Entries tagged with: Cake Shop
photos and words by Caroline Harrison
By the time Aussie headliners Royal Headache took the stage Wednesday night (6/13), the Cake Shop was packed to capacity. The eager crowd was crammed into every corner the oddly shaped basement could offer, anticipation as palpable as the sweaty basement humidity.
While waiting for the four-band show to begin, I witnessed a number of puzzled show attendees wander downstairs, stumble into a literary mixer, and check their watches to make sure they were in the right place. About 10 minutes before 9, the Cake Shop's sound guy subtly hinted that the remaining mixer attenders should head home, blasting Iron Maiden's "Run to the HIlls," and New York locals Lame Drivers began setting up their gear.
Despite a rushed set-up to keep the show on schedule, Lame Drivers warmed up the room with an energetic set of their wacky punk-tinged rock. They were followed by Scott & Charlene's Wedding -- named after Australian soap opera "Neighbors" -- a laid-back trio from Australia whose set was marked by accomplished but not flashy bar-rock lead guitar. Home Blitz's set left audience members calling out for more songs that the band was unable to deliver -- since the sets were still running behind schedule.
Royal Headache's set featured songs from their recently released eponymous album including the driving single, "Girls," in addition to a couple of new tunes. Drummer Shorty relentlessly drove the music while singer Shogun paced back and forth, forcefully howling through each song. The band's encore wasn't much of choice -- they couldn't have gotten through the crowd to leave if they had wanted to -- but they fully delivered on the recent hype. [Ed: And then some, they were great! - Bill]
More pictures from Cake Shop last night are below.
by Bill Pearis
Orca Team at NYC Popfest 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Looking more than a little like Joy Division, black-clad Seattlites Orca Team played Knitting Factory on Friday night (5/18) as part of NYC Popfest and were one of the highlights of the weekend for me. Though his resemblance to Ian Curtis was unmistakable, singer/bassist Leif Anders laid down a serious groove with his instrument (played high Beatles style) and never stopped dancing the whole set. Orca Team were crazy tight and a lot of fun.If you missed their terrific Popfest set a couple weeks ago, Seattle's Orca Team are spending the bulk of Summer 2012 on the road, hitting most spots in the U.S., including two stops in NYC: Cameo on July 1 and Cake Shop on July 18. In between those two NYC dates, the band will fly to Europe for a few dates surrounding the Indietracks Festival which happends July 6 - 8 in Derbyshire, UK. All upcoming Orca Team tour dates are listed below.
Look for Orca Team's new album, Restraint, to be out June 14 on the fine Happy Birthday to Me label. In the meantime, you can watch video of Orca Team's Popfest performance below as well as their video for "Too Busy to Love Me."
Cake Shop during NYC Popfest (more by Chris La Putt)
Cake Shop has been a key part of the vibrant New York music scene. Bands both local and from all over the world respect Cake Shop as a launching pad to success. Acts like Surfer Blood, Jeff The Brotherhood, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors and many more played some of their first gigs here. In addition to being a venue, we also try to foster a sense of community with our cafe, coffee, teas and, of course, cakes! We even have a hand picked bin of vinyl records from our favorite bands. We set a place up that we wanted to hang out in and luckily, many artists and fans have responded by continually coming in to hang out and support the scene.While they overcame an urgent financial crisis last month, Lower East Side rock club Cake Shop still needs help and they've started a PledgeMusic campaign and you can help out. There's a variety of donation levels with incentives like being on the guestlist for six months, secret showcases only open to those who donate, and other stuff. Details are at their PledgeMusic page.
Some financial hurdles that all compounded over the past 3 months (including new Real Estate Tax to landlord, added security costs and changes to the forms of ID we are allowed to accept) have caused serious potential of losing our space plus the one time fines and legal fees have caused us to reach out to the fans of live bands to help us keep the music going. We want to remain open and continue to bring you phenomenal emerging talent. That's where you come in. You can pledge to keep Cake Shop going.
We've listed some pretty sweet and unique exclusives that you can pledge for. A number of our longtime friends have graciously offered some truly special things. Everyone will receive a digital download of a compilation tape featuring handpicked songs by us (Cake Shop owners Andy and Nick Bodor and Greg Curley). Included will be some rare and unreleased live gems from the vault.
Once you pledge, you get instant access to a pledger-only part of the site. Here, we'll dig even further into the vault and give you streams of unseen live performances, live downloads and unreleased music from some of our favorite acts. We may even give away the recipe of one of our world-famous woopie pies!
Best of all, a portion of what's raised above our target will go to Musicians on Call, which is an amazing charity that provides live music in hospitals. They're a great organization, so help us help them.
Come be a part of music history as we keep live music vibrant in New York.
In the meantime, Cake Shop's doors stay open. Tonight (5/25) it's Male the Horse and Miniboone and Saturday (5/26) it's Michigan's Bad Indians and the Beets' Juan Wauters solo, and upcoming shows include Iceland's Muck (6/8) and Royal Headache (6/13). You can watch Cake Shop's Pledge Music video below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Popfest Mix (ZIP)
Burning Hearts @ NYC Popfest 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
It's NYC Popfest time again. Popfest happens Thursday - Sunday (May 17 - 20) at various venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can still get 4-day Festival Passes ($50) that will get you into all the weekend's shows, or you can buy tickets to individual shows.
There's a couple quick ways to check out all that's going on: Popfest has put together a free downloadable mix (linked above) with all the bands playing this year; and I put together a Spotify playlist with a couple songs from all the Popfest bands that have songs available on the service. If that's not enough, here's a little more about what's ahead, and this post covers Thursday and Friday night's shows. Saturday and Sunday preview will be later this week.
THURSDAY, MAY 17 (CAKE SHOP)
Like usual, Popfest kicks off Thursday (5/17) at Cake Shop. Headliners are Finland's Burning Hearts who were last here for Popfest 2009. The band's new album, Extinctions, mixes shimmery synths, jangly guitars and cooing guitars. You can stream the whole album at the bottom of this post. Burning Hearts also play a free show at LES store Ivana Helsinki (251 Elizabeth St.) and the Rock Shop on Monday (5/21) as part of a post-Popfest hangover show with Vancouver's Sleuth, the Philippines' Outerhearts and Orca Team (more on them below),
Staying in the same part of the world, Swedish powerpop band Speedmarket Avenue are also playing Thursday night. It's been four years since the band released their last album but, but a recently posted new song on their website gives hope for new musical activity. Hopefully we'll get a preview of their new album this week.
FRIDAY, MAY 18 (KNITTING FACTORY)
Friday night is at Knitting Factory with headliners Michigan's Saturday Looks Good to Me who haven't played NYC since the band dissolved in 2008. Main man Fred Thomas is promising a new album, so good to hear this will be more than just remember when.
For me the band I'm most excited to see Friday is Pacific Northwesterners Orca Team whose music is like a '50s dance party on a submarine with Tim Gane piloting. Their new album, Restraint, is out June 14 on the Happy Happy Birthday to Me label and is a little less specifically retro (and all the better for it). If you can't make it Friday night, Orca Team play two non-Popfest shows while here: a free show at XPO 929 (aka Party Expo) on Saturday (5/19) and they're also playing that 5/21 show at the Rock Shop with Burning Hearts and others.
As I said above, look for a preview of Saturday and Sunday's Popfest events later in the week. Meanwhile, the full NYC Popfest schedule (bands, set times, etc) is below.
by Bill Pearis
Cola Jet Set being tourists this week
Organ-fueled partiers Cola Jet Set from Barcelona, who sing in Spanish and maintain an impeccable wardrobe, are visiting NYC for NYC Popfest this week and play a FREE show at Cake Shop tonight [5/15]. Their Popfest show, and their only other show at the moment, is Friday at Knitting Factory where they'll be opening for Saturday Looks Good to Me. More on that later.
The Perennials open the Cake Shop show which starts at 9pm after the weekly free comedy. Check out a Cola Jet Set video below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Gospel Music - This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us (MP3)
Florida indie pop group Gospel Music are visiting this weekend, playing the Rock Shop tonight (5/4) with Kleenex Girl Wonder, The Randy Bandits, and Parade Grounds, and Cake Shop on Saturday (5/5). It's the start of a pretty extensive U.S. tour, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Gospel Music, who was last around in December, is the new group from Owen Holmes who used to be in Black Kids, if your memory goes back five years, and now makes music on his own that's reminiscent of Magnetic Fields or Jens Lekman. Last year's How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL is worth checking out if you haven't heard it. You can download "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us" at the top of this post and watch the video for it below, or stream the album on Spotify.
by Bill Pearis
Chicago residents and HoZac labelmates Bare Mutants and Outer Minds are on the road together currently, a tour that rolls through NYC tonight (5/3) at Cake Shop and Friday (5/4) at Union Pool. There's a few other dates left on this short tour, all of which are listed at the bottom of this post.
Bare Mutants are fronted by Jered Gummere whose distinct baritone you may recognize from his other band, The Ponys. The group also features The 1900s' Jeanine O'Toole, and the Mannequin Men's Seth Bohn. With a droney, organ driven sound, comparisons can be made to Crystal Stilts or Crime & the City Solution. Outer Minds, meanwhile, are a little more groovy and jangly, while still within that Hozac garagey sound.
Fan at Chaos in Tejas 2012 photo by Harriet Roberts
Six photographers "who journey where no lens is safe" will showcase their work at HOTSHOTS, a photo show at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St) that opens on May 2nd and ends a month later. They are BV contributor Harriet Roberts, occasional BV contributor Tod Seelie, Rosalie Knox, Colin Michael Simmons, Walter Wlodarczyk, and Rebecca Smeyne (who has also shot for BV). The free and open-to-the-public opening reception will include live music from The Jennifer Blowdryer Band & Moonshine Shorey with Sean T. Hanratty.The photo show is opening in conjunction with "Dixon Place's show The Talking Band's: The Peripherals, a rock musical opening May 3" More details are below.
The previously mentioned 120dB concert photo exhibition, which moved from a Brooklyn location to Cake Shop features shots from BV contributors Jessica Amaya, Amanda Hatfield, Leia Jospe, Samantha Marble, Gabi Porter, Tear-n Tan, Abbey Braden, Maryanne Ventrice, Devyn Manibo, Diana Wong and Dana (distortion) Yavin is ongoing (hopefully). Flyer below...
We had heard that Cake Shop owner Andy Bodes was semi-privately looking for a bit of help, but now it seems things have come urgent. Someone just forwarded us this snippet of an email...
"calling all millionaires: cake shop needs a month-long returnable bridge loan, due to possibly bogus fines from last year, at their deadline this monday, or we face eviction. the amount we're looking for is 10k, to pay off these fines once and for all. we'd need it in the next 72 hours. & reminder this is a short term loan. full explanation provided, with intere$t and perks, if this appeals to you, and you'd like to help us out & continue & grow. thanks. xo."Clouder headline the Manhattan venue tonight (4/27). Maybe Andy won't need a millionaire if 1000 people just show up and spend $10 each on some cake and beer (do it!).
by Andrew Marinaccio
This Saturday (4/21) marks the 5th annual Record Store Day, and with it comes another chance to procure your favorite band's most exclusive (or oddest) musical releases yet. There will also once again be lots of in-shop events.
No matter where you are located (in the U.S., UK, Germany or Belgium) (like Chicago maybe?), you should be able to find a still-open record store near you that will be selling the good schwag and possibly throwing a party too. As we've been, we'll continue to highlight some of the NYC stores, along with what you might find in them.
Aside from selling fresh rarities, NYC's Other Music is celebrating with a live lineup of DJs featuring Four Tet, Black Dice, The Men (who appear on a Sacred Bones RSD comp), Ex Cops, and Wild Nothing. Other Music will exclusively sell Ex Cops's debut 7", "I Am the Lion, You Are the Lamb," which is relasing on their Other music label. Other Music is set to open to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday morning (which gives you time to hit other record stores who open even earlier, first).
Kim's Video & Music looks to attract the early birds with an 8 a.m.opening and live and/or DJ sets by MUSH1, X-ray Eyeballs, Prince Rama, and more. In addition to the gig there will be discount offers, "over 150" record store day exclusives, pizza and beer. Maybe you'll find a copy of the, a day late for 4/20, Lee "Scratch" Perry Blackboard Jungle Dub Limited Edition Box...
The West Village's Generation Records has a show of their own planned, with The Paul Collins Beat, Supertouch, Night Birds, and Joyce Manor performing, as well as DJ sets by Tom Scharpling, Three Chord Monte, Zachary Lipez, and Mikey Post. They will also be selling a variant of Supertouch's Lost My Way EP, which will feature shop-exclusive cover art. Generation Records is pegged on opening at 10 a.m. this Saturday.
Williamsburg shop Sound Fix will host Mates of State for a gig and meet-and-greet on Saturday night. The band's 2009 covers album, Crushes, will be released for the first time on vinyl as a Record Store Day exclusive. Sound Fix opens at 10:30 a.m.
Amid touring, Portugal. The Man, who have a RSD 7" of their own, are playing an in-store set this Saturday at Fords, New Jersey's Vintage Vinyl. The shop's also opening early at 8 a.m., and their stock's boasting reiusses of Graceland and Raw Power, as well as Iggy and the Stooges' LP picture disc of their ATP 2010 performance of the seminal album.
Long Island's Looney Tunes Records is featuring a trio of free acts by Grace Read, The Lumineers, and JuiceheaD and Osaka Popstar, who are bringing their collaborative 7" "Waiting Room" exclusively to the shop. The show will start at 1 that afternoon, but shoppers can begin at 9 a.m. if they're "VIP Members" (to inquire what that means, check here). Doors will open to the general public at 10 a.m.
Local giant J&R Music World will house acts starting at noon, including Everest, Yann Tiersen, Mike Doughty, and guitarist Doyle Dykes. The insitution will also demonstrate some tech to attendees, showcasing the features of the new audio software suite Roland R-MIX. Miles Davis' (who has a special Record Store Day compilation, "Forever Miles," planned for release) nephew, Vince Wilburn, Jr., will also be making an appearance.
Permanent Records in Brooklyn will host in-stores by Memoryhouse and Mattison.
Cake Shop says "the CAPESHOK RECORD MART back for one day only!" and are hosting a performance by the Hairs at 3pm.
Check Record Store Day's site or call your local record store to find more happenings.
Of course, there will be precious records found at a variety of independent shops across the country, including the more exotic collaborations that have been hyped as blog post oddities. Fiest and Mastodon's (or 'Fiestodon') will be releasing their split 7" featuring both acts covering songs from each other's 2011 studio releases, Metals and The Hunter, respectively. Listeners can look forward to hearing Feist's rendition of "Black Tongue" and Mastodon's turn on "A Commotion".
Mastodon also-- perhaps inevitably-- succumbed to the bidding of current off-kilter audio project warlocks The Flaming Lips for another split 7", where they'll cover the Lip's "A Spoonful Weighs A Ton." While the Lip's contribution to the baby pink record is their original track recording, fear not, for the band has a more outlandish and sprawling album ready for the big day. The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, the mistifying mega-collaboration they've been working on with Bon Iver, Prefuse 73, Yoko Ono, Chris Martin, Nick Cave, Ke$ha, and more, features new tracks with the aforementioned guests including their previous work with Neon Indian and Lightning Bolt. And, as if the music wasn't enough, Wayne Coyne has been amassing the blood of his fellow collaborators to somehow infuse into the record. At the very least, Alan Palomo, Justin Vernon, The Flaming Lips, and Kesha's blood could be in your copy.
St. Vincent plans on releasing a red 7" sided with two new tracks, "KROKODIL" and "GROT." Reportedly more guitar-driven and aggressive departures from her previous material, her debut of "KROKODIL" at Coachella attests to that, possesing a relentless savagery often only hinted at in her nervous yet controlled guitarwork. It also attempts to channel whatever demons she found covering Big Black for 'Our Band Can be Your Life.' You can download her Coachella performance of "KROKODIL" here.
Speaking of bands playing Coachella, Refused are putting out 1998's The Shape of Punk to Come as a limited edition colored LP on Record Store Day. Pair it with a yellow vinyl Snapcase 12".
Speaking of things to come, Record Store Day is also used to tease what's on the way. Garbage (who are paying a special Record Store Day visit to Austin) are releasing their first new physical single in almost ten years with "Blood For Poppies" in anticipation of their reunion album this spring. Public Image Ltd. came out of the woodwork to present an EP featuring their latest release of new material in 20 years, including single "One Drop." And Faith No More frontman Mike Patton is reissuing his side-project Tomahawk's entire studio output in a boxset designed with space for the band's upcoming summer LP.
Other RSD 2012 releases previously mentioned on BV include Nick Waterhouse/Allah-Lahs, Mark Sultan, Pussy Galore, JEFF the Brotherhood, Sigur Ros, Xiu Xiu/Dirty Beaches, Nobunny and Variety Lights. Others we haven't mentioned yet include the White Stripes, the Black Keys, Regina Spektor, Tortoise, The Hives, Wilco, Animal Collective, Beach House, Bonnie Prince Billy, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Captain Beefheart, Destroyer, Jimmy Fallon, Laura Marling, Leonard Cohen, Luna, M Ward, M83, Mclusky, Minus the Bear, Misfits (red, blue and clear vinyl), Ozzy, Phish, Ryan Adams, T. Rex, Tegan & Sara, The Clash, and many more. For a full list of RSD 2012 releases, with more info on each, check HERE.
For our Chicago readers, you can check out what your local record shops are up to this Saturday, including a BV Chicago-presented event at Saki, here.
Which releases are you most excited for this Record Store Day? Check out what NPR decided to highlight, like the previously mentioned Shabazz Palaces release, HERE. Watch Cris Brown give his annual Record Store Day show and tell, and other videos below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Black Tambourine - What's Your Game? (MP3)
Black Tambourine at Artsphere, Washington DC (via Sammich's instagram)
Between most songs in Black Tambourine's set, Mike Schulman, Archie Moore, and (Washington City Paper staffer) Brian Nelson switched off between guitar, bass, and percussion. Singer Pam Berry, lectern in tow, stayed in the center--and because it was true to the original recordings, it was OK that her voice was a little low in the mix. Everything was loud, fast, and feedback-strewn. About 5 percent of the audience was absolutely flipping out. Seventy to 80 percent was mostly flipping out, but with less flailing. "We've practiced three times in a row, which is three more times in a row than we'd ever practiced before," Moore said after the show. [Washington City Paper]Black Tambourine are in the greater New York area, having played Maxwell's last night (with Fan Modine and Rose Melberg) and will headline tonight's first of three chickfactor 20th anniversary shows at The Bell House. Tonight (4/10 with Small Factory, Versus, the Lois Plus) and tomorrow (4/11 with The Aisler's Set, Pipas, Bridget St. John, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group) are sold out but you can still get tickets to Thursday's closing show (4/12) with Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Honey Bunch, The Pines, The Softies).
For those going tonight, there are two unannounced special guests opening the show, so get there at 8PM sharp! Black Tambourine's new EP of Ramones covers (download "What's Your Game?" above) isn't out till May 15 but I wouldn't be surprised if it was at the merch table tonight.
Additionally, for those Small Factory fans who couldn't get tickets tonight (or are maybe going to see Pulp), the reformed Rhode Islanders play Cake Shop on Friday (4/13) with Air Waves.
Click through to see the lovely poster for the chickfactor anniverary, done by Tae Won Yu (who did the art for Built to Spill's Perfect from Now On and Keep it Like a Secret).
feedtime @ Death By Audio in Brooklyn
Nearly twenty-five years after their formation, Australian underground rock legends feedtime (always with lowercase "f") embarked on their first US tour last week. This past weekend, the tour brought feedtime to the NYC area for three shows; Thursday at Death By Audio, Saturday at Cake Shop, and Sunday at Maxwell's. For longtime fans, and new converts, this was a rare glimpse into a corner of rock n' roll that the die-hards out there consider to be as essential as Detroit '69, Cleveland '75, and London '77. Early-mid '80s Aussie postpunk is among the rawest, most brutal, and utterly physical rock n' roll ever wrestled out of the classic bass/drums/guitar triumvirate. Feedtime epitomize this uncompromising stance as well as any combo before or since. Initially forming in 1979, finding their footing in the '80s via Aberrant Records, and achieving moderate international success via distribution deals with Rough Trade and Amphetamine Reptile, feedtime have come for their reckoning, thanks to a brand-new 4-LP box set on Sub Pop (collecting their Aberrant years) and a new LP/CD of previously unreleased material, Today is Friday (S-S Records).
Feedtime songs don't have riffs per se; they are made up of sinew, gristle, and sweat. The bass sounds as if it has been constructed from steel girders and the guitar is usually attacked with whatever is handy, resulting in a slide-frenzy that sounds like what having razorwire dragged across your face must feel like; it recalls the most savage of blues. And the drums, the drums are beaten mercilessly, much like the sun beats down on the unshaded in the Outback. Rich man, poor man, the sun don't care how much is in your bank account. Feedtime doesn't care either, but they do care about what's in the bank itself, as the debut album's "Fastbuck" notes: "Got a Pontiac/gasoline/grab the cash/split the scene." Why this wasn't used in a chase scene in Chopper is beyond me. There is a cinematic flair to feedtime; a dirty, sandswept noir sparsely populated by violent and unpredictable outsiders, desperate loners lurking on the fringes of society.
Thursday at Death By Audio was a well-attended example of the possibilities of amplified rock-like noise. Perpetual local no wave faves Sightings lurched through their patented short-circuit compositions, walking a jagged edge of falling apart/building up, unleashing waves of discomfiting deep-bass stabs and roiling sheets of slicing guitar noise. It was a night of veterans, as former labelmates (in their previous incarnation as Hammerhead) Vaz, brought a punishing set of their uniquely harrowing and pummeling take on hardcore.
Feedtime took the stage and fumbled through a few of their opening numbers. Did the old guys still have it? Suddenly, they found their groove and rode it like a freight train to Hell, all dense bass chug, perfectly on-point drumming, and that nasty slide guitar. As the set progressed it seemed feedtime actually became more unhinged and threatened to jump the tracks. There's something thrilling about a band that can maintain that nearly-falling-apart tension while also remaining firmly in control.
Two nights later, at the Cake Shop, feedtime came out like gangbusters, on fire from the very start. Songs like "Dead Crazy" and the catchy, relatively straightforward punk of "Don't Like" whipped the crowd up, but they balanced out the blunt instrument approach with cuts like the melancholic "Ever Again" and "Fractured."
Feedtime is also known for their excellent covers (their Cooper-S LP is all covers), and they didn't disappoint with a brisk run-through of contemporaries and inspirations, (Aussie) X's "I Don't Wanna Go Out," and a deconstructed cover of the Stones' "Paint It Black" that ended in a double-time hardcore blitz. Once again, drummer Tom nailed the band's feet to the floor, giving the other fellas plenty of room to roll all over you with that metallic (as in the substance, not the genre) bass and savage slide. Never underestimate the power of a gnarly bass tone.
While the crowd was smaller than the DBA show, it was like a pow-wow of several generations of gritty rock n' roll, as members of classic Oz/US bands like Lubricated Goat, Chrome Cranks, and Bird Blobs looked on with big smiles, and, just maybe, a napkin with a few notes scribbled on it. Good on ya, feedtime.
The tour ended on Saturday in LA, two nights after hitting Beerland in Austin with the OBN III's. Check out more pictures from the Brookly show, with some songs, below...
photo via jennileetweets
"...In the latest iteration of "Who's Zoo?," performed on [Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday] at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with professionals alongside nondancers, the biggest improvement is live music: Relaxed Muscle, a two-member band featuring Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp) and Jason Buckle, perform four of the show's six songs.That's a snippet of the NY Times review of Michael Clark's "Who's Zoo?".
With the addition of live music and a cult-of-personality approach -- not only by the spectacularly louche Mr. Cocker, but also by Mr. Clark, who has given himself more cameos this time around -- "Who's Zoo?" is less of a dance than it ever was. Mr. Clark transforms it into a musical experience with movement...." [NY Times]
Now Jarvis just has one day before Pulp headlines Radio City Music Hall for two nights in a row, with two different openers. As mentioned, Chromatics open Tuesday's show while Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard opens Wednesday.
MEANWHILE, it looks like Chromatics play a semi-private, it's-going-to-be-really-hard-to-get in show at The Standard's Le Bain tonight (4/9) while some band called "The Junkyard" plays Cake Shop (with Dolfish and SLFM).
Electric Eel Shock @ Cake Shop
[Electric Eel Shock are a trio that practices in] ...crazy Japanese metal. These three guys make Boris look like a chamber quartet. They hit the stage to Iron Man with the singer/guitarist leading the crowd in a karaoke version for a verse. Then they are ready to rip into their own songs. The guys with axes are flashy with plenty of cliche metal moves delivered with speed and integrity (and by integrity, I mean a complete enthusiastic honesty in the manner of a satirist who completely accepts his subject). The drummer is wearing shoes and socks, two black gloves and one elongated sock. He often plays with two sticks in each hand. The last time I saw this was when someone was playing a xylophone. -[Review from the DC show by DC Rock Live]Electric Eel Shock's tour with Hot Cha Cha came to an end with a raucous show at Cake Shop on March 25th featuring Hard Nips, The Vandellas, and Musuki Aruvavo Lee. Here are somewhat-NSFW (thanks to the Red Hot Chili Peppers-like outfit the drummer of EES was "wearing") pictures from the show. More below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Small Factory - Merry Go Round (MP3)
If you didn't get tickets to the opening night (4/10) of the chickfactor 20th anniversary shows at the Bell House but would still like to see Small Factory play in New York, they're playing Cake Shop on Friday, April 13 with Air Waves.
One of the quintessential '90s indiepop bands, Small Factory formed in 1991 in Providence, RI and released two albums before breaking up in 1995. The record to seek out, however, is their 1996 singles comp The Industrial Evolution that culls the trio's many 7" from such labels as Slumberland, Bus Stop, Simple Machines and Pop Narcotic which really exemplifies the band's happy-sad folk pop style. You can download "Merry Go Round" (from one of their Slumberland singles) at the top of this post.
The first two nights of the chickfactor anniversary fest are sold out but you can still get tickets to the Thursday, April 12 night featuring Stevie Jackson, Honey Bunch, the Pines, The Softies and "special guests" not yet announced.
by Bill Pearis
Dublin indie rock trio Squarehead, who were in Texas for SXSW, are blowing through NYC this week, playing Cake Shop tonight (3/26) with Heaven's Gate and then on Thursday (3/29) at Shea Stadium with Shark?, Diehard, Speedy Ortiz and Grass is Green.
The band released their debut album, Yeah Nothing, last year and it's pretty catchy stuff, scruffy indie pop with nods to the Beach Boys, Weezer and The Thrills. You can stream the whole thing below.
by Bill Pearis
METZ at the Metro in Chicago (more by Grant MacAllister)
Toronto's ferocious noiserockers METZ are making their New York debut this week, playing two shows: Thursday (3/8) at Cake Shop and Friday (3/9) at Death by Audio with Pop. 1280. Both shows are with fellow Torontonians Teenanger. Metz also play Philly on March 10 and in a rebellious move have resisted the urge to join every other band in existence at SXSW.
I saw METZ at M for Montreal back in 2010 where I said of them:
We then saw Metz, who kept getting compared to Fucked Up but that seemed more because they're also from Toronto and are making in-your-face noise punk. To my ears it's more the kind of noise you got from Amphetamine Reptile in the '90s. They are loud and spazzy and sludgy and pretty awesome.
METZ have released a few great singles so far which are streamable at the bottom of this post. (They're also pay-what-you-will from Bandcamp.) If you dig AmRep, Brainiac, and McLusky and songs that employ that metalic "SHRIIIIIINNG," you are not going to want to miss these guys.
Teenanger's not mounting some garage-rock revolution or something. After all, this is music that, for all its over-hyped "revivals" every half-decade, has more-or-less abided, unchanged for 60 years. And with Frights, Teenanger has put together one of those records you want to turn over again and again; one that seems as seminal and groundbreaking as it does pleasingly intangible--like all the songs are self-immolating as they play themselves out. It's probably the best Canadian rock record since CPC Gangbangs let Mutilation Nation loose in 2007.You can download "Cops (But Not)" at the top of this post and watch videos for "Frights" and "Bank Account" below, all of which I recommend doing. Also below, those METZ streams.
The Spits @ Knitting Factory
Photographers Harriet Roberts and Keith Marlowe spent their weekend with The Spits/TV Ghost, taking in not only the Cake Shop show on 3/1 (which we previously posted other pictures from) but also Knitting Factory (on 3/2) AND Sonar in Baltimore on 3/3 (with Livids and Murder). Pictures from all three shows, along with video from Knit courtesy of UN:ART:IG, below....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Fenster - Fantasy II (MP3)
Berlin-based trio Fenster are making their U.S. debut tonight (3/5) at Cake Shop. The band's charming, minimalist debut, Bones, is out next week on Morr Music. It's Sunday Morning Coming Down music with a little Beirut grandiosity to it at times. You can download "Fantasy II" from it at the top of this post and stream a couple more tracks below.
In addition to tonight's show Fenster will play Pianos on Wednesday (3/7) with Doe Paoro, then head to SXSW and then on the other side will be back in NYC for shows at Ars Nova on March 29 and the Knitting Factory on April 4. All Fenster tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Tonight's show, as well as the Knitting Factory date in April are with Daytona, which features Jose Boyer who is also in Harlem and Hunter Simpson of Wild Yaks. The Brooklyn trio's rounded out by drummer Christopher Lauderdale. All three sing. You can stream their debut EP at the bottom of this post -- it's definitely different than either Harlem or Wild Yaks. (Plaintive but poppy indie rock.) In addition to the two dates with Fenster, Daytona are also playing Littlefield on March 21 (opening for Ed Askew), plus some out of town dates as well, all of which are below.
photos by Sarah Coulter
The Spits @ Cake Shop
The Spits left a sweaty mess for Cake Shop last night (3/1), one of a pair of NYC dates for the band with their tour-mates TV Ghost. Last night also featured appearances from Night Birds and Livids, neither of which will be at Knitting Factory tonight (3/2); look for a DJ set from Tony Lo-Fi in their stead. Tickets are still available.
Pictures from Cake Shop are below.
Teenage Cool Kids
Denton, TX indie punk outfit Teenage Cool Kids, whose members include Andrew Savage of Fergus & Geronimo, kick off a Northeast tour with their first show in the last year and a half TONIGHT (2/22) at Cake Shop in NYC. The show is part of Old Monk's residency at the venue and Little Gold is also the on the bill. The tour also includes a Brooklyn show happening on Friday (2/24) at Death by Audio with Mannequin Pussy, NT, and Priests.
All dates, tour flier, and a live video of the band from SXSW 2010 below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Dum Dum Girls @ Cake Shop - 2/6/12
As hinted earlier and then 100% confirmed before showtime, Dum Dum Girls & Widowspeak layed Cake Shop last night (2/6) with The Babies, and Punks on Mars. It looked like both Widowspeak and Dum Dum Girls were sporting new bass players. Here are some pictures.
Three of the four bands (sans The Babies) will play again at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (2/7, tickets) and at Maxwell's on 2/11 (tickets). Both NYC-area shows are part of a larger tour for Dum Dum Girls/Widowspeak. All DDG dates, including the recently-announced Sasquatch, and more pictures from Cake Shop, below...
In other news, Widowspeak kicks off a short tour with Dum Dum Girls at Music Hall of Williamsburg Tuesday night (2/7). Punks on Mars (aka Ryan Howe) open the Brooklyn show too, and tickets are still on sale.
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)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
by Bill Pearis
Old Monk just released their debut album, Birds of Belize, on Eenie Meanie Records a couple weeks ago. It's choc-a-bloc with big riffs and sticky choruses, with a little of Pavement's brainy cool, and surprisingly complex structure (there's a whiff of prog) given that most of the songs are well short of the three minute mark. Some serious chops too. There's three tracks from the album available to download at the top of this post. "Warm Moustache" is particularly catchy.
Click through for streamable versions of the MP3s, plus Birds of Belize cover art.