Entries tagged with: Bird Of Youth
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Okkervil River are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their best album Black Sheep Boy with a reissue (due 12/4 via Jagjaguwar) and a tour that has them playing the album in full. They're currently in the midst of a three-night run at NYC's Bowery Ballroom that wraps up tonight (11/23). We caught last night's show.
Will Sheff opened with a few solo acoustic versions of songs that came out before Black Sheep Boy and talked a bit about their early days, and then the rest of the band came out to perform the album front to back. These shows were already going to be special, but it got even more special when Black Sheep Boy era member (and Shearwater frontman) Jonathan Meiburg joined them on "Black" and stayed for the rest of the set. Plus for the next song ("Get Big"), Will's girlfriend and frequent collaborator Beth Wawerna of Bird of Youth joined them on harmonies and stayed for several others too. They played the album exactly the way you'd want to hear it, with all the beauty and raggedy edges it has on record. Nostalgia for this type of thing has been hitting pretty hard lately (or hitting me, at least). Enough time has passed and "indie" has gone through enough changes that I kinda miss the era when that genre was often associated music that's a little folky but rooted in punk's energy, and fleshed out by unconventional (for rock) instrumentation. Black Sheep Boy is certainly a classic of that era, and last night's show had all those elements coming together: pounding drums, Will rambunctiously bringing his sing to a shout, trumpets, violins, mandolins, organs, slide guitar, the works. You could tell the band (and the packed crowd) was having a great time playing these songs, and they sounded as fresh last night as they did ten years ago.
Will & Jonathan
They left the stage after Black Sheep Boy closer "A Glow" and returned for an encore that had them playing the entire Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP, which came out a few months after the album and included material from its sessions. The whole show (which had no opener) lasted just about two hours.
More pictures from Okkervil River at Bowery night 2, below...
Dave Derby, former Dambuilder and current mastermind behind New York's ever-rotating outfit Gramercy Arms seem to have a thing for love. Last year the band dropped The Seasons of Love and now Dave is putting together the NYC edition of long-running post-Valentine's Day tradition "The Love Hangover" at Bowery Electric on February 15. Tickets for the show are available now.
If you're unfamiliar, The Love Hangover features "the world-weary and the true believers alike huddle in pairs, playing songs to heal broken hearts and break whole ones." The NYC edition features a lot of Gramercy Arms-related pairings:
Dave Derby (Gramercy Arms) & Renee LoBue (Elk City, Melting Hopefuls)The next night, Will Sheff will also be DJing the front room Baby's All Right on February 16, which is free.
Kendall Meade (Mascott) & Doug Gillard (Death of Samantha, GBV, Nada Surf)
Will Sheff (Okkervil River) & Beth Wawerna (Bird of Youth)
Lisa Clair & Benjamin Cartel (Kaiser Cartel)
Michael Aranella & Alan Cary (Dreamland Orchestra)
Alison Tusick & Richard Alwyn
In related news, Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws (who sings on The Seasons of Love) will feature on the first of Kevin Devine's split 7" series where Devine teams with artists to cover each other's songs. The first split, out February 24 via Kevin's Devinyl Records, has Caws covering Devine's "Fiscal Cliff" and Devine covering Nada Surf's "Inside of Love," which you can stream (via AV Club) below.
Caribou at Governors Island in 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
Special Guest, Guantanamo Baywatch, The Numerators, RIPS @ Death By Audio
We're down to nine days left at Death by Audio. It's anybody's guess who tonight's special guest is, but the rest of the lineup is garagey, surfy-punky stuff highlighted by Portland's fun Guantanamo Baywatch.
Year of No Light, Sannhet, Gnaw, Vilkacis @ Saint Vitus
France's Year of No Light have been making very high quality instrumental post-metal since their 2006 debut, yet in all those years they never played the US. That's finally changing on their current tour, which is now in NYC and concludes a two-night run at Saint Vitus tonight. Like last night, the show begins with three killer artists in NYC's experimental metal scene.
Caribou, Jessy Lanza @ Webster Hall
Our Love, Caribou's recent followup to 2010's excellent Swim, is less focused on the pop songs that album was, and instead heavier on the electronics and great in its own way. Tonight's his second of two NYC shows on his tour with Our Love collaborator/Hyperdub-signed Jessy Lanza.
Johnny Marr, Meredith Sheldon @ Stone Pony
Recalling his prolific days with The Smiths, Johnny Marr has banged out two albums in a year's time. They're not at his 1985 peak, but they're not bad either. He's a lot of fun live, and peppers hit sets with oldies -- any chance to see him play "The Headmaster Ritual" is worth considering. Unlike his two sold-out NYC shows, tickets are still available to this.
Dan Bodan, Physical Therapy, Sadaf @ Baby's All Right
Canadian-born, Berlin-based songwriter Dan Bodan released his soulful and genre-defying new album, Soft, a couple weeks back on DFA. Tonight's the NYC record release show.
Yumi Zouma, Louis Weeks, Leapling, Erika Spring (DJ Set) @ Glasslands
New Zealand's Yumi Zouma mix synthpop and indiepop styles, which makes Cascine an ideal label for the band. Catch them tonight and ask them about opening for Lorde.
Say Hi, Tim Foljahn @ Mercury Lounge
Seattle's Eric Elbogen is still making quality indie pop under the Say Hi moniker which hasn't changed too much since the mid-2000s, and not in a bad way. Opening this show is Michigan's Tim Foljahn, who's been playing since the '80s and was once in a band with fellow Michigan musician Steve Shelley.
O'Death, Death Vessel, Stone Jack Jones @ Bell House
O'Death's new album is dark and super raw folk that fits their name well. Death Vessel on the other hand may share a name with "death" in it but he makes much more uplifting music. And another dark songwriter, Stone Jack Jones, opens the night. Should be a good show all around.
TEEN @ Apple Store Soho
Part of the Apple store's "meet the musicians" series, TEEN will perform live followed by a Q&A with rock journalist Michael Azerrad. Free, 7:30 PM.
The Rural Alberta Advantage, July Talk @ Bowery Ballroom
The Rural Alberta Advantage's anthemic and folky indie rock is in fine form on their new album, Mended with Gold. Tonight their tour with fellow big-sounding Canadian band July Talk hits Bowery Ballroom for its second of two shows at the venue this week.
Animal Collective (DJ set) @ Brooklyn Bowl
While Panda Bear has a new solo record on the way, the other three AnCo guys are taking the chance to go on this DJ tour which hits Brooklyn Bowl again tonight. The tour returns to the same venue in December too (but without Avey Tare).
Dustin Wong, Takako Minekawa, Ricky Eat Acid, Tristan Allen, Trabajo @ Palisades
Former Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong moved back to his childhood home of Japan after completing his trilogy of loop-based albums and began collaborating with musician Takako Minekawa. Using a specially designed interface that allows them to switch from guitar to keyboards to sampler to vocals, their music is creative and playful. The duo's second album together, Savage Imagination, came out via Thrill Jockey in September.
Sallie Ford, Crooked Fingers, And The Kids @ Rough Trade
While Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside came to an end last year, Sallie is still at it with a new band and they come to NYC tonight. Archers of Loaf singer Eric Bachmann is also on the show with his Crooked Fingers project, making for a great double bill.
Foxes in Fiction, Mister Lies, Emily Reo @ Shea Stadium
If you're into bedroom-recorded, electronic-tinged lo-fi pop, basically everyone on this bill will be up your alley.
Javelin, Tiny Victories, Idgy Dean, Nadia Kazmi @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Chillwave survivors Javelin play tonight at the weekend mecca of music/shopping/games/booze. The bands are free, you're paying for everything else.
Heavy Lights, Doug Gillard, Tinnarose, Bird of Youth @ Cake Shop
Doug Gillard's CV is impeccable, having logged time in Guided by Voices, Nada Surf, My Dad is Dead to name three. His his new solo album, Parade On, is an equally impressive array of sparkling powerpop.
Mike Wexler, Hubble, Psychic Reality @ Trans-Pecos
Psychedelic folk singer Mike Wexler and former The Men member Ben Greenberg with his experimental project Hubble team up for this show which should be nice trippy vibes all around.
Blockhead, Elaquent, Muneshine @ Glasslands
In addition to producing a significant amount of Aesop Rock's material (and other likeminded rappers like Cage, Open Mike Eagle and Murs), Blockhead has a ton of solo material including this year's Bells and Whistles LP.
Suzanne Vega @ Joe's Pub
She may be be best known for "Luka" and "Tom's Diner" (both from 1987's Solitude Standing) but Suzanne Vega's gift for songwriting has continued since. She plays an early and a a late show tonight.
Seu Jorge @ Blue Note
Best known here in America for acting in City of God and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (which he scored using only acoustic, Portuguese David Bowie covers), but Brazilian artist Seu Jorge has been making music since the '90s. This is part of his eight-night run at the Blue Note.
Ray Lamontagne, The Belle Brigade @ Beacon Theatre
Singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne released the Dan Auerbach-produced album, Supernova, earlier this year. Tonight he wraps up a 3-night run at Beacon Theatre in support of it.
All Out War, Sworn Enemy, Living Laser, Panzerbastard, Recycled Earth @ The Acheron
Metallic New York hardcore band/Victory Records vet All Out War have been at it for over two decades now and they've been talking about having a new album on the way. Maybe we'll hear some new ones tonight?
Phil Lesh @ Capitol Theatre
As any Deadhead can tell you, Phil Lesh plays the favorites and his current band does it well. It's another night of his never-ending residency at The Cap, and these shows are always a good time.
Slonk Donkerson, Bent Shapes, Heeney, The Doubts @ Muchmore's
Amongst the good local bands are Boston's Bent Shapes who make jangly indie pop...but with real bite. Good live, too.
Sharkmuffin, Chimes, Painted Zeros, Slight, Routine Involvements @ Silent Barn
Brooklyn garage rockers Sharkmuffin are always a good local band to catch, and if you're going tonight you may also want to check out Painted Zeros, who pal around with Porches, LVL UP, Crying and other cool local bands.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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photos by Gretchen Robinette
The Rock*A*Teens @ LPR 8/10/2014
I often make the outrageous drunken claim that the Rock*A*Teens were the best rock and roll band of the 1990s. It's sort of ridiculous to say, but as I write this sentence stone sober and drinking a glass of juice, I still kind of believe it. I keep waiting to not believe it, as I very frequently don't believe all kinds of outrageous claims that I make, but I just cross-referenced with all the other 1990s rock and roll bands in my iTunes (we're talking bands here, not singer-songwriters - and rock, not hip-hop which I think was way more important than rock in the 90s anyway) and I'm pretty much ready to double down; this disastrously scrappy Atlanta band with their not-very-good-sounding recordings and their name half-swiped from a 50's rockabilly outfit were...okay, let's not say the "best," because I don't really believe there's any objective truth when it comes to evaluating music - let's say they were my favorite. They had more great records than Nirvana (although no defining masterpiece), were (a tiny bit) smarter and had more at stake than Pavement, were more consistent than Guided By Voices, and had better all-around songs than Galaxie 500. So, though I love all those other bands, I'm going with them.Okkervil River's Will Sheff got to fulfill a fan's dream of opening for his '90s heroes The Rock*A*Teens who reformed for Merge Records' 25th Anniversary last month. The Le Poisson Rouge show on Monday (8/10) was the second of their two NYC show (the first was at Glasslands). Before this tour, the band hadn't played live in 13 years but frontman Chris Lopez is still a howlin' sweaty true-believer as these photos attest. Other superfans in the audience: AC Newman (New Pornographers), Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), and Chunklet founder Henry Owings.
- Will Sheff
As for Sheff, his band included Takka Takka drummer and National sometimes-co-drummer Conrad Doucette and Craig Montoro on bass and the set included Okkervil River songs plus a Rock*A*Teens cover.. Will's girlfriend, Beth Wawerna, is also a huge R*A*T fan and her band Bird of Youth (named after R*A*T's 2000 album, Sweet Bird of Youth) opened the Glasslands show. Pictures of Will's LPR set and more of Rock*A*Teens' (we missed opener Ricer) are below...
by Bill Pearis
You know that scene in The Blues Brothers where John Belushi is in the church and God's light shines down on him? An epiphany like that. I watched the Rock*A*Teens play as I had numerous times before, but watching them onstage that night was an "I have seen the light!" moment. A moment that I will always remember. A moment where I got it. I got it--the Rock*A*Teens' swagger, their heartfelt lyrics, their powerful rhythm section, the random noisy flourishes, and the hooks that fell out of their instruments with alarming regularity. As Harvey Milk ended their career that night (at least for the time being), the Rock*A*Teens became one of my favorite bands from Georgia. Fuck that--one of my favorite bands from anywhere. - Chunklet founder Henry H. Owings'90s era indie rock band The Rock*A*Teens formed in 1994 in Georgia. While they took from rockabilly (love of reverb, crazed playing), they added elements of music hall and powerpop, creating a boozy sound all their own. After five albums and a handful of singles and EPs, the band called it quits in 2002. Their final album, 2000's Sweet Bird of Youth, never got a vinyl release but that is being rectified as part of Merge Records' 25th Anniversary. It'll be out June 3 on double vinyl and comes with a download of the band's final concert. You can pre-order it now.
The Rock*A*Teens have been coaxed out of retirement for the Merge 25 fest and will make the most of it with an East Coast tour. The culminates with two NYC shows: Glasslands on August 9 with Bird of Youth, and a Wordless Music-presented show at Le Poisson Rouge on August 10 with Okkervill River's Will Sheff. Tickets to Glasslands and LPR are on sale now.
All tour dates are listed, along with a tour announcement video and a few streams, below.
by Bill Pearis
Game Theory and Loud Family frontman Scott Miller died back in April which hit a lot of fans hard. And he had a lot of fans, many of whom are musicians. Some of them will be playing a Scott Miller tribute that happens at Cake Shop on June 29, which features A.C. Newman, Ted Leo, Okkervil River's Will Shef, Doug Gillard, The Wrens' Charles Bissell, and more. There will be readings as well. Tickets are $30 and all proceeds go to The Scott Miller Memorial Fund which was set up to provide for his two young daughters.
UPDATE: Tickets go on sale Monday (6/10) at noon.
If you are unfamiliar with Scott's music, you can still download all of the out-of-print Game Theory albums for free over at the Loud Family website. 1986's The Big Shot Chronicles and 1987's Lolita Nation are both essential listening.
Full line-up for the tribute below...
Will Sheff at SXSW 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Like last night (11/5), there are many more Hurricane Sandy Relief benefits going on in NYC.
Knitting Factory is hosting a show on Thursday (11/8) with a large (and kind of random) lineup tonight with WIll Sheff (of Okkervil River), Jean Grae, Geoff Rickly (of Thursday), Jennifer O'Conner, Holly Miranda, Jaymay, Bird of Youth, Kevin Devine, Brian Bonz, Jared Evan, Zumo Kollie, Sonya Kitchell, and DJ Rajni Jacques. Tickets for this show are available.
The previously mentioned Bad Brains tribute show happening at The Bowery Electric tonight with Bad Brains frontman H.R., Kyp Malone (of TV on the Radio), Steve Earle, members of Cro-Mags, Living Colour, Faith, Danzig, and more is now also a Hurricane Sandy Relief benefit. All proceeds will be sent to Amnesty International and the American Red Cross. Tickets are still available.
Santos Party House is hosting "A New York State of Mind," a show hosted/supported by A-Trak, Fool's Gold Smokers Club, and others with music by Josh Madden, Deemehlow, DJ Huggy Bear, and Old Money. They're accepting monetary donations or supplies like jackets, hats, gloves, blankets, flashlights, batteries, food, diapers, etc. The flier for this show is below.
GrandLife is hosting shows all week, from tonight through Saturday (11/10), at the Soho Grand (310 West Broadway) and Tribeca Grand (2 Avenue of the Americas) with sets by different DJs each night, each benefiting a different organization. Tonight it's Jared Swiley of Black Lips and Golden Triangle bassist Alix Brown at Soho Grand and Erik Tonnesen at Tribeca Grand, with the proceeds going to Feeding America. Tennessee Thomas DJs Soho Grand on Wednesday (11/7) and Tribeca Grand on Thursday (11/8) with Alix Brown, with the proceeds going to Occupy Sandy. Blue Logan DJs Tribeca Grand on Wednesday and Soho Grand on Thursday, with the proceeds going to Salvation Army. On Friday, Nicholas Kratochvil DJs Soho Grand with proceeds going the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC, and Florencia Galarza DJs Tribeca Grand with proceeds going to NY Cares. And finally, on Saturday, Mike Nouveau will be at Soho Grand with proceeds going to NY Cares, and Shorty will be at Tribeca Grand, with proceeds going to the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC. All proceeds from GrandLife's 'Safe & Sound' cocktail and $1 from every beer, wine, or cocktail purchased will be donated. The flyer for these shows is below.
The So So Glos will be hosting a benefit in NYC on November 15. More details TBA.
This one's not a show, but Buke & Gase, who once called Red Hook, Brooklyn home, have put out a new single on bandcamp, "Hard Times" b/w a cover of New Order's "Blue Monday." The single can be downloaded for $5 or more and all proceeds over the next week will benefit the recovery of Red Hook. You can stream those two tracks below.
words by Christopher Paragraph, photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
DOWNLOAD: Bird of Youth - Bombs Away, She Is Here to Stay (MP3)
Sondre Lerche looking sexy as usual @ MHOW Friday night
The Friday night show at Music Hall of Williamsburg featured three very different songwriters who all happen to live within a few blocks of the venue. The same is true for me so, in terms of proximity, the night was a success before it even began.
Bird Of Youth opened with a couple songs from their self-released album "Defender," breezing through them with ease and on-stage confidence that one would usually expect from a more seasoned band. This helped to counteract the darker themes of the songs, perhaps the best example of which was a song that lead singer Beth Wawerna wrote for her father. The unforgettable closing lines, "you watched me as I watched you watch me cry," caught more than a few off-guard. The songs are unique in terms of Wawerna's vocal phrasing. Rather than writing melodies over single chords, the melodies seem to form themselves over the chord changes. It feels like she allows the phrases to emerge from the song, instead of constructing a song around a pre-conceived melody. As a songwriter, Wawerna is doing something special and distinct. Unlike many female-fronted bands of their ilk, the songs don't hide behind her voice; her voice seems to be dragged along by the force of each song. This may present a problem for a pop singer, but for a band like Bird Of Youth, it proves to be a perfect way to articulate emotional, expressive songs. The last song of their short set took a different turn, however, and was significantly more poppy and conventionally structured. Working in a Nada Surf-esque style, the song succeeds in a way that runs counter the aforementioned thoughts in this review. An interesting way to end the set, leaving the audience pleased but just unsure enough to want to hear more.
Next was Will Sheff, frontman for the successful Okkervil River, a solo set sandwiched between two bands. It was informative and interesting to see Sheff perform solo. Over the years, Okkervil River has come to be known for their energetic, literate folk pop anthems. But most hear them as simply "a rock band." Sheff's folk influences shined through in this set, making the DNA of Okkervil River more apparent. Hearing these songs strummed and picked on an acoustic guitar made clear the influences of British folk songwriters like Roy Harper and Bill Fay. For audience members not interested in the musical roots behind Okkervil River (which many Sondre Lerche fans probably are not) Sheff provided an honest and emphatic set of complex, lyric-driven songs. It was clear form the entranced crowd that Sheff won over a bunch of new fans. Or at least hooked their curiosity. Sheff's lyrics beg the listener to re-listen. As opposed to the chordally-led phrasing of Beth Wawerna, Sheff's songs are driven by lyrics and melodies that command the chords. It was interesting to see songwriting approached from such different angles back-to-back. It is worth noting at this point that there were many people in the far back of the room who seemed intent on talking louder than the music. One can only assume they were attending to "see" Sondre Lerche and felt completely justified in talking over any other artist performing. Sheff took a moment to point out these people (which of course went right over their heads). This resulted in supportive applause from the majority, who were clearly distracted and annoyed by the loud group in the back.
SIDE NOTE: this raises a question, or at least an interesting debate: Is it "OK" to talk loudly at a concert? If someone pays $15 to see a show, isn't it reasonable to expect them to listen to the songs? And even if they aren't interested in a certain artist, isn't it reasonable to expect the respect and courtesy of keeping one's voice quiet, both in regards to the artists themselves and the fans who might actually be trying to listen? In the event that this occurs, should the artist take the initiative to shush them, or should a fellow audience member? Both? Neither? Discuss.
Back to the show. When Sondre Lerche took the stage, a young cavalcade of girls had pushed their way to the front. As he stepped to the mic the screams were shrill and unexpectedly loud. Lerche introduced himself with a solo number before bringing out the band. Although the synth player and bassist had apparently just joined the band a couple weeks earlier, they played tight and confidently, each member brimming with excitement about the songs, not just following charts. The drummer's incredible precision almost stole the show - he brought the energy of the songs out in ways drummers rarely can, and was single-handedly responsible for many "jaw-drop" moments. The only real way to describe it is that it's fueled by real passion for the songs. It's that special intangible thing you can't fake, and this guy clearly has it. Lerche fired off short gems from throughout his career, never letting go of the stranglehold he had on the crowd from the moment he stepped out. On one level his songs are complex, melding jazz chords with pop melodies a la Steely Dan. On another, he's able to perform simple, quiet ballads, which he did at one point, stepping away and unplugging, treating the silent room to an acoustic rendition of "Dear Laughing Doubters."
There were a handful of particularly special moments, including a performance of "When The River," a song about homesickness featuring a choir of the "people he misses most when he's away." This group included his wife, local songwriter JBM, and actor Christopher Abbott. Will Sheff and Beth Wawerna also joined Sondre on stage to trade verses on a cover of Steely Dan's "Dirty Work."
By the time the show was over, it truly felt like Lerche had turned the room into his own house full of friends. He stood atop a monitor wedge and performed the final encore, harmonizing to the 600+ people taking the lead vocal on "Modern Nature." Lerche has toured for years as a solo artist but seeing him with a band showed that he's not just a one-man show. His music is big and the full-band show proved him to be a full fledged rock n roll guy.
More pictures from the show, setlists included, and a video of Sondre and band on Letterman (from 11/22), below...
Will Sheff of Okkervil River at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by Tim Griffin)
Okkervil River have released a new covers EP Golden Opportunities 2, the follow-up to 2007's Golden Opportunities EP. Much like that 2007 release, part deux is FREE, but features songs from Ted Lucas, Jim Sullivan, David McComb, Bill Fay, and others. Get your copy at their site.
Okkervil River have no US dates at the moment, but you can catch frontman Will Sheff at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 12/2 with Sondre Lerche and Bird of Youth. Tickets are still available. Note: though Sondre did just tour with them, Peter Wolf Crier are not also opening the Brooklyn show.
by Andrew Sacher
Lana Del Rey at Glasslands last week (photo by Ryan Muir for Stereogum)
Lana Del Rey, who initially announced that her "official live debut" would take place at NYC's The Box and LA's Hotel Cafe, has rescheduled both of those dates and added a number of European shows too. The new US dates haven't been announced yet but, according to a press release, they are set to take place in larger venues than the ones they were originally scheduled for. She also played a secret, unofficial warm up show at Glasslands in Brooklyn on September 14 under the name Queen of Coney Island. That's a picture from the much talked about show above.
Lana Del Rey is also continuing to stir up controversy about whether or not there's any authenticity to her music or image. Amy Klein (of Titus Andronicus) thinks the problem with Lana Del Rey isn't about sincerity, but that she's a representation of what's wrong with the American culture that her image evokes. In her blog, Amy writes:
Lana Del Ray is exactly as real as the past, for the past is exactly what she recalls. She takes the days when women wore floral skirts and orange lipstick and waited at home for their husbands to come home from work so they (the women) could bring them (the men) martinis with olives and makes them real again (the men, the women, the martinis, and the olives.)The full piece is on Amy's site. Info on Lana's new US shows will be announced next week. You can check out her European dates below.
Lana Del Ray is sitting at home waiting for you to come home so she can fix you dinner and a drink. Lana Del Ray is waiting for you to come home so she can watch you play video games on the couch and ignore her all day until it's time for bed. Lana Del Ray is waiting for you to come home so you can go to bed and act out all of your wildest fantasies which is exactly what she wants to do--what you want to do, that is. Lana Del Ray is waiting for you because she is your mirror.
So it doesn't matter if Lana Del Ray is entirely sarcastic when she belts out, "It's YOU, it's YOU, it's all for YOU." It doesn't matter that there is an edge to her voice that sounds something like rage and despair. Lana Del Ray has conquered America with plastic surgery, video games, a regression to nostalgia, and an appeal to the sex drive of every male music critic on the planet. It doesn't matter if she has anything real to sell because Lana Del Ray has made us think about the relationship between selling fantasy and selling lies.
Lana Del Ray is the lie we like to tell ourselves--that America has always been, and will always be, this gorgeous woman who can make all our dreams come true. So it doesn't matter if she loves you or hates you because she is going to take all of your money and you are going to let her get away with it. That's the reality of who she is.
We are narcissistic and self-obsessed and so is Lana Del Ray. We are a country in decadent, navel-gazing decline--fading, intoxicated, and longing for the past, but still so beautiful, staring straight into the lens and smiling as we shoot an American tragedy.
Speaking of Amy Klein, she has shows coming up too. She and "the Blue Star Band" open for Vivian Girls at Knitting Factory on Tuesday (9/20) and play with Bird of Youth at Union Hall on 9/29. Her other project Hilly Eye play Bruar Falls on September 27 with Puta de Cava, Noon:30, and Mensch. They also play Bowery Ballroom on October 8 with Screaming Females, Underground Railroad to Candyland, and Shellshag and November 2 at Death by Audio with Nisennenmondai, Little Women, and Pet Bottle Ningen. Hilly Eye also recently joined facebook and they hint at a full length album being in the works.
All dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Okkervil River - Your Past Life as a Blast (MP3)
Okkervil River at Terminal 5 in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
After the Soundtown Music Festival and a few shows with The Decemberists and Fruit Bats this month, Okkervil River will kick off a headlining tour, much of which is with Wye Oak. The tour kicks off at State Theatre of Ithaca in Ithaca, NY with Bird of Youth and NewVillager and also includes appearances at VIrgin Free Fest and Midpoint Music Festival. Okkervil River and Wye Oak were both scheduled to also play Truck America in the Catskills but the festival has since been cancelled (hence the Ithaca show). All dates are listed below.
Okkervil River recently released a 7-inch for "Your Past Life As A Blast" off their new record I Am Very Far. Grab that song for free above.
Bird of Youth (aka Beth Wawerna), who opens the Okkervil River show in Ithaca and whose debut album Defender was produced by Will Sheff of Okkervil River, has some of her own shows coming up too. She plays tonight (8/18) at The Living Room at 9 PM after a 'WFUV Live members only broadcast' by Nick Lowe at 7 PM (Nick also opens for Wilco in September at Summerstage). Bird of Youth also plays September 29 at Union Hall with Amy Klein (of Titus Andronius) and Jo Schornikow (of The Shivers). Tickets are on sale now for that.
Okkervil River are also set to play Fun Fun Fun Fest which takes place in Austin, TX from November 4 - 6. The festival announced more artists for the already-incredible lineup today including fellow big Austin indie band Spoon (their only 2011 show), the Black Lips, Omar Souleyman, Sergio "Sexy Sax Man" Flores, Cannibal Corpse, "and more". The full lineup is at FFFest's site and tickets are still on sale.
All dates and a video below...
The Hold Steady at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010 (more)
Last month, we announced that Truck America is returning to the Catskills in September (the 9th through the 11th) and will be headlined by The Hold Steady and Okkervil River. The only other confirmed bands at the time were Ra Ra Riot and Wye Oak. The lineup has since been updated to include Fruit Bats, Vetiver, The Felice Brothers, CItay, Gary Higgins, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Takka Takka, Hospitality, The Low Anthem and others. Check out the full list below. Early bird tickets are still on sale.
For The Low Anthem, it's one of many dates they just announced including one at Terminal 5 with Iron & Wine.
Speaking of The Hold Steady, frontman Craig Finn posted to his Tumblr that he's making a solo album:
"I'm in Austin TX for a few weeks. Making a record. Staying in a friend's guest house. Got here yesterday. So far so good. I'll be tracking the progress here."He has also been tracking his progress on the Tumblr.
Check out the full Truck America lineup update below...
Will Sheff & Beth Wawerna @ Living Room
Tonight, Tuesday, August 24th, marks the third week of the Bird of Youth residency at the Living Room in NYC. Tonight's guest is Charles Bissell of the Wrens, so that should be especially good. The first week's special guest was Will Sheff who played solo, as a duo with (his girlfriend) Beth, and with her band Bird Of Youth who also played without him. Videos of all four situations, including previews of possible new Okkervil River songs, below...
DOWNLOAD: Bird of Youth - "Stop Staring" (MP3)
Roky w/ Okkervil River @ Webster Hall in May (more by Kurt Christensen)
Austin songwriter Roky Erickson will be touring again in November. That includes at least two NYC-area shows. Those happen November 10th at the Bell House (tickets on sale Friday at noon) and November 12th at Maxwell's (tickets also on sale Friday at noon). More dates, including Boston, TBA.
Roky's most recent set of shows and album included Okkervil River as his backing band. That won't be the case this time, but you can catch Okkervil frontman Will Sheff when he plays a solo show at the Living Room on Tuesday, August 10th. That show is part of Bird of Youth's Tuesday in August residency at the Living Room. Bird of Youth (the band led by BK musician Beth Wawerna)'s other guests include Charles Bissell of the Wrens and Timothy Bracy's Collection Agency (ex-Mendoza Line). They all, or most of them, also contribute to Bird of Youth's upcoming debut album (MP3 from that above). No advanced tickets. A flyer for the residency is below...
"From the very first chords -- wisely not something from the new album, but a scorching version of Roky's classic "Night of the Vampire" -- it was evident that it was going to be a show to remember. And it just got better from there. Okkervil's frontman, Will Sheff, who with his beard and spectacles looked every bit like a long-lost son of John Lennon, spent the 90-minute set grinning from ear to ear as he played out his guitar fantasies onstage with Roky.Their amps eventually arrived and the Roky Erickson Okkervil River band played their show at Webster Hall on Tuesday night. More pictures from the show and the selist, below...
This was clearly a labor of love for Sheff and his band. Okkervil River was definitely not a backup band, but a true collaborator with Roky." [WYMMWIG]
Field Music didn't make it, but there was a special reunion set by Pulsars, followed by the super duper Wye Oak who played before special guest Rumours last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn (12/3).
As advertised (at the last minute anyway), Rumours was a Fleetwood Mac cover band. Cover song experts Loser's Lounge made up the band and a rotating cast of singers came to the stage to play individual tunes. Those vocalists included Dave Hill dueting with Erika from Au Revoir Simone, Will Sheff dueting with Beth Wawerna, Matthew Caws, Britta, Sharon Van Etten, Wye Oak, and many more. The show was in honor of Bell House booker Skippy. Well, it was his birthday party, and he even came out to help perform "I Don't Wanna Know" with Mia Riddle. The full setlist (which did not include AC Newman or Eugene Mirman - both must be out of town) with a couple of videos below...
by Bill Pearis
Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Bowery Ballroom in May (more by Ryan Muir)
Okay, so Saturday is officially bonkers. I think every band in town this week is playing somewhere, sometimes more than once. There are so many good shows you may get an ulcer trying to narrow down your choices. Here we go:
Surely there's no place you'd rather be Saturday afternoon than at the free Brooklyn Vegan / Bowery Presents party at Pianos. We've got both floors going, with Cymbals Eat Guitars, Deastro, Pete & the Pirates, Surf City, BEAST, Smith Westerns, Dent May and many more. Plus free Miller and Vitamin Water, and, before and during BEAST's set: free bloody marys. Set times below.
But apparently there are other daytime shows. You might be forgiven if you snuck out and went to Music Snobbery's day party next door at The Living Room. I'm a big fan of Savoir Adore and Sissy Wish, and he's also got Denmark's Choir of Young Believers, Dawn Landes and Bird of Youth.
Then in Williamsburg (which is giving Ludlow St. a run for its money this year)... blogger collective After the Jump have put together a great free show at Brooklyn Bowl, with Surfer Blood, Harlem, Savoir Adore, Soft Black, Grooms, Bear in Heaven, and Small Black. Maybe we'll even get a supergroup of Soft Small Black. Anything can happen on the last day of CMJ.
Then there's the Pitchfork-curated Showpaper benefit at Market Hotel is so big it actually goes till 6AM. (Though it's just DJs after midnight.) It's a good opportunity, especially, for the under-21 crowd to see a lot of the CMJ bands (Surfer Blood, Delorean, Cold Cave) who have otherwise played bars. It's not free, but the $8 goes to keep Showpaper going, which is probably the greatest source for all-ages shows in the city.
Underwater Peoples have put on three showcases during CMJ week, and this last one is at Cameo Gallery. 14 bands from noon to 7PM, including Air Waves, Fluffy Lumbers, Frat Dad, Big Troubles, Spanish Prisoners, and Family Portrait. It may be getting a bit more chilly, but the beachy vibe will be present here this afternoon. Not free, but only $7.
Suzanne Muldowney (Underdog) @ the Mermaid Parade (more by Barry Yanowitz)
Tickets are on sale for that Dan Deacon, No Age & Deerhunter show happpening at the Flying W Resort in Jersey (near Philly) on August 1st. They only cost $12. Then again, the Brooklyn show with the same lineup will be free.
Dungen is playing The Bell House with Woods on August 14th. Tickets are on sale.
Mickey Factz is playing SOB's on July 14th. Tickets are on sale.
Motörhead, Nashville Pussy, and Reverend Horton Heat play Roseland Ballroom on September 9th. Tickets are on sale.
Cafe Tacuba has a show coming up at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 28th. Tickets are on sale.
The Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players played the OJ All Day Festival at the Brooklyn Lyceum over the weekend. They play a show at Le Poisson Rouge on July 2nd. Tickets are on sale.
Nicole Atkins and the Sea are playing the Bell House with Bird of Youth on August 6th. Tickets are on sale.
Last year, Bird of Youth opened for AC Newman at the Bell House. Nicole Atkins was playing as a member of his band at that show. This past weekend AC played the Clearwater Festival, and he has a free show coming up on Thursday.
Tickets are on sale for the June 25th St. Vincent show at the Bell House. St Vincent just toured with Pattern is Movement who are playing that same night at the Bell House's sister club Union Hall with Bell and Inlets. Tickets are on sale for that too.
Jimmy Gestapo of Murphy's Law celebrating his birthday aboard a Rocks Off Concert Cruise is a tradition that is happening again this year on August 12th. Tickets are on sale.
Q-Tip, Marky Ramone, The Misshapes, Junior Vasquez, and Paul Sevigny are all DJing the same event tonight (6/22).
Breakfast at Sulimay's reviewed Yo La Tengo and Raphael Saadiq. Video below...
Okkervil River's Will Sheff added a few shows to his previously mentioned itinerary. That includes an in-store at Other Music in NYC the night before he plays Music Hall in Brooklyn. Listen to Will read at Daytrotter. Check out all the dates below...
Okkervil River (Will Sheff) @ Lollapalooza 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Okkervil River's Will Sheff will be playing a solo show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on December 11th. Joining him on the bill is another great indie rock frontman, Charles Bissell of the Wrens, and Bird of Youth who are a Brooklyn band whose debut album (not out yet) was produced by Will (also, according to Wikipedia, "In college, Sheff originally wanted to be a filmmaker. He is currently dating Beth Wawerna of Bird of Youth"). Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale (at noon).
Bird of Youth also have another Brooklyn show coming up even sooner, with, ANOTHER indie rock frontman gone solo, The New Pornographers' AC Newman. That one is, as previously annnounced, at the Bell House on November 15th. Bird of Youth posted the info that, "rounding out the b.o.y. line-up for this show is: beth wawerna, clinton newman, johnny north, ira elliot and timothy bracy." Continuing with the frontman theme, you may recognize the name Timothy Bracy. He was the man behind the vocals in The Mendoza Line. And is Clinton Newman related to Carl (AC)?
The AC MP3 above is from AC's new album, Get Guilty, out January 20th on Matador.
There are two videos below. The first is Clinton, Timothy and Beth (aka a trio version of Bird of Youth) performing Okkervil River's "Pop Lie". The second is Will and AC performing Okkervil's "Lost Coastlines" (MP3 for the same song above too). Okkervil and everyone's tour dates down there too..