Entries tagged with: Caged Animals

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Twin Sister at Bowery Ballroom in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Twin Sister

Twin Sister, who played BV-Northside at MHOW in 2010, and played MHOW during Northside again in 2011, will be playing a Northside show once again this year. This time it's the Stereogum/Cameo showcase at Cameo Gallery on Saturday (6/16) with Guards, Physical Therapy, Caged Animals, Blonds, and Phonetag. Tickets for that show are available and we're giving away a pair. Contest details are below. It's the only announced show for Twin Sister at the moment.

Speaking of Northside shows at Cameo, as mentioned, Daughn Gibson plays his there on Thursday (6/14) and tickets are still available.

A Twin Sister video and contest details below...

Continue reading "Twin Sister playing Northside show at Cameo w/ Caged Animals, Blonds, Guards, Physical Therapy & Phonetag"

by Andrew Sacher

Natureboy

Brooklyn folk pop singer Natureboy (aka Sara Kermanshahi) kicks off a residency at Pianos TONIGHT (6/7), which will take place every Thursday night in June. Each show is with a pretty solid lineup; tonight it's Caged Animals, Christine Horberg, Vorhees, and St. Claire. Other artists appearing during the residency include Shenandoah & The Night, Shilpa Ray, Cat Martino, She Keeps Bees, Doug Keith, The Roadside Graves, and more. On the last night of the residency (6/28), Sharon Van Etten, who sings on Natureboy's album, will be DJing and it wouldn't be too surprising if she joined in on vocals during Natureboy's set while she's there. The full schedule and flier for the residency is below and tickets for all four shows are on sale now.

Natureboy's album can be streamed in full at her bandcamp and it's a pretty enjoyable listen. Check it out for yourself over there and stream some tracks below.

Continue reading "Natureboy kicking off residency at Pianos w/ Sharon Van Etten, Cat Martino, She Keeps Bees, Caged Animals & more"

by Bill Pearis

Habibi at NYC Popfest 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Habibi

Habibi, Eternal Summers, Caged Animals and Ski Lodge will be this year's lineup for the third Sound Bites series which will take place Sunday afternoons in August at the Fulton Stall Market by South Street Seaport... which I curate. (Shameless plug). There will be a DJ (probably me) at 2PM with the bands playing at 3PM and it's all free. The schedule is this:

August 5: Habibi
August 12: Eternal Summers
August 19: Caged Animals
August 26: Ski Lodge
Habibi will be opening for King Tuff for a few dates, including the show at 285 Kent on June 9. The band have also just made their first music video, "Tomboy," which you can watch below and features guest appearance by some other bands you may recognize.

Eternal Summers, meanwhile, just announced a late show at Mercury Lounge on July 26 which is most likely a record release show for their fantastic new album Correct Behavior (one of my favorites of 2012 so far) which is out July 24. Check out the video for "Millions" at the bottom of this post. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 8. No openers listed yet.

Caged Animals, meanwhile, just released a video for a new song, "This Summer I'll Make it Up To You," which is off their This Summer EP which is out June 12 on Lucky Number. Caged Animals are also playing Saturday (6/2) at Bobby Redd Project Space in Bushwick with Kent Odessa, Bright Future, Sagopalm and The Zabalas.

And Ski Lodge are next playing Pianos on June 13 with Cool Serbia, The Hudson Branch and new Kanine Records signing Beach Day. Ski Lodge also have a new video for "A Game" which you can watch below. Their debut album will be out later this year.

Tour dates for Habibi and Eternal Summers, and videos for all four bands, are below.

Continue reading "Habibi, Eternal Summers, Caged Animals, and Ski Lodge playing the 2012 Sound Bites series at Fulton Stall Market in August; plus other news"

Radio dude

Tickets are now on AmEx, Chase and "Internet" presale for Metric's Radio City Music Hall show.

Talk Normal, Religious to Damn & ATM are playing Glasslands June 22. Tickets are on sale.

Tickets are still on sale for Unknown Mortal Orchestra's show with Doldrums and Field Mouse at Glasslands on 6/8. The show is part of a tour for UMO and Doldrums that also hits Mercury Lounge.

UMO also play Googa Mooga this weekend.

Tickets are on sale for Young Magic & Quilt's 6/28 show at Glaslands. Young Magic recently remixed Doldrums and also play Mercury Lounge on their tour with Quilt.

Though it wasn't in our last-posted list of dates, Zambri, who joined Bear on Heaven on state at MHOW (a show Doldrums opened), have a show coming up at Brooklyn Bowl on 5/23 with Caged Animals, and AIMES Tickets are on sale.

Tickets go on sale at noon for for Lemonade's big show.

The Musical Box, "the exclusive, authorized by Peter Gabriel, recreation of Genesis" are performing The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway with "all 1,100 original slide projections from the '74-'75 tour" this year. Tickets for an 11/23 show at the Grand Ballroom go on AmEx presale at noon. Regular sale starts Friday at noon which is also when you can get tickets for the 11/21 Wellmont Theater show.

The Felice Brothers are playing Brooklyn Bowl on 6/15 as part of the Northside Festival. Tickets are on sale.

Maybe the Felice Brothers will play one of Deer Tick's THREE curated Newport Folk Festival after-shows at the Newport Blues Cafe this summer. Deer Tick curated and play all three nights, July 27, 28 & 29, with special guests. All three just went on sale.

Tickets are still on sale for the Violens show happening at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (5/16).

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"Fun times at @brooklynvegan show last night. Shout out to @titus_ndronicus 4 saving the day. Best thin lizzy cover since Ted Leo." - Caged Animals

"Shouts out to Caged Animals from Hawthorne, NJ #973" - Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus @ Bar 96
Titus Andronicus

One night after our Daniel Johnston show at the Belmont, and after a full day of bands on three stages at "Hotel Vegan", we hosted our 2nd official showcase of SXSW 2012, on Wednesday night (March 14). The venue was Bar 96 on Austin's Rainey St., and the lineup loooked like this:

8pm: Caged Animals
9pm: 2:54
10pm: The Young
11pm: Screaming Females
12am: Andrew W.K. (full band)
1am: Titus Andronicus
NJ/Brooklyn's Caged Animals were great and had a decent crowd for being a relatively unknown band playing as doors opened to the six hour, mostly-badges-only show. Bill Pearis, who got to Austin right before this gig, wrote:
"You can sit for the first two songs, but then lets get up and dance" said Vincent Cacchione of Caged Animals who opened the set. He played affable host, running into the crowd and dancing (and hugging people). Nice mellow start to my week.
2:54, who had just come from being in NYC, followed, and clearly the recently signed to Fat Possum band has some serious buzz behind them because the room, which was actually an outdoor, astro-turfed backyard under a tent, filled up nicely for them. Many in the crowd could be heard talking in English accents. 2:54 call London home. Bill wrote:
After that it was 2:54 who have gotten exponentially better than when I saw them at Pianos last year, a much more confident band. I am a sucker for their dark, moody, shoegazy sound. Good set, though it was cut short a song by equipment problems.
2:54's 2011 Pianos show was, completely coinedentally, also with Caged Animals which I forgot until I looked up the link as I was writing this post.

Then Bill left to go catch some other bands, and Austin's Matador-signed The Young, who also played Hotel Vegan the next day, took the stage. Bill was definitely not alone in leaving after 2:54's set, though many were hanging around in the various nooks and crannies of this spacious venue that includes good food, and tables wrapped around an entire house-turned-into-a-bar, adjacent to the backyard stage area.

Screaming Females @ Bar 96
Screaming Females

That said, by the end of Screaming Females, the stage area was at capacity. The NJ 3-piece band led by pint-sized powerhouse Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals had the place rocking out and going nuts. The talent those three posess is truly mind-blowing, especially with a few Lone Stars in your system. I am positive that every single person at Bar 96 Wednesday night, if they weren't already, left a Screaming Females fan.

Andrew W.W. @ Bar 96
Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K., complete with full band and Cherie Lily, took to the stage with chants of "It's Time to Party."

"He opened with "It's Time To Party," because it was time to party. He closed things out with a song that was also about partying. In the middle he urged us to party, and Cherie Lily, acting as the Fergie of the ensemble, handed out fist bumps. Sh*t, how do you even review an Andrew W.K. set? "He came out and was Andrew W.K. He continued to be Andrew W.K. until he left."" [UpRoxx]
Mosh pits, fist pumps, and stage diving ensued for the 30+ minutes of Andrew's set. I could see Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles watching from the crowd, and I felt bad that he needed to follow that act, not to mention Screaming Females. It was only after the show that I noticed he was thinking the same thing, and I think he said something similar from stage, including a bit about feeling that way every night on tour with the Scremales (at this point I was completely wiped out from going for so long with almost no sleep and knowing I needed ot do it again the next morning).

Luckily for Titus, not only was there still a big crowd for their post-AWK, 1am set, they opened with a rousing cover of "The Boys are Back in Town" that got people going again. It was an awesome night.

Here are some pictures and a video of the mayhem during AWK. More below...

Continue reading "Andrew WK, Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young & Caged Animals @ Bar 96 (BV SXSW pics & video)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: TOPS - Turn Your Love Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (For Real For Sure For You) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD:  Young Prisms - Floating in Blue (MP3)
DOWNLOADBoy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle (MP3)

Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco

It begins. Bands from all over the world -- England! Canada! Sweden! New Zealand! Virginia! -- descend on New York as they beat a path to Austin for this year's SXSW. Which is good for those who aren't going, as well as folks who are but want to see bands play longer than 25 minutes and aren't strung out on a four-day diet of free breakfast tacos, Vitamin Water and Amstel Light. There's lots more going on than what is covered below, but it's what I'm interested in over the next few days.

New Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco is in town from Vancouver to play a couple shows. He plays an all-C/T bill tonight (3/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DIVE, Hoop Dreams and headliners Beach Fossils (sold out), and then Glasslands tomorrow (3/3) with  headliners Widowspeak and  Quilt.

Demarco, who used to record under the name Makeout Videotapes, has a smoky baritone that is part Chris Isaak and part Tindersticks. His music owes a little to Isaak as well, with an early '60s vibe (Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent) by way of '80s neon, all on a four-track budget. You can check debut "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans" from his debut, Rock n' Roll Hotel (out 3/20) at the top of this post, which is indicative of what Demarco is all about. You can also watch the video for "Only You" which is kind of NSFW. Dude's a provocateur.

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

Tonight's MHoW show is the first NYC show we've had from Blacksburg, VA's Hoop Dreams in a long while. They were good when I saw them at Glasslands last year and have the potential to be breakouts for the label if they ever get around to releasing another record (only a single so far). Live, they're more in the Arcade Fire/Editors anthemic style than the single might suggest. It will also be a good opportunity to hear new music from Beach Fossils who are busy at work on their second LP.

And of course, DIVE, who are probably one of the more exciting live bands in Brooklyn right now and are a definite SXSW must-see if you don't live here and have the opportunity to catch them twice a week like we currently do. (They're also touring with Frankie Rose in April.) The show is sold out tonight, but I'd be shocked if there weren't tickets at the door at least when the box office opens.

TOPS
TOPS

Montreal band TOPS are playing 285 Kent tomorrow night as part of a killer bill that includes Blood Orange, Phone Tag and  Caged Animals. The four-piece is comprised of most (if not all) of MTL's Silly Kissers who played here a few times over the last few years and were a little on the precious side (they sometimes wore mime makeup). TOPS, however, are more in the Ariel Pink/Puro Instict brand of minimal keyboard pop. Their debut, Tender Opposites, came out this week on Artibus Records, which is also home to Grimes (in Canada). You can download "Turn Your Love Around" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing (and watch the further down.

As you may have read, 285 headliners Caged Animals will open the Official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on March 14 at Bar 69 which also includes Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young and one more TBA. If you haven't heard their tuneful, charming debut Eat Their Own yet, it's still streamable at their BandCamp. And they're terrific live.

So is Blood Orange, despite it just being Dev Hynes, his guitar and a laptop. I saw him last weekend at Glasslands where he spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. I do wish he'd get a band, but the one-man Blood Orange is a lot of fun. I haven't seen Phone Tag in a while, but I dig their brand of '80s synthpop.

Korallreven
Koralreven

Sunday night (3/4) at Bowery Ballroom is the NYC debut of Swedish duo Korallreven, one half of which is The Radio Dept.'s Daniel Tjäder. I like their debut album a lot, all lush, synth-driven dream pop but, like a lot of music like this, I wonder how they're going to make it an interesting concert experience. I envision two guys behind laptops and keyboards bobbing their heads and singing, with some projections and hopefully smoke machines.  Maybe they could move the downstairs couches to the main room? Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. I'm sure it will sound great in any case.  If you haven't heard them yet, you can download "Sa Sa Samoa" in regular and remixed form at the top of this post and watch the video at the bottom of this post. Also playing: Lemonade and Young Magic.

Bachelorette
Bachelorette

Also playing Sunday night, at Cameo, is Bachelorette -- aka New Zealander Annabel Alpers who I think lives here now. Buoyed by Alpers delicate, breathy voice, Bachelorette make ethereal synthpop not miles away from The Magnetic Fields, with whom she's going on tour for seven shows. (All dates at the bottom of this post.) I liked it better when she had a band, but the loop pedal incarnation is pretty lovely too. You can check out a couple videos below or stream her most recent album on Spotify.

Young Prisms at the Comet, Seattle (photo by Finest Kiss)
Young Prisms Finest Kiss

And looking into early next week, San Francisco's Young Prisms and Austin's Boy Friend are at Glasslands on Monday (3/5). Young Prisms new album, In Between, is out March 27 on Kanine and is a real step forward for the band. Their still mining first-wave shoegaze, but the songs are much stronger this time out with a couple that go for jangly Velocity Girl style pop. They will be very loud I guarantee you. Boy Friend will make a nice opener, with their hazy, 4-AD miasma vibe. You can download MP3s from both bands at the top of this post. Also playing, seemingly from another show, are Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and Tanks Amigo.

That's the big stuff for the next four days. But wait, there's more. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above:

The Young Empires at M for Montreal 2011
Young Empires

FRIDAY, MARCH 2

Like Friendly Fires and Foals? Check out Toronto's Young Empires are at Glasslands, with Saint Motel, Fan-Tan, and Transmission NYC (DJ set).

Expect a wild evening at Death by Audio with "original line-up" Tyvek, plus Habibi, Feelings and the Numerators. Stick-in-the-muds, go see something else!

Boston's pop veterans The Figgs play Littlefield. The band's new double album, The Day Gravity Stopped, is out sometime soon.

continued below...

Continue reading "Mac DeMarco, TOPS, Korallreven, Bachelorette, Young Prisms, Boy Friend and more in This Week in Indie"

Caged Animals at Brooklyn Bazaar in 2011 (more by Alyssa Tanchajja)
Caged Animals

Some pretty solid shows are going down at 285 Kent in Brooklyn this weekend. Tonight (3/2), they're hosting a dance party with Ital, Slava (live), Laurel Halo, Rezzie Weird Magic, Ilirjana Alushaj, Jan Woo, and special guests. More details below.

On Saturday (3/3), it's Caged Animals (who also play the official BV SXSW showcase in Austin later this month), special guest Blood Orange (who recently sold out Glasslands), TOPS, Phone Tag, and Royal Baths (DJ) at the Brooklyn venue. More details below.

The Men's record release show for Open Your Heart goes down at 285 Kent on Wednesday (3/7).

Brooklyn show details below...

Continue reading "shows @ 285 Kent this weekend include Blood Orange & Caged Animals (who play the BrooklynVegan showcase @ SXSW)"

DOWNLOAD: The Young - "Livin' Free" (MP3)

Screaming Females at Generation Records (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Screaming Females

This March, Screaming Females, Titus Andronicus, and Diarrhea Planet are heading out on the 'Screaming on Planet Titus' tour which kicks off at The Stone Pony on March 4 in Asbury Park, NJ and ends with a Houston show on 3/12 before Screaming Females and Titus play SXSW. Tickets for the Asbury Park show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

That Asbury Park show is the closest that the tour comes to NYC, but Screaming Females will play two more area shows in April as part of a longer, headlining tour. Those shows include Maxwell's on April 5 in Hoboken, NJ and The Bell House on April 6 in Brooklyn with Aye Nako, and Swearin'. Tickets for the Maxwell's show and the Bell House show are on sale now. Screaming Females also have a new video for "It All Means Nothing," the single off their great upcoming album, Ugly (due out April 3 via Don Giovanni). Check that video out below.

You can also catch Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles in NYC TONIGHT (2/29) at Shea Stadium with Alex Drewchin and Clapperclaw. The show is billed as "An Evening with Patrick Stickles: Songs, Stories & Spiels - An Affirmation of Manic Depression in all its Transcendent Glory."

Patrick Stickles

Titus also have a new single out, and currently the only place to hear it is on Tom Scharpling's WFMU show at the 2:37:00 mark.

Both Screaming Females and Titus Andronicus will be playing the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase which happens on March 14 at Bar 96 in Austin. Our official showcase also includes Caged Animals, 2:54, The Young, and one more artist TBA (due to a cancellation).

Both 2:54 and The Young have (relatively) new MP3s. Stream those both below, and grab The Young's above.

Speaking of Diarrhea Planet, they've also got an upcoming NYC show in March at the Aputumpu Music Festival at Le Poisson Rouge on March 25 with Japanther, Cerebral Ballzy, Ghost Mice, Osekre and the Lucky Bastards, Liquor Store, and Eula. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

All dates, video, streams, and the flier for tonight's show below...

Continue reading "Titus Andronicus reveal new song, touring from NJ to SXSW w/ Screaming Females (who added NYC dates too); Patrick Stickles is at Shea TONIGHT (and stuff)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Cate Le Bon - Puts Me to Work (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ed Vallance - Crystaline (MP3)
DOWNLOADOld Monk - Warm Moustache (MP3)

Veronica Falls
Veronica Falls

Veronica Falls are back for what is, by far, their biggest NYC show to date: they play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday. The band's debut was my #2 Album of 2011:

"Found Love in a Graveyard" made my Favorite Tracks of 2009 list and have been waiting a full-length ever since. The band does not disappoint. There's not a dud in Veronica Falls' 36 minute running time. New songs are equals to early singles which appear here in newly recorded versions that might actually improve on the originals. This is haunted pop, a brisk October breeze that calls for a nice cardigan.
Veronica Falls just released a new track, "My Heart Beats," to coincide with their North American tour and you can stream it at the bottom of this post. The song is sunnier than what they normally do but still fits within their sound. Sounds like a single to me. The band are touring with Slumberland labelmates Brilliant Colors (in from San Francisco) and local noisemakers Grooms are also on the bill.  Tickets are still available. Veronica Falls look timid in their press photos, but they whip up a storm live. Go see 'em.

Bleached at BV CMJ 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Bleached

After the MHoW show, Bleached will also be part of the Veronica Falls/Brilliant Colors tour. (Dates at the bottom of this post.) The band are currently on the road with The Black Belles, a tour that rolls into town onSaturday (2/11) at Knitting Factory that also has Bleeding Rainbow (formerly Reading Rainbow) and Habibi on the bill. I caught Bleached at the BrooklynVegan day party during CMJ last year and thought they were a lot of fun in a Runaways kind of way. Good snarly attitude and big hooks. Maybe you caught them last week opening for Smith Westerns at Webster Hall?

Habibi
Habibi

It's worth showing up early for Habibi, whose debut single (streamable below) is a cool, understated take on '60s girl group sounds. You can stream it below.

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Cate Le Bon
Cate Le Bon

As excited as I am to see Veronica Falls on Thursday (2/9) , I might be slightly more pumped to catch Cate Le Bon's early set at Mercury Lounge that same night. (She also plays Maxwell's on Friday [2/10] as part of her tour) I've been pretty enamoured with the Welsh singer's new album, Cyrk, that came out a few weeks ago. The spare, detached vibe is a little like the Velvet Underground or Electrelane or Stereolab, but there's a hint of pastoral psychedelia in there too. (Shades of Welsh indie royalty Gorky's Zygotic Mynci). The record is loaded with wonderful little touches that reveal themselves with repeated listens. It's a fantastic album.

You can download single "Puts Me to Work" at the top of this post and stream Cyrk at Spotify. Cate has played New York a few times, usually solo, but for this tour she's got her band with her which should be pretty special. Both shows are with local band Pigeons.

Ed Vallance - 'Volcano'
Ed Vallance

What else is going on? London born, Brooklyn-based singer Ed Vallance released his second album, Volcano, this week and plays a record release show tonight (2/8) at Pianos. The record is dramatic turn from the indie folk of his debut. I bet he still writes his songs on acoustic guitar, but the approach to the arrangements and production are definitely have definitely taken a pop approach this time. While this sort of stuff isn't in vogue so much these days (it's got a distinct early '00s post-Radiohead vibe) it's quite lovely nonetheless. You can download the single "Crystaline" at the top of this post and stream the album at Spotify.

In addition to tonight's show at Pianos, an early show with Pursesnatchersopening, Ed's doing a month-long residency at the Ace Hotel, playing every Sunday in February.

Jeremy Jay
Jeremy Jay

And finally, K Records artist Jeremy Jay is in town this week, playing Glasslands tonight (2/8) and Cake Shop tomorrow (2/9). Jeremy's most recent album is Dream Diary, which came out about a year ago. Like most of his work, it's minimal folk rock with a strong '80s influence. He's an engaging live performer, and tonight's Glasslands show is a stacked bill with Boston psych-folk band Quilt, quality locals Slowdance and Backwords. The Cake Shop show is with Sapphire Mansions and a couple TBDs. (Cake Shop's website isn't especially updated these days.) Jeremy lives in London these days, so go see him while he's here -- all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

That's the big stuff this week. Some more day by day picks, of things not already covered, are below.

Old Monk
Old Monk

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

The second week of Old Monk's Cake Shop residency is tonight. These guys are good! Tonight's with Haybaby, elctro-rockers Year of the Tiger and Code Name Viper.

continued below...

Continue reading "Veronica Falls, Bleached, Habibi, Cate Le Bon, Ed Vallance, Jeremy Jay, Ida & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Sleep - Valentine (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Sleep - Ace (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moonmen on the Moon, Man - Hey Look, a Sweat Baloon Artist (MP3)

Hospitality (photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Hospitality

Happy Groundhog Day folks. As you may have heard, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow so we're getting six more weeks of winter. If that means the kind of winter we've had so far, I'm okay with that. I'm much more likely to head out and go see shows when not faced with the dreaded wintry mix. And there's lots of good shows this weekend, so let's get out there.

First up, the Hospitality record release party at Glasslands this Friday (2/3) (tickets still available). Their album came out this week on Merge, and I think makes a great case for not rushing things. Hospitality started playing about three years ago and released a CDR EP in the spring of 2009 that got them some notice. Most bands would've had an album out by the end of the year, but Hospitality took their time, honed their craft and became a really great live band. And the album is terrific, not a bad song in the bunch; winsome but there's some muscle in there too. You can stream the whole shebang at Merge's website or with Spotify.

The record release party also Glass Ghost and Dustin Wong on the bill. The band are also heading out on a quick tour of both coasts and will be in Austin for SXSW. All scheduled tour dates are below.

The Darkness
The Darkness

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are The Darkness who are back for their first US tour in six years, playing Irving Plaza on Saturday (2/4, sold out) and Monday (2/6, still available). As stated before, I'm a huge fan of the Darkness' first album, 2003's near-perfect Permission to Land, which I picked as one of the best of the '00s. As a pop album. Justin Hawkins knows his way around a giant hook. After the overblown excesses of One Way Ticket to Hell (And Back) and Justin Hawkins' ill-advised Sunset Strip spandex group Hot Leg, the band seem to be back on track with new single "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" which is a little more in the "Growing on Me" vein.

The Darkness' show at Bowery Ballroom back in 2003 was one of the most fun shows I've been to in the last ten years, and from YouTube footage of recent shows it looks like they've still got it. They are a kick-ass live band -- it takes skill to play "I Believe in a Thing Called Love's" solo whilst riding on your roadie's shoulders through the audience. (I hope they're still doing that.) Tickets are still available for Monday's show.

The Big Sleep
Big Sleep

Hospitality aren't the only ones with a record release party this week. The Big Sleep released The Nature Experiments this week, their first album in four years and their record release show is tonight (2/2) at Knitting Factory. It might be their most melodic record to date, with more songs that have caught my ear on first listen than I remember them doing before. You can download two of the album's best tracks at the top of this post and the listen to the entire album at Spotify. The Big Sleep are touring as well, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.

Moonmen on the Moon, Man
Moonmen on the Moon, Man

Still more record release party fun: Tomorrow night (2/3) at Cake Shop is a dual record release party for Moonmen on the Moon, Man and Glass Anchors who both have record coming out on the venue's subsidary Cape Shok label which finally seems to be in gear after a lot of promise but inactivity. MMotMM, which might feature members who work or even own Cake Shop, rock in an late-'80s/early-90s college radio kind of way. Their endearingly sloppy pop -- with a little punk and twang -- woulda been right at home on, say, Frontier Records, nestled in amongst Flop and Thin White Rope and Redd Kross. You can download a track from the EP at the top of this post.

Glass Anchors is the musical project of songwriter Annie Sicherman who I admit to not knowing much about but her Cape Shok EP is lovely, dusty folk pop. Says the press release:

Honing her songs in various bands over various years, soaring songstress Annie Sicherman brings us GLASS ANCHORS. The songs on her fledgling EP are plaintive, reflective, honest, and good. GLASS ANCHORS sounds best tearing up road (preferably dirt), the one to oblivion - right after you ended the longest relationship you ever had, the one you thought would last, the one with the proposal. That road can be in your head, but certainly GLASS ANCHORS has the ability to take you there every time... with Glass Anchors, we have the real Annie 3000%, no matter what road you're on.
You can stream Glass Anchors' EP at the bottom of this post. The Cake Shop show also features Bright Lights, Overlord and Fergus & Geronimo.

That's the big stuff this week. A few more picks, day-by-day, are below of things not already covered here.

Classixx
Classixx

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2

LA's Classixx play the Popshop party at Santos with Workout and The French Horn Rebellion. You may know Classix from their remixes, like the excelent one they did for Phoenix's "Lisztomania." The group's new single is out this summer on a new label that's a joint venture from the Kitsune Maison folks and, I'm not kidding, the Cobrasnake.

Spacecamp, Mon Khmer, Romans and Skaters are at Bowery Electric. Spacecamp's new EP is pretty good, especially if you like a little Police in your pop rocks.

The Death Set, who I haven't seen play since maybe SXSW 2008, are at the Delancey. Always fun live.

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Continue reading "Hospitality, The Darkness, The Big Sleep, Moonmen on the Moon Man, Glass Anchors & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADHowler - I Told You Once (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fujiya & Miyagi - Ecstatic Dancer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dinowalrus - What Now (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pre War - Out There (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Royal Baths - Darling Divine (MP3)

Howler
Howler

Welcome to the Stop SOPA edition of TWII. Do you know how hard it would be to do this column without free knowledge via the internet? It would be riddled with factual errors. More so!

Minneapolis underage upstarts Howler are in town playing a whole bunch of shows. The onslaught began last night with an in-store at Other Music (their album came out yesterday), and continues with: an early show tonight (January 18) with Happy People andTiberius,  January 19 at Death By Audio with Grooms andClouderJanuary 20 at Cameo Gallery with St. Lucia, and January 21 at Pianos with Dear LionsCemeteries, and The Everymen.

As mentioned, Howler's debut album came out yesterday and is titled America Give Up which kind of feels like a "just try not to like us" dare. Their sound -- a little Strokes, a little Jesus and Mary Chain, a little West Coast garage -- is indeed easy to like, even if there isn't much "new" about it. But the band have no shortage of hooks and a good dose of hard-to-fake attitude. As previously mentioned, ou can stream the whole thing at NPR.

Most of the hype is coming from the UK press who are still enamored with the Vaccines (with whom Howler's toured). I like Howler better than them and am going to make an effort to catch one of their shows this week. You should too, surely you've got one night free this week?

Fujiya & Miyagi
Fujiya & Miyagi

Also in town this week are Fugiya & Miyagi, playing Glasslands on Thursday (1/19) and Mercury Lounge on Saturday (1/21, sold out). The band have a new single out, "Ecstatic Dancer," that you can download at the top of this post. It's the kind of slinky, glammy stomper you could imagine Goldfrapp doing but with David Best's whispery vocals. No album attached to it as far as I can tell so it seems the single supports the tour, not the other way around as usual.

The band are also on the Power, Corruption & Lies Covered CD that comes with the February issue of MOJO, where the entirety of cover stars New Order's second album is covered by the likes of Destroyer, S.C.U.M. and Errors. Fujiya & Miyagi contribute a fairly wrote version of Side Two opener "Your Silent Face." (Stream it below.) The band are a good time live and are equally adept at both Neu!-style motorik and funky Can rhythms as you may already know. My favorite song is still "Ankle Injuries" but I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.

Thursday's Glasslands show is with Zambri, who really impressed me at Glasslands last month, Rarechild and The Golden Filter on DJ duties. For Saturday's show at Merc, openers are Aimes, Jangulaand Dinowalrus.

Dinowalrus
Dinowalrus

Dinowalrus' second album, Best Behavior, is due out March 6 on Old Flame records. If you haven't seen them in a while, the band dropped the dissonance in favor of a sound under the influenced of late '80s Manchester. While that means some danceable tracks, it also means atmospheric rockers like "What Now" which veers closer to The Chameleons or The Sound. You can download it at the top of this post.

Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson

If you're looking for something a little more mellow, man, perhaps you should check out onetime Eisley bassist (different Jonathan Wilson!) Jonathan Wilson who is here for three shows this week. He's at Mercury Lounge tomorrow (1/19) for an early show and again  on Friday (1/20) for a late show with Quilt), and then hits the Rock Shop on Saturday (1/ 21).

Jonathan Wilson's Gentle Spirit made its way onto many Best of 2011 lists, coming in at #4 on MOJO's year end coverage. Pazz n' Jop notsomuch, only three votes, which landed it in a 21-way tie for #372. Mind you, Wilson's music -- which recalls the heyday of early '70s Laurel Canyon -- is prime fodder for a magazine like MOJO that has a Beatle on the cover at least once a year, but Gentle Spirit is a genuinely gorgeous album that exudes a West Coast vibe even in the coldest New York winter. Spotify users can listen to the album here.

This is the only picture on Pre War's Facebook
Pre War

And finally, for many in New York the phrase "pre war" is code for "not many electric outlets and no sink in the bathroom" but maybe that will change with Pre War the rock band who have dusted themselves off from the recently defunct Conversion Party. Like that band, Pre War traffic in catchy, big-chorused indie rock. Check out "Out There" at the top of this post and you can listen to more at the band's Tumblr.

You can catch Pre War live Thursday (1/19) at Cake Shop where they play with Grand Rapids, Plates of Cake, and Hunny.

That's the big stuff for this week. Day-by-day picks not covered above are below. Fight the power!

--
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18

Sharon Van Etten is at Mercury Lounge which if you don't have tickets, is sold out. She's got lots more shows coming up, though. Her new album, Tramp, is really good.

continued below...

Continue reading "Howler, Fujiya & Miyagi, Dinowalrus, Pre War, Jonathan Wilson, Royal Baths & more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Alyssa Tanchajja

Fucked Up @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Brooklyn Bazaar

We had a busy first-half-of December. Not counting business-as-usual and the many metal shows BBG throws on a regular basis, Brooklynvegan put together four big shows (relatively speaking). We started the month off with G-Side/eXquire/Cities Aviv @ Glasslands, continued at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Anna Calvi/Eleanor Friedberger/New Moods, then did Fucked Up/Dom/Big Troubles/Caged Animals/Radical Dads @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar, and finished it off Twin Sister/Widowspeak/Ava Luna style at Bowery Ballroom.

Here's a second set of pictures from the Bazaar show (which was one night before The Hold Steady/Titus Andronicus played there). They continue (sans Radical Dads) below...

Continue reading "more pics from BV night @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar (Fucked Up, Dom, Big Troubles & more)"

photos by Erik Erikson; words by Bill Pearis

Fucked Up

One night after James Murphy and other DFA peeps occupied the Kent Ave space, Friday night was the BV Presents evening of programming at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a ridiculously huge warehouse space that was home to holiday shopping, food vendors and rock music. I was taken aback by how big the performance space was, which had room for at least a dozen picnic tables, a half-pipe (nobody skated Friday night that I saw), and three bar areas, including a mezzanine.

Despite it being an enormous concrete box, sound was quite good and lighting was better than 90% of NYC's venues, and there were very cool video projections that mixed real-time footage of the show with vintage stock footage. As a person who actively avoids Terminal 5, I would frequent this space as-is if it were a real venue.

The evening kicked off with Radical Dads who were just terrific even though they had to play at 7PM. I really do think their spirited '90s style indie rock one of this city's best kept secrets, and their album Mega Rama is one of my favorites of 2011. And they're a great live band.

It was a fun evening all around. Caged Animals sounded terrific and Vincent Cachionne is an engaging, intense frontman who provided the night's confetti quotient. Big Troubles played a short, tight set that stuck mainly to the high points of this year's Romantic Comedy (of which there are many), and Dom were in top party-rock form.

The most fun for myself was getting to DJ with Frankie Rose in between bands. We decided to go song-for-song which is a fun competition, trying to find something that goes well off what the other person just played. This did lead to some fun, weird places, like me playing The Human League's "The Things Dreams Are Made Of" directly before Fucked Up took the stage. These things have a mind of their own...it made sense at the time.

Fucked Up were, as usual, awesome. They basically had just gotten off the plane from their stint opening for the Foo Fighters in Australia but if they were jetlagged you couldn't tell. Damien told the crowd it was great to be in front of people who were there to see them. We got a little over an hour set, which included their spirited cover of "Jingle Bells" which you may have seen them perform on the Anthony Bourdain holiday special and will be available this week as their side of a split 7" with Sloan. Stuff that in yer stocking.

Thanks to everyone who came out. Click through for lots more pics from Friday night's fun.

Continue reading "Fucked Up, Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals & Radical Dads played Brooklyn Night Bazaar (pics, review)"

By Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Parlovr - Heaven/Hell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Atlas Sound - Terra Incognita (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Atlas Sound- Te Amo (MP3)

Parlovr at M for Montreal 2011
Parlovr/MforMontreal

It's that time of year again, so let's sing it up real pretty. Are we all in the spirit? Better be, because there's a zillion holiday parties going on this weekend, including two thrown by this very blog you are currently reading. How these parties differ from the shows we go to the rest of the year? Only a Scrooge would ask such a question. But to answer it: there's maybe more strand lights. And some Christmas songs thrown in sparsely by DJs or as covers by the bands playing. And some snowflakey sweaters. Whatever you call it, there's lot of great music to go see this weekend. Here's some of it.

Montreal's Parlovr are visiting, playing two shows. Tonight (12/15) they play the Popgun Holiday Party at Glasslands and then tomorrow (12/16) at Mercury Lounge with Shout Out Louds offshoot thing Serenades.

I'm on record as being a fan of this trio who I most recently saw at this year's M for Montreal. I'm not sure any of their records have quite captured the band's live energy, which is why you should go see them. But the recorded version of my favorite song, "Hell/Heaven," comes pretty close. You can download it above. Live, there's lots of flying hair (via singer/guitarists Alex and Jeremy) and flying limbs (lanky drummer Louis) that fits well with Parlovr's spiky indie rock. The band have recorded a holiday track called "Spike the Eggnog" which judging from the video (you can watch below) the spiking involves something much stronger than whiskey.

The Popgun Holiday Party tonight looks to be a good time, with Bell and TWII-faves North Highlands playing as well. There's also a "+ Special Guest" listed as well, no idea who that might be but the Popgun folks usually don't throw around that phrase too lightly.

Serenades

Tomorrow's show is with Serenades which is a Swedish super-duo consisting of Adam Olenius from Shout Out Louds and Markus Krunegård of Laakso. Their album Criminal Heaven is out next year in the U.S. and is chock-full of sparkling pop that seems aimed directly at the charts. It's slicker than Shout Out Louds (Laakso were pretty shiny, though they sang in Swedish) but still maintains that sharp melodic sense and shaggy, sad-eyed lyrical bent. You can download a track at the top of this post. Serenades also play tonight (12/15) at Knitting Factory.

Brooklyn Bazaar
BK Bazaar

There's also the Brooklyn Night Bazaar which runs tonight through Saturday. The enormous space (40,000 square feet!), the layout of which was based on the set of Lars Von Triers' Dogville (!!!), is a holiday shopping, eating, drinking and live music extravaganza as you have probably already heard. Tonight (12/15) is James Murphy DJing, along with Poolside, the Crystal Ark Party Machine and Midnight Magic. Saturday night (12/17) is The Hold Steady, Titus Andronicus and Wakey! Wakey!

Friday (12/16) is the BrooklynVegan Presents night with a SPIN Album of 2011 winners Fucked Up, plus Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, and Radical Dads. Frankie Rose and myself will be spinning tunes before the bands start and between sets. And only $10, so that's only two bucks a band. What a bargain! Tickets will be available at the door too. I am DJing starting at 5PM, Frankie will be there from 6PM and bands start at 7PM, with Radical Dads up first. (Then Caged Animals, Big Troubles, Dom, and Fucked Up.) If you're coming, do make an effort to get there in time for them, they're awesome. As are all the bands on the bill I think. Shop, eat, rock out, eat and shop some more, rinse repeat. Say hi.

Frankie Rose
Frankie Rose

In addition to DJing our party tomorrow, Frankie Rose is also playing an acoustic set at Glasslands on Saturday (12/17) as part of a Jonathan Toubin benefit that also features Xray Eyeballs, K-Holes and The Stalkers. Frankie Rose's new album, Interstellar, is out in February and I think will surprise a lot of people. She is definitely out of the garage on this one, ditching the reverb and embracing synthesizers, jangly guitars and her inner pop star. Like a lot of folks this year, The Wake seems to be an influence. Fans of Craft Spells are gonna like it.

As previously mentioned, Frankie will debut her new record and new band at the Knitting Factory on February 21.

And to wrap up BV holiday party related items, Saturday's fest with Twin Sister, Widowspeak and Ava Luna is sold out! Hope you got tickets! If you're going, we're raffling off a load of cool prizes -- like every Domino release of 2011 -- with all proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots.

Atlas Sound
Atlas Sound

And last but not least we've got Atlas Sound here for two shows this weekend:The Bell House on Saturday (12/17, tickets still available) and Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (12/18, sold out). Andrew Sacher wrote about Atlas Sound's new album Paralax a few weeks ago which I'm gonna quote:

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 Cox 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."
I'll add that Parallax has a post-2AM vibe to it and some of Cox's best songs yet. It also reminds me, a bit, of Spoon too.

That's the big stuff. Some more picks, day-by-day, follow.

Continue reading "Parlovr, Fucked Up, Dom, Frankie Rose, Atlas Sound, Serenades, Jonathan Toubin & more in This Week in Indie"

By Bill Pearis

One could argue (and we did, in our story on the band in the January-February issue!) that Fucked Up's rock opera David Comes to Life was uniquely resonant upon its June release because of the emotional synchronicity between an album that spilled forth with such an appropriately chaotic narrative and a year in which tumultuous disarray became the norm. But good lord, David Comes to Life could've been sung in backwards Tagalog and it still would've made perfect sense in 2011. That's the power of a gang of punks playing with Olympian levels of passion and purpose. [SPIN]
SPIN publishes it's year-end issue next week, naming Fucked Up's David Comes to Life as 2011's best album. The top ten also includes EMA, Wild Flag, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li and more. The entire SPIN Top 50 Albums of 2011 is at the bottom of this post.

As you hopefully know, Fucked Up will be performing this Friday (12/16) at the BV-curated night of this weekend's Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a full evening of music that also includes Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads, as well as Frankie Rose spinning tunes. Tickets are only $10 and still available.

There's a lot more Fucked Up news actually. Tonight (11/12) the band will be guests on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Holiday Special, which also features Christoper Walken, Norah Jones and a lot of extremely non-vegan cooking (though the Vegan Black Metal Chef is also a guest). Maybe Fucked Up will play in Bourdain's fridge, like Das Racist did on last year's Holiday Special.

Next Tuesday (12/20) in the band's hometown of Toronto, Fucked Up will perform David Comes to Life in its entirety, with proceeds going to charity. (PS I Love You, The Sadies and Quest for Fire also perform.)

Fucked Up are also releasing a split Christmas single with Sloan, with proceeds benefiting the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund. Fucked Up's side is their take on "Jingle Bells," while Sloan tackle "The 12 Days of Christmas" (which is streamable below). Only 500 are being printed -- maybe they'll be some at the merch table this Friday?

The band have also announced the release of 2012's annual Chinese New Year single, "Year of the Tiger," which is out February 21. The 15-minute track features guest vocals from Austra, Duchess Says' Annie-Claude and Jim Jarmusch, which Matador claims is "MAYBE THE BEST THING FUCKED UP HAVE EVER RECORDED" but being their record label they're prone to such proclamations. But maybe it is.

Click through for a just-released video of "Turn the Season" plus video of the band performing "The Other Shoe" on Canada's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show, as well as the entire rundown of SPIN mag's Top 50 Albums of 2011...

Continue reading "Fucked Up named Album of 2011 by SPIN, on 'No Reservations' tonight, playing Brooklyn Friday, releasing Christmas single w/ Sloan & 'Year of the Tiger' single"

by Bill Pearis

DOM @ Pier 54 (more by Chris La Putt)

Last week when we announced the 12/16 BrooklynVegan Presents holiday show with Fucked Up at Brooklyn Night Bazaar there was still one band TBD. Well it turns out here that the "D" in TBD stood for Dom. Yep, we're pleased to announce the poppy Worcester, Mass quintet round our our five band line-up. You can stream the entirety of Dom's still fresh Family of Love EP at the bottom of this post.

So let's recap. Here's what you're getting for your very reasonably-priced $10 ticket: Fucked Up, Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals and Radical Dads, plus Frankie Rose (and myself) spinning tunes. Brooklyn Night Bazaar is a three-day holiday shopping, eating, drinking and music extravaganza all under one roof, just a few blocks from the Bedford L stop (specifically 149 Kent Ave at N.5th St.). It's free to get in the shopping area; getting into the shows is extra.

In addition to our night, on Thursday, December 15 it's a headlining DJ set from James Murphy, plus the Crystal Ark Party Machine, Poolside (who were recently added too) and Midnight Magic; on Saturday, December 17 it's The Hold Steady plus Titus Andronicus, Wakey Wakey and W/O. For those curious about the shopping and eating side of things, a full list of vendors is here. Hope to see you there.

Click through to listen to Dom's new EP, and check out the Brooklyn Bazaar flyer.

Continue reading "Dom added to Fucked Up show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Radical Dads - Little Tomb (Pursesnatchers Remix) (MP3)

Radical Dads at Bruar Falls, CMJ 2011
Radical Dads, CMJ 2011

As I mentioned earlier, Radical Dads are playing the BV Holiday Party at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Friday, December 16 that also features headliners Fucked Up, plus Big Troubles, Caged Animals (and more more TBA) as well as Frankie Rose on the decks. All for only $10. One of my favorite live bands in Brooklyn, Radical Dads are definitely worth showing up early for.

Before that you can see Radical Dads open for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this Wednesday (12/7) at Webster Hall. Waters also play the show and tickets are still available. Robbie Guertin will be a busy man that night, as he's in both bands (drums for Rad Dads, guitar in CYHSY).

By the time of our holiday show, Radical Dads' debut album, Mega Rama, should be out on vinyl (and at the merch table) which would make a great holiday gift for the classic indie rock lover in your life. As I've said before, if you like Wild Flag, this has a similar vibe and great songs, though much less hyped. We've got a version of LP-opener "Little Tomb" remixed by Pursesnatchers, adding a few layers of soaring guitars to the song which was already reaching the stratosphere. Download it above. And you can stream all of Mega Rama at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading "Radical Dads playing BV night @ Brooklyn Bazaar, opening for CYHSY @ Webster, remixed by Pursesnatchers (MP3 debut)"

by Bill Pearis

Fucked Up at House of Vans in July (more by Chris La Putt)
Fucked Up

BrooklynVegan is really in the holiday spirit this year. In addition to the BV holiday party with Anna Calvi and Eleanor Friedberger at Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 13 and the Twin Sister/Widowspeak/Ava Luna show at Bowery Ballroom on December 17, we've added a third BV Presents show to the holiday themed mix.

We're psyched to be presenting a full evening of bands at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Friday, December 16, headlined by Toronto's amazing Fucked Up. Making things more festive will be Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads and one more we'll be announcing shortly. DJing in between bands will be Frankie Rose  and myself. Tickets are a Bob Crachett-friendly $10 and on sale now.

If you don't know, Brooklyn Night Bazaar is a holiday shopping, eating, drinking and music extravaganza happening Dec. 15 - 17 at a giant warehouse in Williamsburg (149 Kent at N.5th). Shopping and food vendors is free, you gotta pay to see the bands. Thursday 12/15 is James Murphy DJ set with Poolside, Crystal Ark and Midnight Magic, and Saturday 12/17 is The Hold Steady with Titus Andronicus and Wakey Wakey. Full list of vendors is here.

Do come out it should be fun. (Did I mention it's only ten bucks for our night?) Flyer for the Brooklyn Night Bazaar is below.

Continue reading "Fucked Up headlining a THIRD BV Holiday Party at Brooklyn Night Bazaar, also with Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads, DJ Frankie Rose and more."

photos by Erik Erikson, words by Bill Pearis

2:54
254

UK band 2:54's new EP, Scarlett, sounds amazing: rolling flinty basslines, layer upon layer of guitar haze and the alluring vocals of Colette Thurlow. (Her sister Hannah provides much of the aforementioned haze.) As well it should, the record was mixed by Alan Moulder who provided polish for Ride, My Bloody Valentine and Curve (whom 2:54 most resemble) in the early '90s.

Though they didn't quite hit those stellar sonics live last night at Pianos (12/30) -- their second-ever American show and a short one at maybe six songs -- what they did have in spades is promise. Colette suffered through microphone feedback problems and there was a crackle running through the speakers on the first couple songs. 2:54 also seemed a little green, not quite jelled as a cohesive unit. But when it did -- like on "Cold Front" with its spare, skeletal arrangement -- you felt that in six months or so these Brits are gonna get there. And hopefully we'll be saying "the records are good, but you really have to see them live."

Openers were Caged Animals, the new band from Soft Black's Vincent Cacchione who sound like a big hug. Warm and poppy, except for the last song where things turned briefly feral (hooting and strange faces). I only caught the last three songs, but I thought they were terrific when they opened for Metronomy during CMJ. They have it pretty together for as new an endeavor as Caged Animals are. Catch them again tonight (12/1) at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge with Shilpa Ray, EULA & Quilty.

More pictures from the Manhattan show (their first US show was at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn one night earlier), below...

Continue reading "2:54 made their US debut, played Pianos w/ Caged Animals (pics & review)"

by Andrew Sacher

2:54

London duo 2:54, the current project of sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow who previously played together in the punk band Vulgarians, have shared stages with Yuck, Male Bonding, and Warpaint, and even share an affinity with them for the same decade (the '90s). But while those bands are channeling the lo-fi/indie rock subgenres of the time, 2:54 are taking their influence from a much different side of the spectrum. Their name comes from the thundering 2:54 mark of the Melvins' "A History of Bad Men" and both sisters have a "life-long love of Queens Of The Stone Age".

The duo have yet to announce plans for an album, but they've got a few great songs on their soundcloud. The song "Scarlet" sounds like early-mid '90s Radiohead for about 20 seconds before the sludge-drenched guitar takes over and reverby sullen vocals kick in. Their first song to surface on the internet, "Creeping," is a locked-in stoner jam, and the guitars on "On A Wire" actually sound like they're being detuned as the song goes on. Check them out for yourself by listening to the streams of these tracks and a couple others below.

2:54 will make their US debut this week with two shows in NYC. They're playing Shea Stadium on Tuesday (11/29) with Total Slacker, DIVE, and Pages and a free show at Pianos on Wednesday (11/30) with Caged Animals.

All dates, a video, song streams, and the flier for the NYC shows below...

Continue reading "check out 2:54 (they make their US debut in NYC this week)"

Big Snow

Just like in nature documentaries, the circle of life continues in the Williamsburg indie community. As Bruar Falls was having a it's Last Weekend Ever, a new DIY venue was having its first shows. Big Snow Buffalo Lodge is located at 89 Varet St. in East Williamsburg, just a couple blocks from Don Pedro. It's run by some of the same folks that bring us It was started by some folks that used to work at Shea Stadium and its first show was last Thursday (10/27) with Dustin Wong, the So So Glos, Lost Boy?, Day Dress and Pigeons.

Big Snow Buffalo Lodge's upcoming slate includes a Chat Logs and Many Mansions record release party tomorrow night (11/5), DIVE (11/10), Celestial Shore (11/12), and Caged Animals (12/01). Has anyone gone yet? What's the space like? Full schedule is below.

Continue reading "Big Snow Buffalo Lodge is a new venue in East Williamsburg, open now (upcoming shows)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADDive - Sometime (MP3)
DOWNLOADCaged Animals - Teflon Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOADCaged Animals - Girls on Medication (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Heaven's Gate - Weakness Worms (MP3)

Toys & Tiny Instruments
Toys

It's a fairly quiet post-ATP weekend, which is fine. And the big stuff (Jens Lekman, James Blake) is sold out. CMJ is coming up in less than two weeks, and I plan on taking it (fairly) easy until then. (More than anything else, I'm stoked for the Breaking Bad finale on Sunday!) But there is, as always, stuff going on that's worth your time and coin. So this week I'm just going to do an extended version of the day-by-day picks.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6

Anika at Glasslands.

Dive, the new band from Beach Fossils dude Cole Smith, is easily the hardest working group in Brooklyn right now. You can see them tonight at Death by Audio on a pretty stacked bill of locals. I've caught Dive a couple nights now and am really impressed with their energy -- dark and motorik (not totally unlike Captured Tracks labelmates Soft Moon) -- and Smith's ability to spin around and play in clothes six sizes too big for him.

Dive also plays tomorrow (10/7) at 285 Kent with Night Manager and ex-Sweetbulbs band Heaven's Gate (who have a new MP3 to download at the top of this post) and Friends.

The rest of the show is good too. Caged Animals is Vin of Soft Black's new band. There are MP3s above and you can read more about them here. The show is also a record release for Spanish Prisoners' new album, Gold Fools, which you can stream in its entirety at the bottom of this post.  It's been a while since I checked in with them... it's a really nice record, especialy the single "Rich Blood" which you can download for free from their Bandcamp. Also playing are Quiet Lights who might fill the void for lovely loud guitar pop left by Dirty on Purpose.

Over at Cake Shop are the Toys and Tiny Instruments Band who do not play live very often. It's exactly as it sounds, seven or eight folks playing songs on kazoos, melodicas, penny whistles, plastic guitars and other toys and tiny instruments. (Not unlike Pianosarus for those whose memories go back to '80s obscurities.) They are way better than you think they're going to be.

And at Public Assembly it's electronic psych rock pioneers Silver Apples who play with MNDR, Lemonade, Ital and Todd Pendu on DJ duty. Another worthy show.

continued below....

Continue reading "Dive, Caged Animals, Ladytron, Taste of the Seaport, Psychic Paramount & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADHedgehog - Toy and 61 Festival (MP3)
DOWNLOADHedgehog - Waiting for the Last Bus (MP3)
DOWNLOADRoyal Baths - Nikki Don't (MP3)

poster

After surviving a couple minor major acts of nature, we deserve a long break. So for your Labor Day weekend... like usual, it's pretty slow, show-wise. But there are some things to do.

We'll start this week with a movie. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is finally getting a U.S. release (it came out in January 2010 in France), albeit a limited one, thanks in part to great reissue label Light in the Attic. The film started it's two-week Film Forum run last night and will be making its way around the country throughout the fall. All play dates are at the bottom of this post.

Heroic maybe, but for sure Serge Gainsbourg led a wild life before succumbing to cancer at age 62 in 1992. You could make a compelling film out of any period of his life, and that the movie tries to cram it all in -- from fleeing Nazi-occupied Paris as a child through his rise to fame, relationships with Bridget Bardot and Jane Birkin to his his '70s dalliance with reggae -- gives too much of your standard Behind the Music story arc.

But it's also untraditional at the same time. Writer-director Joann Sfar is a comic artist (this is his first film) and injects a big element of the absurd courtesy of a puppet-like alter-ego (alter-Id, really) that encourages Gainsbourg to do bad things. Eric Elmosnino, a dead-ringer for Gainsbourg, is terrific, as is the rest of the cast -- including Lucy Gordon as Birkin and Laetitia Casta as Bardot, plus appearances by eccentric singer Philippe Katerine and the late Claude Chabrol. It's got a great sense of style and, of course, the soundtrack is amazing. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life could be better, but it's still worth seeing.

Weekend
Weekend

As for actual shows, San Francisco's vociferous and awesome Weekend will be here on Saturday (9/3) at Glasslands and Sunday (/4) at Mercury Lounge. Both shows are with the similarly cacophonous Talk Normal.

Weekend have a new EP, Red, out September 20th on Slumberland which finds the trio exploring new sonic territory, though not the quiet kind. It's still rather pummeling but Shaun Durkan's vocals, previously hidden behind echo and backwards reverb, are dryer and more up front now. The sound is a little sharper all around, but the driving, melodic basslines and guitar squall remain. You can download Red track "Hazel" via a Soundcloud widget at the bottom of this post.

In addition to Talk Normal, the Glasslands show features their Slumberland labelmates Brown Recluse; the Mercury Lounge show also has Fan-Tan on the bill. All Weekend/Talk Normal tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Royal Baths
Royal Baths

San Francisco's Royal Baths bring their heavy psychedelia to Death by Audio on Friday (9/2) with Xray Eyeballs, Hunters and Mountain Cult. I wrote previously: "Royal Baths are kind of bad trip acid rock, dark and seedy but not atonal. But it's definitely down the rabbit hole. In a good way." At the top of this post you can download a track off of Royal Baths debut LP  from last year. The band have a split double-7" with Ty Segall due out on HoZac any time now. Keep an eye peeled for that.

Hedgehog
Hedgehog

Bejiing's Hedgehog are back in America for the first time since CMJ: they play Bruar Falls on Sunday (9/4) and Cake Shop on Monday (9/5). After that they head out on tour with Xiu-Xiu and Kindest Lines, and all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

I caught set at The Woods last year and the venue's atrocious sound didn't deter Hedgehog's tenacity, most ably embodied in Atom, their tiny pistol of a drummer. Looking at them, you might expect pop punk a la Japan's Blue Hearts, but Hedgehog make melodic indie rock. There's a couple tracks to download at the top of this post. They're a blast live, and there aren't a lot of shows Sunday or Monday, so here's a good international option for your concert dollar.

That's it of the "big" stuff in my world. Some more shows -- including a fair amount of free ones -- are listed day-by-day below.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Good show at Shea Stadium tonight. In addition to the recently-profiled Caged Animals, there's also new FatCat singings Forest Fire whose Walkmen-esque album Staring at the X is worth looking out for when it comes out in October on FatCat.

Nerdy rapper and Adult Swim voice talent MC Chris is throwing a record release party at Death by Audio for his new album Race Wars. It's also his birthday. Show is FREE.

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Continue reading "Serge Gainsbourg, Weekend, Hedgehog, Royal Baths, MC Chris, Hunx, 'English Beat' & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Caged Animals - Teflon Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Caged Animals - Girls on Medication (MP3)

Caged Animals

Caged Animals, the new project from Soft Black front man Vin Cacchione, will release their debut album, Eat Their Own, on Sept 27 via Lucky Number. You can download the album's first single, "Teflon Heart," at the top of this post. You can also go see them play live this week: Thursday (8/25) at Union Pool with Life Sized Maps and Shark? and then on September 1 at Shea Stadium with Dive and Forest Fire (whose 2nd album is coming out soon on FatCat).

Where Soft Black (who are still together if you were wondering) are a straight up guitar band, Caged Animals began as a home recording project for Cacchione, using ancient drum machines and keyboards...and modern technology too. The resulting album is minimal and joyous, with Cacchione's melodic abilities as a songwriter fully intact. Despite the understated production, "Teflon Heart" is a pretty soaring pop song with a chorus that could get lodged in your head for a while.

Live, Caged Animals are a quartet, including violinist Magali Charron, and Vin's sister Talya which should flesh out things a bit. Also check out non-LP single "Girls on Medication" from earlier this year at the top of this post and watch its video below.

Continue reading "check out Caged Animals (MP3 premiere, video & dates)"