Entries tagged with: Bare Wires
by Bill Pearis
After an onstage meltdown during SXSW 2012, Bay Area band Bare Wires called it quits, though their final record, Idle Dreams, didn't come out till December. Main man Matthew Melton has formed a new group, Warm Soda, who carry on his giddy power pop vision with that would sound great coming out of a Snoopy AM radio in 1979.
Warm Soda's debut album, Someone for You, actually kind of sounds like it is coming out of a transistor radio: tinny and compressed (in a good way), but with giant hooks and choruses packed into 27-minute running time. It's a great album and it's out now on John Dwyer's Castle Face Records. You can stream "Waiting for Your Call" from the album below and order your copy here. If you like Jay Reatard, Cheap Trick, or The Nerves, you need to hear this now.
The band are going on tour at the end of the month and their trek will take them through Austin for SXSW (hopefully no problems this year) and then to the East Coast, including an NYC stop at Cake Shop on March 28 with tourmates White Mystery. All tour dates are below.
Here is the initial lineup for Willamette Week's MusicfestNW, scheduled for Sept. 7-11, 2011 in Portland, Oregon, and it's pretty great. The multi-venue fest includes big outdoor performances by Band of Horses (Sunday, Sept. 11), Explosions in the Sky (Saturday, Sept. 10), and Iron & Wine (Friday, Sept. 9), in addition to shows with everyone from Archers of Loaf to Big Freedia to Butthole Surfers to Neurosis. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 3rd. Check out the full list below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Craft Spells - After The Moment (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Craft Spells - Party Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Crazy Rulers of the World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bare Wires - Ready to Go (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bare Wires - Seeking Love (MP3)
First up is Craft Spells who make their NYC debut tonight (4/8) at Music Hall of Williamsburg, opening for fellow Captured Tracks band Beach Fossils, plus Crinkles and an "Unannounced Special Guest" that might drum up some excitement if anyone could figure out who that might actually be. Craft Spells also play Saturday (4/9) at Glasslands with Cloud Nothings and the Sundelles, which is also a pretty solid lineup.
On record at least, Craft Spells is basically Justin Paul Vallesteros who made his debut album Idle Labor in his home. Vallesteros is making a go of it, having recently moved from Stockton, California to Seattle where he's turned Craft Spells into a quartet. Idle Labor is very much a bedroom pop album (and a very good one), clearly created by one guy who loves a lot of '80s music (OMD, Pale Fountains come to mind, as does New Order though mainly through the album art).
You can download two tracks from Idle Labor at the top of this post. But the Craft Spells live experience eschews the keyboards for a straight-up guitar pop sound that I'm told is a little more akin to Orange Juice. Which sounds pretty good too. We shall see.
As you're reading this column, you're probably well aware that the '90s are totally back. Which means bands from that era are totally back too. Bands like Sebadoh whose classic albums Sebadoh III, Bubble and Scrape and Bakesale helped define the sound of "indie rock." (I tried in vein to find a clip of Lou [wearing a Joy Division t-shirt] talking at length about breakups on MTV's Sex in the '90s. Somebody get on this please.] And they're totally back -- in NYC -- this weekend, playing Bowery Ballroom on April 9th and 10th. It looks like the Sunday show still has tickets at the moment.
To be fair, Lou Barlow, Jason Lowenstein and Eric Gaffney started playing together again in 2007 but it seems a lot more interesting now, what with Yuck slyly cribbing their moves and all. Oupa -- Yuck singer Daniel Bloomberg's side project -- are supposed to open for Sebadoh Saturday, though it's not listed on the Bowery website now. For sure you'll get Richard Buckner, who's opening both nights.
Keeping with the '90s indie rock vibe, don't forget Seattle's BOAT are playing Mercury Lounge tomorrow (4/9). It's a relatively early show -- BOAT are on at 9PM -- so you can go do something else after. They are super fun live, even when massive equipment failure threatens to derail them. BOAT persevere with good humor.
One of the things you could do after BOAT is just stay at Mercury Lounge for the late show, featuring post-rockers Bardo Pond and New Zealand's Surf City. While they've never really broken up, Bardo Pond are best known for their late-'90s canon on Matador, full of lengthy spaced-out jams full of crashing waves of guitar noise and throbbing bass. The band's hazy groove sounds intact on last year's self-titled new album.
Surf City, meanwhile, are indebted to the classic Flying Nun sound, meaning a whole lot of the Clean, a good dose of The Jean Paul Sartre Experience, and maybe a little Bats for good measure. Their new-ish album is called Kudos and is loaded with catchy, noisy guitar pop, like "Crazy Rulers of the World," downloadable above. Coincidentally, Crazy Rulers of the World is also the title of my forthcoming coffee table book about novelty measuring sticks. Go figure.
Surf City also play Glasslands on Tuesday (4/12) with Darlings, Lingering Doubt, and Little Racer.
That's it for this week's This Week in Indie. A few more daily picks follow.
FRIDAY, APRIL 8
Boston power pop band Pretty & Nice play Spike Hill. These guys are solid.
The name is kind of horrible and I'm personally not crazy about the music but I'm told Gobble Gobble's live show is unforgettable which might be reason enough to go check them out at Glasslands tonight. With Headless Horsemen.
SATURDAY, APRIL 9
Dinowalrus, She Keeps Bees, Total Slacker, Gunfight, Quiet Loudly, Pet Ghost Project, Mussels, Data Dog, El Jezel, Nature Boy, Shark? and more play the Brain-Cave Festival at Shea Stadium. Starts at 2PM, $10.
SUNDAY, APRIL 10
Garagey power pop band Bare Wires are at Cake Shop on Sunday with Fergus and Geronimo. Bare Wires are great, go out and see 'em!
OK, that's it! Tour dates, video, and flyers are below.
Bare Wires, as recently featured on Altered Zones (new MP3 "Ready to Go" above) are out on tour and passing through Brooklyn where they play with The Psyched and Heavy Cream (who just played Death By Audio with JEFF) at Public Assembly tonight (4/7). On 4/10 they hit Cake Shop in Manhattan with Fergus & Geronimo. Their full list of tour dates is below.
As Bill said back in August, they are "a really great power pop band in the tradition of The Nerves or even The Sweet, and the album, Seeking Love, is decidedly mid-fi." The title track is also re-posted above, and a video is below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Wild Nothing - Golden Haze (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cosmetics - Sleepwalking (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Magic Bullets - Lying Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Stereo Total - Baby Ouh (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unnatural Helpers - Sunshine/Pretty Girls (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unnatural Helpers - Girl in the Window (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bare Wires - Seeking Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sundelles - Gold (MP3)
It's another Double Issue sized column this week with a lot of exciting stuff this week. We'll start with a contest. Wild Nothing headline an all-Captured Tracks bill at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night (8/28) with Cosmetics, MINKS, and Blank Dogs...and we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Wild Nothing" and we'll pick a winner at random.
There's a lot going on in Wild Nothing's world. The band, who hail from Blacksburg, VA, are packing their bags and moving Brooklyn. Not really surprising, except that it took this long. They also have a new EP, Golden Haze, coming out on Captured Tracks sometime in the near future. Apart from the title cut (which you can download above), tracklistings on the CD, 12" and digital versions will vary, which reminds me of the way they used to release multiple versions of UK CD singles in the '90s to get a higher chart position. Fun with formats, or milking the fans? I guess if all the songs are worth hearing it won't matter.
No matter which one you buy, "Golden Haze" is another sparkler from these guys who have been playing a lot of new songs at their shows. And if you haven't picked up their debut Gemini yet, I think it's one of the year's best. And with a permanent line-up (and a new, really solid drummer), Wild Nothing have been a really good live band too.
P.S. Captured Tracks will be giving out free mixtapes at the Bowery Ballroom merch table
Also on that Bowery bill are Vancouver synthpop duo Cosmetics who are playing a string of NYC shows in this week: tonight (8/25) at the Wierd party at Home Sweet Home, then the Bowery show on Saturday, and finally at Glasslands for Pendu Disco on Tuesday (8/31) with Cult of Youth and Seattle's King Dude. Cosmetics only have two singles out at the moment, though both are pretty good shavings of retro-futuristic minimal disco. (Not too far off from what Glass Candy does.) You can download the A-side of their current single, "Sleepwalking," at the top of this post.
If you want more minimal beats but with an angular, more arty bent, Stereo Total are playing tonight (8/25) at Le Poisson Rouge. The veteran French-German duo have been supercolliding styles for nearly 20 years. Krautrock, chanson, new wave, punk, garage...Stereo Total make it their own. They were the first band I ever saw at Bowery Ballroom, sometime in 1998, and I still remember a medley they did that featured covers of Salt n' Peppa's "Push it" and Hot Butter's "Popcorn." That's sort of Stereo Total in a nutshell. Their eighth album, Baby Ouh!, is a lot of fun. Check out the album's title track at the top of this post. The band are just getting started on their North American tour, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
If you're going to see Tennis at Glasslands on Thursday, make sure you get there in time to see San Francisco's Magic Bullets. The band's debut album, just out on Mon Amie Records, recalls the early '80s days of Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Haircut 100 and The Style Council, with a little C-86 in there as well. (That's basically the formula to get me to come see your band. Well, one of them.) In addition to drawing from a bunch of influences dear to me, they write some fantastically catchy songs. Download one of them, "Lying Around," at the top of this post.
If you can't make the Glasslands show, Magic Bullets are also doing an in-store at Permanent Records in Greenpoint on Friday (8/27) afternoon and then play Pianos Saturday night with Blood Orange (aka Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion) and Staunton, VA's Cinnamon Band.
Still more! Seattle's Unnatural Helpers released one of my favorite songs of Summer 2010, the addiction-loving "Sunshine/Pretty Girls," which can be found on the band's Hardly Art debut, Cracked Love and Other Drugs. It can also be found at the top of this post in MP3 form. Download it right now. If there's nothing else quite as glorious on the rest of the album, that makes the rest of it merely very good. Frontman Dean Whitmore plays drums in The Intelligence (whose forthcoming new album is pretty fab) but where that band is making cerebral garage, Unnatural Helpers punkish driving force is man's other frontal lobe. If you know what I'm saying.
Unnatural Helpers are in the area for four shows. They play
Bruar Falls Dead Herring (it moved from Bruar Falls) on Saturday (8/28) with Bare Wires (more on them in just a sec), Shea Stadium on Monday (8/30) with the Babies, Maxwell's on Wednesday, September 1st, and then Cake Shop on Thursday, September 2. The band are then going on tour with Mudhoney, and those dates are at the bottom of this post.
As mentioned above, the Saturday show at
Bruar Falls Dead Herring is with Bare Wires whose new album (their second) just came out on John Dwyer's Castle Face Records, a label that only seems to spring to life when the Ohsees frontman finds a band he likes. (Previous Castle Face releases include debuts from Ty Segall and the Fresh & Onlys.) Though the two previous sentences might lead you to believe Bare Wires to be blown-out low-fi garage. They are in fact a really great power pop band in the tradition of The Nerves or even The Sweet, and the album, Seeking Love, is decidedly mid-fi. Don't believe me? There's an MP3 of the album's title track up there amongst all the others. These guys know their way around a hook.
In addition to the Bruar Falls show on Sunday (a kind of don't miss in my book if you can tear yourself away from Mad Men and True Blood), Bare Wires also play Friday (8/27) at Monster Island Basement with Xray Eyeballs and Liquor Store.
And finally, Montreal's incredible Think About Life were supposed to play two shows/cruises on The Boat on Friday (8/27) but the concerts struck a metaphorical iceberg and sunk. (It got canceled.) Luckily, Think About Life abandoned ship and are now playing Santos Party House instead. I've said it a zillion times in the last year, TAL are one of my favorite live bands of the moment and they'll be one of yours too if you go see them. No matter how bad a mood you're in, you'll leave smiling. Don't be dumb...go to this show!
And a few more recommended shows not covered above.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
Florida's awesome Jacuzzi Boys are playing Knitting Factory tonight for another of those Scion Garage shows, this time with Nobunny headlining. Free with RSVP. I'm not sure what it is about their sound -- the singer's voice, the more garagey Feelies-esque jangle -- but I just love them. Nobunny is fun too, of course, but I kind of wish he'd spring for a new bunny mask. It's getting really, really creepy.
Austin's TV Torso play Death By Audio tonight. Their new EP, Status Quo Vadis, is darkly romantic, atmospheric, and rockin'. It's also a free download via their bandcamp site. I dig it. Also playing: Juston Stens & Get the Real Gang, and Slow Animal.
Tennis play the first of their NYC shows at Cake Shop.
Taking cues from late 70's/early 80's synthpunk pioneers as the Screamers, Nervous Gender, and The Units, this Arizona based one man band [Digital Leather] rely on just keyboards, drum machines and vocals to set the scene of gloomy electronic desert landscapes and gay night club discotheques.This is the life of Sean Foree, who created this masterpiece in his one bedroom apartment in Tempe, Arizona. Live he borrows members from the Wongs, Reatards, Lost Sounds, and Destruction Unit. Ten tracks that are sure to appeal to fans of the current rebirth of keyboards in punk... but this record surely pushes the boundries of that. [CT Indie]Digital Leather, the project of Shawn Foree, was managed by the late Jay Reatard. His record Warm Brother came out last September on Fat Possum. There's a new video for his/their song "Kisses" from that record, which is posted below with all tour dates (SXSW included)...