Entries tagged with: Allo Darlin
Weary Engine Blues is the title of a forthcoming benefit album that pays tribute to Jason Molina who died last week. It will be released by Graveface Records and artists contributing Molina covers include Mark Kozelek, Will Oldham, Allo Darlin', Scout Niblett, John Vanderslice, Jeffrey Lewis, Damien Jurado, Jonathan Meiburg (Sheerwater), Hospital Ships, Wave Pictures, and more. The album will be out April 24 and proceeds will go to help medical and funeral costs for Molina's family. Preorder it here. It comes with a screen print by William Schaff which you can see below, along with a note from Schaff as well.
You can stream Kozelek's contribution, "It's Easier Now," below.
by Andrew Sacher
More of the big 2012 year-end lists have been rolling in, with NPR and SPIN recently revealing theirs, and now Rolling Stone have unleashed theirs. Similarly to Uncut, the expected albums from older artists are there, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Dr. John, and the number one slot going to Bruuuuuuuuuuuce. It's got huge albums like Mumford and Sons, Taylor Swift, and fun., as well as the token high ranking indie album (Japandroids at #9), the token washed up band who was once classic (Green Day), things you knew you'd see on Rolling Stone's list like Jack White and Alabama Shakes, and... Grimes!
You can read the whole list below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Allo Darlin' at NYC Popfest 2012
Save the dates, May 30 -- June 2, 2013. That's the weekend for the seventh annual NYC Popfest which will happen across multiple venues in NYC. No other details have been announced but expect a mix of old and new, American and foriegn, and a few "la la las" and "bah bah bahs." Personally, I'd love for them to get This Many Boyfriends (check out a video below) and The Monochrome Set. (Go Kart Mozart too, though that seems like a real longshot.) What about you?
The 2012 Popfest happened May 17 - 20, concluding with a big, all-day show at Littlefield with Allo Darlin', The Ladybug Transistor, The Wave Pictures and more. In this post is a set of pictures from that Sunday show we never posted. There's more below, along with the This Many Boyfriends video, an old Monochrome Set clip and UK dates for The Wave Pictures.
by Bill Pearis
Allo Darlin' at Mercury Lounge, May 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangello)
Allo Darlin' will release a Christmas 7" on December 7 via fine UK indiepop label Where It's At Is Where You Are. The three-track release is the final release of the label's 2012 7777777 singles club, which offered "seven 7 inch singles; 21 exclusive tracks on 14 grooves by 7 bands, on the 7th day the month, incorporating the 7 days of the week, on vinyl the 7 colours of the rainbow in limited editions of 777." Got that? You can still order the single though there aren't many left. You can stream one of the tracks, "Dear John," below.
Meanwhile, Allo Darlin' second album, Europe, came in at #4 on Rough Trade Shops' Best of 2012 list and was, in fact, the store's best-seller for this year. In celebration of that, the UK record store (which will have a Brooklyn branch sometime soon?) is offering an exclusive 10" covers EP which came out this week. On it, Allo Darlin' cover AC/DC, The Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, Eux Autres, The Go-Betweens and Darren Hayman.
Allo Darlin, who were last here in May, have a few shows remaining in 2012, none of which are in North America but all dates are listed below.
Rough Trade Shop is always one of the first to list their top albums of the year, and their list is always a good one to look at. This year is no different. Check out their Top 10 list, below...
by Bill Pearis
Here's the second part of the NYC Popfest 2012 preview. For info on tonight's show at Knitting Factory can read part one here.
SATURDAY, MAY 19
There's a free show at Spike Hill with Sweden's rough-and-tumble Lisa Bouvier, the gentle sounds of Philippine band Outerhope (who also play The Rock Shop on Monday [5/21]) plus Pale Lights (featuring Comet Gain's Phil Sutcliffe and Andy from Crystal Stilts) and Brooklyn up-and-comers Habibi.
For those going to Spike Hill, you might want to head to Williamsburg early to check out the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair that is happening at food hipster mecca Smorgasburg from 11AM-6PM. Indiepop-friendly labels like Angular, Kanine, and What's Your Rupture? will be there, with some exclusive product as well. Plus lots of amazing food. Get there before noon to beat the insane lines.
It's an all-Williamsburg day for Popfest as the Saturday night show happens at Public Assembly with two legendary UK bands headlining; Comet Gain and The Pooh Sticks. The former, celebrating their 20th year in existence, are playing their first Popfest and first shows in NYC since 2009. Last year's Howl of the Lonely Crowd was another fine addition to their canon of footstompers and floorshakers.
The Pooh Sticks
The Pooh Sticks haven't played NYC since 1992 back when they were supporting the American release of their stone-cold classic Great White Wonder which cemented their rep as masters of tongue-in-cheek, arched brow indie. Actually it was already established with shambly 1988 singles "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well" and "On Tape" which is the "Losing My Edge" of its day. Arch, tuneful and not afraid to steal, The Pooh Sticks are indiepop royalty and, if recent live video on YouTube is correct, they still got it.
But the best group of the night -- or at least the best one you've never heard of before (probably) -- are on first. A quick listen to Pushy Parents are you can guess they're from Sweden (Stockholm to be specific) with a sound somewhere between early Cardigans and the Concretes. Their new Secret Secret EP is terrific: equal parts effortless melody, skill and just-right production. You can stream the whole thing and watch the video for its title track at the bottom of this post.
SUNDAY, MAY 20 (LITTLEFIELD)
Allo Darlin' with Gary Olson at Mercury Lounge (more)
Popfest ends with an all-day affair at Littlefield, featuring tourmates Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who have been written about before and you can see pictures from both band's visit to Mercury Lounge a few weeks back. They are both great and reason enough to go on Sunday.
But not the only reason. The Littlefield show will also feature the first-ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excellent albums before and after his fluke hit "Your Woman" in 1997. That song, as good as it it (and it is!) also isn't especially representative of White Town's body of work which tends to mix wispy melodies, delicate guitars and budget drum machines. Mishra has stayed active, continuing to release albums over the years, including last year's Monopole.
Also playing: Brooklyn indiepop mainstays The Ladybug Transistor whose frontman Gary Olson usually lends his trumpeting skills to at least one other Popfest band who needs it. (He'll probably also sing the male vocal parts on Allo Darlin's "Dreaming" as he's done before.)
The Holiday Crowd
And come early to Littlefield to catch local power pop combo Swearin' (which shares a couple members with Dear Marje who also play Popfest this year); Washington DC's Dot Dash, which features members of Julie Ocean and wordy '90s indiepoppers Tree Fort Angst.
The full Popfest Saturday - Sunday schedule is below, along with that Pushy Parents stream and video.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Allo Darlin @ Mercury Lounge
Effortlessly charming indiepop band Allo Darlin' played Mercury Loungelast week with tourmates The Wave Pictures -- the kickoff of a North American tour that will wind its way back to New York for NYC Popfest. All tour dates are below. Both bands have new albums, and you can stream Allo Darlin's Europe at the bottom of this post and The Wave Pictures' Long Black Cars at Spotify.
Like he did at Popfest two years ago, Gary Olson of the Ladybug Transistor joined Allo Darlin' for "Dreaming".
by Bill Pearis
Hope you all survived Record Store Day. I didn't find most of what I was looking for (most of which was UK only) but I did get that great Lee Hazlewood comp on Light in the Attic. Hope you found what you wanted the most. Lots of good stuff this week, so let's get into it.
The most TWII show of the week happens tonight (4/24) at Mercury Lounge: Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures. It's the start of the two bands' tour together that will wrap up on Sunday, May 20 for the last day of the NYC Popfest which is happening at Littlefield (w/ Ladybug Transistor, White Town and about six more that day). All Allo Darlin'/Wave Pictures tour dates at the bottom of this post.
Allo Darlin's second LP, Europe, came out last week to pretty much across-the-board acclaim. It's a little more melancholy than the band's debut, with a lot less ukulele this time out. Maybe that seems like a good thing, but I must say I miss the exuberance of Allo Darlin's debut. The more subdued nature of the songs and production make it sound like a Camera Obscura album much of the time, a comparison I would've never made before. But Elizabeth Morris' songwriting and voice are still in fine form, it's all just a little more "mature."
You can stream Allo Darlin's Europe at the bottom of this post. I'm sure one thing that hasn't changed is Allo Darlin's ability to charm in the live setting.
The Wave Pictures
The same goes for The Wave Pictures who I will always go see live even if I'm not so crazy about the album they're touring to support. Not that they change so much from record to record. Their new album, Long Black Cars, is pretty good (listen at Spotify) I think but much like the rest: Dave Tattersall spins fascinating, funny stories with a singsong delivery. Most of their albums sound like they were recorded live, but it always comes off a million times more compelling when you actually see them play. Tattersall is also one of the funniest between-song banterers of our age. Also funny: the Darren Hayman-directed video for their song "Spaghetti" which you can watch below.
Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic will release their third album, A Different Ship, in a couple weeks (May 8 specifically) and soon head out on a short UK tour before covering most of North America with Hospitality. (All dates are below.) Before that, HWGM play this Friday (4/26) at Knitting Factory with Glass Ghost.
The new album has an interesting birth. Stuck playing a pre-noon set at Glastonbury 2010, the groggy band were playing to a groggy crowd, none of whom seemed to be having any fun. Except for two guys dancing right up front, who turned out to be Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich. The band met Yorke and Godrich after their set and Godrich turned up at more European shows... and ended up producing Different Ships. This is the bands first album that didn't start with Luke Temple doing demos on his own, and with the band incorporated from the beginning (and working in Godrich's studio). While still boyant and dreamy, Different Ships feels a little bigger, a little more fully formed than the previous two. You can stream "Make Up Your Mind" at the bottom of this post as well stream new single "How Do I Know?" at Secretly Canadian's SoundCloud page.
The Feelies at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Tamara Porras)
And finally, while Feelies shows have become less rare since the band actually made a new album, but any chance to see one of the most influential NYC-area bands of the last 30 years is one you shouldn't pass up. And you have that chance on Friday (4/27) at the Bell House. While bands from Luna (who had the Feelies' Stanley Demeski on drums at the beginnning) to The Strokes have taken from them, there's no substitute for that Bill Million/Glen Mercer guitar interplay that still sounds like magic.
You can listen to the Feelies' terrific album from last year, Here Before, as well as some of their classic ones, at Spotify. The Feelies also play Saturday (4/28) at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY if you're up that way and a few more scheduled dates throughout the summer which are further down this post.
That's the big stuff this week. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above, are below.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Diehard are at Union Hall tonight with Everest, Benjamin Cartel (of Kaiser Cartel) and Resistor. Diehard just released a video for their theme songwhich you can watch below. It's from last year's The Times We Didn't Have Fun which you can download for free from Bandcamp. Diehard also play Saturday (4/28) at the Rock Bar in the west, West Village.
Colorado's Gauntlet Hair are in town at GLasslands tonight with dream poppers Field Mouse and Baby Alpaca.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25
One of the coolest cats around, Nick Lowe is at at Town Hall with nearly 40 years worth of amazing songs in his arsenal. Last year's The Old Magic was another winner from the Basher and you can stream it at Spotify and watch the comedy star-studded video for "Sensitive Man" below.
by Bill Pearis
The Pooh Sticks in the early '90s
The sixth-annual NYC Pop Fest is happening May 17 - 20 and the organizers have just announced the 27 band line-up, which includes UK acts Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who will wrap up their US tour together with their Popfest show, plus Comet Gain, Seattle's Seapony, Finland's Burning Hearts, Sweden's Speedmarket Avenue and The Electric Pop Group, and longrunning American indiepop group Saturday Looks Good to Me.
This year's line-up also included Wales' legendary Pooh Sticks (!) who haven't played in America since CMJ 1992, and the first ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excelent albums before and after his fluke (and unrepresentative) hit "Your Woman" in 1997. NYC is represented too, with The Ladybug Transistor, Habibi, Heaven's Gate, Pale Lights, The Marshmallows, Swearin' and Dear Marje.
Ticket and venue info is still TBA but sure to be announced soon. Click through for the full NYC Pop Fest 2012 line-up.
by Bill Pearis
An exciting double bill for indiepop fans in coming this spring: UK groups Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures are going on a US tour which kicks off at Mercury Lounge on April 24. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale this Friday (1/6) at noon. The tour which winds across North America and back through May (currently ending at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT). All dates are at the bottom of this post.
Both Allo Darlin and The Wave Pictures will have new albums out in time for these shows. Allo Darlin's second LP, Europe, will be out on April 17 via Slumberland Records (or via Fortuna POP! if you're in Europe), as will the album's first single, "Capricornia" which is premiering in this post. Listen to the stream at the bottom of this post. Look for the single on March 6.
Says singer-songwriter Elizabeth Morris about "Capricornia":
Capricornia is the area in Queensland that I'm from. It has imaginary state lines, roughly around the Tropic of Capricorn, which runs directly through my hometown. There's a nice 70s monument that marks the spot where the line passes, out on a lonely dirt road where all the kids learn how to drive. My family have lived in this area for over 6 generations but none of my generation remain. It's a beautiful place.As to the rest of Europe:
Musically, when we first discussed the album with our producer, I suggested that the feel of Europe should be somewhere between "A New England" by Kirsty Macoll and "Cattle and Cane" by The Go-Betweens. I think this song is the closest to that.
I wanted to make beautiful songs and end up with a beautiful album, not necessarily an album of three minute pop songs... I suppose the songs have an awareness of a darker place but end up coming out the other side. We wanted to make the best album we possibly could and I think we've ended up with that.Scroll further down this post for a teaser video for the album, which includes new song "Tallulah." You can also stream Allo Darlin's 2011 single "Darren" which is a tribute to onetime Hefner frontman Darren Hayman.
As for The Wave Pictures, their new album, Long Black Cars, will be out via Moshi Moshi in March. The band's last album, A Beer in the Breakers, came out last May.
In other news, Allo Darlin' have posted a letter on their website regarding the tragic death of Esme Barrera, including a link to the benefit show in Brooklyn and another to donate to Esme's funeral fund.
Click below for the stream of "Capricornia," plus that Allo Darlin' album teaser, "Capricornia" cover art and the "Darren" single stream, as well a couple recent live Wave Pictures videos (including the new album's title track), and all dates...
Twin Sister @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
The last two nights of Northside were decent, if not a bit predictable. Though I was curious about Kelly Pratt (Arcade Fire/Beirut)'s new band Bright Moments (they played their first show at the Luaka Bop showcase), I decided to play it safe on Saturday night and headed over to the Music Hall of Williamsburg where I was familiar with the last three artists on the bill.
Somehow, the venue was actually running ahead of schedule, leaving me with only one song from the peppy Brooklyn collective Ava Luna. Luckily, I got my fix of group vocals from the next band, London's Allo Darlin'. The mood in the room (both on stage and off) was lively. As if attempting to match the vibrant performance, a number of people near the front of the floor danced enthusiastically (or rather, jumped up and down) for the entirety of the set. The band dedicated one song to Clarence Clemons who passed away earlier that night.
Twin Sister rounded out the evening. With vocalist Andrea Estella's shifting persona, you never really know what you're going to get. This time, Estella was decked out in a long white wig, oversized glasses (sans lenses), and a demure white button-up blouse, complete with matching bowtie. Whether the changing aesthetic is driven by a shyness or confidence is unclear, but it seems to be in keeping with her dramatic and affected vocals.
Toward the mid-section of their set, Twin Sister showcased a handful of songs from their upcoming album, due out in September on Domino. With the combination of charming low-key songs and funkier electro-pop songs, like the new single "Bad Street," the Brooklyn group can sometimes feel a bit schizophrenic to me, but they handled the shifting tempos in their set like pros. After a few punchier songs, nearly everyone in the band cleared the stage save for Eric Cardona and Estella, who stayed on to play a couple of their quieter and more intimate songs, including the lovely "Nectarine" and one from their upcoming album. Far from making the audience lose interest, these were the portions of the show that seemed to garner the most applause.
Mount Eerie @ St. Cecilia's Church (this photo by Michael Barron)
After a string of nights traipsing between venues and navigating the particularly unkind MTA service changes, Northside concluded where it began for me - in St. Cecilia's Church.
Though it was definitely Mount Eerie that sold me on the show, one of the biggest surprises of the long weekend was the first opener, Wyrd Visions. The set-up was simple - just a guy and his guitar, but within seconds of starting to play, the crowd was locked in a silent reverence.
With his hair slicked back and white collar shirt, Colin Bergh serenaded crowd with his long, melodious instrumental interludes and soothing vocals. Though I had never heard his music before, it somehow seemed both comfortingly familiar and organic. What better opener for Mount Eerie than a man who sings of things like ghosts and nature? The setting of the church only added to Bergh's stark mystique.
Up next was Nicholas Krgovich who played his own set before joining Phil Elverum for the main act. In his SADE t-shirt, Krgovich paced around the small space, clutching two mics and singing over samples of sultry saxes and hip hop beats. After a few songs, he was joined by Katie Eastburn who lent her vocal talents for a handful of songs, including a cover of the Prefab Sprout song, "Doo Wop in Harlem."
By the time Mount Eerie began, the church had filled out nicely. As a longtime Phil Elverum fan, I was eager to learn what had made the set list, but from a brief conversation with Elverum before the show, I knew not to expect anything too old. The show began and ended with songs from the darker and heavier album Wind's Poem ("Wind Speaks" and "Stone's Ode," respectively). Sandwiched in the middle were even newer songs that Elverum told me hadn't yet been recorded.
Even though he didn't delve too far back into the discography, I was still on the edge of my seat for every song... and yes, a bit heart broken that there was no encore. Whether a product of my ever diminishing attention span or the quickly changing music scene, much of what I listen to has a pitifully short shelf life. Elverum's music is one of the only things that I've held onto year after year, even as he turned in his hushed, lo-fi recordings and ventured into more metal territory. In stark contrast to the "ironic" bullshit that seems to drive some of today's trends, there is something in Elverum's steady voice and calm, down-to-earth demeanor that deeply resonates with me and reminds me why I fell in love with music in the first place.
My only gripe of the evening (apart from the brevity of Elverum's set, of course) is that I didn't have enough money to purchase both The Glow, pt. 2 on vinyl and some music from Wyrd Visions.
Marty Markowitz & Beirut & L Magazine staff @ Brooklyn Borough Hall
As you can see in the above photo, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was on hand at the press conference this morning, as was now-confirmed Northside Festival headliner Beirut. Tickets will be HERE. More confirmed artists below...
Allo Darlin at Rock Shop (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hey everyone. We had an amazing UK tour last week. Almost all of the shows were sold out and were some of the best fun crowds we've ever played to. England, Scotland and Wales - we salute you! Can't believe we waited so long to head out on a tour of our own turf....The above blog entry by Allo Darlin makes reference to both a new album (!) and "that punk festival in Austin" (aka Chaos in Tejas) where the band will play alongside the likes of Larm, Autopsy & Youth Of Today (but unfortunately no Curren$y who recently cancelled). And after Allo Darlin' plays Chaos, they'll head up north to play Mercury Lounge on June 8th as part of those above mentioned US dates that end eight days later in Philly. Tickets for the NYC shgow go on AMEX presale Wed, 2/9, at noon, and regular sale 48 hours later.
Today our new US tour is announced - details over on the shows page. Yes we really are playing that punk festival in Austin. Yes - we can't wait!
Before that we will be heading into the studio to record our new album in April. Very excited, needless to say. We will again be working with Mr Simon Trought who produced our first record.
All tour dates and some videos, including Allo Darlin's cover of Ramones "I Wanna Be Sedated" (no word on that Allo Darlin' cover of "Distort Japan" but we'll keep you posted), below...
Tragedy fan at Chaos in Tejas 2008 (photo by joecurry666)
After an initial lineup was announced earlier this year, Chaos in Tejas is back for more with another set of bands confirmed for the June 2nd - 5th Austin festival. Get to booking your ticket if you're interested in seeing Kriegshog (from Japan, their last show ever), a Youth of Today reunion (Ray Cappo, Porcell, Ken Olden + a drummer who isn't Sammy), Low Threat Profile, Omar Souleyman, Hooded Menace, Lower Dens, Double Negative, FYP, Oneohtrix Point Never, Veins (their only show ever), Universal Order of Armageddon, and many many others. Oh, and by the way, the previously discussed Autopsy appearance will be their only US show of the year. Full list of bands playing the multi-venue party is below.
In related news, Low Threat Profile (members of Lack Of Interest/Infest/No Comment) released their debut LP via Deep Six Records before the new year. Pick it up at your favorite distro/webstore, like Tankcrimes or Phantom City.
Universal Order of Armageddon play NYC TWICE soon; on 1/21 at Cake Shop with Trophy Wife (and more TBA) and 1/22 at Death By Audio with The Body, Orphan, and (according to Youth Attack) Salvation. Take note, the lineups have changed since we first posted, and differ from what Kill Rock Stars has posted (click the link for Baltimore and Philly date info too).
Current Chaos in Tejas lineup (more announcements are due soon), below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Sweet Shrag shirt!
"Allo Darlin's album on Fortuna Pop came out earlier this year. It was recorded in the basement of the Duke of Uke shop in London, where people like Darren Haymen, and the Wave Pictures like to hang out and a place where Allo Darlin singer and ukulele player Elizabeth Morris probably had her choice of ukuleles to play while recording. Morris started off the set solo with a new song she called Talulah, that contained a line about listening to that Go-Betweens album on cassette. Usually I would assume that a song with an obscure reference to a Go-Betweens album would be lost on the audience, but I think it's safe to assume that everyone in the room got it. The song was about as gentle and tender Allo Darlin would be this night.That Finest Kiss review comes from the October 29th show in Seattle which was one night before (and a country's length from) Allo Darlin's Saturday night, October 30th "Mondoween" Halloween show at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn. It was the UK's band 3rd NYC show this month, as they also played two during CMJ before heading west and touring back this way.
The rest of the band then joined her on stage for what they referred to a slow-burn of a set. A slow burn according to the band is gradually turning up the heat as the night goes on. Their self-titled album on Fortuana Pop is fun and similar to Camera Obscura, but where Camera Obscura are stiff and standoffish on stage Allo Darlin' are the types to put their arms around your shoulders and pogo with you until you're out of breath." [the finest kiss]
Shrag, featured on Elizabeth Morris's t-shirt, was also here for CMJ. More pictures from Mondoween at the Rock Shop, below...
Allo Darlin only played two shows during CMJ (their guitarist had to fly back to England for a wedding on Friday) and suffered dual indignaties last Thursday: the atrocious sound at The Woods for their day show and then having to play Kenny's Castaways. I thought Elizabeth Morris was going to kill the sound guy at the Woods, but they persevered despite the omnipresent feedback.
They're back this Saturday, playing The Rock Shop as part of the Mondo! Halloween Party. They go on at 11pm - it's dj's the rest of the night (costumes encouraged). I know Saturday is main party night for Halloween stuff, but make room for this if you can. The band just released a new video for single "My Heart is a Drummer" which you can watch at the bottom of this post. Their debut album just got its North American release a couple weeks ago and you should definitely pick it up. And definitely definitely go see them. Hopefully they'll be back sooner than later.
Another set of pictures from the Woods show, continues below...
Allo Darlin' @ The Woods
For me, day three of CMJ started at The Woods. With so much opportunity to see a good number of the bands featured in CMJ year round (sooo many Brooklyn bands), it's always not a bad idea to make an effort to see out-of-town bands, and The Woods were showcasing at least a couple - Hedgehog (China) and Allo Darlin' (UK).
I arrived in time to see about half of Hedgehog's set. Despite their cute name (and their adorable drummer, Atom), Hedgehog delivered a pretty raucous set. Though the kit may obscure nearly all of the tiny drummer, she propels the music with a fierce intensity. (In my slightly delusional state of sleep deprivation, I admit I had fantasies of Atom teaming up with Marissa Paternoster and starting a tiny girl super group.)
I had been looking forward to checking out Dream Diary, but apparently the set times had become somewhat jumbled, and we got Sleepies instead. Perhaps also frustrated with the change of lineup (or just craving a taco), the room was nearly empty for Sleepies' set, and even one of the members joked that they should just all go across town to see Surfer Blood. Yikes.
My main reason for heading over to The Woods was to check out Allo Darlin.' Since Sleepies' set was only 20 minutes long, we were somehow running ahead of schedule (a first for CMJ?), so Allo Darlin' actually got to do a soundcheck. Ironically, they also suffered the most from technical problems. Their set started out fine enough (so the vocals were too low... what's new?), but things got out of control pretty quickly. Let's just say the sound guy was lucky to be hiding behind a large plant (what?). Allo Darlin' were understanding to a point, but clearly grew frustrated by the problems and the lengthy break during their show. Despite the setbacks, it was still nearly impossible to refrain from smiling (at least when they were actually playing). If the number of photographers present is any indication of a band's promise, then the blogosphere must be expecting big things from Allo Darlin' - as their singer Elizabeth Morris pointed out, nearly everyone in the room had a camera. If you missed them at this or their only other CMJ show, catch them now on their tour that includes the Mondo Halloween Party at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn on October 30 (tickets are on sale).
From there it was a brief respite from music to attend my first CMJ party, an NPR Music-sponsored event. (Oh hi, Laura Gibson. Fancy meeting you here.), and then it was off to Mercury Lounge for The Extra Lens.
More pictures from the Impose/Pop Jew show at The Woods, including bands not mentioned in the review (The Othermen and Bright Lights), and a Bleary Eyed Brooklyn video from the show, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin' - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hedgehog - Toy and 61 Festival (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hedgehog - Waiting for the Last Bus (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sound of Arrows - M.A.G.I.C. (MP3)
Thg Sound of Arrows
I'm just going to declare Thursday to be the bonkers, overstuffed day at CMJ2010. Even without a badge, you're gonna have to make some tough choices about what you want to do. It would also be a good day to call in sick.
Impose magazine is putting on great FREE unofficial shows all week -- nights at Don Pedros, days at The Woods. Today's lineup currated by Pop Jew. It's definitely where I'll be this afternoon, and not just because it's four blocks from my house. The whole lineup is great but above all else,Allo Darlin' is playing at 6PM, a band that has the ability to put a smile on the face of even the most hardened curmudgeon. (Chris Weingarten is currently in Finland so I can't actually prove this.) You would be dumb to miss them. It's one of two shows they're playing at CMJ.
The rest of the line-up is swell too: Bejiing trio Hedgehog (their drummer is a pint-sized pistol); , Brooklyn's best new indiepop band, Dream Diary; slacker-ish Bright Lights and local punks The Sleepies and Othermen. Bands start at 2PM and the show is not too crowded so there might be longer sets than you get elsewhere.... and there's a good taco truck in the back. This would make a great warm up if you are going to our night-time showcase at MHOW. Just an idea.
Of course there is good action as always on Ludlow St. At Pianos, I Guess I'm Floating presents two floors of bands, including This Week in Indie faves Violens, Oberhofer and Beach Fossils, plus Baths, Pepper Rabbit (a band I need to check out this week), Teen Daze, Million Young, Young the Giant, Young Man (that's three "Young"s!), Coolrunnings and more! Bands start and noon. Free entry, free beer.
(note: also catch one of those Youngs, Young Man at our MHOW showcase at 8pm sharp)
Down the street at Cake Shop, it's the NYC Taper day party, with 12 bands in six hours on one stage, which seems pretty ambitious, but that's what CMJ is all about. Overload. The line-up is pretty choice too, including Soft Black, Diamond Rings (one of two day parties for Diamond Rings today), Keepaway, She Keeps Bees, ArpLine and more. First band (Courtesy Tier) is on at 12:30 and if you can't make it, I'm sure all the sets will be up on NYC Taper at some point. Free.
There are also two all-day parties going on. The first I'll mention is the Neon Gold party at Public Assembly which goes from 3PM to 3AM. Pop is the key word here, be it on the guitar side (Obefhofer, Savior Adore, Ava Luna) or the dancey side (Penguin Prison, Fenech-Soler, Brahms, The Knocks). Most interestingly, to me, is that Swedish band The Sound of Arrows is playing their first American show. I didn't even know they played live at all. The band have only released a few singles in their three-year existence, but their track "M.A.G.I.C" (downloadable above) was my #3 Single of 2009. I'm a little skeptical about them pulling it off live, but... might be worth checking out. The Neon Gold website has MP3s of every band playing. Limited badge entry, $12 otherwise.
Then there's Day 1 of Pitchfork's #Offline Fest, which runs from 2pm - midnight, with such bands as Dave Sitek/Maximum Balloon (he's DJing), glitchy UK act Gold Panda, Surfer Blood, Wild Nothing, Small Black and more. While it's hard to question the line-up, almost all of these are all bands are playing many other times during the week, often for free. And while Brooklyn Bowl is an awesome place in theory, it is pretty much insufferable Thurs - Sat nights: the bar is five deep, and half (if not more of) the crowd doesn't even realize there are bands playing at all. And I don't think the weekend conditions will be different because there's a "festival" happening. This will no doubt be the most tollerable of the three nights though, as I said, no arguing with the talent they've got on the stage.
coming right up HERE. Flyers, some set times, etc after the jump.
by Bill Pearis
Allo Darlin @ NYC PopFest 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Charming UK indiepoppers Allo Darlin' are coming back to America this week for a two week tour that includes two stops in NYC during CMJ and then also the Mondo Halloween Party at The Rock Shop on October 30.
The band were last here in May for the 2010 NYC Popfest where they were one of the weekend's big hits, energetic and fun and never too saccharine, like a sprightly Camera Obscura. Elizabeth Morris is just a natural performer -- and great songwriter -- and the band's debut LP is a real treat. You can download two songs from it at the top of this page and, if you're willing to give their label your email address, you can also download their great new single "If Loneliness Was Art" here. They band still doesn't have an American label.
Allo Darlin' are definitely one of CMJ's don't miss bands though, right now, if you're busy on Thursday (10/21) from 6 - 9PM you might be out of luck. That's when both of their announced shows are happening. There's an Impose/Pop Jew day show at The Woods (they're scheduled for 6PM), that also features Dream Diary, Chinese band Hedgehog, Sleepies, Bright Lights, and The Othermen. Then just a couple hours later (8PM), Allo play Kenny's Castaways for an official CMJ show. Maybe they'll add some more shows? We can hope.
Before CMJ, Allo Darlin' play a few East Coast dates, including Philly, Boston, and Washington D.C. After CMJ, they head west for a few shows in L.A., San Francisco, Seattle and Portland before returning for that Mondo party at The Rock Shop.
The video for "If Loneliness Was Art" and all tour North American tour dates are below.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Leaving Mornington Crescent
"The fourth annual NYC Popfest, which ran from Thursday [May 20th] through Sunday [May 23], consisted of five showcases featuring more than 30 bands, mostly those that adhered to a few key tenets: summery, lo-fi, melodic, twee, nonconfrontational. This was indie-pop in the vein of the late 1980s through the mid-'90s, a mode that has been creeping back into fashion as part of a broader full-scale pop revivalism in indie rock.It's been almost a month since NYC PopFest happened, and we actually already posted a set of pictures from the first night at Cake Shop back then. BUT, like the NY Times, Dominick, who got the flu right after the fest, was also on hand. His pictures from the first two days, now finally ready for posting, continue below...
From Best Coast to Dum Dum Girls to the Pains of Being Pure at Heart to Vivian Girls to Strange Boys and beyond, pop is ascendant once again, especially the sort with debts to clean-cut '50s rock and girl-group pop and soul." [NY Times]
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Young and Dumb (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tender Trap - Girls with Guns (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Veronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moustache of Insanity - Amazon Wishlist (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Horowitz - Winona (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Embassy - It Pays to Belong (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Leaving Mornington Crescent - Corners (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Very Truly Yours - I'd Write You a Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Night Train (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bunnygrunt - Hometown Rockstar (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bears - Wait and See (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Tally (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sea Lions - I Wish I Was Lou Reed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: One Happy Island - Temporary Tattoo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Young Friends - Make Out Point (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Apple Orchard - Half Steps to Bright Smiles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: World Atlas - Winter Stories (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Teenage Stride - Creep Academy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cotton Candy - Fantastic & Spectacular (MP3)
NYC Popfest 2010 starts on Thursday with four days of cheery tunes and good vibes. And with temperatures that are supposed to climb into the '80s, we may finally answer the question, "When is it too hot to wear a vintage cardigan?" In years past, Popfest has played host to the likes of Pains of Being Pure at Heart ('07 & '08), Cats on Fire ('08 & '09), The Radio Dept ('09), BMX Bandits ('07), The Drums ('09), and lots more.
This year's line-up is pop-solid and we're giving away a Festival Pass that will get one person into all four nights. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "POPFEST" and we'll pick a winner at random and notify them Wednesday night (tonight). Please note, some of these Popfest shows are 21+.
Festival passes are otherwise sold out, but there are currently still tickets available for all four shows, though I think you might want to act quick on the Cake Shop (5/20) and Don Hills (5/21) shows as they're at small venues. Here's an overview of what's going on, complete with MP3s for almost every band playing (above).
Popfest organizers scored a coup getting Scottish indiepop legends The Wake (not the American goth band of the same name) to play the big Saturday (5/22) show at the Bell House. While they the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, their 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. The Wake are working on a new album due out this year. This is their only U.S. show. Stick around after The Wake's show for a DJ set from Victoria Bergsman.
Bunnygrunt date back to the early '90s cuddlecore scene (a genre which now sounds like some kind of porn for Furries) and were contemporaries of bands like Tiger Trap and Tullycraft. Reformed since 2004, these Saint Louis indie legends are pretty much patron saints to Popfest bands.
At the all-day Sunday (5/23) show at The Littlefield show features the first and only U.S. performance by enigmatic Swedish duo The Embassy who's music is somewhere between indiepop and Balearic disco. I liked 2005's Tacking which came out on the Service label, home of Jens Lekman, Studio and The Tough Alliance. Check out "It Pays to Belong" at the top of this post. but the band have been rather quiet since. Maybe we'll find out what's going on with them at the show.
Then there's Veronica Falls play the 5/20 show at Cake Shop. Maybe you saw them this past weekend when they played Glasslands on Saturday and Bruar Falls on Sunday. Their Glasslands performance was great, and they were surprisingly rockin', given the gentle nature of some of their recordings. Singer/guitarist James Hoare is a student of the David Gedge school of manic strumming, especially on their "Found Love in a Graveyard" single that becomes almost like an extended VU jam onstage.
Singer Roxanne Clifford and drummer Patrick Doyle were both in Glasgow's The Royal We, whose singer Jihae is now in Neverever who will play the Littlefield show on Sunday. The band also features her n0w-husband Wallace Meek who was in fellow Glaswegian band Bricolage but they now call Los Angeles their home. The band's debut, Angelic Swells, is out next week on Slumberland and is fairly indebted to '60s girl groups. Check out "Blue Genes" at the top of this post. I'll admit that part of me hopes we'll get a Veronica Falls/Neverever supergroup to play Royal We's awesome single "All the Rage" (the band never played America) but I'm not holding my breath.
Tender Trap play the Friday (5/21) show at Don Hill's which is also the bi-weekly Mondo! party. Not to be confused with anthemic Australian band The Temper Trap, The Tender Trap features Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey who were both in iconic indiepop bands Tallulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research. I was a big fan of their last album, 2006's 6 Billion People, Their new album, Dansette Dansette, is out June 22 on Slumberland Records and you can download "Girls with Guns" from it at the top of this post.
Recently added to Tender Trap's lineup is Elizabeth Darling of Allo Darlin who also play the Don Hills/Mondo! show. Their debut album is out June 7 (in the UK at least, not sure if anyone's grabbed it up stateside) and is full of bouncy and charming guitar pop not too far removed from Belle & Sebastian. Their single "The Polaroid Song" is one of my favorite tracks of 2009 and you can watch the Breakfast Club homage video for it at the bottom of this post. And you can download a couple tracks from the album at the top of this post. Allo Darlin are also making the most of their trip, playing a short East Coast tour. Dates are at the bottom of this post.
Moustache of Insanity
Allo Darlin's Will Harrison also plays in Moustache of Insanity who are playing the free daytime show on Saturday at Spike Hill. Sometimes compared to Moldy Peaches, the band should provide some levity (and cheap keyboards) to the proceedings. Check out "Amazon Wishlist" at the top of this post for an idea of what you're in for, and if you want to hear more, you can download a zip of their new EP here and there are loads of downloads via their website.
Leaving Mornington Crescent
And it wouldn't be a Popfest without some Swedish bands. In addition to The Embassy, there's Leaving Mornington Crescent who play Cake Shop on Thursday, and A Smile and a Whisper at Littlefield on Sunday.
The Don Hill's show on Friday will be the last-ever NYC show for Boston's Pants Yell! who are splitting up after playing a farewell show in their hometown next week.
One of the many highlights of The Bell House show is Seattle's BOAT who will play some non-popfest shows too.
One Happy Island
This will be the second year in a row at Popfest for Chicago's Very Truly Yours, who are playing the e debut LP was just released this spring. You can download at track from it at the top of this post. Recommended if you like winsome, Camera Obscura style. pop. Also back from last year are Vermont's Smittens (5/21 Don Hill's), and it will be the second Popfest for Boston's One Happy Island who last played it in 2008 and play this year at the Saturday afternoon free show at Spike Hill. Check out "Temporary Tattoo" at the top of this post.
There's a few animal bands (in addition to Bunnygrunt): Cleveland, OH's Bears, who play the Bell House show (5/22), are lush and lovely with gorgeous harmonies. Check out "Wait and See" at the top of this post, whereas Gold Bears (Spike Hill, free day show 5/22) from Atlanta, are more in the shambly tradition of The Shop Assistants and Boyracer. Then there's local duo Elephant Parade (Cake Shop on 5/20) who play laptoppy folk, and the Sea Lions (Oxnard, CA playing the Sunday show at Littlefield) evoke comparisons to the Pastels and The Clean.
More out-of-town American bands: Sweater Girls are from Los Angeles and feature Allan Kingdom of C-86-era UK group The Siddelys; and Santa Monica Swim & Dive Club are actually from Michigan and play super-twee acoustic pop; The Young Friends are from Arizona but sound like Scotland 1980; and Apple Orchard hail from Richmond, California and make dreamy, Field Mice-ish pop (lots of free MP3s on their website).
Florida's For Ex-Lovers Only named themselves after a Black Tamborine song and kind of sound like that too. They play Littlefield on Saturday.
Opening the Don Hills show on Friday are Cotton Candy, which is Mark Robinson's current band that also features his wife. There's more a capella covers of old commercial jingles than you might expect from the former frontman of Unrest (who are reforming briefly).
And of course NYC is well represented. In addition to previously mentioned Elephant Parade, indiepop stalwarts My Teenage Stride, who are the only band to have played all for NYC Popfests, will play the big Bell House show on Saturday, as do World Atlas (NYC's answer to Belle & Sebastian); Dream Diary (NYC's answer to The Pastels/Field Mice) play Cake Shop on Thursday, and the shoegazy Corita play the free Saturday afternoon show at Spike Hill. And The Secret History make their third appearance at the Fest at Littlefield on Sunday.
Ok, I think I got everybody in there. Day-by-day Popfest schedule, plus some other tour dates and videos after the jump.
The Middle East @ the BV official showcase @ Club DeVille
Early in the day The Canadian Blast BBQ & Showcase broadcast live back to Canada. I caught an in-form You Say Party! We Say Day! who, according to the presenting DJ, were making their first performance in the US in four years. (A little research found they were banned from performing after touring without visas in 2006.) Earlier on I managed to catch the last half of roots rockers Justin Rutledge and The Beauties. (The Beauties played their own official SXSW show later that night at Soho Lounge.) From there it was on to the evening showcases and the first stop being St. David's Historic Sanctuary for singer-songwriter Miranda Lee Richards who was at the grand piano when we walked in and nearly in the dark off to the side of the altar. She was followed by another singer-songwriter with backing band, Sweden's Sofia Talvik.
I then moved on to the BV party to catch The Middle East who were playing their second-ever show on American soil. The set started slowly but was buoyant by the time they got to "Blood" off their recordings of The Middle East EP. A brisk walk across town and a behind schedule Tap Room at Six allowed me to catch all of England's indiepop quartet Allo Darlin. Behind schedule became a theme as I settled into the Galaxy Room Backyard (KCRW Showcase) where Fitz and the Tantrums were still setting up. Their set was something else. Fun all around, tight contemporary Motown dance numbers that had people dancing and singing and when the sound guy told the band they had only one more song, Fitz responded, "We're playing at least two more." Sadly, they did only play one more. The last band of the night was Sweden's Miike Snow and their dance pop numbers. It took nearly 40 minutes for them to change out from The Tantrums' set and the crowd had been patient but getting anxious by the time they went on. They battled a few sound problem during their set but Animal was the song everyone came to hear and when they closed their set with it, the crowd danced and shouted along to every word. Heading back to the car I stumbled upon Black Top Demon who were set up between 6th and 7th Streets along Red River. St. Patrick's Day revelers were moving and shaking in front of them and their stripped down kick drum, guitar setup as they played all kinds of blues and rock numbers and even a Johnny Cash tune.
More pictures from the day below...
by Bill Pearis
The line-up for the fourth annual NYC Popfest has just been announced, which will happen May 20 - 23 at a variety of venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Thirty-two bands from around the world will be playing, and I think it's a pretty strong bunch of bands. Highlights for me include Veronica Falls (pictured above) which features ex-members of The Royal We and Sexy Kids; newly-reformed Glasgow/Factory Records legends The Wake who'll have a new album out this year; London all-girl trio The Tender Trap (not to be confused with The Temper Trap); winsome Allo Darlin' who are also from London and will be at SXSW this year; L.A.'s Neverever (until recently known as the Champagne Socialists); and Seattle's awesome BOAT.
A few MP3s to whet your Popfest appetite. Ticket info hasn't been announced yet, but you can follow the Popfest blog or Twitter for updates. You can check out the full NYC Popfest line-up after the jump.