Entries tagged with: Austra
Austra at Empty Bottle (more by Chris Hershman)
Currently on tour in Europe, Austra just announced some select North American dates, including September 19th at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for the Brooklyn show go on AMEX presale at noon on May 16th and regular sale on Friday. All dates are listed below.
In between the European and North American shows, Katie Stelmanis will take a break while her bandmates tour with TRUST (who are playing shows with Light Asylum, including a 7/8 date at Music Hall of Williamsburg).
Trust, who are releasing their debut LP on Arts & Crafts this February, are starting to reveal some dates in support of it. In late December, the band tweeted, "showz in nyc/austin/westcoast in march. deets to follow." Those shows haven't been completely revealed yet but we now know that the NYC shows are happening on March 8 at Mercury Lounge and March 9 at Glasslands. Tickets are on sale now for the Glasslands show and tickets for the Mercury Lounge show go on sale Friday (1/20) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (1/18) at noon. The Austin shows will be SXSW, and we assume California after that.
All currently known dates and some videos of tracks from the upcoming LP below...
Austra at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by Tim Griffin)
Toronto's Austra, whose past videos defintely got people talking in 2011, have released a new one to kick off 2012. The song is "Spellwork" from their BV-favorite LP Feel it Break, and the footage was shot (believe it or not) in NJ. Check that out, along with their older NSFW video for "Beat and the Pulse, and other stuff, below.
by Bill Pearis
Feathers at Mohawk, October 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Feathers are making the trip from Austin with former Voxtrot singer Ramesh to play Mercury Lounge on March 5. The band have been making waves in Texas over the last few months and this will be their first NYC show, and their only scheduled show at the moment outside of SXSW.
Feathers is the new project from Anastasia Dimou who you may know from NYC band Cruel Black Dove (who are now broken up). Galexy from Ringo Deathstarr is also in the band. Band member Destiny Montague was in Shock Cinema and Midnight Masses too.
At this point, Feathers only have a couple tracks to check out -- you can stream them at the bottom of this post -- but "Land of the Innocent" is a good one, all pulsing synths and siren-song harmonies. Comparisons will be made to Austra and Zola Jesus, but Feathers are a little more dancefloor oriented, with some glammy stompers in their repertoire as well. The other track is a remix of the song "Dream Song" (which has no released regular version yet). The remix was done by Maya Postepski of Austra and Trust (who just signed to Arts & Crafts).
While waiting to hear more -- or see them live -- check out photos from our man in Austin, Tim Griffin, from their first-ever show back in October when they opened for Washed Out, and from a show they played not long after that at Beauty Bar, AND from last week's 'Free Week' show as well.
I hate writing year-end lists, as might be obvious to many long-time BrooklynVegan readers. That said, I also like them. They help organize things, which is related to my problem though. I'm too unorganized and hectic to ever get around to making one! But this year a few of us (BrooklynVegan contributors) got together and decided to come up with a collective list of albums that we loved that we think most represented 2011 in BrooklynVegan land. Our indie rock-centric list purposely does not include metal (that's HERE) or hip hop (we should make a separate list). With that in mind, our top 26 albums of 2011, in alphabetical order, are listed (with some commentary and a list of honorable mentions too) below...
By Bill Pearis
One could argue (and we did, in our story on the band in the January-February issue!) that Fucked Up's rock opera David Comes to Life was uniquely resonant upon its June release because of the emotional synchronicity between an album that spilled forth with such an appropriately chaotic narrative and a year in which tumultuous disarray became the norm. But good lord, David Comes to Life could've been sung in backwards Tagalog and it still would've made perfect sense in 2011. That's the power of a gang of punks playing with Olympian levels of passion and purpose. [SPIN]SPIN publishes it's year-end issue next week, naming Fucked Up's David Comes to Life as 2011's best album. The top ten also includes EMA, Wild Flag, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li and more. The entire SPIN Top 50 Albums of 2011 is at the bottom of this post.
As you hopefully know, Fucked Up will be performing this Friday (12/16) at the BV-curated night of this weekend's Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a full evening of music that also includes Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads, as well as Frankie Rose spinning tunes. Tickets are only $10 and still available.
There's a lot more Fucked Up news actually. Tonight (11/12) the band will be guests on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Holiday Special, which also features Christoper Walken, Norah Jones and a lot of extremely non-vegan cooking (though the Vegan Black Metal Chef is also a guest). Maybe Fucked Up will play in Bourdain's fridge, like Das Racist did on last year's Holiday Special.
Next Tuesday (12/20) in the band's hometown of Toronto, Fucked Up will perform David Comes to Life in its entirety, with proceeds going to charity. (PS I Love You, The Sadies and Quest for Fire also perform.)
Fucked Up are also releasing a split Christmas single with Sloan, with proceeds benefiting the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund. Fucked Up's side is their take on "Jingle Bells," while Sloan tackle "The 12 Days of Christmas" (which is streamable below). Only 500 are being printed -- maybe they'll be some at the merch table this Friday?
The band have also announced the release of 2012's annual Chinese New Year single, "Year of the Tiger," which is out February 21. The 15-minute track features guest vocals from Austra, Duchess Says' Annie-Claude and Jim Jarmusch, which Matador claims is "MAYBE THE BEST THING FUCKED UP HAVE EVER RECORDED" but being their record label they're prone to such proclamations. But maybe it is.
Click through for a just-released video of "Turn the Season" plus video of the band performing "The Other Shoe" on Canada's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show, as well as the entire rundown of SPIN mag's Top 50 Albums of 2011...
photos by Tim Griffin
Their excellent debut LP, Feel It Break, which came out this past May on Domino, was reissued as a deluxe edition by the label last week (11/29). The deluxe edition comes with a bonus disc which features the b-sides "Identity," "Young and Gay," and "Energy," which have appeared as b-sides to the band's singles and have been appeared in many of their live sets. It also includes a few unreleased b-sides, a remix of "Beat and the Pulse" by Clown of Slipknot (whose bandmate is coincedentally playing Highline Ballroom tonight) (why are we talking about Slipknot???), which can you can stream below, and covers of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" and a recently recorded cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying," which you can also stream below. The album is available now at the Domino webstore.
Austra also recently filmed a live acoustic version of "Believe Me," which appears on disc 2 of the album, for Paper Bag, their Canadian label. That video, more FFF pics, the album's tracklist, and song stream is below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 came to a close on Sunday night. It was another successful year for the well-rounded music fest, and the end of its first in the larger (and much dustier) Auditorium Shores. And though Ryan Gosling may have been the most talked about artist at the festival (Danzig was a close second), the real star was festival organizer Transmission Enertainment for putting together such a kickass lineup on four stages for three days straight (not to mention a mechanical bull) (and skate and bike ramp and tons of good food and vendors and merch and posters and wrestling) (and Turquoise Jeep).
After Hum and then a quick set of comedy by metal comedian Brian Posehn (he did his Slayer joke and one that involved Pantera), Slayer closed out the large Orange stage on Sunday (the other metal acts played on the slightly smaller Black Stage all weekend, but the Orange was the biggest and actually specially built to Slayer's specs).
Slayer wasn't the only wild headliner of the day though. In fact, that's an understatement. Trash Talk played after Henry Rollins did his set of spoken word in the Yellow Tent because Trash Talk had to miss their originally scheduled set on the Black Stage earlier in the week due to a family emergency. Thanking everyone for missing Slayer to see them (actually not true because it ended up Trash Talk was done before Slayer even started), Trash Talk started their hardcore insanity by pointing out that they were on the only stage with no barricade (the stage comedians usually played). Circle pits, stagediving, stage crowding, grabbing the mic, pumping fists (and skateboards) and just general craziness characterized the next 20 minutes or so.
The always controversial Odd Future drew their own giant and enthusiastic crowd to their headlining set on the Blue Stage, and Blonde Redhead closed out the Black Stage to a more intimate and chilled out audience (in the location that was metal, punk, garage and hardcore the rest of the weekend).
Here is our second set of pictures from the final day of the fest, including Asobi Seksu, the reunited Hum, We Were Promised Jetpacks (who just played NYC and one of our CMJ day parties), Odd Future, G-Side, Austra, Grimes, MNDR, Mates of State, Budos Band, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Architecture in Helsinki, Del the Funky Homosapien, Brian Posehn, Flying Lotus, Brody Stevens, Trash Talk, Henry Rollins, and more SLAYERRRR.
The rest of day 3, below...
My final day at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 ran the gamut from 90s-indie-worshippers Lemuria to the poppy-hardcore of Kid Dynamite, the Prince-clad hardcore of Ceremony to the glitchy dance of Flying Lotus, and the operatic/enigmatic Austra to the great Slayer. Of the bands that I was not familar with prior to that day (namely OBN IIIs and Les Butcherettes) OBN IIIs set was my favorite; high energy punk/garage was an excellent way to turbo-charge the day. Le Butcherettes were no slouches though, playing fun and spazzy garage-punk featuring the endlessly watachlbe Teri Gender Bender up front and surprise guest Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on bass.
I'll save the "Fun Fun Fun" knee-slapper for pretty much every single band's pre/intra-show banter ("Are you having fun? Are you having Fun Fun Fun?") but yes, Fun Fun Fun Fest lives up to its name.
More pictures from day three including shots of Lemuria, Le Butcherettes, OBN IIIs, Davila 666, Ceremony, Nobunny, Kid Dynamite, Zero Boys, Eyehategod, Austra, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Cannibal Corpse, Boris, Del The Funkee Homosapien, Slayer, Blonde Redhead, and much more, below...
photos by Diana Wong
Tangerine Dream & fan
The annual music festival Moogfest took place this Halloween weekend down in Asheville, North Carolina. Countless bands we know and love played over the course of its three days including The Antlers, Atlas Sound, Austra, Anika, The Field, AraabMuzik, Flying Lotus, Chromeo, TV on the Radio, Moby, Matthew Dear, Tangerine Dream, and many more. And that was just Friday. Friday pictures are in this post.
As NPR points out:
"Tangerine Dream has wore many hats during a prolific 35-year career: Krautrock, New Age, film scores and pioneering synth music, to start. The group has consistently worked at a steady clip, generating 116 (!) live and studio albums in spite of its many personnel changes. Edgar Froese, the creative force behind Tangerine Dream, is the only remaining original member."Tangerine Dream played a two hour set at the fest. You can listen to the whole thing at NPR who have streaming sets from Austra, Atlas Sound, Tim Hecker, The Field, CANT and others too. The rest of our pictures from the first of three days, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield words by Andrew Sacher
James Blake and Austra are both currently on their own tours, which after hitting separate Manhattan venues on Wednesday (10/5), crossed paths at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (10/6).
Austra started things off around 9 PM with the brooding slow-builder "Darken Her Horse." Unlike the sunlit Pier 54 that Austra played this summer, the dark tightly packed Music Hall of Williamsburg housed their gothy electropop perfectly. Katie Stelmanis took to the center of the stage dressed in white, while her backup vocalists were each in black, and as always, the three singers took charge of the show with their operatic voices and ghostly dances. After easing into their set with the most atmospheric song of the night, they picked things up with the disco-bass of "Young and Gay" and had turned the MHOW crowd into a full blown dance party a couple songs later with "Lose It." Yet no matter how enthusiastic the crowd got, the band's diabolic demeanor never faltered. The mood switched briefly from disco to tribal with the extended drum intro of "The Choke," but turned full on zombie prom during the aptly named "Beat and the Pulse."
After about a half hour break, James Blake walked out by himself to his keyboard setup on the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg. He went directly into "Enough Thunder" off the EP of the same name which comes out this Tuesday (10/11) and is currently streaming at ABEANO. After repeatedly selling out larger venues, it was great to see James back at MHOW, where he made his US debut only seven months earlier. After the first song, he was joined by his band to continue the set. When James softly began the a cappella intro of "I Never Learnt To Share," the crowd's approval was so loud that you could hear the venue's PA shouting their cheers back at them as James looped his vocal harmonies. The song got even more intense when strobes kicked in over the instrumental break led by James' sharpest keyboard riff on the album. Despite James' ability to cause such overwhelming applause from the audience, he was still able to keep the entire room silent during the commanding "Lindisfarne."
A huge highlight of the set came when the band went into their live rendition of "CMYK." The drummer triggered the "look I found her red coat" vocal samples on his pad and James handled the pitch-shifted falsettos with his own mic. While most of the material on the LP moves bodies with its cavernous bass drops, the upbeat rhythms of "CMYK" are a refreshing (but not out of place) change in mood. During the song's ending passage, the guitarist took over the vocal samples, and as the song would normally end, the band came back in hard as the drummer pounded away a clave beat with live snare. James and his band followed the song with their brilliant take on Feist's "Limit To Your Love." They carried this one out too with an extended ambient dub jam at the end.
After a few more songs, including another new one and standout single "The Wilhem Scream," James and his band left the stage. Minutes later, James returned by himself for an encore and said, "I'm gonna end this the way I started. Not with the same song, but you know." Like he did at his first MHOW show, he played his solo piano rendition of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," took a bow and left the stage. It's too bad Austra didn't have time to do their Joni Mitchell cover too.
More pictures, videos, and setlists from the show below...
DOWNLOAD: SBTRKT - "Wildfire" (Drumma Boy remix ft. Shabazz Palaces) (MP3)
Back in June, we announced the killer initial lineup for Moogfest 2011 (October 28, 29, 30). That lineup just got even better with additions including TV on the Radio, Special Disco Version featuring James Murphy and Pat Mahoney, St. Vincent, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, YACHT, John Maus, Araabmuzik Baths, Zomby, Active Child and more. It was also announced that Brian Eno, part of the initial lineup, will be presenting Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings and "Illustrated Talks" as part of this year's fest.
The initial announcement also included Suicide, Tangerine Dream, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Austra, M83, Little Dragon, Passion Pit, Toro y Moi, Moby (full band), The Flaming Lips, Battles, CANT, Brandt Brauer Frick (who will be on a US tour that hits Glasslands), and more.
Speaking of CANT (aka Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear), he revealed the song "Believe" from his upcoming debut LP yesterday. Stream the track below. The album comes out September 13 on Chris' own Terrible Records. He's also got an upcoming tour surrounding Moogfest which includes a show on October 25 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still on sale.
Speaking of SBTRKT and Little Dragon, Drumma Boy remixed the SBTRKT song with Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano on lead vocals. Shabazz Palaces is also featured on the remix (compare that to Drake's version). Grab the track above via Gorilla vs Bear. Shabazz wrote on Facebook today, "Besides the release of Black Up, I don't think I've seen one article on here create such a surge of activity as this Wildfire Remix has. Amazing."
Sampha, who sings live with SBTRKT and on his album, also recently released his own song, "Indecision." Stream the track below. Moogfest is one of the stops on SBTRKT's recently announced US tour that also hits Bowery Ballroom on October 31 (with Araabmuzik) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 1. Tickets for both shows are still on sale.
Little Dragon plays a BV-presented Record Release show at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg TONIGHT (8/16). The show is sold out, but if you don't have tickets you can catch them in NYC again on their headlining tour which hits Terminal 5 on October 14. Tickets are still on sale.
Song streams and full Moogfest lineup below...
Austra at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Austra, who just finished up a tour with Cold Cave at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (8/6), will return to the venue as part of a just-announced headlining US/Canada tour this fall. All new dates are listed below.
That tour includes October 5 at Bowery Ballroom with Light Asylum. Tickets go on sale Friday (8/12) at noon with an AmEx pre-sale starting Wednesday (8/10) at noon.
And while Austra headline Bowery Ballroom, James Blake will be not too far away headlining his own show at Webster Hall as part of his upcoming tour (tickets). The next night (10/6) both Austra and James will team up to play a Brooklyn show at Music Hall of Williamsburg together! Tickets are not on sale yet, but check ticketmaster for updates. James will be the headliner of the show at Music Hall (where he played his first US show in March).
The US run also includes Austra's appearance at Moogfest and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Grimes open most of the other US dates. The Canadian shows, and a few US shows are with Austra's backup singers' other band Tasseomancy. Young Galaxy are also on a few of these dates.
The North American dates come after Austra tours Europe at the end of this month through September. That tour includes a date opening for Arcade Fire in Amsterdam a few days after both bands play Popaganda Festival in Sweden (the country James Blake plays in as part of Way Out West this Thursday night).
All tour dates below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Cold Cave @ Bowery Ballroom
After much speculation about who the "xxxx xxxx" was in the previously announced Converge/All Pigs Must Die House of Vans lineup, Converge has confirmed that the two word, eight letter mystery band is in fact Cold Cave (and strangely not Trap Them). What's more, according to Converge, the August 25th show has been moved to August 24th. The RSVP for the new date, unconfirmed by the Vans website at the moment, is still open.
Oh, and if you do RSVP, you might notice that the confirmation email spits out the following lineup: "Converge, **** **** (SPECIAL GUEST), ***** (SPECIAL GUEST) and All Pigs Must Die". Is there one more five letter band still to be announced? .
Cold Cave played Bowery Ballroom over the weekend with Austra and Cult of Youth...
Before Cold Cave was ready to melt faces, Canadian new wavers Austra opened the show, pleasing the crowd with their stellar chops. Led by singer songwriter Katie Stelmanis, the band's sound could be described as beautifully haunting and catchy. We stood in awe as Stelmanis began to belt out the lyrics to "Lose It," the song that will end up being their break out hit....Pictures are on this post.
When the clock struck the witching hour, Cold Cave took the stage to a massive roar of applause. The show started with Eisold tossing sunflowers into the crowd to the pleasure of fans of both sexes...
The capacity crowd hung on each note and each hardcore synth beat. The front of the house was literally shaking, as concert goers jumped in unison. The tight three piece, all dressed in black, flawlessly recreated songs like "Love Comes Close" and "Confetti" for a live audience, while at the same time extending them into danceable jams. Our only complaint about the show, was the duration of the set as it only clocked in at a touch over an hour. The next time the band returns, we need a two plus hour blistering set. -[Local Bozo]
More pictures from Bowery Ballroom and the Cold Cave set list, below...
photos by Jim Brueckner
You've seen the uplifting YouTube videos of the school children from Staten Island, but to witness their contagious innocent joy in-person is even more of a must. It's almost as if each popular number that they cover, they are canonizing by allowing the listeners to hear the songs through the ears of a child. Their version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" was a true goosebump moment. [Metro]Staten Island's PS22 Chorus, who are known to cover bands like MGMT Ariel Pink, and Freelance Whales (who also played the festival), played day 1 (7/30) of the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island this past weekend. . They covered songs by Adele, Lykke Li, John Lennon, Austra and others.
Pictures and videos from their set at Newport below...
Slayer at Izod Center (photos by Samantha Marble)
Slayer, Thee Oh Sees, Public Enemy, Girls, Danzig Legacy, (Danzig + Doyle von Frankenstein playing Misfits, Samhain & Danzig), Hot Snakes, Diplo, Major Lazer, Henry Rollins, Ted Leo & The Phramacists, Spank Rock, Murder City Devils, Hum, Lykke Li, Passion Pit, Four Tet, Rakim, The Damned, Austra, Purity Ring, and Flynt Flossy are just a few of the acts announced today as part of the Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 lineup. Another amazing year! Check out the full lineup below and stay tuned for more announcements coming in August and September.
The new additions to the Austin, Texas festival, which takes place from 11/4 - 11/6, are in addition to the the previous "lineup leaks" that included Brian Posehn, Odd Future, Okkervil River, M83, X (performing "Los Angeles"), Reggie Watts, Flying Lotus, Tune-Yards, Ra Ra Riot, Kid Dynamite and others
2011 is the festival's sixth year, but first at its new home Auditorium Shores (no more Waterloo Park). Tickets are on sale now.
Fun Fun Fun 2011 flyer and almost-full lineup is below.
The Raveonettes @ MHOW in April (more by Amanda Hatfield)
today in NYC
* It Is It @ Pianos
* ASSSSCAT 3000 @ UCB
* Family Day @ Hearst Plaza
* Kenji Garland @ The Stone
* David Garland @ The Stone
* Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
* Ben Holmes, Patrick Farrell @ Barbes
* Todd Barry, Ted Alexandro @ Maxwell's
* Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Dan Paul, Jared McCann @ The Manhattan Inn
* Eiko & Koma @ Paul Milstein Pool, Hearst Plaza
* Mister Melt, Street Gnar, 30th Century Men @ Bruar Falls
* Teen Daze, Brothertiger, Monster Rally, Teeel @ Glasslands
* The Machine (Pink Floyd tribute) @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise
* The Raveonettes, Eternal Summers @ Beekman Beer Garden
* Stephane Wrembel Presents The Django Experiment @ Barbes
* Violent Bullshit, Herzog Rising, This Heart Electric @ Cake Shop
* Fielded, Phantom Family Halo, Hexbreaker Quartet @ Death By Audio
* JEFF The Brotherhood, Kingdom, Friends @ Rockaway Beach Boardwalk
* Harry & The Potters, MC Kreacher, Leema Mountain @ Knitting Factory
* Brent Arnold, Lullabies For Falling Empires, Big Spider's Back @ Zebulon
* Mavis Staples, The Relatives @ Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park Bandshell
* Yvette, Liquor Store, Night Beats, Dinowalrus, So So Glos (DJt) @ Shea Stadium
* SETH (John & Lala of Excepter), Video Love, Enoch ALN Axinite @ 271 Starr Street
* Yemen Blues, Watcha Clan, Shabate, Awesome Tapes from Africa @ Central Park Summerstage
* Wild Yaks, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, The Heaven's Jail Band, Virgin Forest @ Cameo Gallery
Check out This Week in Indie for more reading.
Check out more about free shows happening this week, Raveonettes at Beekman Beer Garden today included.
The Newport Folk Fest continues today in Rhode Island, rare appearance by Middle Brother included.
Mavis Staples played Newport on Saturday and plays a free Lincoln Center Out Of Doors show today.
Celestial Shore, Advaita, Guerilla Toss, The Rex Complex @ Silent Barn is cancelled.
Breakfast at Sulimay's is back with a new episode. The gang listens to the Antlers and Limp Bizkit. Check out the video below...
Watch Austra perform "The Beat And The Pulse" for KEXP, below...
by Andrew Sacher
New album STROKED: A Tribute to Is This It, as the title hints, is a tribute to The Strokes' massively influential debut Is This It. The album was released for free on Stereogum today (7/26). They write:
Is This It was recorded in NYC at Transporterraum with Gordon Raphael. When it was finally released in the States in the Fall of 2001, a decade after Nevermind, it helped not only put contemporary New York City in the forefront of music lovers' minds, it offered an easy reference for people to dig backwards into the Big Apple's rock 'n' roll past. For certain younger fans, it was maybe the first time they carefully considered Television (the late '70s), the Velvet Underground (mid '60s to early '70s), and other lesser known garage and rock and whatever bands that inhabited a dirtier, grubbier Manhattan. The title's pure Richard Hell. The original sexy album cover a minimalist echo of New York Dolls (via Roxy Music). It's no coincidence that 2001 NYC -- eventually, especially Brooklyn -- ended up being known for its post-punk revival. (See, for instance, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Black Dice, Vice Records' No New York nodding collection Yes New York, etc.) Is This It was a history lesson, but one with enough new ideas to also offer a roadmap.Chelsea Wolfe, Austra, Owen Pallet, The Morning Benders, Real Estate, Peter Bjorn & John and others offer their takes on album tracks as well. Full tracklist below.
Wise Blood contributed "Someday" to "Stroked". He and fellow weirdo rapper Cities Aviv share a bill on September 1 at Glasslands in Brooklyn. The show is one of many scheduled around the world for Wise Blood, but is Cities Aviv's only date we see scheduled at the moment. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale now.
Cities Aviv, the self-proclaimed "Post-Death" rapper, is also on the Glasslands bill with Wise Blood. The Memphis native released his debut full length Digital Lows on May 2. The album's production credits go to a number of virtually unknown producers, Muted Drone, RPLD GHOSTS, Danny Dee, Upgrayde, and Royal'T. The beats are dreamy, reverb-soaked headknockers that sound about as woozy as that album art (below) looks. Cities Aviv takes the beats, which on their own would make up a pretty solid chillwave album, and spits biting lines with a classic southern drawl. Fille Catatonique provides sung vocals which blend quite nicely with the album's vibes. The final track, "Float On," features Cities Aviv rapping over chillwaver Blackbird Blackbird's cover of the Modest Mouse song, that he recorded for 2010's Happy High EP. It's a fun way to end the album, and is far better than Lupe Fiasco's "The Show Must Go On," which sampled the Modest Mouse song earlier this year.
Cities Aviv isn't exactly the only rapper crossing into lo-fi/indie-approved territory lately, but he's certainly approaching the crossover from a unique angle. Digital Lows isn't nearly as blown out as, say, Shabazz Palaces, but he's still got way more experimentation going on than guys like Wiz Khalifa or Theophilus London. Grab the album for free at his bandcamp and check out some songs below.
All tour dates, videos, album art and tracklist below...
Diamond Rings at Europa in June (more by Diana Wong)
As mentioned, My Brightest Diamond opens the first (8/2) of two Sufjan Steven shows at Prospect Park in August. Historically, this is an excellent match-up and her set should suit the show perfectly. Unfortunately, it is sold out. Sufjan's second show (8/3) now has an opener too though, and the addition suits Sufjan's new neon coated electronica (and diamond fetish) pretty well. It's Diamond Rings. Tickets for that show are still available, and we have a pair you can win. Details below.
The website "After Elton" asked Diamond Rings aka John O to describe his fanbase. This is what he said:
"It's really diverse. Short of bugging your own friends to come out and see you, after that it's out of my hands by and large who comes to my show. I can only make the music I want to make, and present the image that I feel represents me and hope that the right people get it. Not that there's wrong people. People who come to my shows are all over the place. Kids in high school, 20 something downtown folks like me, people my parents' age, which is really cool. It's all over the place. I'm trying to reach as many people as I can. I want to try and make the music and put on the kind of show that allows anyone to feel like they can come and express themselves and be themselves and be safe and have fun. I would be really worried if I had a demographic niche and everyone were the same that comes to my show."Diamond Rings will return in October during their tour with Twin Shadow. Updated dates, contest details, and the song "Give It Up" which features vocals by Austra's Katie Stelmanis, below...
photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Sacher
"Fireworks at the pier!!!! Wtf!!! And a full moon. Amazing!!!" - Austra
Hudson River Rocks kicked off their 2011 season in a big way last night (7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra. Due to long lines down the West Side Highway, organizers, who tell us last night's crowd reached 4600 people, delayed the start of the free show so as many people as possible could get inside before Austra started.
Austra's rhythm section started the night with some eerie atmospheres. They were soon joined by Katie Stelmanis and backup singers Sari and Romy Lightman and conjured up album opener "Darken Her Horse." Katie is a huge presence on stage, and with such powerful vocals, she had no trouble projecting this presence across the pier's extensive length. The set felt too short, but it was no less enjoyable. They took on Feel It Break single "Lose It" early on in the set and though it seems like one of the album's more straightforward tracks, it actually showed the band at one of their highest points. The vocal interplay between Katie and the Lightman twins adventured into realms visited by few other synth pop groups. Sari and Romy were as charismatic as Katie but in a more subtle way that suited the performance perfectly. Austra's dark dancey songs sounded amazing outside on the Hudson River, but I couldn't help to think how great they would fit a small poorly lit club like Bowery Ballroom, where you can catch them on August 6 as part of their tour with Cold Cave.
After a short break, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus came on stage by herself and introduced her set by looping howls and shrieks. Like Katie Stelmanis, Merrill had absolutely no problem letting her presence be known throughout the entire Pier 54. She was soon joined by a bassist and two sax players to tear apart the recently released LP w h o k i l l and put the entire thing back together right in front of the audience. Merrill continued to loop her vocals, which ranged from bird chirps to bear growls and included everything in between. She added layered percussion which could recall polyrhythmic afrobeat, Latin clave rhythms, or hip hop beats at any given moment. As the songs would start to take on a bit of structure, Merrill would throw in these whacked-out chord progressions on her ukulele. She was accompanied by strong basslines and avant-sax lines that channelled the likes of Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman. The fact that they were able to pull all of this off and somehow still sound really accessible is just beyond comprehension. And the crowd definitely reciprocated. It was probably the best crowd that I've seen at a show this summer and Merrill was obviously grateful for that. She expressed how amazed she was at the number of people who showed up and recalled an early experience playing NYC at Pianos where five people came to see her previous band Sister Suvi. She also pointed out the (almost) full moon which, in a weird way, was kinda fascinating to see while listening to tUnE-yArDs.
After the incredible set ended and the crowd was thanked multiple times, Merrill and co. exited the stage to return shortly for a one-song encore. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of encores, this one was pretty hard to deny. They played the awesome album closer "Killa" and with about 45 seconds left in the song, fireworks erupted over the Hudson River behind the stage.
More pictures and videos from the show below...
by Andrew Frisicano
There's already one post today up about Austra's show tonight (7/14) at Pier 54 with tUne-yArDs. To supplement that, here's an unposted interview we did back in the spring with the group's frontwoman Katie Stelmanis, who talks about the transitioning from a solo act to a full-band, the importance of the live show and the process of putting out the group's debut record...
You've been playing as Katie Stelmanis for a while now. What was the idea behind releasing the record under a new name?
Katie Stelmanis: Well, the project throughout the years had become a lot more collaborative. I've been playing with my drummer Maya for over three years, and she had started writing music and doing a lot of programming and producing and it just didn't make sense that it was a solo name anymore. So we decided to go with Austra, which is my middle name, because it kind of carries an ambiguous could-be-a-band-or-solo kind of thing, so we wanted to keep it a little bit in the gray.
How much of the material for the group is new? Because I know you've been playing some of them for a while.
A lot of the songs on the album are really old. Basically, when I put out the record I had four years of material to work with. And I just had to go through it and figure out what I wanted to put on the record. Some of the songs were written in 2007 and just never got released. While they might not be totally consistent with the newer stuff, I wanted a chance to put them out there.
DOWNLOAD: Tasseomancy - "Heavy Sleep" (Maya Postepski Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Austra - Spellwork (MNDR Nighttime Remix) (MP3)
You may recognize the voices of Sari and Romy Lightman as the haunting backup singers for Toronto synth-poppers Austra. They are also the forces behind their own, equally dark but folkier group Tasseomancy. They release their first full length under Tasseomancy, Ulalume on August 30 via Out of this Spark. The album is the follow up to Tasseomancy, which they released under the name Ghost Bees. The new album was recorded with Taylor Kirk and Simon Trottier of fellow Canadian gloomy folk band Timber Timbre, who they released a split single with in 2010. Watch the video for album track "Heavy Sleep" below and grab Maya Postepski's remix of the track above.
Austra recently stopped in at "Room 205" in LA to perform a few songs. The video for "Darken Her Horse" off their incredible debut Feel It Break can be watched below. Other videos in the series will be released on July 18th and 25th. Austra play a free show tonight (7/14) with tUnE-yArDs at Pier 54 at 14th St & the West Side Highway ("Doors open at 6pm, free, no tickets required").
The above MNDR remix is from Austra's forthcoming remix EP. Videos and dates below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Wild Beasts - "Loop the Loop" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wooden Birds - Two Matchsticks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rayon Beach - Wave Pool Ether (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: John Wesley Coleman - Ooh Basketball (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Urge Overkill - Effigy (MP3)
This week is kind of nuts. I know you're all probably just going to be spending it reading A Dance with Dragons or going to see Harry Potter, but here's your TWII action... let's get into it.
Tom Vek is here for two shows, his first U.S. shows since 2005: an early show tonight (7/12) at Mercury Lounge and tomorrow (7/13) at Union Pool. I don't think either are sold out. His second album Leisure Seizure -- six years in the making -- has remained in constant rotation on my stereo since getting a copy in May and I'm pretty excited for these shows.
The new record still sounds like Tom Vek -- the staccato drum beats, sparse arrangements, his laid-back vocal style -- and maybe it's the absence but it still sounds fresh. It's a great record and a welcome return. I have no idea who is in his band these days, but he was fantastic live back when he toured for We Have Sound in 2005. I have a feeling he's still got it.
Wild Beasts are over for four East Coast shows, including two nights at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday (7/13) and Thursday (7/14). (They're also playing Philly and D.C.) These will be the first the band have done since releasing their third album, Smother, back in May. As I've said before, this is subtler album than Two Dancers that shows the influence of Talk Talk and The Blue Nile in particular. It's a grower, as they say, and a worthy successor to 2009's best album. Check out "Loop the Loop" at the top of this post.
Live, Wild Beasts are truly something to behold, transcending their records every time (at least every time I've seen them). Sky Larkin's Katie Harkin is playing keyboards with the band on this Stateside jaunt which is an added bonus for some of us. The rest of North America will get a chance to see Wild Beasts in September when they come back for a proper tour. All 2011 dates are at the bottom of this post.
Shifting gears wildly, we've got Chicago rock gods Urge Overkill in town for two shows this week. They play the Rocks Off cruise on Wednesday (7/13) and then the Rock Shop on Saturday (7/16) as part of the venue's big One Year Anniversary which is happening all this week.
Urge Overkill were odd men out in the '90s, doing suave, heavily postured cock rock in an era dominated by slacker indie and stoner sludge. 1993's Saturation is one of the decade's classics, all big riffs and attitude that has only gotten finer with age. The same can't be said for 1995's Exit the Dragon, which found the band succumbed to the rock n' roll excesses the band exemplified. (There were even rumors the band were too fucked up to even play on its recordings, having most parts subbed by session musicians.)
There were various comeback gigs in the '00s but I don't think anybody expected them to make a new album. Which made this year's Rock'n'Roll Submarine (great title) a double shock: it exists and, more importantly, it's pretty awesome. Kato and Roeser keep the same flame alive: badass riffs, supercatchy choruses, and that unfakeable rock n' roll spirit. (No Blackie Onassis, but some chemistry is just too volatile apparently.) There's also a world-weariness that keeps it all real. They aren't trying to pretend they haven't been through some serious shit. But to paraphrase "Effigy" (downloadable at the top of this post), they've always taken the loud way.
The Wooden Birds
Lovely Austin band The Wooden Birds play two shows this week as well: Thursday (7/14) at Mercury Lounge and Friday (7/15) at The Rock Shop. As you may know at this point, this is Andrew Kenny's post-American Analog Set band, which still has his drony motorik style but in a much more acoustic setting. The Wooden Birds' sophomore album, Two Matchsticks, is (in my opinion) much better than their debut: the arrangements are more dynamic and the addition of Matt Pond (both on guitar and vocally) adds a lot. (Matt Pond PA's Chris Hansen is a touring member as well.) You can check out the title track to the new album at the top of this post.
Tune-Yards @ MHOW (more by Amanda Hatfield)
What else? Hudson River Rocks starts this week (Thursday 7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra which is a pretty hard-to-pass-up free show. While I don't reach for her album much, there's no denying Merril Garbus is a magnetic performer who can win over crowds easily. While Austra's Katie Stelmanis doesn't quite have that charm, there is no denying her stage presence either and I'm a big fan of Austra's debut album which came out earlier this year. Thursday is supposed to be beautiful and this show seems like a no-brainer.
Austin's Rayon Beach play three shows this week: Thursday (7/14) at Don Pedro, then Friday (7/15) at Bruar Falls and Saturday (7/16) at Death by Audio. I wrote this a year ago and I think it still holds true:
Like a lot of the bands on Hozac Records (or bands from Austin for that matter), this trio fit under the psych/garage umbrella but there's a decided Brit bent to their music. Baroque garage, is that a thing? Think Syd-era Pink Floyd or The Pretty Things more than Woven Bones. Make no mistake -- Rayon Beach can and do get plenty loud. It's just sometimes with pinkies extended.Rayon Beach are on tour with fellow Austinite John Wesley Coleman III who is awesome in his own right. Last year's Bad Lady Goes to Jail, on Goner, incorporates country, soul and R&B into his sound (not to mention a unique worldview). He definitely stands out amongst the garage pack. If you feel like you've heard enough of this stuff, do give JWCIII a shot.
Anglophiles might already know that Scottish indiefolk cult legend King Creosote is in town this week, playing a late show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (7/14) and then at the Rock Shop on Sunday (7/17). Both shows are with the equally talented Jon Hopkins. I wrote about King Creosote back in March:
Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too.Anderson teamed with Hopkins for his new album Diamond Mine that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can check out the video for "Bubble" at the bottom of this post.
The Radio Dept
And now another weekend of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/15) is the final night of this year's abbreviated Seaport Music Festival, with The Radio Dept. The band are in the U.S. for this and the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago and that's it -- so we should count ourselves lucky. If you wanted to see them somewhere small, you're out of luck. (Unless you maybe found yourself at a shop that rocked on, say, Thursday night. Maybe.) Last year's Clinging to a Scheme was one of 2010's best albums (according to me) and though I do wish they'd get a drummer to play with them at shows, they still sound pretty great live.
I'm hoping the merch table has the new 180 gram vinyl reissues of the band's three albums. In particular I want to pick up their classic debut Lesser Matters, one of the best albums of the '00s. Opening are Asobi Seksu which is a pretty perfect pairing. The weather's supposed to be gorgeous, the show is free...this'll be sweet.
Saturday is the Village Voice 4 Knots Festival which is going out of its way to let us know it's not trying to be the Siren Festival. It's a nice line-up of bands, though, scaled to fit the Seaport. Apart from Eleanor Friedberger and Oberhofer, it is a pretty rock line-up what with headliners Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Davilla 666 and Mr. Dream. If you like to dance, they've got an indoor lounge over at 210 Front Street with an all DJ lineup that includes Yeasayer, Dan Deacon, Brahms and the Finger on the Pulse dudes (also DJing as Punches) spinning tunes. Things kick off at 1PM.
Then Sunday (7/17) is the last show of my Sound Bites Series down at the Fulton Stall Market and I'm super pleased to have Hospitality on cleanup. When I found out we were going to be doing the series again, Hospitality were the first band I thought of. If you haven't heard them, you can download their 2009 EP for free from their Bandcamp site. It's quite lovely. The band have gotten less precious since then, though no less charming, and recently the band expanded to a four-piece with drummer Nathan Michel moving to guitar making them decidedly more skronky now.
I am quite enamored with this band and you should definitely come down and see them. They are seriously good. If you come to only one Sound Bites Show this summer... this is your last chance. Hospitality are on at 3PM sharp and I'll be spinning tunes from around 1:30 or so. It's free!
And right after Hospitality finish, you can head across South Street to the Beekman Beer Garden for this week's Beach Party show with Frankie Rose and Xray Eyeballs. Both bands feature on that free downloadable mix you can get over at Insound. The Frankie Rose track is one I hadn't heard before, a cover of Slapp Happy's "Blue Flower" which you may know from covers either by Mazzy Star or Pale Saints.
Last week (Cheeseburger and Hard Nips) was fun and pretty fairly low-key. The spot -- formerly Water Taxi Beach -- is a pretty popular spot on its own, so expect a mixed crowd of those there for the show and those there just for the view/vibe. Bands start at 4PM. It's free.
And that's about it for this week. A few more daily picks are below.
TUESDAY, JULY 12
It's a heatwave today but Cold Cave will have the A/C cranked for their show Knitting Factory tonight. I do really like their new album Cherish the Light Years which kind of reminds me of '80s band Lords of the New Church. The show is with gothy sea chanty singers Cult of Youth, and Zambri who are newly signed to Kanine Records (and who were impressive at Knitting Factory during the Northside fest). The show is part of a tour that ends at Bowery Ballroom with Austra.
The newly reunited Cibo Matto are at Brooklyn Bowl. Though advance tickets sold out, there will be limited availability at the door. Go early. The show is one date of a tour that also hits Bowery Ballroom.
Secret Chiefs 3 at Terminal 5 (more by Zach Dilgard)
Instrumental band Secret Chiefs 3 kicked off a European tour last month with DJ FAT32. The tour comes to North America in September. So far it only includes East Coast and Midwest shows, but West Coast dates are "being planned." Look for SC3 and FAT32 to play NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on September 13th. Tickets are on sale. All dates for the Trey Spruance-led band are listed below.
In October Secret Chiefs 3 play the Iceland Airwaves Festival with Bjork (she was just announced and will be doing a Biophilia performance), Austra, Beach House, Liturgy, SBTRKT, Suuns, Olof Arnalds, Tune-yards, John Grant, and many others. Full lineup at their site. The festival runs from October 12-16 and takes place in downtown Reykjavík. Bjork will also play five more shows in Reykjavík in October. All of those dates are listed below.
All SC3 tour dates and some videos below too...
DOWNLOAD: Austra - "Spellwork" (MNDR Nighttime Remix) (MP3)
Austra at Santos (more by Vincent Cornelli)
2011's short list of nominees for Canada's Polaris Music Prize were announced. They include a mix of indie veterans, grammy-winners, a sax player who has played with those grammy winners, and some new kids on the block like the super buzzy The Weeknd whose resume includes working with Drake. Full nominee list is below.
One of the artists, Austra, will release a remix EP to follow-up their latest release Feel it Break. The remix collection, entitled SPARKLE will be released digitally on July 26th and on wax on August 23rd. The release features remix contributions from MNDR, Mark Pistel, and Planningtorock with the digital collection having an additional four bonus remixes. Preorder it at Domino, and download/stream one track, "Spellwork (MNDR Nighttime Remix)" above/below.
Reminder, look for Austra to play a FREE show on July 14th supporting tUnE-yArDs at Pier 54 in NYC. They'll also be on hand to support Cold Cave at Bowery Ballroom on August 6th (tickets). Cold Cave also plays NYC next week, at Knitting Factory with Cult of Youth on July 12th (tickets).
Braids, also nominated, recently announced a ton of tour dates.
Austra song stream and dates and the Polaris Music Prize nominees are below.