Entries tagged with: Bradford Cox
by Bill Pearis
MIA at T5, November 2014 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
We just posted that Pet Shop Boys would be touring around Coachella and one of these dates they've added is at Moogfest which goes down April 23 - 27 in Asheville, NC. Moogfest has added a few other headliners as well: M.I.A., Flying Lotus and Dillon Francis will join previously announced Kraftwerk and CHIC.
Moogfest has also added a few daytime speakers: Nick Zinner, Dan Deacon, Bradford Cox, and Futurama co-creator, David X. Cohen. Previously-announced daytime presenters include Laurie Anderson, Giorgio Moroder, Keith Emmerson, and many more.
Tickets to Moogfest are still available. Updated line-ups -- both nighttime performers and day presenters -- are listed below.
DOWNLOAD: Carnivores - "Pillow Talk" (ft. Bradford Cox) (MP3)
Carnivores are a garage rock band from Atlanta, and they've already got the ins with the big hitters in the ATL garage rock scene, including Black Lips -- whose frontman Cole Alexander sings on "Sinking In Your Automobile" from their newest record, Second Impulse -- and Deerhunter -- whose singer Bradford Cox appears on their non-album track, "Pillow Talk" (MP3 above) and whose former bassist Josh Fauver released their record on his Army of Bad Luck label. The band have just given a trippy video treatment to the Cole Alexander collaboration, and that video makes its premiere in this post. Check it out, along with a stream of the full album and the track with Bradford Cox, below.
Carnivores also have a few shows coming up, and one of those happens in NYC at Shea Stadium on Halloween (10/31), and in Halloween cover show spirit, they'll be playing songs by The B-52s (but probably mostly songs from their own new album). Rounding out the lineup is three solid local bands also playing songs by other bands, Ava Luna (Tom Tom Club), Caged Animals (The Velvet Underground) and Bueno (Wu-Tang Clan). Admission is $8 with a costume and $10 without. Flyer below.
All dates are listed, along with the video and streams, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Lonnie Holley at Music Hall of Williamsburg - 9/17/13
Since 1979, [Lonnie] Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley's sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events.The above quote is from Dust to Digital, the label that released both music albums from outsider artist Lonnie Holley: 2012's Just Before Music and this year's Keeping a Record of It, which came out earlier this month (9/3). Lonnie's music has slowly started reaching a larger audience, as he's made a fan out of multiple indie musicians. Bear in Heaven named his debut as one of their favorites of 2012, and perhaps most notably, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox has taken an interest in him.
Holley did not start making and performing music in a studio nor does his creative process mirror that of the typical musician. His music and lyrics are improvised on the spot and morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. In Holley's original art environment, he would construct and deconstruct his visual works, repurposing their elements for new pieces. This often led to the transfer of individual narratives into the new work creating a cumulative composite image that has depth and purpose beyond its original singular meaning. The layers of sound in Holley's music, likewise, are the result of decades of evolving experimentation.
Bradford and Cole Alexander of Black Lips both contributed to the 13+ minute song "From the Other Side of the Pulpit" from Keeping a Record of It, which you can stream, along with another album track "Six Space Shuttles and 144,000 Elephants," below.
Deerhunter have also had him open some of the shows on their tour this year. Back in August, he opened their San Francisco show that also included Animal Collective side project Avey Tare's Slash Flick, and at that show both Bradford Cox and Avey Tare joined Lonnie on stage (video below). He also just opened for Deerhunter in Brooklyn at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday (9/17), the first of three Deerhunter shows in NYC this week. At that show, Bradford also joined him on drums for one of the songs. Pictures of Lonnie's set at MHOW are in this post.
Lonnie Holley will be heading out on the road again as an opener on Bill Callahan's tour. That tour brings Bill and Lonnie to NYC on October 6 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are still available. All Lonnie Holley dates are listed, along with more pictures from MHOW, song stream and video, below.
Deerhunter at Outside Lands 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
Deerhunter are currently on a tour which just hit Bumbershoot and MusicFestNW over on the west coast. The tour comes to NYC later this month for shows on September 17 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Mas Ysa, September 18 at Webster Hall with Crystal Stilts, and September 19 at Webster Hall with Blues Control and Crystal Stilts. The 9/18 show is sold out, but tickets for the other two are still available, and we're also giving away a pair to the 9/19 show. Details on how to enter to win those tickets are below.
After the 9/19 show, Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox will be DJing the official afterparty happening at Glasslands later that night (11:30 PM). Tickets for the afterparty are on sale now.
In related news, Bradford recently teamed up with Cole Alexander of Black Lips to contribute to a track on outsider artist Lonnie Holley's new album, Keeping a Record of It, which came out this week (9/3) via Dust to Digital. Bradford and Cole are on the track "From the Other Side of the Pulpit," which you can stream, along with the updated list of Deerhunter tour dates and contest details, below.
Atlas Sound at Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012 (more by David Andrako)
Deerhunter/Atlas Sound frontman Bradford Cox is subject of the new documentary by Grant Singer, who is known for directing music videos for DIIV, Gambles, and Sky Ferreira. The documentary is titled Youth Museum and it will focus on the everyday life of Bradford Cox. You can watch its trailer below.
The film makes its premiere in NYC on February 3 at MoMA PS1 at 4 PM as part of the museum's Sunday Sessions. After the screening, Bradford Cox himself will perform a live, improvised set. Tickets for that are on sale now. Once the film makes its premiere, it will be available to stream at Riot of Perfume, who commissioned the film.
Bradford will return to NYC when Deerhunter plays Governors Ball in June.
Trailer video below...
"Thanks for your Gotham award jokes, everybody! Really funny. Will be reading 10 on stage! #Gothamjokes" - Mike Birbiglia
Bradford Cox (Atlas Sound) at Osheaga 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Jordan Catalano aka Elijah Wood's best friend aka 30 Seconds to Mars frontman aka one of the "alt-est" human beings alive Jared Leto is set to star in the new Jean-Marc Vallée-directed film, Dallas Buyers Club, where he plays an AIDS-infected cross-dresser whose lover is being played by Deerhunter/Atlas Sound frontman Bradford Cox (the alt-est couple ever?), Hollywood Reporter reports (via Pitchfork). The film also stars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.
Jared Leto also recently directed his own film, a documentary called Artifact, which beat the PS 22 Chorus documentary Once in a Lullabye at the Gotham Awards last night (11/26). Gregory Ellwood was live blogging for Hitfix and after predicting Beasts of the Southern Wild would win, he wrote:
This was voted by members and the audience is shocked. Was there a limit to the number of times you could vote? [Jared Leto] says "This movie, which many of you haven't seen is a very, very personal film. It was made by a small group of people over a few years. It talks about being an artist and art and commerce. I'd like to thank everyone who voted for us online. I know some people are upset that 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' isn't up here and it's a phenomenal film." He adds, "Don't hate me because I won. I love that other film too."The Gotham Awards were hosted by Mike Birbiglia, who was partially telling jokes that were supplied to him by his Twitter followers, some of which he tested out live on stage at the Pretty Good Friends Sandy benefit at The Bell House one night earlier (11/25).
A video of Atlas Sound and Lower Dens playing "Mona Lisa" at a special session during Primavera Sound in Barcelona this past June can be watched below...
Hunx as Gayracula
All things considered, we hope you had a Happy Halloween. You already saw what John Vanderslice and Freelance Whales dressed up as, and Dum Dum Girls' nun costumes (Crocodiles in there too). We also already posted Deap Vally, Those Darlins & the Mountain Goats in Halloween attire, and you saw Vampire Weekend all decked out for Kimmel. Here's a whole bunch more. That's Hunx and a punx above. See the rest (sort of NSFW), below...
photos by David Andrako
The inaugural, Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival concluded on Saturday night (May 5) with performances from Beirut, Atlas Sound, My Brightest Diamond, Caveman and more.
There were whispers there'd be an unannounced set from The National, but the secret guest Phi Slamma Jamma was actually Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, and Richard Reed Parry who performed a bunch of covers (Ramones, R.E.M., Devo, Beatles and the Stones, among others) to cap out the Fest.
Night Two pictures HERE. Night one HERE. Lots of pictures from all of Saturday night's performers (including Sufjan), plus video of Atlas Sound (who also kept busy in others ways while in town), Caveman, Beirut and Phi Slamma Jamma performing a song each, below...
On the roof at 47 Wooster St. for Pitchfork-presented Ryan McGinley opening.
There may be a surprise. (Ryan Schreiber)
Atlas Sound performing 'Te Amo' on the roof at 47 Wooster St, NYC
for Pitchfork-presented Ryan McGinley open (Ryan Schreiber)
Atlas Sound plays acoustic set in gallery after NYC cops
force performance indoors due to noise complaints (Ryan Schreiber)
"An exhibition of new work from the photographer Ryan McGinley opens this Wednesday at Team Gallery in SoHo. Technically, it's two exhibitions, because the gallery has two spaces, one at 83 Grand Street and one around the corner at 47 Wooster -- and McGinley's pictures will be at both. The Grand Street location is showing "Animals," studio-made photos of various creatures interacting with naked humans in sometimes cute and sometimes provocative ways. Wooster Street, meanwhile, has "Grids," photos taken at music festivals all over the world, including pictures from Bonnaroo that we commissioned for our Look pages last year." [NY Times]Atlas Sound is also DJing Glasslands this Saturday (5/5), after playing a set at BAM as part of the three day Crossing Brooklyn Ferry which begins TONIGHT (5/3).
In related news, Lotus Plaza just announced a tour. All Atlas Sound dates, including another Pitchfork event, are listed below...
photos by Natasha Ryan
Atlas Sound @ Bowery Ballroom
Atlas Sound (aka Bradford Cox) played his annual winter shows in NYC this past weekend at The Bell House on Saturday (12/17) and Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (12/18) where he he played most of the recently released Parallax, a few older cuts and a Christmas song called "Artificial Snow."
NYCTaper was there and you can download the complete show at his site. He wrote:
What elevated this Bowery show above the rest was not just the final polish on a finished and released album, but the near flawless level of proficiency with which Bradford performed. The Parallax numbers (nine of the twelve songs were played) were stretched out and allowed to breath, while Bradford developed looping tracks that were faithful to the album's theme.--
Bradford recently gave us his list of his ten favorite albums of 2011 and 20 older songs that he's been into over the past year. Check that list out, along with more pics, videos, and the setlist from the Bowery Ballroom show, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Atlas Sound at Creators Project in October (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Bradford Cox released the latest effort under his Atlas Sound moniker, Parallax, on November 8 via 4AD. For someone who seemingly can't stop releasing songs, when Bradford puts out a proper full length, it always comes off as a cohesive piece of work and Parallax is his most focused album yet. It's got a similar overall feel to the dreamier direction Deerhunter took on 2010's excellent Halcyon Digest, but the material is so strong that it hardly sounds repetitive. The flow of the album subtly works in the slower, more ambient cuts to space out the relatively high amount (for an Atlas Sound record) of pop standouts. Like many pop experimentalists before him, Bradford has mastered the art of leaving his own weird touch on even the simplest tune. This comes across most strongly on "Mona Lisa," a re-recording of a track that appeared on his Bedroom Databank collection. The song is carried by the sort of upbeat acoustic guitar rock that Bowie experimented with on Hunky Dory, and Bradford sings with a fragile falsetto that brings to mind Lennon's "#9 Dream." You can stream the entire Parallax album on Spotify and purchase it at the 4AD webstore. You can also grab two MP3s from the album above.
As mentioned, Atlas Sound will be playing in NYC this winter, like he has been doing for the past few years. Earlier today, we mentioned the 12/17 Bell House show, which tickets are on sale for. It has since been announced that another show is happening on December 18 at Bowery Ballroom, which is good news for those who plan on attending our BV Holiday Party with Twin Sister, Widowspeak, and Ava Luna on 12/17 at Bowery Ballroom (tickets). Both Atlas Sound shows are with Balkans. Tickets for the Bowery Ballroom show go on sale Friday (11/25) at noon.
words & photos by BBG
Hopefully, there weren't masses that headed to DUMBO on Saturday (10/15) expecting a few Mozz-a-repa stands, a sausage & pepper cart, and a dealer selling his collection of "tobacco" pipes while looking for the live music. The Creators Project had much more to offer. It celebrated the different facets of creativity within art, music, and theater while showcasing live music alongside interactive sculpture to create a wholly different "festival" environment.
The musical portion was limited to two live stages and a third "DJ" stage which also housed a few exhibits. One live stage was located under an archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge. The other was in the "Tobacco Warehouse", a brick structure that has also hosted the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. The shows were free, though you needed to RSVP (and even then you needed a confirmation that you were accepted).
I kicked off my afternoon at the Tobacco Warehouse stage with Teen Daze whose laptop knob-twiddling didn't make for much of a live event. After a few songs I moved on to my first band of the day, Brooklyn's Chairlift. Caroline Polachek is the clear focus of the band's sound, with her vocals pushed to the front and the electronic-pop complementing her lilting voice. Their sunny and simple compositions were sugar-y, well executed and a good way to ease into the day, but not particularly memorable. The next performance would bring about an abrupt change.
No one outcrazys John Maus. After the crew cleared the stage of seemingly every piece of gear, the very unassuming Maus came on to plug his Roland SP-404 sampler into the DI and his microphone into an echo pedal. With the hit of his sampler, Maus kicked off his set by bouncing left and right and jumping around. Veins bulged in his neck and face as he began to scream, sing, whimper and all but cry into his microphone during his vocal parts. Even if I had no interest in his recorded material (which I do, and tons of it), I would, as I'm sure any passerby would, still find the maniacal John Maus live (almost freak) show absolutely enthralling. Catch him again this week at 285 Kent.
After 3+ songs from Clams Casino on the laptop which was about as exciting as it sounds (dramatic key-stroke!), A$AP Rocky opened his set by explaining that people are saying he is the "biggest thing to hip hop since the Wu-Tang Clan". I'd like to meet these people. Regardless of how over/correctly hyped A$AP is, he and his crew (which included an appearance from Spaceghostpurrp) were particularly high energy - stage-diving, inciting mosh-pits, and hopping around on stage. The crowd didn't move with the same enthusiasm though. Despite calls for more participation, the crew didn't ignite similar energy in the crowd.
After a visit to see Four Tet (another knob-twiddling set), I cruised over to see Bradford Cox do a one-man Atlas Sound. I prefer Atlas Sound in full band mode to Bradford solo, but his set was fresh change to the mostly electronic vibe of the day. Cox's voice coupled with the Bridge backdrop and the Manhattan skyline was particularly impressive.
It had been around 14 years since I saw Company Flow on tour with Organized Konfusion, the former celebrating their seminal Funcrusher Plus and the latter promoting what may be their final effort, The Equinox. That summer in 1997, Co-Flow sounded so alien to everything else in the era; primitive, noisy beats made with crude synths and harsh scratches were complemented by abstract and double-time rhymes. Lead by a white redhead-ed MC (a rarity in the era), Company Flow was truly unique in their time.
Company Flow were massive to me in that certain, early-backpacker Rawkus era, the blast-off point for El-P's noisy and dystopian blueprint at Definitive Jux. So it pains me to say that the primitive Company Flow sound hasn't aged so well live; El-P still has a good stage presence as always, but unfortunately the rawness of the tracks just now come across as simplistic in comparison to his sleeker production. It was good to see the crew though, and with Pharoahe Monch in tow, much like that night in DC in 1997.
After Co-Flow, I caught a bit of Florence & The Machine before calling it an evening meaning I also missed the abbreviated Justice DJ set. Though cops shut down Jusice early and a vocal minority of DUMBO residents complained about the takeover of their neighborhood streets, the complaints were minor leagues compared to the impressive spectacle that descended on art galleries, parks, storefronts, and even an archway underneath the Manhattan Bridge.
We're splitting this into multiple parts, so stay tuned for the rest. Meanwhile, more pictures of everything I saw, below...
I know you're sick of Radiohead posts, but, well, they keep doing things! (and anyway, more importantly, this post also contains Portishead!). But back to the point.... Radiohead just played two shows at Roseland Ballroom, appeared on SNL, and on The Colbert Report. They're also rumored to play for Occupy Wall Street today at 4 PM, though that might not happen. In addition to all of that, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood will perform on Fallon on Monday (10/3). According to Radiohead At Ease, they'll be performing "Give Up The Ghost."
Speaking of Fallon, his week-long run of Pink Floyd covers (that started with the Shins) continued on Tuesday when Foo Fighters played "In The Flesh" with Roger Waters, on Wednesday when MGMT took on "Lucifer Sam" off of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, with help from Bradford Cox who was dressed as Joey Ramone. Dierks Bentley did "Wish You Were Here" last night (9/29). You can watch all three videos below.
MGMT will also perform at The Guggenheim on November 10 and 11 as part of the 2011 Guggenheim International Gala. The 11/10 show is a private party, but the 11/11 show is a public event. Tickets go on sale Friday (10/14) with a member presale starting Thursday (10/13).
Portishead, who plays and curated ATP NJ this weekend, will appear on Fallon on Wednesday (10/5), two days after Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood do. Portishead play their second of two sold out shows at Hammerstein Ballroom the same night.
Fallon videos below...
photos by Jessica Amaya words by Andrew Sacher
Deerhunter @ Webster Hall
Eleanor Friedberger (of Fiery Furnaces) and her band took the stage around 9 PM at Webster Hall last night (8/23) for the second of two shows with Deerhunter, while a cover/remix of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" played through the PA. They played a great opening set. Eleanor's got an awesome voice and she's a killer downstrummer on the guitar. The set was enjoyable throughout, but the undeniable highlight came for me on the last track, "I Won't Fall Apart on You Tonight." The vocal harmonies she did in the chorus with her guitar player meshed so well, and were definitely something I wished I'd heard more of.
At around 10:15 PM, Deerhunter minus Bradford Cox walked out onto the stage at the sold out venue and began filling the room with noise and ambience. While awaiting Bradford's entrance, the band were joined by Colin Mee, an original member of Deerhunter who left in 2007. Bradford then appeared, taking solely to the mic like he did in Deerhunter's earlier days, and they began playing the intro to "Fluorescent Grey" off the EP of the same name, released shortly before Colin's departure from the band. Without a second of silence in between songs, they progressed into the first few tracks on Cryptograms, building the songs around the layers of noise they'd been creating. As the band moved through their set the stage was flooded with languid clouds of fog and absinthe-green lights, silhouetting the members and adding a visual companion to the heavy atmospheres of their music.
After about a half hour, Colin left the stage and Bradford returned to his guitar for the remainder of the set. In a slightly sarcastic manner, Bradford commented on yesterday's earthquake hitting NYC and that he was glad we were all okay, before going into Halcyon Digest's opening track "Earthquake." The band followed that with a couple more tracks off the album, including a distortion-ridden version of "Don't Cry," before going into a few Microcastle cuts. After extending "Nothing Ever Happened" into a trance-like passage, Bradford started screaming the "Horses" section of Patti Smith's "Land" over the mix. They left the stage after ending the climactic "Twilight At Carbon Lake" with a reverberating crunch that continued through their entire break before returning for an encore. The 2-song encore included the Lockett Pundt-fronted "Desire Lines" and "Calvary Scars II," which again ended with hypnotic noise that didn't cease until the lights in Webster Hall were turned back on and the stage crew muted the amps.
More pictures from the Tuesday night show below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Eleanor Friedberger & band @ Europa
After checking out Guided By Voices earlier in the day, Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger played Europa instead of St. Cecilia's Church on Saturday (6/18) as part of the Northside Festival. The show was opened by Ida, Rebecca Gates, and Spectre Folk. To make that lineup even more exciting, Ted Leo showed up as a secret guest to perform a set right before Eleanor (the second time Ted played Europa in less than a month). Bradford Cox was among the Northside attendees at the Brooklyn show which is pictured in this post.
Ted Leo @ Europa
If you missed Ted at Europa, catch him as a special guest again on Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen at Littlefield this Monday (6/27). He also plays a free 4Knots Fest kickoff show at Seaport on July 9. He won't be at the actual 4Knots Fest, but Eleanor will (and, as announced today, so will Mr. Dream, the band featuring ex-Village Voice writer Nick Sylvester).
Back in February Eleanor took part in a Loser's Lounge tribute to Queen show at Joe's Pub. Backed by an 8+ member ensemble, she got her Freddie Mercury on to "You're My Best Friend". Check out the video, and more pictures from the Northside show below...
Atlas Sound in a church
Northside Festival got off to a sweaty start yesterday, but luckily, the weather held out. I don't think I'm alone in saying that last night may have been the most stacked. Forget a slow build-up. It was 8:00, and there were already at least three places I really wanted to be, but I decided to go with Atlas Sound. I mean it was at St. Cecilia's, so it got extra points.
"I think this is the first time I've been in a church," one guy said tentatively to his friend before the show started. With its stained glass windows, carefully carved decorations, shiny chandeliers, and beautiful pews, it was a sight to behold.
The setting couldn't have been more fitting for the opening act, Lichens. The set got off to a slow start - seven solid minutes of a monotone buzz, but it soon started to build with every passing minute as Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe added more to the mix, including some otherworldly vocals. The natural reverb of the space further complimented his sound.
After about playing for about thirty minutes straight, he stopped as suddenly as he had begun, and another one-man act, Adam Forkner (aka White Rainbow), took his place behind a folding table and began to fiddle with a series of knobs and pedals. Forkner, too, carefully looped his music together, but for him, the music was more to entertain - not to bring about a religious experience. With the addition of some bass in the mix, it was just enough to get two people near the front to stand up in their pews and start dancing. (I smell a Craigslist missed connection in the making.)
Up next was yet another one-man act, Atlas Sound. In his red button up shirt and high-wasted khaki pants, Bradford Cox was dressed for the occasion. The majority of his set comprised brand new songs (for which he apologized, saying he had forgotten how the other ones go), but he did at least slip in a few older ones, including "Shelia." It's only a matter of time before Cox starts to make up songs on the spot for each show (as he joked he was doing at the Brooklyn show).
Unfortunately, though the atmosphere was ornate, I didn't love the sound quality. (Or maybe I'm just spoiled from hearing him play at the Bell House.) At times, the guitar took on this jarring quality as it pierced through the otherwise dreamy mix, but the crowd didn't seem to mind too much (Andrew liked it). A number of people left their seats in the back and filled in the space in between the pews as the show went on.
After a brief encore, Bradford Cox delivered something of a benediction to the crowd, and turned everyone loose to dash to the next show - for me, it was off to a sticky hot Bruar Falls (as per Bill's recommendation) for a bit of jangly pop, courtesy of Reading Rainbow and Eternal Summers. It was still early after all.
Deerhunter at Bonnaroo 2011 (more by Dana (Distortion) Yavin)
Deerhunter, who recently a live album via Rhapsody, have added a second date at Webster Hall on August 23, a day after they were already scheduled to play. Tickets are still on sale for the August 22 show and go on sale Friday (6/17) at noon for the August 23 show. Neither shows has openers yet.
All Deerhunter tour dates below...
words & photos by Chris Gersbeck
!!! @ the BrooklynVegan/MFM Day Party Saturday
By the time Saturday rolled around in Austin, I was admittedly starting to tire of the massive crowd that had been occupying 6th Street since I arrived on Tuesday. That didn't stop me from hitting up as much live music as I could in that final day though. Thanks to an insane amount of free day parties, this was a relatively easy task, albeit an exhausting one.
To start things off, Jonny Corndawg (who has a Brooklyn Bowl residency coming up) was playing a Fiji Water-sponsored, artist-only brunch in the upstairs of Barbarella where the BrooklynVegan/M For Montreal Day party was happpening downstairs (with !!!, Trail of Dead & more). Though I've seen Corndawg several times before, it goes without saying that he's an entertaining performer/songwriter, and his intimate set was well received by the early morning brunch-eating fans.
After that I jetted downstairs to the outside Barbarella stage to catch one of the weirder performances I'd seen all week. Misteur Valaire, a five piece Canadian dance-punk outfit energetically jumped around stage, switching instruments on nearly every song, and often breaking out into choreographed dance sequences. To say it was odd is an understatement, but nonetheless I had a smile on my face the entire time. It was also a great way to embrace us for the crazy dance party that ensued when !!! (chk-chk-chk) took the stage next.
Nic Offer, easily the greatest short-shorts wearing frontman in indie rock, made no hesitation in getting the increasingly packed outdoor crowd dancing for !!!'s set. Though he did express his dismay of there being a couch on the dance floor (yes, for some reason there was a couch in the middle of the dance floor), Offer used it as a prop to jump into the middle of the crowd several times. And their tribute to the late Nate Dogg, a cover of "Get Up", was a great way to conclude their set.
Up next on the Barbarella outdoor stage was Austin's own Trail of Dead, who initially suffered from sound/equipment problems, but eventually got it together to play a pulverizing set to the still packed outdoor stage. Though short in length, it was in no way short on enthusiasm, and Trail of Dead blasted through their set as they flung themselves around on stage. Bassist Autry Fulbright III even broke a bass string towards the end of their ecstatic concluding song, a feat I've rarely seen accomplished.
After an ill-fated trip to the free Mess With Texas party where I hoped to catch the Dead Milkmen and Odd Future (the location was so dusty and packed it was unbearable), I was able to make it into the official Red Ryder SXSW showcase at the Central Presbyterian Church on 8th Street in time to witness a jaw dropping performance from Sharon Van Etten.
Sharon Van Etten @ the Red Ryder SXSW showcase
Van Etten was one of the more talked about performers of the entire SXSW festival, and I couldn't have been happier to catch her set after missing her at the BrooklynVegan showcase earlier in the week. The church made for absolutely breathtaking acoustics. Members of Wye Oak and TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone watched from the balcony. I cannot stress it enough, do not miss her upcoming show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 16th.
Portland, Oregon super-sized group Typhoon followed Sharon Van Etten, and though that may have been the problem, it was also a reminder that often less is more. Not to say they didn't put on a heartfelt performance, or that the massive church setting wasn't perfect for their big, full sound, but their enthusiasm at times came off as a bit much. Though if you're a fan of the Polyphonic Spree or We're From Barcelona, Typhoon is likely right up your alley.
After catching them at the Bowery Ballroom the week prior, I was definitely excited to see the Rural Alberta Advantage again. They didn't disappoint. Stating that they played the same venue at SXSW in 2009, keyboardist Amy Cole expressed a slight feeling of déjà vu, but said they were happy to be performing in such a space for a second time. What was apparently a repeat of that '09 performance, the band returned for an encore of a stripped down performance of their song "Good Night" surrounded by the crowd, completely un-mic'd and unplugged. It was an entrancing and honest moment from the Canadian band, and a perfect way to end a long, long week of live music where I also caught sets by The Kills and Atlas Sound.
Pictures from everything mentioned above, below...
Ornate blue and white paper snowflakes dangled from the ceiling of the Bell House on Saturday night (12/11), announcing the unofficial onset of winter and appropriately setting the stage for the sparse, introspective music of Atlas Sound. Following Lyonnais' early performance (which I inadvertently missed), Bradford Cox walked on stage alone and began with a bit of an awkward intro. "How you doing? Can you guys hear this?" He took a seat on the stool. "Oh, it's soft," he admitted with surprise. He hadn't even begun to play, but he already held the audience's full attention. With a harmonica strapped around his neck and a guitar in his lap, Cox kicked off his show with a string of newer songs, beginning with the excellent "Terrarium."
After a few songs, Cox addressed the crowd, his voice comically laden with reverb. "It's great to be here," he began. "I figure [he reached to turn off the effect] I figure I came here in the winter last time and played and had such a good time. Why not repeat the experience? I really like this place a lot. The people are awesome, and I really like the sound. And I think I'm going to come here every year. In the wintertime.... like a Christmas tradition... or Hanukkah tradition...or Kwanzaa - whatever it is you choose. A holiday tradition. What do you think?" The crowd cheered enthusiastically in response.
Though Cox played a few songs from his studio recordings (like "Shelia" and a toned down version of "Walkabout"), much of his set contained songs he self-released on his website in recent weeks. "I hope some of you have heard these," Cox announced mid set. "I got off tour with Deerhunter, and I went home and didn't have anything to do. I started feeling pretty wild. Like cabin fever, you know? I watched two seasons of Law and Order: Criminal Intent in like 52 hours, and I wasn't returning phone calls. It was dark. So I got out my little recording machine and made some recordings and then I decided to play them."
As per usual, the lyrics in Cox's new repertoire were often on the bleak side, making them well-suited for the winter show format. But to counteract the foreboding sense of gloom that pervaded his lyrics, Cox warmly interacted with the cordial, sold-out audience throughout the evening.
After capping off his set with a few longer, more meandering songs, Cox thanked the crowd and announced that there was another event scheduled, so he had to wrap up his set. As he walked off stage, the lights to the venue came back on, but it wasn't enough to deter the crowd from cheering for an encore. Cox soon returned with a big grin plastered on his face.
"I'll remember this. That was a nice feeling. I really didn't think I'd have time, then they told me to come back." He fumbled around for a moment, trying to figure out what to play. "Would anyone be mad if I played 'The Screens'? You guys are actually making me nervous. You're so nice." "You're nicer!" came a gruff male voice in response. Cox began to play the harmonica, then stopped abruptly to shake the spit from it. "Let's see if I can't fuck this up."
Despite his low estimation of his talent (or perhaps because of it?), his brief encore was the perfect end to the evening, and I eagerly await next year's winter show, as promised.
Atlas Sound also played Maxwell's in Hoboken one night earlier. The approximate setlist from The Bell House and a video from the show, below...
Though the forecast last night called for possible thunderstorms, luckily there was no lightening in sight to prompt the cancellation of the show (or compromise safety), and a modest crowd gathered on Pier 54 to see the last show of the summer in the Hudson River Park's RiverRocks series. The smell of sea water, rain, and cigarettes permeated the air and helped set the mood for Real Estate's nostalgia-inducing music.
After some introductory words (guitarist Matt Mondanile said 'hi' to his mom), Real Estate began their set with a slower tune. In both their music and their attitudes, the Jersey-based four-piece seem both carefree and sincere. In between songs, they each contribute to the stage banter by playing off what another member said. After the first song, lead singer and guitarist Martin Courtney tried to bridge the divide between the crowd and the stage by inviting people to jump the barrier, but the restrictions remained in place. The crowd, did listen to bassist Alex Bleeker's suggestion to "jump around a little bit," when the band broke into "Beach Comber," however.
They may not have the loftiest lyrics (a new song contained the lines: "Water's not for me. Head downtown. People walking around"), but even when they're singing the same line about Budweiser and Sprite on repeat ("Suburban Beverage"), the music and melodies will get stuck in your head. Real Estate just released their debut album last year, but they played three new songs during their set, two of which are slated to be on an upcoming 7". Like their old material, the new tunes also seem to be inspired by the beach and suburban living.
In between the two sets, the volume of the background music increased noticeably in preparation for Deerhunter's set, and Real Estate's sunnier treble-heavy music was replaced by a heavier mix that prominently featured the bass line (sadly at the cost of the vox).
After a glowing endorsement by one of the event organizers, the members of Deerhunter assembled themselves on stage [to play to those not over on Governors Island or in East River Park checking out White Rabbits]. "How's everyone doing tonight? We're so happy you guys came out tonight, and I'm glad it's not pouring [...] There's a lot of stuff going on tonight, so it means a lot that you spent it with us," said Deerhunter front man Bradford Cox by way of introduction.
Cox may have talked a lot immediately preceding the set (partly to stall while bassist Joshua Fauver got ready), but in an uncharacteristically mum move, he stopped just once (and then only after the fourth song), and said only the obligatory, "Thank you very much." Maybe Cox was hoping to power through the set before the weather worsened or maybe he was simply trying to squeeze in the most songs possible, but often, the band transitioned from one song to the next without even stopping for applause, which made it hard to tell when songs finished and began. Their set list consisted of both material from their upcoming release, Halcyon Digest, and crowd pleasers like "Hazel St." and "Never Stops."
At some point midset, a strange mosh pit of sorts broke out, and people flocked to the front to get in on the action. It started out as a concentrated mass in the middle of the crowd, but soon, people started shuffling back and forth (to the extreme left and then back to the right), as if the movements were choreographed.
Since there was no 'last song' warning, the band's departure was rather abrupt, but the music continued on loop after the stage was empty. Still without uttering a word, Cox launched into a couple of recognizable songs for the encore, as if rewarding those who stuck it out in the rain. Deerhunter may have only played two songs (I think), but those songs unfolded for an impressive 25 minutes thanks to a long detour into drone territory before Cox tied it up a bit at the end when the guitar melody returned more distinctly.
"Thanks so much for getting wet for us. I hope you guys have a great safe rest of the night" Cox said as the music slowly faded out.
Though the crowd may have been smaller due to the weather (and due to the concurrent Grizzly Bear show), people were in good spirits - even after the rain picked up again at the end of Deerhunter's set. There was almost an extra note of camaraderie brought on by the rain - a 'we're in this together' kind of feeling. I can only bet that both sweat and satisfaction were high for those who made it out to Glasslands to see Deerhunter's DJ set and a show by Ducktails (which features Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile).
Partial setlists from both bands, and more pictures from the show, below...
photos by Rachel Carr, words by Daiana Feuer
The third and final round of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival was funky, and not just because the port-a-potties reeked. Keeping a loose theme every day (see Friday & Saturday), Sunday focused on relentless rhythm and groovy basslines. The absolute golden moment belonged to Yo La Tengo's blistering final song. Rhythm that revels in repetition + guitar that tries to destroy itself = wee mind blown. Sometimes the moodiest things are the most uplifting.
Thom Yorke brought his dancing shoes, his favorite Flea, and Nigel Godrich. His band Atoms For Peace played almost every song off The Eraser, many of which featured strong world rhythm sections. When Yorke didn't have a guitar in hand, he danced, whirled, and punched the air like he was rehearsing a scene from Fame. We wanted a high kick, but it didn't arrive. King Khan & The Shrines, on the other hand, featured legs flying all over the place, DJ Lance Rock and Yo Gabba Gabba characters, burning money, as well as a visit from the police-who crept on stage to snap pictures. Probably the first time Khan runs into cops and doesn't leave wearing cuffs. Sunny Day Real Estate had the audience offering bids to buy property, and Phoenix had people choking on dinner as they tried to dance and eat at the same time.
King Khan Gabba Gabba
Not every Julian Casablancas song captivated, but his band delightfully binged on rhythms. Each musician had a personal backbeat player supporting each fill. The drummer plus his sidekick especially sounded great. Matt & Kim's ebullient smiles inspired chaos in the audience, as usual. Mayer Hawthorne and the County revived Motown soulful brassiness and covered Biz Markie's "Just a Friend." The Big Pink played some new songs from next year's album, reaching out for Depeche Mode with a drummer in a pink bathing suit. Electro sweet popper Little Boots forgot her pants as well, wearing a sparkly shirt and knickers, and played with the lasers on stage. Charlotte Gainsbourg inaugurated her "first tour, first everything" with a feminine "Candy-O" sensibility, sometimes in French. Florence & the Machine rounds out the great lady performances of the day, and brought on Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids.
All clad in white, France's DJ ego-powers Club 75 demonstrated the ability to cooperate together with just a few elbows thrown. Cassius, Justice, Busy P, and DJ Mehdi still use CD's (so old school), and took turns passing on the headphones between them and finishing each other's remix sentences, trading places at each station. Backstage security bobbed along while staying tough. When it was their turn, Rusko turned the Sahara tent into a mechazoid robot battle and Orbital live-produced virtual reality anthems for Satan wearing Matrix miner lights around their heads. Infected Mushroom instructed on the benefits of "Becoming Insane" flanked by two mushrooms with red eyes.
The Middle East should not be confused with The Soft Pack, formerly The Muslims. The former may be from Australia but it sounds like a back porch band from Woodstock, and the latter offers a "Parasite" infestation that's as pure as sunshine and a neat drum set up that packs a giant tom punch. What appears as regular rock on headphones reveals its brilliance when experienced live. One of the strangest live moments of the festival belongs to Sly Stone, who played four hours late and on the wrong stage. He bitched, he slurred, he cursed, lay down, walked off, stopped songs and good grief, made a total mess of himself. But that's rock and roll.
Sly Stone made history look unable to get past its youthful drug phase, but Jonsi, Pavement, and Spoon come from a music scene that did a little bit less cocaine. Jonsi repped the awesomeness of Sigur Rós and great hats. Steve Patterson of White Rabbits joined Britt Daniels and the rest of Spoon to add percussion on "I Turn My Camera On". Spoon's tour-mate Bradford Cox (who played earlier in the day in Deerhunter) also joined Spoon on stage, like he did on their recent Kimmel appearance. Pavement ran through the hits during one of their first U.S. shows since reuniting. "That's the 90's in a nutshell," said Stephen Malkmus after the angsty "Unfair"...
"...Pavement, the iconic slacker band of the '90s, who took the main stage against what turned out to be one of the fest's chief attractions, the finally wildly popular French dance-rock band Phoenix, who wowed possibly the biggest crowd of the entire fest ... while Pavement played to a field half-full of true believers rather than the massive throngs many expected, and thought the band deserved.Virtual Snoop Dogg introduced the Gorillaz set, but Blur's Damon Albarn appeared in the flesh, with a few special guests including Paul Simonon, Mick Jones, De La Soul-who kicked their own old school jams earlier in the day-and Little Dragon's Yukimi. One unique rhythm transcended the next, showing the mutability of hip hop and dance music. And then that was it, suddenly. The festival ended and tens of thousands of people started wondering where they left their car keys...
No matter, though. Pavement still delivered a set that vindicated the group of prior crimes -- namely a Coachella performance near the end of their career so notoriously bad, many in attendance point to it as the moment the band decided to break up.
This night, however, they were tight, they were loud, and they sounded large on that vast field -- an odd statement, given the fact that in their heyday they were far more known for being introspectively small rather than arena-ready..." [The OC Register]
Radiohead Peppers For Peace
Daiana's Weekend Top 10:
1. Yo La Tengo's last song
2. Little Dragon's Yukimi
3. Gossip leading a revolution
4. Thom Yorke dancing to African rhythms
5. PiL giving a history lesson
6. Sly Stone wigging out
7. Bouncing penises + fat people in undies (Die Antwoord + Major Lazer)
8. Devo putting on the hats that ushered in modern pop culture for "Whip It"
9. John Waters corrupting many young minds
10. The Gorrilaz lyric: "Super fast jellyfish going super fast. You can't even see him but you wanna eat him."
Owen Pallett, Local Natives, Miike Snow, and Yann Tiersen also played the fest Sunday. Gary Numan was among those who couldn't. Reviews & pictures from Day One, HERE and Day Two, HERE. Setlists (Thom Yorke and Pavement), pictures, and videos from Day Three, below...
by Benjamin Lozovsky
Spoon has made a long and fruitful career out of simultaneously fulfilling and denying the expectations of fans, critics and record labels. On Friday night (3/26), the band greatly exceeded its own expectations by headlining a sold-out Radio City Music Hall.
It was a big deal for a band that's taken small but inquisitive steps over 16 years and 7 records. This show came in support of their latest effort, Transference, a moody yet powerful record of micro-experimentation that ultimately saw the band reinvigorating their inner scruffiness (they celebrated the release of that record by playing a much smaller NYC venue in January). But unlike some recent tour dates which saw Transference heavy setlists, on this night Spoon played a well curated sampling of many of their past gems; it felt like a therapeutic nod to history for a band eager to revisit the moments that brought them this far.
But it wasn't just looking back for the fuzzy feeling of nostalgia. Britt Daniel and co. breathed new sophisticated life into songs like "I Summon You" and "Someone Something." The latter was sung as a duet with Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces, one of several guests (Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Stephen Patterson of White Rabbits) who appeared during the show. Dan and Eleanor performed one of their own songs with the group as well as assisting on Spoon numbers, as the headliner graciously and generously dolloped the trademark Spoon appliqué onto numbers like "Waiting To Know You" and "Modern World."
Radio City Music Hall is often a tough sell for rock fans, and Friday was no exception. It wasn't until midway through Spoon's first set, when the band was augmented by a seven piece horn section for numbers like "Don't You Evah" from their brass heavy 2007 album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, that the crowd finally took notice of the scorching effort brought forth by the band members and joined in on the revelry of this potential poster child for indie rock perseverance affixing its name to such an illustrious marquee.
Attempting to warm up the crowd were lively but somewhat underdeveloped The Strange Boys (sans new member Jenna Thornhill-DeWitt) and Deerhunter. Many attendants preferred to mingle in the gold-plated lobby of Radio City rather than check out the openers, but neither band did everything they could to completely win over the crowd either. Deerhunter didn't outright disappoint, but they didn't sound as impactful as normal. For the majority of their performance, the powerful streams of noise normally associated with the band were muted in the large hall. Instead the bare trappings of their songwriting were exposed, which might have been an interesting contrast for a frequent listener, but to the uninitiated came across as listless and at times sluggish. When Bradford Cox and his bandmates played to their more expansive and propulsive leanings though, things improved. They finally turned up the volume and intensity in the finale which was topped off with a long cacophonously exciting outro. Then they seemed to be having fun as eccentric noise makers in such a staid arena.
Still neither of the younger bands could match the passion of the older Spoon, who now might be considered elder statesmen of the genre they often like to eschew connections with. Daniel has an ageless croon, even if it faltered occasionally Friday. One couldn't help but feel Spoon could go on forever taking small steps at musical progression and growth. As a performance though, this was one giant leap.
More tour dates HERE. The full Radio City setlist with more pictures and some videos, below...
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
"I had this all planned out," said Atlas Sound's Bradford Cox, "This was going to be a mind-blowing second song." Cox battled technical issues with one of his loop machines throughout his sold out show at the Bell House in Brooklyn, dropping it on the stage several times to get it to work.
Through it all, the Deerhunter frontman handled the technical difficulties with grace, humor and self-deprecating wit. Once he was up and running (almost making it through that second song, "Te Amo" before the drum track cut out again) his eight-song set was a sprawling reworking of many tracks off last year's, Logos.
The two standout tracks from that record, "Walkabout" and "Shelia" went back to back. Excellent on the record, but live both songs were lacking those key elements that make them so winning - the infectious piano melody on "Walkabout" and the shuffling drums on "Shelia." But those were minor complaints when songs like main set closer "Attic Lights" were so stunning with building echoing vocals and feedback that filled the venue.
The title track was one of three songs performed during the encore. Before he left the stage Cox charmed the audience even further explaining how much he appreciates playing in New York.
Opening were NJ-based, dance-rock outfit Memory Tapes (Dayve Hawk). Atlas Sound plays a 2nd NYC show, this time with Neon Indian, tonight (2/4) at NYU. More pictures from the Brooklyn show below...
DOWNLOAD: Liars - Scissor (MP3)
Liars announce details of an expanded edition of their eagerly awaited fifth studio album, Sisterworld, out on March 9th 2010.You can download "Scissor" for free above. Liars' North American tour is happening in April and includes shows at Bowery Ballroom (4/15) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (4/18). The main album's tracklist and all dates below...
This version comes with a second CD of remixes and reinterpretations of all 11 tracks on Sisterworld from artists including Thom Yorke, Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio), Bradford Cox (Deerhunter / Atlas Sound), Melvins, Alan Vega (Suicide), Chris & Cosey (Throbbing Gristle) and Blonde Redhead. Full tracklisting to follow in the coming weeks.
Says Angus Andrew, "On this project we wanted to help develop and expand the role of the remix, particularly to engage artists less acknowledged for their work in the field. They were asked to 're-interpret' the song by any means necessary and the result is definitely the most exciting collaborative effort we've been involved in."
Liars also announce a string of North American tour dates in support of Sisterworld. The tour sees fellow LA band Fol Chen supporting Liars on all dates. The first single from Sisterworld, Scissor will be released as a digital single February 16th, 2010.
DOWNLOAD: Deerhunter - Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night (mediafire)
Atlas Sound @ MHOW in October (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
It's one of two dates currently booked for the group. The other is a February 26th show in San Francisco.
Over the weekend (12/12), Bradford posted a 2005 Deerhunter CD-R, Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night, as a free download on his blog. He writes: "It features only me and Moses and is very experimental in nature. This was during our "tape phase" when we would often play shows as a duo (or as a trio with colin) playing only tape machines and vocal loops." The recording is linked above. Its tracklist, more info, Bradford's favorite albums of 2009, and tour dates below...