s, the band had just released the first MP3 from their forthcoming new album, Return of the Century, and the band were promising details on a tour. Well the album was released this week and The 1900s have a full set of tour Midwest/East Coast dates, including two next week in NYC: Thursday (11/11) at Mercury Lounge and then Saturday (11/13) at The Rock Shop.
Lyrically, Return of the Century is loosely based on The Incredible String Band's Licorice McKechnie's life after leaving band for a sojurn into the desert and wherabouts unknown. (The video for "Amulet," which you can watch below, is also loosely based on McKechnie's desert trip.) If the concept of concept albums scares you, the record is definitely enjoyable without knowing any of the backstory.
As I wrote before, Return of the Century downlplays the band's previous album's grandiosity just a touch (no oboe interludes this time) but hangs onto its strong points -- classically-constructed pop, gorgeous harmonies and sparkling arrangements. You can download "Babies" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing via a widget at the bottom.
They have no problems recreating their sound live either, definitely check them out if you can. In addition to their upcoming shows, The 1900s will play next month's Belle & Sebastian-curated Bowlie 2 in Summerset, UK. All tour dates are below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The 1900s - Babies (MP3)
In 2007, Chicago's The 1900s dropped their full-length debut, Cold & Kind, on the world. Mixing baroque pop, '70s excess and a little VU chug, the album was one of that year's more underappreciated LPs. Three years, a lineup change, a stopgap EP and a side project later, The 1900s are back with Return of the Century. From the press release:
After parting ways with two founding members and shelving the Fleetwood Mac-esque romantic drama, Chicago pop band The 1900s spent the years since their Cold & Kind updating their line-up and trademark sound. Now a sleek 6-piece, singer/guitarist Edward Anderson, vocalist Caroline Donovan, singer Jeanine O'Toole, bassist Charlie Ransford, and violinist Andra Kulans are all about the journey.Return of the Century downlplays Cold & Kind's grandiosity just a touch (no oboe interludes this time) but hangs onto that album's strong points -- classically-constructed pop, gorgeous harmonies and sparkling arrangements. And while the romantic drama may be gone, they smartly retained a little of Fleetwood Mac's musical influence. With everyone and their mother covering "Dreams" this year, it's certainly not a bad reference to hold onto. (The album's "Overreactin'" owes more than a little to Buckingham/Nicks.) If you dug "Cold & Kind" and "Two Ways" off the first album (or "Collections" off last year's Medium High EP), you're really going to like Return of the Century.
While Return of the Century's doesn't hit till November you can get an early taste with first single, "Babies," at the top of this post. With lush strings and harmonies and rave-up vibe, it's pretty indicative of the rest of the album.
The band promise a tour announcement imminently but will be playing the Belle & Sebastian-curated Bowlie 2 in Summerset, UK. Their 2008 show at The Bell House with Stevie Jackson was one of my favorites of that year, and their live shows should not be missed if you get the chance to see them.
Cover art and tracklisting for Return of the Century, plus a live video, are below.
An ambulance was called out to British Sea Power's Leeds gig last night (January 23) after a 12 foot fall floored over-exuberant cornet player Phil Sumner.Don't worry, Phil is doing okay. In fact, BSP have already played more shows since the incident. That includes their televesion appearance on Later with Jools Holland. Check out the videos of that at the end of this post.
According to reports, Sumner plunged 12 feet after he'd climbed an amp stack during the encore of 'A Rock'. The hapless musician decided to jump off but instead of landing on his feet he ended up chinning himself. The result was unconsciousness and a nasty cut.
He was then rushed to hospital by ambulance.
Suffering concussion, a broken molar and stitches to his chin, it's anticpated that Sumner will make a full recovery. How attractive he finds leaping from amps in future is anybody's guess.
This isn't the first example of ill health to have struck the band. Drummer Woody is currently recovering after slipping his disc while using a dustpan and brush. [XFM]
British Sea Power's new album Do You Like Rock Music? is out this week (in US/Canada). You can listen to the whole thing at MySpace or Spinner. Then catch them live on one of the many shows they're playing in North American from February 25th-May 18th. That includes some dates with Colourmusic, others with 1900's, SXSW, and a final leg with the Rosebuds. NYC shows are (with the Rosebuds) at Bowery Ballroom on May 10th and Music Hall of Williamsburg the day after that - no tickets yet. All tour dates (and those videos) below.....
Stevie Jackson @ Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY - Jan 10, 2008 (CRED)
Andy wrote in to say, "Stevie played before the 1900s. Laura Cantrell came out to do a couple songs w/ him during his set including a cover of Hank Williams “Lost Highway”. The 1900s joined him for his last song and then later he joined them for their last song but they didn’t play together other than that."Tonight it's at Mercury Lounge.
Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian is in town to play two shows with the 1900s. Tonight (Jan 10) they're at Union Hall (with Laura Gibson), and tomorrow they're both at Mercury Lounge (with Richard Buckner).
Then on January 12th, Stevie takes part in the free Guitar Festival show at Royal Albert Hall.
All new interpretations of Dylan classics performed by Laura Cantrell, Kelly Joe Phelps, Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Marshall Crenshaw, Oakley Hall, Lenny Kaye & Katrina Kiedis (Sufjan Stevens Band), Jason Isbell (Drive By Truckers), Jim Lauderdale, Toshi Reagon, Freeman & Vernon Reid, Harry Manx & Kevin Breit, The Last Town Chorus/Megan Hickey, Jesse Harris, Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo, Chocolate Genius Inc. and others.
1900s & 1990s
"1990s are an indie rock three-piece band from Glasgow." [Wikipedia]
"1990s lose bassist" (making them a duo sort of) [BrooklynVegan]
"Dino Bardot...will be playing the...North American shows" (trio again). [Wikipedia]
1900s open for the Maccabees & others @ Bowery Ballroom on October 19th (CMJ) (tix). 1990s open for British Sea Power & others @ Bowery Ballroom on October 18th (also CMJ) (tix). That's also the night (October 18th) 1900s are playing Union Hall in Brooklyn with Division Day (CMJ too) (tix). 1990s are also playing some shows with Voxtrot, like a few days earlier (October 15th) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tix). All tour dates below...