Entries tagged with: Camera Obscura
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
A small group huddled around Kenny McKeeve and Gavin Dunbar not long after Camera Obscura's sold-out show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday night (11/22). One globe-trotting fan from Toronto had recently seen and met the band in Barcelona and Glasgow on their recent tour across Europe prompting McKeeve to quip, "You've clocked a lot of miles, haven't you?"
Yet, the same could be said for Camera Obscura. It's hard to think of 2009 as a breakthrough year for a band that's been around in some form since 1996 with several critically-hailed records under its belt. But that's precisely what it was. They produced one of the finest records in 2009 - My Maudlin Career (4AD) - crossing the globe almost non-stop in support. They sold out four shows in New York City in venues of various sizes, made their US late-night television debut (video below), turned out three smartly done videos and still have more touring lined up at the start of next year.
The band showed no effects of their exhaustive schedule on Sunday. And there were several stretches where leadsinger Tracyanne Campbell could have not sung at all such was the crowd's voice on several of the songs, most notably, "French Navy". "Good singing," said Campbell after the song.
The crowd, which spanned from scenesters to indie pop kids and beyond, shook off pretensions and danced to all the upbeat numbers like "Honey In The Sun" and "Let's Get Out of This Country" while couples swayed and held onto each other during slower songs like "James" and "Pen and Notebook." It was timeless pop executed in winning fashion by a band performing at the top of their game.
On December 8th...
...they will be releasing a holiday single [via 4AD]! 'The Blizzard' will be available as a 7" & digital single with the album track 'Swans' as the b-side. 'The Blizzard' is a pretty dour song as far as "holiday" tunes are concerned. It was written by country artist Jim Reeves and is about a gentleman trying to get home to a gal named Mary Anne. He's riding a lame pony in a blizzard, and, well - it doesn't have a happy ending. He ends up just 100 yards short - ie: freezing to death before he gets there.That's the cover art there to the right. Listen to "The Blizzard" in a YouTube below.
Papercuts is on tour with the band until December 3rd and opened this Brooklyn show. More pictures, the CO setlist, and all dates, below...
Camera Obscura @ Webster Hall 6/24 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
New Camera Obscura fall North American tour dates are
coming together now announced. One of those shows will be on November 22nd at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon. Papercuts opens all the November and December dates.
Camera Obscura last visited NYC with a show at Webster Hall in June. That was one of a few NYC shows and many North American gigs for the band this year in support of their newest disc My Maudlin Career, which came out in April on 4AD.
The video for "French Navy", and all of the band's current tour dates, which include a long stretch across Europe, are below...
words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The perpetual rain provided a fitting backdrop to the melancholy pop of Glasgow's Camera Obscura at Webster Hall on Wednesday (6/24). The Scottish five-piece were more comfortable in the songs from their new record, My Maudlin Career, since March when they road tested new material at two warmup shows in New York.
Lead singer Tracyanne Campbell's voice was every bit as fragile-sounding as it is on the record always sounding as if she's ready to break into a good cry, especially on Maudlin's slow-moving "James." The band was without bassist Gavin Dunbar who left the tour last week following a death in the family. That resulted in the band cancelling two of their shows.
MTV, not so surprisingly, supplied the head-scratching moment of the night courtesy of a member of the game show Silent Library as he clattered in and knocked over people, and generally disrupted everyone's enjoyment of the show near the stage. Only the restraint of several in the audience kept him from getting pummelled. Campbell even took notice from the stage, shooting a wary eye, mid-song, toward the pushing and shoving going on before her.
Songs like "Let's Get Out Of This Country" and "Hey Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" received plenty of applause at their introduction and for the encore the band opened with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than The Rest" before the set-closing standard "Razzle Dazzle Rose" and its crescendo building flourish.
Anni Rossi opened the show. More pictures below...
Brooklyn label Social Registry is presenting the show at 92YTribeca in Manhattan tonight (3/27). Sian Alice Group, Lights, Zs, and a group we recently featured, Mountains are on the bill. Updated Mountains tour dates below.
Speaking of NYC shows happening tonight and Mountains... the Mountain Goats, and John Vanderslice are here for their show at the Society of Ethical Culture.
Also related to today (3/27)... Having just played a few shows at SXSW, including the official showcase of her (and the Mountain Goats') label 4AD, Los Angeles/Chicago's Anni Rossi is currently on tour and plays a show at Union Pool in Brooklyn tonight with Midnight Masses and Wild Yaks. You may have also caught Anni when she opened for her label-mates Camera Obscura at Mercury Lounge the other night.
To say that Anni Rossi has given new life to the viola is an understatement. Together with her alternative folk style and lilting vocals, Rossi has reinvented the way this classical instrument is typically used and given new light to how Americana music is structured and presented.In April, Anni will go out on tour with Noah and the Whale. That puts her back in NYC, and at Bowery Ballroom, on May 1st. Tickets are still on sale. All dates and a video below.
Entrancing and beautiful, Rossi shared several songs with the Current from her upcoming CD, "Rockwell," out in March of 2009. [Minnesota Public Radio]
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Micachu - Lips (MP3)
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DOWNLOAD: Youth Group - "Start Today Tomorrow" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Fumes - "Automobile" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Deastro - Parallelogram (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Deastro - Light Powered (MP3)
Micachu @ Cake Shop (more by Tim Griffin)
Welcome to the SXSW Hangover edition of This Week in Indie. Those who went to Austin might not want to go see live music, but for everyone else it's a boon. Most of these bands have been covered before so I'm just going to go night-by-night of the shows I'd recommend...
photos by Tim Griffin
"We got to have an awesome pals pre tour reunion with the dear Sky Larkin last night, which involved heading into New York to watch them support The Grates at the Mercury Lounge. Incidentally this is where we performed our first ever New York show, our name misrepresenting us and leading to us being put on some kind of world music bill showcase. It was reminiscent of the cd incident at Lollapalooza, where they ordered in a shipment by the Peruvian folk band Los Campesinos De Michigin by mistake.The Los Campesinos! / Sky Larkin tour kicks off in Philly on March 29th. One day earlier (3/28), Sky Larkin will play a show in Brooklyn at Union Hall. Sky Larkin's NYC show on Monday (3/23) night came after approximately five SXSW shows in Austin. More pictures from Mercury Lounge, below...
It was lovely to see the Larkin and try and contain our ridiculous smouldering unrelenting jealously over SXSW, but we prevailed and Doug had some nice snazzy new glasses I admired. Post gig we managed to rush over to Cake Shop and see Micachu, another British band who were awe inspiringly ace. Although I did get asked if I was friends with the band because of the accent, its like when you say you are from the UK and people assume you live in London and know that guy Brad they hooked up with once. To score a hat trick I popped along to watch Peggy Sue and The Pirates a few doors down at Pianos. It was one those really hip places which started out selling pianos but then realised giving mixed drinks to wide-eyed scenesters would be more profitable.
Anyway those ladies have a very large lung capacity, and have got a nifty drummer since I saw them last. He had a good trilby on, so well done.
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (MP3)
Camera Obscura @ The Bell House - March 24, 2009 (Greg Chow)
Camera Obscura next head to the UK and Ireland for a series of shows in April, and then the band returns for a May/June North America tour. That includes a Wednesday, June 24th Webster Hall show in NY. Tickets go on Am Ex presale today/Wedneday at noon, and regular sale Friday.
The Scots are coming off of an Austin/SXSW stint that included a performance at the Central Presbyterian Church)...
The good news/bad news is the songs from the forthcoming album on new label 4AD sound just like the songs from the last album, "French Navy" being the best of the bunch. Tracyanne was as fragile and adorable in real life as she sounds on record, at one point commenting on the "fuckers" who were walking out of the church early. The crowd was one of the more eclectic-looking of the night. [Houston Press]Also coming up - on April 21st, the band is releasing new record My Maudlin Career on 4AD. The label just posted a new video for album opener and "best of the bunch" song "French Navy" - watch it below.
The Bell House set list, all upcoming tour dates, and above-mentioned video, below...
Camera Obscura in a church @ SXSW (Miss Lady Lee)
tonight in NYC
* Arkells @ Pianos
* Dept of Eagles @ MoMA
* Zee Avi @ Mercury Lounge
* Black Acid @ Santos Party House
* Jay Jay Pistolet @ Sidewalk Cafe
* Bloc Party, Longwave @ Terminal 5
* Micachu & The Shapes @ Death By Audio
* Camera Obscura, Laura Cantrell @ The Bell House
* LadyHawke, Heartsrevolution @ Bowery Ballroom
* Golden Triangle, Garotas Suecas @ Mercury Lounge
* Grapevine, Apollo Heights, Cale Parks, Autodrone @ Public Assembly
Ladyhawke @ Perez Hilton's 2009 SXSW party Saturday night (SchnappyStar)
"New Zealand Eighties revivalist Ladyhawke ran through an extremely polished set of tightly arranged synth-rock. Opener "Dusk Till Dawn" shimmered with Scissor Sisters boogie, "Magic" throbbed with the power of propulsive but eerie disco and "Another Runaway" recalled both Donna Summer and Pat Benatar with its anthemic yet glittery vibe. Singer Pip Brown stood anchored center-stage strumming her guitar while warm washes of keyboards saturated the night sky and her tight band pulsed along. Picking out the '80s tunes the group was referencing was a popular exercise (the theme from "Fame"! The opening of Van Halen's "Jump"!). Wrapping with a three-song whammy of "Back in the Van," "Paris Is Burning" and the big, bold single "My Delirium," Ladyhawke definitely brought the party, though the tunes could have used a bit more build-up-and-break-down dynamics. "My Delirium" got a few hands in the air -- and what looked like a flying saucer in the sky -- as Ladyhawke made a fairly strong case for herself as the indie rock Lady Gaga. The sound may be familiar, but it sure is fun." [Rolling Stone @ SXSW]Ladyhawke's US trip continues with two shows in NYC this week. Tonight (3/24) at Bowery Ballroom is sold out, but tickets are still available for the Thursday show at Studio B.
Also here from overseas and SXSW, Camera Obscura kick off their two-night, both-sold-out, NYC run at The Bell House tonight (3/24).
"You really had to feel for Camera Obscura. The Scottish indie pop sextet's first U.S. performance in a long while had them practically begging audience members to stick around. Of course, while the crowd hemorrhaged members, that had nothing to do with the band -- they were the final act in a long night and after a full day of partying most in the audience were tired, hungry and ready to head out. By the time lead singer Tracyanne Campbell belted out the final song, a rollicking, enthused "If Looks Could Kill," from 2006's "Let's Get Out of This Country," the venue was only at about one-third capacity." [Austin 360]That's the problem sometimes with the semi-random and long bills that get put together at SXSW. Anni Rossi and Shelley Green open tomorrow's Camera Obscura show at Mercury Lounge. Laura Cantrell opens tonight at the Bell House where Victoria Bergsman (Taken by Trees, the Concretes) will also be acting as DJ.
DOWNLOAD: Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (MP3)
Camera Obscura announce a new single, the forthcoming album release of My Maudlin Career (out on April 21st, 2009) and tour dates in both the UK and US. They are also making the title track available to download (above)...Camera Obscura's March 24th show at the Bell House is close to being sold out, so they added a 2nd one one day later at the intimate Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. Tickets for the new show go on sale at noon. All dates, and the new album tracklist, below...
...Their last album, Let's Get Out Of This Country (2006), was to prove pivotal for the band, taking them out of the shadows and to long-deserved new heights. "You might not find heartache as enchanting as this anywhere else," stated All Music Guide in a familiar glowing review.
Nearly three years on from that release and Camera Obscura are ready to release the follow-up, My Maudlin Career; their first for their new label (the legendary indie, 4AD) and fourth overall. After his successful touches on their last record, they returned to Sweden to work again with Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen (Ed Harcourt, Peter, Bjorn & John, The Concretes). His wonderful understanding with the band continues to flourish, again fully realizing not just the potential of Tracyanne Campbell's songs and remarkable voice, but also the ensemble musicianship of the group as a whole.
Speaking for the first time about My Maudlin Career, lead singer Tracyanne Campbell commented, "Some people who have heard it say it's intense and quite dark. I suppose it is in a way. We were even more open and brave when making it than we were with the last record. I've never been so brutal when its come to writing lyrics. I wouldn't even call them lyrics. Just documentation of what was going on with me for a while. I truly believe it's the best we've done so far."
Show me you love me- Exclusive New Shows!That message comes from Camera Obscura (thx Edie)
today was every shade of grey but thankfully there is some light at the end of the duvet.
I just wanted to tell you about some shows we've got coming up, first proper airing of the new songs...
These are going to be pretty small, intimate sort of warm up shows. All cuddling and forgiveness. So if you want tickets you should probably
act soon. Also we are making the trip to SXSW and will let you know more details about that really soon.
Am being sad about John Updike and happy with Hanif Kuresihi's Something to Tell You, even if the cover is too embarrassingly bad to take out in public. Or maybe I just need therapy or something.
Camera Obscura @ South Street Seaport, NYC - Aug 24, 2007 (CRED)
* After the Jump
* A free show at Governor's Island
* Papercuts is playing at Sound Fix
* Luke Pritchard of the Kooks is playing Sound Fix
* Pela is headlining Bowery Ballroom w/ Elk City
* Beachhouse & Papercuts are playing Mercury Lounge
* Ex-Models, Deathset, & Titus Andronicus are playing Silent Barn CANCELLED
* The Fiery Furnaces are playing for free @ Socrates Sculpture Park
Tiny Vipers is Jesy Fortino, the 24-year-old Seattle singer/songwriter and former burrito employee who finds making music under a different name allows her audience to put distance between her and her songs. The lovely soundscapes of Hands Across the Void, Tiny Vipers' studio debut and first release for the Sub Pop label, hit store shelves late last month. [SPIN]Not only is Tiny Vipers playing a free Sound Fix in-store in Brooklyn on August 23rd with Camera Obscura, she's also on the Papercuts / Beach House bill at Union Hall on the 24th (and tickets are still available). Camera Obscura (as you know) is also playing on the 24th - for free at South Street Seaport. All tour dates below...