Entries tagged with: Cate Le Bon

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Guided by Voices @ Bowery Ballroom 5/23/14
Gretchen Robinette's favorite photos of 2014

Longtime contributing BrooklynVegan photographer Gretchen Robinette shot a bunch of shows for us in 2014, and to wrap up another great year, she's made a list of her favorite photos that she took since January. That's one of GBV above, and you can check out the rest of her favorite pics of 2014 below...

Continue reading "Gretchen Robinette's favorite photos of 2014 (that she took)"

photos by Chris La Putt

White Fence at BVCMJ 2014
White Fence

White Fence just wrapped up their tour -- with Cate Le Bon on second guitar! -- ending with a bunch of CMJ dates, including our Saturday party. We've got a second set of pictures from our show you can check out in this post.

Before the North American tour, White Fence were across the pond for Liverpool Psych Fest which happened in September. Tim Presley contributed a new White Fence song, "Before He Met Her (Decomposing Lime)" for a double-7" compilation made just for the fest by UK label Sonic Catherdral. Moragn Delt, Psychic Ills and a few others contributed to the six-song split as well. Titled Psych for Sore Eyes 2 with pretty rad packaging, it sold out its run pretty much immediately -- and crashed Big Cartel's webshop -- but will get a digital release on Monday (11/3). (We hear a few more copies have turned up so check back at Sonic Cathedral's website.) White Fence's song from the compilation makes its premiere in this post and you can stream it below.

Artwork and tracklist for Psych for Sore Eyes 2 and more pics, also below...

Continue reading "White Fence contribute new song to 'Psych for Sore Eyes 2' comp (stream it) ++ more pics from BV CMJ day party"

photos by Amanda Hatfield & Chris La Putt & Nate 'Igor' Smith; words by Pink Baby

Beverly / Fat White Family
Beverly
Fat White Family

For the final day of CMJ (10/25), just like last year, Brooklynvegan took over Baby's All Right from noon till the wee hours, starting with our free Saturday day party (which came after our free Friday day party).

With brunch also being served in the venue, Austin's Residual Kid started off things with a youthful bounce, making indie rock that already has J. Mascis' approval and consistently lands them choice opening slots in their hometown. 

Next up were Nashville's Bully whose fuzzy and tuneful songs helped ease into our final day. Their next two shows are opening for Kevin Drew in November.

UK trio Flowers were next. While their debut abum, Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do, is lovely, the band really come alive onstage, both a bit more roughed up and beautiful at the same time. Singer Rachel Kennedy, who was celebrating her birthday that day, has one of those voices that makes you pay attention and you could hear a pin drop in the Baby's performance room during their set.

Then came young LA duo Girlpool, one of the more talked-about bands at this year's CMJ. They only have one EP and a few other tracks so far but they've definitely got a sound. They're drum-less but not empty and both girls nasally shout-sing in unison. It feels a little inspired by punk and a little drone-y in a psychedelic way, but it's also not exactly either of those things.

At this point our day party kicked into high gear with Japanese band Bo Ningen. Their set was pure sensory overload with smoke machines set to 11 and strobes going off the whole time. (For some, those free Bell's Brewery sunglasses came in handy here.) The visuals -- including the band's high-flying rock moves, seen here in silhouette -- matched the Bo Ningen's genre-defying music. Overheard: "I don't know what that was, but it was incredible." We agree (with the incredible part), as does Jon Pareles at the NY Times who says the band put on his favorite performance of CMJ 2014.

Bo Ningen
Bo Ningen

At that point, most people probably needed a palate cleanser and Beverly's sweet, fun, harmony-laden music made them the perfect sonic sorbet for the packed room.

Then came White Fence whose lineup for this tour included Cate Le Bon on second guitar and backing vocals, adding a new harmony element to the band's retro-'60s style.

Things went back into insanity mode at this point with the debaucherous mayhem that is Fat White Family. It could seem like the band's love for removing layers of clothing during their set is a schtick to make up for mediocre music, but that's not the case at all. Everyone goes hard the whole show and at times the Fat Whites were straight up mesmerizing. Not to mention the light show and all the fog going on at Baby's that day was perfect for these guys. They came back to do it again at 3 AM (more on that soon) and were just as killer.

Titus Andronicus kicked off their headlining set with a bang with "A More Perfect Union," and then went on to give a sarcastic speech about how this is CMJ, and like most bands at CMJ they've got a new record coming and are hoping to catch their big break. So most of the set included new material which did sound great (and hopefully we get to hear it recorded soon), but hearing those older favorites in a small place like Baby's was really special.

Hopefully you didn't take Titus frontman Patrick Stickles' advice and leave after their set to head to Shea Stadium because our night show which happened immediately afterwards at Baby's was great (though we're sure Shea, which Bully also played again, was fun also!).

Like on Friday, we were giving out tattoos and rum courtesy of Sailor Jerry, and once again we handed out a free keg of Bell's Brewery craft beer along with koozies, bottle openers, Bo Ningen-strobe-protecting sunglasses and other fun stuff.

Pictures from Friday are HERE. More from Saturday (and video too), below...

Continue reading "Titus Andronicus, Fat White Family, Bo Ningen, Girlpool, Beverly & more played our Saturday day party (pics, video)"

photos by Gretchen Robinette

Cate Le Bon / Warpaint
Warpaint and Cate Le Bon
Warpaint and Cate Le Bon
Warpaint and Cate Le Bon

Warpaint have a dedicated fanbase, who showed their adoration for the ladies early on by showering them with roses that fans threw on stage as the ladies walked up to their spots on stage. The ladies greeted fans back with "Bees" from their debut album, before kicking into the new album's "Intro" which led right into "Keep It Healthy." It was wonderful as ever to see the girls rock out. Seeing the calm precision of drummer Stella Mozgawa and vocalist/guitarist Theresa Wayman was dreamy when compared alongside the more lively movements of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Emily Kokal and bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg who almost never kept still. -[We All Want Someone to Shout For]
Warpaint's tour with Cate Le Bon hit NYC on Friday (3/21) with a sold-out show at Webster Hall. Both had just been at SXSW (where Cate played our Thursday day party), and the trek wraps up this weekend.

Pictures from the show are in this post. More, along with Warpaint's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Warpaint and Cate Le Bon played Webster Hall (pics, setlist)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield & Tim Griffin

Little Dragon salutes the crowd (by Tim Griffin)
BrooklynVegan SXSW Thursday Day Party - Red 7
Trash Talk (by Amanda Hatfield)
BrooklynVegan SXSW Thursday Day Party - Red 7

Though everyone was shaken up from the previous night's tragic events (which happened not far from and during the official BrooklynVegan showcase on Wednesday night), SXSW moved forward on Thursday morning, when we began our first of three day parties at Red 7.

Our day shows took place on the indoor and outdoor stages of Red 7, with the indoor stage on Thursday staying (mostly) on the folkier/quieter side with San Fermin, Sylvan Esso, Rhett Miller of the Old 97s, Torres, Nicole Atkins, Cate Le Bon and Basia Bulat. Meanwhile, the outside that day was crazier and a little more random with Little Dragon, Roosevelt, BadBadNotGood (joined by Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator), Nothing, Trash Talk, Overdoz, Cities Aviv and Calvin Love.

Basia Bulat was a nice start to the day where she performed solo with an autoharp, ukulele, and keyboard. Cate Le Bon did a fine job following with her full band who got pretty intense at the end. Then it was singer/songwriter Nicole Atkins who played songs from her new Slow Phaser (catch her on tour with Nick Cave), followed by the grungy folk of Torres (who previewed some new material), followed by Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller who had a ton of fun with the show and did a bunch of covers like Tom Petty's "American Girl" and Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation." After Rhett, Sylvan Esso, the duo of Mountain Man's Amelia Meath and Megafaun's Nick Sanborn, had the indoor crowd moving more than anyone else that day with their synthy pop and Amelia's dance moves. And San Fermin wrapped things up with their orchestral pop.

Rhett Miller (by Amanda Hatfield)
BrooklynVegan SXSW Thursday Day Party - Red 7

Outside, Calvin Love and his band woke everyone up with their indie rock, which was followed by the noise rap of Cities Aviv and the weed-obsessed rap of Overdoz. Then things got kicked up ten notches for Trash Talk, who opened up the entire floor outside at Red 7 for a circle pit and kept egging on the crowd, Damian of Fucked Up included, the whole set. Nothing followed, keeping the heavy vibe in tact, but in more atmospheric ways. Then the vibe totally changed as jazz hop trio BadBadNotGood played (including a Flying Lotus cover). Their set was instrumental... until the last two songs when they were joined by Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator (who's collaborated with them before). Tyler and BBNG really got the crowd going, and though many filtered out after their set, a new batch of people quickly filled it back up for Roosevelt and the Swedish electro party that was Little Dragon.

Thanks to Life or Death for helping make things happen, and to all our sponsors. We served complimentary drinks courtesy of Jameson, and had Shiner beer specials all day long, free Veri organic soda, Frito pies courtesy of HomeState, and free popcorn at the Marshall Headphones booth where you could win headphones every hour on the hour if you tagged your Instagrams #BVMarshall.

Yukimi poses for Indiegogo -- photo by Daniel Christiansen
Little Dragon

Nokia MixRadio was on site educating us about their free music service and playing the BrooklynVegan MixRadio SXSW playlist between bands. Indiegogo was there with free earplugs and conversation. Songboard, a new "music destination that offers artists and bands essential services and unique capabilities to maximize potential" was there too and with free thumb drives and education. We let in 20 people each day who were taking advantage of Esurance's SXSW-wide #EsuranceAccess program.

Special thanks to all of our bands and everyone who helped make it all possible, including you. Thanks everyone who made it out, and sorry to everyone who waited on line but didn't get in (the fire marshals were cracking down on venues more than ever this year.).

One set of pictures from this party is posted over at BV Austin. Check out more pictures from the whole day (by Amanda Hatfield except where specified), below...

Continue reading "BV-SXSW Thursday party @ Red 7 in pics (Little Dragon, Tyler the Creator, Trash Talk, Sylvan Esso, Rhett Miller, Nicole Atkins, San Fermin & much more)"

by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis and Zach Pollack

Kurt Vile in Austin in 2013 (more by Glen Brown)
Kurt Vile

South by Southwest. Maybe you've heard of it. Anyway, it starts in about a week, turning Austin, TX into one giant cacophonous concert where you can't swing a free canvas tote bag full of complimentary energy drinks without hitting a musician vying for your attention. It's actually pretty fun -- apart from the wasted spring breakers everywhere -- but it can be overwhelming. In an effort to help, we've already highlighted metal at SXSW and given you 10 NYC artists that we think are worth seeing, and here's a list of 50 artists we're excited to see at SXSW from all over the world (a few cross over from those other two lists). More than a few are playing one of BV's many events in Austin this week -- and if you're going, do stop by.

We know most people are NOT going to SXSW (and if you're in that group, you may be sick of hearing about it already), but many of these acts are touring around the US on either side of SXSW so it's maybe worth a gander too. We've also got a handy Rdio playlist with a song from each artist.

An embedded version of that playlist, plus our list of 50 artists we wanna see at SXSW (in alphabetical order), below...

Continue reading "50 artists we're excited to see at SXSW"

flyer

After a Wednesday night official showcase at the same venue, BrooklynVegan will take over both stages of Red 7 during the hours of noon-6pm each day on Thursday (3/13), Friday (3/14) and Saturday (3/15) of SXSW Music. Saturday's lineup is announced. Friday is on the way. Here is Thursday!

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 @ RED 7 (FREE)

INSIDE
12:00 Basia Bulat
12:45 Cate Le Bon
01:45 Nicole Atkins
02:30 Torres
03:30 Rhett Miller (of the Old 97's)
04:30 Sylvan Esso
05:15 San Fermin

OUTSIDE
12:00 Calvin Love
12:40 Cities Aviv
01:00 Overdoz
01:30 Trash Talk
02:10 Nothing
03:00 BadBadNotGood w/ special guest Tyler the Creator
04:00 Roosevelt
05:00 Little Dragon

Please RSVP, and show up early to see all the bands and to ensure you get some complimentary drinks courtesy of Jameson (while supplies last).

We'll also have Shiner beer specials all day long, free Veri organic soda, free Frito Pies from HomeState (while they last!), and free popcorn at the Marshall Headphones booth where you can pose in our photobooth and where someone will win a pair of headphones every hour on the hour!

This party should be especially interesting since we managed to create a pretty diverse lineup across the two stages all in one day. Basia Bulat into Cate Le Bon into Nicole Atkins into Torres into Rhett Miller into San Fermin will be a dream for some who will probably not want to step outside at all during our two early rap sets (Cities Aviv & Overdoz) and the heaviness Trash Talk and Nothing will bring.

The outside stage on this party was a collaboration with Life or Death who work with many of those artists, including Trash Talk (excited to have Trash Talk back on a BV SXSW show again), Odd Futures's Tyler the Creator (ditto), and our outside headliner Little Dragon who they manage. Thanks to them for the support and for helping us present my favorite Swedish electro-band Little Dragon again.

Those who want to dance can hopefully make it from Roosevelt;s outside set to Sylvan Esso's inside one, and then back out for Little Dragon. If capacity doesn't allow that, it's still a winning situation whichever stage you end up at.

Nokia MixRadio will be on site educating us about their free music service. Indiegogo will be on hand to answer all your crowdfunding questions. Songboard, a new "music destination that offers artists and bands essential services and unique capabilities to maximize potential" will be there too to teach artists and fans more about their new company and what they can maybe do for you.

Again, this is one of three free BrooklynVegan day parties at Red 7 this year. Please RSVP once for entry to all three. SXSW badges are also welcome and be sure to stop by the Esurance Glove Box at the Austin Convention Center or their Fuel Lounge at 6th and Trinity to pick up an Esurance Access Pass. Then follow @esurance on Twitter to find out when and where you can hop the line for our party and others around Austin...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan SXSW 2014 Thurs Life or Death Day Party lineup (Little Dragon, San Fermin, Tyler the Creator, Trash Talk, Rhett Miller, Nicole Atkins & much more)"

by Bill Pearis

"yes, this is Gruff Rhys..."
Gruff

You may remember that Gruff Rhys's American Interior is coming out as an album, book, film and interactive mobile app in May. Gruff just released the title track to this multifaceted project and you can stream it below.

The film version of American Interior will make its U.S. debut at the SXSW with screenings, appropriately, during the film and music portion of the fest, and there's a panel discussion about it too if you've got a badge. SXSW screening dates and showtimes here and the film's trailer is below. Gruff will also be playing shows during SXSW too -- including the official Turnstile Showcase with Cate Le Bon and more -- , so look out for him if you're going to be in Austin that week.

Trailer for American Interior and the stream of its title track below...

Continue reading "Gruff Rhys shares title track from 'American Interior,' premiering his film and performing at SXSW"

by Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon @ Mercury Lounge 1/17/2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon just wrapped up her East Coast tour with Kevin Morby (their Mercury Lounge show was great) and she's about to head to Europe for a monthlong tour there. After that, she'll be heading back to North America where she'll be in Austin for the insanity that is SXSW. After that she's joining Warpaint's tour for a week's worth of dates, including the NYC show at Webster Hall on March 21. That is a great double bill and tickets to Webster Hall are still available.

If you haven't heard Cate Le Bon's genuinely terrific third album, Mug Museum, yet you can rectify that via Rdio. All Cate Le Bon dates are listed, along with a video from the LP, below...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon extends tour, playing SXSW + opening for Warpaint (updated dates)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon @ Mercury Lounge 1/16/2013
Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon is my kind of "singer-songwriter." Her songs can be touching and beautiful, but they can also be mossy and strange with occasional loud bursts of atonal keyboard or skronky guitar solo. As I've said before, "Welsh" might be the perfect descriptor for her. All sides were on display last night at Mercury Lounge (1/16), the lone (and sold-out) NYC stop on her current tour with Kevin Morby. She stuck mainly to songs from last year's wonderful Mug Museum, save for "I Think I Knew" which is a duet with Perfume Genius. Cate gave us a few from 2012's CYRK, the rockin' "Falcon Eyed," the pretty "The Man I Wanted" and single "Fold the Cloth" for the encore.

Apart from her drummer, it was a different band this time but her guitarist this time pulled triple duty, also playing keyboard and providing the falsetto harmonies that add to her music's quirky charm. Cate's bassist and guitarist also played in Kevin Morby's band and his set was pretty terrific too. Solo, his music is a little more laid-back than what he does in The Babies (his bandmate Cassie Ramone was in the audience), but still fits perfectly with his soulful, world-weary vocals. If you haven't heard his album, Harlem River, yet it's definitely one of last year's overlooked gems. Cate sings with Kevin on the LP's "Slow Train" and that they didn't perform it was last night's only dissapointment.

Pictures from Kevin's set and more of Cate's, below...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon and Kevin Morby played Mercury Lounge (pics)"

by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis

IMAGE

We've done some year-end lists in the past at BrooklynVegan, though you might notice that we're not the most consistent with them. This is for a few reasons, one being that with the varying tastes of our current group of contributors, we could never in a million years agree on a top 10, let alone an Album of the Year. So in an attempt to get around that obstacle, this year two BV writers, Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher, have made individual lists of the albums they loved most which we think each represent different parts of 2013 here at BrooklynVegan. They both made top 20s (and only had two albums in common), with commentary on the top 10, and you can check out both lists below...

Continue reading "Our Favorite Albums of 2013"

photos & video by Autumn Andel

Cate Le Bon @ Doug Fir, 12/5/2013
Cate Le Bon

After gracing opener Kevin Morby's set with a vocal contribution on the lonesome "Slow Train", Welsh singer/songwriter Cate Le Bon began her own set, dark and cool, smocked in black. She said she hadn't expected the freezing air here, and began to warm us up.

Her style is neo-classic, thick with bass, and folksy, with off-kilter psychedelic tendencies. This makes for the perfect vinyl album. She swung her guitar back and forth to the slow rhythms, and picked through fast romps like "Sisters". At times, the keyboard/organ solos felt like traveling back in time to a Doors show, then Cate joked of a "future song" about Bill and Ted: a little bit of country, a little bit of new wave beeping melody, called "He's Leaving". - [ElevenPDX]

Cate Le Bon's West Coast tour with Kevin Morby (Babies/Woods) wrapped up over the weekend. Those dates included a stop at Portland's Doug Fir Lounge on 12/5 and pictures and videos of that show are in this post. Fresh off the road, Cate and her band stopped by KCRW this morning (12/16) for a live set on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and you can stream that below too.

Cate will hit the East Coast in January, again with Morby, including one NYC show at Mercury Lounge on January 16. Tickets for that show are still available. All dates are listed below.

If you haven't heard her terrific third album, Mug Museum, you can stream it via Rdio. Videos and more pictures from the Portland show, including a shot of the setlist, below...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon touring, played Portland with Kevin Morby (pics, video, setlist), streaming KCRW radio performance"

by Bill Pearis

Morby

Kevin Morby, who co-fronts The Babies and plays bass in Woods, will release his first solo album, Harlem River, on November 26 via Woodsist. The album was made in Los Angeles (where he currently lives) with producer Rob Barbato (The Babies, Bleached) and features appearances by White Fence's Tim Presley and Cate Le Bon. The latter sings on languid and lovely "Slow Train" which you can stream, along with another track from the album, below.

Morby and Le Bon will be touring the West Coast in December and those dates are listed below. NYC will get Cate on January 16 at Mercury Lounge (tickets) as part of her more extensive tour for new album, Mug Museum (out 11/12). All Morby and Le Bon dates are listed, along with Morby song streams and a trailer of Le Bon's album, below...

Continue reading "Kevin Morby (The Babies, Woods) releasing solo LP, touring with Cate Le Bon who sings on his record (dates, streams)"

by Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon's terrific third album, Mug Museum, is out November 12 via Wichita/Turnstile and if you haven't checked out the two released tracks so far, both are streaming below. "Are You with Me Now?" is especially good.

If you live on the West Coast you can catch Cate live this weekend where she'll be opening for Warpaint, and she'll do a longer run of dates on that side of the continent in December with The Babies' Kevin Morby opening. The East Coast, meanwhile, will get a look in January and though she hasn't announced a full tour, Cate will play NYC at Mercury Lounge on January 16. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (10/11) at noon.

UPDATE: Full tour announced, dates are below.

In other news, Cate recently appeared with Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield for a duet of new Manics song, "Four Lonely Roads," on BBC program The Review Show and you can watch that below.

All dates are listed, along with those track streams and video, below...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon on tour, playing NYC in January (updated dates)"

by Bill Pearis

IMAGE

When Cate Le Bon toured here last year for her great album, CYRK, she was playing a number of new songs too. One of them, "Are You With Me Now," was a standout I distinctly remember, with its loping rhythm and spooky/beautiful backing vocals. That song is the first official single from Cate's excellent new album, Mug Museum, which is out via Wichita Records on November 12. You can stream it below along with the previously released collaboration with Perfume Genius, "I Think I Knew."

Cate, who is from Wales but lives in California currently, will be playing some West Coast dates this fall, including a couple in October opening for Warpaint and then a few with Kevin Morby (of The Babies, Woods) in December. Hopefully she'll announce East Coast dates sometime soon. All dates are listed, along with the track streams, below.

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon streaming another track from 'Mug Museum,' announces West Coast tour dates"

by Bill Pearis

Mug Museum

Welsh singer Cate Le Bon has finished her third album, Mug Museum, which will be released November 12 via Wichita. The album was made in Los Angeles (where Cate now resides) with producer Noah Georgeson who's previously worked with Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. That's the cover art above and you can check out the first released cut, a lovely duet with Perfume Genius titled "I Think I Knew," and the album tracklist below.

For fans who don't mind paying overseas shipping, her UK label, Turnstile, is offering a Mug Museum pre-order bundle that comes with a handthrown mug made by Cate herself. The maker elaborates:

ALL ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO MAKE A UNIFORM RUN OF MUGS BUT ALL ATTEMPTS FAILED.

ALTHOUGH ALL MUGS LOOK MORE LIKE A CHILD'S DRAWING OF A MUG THAN A REAL LIFE MUG TRUST THAT THEY ARE ACTUAL REAL LIFE MUGS AND WILL HOLD YOUR LIQUID QUITE WELL

ALL MUGS WILL MAKE YOUR FAVOURITE BEVERAGE TASTE A TOUCH TARTER.

Only 60 mugs were made. If you haven't checked out Cate's 2012 album, CYRK, it was one of my favorites of last year and can be streamed at Spotify or Rdio.

New song stream and Mug Museum tracklist below...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon releasing 'Mug Museum' in November (stream her duet with Perfume Genius)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: BLURRY BITTERS - A CAKE SHOP BEST OF 2012 MIXTAPE (MP3)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring @ Cake Shop, June 2010 (more by Diana Wong)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring

One of the biggest, most genuine music fans I know is Andy from Ludlow Street indie rock club Cake Shop. He's an indefatigable listener and always turns me onto new stuff. Here we've got his "best of 2012 and live from cakeshop and recorded" which is topped by Parquet Courts' fantastic debut album, Light Up Gold. You can check out the full list of "21 AMAZING EXPERIENCES" below.

Andy is also a great maker of mixes, and I stil put in one he made for the Cake Shop/Slumberland 2009 SXSW showcase from time to time. Over at the Cake Shop blog, he posted a 2012 mix loaded with great stuff that you can download above and see the tracklist below. Highly recommend. Cake Shop had a successful Pledge Music campaign this year, signed a new 10-year lease, survived the Great Sandy Blackout, and I can't wait to see more bands there in 2013 (like maybe Obits on January 19) and beyond.

Andy from Cake Shop's Best of 2012 list and mixtape tracklist are below...

Continue reading "Andy Bodor from Cake Shop's "21 AMAZING EXPERIENCES" of 2012, plus a year-end mixtape"

Leonard Cohen

UK music magazine Uncut put out their list of the top 75 albums of 2012. The top ten leans pretty heavy on long-running '60s/'70s survivors who put out new albums this year, but plenty of the list-topping regulars from newer acts are on there too, along with a few interesting surprises (Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras & the Congos!). You can check out the full list below.

Continue reading "Uncut's Top 75 Albums of 2012"

photos by Jessica Amaya; words by Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon @ Union Pool, 9/22/2012
Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon's second of two NYC shows this past weekend was at Union Pool on Saturday (9/22) and was a woolier affair than her show at Mercury Lounge the night before. The crowd was more into it, and Cate and her band, who played against a projected VHS test pattern backdrop, were clearly having more fun too -- bassist "Sweet Baboo" played the entire show shirtless and jumped into the crowd for the final song, the two-part "Ploughing Out."

A friend who came with me to the show told me afterwards, "I liked her but I couldn't quite get where she was coming from." To which I replied, "Wales," which was kind of a joke but not really. They just do things differntly over there and Cate Le Bon definitely comes from the charming, oddball lineage of Super Furry Animals and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. (Her "Thankyouverymuch" sounds just like Gruff Rhys'.) It's a style that cannot easily be pigeonholed but is no doubt all hers.

I had come straight from seeing Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees at The Well, so I missed opener Natureboy but there are pictures from her set below, along with more from Cate Le Bon's set.

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon + Natureboy @ Union Pool (pics, review)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon @ Mercury Lounge, 9/21/2012
Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon is on tour was in New York for two shows this weekend, following an appearance earlier in the week at Pop Montreal. Friday night (9/21), one night before she hit Union Pool, she played an early show at Mercury Lounge with Boston psych-folk quartet Quilt making for a well-matched double bill.

Those whose only know Le Bon from her mostly gentle debut album and her tour with St. Vincent (where she played alone) does not prepare you for the wonderful, weird Welsh world of seeing her with her ace band who also feature on her fantastic album CYRK (one of 2012's best) from earlier this year. Songs turn on a dime from delicate finger-plucked Wendy and Bonnie faery folk to ragged Neil Young-style ragers, with moments of organ-fueled Krautrock groove as well. Mind you it all makes sense when watching Le Bon's do her magical thing.

I missed Quilt but will hopefully catch them while they're on tour with The Fresh and Onlys which hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 8. Tickets for that show are still available. Cate Le Bon's North American trek rolls on through the South, playing Raleigh, NC tonight (9/25).

Pictures of Quilt and Cate Le Bon (including the setlist for Cate), along with a list of tour dates for both, below...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon & Quilt @ Mercury Lounge (pics, setlist, review)"

Mirel Wagner

24-year-old singer Mirel Wagner was born in Ethiopia but spent most of her life in Finland. With only spare guitar and her whispery, expressive voice, her songs are delicate and brittle like beautiful little spiderweb. Her debut album came out on Friendly Fire Recordings back in March. You can stream it below via a Spotify player and check out the video for album-opener, "To the Bone," below.

Mirel will be playing her first North American shows next month, including the Hopscotch Festival and a few dates opening for Deerhoof. She's got two shows in NYC: a solo show, as mentioned, at Joe's Pub on September 16 (tickets) and then at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Deerhoof and Buke and Gass on September 17 (tickets).

Opening for Mirel at Joe's Pub is Natureboy who maybe you caught at her Pianos residency back in June. She'll also be opening for the amazing Cate Le Bon at Union Pool on September 22 and tickets are still available. Natureboy also just recorded a Daytrotter session which you can listen to here.

A list of all tour dates, the video, and album streams below...

Continue reading "Mirel Wagner playing Joe's Pub w/ Natureboy before Deerhoof tour; Natureboy opening for Cate Le Bon (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon

Welsh charmer Cate Le Bon's show at Mercury Lounge back in February remains my favorite show of 2012 so far. When I saw she was playing Pop Montreal in September I hoped we might get another North American tour and today learned the answer is yes, with two stops in NYC: September 21 at Mercury Lounge and September 22 at Union Pool. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show go on sale Friday, June 22 at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (6/20) at noon. No word on advance tickets to the Union Pool show.

Cate Le Bon will also release a new EP, CYRK II, around the same time, which will be out August 21 via The Control Group. It consists of songs recorded during the same sessions that produced CYRK (one this year's finest platters) but were left off for thematic reasons. The six songs on CYRK II are all a little more confessional lyrically but have the same pastoral-folk-meets-Velvet-chug vibe. You can check out the artwork and tracklist below.

When Cate was here in February she filmed a live session in All Souls Church and you can watch the performances from that below, along with a list of all upcoming tour dates.

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon releasing 'CYRK II' EP, touring (dates)"

POP Montreal

POP Montreal is returning to Montreal this year from September 19 - 23. The initial lineup was revealed and it includes Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, David Byrne, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter, I Break Horses, Hot Snakes, Dirty Three, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Cate Le Bon, Bertrand Burgulat (!), and more. The full initial lineup is listed below and many more announcements to come. Early Bird tickets are on sale until June 30, when regular sale begins.

Meanwhile, Montreal will be getting the Ohsheaga Festival even sooner.

Initial POP Montreal lineup below...

Continue reading "POP Montreal initial 2012 lineup revealed (Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, David Byrne, Tim Hecker, Hot Snakes & more)"

By Bill Pearis

Cate Le Bon, Mercury Lounge

Siren singer. Champion skronky guitar solo-er. Drone princess. Dressed in an iridescent dark green smock-frock, Welsh singer Cate Le Bon looked a like Crannogmen royalty at Mercury Lounge last night (2/9), where she held court over a rapt, smiling audience. Those who didn't come as fans left as converts. There is nobody quite like her and, for me, this is the current show to beat for 2012.

Previous visits from Le Bon have been mostly solo, which fit the general faery folk vibe of her first album. Le Bon's new LP, Cyrk, is definitely a "band" album, however, and the group she brought with her were more than capable of recreating its pastoral psych-rock. The night opened with the icy and discordant "Julia" but things warmed up from there as band members switched places as Cate went from guitar to keyboard and back again for singles "Puts Me to Work and "Fold the Cloth." Only her New Zealander drummer, who was flash-free but rock-steady, stayed in one place the whole night.

He also got the evening's biggest laugh. Cate invited the audience to go on tour with her, at least to tonight's show at Maxwell's where we'd get "the same band, and the same songs." Then the drummer piped in, "...but New Jersey" and immediately hit a rimshot to much groans and laughter. The evening finished as Cyrk does with the two-part "Ploughing Out," which starts off gentle and haunting but grows into a chugging, noisy rocker. In a tribute to Wales legends Super Furry Animals (Gruff Rhys was one of her early champions), the songs comes to a clamorous end with Cate and the bassist crossing their instruments like swords.

Cate plays Maxwell's tonight (2/10) before continuing on tour, again with openers Pigeons, and I highly recommend you go to this show (and then stick around for the comedy). If you haven't heard Cyrk yet, it's one of 2012's best so far. You can download "Puts Me to Work" at the top of this post, watch the video for "Fold the Cloth" below, or stream the whole album on Spotify. But really, go see her live. Click through for a couple more grainy cameraphone pictures from Mercury Lounge, and all 2012 tour dates...

Continue reading "Cate Le Bon played Mercury Lounge, plays Maxwell's tonight"

by Bill Pearis

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

Veronica Falls
Veronica Falls

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

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

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

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

Habibi
Habibi

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

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Cate Le Bon
Cate Le Bon

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

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

Ed Vallance - 'Volcano'
Ed Vallance

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

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

Jeremy Jay
Jeremy Jay

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

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

Old Monk
Old Monk

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

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

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

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