Entries tagged with: Art Brut

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by Bill Pearis

Eddie Argos I Formed a Band

Ten years ago, with my friends, I formed a band called Art Brut. We have a new album out later this year. It has been quite a while since our last record. So, to get yourself reacquainted with us, I suggest you buy this book, my memoir.

I've spent the last three years writing 'I Formed a Band'. The story begins with me playing the vacuum cleaner on stage in Poole, and ends up with Art Brut recording Art Brut VS Satan with Black Francis in Salem, Oregon. - Eddie Argos

Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos' book, I Formed A Band, was funded by an Indiegogo campaign and is out now. That's the cover above as you probably gathered. In it, Eddie promises to answer the following questions:
Just how hard did I kick Paul McCartney when I met him?

What colour did Russell Senior from Pulp try and make me sing in?

Which of Art Brut's songs is Liam Gallagher's favourite, and did Oasis really sing a Half Man Half Biscuit song at me? Or was it a psychotic episode?

What is it like to get into a fight with The Magic Numbers, Kele from Bloc Party and various members of The Bravery? (luckily not all at the same time).

What question did Conan O'Brien ask Jasper Future that he didn't know the answer to?

Why does Al Jourgensen from Ministry think I am a famous singer called Franz Ferdinand with a hit single about my penis?

What valuable lesson did I learn from Anton Newcombe at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre Colorado?

As Eddie mentioned, there's a new Art Brut album due later this year. Stay tuned. Has it really been 10 years since Art Brut's insta-classic debut album, Bang Bang Rock and Roll? If you haven't listened to that in a while (or missed it the first time around), you can stream it via Rdio below...

Continue reading "Eddie Argos wrote a memoir, 'I Formed a Band'; Art Brut releasing new album this year"

by Eddie Argos

Art Brut @ MHOW, June 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Art Brut

Anyone who has listened to Art Brut knows that frontman Eddie Argos isn't just a musician, he's also a fan. A fan of comics, movies, television, milkshakes...and music. Eddie and the rest of the band laid low for most of 2012, after a busy 2011 with their most recent album, 'Brilliant! Tragic!' and subsequent touring. But we wanted to know what Eddie was listening to and his list is definitely NOT full of the usual suspects. Says Eddie:

I've been trying to think if I liked 10 albums this year. I think I did. Which is rare for me. However I can't be bothered to fact check and I have a shocking memory so some of my choices may be from the end of last year. So in no paticular order and written in real time with no forethought here is my hopefully top ten albums of the year...

Continue reading "Art Brut's Eddie Argos tells us about his Top 10 LPs of 2012"

by Ryan Barkan

The Darkness played a Superbowl commercial

Another Super Bowl, another year where the Cowboys didn't win, and another year of music-filled commercials. The Patriots entered the field to "Crazy Train" by English metal god Ozzy Osbourne (who is currently having a feud of his own with an old bandmate). The Giants entered to "Written in the Stars" by English rapper Tinie Tempah.

Did you catch that map of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the Samsung commercial for their Galaxy (with stylus!)? You know, the one that had a sweet use of The Darkness jam "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"? Yeah, it was there and showed a close up of Berry and N. 1st in Google Maps. Did I mention they also have a stylus? The Darkness are currently in NYC, played Irving Plaza on Superbowl eve and do so again tonight (2/6). Watch the ad which stars the band's Justin Hawkins, below.

My personal favorite music-based commercial of Super Bowl XLVI goes to the Mr. Sandman-induced dream sequence in a new Kia commercial that featured two great music choices.

The spot starts with the Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman" for the first few seconds of the commercial. That song makes way for something completely different, like Motley Crüe. The band actually shows up and plays inside the race track-themed dream of the alpha male hero. He drives the track to impress Adrianna Lima while the Crüe shred on "Kickstart My Heart". Watch "A Dream Car For Real Life" below.

In the "did I just hear Megafaun in a commercial" category, Megafaun wins one for the little guys and gets a song used in a new Toyota ad. The band's song "Hope You Know" sounds super good as the soundtrack to a story-esque spot for the Camry model. Watch it below.

Also of significant note was another brand-infused OK GO music video. The band collaborated with Chevrolet to make a commercial/music video for the song "Needing/Getting", off the 2010 album Of The Blue Colour Of the Sky. The band is filmed strapped inside a Chevy Sonic, singing and utilizing both the car and a strategically placed course sprinkled with over 1100 instruments that more or less sound like the studio version of the song. The set up is meticulous, as is the band's ability to show up in a paid advertisement in an easily-digestible, yet very memorable way.

My single most favorite lyric placed in a Super Bowl commercial goes to the lines I know it must be killing time / unknowingly mine. Audi tries to end the whole Vampire craze with its 2012 game day commercial featuring Echo & The Bunnymen's "Killing Moon." Watch below.

continued below...

Continue reading "music & commercials of Super Bowl XLVI (Darkness, Motley Crue, Megafaun, Art Brut, OK Go, Echo & the Bunnymen, Madonna & more)"

Bon Iver

Since we're starting with the lists already, might as well point out this fun one from Chicago's Jim DeRogatis who writes stuff like:

"This is what happens if you cross the insufferably cute Zooey Deschannel with the Natalie Portman of Black Swan," I wrote in my original review. But that sounds way more interesting than the actuality of this bad modern Disney soundtrack.
That was in reference to St. Vincent's new one. Jim's complete list of what he believes are the top 10 turkeys released in 2011, below...

Continue reading "Jim DeRogatis lists the 'biggest turkeys of 2011'"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Art Brut @ Music Hall of Williamsgburg
Art Brut

"...So here was Art Brut, on a Friday night [in Toronto for NXNE], playing to a two-thirds full Mod Club. And from the outset, it was rough. "Formed a Band" sounded like "Formed a Band," but something was off. It was a bit of a rush job and the energy felt fake. Rolling straight into "My Little Brother," it seemed as though there was an acknowledgment that Art Brut's "hits" were all anyone wanted to see, and this would be a middling trip down nostalgia lane. And that is when things took an unbelievably meta turn and Art Brut saved the day.

Midway through that second track, Argos admitted that his "little brother" was now 29, and a school teacher. And when he got to the line about how all songs have the same message -- "why don't our parents care about us" -- he went on a longer tangent, basically explaining the brief success and slow decline of Art Brut. It was stunningly honest, endearing and hilarious. And at the end of it, the entire room was in Art Brut's corner.

A little later, a long comedic digression in "Modern Art" finished with the bulk of the crowd sitting on the floor with Argos at the middle, telling a (mostly?) fictional story about a trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. I can't do any of it justice, but I can tell you it ended with the entire audience jumping full bore around the singer at the song's climax." [National Post]

A week after that Toronto show, and after they hit Maxwell's in Hoboken, Art Brut brought their tour to Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Thursday (6/23). Reptar and MiniBoone opened the show which is pictured in this post. More pics, including Art Brut's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Art Brut played NXNE, Maxwell's & Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ Reptar & Mini-Boone (pics & setlist)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Archers of Loaf - What Did You Expect? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Art Brut - "Lost Weekend" (MP3)

Archers of Loaf @ Sasquach 2011 (more by Josh Darr)
ARchers of Loaf

This weekend marks the return of '90s indie legends Archers of Loaf who play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday (6/25, sold out) and Webster Hall on Sunday (6.26, you can still get tickets). Opening both shows are Mr. Dream which is as perfect an opener as you could imagine.

I didn't care for their later records (or Eric Bachman's Crooked Fingers) but Archers of Loaf's 1993 debut, Icky Mettle, is an indie rock classic that stands tall alongside No Pocky for Kitty, Slanted & Enchanted, There's Nothing Wrong with Love and Sebadoh III. 1995's Vee Vee is pretty awesome too, and both records are getting the expanded reissue treatment from Merge Records in August. You can download "What Did You Expect?" (a 1994 7"-only release) at the top of this post.

Speaking of Mr. Dream, despite the Voice saying that the lineup was final, they added Mr. Dream today to the upcoming 4Knots Fest at South Street Seaport, and DJs and an indoor lounge too...

The Village Voice is excited to announce the addition of the 4Knots Indoor Lounge during the 4Knots Music Festival on Saturday, July 16, 2011. The lounge, located at 210 Front Street, will be open from 2PM till Midnight with free admission, 21+ only. DJ Sets will take place all day from: Yeasayer, Dan Deacon, Finger on the Pulse, PUNCHES, Brahms, and others TBD. Drink specials from Sailor Jerry and Bud Light will be available along with a PopChips photo booth, and much more.

The inaugural 4Knots Music Festival with also include live music on South Street Seaport Pier 17 from 1-8pm. The Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Davila 666, Oberhofer, Eleanor Friedberger and Mr. Dream and are all scheduled to perform on the outdoor stage at the free, all day, all ages music festival.


While we're in the '90s milleiu, Mazes are here opening for White Denim on Saturday night (6/25) at Bowery Ballroom. I'll just quote myself here:

When you think Manchester, England you may think Stone Roses and The Smiths, but in the case of Mazes, it's more Sebadoh and Soul Asylum. Not unlike Yuck, this trio owe lots to '90s indie rock as can be heard on their debut album A Thousand Heys which came out in April.

A Thousand Heys is full of catchy singalongs -- like their current single "Summer Hits" -- and well worth checking out. (Samples from the album are streaming at their label's website.) You can download a previously unreleased track, "Brunswick Stack," at the bottom of this post via a Soundcloud widget.

And if you can't make it this weekend, Mazes return for a headlining show at Glasslands on Tuesday, July 5 where they'll play with Beige, Country Mice, and The Hairs.

Art Brut
Art Brut

What else? Art Brut are on tour and played Maxwell's last night and will be at Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday (6/23). The band's new album, Brilliant! Tragic!, finds Eddie Argos taking it down a notch and almost singing. Almost. It's really more of a whispery type thing -- not unlike Jarvis Cocker -- and for the most part I think it works pretty well. I especially like the single, "Lost Weekend," which you can download at the top of this post. More than anything, I think the music is the best Art Brut have come up with since their debut. And the band remain a lot of fun to see live. Argos is the real deal.

Sic Alps
Sic Alps

Sic Alps roll through town on Friday, playing Death By Audio with Spectre Folk and Weekends. As previously reported, founding member Matt Hartman -- who was half the band originally -- has left the group which is kind of weird Mike Donovan is carrying on with the name with Eric Baur and some kid named Ty Segall (who had briefly joined the band a couple years ago). Shouldn't they be called Sic Andes or something now?

Granted, Mike Donovan did most of the singing (and maybe wrote most of the songs) and I'm gonna bet this new version of the band is pretty awesome. Sic Alps most recent album, Napa Asylum, is another smoldering, thick stew of swamp garage. A lot of bands use the low-fi thing as a crutch, but Sic Alps have always used sludge like it's a member of the band. A new 7", perhaps the first fruits of this new line-up, is out in August.

Fulton Stall Market in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Fulton Stall Market

And finally, a little shameless plugging. Sunday afternoon, June 26th, is the first of my four Sound Bites Series shows which take place at the Fullton Stall Market down at South Street Seaport. You can get your vegetables and jingle jangle indiepop all in one place. This Sunday the latter is provided by scene stalwarts My Teenage Stride. The fun (which includes me DJing before the band) starts at 2PM, and it's all free. Do come down and say hi.

This is the full Sunday show lineup:

JULY 10: pow wow!
July 10th is also the first of six free shows at Beekman Beer Garden which is at South Street Seaport too. The free Friday Seaport shows begin this Friday, but more about that below.

Some additional daily picks follow:


Iceage play a free show at Other Music today.


Black Dice's Eric Copeland, McDonalds and Regal Degal play Secret Project Robot. It's a record release party for both Copeland and McDonalds, so do check out the merch table. The Copeland record, Waco Taco Combo, is only a 500 copy pressing.

Dinosaur Jr. are at Terminal 5 performing their classic 1988 album Bug (that's the one with "Freak Scene") in its entirety. And probably some other songs as well. Many people will be going just to see Fucked Up, not to mention Off!.

Beach Fossils and Javelin play Santos Party House. It's a free show if you RSVP.

continued below....

Continue reading "Archers of Loaf, Mr. Dream, Art Brut, Mazes, Sic Alps, Iceage, Sundays @ The Seaport & more in This Week in Indie"

DOWNLOAD: Art Brut - "Lost Weekend" (MP3)

Eddie of Art Brut serenades Webster Hall (more by Brook Bobbins)
Art Brut

Dearest Internet

In glorious celebration of the imminent release of Art Brut's 'Brilliant! Tragic!', a rag tag group of comic book magicians have come together for an exclusive project. Each one of the shining ten album tracks has been given to ten artists to interpret as they see fit. The result? Comic book masterwork. Plus, no comic would be complete without a letters' page. Fancy submitting a question to me, your editor in chief, Barnaby Fudge? It can be a letter about anything Art Brut related. I will answer your every whim and desire. Get it in either through Chez Argos or direct to source at delightfullyfudge@gmail.com. You can find the complete list of artists here, including Bryan Lee O'Malley, Hope Larson, Jamie McKelvie and Jeffrey Lewis. Going to print soon, for all you geeks out there, this is a pretty exciting one.

Don't forget to get your letters into me. Forcible or otherwise.

Your editorialy

Barnaby Fudge

The comic book isn't out yet, but the source material, Art Brut 's new LP Brilliant! Tragic! was released back on May 24th, and the band will hit the road in support later this month. As discussed, one of their upcoming dates is June 23rd at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets are still on sale). They've also added Maxwell's on June 21. Tickets are on sale now for that too. Reptar opens both shows.

The Black Francis-produced LP is available now and can currently be purchased on Amazon in CD format for 25 cents less than the MP3 download. Check out the song "Lost Weekend" from the album downloadable above and in video form, along with updated dates (and some European Jeff Lewis dates too), below...

Continue reading "Art Brt Brut released 'Brilliant! Tragic!', making a comic book, added more tour dates"

Evan Dando at The Bell House (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
Evan Dando

Evan Dando & The Lemonheads have a few random upcoming dates scheduled. The Lemonheads will share a bill with The Canon Logic on April 28th at Maxwell's in Hoboken. Tickets are still available. You can also catch Josh Lattanzi of The Lemonheads at Bowery Ballroom on May 26 & 27 as part of the Bob Dylan tribute that will also include members of the Strokes, Hold Steady, etc, etc.

All other upcoming Evan Dando dates are in other countries at the moment, including a June 16th Evan & Juliana Hatfield show in Toronto for the NXNE festival which, like Brooklyn's own multi-venue festival Northside, recently expanded its lineup. Some of the other bands playing are in the title of this post. The rest are listed below.

All Dando-related dates and some videos below too...

Continue reading "Lemonheads playing shows, NXNE expands lineup (includes Descendents, Stars, Devo, OFF!, Juliana Hatfield, more)"

photos by Brook Bobbins

Art Brut @ Webster Hall - March 4, 2011
Art Brut

Hello. We're Art Brut.

We've completed the recording of our new album 'Brilliant! Tragic!' and working alongside PledgeMusic, we'd like give you a little more than usual and help us go to places Art Brut have never been.

PledgeMusic allows you to pledge towards Art Brut's dream of touring places that have yet to enjoy the live Art Brut experience. You can get a signed CD or Vinyl before 'Brilliant! Tragic!' reaches the stores. But we're also offering weirder and more wonderful options to a limited number of Art Brut aficionados. What about Art Brut karaoke with Eddie or the whole band playing in your front room...

Art Brut are currently seeking donations in various increments and offering everything from a private live show to a digital download as repayment. Everyone who donates will receive a free live EP and a portion of the proceeds will go toward "housing and homeless charity Shelter, who do incredible work helping to alleviate the massive distress that being homeless, or having a difficult housing situation, can cause".

An exclusive new song "Unprofessional Wrestling" (it won't be on the new album) is also available for free download NOW for the price of an email address. The list of songs that will be on the new album is below, along with the Brilliant! Tragic! cover art (the LP is out May 24 via Cooking Vinyl/The End Records).

Art Brut is plotting a return to North America in June. The band will play NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 23rd Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale Wed at noon, and regular sale on Friday. All dates are listed below.

Art Brut were here earlier this year to play the Downtown Records celebration at Webster Hall with The Suzan, A-Trak (whose next NYC show is at Terminal 5), White Denim, & Lissy Trullie. Pictures from that show, album info and tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Art Brut releasing new stuff, touring North America, played Webster Hall w/ White Demim, A-Trak & more (pics & dates)"

Alt-bros Dave 1 and A-Trak (more by Brook Bobbins)

Miike Snow/Major Lazer/Santigold/etc. at Terminal 5 on March 5th (on sale now) isn't the only birthday party Downtown Records is throwing for itself. They're also hosting A-Trak, Art Brut, White Denim, Lissy Trullie, and The Suzan at Webster Hall on March 4th. Tickets for that first part of the two-day celebration go on sale Saturday (1/29).

A-Trak is also on board for this year's sold-out Cochella Fest, playing not only as A-Trak, but also two days later as part of Duck Sauce (his project with Armand Van Helden).

The Suzan is hitting the road with Chromeo (also are playing Coachella this year) and MNDR for US dates next week. The tour hits a sold-out Terminal 5 on Feb 4th (the afterparty is at Webster Hall). The Fool's Gold-signed Suzan recently dropped a pair of releases in Japan, a live iTunes only LP and a CD+DVD combo of Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat.

No more Art Brut dates to report at the moment. All A-Trak and Suzan tour dates and some videos below.

Continue reading "A-Trak playing Coachella & another Downtown Records Party (w/ the Suzan, Lissy Trullie, White Denim & ART BRUT)"

photos by Tim Griffin

Eddie Argos

With Dyan Valdés on synth and an old British man on drums/guitars, EWITFR is like a lighter, bouncier, popier version of Art Brut. Fans not fear, the cleverness of Eddie Argos lyrics are still there. Announcing this band as a 'concept' band, Eddie delivered introductions to each song, including songs like Billys Jean, which was a response to the Michael Jackson's song Billy Jean. Other songs included Superglue, a response to Elastica's Vaseline and also 'Do Think Twice' a response to Bob Dylan's song Don't Think Twice. You get the idea.

Because of the small crowd, the show seemed rather intimate. It was made even more intimate when Eddie Argos took the microphone stand directly into the crowd and sang in the middle of the people who were there. At one point, I was looking at my phone to read a text message from Derek or Alli, only to look up to see Eddie singing directly into my face. Slightly embarrassed, I never reached for my phone again - it was that kind of intimate. The show ended with a rant on Avril Lavigne's song Girlfriend, followed by the band covering the original song boyfriend. [Panic Manual]

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...NOW!'s SXSW included the above-reviewed late night set at Galaxy Room, and the BrooklynVegan & Anso day show on Thursday, March 18th at the Spider House. The pictures and video here are from the latter.

The group's previously hinted at North American tour kicks off in L.A. on April 23rd and gets to NYC for two shows on May 12th and 13th. Tickets are on sale for the first of those at Mercury Lounge, and the second at Union Hall.

All tour dates, more pictures & a live video are below...

Continue reading "Everybody Was In The French Resistance...NOW! - updated 2010 tour dates & pics from Spider House "

by Andrew Frisicano

Everybody Was In The French Resistance....Now

Everybody Was In The French Resistance....Now, the project of Art Brut's Eddie Argos and Dyan Valdés from The Blood Arm, put out Fixing the Charts, Volume One, a collection of 12 poppy, parodic songs on Cooking Vinyl earlier this year.

"Argos employs much irony and humour in his songs but there's often a kernel of truth at the heart of the situation he portrays. Although the track which uses the band name as a hook ('Creeque Allies') takes an 'Allo 'Allo approach to history ("the Nazi occupation/ was an awkward situation"), the lyrics also work as a tribute of sorts to the French resistance, while 'G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I've Got a)') is a funny but biting response to Avril Lavigne's concept of sisterhood." [SoundsXP]
Videos of some of those ditties live are posted below.

No US tour dates yet, but they'll play five shows at SXSW this year, and then UPDATE: do a proper tour of the US in May. On the afternoon of Thursday, March 18th, they play the BrooklynVegan/AnSo day party at Spider House. Also at the show will be 19 bands including Cheeseburger, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Tyvek, Thee Oh Sees, Golden Triangle, Kid Congo Powers and Jim Jones Revue.

Tickets are on sale for a May 12th show at Mercury Lounge and a May 13th show at Union Hall in Brooklyn. All dates TBA.

Videos and their full SXSW schedule are below...

Continue reading "Eddie Argos's band Everybody Was In The French Resistance....Now - album out, videos, SXSW/NYC dates"

yes we've lost our minds...

Spider House

BrooklynVegan & AnSo Present:
A Day Party in Austin, TX!
@ Spider House (2908 Fruth St @ Guadalupe)
Thursday March 18, 2010

ALL AGES-FREE [No badges, wristbands or RSVP necessary]
19 bands on 3 stages (1 indoor and 2 outdoor)
Full bar w/ Drink Specials. In house restaurant & backyard BBQ.

Stage #1
6:00 Human Eye
5:00 Tyvek
4:00 Thee Oh Sees
3:00 Golden Triangle
2:00 Lovvers
1:00 The Beets

Stage #2
6:00 Cheeseburger
5:00 Jim Jones Revue
4:00 Slim Cessna's Auto Club
3:00 Kid Congo Powers
2:00 Carletta Sue Kay
1:00 Or, The Whale
12:00 La Strada

Stage #3
4:30 Everybody Was In the French Resistance Now (w/ Eddie Argos of Art Brut)
3:30 DM Stith
2:30 Odawas
1:30 A Sunny Day in Glasgow
12:30 The Sandwitches

Thank you to Annie Southworth of Panache Booking aka AnSo for partnering with us on this amazing party. More info on the bands and stuff as we find time. In the meantime, happy to get this (yet another BrooklynVegan party at SXSW this year) announced!

Odawas is also on the bill of the free BrooklynVegan Happy Hour show happening at Noise Pop in San Francisco this Saturday (2/27)

SXSW flyer below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan & AnSo Present a kick-ass & free Austin 2010 Thursday Day Party (with a zillion bands)"

photos by Vincent Cornelli

Art Brut

Art Brut's most recent tour brought them into the NYC-area three times with three different sets of openers. Last Friday (11/13), the show was at Brooklyn Bowl with Surfer Blood and Midnight Masses. More pictures from that one, with the setlist, below...

Continue reading "Art Brut, Surfer Blood & Midnight Masses @ Brooklyn Bowl - pics & setlist"

photos by Bryan Bruchman

Surfer Blood

After an exhausting CMJ full of shows including the BV party at Pianos on Thursday (10/22), Surfer Blood are back as part a tour that keeps them on the road for the next month. They open shows for both Art Brut and Japandroids along the way. The Florida band is one of two openers for Art Brut at Brooklyn Bowl tonight (11/13). The other is Midnight Masses.

Right before CMJ it was announced that Surfer Blood signed to Kanine Records. The Brooklyn label will release their album Astro Coast on January 19, 2010. Art Brut also plays Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (11/15), but the openers on that show are Jeffrey Lewis and Murder Mystery.

All Surfer Blood dates and more pictures from Pianos below...

Continue reading "Surfer Blood touring - NYC tonight w/ Art Brut ++ Pianos pics "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Records of a Flagpole Skater (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Kudos (MP3)

Surfer Blood @ Bruar Falls
Surf City

Florida's Surfer Blood went from being ignored to super-hyped overnight. One night in particular, actually: August 27, 2009. The band had been in town playing a string of woefully attended gigs. The last was to be at the Surf Bar, only to get a venue change to Bruar Falls that night. Thanks to the Internet, they manage to play to 30-40 people at Bruar that night and I think just about everyone who was at that show felt at least a little like I did:

It's not very often you go into a show blind and leave wowed but that what my reaction to seeing West Palm Beach, Florida's Surfer Blood last night at Bruar Falls. I think I was expecting a slightly poppier take on the shambolic noise skuzz that blows through smaller Williamsburg venues these days. But, despite reverbed vocals and echo guitars effects that would sometimes seize and glitch like an episode of Tim & Eric, Surfer Blood make accomplished, hook-filled indie rock with clever arrangements and great harmonies, as performed by four guys who can actually, you know, play. You hear so little music like this anymore from new bands -- Seattle's BOAT come to mind -- that is this catchy, skilled but not polished. It's not going to change your life or anything (yes, they do sound a little like the Shins), but it'll have you humming and awaiting the next time they come through town.
If you were following Twitter that night, you could actually watch the buzz from the Bruar Falls show to the Pitchfork 'Forkcast' the next day. If they'd had one more night in NYC after that, who knows what would've happened.

Their upcoming debut LP, Astro Coast, is choc-full of super catchy indie rock. And soon back for CMJ, if you miss Surfer Blood this time, it's because you're actively trying to avoid them -- according to their MySpace, they're playing 10 shows (announced so far) here next week. If there's a band playing more shows, I haven't heard about it. All dates below including the free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos on Thursday, October 22nd (noon-6pm) (full details TBA).

Surf City
Surf City

Giving them a run for the money is New Zealand's Surf City, easily one of my most-anticipated bands of CMJ 2009, who are playing three official CMJ events and a bunch of day parties. They had a full schedule posted on their MySpace last night including eight area shows...which has since been taken down. Guess things are in flux. It's been a long time since a new Kiwi band so evoked the classic Flying Nun sound, and had such good songs to boot. Not that they've released much to date -- an EP and a song for MORR Music's tribute to Flying Nun is about it -- but everything so far is pretty great, especially if you're a fan of The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, and The Bats. Check out "Records of a Flagpole Skater" and the especially good "Kudos" at the top of this post.

Official CMJ shows: There's an opening night Giant Step party on Tuesday at the Red Bull Space (40 Thompson) where Surf City are part of an all-Kiwi line-up, including Die! Die Die!, Bang Bang Eche, Kingston, Motocade, Kidz In Space, David Dallas, and Smashproof. The show is FREE with RSVP, and you can check out videos and MP3s from all the bands at the RSVP page.

Surf City play again later Tuesday night at Cake Shop with ZZZ, Moi Non Plus and more ($8 without a badge) and then Wednesday (10/21) at The Bell House with Pete & The Pirates, Let's Wrestle, The Love Language, and Dawn Landes. ($14 without badge; advance tickets are available.) Surf City are also on the bill of the other free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos that is happening on the afternoon of Saturday, October 24th (in partnership with Bowery Presents). Check the band's MySpace hopefully soon for full day party schedule.

All scheduled dates for Surfer Blood (who are also playing a bunch of dates with Art Brut including the November Brooklyn Bowl show) and Surf City, plus videos, below...

Continue reading "Surfer Blood (Florida) vs. Surf City (New Zealand) - MP3s & tour dates (both playing CMJ & BrooklynVegan day parties) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Higher Than the Stars (Others in Conversation Mix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Besnard Lakes - And You Lied to Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Cinnamon Band - Buena Vista (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - Calypso Gold (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - Sadie and Andy (feat. Meredith Metcalf (MP3)

The Besnard Lakes
Besnard Lakes

(This Week in Indie Pt 1, in case you missed it.)

North of the border, Pop Montreal 2009 is going on as we speak, yet one of the Canadian city's best bands, The Besnard Lakes, are here in NYC playing a show on Saturday (10/3) at Mercury Lounge. I think they must feel an affinity for New York -- Brooklyn too, as their excellent 2007 album Are The Dark Horse (one of my faves from that year) has a song called "On Bedford and Grand," a tongue-in-cheek ode to Williamsburg. As good as that album is, Besnard Lakes are even better live, though it probably depends on their ever-fluctuating line-up. In addition to scoring actor Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, the band are working on Dark Horse's follow-up, so it will be good to hear some new material. The show also features Philadelphia duo The Cinnamon Band (2/3s of defunct Jagjaguwar band The Union of a Man and a Woman) and Acrylics who I think are one of the city's best new bands.

We've got a pair of tickets to give away for this 21+ show. If you're interested, send an email with your first and last name to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Besnard Lakes" and we'll pick a winner at random.

Pains of Being Pure at HeartSaturday is a busy night. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (9pm), who just released a great new EP called Higher Than the Stars, headline Webster Hall (tickets), the penultimate date on their current tour with Cymbals Eat Guitars (7pm) and The Depreciation Guild (8pm). You can download a brand new remix of Higher Than the Stars title track, which strips off the original's sparkly sheen and gives it a rougher, darker coat of paint. The Webster Hall show has an early start with 6pm doors, which will have you out of there by 10pm, in time for a second show of the night if so desired. The band play Philadelphia on Sunday (10/4), then are taking six weeks off before Europe in mid-November. They are also conspicuously absent from either of the upcoming Slumberland Records Anniversary shows.

The Dø
the do

Also also Saturday (that's 10/3 if you forgot), Finland's The Dø wrap up their first-ever American tour with a NYC stop at Hiro Ballroom (tickets). One night earlier (tonight), they play a show at Pop Montreal. Their 2008 album A Mouthful is a schizophrenic mix of indie rock, dreamy folk, tribal rhythms, and even (less successful) forays into hip hop. One woulda thought the band would have been here a year ago, as A Mouthful's hype hit its pinnacle about a year and a half ago, though it still hasn't gotten a proper U.S. release. (You can get it via iTunes or Emusic, though.) The Dø's show in L.A. as part of the Oohlala Festival didn't go so well, apparently, but their show at Chicago's Empty Bottle was a hit according to Popmatters critic (and ace photographer) Kirstie Shanley:

Creating a live performance full of win, French-Finnish duo The Dø could have easily entertained an audience of thousands. Olivia Merilahti was electricity personified. Flipping her long lustrous hair, coming up to the tip on the stage and leaning into the audience were two of her frequent rock moves. Dan Levy chose to engage the audience with his sudden floor kneeling. But despite the sense of developed chemistry between he and Merilahti, it was she who truly stole the show. [Popmatters]
250You've got another chance to catch L.A. band Princeton, who play with Chicago's Maps & Atlases at the new Knitting Factory in Williamsburg on Sunday. Both bands are just now wrapping up a tour supporting Ra Ra Riot. Their debut, Cocoon of Love, is out now and is pretty hard not to like, full of well-dressed scholarly pop not unlike Belle & Sebastian or the Magnetic Fields (or, loathe as I am to admit it, Vampire Weekend, minus the Afrobeat influences). Princeton were to be one the unavoidable bands at this year's CMJ Festival but canceled after being offered an opening slot on Art Brut's upcoming U.S. tour, so this may be the last chance to see them for a while (well, unless you choose the Art Brut show at Maxwell's which is one of the shows they're opening).

And finally, UK legend Frank Sidebottom is visiting NYC again, here ostensibly for the Coney Island Film Festival where he'll debut his film Frank Sidebottom Saves Coney Island. I caught Frank (and his sidekick Little Frank) back in March where he played to confused locals at the 169 Bar, where he first got heckled but eventually won the crowd over with his bizarre, hilarious covers of The Fall, The Smiths, Queen and The Beatles, which includes multiple costume changes. He's playing a bunch of shows throughout the weekend, including two on Sunday (10/4) at Cake Shop and Otto's Shrunken Head. If you're even slightly curious (there are videos below) I recommend you go see him -- there's really nobody else like him.

Videos and tour dates follow...

Continue reading "The Do, Besnard Lakes, Princeton, Pains of Being Pure at Heart & more in This Week in Indie (part 2) "

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Land of Talk / Surprise Me Mr. Davis show happening at Mercury Lounge.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Do Make Say Think / Happiness Project shows coming up at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Bowery Ballroom and Brooklyn Bowl Art Brut shows coming up. Maxwell's is still on sale too.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Girls show at Bowery Ballroom. They're playing Maxwell's too, and that is still on sale as well.

Art Brut @ Mercury Lounge run in June (more by Tim Griffin)
Art Brut

Art Brut have updated their month-long fall tour that kicks off October 16th in Boston. In addition to the October 17th show at Maxwell's (which still has tickets on sale), the band is playing two end-of-tour NYC shows. The first is Friday, November 13th at the now-Bowery-booked Brooklyn Bowl. Tickets for that go on sale Friday, September 18th at noon.

The second is two nights later (11/15) at the Bowery Ballroom (in between the band plays in Baltimore). Tickets for that go on AmEx presale Wednesday, September 16th at noon. General sale starts Sept. 18th at noon.

All tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Art Brut - updated 2009 Tour Dates (Bowery, Brooklyn Bowl) "

Art Brut's last night @ Mercury Lounge run (more by Chris La Putt)
Art Brut

Art Brut is playing Maxwell's in Hoboken on Saturday, Oct 17th. Tickets are on sale. No other NYC-area dates at the moment, but I'd be surprised if they didn't add at least one more.

Last time they were in NYC, the band played the similarly-sized Mercury Lounge...for five nights in a row. They just put out a digital-only single for their song "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes" on August 24th. A video of that song live on KEXP is below.

All current tour dates and a new video interview with Eddie Argos, below...

Continue reading "Art Brut playing Maxwell's ++ video interview, other dates "

photos by Chris La Putt

Art Brut

DC comics and chocolate milkshake
Some things will always be great
DC comics and chocolate milkshake
Even though I'm 28
DC comics and chocolate milkshake
I guess I'm just developing late
DC comics and chocolate milkshake
I never got over that amazing taste
Friday, June 5th, marked the end of Art Brut week here in NYC. The UK band played the tiny Mercury Lounge on Monday, Tuesday (6/2), Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Friday's lineup was my favorite. Openers were Keith TOTP and Jeffrey Lewis who reads from comic books that he draws about his songs as he plays. Speaking of comic books, Art Brut also paid a visit to DC Comics headquarters while they were in town. More pictures and the setlist from the Friday show, below...

Continue reading "Art Brut (night 5) & Jeffrey Lewis & Keith TOTP @ Mercury Lounge in NYC - pics (the residency is over)"

photos by Paul Birman

FOUR shows at Mercury Lounge!

Art Brut

"Argos - unlike most bands that try, which is most bands these days - can successfully appropriate other bands and other bands' songs as source material. Satan name-drops U2, Brian Eno, The Beatles and Stones ([Monday] night [at Mercury Lounge], he added The Beach Boys and Ramones to "What a Rush," Razorlight to "Demons Out!") and steals old titles for new songs ("The Passenger," "Twist and Shout"). Bobby Fuller gets reworked in "Mysterious Bruises:" "I fought the floor and the floor won." It's because Art Brut's self-conscious mission statement - look at us, we formed a band - was itself a retreat into music. They're allowed to bitch about pop charts ("Demons" was introduced as "a civilized customer complaint"). The realization that "those are just records that our parents owned" seems like blasphemy in this world, and not because it involves John & Paul & Mick & Keef." [heartonastick]
Four down, one to go! Art Brut played their fourth of five NYC shows at Mercury Lounge last night (6/4). Their fifth, with Jeffrey Lewis and Keith TOTP, is tonight, Friday, June 5th. More pictures from Thursday, including the openers and one of Art Brut's setlist, below....

Continue reading "Art Brut (night 4), Cymbals Eat Guitars, Phil & the Osophers @ Mercury Lounge in NYC - pics "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Viva Voce - Octavio (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Holiday Shores - Phones Don't Feud (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jack Penate - Tonight's Today (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dark Meat - Freedom Ritual (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Young Republic - The Alchemist (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Young Republic - The Wolf (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - The Waves (MP3)

Art Brut @ Mercury Lounge (more by Tim Griffin)
Art Brut

Tonight (6/4) is seriously overloaded with show choices. If you have tickets to Art Brut (who were great on Monday and I heard Wednesday night's show was the best yet) and are looking to do something beforehand, you might consider checking out Jack Peñate at Pianos. He was pretty good at Bruar Falls last night, playing a set entirely made up of songs from his new, world-influenced, Everything is New, which I like way more than his debut. A bit of a nutty dancer, but his enthusiasm (and talent) is there. There's video from the show at the bottom of this post.

Holiday Shores
Holiday Shores

And going on before Mr. Peñate are Florida's Holiday Shores, who have been getting a bunch of coverage all of a sudden. Their set tonight is an early one because from Pianos they're rushing up to the SPIN Magazine offices to play a private party there. Their debut LP, Columbus'd The Whim, is out this summer on twosyllable Records. The songs on their MySpace page, all reverb and fuzz and bouncy melodies, sound interesting enough to merit checking them out. (And there's an MP3 at the top of this post that might help make up your mind.) If you miss them tonight, they're also at new Brooklyn venue Shea Stadium on Friday (6/5).

You could potentially have a very busy night ahead of you on the L.E.S.

Other Thursday options: Doves are playing Terminal 5, a venue I still haven't been to. Their new album doesn't really grab me the way their previous records did, but they are a dynamic live band whose widescreen sound goes well with bigger venues like T5.

There's also Spanish Prisoners, Sisters and Knight School at Public Assembly; and The Postelles, pow wow! and Real Estate at Santos. Both good choices.

Viva Voce
Viva Voice

But if I could go to any show tonight (which I can't, unfortunately) I think I'd probably see Portland's Viva Voce at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The until-now husband and wife duo, who made a lot shoegazy pop on their own, recently ballooned to a four-piece for their fifth album, Rose City, which is almost as good as 2006's stellar Get Yr Blood Sucked Out. On record this expanded Viva Voce don't sound that different, but it will be interesting to see how it affects their live show, which was already pretty awesome. Check out the MP3 for current single "Octavio" at the top of the post. The whole bill tonight at MHoW is worthwhile, with Australia's Cut Off Your Hands (Frenchkiss) and James Yuill, who is more entertaining live than you think he's going to be when he walks out on stage.

Dark Meat
Dark Meat

A couple other bands of note are in town this weekend. Athens, Georgia's glitter and confetti-loving collective Dark Meat are playing Cake Shop on Friday (6/5) and Bruar Falls on Saturday (6/6). You may have been on a boat with them and Vivian Girls last fall. If you've never attended a Dark Meat show before, it's a bit like walking into a hippie version of Mardi Gras where Frank Zappa is the Grand Marshall. With so many band members, so much going on, so much shiny detritus in the air, it can either be intoxicating or asphyxiating. But it's never boring. Like all hallucinogenics, if you go into Dark Meat with the right mind, you'll have a good time. Both Cake Shop and Bruar Falls will be 1/3 full just from the band alone so expect hi-jinks and wear clothes you don't mind getting paint on.

The Young Republic
Young republic

And speaking of large masses from the south, also in town this weekend are Nashville's The Young Republic, who are not to be confused with Awesome New Republic, The Most Serene Republic, Savage Republic, Republica, or actual Young Republicans. The six-piece have country, blues and celtic elements into their anthemic sound, which also delves into Tom Waits cabaret territory at times. Unsigned in America, The Young Republic are much popular in the UK where they're on End of the Road Records who also have The Low Anthem and Port O'Brien on their roster. The Young Republic, whose new album Balletesque is due out later this year, play Spike Hill on Friday (6/5) and Pianos on Saturday. Check out two MP3s at the top of this post.


Also on that Pianos bill are L.A. trio Princeton who I caught last year at Cake Shop (during CMJ I think) and who make quite charming baroque pop. The band are actually in town to perform on Friday at Lincoln Center's Pope Auditorium. Why? This press release can explain better than I could:

Princeton, the Los Angeles-based trio, join forces with San Francisco's Stephen Pelton Dance Theater in it was this: it was this: an evening of songs and dances inspired by the life and work of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group.

Princeton will perform all of the songs from their recent EP Bloomsbury, each lyrically focused upon a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Portraits of Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes are each presented in a different musical framework with lush orchestral arrangements. The band is comprised of twin brothers Jesse and Matt Kivel and Ben Usen. The band will be joined by 8 additional musicians in recreating their frolicsome, exuberant take on the cast of Bloomsbury characters.

Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, known for known its intimate theatricality and emotional intensity, may be familiar to audiences from previous Woolf conferences. This year the company will perform several new works including the premiere of it was this: it was this: a choreographic study of Woolf's punctuation. Using a single paragraph from To the Lighthouse, the company dances their way from the first word to the last, pausing briefly for every comma, parentheses and semicolon in-between. The company also performs a revised version of The Death of the Moth, first seen at the Plymouth State Conference in 1997.

If that sounds a little high falutin', don't be afraid of the Woolf references, Princeton's pop is pretty easy to swallow, though an appreciation of The Left Banke and Village Green-era Kinks is probably advised. There's an MP3 at the top of this post. And there will be no dancers on stage at the Pianos gig, as far as I know.

That's it for this week. Videos and tour tour dates after the jump....

Continue reading "Viva Voce, the Young Republic, Princeton, Dark Meat, Holiday Shores & more in This Week In indie"

photos by Toby Tenenbaum

Art Brut - Night 2 - Mercury Lounge

"I like Argos best when he's in Jonathan Richman mode, wide eyed and excited by the world: modern art, new girlfriends, summer jobs, amazing hangovers, mysterious bruises DC comics, chocolate milkshakes. And this was the Argos we got Monday, though a slightly, slightly subdued one thanks to recovering back problems. (Less bouncing, but he still goes into the crowd.) The new songs sounded great, better than on record. [Bill Pearis' Monday review]
Art Brut played their second of five shows at Mercury Lounge in NYC last night, Tuesday, June 2nd. The first show was one night earlier. The setlist included a cover of The Ramones' "The KKK took my baby away". Full setlist and more pictures below...

Continue reading "Art Brut @ Mercury Lounge (night 2 of 5), NYC - pics, setlist"

photos by Tim Griffin

Art Brut

Art Brut kicked off their five-night 2009 run at Mercury Lounge in NYC last night (Monday, 6/1). They last played the venue in 2005 (correct me if I'm wrong). Catch them again Tuesday (tonight), Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Openers change each night with the final night featuring special guests Jeffrey Lewis, and Keith Top Of The Pops And His UK/US Indie Minor Celebrity All Star Backing Band. At least one member of that backing band will be Eddie Argos on bass. Last night the openers were Demander and The Picture. More pictures and the setlist from Monday, below....

Continue reading "Art Brut @ Mercury Lounge (night 1 of 5), NYC - pics, setlist"