Entries tagged with: Bruar Falls

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Grand Victory

If you hear music blaring out of 245 Grand Street in Brooklyn, know that it isn't the return of the recently shuttered Bruar Falls, but the emergence of new venue The Grand Victory. The bar/live venue will open its doors on January 19th and already features a few upcoming shows, including 1/19 with Born Loose, The Threads, Bikini Carwash, "guest DJs & more!!", 1/25 with Oceanographer, Money/Paper/Hearts & Eagle Hawk Falcon Owl, and 1/28 with The Giraffes, Moon Rabbits, The Netherlands & Cinema Cinema.

"Spent Bruar Falls' last set spilling whiskey and untangling toilet paper from around my head. Clouder, appropriately spooky, killed it." - Sydney Brownstone

Goodbye @BruarFalls I'll miss you. Parting shot. (Bill Pearis)
Bruar Falls

After announcing its closure exactly a month earlier, Williamsburg music venue Bruar Falls hosted its final show on Halloween, the last night of October. RIP Bruar Falls.

Share your memories in the comments.

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Peaking Lights - All The Sun That Shines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Peaking Lights - Tiger Eyes (Laid Back) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Peaking Lights - Hey Sparrow (MP3)

Bruar Falls

It never fails, the week after CMJ I get sick. So here I sit, with a big cup of green tea and a stuffy head, writing about shows that I want to go to, but probably won't. But hopefully you are in better health. There's a lot of great options this weekend.

As you may have heard, two-year-old Williamsburg club Bruar Falls is closing November 1. I live pretty close to the place, have seen a lot of great shows there and am bummed it's shutting its doors. But for Bruar Falls' Last Week Ever, it's going out in style with a bunch of great shows. Tonight (10/28) it's The Beets, Tanks Amigo, the Beachniks and, just in time for Halloween, a Misfits cover band.

Saturday night (10/29) is for you punkers out there: Stalkers, Tough Shits, Ex-Humans and Dino's Boys. And then Sunday night (10/30) it's Dive, Shark?, Air Waves and Bright Lights. And then Halloween night (10/31) is the for real last night ever with Friend Roulette, Hunktronik, Clouder and KNTRLR.

A lot of these bands are BF regulars so I imagine there will be a palpable party vibe there all weekend long. I'll miss ya.

Peaking Lights
Peaking Lights

Tonight (10/28) is the NYC debut of Wisconsin husband and wife duo Peaking Lights whose alluring, dubby album 963 came out early this year on Not Not Fun but is getting wider distribution next month via Mexican Summer and Domino imprint Weird World. You can download a few tracks from the record at the top of this post.

A lot of the strange sounds heard on the album come via homemade instruments and effects boxes that Aaron Coyes makes in the basement of his and singer Indra Dunis' home. You can find out more about this via an episode of VBS TV's Soundbuilders which is streaming at the bottom of this post. After watching that, I'm curious to see how Peaking Lights will pull off a live show, what with all the delicate McGuyver-esque gear. But the record's great and I'm hoping for the best.

Radical Dads
Radical Dads

One of my favorite sets at CMJ was seeing Radical Dads at Bruar Falls on Saturday night and reminded me just how good they've become. In fact, I'd go as far to say as they're one of Brooklyn's best bands right now. Certainly one of the more unheralded. If you like Wild Flag, I urge you to check out RD's debut album Mega Rama which has a similar vibe but is much less hyped. There's a streaming player at the bottom of this post.

I'm happy to report that Mega Rama is getting a belated vinyl release in December via Loud Baby Sounds. You can pre-order it now. The album art is one of my favorite record covers of the year and have been dying to own a big 12" version of it -- not to mention getting to play it on my turntable. Also on the vinyl tip, Radical Dads also have a 7" coming out in December, "Skateboarding Bulldog," which you can stream or download via a widget at the bottom of this post.

But more than maybe anything I suggest going to see them live which you can do tonight (10/28) at Spike Hill where they'll play with Plates of Cake, Quilty,  and Conversion Party. Cover's only five bucks.

Star Slinger
Star Slinger

If glitchy dance music is more your thing, the weekend has two very good options. Star Slinger, who was supposed to play here in the spring but had to cancel, is finally making his NYC debut at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (10/28). After a bunch of head-turning remixes and download tracks, Star Slinger recently released his first "official" single, "Dumbin," via Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound which you can stream or download at the bottom of this post.

After the MHoW, which also has SHLOMO and Shitego on the bill, you might want to swing over to 285 Kent where there's  a "secret guest" headliner. (G-Side and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire play as well.) Though not mentioned out-and-out, they do link to Star Slinger's website on the Facebook invite.

Gold Panda
Gold Panda

Then Saturday night (10/29), the Fixed party at Cameo has UK act Gold Panda who's been remixed by Star Slinger and is following up last year's excellent Lucky Shiner with his spin on the latest installment of K7!'s DJ Kicks series. In a bit of Brooklyn weekend synergy, GP's track "An Iceberg Hurled Through Northern Clouds" just got remixed by Peaking Lights and you can stream the remix of that below.

The Fixed party at Cameo also features Lemonade, Blondes and an open bar from 8 - 10. Gold Panda then heads the next day (ouch) to Moogfest in Ashville, NC.


Saturday night has a pretty killer show at Glasslands. Obits headline and are still driving on the high octane tank of gas that is their second album, Moody, Standard and Poor.  Perhaps even more exciting, for some folks, is opener Office of Future Plans which is the new thing from Jawbox man J. Robbins.

Terry Malts
Terry Malts

And finally, a little preview into early next week. Don't forget that the Wax Idols/Terry Malts tour hits Cake Shop on Tuesday (11/1) and Shea Stadium on Wednesday (11/2) for a double dose of San Francisco style fuzz. As I wrote elsewhere on this site:

Wax Idols are the new group from Hether Fortune, who has spent time in Hunx & His Punx and Bare Wires. Fuzz pedals crash into jangly guitars, vocals are high sneer but also full of harmony, and there's room for both girl group balladry and a tough cover of Wire's "Sand in My Joints." The band's debut, No Future, is out next month on HoZac and is quite good. You can check out "Dead Like You" from it at the top of this post.

As for the Terry Malts, their debut 7" on Slumberland from earlier this year is three quick blasts of sunny pop covered in a thick blanket of white noise. (Somewhere between '80s West Coast punk and C-'86 lies their sound.) It's the new project from most of the guys in Magic Bullets, a band that has been put in cold storage -- they played their final show August 24. They've got a new 7" out in about a month, and you can download "Distracted" from the first one at the top of this post.

Other bands on the Cake Shop bill are still TBA but the Shea Stadium show also features Sundelles, Habibi, and the ever-present Dive (if you haven't seen them yet, you're making an effort not to).

That's the main stuff. More daily picks are below.


Pixies continue to tour their best album, Dolittle, tonight at Asbury Park Convention Hall with Surfer Blood opening.

Meanwhile... Tanya Donnely, who was in the original line-up of the Breeders (not to mention Throwing Muses and then Belly) is doing a show at Joe's Pub. She'll be aded and abetted by Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero, writer Rick Moody, as well as Magnetic Fields cohorts Claudia Gonson and Sam Davol, plus Carrie Bradley who was also in the Breeders at one point (and folk rock band Ed's Redeeming Qualities).

Over at St. Vitus, it's an evening of dark sounds, with French minimal waver Frank (Just Frank), Bootblacks and Philly's Hot Guts.

continued below...

Continue reading "Peaking Lights, Star Slinger, Radical Dads, Bruar Falls, Gold Panda, Wax Idols, Obits & more in This Week in Indie"

Bruar Falls

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...

Continue reading "Bruar Falls is having its Last Week Ever"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Street Chant @ Public Assembly
Street Chant

The Mishka store isn't the only appearance David Liebe Hart is making tonight (10/25). The Tim & Eric character will also appear at Bruar Falls as part of the Brooklyn venue's last week of shows before it closes.

Also on the Bruar Falls bill tonight is Phil and the Osophers, Emperor X and New Zealand band Street Chant who you may have caught right at noon on Saturday at our BV day party at Public Assembly, and who you can see again (after tonight) on Wednesday (10/26) at Trash Bar. After that they head out on tour with the Lemonheads (who recently added a Brooklyn show at Knitting Factory)...

"An aggressive Auckland trio, Street Chant (formerly Mean Streets), is made up of Emily, Billie and Alex, and they are a band to watch out for. After a successful appearance at CMJ 2010, and picking up a Critic's Choice Award at the NZ Music Awards, the band was quite welcome back to perform at this year's CMJ. Their music brought back thoughts of the defunct group Sleater-Kinney (or perhaps the band was on my mind as I knew PopMatters' writer Corey Beasley was at Wild Flag around the same time) though the drummer was male. Due to some inaudible vocals, I was not able to pick out the songs, but I could tell I wanted to hear more. Performing songs from their debut album Means, Street Chant's tight performance left me thinking how would the next band fare alongside them?" [PopMatters]
All tour dates and more pictures from the BV day party below...

Continue reading "Street Chant played CMJ (BV party pics), adds more shows (including Bruar Falls w/ David Liebe Hart TONIGHT)"

Carissa's Weird @ Neumo's in Seattle on 9/24 (by joshc)
Carissas Wierd

NYU Local reports:

Many believed [their 2003 breakup] was the end for Carissa's Wierd, but last year, the band got back together for a one-off reunion show in Seattle, and last month, they released a new single entitled Tucson. Now the band [played] their first non-Seattle gig in more than 8 years at Kimmel's E&L Auditorium this [past] Monday. For a very small group of people, this show is the equivalent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's five-day stand in NYC last spring.

The Program Board's New Music Chair, Nicole Cobb, who was responsible for booking Carissa's Wierd, explained that she had been in touch with Jen Ghetto, one of the band's two vocalists, to try and book her new project S. "I asked about the possibility of getting Carissa's Wierd to play. I knew it was a long shot, but I had to ask. At first, she said that it probably wasn't possible, but this July, she let me know that it could be a possibility, and at that point, I did everything in my power to make this show happen."

To round out the bill, Cobb booked Kayo Dot and Arms & Sleepers. "I think they both bring interesting things to the show. Kayo Dot, similarly to Carissa's Wierd has a really strong underground following. Not a lot of people know their name, but those who know them tend to love them," she explained.

How was last night's Carissa's Wierd show? S plays Bruar Falls tonight (10/11).

A video from the above-pictured Seattle show below...

Continue reading "NYU got Carissa's Wierd to play by first asking Jen Ghetto (who plays Bruar Falls tonight)"

Bruar Falls

Sad news:

It is with great sadness and a touch of disappointment that Nick and
Andy Bodor from Cake Shop are announcing the closing of Bruar Falls,
our sister venue in Williamsburg.

After two and a half quick years, Bruar Falls will cease to exist on
November 1st 2011. We opened with nothing but optimism and
excitement, after designing and building our ideal combination of a
local jukebox bar with a stage to showcase all the great bands coming
out of Brooklyn. It was soon apparent to us, however, that people in
Williamsburg have lots of other options to see bands. We love and are
inspired by these places, but really, between loft/warehouse parties
and D.I.Y spots, where you can bring in your own cheap beer, smoke
inside and hit on the same people...we totally understand why it's hard
to spend money at your local legit small club. It is difficult not to
be a bit jealous of their freedom, but we have always worked hard to
be in for the long haul.

Our closure is not a victim of Whole Foods' bulldozers, nor did we get
our sound equipment stolen by thieving assholes. Actually, we wish it
was something that dramatic and awful. No, its due to the classic
creative differences issue, plus the fact that we had to maintain a
hard-to-honor midnight curfew; and the simple fact that if you can't
bring in enough money to pay your bills (no matter how low your rent
is), you can not stay in business. At this point, it is actually way
easier to shut down, save the name for another location, and start anew.

We created Bruar Falls to assist in nurturing the Brooklyn independent
music scene, and help the bands that continually inspire us. We hoped
to serve as a Williamsburg outpost for the bands that enjoyed the NYC
Cake Shop experience in the borough where many of them live. We
wanted a place where fledgling bands played for free to get started
and be seen by their peers before maybe going on to bigger rooms and
more pay. Many larger-stature bands played here to intimate crowds to
help keep everything in perspective. We hold most every band that
played here close to our hearts.

Of course, Cake Shop will continue with your help, we are now better
than ever: we are developing our ongoing filmed-band series,
"Cakeshop Presents" on www.cake-shop.com (which you can check often
for new videos). We will be starting "Cakeshop/Capeshok Presents"
bills at larger area clubs, featuring Cake Shop graduates. Our
partner and us are close to announcing the Cake Shop club experience
to another area of the world (location TBA) in late 2012.

So... Thank you to every single band that ever graced our stage.
Thanks to each and every crowd member who paid for those bands, thanks
to all who sweated through their shirts when the AC was busted. And
huge thanks to the incredible local and touring talent that played for
peanuts all in the name of art, rock & roll, and a good time.

Please support Bruar Falls the entire month of October for our last
CMJ Music Marathon, and crazy Halloween closing-night parties. We
want everyone to take a few last glances at the club, but we really
need your help to get out of debt. Both Nick and Andy have been
working for free to keep Bruar Falls going as long as we could, and we
have many bills that need to be paid so that we can walk away...We
will be offering drink specials and hoping to secure only the best
bands in our final month.

Continue to check www.cake-shop.com, for what we will be up to next.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about upcoming secret shows
and drink deals...and thank you for your endless support for anything we
love enough to attach our name to.

RIP Bruar Falls.

Meanwhile go see a show there while you can!

photos by Konstantin Sergeyev

Hard Skin at Bruar Falls on 10/25/10
Hard Skin

There are few punk/hardcore shows on the way in the next few weeks, but we'd be remiss without mentioning the surprise Hard Skin show that took place at Bruar Falls on 10/25/10. The show was one of two NYC shows for the comedic UK Oi band, as they also played Europa with Forgetters on Friday, 10/22 with The Rival Mob.

"Fat Bob had mentioned at the forgetters show on Friday that Hard Skin were playing on Monday night before they skipped back across the pond. Given the the rarity of their shows and the proximity to Drew's place, it seemed prudent to make it across the water to Colonial Williamsburg....

...The Hard Skin boys took the stage around the 11 o'clock hour and stirred the room up with a whole lot of Oi! Bruar may be a little small to contain such friskiness, but it was a pretty polite crowd despite the large drunk punk contingent and truth be told, the JS-NYC/ab rock Voltron was no paragon of sobriety by this point either. I had a good time, even given the curious tire deflations I returned to find on my iron steed when we got outside. Luckily, they were deflated and not punctured and Drew had a pump, so the good guys lived to ride another day. Good times all around. Not sure where/if HS are maintaining the web presence in this day and age, but you would do well to spend your weak American dollar on some of their swag and bring them back. Set to Googling, fresh-cut, and remember Hard Skin are good clean-cut fun." [Jaded Scenester]

Pictures from the Bruar Falls show adorn this post. Forgetters will play Bruar Falls TONIGHT (11/2) with Younger Lovers and Little Victory.

The Rival Mob is next scheduled to play with Sheer Terror at Webster Hall on November 28th. Breakdown, The Templars, Stigma, and Seizure Crypt are also on board and tickets are on sale.

Madball will play The Studio at Webster Hall on 12/13 with Lionheart, Bitter End as part of a string of dates for the trio. Incendiary will join them as local support. Ticket info is forthcoming, but full tour dates are below. Madball recently dropped their new LP Empire and parted ways with drummer Jay Weinberg (son of Max Weinberg).

Easy Action, featuring John Brannon of Negative Approach, will team up with The Men to play The Acheron on 11/15. The all ages show kicks off at 8PM. Easy Action tour dates are below.

The Queers will play Mercury Lounge on Jan 22nd. Tickets are on sale. The show is part of a short string of East Coast dates in 2011 that also includes Maxwell's one day before NYC; additional dates are below.

In a show dubbed "Brooklyn's Finest" (though BBG would beg to differ), Life of Agony will team up with Biohazard and Vision of Disorder to play Best Buy Theater on 12/16. Tickets are on sale.

And finally, LA's Youth Brigade (not the DC one with releases on Dischord) will play Mercury Lounge on 11/14. The show will be proceeded by a documentary on BYO Records and the band. Tickets are on sale.

All tour dates and more pictures of Hard Skin at Bruar Falls are below...

Continue reading "Hard Skin played CMJ (pics) w/ Forgetters ++ more upcoming punk/hardcore shows (Madball, Easy Action, LOA, Queers, etc) "

photos by Jessica Amaya

Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten

"If you've ever seen Sharon Van Etten live, you'll know that she's got an awful lot going for her. Chief among them is that stunning voice. Not since Neko Case first came on the scene has there been a more plainly stunning, shockingly natural singing voice than Van Etten's. But if her last, mostly acoustic record, Because I Was In Love deftly put the confessional intimacy of her songs on display, then her new record, epic, goes in a whole other direction. This fantastic new album blows up the music behind Van Etten's powerful voice, giving these songs all the depth and strength her singing, and her songwriting, lures us in with." [PopMatters]

Yesterday, 10/20, Bruar Falls hosted the Chouette day party, and the Quite Scientific CMJ showcase later that night. The Chouette party featured appearances from Highlife, Sebastian Blanck and Sultan, Sharon Van Etten and Lower Dens. Quite Scientific kicked off their show with appearances from Magic Bullets and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr (who were later followed by Chris Bathgate with Comanche! and Drunken Barn Dance).

Jessica was there from Lower Dens through Magic Bullets (who you should get to Public Assembly early on Friday to see. Then stick around for Lower Dens at the same show).

More Sharon dates HERE. The rest of the Bruar Falls pictures and some videos from those shows, below...

Continue reading "Sharon Van Etten, Magic Bullets & Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. played Bruar Falls (pics & video) "

photos by Jessica Amaya

Lower Dens

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr (who play the BV day party Saturday) have nothing on Lower Dens (who play the BV day party Friday and) who might actually win the award for most CMJ shows. All Lower Dens tour dates, and a set of pictures from the Chouette day party they played yesterday (10/20), below...

Continue reading "Lower Dens played Bruar Falls, continue their insane CMJ run, touring w/ Beach House (pics & dates)"

photos by Ryan Barkan, words by Bill Pearis

Twin Sister @ Mercury Lounge
Twin Sister

Twin Sister have had a pretty good 2010 so far: a critically-lauded EP, tours with Bear in Heaven and MemoryHouse. The band will be hitting the road again soon. After playing the 2010 Pop Montreal fest, Twin Sister will head out for an extensive tour with The Morning Benders. At different points along the way,  Cults, Oberhoferand Holiday Shores will also be joining the tour. It hits Webster Hall on November 18. Tickets are still on sale.

Oberhofer, who also opened for Twin Sister at Mercury Lounge recently, opens the Webster Hall show. We posted pictures of Oberhofer from that show, but not the Twin Sister ones. Here they are.

But before that Twin Sister are playing this Friday (9/10) at Bruar Falls as part of a pretty great bill that includes soon-to-be tourmates Holiday Shores, plus Ava Luna and Chicago's Distractions. You might want to get there early for that one.

New videos for Twin Sister's "Galaxy Plateau" and Morning Benders' "All Day Daylight"  are below, along with all Twin Sister tour dates and more pictures from Mercury Lounge...

Continue reading "Twin Sister playing Bruar Falls before touring w/ Morning Benders (tour dates, new videos, live pics & more) "

words & photos by Tracy Allison

"Just remembered I threw up at bruar falls last night." - WAVVES


"Monday night at New York City's Bowery Ballroom, the Wavves founder and frontman announced he'd just been "mildly sued" by the Walt Disney Company, which was less than psyched about seeing a song called 'Mickey Mouse' listed on his band's latest album.

Williams said he'd agreed to modify future pressings of 'King of the Beach,' out today on CD and vinyl, and replace the offending track with an unreleased B-side. He then offered a succinct legal critique of the plaintiff's case.

"Walt Disney was a Nazi," Williams said. "You go [to Disney World], you feel Nazi vibes. It's disgusting!"

The outburst was one of many quotable moments of the concert, and throughout the evening, Williams and drummer Billy Hayes spent nearly as much time joking about booze and weed as they did playing actual songs. With the presence of soft-spoken metal-dude bassist Stephen Pope, Wavves was like a Kevin Smith movie come to life: two Jays and a Silent Bob." [Spinner]

Last night (8/2) Wavves played Bowery Ballroom, their last New York City show before the just-announced September 21st show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets on sale Friday at noon, AmEx presale Wednesday at noon). That is followed by opening for Phoenix at Madison Square Garden on October 20th (and other tour dates). A line began to form at the venue around 7:15 p.m. with people hoping a few tickets would still be available. The show sold out by 7:30 p.m.

The night began with a 30 minute set by Total Slacker who took the stage at 8:15. They were followed by The Smith Westerns who also played a 30 minute set as the crowd quickly began to fill the 550+ person venue.

Wavves began their set at 10:20 p.m. and immediately after walking on stage commented on the thick smell of drugs in the air, saying, "It smells like pot out here. It smells like a lot of pot." Throughout the course of the 14 song performance, the rambunctious audience thrashed into each other and danced wildly. The level of audience interaction was much like it was at Wavves' recent show at Knitting Factory- fans freely jumped on and off stage, and bassist Stephen Pope even offered an audience member a swig of whiskey after asking, "Are you cool? You can have some if you're cool." The band finished up their set by 11:20 p.m.

They then headed to Bruar Falls for puking, peeing in garbage cans, sparring with Black Lips, playing video games, etc... More pictures and Wavves' setlist from Bowery Ballroom below...

Continue reading "Wavves being 'sued' by Disney, played Bowery Ballroom before puking @ Bruar Falls (pics & setlist), playing MHOW "

photos by Amanda Dandaneau

Sam Mickens's Esctatic Showband & Revue @ Silent Barn
Sam Mickens

Brooklyn's new dance party, "Peoples Temple," here to wrecking-ball cultural doldrums and ignite the fires of tomorrow!

Debuting THURSDAY AUGUST 19TH and monthly thereafter, PEOPLES TEMPLE will inhabit the red-light interior of Williamsburg's most cracking young venue, Bruar Falls {245 Grand Ave.} marrying a raw and ecstatic dance party to varied but always thrilling musical guests. Hosted & selected by degenerate art maven Sam Mickens,(of The Dead Science, Ecstatic Showband & Revue, Xiu Xiu, Parenthetical Girls, et al.) PEOPLES TEMPLE will prove an exquisite night where folk from all walks of life can come to drink, dance, and co-exist in the spirit of ecstatic love.

Our grand opening, Aug. 19th will feature New York's most blazing young R & B chanteuse, Ms. Keesha Mishawn, presenting a full band set to shake the pillars of heaven. Hip Hop/R & B/Disco/Music of the 1980s/Ill Miscellaneous jams curated all night by Sam Mickens, the party runs 10pm-4 and is absolutely FREE.

Let's get it!
Sam Mickens

That letter from Sam pretty much speaks for itself. Still no word on the Sharon Jones-Sam Mickens "soul-off" though, but you can see Sam's Ecstatic Showband Revue again tonight (7/26), at Union Hall with Callers and People Get Ready.

Aa, Chat Logs, Sam Mickens's Ecstatic Showband and (the not-pictured) Island's Eyelids played a show Saturday night (7/24) at Silent Barn, which is where the pictures here were taken. More of them below...

Continue reading "Sam Mickens played Silent Barn w/ Aa (pics), plays Union Hall (tonight), starting dance party @ Bruar Falls"


MEN, a group of both men and women (some only partially dressed as you can see in the videos below), DO NOT play an early show at Bruar Falls tonight (7/19) (even though that's what it says on Bruar Falls' website. It's actually The Men - see comments). "Men" do play Saturday at PS1 though. Check out a bunch of videos (sorta NSFW) from their June 25th Northside Festival show at Knitting Factory, and all dates, below...

Continue reading "MEN not playing today, are playing PS1 Saturday, other dates "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Inlets - In Which I, Robert (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Inlets - Bright Orange Air (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Inlets - Pictures of Trees (MP3)


It's a mostly Canadian edition of This Week in Indie, so grab a bag of pickle flavor potato chips and let's dig in. Jason Collett, who is a sometimes member of Broken Social Scene, is here playing tonight (Friday, 4/23) at Mercury Lounge and Saturday (4/24) at Union Hall (tix). Of all the satellite performers of BSS, I think Collett is kind of the unsung hero, making terrific album after terrific album in his understated West Coast country-rock style while Stars and Metric get all the attention. Not undeservedly, necessarily, but Collett's a class act, ace tunesmith, and great performer who deserves a lot more recognition. That includes his new album, Rat a Tat.

As you may have read, Collett is touring with Zeus who used to be his backing band (and will be here) and are really good in their own right. Their new album, Say Us, has a sort of '60s Brit feel, with little moments that make me think of the Kinks, Zombies and late period Beatles. This tour, called the Bonfire Ball, will feature collaborations with Collett and Zeus and, at the Union Hall show, fellow Toronto act Bahamas. (Bahamas aren't playing Mercury Lounge for some reason.) Sounds like a tuneful, convivial evening.

Parlovr @ M For Montreal 2009 (more)

We've written at length about The Luyas being in town for their first-ever NYC shows. I'm kicking myself a little that I didn't go to their secret Loft show on Wednesday (a video is below), but there are plenty of opportunities to see them before they leave. They're playing the teeny tiny Sycamore tonight (4/23), and if you're already going to see The Morning Benders Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, which is/was sold out (tickets back on sale at the moment), do show up early to catch them.

But your easiest opportunity is probably Sunday night (4/25) at Glasslands. As an added bonus, they're playing with their Montreal neighbors Parlovr who I think are pretty awesome and would be worth going to this show just to see them. Here's what I wrote when I saw them at M for Montreal last November:

The band's self-titled, self-released 2008 album does not do them justice, making them sound like a Wolf Parade Jr. Live, Parlovr are way more energetic, fun and melodic -- though it may have also had something to do with a fair amount of new material in their set. Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too.
This is Parlovr's only NYC show, they just finished up a tour with We Are Wolves and decided to join the Luyas for this last show. It's only $7. Well worth checking out.

Think About Life @ CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Think ABout Life

You could do a Montreal triple play (I guess hat trick would be the more apropos sports metaphor) on Sunday if you go early to the WBAR-B-Q and catch Think About Life who are one of my favorite live bands. You have to try really hard to have a bad time at one of their shows. When they played our official SXSW day party this year, I wrote this:

My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singerMartin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. They were the only band that made me forget how cold it was that day.
If you can't drag yourself out of bed in time to make the WBAR-B-Q (gonna guess they're on before 2pm), which is free, Think About Life are back in the city on Tuesday (4/27) playing at Mercury Lounge playing with Chicago's Light Pollution. There's no LOST this week (not that that should ever stop you from seeing this band)...what else you got to do?

Inlets in a loft (more by Chris La Putt)

One non-Canadian weekend pick before I leave you. Inlets' debut, Inter Arbiter, was released this week and tonight (4/23) is the official release party at Union Hall (with Sparrow House). You can listen to the whole thing over at Spinner. It's a lovely listen, baroque pop with amazing harmonies. I've personally never seen them live and am curious to see how much of this they can reproduce live. I'd imagine that at the record release party there might even be special guests. I am not privy to any inside info,  but Zach Condon [editor's note: whose arm was in a sling at the April 12th John Shade show at Mercury Lounge] and Angel Deradoorian do play on the record (and Sufjan Stevens was there to see them at our CMJ loft party).

And don't forget about Saturday night's (4/24) Bruar Falls One Year Anniversary Party with Micachu & the Shapes, Holiday Shores, Beach Fossils and... balloons! It's free and I have a feeling will be crazy packed (and probably quite debauched) so get there early.

That's it for this week. Some videos and flyers are below...

Continue reading "Jason Collett, Zeus, Parlovr, Think About Life, Inlets & more in This Week in Indie "

by Bill Pearis

Holiday Shores @ Pianos in 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Holiday Shores

For a while it didn't look like Saturday's (4/24) Bruar Falls First Anniversary show was going to be much of a party. The 1990s are stuck in the UK thanks to that pesky volcano, and German Measles canceled due to a death in the family.

To say they've recovered is a bit of an understatement. Check out the new line-up: Holiday Shores, Micachu & the Shapes, Beach Fossils, plus house band Moonmen on the Moon, Man. There's also DJs Peggy Wang (of Pains at Being Pure at Heart) and Shirley Braha (of NY Noise), plus balloons and a 1AM open bar. It should be mentioned that the show is FREE.

Holiday Shores will be running over to Bruar following their opening set at the Morning Benders show Brooklyn Vegan is presenting at Music Hall of Williamsburg (we added them a while ago, but didn't rush to announce it because the show was already sold out), that now also includes our Montreal friends The Luyas (who we added yesterday!). Meanwhile Micachu have been stuck in the U.S. also thanks to the volcano, and have been playing around NYC to keep themselves busy. Maybe you saw them last night at Mercury Lounge. And Beach Fossils are one of the areas best new bands, and put on a fun live show -- they were great last Friday at Bruar Falls, even with a substitute drummer.

Bruar Falls has become one of my favorite places to see a show (living two blocks from it doesn't hurt) and there's always a nice community vibe there. It's been a great addition to the Williamsburg music scene. Between the bands, the free booze, the balloons and the very affordable entrance fee, this should be a hot ticket even on a very busy Saturday night. You might want to get there early.

Speaking of Saturday, The Music Hall Show on Saturday with Morning Benders, Holiday Shores and The Luyas is sold out, but if you really want to go we're giving away a pair of tickets. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "Morning Benders" as the subject. We'll pick a winner at random and be in touch with the lucky person tomorrow.

In other news, the 1990s show at The Bell House that was supposed to be tonight has been rescheduled for next Friday, April 30 (the whole show, not just the 1990s). Crystal Stilts, The Oranges Band (who just opened for the Hold Steady at Music Hall) and The Forgery Series (featuring Sohrab of Obits) will open. No word on whether the 1990s will play a makeup date for Bruar as well, but we'll keep you informed.

Check out a Holiday Shores video below...

Continue reading "Holiday Shores play 2 NYC shows Saturday (1 w/ Micachu @ Bruar Falls) ++ 1990s & Crystal Stilts reschedule & stuff"

The 1990s

Glasgow's The 1990s can be added to the still-growing list of bands that've canceled shows because of the volcanic ash situation. The group won't be able to make their two NYC shows this week (or the Philly date between), but those NYC shows are planning on going ahead without them.

The first is a Thursday, April 22nd show at the Bell House with Crystal Stilts and Tanks Amigo. Tickets are still on sale.

The second is on Saturday, April 24th at Bruar Falls and is the club's first b-day party. The lineup for that is currently all TBA (minus DJs Shirley and Peggy, and "secret special guests") because the other band on it, German Measles, canceled too because of a death in the family.

A video of the 1990s' Jackie McKeown doing an acoustic cover of "Flowers Of Romance" by PiL (who were just at Coachella and are coming to NYC) is posted below...

Continue reading "The 1990s cancel US shows, but Bruar Falls is still celebrating a birthday & Crystal Stilts still play the Bell House"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Sneaks - Chase the Tear (MP3)

The Sneaks

The Sneaks are from New Zealand, though their base of operations seem to be out of London these days. They are here. They flew in before the volcano started causing problems for everyone and are playing a free show tonight (4/19) at Bruar Falls. While you can definitely hear some of the classic New Zealand/Flying Nun sound in their music, they've also got some Britpop in there too (The Jam/Blur) -- which is to say pretty catchy stuff. You can download the band's new single "Chase the Tear" at the top of this post. Warning: contains whistling.

Actually, there are two Kiwi bands on the bill. Aukland's folky Panther and the Zoo play an early set at 7PM. (They sound a little like Little Joy to these ears.) And if you get there earlier than that, I'm told there's free grilled things in the back patio, weather permitting. Also playing the show tonight are tuneful indie pop band Darlings, psychobilly-ish Cybelle Blood (feat. members of Coasting and Dream Diary), and Night Reports.

Check out videos by The Sneaks and Panther and the Zoo below.

Continue reading "The Sneaks are here - a free show & an MP3 "

Jack Oblivian @ the Clubhouse in Tempe, AZ - Nov 5, 2009 (grtaylor2)
Jack Oblivian

Neither Jack Oblivian or Mannequin Men have tours announced at the moment, but both will be in Brooklyn on January 14th to play an intimate free show...

Continue reading "Jack Oblivian & Manneqin Men playing free Brooklyn show "

words by Bill Pearis, photos by Ryan Muir


Seattle band BOAT were in town over the weekend playing Friday (11/13) at Union Hall and Saturday (11/13) at Bruar Falls. The band were on at both shows, probably due in part to vocal and ready-to-participate crowds who did not want them to stop playing. BV photographer Ryan Muir was at the Bruar show and took the band out for a photo session after the show. Before the show, I sat down with them over dinner for a long, funny conversation that included such topics as not fitting in in today's indie landscape; how recycling would seem less important if we knew aliens were going to invade; and a quiz about 1989 (the name of the new album's lead track). You'd be reading all of that right now if I properly knew how to operate my digital recorder, which only managed to capture 54 seconds of the interview. I'm infinitely bummed... However, BOAT frontman D. Crane agreed to a little post-tour wrap-up Q&A to make up for it. More of those pictures and that interview below...

Continue reading "an interview w/ BOAT (and videos from Coney Island) "

photos by Ryan Muir, words by Bill Pearis


Seattle band BOAT were in town over the weekend playing Friday (11/13) at Union Hall and Saturday (11/13) at Bruar Falls. (They also played Boston and Philadelphia while on the East Coast too.) Both shows were a lot of fun, the band made a Big Apple with a Mets logo on it (BOAT loves the underdog), and their kick drum was adorned with iconic New Yorkers (Sarah Jessica Parker, Debbie Harry and Davids Letterman, Dinkins, and Schwimmer). Union Hall got confetti, Bruar Falls got funny signs, and at both shows they passed party whistles to sub for the theremin used on "Name Tossers" from their great new album, Setting the Paces.

More pictures from Bruar Falls, and videos from both shows, below...

Continue reading "BOAT played Union Hall & Bruar Falls (pics & videos) "

DOWNLOAD: The Moondogies - Changing (MP3)

photos by Jake Forney

Pissed Jeans
Pissed Jeans

Sub Pop/Hardley Art held their CMJ showcase at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night. Among those on the lineup was the Dum Dum Girls, in what was their second show that day. They since played again last night (10/17) at Bruar Falls and they'll open for the King Khan & BBQ Show this week. At that Monday show, Bill Pearis took a video of their song "Hey Sis" (posted below). After Saturday's, he wrote:

This was the first day of Dum Dum Girls existence as a live band, but clearly they spent a lot of time working out the details, from the look -- bangs, gorgeous Silvertone guitars and bass, extremely short black dresses and stockings -- to the sound, which is somewhere between the Velvet Underground and '60s girl groups. It was an impressive debut, hot and cool at the same time. I kept thinking, "this is what the Velvet Underground might sound like if all the members were Nico."

Now technically Dum Dum Girls played before Saturday, at the Woodsist / Captured Festival, and some West Coast dates, each with different line-ups. Which could happen again. But this felt like the first real version.

As Bill pointed out, it was their first "day" because they had also performed at Music Hall of Williamsburg that afternoon.

London garage punks Male Bonding, who played NYC shows all week, held down the absolute last slot of the night, while The Dutchess & the Duke (who also played earlier in the week at the BrooklynVegan loft party) warmed the crowd up for Pissed Jeans (who play "NYU Halloween Hardcore Fest" on October 30th at LPR) ...

[The Dutchess and the Duke's] Lortz and Morrison make a good musical pair, trading off guitar leads and contrasting his grainy bark with her smoother harmonies. That's apparent enough on their two albums, but onstage, their chemistry keeps their music from dissolving into Dylan pastiche. In fact, in their best moments-- particularly "Scorpio", whose downhearted call-and-response seemed especially emotionally alienated-- they made an audacious effort not simply to re-create old sounds, but to mold those influences to suit their own modern ends. [Pitchfork]
The Moondoggies were also on the Mercury Lounge bill and had performed in flannel at the BrooklynVegan Bowery Presents show at Pianos earlier that day.
Easily categorized as "Americana," The Moondoggies marry alt-country with 1970's folk, but Quick's twinkling keyboard brings the band immediately into the 21st century. [KEXP]
The Mercury lineup also included Unnatural Helpers, Obits and Golden Triangle. Pictures of all the bands plus the above-mentioned Dum Dum Girls video and more, below...

Continue reading "pics from the Sub Pop CMJ showcase @ Mercury Lounge - Obits, Pissed Jeans, Dum Dum Girls (who played Bruar Falls)"

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is playing a free show at Bruar Falls in Brooklyn this Saturday (9/19) with Sir Frog (featuring Sam Brown of The Whitest Kids you Know) and DJ sets by Ivan Sunshine and Brian Kraft.

The singer's Summer of Fear LP is set to come out October 20th on Saddle Creek. The cover for that is posted above.

MBAR also has dates in October supporting Bob Mould (who was just at ATP NY, playing Husker Du songs with No Age). The MBAR-opening dates include Mould's October 8th show at Irving Plaza, for which tickets are still on sale.

Robinson is also scheduled to make multiple CMJ appearances when the fest takes over the town from Oct. 20th-24th. CMJ's current lineup (still not 100% complete, much like our own CMJ parties), and all Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson dates, below...

Continue reading "CMJ's lastest 2009 lineup list & other Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson dates (Bruar Falls & Bob Mould) "

DOWNLOAD: The xx - Basic Space (Micachu Remix) (MP3)

The xx @ South Street Seaport on 8/14 (more by Chris La Putt)
The xx

"The XX played 972 shows in NYC this weekend but the one we saw at Mercury Lounge after they played [Mark] Ronson's Authentic Shit on [East Village Radio] was mangled by bad sound until Ronson himself handed singer/guitarist Romy Croft a new guitar and the band played one more song. Their mics worked the whole time though, along with the drum machine for the most part, so aside from some light picking, not much was missed. In fact, their eerie spareness was enhanced, and for the first time in recent memory, the people in the back stopped talking to hear what was going on." [FADER]
After their epic run of NYC dates, culminating in their South Street Seaport gig on August 14th (which ones did you see?), the xx are planning another round of NYC appearances. The band opens for Friendly Fires (again) at their sort-of-previously-announced December 5th show at Webster Hall (and at other shows on that Friendly Fires tour). Tickets for the NYC Show are on AmEx presale now, general sale on Friday, August 21st at noon.

The xx also have their own headlining gig at the Mercury Lounge on November 12th. Same deal with tickets for that.

Friendly Fires and The xx played Music Hall of Williamsburg (where the girl danced) one night after Friendly Fires played Le Poisson Rouge with The Phenomenal Handclap Band (who play PS1 this Saturday, 8/22). Micachu, who remixed the xx song available for download above under the name M.A.T.H.E.S., was scheduled to play Le Poisson Rouge on October 3rd, but that has been canceled.

All FF & xx tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The xx played Bruar Falls, Monkeytown, Pianos, Music Hall... playing Mercury Lounge (again) & Webster w/ Friendly Fires"

Art of Touring

Hello Everyone,

Myself [Mia Clarke of the indefinitely-on-hiatus band Electrelane] and Sara Jaffe (formerly of Erase Errata) have co-edited a book called The Art of Touring. The book features artwork, photography and writing reflecting life on the road, plus a DVD of live footage. Contributors include Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Devendra Banhart, Electrelane, the Ex, Le Tigre, Explosions in the Sky, Jem Cohen, Tara Jane ONeil and many more.

The book is published by the wonderful Portland-based imprint, Yeti.

We are going to have a couple of events to celebrate the release of the book. The first will be in NYC on August 4th 2009. We will have a reading at Bluestockings bookstore in Manhattan from 7pm, featuring Sara Jaffe, Jem Cohen, Sara Marcus, myself and others. Then, from 10pm-2am, I will be DJing as one half of DARK HABITS at Bruar Falls in Brooklyn.

Any NYC-based people, it would be lovely to see you there!


The above-mentioned NYC reading & DJ sets are tonight (8/4) (not to be confused with the reading @ Union Hall) (or the Nick Cave one happening in September) .

Then tomorrow (8/5) at Bruar Falls:

Portland, Oregon's Fontanelle Gallery is hosting an exhibition of photos from the book, which opens August 6th. The gallery is also holding a special event on August 22nd with Sara Jaffe, Tara Jane Oneil, and Julianna Bright (The Golden Bears). More info on the exhibit and event below...

Continue reading "The Art of Touring - a book w/ related NYC events (tonight) "