Entries tagged with: Besnard Lakes

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Winter Storm Jonas is upon NYC -- there's a foot of snow on the ground already as of noon Saturday (1/23) -- and that means rushing to the store to buy food you probably won't eat, salt and snow shovels. It also means show cancelations. We'll update this post this post as we learn more, but here's what we know right now.

Bus service has been suspended on Saturday and there is a travel ban in NYC starting at 2:30 PM.

Bruce Springsteen's show at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (1/24) has been postponed TBD.

MTA is stopping above-ground Subway service at 4PM.

Market Hotel's reopening party tonight with A Place to Bury Strangers, Guerilla Toss and more has been canceled due to subway and bus suspension.

Trans-Pecos' Psychic TV show Saturday night has been canceled.

Tonight's Alejandro Escovedo show at City Winery is happening and is also now FREE.

Baby's All Right is closed so Saturday's shows -- Those Darlins and Bayonne -- are not happening. Those Darlins, who are on their farewell tour say they will reschedule.

The Men show at Aviv on Saturday night is canceled.

The Pop. 1280 / Bambara show at Alphaville is canceled.

Union Hall is closed so no Morricone Youth show tonight.

As mentioned, the Lamb of God / Anthrax / Deafheaven / Power Trip show at Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday (1/23) has been postponed to Monday.

Worriers, Big Huge, Likers
& YJY at Shea Stadium on Saturday has been canceled.

Montreal's Besnard Lakes are already here for their free Rough Trade in-store on Saturday afternoon which will go on as planned. Say the band, "We don't give a shit about a little snow. We're from Canada, remember? Bring a shovel."

Tonight's Savants show at Rough Trade, however, is canceled.

I Am the Avalanche's Saturday (1/23) show at MHOW is postponed. MHOW tweeted, "Tonight's I Am The Avalanche show has been postponed to Sat Jan 30. All tix will be honored or refunds available at point of purchase." So far Sunday's (1/24) Suburbia show is still on.

The G-Eazy / A$AP Ferg show at Terminal 5 on Saturday has been cancelled and postponed to Tuesday (1/26). "1/23 tix honored on 1/26. Refunds at point of purchase for those who can't attend." Sunday and Monday's shows are unaffected.

Pianos is closed on Saturday.

No shows at Knitting Factory, Brooklyn Bowl or Union Pool on Saturday night.

Saturday night's Graveyard show at Bowery Ballroom has been postponed to Feb 8. All tix will be honored.

Friday's Horrendous show at St Vitus (1/22) has been rescheduled to January 31. "Same details new date. All presales will be honored on 1/31."

We'll update this page with more news, but If you know of any other cancelations, let us know.

by Bill Pearis

A Coliseum Complex Museum

Montreal vets The Besnard Lakes will release their fifth album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, next week (1/22) via Jagjaguwar. Core members Jace Lacek and Olga Goreas had the Besnard Lakes sound honed by the release of 2007's The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse -- widescreen rock with stratospheric harmonies, a massive wall of afterburner guitars, and a mastery of dynamics -- and have continued to refine it since. The new record is another feather in their cap: you know what to expect at this point but that doesn't make it any less welcome. It's the kind of record that demands listening to loud until the neighbors complain. If that's a problem where you live, A Coliseum Complex Museum is also an excellent headphone album. You can stream the whole thing a week early via NPR, below.

As mentioned, The Besnard Lakes will travel to NYC for a one-off record release show at Rough Trade on Saturday, January 23. That's a free matinee show -- no album purchase or ticket required. (Doors at 1:30 PM, show at 2 PM.) They'll also be signing copies of the album purchased in the store afterwards. The Besnard Lakes are one of my favorite live bands -- don't miss this chance to see them for free.

Continue reading "stream The Besnard Lakes' 'A Coliseum Complex Museum'"

by Bill Pearis

besnard lakes

The Besnard Lakes' terrific new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, will be out January 22 via Jagjaguwar. If you haven't checked out "The Plain Moon" and "Golden Lion" from the LP, you can listen to those below.

While the band have yet to announce a North American tour in support of the new LP, they will be in NYC for a record release show on January 23 at Rough Trade. That's a free matinee in-store (no wristband required, doors @ 1:30 PM), and after the show they'll be signing copies of the new album. More info on that show is here.

The band do have a few Canadian shows in February and will be on tour in the UK and Europe this spring. All announced dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes playing free NYC record release show ++ other tour dates"

by Bill Pearis

Besnard Lakes

Montreal's Besnard Lakes have shared a second track from their upcoming album A Coliseum Complex Museum. "The Plain Moon" contains many of the signature Besnard elements: a wall of guitars, unearthly harmonies and a general widescreen rock vibe. As I've said before, it can be hard not to use the word "epic" when talking about Besnard Lakes and they have always given the term a good name (if you ask me, I know you didn't.) Mainly though, it sounds like Besnard Lakes -- which is to say, awesome. This one's a little more upbeat that "A Golden Lion," and you can check it out below.

A Coliseum Complex Museum is out January 22 via Jagjaguwar. The band have a few live dates scheduled for 2016, though none currently in the U.S. All are listed below.

Continue reading "Besnard Lakes share "The Plain Moon" from new LP"

by Bill Pearis

photo by Brendan George Ko
The Besnard Lakes

Besnard Lakes will release a new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, on January 22, 2016 via Jagjaguwar. The first single "Golden Lion," pardon the pun, roars into the night in the band's signature style -- big. It was one of the new songs they played as part of the special 17-piece lineup at Pop Montreal and you can watch that performance, and check out the studio version too, below. "Golden Lion" comes out as a 12" single on November 13.

A limited edition pre-order version of A Coliseum Complex Museum is available in white vinyl and a metal sigil hand-crafted by the band's Olga Goreas:

I made 11 sigils after my dad passed away almost four years ago. Each sigil has a particular meaning and there are 11 of them because he died in November of 2011 and numerologically speaking, 11 represents a rebuilding of sorts. In a way, our last album was about endings and this album is about beginning again.
Album tracklist, artwork, song steams, and a list of European tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Besnard Lakes announce new LP, 'A Coliseum Complex Museum,' share first single "Golden Lion""

by Bill Pearis

The Besnard Lakes @ Pop Montreal 9/18/2015
Pop Montreal 2015

I try not to throw the word "epic" around much as a person who writes about music but that pretty much describes The Besnard Lakes' Pop Montreal performance Friday night at Rialto Hall. A special event, years in the dreaming, the Montreal quintet expanded performed "The Besnard Lakes are the 17-piece Band -- a one-time-only Pop show, featuring string and horn sections, backup singers, two drummers, a vibraphone player and three guitarsts (who, for one song were all playing with E-Bows). Besnard Lakes' sound is already widescreen, this was Cinemascope.

Despite word that they would play their forthcoming album in full, it was a career-spanning, nearly two-hour set hit most of their albums' highlights ("Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent" was the only thing they didn't play that I really wanted to hear). It was very hot in Rialto Hall, with sweat pouring down frontman Jace Lacek's face as he noted it took a lot of sweat to make it happen, too, but "right now this is fucking fun." The whole show was recorded and shot with plans for release "if we don't fuck it up," joked Lacek. They didn't. Setlist is below. The Besnard Lakes will open a few shows for Ride this week, including their Tuesday (9/122) show at Irving Plaza (tickets).

It was a busy Friday night at Pop, with other options including Viet Cong, whose show was widely rumored at the fest to be the last time they'd use that name, as well as Godflesh, Motorhead, and Giorgio Moroder. (Downstairs at Rialto Hall lobby, Owen Pallett was guest-chef at Pop's pop-up restaurant, and his menu included Monte Cristo sandwiches, Scotch eggs, veggie burgers and more. I didn't try anything.) I stuck to smaller bands, catching Ruth Garbus (sister of tUnE-yArDs' Merrill) at Casa Del Poplo. Her music is more winsome, charming folk whose jazzy chords reminded me just a little of sunshine pop band The Free Design. While there I also caught a few songs by quirky and slightly obtuse singer Jib Kidder, and then went across the street to La Sala Rossa to catch soulful young band Un Blonde. After The Besnard Lakes I managed to catch the tail-end of Toronto's doomy Crosss who were closing out the night at Club Lambi. I finished my night watching a bit of Grease 2 (dubbed in French) on my hotel while downing my sixth (seventh?) Montreal bagel of the week, before crashing out.

Saturday at Pop Montreal: a record fair, some unofficial day parties and at night: Built to Spill, Babes in Toyland, Stars of the Lid, The Cribs, Nick Diamonds, Absolutely Free and lots, lots more. A few more iPhone pics from Friday night, below.

Continue reading "Pop Montreal Day 3: 'The Besnard Lakes are the 17-piece band', Ruth Garbus, Crosss, Jib Kidder & more"

by Bill Pearis

photo: The Besnard Lakes @ Rough Trade (more by Greg Cristman)
Besnard Lakes

Montreal's The Besnard Lakes have been tapped to open for part of Ride's fall tour, starting with two NYC-area shows: September 22 at Irving Plaza (tickets) and September 23 at Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ (tickets). They will not open for Ride at the 9/21 Irving Plaza show.

Right before that, The Besnard Lakes will play their hometown during the 2015 Pop Montreal festival, and it's a very special show which is being billed as "The Besnard Lakes Are the 17-Piece Band":

One thing we've always wanted to do is to perform live for you an entirely faithful rendition of our songs as they exist on the albums. This means all the strings, horns, keys, guitars, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals, etc. you know and love will be performed as they were recorded. Featuring friends from all over the Montreal music scene. Come freak out with us.
That sounds pretty awesome. Besnard Lakes Pop Montreal show happens September 18 at Rialto Hall, so if you're heading to the fest that's one show you won't want to miss. I should say, the current five-piece lineup of Besnard Lakes already sound pretty enormous -- their Rough Trade show back in January was fantastic.

When they played the Rough Trade show, frontman Jace Lacek said they were hoping to have something new out by the end of 2015. Stay tuned. All tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes playing as a 17-piece band at Pop Montreal, then touring with Ride (dates)"

Chelsea Light Moving @ Maxwell's (more by PSquared Photography)

today in NYC
* Baby Soda @ Barbes
* Howard Fishman @ Barbes
* Matt Shipp Trio @ The Stone
* Hulk Hogan @ Beacon Theatre
* The Black Crowes @ Terminal 5
* Memoryy, Lazyeyes @ Glasslands
* Jessie Ware, MS MR @ Webster Hall
* Alicia Keys, Miguel @ Barclays Center
Hard Mix, Princely DJs @ Glasslands
Phoenix @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Stranger Wanted with Shannon O' Neill @ UCB
* The Greyboy Allstars, DJ Logic @Brooklyn Bowl
* Lucius, You Won't, Backwords @ Knitting Factory
* GRIZ, Manic Focus, Alex English @ Webster Hall
* Glass Ghost, Magmana, Katie Mullins @ 92YTribeca
* Family Of The Year, The Mowgli's @ Mercury Lounge
* Summer People, Porches, Family Curse @ Union Pool
* Bright Light Bright Light My Midnight Heart @ Joe's Pub
* Todd Barry, Keith Robinson, Jay Oakerson @ The Stand
* Manic Sheep, Space Meow, Kollagemontage @ XPO 929
* FORMA, Hex Breaker, Phil Cote, Pam Finch @ Silent Barn
* Mike Simonetti (DJ Set), Gavin Russon (DJ Set) @ Le Bain
* Frankie Knuckles, Chris Love & AB Logic @ Cameo Gallery
* Mykki Blanco, Kool A.D. (of Das Racist) @ Whitney Museum
* Very Rare, Tetsuo, Advaeta, Spock Doctorman @ Big Snow
* Grandchildren, Conveyor, Sky White Tiger @ Cameo Gallery
Teepee, Herzog Rising, LODRO, Slow Warm Death @ Cake Shop
* The Virgins, Har Mar Superstar, Luke Rathborne @ Maxwell's
* Hani Zahra, Apollo Run, Steel Phantoms @ The Bowery Electric
* Lloydski (DJ Set), CHERYL, DJ Nick @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Butter The Children, Lost Boy?, Haybaby, Ceramics @ Muchmore's
* BLOWOFF (Bob Mould & Richard Morel DJ Set) @ Highline Ballroom
* Ferns, What Model Citizens, Video Daughters, Mark Normand @ Union Hall
* Big Quiet, Galapagos Now!, Warmth, Wildhawk, Joe Cocozello @ Don Pedro
* Suffocation, Exhumed, Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn, ADIMIRON @ Saint Vitus
* Rocket Launcher, Highway Gimps, Braille, Spirit of Danger @ Death By Audio
* Talk Fine, Jangula, Wild International, DJ Norm, The Fancy Cats @ Shea Stadium
* Wanda and Wonder, Stephen Bartolomei, Golden West Service @ Pete's Candy Store
* Julie Klausner, Ted Leo, Siggy Flicker, Max Silvestri, Chef Pigot Ong @ The Bell House
* Smokey Robotic, Blind Benny, Sofa Club, Stephen Babcock, Wolff & Tuba @ Pianos
* Chelsea Light Moving (w/ Thurston Moore), Prana-Bindu, Marco Fusinato @ Bowery Ballroom
* Merel (first show since 1993), Life Eaters (formerly of Rye Coalition), Entartete @ The Grand Victory

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Cat Power made a video for "Manhattan" from her latest album.Sun. As you might expect from the title, it's got some nice shots of the city. Watch it below.

Nardwuar's latest interview target is Kitty (Pride) and you can watch the Vancouver DJ bestow her with gifts and get her to tell stories about getting drunk on Mike's Hard Lemonade in the video below.

Besnard Lakes, who will be here in a few weeks, made a trippy new video for "People of the Sticks" from their new album Until in Excesss, Imperceptible UFO and you can watch that below. You can stream the whole album at Pitchfork.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Friday?"


Tamaryn is DJing at New York's Museum of Modern Art on Sunday evening (4/7) as part of a PopRally event called "Abstract Currents." Against projections of one-minute videos submitted by the public, Tamryn will provide a "hypnotic soundtrack to the collectively built abstract videoscape." It's in conjunction with MoMA's Abstraction, 1910-1925 and Abstract Generation: Now in Print exhibition and tickets are still available.

Later this month, Tamaryn will be in Texas' state capital for Austin Psych Fest (Apr. 26 - 28), which features a pretty amazing line-up that runs the gammut of "psychedelic," including Deerhunter, Spectrum, Black Mountain, OS Mutantes, The Moving Sidewalks, Clinic, Besnard Lakes, Elephant Stone, Roky Erickson, Sweden's GOAT and a bunch more. The fest just announced the day-by-day line-ups which are listed below.

Continue reading "Tamaryn DJing MoMA; Austin Psych Fest finalizes lineup"

DOWNLOAD: The Luyas - Fifty-Fifty(MP3)

The Luyas

Montreal's The Luyas have finished their new album, Animator, which comes out October 16 on Dead Oceans. The album was recorded by The Luyas' Pietro Amato and mixed by Jace Lasek of Besnard Lakes. Of its title, singer Jessie Stein says:

Animator is supposed to be some weird resuscitation. The animator's job is to create the semblance of movement in things that cannot move themselves. The musician's is to make us feel like something is happening with a sound
You can download Animator's first single, "Fifty Fifty," at the top of this post and is perhaps the most straightforward sounding song The Luyas have released to date. You can check out the album's striking artwork, which features turn-of-the-century dance pioneer Loïe Fuller, below along with its tracklist and a stream of "Fifty Fifty."

Continue reading "The Luyas releasing 'Animator' in October (MP3)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Generationals - Trust (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - No Lines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - Blame the Record (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Down Low (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Shark? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Sparrow (MP3)


I take you away from trying to figure out the identity of The Modern Weepers (my favorite comment guess: Hard-Fi) to talk about shows happening this weekend. As always, this being New York City, there's lots of great options.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are in town this week with Generationals and the two bands play tonight (5/11) at Mercury Lounge (sold out!) and tomorrow (5/12)  at The Rock Shop (not sold out!). Dale Jr Jr also play Kidrockers on Sunday [5/14] at the Rock Shop with Pearl and the Beard.

I feel like there's been enough talk about Dale, whose dreamy brand of synth rock can be heard on their pretty good upcoming album It's a Corporate World which is out June 7. So I'm here to talk about Generationals who are surely one of the few indiepop bands in New Orleans. Unlike Big Freedia, they haven't appeared yet on an episode of Treme but their new album Actor-Caster is loaded with clever, tunefull pop. What they do isn't particularly cool at this second in time, but I think stuff like this is never really out of style. You can download the title track to last year's great Trust EP at the top of this post and there's a widget below that will get you two tracks from Actor-Caster for the price of your email.


Also here this week for a couple shows are Montreal's Malajube , playing The Rock Shop tonight (5/11) and will be at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/13) with the epic and amazing Besnard Lakes (and Nova Scotia's Wintersleep).  If you were in Austin for SXSW this year, you may have seen Malajube at our SXSW day party this year we co-presented with M for Montreal who we are co-presenting a show with this Friday in Brighton (if anyone is headed to the Great Escape).

Like a lot of folks, Malajube made a big impression on me in 2006 with their record Trompe-L'Oeil and, even more, their string of fantastic CMJ performances that year. The tunes were catchy, they were great live, the language barrier didn't matter so much. I must admit 2009's Labarinthes didn't make much of an impression but I've really been enjoying the band's brand new album La Cavern. The album is out now in Canada and will be available in the U.S. sometime soon on MB3 Records. Maybe they'll have it at the merch tables this week.

The new album walks the line between guitar pop and space rock and I keep imagining them performing songs like the vaguely disco "Le Blizzard" on the Muppet Show. There's a general soft filter '70s vibe to the whole of La Cavern that feels very comforting. You can listen to the whole thing via a streaming widget doohickey at the bottom of this post.

And go see the Besnard Lakes, for whom I have declared my love for many, many times. And go early for Malajube.


Echo & the Bunnymen are at Irving Plaza on Friday (5/13) and Saturday (5/15) playing their first two albums -- 1979's Crocodiles and 1980's Heaven Up Here -- back to back, in their entirety. This may not be quite as exciting as seeing them at Radio City doing Ocean Rain with a full orchestra, but it's still pretty awesome.

Especially because the albums are post-punk classics. Crocodiles is all scratchy nervous energy and contains no mediocre songs whatsover. I could list them all if you wanted, each one amazing. The whole thing still sounds fantastic. Heaven Up Here is considerably darker, more paranoid but no less definitive. "Over the Wall" is one of their best-ever songs. These two records are also a great showcase for Will Seargent's guitar-playing that still sounds innovative today. I'm a little sceptical of Mac's ability to belt out these songs -- it's gonna be a workout on his pipes -- but the chance to hear deep cuts like "All That Jazz," "It Was a Pleasure," "Happy Death Men," and "With a Hip" is exciting.

Opening for both shows is Bunnymen megafan Kelley Stoltz, who has covered Crocodiles in its entirety, both on record and as an infrequent but incredible tribute act that also featured Spiral Stairs of Pavement and Shayde Sartin who's now in The Fresh & Onlys. (They played CMJ 2003 at Arlene's Grocery, it was awesome.) Anyway, Stoltz is now an established artist in his own right, putting out terrific records on Sub Pop when not playing drums in Sonny & the Sunsets.  So if you're going to this show, do go early.

Gross Relations
Gross Relations

We now enter the local band portion of This Week in Indie. Let's start with L Magazine 8 Bands runners-up Gross Relations who are playing three times this week: tonight (5/11) at Don Pedro with Raccoon Fighter and The Horehounds, then tomorrow (5/12) at Bruar Falls with deVries and Hunktronic, and on Friday (5/13) at Cake Shop with The Bynars, Field Mouse and Infinity Hotel.

The band have been releasing a series of digital singles via their bandcamp page, all of which exemplify their brand of supercatchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock. You can download the A-sides of the last two at the top of this post. "Blame the Records" is especially good. As I said previously, those keyboard lead lines make for easy comparisons to the Rentals which I'm gonna guess is probably what they were going for. Which is fine -- the hooks are undeniable.

Radical Dads
Radical Dads

Radical Dads, meanwhile, were actually picked by the L Mag as one of those 8 Bands You Need To Hear and I certainly agree. And hear them you can Thursday at Cake Shop. The band's debut album, Mega Rama, is out next month and it's pretty damn good. I hear a lot of '90s DC  here -- more Simple Machines and DeSoto than Teenbeat -- whether that was intentional or not. Which means, basically, strident, melodic indie rock. The record is also a contender for my favorite album art of the year, done by Michael Deforge, which you can see below. Also below is yet another widget, this one will allow you to stream or download Mega Rama track "New Age Dinosaur." Oh, and they are quite good live.

Also playing that Cake Shop show tomorrow are Shark? whose debut album True Waste comes out May 24. The band worked with former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone on the record and what I've heard sounds really good. You can download two tracks from the album up top, and Shark?'s Pixies-ish theme song is pretty fun.


And lastly, I'd like to write a little about Vacation who are opening for Oberhofer at Coco 66 on Saturday night (5/14). The band are pretty new. What started as a solo project for Paul Greenfield Daly, formed into a band during one of the blizzards this year. Vacation have only played out a couple of times (Brad Oberhofer was in the live incarnation briefly.) But I really, really like the songs available as free downloads on Vacation's Bandcamp site. While I wouldn't call it synthpop, Vacation are definitely danceable, kind of groovy and motorik.  The track "Jean" in particular sounds like a hit to me, definitely check that one out.

That Coco 66 show also has the lately ubiquitous Widowspeak, and with Oberhofer that makes for a pretty good Saturday night. If you can't make it this weekend, Vacation are playing Pianos on May 22 with Dinner at the Thompsons.

OK that's the big stuff this week. Here are a few more picks, day-by-day:


It's a night of well-dressed pop at Glasslands with Princeton and the High Highs. I keep meaning to catch High Highs again, I was impressed when they played with Radio Department last year.

We haven't heard from locals Gray Goods since last year's Northside Fest. They emerge from their cocoon, sonically reborn, tonight at Union Pool, with Zachary Cale and D. Charles Speer and the Helix.

continued below...

Continue reading "Generationals, Malajube, Echo & the Bunnymen, Kelley Stoltz, Gross Relations, Radical Dads, Shark?, Vacation, Karaoke Underground & more in This Week in Indie"

Young Galaxy @ NXNE (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Young Galazy

Young Galaxy head out on their previusly mentioned U.S. tour Thursday (3/17) with Winter Gloves, and hit NYC Friday (3/18) at Mercury Lounge and Saturday (3/19) at Knitting Factory. The Knitting Factory show is also being opened by Peephole.

Since releasing their third full length Shapeshifting in February (out 3/29 here), Young Galaxy have released two EPs--remixes of the track "Cover Your Tracks" and remixes of the track "We Have Everything"--for free on Paper Bag's website. Winter Gloves released a (not free) EP Heart Out on March 8, also available from Paper Bag.

In other Canadian band and "winter" news, The Besnard Lakes have scheduled some shows including one at Bowery Ballroom on May 13 with Wintersleep and it's on sale now. All of their dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Young Galaxy released EPs & kicking off tour w/ Winter Gloves ++ Besnard Lakes playing shows w/ Wintersleep"

Land of Talk @ Bowery Ballroom in May (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Land of Talk

Land of Talk are releasing their second full-length album, Cloak & Cipher on August 24th via Secret City (Canada)/Saddle Creek (US). The full tracklist and cover art are below.

The Montreal trio, led by Elizabeth Powell, will tour that LP through North America this fall, with shows spread from September to November. They play Bowery Ballroom on November 6th. Tickets are on AmEx presale now; general sale starts Friday at noon. Also, ticket+album bundles are available for NYC and the entire tour.

All tour dates and a videos from a recent and beautiful Take Away Show where the band plays a tune from the new record, are posted below...

Continue reading "Land of Talk announce new album details & 2010 Tour Dates (plus made some really awesome Take Away Show videos)"

The Besnard Lakes @ Bowery Ballroom in March (more by Andrew St Clair)
Besnard Lakes

The short list for the 2010 Polaris Prize has been announced. The ten nominees are below...

Continue reading "2010 Polaris Music Prize short list announced (includes Caribou who will DJ Glasslands after the Governors Island show) "

Damian Abraham & child @ NXNE - 6/17/2010

After working all day in a hotel room on Thursday, I headed out into for my first-ever taste of both NXNE and Toronto music clubs. I've been to the city once before, but that was a very long time ago.

Things were kicking off at 6pm on the outdoor stage set up at Young Dundas Square. Locals will tell you that its Toronto's Times Square, but after being there I'd say its more like Union Square (in shape and size anyway). That said, I don't know what it normally looks like there, but for NXNE they turned the whole paved center of the square into a festival site complete with sponsored booths (free sample of flavored water anyone? Would you like to learn more about Sirius XM radio?) and a huge stage that anyone is free to check out (Iggy Pop plays there on Saturday).

Entry to any other NXNE venue will cost you. A festival badge, which you could purchase in Young Dudas Square, costs $50 and gets you into everything capacity permitting (though we never had a problem once). It's like CMJ and SXSW - there are NXNE shows in all the Toronto clubs.

We got to Young Dudas in time for Free Energy's set, and for the speeches that came before them. The first was by the man himself, Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham from Fucked Up, aka the mayor of Toronto (he was the first of three Fucked Up members I spotted over the course of the evening). He, and a lady friend whose name I didn't catch, introduced the band and Michael Chan, the Minister of Tourism & Culture, who gave a nice little speech before the bands began.

More pictures and commentary below...

Continue reading "NXNE 2010 in pics - part 1 (Free Energy, Young Galaxy, more)"

Best Coast @ Knitting Factory in April (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Best Coast

Greetings from Toronto. NXNE, the Toronto music/film/interactive fest is happening this week. It kicked off its music programming last night, Wednesday, June 16th, and runs through Sunday with shows at 50+ venues (here's a map of the spots). The festival also coincides with the now-affliated Broken Social Scene-helmed Toronto Island concert that features Pavement, Band of Horses, Beach House and others on Saturday, June 19th.

There weren't many Wednesday night shows. The official kick off party was just Eagles of Death Metal (sadly, without their normal bass player) at The Phoenix. And there was a gig or two with Canada's Hollerado (who have at least six shows at the fest lined up). One of them was up in the CN Tower.Still Life Still played the Mod Club with Denmark's The Blue Van.

One of the main hubs will be the free-to-anyone outdoor stage at Yonge-Dundas Square with headliners Thursday night X and Mudhoney, Friday night Sloan and k-os, Saturday night Iggy and the Stooges preceded by The Raveonettes, Wavves, Surfer Blood and others, and Sunday's De La Soul, Kid Sister, Phenomenal Handclap Band and NOLA rapper Big Freedia.

continued below...

Continue reading "NXNE is underway in Toronto -- a quick guide to the music "

photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Rachel Kowal

Besnard Lakes

Going into Friday night's show at the Bowery Ballroom, I thought I was in for a mellow evening, but boy was I wrong. Holopaw, the first of two openers, may have made good use of the pedal steel, but thanks to a healthy dose of electric guitar as well, their Americana bent definitely recalls good old indie rock... and even a little punk. And from there, things just got more raucous.

Canadian group Land of Talk makes the kind of music that's made for dancing with abandon in your empty apartment. With the exception of a few mellower tunes, the majority of their catalogue is upbeat and packed with raw power. Lead singer (and sole female member) Lizzie Powell is far more than eye candy. She may have a sweet demeanor, but with a guitar around her neck and a mic at her lips, she is fierce - and quite emotive when it comes to facial expressions.

Land of Talk is a fitting band for the evening - and not just thanks to their sound and impressive energy level. Their upcoming album (to be released in August) on Saddle Creek was produced by Besnard Lakes singer Jace Lasek (who has also worked with Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown). At the end of Land of Talk's set, Lasek also joined them on stage to contribute backing vocals.

By the time The Besnard Lakes took to the stage, it was already nearing midnight but spirits were high. After playing just a single song, Jace Lasek excitedly announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, it's a very special day. It's my wife Olga's birthday." For her birthday, bass player Olga ('Auggie') Goreas had apparently put in a request for unending mojitos from a man dressed like Fidel Castro, but Lasek was unable to find someone with the right facial hair configuration and the appropriate army fatigues. Goreas did get a mojito and a chorus of Happy Birthdays from the audience, though.

Mojitos and birthday announcements out of the way, The Besnard Lakes launched into "For Agent 13" from The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, which features a nice call and response with Lasek and Goreas on vocals. With the exception of a few sleepier songs like their 2007 stand-out track "Disaster," the majority of the songs in the headliner's set had a definite bent toward rock. I suppose it's hard not to act like a rockstar when you've got what must have been a custom-made 12-string sparkling white guitar and tinted aviators like Lasek. Given the name of their newest album, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, I guess I should have had a better idea of what to expect.

The Besnard Lakes wrapped up their nine-song set with the expansive song "And You Lied to Me," which features a pretty sweet guitar solo. Mid song, Lasek walked over to Goreas and started jamming, and before they walked off stage, Lasek leaned gave the birthday girl a hug and a kiss.

After a brief hiatus backstage, the band came back for another couple of songs - Goreas, with mojito in hand. In response to a couple of screaming audience members, The Besnard Lakes closed with "Thomasina" from their 2007 EP, Volume 1.

The two openers' setlists, some videos and more pictures from the whole night, below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes, Land of Talk & Holopaw played Bowery Ballroom - pics, video & setlists"

Ellen Allien
Ellen Allien

tonight in NYC
* Bon Jovi @ the Meadowlands
* Beach Fossils @ Co-Op 87 (4pm)
* La Strada, Hawk and Dove @ The Bell House
* Fixed w/ Ellen Allien @ Santos Party House
* Fang Island, Univox, Ziam Dunk @ Cake Shop
* Rooftop Festival @ 75 Stewart Ave, Brooklyn
* Boy Crisis, Free Energy (DJ) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Rooftop Films w/ The Pendulum Swings @ Open Road Rooftop
* Midnight Magic, Chico Mann, Nomi Ruiz (DJ) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* The Notekillers, Nancy Garcia, Sawyer/Yeh Combo @ Union Pool
* Chrome Cranks, Thalia Zedek, Clockwork Mercury @ Knitting Factory
* Free Energy, Jukebox The Ghost, Miniature Tigers @ Bowery Ballroom
* Shapes, Slothrust, Bad Teeth, Nat Brower, Mother Courage @ Shea Stadium
* Shearing Pinx, Nu Sensae, Queening, PC Worship, Needle Gun @ Death By Audio
* Dead Phones, Liquor Store, The Dirty Shames, Your 33 Black Angels @ Don Pedro
* Ill Ease, Teeepee, Discipline For Youth, The Dreams, Fire Season @ Bruar Falls
* Psychic Steel, Alex Barnett, Italics, Thought Broadcast, Green Wurm @ Silent Barn
* East River String Band, The Lonely Samoans, Alana Amram & The Rough Gems @ Zebulon
* Breaking Laces, Readymade Breakup, Terminal Reynaldo, Quincy Mumford Band @ Maxwell's
* Ghost Ghost, The Vanguard, Heypenny, True Womanhood, The Sour Notes @ Studio at Webster Hall
* Cheeseburger, Nick Diamonds & The Skylighters, Hard Nips, DJ Kristine Barilli @ The Bell House
* Memory Burn Psych Fest w/ Sunburned Hand of the Man, Psychic Ills, Golden Triangle, Hopewell, White Hills, The Black Hollies, Future Hunter, Weird Owl, Revival Times @ Glasslands

Dan Deacon is NOT playing Cake Shop tonight. His show got moved to two nights ago. Fang Island still play tonight though.

The Bushwick Rooftop Festival starts this afternoon.

Beach Fossils are playing a last minute free record release show.

The Boy Crisis show at Brooklyn Bowl is the afterparty for the Free Energy show at Bowery Ballroom.

BKLYN Yard is open.

Needle Gun, who play Death By Audio tonight, contains members of Teeth Mountain and Matmos. Matmos's tour with So Percussion comes to (Le) Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, June 9th.

David Johansen of the NY Dolls (Buster Pointdexter) plays at The Brighton Bar in Long Brang, NJ tonight. NY Dolls played Warsaw last weekend. David plays Highline Ballroom June 27th.

La Strada plays a show at the Bell House tonight before the Vice event.

The Vice event (prom) will feature sets by Cheeseburger, Nick Diamond & the Skylights and others. Nick will reportedly drive up in a delorean like it's Back to the Future.

You can also catch Nick at LPR on June 15th and then at MHOW on June 27.

The June 27th show is a Northside Fest show. The June 26th Northside Fest show at the same venue is the BV showcase.

A couple of videos from last night's Besnard Lakes show at Bowery Ballroom, below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday?"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADBraids - Lemonade (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: No Joy - No Joy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Psychobuildings - Birds of Prey (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: North Highlands - Sugar Lips (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Besnard Lakes - Albatross (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Land of Talk - May You Never (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cheap Time - Woodland Drive (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bad Sports -On Video (MP3)

Owen Pallett playing w/ the Luyas @ Webster Hall (more by Sarahana)

It's Memorial Day Weekend which used to mean, if you stayed in town, there was nothing to do except go see whatever piece of crap Hollywood was foisting upon us, hang out at backyard BBQs (not a bad thing at all), and enjoy a relatively emptied-out city. Not so much anymore. I mean, there's still Hollywood crap -- take your pick of sand-n-sandals epics SATC2 or Prince of Persia if you must -- but people stick around more, and there's clearly more options for the music fan. Lots of good stuff this weekend, most of which you can still get tickets.

Also: lots of Montreal action this weekend. Starting tonight (5/27) with an early show at Mercury Lounge with The Luyas and Braids. If you check in with BV fairly often you already know we're pretty big fans of the former. It took them a while to finally come play NYC but now that they have, they seem to be coming back weekly. It's not the most straightforward music, but there's a magical quality about The Luyas that worms its way under your skin.

Braids are doing a similar thing but with a different sonic palette, more electronic, more trancey. As I wrote before, I was impressed when I saw them on Tuesday at Knitting Factory. I wish they spent as much time on the songs as the soundscape-ish arrangements, but there's a lot of promise in their best songs (like "Lemonade" which you can download above) and they're definitely worth checking out. Like I said, it's an early show -- Luyas open at 7:30 -- which leaves most of your evening open. If you can't make it tonight, Braids also play Rooftop Films tomorrow, where they're paired with a collection of "Dark Toons," which sounds like a good match to me.

No Joy
No Joy

If you wanted to keep the MTL thing going after the early Luyas/Braids, you could then head over to Cameo Gallery to see No Joy who split their time between that city and Los Angeles. I don't know a whole lot about these two girls but I really dig the two songs that have been floating around which were produced by Think About Life/Miracle Fortress whiz kid Graham Van Pelt. I've seen some people call their sound shoegaze, but it's more in that Dinosaur Jr. kind of way than a Ride/Slowdive kind of way. Thick, sludgy and rockin'. Look out for an EP on Mexican Summer sometime soon. They played last night at Shea Stadium and apparently blew everyone's eardrums out. You are warned.

Also on this eclectic bill: the paranoid postpunk/electropop of Psychobuildings (check out "Birds of Prey" at the top of this post) who kind of remind me of The Pop Group; The Surprisers (another band featuring German Measles/Cause Co-motion/etc etc dudes); and the gentle orch-pop of North Highlands who I've written about before a few times.

And am writing about again right here. Shameless plug time. As you may have seen, I'm working with the Seaport Music folks to put on a series of lunchtime shows every Wednesday in June down at Pier 17 (the Seaport Stage). The shows are in conjunction with the Fulton Stall Markets, a farmers market in the old Fulton Fish Market stalls across the street from the Seaport. The market opens on Sunday and we're doing a kickoff show with North Highlands. I DJ at noon and then the band is on at 1PM. I'm super happy to have North Highlands play the first show, they were the first band I thought of for this, and think they're easily one of the most promising new bands in NYC. Anyway, come down if you can. The rest of the Sound Bites Lunchtime Series schedule (including The Beets, Ribbons and more) can be found here.

Besnard Lakes @ SXSW (more by Tim Griffin)
Besnard Lakes

Okay, back to Montreal. Friday night (5/28) The Besnard Lakes are playing Bowery Ballroom with Land of Talk. People overuse the word "epic" but the Besnard Lakes make music that deserves that description. And epic doesn't necessarily mean "overblown." Take, for example, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent" which opens their new album Are the Roaring Night. It's an amazing slow build that explodes (in slo-mo, yet not in a Michael Bay way) in the chorus with a giant wave of guitars. One of my favorite songs of the year, and it crushed at the Brooklyn Vegan day party during this year's SXSW. I've never seen a bad Besnard Lakes show. I highly, highly recommend you go.

Openers Land of Talk are no slouches in the live department either. The band's second album, Cloak and Cipher, is due out August 24 on Saddle Creek, and we should get a nice preview of it tomorrow night.

A few more weekend picks, day by day (and tour dates below):

Continue reading "No Joy, North Highlands, Besnard Lakes, Luyas, Eternal Summers, Twin Sister & more in This Week in Indie"

Jonsi (Sigur Ros) @ United Palace in 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)

tonight in NYC
* BAM Block Party
* Common @ Highline Ballroom
* Jonsi, Death Vessel @ Terminal 5
* A-ha, Sondre Lerche @ Nokia Theatre
* VDRK, Free Magic @ Santos Party House
* Jonah Smith, Lucius @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Penguin Prison, Runaway @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Blues and Lasers, MiniBoone @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Saadi, Dinosaur Feathers, Mancino @ Fort Useless
* Talibam!, PC Worship, Skeletons @ Death By Audio
* Gamelatron, ZGT Radioprojekt @ Issue Project Room
* Pony Pants, The Fun, Jewels Of The Nile @ Cake Shop
* D. Charles Speer and the Helix, Dire Wolves @ Zebulon
* Caribou, Toro y Moi, Hounds Of Hate @ Bowery Ballroom
* Broken Social Scene, Zeus @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* The Primitives, Frankie & The Outs, Palomar @ The Bell House
* Sonia's Party, Cheap Seats, The Rhodes, Apollo Run @ Glasslands
* Mick Turner & Jim White (of The Dirty Three) @ Sound Fix Records
* Shooting Spires, Lichens, G Lucas Crane, Dubknowdub @ Party Expo
* Radio Happy Hour w/ David Bazan, Jesse Eisenberg @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
* Roadside Graves, Gunfight, Yoni Gordon & The Goods, Movers And Shakers, Quiet Loudly @ Shea Stadium
* Prince party w/ My Teenage Stride, HolidayHoliday, The Hungry Brothers, Moonmen On The Moon Man @ Bruar Falls

Common is still playing Highline Ballroom tonight, but the Busta Rhymes show is CANCELLED.

Kimya Dawson plays a show in Philly on Sunday, but nothing in NYC? And by nothing, I mean not even with The Bundles apparently. Cake Shop has removed them completely from their website.

Danzig tickets are now on presale (and the post was updated with the correct password).

Some other tickets went on sale today including Weezer @ Williamsburg Waterfront (AmEx presale).

This Week in Indie focuses on this weekend's shows that aren't sold out.

The new Besnard Lakes video for "Albatross" below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday?"

words by Bill Pearis & (most of the) photos by Tim Griffin

Will Sheff & Roky Erickson
Roky Ericson with Okkervil River

"Welcome to Montreal -- how do you like the Weather?" - Martin Cesar, Think About Life.

After three lovely days of sunny, mild weather, the skies went grey and cold for the last day of SXSW, Saturday, March 20th, with temperatures dropping to around 45 degrees. Almost no one seemed prepared for it, judging by the throngs of under-dressed shivering all over town. With a lot of the Austin venues being outdoor, it especially hurt.  Our final party of a very busy week of parties was a free badge-less official SXSW event that we did with the M for Montreal folks, at the two-stage Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room & Bourbon Rocks). The main stage was outside -- under a tent, which helped just a little -- and while temperatures were low, spirits were high and it was maybe the most fun I had all week.

My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singer Martin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. That they didn't do "Johanna" is my only complaint. NYers can see them on April 27 when Think About Life play Mercury Lounge. It's part of a fairly extensive U.S. tour, do go see them.

I was also super-pumped to see The Besnard Lakes whose new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is pretty fantastic. Specifically, I wanted to hear its epic opener, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," and have it knock me back. Like a lot of Montreal bands, The Besnard Lakes' line-up ebbs and flows. Theirs does so around the core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. I've seen them seven strong before, but here they were a lean mean quartet and did not disappoint. They're on tour in May, including a 5/28 show at Bowery Ballroom.

Duchess Says
Duchess Says

Another set I knew would be fun was Montreal's Duchess Says who played one of our CMJ day parties last year. While their more aggressive take on Devo-style protopunk is fun, it's all about singer Annie Claude who looks very cute and innocent... until the music starts. She shrieks, jumps in the audience, tackles people, pulls them to the floor,  and causes general mayhem. It's more mischief than menace though. There are lots of other singers who do similar things, but never anything quite like her. After you've seen them once, part of the fun is watching other people experience them for the first time. The inside room was packed to the gills (it was warmer there). My favorite part of the show had her sitting down in the middle of the audience, methodically pulling people down with her, draping their arms over her into a giant pile of people. There's video at the bottom of this post.

The other major highlight for me was Roky Erickson with Okkervill River. I'd never seen him before and this was certainly a great live introduction to someone whose music I've loved for a long time. Will Sheff produced Roky's new album (first in 14 years) and Okkervill was his backing band on it, so the set was tight, rocking and just sounded fantastic. Roky was in great form too, and we got a few 13th Floor Elevators nuggets in there, as well as "Starry Eyes," one of my favorites of his solo material. They tour in May including a show at Webster Hall.

And there was lots more: the great Wye Oak kicked off the party with a lovely set despite cold fingers; Jason Collett was a class act with superbly-crafted country-pop (see video of his set below); Crystal Antlers filled in for BEAST who couldn't make it; Andrew WK was in full Meatloaf mode with a set of piano ballads; Plants and Animals were lush and harmony-laden; metal legends Voivod showed they've still got it; and a percussion-heavy set from L.A.'s Local Natives was probably the biggest draw of the day -- they were excellent.

Local Natives
Local Natives

Somehow I entirely missed sets by Holy Fuck (who I heard were great) and Suckers (who I've seen before many times here in NYC). A last minute addition, Nardwuar was there too, providing funny, heavily-researched band introductions as only he can. It was a great, if cold, day. Stay tuned for his video interview of Will and Roky.

Thanks to everyone who helped put this all together, and to our sponsors. More pictures and videos from the whole day below...

Continue reading "Roky Erickson/Okkervil River, Local Natives, Think About Life, Duchess Says, others @ Galaxy Room (BV/MfM day party) - pics"

photos by Tim Griffin

DOWNLOAD: The Besnard Lakes - Albatross (MP3)

Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes' new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night was released earlier this month by Jagjaguwar. Grab an MP3 from that album above.

As previously mentioned, the Canadian band is headlining Bowery Ballroom on May 28th, a show that fellow Canadians Land of Talk will be opening (tickets are on sale). The show is one date of a much larger tour (which Land of Talk is opening just part of). All dates, and some pictures from our BV/M For Montreal day party at SXSW, below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes - new album out now (MP3), 2010 Tour Dates w/ Land of Talk, pics from Galaxy Room"

photos by Bryan Bruchman

Broken Social Scene @ Stubb's (SXSW 2010)

Broken Social Scene is now streaming three songs from their new album at MySpace. The band will next be in NYC in May to play Webster Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg. More dates HERE. Another set of pictures from the band's SXSW show at Stubb's (with The Besnard Lakes, Drive by Truckers and Band of Horses) continues below.

As previously mentioned, Stars will play their new album, The Five Ghosts (out June 22 and featuring contributions from BSS's Andrew Whiteman), in its entirety on their next tour. They're also taking votes at their website (soon) for what other songs they should play at the shows. That tour has been announced and includes NYC shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg (June 4) (tickets on sale Friday at noon) and Le Poisson Rouge (June 5) (tickets on sale Friday at 4pm). All dates and more album info, with those pictures, below...

Continue reading "Stars announces tour dates & more album info, BSS streaming new songs, played SXSW w/ BOH, DBT & Besnard Lakes (pics) "

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Charlotte Gainsbourg show at Webster Hall.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Jamie Lidell show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Passion Pit / Tokyo Police Club show at Governors Island.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Mumford & Sons / The Middle East show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Phantogram is playing Bowery Ballroom on May 19th. Tickets are on sale (@ noon)

The Besnard Lakes & Land of Talk are playing Bowery Ballroom on May 28th. Tickets are on sale (@ noon)

Galaxy Room

I've been announcing individual bands on this party before now. Finally we have the full exciting lineup!

You know M For Montreal as the Canadian festival we've visited for two years in a row. Their yearly festival showcases bands from their home city in their home city, and they take that show on the road each year to both CMJ in NYC and SXSW in Austin (we already announced their official 2010 night showcase).

Being that we are such huge fans of so many Montreal bands, I thought it would be a great idea see if they wanted do a party together... and here we are. The lineup mixes some of our favorite Montreal bands with some or our other favorite Canadian (like Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene) and non-Canadian bands (like Andrew WK).

We have 13 bands total, a DJ set by another band, free ice cream from the Ice Cream Man (some of which is vegan), free vegan food courtesy of Austin's own Daily Juice and other surprises (drink specials on this particular party are pending). We're also proud to announce that KEXP is the official radio sponsor of all BV day parties this year. You'll find them, video cameras in hand, at many of our day parties throughout the week including this one. Those in attendance at this show will also have a chance to check out and win a pair of Nudie Jeans (another one of our kind sponsors).

Also unlike any other BV day party, this one is officially part of SXSW. That does NOT mean you need a badge. NO BADGES REQUIRED for this free show, but you will find the party listed on SXSW.com (and you can add it to your schedule on there). Full lineup with set times below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan & M for Montreal free SXSW day party lineup (Roky Erickson, Andrew WK, Voivod, Holy Fuck, Local Natives, other bands, free food & more)"