Entries tagged with: Bright Lights
by Bill Pearis
The column comes early as it's a busy week and there are lots of shows to talk about. First up, venerable NYC trio Nada Surf's new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is out today and the band play Bowery Ballroom this evening to celebrate. Tonight's show is sold out but Nada Surf will be streaming the show live via their YouTube channel starting at 10PM. The band then head out for a good two months of touring and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
The band's seventh album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is another fine record in Nada Surf's catalog of positive-vibe guitar pop, bolstered this time out by Doug Gillard who provides a lot of great lead work. This kind of music may not be in fashion right now, but it also never really goes out of style. And they do it really well You can stream or download the ebullient first single "Waiting for Something" at the bottom of this post and Spotify users can listen to the album here.
Cloud Nothings - 'Attack on Memory'
Also out today: Cloud Nothings' Attack on Memory which, as Andrew noted a couple weeks ago, is much more sophisticated and agressive than the tuneful pop-punk the band have released in the past. They're still writing catchy songs -- check out "Stay Useless at the top of this post -- but the shift is fairly radical, so much so that main man Dylan Baldi briefly considered changing the name of the band. (It's not that radical.) It's a very good album, and you can listen to it on Spotify and watch the brand-new video for "No Future/No Past" at the bottom of this post.
The album, you may have seen, got Best New Music on the 'Fork yesterday, and despite this there are still tickets to be had for Cloud Nothings' show this Thursday (1/26) at The Studio @ Webster Hall though I imagine not for long. Knowing how good the band are live (what a drummer!) I'm really anxious to hear these songs live. It's a one-off show, but the band will tour starting mid-February including, need I say it, time in Austin for SXSW. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
The Hundred in the Hands - Bowery Ballroom Feb. 2011 (more)
The Hundred in the Hands are playing their first show in a long time this Friday (1/27) at Glasslands, which will give us the first taste of the duo's second album which will be out on Warp at some point this year. While they haven't released any tracks from it yet, they are still updating the THITH Zine, the band's culture zine that most recently interview artist Zander Blom. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the archives that's worth checking out.
My Best Fiend
A lot of people will be at Glasslands on Friday just to check out THITH's Warp labelmates My Best Fiend whose album In Ghostlike Fading is out February 21. My Best Fiend are not your typical Warp act, closer to the space blues of Spiritualized or My Morning Jacket (or Neil Young) than the electronic music that fills most of the label's roster. The band have been plugging away in the Brooklyn scene for upwards of seven years and its good to see it pay off for them. You can download album-opener "Higher Palms" at the top of this post and you can stream "Cracking Eggs" (which features Light Asylum's Shannon Fuchness) further down.
The Glasslands show also features duo Bikini who make unapologetic four-on-the-floor dancefloor fodder, and Bear in Heaven will be DJing between sets, hopefully not playing all the records at 400,000% slower than normal.
And finally we have Florida's Guy Harvey, which is a band and not a solo artist and should not to be confused with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey which I did for half a second. The band are on tour with Gainsville residents Averkiou and hit NYC this weekend for two shows: Friday (1/27) at Cake Shop and Saturday (1/28) at Death by Audio. All GH/Averkiou dates are at the bottom of this post.
You may recognize Guy Harvey frontman Adam Perry from his moonlighting gig as an auxiliary member of Surfer Blood. There's not a lot of Guy Harvey music out there to listen to, but both sides of a 2010 7" (streamable below) are ace, with a strong Flying Nun influence. If you liked the Twerps album from last year, give Guy Harvey a listen. Averkiou, meanwhile, make fuzzy, shoegazy pop not too far from early Teenage Fanclub. Check out a few streaming tracks at the bottom of this post.
Friday's Cake Shop show is with Byrdsy locals Slow Country whose new album is a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp and is quite nice. Saturday's show at Death by Audio also has underrated Brooklyn bands I'm Turning Into and Bright Lights. Either show is worth checking out. Or go to both!
That's the main stuff for this week. Below are a few more picks, day-by-day, of shows not covered otherwise.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
There's a TWII-approved line-up at East Village mainstay Lit Lounge -- that is now booking bands I've heard of again -- with The Hairs (new single out next month), Pigeons, and Gross Relations.
As you know, Williamsburg music venue Bruar Falls is sadly closing at the end of this month. As just mentioned, tonight is their first "Last Night Ever". The full final (as of today) schedule below...
Allo Darlin' @ The Woods
For me, day three of CMJ started at The Woods. With so much opportunity to see a good number of the bands featured in CMJ year round (sooo many Brooklyn bands), it's always not a bad idea to make an effort to see out-of-town bands, and The Woods were showcasing at least a couple - Hedgehog (China) and Allo Darlin' (UK).
I arrived in time to see about half of Hedgehog's set. Despite their cute name (and their adorable drummer, Atom), Hedgehog delivered a pretty raucous set. Though the kit may obscure nearly all of the tiny drummer, she propels the music with a fierce intensity. (In my slightly delusional state of sleep deprivation, I admit I had fantasies of Atom teaming up with Marissa Paternoster and starting a tiny girl super group.)
I had been looking forward to checking out Dream Diary, but apparently the set times had become somewhat jumbled, and we got Sleepies instead. Perhaps also frustrated with the change of lineup (or just craving a taco), the room was nearly empty for Sleepies' set, and even one of the members joked that they should just all go across town to see Surfer Blood. Yikes.
My main reason for heading over to The Woods was to check out Allo Darlin.' Since Sleepies' set was only 20 minutes long, we were somehow running ahead of schedule (a first for CMJ?), so Allo Darlin' actually got to do a soundcheck. Ironically, they also suffered the most from technical problems. Their set started out fine enough (so the vocals were too low... what's new?), but things got out of control pretty quickly. Let's just say the sound guy was lucky to be hiding behind a large plant (what?). Allo Darlin' were understanding to a point, but clearly grew frustrated by the problems and the lengthy break during their show. Despite the setbacks, it was still nearly impossible to refrain from smiling (at least when they were actually playing). If the number of photographers present is any indication of a band's promise, then the blogosphere must be expecting big things from Allo Darlin' - as their singer Elizabeth Morris pointed out, nearly everyone in the room had a camera. If you missed them at this or their only other CMJ show, catch them now on their tour that includes the Mondo Halloween Party at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn on October 30 (tickets are on sale).
From there it was a brief respite from music to attend my first CMJ party, an NPR Music-sponsored event. (Oh hi, Laura Gibson. Fancy meeting you here.), and then it was off to Mercury Lounge for The Extra Lens.
More pictures from the Impose/Pop Jew show at The Woods, including bands not mentioned in the review (The Othermen and Bright Lights), and a Bleary Eyed Brooklyn video from the show, below...