Entries tagged with: Blacklist

18 result(s) displayed (1 - 18 of 18):

by Joshua Strawn

Xeno & Oaklander last night at WIERD (instagram by daniellehoward)

You may know Josh Strawn through his work in current projects Azar Swan and Vaura but he was also an integral part of WIERD and, before that, a fan of the music. Strawn has played the weekly party with three separate projects (Vaura, Religious to Damn, Blacklist) over the years, so he was able to add some special insight about last night's final WIERD Wednesday event and it's place in the current NYC scene. Strawn's thoughts are below. - Fred Pessaro

Continue reading "The WIERD has become VERY RARE: A Melancholy Farewell"

photos by Greg Cristman


Chicago's masters of blackened ambiance, Locrian, headlined a smoke-filled Europa on Sunday (4/17) with Martial Canterel, Blacklist, and Gnaw. The show was a rare East Coast appearance for Locrian, who will swing through Milwaukee on June 11th to play the Utech Records Festival alongside names like Mamiffer, Horseback, Ithi (who play NYC on 5/11), and many others.

Locrian recently released a video for "Elevations & Depths" which is viewable below, along with Locrian's Europa set list and more pictures from the whole show...

Continue reading "Locrian, Martial Canterel, Blacklist & Gnaw played Europa (pics & setlist)"

by BBG

DOWNLOAD: Sun Splitter - "Northern Blood Tithe" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Swan King - "Staring Through Skulls" (MP3)

Terrence Hannum's "Hateshrine", and cover art for Sun Splitter II
The Swan King

Land of Decay have dropped the second release from Sun Splitter, a four-track release of killer ambient doom with touches of industrial music. Originally released on CD-R, the cassette features art from Locrian's Terence Hannum (who's art show opens today in Chicago) and is limited to 100 copies, so snag one of these ASAP via the label. Check out two tracks from the release: "Northern Blood Tithe" which is downloadable above and appears for the first time here, and "Earth Burner" which is streamable along with "Northern Blood Tithe" below.

While we're on the subject of Locrian, you can catch the band when they play Europa on April 17th with Martial Canterel, Gnaw, and Blacklist (whose singer Josh Strawn now also spends time in both Vaura and Religious to Damn). Tickets are on sale for the Stereogum's Haunting the Chapel & Wierd Records dark synth and metal event. Locrian released one of my favorite LPs of last year with The Crystal World.

Meanwhile just across town, another band of Chi-city ruffians are preparing a release of their own. Chicago's The Swan King have signed to Seventh Rule and will release their newest LP Eyes Like Knives on February 22nd. Featuring current and former members of Planes Mistaken for Stars, Asschapel, and Circle of Animals (that also features Bruce Lamont, who is on tour with his Led Zeppelin cover band), the band's newest LP was recorded by Sanford Parker and features the trio fusing riffy and mathy hardcore with High On Fire-style tones. Check out "Staring Through Skulls" available for download above and streaming below, and while you're at it, make sure and get the band's The Good Deeds EP which is currently available for free. It kills.

No more tour dates for either band, but all song streams and more details on The Swan King's Eyes Like Knives are below.

Continue reading "new songs by Sun Splitter & the Swan King ++ a Locrian show"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Zola Jesus - Night (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zola Jesus - Clay Bodies (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zola Jesus - Smireye (MP3)

Zola Jesus

LA Record: How would you describe your music to a child?

Nika Roza: I tried to do this with my cousin. She's an aspiring goth. I am trying to turn her into a weirdo. 'It's like pop music but it's really noisy and there's opera.' I would probably say, 'This sounds like Hannah Montana' and let their minds adjust. 'This is what Hannah Montana can also sound like.' There's got to be a Nickelodeon Black. If you turn on TV you see people yelling things and vomiting colors. But when I was growing up seeing cartoons they would have a lot of snot and bodily fluids and weird things. What is going to happen to this new generation? But I would tell the 7-year-old child it was the Apocalypse. You know what, fuck that. There's nudity and language--let them see it! If not, they will turn into bigger creeps. You have to expose children to stuff like that. You gotta be ready.

Madison, Wisconsin's enigmatic Zola Jesus (real name Nika Roza) is playing a one-off show at Cake Shop on Saturday (2/20). Posessed with a haunting wail, comparisons to Diamanda Galas, Siouxsie and Karin Andersson are not inappropriate. Check out the MP3s at the top of this post, especially "Night" which is from her new 12", Stridulum, which is out March 9 on Sacred Bones. I really dig the pulsing, slow-build arrangement and the production cuts way back on the reverb -- her voice doesn't need it. The Saturday line-up at Cake Shop is well chosen, Blacklist, Cult of Youth and White Ring.

If you can't make Saturday's show, she'll be back again on April 9 opening for Xiu Xiu and Tune-Yards at Bowery Ballroom Tickets are still on sale. She'll also be at SXSW. All dates, along with a video for "Clay Bodies" and a flyer for the Cake Shop show...

Continue reading "Zola Jesus MP3s, video & 2010 tour dates (Cake Shop Saturday, SXSW, Bowery w/ Xiu Xiu, Purchase & more) "

photos by Chris La Putt

The Love Language / Local Natives
Love Language
Local Natives

One of the best times I've had a show in a long time was at the BV loft during CMJ on Friday night, October 23rd. I hope to do it again. The mix of great bands on the bill, the crowd and the location all made for a super memorable night. Both Local Natives (from California) and The Love Language (from North Carolina) said it was their favorite show to play during their hectic week in NYC. Thanks to everyone who played and stopped by.

The night kicked off with a set of catchy post-punk jams by Blacklist. The all-dressed--in-black band warmed up the arriving crowd nicely as people got used to their apartment surroundings which... well, the pictures speak for themselves. The loft filled up to a full, but still comfortable level by the time The Loom came on. As people came and went all night, partially due to informative tweets about the capacity level, it stayed just full enough until The Love Language ended their set (slightly by force) at 2am (we ran late... didn't want to upset the neighbors). It was the first time I had seen The Loom live, and at the time I tweeted that they were "killin it with horns" (though none of the pictures below actually show them playing horns). I'm excited for the new album they said they were working on.

Next up was the Dutchess and the Duke who had just arrived in town and were leaving right after their set to play the Vice party in the same neighborhood on the same night. Now with a new lineup, Canada's Immaculate Machine came on next and continued to entertain at a slightly higher volume than Inlets who came on after them. By that time people were getting their drink on and Inlets play soft music so it was a challenge to pay attention over all the talking coming from the other side of the room, but they still sounded great.

I don't know exactly what time it was, but we were officially running late by the time the two most energetic and buzzed-about bands of the evening came on. Luckily the space's owners let us extend the hours which was enough time to let the out of town bands play medium-sized set that got the room's full attention. Local Natives had everyone cheering, clapping, and dancing. The Love Language ended the night by getting the lights turned off and the entire room dancing. Sorry it took so long to post the pics. They are continued, along with some other reviews and stuff, below...

Continue reading "BV Loft during CMJ 2009 -pics (Love Language, D&D, Local Natives, The Loom, Inlets, Blacklist, Immaculate Machine)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Grass Widow - To Where (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose - Thee Only One (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Puzzles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Dare (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - You Can Listen You Can Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - Zhong Nan Hai (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PK-14 - Behind All Ruptures (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Answering Machine - Another City, Another Sorry (MP3)

Frankie & the Outs - debut show @ The Woods on Halloween
Frankie and the Outs

I'm barely recovered from post-CMJ cold and we've got a week that is so packed with good shows it feels like another festival is in town.

The InvisibleMercury Prize nominees The Invisible are playing their first U.S. shows this week, starting with a free one tonight at Brooklyn Bowl. Their lauded debut album doesn't fit into one easy category, which befits a band on Matthew Herbert's label. It's all fairly warm and soulful, but with forays into funk, sparse ballads, electro and Krautrock. There's a lot going on and I'll be curious to see how a three-piece can pull it off live. The Invisible also play Santos tomorrow (11/5) opening for Dragonette, and then on Friday at Pianos (11/6) where they'll be on the same bill as Freelance Whales.

The Mary OnettesThe Mary Onettes, here from Sweden, play their first NYC show this year, tonight (11/4) at Union Hall where they'll play with Blacklist. As I said before, like a lot of the bands on Labrador, The Mary Onettes love the '80s and wear those influences on their black-clad sleeves. But their second album, Islands, wears them a little more subtly, though they are still writing reach-for-the-stars chorus -- now with strings. I like them a lot. They also play Friday (11/6) at Studio @ Webster Hall and then Sunday (11/8) at Mercury Lounge.

Grass Widow
Grass Widow

San Francisco's awesome Grass Widow are also in town this weekend for a string of dates, starting tomorrow (11/5) at The Woodser with Frankie & the Outs, Air Waves and Hot Box. (There was to be a second show tomorrow, late at Monster Island, but that has been cancelled.) There are more than a few all-girl trios out there playing vaguely C-86 style indie (including fellow San Franciscans Brilliant Colors), but Grass Widow write better songs than most, and I really like both 12" EPs they've released this year.

The Woodser show was to be notable as the live debut of Frankie & the Outs, but then they went and played Halloween night at similarly named Willliamsburg bar The Woods (picture above). Frankie's debut single, "Thee Only One," is out now and is worth picking up -- though I think more for the dreamy b-side "Hollow Life" than the A-side (good as it is, and downloadable above) which is a little more of what you'd expect from someone who spent time in Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. Frankie's got a way with harmonies, and the less that gets in the way of them, the better. There were a couple of songs The Outs did Saturday which were similarly laid back, and the best songs of the night.

The Bitters
The Bitters

Grass Widow also play Market Hotel on Friday night (11/6) along with Vivian Girls, The Bitters and Stupid Party. If you haven't heard The Bitters, the Toronto duo feature Ben Cook of Fucked Up (who play Thursday at Masonic Temple) and Aerin Fogel. They've got a single and an EP on Captured Tracks, the latter of which I dig (haven't heard the single yet). While definitely on the "low" end of the "fi" scale, Bitters are different from anything else on Captured Tracks with an early-'60s rock n' roll vibe (or early '80s West Coast punk), and Ben and Aerin's harmonies front-and-center.|

Grass Widow also play Saturday (11/7) afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum with Crystal Stilts and the Beets, a show which finally today was officially announced by the museum...

"Inspired by Gail's idea, and because we love Brooklyn photographers, on First Saturday we are inviting local photographers to come and shoot the bands that are playing and post their photos to the Brooklyn Museum's flickr group. Afterwards, Bob Gruen, a rock photography legend who is featured in the exhibition and has shot the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and The Clash, will look at the photos and blog about his favorites here!" [Brooklyn Museum]
Grass Window then play again at Market Hotel that night, for a show with Small Black, Pictureplane, Girls at Dawn and Cale Parks (formerly of Aloha). They're also going to play somewhere on Sunday (11/8)... venue TBA. Go see them if you can.

Carsick Cars
Carsick Cars

There's also the China Underground Invasion tour this weekend, with three of Beijing's best indie rock bands: Carsick Cars, PK-14 and Xiao He. In particular, I'm excited about Carsick Cars who I've actually heard of prior to this tour thanks to a friend who is living in Beijing and occasionally sends me music. They're definitely of the Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr school of noise n' drone. I only just got their new album, You Can Listen, You Can Talk, but have been listening to their 2008 debut a lot, and am told that its "Zhong Nan Hai" is like the Beijing indie anthem. The tour hits PowerHouse Arena tomorrow (11/5), Glasslands on Friday (11/6) and Santos on Saturday (11/7).

Tonight (11/4) is also the second week of The Answering Machine's three-week residency at Coco 66. The band has also added three more NYC dates while they're here: Nov. 9 at Pianos, Nov. 11 at Bruar Falls and Nov. 12 at Cake Shop.

Tahiti 80
Tahiti 80

And finally, Saturday night (11/7) French pop band Tahiti 80 play Mercury Lounge (tickets). When it comes to Franco-pop, Phoenix get the lion's share of the attention, but Tahiti 80 have been at it almost as long (if not just as long) and have made four danceable, hook-filled albums. The most recent of which, Activity Center, came out last year in France but is just now getting an American release. The band have retreated a bit from the full-on disco that was 2005's Fosbury, and gone back to the '60s sunshine of 2002's Wallpaper for the Soul which definitely suits them better. I haven't seen them play in ages, but they were always a good live band. Opening is Brookville, the other band from Ivy's Andy Chase -- who also produced Tahiti 80's first two albums.

Videos, tour dates and flyers are after the jump...

Continue reading "The Bitters, Grass Widow, Tahiti 80, The Mary Onettes, Frankie Rose, The Invisible & more in This Week in Indie "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Puzzles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Dare (MP3)

Mary Onettes

Sweden's Mary Onettes are back in the U.S. next week for a string of East Coast dates, including three dates in New York: November 4 at Union Hall, Nov. 6 at The Studio @ Webster Hall and Nov. 8 at Mercury Lounge. Next week also sees the release of their second album, Islands, which is out on Labrador Records (The Legends, Pelle Carlberg and The Radio Dept.). You can download the Island's first two singles, "Puzzles" and "Dare," at the top of this post. Where their first album went for more of a straight early-'80s, guitar-driven Cure/Bunnymen/JAMC gloomy pop vibe, Islands is much more lush, with layers of strings and keyboards added to mix. Though not synthy/dancey, Island's big choruses and plaintive vocals kind of remind me of Xymox's poppy 1989 album Twist of Shadows, which is not a bad thing at all.

I saw both of The Mary Onettes when they played here in May 2008 and was impressed by their ability to incorporate what are almost strictly '80s influences but not make it feel like someone else's nostalgia. Maybe it was the volume. They are quite loud. The Mary Onettes have some well-chosen openers for their three NYC shows, as well: Blacklist, with whom they played last year, will open at Union Hall; the dancey dreampop of Kordan for the Studio @ Webster Hall (you can download their new EP for free); and The Art of Shooting at Mercury Lounge.

The Mary Onettes also play Boston and Philly while in America. All 2009 tour dates and a video below...

Continue reading "The Mary Onettes - new album, MP3 & 2009 Tour Dates"

Local Natives
Local Natives

Because there can never be enough shows, I helped put together another one happening during CMJ. In addition to Tuesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Thursday night at Southpaw, and Friday night at Fontana's (not to mention three day parties), BrooklynVegan is proud to present a Friday night (10/23) Williamsburg loft party at a secret location. This is the lineup:

09:00 Blacklist (NYC)
09:35 The Loom (NYC)
10:10 The Dutchess & The Duke (Seattle)
10:45 Immaculate Machine (Canada)
11:20 Inlets (NYC)
11:55 Local Natives (LA)
12:30 The Love Language (North Carolina)
You may be wondering why we would throw two shows on Friday night. Well, I figured that the Relapse Records-heavy-BBG bill at Fontana's was different enough, and far enough away (Manhattan vs Brooklyn), that it wouldn't matter. Not to mention the combined capacities of the two parties is less than even one show at Music Hall.

The loft show literally holds less than 100 people aka space is limited. It costs $8 at the door, there will be beer and wine for purchase inside, and if you want to go, you should send an email to loft.rsvp@gmail.com with your name. Those who email will get an immediate confirmation that they made it on to the list, followed by directions to the Williamsburg (Bedford L area) location on the day before the show. RSVPing gets you on the list and gets you the directions, but entrance will still be first come, first served based on capacity on the actual night of the show. To guarantee admission, show up early. We'll tweet the capacity status throughout the night as well.

The Dutchess & The Duke are playing two shows that same night. From the loft, they'll head to the Vice party at Public Assembly. One night later you can catch them at the official Sub Pop & Hardly Art CMJ showcase at Mercury Lounge.

Local Natives are one of two bands playing two BrooklynVegan parties this week (the other is The Wheel). They also appear at the free Saturday day party at Pianos (full details TBA). The Saturday party is one of two BV day parties at Pianos this year. The other is on Thursday afternoon (details also TBA) which is the same day Local Natives play the Aquarium Drunkard party at Fontana's which is the location of the BV day party on Friday (say that all 5 times fast).

The Love Language just signed to Merge Records.

The loft party is NOT an official CMJ show. It is the only show Blacklist is playing during CMJ week.

Some videos below...

Continue reading "Williamsburg Loft party presented by BrooklynVegan (Friday night during CMJ w/ Local Natives, Blacklist, Inlets, more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Veils - Killed by the Boom (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Foreign Born - Vacationing People (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Foreign Born - Early Warnings (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jaguar Club - Sleepwalking (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Betty Wang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Horse's Ha - The Piss Choir (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Polvo - Beggar's Bowl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Obits - Two-Headed Coin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Obits - Pine On (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Blacklist - Flight of the Demoiselles (MP3)

Jarvis Cocker @ MHOW in 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
Jarvis Cocker

There is a ton of stuff going on this weekend, but clearly the gig of the week is Jarvis Cocker (who is also on Jimmy Fallon tonight) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (7/30). The last last two years Jarvis held my top spot for Show of the Year and I have no doubt he will deliver tonight as well. He's truly on another plane of existence when it comes to performers. But I'm like a lot of you this year, I didn't buy tickets for Terminal 5 (a venue I'm kind of proud I've never been to) and then kicking yourselves when the show got downgraded to MHoW. It's kind of killing me that I won't be at this show, but luckily there are a lot of other good options.

The Veils
The Veils

If you are an Anglophile, I think your best bet tonight (7/30) is at Mercury Lounge for The Veils and Foreign Born. Tickets are still available. The Veils' new album, Sun Gangs, is a little more palatable, in my opinion, than 2006's Nux Vomica with singer Finn Andrews' vocals a little more reigned-in and less histrionic, though I realize that was a selling point for some people. (I was more of a fan of the first album, The Runaway Found, than the second album.) The new record is good, for fans of moody, heart-swelling anthemic rock. Check out "Killed by the Boom" at the top of this post. Having seen The Veils play for both previous albums (and both times at Mercury Lounge) I have not doubt that Andrews (son of XTC/Shriekback's Barry Andrews) will give 110%, if only that were possible. He will also likely wear a big hat.

Foreign Born
Foreign Born

Foreign Born, meanwhile, are from L.A. but clearly were raised on classic KROQ and the influence of The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, and House of Love was an undeniable presence on their 2007 debut, On the Wing Now, of which I was a fan. Their new album, Person to Person, still bears those influences but they've folded them in more delicately with their distinctly American sound so that it's more nuances than nods. (I do still hear a lot of House of Love in the guitars, though.) It's a really good album. They got a boost back in March when Ed Droste gushed about their new record on Grizzly Bear's blog:

I was pretty vocal about my love for their last album On the Wing Now, and this time around it's even better. I gotta say, something about the production of this album is really doing it for me. Crisper sounds, and Matt's voice sounds wonderful. This track "Vacationing People" is a lovely little pop gem, and it's not even scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the album. I hope that you all enjoy the song and check these guys out.
You can download Foreign Born's "Vacationing People" and "Early Warnings" at the top of this post. If you are going, do try and go early and catch locals Jaguar Club who definitely fit well with the night's proceedings. Their debut, And We Wake Up Slowly, is out September 1 and is a nice distillation of various gloomy Brit-rock influences. They're young, still evolving, but worth checking out.

If you can't make Mercury Lounge tonight, both Foreign Born and the Veils are playing on Monday at The Bell House and you can get tickets here.

The Horse's Ha
Horses Ha

Another good option tonight (7/30) is at Bruar Falls which has the first Hospitality show since late May, as their bassist pulls double-duty in White Rabbits who were on tour the last two months (and play Saturday at All Points West). I previously wrote in May: "Singer Amber Papini's delicate, airy voice matches so perfectly with her songwriting: jazzy pop that kind of reminds me of '60s chanteuse Claudine Longet or Austin's Yellow Fever. I've yet to see them live but I'm kinda in love with the songs." I've listened to their swoon-worthy CDR EP I don't know how many times since then and was quickly won over when I saw them live. Check out "Betty Wang" at the top of this post and see if you don't feel the same way. They've promised to play a whole bunch of new songs tonight, too.

Also on the Bruar Falls bill are Chicago's The Horse's Ha which is reason enough to go. Primarily a duo of James Elkington of The Zincs (kind of the Windy City's American Analog Set), and Janet Beveridge Bean who has spent time in the great '90s indie rock band Eleventh Dream Day as well as '00s folkies Freakwater. The Horse's Ha are their homage to late-'60s/early '70s Euro-hippy-folk like Fairport Convention and Pentangle, and their voices sound great together on their debut album, Of the Cathmawr Yards, which, like their name, is a Dylan Thomas reference. With a backing band of ace improv-jazz players (Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri, and Charles Rumback), this should be something. You can download their song "The Piss Choir" at the top of this post.

The Mekons
The Mekons

The Horse's Ha are also playing two more shows this weekend, both of which are opening slots for The Mekons who also call Chicago home these days: Friday at The Bell House and a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday. What do you say about the Mekons these days beyond that they are probably the only band from the original punk/post-punk era to rival The Fall on longevity, relevance, line-up changes, and essential output -- the only constant being change. The band are working on their 27th album, recording in Wales, so expect some new tunes at these two gigs: the Bell House show being semi-acoustic, the Mercury Lounge being full electric. Anyone who's seen the Mekons before should know to be prepared for a marathon, booze-soaked performance with a crowd of die-hard hard fans who match the band shot-for-shot, pint-for-pint. It can be a bit much for the uninitiated (or casual fan) but worth the effort. They are legends.


It's a great double-bill at the Seaport Music Series on Friday: Polvo are in town fresh off their appearance at XX Merge, have just re-signed to the label who will put out In Prism, the band's first album in ten years. You can check out "Beggar's Bowl" from it at the top of this post and if it represents the rest of the album, it definitely sounds like the Polvo I remember: intricate guitar lines, rhythmically complex, shredding indie rock. And Obits have put out one of my favorite rock albums of the year: full of pedal-to-the-metal, cheap trucker's speed style jams. I've seen them twice already this year, and Rick Froberg hasn't lost any snarl. Two downloadable tracks off their I Blame You album at the top of this post.

Modern EnglishA complete 180 from Obits are... Modern English. Yes that Modern English, whose classic '80s single "I Melt With You" has been used at least twice in commercials to sell various things with cheese on it over the last 10 years, will be performing at The Studio at Webster Hall on Friday CANCELLED. While that may be the only thing anyone remembers about them, the album that song came from, After the Snow, is actually a really solid platter of goth-tinged pop which, you may not remember, came out on 4AD (home of Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and The Wolfgang Press). It also contains the absolutely brilliant single "Life in the Gladhouse," probably the best thing the band ever did. The two albums that surrounded it (1981's Mesh and Lace and 1984's Ricochet Days) aren't bad either. I have no idea who is in this version of the band -- certainly singer Robbie Grey, probably guitarist Matthew Shipley -- or whether they're any good, but Modern English were more than a one-hit flashback fave.


I wonder if the members of Blacklist wouldn't be watching Modern English if they weren't playing at Cameo on Friday (7/31). Surely they've got a copy of Mesh & Lace in their record collection somewhere. Blacklist's debut, Midnight of the Century, was released this week and would've sounded at home on 4AD or Beggars Banquet in 1984. They've worked out the best bits of '80s goth: killer pumping basslines, effects-drenched guitars, the just-melodramatic-enough singing, and giant anthemic choruses. If you ever liked Sisters of Mercy, The Bolshoi, Death Cult, Xmal Deutschland, you're gonna dig Blacklist. It's pastiche, but it's done to perfection. You can check out "Flight of the Demoiselles" at the top of this post.

The Cameo show also features Austin's loud-as-hell shoegazers Ringo Deathstar who are way better than their name might suggest. Might be a good way to prep your ears for the My Bloody Valentine aural assault that will happen at All Points West on Saturday (7/31).

Justin Ripley
Justin Ripley

This is a big column this week! And it's almost over. Seattle's Justin Ripley is also in town this weekend. You may remember The Pamonas, the band he had in Lawrence, KS a couple years ago. Since relocating to Seattle, he went on a songwriting binge and has released three downloadable albums this year so far. It's a lot of material, wildly ranging in styles and fidelity, but quality across the tracks is surprisingly high. Plus, he's got power pop at his core and I'm gonna guess that's what you can expect from this weekend's shows, especially with half of the awesome, raucous Rooftop Vigilantes as his backing band. He plays Glasslands on Friday (7/31, with Midnight Masses), the Alphabet Lounge on Saturday (8/1) and Monkeytown on Sunday (8/2).

And finally I would be remiss to not mention All Points West, which is at Liberty State Park this weekend as I'm sure BV readers are already aware. I think it's a better lineup overall than last year (no Jack Johnson) and Saturday and Sunday are both pretty strong, though I'd have to give a slight edge to Sunday, what with Echo & the Bunnymen, Elbow, MGMT, Slilversun Pickups, Mogwai and Lykke Li. (Also La Roux, who I'm curious as to what they're like live.) I am no fan of outdoor festivals, but I had fun last year and am looking forward to this weekend.

Tour Dates and videos after the jump....

Continue reading "The Veils, Foreign Born, Hospitality, Horse's Ha, Mekons, Polvo, Obits, Modern English, Blacklist, Jarvis, Justin Ripley, Ringo Deathstarr, APW & more in in This Week in Indie"

by Andrew Frisicano

Ear and Eye Festival

NY EYE & EAR FEST II - JULY 9 - 12, 2009!
Knitting Factory & 92Y Tribeca in Manhattan & Death By Audio in Brooklyn
Pendu presents: NY Eye & Ear Fest II ... a massive 4-day New Music and Arts Fete showcasing some of the most exciting bands, artists, and filmmakers currently living and working here in NYC. In addition, NYE&E assembles a Record Fair featuring NYC-based Record Labels and Vendors selling LPs, CDs, 7''s, cassettes, lathes, comics, zines, stickers, and art prints.
The fest is a part II to the December event of the same name. The Fest's four days of music kick off at the Knitting Factory on July 9th. The bands there include Grooms, Liturgy and Love Like Deloreans (to name a few) with headliners Nymph and Neg-Fi. The fest returns to the Knit on Friday, July 10th, for a show with Magik Markers, Child Abuse and more. In addition to the venue's two floors of music, its already-creepy basement will be turned into a "Video Art Installation and a 7-hour Continuous Drone Room."

The Fest then switches to the 92YTribeca on Saturday for a concert and a free record fair. Also at 92Y will be a program called "Women of NYCinema," with films and music from Sarah Lipstate (aka Noveller), Liz Wendelbo, Rachel Blackwell and Dirty Churches. The vendors range from big names like Matador Records to the recently featured Journal of Popular Noise to notable jazz label ESP-Disk.

The fest's final, fourth day moves to Brooklyn for a closing party at Death by Audio. That lineup includes Murdertronics, Team Robespierre, Talibam!, Total Abuse and Drunkdriver.

Tickets for Thursday, Friday, and a variety of Saturday packages are available.

Separate from the festival, on Thursday, July 9th the 92YTribeca will screen filmmaker Brendan Toller's I Need That Record, a documentary about the problems facing record stores around the country. It will be the NYC premiere of the movie that was getting some attention already all the back on Record Store Day 2008. The movie includes interviews with Thurston Moore, Ian Mackaye, Mike Watt, Chris Frantz and more. Toller will be on hand for the showing. Tickets are on sale.

More details on the film (with video trailer) and the Ear and Eye Festival, below...

Continue reading "NY Ear & Eye Fest II - shows & record fair this weekend @ KF, DBA & 92Y Tribeca (also screening 'I Need That Record')"

photos by Ryan Muir, words by Black Bubblegum

The Van Pelt

More than ten years later, The Van Pelt returned to NYC, playing Brooklyn for the first time ever on June 13th as part of a show at Coco66 that the band curated for the Northside Fest.

There were a lot of people in Greenpoint feeling all '90s Saturday night when The Van Pelt reunited as part of the Northside Festival.

The strangest moment of the night happened during the anthemic closer "The Speeding Train" when a drunken Van Pelt enthusiast-turned-awkward dancer/mosher acted aggressively enough to start a fight in the crowd. All this while we were hearing about the beauty of the puppy's chin. Singer and occasional Take the Handle contributor Chris Leo quipped that the moshers had missed the Agnostic Front show. It made it feel even more '90s that there was some sort of debate going on about the ethics of moshing.

Regardless, the show was about as incredible as anyone who followed the band way back when could have asked for. It seemed like the band stuck more often to songs from Sultans of Sentiment, but this song, which served as the encore, comes from their first record Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves. It is called "Magic Fantasy (We Are Provincial)." -[Take The Handle]

The Van Pelt aren't done with touring yet either. They've scheduled a pair of shows along the east coast - June 21st in Philly at Kung Fu Necktie with Blacklist and This Frontier Needs Heroes, and the previously mentioned show with Frodus at The Black Cat in DC on June 20th. The Phlly show will be taped to broadcast by WPRB.

You can also catch Van Pelt front-man Chris Leo (brother of Ted who was in the crowd at Coco 66 on Saturday) at a reading this Friday night, June 19th at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn. Check out an interview with Chris Leo at the site Vol.1 Brooklyn.

Catch Ted Leo at one of his two upcoming NJ shows, or at the free one he's playing on a pier in NYC this summer.

The Van Pelt's first show back was at SXSW, and also with Frodus. Frodus played two shows down in Austin, and recently played Brooklyn too.

More pictures and video from the Brooklyn reunion show, below...

Continue reading "The Van Pelt played Coco66 (pics) ++ more shows & a reading "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Legends - Always the Same (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Legends - Seconds Away (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Legends - Play for Today (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Legends - He Knows the Sun (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Legends - There and Back Again (MP3)

The Legends

The Swedish invasion on NYC shows no signs of stopping. The latest - Stockholm's The Legends are playing NYC later this month, with three shows confirmed so far: June 23 at The Bell House, June 24 at Santos (with Blacklist) and June 26 at The Studio @ Webster Hall (with Band of Skulls). Don't be surprised if a couple more shows are announced.

The Legends, on record at least, is Johan Angergård who co-owns great Swedish label Labrador Records, home of Suburban Kids with Biblical Names (whoo just played NYC for Popfest), Radio Dept. (who also played Popfest and just released a new song) and Pelle Carlberg (who played NYC right after Popfest), among others. He's also one half of lush pop duo Club 8, as well as a member of long-running Swedish band Acid House Kings who toured the US with the Legends in July 2006.

Angergård is an '80s indie pop sponge who lists Lloyd Cole, Front 242, My Bloody Valentine, OMD and about 20 other disparate acts as influences on The Legends' MySpace page. That probably explains why The Legends can sound like a completely different band from album to album (albiet different bands influence by the '80s). Their 2003 debut, Up Against the Legends, was '60s influenced noise pop that could've been released on Creation Records in 1986; the follow-up, 2005's Public Radio explored gothy postpunk; and on 2006's Facts and Figures, The Legends went electrop pop. Angergård sheds a little light on this in an interview with The CheapPop.com:

The Legends albums follow my mood and it's about exploring new sounds. I want each album to feel like a debut album because it's a lot more interesting to do something for the first time compared to do the same thing over and over again. It keeps the curiosity alive. It even grows with every album. I'm surprised that not more bands and artists do it like that and the fact that so few bands do probably explains why album no. 3 or 4 from a band so rarely is their best.
The Legends' new album, Over and Over, is out in the U.S. on June 15 and is more an amalgam of everything Angergård has done so far than an exploration of one particular style, though it is far and away the noisiest thing he's ever done. Bright white feedback sheers off the album's two singles "Seconds Away" and the great "Always the Same" which is a duet with former Tralala singer Liane Moccia who is now in Joe & the Flying Spoons. (Spin.com has the video.) But there are also a fair amount of dreamy numbers that could've easily ended up on a Club 8 record. I think Over and Over might be The Legends' best since their first. There's a bunch of MP3s at the top of this post, including both singles from the new album and one song each from previous records.

The touring version of The Legends will be a four-piece and, given the nature of Over and Over, Angergård offers this advice via his Twitter: "Bring the earplugs!"

Continue reading "The Legends releasing new album (MP3), playing 3 NY shows "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Howlies - Chimera (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gringo Star - All Y'all (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Spacecamp - Girls on Bikes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Swirlies - Chris R. (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Swirlies - Bell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Real Estate - Suburban Beverage (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Uninhabitable Mansions - We Misplaced a Cobra in the Uninhabitable Mansion (on WFMU) (MP3)

Cinema 16

For about a year now, Cinema 16 has been giving short films a live soundtrack courtesy of local bands. Up till now, it's been happening at the Starr Space in Bushwick, but tonight (2/25) Cinema 16 heads to The Bell House for a double feature with four shorts and original music from Wild Yaks and Artanker Convoy.

Cinema 16

Wild Yaks perform to leftist group Public Theater's Pie in the Sky and Edwin S. Porter's early cinema (1906) short Dream of a Rarebit Fiend. I actually caught them doing this at Cinema 16 a couple weeks ago and their ramshackle, Tom Waits-y wailing rock fit well especially with the Depression-era Pie in the Sky (which stars Elia Kazan!). Artanker Convoy, whose music leans toward the instrumental, atmospheric and trippy, are a more obvious fit for this kind of project. They'll be performing to an abstract animation by Harry Smith and Robert Enrico's Oscar-winning 1962 short, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, which was shown in America as an episode of The Twilight Zone. Again, both bands have composed original music for this that's unlikely to be heard anywhere else, so it's definitely something worth checking out. Also: free ice cream.


Thursday (2/26) at Death By Audio are two of Atlanta's better rock bands (and there are a lot of 'em down there, let me tell you): Howlies and Gringo Starr. I particularly like the Howlies, who are celebrating the release of their debut album, Trippin' With the Howlies, which is one of the more fun rock records I've heard in a while. While steeped in nods to the '60s (surf rock, the Zombies, Love, the Troggs, etc) they've got good songwriting chops to go along with their good taste. Gringo Star, apart from the groan-worthy name (though it's better than A Fir-Ju Well which is what they used to be called), are a garage-rockin' party band not unlike Mando Diao that don't seem to have more of an agenda than having a good time. (And wanting you to have a good time too.) Which these days, should be enough. I can't say I listen to their latest album, All Y'all, a whole lot but they're fun live. Also on the bill: Brooklyn-via-Brazil duo Soundscapes who make '80s-inspired ethereal guitar pop, and Bonnie Baxter who you may have seen open for Apes and Androids at Music Hall of Williamsburg last month.


Friday (2/27): The Spicy Times blog (a joint production of the ladies behind Jinners and I Rock I Roll) is having its monthly party at Union Hall with a pretty great lineup with two bands I've written about before: Uninhabitable Mansions that features Robbie and Tyler from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Annie of Au Revoir Simone and who will be selling their debut 7" at the show; and Spacecamp, who are as we speak finishing up work as backing band on Lightspeed Champion's second album. Maybe they'll bring him along? Weirder things have happened. Also on the bill: Staten Island's all-girl seven-piece Vessels and free Colt 45.

Also Friday is that Swirlies show at Mercury Lounge, their first NYC show in five years. Swirlies also play Philly tomorrow (2/26) and Boston on Saturday (2/28).


Saturday (2/28): It's Cake Shop's monthly The World's Birthday Party party. If your birthday is in February you get free admission, a gift at the door and two free drink tickets. If you're not a February child, it's $8. Bands include Boston's Major Stars who should light up the joint with their stoner hard rock riffs, and Spectre Folk which features Mike of Magik Markers.

Real Estate
Real Estate

Late night Saturday at Cake Shop, it's a free show with New Jersey's Real Estate who are kind of getting a ton of hype right now from the likes of Pitchfork and Stereogum and Gorilla Vs Bear and others, all on the back of one three-song, white vinyl 7" which I have to admit I do like a lot. (Also having Matt Mondanile [aka Ducktails] in the group doesn't hurt.) Galaxie 500 seems to be the go-to reference for Real Estate and there is that dreamy vibe to their songs, but I'd also site criminally-overlooked '90s band Acetone as well. They've got a second 7" due out soon on Woodsist, so don't expect the interest to die down anytime soon. In addition to the Cake shop show, Real Estate have shows next week at Glasslands and Dead Herring, as well as an upcoming tour that includes a bunch of stops in Austin during SXSW (though none of them at official showcases). All tour dates at the end of the post.

Also Saturday: lovers of shoegaze, dreampop and goth should head straight to Mercury Lounge for a pretty stellar bill of Mahogany, The Depreciation Guild, Blacklist, Cruel Black Dove, and Home Video. Tickets are on sale.

That's all for this week. Tour dates and some videos after the jump....

Continue reading "Real Estate, Cinema 16, Howlies, Spicy Times, Major Stars, Mahogany, Swirlies & more in This Week in Indie "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: SpaceKamp - Girls on Bikes (MP3)


This week's post is going to feel a bit like a clip show because I feel like I've talked about all these bands before, but still there's a lot going on in NYC.

Tonight (11/18) SpaceKamp are playing Williamsburg's Black Betty. As you may remember, this trio also back Adam Green (with whom they just got back from a European tour) when not making their own brand of extremely catchy '60s-ish guitar pop. So while they've only played a handful of shows as SpaceKamp, they've got many, many more under their belt together. And they've finally put songs on their on their MySpace page to check out, and there's one at the top of this post to download. (I've also got a different song over at my blog.) It's also the drummer's birthday tonight, so expect the show to be extra festive. Also on the bill: Joe and the Flying Spoons, featuring Dirty on Purpose's Joe Jurewicz as well as former members of Au Revoir Simone and Tralala. I've never seen either band before, so I'm looking forward to this one. (And full disclosure: I know members of each band, but I don't post about stuff I don't genuinely like.)

Previously on Lost
Previously on List

Thursday (11.20) there are three good options, the most interesting of which might be at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Previously on Lost claim to be the world's only "recap rock" band, who spent the first half of 2008 writing a song for every episode of ABC's island mystery series' fourth season -- you know, in case you missed it. And if you're jonesing for Season 4 to be released on DVD (Dec. 4) maybe seeing the whole shebang performed live will hold you over. The "Live Experience" features props and such -- I'm curious if they'll have a live smoke monster. Making the night all the more enticing is the incredible Reggie Watts who if you've never seen him do what he does live, it's reason enough to go. A couple of Previously on Lost videos are HERE.

Violens @ South Street Seaport (more by Chris La Putt)

Also Thursday is Violens at Mercury Lounge who are fresh off their European tour with MGMT. I was really impressed the last couple times I saw them (their show at the Seaport was especially good) and am hoping their debut album isn't far off as I've worn out their three-song EP. Word of warning: Violens can be monsterously loud. Bring earplugs. Also on the bill are two two local electronic duos: Telepathe and Picture Picture.

The Secret History
Secret History

Over at Public Assembly (formerly Galapagos), we've got The Secret History and Mahogany. The Secret History is the new project from Michael Grace, Jr who used to front indiepop new wave lovers, My Favorite. This new project features most of his old band, but adds vocalist Lisa Ronson (unlike Mark or Samantha, her dad actually is late Bowie Guitarist Mick Ronson) to the fold. While the ties to the '80's are still there, especially the romanticism, The Secret History are bigger, more of a sweeping Roxy Music sort of feel. The band just released their debut EP, Desolation Town, on foppy Detroit label Le Grand Magistery. Meanwhile, Mahogany do classic shoegaze better than just about anybody else, writing great songs, are skilled with effects pedals and know how to put on a show.

Mahogany @ PopFest, Music Hall of Williamsburg

And speaking of Mahogany, the band's ever-morphing line-up has absorbed Blacklist's James Minor into the band. I mention this because Blacklist (of which Minor is still a major member) are playing on Friday (11.21) as part of Wierd Records' Fifth Anniversary party. The former goth in me still digs Bauhaus, the Bolshoi, Southern Death Cult, the Chameleons, etc. and Blacklist deliver the goods in that respect. Wierd Records, which could be described as a modern day equivilent to labels like Some Bizarre or Wax Trax!, began it's life as a weekly party at Williamsburg's Southside Lounge (later Home Sweet Home on Christie) and grew as it gained likeminded artists and musicians interested in the cold wave/industrial/noise, and yes, gothy side of pop. I don't know too much about the rest of the night's lineup but it includes Xeno and Oaklander, Led Er Est, and Opus Finis. I can only hope there will be strobes and smoke machines. Tickets are on sale. The flyer is below...

Continue reading "The Secret History, Violens, SpaceKamp, Mahogany, Wierd Records & more in This Week In Indie"

by Bill Pearis

week one. week two. week three....

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (TPOBPAH)
Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Was last summer this crammed with stuff to do? It seems like there have been very few nights of easy living, what with all these worthy shows. And Summer may have official started last weekend, but it's this one that feels like it, with the return of the Sunday McCarren Pool parties, and Celebrate Brooklyn shows in Prospect Park and the Seaport. Too many shows to all throw, willy-nilly, into one post so here are a few things I'm excited about.

If you didn't get enough jangly guitars and winsome melodies at the NYC Popfest two weeks ago (or you missed it and wished you hadn't), tonight at Cake Shop finds monthly UK party Twee as F**k coming to NYC for the first time. Headlining the show are The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who were really great at Popfest, and should be right at home tonight (June 26) at what the band told L Magazine was their favorite New York venue.

Also on the Twee as F**k bill are two bands from Cleveland, Bears and Afternoon Naps. I'm particularly looking forward to Bears, who I would put somewhere between The Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Boy Least Likely To. Their 2006 debut is really good and they've got a song on the two volume, download-only Summer's Here compilation that Norwegian blog Eardrums offered up earlier this week.

They are also promising free cupcakes. Fun starts at 9PM. Bears are also playing Death by Audio on Friday with Pwrfl Power and Tickley Feather. All Bears dates below.


Continue reading "Warlocks & Blacklist & Bears Oh!My! - also Twee as F**k, TPOBPAH, APTBS & more in this week in indie"

DOWNLOAD: A Place To Bury Strangers - I Know I'll See You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Cloud Room - Hey Now Now (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Blacklist - Blue Shifted [from the Solidaire EP] (MP3)

A Place to Bury StrangersA Place To Bury Strangers play their first headlining (actually co-headlining) show at Bowery Ballroom on Friday Night (Dec 21) (a little less than four months since they received 'best new music'). Blacklist, The Giraffes and The Cloud Room (the co-headliners) are also on the bill. All tour dates below....

Continue reading "A Place To Bury Strangers - 2007 & 2008 Tour Dates"

Post-emo in the house.

DOWNLOAD: House and Parish - What Am I Still Waiting For (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: House and Parish - Summer Programme (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: House and Parish - Standardesque (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Texas is the Reason - Back and to the Left (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Foreign Islands - No Holiday (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Blacklist - Dawn of the Idols (MP3)

House and Parish
House and Parish

House and Parish is a new band featuring Jason Gnewikow (guitarist from Promise Ring), Brian Malone (drummer from The Gloria Record), John Herguth (singer/guitarist from the Love Scene), and Scott Winegard (bassist from the-recently-reunited-for-two-shows Texas is the Reason). They'll play their first show ever this Thursday night (June 14) at Luna Lounge in Brooklyn. To make it more interesting, Garrett Klahn, the singer of Texas is the Reason, will open the show with a solo set, and Antarctica's drummer Glenn Maryansky's new band Blacklist will go on after them. Then to keep the hipsters (kidding) happy, Foreign Islands are headlining the show. Tickets are on sale.

House and Parish are also playing Maxwell's w/ The Narrator on June 21st.