Entries tagged with: Australia
by Bill Pearis
Australian sextet Alpine released their debut album, A is for Alpine, back in August in their native country. With crisp staccato rhythms, slinky bass and the honeyed vocals of Phoebe Baker and Lou James, it's bright, effervescent, danceable pop with at least three terrific singles -- "Villages," "Gasoline" and, especially, "Hands" -- all of which you can check out below in video form.
The album is getting a belated North American release and by that time the band will have visited here for shows surrounding the 2013 SXSW Festival, including two shows in NYC: March 7 at Mercury Lounge and March 8 at Glasslands. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show go on AmEx presale on Wednesday (12/12) at noon with a general on-sale Friday (12/14) at noon. Tickets for Glasslands go on sale Friday at noon as well. No other North American dates have been announced at this time.
Videos and streams are below.
"That's y!" says Snoop Dogg...
Did Snoop Dogg talk much politics at his Wellmont Theater show last week? That picture above, no not the cats, is his Tweeted list of reasons for voting for Obama, and for not voting Romney.
Kanye West has much less to say, for now. All his amazing tweets have been deleted except for one new one that says "BE BACK SOON". UPDATE: Now there are also three tweets about Steve Jobs.
Bummed to hear that Big Boi, who recently played Chicago's North Coast Music Fest, replaced Little Dragon with Kelly Rowland on the final version of the song he performed live with Little Dragon in Austin.
Creed frontman Scott Stapp says T.I. saved his life.
Missy Elliot may actually release an album this year.
YouTube is streaming Obama's bff (see above)Jay-Z's eighth Barclays Center show Saturday night.
Speaking of, Jay-Z is in a new marriage equality ad.
by Bill Pearis
The annual post-SXSW Aussie BBQ is happening March 25 at the Bell House in Brooklyn, with a whopping 14 performers throughout the all-day event: Big Scary, Bonfire Nights, Busby Marou, Jonti, Jordie Lane, Oh Mercy, The Jefferson, Teeth & Tongue, Voltaire Twins, Wazu, Luluc, Pets with Pets, Traveller & Fortune, and Saskia Sansom.
With the only determining factor being country of origin, it's a disparate lineup, ranging from gentle folk (Jordie Lane, Luluc, Traveller & Fortune and Saskia Sansom), wide appeal pop (Big Scary, The Jefferson), psych rock (Bonfire Nights, Pets with Pets), synth/glitch/electro (Voltaire Twins, Jonti, Wazu), indiepop (Oh Mercy) and Teeth & Tongue, who is a little like Anna Calvi. Literally something for everyone. Unless all you like is jazz or metal or some other genre not listed above.
At the bottom of this post there's videos and music streams for every artist on the bill. Tickets are $12 -- that's less than a dollar per band. Pretty good deal and a fun way to spend a Sunday.
In addition to playing SXSW and the Aussie BBQ, Big Scary and Teeth & Tongue are going on more extensive North American dates (though not together) and those dates can be found at the bottom of this post. For Big Scary they included gigs at Mercury Lounge and Glasslands.
You can also grab a Big Scary tracks as part of a free mixtape they're giving away on Bandcamp, and as part of a free Family Records SXSW 2012 mixtape. The mixtape also contains songs by Savoir Adore, We Are Augustines and 10 others.
While not part of the BBQ, Australia's Twerps (who made one of my favorite albums of 2012) will be over for SXSW too. After Austin, they're coming to New York for two shows: March 29 at 285 Kent with Ducktails and March 30 at Mercury Lounge with The Mad Scene. After playing here, Twerps hit the road with Real Estate for an extensive North American tour and those dates are at the bottom of this post, along with a new video for album track "Through the Day."
Speaking of Hamish Kilgour (who is in the The Mad Scene), The Clean also just announced dates that bring them to Le Poisson Rouge this year.
Click through for videos and streams by all the Aussie BBQ bands, plus tour dates for Big Scary, Teeth & Tongue, and Twerps.
by Bill Pearis
There are so many good shows happening tomorrow (2/16) this column could be renamed This Thursday in Indie. But I won't because that would be dumb. What about next week? And the week after? Thursday might be totally dead those weeks and then look what I'm stuck with.
But I digress. Basically everything covered below (apart from the daily picks section) is happening tomorrow. Such as Australia's Woollen Kits who are wrapping up a North American tour, pulling into Brooklyn for a show at Death By Audio. Not unlike fellow countrymen The Twerps (who play Mercury Lounge on 3/30), Woollen Kits play the kind of stripped down guitar rock that can be traced back through Flying Nun and K Recs, Jonathan Richman and the Velvet Underground. When guitarist Thomas Hardisty sings baritone, the band veers towards Beat Happening; when drummer Tom Ridgewell takes the mike, Woollen Kits are more Clean-like. The band just released their debut album on R.I.P Society records and it's quite good.
You can stream the single "Out of Whack" at the bottom of this post and watch its video. The DBA show is with Home Blitz, Harpoon Fever and Parquet Courts. The band have a few more shows before heading home to where it's currently warm, and all Woollen Kits dates are at the bottom of this post.
Also on Thursday (2/17) is the return of Slow Club who play The Bell House. It's their first show in NYC since September when the duo's second album, Paradise, was released. The record expands greatly upon the folk-pop of their debut, Yeah, So, giving them a much bigger sound, perhaps due in part to producer Luke Smith (who was in short-lived but great mid-'00s band Clor). It still sounds like Slow Club, mind you: winsome, charming, joyous. You can stream the whole thing via Spotify if you haven't heard it yet. The band are even more charming and joyous live.
The undercard for the Bell House show is pretty strong as well: Air Waves, who are back in Brooklyn where they belong after a stint in Austin, and Chalk & Numbers who I don't think have played live since last year's NYC Popfest.
Eleven Pond (in the '80s)
If the thought of something winsome, charming and joyous makes you want to puke, you might do better at Glasslands which is hosting the first show in 23 years by Eleven Pond. The Rochester, NY band's sole album, 1986's Bas Relief, is considered a lost classic by darkwave aficionados and was reissued a couple years ago by Dark Entries records. (You can stream it here.) Showing respect to their elders will be two bands from Wierd's roster: Frank (Just Frank) and Plastic Flowers. Expect Glasslands' smoke machine to be turned to the Peter Murphy setting for this show.
And finally, Palomar, who recently opened for Nada Surf at Bowery Ballroom, are having the record release party for their new album, Sense & Antisense, at Littlefield Thursday night. These three ladies and one dude have been together for over ten years, outlasting all sorts of other more hyped Brooklyn bands and scenes, putting out quality indie rock LP after quality indie rock LP. Their sticktoitiveness is as strong as their ability to write catchy tunes and harmonize. Sense & Antisense, the band's fifth, is a keeper.
You can stream the LP on Spotify and purchase it directly from the band, either at their website or at tomorrow's show. Also playing are Jaabs (feat. Roman of the Oranges Band) and Art Con. The Wrens' Charles Bissell is also performing Palomar covers, so I'm told.
OK, that's the main stuff for me this week. There are some good non-Thursday shows this week and my other picks are listed day-by-day below.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
It's a night of quality local bands at Pianos, with High Highs, Phonetag, Ski Lodge, and Field Mouse. That's a good show! (and if you miss it, High Highs also play Pianos on 2/29).
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Didn't I give you enough Thursday options above?
photos by Diana Wong
Kimbra & Gotye @ Bowery Ballroom
When it finally came time to play the song everyone was waiting for, the guy standing next to me said, "Already?" and then begrudgingly removed his cell phone and started filming the stage. Truth be told: Gotye's set, which lasted a bit over an hour, was about three-quarters done. So it seemed as good a time as any.More pictures from the smallest show Gotye will probably be playing in NYC for a while, and a Wall Street Journal video interview, below...
De Backer joked with the audience that perhaps he'd sing the song in a creepy low-octave vocoder. Nobody laughed; they didn't want anyone messing with the song they'd come to see.
And as the band played, crisply and assured, it remained a bit puzzling that this song is as catchy and perfect as it is. Its simple verse line sounds straight out of a modern folk-rock tune, nothing out of the ordinary, with the Brazilian guitar sample plugging along in the distance. But then that chorus! The doubled vocals and easy-going nature of the whole thing. Kimbra, the 22-year-old Australian artist who guests on the song and in the video, came out from backstage in a black romper to sing her second verse and belt out some "aahs" during the final chorus. [Huffington Post]
When we first announced Gotye's upcoming North American tour, the Bowery Ballroom show (2/6) was already sold out. Now the Webster Hall show (3/27) is sold out too and he's added a larger show happening at Terminal 5 on March 25. It's also been announced that Kimbra, who provides guest vocals on "Somebody That I Used to Know," was added to a number of the North American tour dates including the Webster Hall and the Terminal 5 shows.
Tickets for the T5 go on sale Friday (2/3) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (2/1) at noon.
Gotye's album, Making Mirrors, was released in the US today (1/31). You can stream the entire thing on NPR.
Updated dates including Coachella below...
"The Straight Arrows play no frills spazz rock and have grown up on a healthy diet of the Ramones and Hüsker Dü, culminating in a fearless, boozy punk. They used to play on the scungy fringes of Sydney's live scene and have since released several fuzzy 7" records. They didn't need an intro [at Manning Bar in Sydney in February] and didn't waste their time with one. They exploded on stage, stabbing the fret boards and punching out stripped back songs at ridiculous volume. It was about texture, not content. Loud, abrasive, loose, obnoxious, immature and really, really good." [Faster Louder]Like fellow Sydney band Royal Headache, Straight Arrows will tour the United States in September around an appearance at Memphis' Gonerfest. Beginning and ending in NYC, they'll visit Cake Shop on September 5th and Death By Audio on September 30th. The Brooklyn show is with Deaf Wish, PC Worship and Home Blitz who also play Ding Dong Lounge on September 10th with Royal Headache.
All dates on the tour don't have venues yet, but they are listed below...
Kathleen Hanna at Planned Parenthood rally in February (more by Chris La Putt)
Feminist artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman-Leeson's documentary !Women Art Revolution made its theatrical debut at Manhattan's IFC Center on June 1. The film is still screening every day at 4:25 PM through June 16. The film features a score by Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), an appearance by Yoko Ono and much more. Get your tickets for the remaining days (and go see Wild Flag at Williamsburg Waterfront).
The movie is one example of how "the Riot Grrrl movement still inspires", as NY Times puts it. The article talks about the Kathleen Hanna tribute show that took place at Knitting Factory this past December and discusses the effect the movement has had on today's indie rock scene. Amanda Warner of MNDR said, "I remember it being weird if you saw a girl in a band, and now it's not weird at all, it's just totally normal."
That Knitting Factory show in December not only served as a tribute to Kathleen Hanna, but also the debut of her new band The Julie Ruin. The project formed as a revival of her late '90s solo project Julie Ruin, the moniker under which she recorded one album of the same name in 1998. The new band also features Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox and Kenny Mellman, Justin Bond's sidekick in Kiki and Herb. They are currently working on a debut full length. Details on the album are limited but Kathleen posted pictures from an overdub and mixing session for the album back in May.
A Le Tigre documentary titled Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour (pictured above) chronicles the band's 2004 tour and is out now. You can purchase it on Amazon. Last week there was a screening at at Maysles Institute in Harlem which was accompanied by a Q&A with director Kerthy Fix and Le Tigre member Johanna Fateman. Joly was there and taped all 45 minutes of it. If you missed it, check out the Punkcast video below. AND, they do it again on June 26th at the Ace Hotel, complete with Johanna Fateman, Kerthy Fix, AND Kathleen Hanna for the Q&A. All screening dates are listed below.
Kathleen Hanna recently spoke to Spinner, to promote the movie and stuff, and they asked her about Odd Future:
Spinner: Have you been paying attention to the controversy with Odd Future and their homophobic, misogynistic lyrics?CNN also recently spoke to Kathleen who discussed Katy Perry in that one.
Kathleen: No, not really. They don't seem that interesting to me.
Spinner: Sara Quin just spoke out against them and it created a bit of a media storm.
Kathleen: I feel like, if you don't want to listen to them, don't listen to them. If you do want to listen to them, do listen to them. I couldn't really comment about on exactly what their lyrics are about, because I haven't gotten that deep into it. But if people are writing lyrics that piss you off, hurt your feelings and make you feel like s---, don't listen to it. I don't think the best idea is to have a boycott. Just don't talk about them and they'll go away. The more you talk about them, the more attention they get. Tegan and Sara fans probably wouldn't even know this band existed if they weren't talking about them. I find the whole conversation kind of boring. There are so many great artists that are doing interesting things, that I don't want to focus on boring people.
Odd Future's lesbian member Syd tha Kyd, who famously responded to criticism that she associates with a sexist group by saying, "That's what I do. I slap bitches", is DJing at PS1 'Warm Up' on July 23. Gang Gang Dance also DJ and Laurel Halo, Miracles Club, and Lunice play live sets on the same date. No word on if any other members of Odd Future will be in town at the time.
Film trailers, dates and a mash-up of Tyler, the Creator's "Yonkers" and Tegan & Sara's "Call It Off" by The Jane Doze, below...
Recently inducted into the Australian Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, The Church will revisit two of their most successful releases and their most recent LP Untitled #23 as part of a 30th Anniversary US tour in February. The 2009 LP as well as 1992's Priest=Aura and 1988's Starfish will be performed in their entirety at each show on the tour which includes two NYC shows: Feb 16th at Highline Ballroom (tickets) and Feb 17th at B.B. King's (tickets). All dates below.
The Church has been churning out new material since the 80's and their latest is the Deadman's Hand EP, which dropped this year. And by the time these shows comes, "reissues of the band's early albums will also finally be available in the USA alongside contemporary releases, all on the Second Motion Entertainment label. The reissues will come in luxurious digi-packs with rare photos and exhaustive sleeve notes written by Marty Willson-Piper."
Stream the new EP in full and check out all tour dates below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Super Wild Horses - Golden Town (MP3)
Major omission from this week's This Week in Indie: Melbourne's duo Super Wild Horses are playing TWO shows tonight (9/16). First at Cameo Gallery with Reading Rainbow and Night Manager, then later at Death by Audio with fellow Aussies UV Race, Home Blitz and Pink Reason.
Their new LP on Hozac, produced by Eddie Current Suppression Ring's Mikey Young, is packed with fuzzy indie rock that has a definite early '90s feel to it. (Tsunami or Scrawl do come to mind.) Check out "Golden Town" at the top of this post. Its video is below along with all Super Wild Horses tour dates...
The King Khan & BBQ Show @ Bowery in November (more by Tim Griffin)
It's hard to take any King Khan news 100% serious. And like many dysfunctional couples, just because King Khan and BBQ are "broken up" doesn't mean they might not get back together. That said, here's the story...
Laurie Anderson's concert for dogs in Sydney Australia was part of the Vivid Sydney Festival, which she and Lou Reed curated. Acts they brought included Holly Miranda, Emily Haines, Boris, Doveman, Marc Ribot and Dave Hidalgo, My Brightest Diamond, Melt Banana and, a favorite of Laurie's, the King Khan & BBQ Show, whose two shows at the fest did not go smoothly. What happened at their gigs isn't exactly clear, but it's been all down hill since an argument after the second one. The blog Rockaliser Baby has details on the group's canceled June 19th show in Seoul, where more drama went down. That was to be the last of three shows in South Korea (they "successfully" performed two nights before in Daegu). Between those posts, King Khan's account of their Australian shows and Mark (BBQ) Sultan's version of the story on the band's Facebook, you could spend an afternoon catching up on everything that happened.
Mark Sultan is currently recovering from the disastrous trip in Cambodia, and though no official statement has been made (except maybe by Mark Sultan in a comment hidden far down on his Facebook wall), all signs point to the group being broken up.
The duo are currently still on the schedule for Sled Island in Calgary June 30-July 1, where King Khan is one of the curators, but the band doesn't have any upcoming dates listed and they did officially cancel other dates (like September 28 at Neumos).
It's not the first time the band has had trouble on the road - most recently, in 2009, their tour manager was arrested mid-tour, forcing them to cancel some shows.
And King Khan made news (TMZ included) earlier this year when he showed his ass to Lindsay Lohan after an Almighty Defenders (a group BBQ is also in) show at Cannes.
No video from these shows in Australia or Korea (yet), but clips from their set at Primavera Sound at the end of May is posted below...
DOWNLOAD: Vital Signs (Turkish Prison Mix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Vital Signs (Kim Mix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Vital Signs (Daniel Stricker Mix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Vital Signs (Rewards Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Vital Signs (midnight juggernauts cover by Impala cover) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Vital Signs (Istanbul Kebab remix) (MP3)
Australian electro-pop trio Midnight Juggernauts (Andrew Szekeres, Vincent Vendetta and Daniel Stricker) will be releasing their second album, The Crystal Axis, on May 28th on Siberia Records. A bunch of remixes for their current single "Vital Signs" are posted above. Grab one by Presets member KIM, one by Rewards aka Chairlift member Aaron Pfenning, one each by band members Andy (Turkish Prison mix) and Daniel, and one covered by fellow Aussies Tame Impala (who are coming to Pianos on June 24th). Today there will be a limited-time stream of the record going up on the band's Myspace.
Midnight Juggernauts have a US tour ploted for this July. That includes an NYC date on July 22nd at Santos Party House (hosted by Fixed). Tickets are on sale. Their other date is a July 24th show at Brooklyn Bowl (tix TBA).
Their video for "Vital Signs," album artwork and info and all tour dates are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Crayon Fields - All the Pleasures of the World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rooftop Vigilantes - Seth No Jump (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: You Say Party We Say Die - Laura Palmer's Prom (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Love Is All - Kungen (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wave Pictures - Come on Daniel (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Oh No Ono - Internet Warrior (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Oh No Ono - Helplessly Young (MP3)
A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ BV/Anso 3/18 day party in Austin (by Tim Griffin)
I'm still somewhat recovering from SXSW, so while I am taking it easy, catching up on my DVR queue, hopefully you're all taking advantage of all the out-of-town bands who're blowing through New York after their visits to Austin -- there's no shortage of them this week.
Firstly, I've got a pair of tickets to give away to see A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Mahogany at the Bell House this Monday (3/29). Just email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "A Sunny Day in Glasgow" as the subject and we'll pick a winner at random. It's a double dose of neo-shoegaze goodness. ASDIG have been touring constantly since last fall and have a new-ish EP, Nitetime Rainbows, as well as last year's great Ashes Grammar. Mahogany, meanwhile, are finally getting around to following up 2006's masterful Connectivity!, promising a new EP, single and album all this year. Hopefully we'll get a taste of the new songs on Monday. Also on the bill: Brooklyn's Pacific Theater.
While on the subject of the Bell House, tonight's (3/25) the big Aussie BBQ with 12 bands from Sydney, Melbourne and other cities I can't name off the top of my head: The Crayon Fields, The Chevelles, Love of Diagrams, Pets with Pets, Paul Dempsey, Sherlock's Daughter, Children Collide, Oh Mercy, City Riots,Beaches, Bliss N Eso, and The Goons of Doom.
The Crayon Fields are also playing Pianos on Friday (3/26). I saw them at Bruar Falls earlier in the week and thought they were fantastic, and can really pull off the lush, late '60s baroque pop sound of their new album, All the Pleasures of the World, in the live setting with an ace cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talking" thrown in for good measure. Go see them. They're also selling vinyl of the new album for only ten bucks. Video from the Bruar Falls show is at the bottom of this post.
Before I get into more SXSW stragglers, I do need to remind you (and myself) that Lawrence Kansas' awesome Rooftop Vigilantes are in town. They played Shea Stadium last night and are
at Cake Shop Friday (3/26) and are playing somewhere in the area on Saturday too, still seemingly TBA.
UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Rooftop Vigilantes have headed back to Kansas. No NYC shows Friday or Saturday unfortunately.
We'll let you know when that's figured out. Here's what I wrote last month:
These guys are up there with BOAT in in the shambly, anthemic, super-catchy school of indie rock -- and if this sounds a little tighter, more pointed than anything on their debut, there's a reason. The band trekked to Baltimore, MD to record the album with Jawbox/Burning Airlines' J. Robbins behind the boards, which seems like a perfect match with Rooftop Vigilantes' sound which has been described in the past as "a very drunk Fugazi."To get a better idea of what Rooftop Vigilantes do, check out new track "Seth No Jump" from the J. Robbins sessions above. And they are seriously fun live. The Cake Shop show, brought to you by in-house labels Cape Shok and Daed Pizza, is with Philly's excellent duo Reading Rainbow, Mississippi's Flight and The Ansazis. This is a good show.
You Say Party We Say Die @ SXSW 2010 (More by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Vancouver's You Say Party! We Say Die! are in town for two shows, playing Knitting Factory tomorrow (3/26) and Pianos on Monday (3/29). Their latest album, XXXX, just came out in the States and is a pretty catchy slab of new wave synth rock, high on melodrama and chunky hooks. Check out "Laura Palmer's Prom" at the top of this post and the video for "There is XXXX (Within My Heart)" further down. I caught them last November at M for Montreal and was pretty impressed. Dominick also just caught them at SXSW.
Love is All
Love is All are are back with a swell new album, Two Thousand and Ten Injuries, that finds the band stretching their creative wings a bit, going out of their manic pop safety zone for their most varied record yet. There's still plenty of the shouty "bah bah bah" choruses you've come to expect. (The albumjust scored an 8.0 on Pitchfork.) Anyone that's seen them know that Love is All are one of the best times you're gonna have at a live show this side of Think About Life. Which you can see for yourself, as Love is All play Maxwell's on Saturday (3/27 with Crystal Stilts and Beachniks) and Knitting Factory on Sunday (3/28 with Beach Fossils and The Beets).
And just wondering, did anyone go see Love is All's saxophonist James Ausfahrt play Bruar Falls last night? Totally forgot it was happening.
The Wave Pictures @ Knitting Factory pre-SXSW (more by Chris La Putt)
Sunday night (3/28) The Wave Pictures are playing Mercury Lounge (tickets). Maybe you saw them last week at our pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory (or at our Friday day party at Club DeVille)? If so you know how great they are. I wrote of that performance:
Next up were the Wave Pictures who I'm pretty sure charmed everyone in the room. Singer David Tattersal, in addition to being a hell of a songwriter and pretty fierce guitarist, is a very funny guy. His between-song stories were just as entertaining and the music. At one point he accidentally unplugged his guitar mid-solo, but he hilariously covered the gaff made for one of the more memorable moments of the evening.Definitely go see them if you haven't yet, and look out for their double-pack CD of their last two UK albums, which will be their first-ever U.S. release, out April 27. There's video from one of their SXSW shows at the bottom of this post.
Oh No Ono recording a Daytrotter Session (On No Ono)
A few more SXSW stragglers of note. Oh No Ono, who played Mercury Lounge last night, open for VV Brown and Little Dragon tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. That's a pretty solid bill of foreign buzz bands. Sold out, but if you're going do get their early for Oh No Ono -- you've never seen anything quite like Oh No Ono. Unless you've seen them before, of course.
New Zealand's Surf City channel the ghosts of Flying Nun past, play Mercury Lounge on Friday (3/26) (and Maxwell's tonight - 3/25). I wasn't exactly blown away by their live show when they played during CMJ, but I really like their records. Maybe they've spent the last six month practicing.
That's it for this week. Videos and tour dates are below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Summer Cats - Hey You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Summer Cats - Super (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Summer Cats - Let's Go (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Summer Cats - TV Guide (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Black Tambourine - For Ex-Lovers Only (MP3)
As previously reported, Australia is invading America (and NYC) this month -- musically speaking -- and another battalion has been added to their ranks: Melbourne's Summer Cats. The band are making the most of their trip with a quick East Coast / Midwest tour -- including Mondo! at Don Hill's on Friday (3/5) and then Bruar Falls in Brooklyn on Sunday (3/7) -- then down to Austin for SXSW, then to California for the West Coast editions of Slumberland's 20th Anniversary concerts.
Summer Cats are an almost quintessentially Slumberland-sounding band: sunny male/female vocals, jangly guitars that sometimes get very very noisy, and vintage organ. The band kind of is vintage Slumberland too -- singer Scott Stevens spent a good portion of the '90s fronting shoegazers The Earthmen, whose "Cool Chick #59" was one of the label's early singles. After a string of 7"s on labels like Popboomerang and Cloudberry, Summer Cats became labelmates of Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Crystal Stilts and released their debut album, Songs for Tuesdays, last year.
There's a brand new single out from the band, "Your Timetable," that definitely dips into the band's distortion-loving side. You can download it's poppier flipside, "TV Guide," at the top of this post. There are three other Summer Cats tunes to download too, do check them out -- good stuff.
As for the West Coast Slumberland 20 shows are happening March 27 in San Francisco (sold out) at the Rickshaw Stop, and then the next night (3/28) at the Echo in Los Angeles. As much as I enjoyed the SL20 show at Bell House back in November, I'm more than a little jealous of the California line-ups, especially the San Francisco one. Both shows are headlined by UK indiepop stalwarts Boyracer who are currently claiming these will be their last-ever shows, plus Henry's Dress (original lineup!!!), Go Sailor (Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap/Softies and Amy Linton of Henry's Dress/Aisler's Set, their first show in 14 years!), and more recent Slumberland acts Brown Recluse, Devon Williams, Neverever (ex Royal We and Bricolage), and third-ever (and fourth-ever) live performances of Sic Alps side project, The How. The Rickshaw Stop show also has local Slumberland act Brilliant Colors. And Summer Cats, of course. Holy crap!
Summer Cats also play the Cake Shop/Slumberland showcase at SXSW (3/19 at the Mohawk) that also features The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Frankie & the Outs, Grass Widow, Reading Rainbow and Standard Fare (who we just posted about).
While on the subject of Slumberland Records, and to make this post as tangential (and Brooklyn Vegan-esque) as possible, as part of the label's 20th anniversary they're putting out a new compilation of one of their earliest bands: the short-lived but highly influential Black Tambourine. The group was made up of Pam Berry (also of Glo-Worm and co-founder of zine chickfactor), Velocity Girl's Archie Moore, Brian Nelson and Mike Schulman who runs Slumberland to this day. This replaces the label's previous Black Tambourine comp, offering up six previously unheard tracks. Two of those tracks are demos and the other four are brand new -- two originals, plus covers of Buddy Holly and Suicide. Out March 30, Black Tambourine will be available on CD and a gatefold double LP. Despite the new recordings, the band aren't getting back together or touring... so don't get too excited (editor's note: though I heard there is a chance of a UK show). There is a new video for their song "For Ex-Lovers Only," which you can watch below (and download an MP3 above).
After the jump there are Summer Cats videos and tour dates, and that Black Tambourine music video, album art and tracklist...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Crayon Fields - All the Pleasures of the World (MP3)
One of my favorite albums of 2009 was the baroque pop gem All the Pleasures of the World from Melbourne, Australia's Crayon Fields. It's ten swoony epics in miniature, recalling The Zombies and The Left Banke without ever directly ripping them off. You can download the album's title track at the top of this post. The band are making their first trip to the U.S. to play SXSW but then are heading to New York for four shows: Bruar Falls on March 23, The Sycamore on March 24, The Bell House on March 25, and Pianos on March 26.
The Bruar Falls show is especially noteworthy and pretty unmissable in my opinion. Also playing is singer Kath Bloom who is something of a cult hero in folk circles. You might know her song "Come Here" which was used prominently in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunrise. (Crayon Fields covered the song as a b-side last year too.) Chapter Music, which is Crayon Fields' label, has been a champion of her for some time, reissuing much of her impossible-to-find '70s/'80s catalog, as well as new material, including 2008's Terror, her first official new album since 1984.
Last year, Chapter Music released Loving Takes This Course, a two-CD set that featured one disc of covers by the likes of Devendra Banhart, Bill Callahan and The Dodos, and a second disc of the original Kath Bloom songs that were covered on the first disc. Kath's brand new album, Thin Thin Line, which got an 8.0 on Pitchfork. She doesn't play very many shows and I'd imagine her alone would be enough to get people out to the show.
But there's more. Also on the Bruar Falls bill is Australian indie legend Richard Davies, who in the early '90s fronted The Moles (get their essential, out-of-print debut, Untune the Sky, any way you can) and then went on to form chamber pop group Cardinal with Eric Matthews (their 1994 debut is equally amazing ), and then a three album solo career that ended when he gave up rock for a law degree in 2000. But Davies has become active in music again as of last year. First came Cosmos, a collaboration with uber-prolific Robert Pollard, that is worth picking up. This year will see a new Davies solo record and the long-rumored second Cardinal album, both of which will be released by Chapter Music.
Fouth performer on the Bruar Falls line-up is Guy Blackman, who writes "sensitive piano ballads that aim to make straight white men feel slightly uncomfortable by confronting them with my renegade sexuality" and who has also run Chapter Music since starting the label in 1992. Chapter Music releases a lot of great stuff: Pikelett, The Twerps and Tenniscoats among them.
The Bell House show The Crayon Fields are playing is the second-annual Aussie BBQ that features 12 (!) bands from down under: The Chevelles, Love of Diagrams, Pets with Pets, Paul Dempsey, Sherlock's Daughter, Children Collide, Oh Mercy, City Riots, Beaches, Bliss N Eso, and The Goons of Doom. As the name implies, there will also be Australian BBQ and beer. Sounds like fun. Maybe you went last year?
All Crayon Fields tour dates, plus three of their music videos are below.
by Andrew Frisicano
Way back in November, we mentioned that Australian band The Middle East would be making their first US appearance around SXSW 2010. Well, we can announce one of the shows on that trip (if not the first) will be the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase with Here We Go Magic, Califone and Serena Maneesh at Club DeVille on Wednesday, March 17th. With those four bands announced, that leaves just two more TBA (stay tuned).
The Middle East will also be at at Coachella in April. And they're on the currently-unannounced lineup for Sasquatch Fest, which is being revealed at a show tonight (2/15) in Seattle with Surfer Blood and Atlas Sound. That festival will be happening in Gorge, Washington, over Memorial Day weekend (5/29-5/31 this year). Pavement will be there. Pictures from last year are here and here. Three day passes for 2010 are on sale.
We also reported back in November that The Middle East would share a few bills with Grizzly Bear while the headliner was touring Down Under, but, as abc.net reported on January 13th, "The Middle East pulled out of their shows with Grizzly Bear after singer and guitarist Rohin Jones broke his collarbone in a bike accident." Ouch.
The two stellar songs above are off the Middle East's debut EP, The Recordings of the Middle East , which came out in the US last October. "Blood" is a slow-build anthem that erupts about 2/3rds through into a joyful group chorus (bolstered by an actual chorus in one of the live videos below). "The Darkest Side" is a more straight-through downtrodden moper - for that reason the hook is all the more sticky.
"Blood" three different times and all tour dates (currently only the festivals) are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Australian band The Middle East first put out their debut release, The Recordings of The Middle East, in early 2008. That EP, now in a reworked and abbreviated package, was finally released in the US on October 27th by Spunk (according to Wikipedia, in the in-between period the band broke up and reformed). Two tracks from the EP are posted above, including the stellar "Blood," a song that has the same kind of haunted, economical sound that Grizzly Bear works so well, with a more pop-focused foundation. The band's songs are varied and stretch to cover a lot of popular indie sounds. Fans of Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, Nick Drake and Bon Iver take note.
They'll be opening dates for Grizzly Bear and Cat Power in Australia, with their own dates in the country as well (including its Big Day Out, Woodford Folk and Laneway festivals). Their first US appearance is scheduled for March at SXSW in Austin.
The EP is streaming in full below with the video for "Blood" and all tour dates....
by Bill Pearis
Melbourne, Australia's The Temper Trap are currently on their first big tour of the States, and will head into New York later this week for two shows during the CMJ fest: Thursday (10/22) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets) and Friday (10/23) at Bowery Ballroom (tickets). Already huge in their own country, the band's debut album is currently in the UK Top 40 and their single "Sweet Disposition" (also featured in the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack) is just outside the UK Top 10. Their sound is stadium-ready (I'm talking U2 and Keane) but I do think they have some good songs. I especially like non-single "Down River" and there's no denying "Sweet Disposition" is catchy. So I wouldn't be surprised if the next time they hit town they skip straight to Terminal 5. We'll see.
The MHoW show is a pretty good show overall, where they play with three London bands: the folky, charming Mumford & Sons who were great at Cameo back in March; the underrated, hard-to-pigeonhole Golden Silvers, and Goldhawks who've toured with Temper Trap in the UK and have a somewhat similar sound.
The Bowery show is with Portland's hippy-friendly Portugal. The Man, Boston's country-ish Drug Rug, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel (who play our show at MHoW tomorrow night [10/20]), Cincinnati's anthemic, atmospheric All The Day Holiday, and singer-songwriter Julia Nunes.
A couple Temper Trap videos, plus tour dates, are below...
The Grates @ Mercury Lounge (more by Tim Griffin)
Australia's The Grates visited NYC for a string of post-SXSW shows earlier this year. They're back in July for a three-week residency at Pianos. The first show will be Wednesday, July 15th. Tickets are on sale.
The Grates' last album, Teeth Lost, Hearts Won, came out in 2008 on Dew Process. "Call of the Wild" off that record is available as a free download.
All dates and a video below...
Ellis since 1996 has been a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Ellis and Turner have both released solo albums. In addition, Turner and White have released several EPs as The Tren Brothers, and appear as backing musicians on albums by Cat Power, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and PJ Harvey (White drums). Turner is also an internationally exhibited painter with his own work gracing the covers of all of their major albums except Sad & Dangerous. He also runs the band's own record label Anchor & Hope. In 1999, Dirty Three with Low recorded an In the Fishtank session for Konkurrent records.Australia's Dirty Three (Warren Ellis on violin, Mick Turner on electric guitar, Jim White on drums) will be playing a handful of U.S. shows in September. That includes one on Sunday, September 13th at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Tickets go on presale Wednesday, June 17th at noon. General sale starts Friday, June 19th at noon.
Dirty Three have released albums on Touch & Go Records and have toured with Sonic Youth, Pavement, Throwing Muses, Cat Power, PJ Harvey, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Devendra Banhart and Shannon Wright to name just a few.
The NYC gig comes two days after the group's appearence at ATP NY, where they'll perform their album Ocean Songs in full. Also at that festival are the reunited Jesus Lizard who also just announced a NYC show or two of their own.
All tour dates, below...
DOWNLOAD: Bachelorette - Mindwarp (MP3)
"Annabel Alpers's debut album for Drag City (as Bachelorette) seems wholly devoted to her first uttered ground rule: "Daydream: Make sure it's good stuff." But though New Zealand's leading lady of bedroom pop is given to fanciful frolicking through lo-fi meadows, Alpers never mistakes daydreaming with checking out of reality entirely.Bachelorette has arrived in NYC. Shows are June 15th (tonight) at Cake Shop, and tomorrow (June 16) at Union Hall. The Cake Shop show is with Lichens who we recently mentioned appears on a new Arthur compilation CD put together by Al from Om. Both shows are also with Pikelet who comes all the way from Australia.
Quite the contrary: My Electric Family, even with all its electronic doodaddery, is a record concerned with locating something real in an increasingly virtual world. That its textures simultaneously subvert and enhance this hunt only attest to Alper's often witty stripe of smarts. The seething drone of "The National Grid" ramps sluggishly up, only to crest into a pistonesque march that's a lot more mechanical and plodding than its burgeoning energy would have you bracing for." [The Phoenix]
If you miss these shows, Bachelorette is not going anywhere anytime soon. Annabel will continue touring the United States at least until July 3rd when she is back in NYC to play a free show at South Street Seaport. All dates and some videos below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"I didn't know much about this Australian group until I caught Saturday's set, but lead singer Patience Hodgson blew me away with her enthusiasm. At one point, she jumped off the stage and onto the floor, told everyone to clear a space and began twirling a ribbon, gymnastics-style. A hardcore fan suddenly appeared, dressed in a leotard, and joined her for a spontaneous dance. These are the SXSW moments you dream of." [Whitney Matheson @ USA Today]The Grates played their first of three post-SXSW, NYC shows at Mercury Lounge on Monday night (3/23, with Sky Larkin). Next up is Pianos with Micachu tonight (3/25), and the The Aussie BBQ at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Thursday that The Drones, Youth Group and others are also playing.
More pictures from Mercury Lounge below...
by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Youth Group - "Start Today Tomorrow" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Fumes - "Automobile" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Resignators - "Offbeat Feeling" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Boat People - Unsettle My Heart" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hell City Glamours - "The Money" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gabriella Cilmi - "Sweet About Me" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Josh Pyke - Make You Happy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Disco - "You Came to Me like a Cancer Lain Dormant Until it Blossomed like a Rose" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Birds Of Tokyo - "Broken Bones" (MP3)
Call the Army! It's an invasion! Over the next two months, bands from Australia will swarm down (under) and barrage us with a ton of shows in North America including NYC ones at Pianos, Mercury Lounge, Europa, and The Bell House, and of course a bunch of performances in Austin for SXSW.
First up, The Drones have a new album entitled Havilah on ATP Recordings and the quartet is back in the USA in 2009, a scant six months after killin' it ATP New York and playing a string of NYC shows in 2008. The NYC shows are at Union Hall with The War On Drugs on 3/30 (tickets on sale soon) and at The Bell House on 3/26 (tickets on sale now).
The Bell House show is particularly interesting (especially if you aren't a vegan)
THE AUSSIE BBQ: AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SHOWCASEThere's also a similar Australian BBQ / music showcase happening in Austin during SXSW. Details on that, and all Drones dates below.
Admission comes with free BBQ courtesy of SHEEP STATION and one free drink. Featuring tons of amazing Australian bands like
THE DRONES / THE FUMES / YOUTH GROUP / THE GRATES / THE RESIGNATORS / THE RED RIDERS / THE BOAT PEOPLE / INFUSION / HELL CITY GLAMOURS. Free Baron's Beer!!
One of the bands on BOTH BBQ fests (NYC and SXSW), Youth Group, will release their new album The Night Is Ours on April 7th in the US. The crew has also laid out April residencies in NYC, Philadelphia and Boston. The NYC residency is at Pianos every Tuesday in April (April 7, 14, 21, 28). Philadelphia is every Wednesday at the M room, and Boston is Sundays at TT Bear's. Full tour dates are below.
Another band on both bills... it's the return of The Grates (pictured). They are touring the US around those dates and SXSW, including a show at Mercury Lounge on March 23rd with Sky Larkin (no tix), and one at Pianos with Micachu on March 25th (tickets on sale).
My Disco, an angular post-punk trio that worships at the altar of Albini so much that they named their band after a Big Black song, will tour the US with the not-Aussie Young Widows after their trip to the Lone Star state. Full tour dates are below, including a show at Europa on April 1st. Tickets are on sale.
The War On Drugs (not Australian) are currently touring Europe, but will hit the road in the end of March for a US tour that includes the NYC date mentioned above.
All tour dates for everyone below...
Kraftwerk were forced to cancel their show in Melbourne for the Global Gathering Festival on the [Saturday] 22nd of November 2008, when Fritz Hilpert suffered from a heart attack and had to be hospitalized. Ralf Huetter, as well as another performer of the show walked up on stage 20 minutes after they were due to start, to announce the news.The video of the announcement is below. Hopefully he is okay, and it looks like Kraftwerk ended up performing the next day.
The MC in the beginning is announcing how Fritz Hilpert has suffered a minor heart attack and has been rushed to hospital... so kraftwerk will not be performing but the [not so] good news is that the Gorillaz [sounds system] will be performing on the main stage instead. [from YouTube]
In other sad news (for Kraftwerk at least), they lost a German copyright court case...
they were suing German rap producer Moses Pelham.All Kraftwerk dates and that video below...
Pelham had used a two second sample of Kraftwerk's track 'Metal On Metal' and Kraftwerk weren't happy about it...
...The new ruling states that a sample can be used, but it must not be the melody of a song, and it must be a completely new composition, baring no resemblance to the original. [Undercover]