Entries tagged with: Acrylics
photos by Courtney Dudley; words by Phillip Pantuso
TEEN at Glasslands, 9/5/2012
I recently moved from Austin to Brooklyn, and the main thing I've noticed across the handful of shows I've attended so far is that either Austin is on some apathetic shit, or NYC crowds are, in general, much more lively and appreciative. There's a pervasive bonhomie that would almost be insulting to the bands onstage -- were they oftentimes not its main instigator. Take this all with a pinch of salt; it's been three weeks. But know that I really mean it when I say that TEEN's debut album release show last night at Glasslands was like a love-in for ex-Here We Go Magic keyboardist Kristina "Teeny" Lieberson and her band. You could tell as much when a not-insignificant number of the audience cheered during her mic check, and then got so quiet in expectation of the first song that I actually suppressed a cough.
TEEN opened with "Huh" from their aforementioned debut. It was an auspicious start. A flanged synth chord swirled in repeat over a tsk-tsk cymbal and rumbly tom, Lieberson's open-throated vocals and trebly guitar stabs, and a slinky bass line from Jane Herships (the one non-Lieberson sister in the quartet). It's the kind of vibe-heavy dream pop that's been en vogue since Beach House's first record. Teeny's smoky, melismatic singing style reminded me of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins: wildly performative and quite loud, which sometimes worked but often, as when she went off-pitch or overdominated the mix, didn't.
Like Here We Go Magic, TEEN's best songs work because they loop and layer earworm melodies until a kind of hypnotic, kraut-like trance is achieved. They take relatively simple parts that perfectly add up, as on "Come Back," a fervid, lovesick slab of jittery pop that inspired at least one straight-up interpretative dance in front of the stage. Or "Better," greeted by the loudest cheers of the night, probably because it features the punchy shout-a-long chorus "I'll do it better than anyone else!" But too many songs overstayed their welcome. "Roses and Wine" started out dirge-y and got even more languid over the course of what felt like ten minutes, whereas "Charlie," despite nailing a bleary, 60s girl-group pose, offered little in the way of fresh ideas beyond verse one.
Still, TEEN offered an at-times entrancing take on psychedelic dream-pop, and at the very least, it's heartening to see a band so warmly accepted while playing in their own (adopted) backyard. Teeny Lieberson was giving shout outs and literally conversing with friends the entire set.
More pictures from Glasslands, including openers Acrylics, are below.
As mentioned before, Brooklyn band TEEN will release their debut album via Carpark on August 28. A second track from the album, "Electric," has now been made available to download which you can do above. The band have also put together a "Rumbelette Mixtape" that features Pavement and Rickie Lee Jones covers, as well as pairing themselves with Aphex Twin and Outkast. You can download that above or stream it below.
The band just played a couple NYC shows (anybody go see them at Union Pool?) and their next local show is a record release party for their debut on September 5 at Glasslands with Acrylics and Bizi Gara. Tickets are on sale now.
photos by Winnie Cheung
PopMatters: José, at what point did you so decide you wanted to focus your creative energies on Junip?Sweden's Junip (featuring Jose Gonzalez, Tobias Winterkorn and Elias Araya), and NYC band Acrylics brought their tour to Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (5/19), an opening set by High Highs included. Junip returns this summer to play a free show at Prospect Park, and Jose will be performing solo while he's here too. More pictures from the Bowery show (where the Antlers play with Little Scream tonight), below...
José González: : Ever since I started touring seven years ago. After my first album [Veneer], our first attempt with Junip was in 2005. I've been really bad at saying "no: to stuff, so I was always headed back out on tour. So in 2008 it needed us to just put our foot down and decide properly that "next year we're going to record it, right? Right?!'
PopMatters: Do you work better when you set a deadline for yourself like that?
José González: It wasn't a deadline. It was more about a start line. More about saying 'no' to other stuff--not having a deadline, but starting to write and letting it take the time it needs. Deadlines are bad actually.
PopMatters: You guys met on the hardcore scene in Gothenburg in the 90's, which coincided with the city's death metal scene.
Tobias Winterkorn: I played bass in a death metal band. Very briefly. Some death metal stuff is quite good. I liked it more than I liked the hardcore scene for example.
José González: And Elias used to play drums in a death metal band.
"We've released a new digital-only EP. It features "In Every Direction" and remixes by Dale Earnhardt JR JR and White Sea (Morgan Kibby of M83), as well as three brand new, unreleased B-sides; "Näckrosdammen", "Pling", and "White Rain".Check out the video for Junip's "In Every Direction" and a stream of "Näckrosdammen" below, and snag a copy of their new digital-only EP via iTunes.
The video for "In Every Direction" was directed by our drummer Elias Araya. Elias found inspiration for the video in his father's art, the painter and sculptor, Kent Karlsson.Elias presents images in a simple, iconic way using different backgrounds refracted through a diamond. A few of his father's porcelain dog collection also made the video." - Junip
Junip, José González included, will hit the road for a string of North American dates in April and May with NYC band Acrylics, including May 19th at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for the NYC show go on AmEx presale Wednesday (3/9) at noon, and regular sale on Friday. Junip is also scheduled to play Bonnaroo in middle June. All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile Acrylics will be down at SXSW and at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on March 29th with Papercuts & Banjo or Freakout.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have a few dates scheduled on their way to Austin for SXSW, and it looks like they'll be spending some time on the road in May too, hitting NYC's Mercury Lounge on May 11th. Tickets for that one go on AmEx presale Wednesday (3/9) at noon, and regular sale on Friday. All currently known dates, and the Junip stuff, below...
Suuns @ Bowery Ballroom in November (more by Amanda Hatfield)
today in NYC
* Johnny Winter @ BB King's
* Sasha Dobson @ Barbes
* Jacob Sacks @ The Stone
* Slavic Soul Party @ Barbes
* Tell Your Friends! @ Lolita Bar
* Daniel Kitson @ St Ann's Warehouse
* Suuns, Takka Takka, Milagres @ The Rock Shop
* The Decemberists, Wye Oak @ Beacon Theatre
* Generationals, Country Mice @ Mercury Lounge
* Olafur Arnalds, Chris Garneau @ Highline Ballroom
* Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band @ Southpaw
* Drunken Sufis, Joy By Proxy, The Big Ups @ Bruar Falls
* Andrew Bishop, Tim Flood, Gerald Cleaver @ The Stone
* Mirrorgate, Water Temples, Buckshot Facelift @ Death By Audio
* Zanzo (Soft Circle/Lichens), Thank You, Daniel Higgs @ Glasslands
* Lycaon Pictus, My Other Friend, JP & The Gilberts, Quills @ Union Pool
* Fernando Arruda, Amanda Ruzza, Hannis Brown, Melaena Cadiz @ Zebulon
* Gabriel Kahane, Peter Bradley Adams, David Berkeley @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Beach Arabs, Shams, Ancient Ocean, Liz Hogg & Charlie Rauh @ The Showpaper 42nd Street Gallery
Tonight's Yuck show is cancelled.
Iceland's Olafur Arnalds, not to be confused with Iceland's Olof Arnalds, plays Highline Ballroom tonight with Chris Garneau.
Check out This Week In Indie
The Decemberists and Wye Oak kicked things off at Beacon Theater last night and do it again tonight.
Acrylics have a new video for "Nightwatch". Check that out below...
DONWLOAD: The Concretes - "All Day" (MP3)
DONWLOAD: The Concretes - "Good Evening" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Acrylics - "Nightwatch" (MP3)
It's been almost four years since singer-songwrtier Victoria Bergstrom (aka Taken By Trees) left the Swedish band she helped found. But The Concretes are still a band and still making new albums with former drummer Lisa Milberg now in the lead slot. Their new album, WYWH, was released in November. Two MP3s from that album are above. A video is below.
The Concretes kick off a North American tour in support of that album, this week in Minneapolis. It hits Bowery Ballroom in NYC on January 22nd. Tickets are still on sale. All dates are listed below.
Hooray For Earth are opening most dates on the tour, including Bowery Ballroom, and have another Brooklyn show coming up at Glasslands on March 8th with Zambri, Rewards, and Lemonade DJs. Hooray For Earth are releasing their debut LP, True Loves, via Dovecote Records on on 5/3. You can grab a song HERE.
Acrylics, who share the label Friendly Fire Recordings with the Concretes, are also opening at the Bowery Show, and you can catch them in Brooklyn at Union Pool on February 5th with Rewards and Blood Orange (aka Lightspeed Champion). Their debut full-length Lives and Treasure is coming out on March 1st. Download "Nightwatch" (which we've posted before) from that LP above.
All dates and stuff below...
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper continues her NYC run at the Rock Shop tonight.
Also coming up at Knitting Factory: A New Year's Eve Felabration! with the FELA! Band (featuring members of Antibalas), Sahr Ngaujah (FELA) and the FELA! Dancers. Tickets are on sale.
Speaking of FELA!, you don't have many more chances to see the Broadway play (it closes January 2nd).
Noah & the Whale aren't nearly as big as their Grammy-nominated friends in Mumford & Sons, but they did just add a 2nd Bowery Ballroom show after the first one became close to sold out. Tickets for the 3/21 show go on sale Wednesday at noon.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Violens - Acid Reign (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Violens - Violent Sensation Descends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Powerful Lovin' (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Warm Ghost - Open the Wormhole In Your Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Weed Hounds - Beach Bummed 7" (ZIP)
DOWNLOAD: Acylics - Nightwatch (MP3)
We'll start of this week with a giveaway. Violens play Santos this Saturday and if you'd like to win a pair of tickets to the show as well as a copy of the band's new album, Amoral, just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "VIOLENS" as the subject and we'll pick a winner at random.
I think Violens' debut is a pretty sweet slice of glossy goth pop, heavily in debt to bombastic '80s UK mope but with a modern sheen. If it's out-of-step with what's currently in favor in Brooklyn, it's all the more distinctive for it. It also sounds really good loud. Amoral may hold up pretty well down the line, too, as songs like "Violent Sensation Descends," "Acid Reign" (both downloadable above) and "The Dawn Of Your Happiness Is Rising" are cleverly-produced and catchy-as-hell.
What else is going on this week? MOJO Album of 2010 recipient John Grant plays two shows this week: an early show tonight (12/8) at Mercury Lounge and then Saturday (12/11) at The Rock Shop. If you haven't checked out the former Czars frontman's solo debut -- produced and backed by Midlake -- you should really do so. From MOJO's year-end review:
[Midlake]'s intervention supplied confidence, empathy and a meticulous '70s soft rock sound, allowing Grant to channel a life's worth of vitriol and self-flagellation into songs of spiritual hunger, emotional fireworks and bile-black humour that always searched for self-improvement and atonement. Here were tales of alcohol and cocaine dependency, self-hate and destructive love affairs that raised the twin ghosts of Patsy Cline and Karen Carpenter. The result was in an intensely bittersweet pop record, that, like a couple of similar MOJO classics before it -- Antony's I Am a Bird Now and Bon Iver's For Emma... -- sounded like it's creator had been waiting his whole life to make.You can listen to the whole shebang via a widget at the bottom of this post. Unfortunately, Midlake won't be backing him on these shows so we won't get Queen of Denmark is it's truly epic glory but I have a feeling that Grant, with help from multi-instrumentalist Casey Chandler, will do just fine on a smaller scale.
Trip hop pioneer Tricky is here this week as well, with shows at Le Poisson Rouge tomorrow (12/9) and Brooklyn Bowl on Friday (12/10). Here's one of those artists that even that despite a string of lackluster records, I always give the new album a chance. While there are more than a few regrettable moments on Mixed Race (I don't think anybody could make a Peter Gun sample work in 2010), there's also some of the best we've heard from him in ages that drip that paranoid, slow-burn cool that made his first two albums classics.
Atlas Sound, Feb 2010 @ the Bell House (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
While Deerhunter's terrific Halcyon Digest is finding its way into many's Top Ten of 2010 lists (maybe mine, we'll see), Bradford Cox stays busy as Atlas Sound who play an Maxwell's on Friday (12/10) and The Bell House on Saturday (12/11). Has any other artist been on such a creative hot streak as Cox since 2008? The guy releases at least one "official" album a year in one of his two guises, with regular demo dumps via his blog that are almost always worth downloading. Like the four-part Bedroom Databank series we got in the last two weeks. May this ride never end.
And a few more picks, day-by-day, for shows not covered above.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8
It's the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death, and Glasslands pays tribute tonight with a cavalcade of indie names, including: Acrylics, Amazing Baby, Nicole Atkins, Here We Go Magic, Eytan & The Embassy, Psychic, Teen, The Royal Chains, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Bizi Gara, Class Actress, and Brian Harding. Proceeds go to Arts Education International.
Over at Death by Audio, you can catch a rock-solid bill featuring bash-pop duo Sisters, Total Slacker offshoot Web Dating, indie rock quartet Shark?, sleazoid garage rockin' X-Ray Eyeballs, and Philly duo Slutever.
by Bill Pearis
This will be a shorter column than usual (please hold your applause till the end) as I'm heading across the Canadian border to attend this year's M for Montreal festival where I'll be seeing the likes of The Dears, PS I Love You, Valleys and a bunch of bands who sing in French. (Also, Gene Simmons has been invited for some reason and will be filming his reality show while there.) It will also be about 20 degrees colder up there so, gentle readers, don't be too jealous of my international travels. There's plenty of cool stuff going on here.
Darwin Deez plays his last NYC show of 2010 at Mercury Lounge tonight (11/17) with Bell (who just played Glasslands the other night with Suuns), King Charles (a UK artist who just got done touring with Mumford & Sons - you might have caught him the past two nights at Terminal 5 - he also plays the Rock Shop on Thursday) and Friends. Darwin's had a good year... in the UK. He came in at #10 on NME's Cool List 2010 (in between Marcus Mumford and Carl Barat, for context) and was pictured on the cover of the issue (see above - the guy with the string on his forehead), and his self-titled debut came in at #56 on Rough Trade Shops' Best LPs of 2010 list.
Here in his home town (or home country), Darwin doesn't get much press or blog love. Mind you, his album hasn't even come out in the U.S. yet -- it's due February 2011, nearly a year after its UK release. (I also don't think his look is doing him any favors over here.) When it does hit these shores, it's definitely worth checking out -- a poppier, funkier take on Strokes-style indie rock that shows off impressive melodic and lyrical talent. It's an immediately likeable record and he deserves more attention than he's getting. Check out the Cosmos-inspired video to his single "Constellations" at the bottom of this post.
Xeno and Oaklander @ PS1 in 2009 (more by Zach Dilgard)
Tonight is also the seventh anniversary of the Wierd parties which started at Brooklyn's Southside Lounge and grew into a label specializing in minimal synth and darkwave. Wierd Records has released some great stuff this year, including debut albums from Automelodi and Frank (Just Frank). Their weekly party now happens at Home Sweet Home on Christie St. in the L.E.S. and for tonight's special occasion, in addition to great tunes and smoke machines they've got Xeno and Oaklander performing live. These two perform like the last three decades never happened, strictly analogue, with piles of vintage gear strung together with patch cables. Squint and you might think you'd been transported back to Sheffield, England circa 1979.
Zoos of Berlin
Detroit's Zoos of Berlin are taking a break from recording their second album to hit the East Coast for a couple of NYC dates this weekend. They play Friday (11/19) at Cake Shop and then a show at Spike Hill on Saturday (11/20). I've written about ZoB a bunch of times over the last year and always try and catch them when they're in town. There's no other band that sounds quite like them, a mix (as I've said before) of Berlin-era Bowie and Steely Dan.
If you haven't checked out their music yet, now's a perfect time as they've made both their eponymous EP and first album,"Taxis," available as free downloads from their Bandcamp page. And do go see them play if you can, they're tight and surprisingly funny given their regal sound.
One of my favorite new bands of last year, Acrylics, have finally put the finishing touches on their debut album which will drop on January 25, 2010. It's ten songs of dusty, dreamy pop (Mirage-era Fleetwood Mac gets you in the right ballpark) that is above all else a showcase for the duo's enviable songwriting abilities. The sparkling arrangements and soaring harmonies are impressive too.
With the new album in the can, Acrylics are starting to play live again and have two shows this weekend. They play Friday night at Glasslands with Chicago's Light Pollution (who leave on tour with Delorean and Lemonade a day later), Blood Orange (Dev of Lightspeed Champion who opened for Glasser last night and who also plays a show at Union Pool tonight), and Unsolved Mysteries. Acrylics also play Cameo Gallery on Saturday (11/20) with their pals Amazing Baby , and two hard-to-Google bands I'm not familiar with: TEEN, and Psychic (at first I thought the band was Teen Psychic, but it's apparently two separate groups).
Acrylics, Amazing Baby, and, and Teen are also part of an upcoming John Lennon Tribute show taking place at Glasslands on December 8th along with Nicole Atkins, Beige, Eytan & The Embassy, Here We Go Magic, Psychic, The Rassle, The Royal Chains, and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson.
Big Troubles @ Mercury Lounge last week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
And I'll hopefully be back from Montreal in time Sunday night (11/21) to hit Glasslands for their killer bill of Weekend, Young Prisms, Minks and Big Troubles (maybe you caught them recently opening for Magic Kids), one of the more solid, well-curated line-ups I've seen in a long time. If you like any one of these bands, you'll probably like the rest. As I've said before, Weekend's debut album, Sports, is a superior slice of post-punk shoegaze that is both pummeling and beautiful. Weekend aren't reinventing the wheel, but the San Francisco trio are expert drivers. Two MP3s are at the top of this post.
Their tour-mates are fellow San Franciscans Young Prisms who practice similar hazy, loud sonics and will release their debut album on Kanine early next year. You can check out an MP3 from it at the top of this post. If you can't make this show, Weekend and Young Prisms will be back after Thanksgiving for a show at Cake Shop on November 27.
The rest of the Glasslands bill: Minks, whose debut album on Captured Tracks is one of my highly anticipated releases of 2011 as I've dug both their singles so far, as well as their live show. And if you haven't heard Big Troubles' debut, which came out early this year on Olde English Spelling Bee, I recommend you remedy that, especially if you have a fondness for early-'90s shoegaze. Big Troubles know their stuff, have digested it all and come up with their own appealing version.
That's it for this week. Tour dates, videos, some others shows and flyers are below.
by Bill Pearis
Hyped UK act Wolf Gang are in town making their first-ever American appearances, playing a free show tonight (10/13) at Santos Party House with Emil & Friends and The Knocks, and then Thursday (10/14) at Glasslands with Acrylics, Safe and Painted Face.
The alter ego of Max McElligot, Wolf Gang make anthemic, danceable pop that really aims for the rafters. Wolf Gang's debut album, due next month, was produced by Dave Fridman, who I'm pretty sure has an "Epic" knob on his mixing desk. It's been turned to at least 8 for new single "Lions in Cages" which you can download at the top of this post. If you like the Arcade Fire or MGMT (there's a little "Kids" in "Lions") or fellow Brit melodramaticists Monarchy, you might want to make your way to one of Wolf Gang's shows.
A couple Wolf Gang videos and flyers and all dates are after the jump.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Weekend - End Times (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Weekend - All American (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Procedure Club - Feel Sorry for Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Procedure Club - Rather (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: No Joy - No Joy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ceremony - Someday (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Games - Everything is Working (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Family Trees - Dream Talkin (MP3)
Weekend @ Cake Shop
I hope you all survived the insanity that was last week. Thankfully, this week is not quite as action packed but still a lot of cool stuff going on. Let's get to it.
Lovers of shoegazy noisepop will want to be at Silent Barn tonight (8/18) for a pretty killer quadruple bill at which earplugs are definitely recommended. San Francisco's Weekend and New Haven, CT's Procedure Club are both signed to Slumberland Records. Weekend are pretty clean-cut looking dudes who make a dark-edged squall that shows a direct through-line from Joy Division to Jesus and Mary Chain to Ride and beyond. I caught them last night at Cake Shop and despite a few microphone problems I thought they were pretty good. Loud. Really loud. The band have already released singles on Transparent and Mexican Summer -- download tracks from those at the top of this post -- and the Slumberland album, Sports (is the title perhaps a tip of a hit to fellow Bay Area musician Huey Lewis?), is out in November. Weekend also play Death by Audio tomorrow (8/19) tomorrow night with sonic compatriots A Place to Bury Strangers.
Procedure Club, meanwhile, are more on the bedroom pop side of things. Their album, Doomed Forever, came out in June and is a pretty low fi affair, but the songwriting begins to shine through the cacophony on repeated listens. Check out two tracks from the album above, and there's a video for "Rather" at the bottom of this post.
As for the rest of the Silent Barn bill, there's LA/Montreal duo No Joy who I've written about before (but still haven't seen) and are possibly the loudest band on a very loud night. The band's debut 7" is out now on Mexican Summer (grab the b-side above) and is recommended to those whose taste leans towards the sludgy side of things. No Joy are also playing the Death by Audio show with APTBS and Weekend tomorrow night, and will then head out on tour with Dungen, and those tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Rounding out the show are Fredericksburg, VA's Ceremony who crib more than a little from JAMC (and Medicine and The Radio Dept.), though their album, Rocket Fire, has some nice moments on it -- you can download an MP3 of "Someday" at the top of this post.
Dean and Britta
Dean Wareham kicks off his "Plays Galaxie 500" tour tonight at the Rock Shop, and he'll do it again tomorrow night at Bowery Ballroom with Crystal Stilts opening. Both shows are sold out so I won't go on and on here, but I'm looking forward to this trip down Memory Lane. Hopefully he'll pull out some of my favorites ("Strange," "Parking Lot," "Oblivious"). Dean talked to the AV Club about the difficulties of rearranging the songs for his current band:
AVC: You play with four people now instead of three.Dean & Britta, meanwhile, have a new album, 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests, which they'll be touring in the fall. (NYC's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on 10/22.) All Dean Wareham Plays Galaxie 500 tour dates (including the Music Hall of Willimsburg one that was just added in December) , HERE, and video of the original band doing "Strange" is at the bottom of this post.
DW: We like four people, because I listen to the records, and there's generally two guitars, because there's an overdub on each track. Or sometimes Matt [Sumrow] plays keyboards; he switches back and forth. I think it sounds fuller with the live guitar. When I go back and look at the old Galaxie 500 live recordings, sometimes Kramer would get onstage with us and play a few songs. It sounded a little fuller. There are times when it works great as a three-piece, too.
AVC: Does touring the Galaxie songs as a four-piece involve some rearranging?
DW: It involves some rehearsing. The songs are more difficult to play than I remember. I listened to the live Galaxie 500 album from Copenhagen, and I realized that's at the end of a tour, after we had been touring for a couple of months and had gotten pretty good at it. In terms of chord structure, the songs are incredibly simple. For example, a song like "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste" is only one chord, but there's a whole lot going on in it.
AVC: Peter Buck talks about how hard it was late in R.E.M.'s career to relearn some of their early songs. Because they didn't know what they were doing at first, it's incredibly difficult to replicate.
DW: On "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste," when I was going over my guitar solo, I had no idea what I was doing and I was completely lost. Then I'm like, "How did I do that?"
AVC: It's hard to stumble into the same thing twice.
DW: Well, obviously I don't have to replicate it note-for-note. Mind you, I've got fans who get mad if I play "Snowstorm" and I do the solo with the fuzz pedal instead of the wah-wah. "What! How could he do that?"
And a few more picks, day-by-day of shows that weren't covered above.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18
Family Trees, who probably own a Galaxie 500 record or two, play their dreamy folk pop to Pianos tonight opening for Julian Lynch and Family Portrait. Check out Family Tree's lovely "Dream Talkin'" at the top of this post.
Air Waves, The Beets, Easter Vomit and Rifle Recoil play a benefit for Yellow Fever's Jennifer Moore at Death by Audio.
photos by Bryan Bruchman
Spinner: You had an EP out in October, produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. How did you team up with him?Below you'll find:
Acrylics: Chris Taylor saw us play some shows, and we had some friends in common. He asked us to record initially one track that was going to be on a split 7-inch, and we got into it and recorded an EP. We had about a week to do it. We were in his church studio, which is a beautiful place to record. We had fun. We had been working on a whole record prior to that, and we're still working on that record, slowly. So it was fun that he gave us the opportunity.
- A flyer for tonight's (3/26) show at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn
- More Acrylics tour dates (w/ The Smith Westerns)
- A video of Acrylics at SXSW
- More pictures of Acrylics at SXSW Acrylics played many shows at SXSW this year, including the very first one apparently. Great bill at Glasslands tonight. All that stuff below...
by Bill Pearis
If you were like me, you spent last night at home puzzling over the LOST premiere (or maybe you went to the Bell House to watch it.) But maybe in an alternate universe I chose instead to go see Oberhofer at Pianos last night. And also in that alternate universe, everyone has health care and I own my own apartment and there is a jukebox in every high school cafeteria. I digress. Luckily for me in this world, Oberhofer are playing again this Friday (2/5) at The Studio @ Webster Hall with Radical Dads.
There's no shortage of bedroom rockers out there hawking their one-man-bands on MySpace, but Oberhofer definitely have something. While there is plenty of every home recording enthusiast's best friends, reverb and distortion, Oberhoffer is not Wavves-style scuzz. The most obvious comparison is probably The Dodos (clattery drums, glockenspiel, whistling), but I even hear a little Real Estate in there too on the track "Away FRM You" which you can download above. You can download a seven-song EP via his MySpace by giving up your email address. While the recordings are just Brad, he's put together an actual band which is what you'll The Studio @ Webster Hall on Friday.
Savoir Adore will play Cake Shop the next three Thursdays. Their debut, In the Wooded Forrest, is loaded with great big pop songs and made my Favorite Albums of 2009 list and they are great live too, so if you've yet to check them out live don't wait any longer. The band has hand-picked the bands for their residency shows, and this Thursday (2/4) is especially good, featuring the very good and fun French Horn Rebellion who you might also see opening for Hot Chip this weekend. The two bands help each other out live (FHR's David Perlick-Molinari plays guitar in Savoir Adore; Savoir's singer Paul Hammer plays drums in FHR) so there should be a good party vibe going on.
Also on the bill are DJ/electronic artist Pocketknife and singer-songwriter Cameron Hull. If you'd like to go I've got a pair of tickets to give away. Just send an email with "Savoir Adore" as the subject to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM and a winner will be chosen at random.
Hot Chip's show with French Horn Rebellion happens Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It's sold out, but you can also catch Hot Chip one night earlier at Highline Ballroom with Free Energy. The MySpace Secret Show is free - first come, first served.
There's a lot going on this week. Also Thursday, at Studio @ Webster Hall is another Twin Sister show put on by blog Chocolate Bobka. (Seriously, McGregor puts on shows like some people put on pants [ie fairly often].) I finally got to see Twin Sister last Friday at Bruar Falls and I was pretty blown away by how good they are live. Last year's Vampires with Dreaming Kids EP (downloadable from their website), as good as it is, doesn't really give an accurate picture of what they now sound like. These days, they're combining '80s-back-to-jazz (Sade, Style Council) with more drony/Krautrock type stuff (Notwist, Stereolab). They were just fantastic live, and I haven't come away from a show that excited about a new band in some time. Totally impressed. Twin Sister have a bunch of shows coming up and I do suggest you check them out soon, as I think 2010 is gonna be big for them.
And a few more quick recommendations:
The Soft Pack's debt album is out today, well worth buying, and they play a free all-ages show at Cake Shop on Friday (2/5). Doors are at Midnight. One of my favorite live bands of the last two years. if you miss the small venue show, they'll back back in March April to play Maxwell's, Mercury Lounge and Music Hall of Williamsburg (all just went on sale).
Montreal's We Are Wolves are in town this weekend, and play The Studio @ Webster Hall on Friday (2/5) and Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday (2/6). The Saturday show is also the Hot Chip MHOW afterparty with a DJ set by the band.
Golden Triangle's debut for Hardly Art, titled Double Jointer, is out on March 3 and you can download an MP3 from it, "Neon Noose," at the top of this post. The band will be going on tour around that time as well (tour dates below) but play a one-off show this Saturday at Union Pool with the Cramps-y garage of K-Holes. This should be a fairy debauched good time.
Acrylics play twice this weekend: Friday night (2/4) at Brooklyn Bowl with Tanlines as part of BAM's "Sounds Like Brooklyn" Festival. Then they're on a kind of amazing bill the next night (2/5) at Glasslands that is officially the record release party for Class Actress' debut EP. Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor (who runs Terrible Records that both bands are on) DJs. The show also features Blood Orange (aka Dev of Lightspeed Champion) and The Morning Benders. That's a good show!
An MP3 from The Morning Benders' new album Big Echo (out March 9th on Rough Trade) is above. All of their March and April tour dates in support of the new record are below.
There's a new video for Acrylics' "Molly's Vertigo" after the jump as well, along with tour dates and flyers...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Octagon - Suicide Kings (MP3)
I wrote at length already about this week's Serena Maneesh shows. Now here are some other daily picks to take you through the weekend...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - three tracks from In the Wooded Forrest (link takes you to download page)
One of the nicest bands and most underrated bands in Brooklyn, Savoir Adore have been going for almost two years but just their debut album, In the Wooded Forrest, on Cantora Records. It's loaded with big pop hooks, clever productions and positive vibes. They are also a lot of fun live, which you can find out for yourself tonight (12/18) -- they play The Cantora Holiday party with French Horn Rebellion. It's $5 with RSVP, doors are at 11PM. You can also catch them at Mercury Lounge on January 14th. Tickets are on sale at noon.
Core members Paul Hammer and Deidre Munro answered our year-end questionnaire...
by Bill Pearis
Where a lot of current Brooklyn bands are getting noticed for innovation, Acrylics' Molly Shea and Jason Klauber focus on classic pop songwriting. They're quite good at it too, as you can hear on their debut EP, All of the Fire, which came out on Terrible Records, a new label co-founded by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. He also produced the record. You can download the title track above, along with "Molly's Vertigo" which isn't on the EP but is also pretty damn catchy. Molly Shea looks back on 2009 via our year-end questionnaire...
by Bill Pearis
A pretty killer line-up at Mercury Lounge tonight (12/9). Headliners Violens just got back from a big European tour opening for White Lies, and this looks to be their last show of 2009. They've been rather pokey in getting out their debut LP, but it looks set to finally come out early next year. You can get a taste on their downloadable Winter Mix Tape which features a couple album tracks, some remixes, demos, a cover of Saint Etienne's "Avenue" (!) -- plus singer Jorge Elbrecht singing overtop Wire's "Outdoor Miner" and The Byrds' "I See You." (The latter, he sings My Bloody Valentine lyrics). If you've never heard Violens before, this is a pretty good place to start, giving you a sense of the disparate influences the band bring together.
Also playing Merc are Acrylics and Class Actress, both of whom are signed to Grizzly Bear Chris Taylor's Terrible Records. I've written about Acrylics a bunch of times are definitely one of my favorite new local bands. Their debut EP, All of the Fire, was produced by Taylor and came out a couple weeks ago and is at its best when Jason Klauber and Molly Shea sing together. The title track, which you can download at the top of this post, finds them at their Fleetwood Mac-iest, with that dreamy pedal steel and echo handclaps.
Class Actress, meanwhile, could be lumped in with the coldwave/darkwave scene depending on what song you hear first -- the synths on "Careful What You Say" are pretty icy -- but there's a strong heartbeat running through Elizabeth Harper's songs, and the EP (produced in part by Violens' Elbrecht) is pretty varied and quite lovely. I haven't seen her perform live yet, so I'm looking forward to tonight.
As mentioned previously, Yellow Fever are in town this weekend, ostensibly to play a record release party Saturday (12/12) night at Death By Audio for their debut LP on Vivian Girls Wild World records. Vivian Girls headline. Happy Birthday open. Yellow Fever's album is basically a compilation of everything they've released to date -- a couple CDR EPs and singles. They definitely work the "less is more" angle, with spare arrangements that play off Jennifer Moore's haunting vocals (not entirely unlike Cowboy Junkies' Margot Timmins). They're something special.
If you ask me, at this point in their popularity, Vivian Girls + Death By Audio = too much nutty behavior for me, so I'll probably catch Yellow Fever at Bruar Falls on Friday (12/11) where they play with Tyvek, Air Waves (a nice NYC match to Yellow Fever, download their song "Lightning" above) and Noveller (the musician, not the macroblogging service). Yellow Fever also play Silent Barn on Sunday (12/13).
For those looking for a quieter option on Friday (12/11), Brooklyn blog Chocolate Bobka has put together a unique show at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint featuring the spooky folk of Vermont's Mountain Man, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker, and
Liam the Younger. It's not only acoustic, it's unamplified. The suggest brining blankets or yoga mats to sit on. More info on the exquisite flyer which is at the bottom of this post or available in a big version here.
Fiery Furnaces are playing this Friday (12/11) at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Saturday at Bowery Ballroom (Shilpa Ray opens both nights). While I don't like everything the Friedbergers do, it's always good to check back in with them as, chances are, it will sound completely different from the last thing. They've just released Take Me Round Again (out 12/15 on Thrill Jockey), which they're calling a covers record -- Matthew doing some of Eleanor's songs, and vise versa. The reworked versions of songs were also influenced by their "deaf descriptions" project on their website, where fans wrote reviews of FF's other 2009 release, I'm Going Away, before they actually heard the record. The AV Club NY has a nice interview with Matthew this week, where he talks about '70s television theme songs and what's next for Fiery Furnaces:
AVC: How do you see your music evolving from here?That's it for today. I'll talk about That Petrol Emotion, A Sunny Day in Glasgow and more in the second half of this column, coming tomorrow to this very blog! Meanwhile, click through for flyers, videos and tour dates...
MF: It's good to write music all the time, if that's what you want to do. When you're in a band, when you have something going, the hardest thing you have to do is to put everything into what's ongoing.. Especially these days you never know what you're supposed to do--if you should be more hectic, give away songs, or do a project with the voice from the Muppets. You have to have a record on Twitter. The band lends itself to do that sort of thing,
AVC: You mean gimmicky stuff?
MF: Yeah, we do a lot of gimmicky things, but it comes from us. We don't think that's so strange for us. But we've had people tell us, "Give a song away so you get people's e-mail addresses and you can send them an e-mail saying, 'Buy our box set for $90.'" All these [music] professionals, they don't know what they're doing. What can you do? You just have to do what you have energy to finish. Luckily you probably won't follow through on things you're not really into.
AVC: Does that mean we're not going to see you giving away an album on Twitter any time soon?
MF: Well, we are on Twitter, but someone did tell us, "If you're not on Twitter, you don't exist." That's the way the world is now. You could just be interested in writing in 140 characters, but it's also your obligation to be friendly too. We still have to figure out which way to go with that, so our Twitter posts aren't very interesting.
Raphael Saadiq is playing Terminal 5 on December 4th. Tickets are on sale.
Alberta Cross is headlining Bowery Ballroom on February 4th. Tickets are on AmEx presale (@ noon).
Violens and Acrylics share a bill at Mercury Lounge on December 9th. Tickets are on sale.
Slim pickins for New Years Eve shows in NYC this year. Mercury Lounge has The A-Bones opening for The Detroit Cobras. Tickets are on sale.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Dinosaur Feathers - Early Morning Risers (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Betty Wang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Acrylics - Molly's Vertigo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beach Fossils - Vacation (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Family Portrait - Mega Secrets (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darwin Deez - Bad Day (MP3)
Cymbals Eat Guitars
It's hard to believe online indie record store Insound has been around for ten years. Actually it's just hard to believe 1999 was a decade ago, but the calendar says it's so. Insound is also based out of NYC, so we're lucky enough to be invited to their 10 year birthday party tonight (8/27) at Brooklyn Bowl featuring a hard-to-pass-up line-up of local talent: Cymbals Eat Guitars, These Are Powers, The Drums, Real Estate and at least one band yet-to-be-announced (sort of). $10 gets you in the door and there's free Brooklyn Brewery beer from 6 - 9.
Another very good option in Williamsburg tonight (8/27) is happening at Glasslands, featuring Effi Briest, Mahogany, and Free Blood (but not Deradoorian). The all-girl Effi Briest are in the same spooky, rhythm-heavy realm as the Life Without Buildings or the Slits (and maybe just a little Siouxsie). They've got a split 7" with Telepathe that's out now and they're working on their debut album as we speak. Mahogany, whose new line-up now (nine-strong according to their Myspace) seems to have been nailed down with the addition of former Dirty on Purpose bassist DJ Boudreau, will hopefully be playing some new material as it's been three years since their fantastic Connectivity. Free Blood bring a surprising amount of heat for such a minimal sound, thanks to the chemistry between ex-!!! John Pugh and Madeline Davy. And rounding out the bill are (The) Tony Castles who share a member with Boogie Boarder and are about to hit the studio with Jake Aron (Chairlift, Yeasayer, Acrylics).
This weekend is the After the Jump Festival which happens Friday - Sunday at Gowanus art space/venue Littlefield. ATJ is a group of bloggers that puts on events throughout the year, but this is the third year for their multi-day event and every night is pretty solid featuring some of the best new bands in NYC and a few from out of town. The full schedule and flyer is at the bottom of the post but I'll highlight a few from each night.
Friday (8/28): I have yet to see sound-collage dance act Javelin but I do like their records and am curious to see how they pull it off live. It's also their last show possibly November, so get in while you can. You can also catchy buzzy Florida band Holiday Shores (more on them below), indie pop royals My Teenage Stride, and the beachy Dinosaur Feathers.
Saturday (8/29): Philly's Free Energy (not to be confused with Free Blood) are a lot of fun if you have no problem with early '80s stadium rock or silly outfits. Despite a feeling I should know better, their live show and giant hooks won me over. Also: the Tom Waits-meets-garage-rock of Wild Yaks and the clattering, poppy Drink Up Buttercup. The night ends as a dance party with just-added Ninjasonik and the wacky Das Racist.
Sunday (8/30): Two of my favorite new NYC bands are playing on the early side. I've written a little bit about Acrylics before, but I've caught them three times over the summer and have been more impressed each time. "Molly's Vertigo," which you can download at the top of this post gives you a good idea of their sound, which is sort of '80s-ish with a dusty Southwest vibe, which maybe makes them a bit like the Rosebuds or Mirage-era Fleetwood Mac. Vocalists Molly Shea and Jason Klauber nail the harmonies and they've got an excellent pedal steel player. They're on at 8PM, don't miss them. Right before Acrylics are Hospitality, who I've written about before, are very charming live and don't play often enough. I haven't managed to catch them since May and am hoping for lots of new songs Sunday.
You can still buy discounted $25 passes for the whole shebang until Friday (8/28) morning. Individual tickets are $10 are night. There's also free beer each night from 6 - 7PM. Again, the whole After the Jump Fest schedule is below.
Holiday Shores @ Pianos in June (more by Tim Griffin)
More weekend recommendations. Fellow Brooklyn blogger Chocolate Bobka has put together a solid show at Cameo on Saturday night, with four bands that genuinely compliment each other. My previously-mentioned qualms with their vocals aside, Beach Fossils are hard to dislike and a lot of fun live. I've also been listening to the Holiday Shores (who also play the ATJ Fest the night before) dreamy, melodic debut, Columbus'd The Whim, a lot recently. It's a nice end-of-summer record. Connecticut's Sore Eros are pals with Kurt Vile and Gary War; and Washington DC's Family Portrait are part of the Underwater Peoples scene... Real Estate comparisons aren't entirely inappropriate and you can check out their song "Mega Secret" at the top of this post.
And also Saturday, there's an early show (7PM) at Glasslands featuring Phantogram, a duo who, for lack of a better term, are kind of trip-hoppy but in a '00s sort of way (breakbeats but no John Barry or Morricone samples). Chilled, atmospheric, but still danceable. Their debut album, Eyelid Movies, is a pretty good listen. Also playing are Savoir Adore who I've probably written about enough lately, and Darwin Deez.
Full After the Jump Fest schedule, some Flyers and music videos below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: JEFF the Brotherhood - Heavy Damage (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Coin Under Tongue - The So Far EP (link to zip)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Accolades (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Street Cars (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lovvers - Human Hair (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darlings - If This is Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darlings - Teenage Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Machines EP (link to Zip)
DOWNLOAD: Acrylics - Molly's Vertigo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Clientele - I Wonder Who We Are (MP3)
JEFF the Brotherhood @ Death By Audio (more by Leia Jospe)
JEFF the Brotherhood are back in town! If you missed them the last two times they were in town, well, you've got three more chances this week: tonight (7/15) at Death by Audio, Thursday (7/16) at Cake Shop and a secret show on Friday (7/17) that will be announced day of show via their Twitter. Seriously, Jake and Jamin put on one of the rockin-est, most fun shows I've seen this year. The boys are putting the final touches on their new album, Heavy Days, which comes out October 6 via their own Infinity Cat label. They've also got a new 7" single, "Heavy Damage," that they should still have copies of at shows, but you can download the a-side at the top of this post. They'll also be touring with the legendary Shonen Knife this fall.
Tonight's show at Death by Audio should be deafening. JEFF shares the bill with noise-pop duo Sisters, who I've written about more than once already, and have become big fans of. Third on the bill are Sisters' Death By Audio Records label-mates Coin Under Tongue who make the kind of stoner, punk-inflected hard rock that Sub Pop used to specialize in, in the label's early days. (I'm talking Tad, Mudhoney, Das Damen). There's other influences in there too -- metal plays a big part, as does UK punk and postpunk I suspect. And there are some really nice guitar parts when the guys aren't stomping on the pedals but basically you're getting balls-to-the-wall, scream-the-chorus rock. It goes without saying Coin Under Tongue are really, really loud. But they've got songs to match the volume. They're finishing work on their new album, but have offered up a progress report of an EP that you can download at the top of this post. It rocks.
Thursday night's show at Cake Shop (JEFF plays first, like 8:30) is also a good lineup, with the kickoff show of Brit band Lovvers' American tour. Try not to hold that double V against them, these guys are good, and play sloppy, catchy garage punk. You see Wipers and Germs comparisons thrown around a lot, but I was more encouraged to check them out when they listed '60s-loving '80s UK act The Baracudas as an influence on their MySpace. There's an EP out now -- you can download it's lead track "Human Hair" at the top of this post -- and their debut album OCD Go Go Go Girls is due out in October.
Also on the bill are Darlings who, now that I've seen them play and heard their album, I don't think sound anything like Teenage Fanclub or Sloan (so said L Magazine). To me, it's more '90s slacker indie rock -- Pavement, Sebadoh (which The L cited too), or even Small Factory. Comparisons or no, Darlings' debut, Yeah I Know, is chock-a-block with stick-in-your-head songs, two of which you can download at the top of this post.
Savoir Adore have been written about more than a few times this year and am a big fan. Sometimes anthemic, sometimes danceable, singer-guitarists Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer write hopeful, melodic, pristine pop and their isn't a dud among the 14 tracks on their debut album, In the Wooded Forrest, which is out this week digitally and has been in constant rotation on my stereo this week. They're even better live if you ask me, giving maybe the best performance I saw during the Northside Fest. You can see them live and pick up the album at their record release party Friday night at Cameo Gallery (7/17). The $10 entry gets you a copy of the CD which is a pretty good deal. You can get three of the album's songs for free via their Machines EP which is linked to at the top of this post.
Making it an even better deal is that the show also features Acrylics who were easily the best Northside Fest performance by a band I hadn't seen before. Like Savoir Adore, Acrylics make '80s-tinged guitar pop with boy-girl harmonies and big hooks. You can download their song "Molly's Vertigo" at the top of this post.
You can also catch Acrylics with fellow Cantora artists Francis and the Lights at Music Hall of Williamsburg for the official Siren Fest afterparty. This year's Siren is the best line-up they've had in ages... maybe ever. Built to Spill, Thee Oh Sees, Micachu, Japandroids, A Place to Bury Strangers, Monotonix, Future of the Left, Frightened Rabbit -- it's pretty much good band after good band. The worst thing about it is having to make a choice between bands, or trying to run between stages and miss half a bands set in the process. I would like to call out Grand Duchy which is Frank Black and his wife Violet Clark. If you haven't heard their album, Petit Fours, it's really good and not quite like anything like Frank Black has been involved with before. You can also catch Grand Duchy on Friday at Maxwell's.
Saturday's weather report isn't so hot right now -- they're calling for thunderstorms -- but we can hope they're wrong.
Also this weekend are a couple shows featuring bands who'll soon play Merge Records' 2oth Anniversary spectacular, XX Merge. This Friday's (7/17) edition of the Seaport Music Festival is Superchunk and Versus. Superchunk's influence on indie rock over the last 15 years cannot be overestimated (and I'm not even considering that Mac and Laura started the label) while Versus were one of the '90s more under-appreciated groups who are currently recording their first new album in nine years!
And then Sunday, The Clientele are playing Music Hall of Williamsburg -- and you can check out "I Wonder Who We Are," the first released track from their new album, Bonfires on the Heath, at the top of this post.
That's it for this week. Videos, flyers and tour dates are after the jump...
Kuroma in Prospect Park (more by Natasha Ryan)
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Springfactory - On the Back of Your Bike (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Springfactory - Get Out of Bed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Tartans - The Cats of Camerford (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Horoscope (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Letter from a Voyage to Sweden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Liechtenstein - Roses in the Park (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Vaselines - Son of a Gurn (MP3)
Firstly, an update on NYC Popfest which starts tonight (5/14) and runs through Sunday (5/17). Advance tickets are sold out for the Saturday (5/16) show with The Radio Dept., Pants Yell! and The Secret History at The Bell House, as has the all-day Sunday show at Cake Shop, though the latter should have tickets at the door. The good news is The Radio Dept. have been added to the Friday night (5/15) show at the Don Hill's which already includes Sweden's Liechtenstein, the spiffy pop of Finland's Cats on Fire, L.A. band The Tartans and local boy Don Lennon. If you ask me, this is the unmissable show of the weekend. Tickets are still available through the Popfest website. Also, if you can't make the show Friday, both Leichtenstien and Cats on Fire play Bruar Falls on Tuesday, May 19.
In other Popfest news, another Swedish band, Stockholm's Springfactory, have been added to the free day show on Saturday at Cake Shop. There's a couple MP3s of theirs to check out at the top of this post. The fest kicks off tonight with an all-locals show at Cake Shop featuring Knight School, Soft City, Dream Bitches, The Metric Mile, My Teenage Stride and the Ballet. Full Popfest lineup is at the bottom of this post and there are loads more MP3s from just about all the bands HERE.
There's lots of other non-Popfest stuff going on this weekend, much of it making me wish I could be in two places at once. Cameo Gallery tonight (5/14) plays host to two Dirty on Purpose offshoots: Joe and the Flying Spoons which is guitarist Joe Jurewicz country-tinged outfit that features a chorus of girl backup singers; and Pursesnatchers which is drummer Doug Marvin's solo project that is the closest in sound of any of the DoP splinter groups to the original. Also on the bill: awesome duo Sisters who I've written about recently and were runners up in this year's L Magazine thing; and Acrylics who make lovely synthy pop not dissimilar to The Rosebuds. The three songs on Acrylics' MySpace are all quite good, definitely worth checking out whether you plan on hitting this show or not.
Cake Shop is celebrating its four-year anniversary this month with a series of special-event Saturdays. This Saturday's (5/16) seems especially special: an ADD-friendly marathon of 16 bands playing four songs each (natch), with different drink specials in between each band. And it's only $4 to get in. The party kicks off with Knight School at 8PM and finishes with Moonmen on the Moon, Man (supposedly from San Diego but who look suspiciously like Cake Shop owners and staff) around 1AM if they stay on schedule. In between, My Teenage Stride, The Beets, Boy Genius, Air Waves and more will get their 15 minutes. Check out the flyer below for the full list of bands and set times. This sounds like a blast.
I should also mention that Toronto's Spiral Beach are in town this weekend playing three shows: Tonight (5/14) at Death by Audio, and two shows on Friday (5/15): an early one at Fontana's, and then a house show at 265 Mikibbin St in Bushwick. Spiral Beach opened for Sloan at Bowery Ballroom a couple years ago and I wrote at the time: "I don't even know how to describe them. They're a bit like the Coral or the Zutons, by way of Oingo Boingo (minus the horns). Psychotic circus music?" They were a lot of fun. The band's 2007 album, Ball, just getting released in the U.S.
And last but not least... The Vaselines! They play Sunday (5/17) at Bowery Ballroom (with Woods) and tickets are still available; Monday's (5/18) show at at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Adam Green is sold out. The band played Seattle on Tuesday and The Finest Kiss had this to say:
Seeing the Vaselines last night was like sex on the second date. The first date was last summer at Sub Pop 20 festival. Their set at Marymoor Park last July was just about perfect with Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee's sexually tinged funny stage banter and even better harmonies, they were easily the highlight of that perfect summer afternoon. After a first date that goes so well, you always kind of prepare yourself for a letdown on date number two. You start to see the imperfections, maybe a few wrinkles or a bald spot. The Vaselines may have their imperfections, but I'm still blinded by lust to really notice any of them. Francis joked saying that you may think you're at the wrong gig if you're looking for the people on the poster, referring to the much younger looking Vaselines that adorned the advertising for the show. They also tried to explain their long absence with wild stories of Eugene becoming a Hare Krishna, explaining his lack of hair, and Frances's time in prison for allegedly getting facials with underage boys...The band's classic compilation, The Way of the Vaselines, just got reissued on Sub Pop as a two-CD/3-platter-vinyl deluxe edition, now retitled Enter the Vaselines and it's just essential. And go see them if you can.
The better sounding Vaselines is probably due to the band being better musicians than they were 20 years ago. Even though they sounded less ragged, they still have the attitude and humor that made them so special in the first place. There is no way that anyone at this gig went home disappointed from this gig, besides sounding great, they played every single one of their songs and even graced us with two brand new ones.
Flyers, videos, tour dates and the full popfest schedule after the jump...
photos by Zach Dilgard
Sunday's free WBAR-B-Q at Barnard College featured performances by Gang Gang Dance, Free Blood, Soft Circle, PackFM, Acrylics, and more. More pictures below...