Entries tagged with: Blouse
The 2012 edition of MusicFestNW takes place in September 5 - 9 at 18 venues in Portland, OR and will feature performances from over 150 bands, including Passion Pit, Hot Snakes, Girl Talk, Danny Brown, Beirut Silversun Pickups, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, many more.
In addition to those previously announced artists, MFNW has just added The Hives, Flying Lotus, Wild Nothing, DIIV, Quasi, Moon Duo, My Goodness, DZ Deathrays, and Strand Of Oaks to the already impressive line-up. Wristbands, available various levels and packages, and tickets to individual shows are on sale now. Check out the complete MFNW lineup below.
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Sensory Overload. That is how I'd describe Bear in Heaven's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (5/9) night. There were '80s goth band levels of fog machine and a barrage of cool lights to go with it, both of which matched well to the bombastic space jams Bear in Heaven produce. Those big fat synths the band favors sound great really loud, as do drummer Joe Stickney's Miami Vice-style fills. I wish the new album, I Love You It's Cool, had the drums mixed that loud, it's definitely one of the signatures of BiH's live show.
They played Bowery Ballroom the night before, but the Music Hall show was the final night of the five-week tour promoting I Love You It's Cool, and playing before a neighborhood crowd the band were both punchy and pumped, especially singer John Philpot who was dancing even more than he usually does. The Zambri sisters hopped on stage to dance during "Reflection of You" and then sang -- as they often do at hometown shows -- on "Lovesick Teenagers."
Both openers on the bill made good use of the projection screen. Portland's Blouse had washed-out slow-mo imagery that looked like a Cocteau Twins album cover come to life which suited the band's rainy day dance music. Montreal's Doldrums played in front of what seemed to duped-over videocassettes, which is kind of what their music sounds like too, though the band (now a trio) sound more and more like a cohesive unit and less like the weird dabblings of Eric Asher every day.
More pictures from the show, with Bear in Heaven's setlist, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Bear in Heaven - Sinful Nature (Anika With BestMate Remix) (MP3)
Bear in Heaven at Hotel Vegan party, Austin (more by Tim Griffin)
Just a reminder that Bear in Heaven wrap up their North American tour this week with two hometown shows: tonight (5/8) at Bowery Ballroom and tomorrow (5/9) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Both shows are $15 with two solid openers: synthy Portlanders Blouse and Montreal's Doldrums. After these two shows, Bear in Heaven head to Europe for most of the summer -- all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Bear in Heaven last played NYC back in early March at Union Pool where they were billed as "Adventure Hippies":
...watching them play last night with waves of roto-toms and giant synth pads washing over us, it struck me what that is: the Miami Vice soundtrack (Jan Hammer, Phil Collins, Yello, Glen Frey, etc) condensed into one band, albeit one that also loves Yes and late '80s/early '90s techno. Which is a really strange combination, but Bear in Heaven make it work, due in part to excellent musicianship and that they clearly love playing. All three members (singer Philpot, bassist/guitarist Adam Wills and drummer Joe Stickney) let the O Face slip when they're in the moment, which, in their case, is endearing.If you haven't seen them live yet in their roto-tom-loving glory, Bear in Heaven did a set for Yours Truly during SXSW (they also played one of our Hotel Vegan parties) and you can watch that below. You can also download a remix of "Sinful Nature" by Anika and Bestmate at the top of this post. And if you haven't heard their new album I Love You It's Cool, you can stream it at Spotify.
Openers Doldrums will tour with Grimes in Europe after their stint with Bear in Heaven wraps up and then head back this way for a string of dates with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, including June 7 at Mercury Lounge and June 8 at Glasslands. Those dates are at the bottom of this post as well.
Total Control at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by BBG)
Total Control's Henge Beat was a favorite around these parts, and now the band recently released a split 12" with Thee Oh Sees. Check out a video for Total Control's "For Lease" from that split below and order your copy via Castle Face.
Total Control currently have no US dates scheduled. Thee Oh Sees, on the other hand, will spend their summer abroad and have a handful of appearances in the US. The band, who recently played Austin Psych Fest, will play a gang of festival dates including the previously discussed Pitchfork, Outside Lands, Hopscotch, ATP I'll Be Your Mirror and the sold-out Woodsist Festival in Big Sur.
In addition, the band just signed on to be a part of the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle WA, joining names like Neko Case, Major Lazer, Fitz And The Tantrums, Phantogram, The Lumineers, Grimes, Aesop Rock w/ Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz, Youth Lagoon, Diplo, Cloud Nothings, The Psychic Paramount, Twin Shadow, Dam-Funk and so many more across six-stages and as many city blocks during three days in July (7/20-7/22). Current lineup is below and tickets are on sale.
All tour dates, the Capitol Hill Block Party lineup and that "For Lease" video is below.
DOWNLOAD: Bear in Heaven - "The Reflection of You" (MP3)
Blouse at 285 Kent earlier this month (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Blouse (who was recently in NYC to play 285 Kent) and Doldrums have been added as openers to Bear in Heaven's upcoming tour. That tour culminates in NYC with shows happening on May 8 at Bowery Ballroom and May 9 at MHOW. Tickets for both shows are still on sale. All dates are listed below.
Bear in Heaven's new album, I Love You, It's Cool (due out April 3 via Dead Oceans) is still streaming at 400,000% slower than actual speed at the band's website. They recently spoke to VICE about it...
VICE:Are any of your fans who were drawn in by the pop sound bewildered by this experiment? How's the overall fan response?For a more apparent sample of the album, you can grab the track, "The Reflection of You," above or stream it below.
Bear in Heaven: So far the response has been great. Bear in Heaven fans can handle our artistic leanings. I read one thing on Twitter where a person asked if we were printing the drone on vinyl. He wanted to know so he could buy a new shelf.
Speaking of Doldrums, he's one of the guests on Grimes' upcoming album Visions, which you can now stream in full on NPR. The album is due out on February 21 in the US via 4AD. Grimes plays three NYC shows on her upcoming tour.
All dates and stream below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Bill Pearis
Blouse @ 285 Kent
Captured Tracks took over 285 Kent Tuesday night, featuring three bands from their roster, as well as one that they merely liked a whole lot. I'm not sure if it sold out, but it was a full house by the end of the evening and a pretty fun night all-around.
Last time Blouse were in town, the band were a five-piece with a lead guitarist who really had that early U2/Chameleons sound down, which took the band into more "rock" territory than what you hear on their synth-heavy debut. Last night, Blouse were a quartet with the keyboards back in the forefront. Charline Hilton is charismatic front person who is no slouch, on guitar and the whole band are pretty tight in general. Blouse are best when they break out of the dreamy midtempo sound that makes up so much of their album: the driving "Time Travel" is probably their best song, but it's the cinematic "They Always Fly Away," that really impresses. In 285's airplane hangar acoustics, the song goes widescreen.
Cosmetics probably were the most successful group of the night at least as far as marriage of sound to space. The Montreal duo's icy, desolate beat -- made by vintage synths and sequencers cranked really loud -- sounded great bouncing off the metal ceiling and concrete walls, and fit the overall bombed-out Berlin warehouse vibe of the place. (The duo, all popped collar leather jackets and model-pretty, looked the part too.) From the bathroom they sounded like a munitions factory...in a good way.
Not that successful were The New Lines, the one non-Captured Tracks band on the bill, who haven't quite figured it out live. Their album, one of my 2012 favorites, is chilly baroque pop densely layered with harpsichord and all manner of analogue synths. It would be hard to pull off even under the best of conditions, something 285 Kent doesn't exactly afford, but even harder when you're only three members strong and your very good drummer can't hear the backing tracks. While they don't necessarily need the sonic precision their studio recordings have, a live bassist laying down the record's grooves would help immeasurably towards filling things out sonically. They did, however, have really cool psychedelic projections.
I got to 285 just a hair late to catch opener Heavenly Beat, the solo project of Beach Fossils bassist John Pena whose second single "Faithless" is like a lost 7" from some early-00's Swedish indiepop band. I think both sides are terrific. From what I was told, Heavenly Beat live is currently just Pena onstage with a laptop/ipod backing and not doing a whole lot, so maybe I didn't miss much. He plays this Saturday (2/4) at Cake Shop with fellow C/T band DIVE, plus Caged Animals and Fabric which is a pretty good bill overall.
More pictures from all the bands, including a shot of Blouse's setlist, below.
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
Brooklyn label Captured Tracks is presenting a show at 285 Kent on January 31 with Blouse, Cosmetics, The New Lines, Beige, and Mosaics. More details on this show are below.
Blouse, who we said to check out when they made their NYC debut this past September, released their excellent self-titled debut LP this past November on Captured Tracks (you can buy it on eMusic). The 285 Kent show is Blouse's last North American show before heading out on a European tour in February. All dates are listed below.
In other Captured Tracks news, they launched The Shoegaze Archives in late November, a new series where the label will reissue some of the more obscure releases of the '90s shoegaze era. So far, they've reissued releases by Should, deardarkhead, and Grabbel and The Final Cut. Reissues by Medicine and Half String are on the way. All of these releases are/will be available at the Captured Tracks webstore.
In more Captured Tracks news, last week, they announced their most recent signing; Mac DeMarco, who previously recorded under the moniker Makeout Videotapes. He'll release his debut EP under his own name for the label, Rock and Roll Night Club, on March 20. Mac's guitar has a real '60s garage rock feel to it but he sings with a seductive baritone that recalls '80s new romanticism as much as it does a '50s rockabilly croon. Grab the track, "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans," from the EP above, and stream two more tracks at bandcamp. You can also stream the track below.
All dates, 285 Kent show details and song stream below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dive - Sometime (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Heaven's Gate - Salome (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - How Can U Luv Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beat Connection - In the Water (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ski Lodge - I Would Die to Be (MP3)
After a couple weeks with not a whole lot going on, we're back to jam-packed week of shows (at least in the TWII-verse). So let's get into it.
Portland trio Blouse are in town for two shows: Thursday (9/15) at Glasslands and then Friday (9/16) at Shea Stadium. After singles on Sub Pop and Captured Tracks, the band's debut is due out in November. You can stream the song "Videotapes" from it at the bottom of this post. The track has a nice melty quality to it that if I was listening on cassette I might think it was time to buy a new Walkman. I've liked everything I've heard from Blouse so far, as it hits my '80s sweet spot: icy synths, moody basslines, big choruses. I'm anxious to hear the whole record, and looking forward to seeing them play.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Both Blouse shows are appealing bills. The Glasslands show is headlined by Unknown Mortal Orchestra who are currently on tour with Toro Y Moi, a tour that hits NYC tonight (10/14) at Webster Hall. In addition to the Glasslands show tomorrow, UMO are also playing that Vice party tomorrow that is sure to be a scene. After that, UMO are basically on tour for the rest of the year with a pretty brutal schedule, daring America not to see them.
Also playing the Glasslands show are Hospitality (subbing for Woven Bones who had to bow out) who, you may have read, have signed with Merge. The label will be putting out their debut album in early 2012 and you can get an early taste at the top of this post -- the horn-filled "Friends of Friends." (The whole record is great.) I'm a big fan of this band and couldn't be more pleased to see them sign to a label I love.
Blouse is headlining the Shea Stadium show on Friday that is a pretty exciting lineup too, especially if you want to see a lot of new local bands. Dive is the new band from Beach Fossils guitarist/drummer Cole Smith (he was also in Darwin Deez) and the group's debut single, "Dive," is out soon on Captured Tracks and you can download it at the top of this post. It sounds a lot like Beach Fossils but it's catchy nonetheless.
Also playing are Heaven's Gate which is the new band from a couple of the guys in the now defunct Sweet Bulbs. Like that band, Heaven's Gate are definitely on the shoegaze tip and also remind me a little of Bettie Serveert. Mind you, I've only heard two songs but both are quite good. (I was a big Sweet Bulbs fan too.) Download one of them, "Salome," at the top of this post.
Sloan are in town. Did anyone go see them last night at The Bell House? They play Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (9/15) and Maxwell's on Friday (9/16). I've probably written enough about Sloan this year already, but needless to say these shows are highly recommended. And if you haven't grabbed the free Select Singles - 1992 - 2011 compilation yet, the download widget is at the bottom of this post.
STRFKR (not to be confused with SBTRKT) are rolling though town this week, playing Knitting Factory on Friday (9/16). Despite the whole name-changing debacle (Starfucker --> Pyramid --> Starfucker --> STRFKR), the band's new album, Reptillians, isn't bad at all in a Flaming Lips/MGMT sort of way.
I'm a bigger fan of the opening act Beat Connection. This duo is from Seattle though listening to their debut, Surf Noir, from last year you might think they were Swedish -- Lo Fi FNK and, especially, Studio come to mind when you hear the Baeleric Beat influence that's all over the record. You can download single "In the Water" at the top of this post. I caught them at SXSW and thought they were pretty good though they could use a couple auxiliary members live.
Friday night (9/16) at Cake Shop is Ski Lodge which is the new band from Andrew Marr who used to be in the Clementines. There's an EP coming out on Dovecote Records and you can download a track from it, "I Would Die to Be," at the top of this post. There's a Beach Fossils approach to the arrangement of this song, but melodically it's more from the Smiths lineage of indiepop. The whole EP is good. I've never seen them live, but maybe Friday.
A few more picks not mentioned above, by day, below...
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
Japandroids are at Mercury Lounge tonight, road testing new material for their second album. Bass Drum of Death open. Sold out, but we're giving away a pair of tickets.
Grave Babies play with K Holes and Pop. 1280 at Cake Shop.
by Bill Pearis
Portland's dreamy trio Blouse are playing their first NYC show at Glasslands on September 15, opening for Unkown Mortal Orchestra. (Woven Bones and Man/Miracle also play.) It's their only NYC show too, though others may be added?
Blouse currently have singles out on Sub Pop and Captured Tracks. The latter will be putting out their debut album this fall and like a lot of C/T bands, Blouse channel the John Hughes '80s: icy synths, moody basslines, delay-pedal guitars and big catchy choruses. You can stream a few songs at the bottom of this post.
Here is the initial lineup for Willamette Week's MusicfestNW, scheduled for Sept. 7-11, 2011 in Portland, Oregon, and it's pretty great. The multi-venue fest includes big outdoor performances by Band of Horses (Sunday, Sept. 11), Explosions in the Sky (Saturday, Sept. 10), and Iron & Wine (Friday, Sept. 9), in addition to shows with everyone from Archers of Loaf to Big Freedia to Butthole Surfers to Neurosis. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 3rd. Check out the full list below...