Entries tagged with: Beirut

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photos by Diana Wong


Less than two weeks after the Wellmont show, Beirut played an invite-only "Inside Session" at Stratosphere Sound recording studio (on Wednesday, May 25th). It was "Beirut recording with producer Griffin Rodriguez and Grammy-winning engineer Geoff Sanoff via Avid's Pro Tools HD|Native platform." Guests got "a rare, behind-the-scenes look at a recording in progress" and free alcohol. Some more pictures from the shindig below...

Continue reading "Beirut played a party, recorded at Stratosphere Sound (pics)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

DOWNLOAD: Beirut - O Leaozinho (MP3)


The Red Hot Organization and Entertainment One Music established a new partnership to produce Red Hot + Rio 2 out June 28, 2011. Red Hot + Rio 2 is a modern tribute to the late 60's Brazilian Tropicália movement. The album will shed new light on the songs of this influential, politically charged era, which changed the culture of the country forever. Red Hot + Rio 2 is the latest entry in the series of tribute albums produced by the Red Hot Organization to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

The compilation features 33 original collaborations between Brazil's legendary musicians and today's international indie artists including John Legend, Os Mutantes, Devendra Banhart, Caetano Veloso, Seu Jorge, Beck, Bebel Gilberto, José González, Beirut, Tom Zé, Javelin, of Montreal, Marisa Monte, Eugene Hütz (from Gogol Bordello), DJ Dolores, Aloe Blacc, Angelique Kidjo, Rita Lee, Madlib, Money Mark, Céu, Apollo Nove, Mayra Andrade, Trio Mocotó, Tha Boogie, Alice Smith, Carlinhos Brown, Los Van Van, Brazilian Girls, Marcos Valle, Forró In The Dark, Mia Doi Todd, Phenomenonal Handclap Band, N.A.S,A, Moreno Veloso, Otto, Superhuman Happiness, Cults and many more.

Download Beirut's contribution to the disc, a cover of Caetano Veloso's "O Leãozinho," above. The full 2-CD tracklist and cover art is below.

Beirut's upcoming shows include Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and a Northside Festival show in McCarren Park with Sharon Van Etten. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are still in this post.

Beirut headlined a sold out show at NJ's Wellmont Theater on Friday night with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Pictures from the headliner's set (but not the opener's due to traffic getting to the venue) are in this post. They continue below...

Continue reading "Beirut played Wellmont Theater (pics), appears on new Red Hot Tropicália tribute (MP3)"

Outside Lands 2011

The Outside Lands Festival, which runs from 8/12 - 8/14 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, released their 2011 lineup in April (and now it's May, so consider this a catch up post). Tickets are on sale.

This year's fest will appearances from The Shins, Muse, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Phish (two sets), !!!, Erykah Badu, Big Audio Dynamite (who played Coachella and are also playing Lollapalooza), Girl Talk and many more. The full lineup is below.

Continue reading "Outside Lands 2011 lineup"

Lollapalooza last year (more by Josh Darr)

Lollapalooza celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with some huge names on its just-announced lineup. See it in full below.

The festival has obviously changed over the years. What started out as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction with a 'touring festival' lineup that included the Rollins Band, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, and Souxsie & The Banshees, has turned into a one-weekend Chicago festival that Lady Gaga co-headlined last year. As leaked a while ago, Foo Fighters, Muse and Eminem all play this year, as will Coldplay, Cee Lo Green, and My Morning Jacket along with the reunited Cars and the continuing-to-be-reunited Big Audio Dynamite and Death From Above 1979, and a bunch of other bands which may or may not be worth the ticket price depending on how you feel about the headliners and generally seeing bands in big, hot, outdoor crowded parks (Lollapalooza happens in Chicago's Grant Park from August 5th - 7th).

Full 2011 Lineup and a couple of videos (one from 1991, one from 2010), below...

Continue reading "Lollapalooza 2011 lineup announced"

Hopscotch 2011

The second annual Hopscotch Festival will go down in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, across 12 different venues with over 135 bands, from September 8th through 10th. The lineup this year runs the gamut of independent music... from traditional indie staples (The Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, Superchunk) to southern-inflected rock (Drive-By Truckers) to noise (Prurient) to hip hop (Beans) to garage (Jeff The Brotherhood) to funk (Budos Band) to metal (Krallice), and everywhere in between (Swans, Rhys Chatham, etc etc). Tickets are currently on sale. Full lineup is below.

Hopscotch happens almost three months after Guided By Voices play a Brooklyn Northside Festival show in McCarren Park (tickets) which is one day after Beirut plays a Northside Festival show on the same McCarren Park stage with... Sharon Van Etten (though she may have been accidentally announced at one point, they officially kept her placement on the bill under wraps until after Saturday's Music Hall of Williamsburg show). Tickets for Beirut/SVE are still on sale, and another opener will be added too.

Guided by Voices (whose Brooklyn show also has more openers coming) are also playing Pitchfork in July with Animal Collective whose Prospect Park show is now on AmEx presale.

Swans' upcoming NYC show is now on AmEx presale too.

Hopscotch lineup below...

Continue reading "Hopscotch Fest returns to Raleigh (2011 lineup announced), Sharon Van Etten officially added to Northside Fest"

photos by Tim Griffin

DOWNLOAD Sallie Ford - I Swear (MP3)

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside

"Among the many BBQs and day-parties juggled, I rarely watched acts for their entire set. But Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside were the exception to this rule, one reason being their, well, sound outside. With free tacos, a cold mid-day beer and the hottest heat yet of the fest, she and her smile-less band performed tightly. Ford has this ultra-quirky voice, a throwback to rockabilly and the odd tensions of Jolie Holland. It's hip-dancing music rather than head-bobbing, with clappy melodies that name-check Jets to Brazil and have you reaching for Wanda Jackson.

They didn't move much on the tiny Barbarella stage, and maybe it was the temperature, but there was something so moderated about Ford's embarrassing amount of raw musical talent, it was slow-burning to see it manifest as it did." [HitFix]

That review comes from the BrooklynVegan/Partisan day party at Barbarella in Austin on Friday, March 18th. Sallie Ford & the Outside Sound played a 1pm outdoor set and pictures from it are in this post.

Two days before that show, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper played a BrooklynVegan SXSW show. TONIGHT (3/29) both ladies play an early show together at Mercury Lounge in NYC. Tickets are still available (and probably will be at the door).

Lady Lamb is also playing April 1st at Knitting Factory with Pearl and the Beard, and has been announced as the opener for Beirut on a few dates including Wellmont Theater on May 13th (tickets for the NJ show are still on sale). All dates are below.

Sallie Ford's album 'Dirty Radio' will be released May 24 via Partisan Records. The first song on the LP, "I Swear", makes its premiere in this post. Download it above. Stream it, check out the cover art and full tracklist, with the rest of the dates and more pics and some videos too, below...

Continue reading "Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside releasing 'Dirty Radio' (MP3), played SXSW (pics), in NYC now w/ Lady Lamb (dates)"

Beirut @ the Guggenheim (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)

Beirut has announced a May 13th headlining date at Wellmont Theater in NJ. That's more than a month before the band plays McCarren Park during the Northside Festival. Tickets for the NJ show go on sale Friday at noon. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale now (as are Northside Fest passes which will also get you in to the NYC show). All Beirut tour dates below...

Continue reading "Beirut adds NJ show & other tour dates"

[there was a picture here before, that I didn't realize was offensive when i posted it - I didn't even fully realize what it was to be honest. removed and sorry to those who were offended.]

As you already know, limited $60 Northside Fest passes go on sale at noon, BUT what you might not realize is that they are also selling individual tickets to the Beirut show at McCarren Park, and those go on sale at noon too.

Tickets go on sale at noon for the Decemberists/Best Coast show in Prospect Park.

Tickets go on sale at noon for the Arctic Monkeys show in Central Park.

Tickets go on sale at noon for the Beady Eye show at Webster Hall.

Marty Markowitz & Beirut & L Magazine staff @ Brooklyn Borough Hall

As you can see in the above photo, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was on hand at the press conference this morning, as was now-confirmed Northside Festival headliner Beirut. Tickets will be HERE. More confirmed artists below...

Continue reading "Northside Fest confirms Beirut, Deer Tick, Twin Sister, Allo Darlin' & more (initial lineup)"

Northside Fest

This Thursday, March 10, we would like to invite you to Brooklyn Borough Hall at 11am, where Northside will be revealing details of this year's festival, including a sneak peek of bands and showcase presenters that will be participating. Additionally, press will be invited to the unveiling of the first issue of the soon to be released Brooklyn Magazine, a quarterly publication focusing on the styles and trends coming out of Brooklyn today. Select members of the festival talent will be available for interviews.

Northside Festival will make its return to the streets of Williamsburg and Greenpoint on June 16-19, 2011, for a third year of music, film and art." [Northside Festival]

Rumor is that Beirut will be one of the bands announced. That also makes sense since Beirut is touring in June as you can see below...

Continue reading "Northside Festival returning in June, Beirut is a rumored headliner (press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall at 11am)"


Bonnaroo (June 9-12 in Manchester Tennessee) has announced the 2011 lineup (slightly early), and like the rumored Lollapalooza lineup, Eminem is among the headliners. Bonnaroo also has Grammy winners Arcade Fire and the Black Keys, in addition to Lil Wayne, Mumford & Sons, the Strokes, The Decemberists, Florence & the Machine, Girl Talk, Beirut (haven't seen them in a while), and many more. Full list below...

Continue reading "Bonnaroo 2011 lineup is here"

photos by Chris La Putt

Florence Welch
Florence and the Machine

Artist Direct: Which records shaped you?

Florence Welch: When I was a teenager, I spent all of my time going to live gigs. Like I mentioned, my first boyfriend was in a band. There was a really strong South London punk art collective scene because there's a big art college. I spent all of my time going to see art college bands. My boyfriend was in one, and they were on the up-and-up. It was this intense rockabilly pirate punk blues stuff. For ages, the only music I listened to was live, really. I also listened to a lot of northern soul like Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Etta James, Tom Waits and The Talking Heads. The kids in my school were listening to The Libertines and stuff, but I was more into The Talking Heads. I really loved The White Stripes actually. I was a huge fan. The one that record that really shook me up was Arcade Fire's Funeral and maybe Beirut's Gulag Orkestar. I love Beirut! They're so incredible live. His voice is unbelievable. Brass sections are really busy. Whenever we have classical musicians on tour with us, they're always the hardest partying guys. We don't have a brass section, but I wish we did. They're the rock 'n' rollest of the bunch. It's always the cellists and violinists who are hitting it the hardest in the hotel bar [Laughs]. Beirut and his brass section are great. They look so relaxed, having a good time. They're playing the fucking trumpet and singing [Laughs].

Maybe Beirut members were in the crowd last night, 11/2, when Florence and the Machine headlined their 2nd night in row at Terminal 5 in NYC with The Smith Westerns and Hanni El Khatib. Florence also played a set at the SoHo Apple Store earlier the same day, and is now on tour and will be on SNL later this month.

Smith Westerns pics HERE. The rest from the T5 show, below...

Continue reading "Florence & the Machine & Hanni El Khatib @ Terminal 5 (pics) "

words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo


Beirut played their third sold out show in just over a week on Thursday (7/15). No small feat for a band that hasn't released anything in a year and a half. They played twice at the Music Hall last week, and Zach Condon and Co. were the lead act of the Guggenheim Museum's three-show Dark Sounds Series to coincide with the ongoing exhibit, "Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance."

The setlist changed very little from last week's shows and except for some minor, sporadic problems with feedback the sound was excellent. Condon encouraged everyone to sing along during "Nantes" and everyone, without his encouraging, sang along to "Postcards From Italy" including the crush of girls who lined the front of the stage and swooned in that teen idol way at every glance Condon cast toward them. One of those crushing girls was overheard saying to her friend before the show, "I have a feeling we're going to end up on the cover of Brooklyn Vegan tomorrow."

More pictures, including one of the setlist, below...

Continue reading "Beirut played Dark Sounds @ the Guggenheim (pics & setlist) "

photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Rachel Kowal


Beirut at MHOW

Walking into the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (7/5), I realized that I knew nothing about WOOM, the opening act, but I was pleasantly surprised by their set (erratic sound quality aside). The Oakland duo cultivates a refreshingly distinct sound that refuses to blend into the background. With a thumping bass line, unconventional beats, and irresistible male-female vocals, WOOM's music manages to be both confrontational and unassuming.

WOOM spiced up their live act by supplementing the programmed tracks with help from a guitar, tambourine, wooden blocks, and vocals. Sara Magenheimer was particularly magnetic with her cute boy haircut and street-punk aesthetic. She was both fierce and simultaneously adorable (think a poppier tUnE-yArDs), and she shared an undeniable chemistry with her band-mate, Eben Portnoy. I'm definitely eager to hear more from this dynamic duo. Check out their first full-length album, out on Ba Da Bing today.


Beirut at MHOW

At the crowd's enthusiastic reception, Beirut's French horn tattooed frontman Zach Condon leaned into the mic, saying "We're really excited to be here, too. It's been a while. The last time we were here it was still North 6th," which sent ripples of both confusion and smug recognition through the audience. It's also been a while since Condon released a proper full-length album, favoring an experimental double-EP release last year instead.

Condon spent no time getting to business. Beirut's opening song was hit song "Elephant Gun". Condon stuck mostly to older material, but he did slip a few newer songs into the mix, like "East Harlem" and "The Shrew" (see the complete set list below). Toward the end of the show, Condon also elusively disclosed that he had been working on a new album, but he refrained from providing any specific details on his current project.

Of course, no Beirut show would be complete without a little help from a wide array of instruments, and for Monday night's show, Condon was accompanied by a brigade of musicians. Though a 19-piece Mexican funeral band (like the one used on last year's March of the Zapotec) was not in attendance, Condon and his band juggled instruments like: the tuba, trombone, organ, drums, French horn, ukulele, upright bass, accordion, and a couple of boisterous trumpets. Due to Condon's eclectic influences, the evening was punctuated with music reminiscent of everything from a dimly lit French bar, to a Balkan celebration and a traditional Spanish bullfight. "We're not in Mexico anymore, folks... though it would be pretty awesome if we were," Condon quipped after a few songs.

Throughout the show, the crowd reacted enthusiastically to Beirut's songs. "It's really awesome to hear you guys sing along," said Condon. Of course, it's worth noting that there were several obstacles that made attending last night's show somewhat difficult. There was no option to buy the discounted tickets online. Instead, fans waited in line outside the box office to secure a hard ticket when they went on sale on a Saturday at noon. Then, of course there was the (absent) L train to contend with yesterday, which definitely made the venue less accessible to those coming from outside the neighborhood. Suffice it to say that the people who managed to make it out to the show must have been fairly determined to take it in. "WE WALKED ALL THE WAY OVER THE BRIDGE!" yelled one concert-goer.

Beirut concluded the show with a three-song encore that featured first a lovely, stripped down version of "The Penalty" before the rest of the band re-emerged on stage for the final two songs.

WOOM and Beirut play their second sold-out show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (7/6), and play a 3rd sold out NYC show at the Guggenheim on July 15th.

The setlist with the rest of the pictures below...

Continue reading "Beirut & Woom played MHOW - night 1 pics & setlist "


The Guggenheim will be hosting a three-part music series at the museum this summer. Running in conjunction with their "Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance" exhibition (currently on view at the museum through September 6), "DARK SOUNDS" has the following schedule:

* July 15, 2010: BEIRUT
* September 3, 2010: CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA
Tickets will go on sale to museum members ($25) at noon, and to non-members ($30) on Friday at www.guggenheim.org/darksounds...
"Produced by Sam Brumbaugh, Special Events Consultant, and Bronwyn Keenan, Associate Director of Special Events, the series takes its thematic cue from the conceptual threads that weave through Haunted, aiming to evoke the exhibition's elements of melancholy, ghostliness, the uncanny, and our collective and individual obsession with accessing the past. The series title is borrowed from the writings of Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936), who is often described as the father of the modern ghost story."
This makes three upcoming NYC shows for Beirut who also play MHOW on July 5 & 6.

The Andrew & Ian show sounds especially special It is: "Andrew Bird & Ian Schneller's Sonic Arboretum, a site-specific performance involving violin, looped passages, and a landscape of horn speakers." That's Ian with some horn speakers pictured above.

Andrew Bird only has a handful of other shows scheduled. They are all listed, along with info on a "Dark Sounds membership package, below...

Continue reading "Beirut, Andrew Bird & Cinematic Orchestra playing DARK SOUNDS @ the Guggenheim "

Beirut @ BAM in February 2009 (more by Natasha Ryan)

The last time Beirut played in NYC, they did a four-show week, with gigs at Coco 66, MHOW and two at BAM.

Zach Condon and Beirut now have shows in Europe scheduled for August. In advance of those, they'll play a pair of shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday, July 5th and Tuesday, July 6th. Woom, the ex-Flying pop duo previously featured here, open both dates.

Tickets for Tuesday, the second show, are $25 and go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon. General sale starts Friday at noon.

Tickets for Monday, the first show, are $9.99 and can only be purchased in advance and in-person from the Bowery box offices at Mercury Lounge and Music Hall of Williamsburg starting Saturday at noon (though Ticketmaster says they go on sale online Saturday at noon... I'm told they actually won't go on sale online.).

Before then, Woom play a pair of Northside Festival shows on June 25th at Bruar Falls (lineup TBA) and June 26th at Shea Stadium with Ducktails, Big Troubles, Arches, Dana Jewell and No Demons Here.

All tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Beirut playing 2 nights @ MHOW before touring Europe"

New Pornographers

Coming on May 4: the new album from The New Pornographers, entitled Together. Their fifth full-length was produced by the band and Phil Palazzolo, and recorded in Vancouver, Brooklyn, Woodstock, and Catskill, NY. The album is comprised of 9 A.C. Newman songs and 3 Dan Bejar numbers, and features the full eight-person lineup of Carl, Dan, John Collins, Neko Case, Kurt Dahle, Kathryn Calder, Todd Fancey and Blaine Thurier. Additional musicians include Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Zach Condon (Beirut), Will Sheff (Okkervil River), and the Dap-Kings Horns, among other talents.
The artwork for the new album is posted above. There are no sounds from it available yet, but the band has posted pictures from its recording on New Pornographers' site

Lead pornographer A.C. Newman appears at The Bell House's Haiti benefit on Wednesday, January 27th. Also at the even will be The Walkmen (they replaced Cold War Kids who had to drop off), Ted Leo, The Wrens, Sondre Lerche, Eugene Mirman, Rhett Miller and Nicole Atkins. Tickets are still on sale.

photos by Joseph Xu

The National

Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material.

More pictures from the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival, below...

Continue reading "pictures from the 2009 Pitchfork Festival "

photos by Ryan Muir


"Collectively, they have a homespun quality, as if still learning how to make do. Three band members played mandolin over the course of the show. Three played drums. On one song Mr. Balthazar put down his guitar and picked up a clarinet. Glockenspiel was used to dramatic effect. A melodica made an appearance." [NY Times]
And as the NY Times pointed out, not only can you compare Fanfarlo to Beirut, they share a member! At least they did at these recent shows which included Monday night at Bowery Ballroom, and last night (Tuesday, 9/22) at the Bell House in Brooklyn. The Beirut member in question is Jon Natchez who you can see with his shaved head and beard playing a saxophone in the pictures. Also joining Fanfarlo as a member of their band for this tour was Jeremy Warmsley who was my favorite multi-instrumental member to watch on stage last night. Catch him play his own show at Pianos in NYC tonight (9/23)

Arcade Fire are the second most obvious comparison to Fanfarlo. I probably wouldn't have also thrown Neutral Milk Hotel into the mix... if they hadn't chosen to close their 2-song encore with a cover of "In the Aeroplane over the Sea"! I wasn't a huge fan of the choice, which made me biased before it even began, but it got lots of applause. A video Bill took of it is also making the rounds on the Internet today. You can watch that below.

Speaking of closing their set, they wrapped it up a little early due to throat problems, and according to one member who spoke to Bill after the show, technical problems that they didn't really let the crowd know about. Speaking of the crowd, despite it generally being a stand-there-with-arms-crossed kind of night, people got loud when applauding, and while cheering for the encore.

Like at other shows on the tour, they started the encore with audience participation and plastic tubes...

"I sold on the band when they flipped the switch on those lovely, glowing lights after the first song of their set, but when they came back for an encore and handed out instruments to the crowd (no idea what they're called, but the band had purchased a gaggle of those plastic tubes you swing around your head to make noise), I became a devoted follower of the church of Fanfarlo. Ten or so audience members were whipping these tubes around in the air, and the pitch of the tubes was aligned perfectly with "Comets". Arms got tired, tubes were passed onto other audience members, and it felt like everyone in the room was part of the band." [Seattle Weekly]
Wildbirds and Peacedrums opened the show for the second night in a row. It was their 5th show in NYC in a week. Their other three shows were at Bruar Falls, Cake Shop and Le Poisson Rouge.

Fanfarlo's album, Resevoir, is well worth a listen, and as Bill taught me, will be released officially as a CD by Atlantic in October. October is also when they'll be back in NYC to play at least two shows including the BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

More pictures from The Bell House below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo & Wildbirds & Peacedrums @ The Bell House - pics "

DOWNLOAD: Tune Yards - Sunlight (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phosphorescent - Torn Up Praise (MP3)

Tune Yards @ MHOW 2/4 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Tune Yards

Tune Yards (or tUnE yArDs as its usually written) is the one-woman band of Merrill Garbus. Her debut record BiRd-BrAiNs, previously out on Marriage Record, is being re-released by 4AD, first as a limited-edition screen-printed CD on August 18th, then to wider release later in the year. "Sunlight," a track from that record, is posted above.

As Tune Yards, she tends to perform solo -- she also plays as part of Sister Suvi. Tune Yards will be performing at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, September 5th with (opening for) Phosphorescent (also a one-person band, Matthew Houck, though live he usually has company). Tickets go on sale Friday, July 17th at noon.

A track from Phosphorescent's latest, To Willie, is also posted above. Their most recent NYC shows took place in Prospect Park and in Bruar Falls.

Check out a video of Merill at Trophy Bar during the Northside Festival (with Zach Condon of Beirut, a band that Tune Yards has opened for, and who are also on 4AD, in the audience) and all tour dates, below...

Continue reading "tUnE yArDs signs to 4AD, playing MHOW w/ Phosphorescent"

DOWNLOAD: Team B - On My Mind (MP3)

Team B @ Union Pool in November (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Team B

Team B, the band fronted by Kelly Pratt -- a horn player who's spent a good portion of the past two years touring with Arcade Fire and Beirut -- will be headlining a week-long tour in June. Accompanying them will be New Numbers (featuring Josh Abbott and Mike Fadem of Jealous Girlfriends, the latter who also drums for Team B).

Their tour includes a show at NYC's (Le) Poisson Rouge on June 27th. Tickets are on sale now.

The band's self-titled debut record, which features members of LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire & Beirut, hit iTunes in May and is out now on CD through Tonacity Recordings.

The band played its first show in November 2008.All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Team B (Kelly Pratt of Beirut) - 2009 Tour Dates, album out"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire (MP3)

Beirut @ Coco 66 (more by Ryan Muir)

More bands were recently added to the previously announced lineup of the 2009 Pitchfork Festival. The annual fest is taking place Friday, July 17th to Sunday, July 19th in Chicago's Union Park. Tickets are still on sale.

New acts include Beirut, DOOM, Frightened Rabbit, Lindstrøm, DJ/Rupture, Ponytail, the Mae Shi, and Dianogah.

From those new bands, Frightened Rabbit is also on the bill for NYC's Siren Fest. The annual, free Coney Island concert is scheduled for Saturday, July 18th.

DJ/Rupture is also appearing at the NYC event for Barcelona's Sonar Festival on May 12th.

DOOMAnother act on the Pitchfork bill, DOOM, will be performing his first show since the news broke in 2007 that he'd been allegedly lip-syncing and/or sending stand-ins to take his place at live shows. A few months after that, canceled DOOM shows spurred rumors that the rapper was in the hospital, addicted to crack, too lazy to show up...basically anything you can imagine or post on a message board.

DOOM somewhat addressed those questions in an interview with HipHopDX in April. His response started like this:

I'm a director as well as a writer. I choose different characters, I choose their direction and where I want to put them. So who I choose to put as the character is up to me. The character that I hired, he got paid for it. There's no impostor.
He went on to say that maybe it was really him, he just lost a lot of weight (one fake rapper in question was noticeably skinnier than the hefty DOOM). He closed his answer like this:
But I'll tell you one thing, if you're coming to a DOOM show, don't expect to see me, expect to hear me or hear the music that I present. And it's gonna be a unique experience every time. So that's all I have to say about that.
In short, expect the "DOOM Experience." P4k Fest is his only current date, but we think there will be more announced at some point this year.

DOOM's latest, Born Like This, came out in late March on Lex Records. Radiohead's Thom Yorke recently remixed that album's "Gazillion Ear." That remix is out now as a bonus track on iTunes. A YouTube rip of the song is below.


Japandroids are on the schedule for Pitchfork as well. The pair were scheduled to play two New York City shows this week at Pianos on May 6th and Public Assembly on May 7th, but the band had to cancel those and other dates because of singer-guitarist Brian King's "emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer," as reported by Pitchfork. Luckily, he'll be well enough to head out a tour that starts at the end of May. Japandroids' two rescheduled NYC dates will be Friday, July 10th at Brooklyn's Cameo Gallery and Saturday, July 11th at Pianos. Tickets for the latter are on sale.

Other summer fests for Japandroids include Sasquatch Music Festival on May 24th, Calgary's Sled Island Festival on June 25th, and Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party on July 24th. They also have tour dates across North America, posted below.

Japandroid's Post-Nothing is out now on Unfamiliar Records. An MP3 of "Young Hearts Spark Fire" from that record is posted above; a video of the guys playing "Heart Sweats" live, below.

All videos, updated Pitchfork Festival line-up, and Japandroids tour dates below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork Fest's updated lineup w/ DOOM, Beirut, Frightened Rabbit & updated 2009 JAPANDROIDS tour dates "


"M.I.A. gave the main stage at Coachella her best shot. It just didn't work out.

After a strong start, a few hiccups, and a somewhat listless finale, the Grammy-nominated new mom declared at the end of her hour-long set in the desert that "next time I'm back in the tent."

"I want to be in the sweat," she said.

M.I.A. had performed twice in smaller tents at the music festival, in its tenth year and one of the nation's most prestigious.

She noted earlier, "I really don't know how to bring it on the main stage." And her live show staples--climbing on speakers, dancing body-to-body with the crowd--didn't quite fit the new digs. When she tried to bring some of the audience onstage Saturday night, security guards thwarted most fans.

M.I.A. ended up on a platform above the crowd performing "Bird Flu," and asked when it was over: "Can we get some order in the place? My baby's waiting." She gave birth to a son in February, a few days after the Grammys." [Times Standard]

Plenty of fans did get on stage too - security was definitely not happy about it though. M.I.A. was playing in Amy Winehouse's place last night. The show didn't seem as bad (on the stream) as the above review makes it sound. Then came the Killers (still streaming as I type this actually) and Day Two of the three-day festival was over. Earlier in the day Glasvegas cancelled their set. What I saw of Beirut's performance on the stream sounded great.

Friday night Paul McCartney played "a two-and-a-half-hour performance of solo hits from the '70s, new songs released by his alter-ego the Fireman, plus 20 Beatles classics". Morrissey and Leonard Cohen played the same day.

Sunday is my favorite day. We'll have lots of pictures soon. In the meantime, below are more stills from the M.I.A. stream...

Continue reading "Coachella continues - M.I.A. played (some pics), day 3 today"

photos by Kyle Dean Reinford

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear

Thursday night (2/26), Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden joined members of The National (Clogs) and Arcade Fire (Bell Orchestre) on stage with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM.

Two nights later (2/28), members of the National joined Grizzly Bear (headliner) and Final Fantasy (opener and sometimes member/contributor to Arcade Fire) on the same stage with the same orchestra. Nico Muhly, who contributed arrangements to the show and to Grizzly Bear's new album, was on stage playing piano during both sets as well.

Members of Beirut, who played their own two shows at the same venue a few weeks earlier (but with their own orchestra), could be spotted in the indie-rocker heavy audiences at both the Clogs/BO and FF/GB shows. All this collaboration and support between the current group of popular "indie" artists is commonplace (especially in Brooklyn), and there's no better representation of that than the recently-released National members-curated Dark Was the Night compilation which pretty much everyone mentioned in this post so far (except the Philharmonic) contributed at least one song to. I'm still anxiously awaiting more news of the ultimate live representation of Dark Was the Night in the form of a concert at Radio City Music Hall. Speaking of which, that's where Dark Was the Night contributor David Byrne was playing for the 2nd night in a row on the same night as Grizzly Bear.

Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy

So, how was Saturday night? I thought It was great. Final Fantasy opened the show....

Mr. Pallett, who hails from a classical background, was in his element, if not his comfort zone. Many of his songs reflect orchestral dimensions, including "Horsetail Feathers," which required little reinvention, and "Arctic Circle," which led to a coda packed with chromatic suspense. The two newer pieces that closed his set were marked by pungent but graceful touches: a suggestively smudged viola part, a twitchy line for violins.

Usually, though, Mr. Pallett practices an art of accretion, looping his own violin and keyboard parts to create chamber-pop arrangements in real time. Without that hint of sorcery, his performance felt almost ordinary. And because he isn't a forceful or particularly magnetic singer, he sometimes sounded overwhelmed by the pomp... [NY Times]

Grizzly Bear came up next and even impressed the people who had never heard of either band that were sitting all around me ("Grizzly Bear can sing!") (BAM subscribers?). Grizzly Bear played a mix of old and new songs, some for the first time live, and many of them with the orchestra. Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen have such different voices, and write such different songs, but somehow they mash it all together and it becomes Grizzly Bear. More than ever it seems the two front-men are collaborating - singing at the same time, or back and forth. Ed also seems to be letting his voice out in a gothier, Depeche Mode/Dead Can Dance/Antony-like direction that I liked a lot. I can't wait to hear the new album. More pictures, a video and the setlist from the show, below...

Continue reading "Grizzly Bear & Final Fantasy w/ The Brooklyn Philharmonic @ BAM - pics, setlist, video"

photos by Natasha Ryan


Beirut thrives on the indie-rock circuit playing music that has little to do with typical rock sounds or rhythms. On Friday its nearly all-acoustic lineup included accordion, trumpet, trombone, bass fiddle and drums; Mr. Condon switched between rotary valve flugelhorn and ukulele. Beirut rarely uses a standard rock beat; more often it has the sputtering snare drum and occasional bass-drum thuds of waltzes, tangos, polkas and Balkan dances.

On Friday night Beirut was backed for part of its set by the three dozen musicians of the Vassar Orkestar -- on strings, reeds and horns, with arrangements by Beirut's trumpeter Kelly Pratt -- who added elegant pizzicato parts and put more oomph in the oompah. Mr. Condon beckoned the audience out of the opera-house seats, to throng the stage as if the Brooklyn Academy of Music were just a bigger club. [NY Times]

Beirut played four shows in Brooklyn in two weeks. It started with a secret show at Coco66 in Greenpoint on January 27th. Then on February 4th came Music Hall of Williamsburg, and finally on Friday (2/6) and Saturday (2/7) came the two shows with the Vassar Orkestar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Kaki King opened those last two. Beirut also appeared on Letterman Friday night. Video from that, and more pictures from the last BAM show, below...

Continue reading "Beirut played Letterman (video) & BAM w/ Kaki King (pics)"