Entries tagged with: ARMS

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by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Quilt - Penobska Oakwalk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Quilt - Cowboys In The Void (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lilac - So Young (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Total Slacker - Secret VHS Collection (MP3)

Quilt

2011 is winding down, holidays are on the horizon and bands, for the most part, stop touring till the new year. Not quite yet, but things are starting to slow down significantly. Which is a good chance to check out local acts if you're still itching to go see some live music this weekend.

Quilt are not local but it's a short trip down from Boston they're making to play Glasslands tonight (11/9), the record release party for their debut LP which came out on Mexican Summer this week. Like a lot of music on the label, there's a laid-back psych quality to the music and, as Andrew Sacher noted previously, Quilt have an undeniable late '60s Haight-Ashbury vibe. Maybe a few less flowers in their hair, but it's there. This kind of stuff also evokes New Zealand comparisons too whether they've ever listened to the Clean or Tall Dwarves before or not. It's a terrific record and you can download two tracks off it at the top of this post and the whole thing is up on Spotify. I heard good things about Quilt's shows at CMJ too.

Lilac

It's a pretty stacked bill tonight at Glasslands. Also playing are San Francisco's Lilac who appear to be jetting in just for this show. They've also got a psych-rock thing going on, but it's filtered more through '80s UK acts like Primal Scream, the Bunnymen and the Stone Roses. (Some Velocity Girl in there too maybe.) Organ-heavy and danceable. Lilac released their first EP over the summer which is pretty damn good and you can download the single "So Young" at the top of this post and watch the video below.

Also playing are instrument-destroying, '90s-loving locals Total Slacker who released their debut album, Thrashin', not too long ago. It's a little too '90s at times -- I'm surprised they don't have an Angelfire website -- but I can't deny it's a pretty fun record. The band they remind me the most of, and this is an obscure reference, is late '80s band Christmas who later morphed into Combustible Edison. There's a similar melodic and harmony style to what they did and Total Slacker do, not to mention a love of psychedelics. You can download album cut "Secret VHS Collection" at the top of this post (and watch the video below).

Still more bands playing tonight's Glasslands show: Dive, who seem to be playing every show everywhere these days, and Royal Baths.

I'm Turning Into

Tomorrow night (11/10) at Union Hall is a band who doesn't get enough attention. I'm Turning Into have been around for a couple years, having moved up from the DC area and quickly ingratiating themselves into the Bushwick indie community. (Two of them became My Teenage Stride's rhythm section what seemed like almost immediately.) The band's Parcel of Marbles was released on cassette (and digitally) this summer and is appropriately low-fi given the release format. More in a Robert Pollard kind of way, than the more recent garage scene that people associate with the low-fi tag. I'm Turning Into have plenty of pop smarts and its eminently likeable. You can stream the whole of Parcel of Marbles at the bottom of this post.

Also playing are Pre-War which is some sort of Conversion Party offshoot, and The Thieves.

ARMS

ARMS released their new album Summer Skills this week and they play a record release party for it this Friday (11/11) at Glasslands. Earlier this year, Todd Goldstein described the record as a "sort of sci-fi breakup album" and that comes through, I think, even without focusing on the lyrics. The fat synths give the record an epic, widescreen quality. You can download three tracks from Summer Skills via ARMS' Bandcamp site and get the whole record from your digital retailer of choice. Physical release is still TBD.

Also playing: TWII faves Hospitality, Franz Nicolay and The Building.

Moonmen on the Moon, Man

And finally, Friday is November 11 which makes it 11/11/11 which is kinda cool and might "mean something" to numerologists. (Though not as much as November 11, 1111 did. That was a party.) To the folks at Cake Shop, it's an excuse to have 11 bands play in one night. You might expect an appropriate cover charge, but it's actually half that. Yes $5.50 gets you in, probably the first time ever the door will have had to deal with coins which should make the door person real happy. Amongst the bands playing are Cake Shop house band Moonmen on the Moon, Man who have been gigging around a lot lately and have become pretty good. If you like early '90s indie like Eleventh Dream Day or Madder Rose, check 'em out. There's a whole bunch of songs up on their Bandcamp page to listen to.

Cake Shop is still looking for that 11th band (or maybe its a surprise guest?) but the rest of the line-up is American Darlings, Celestial Shore, Mainland, Birdhand, Young Heel, Corsair, Edelweiss, Night Manager and Normally Important.

That's it for this week. A few day-by-day picks follow for shows not covered above.

---

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10

It's week two of Miniboone's Thursday's in November residency. If you go tonight you get a free copy of their just-released debut album, On Miniboone Mountain. You can download a couple tracks right now at their Bandcamp.

continued below...

Continue reading "Quilt, Lilac, Total Slacker, ARMS, I'm Turning Into, Moonmen on the Moon Man and more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Hospitality @ Bowery Ballroom
Hospitality

"Since it was the Merge Showcase, the show itself featured a short set from Hospitality, a new signee to the label that showed a great deal of promise. Their music was meat-and-potatoes indie, with a little Stereolab and a little Built to Spill, but it was a perfect, if perfunctory, set-up for Wild Flag." [tripped media]
As previously mentioned, Hospitality played a CMJ show at Bowery Ballroom with Wild Flag and Eleanor Friedberger, and play another local show with Caveman and JPF at Brooklyn Bowl tonight (11/2). Tonight's "Local x Local" show is free with RSVP, but RSVP is now closed. You can however still get in for just $5, either in advance or at the door. Caveman have no other upcoming shows.

Hospitality also play a show on 11/11 at Glasslands with ARMS, Franz Nicolay, The Building. That one is $10. ARMS have no other upcoming shows.

The next "Local x Local" at Brooklyn Bowl is in December with Delicate Steve and Milagres.

More pictures from Bowery Ballroom below...

Continue reading "more Hospitality pics & upcoming shows (one with Caveman tonight, one with ARMS later)"

words by Rachel Kowal, photos by Amanda Hatfield

Casiokids @ Public Assembly
Casiokids

Well, another CMJ week has come and gone. How did you fare?

Though Northside summoned a number of my favorite artists to town, the CMJ line-up was rather thin by comparison, so I made it my goal to catch as many new acts as possible this year. With help from BV's tightly scheduled day parties, I managed to squeeze in 46 bands. While it's all still fresh in my mind (ie, before I spend the next week hibernating), here's a recap of my week, complete with my favorite finds...

I kicked things off with trance-inducing, one-man knob twittler Sun Glitters. Figuring out how to bring life to headphone-friendly, sample-heavy music in a live audience setting can be a challenge, but the few I saw this week (Million Young, Chad Valley and Luxembourg's Sun Glitters included) were decent.

If last year was the age of the one-man laptop act, 2011 was rife with lo-fi, synth/guitar-heavy (mostly) male groups cloaked in reverb. Each band had its strengths: Sunglasses (great energy on stage), Gauntlet Hair, Guards (perfectly summed up the sound of the moment), 1,2,3, Balkans (nice balance of in-your-face guitars and sunnily-swaggering vox), Tiny Victories. But after a while, I confess they all started to blend together--especially since a good chunk of these bands came early in the week for me.

What did stand out for me in this category was San Diego's garage-psych outfit Tropical Popsicle. Instead of falling flat, the deadpan vocal delivery of Tim Hines pulled me in and kept my attention, making me forget about my plans to leave midset. Another pleasant surprise for me was Dive, the side project of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith.

But after a rather slow start to the week when schedule issues and cancellations made me abandon my original plans, things definitely picked up midweek. I spent Wednesday evening shuffling around in the rain to some seven venues. From the synth-driven pop music of Norway's Casiokids (whom I managed to sneak in on my lunch hour) to the decent public radio-friendly folk-pop of The Lighthouse and The Whaler and Lissy Trullie's alluringly husky vocals, the day was full of pleasant surprises--not the least of which was John Maus, easily one of the highlights of my week.

As I walked through the door at 285 Kent, I immediately felt as if I had gone back in time. Thick music pumped from the DIY graffiti-covered space, through clouds of cigarette smoke. On stage, Maus shook with intensity as he addressed the mass of dancing, sweaty revelers. Beneath the shambling chaos of the quick synth riffs and simple drum lines is an unhinged but triumphant quality that is intoxicating. I had heard whispered stories of Maus shows before, but I never really understood the fervor until I saw it for myself.

Thursday was also packed with a number of good finds. I somehow found myself in the 7th floor of a swanky hotel for an "acoustic" (as in not electric; not unplugged) Dum Dum Girls set (though only 2/4 band members were present). Other highlights included the seriously talented and take-your-breath-away-beautiful dreamy folk-pop of Gem Club (who just released their debut album on Hardly Art), and Brooklyn's own, Headless Horseman who make fun, glitchy, hook-laden music with inventive beats (Their song "Wavlngth" was seriously one of my favorites all week.)

Friday, my band-count escalated rapidly, thanks to the BV day showcase at Public Assembly, which essentially had two bands playing each hour. I knocked out a few of the hyped bands in this fashion, including Chelsea Wolfe and Gauntlet Hair. (I also stepped over to Cameo briefly to catch a few adrenaline-packed songs from the Brooklyn duo Hunters.) With her beautifully haunting (but not annoying operatic) vocals Chelsea Wolfe was certainly one of the more memorable acts of the week. Would she be getting as much buzz if she didn't dress like "a medival [sic] reinactment [sic] person from Medival [sic] Times" (to quote an anonymous BV commenter)? Hard to say, but I have to give the woman credit--I couldn't take my eyes off her, and she was one of the few artists I caught twice. But my surprise favorite of the day show was Young Magic. Hip-hop and dark electro-pop may be unlikely bedfellows, but they sure make for quite an interesting pair. These guys are a force.

Other highlights of the day included the eye-catching electro-pop duo Purity Ring (love the name) and one of my favorite SXSW finds from earlier this year, Sea of Bees. At Webster Hall, Purity Ring's bass was so powerful at times that I almost forgot to breathe. Though the band relies on a lot of samples to craft their sound, they are far more interesting to watch due to their onstage chemistry and mysterious gold-piped instrument. Though nothing alike, my other favorite artist of the evening was Sea of Bees. Singer/songwriter Julie Baeziger's genuinely sweet demeanor and earnest acoustic performance are always a pleasant change of pace from the more aloof, laptop-driven artists that seem to sprout with the speed and frequency of mushrooms.

The week concluded not with a bang (I was turned away at the door of Brooklyn Bowl for Unknown Mortal Orchestra, whom I had hoped to end on), but with more of a slow fade-out. Forced to change my schedule at the last minute, I caught a few acts nearby, including Delicate Steve (how those five people were working from the same set list was a mystery at times given the haphazard nature of their sound, but it was fun to watch them put it all together), Races (pleasant and charming), Bleached, and about four minutes of the Kopecky Family Band (fun!) before hopping on the L and calling it a week.

So how does this year's CMJ stack up? Most people I spoke with seemed unimpressed. No doubt, the growth of SXSW--especially over the past few years--seems to have sucked some of the life out of CMJ. (It's hard to compete with free tacos, 76-degree days, and the compact nature of downtown Austin.) But like a hipster chick desperately scouring the racks at Beacon's Closet, I like the challenge of the frenzied search. There's good stuff in there hiding among the dross. You just have to look a bit harder.

---

Pictures in this post are from day parties at Pianos (We Listen for You) and Public Assembly (Under the Radar) on Wednesday. More of them below...

Continue reading "Rachel's CMJ recap +++ pics from 2 Wednesday day parties"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Into the Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Immaculates - Hey Joe Kelly (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gospel Music - This Town Don't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Radiation City - The Color of Industry (MP3)

Still Corners
Still Corners

I think Wednesday is my favorite day for CMJ day parties. You get a lot of good bands, but it's not insanely packed like the weekend shows. And this year, there are a lot of great Wednesday afternoon options.

Before we get into it, I would like to say that Spotify has been a giant help in checking out music from bands playing and if you have the service, I recommend using it. (If you don't, chances are someone you know has invites to give out.) Much easier than Googling for Bandcamp, Soundcloud or (heaven forbid) Myspace sites. Spotify doesn't have everything, but it has most everything. I've got a CMJ 2011 Playlist that I update when I find something new and interesting which you're welcome to check out.

[editor's note/update/disclaimer: Spotify has partnered with us on all BV CMJ events this year, but Bill did not know that when he wrote that above paragraph, so please no conspiracy theories!]

Anyway, day shows:

PICK OF THE DAY: Under the Radar party at Public Assembly has a line-up that is pretty hard to beat, including one of my favorite bands of late, Still Corners whose chilly, majestic debut, Creatures of an Hour, came out last week on Sub Pop. Check out an MP3 of new single "Into the Trees" at the top of this post and you can stream the whole album at the bottom. Public Assembly is good and dark, ideal for their trippy accompanying lightshow. Still Corners also play Public Assembly Wednesday night which must be nice for them not having to schlep their gear around. They also play tomorrow at our day party at Knitting Factory and then the Sub Pop showcase at Mercury Lounge that night.

Also playing at Public Assembly: Norway's super-fun Casiokids, Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger (who maybe you caught last night with Wild Flag at Bowery Ballroom), the retro funk of The Stepkids (who also play our TBA Saturday party at Public Assembly), plus Chad Valley, Porcelain Raft. It's kind of a slam-dunk show.

The Immaculates
The Immaculates

THEN AGAIN... the folks at Terrorbird Media have put together a pretty great show at Cake Shop. It kicks off with newish, shit-hot Brooklyn garage-soul band The Immaculates who are worth showing up early for. Check out an MP3 at the top of this post. Then it's Virginia's Eternal Summers who have really come into their own since expanding from a duo to a trio.

Gospel Music
Gospel Music

Then it's Gospel Music which is Owen Holmes who used to be in CMJ 2007 buzz band Black Kids but now makes indiepop somewhere between Stephin Merrit and Jonathan Richman (which is a definite sweet spot for me.) Holmes got help from Hefner's Darren Hayman, Camera Obscura's Traceyanne Campbell and others on last year's Duets EP, but for his full-length debut, How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL,  he shares the mike full-time with fellow Jacksonville resident Madeline Long. Check out an MP3 of first single "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars For Both Of Us" and watch the video (which features his old Black Kids pals) at the bottom. Gospel Music's other CMJ dates are down there as well.

The rest of the Terrorbird line-up: Cloud Nothings, Mux Mool, Widowspeak, Teen Daze and Cubik Zirconia. That's a quality free show too folks.

Of course the nice thing about the Lower East Side is that every venue around there has a day show. At Pianos there's the We Listen For You party with Arms, Guards, The Pass, Parlovr, Nerves Jr. and Headless Horseman in the main room; upstairs it's the Big Hassle Media party with Radiation City, Aeroplane Pagaent, Clubfeet, Marques Toliver, J. Viewz, Pyramids and Army Navy.

Radiation City
Radiation City

If you're in the Ludlow area, do try and check out Portland's Radiation City (3PM) who've made one of the year's more charming debuts which drifts between moody, organ-driven numbers and more upbeat pop. Papercuts covering The Free Design? Add in some Mazzy Star smokiness and you're almost there. Check out "The Color of Industry" at the top of this post, and go seem them live at some point this week. Radiation City also play the PASTE party at The Living Room today too (4PM) and have shows this week, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.

That PASTE party, which goes from 4 - 7 PM also features Lord Huron, Santah and The Lonely Forest.

And finally over at Fontanas (which you may remember from BV day parties of old or episodes of Louie) is this year's Pirate! Island party with a pretty good bunch of bands too: Canada's Hollerado, Nick Diamonds, Fairmont, Army Navy, The Great Book of John and The One & Nines. Set times at the bottom of this post.

Click through for flyers (including a couple day shows I didn't mention), streams, videos and set times. I'll have Wednesday nighttime picks a little later.

Continue reading "CMJ 2011 - Bill's Wednesday daytime picks (Still Corners, Gospel Music, The Immaculates, Radiation City & more)"

The Hold Steady @ McCarren Pool, 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Hold Steady

today in NYC
* Brooklyn Book Fest
* Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest
* Roland Auzet @ The Stone
* Avan Lava @ Cameo Gallery
* Steely Dan @ Beacon Theatre
* Led Zeppelin 2 @ Gramercy Theatre
* Ghostland Observatory @ Terminal 5
* D Generation, The Biters @ Irving Plaza
* The Men, Vaz, Pygmy Shrews @ Saint Vitus
* "Brooklyn Indie Music Fest" @ Littlefield
* Patrick Wolf, Justin Bond @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Hanni El Khatib, Free Blood @ Mercury Lounge
* Widespread Panic @ Williamsburg Waterfront
* Dave Matthews Band Caravan @ Randall's Island
* The Hold Steady, Caveman @ Beekman Beer Garden
* Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, John Zorn @ Roulette
* Frankie Rose, Dirty Beaches, Lantern @ Glasslands
* Strange Rivals, Ohnomoon, Spirit People @ The Gutter
* Oxblood, Battle Cry, Fed Up, Offensive Weapon @ Europa
* Urfaust, Krallice, Black Anvil, Ruin Lust @ Union Pool
* Barn Owl, Gunn/Truscinski Duo, Noveller @ Shea Stadium
* Starfucker, Beat Connection, Alexico @ Bowery Ballroom
* Javelin, Prince Rama, Amil Byleckie Band @ 285 Kent Ave
* Jovita Zaehl, Philipp Kronbichler, Martha Cluver @ The Stone
* Diamond Terrifier, Dan Friel, No Babies, Nymph @ Death By Audio
* LTJ Bukem, MC T.R.A.C., PLACE 42 Ft Jett, Stunna @ Brooklyn Bowl
* the NOTORIOUS MSG, Wolf's Blood/Earth A.D, The Dirty Shames @ Southpaw
* Sick of It All, Suicidal Tendencies @ Crazy Donkey (Farmingdale)
* The Boston Strangler, Waste Management, Beware, Brain Slug @ The Acheron
* Malajube, Les Sans Culottes, Johnny Chan & The New Dynasty 6 @ The Rock Shop
* Easter Vomit, Air Waves, Heaven's Gate, La Defense, ACLU Benefit @ Bruar Falls
* Hunx and His Punx, Natural Child, The Beets, Making Friendz @ Knitting Factory
* Drawn and Quartered, Disma, Mortal Decay, Mausoleum, Death Sick, Mutant Supremacy @ Cake Shop
* Saritote, Taku Unami, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Annette Krebs, Taku Sugimoto (Minor Musics Japan) @ Issue Project Room
* Forro in the Dark, Karsh Kale, Garth Stevenson (Wanderlust Williamsburg: A Live Yoga & Music Experience) @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

If you were able to get a ticket, don't forget to get over the Beekman Beer Garden early tonight. Beach opens at noon. Doors at 6. Caveman on at 8. The Hold Steady on at 9.

If metal is more your thing, we're also presenting Urfaust, Krallice & Black Anvil at Union Pool.

Check out This Week in Indie for more.

ACL is this weekend in Austin and streaming.

PaperGarden Records is hosting this event at 104 emerson place in Brooklyn...

Multiverse Playground part III: an exploration into the evolution of music, art and comedy, has come at last! Featuring over 19 acts including bands, special guest DJs, visual artists, and comedians, Multiverse Playground's 3rd installment delivers a collaborative and community-driven, multimedia event of epic proportions.

Musically, we have brought an array of acts, both within and outside of the Paper Garden roster. Showcasing Paper Garden Records' Pree and Little Tybee, we have also brought on outside guest DJ sets from Bear Hands, Delicate Steve, and DJ Bearbait (Pattern Is Movement) as well as performances from Snowmine, Twi The Humble Feather, ARMS, Team Genius, EULA, Caged Animals, Data Dog, Afuche, Whale Belly, Lowell, Progress, and Marra Barr.

In addition, we will have comedy sets from Chris Betts and Aaron Kominos-Smith (Funny Aaron) amongst visual art from Ugly Art Room, PBR Art, and more.

Throughout the day, we have invited sponsors from some of the best up-and-coming music-related tech startup companies to join us and create fun and interactive ways to use their services. We'll be joined by the lovely folks from Thinglink, Grooveshark, and Livetapp.

Oh, and did we mention FREE BEER from PBR and FREE VITAMINWATER yet? Because yeah, that's happening too!

$8 suggested donation, 12 noon till 11pm

The flyer is below.

New Bonnie Prince Billy video for new song "Quail and Dumplings" below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday?"

photos & video by Jessica Amaya

North Highlands @ Mercury Lounge
North Highlands

North Highlands, ARMS, and Hospitality shared a bill at Mercury Lounge on 7/27. As Bill pointed out, all three of these NYC bands are currently working on new albums. Pictures and video from the show are in this post.

North Highlands has a few more dates this month, including a shows in Riverhead, New Haven, and one in Brooklyn on August 27 at Cameo with Neighbors and Snowmine. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale now.

More pictures and videos from Mercury Lounge, below...

Continue reading "North Highlands played Merc w/ ARMS & Hospitality (pics & video), schedule more shows (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Twin Sister - "Bad Street" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Your Youth - What Smarts (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Metronomy - "The Bay" (Clock Opera Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Class Actress - Keep You (MP3)
DOWNLOADSonny and the Sunsets - I Wanna Do It (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sonny and the Sandwitches - Throw My Ashes from This Pier When I Die (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Night Beats - Puppet on a String (MP3)
DOWNLOADCraft Spells - After The Moment (MP3)
DOWNLOADCraft Spells - Party Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gardens & Villa - Star Fire Power (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gardens & Villa - Star Fire Power (MP3)

Ferrus B

Oh man it's another crazy week. Let's get into it. Tonight's free SummerScreen in McCarren Park tonight is pretty hard to pass up. Not only are they showing the John Hughes classic Ferris Beuller's Day Off (which is 25 years old this year!) but they got Twin Sister to play before it. In addition to performing lots of songs from their forthcoming album on Domino Records, Twin Sister will also be debuting the music video for their single, "Bad Street." You can download the MP3 of that at the top of this post.

Speaking of MP3s, we've also got one up there from Your Youth who are also playing SummerScreen tonight (6:45PM) and couldn't be more different from Twin Sister. "What Smarts" is a new track from the local duo who are kind of proto-grunge punk. Catchy stuff.

It would be really cool if, say, Your Youth covered "Beat City" by The Flowerpot Men and Twin Sister maybe did Dream Academy's "The Edge of Forever". (Why has Ferris Bueller never gotten a posthumous soundtrack release?) Probably won't happen but one can hope. In addition to the movie and the bands, there's loads of giveaways and such.

Metronomy
Metronomy

The show I am absolutely most excited about this week, without a doubt, is Metronomy who play Hudson River Rocks on Pier 54 on Thursday. Metronomy's third album, The English Riviera, just got nominated for the Mercury Prize (sure to lose to James Blake) and got its stateside release yesterday. As I wrote previously:

The new record retains Metronomy's slightly askew, claustrophobic sound while broadening its scope. There's glammy funk ("We Broke Free," the Roxy-ish "She Wants"), a guitar pop ("Everything Goes My Way," a duet with Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls), waltz-time ballads  ("Trouble"), and more typical Metronomy-style twitchy disco ("The Bay," "Corrine."). It's also got one of the 2011's best singles, "The Look."
It's definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. (Their last album, Nights Out, was my favorite album of 2008.) The vinyl version comes with the CD which is a trend I would like to see all labels doing. Highly recommended. Watching a few live performance clips , I'm glad to see they're still wearing stick-it-and-click-it lights on their shirts that was a highlight of their old stage show -- even though they're a proper band now (they didn't used to have a drummer).

Also playing the Pier 54 show is American Royalty and Class Actress whose debut album Rapproacher is out October 11 on Carpark. You can snag "Keep You" at the top of this post. Do get there early for openers American Royalty who came out from L.A. just for this show. I caught them at SXSW this year and they kept me entertained on Saturday evening when I was basically burned out on seeing live music. You can check out their hodgepodge electro sound via their Bandcamp page. And if you want to see them again, American Royalty play Lit on Saturday (7/30).

If you want to keep the party going on Thursday after Metronomy, head over to Glasslands for all your sissy bounce italodisco soulclap free booze needs. New Orleans Vockah Redu is like Big Freedia but with more choreography and a subscription to Vogue. (Check out the video at the bottom of this post.) They also play the PS1 warm-up on Saturday. Also playing is Portland's Miracles Club, who played PS1 last weekend. Jonathan Tobin is DJing, it's My Open Bar's 5th anniversary, it's a party.

Sonny
Sonny

What else is going on this week? Sonny & the Sunsets are backfor the first time since October, playing Mercury Lounge on Friday (7/29) and Glasslands on Saturday (7/30). Have you checked out Sonny's new album, Hit After Hit? As I wrote previously:

Unlike last year's laid back and folky Too Young to Burn, the new album is more of a party --inspired by '60s pop and garage. Opening track "She Plays Yo-Yo with My Mind" cribs liberally from The Standells' "Dirty Water."

At least a couple of the songs on Hit After Hit (including "I Wanna Do It") are reworked versions of songs written for Smith's 100 Records project which you might have caught at the late Cinders Gallery last summer. Embued with Smith's (and fellow Sunset Kelley Stoltz) encyclopedic knowledge of pop and his wry sense of humor, Hit After Hit's a great little record.

Tourmates for this go-round are fellow Bay Area residents The Sandwitches who were described by Sunsets drummer/producer Kelley Stoltz thusly: "Imagine a 60's Girl-group is on tour and their van breaks down near a gothic castle high on the hill, Dario Argento invites them in to perform a concert for his tweaked actors in a big dark red room inside and, if the dream is right, it's the Sandwiches - they'd fit right in with those misfits and speak the same language. I'd like to be there to dance."

Sonny Smith put out a record with The Sandwitches last year, so I'd expect to hear those tracks at these shows. Check out one of them, the twangy, mournful "Throw My Ashes from This Pier When I Die" at the top of this post. I caught Sonny last year when he toured with Kelley Stoltz and it was a great show. Sonny doesn't get enough attention i don't think, so do try and make it to one of these shows.

The Night Beats
Night Beats

Seattle trio The Night Beats are currently on tour with The Black Lips opening for sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (7/29) and Maxwell's on Saturday (7/30). But if you wanna catch them in a non-sold-out enviroment, free of the Black Lips, they play Sunday night (7/31) at Shea Stadium with Sweet Bulbs, Dinowalrus, Liquor Store, and Yvette.

The Night Beats' stomping debut is out now on Trouble in Mind. I caught the band at the label's party during SXSW:

I got there as Seattle trio Night Beats were just starting. Never heard them before, but really dug their psych-garage sounds, and they definitely looked the part. They ended their set with a cover of The Count Five's classic "Psychotic Reaction," giving their version a little swing which made it their own.
Check out "Puppet on a String" from their TiM debut at the top of this post. The Shea Stadium show is solid, I like all the bands on the bill.

Craft Spells
Craft Spells

Speaking of Seattle, Craft Spells are back in town, playing Mercury Lounge on Saturday (7/30)  -- their first area show since playing here back in April. Live, they eschew the keyboards that are so abundant on their Captured Tracks album in favor of a guitar-oriented line-up which works just fine. (It's very Orange Juice.) They are young and enthusiastic and the songs are ridiculously catchy.

The band are on tour with Santa Barbara, CA's Gardens & Villa who are dreamy and synthy and danceable (kinda like Tony Castles). Their debut album just came out via Secretly Canadian and you can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. Also playing are local synthpop act Selebrities whose free downloadable EP evokes favorable comparisons to all sorts of '80s groups. You can download a free EP from Selebrities here.

Eternal Summers
Eternal Summers

And finally, don't forget about this Sunday's Beach Party at Beekman Beer Garden with Raveonettes and Eternal Summers. The Raveonettes new album, Raven in the Grave, is a slow burn compared to 2009's poppy In and Out of Control but no less enticing and I've always enjoyed them live. And Eternal Summers can do no wrong for me right now. This will be a very fun show, and likely the first where they might have to turn people away because of capacity so come early. Free!

Ok, that's the main stuff I'm highlighting this week but there are quite a few more recommended shows listed day-by-day below.

The Psychic Paramount @ Union Pool -- 7/26
Psychic Paramount

Disappears @ Union Pool -- 7/26
Psychic Paramount

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27

I had my mind blown twice at Union Pool last night: first by the smoke-machine fueled power of The Psychic Paramount (modern instrumental acid rock? Incredible!) and then by Disappears whose new material written with Steve Shelley is groovier, a little slower than their pedal-to-the-metal first albums but equally awesome. (More Neu!, less Stooges.) They play tonight at Cake Shop. Get up close and watch Disappear's bassist lay it down track after track.

There are so many shows tonight! But if you want to see three of the best bands in NYC right now, head to Mercury Lounge for North Highlands, ARMS and Hospitality. All three groups are holding onto new albums that I am dying to hear. Hospitality were incredible when they played my final Sound Bites show down at Fulton Stall Market two weeks ago.

Avi Buffalo test out new material for their second Sub Pop album at the Rock Shop tonight. With Nic Frietas.

Metronomy aren't the only Mercury Prize nominees in town this week. Anna Calvi plays tonight at Le Poisson Rouge.

Out at Bushwick's Brooklyn Fireproof, you can see The Gytters (who I wrote about last week) and Cake Shop house band Moonmen on the Moon, Man... along with Nighty Night and Beat People.

The Barr Brothers, who I really liked at M for Montreal last year, play Rockwood Music Hall tonight. They recently signed to Secret City, home of Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms, Plants and Animals, Miracle Fortress, Basia Bulat and more.

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Continue reading "Metronomy, American Royalty, Twin Sister, Sonny & the Sunsets, Night Beats, Craft Spells, Avi Buffalo & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Mickey - For You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fungi Girls - Doldrums (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pure X - Dry Ice (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grooms - Tiger Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOADThe Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Weekend - End Times (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: pow wow! - It's Not That Easy (MP3) 

Mickey
Mickey

Ok it's really hot out but don't let that stop you from seeing some great stuff this weekend. We've got a couple bands on the Hozac label in town this weekend. First is Chicago glam punks Mickey whose debut Rock n' Roll Dreamer just hit the racks. It's a sleazy vision of excess that is part The Sweet, part Johnny Thunders, part Schlitz malt liquor and three bags of glitter dumped on top. It's hook-filled debauched fun. Check out "For You" at the top of this post for a taste. I have not seen Mickey live but all signs point to chaos.

Mickey play Death By Audio tonight (7/7) with Liquor Store, Ex-Humans, The Fucking Ocean and Sleepies (this show sounds like trouble), and then Friday (7/8) at Cake Shop with Habibi, Jigglers, Teardrops and Siberians.

Fungi Girls
Fungi Girls

The other Hozac band is Austin trio Fungi Girls who I've been wanting to see for some time. They play Friday night (7/8) at Death By Audio with Xray Eyeballs and The Beets, and on Saturday (7/9) at Ding Dong Lounge as part of a Group Tightener curated show with the label's bands Pure X (more on them below) and Expensive Looks, plus Cool Cough.

Still in their teens, Fungi Girls seem to have already digested a lifetime of psych-pop influences and make a racket that sounds fresh and well beyond their years. (Why aren't these guys on Slumberland?) 2009's Seafaring Pyramids was excellent and I can't wait to hear the new album, Some Easy Magic, which is out next month. You can download "Doldrums" at the top of this post which was the b-side to a Hozac 7" that came out last year.

Pure x

Pure X, who play with Fungi Girls on Saturday, are also from Austin and maybe you knew them as Pure Ecstasy which they used to be called. (A San Francisco cover band laid claim to the name.) Now Pure X, the band just released their debut LP, Pleasure, this week and you can download "Dry Ice" from it at the top of this post. Altered Zones has a stream of the whole thing. Recorded live with no overdubs, Pleasure is lovely and languid, not unlike the first Cowboy Junkies album or Galaxie 500. It's a nice Sunday morning kind of album as I'm fond of saying.

The band are in town for two shows. In addition to the previously mentioned Saturday show with Fungi Girls, Pure X also play Friday (7/8) at sweaty 285 Kent for a Chocolate Bobka curated show with Tonstartsbandht, Forma, and Run DMT.

Grooms
Grooms

If you go see Mickey tonight, Fungi Girls tomorrow and wanna make it three smoky nights in a row at Death By Audio, on Saturday (7/9) it's the record release party for Grooms' very good second album, Prom, which officially comes out next week on Kanine. The show is with Pterodactyl and The Immaculates.

The new album is a big leap from the band's debut, Rejoicer. The overt Sonic Youth-isms have melted and Grooms have come into their own with this one which feels confident and accomplished. It rocks pretty hard too, at times, but has pretty moments as well. Check out album opener "Tiger Trees" at the top of this post. Grooms were fantastic when I saw them at Northside but I imagine they'll be even more on their game at their Death By Audio home base.

The Wake @ NYC Popfest 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
the Wake

And finally a bunch of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/8) is the third installment of the Seaport Music Festival with Scotland indiepop legends The Wake. As I wrote when they played Popfest last year:

"While they didn't get the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, The Wake's catalog is well-regarded, especially 1985's Here Comes Everybody which is a bona fide  indie classic. Check out "O Pamela" at the top of this post. The band's hazy, reverb-laden sound has parallels to current bands like The Radio Dept or Wild Nothing, or any of the chillwave groups out there."
Opening is San Francisco loud music trio Weekend who should not be confused with The Weeknd or Weekends. Weekend are one of my favorite new bands of the last year -- their debut LP Sports made my Best of 2010 list and their live show is not to be missed. I wonder what random Seaport tourists with make of their powerful din on Friday.

(editor's note: I was definitely wondering what random tourists may have thought when they came upon John Lennon's son and his supermodel girlfriend playing a show on the same stage recently).

Saturday (7/9) at the Seaport is an official "warm up" to next weekend's 4 Knots Festival, with Ted Leo and Screaming Females. Ted has played the Seaport five times and often not under the best conditions. He played in torrential downpours and with generator power the night of the 2003 blackout. Saturday he'll be marking the 10th anniversary of his album The Tyranny of Distance by playing it in full. Weather is supposed to be lovely.

Then on Sunday (7/10) is the penultimate Sound Bites Series show with pow wow! who are currently finishing up their debut album. After garnering a lot of buzz (and playing what seemed like every week) back in 2009, they took most of last year off to regroup and rethink. With a slightly retooled sound -- they're definitely a little more '80s indie and a little less early '00s rock now -- they'll play the Fulton Stall Market at 3PM. I DJ before and after. Check out "It's Not That Easy" at the top of this post.

Then after the Sound Bites show, you should head over to the Beekman Beer Garden for the first of the summer's Beach Party shows. This week it's the wildness that is Cheeseburger, plus Hard Nips. I hope Beekman (formerly Water Taxi Beach formerly Spiegeltent) is ready for flying beer. This should be fun. With the truncated Seaport Music Festival schedule this year (and no Pool Parties) I'm glad more is going on down at the Seaport, one of my favorite places during the summer.

If you want to hear more from the bands playing the Sound Bites Series, the Beach Parties, as well as Hudson River Rocks, the Seaport folks partnered with Insound for some free downloadable mixes. Bands include Austra, Metronomy, Xray Eyeballs, The Beets, pow wow!, DOM, Raveonettes, Radical Dads and more. I curated the Brooklyn Local mix with bands who have played both years of the Sound Bites Series, plus some other Brooklyn bands I think people should check out. 

OK that's it for this week. A few more Thursday picks are below.

THURSDAY, JULY 7

Steel Phantoms, ARMS, and Shark? are at Brooklyn Bowl. It's free if you go before 7PM. After that it's five bucks.

Colorado band School Knights play Shea Stadium with The Hairs whose singer used to have a band called Knight School. Weird, right? Also playing: Grand Rapids and Radical Dads whose new video for "New Age Dinosuars" is at the bottom of this post.

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Continue reading "Mickey, Fungi Girls, Pure X, Grooms, The Wake, Weekend, pow wow! & more in This Week in Indie"

Vintage

Tickets go on sale today (6/29) at noon for the BV presented Little Dragon 'Ritual Union' album release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

We were promised 10 ticketed Williamsburg Waterfront shows this summer, and now we have another one to add to the list. The diverse list of bands coming to the Brooklyn venue now includes, well, Stone Temple Pilots. Tickets for this July 25th show go on sale Thursday (6/30) at noon.

Another reunited "grunge" band that we don't need to reunite, though not one from the west coast, or even from America, Bush plays Bowery Ballroom on July 28. Tickets go on sale Thursday (6/30) at noon.

Speaking of reunited grunge bands, we have tickets you can win to the Soundgarden shows at Prudential Center (7/8) and Jones Beach (7/9). E-mail BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Soundgarden). Include your first and last name and venue choice in the email. Winners will be randomly selected and contacted. Good luck! FYI, don't worry, your name/email will not be used for anything else.

Speaking of Williamsburg Waterfront, reunited bands and contests, we're giving away tickets to Death From Above 1979 at our Facebook.

We're also giving away tickets to see Bon Sollee tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg on our Facebook.

Dr. Dog are playing Williamsburg Waterfront this summer now too.

Frank Turner added a November 3 show at Bowery Ballroom after his 9/21 show sold out. Tickets go on sale Thursday (6/30) at noon. Andrew Jackson Jihad and Into It. Over It open the show.

Tickets are still available for the Frightened Rabbit show at MHOW and the waterfront show with DCFC.

AmEx presale starts today (6/29) at noon for The Rapture's show at MHOW.

We recently mentioned that of Montreal were added to Escape 2 NY. They play the Hamptons Fest on August 7. Kevin Barnes aka DJ List Christee DJs at Brooklyn Bowl on August 6. Tickets for his DJing gig are on sale now.

People are asking if the real Moonface (aka Spencer) is still playing Mercury Lounge in July. He is, and tickets are still on sale.

Tickets are still available for the WU LYF show at Mercury Lounge but are sure to be gone soon so act quick.

Tickets are still available for the John Maus and Puro Instinct show at Mercury Lounge tonight (6/29.

Tickets are still available for Memory Tapes and New Moods at Mercury Lounge on Friday (7/1).

Caveman are playing Mercury Lounge on September 15. Tickets go on sale Friday (7/1) at noon with an AmEx presale starting today (6/29) at noon.

Two Gallants play Mercury Lounge on September 13. Tickets are on sale now.

Pepper Rabbit were not added to the Braids show at Mercury Lounge, but they added their own on August 31 with We Barbarians. Tickets are on sale now.

North Highlands and ARMS play Mercury Lounge on July 27. Tickets are on sale now.

Check out what's happening on the Fourth of July (and in Philly).

54/10 Music Marathon

The 2nd Annual 54/10 Music Marathon kicks off tonight (6/14) at Ars Nova (511 West 54th St, NY, NY) and runs through June 25. Three different bands play each night and food will be available via the Joyride Ice Cream Truck, Eddie's Pizza Turck, Go Burger, Kimchi Taco Truck, and Jiannetto's Pizza. According to an interview with NY Press:

"A new addition this year is, we really wanted to create an atmosphere where people were really here for the whole night, and we wanted to make giving a chance to a band as easy and rewarding as possible, so we tried to think about what people might want to do in the breaks in-between bands, because that's definitely one place where venues just throw on a house mix. So we now have secured ourselves food trucks for every night of the marathon, so it's a different food truck every night. Last year we didn't have a very clear way to publicize the festival as a whole, so this year we've created a listening station where we have some iPods out with albums from each of the bands, so if you're here for whichever night, you're able to listen to albums by the other bands while you're waiting in-between sets or before the show."
You can see which truck will be there each night at their site.

ARMS play the marathon on June 23 with Thunder and Lightning and Miracles of Modern Science. Other familiar names on the schedule include Toys and Tiny Instruments, Murder Mystery and Ethan Lipton Tickets are available for all shows.

The full music schedule is below..

Continue reading "Ars Nova 55/10 Music Marathon runs through 6/25"

DOWNLOAD: ARMS - "Heat and Hot Water" (Passion Pit Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BELL - Dialtone (MP3)

Bowery photos by Amanda Hatfield

Bell - Diamonite

Bell is self-releasing a new LP Diamonite next week (5/31). The album is available for stream and pre-order on her website, including immediate download of two tracks (one of which is free to download above, and streaming below). Bell plays an album release party tonight (5/26) at Knitting Factory with ARMS. Bear in Heaven and Chairlift will be providing DJ sets. Tickets are on sale, AND the show will be streaming online.

Bell also opens the Diamond Rings and Porcelain Raft show at Europe on June 19th (Northside Festival). Tickets are still available. You can also try to get in with a Northside badge.

ARMS @ Bowery Ballroom in February
Arms

ARMS recently tweeted that they were "calling the next album The Denial Variations." It's reportedly due out this spring. While you wait, download the free EP he released last year, and the Passion Pit remix of "Heat and Hot Water" above (if you don't have them already).

Check out some belated photos from ARMS' show at Bowery Ballroom (2/26) with White Rabbits and Caveman below...

Continue reading "ARMS playing tonight w/ BELL (who has a new album), played Bowery Ballroom w/ Caveman & White Rabbits (belated pics)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: BNLX - Do Without (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BNLX - Where is the Love? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BNLX - When Doves Cry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sweet Bulbs - Kissing Clouds (MP3)

Mitch Easter
BNLX

A lot of cool shows this week/weekend, some of which might be a bit under the radar. Let's get into it. Alt rock legend Mitch Easter, in addition to being part of that upcoming Big Star Third show, is on a rare Northeast tour right now that pulls into town Thursday (2/17) at The Rock Shop.

While he's maybe best known as a producer (the first two R.E.M.'s albums [with Don Dixon], Pavement's Brighten the Corners, Moose's ...XYZ among other things), Easter has had a long career as a musician, as a part ofThe Sneakers in the late '70s and frontman/songwriter for Let's Active, easily one of the most underrated bands of the '80s. He's also an incredible guitarist, and Let's Active albums are resplendent with awesome axe-work.

I like everything they ever did but 1986's Big Plans for Everybody is especially great, one of my favorite albums of that decade. Mitch put the kybosh on Let's Active in 1990 and didn't release any original material until 2008's Dynamico, an album which showed he still has chops and songs to spare.

Mitch's set at The Rock Shop is going to be heavy on the Let's Active tunes and if there's a song you really want to hear, like "Talking to Myself" from Big Plans, you can make a request. Opening the show are Brooklyn's own Boy Genius whose album from last year, Staggering, was produced by Mitch and is worth checking out. Also playing: Overlord.

BNLX

I'm pretty excited about this next one. Minneapolis' awesome and enigmatic BNLX play their first-ever NYC shows this week, stopping at Fontana's tomorrow night (2/17) and The Rock Shop on Friday (2/18).

BNLX seemingly stormed out of nowhere early 2010, releasing a new EP each quarter, featuring hand-printed, Neu!-esque sleeves and press releases like this:

-BNLX has been meeting and / or exceeding expectations since its inception in Q1 2010
-BNLX provides mission-critical services to the entertainment sector in the following categories:
--"music" (noise)
--found art -beatz / rhymez
--mélodies angéliques
--obfuscation / parallax
-these services are rendered in the live, recorded, and conceptual spheres
-BNLX is comprised of both organic and inorganic members
-this allows BNLX to achieve standards of performance surpassing nominal criteria
-Stage One of the BNLX First One Year Plan commenced in March, 2010; it has been successful
-Stage Two - the release of BNLX EP #2 - will be executed June 25th, 2010
-BNLX EP #2 will be available as a numbered limited edition CD art package
-it will also be available through iTunes, other digital retailers, and piracy
Keeping things mysterious, you could mainly only focus on the music which is pretty awesome: blistering post-punk inspired rock, with male/female, call-and-response vocals, feedback, harmonies, old-school drum machines and ridiculously catchy choruses. The first three EPs were all originals, and the fourth EP was all covers, including great versions of Rhianna's "Shut Up and Drive" and hometown legend Prince's "When Doves Cry." BNLX actually played the latter at First Avenue last month at an Onion party, which takes balls.

That obfuscation didn't last two long as people figured out that BNLX was the work of Minneapolis indie rock mainstay Ed Ackerson, who has led such excelent bands as The 27 Various and Polara over the last 25 years as well as running Susstones Records. His wife Ashley -- they're both also in Moodswings -- is the other half of the band. BNLX have culled the best of the four 2010 EPs as a free sampler which you can download for free. You can also check out a few of the songs, including that Prince cover, at the top of this post.

The Rock Shop show is part of the monthly Hard Light party which is a must for lovers of shoegaze, post-punk, '60s psych, Krautrock, metal, Sweden, feedback, '90s indie rock, and guitars in general. In addition to BNLX, Hard Light promises "drink specials- weirdo cult movies - and loudness."

Tamaryn

Speaking of shoegazy stuff, Tamaryn is back in NYC for her first proper shows since CMJ 2010. She plays Don Hill's on Thusday (2/17), and then an afternoon show at PS 1 on Saturday (2/19). I loved her debut album, The Waves, which came in at #12 on my Favorite LPs of 2011 list, and it's still in pretty heavy rotation here at TWII Headquarters (aka my kitchen). It reminds me a lot of the first Verve album,  tsunami waves of guitar matched with a nimble, groovy rhythm section and Tamaryn's lovely vocals.

There are a lot of chilly ice princesses out there right now, but I think Tamaryn deserves the crown. (Though I haven't heard the Austra album yet.) I thought she and her band were great at Coco66, those three songs before the cops shut it all down. If you can't make these shows, she'll be back in April touring with The Raveonettes, including two nights at Music Hall of Williamsburg (4/20 and 4/21). All Tamaryn tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Sweet Bulbs

Keeping with the theme, let's talk a bit about Sweet Bulbs, "Brooklyn's blurriest pop band," whose album came out this week on Blackburn Recordings. It's choc-a-bloc with seriously catchy songs that are buried under layers of swirly guitars and effects pedals and other sludge. As someone who loved bands like The Swirlies, Drop Nineteens, Lilys and Henry's Dress, this is right up my alley. For those mystified by that litany of obscure '90s indie bands, just know Sweet Bulbs make beautiful noise. You can download "Kissing Clouds" from the album at the top of this post.

Sweet Bulbs play Bruar Falls this Saturday (2/19) with White Laces, Arches, and Tungs. Do check 'em out.

That's the main stuff this week. A few more picks, day by day are below:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16

The Church play three albums from their catalog in their entirety tonight at Highline Ballroom: Untitled #23, Priest=Aura, and Starfish. That's over three hours of music, which seems like a lot to me even for a devoted Church fan. Maybe if it was Heyday instead of Untitled #23 I'd be more inclined to go. They'll do it again tomorrow (2/17) at BB King's.

Tonight is also the third week of ARMS' February residency at Pianos, this week with The Silent League, Your Youth, Inlets and Thunder & Lightning (which is the new band from Brent Katz who was Todd Goldstein's bandmate in Harlem Shakes). ARMS were teriffic last week, this is highly recommended.

continued below...

Continue reading "Mitch Easter, BNLX, Tamaryn, Sweet Bulbs & more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Bill Pearis

ARMS
Arms

Week two of ARMS' residency at Pianos was a super strong line-up of local talent and one of the better overall shows I've been to in a long time.

Much of ARMS' set was new songs from the band's proper debut, a "sci-fi break up album" that's due, hopefully, this summer. Judging by what we got last night, ARMS are definitely reaching for the stratosphere and may well achieve liftoff. The new songs sound big, with equal-sized hooks, played with an assurance. I was really impressed by their set -- they could be this year's Antlers with whom they occupy the same sonic space. You've got two more chances to see ARMS' during their February residence, you should really go if you can.

Hospitality almost stole the show for me. It had been a while since I'd seen this trio, who only gig sporadically but must practice often because they were tight, confident and surprisingly loud. While some of their music leans in the demure, Belle & Sebastian direction, some of the new material kinda rocked in an undistorted kind of way. They played a number of new songs I hadn't heard before, all of which were good. Hospitality's long-overdue debut is coming out this summer. 2011 could really be their year too.

Somehow I'd never seen Radical Dads before despite them gigging all the time. I'd always assumed Robbie Guertin played guitar for the band, as he does for Uninhabitable Mansions and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. But he's actually their drummer -- and a really good one. Musically, the bassless trio sorta reminded me of the early '90s DC indie, and could have fit on Simple Machines Records alongside Liquorice, Tsunami or Scrawl.

Openers were Translations, whose bassist also plays in ARMS. Their double A-side debut was one of my favorite singles of last year and this was my first time seeing them. There's a sort of dustbowl sound to them, a little Dwayne Eddy twang that works well with Andrew Fox's vocals that are part Robert Pollard and part Don Henley. There's a new wave bent to them as well and at times -- like on the sprawling "The M.O." -- it really opens up and soars. The band have new singles out this spring, something to look forward to.

Next week's ARMS residency is with The Silent League, Your Youth, Inlets and Thunder & Lightning (which is the new band from Brent Katz who was Todd Goldstein's bandmate in Harlem Shakes).

Jessica Amaya shot some great (looking and sounding) video of ARMS and Hospitality which you can see below, along with more pictures of all the bands from last night.

Continue reading "ARMS played Pianos w/ Hospitality, Radical Dads & Translations (pics & video)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - You Don't Know Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Yang Yang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Terry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Floaters (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - You Today (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - Retrospective (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: The Vacant Lots - Confusion (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Don Giovanni Sampler (Zip)

Gross Relations
Gross Relations

In addition to being Black History Month, National Bird Feeding Month and National Sweet Potato Month, February also seems to consistently have a lot of band residencies. You may already be aware of ones by ARMS (who I'll get to shortly) and Yellow Ostrich,  but I'd also like to point out that up-and-coming Brooklyn indie rock band Gross Relations starts a three-week Tuesday residency tonight (2/8) at Bruar Falls.

Gross Relations have been going less than a year, but seem to have a clear idea with what they want to sound like. Like Mr. Dream and Diehard, the band shares a love of '90s indie rock. With the prominent keyboard lead lines (or maybe it's heavily-treated guitar?) on both sides of their "Fuzzy Timelines" 7", it's pretty easy to make comparisons to The Rentals, but the band they really remind me of is Chicago's late, great Number One Cup.

Either way, it's a good thing. Gross Relations write some majorly catchy songs. You can download the b-side to their single at the top of this post. Tonight's residency also features The Toothaches (whose debut album is a free download), Gone Bad, and NT.

ARMS @ Glasslands in December (more by Andrew St. Clair)
ARMS

I mentioned ARMS briefly above who are on Week Two (2/9) of their February Wednesdays residency at Pianos. Todd Goldstein and the rest of the band are finishing up work on their debut album (Kids Aflame was more of a Todd solo thing) with Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells). So expect a lot of new songs, I'd imagine. Todd says of the record, "It's a vast, hi-fi album. We're doing everything we can to take full advantage of the studio... the songs are very poppy and a little weird, there are lots of beautiful/scary textures, copious-but-thoughtful use of reverb... sequenced into a song-cycle, a sort of sci-fi breakup album." ARMS are hoping to have it out by the summer.

This week's residency is especially strong I think. It includes the lovely Hospitality, who finally seem to be getting down to business, having wrapped up their long-gestating debut album (also with Stoneback) which could be out as early as the spring. Let's hope! Singer Amber Papini promises a couple new songs at the show.

Also playing: Radical Dads, whose new single is a free  for you (with email address) via the increasingly popular Download Widget (found below). And Translations (who share a member with ARMS) open who I am super psyched to finally be seeing live after months of digging their debut 7".

Show's eight bucks, will be a good one.

Martial Canterel
>Martial Canterel

Also Wednesday is the record release party for Martial Canterel's You Today which came out today on Wierd Records. The show is part of Wierd's weekly Wednesday night party at Home Sweet Home. The flyer says performance at midnight, but I've never seen a band go on there before 1AM.

Martial Canterel is the non de synth of Sean McBride who is also one half of Xeno & Oaklander. McBride is kind of a luddite, making his records entirely on vintage equipment that was probably cutting-edge technology in 1980. Obviously it sounds very retro, but McBride's way of doing things also gives it a sound -- and authenticity -- you can't quite replicate on a laptop. Check out the title track at the top of this post. And if you dig that, also up there is a free downloadable Martial Canterel retrospective, including some rare songs.

Anika
Anika

In town this weekend is Anika whose debut album was a late-breaking entry into my Favorite Albums of 2011. Recorded in 12 days, live with no overdubs, it sounds like the missing link between The Slits and Lilliput. Portishead's Geoff Barrow -- his other band BEAK> is the backing band here -- gets the claustrophobic vibe just right. A lot of people have tried and failed to recreate that Martin Hannett Sound... Barrow nails it. And the material -- a mix of girl group covers and politically-charged originals -- suits Anika's Nico-esque delivery perfectly.

You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post. "Yang Yang" is a Yoko Ono cover, and "Terry" was originally recorded by Twinkle, who is probably best-known for having made the original version of "Golden Lights" that was later covered by The Smiths. (Many Smiths fans' least favorite track, but not mine. That would be "Never Had No One Ever.") The album sort of snuck out at the end of 2011, so catch up now. So good.

Don't get too excited though, Anika is just over for some DJ gigs -- I'm hearing we'll get her performing in May (and probably later at ATP) -- but I'd recommend checking one of them out nonetheless. Especially as three of them are free: on Thursday (2/10) she'll be at Gallery Bar with Blu Jemz, then  Saturday (2/12) at Trophy Bar and a Valentine's Day set  (2/14) at The Commodore. The remaining three NY DJ appearances are atMercury Lounge tomorrow night (2/9) spinning between sets at the Cubic Zirconia show (tickets), and Glasslands on Friday (2/11) where she'll spin in between sets by JavelinHigh Life, & Monster Rally (tickets), and finally Santos Pary House on 2/16 as part of the previously discussed Beans show with EdanPaten LockeBluebird (tickets).

That Javelin show on Friday night should be fun, as Anika's tastes will nicely contrast/compliment the sounds of Javelin (always one of the better live bands saddled with the "chillwave" tag), Highlife and Monster Rally.

That's the big stuff this week. Some more picks, day-by-day, are below.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

Gang of Four at Webster Hall, though really it's more like Gang of Two as it's just Jon King and Andy Gill from the original line-up these days. Their new album, Content, isn't bad. But most people will go to hear "To Hell With Poverty," "At Home He's  a Tourist," and other classics. And while Hugo and Dave will be missed, Andy Gill is still amazing to watch spit out those riffs, and Jon King remains possessed on stage -- especially when he's beating the shit out of a microwave on "He'd Send in the Army."

continued below...

Continue reading "Gross Relations, ARMS, Martial Canterel, Anika, Vacant Lots, Javelin, Abe Vigoda, Don Giovanni, more in This Week in Indie"

Yellow Ostrich @ Mercury Lounge on 1/4 (more by David Andrako)
Yellow Ostrich

Once January (and Linfinity) disappears, LES venue Pianos will have some more residencies to contend with. One of those is for Yellow Ostrich who will be there every Thursday night in February. All four shows including the final night with "additional secret headliner" are on sale.

ARMS are the other band taking residency at Pianos (again) in Feb, and their four Wednesday shows are also on sale. They also have a secret guest listed on their final show.

Meanwhile, as Bill pointed out, you can also catch Yellow Ostrich at Shea Stadium this Saturday night (1/15).

Full Pianos lineups so far, below...

Continue reading "Yellow Ostrich & ARMS taking residency @ Pianos too"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Heat And Hot Water (Birds and Batteries remix) (MP3)

ARMS
Arms

Grab another remix of "Heat and Hot Water" above. A set of pictures from the December 20th show at Glasslands continues below...

Continue reading "ARMS, We are Country Mice, Dead Stars & Iyez played Glasslands (pics & another ARMS remix)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

Braids

Braids opened for the Radio Dept. at Knitting Factory last night and will do so again tonight at Bowery Ballroom, but one night earlier they played a show with Arms, Neighbors, and Emil & Friends at the more intimate Mercury Lounge. A set of pictures from that show continues below...

Continue reading "Braids, Arms, Neighbors & Emil & Friends played Mercury Lounge (pics)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Braids - Lemonade (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Braids - Lemonade (Green Go Remix) (MP3)

Braids

If you've got tickets to one of the Radio Dept. shows this week, be sure to get there early to catch Montreal's Braids, who I just saw play in their hometown a couple weeks ago for the M for Montreal Festival. I said then:

Braids use their voices more as another instrument than a conveyor of lyrics. There are points during their set when the harmonies meld with the band's stretched out grooves to achieve ethereal bliss worthy of The Cocteau Twins. Their set is better than the one I'd seen at Knitting Factory back in May, not to mention besting many of the "official selections" at M the following days.
If you didn't get tickets to one of the two shows with The Radio Dept, you can still catch Braids Monday night (11/29) at Mercury Lounge where they play with Arms. That's a good double bill! Maybe, just maybe, Braids will have copies of their debut LP, Native Speaker, which isn't out officially till January 18. Seven warm, long and languid tracks, it's a dreamy start to 2011.  You can download album opener "Lemonade" at the top of this post, along with the same track in remixed form.

Braids will be back in 2011, hitting the road with Baths and Star Slinger -- a tour that hits NYC on February 12 at Knitting Factory. All Braids tour dates below...

Continue reading "Braids in NYC for 3 shows, touring w/ Baths in 2011 (dates)"

DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Heat and Hot Water (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Heat and Hot Water (Passion Pit remix) (MP3)

ARMS @ Mercury Lounge in July (more by Amanda Hatfield)
ARMS

As previously mentioned, ARMS, aka Todd Goldstein and band, play a show at Brooklyn Bowl with Oh Land and many others tonight (11/8). Currently working on a new album in a studio in NYC, maybe ARMS will try out some new material at the gig. In the meantime, grab the brand new Passion Pit remix of "Heat and Hot Water". The regular version, which you can get up there too, is one of four tracks on ARMS' free EP (get it here) which was released earlier this year.

Todd Goldstein can also be caught playing a solo show at Living Room on November 11th, and that's it for now for ARMS. Passion Pit have a bunch of shows coming up though, including two at the end of the year at Wellmont Theater in NJ. All dates below...

Continue reading "Passion Pit remix ARMS (who are playing shows) -- MP3"

Atlantic Antic

As I say every year, the Atlantic Antic is one of NYC's greatest street fairs and filled with music. This year's goes down this Sunday, 9/26, and has added an 'indie rock' stage...

Although the Antic is beloved for its cornucopia of global chow, from banh mi to custom-cured pastrami (the official slogan of the event is "Eat it at the Antic, Walk it off on Atlantic"), this year's iteration also includes a bounty of independent music and art, two of Brooklyn's most visible cultural exports.

The Roebling Inn (97 Atlantic Avenue, between Hicks and Henry Streets, Brooklyn Heights), a dark, vintage-inspired bar that opened in December, is hosting, in partnership with the music media company Future Sounds, the Antic's first stage exclusively featuring indie-rock.

"It was a no-brainer when we got the space," the inn's manager, Jason Furlani, said. "We knew we would do something for the Antic."

While part of the joy of the Antic is its spectacular diversity (on 13 other stages, visitors can take in Brazilian samba, Latin jazz, children's folk songs, Middle Eastern belly dancing, electric blues, string bands, South Louisiana Cajun music and more), Mr. Furlani and his partners wanted to pay specific tribute to Brooklyn's indie empire. Larry Little, the chief executive of Future Sounds, booked four emerging Brooklyn bands (Dinosaur Feathers, Shark?, Arms and German Measles) and one, Grandchildren, from Philadelphia. All share a penchant for fuzzy, nostalgic guitar. [NY Times]

Maybe this will help close the gap left after Magnetic Field closed. Speaking of which, The Roebling Inn may host the "first stage exclusively featuring indie-rock", but indie-rock is no stranger to the street fair.

The 36th Annual Atlantic Antic

Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 10am to 6pm, rain or shine
Atlantic Avenue from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue
10 Blocks of Food, Festivities, and Fun Through the Heart of Brownstone Brooklyn...
The flyer for the indie rock portion below...

Continue reading "The Atlantic Antic is Sunday, now with more indie rock "

Dr. Dog @ Terminal 5 in May (more by Tracy Allison)
Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog's free Beach at Governors Island show is happening on Sunday, August 15th. The openers for that show will be Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves and recent Domino signees Chief.

That gig is in advance of Dr Dog's October/November North American tour with Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic. No NYC date for that as of yet, but its currently scheduled shows are below. Here We Go Magic, however, does have a New York show, booked for August 11th Coco 66.

Dr. Dog singer-guitar player Scott McMicken has a solo show coming up at the Rock Shop on Sunday, August 22nd. Tickets are on sale. That's actually one of three solo dates he has planned with Springs, which is the musical name of Brooklyn's Mike Visser. Mike recorded a song with Scott as part of the Shaking Through Series, and a video of that is below. Springs also has a show with Sharon Van Etten at the Bushwick Starr on August 7th and a July 30th show at Arlene's Grocery.

Also coming up are some shows by Dr. Dog-related band Juston Stens & the Get Real Gang, the project of Dr. Dog's ex-drummer Juston Stens. Juston plays with TV Torso and Slow Animal at Death By Audio on August 25th, and then with ARMS and TV Torso at Mercury Lounge on Friday, August 27th. Tickets are on sale for the Manhattan show.

All tour dates, and video of Dr. Dog playing their single "Shadow People" on Craig Ferguson on July 2nd, are below...

Continue reading "Dr Dog & Here We Go Magic tour dates, Governors Island openers, Scott McMicken solo, Springs & Juston Stens too "

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"The Love Language put on a hell of a show at Mercury Lounge. Looking forward to seeing them again sometime." - Joe Saturday

DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Heat & Hot Water (Pepper Rabbit redux) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Love Language - Heart to Tell (MP3)

The Love Language @ Mercury Lounge
Mercury Lounge

The Love Language headlined what was their record release show at Mercury Lounge in NYC last night (7/15). "Libraries" is out on Merge Records now. Opening for the North Carolina band were current Brooklyn resident (ex-North Carolina resident) Nightdogs (being billed as Tim Poovy), Silver Lake's Pepper Rabbit (Amanda's surprise hit act of the night), and ARMS (who you should know fairly well by now).

ARMS and Pepper Rabbit may have seemed randomly placed on the same bill, but in fact they go way back. Well, maybe not way back but Pepper Rabbit remixed ARMS' song "Heat and Hot Water" sometime before last night, and you can grab it for free for the first time ever right now above.

Pepper Rabbit are currently on tour with Candy Claws who they played Glasslands with one night earlier. More pictures from the Mercury Lounge show below...

Continue reading "The Love Language played an album release show @ Mercury Lounge (pics), Pepper Rabbit remixed Arms (MP3)"

photos by Amanda M Hatfield

AA Bondy / Dearland
AA Bondy
Elvis Perkins

Four shows total happened in Newtown Barge Park over the weekend, all as part of the 2010 Northside Festival. We posted pictures from the ones that happened on Saturday. Here's the pictures, and some videos, from the first of two shows that happened there on Sunday....

Continue reading "Elvis Perkins in Dearland, AA Bondy & ARMS played Newtown Barge Park - pics & video"

by Bill Pearis

a day by day Week in Indie-like guide to this week's Northside Festival...

The Hundred in the Hands
The Hundred in the Hands

The Northside Festival is back for a second year, and I really do think the roster of bands playing over the next four days is pretty impressive: here's bigger bands, more out of town bands, more bands in general. More than plenty of good -- great even -- options to justify the $50 badge. (Most of us spend $50 in four days here anyway.) The bulk of the venues are within walking distance of each other, so why not make good use of the badge and hop around as much as possible.

For opening night (tonight, Thursday, June 24th), if you had to stay in one place the whole night, it's hard to top the line-up at Knitting Factory with DOM, Cloud Nothings and Wavves. It's sold out for tickets, but you can still get in with your badge as capacity allows. Wavves new album, King of the Beach, is going to surprise people expecting Nathan Williams to do more of the same lo-fi haze -- it's a ridiculously catchy set of tunes that drops the sludge and scuzz of his first two releases. Cleveland's Cloud Nothings are good too, much more rockin' live than their recordings might suggest, with a real basher of a drummer. I've yet to see Dom live, maybe tonight's the night. Dom also plays our showcase at MHOW on Saturday night.

Former Bell House/Union Hall booker Jack "Skippy" McFadden (along with the Gothamist folks) has put together a solid schedule of local talent at Coco66, with '90s-loving Mr. Dream, plus Pacific Theater, The Forms, Caveman, Bird of Youth, Luke Folger.

Elsewhere: The Hundred in the Hands are at Warsaw (10PM), opening for Au Revoir Simone (who have a new remix album coming out). THitH's new EP, This Desert, will appeal to folks who liked the dancier side of '90s shoegaze (Curve specifically comes to mind).

Austin's YellowFever, in town for the Voxtrot farewell shows, play Union Pool at 10:45PM. If you've never seen them, please try and correct that. It's a solid show overall, with Air Waves, Aa, Coasting and PC Worship.

ARMS, which is former Harlem Shakes guitarist Tom Goldstein's new band, >play their harmony-laden atmospheric pop at Bar Matchless at 10:30pm. If you miss them, they're also at Barge Park on Sunday.

And it should be a sloppy drunk night down in The Charleston's basement with My Teenage Stride, I'm Turning Into (2/3's of which are also in MTS, and they curated this show) and German Measles.

The full schedule is at Northside's site. More Northside suggestions as the weekend progresses. Stay tuned.

The Hundred In The Hands's new video for "Tom Tom" below...

Continue reading "Bill's 2010 Northside Festival picks (Thursday) "

AA Bondy @ Union Hall in February (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
AA Bondy

" 'How Will You Meet Your End?' by A. A. Bondy - A dark musical tale that seems to reach out from another time, this is a song I can -- and do -- leave on repeat for long stretches. For both "So Cold the River" and "The Cypress House," I turned to this song often because I found its haunting lyrics and melody to be perfect tone-setters." [Michael Koryta]
A.A. Bondy and JBM will be playing shows together around North America starting in August (full list of dates below).

A.A. Bondy then headlines his own show at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday, October 6th. No opener announced yet. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.

Much before that, A.A. Bondy has a NYC show scheduled with Elvis Perkins in Dearland and Arms (previously 'special guest') on Sunday, June 26th at Barge Park as part of Northside Festival. Tickets are still on sale for that. (He's also at the Newport Folk Festival this year.)

JBM (stage name of Jesse Marchant) plays a Bondy-less CD release show July 27th at Mercury Lounge (tickets) for his new album, Not Even in July, which comes out the same day on Partisan Records. Clips from that are streaming on the label's site.

A.A. Bondy played Toronto's Great Hall on June 18th as part of NXNE. A video from that set and all JBM/AA Bondy tour dates are below...

Continue reading "AA Bondy & JBM playing shows, some together (2010 dates) "