Entries tagged with: Casiokids
Casiokids @ Public Assembly
Well, another CMJ week has come and gone. How did you fare?
Though Northside summoned a number of my favorite artists to town, the CMJ line-up was rather thin by comparison, so I made it my goal to catch as many new acts as possible this year. With help from BV's tightly scheduled day parties, I managed to squeeze in 46 bands. While it's all still fresh in my mind (ie, before I spend the next week hibernating), here's a recap of my week, complete with my favorite finds...
I kicked things off with trance-inducing, one-man knob twittler Sun Glitters. Figuring out how to bring life to headphone-friendly, sample-heavy music in a live audience setting can be a challenge, but the few I saw this week (Million Young, Chad Valley and Luxembourg's Sun Glitters included) were decent.
If last year was the age of the one-man laptop act, 2011 was rife with lo-fi, synth/guitar-heavy (mostly) male groups cloaked in reverb. Each band had its strengths: Sunglasses (great energy on stage), Gauntlet Hair, Guards (perfectly summed up the sound of the moment), 1,2,3, Balkans (nice balance of in-your-face guitars and sunnily-swaggering vox), Tiny Victories. But after a while, I confess they all started to blend together--especially since a good chunk of these bands came early in the week for me.
What did stand out for me in this category was San Diego's garage-psych outfit Tropical Popsicle. Instead of falling flat, the deadpan vocal delivery of Tim Hines pulled me in and kept my attention, making me forget about my plans to leave midset. Another pleasant surprise for me was Dive, the side project of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith.
But after a rather slow start to the week when schedule issues and cancellations made me abandon my original plans, things definitely picked up midweek. I spent Wednesday evening shuffling around in the rain to some seven venues. From the synth-driven pop music of Norway's Casiokids (whom I managed to sneak in on my lunch hour) to the decent public radio-friendly folk-pop of The Lighthouse and The Whaler and Lissy Trullie's alluringly husky vocals, the day was full of pleasant surprises--not the least of which was John Maus, easily one of the highlights of my week.
As I walked through the door at 285 Kent, I immediately felt as if I had gone back in time. Thick music pumped from the DIY graffiti-covered space, through clouds of cigarette smoke. On stage, Maus shook with intensity as he addressed the mass of dancing, sweaty revelers. Beneath the shambling chaos of the quick synth riffs and simple drum lines is an unhinged but triumphant quality that is intoxicating. I had heard whispered stories of Maus shows before, but I never really understood the fervor until I saw it for myself.
Thursday was also packed with a number of good finds. I somehow found myself in the 7th floor of a swanky hotel for an "acoustic" (as in not electric; not unplugged) Dum Dum Girls set (though only 2/4 band members were present). Other highlights included the seriously talented and take-your-breath-away-beautiful dreamy folk-pop of Gem Club (who just released their debut album on Hardly Art), and Brooklyn's own, Headless Horseman who make fun, glitchy, hook-laden music with inventive beats (Their song "Wavlngth" was seriously one of my favorites all week.)
Friday, my band-count escalated rapidly, thanks to the BV day showcase at Public Assembly, which essentially had two bands playing each hour. I knocked out a few of the hyped bands in this fashion, including Chelsea Wolfe and Gauntlet Hair. (I also stepped over to Cameo briefly to catch a few adrenaline-packed songs from the Brooklyn duo Hunters.) With her beautifully haunting (but not annoying operatic) vocals Chelsea Wolfe was certainly one of the more memorable acts of the week. Would she be getting as much buzz if she didn't dress like "a medival [sic] reinactment [sic] person from Medival [sic] Times" (to quote an anonymous BV commenter)? Hard to say, but I have to give the woman credit--I couldn't take my eyes off her, and she was one of the few artists I caught twice. But my surprise favorite of the day show was Young Magic. Hip-hop and dark electro-pop may be unlikely bedfellows, but they sure make for quite an interesting pair. These guys are a force.
Other highlights of the day included the eye-catching electro-pop duo Purity Ring (love the name) and one of my favorite SXSW finds from earlier this year, Sea of Bees. At Webster Hall, Purity Ring's bass was so powerful at times that I almost forgot to breathe. Though the band relies on a lot of samples to craft their sound, they are far more interesting to watch due to their onstage chemistry and mysterious gold-piped instrument. Though nothing alike, my other favorite artist of the evening was Sea of Bees. Singer/songwriter Julie Baeziger's genuinely sweet demeanor and earnest acoustic performance are always a pleasant change of pace from the more aloof, laptop-driven artists that seem to sprout with the speed and frequency of mushrooms.
The week concluded not with a bang (I was turned away at the door of Brooklyn Bowl for Unknown Mortal Orchestra, whom I had hoped to end on), but with more of a slow fade-out. Forced to change my schedule at the last minute, I caught a few acts nearby, including Delicate Steve (how those five people were working from the same set list was a mystery at times given the haphazard nature of their sound, but it was fun to watch them put it all together), Races (pleasant and charming), Bleached, and about four minutes of the Kopecky Family Band (fun!) before hopping on the L and calling it a week.
So how does this year's CMJ stack up? Most people I spoke with seemed unimpressed. No doubt, the growth of SXSW--especially over the past few years--seems to have sucked some of the life out of CMJ. (It's hard to compete with free tacos, 76-degree days, and the compact nature of downtown Austin.) But like a hipster chick desperately scouring the racks at Beacon's Closet, I like the challenge of the frenzied search. There's good stuff in there hiding among the dross. You just have to look a bit harder.
Pictures in this post are from day parties at Pianos (We Listen for You) and Public Assembly (Under the Radar) on Wednesday. More of them below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Into the Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Immaculates - Hey Joe Kelly (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gospel Music - This Town Don't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Radiation City - The Color of Industry (MP3)
I think Wednesday is my favorite day for CMJ day parties. You get a lot of good bands, but it's not insanely packed like the weekend shows. And this year, there are a lot of great Wednesday afternoon options.
Before we get into it, I would like to say that Spotify has been a giant help in checking out music from bands playing and if you have the service, I recommend using it. (If you don't, chances are someone you know has invites to give out.) Much easier than Googling for Bandcamp, Soundcloud or (heaven forbid) Myspace sites. Spotify doesn't have everything, but it has most everything. I've got a CMJ 2011 Playlist that I update when I find something new and interesting which you're welcome to check out.
[editor's note/update/disclaimer: Spotify has partnered with us on all BV CMJ events this year, but Bill did not know that when he wrote that above paragraph, so please no conspiracy theories!]
Anyway, day shows:
PICK OF THE DAY: Under the Radar party at Public Assembly has a line-up that is pretty hard to beat, including one of my favorite bands of late, Still Corners whose chilly, majestic debut, Creatures of an Hour, came out last week on Sub Pop. Check out an MP3 of new single "Into the Trees" at the top of this post and you can stream the whole album at the bottom. Public Assembly is good and dark, ideal for their trippy accompanying lightshow. Still Corners also play Public Assembly Wednesday night which must be nice for them not having to schlep their gear around. They also play tomorrow at our day party at Knitting Factory and then the Sub Pop showcase at Mercury Lounge that night.
Also playing at Public Assembly: Norway's super-fun Casiokids, Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger (who maybe you caught last night with Wild Flag at Bowery Ballroom), the retro funk of The Stepkids (who also play our TBA Saturday party at Public Assembly), plus Chad Valley, Porcelain Raft. It's kind of a slam-dunk show.
THEN AGAIN... the folks at Terrorbird Media have put together a pretty great show at Cake Shop. It kicks off with newish, shit-hot Brooklyn garage-soul band The Immaculates who are worth showing up early for. Check out an MP3 at the top of this post. Then it's Virginia's Eternal Summers who have really come into their own since expanding from a duo to a trio.
Then it's Gospel Music which is Owen Holmes who used to be in CMJ 2007 buzz band Black Kids but now makes indiepop somewhere between Stephin Merrit and Jonathan Richman (which is a definite sweet spot for me.) Holmes got help from Hefner's Darren Hayman, Camera Obscura's Traceyanne Campbell and others on last year's Duets EP, but for his full-length debut, How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL, he shares the mike full-time with fellow Jacksonville resident Madeline Long. Check out an MP3 of first single "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars For Both Of Us" and watch the video (which features his old Black Kids pals) at the bottom. Gospel Music's other CMJ dates are down there as well.
Of course the nice thing about the Lower East Side is that every venue around there has a day show. At Pianos there's the We Listen For You party with Arms, Guards, The Pass, Parlovr, Nerves Jr. and Headless Horseman in the main room; upstairs it's the Big Hassle Media party with Radiation City, Aeroplane Pagaent, Clubfeet, Marques Toliver, J. Viewz, Pyramids and Army Navy.
If you're in the Ludlow area, do try and check out Portland's Radiation City (3PM) who've made one of the year's more charming debuts which drifts between moody, organ-driven numbers and more upbeat pop. Papercuts covering The Free Design? Add in some Mazzy Star smokiness and you're almost there. Check out "The Color of Industry" at the top of this post, and go seem them live at some point this week. Radiation City also play the PASTE party at The Living Room today too (4PM) and have shows this week, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
That PASTE party, which goes from 4 - 7 PM also features Lord Huron, Santah and The Lonely Forest.
And finally over at Fontanas (which you may remember from BV day parties of old or episodes of Louie) is this year's Pirate! Island party with a pretty good bunch of bands too: Canada's Hollerado, Nick Diamonds, Fairmont, Army Navy, The Great Book of John and The One & Nines. Set times at the bottom of this post.
Click through for flyers (including a couple day shows I didn't mention), streams, videos and set times. I'll have Wednesday nighttime picks a little later.
Archy Marshall, who previously operated under the Zoo Kid moniker, now records as King Krule. He'll release a self titled EP under the name on November 8 via True Panther. That's the album art above. You can check out the EP's last track, "The Noose of Jah City," along with the tracklist below.
King Krule has a few international dates coming up including some CMJ shows, which will also act as his US debut. He's scheduled to play the True Panther showcase at Glasslands on October 19 with Tanlines, Trash Talk, Lemonade, Teengirl Fantasy, and Little Red. He'll also play a Fader Fort CMJ Party on October 21 and a secret True Panther warehouse party on October 22. Stay tuned for more details on those.
Trash Talk also have other CMJ shows including a late one at Cake Shop on Thursday, October 20:
LIFE or DEATH PR CMJ SHOWCASELife or Death PR also rep Odd Future and GZA, so that 3am special guest should be interesting. Trash talk ALSO play Santos on Saturday, October 22 with Kylesa and others (details TBA soon).
THE CAKE SHOP
Doors at 7PM - 4AM., $12.00
FREE BEER FROM LONG TRAIL. DASSS WASSUP
DJ sets from NNA TAPES & Todd Pendu / ElectricLady
9PM Chelsea Wolfe
10PM Psychic Ills
11:15PM Chrome Sparks
12AM Wise Blood
1AM Main Attrakionz
2 AM Trash Talk
3 AM SPECIAL GUESTS
Trash Talk have a new video for "Burn Alive" off their upcoming Awake EP, which comes out next week (10/11) via True Panther. Check out that video and one for the EP's title track below.
All dates, videos, song stream, and other stuff below...
CMJ takes over NYC venues from October 18-22, and they just announced another round of bands that are playing. They are:
J Mascis, Shonen Knife, Gang Gang Dance, Boy & Bear, Cloud Nothings, Free Energy, T. Mills, Kendrick Lamar, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Casiokids, Oberhofer, Smif-N-Wessun, Pujol, Zomby, Joker, Painted Palms, Flatliners, Robbers on High Street, Bag Raiders, Young Buffalo, Skeletonwitch, Gary Clark, Jr. and 1, 2, 3.if you click the links above, you'll see where some of those shows are happening. The previous CMJ announcement is HERE, though collectively that's still not a lot of bands announced by CMJ yet (many more have been announced by venues). Badge info here, but remember if all you want to do is go to shows, you can also just buy tickets to those shows.
Just wanted to take a second to also say that our thoughts and condolences are with the people of Norway today.
The above is a selection of tweets from Norwegian musicians that have graced the pages (and stages) of BrooklynVegan in the past. Blabbermouth has a list of reactions from more in the metal community (from Norway and elsewhere), including the above-pictured message from Enslaved who said, "Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to everybody touched by the fathomless tragedy that struck Norway yesterday. This is indeed a day for afterthought."
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Sonny & the Sunsets - Lovin' on an Older Gal (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Kelley Stoltz - I Don't Get That (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Film School - Heart Full of Pentagons (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Home Video - Smoke (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Winter Gloves - Plastic Slides (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: El Guincho - "Bombay" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: El Guincho - FM Tan Sexy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Finn Bikkjen! (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Foals - Spanish Sahara (Deadboy Remix) (MP3)
Didn't the weeks leading up to CMJ used to be a little calmer? I feel like we're just going to be pile-driving into that week (Oct 19 -21) with show after worthwhile show. This week / weekend too. Even with Matador 21 and Pop Montreal siphoning lots of big names, this is one of the more more exciting weekends for shows in a long while. For me at least.
Let's start this week with a contest. As previously mentioned, BV/TWII faves Casiokids play Sunday (10/3) night at Glasslands and we've got a pair of tickets to the show plus a copy of the band's CD, Topp stemning på lokal bar, for one lucky person. To enter, just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Casiokids" and we'll pick a winner at random. Please note that Glasslands is a 21+ venue.
If you've never seen these Norwegians before, they're a lot of fun and Glasslands should be conducive to their low tech brand of dancepop. Also on the bill: Brahms, Bikini and VonChina. All Casiokids dates below.
What else? San Francisco's Film School are in town, playing Glasslands on Thursday (9/30) and Mercury Lounge on Friday (10/1). Both shows are with like-minded New Yorkers The Depreciation Guild with whom they're going on tour. Film School have been doing the dark shoegazy thing since the start of the '00s, back when that sound was fairly unfashionable. But these days the '90s are hot so it's good timing that Film School have released maybe their best album yet, Fission.
I found 2007's Hideout to be murky and meandering, but the band seem really focused this time out. There are still the moody basslines and effects-heavy guitars, but the songs great this time out, and the production feels modern and bright. Some rays of light are peeking through their normally cloudy sound -- hell, their new single is called "Sunny Day." (You can watch the video below.) That song features lead vocals from bassist Lorelei Plotczyk, whose frequent presence behind the mic is one of the reasons Fission works so much better than Hideout. You can download "Heart Full of Pentagons" at the top of this post.
The Glasslands show also has Brooklyn duo Home Video who have been kicking around for half a decade or so and are set to release their second album, The Automatic Process, on November. Download first single "The Smoke" at the top of this post. I don't think I've seen them play live since they opened for Fujiya & Miyagi at Mercury Lounge back in 2006 but I remember thinking they were pretty good. And the new album sounds alright after a couple listens -- synthpop that seems equally inspired by Vince Clark and Thom Yorke.
While we're in San Francisco, a reminder that Sonny and the Sunsets and Kelley Stoltz will be here this weekend: Mercury Lounge on Thursday(9/30) and Union Hall on Friday (10/1). Both shows are early ones, especially the Merc show which starts at 7PM. If you like '60s inspired pop at it's finest, do yourself a favor and go see this great double bill.
Stoltz is a charismatic performer, prone to anecdotes, occasional props and obscure impressions. Do pick up is terrific new album, To Dreamers, when it comes out in two weeks. And I'm really looking forward to seeing Sonny and the Sunsets (of which Stoltz is a member) for the first time. Their new album is great. Check out tracks from both of them at the top of this post.
Sub Pop just released a short film on the making of Stoltz new record, To Dreamers, made by the Yours Truly folks, which shows off his literal DIY approach to analog recording. It's funny and charming, just like Stoltz. Watch it further down this very post.
If you're not going to Pop Montreal this weekend, you can get a taste of Canada here in New York as Born Ruffians and Winter Gloves are here playing the Knitting Factory on Friday (10/1) and Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (10/2). Born Ruffians are a fine band but have been covered many times here and have been through town many times before. So I'm gonna focus on their touring mates Winter Gloves. The Montrealers schedule and cancel NYC gigs with frequency so now's your chance to see them.
I caught them at M for Montreal in 2008 and they were one of the highlights of that weekend, kind of a slinkier, funkier Tokyo Police Club. Their new album All Red is a lot of fun and they are definitely worth seeing. (They're quite popular in MTL.) Download "Plastic Slides" from the new album at the top of this post.
The show I'm most excited about this weekend is Foals who play Bowery Ballroom on Friday (10/1) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday (10/2). Both shows are sold out unfortunately, but tickets being released day-of-show isn't an uncommon occurrence.
Foals' new album, Total Life Forever, is one of my contenders for Album of the Year which is not something I was really expecting before I heard it. Where their first album, Antidotes, was all mathy angularity, Total Life Forever has...um... soul? There's also a Big '80s Trevor Horn vibe going on -- the drums on single "Miami" seem to be lifted from Yes' 90125 LP. (Or maybe The Power Station.) It's funky and genuinely danceable, with a lot of heart. Foals used to be easy to like hard to love. Not so hard this time out.
Foals have always been good live, full of nervous energy -- they're the only band I've ever seen puke onstage -- and can't wait to see them with such stronger material. I can't wait for Saturday.
If you're going to the Bowery show on Friday, definitely get there in time to see openers Esben & the Witch who just signed to Matador and are a bit like Zola Jesus but more interesting to watch live. Their guitarist has the most pedals I've ever seen not counting The Edge. They were pretty good at Glasslands last week.
And finally, El Guincho returns to NYC this week for a string of shows that began last night at Mercury Lounge. He plays Santos tonight (9/29), a free show at Zebulon on Thursday (9/30) and a late night show at Cameo on Friday (10/1). When I saw him play two years ago at Mercury Lounge opening for Cut Copy it was just Pablo Díaz-Reixa and his sampler, but this time El Guincho is a trio which should make things a lot more interesting and fun.
El Guincho's new album, Pop Negro, eschews the dreamlike haze of his debut (which was a real precursor to the chillwave invasion) for more straight up dance pop that is definitely not low-fi. In his own words:
It's a pop album sung in Spanish. Tracks are based on big syncopated beats, loud kick drums, snares and claps on a very wide stereo image full of different synthesizer timbres, subdivided hi-hats, funk bass, line recorded guitars and multi tracked backing vocals. Production is based on hi-fi aesthetics from the golden era of recordings...the main sentiment is a sort of nostalgic love for the music that I heard on FM radio as a kid/teenager, that "promise" that music gives you, not eternal/eternity because pop music is not supposed to be like that, but that thing you feel when you're on a car with your friends or family and you listen to a certain hit and it makes you think you want to be inside of that. I wanted to write something based on that. Not plain hits, but a whole album that makes you feel that thing, arrangements that can take your mind that state if you know what I mean.You can download two tracks off Pop Negro at the top of this post.
That's gonna do it for this week. A few daily picks not covered above follow:
Best Coast swing through town again, playing Bowery Ballroom tonight (and MHoW tomorrow). Summer may be over, but Bethany's songs of love and weed still sound good.
If you didn't get enough '90s nostalgia last week with Pavement, former indie rock power couple Juliana Hatfield & Evan Dando (they did date, right?)perform together as Jullianna & Evan. Julianna has intimated she might retire from live shows in the near future, this seems like a good way to see her one last time. They play Thursday too. Both shows are sold out, natch.
THURSDAY, September 30
The forecast is calling for "rain from Tropical Rainstorm" which might put a damper on the night's biggest show, Belle & Sebastian, who play the Williamsburg Waterfront with fellow Glaswegians Teenage Fanclub. A light sprinkle would be fine...B&S' music has always been sort of rainy day music anyway. If you ponyed up the dough for a ticket, do get there early for Teenage Fanclub who were phenomenal at Bowery Ballroom last night. Big hooks, bigger harmonies, positive vibes. Video of them playing Jimmy Fallon is at the bottom of this post.
FRIDAY, October 1
Pennsylvania dream pop band SOARS play Glasslands. Haven't seen them live, but if you're a fan of Slowdive or bands that sound kind of like that, you might want to check them out.
SATURDAY, October 2
Union Hall has a totally weird lineup tonight. Headlining is synthpop act Neighbors, with Year of the Tiger (kind of a more tuneful, less abrasive Sleigh Bells). So far so normal. But opening is Sky Ferreira, who has appeared in Uffie videos and is, if her Myspace is any indication, being bred as a Pop Star. Expect lots of old guys in suits at the show, at least till she finishes her set.
OK that's really it for this week. Tour dates, videos and flyers are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Finn Bikkjen! (MP3)
Casiokids, who just wrapped up a short tour of the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, will be heading back to the States next month for a few select dates, including an Oct 3 stop at Glasslands. Tickets are on sale now. They haven't played New York since our pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory back in March.
Since then, it's been a busy year for these Norwegians. Casiokids' album, Topp stemning på lokal bar, was released earlier this year on Polyvinyl which collected all of the band's singles from the last two years. Both the CD and the vinyl come with a bonus disc worth or remixes. You can download single "Finn Bikkjen!" above, and the charming video for the song is at the bottom of this post.
More recently, Casiokids were awarded one million Kroner ($160,000) by the band A-Ha (who are retiring this year) as one of four winners in a competition to find Norway's most promising acts. Hopefully they won't spend it all on new equipment -- the rummage sale keyboards are certainly part of the band's charm.
All Casiokids tour dates, plus that "Finn Bikkjen!" video, are after the jump.
WhoMadeWho/The Wave Pictures
Last night (3/15) was the Brooklyn Vegan Pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory which was a whole lot of fun with four great bands and free PBR. The night started with Banjo or Freakout which on recordings is basically one guy making tripped-out pysch on his laptop. Honestly, I was a little worried we might get something similar onstage. But this was Banjo or Freakout the rock band, a four-piece, still sounding like Spacemen 3 but the very loud and rocking version of that band. With a proper light show these guys could be a knockout.
Next up were the Wave Pictures who I'm pretty sure charmed everyone in the room. Singer David Tattersal, in addition to being a hell of a songwriter and pretty fierce guitarist, is a very funny guy. His between-song stories were just as entertaining and the music. At one point he accidentally unplugged his guitar mid-solo, but he hilariously covered the gaff made for one of the more memorable moments of the evening. The Wave Pictures play the BV day party in Austin on Friday, March 20 at Club Deville (5:30 set time) and will be back in New York on March 28 at Mercury Lounge.
Denmark trio WhoMadeWho were originally supposed to go on last, almost like an afterparty to our official lineup, but when Let's Wrestle couldn't make it we moved them into their slot. Which ended up being a plus for everyone as they kind of stole the show. Looking like a cross between Sparks and Yello (at Octoberfest) and sounding like some kind of synth funk you'd hear from Bizarro World DFA Records, they were weird and awesome and won the initially-perplexed crowd over quickly. If you're going to SXSW, they're definitely a "don't miss" band.
I wouldn't want to have to follow WhoMadeWho, but Casiokids' craft fair dancepop -- full of cheap keyboards, cowbell, woodblock and a pineapple shaker -- did just fine. Opening with "Togens Hule," their set started slow but built steadily and had the crowd dancing by the one-two punch finish of of their double a-side "Verdens Storste Land" and "Fot I Hose." The latter was especially impressive as by the end of the song, every band member was playing a different instrument and the beat never stopped. It's tough not to smile while watching these guys.
I spent a lot of the night in the sound booth, DJing in-between sets which was a blast (for me, at least), especially on a really nice sound system like Knitting Factory's. Hope everyone who came had fun too. Now it's time to pack for Austin. Hope to see some of you there.
More pictures from the night below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
casiokids @ Littlefield
Casiokids played their 2nd of three NYC shows this week on Sunday (3/14), at Littlefield in Brooklyn. The all-Scandinavian day party at the venue also featured sets by "Denmark's synth-rock quintet" Spleen United, "Denmark's only surf/flamenco band" The Good The Bad, and The Megaphonic Thrift (who play Santos tonight - 3/15).
Casiokids play their their next NYC show tonight (3/15 @ 11pm) at Knitting Factory WITHOUT Let's Wrestle, but with Banjo or Freakout (8pm), The Wave Pictures (9pm) and WhoMadeWho (10pm). NOTE THE NEW SET TIMES (no new bands added, no more midnight set). More pictures from Littlefield below...
by Bill Pearis
By now you hopefully you know that Norway's awesome Casiokids are playing our Brooklyn Vegan Pre-SXSW party, alongside Let's Wrestle, The Wave Pictures, Banjo or Freakout and WhoMadeWho. There's now also free PBR for an hour or two (exact details on that soon). And I'll be DJing in between sets. It's all very exciting, isn't it? There are still some tickets available -- only $8.
In that previous post about Casiokids, we mentioned a compilation of the band's 2009 singles called Topp stemning på lokal bar that was, as of that writing, only coming out in Norway. The band have since announced that they've signed to Polyvinyl in the U.S. who will release the album, complete with bonus disc of remixes just like in Norway.
The Knitting Factory show is actually one of three that Casiokids will be playing in NYC before they head to Austin for SXSW. They will also play Pianos this Saturday (3/13) along with Banjo or Freakout, Denmark's synth-rock quintet Spleen United and our Italian friends A Classic Education. Casiokids also play Littlefield on Sunday (3/14) afternoon for an all-Scandinavian party that again features Spleen United, plus Denmark's only surf/flamenco band, The Good The Bad, and The Megaphonic Thrift.
The Megaphonic Thrift are made up of members of Casiokids and The Low Frequency in Stereo and are definitely of the '90s indie rock variety (in this case think GBV or Dinosaur Jr.) that seems to be coming back into style lately. You can download their single "Acid Blues" at the top of this post. Their debut, Decay Destroy, just came out in Norway and is available here through your favorite digital store. I haven't seen them play yet, but BV caught them at by:Larm and said they were pretty good. Pictures from their February 18th show at Oslo club Sub Scene are below.
In addition to the Littlefield show, Megaphonic Thrift are playing Sunday night (3/14) at Bowery Electric and then on Monday night at Santos Party House for a Oya Fest / Oh My Rockness party with fellow Norwegians Pirate Love (High energy, Hives-ish garage) and Hanne Hukkelberg (orchestrated pop), plus The Depreciation Guild. Mind you this is the same night as our Knitting Factory show, so Megaphonic Thrift will play Santos then certain members will race across the Williamsburg Bridge to join their Casiokids bandmates in time for that set. It's all going to work out fine.
Pirate Love will be back after SXSW for a couple shows with UK garage act Thee Vicars. Catch them at Cameo Gallery on March 26 and Lit Lounge on March 27.
Spleen United @ CMJ 2009
The aforementioned Spleen United are also playing this Wednesday (3/10) at Union Hall with fellow Danes Choir of Young Believers. I caught Spleen United at CMJ back in October and they reminded me of the kind of band that 20 years ago would've been on Wax! Trax! or Play it Again Sam records -- the poppier side of goth/industrial. They've had #1 albums in Denmark I've since learned. With multiple percussionists, they put on a pretty good live show too.
Choir of Young Believers were also here at CMJ. Their debut, This is for the White in Your Eyes, is elegiac folk that gets the band compared to Fleet Foxes quite a bit but CoYB are a bit more instrumentally varied and grandiose than Robin Pecknold and co. It really is a lovely record. The Union Hall show also features The Loom (who played that BV loft show during CMJ 2009) and Spain's The Right Ons. Choir of Young Believers also play Pianos on Thursday (3/11) with Brooklyn's ARMS who are worth checking out in their own right.
Choir of Young Believers
That's more than enough for one post. Below are videos, flyers and tour dates for some of the bands mentioned here...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Banjo or Freakout - Left it Alone (MP3)
In addition to Casiokids, Let's Wrestle and The Wave Pictures, we've added a fourth band to our Pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory on March 15: Banjo of Freakout. I'm excited to have them on an already great bill. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.
Italian native, now London resident Alessio Natalizia has been recording under the BoF name for over three years. You could make comparisons to the current crop of chillwavers, but I think Banjo or Freakout are more direct descendents of Spacemen 3, crafting layered Sunday Morning dreampop that glides on the breeze. You can check out his most recent single, "Left it Alone," at the top of this post. And if you want to hear more, check out blogs from both Banjo or Freakout and their UK label, Half Machine. Lots more to download there, including some interesting cover versions.
This won't be Natalizia's first time in New York, as he spent three weeks of early 2010 recording his debut album at Rare Book Room Studio in Greenpoint. And Banjo or Freakout, who're currently touring with The Soft Pack in the UK, will play a few shows in NYC in addition to ours before heading to SXSW and Todd P's MtyMx festival, including a March 11 stop at Market Hotel with Miho Hatori, and then March 13 at Pianos with Casiokids again, and Italy's A Classic Education (who played one of our CMJ day parties last year).
All tour dates and the lovely videos for "Left it Alone" and "Upside Down" are below.
by Bill Pearis
The Wave Pictures
As just mentioned, BrooklynVegan is throwing a pre-SXSW party on March 15th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn with three (possibly four) bands on their way to Austin: Let's Wrestle, Casiokids, and The Wave Pictures. Stay tuned for one more band TBA. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.
Both Casiokids and The Wave Pictures come to us courtesy excellent UK label Moshi Moshi who are finally opening up a U.S. branch that will put out a double-pack of The Wave Pictures last two records (2009's If You Leave it Alone and 2008's Instant Coffee Baby) on April 27. I'm a big, big fan of these guys who were fantastic when they played the Seaport Music Festival last summer and I'm pretty psyched we got them on the bill. Check out their single "Strawberry Cables" (from If You Leave it Alone) which you can download above.
Norway's Casiokids also played that Seaport show and were in NYC right before SXSW last year too, and played a BV day party in Austin last year as well. The Norwegians keep releasing singles (including one of my favorite tracks from last year, "Fot I Hose," which you can download above) with no mention of an album in the works. There is, however, a Norway-only compilation of their recent releases called TOPP STEMNING PÅ LOKAL BAR, which was released today (2/15) and includes a bonus disc of remixes. So be sure to pick that up next time you're in Oslo, and do grab one for me. It includes their brand new single "En Vill Hest" which also only seems to be available in Norway but the video for it is at the bottom of this post. I've referred to them before as Norway's Hot Chip and they bring a similar exuberance to their live shows. Casiokids are actually opening for Hot Chip on their UK tour which starts tonight (dates are below).
For more SXSW news you might want to subscribe to the new Brooklyn Vegan SXSW Twitter feed which we just launched this weekend.
Videos and tour dates below....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - We Are the Men You Will Grow to Love Soon (MP3)
SXSW is almost exactly a month away and BrooklynVegan is going to be very active there, throwing more than a couple parties (official and unofficial) which we'll be telling you more about as it gets closer to the actual festival. Despite what music blogs lead you to believe (and the mass of people that will be there), not everybody goes to Austin in March. With that in mind, we're trying to bring a little SXSW to NYC this year by throwing a pre-Festival party on March 15 at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn with three (possibly four) bands on their way to Austin: Let's Wrestle, Casiokids, and The Wave Pictures. Stay tuned for one more band TBA. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.
Let's Wrestle have just signed to Merge, who will be putting out their great debut album, In the Court of Wrestling Let's, on March 23. (The import made my Best of 2009 list.) You can download a track from it at the top of this post. Maybe you caught one of their CMJ shows back in October -- they're a lot of fun. In addition to our show and SXSW, Let's Wrestle will be on tour with Quasi in April -- including a 4/22 stop at Bowery Ballroom (tickets). All tour dates below...
photos by Tear-N Tan
The final act was the one I knew the least about, Casiokids an electronic funk outfit from Norway. The drummer came out wearing an enormous monkey head and then things got strange. Every other European band I've seen this year has looked miserable in the surprisingly mild summer here. Casiokids came out with members wearing a crushed velvet suit, a yellow sweatshirt and long sleeve shirts. Looking online their country's average high is 69 degrees Fahrenheit in August. Add that to the high energy show, it's really kind of impressive.UK label Moshi Moshi's 10th anniversary tour visited NYC's South Street Seaport on Friday, August 7th. Casiokids, Slow Club and The Wave Pictures made up the triple-bill. Photos and videos of the show (including the Casiokids+Slow Club collaboration desribed above) are below...
The music the band played was long drawn out funk stompers that had the whole pier dancing. A few members of the band shared the singing duties, but all of their voices were so fragile and crystalline when laid over the driving grooves underneath.
Around the midway point, Rebecca from Slow Club came out and added percussive duties and re-energized everyone in the crowd and in the band. Charles donned the full monkey suit and danced around with a tambourine to everyone's enjoyment. [King of the Gigabitches]
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Finn Bikkjen! (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Fot I Hose (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Verdens Storsteland (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wave Pictures - Avocado Baby (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wave Pictures - Just Like a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Slow Club - It Doesn't Have to Be Beautiful (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Slow Club - Because We're Dead (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The XX - Basic Space (MP3)
Slow Club in the crowd @ the Moshi Moshi showcase, SXSW 2009
There is one unmissable show this week, in my opinion, and it's a free one: Friday's Seaport Music Series (8/7) with three excellent bands from the Moshi Moshi label: Casiokids, Slow Club and The Wave Pictures. This is part of a tour celebrating the UK label's 10th Anniversary that kicks off in full tonight in Toronto (8/5). Moshi Moshi, and their influential Singles Club, has launched the careers of Bloc Party, Hot Chip, Kate Nash, Lykke Li, Au Revoir Simone, Friendly Fires , Florence and the Machine and others.
I'm well documented as a big Casiokids fan and these Norwegians are a lot of fun live (like when they played a BrooklynVegan party at SXSW this year). There's a couple MP3s at the top of this post, including their brand-new single "Finn Bikkjen!" (Though "Fot I Hose" is the real jam, also above.) I've also written about Slow Club before who are one of the most charming bands I've seen this year. Their album might be a bit twee for some, but I dare anyone not to be won over by their live show. They were at SXSW too (picture from one of their shows above).
Wave Pictures' frontman David Tattersall has the angst of Hefner's Darren Hayman, and the witty wordplay of the Morrissey ("My tongue is on the run and it's only just begun" may be this year's "Bigmouth Strikes again."), and band play it fast and loose like early Modern Lovers. Tattersall's vocals may be too idiosyncratic for some at first, but so were Moz and Hayman's probably, so keep listening, because they're excellent! And if you like this, there's about five more albums where that came from. (And if the Hefner comparisons intrigue, Tattersall and Hayman have a bluegrass band too. Don't wince, it's good too.)The Wave Pictures have a new album out, If You Leave it Alone, which is nearly the equal of Instant Coffee Baby. The band have almost played here at least three times only to drop out, but I'm told they're really going to play this time. And it's not just NYC that's getting them: The Moshi Moshi Road Trip features all three bands, though some dates don't feature Wave Pictures and some don't have Casiokids, but any permutation of the three is still a good time. Check the tour dates below to see which bands will hopefully be near you on this tour. Weather looks to be nice, but the Seaport fest folks have said that if it does end up looking like rain... it will move indoors, locale TBD. But let's hope for sunny skies.
The Wave Pictures
Joe Pernice plays Bowery Ballroom on Friday (8/7) as part of his book tour promoting his enjoyable debut novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop which I just finished reading. It's about a twentysomething slacker as he tries to figure his life out in mid-'90s Amhurst, Mass. There's not a lot of plot, it's more a snapshot of a time a lot of us have been through (or will soon), but he gets the details right and there's a lot of well-observed humor, as well as a lot more filthy talk than I was expecting. It also features a cameo (I know that's not the right term) from Lou Barlow (who has a new album coming out and tour dates announced). While it's not about a musician per se, music figures heavily into the characters lives and Joe has just released a companion album with covers of some of the songs written about in the book, including The Dream Syndicate's "Tell Me When It's Over" and Del Shannon's "I Go to Pieces," all done in that lush, breathy style Pernice is known for. There's also a Sub Pop single out this week credited to the fictional band Young Accuser who also figure into the story's proceedings. Confusing I know, but it'll make more sense once you read the book. Which I recommend you do. The Bowery Show will feature songs from the It Feels So Good album but I'd imagine he'd throw in some Pernice Brothers songs as well. Tickets are still on sale.
And finally, this Friday (8/7) is the first of UK band The XX's many upcoming NYC shows at Mercury Lounge with Philly's '80s-rockin' Free Energy. I've been listening to the XX's self-titled debut a lot lately, and I dig the minimalist approach they bring to their songs which reminds me a little of Young Marble Giants with a twangy Chris Isaak thing going on too. There's a lot of space in their songs and that breathing room is nice in today's climate of over-processed, over-compressed recordings. You can download their new single, "Basic Space" at the top of this post. Will they be any good live? One would think you wouldn't play six shows in a week without being able to make an impression with an audience but I guess we'll find out soon enough. Their show at Bruar Falls on Saturday is free, and they're also opening for School of Seven Bells at next week's final Seaport show of the season. And five shows in between. The August 13th show at MHOW is with Friendly Fires who they'll be back in the States in November and December for some more touring. A December 5th Friendly Fires show at Webster Hall was announced yesterday (though the opener wasn't listed), but then disappeared. Stay tuned to see if that comes back.
Tour dates for all the bands in this post and select video after the jump...
"It's simple really: Summer. Friday night. New York City. The first port in the new world hosting some of the best new music, as well as those established and influential artists you already know and love. All of this amidst the city's most inspiring views of tall buildings, historic ships and nighttime sky. All for FREE.Updated free NYC show lineup below...
Get ready, cause summer is coming and with it another great line up on Pier 17 at the Seaport. Hard to believe we're entering our eighth season of summer shows but 2009 promises to be amongst our best.
Highlights this year include Superchunk, Polvo, Obits, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and well, pretty much every night is a highlight to us.
Our FREE, outdoor series runs every Friday night from July 3 to August 14. The music starts at 6pm with a Guest DJ and bands go on around 7pm. Join us downtown to take in the stunning backdrop and enjoy New York's best open air venue.
Seaport Music is presented by the River to River Festival."
South Street Seaport (more by Chris La Putt)
South Street Seaport - initial 2009 show schedule
June 13 (noon) - Children's Day
June 27 (7:00) - New York City Opera
July 03 (6:00) - Here We Go Magic & Bachelorette
July 10 (6:00) - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart & TBA
July 17 (6:00) - TBA
July 20-30 --- Sitelines (see below)
July 24 (6:00) - Black Moth Super Rainbow & TBA
July 31 (6:00) - TBA
Aug 07 (6:00) - Moshi Moshi day w/ Casiokids, The Wave Pictures & Slow Club
Aug 14 (6:00) - TBA
NYC's summer-long Seaport Music Series, part of the River to River Festival is back with more free, outdoor concerts in 2009. The initial portion of the always-indie-heavy lineup is here - both above, and in more detail, below...
photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
"There's plenty of retro, synth-driven pop here at SXSW. We've already discussed Little Boots and missed other acts such as Tigercity. Add the Casio Kids to the list, whose afternoon performance was their 10th in the last four days. They didn't look any worse for the wear, with colorfully light and sweetly infectious dance pop. More live than sampled, the Casio Kids shot vibrant keyboard tones through slicing guitar lines." [LA Times]The BrooklynVegan co-sponsored Sweden Does SXSW party one day (afternoon) earlier was probably the Norwegian band's 8th show. They also handled that one (at Habana Calle) with nothing but smiles (as you can see in the pictures in this post).
It may have snowed yesterday in NYC, but that doesn't mean summer isn't fast-approaching. And that means lots of free shows at public places. One such place is South Street Seaport, and that's where Casiokids will be playing on August 7th. No other US dates scheduled at the moment, but I'm sure they won't come all the way over here to play just once (or if they do, it will be very unlike them). Stay tuned.
Casiokids were last in NYC right before SXSW, and before that it was for CMJ where, among other places, they played a show put on by the same people that do the shows at the Seaport. More SXSW pics and tour dates below...
photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
Hot Legs @ the SPIN party @ Stubb's in Austin - March 20, 2009
AUSTRALIA's THE AGE's SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST BREAKDOWNThe novelty act played two shows (that I know of) at SXSW this past week. There was the Friday afternoon SPIN party (pictured above), and the 11pm set at Emo's Annex the next night. I caught the latter which satisfied my need to see the leader of the Darkness's new band at least once. I doubt i would go see them again, or even really listen to more than maybe a single, but they were fun, and they shred on guitar.
Bizarre supergroup: Tinted Windows features members of Hanson, Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins and Fountains of Wayne playing catchy guitar-pop.
The pin-up: Sienna-lookalike Little Boots combines pre-recorded beats with synth and live drummer.
Commercial breakthrough: Cutesy New Yorkers Chairlift are already featured on an iPod ad.
Novelty act: Hot Leg is the new 1980s hair-metal project for Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins.
Critical darlings: UK act Mumford and Sons and their four-part harmonies.
Stadium potential: London goths White Lies attempt to merge U2 and the Killers. Playing Splendour in the Grass.
Crowd favourite: Boston act Passion Pit -- big on hand claps and synths.
Best new band name: Airborne Toxic Event have just signed to Universal and combine Bruce Springsteen and the Hold Steady.
More pictures Jacob took on Friday, below...
photos by Ryan Muir
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Fot I Hose (Axemax Remix) (MP3)
Sunday (3/15) night's pre-SXSW show at the new venue Cameo in Brooklyn had the impressive lineup of Norway's Casiokids, and England's Mumford and Sons and Slow Club with support from local bands Apache Beat and Tanlines. We posted the pictures of Casiokids already. The rest are below...
photos by Ryan Muir
Norway's Casiokids are in the middle of their 2009 NYC-to-SXSW run of shows, and I forgot to mention yesterday that they also have one more NYC show left before heading to Austin. You can catch them tonight, Tuesday, March 17th, at The Annex with BM Linx. Once in Austin, they will play a bunch of shows including the BrooklynVegan "Sweden Does SXSW" party happening at Habana Calle Friday afternoon. Last night they played the Bell House. On Sunday they were at Cameo. More pics from the Sunday show, and all dates below...
DOWNLOAD: The Tiny - Burn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Doubt/Hope (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The New Wine - Revolving Cylinder (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dag for Dag - I Am the Assassin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ungdomskulen - Idunno (MP3)
DAY PARTYTo mix things up a little, I teamed up with Sweden and and The Rebel Group to put on another day party in Austin during SXSW this year.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Habana Calle Patio
709 6th st. on Waller Creek in Austin, TX
12:00 - Adam Heldring [SWE]
12:20 - Sofia Talvik [SWE]
01:00 - Wildbirds and Peacedrums [SWE]
01:35 - Teresa Andersson [SWE]
02:15 - The New Wine [NOR]
02:40 - The Tiny [SWE]
03:15 - Dag For Dag [SWE]
04:00 - Ungdomskulen [NOR]
04:45 - Casiokids [NOR]
05:30 - Loney, Dear [SWE]
Presented by The Rebel Group, International Rescue Artists, Brooklyn Vegan and Export Music Sweden
"Sweden Goes SXSW" is a 100% free show (no badges, no money). The bands are all Swedish, and Norwegian (I had to do something with Casiokids!) (not to mention The New Wine and Ungdomskulen). Check out the full lineup above. Spend six hours with us at Habana Calle on Friday and get a taste of the Nordic Region.
In NYC, but not going to Austin? Still haven't seen Casiokids? Want to experience 1/5 of the above lineup? Tonight, March 16th, at the Bell House in Brooklyn is your last chance (for now).
BrooklynVegan does SXSW
Wed day - party @ Emo's
Wed night - official showcase @ Club De Ville
Thu morn - panel @ the Convention Center
Thu day - party @ Radio Room
Thu night - relax (and/or Jane's Addiction)
Fri day - Dickies battle of the bands
Fri day - Sweden Goes SXSW (see above)
Fri night - collapse (and/or Metallica)
Live Casiokids videos below...
by Bill Pearis
South by Southwest is kind of like other people's dreams. If you're not a part of it, you may not want to hear about it. But at least for those in NYC, we do get some of SXSW's runoff, with many bands from Not America making pit stops here before or after the Austin onslaught. We did a rundown of Australia's offers last week, so in this few-part series I'll highlight some of the more notable bands from the UK and elsewhere in Europe who'll be visiting us over the next three weeks.
Let's start with three UK bands that are somewhat related. Like Laura Marling, who will be at SXSW again this year, Mumford and Sons, Peggy Sue, and Jay Jay Pistolet each have ties to London's "alt-folk movement"...
Casiokids @ On the Side @ the Seaport (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
One of our favorite bands from CMJ is coming back to the United States in March. Norway's Casiokids will play two shows in NYC before they head to Austin to play a bunch of shows at SXSW. The NYC shows are March 17th at the Annex with BM Linx, and one day earlier at The Bell House with fellow Norwegians The New Wine, NYC's Anamanaguchi, and NYC's Kittens Ablaze. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale.
Norway's annual by:Larm music conference went down in Oslo this past weekend. Billboard reports:
In total, 280 bands participated in over 500 concerts (a substantial increase from 2008's 350), with several more playing unofficial by:Larm shows in fringe venues during the event. Attendance was strong from the international delegate fraternity as well as local residents, amounting to an approximate total audience of 25,000, according to organizers.Moshi Moshi is releasing a new Casiokids single on March 2nd. One of the songs on that is the instrumental "Fot I Hose". A remix of that song above, and its new official video, and all tour dates, are below...
Some of the hot tips packing out venues were recent Universal Music Norway signing Harry's Gym, Icelandic outfit Hjaltalin, Norwegian-language group Casiokids and the Whitest Boy Alive, an electronic act featuring Erlend Øye of Norwegian indie-folk duo Kings Of Convenience. Danish electro group WhoMadeWho headlined the Saturday night main tent finale.