Entries tagged with: Crystal Stilts
by Bill Pearis
Like veteran indie bands from Glasgow? Want to see them live for free? Read on.
If the $50 price tag of this Thursday's (9/30) Belle and Sebastian show with Teenage Fanclub at the Williamsburg Waterfront has been scaring you off, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show. Details below.
We're also giving away THREE pairs of tickets to tomorrow night's (9/28) Teenage Fanclub/The Clean show at Bowery Ballroom. Details below.
Wait there's more. We're also giving away TWO pairs of tickets to see The Vaselines on October 6 at Webster Hall. Details below.
The waterfront show on Thursday is the kickoff to Belle and Sebastian's tour. Fellow Glaswegians Teenage Fanclub are opening. Tickets are still available. Let's hope the current rainy forceast changes by then. The band also performs on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday (9/29) night. After the Waterfront show, the band head's to Las Vegas for this weekend's Matador 21 extravaganza, make a short detour into Mexico, and will then backtrack east across North America.
The band's eighth album, Write About Love, will be out October 12 and is Belle & Sebastian's first in nearly five years. A decade and a half into their career, you pretty much know what to expect from Stuart Murdoch, Stevie Jackson and the rest of the band, but since 2001's Dear Catastrophe Waitress the group's quality control has been pretty high. (2006's The Life Pursuit was especially good I thought.) Write About Love is another lovely record in the band's cannon. The vinyl comes with a bonus 7" containing two songs not on the album.
There are a couple of surprising guest vocalists. Carey Mulligan, Oscar-nominated star of An Education, sings on the album's title track (which you can download for free via a widget at the bottom of this post), and Norah Jones features on "Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John."
The band have taken some interesting routes promoting the new album. Earlier this year they encouraged fans to take pictures with the album's title incorporated into the shot, creating a Flickr pool for the project. Murdoch included his favorites in an entertaining half-hour "television" program (not sure if it aired anywhere but online) that is a mix of live performance, audience Q&A, and a discussion of the current state of the music industry. In a cute, charming way, of course. You can watch it below.
It is also worth noting that Belle and Sebastian have some really impressive openers along the way, including The Vaselines (Mexico dates), Versus in Washington D.C., Dean & Britta doing the Galaxie 500 thing in Boston, and Trashcan Sinatras in Seattle. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
Teenage Fanclub, who open the Waterfront show, have two headlining shows of their own -- tonight (9/27) and tomorrow (9/28) -- at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still available for both (click the links). Tomorrow's show is the more desirable of the two, with New Zealand indie rock legends The Clean as co-headliners. Merge labelmates The Radar Brother open both shows other dates on the tour.
If you somehow got this far into this post without reading it, we're giving away tickets to the show tomorrow with the Clean. See details below.
Teenage Fanclub's new album on Merge, Shadows, is the band's seventh. Like what I said about Belle and Sebastian above, you know what you're getting with a new TFC album at this point (midtempo, harmony-laden guitar pop indebted to Big Star and The Byrds) but the band has remained amazingly consistent during their 20-year history. It doesn't hurt that they have three very good songwriters in the band. (Though we can all agree Gerry Love is the best, right? No? Your mileage may vary.) You can stream the whole thing over at Merge's website. And they have always been good live, funny too.
Teenage Fanclub's North American tour with The Radar Brothers takes them across the continent, ending in Vancouver on October 16. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
One of the TFC dates is opening for The Vaselines in DC on Saturday (10/2). That's where the Vaselines are launching their own North American tour. Will there be any musicians over the age of 37 actually in Glasgow next week? The Vaselines tour hits NYC next week when they play Webster Hall on Wednesday, October 6 with openers Jeffrey Lewis and Crystal Stilts. If you haven't heard The Vaselines' new album Sex with an Ex, it picks right up where the band left off 20 years ago: smart, funny, filthy, and catchy as hell. And still genuinely great live.
All tour dates for Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub and The Vaselines are below, along with videos, contest details, widgets and whatnot.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Mystery Jets - Flash a Hungry Smile (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mystery Jets - Dreaming of Another World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dominant Legs - About My Girls (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose & the Outs - Candy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Red Mass - Saturn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tony Castles - Black Girls in Dresses (MP3)
Looks like there are still a few tickets to go see Mystery Jets tonight at Mercury Lounge now that the band have sorted out their visa issues after having to cancel last night's show (which I was going to go to). Frank at Chromewaves caught them in Toronto on Monday night:
Over the course of an hour, they split their set evenly between Serotonin and its predecessor, 2008's Twenty-One, and gave the respectably-sized crowd something to get boisterous about - which they did, right through to the soaring encore-closer "Dreaming Of Another World". Any concerns about what would happen to the rest of the tour were set aside in favour of just enjoying the moment.Looking through Frank's photos of the show, I was happy to see Mystery Jets aren't sporting any fashion disasters (see above) like when they played at Bowery Ballroom last year. That may sound superficial but it is distracting when a band you really like dresses like Blanche from Golden Girls. As I've said before, I was a huge fan of 2008's Twenty One and think their new one, Serotonin, is maybe better even if nothing on it quite reaches the highs of "Young Love" and "Two Doors Down."
If you're going, be sure to get there early for L.A.'s Dominant Legs whose new EP on Lefse records I like a lot. Any band that lists The Style Council as an influence is gonna grab my attention, at least enough to listen to it. They played last night at Mercury Lounge, their first NYC show, and reports on Twitter seemed to be pretty positive.
Frankie & the Outs @ SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Mystery Jets' cancellation last night has thrown a wrench into my schedule. I had planned on spending the evening at Glasslands for the Frankie Rose & the Outs' record release party but now I'm gonna hope the show goes late enough that I can do both tonight (9/15). We'll see how this works out. If nothing else I can pick up the record a week early tonight at the merch table. It's a really good album that, if maybe a little economical in the lyrical department, definitely showcases Rose's ease with hooks and harmonies. Check out an MP3 of the single "Candy" above and you can watch the Carrie-inspired video for the song -- which just premiered -- at the bottom.
It should be a fun night all around. Light Asylum, who the Outs shared the bill for their first-ever show last Halloween, headline the party, with opening slots from psych mystics Mirror Mirror and Pigeon who I can't find any info on. (But there are at least three other bands currently called Pigeon so you might want to rethink the name.) MINKS were originally supposed to play but seem to have fallen off the bill.
Dum Dum Girls
I have to imagine Frankie's pals Dum Dum Girls will be in attendance tonight (you can spot Dee Dee in the "Candy" video near the end) if they can make it in time following the first of their three gigs opening for Vampire Weekend this week at Radio City Music Hall. I would kind of like to see DDGs there, actually, as their echo-y girl group vibe could sound amazing with the venue's acoustics. But I'm not gonna. I might, however, try to catch them on Saturday night (9/18) at Knitting Factory where they'll play with Girls at Dawn and Reading Rainbow. Their self-titled Sub Pop debut has stayed in constant rotation since coming out out in March.
While we're on the subject of bands with whom Frankie Rose used to play drums, Crystal Stilts finally seem to be getting around to making a second record. A new single, "Shake the Shackles," is due out on Slumberland Records on October 21, their first new material in 18 months. The band have struggled a bit post-Frankie, and the last time I saw them play live (Fall 2009 I think) they seemed pretty out of sorts. But both sides of the new single is good -- you can listen to it at the bottom of this post -- and hopefully they've really shaked those shackles and rebounded.
Red Mass @ M For Montreal 2009 (more)
What else? Montreal art punks Red Mass will be here this weekend for two shows: Friday at Party Expo and Saturday at Death by Audio. Both shows are with X-ray Eyeballs. Somewhere between the Damned's goth-tinged punk and Nuggets era psych-garage, Red Mass also bring a sense of theatrics to their live performances. Frontman Choyce (late of CCP Gangbangs) has no problem with high concept and brings the Red to the stage -- both times I've seen them, the band dressed entirely in shades of crimson. But the music still does most of the talking. If you like this kind of thing at all, Red Mass are not to be missed.
Red mass are on their first real tour of the States -- well, the East Coast -- and they'll hook up with King Khan & the Shrines along the way. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
And finally, Superchunk are here this weekend, playing Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (9/18) and MHoW on Sunday (9/19). Both shows are sold out, but you can still see them at Other Music on Sunday afternoon (1PM). I've also had good luck getting tickets at MHoW at the box office day of show, so if you're without a ticket it's worth a try.
Even if you don't get to see them, you've still got their seriously awesome new album, Majesty Shredding. No phoning it in here, this is classic Superchunk. Over at Emusic, Michaelangelo Matos wrote a great review of the record and the opening paragraph really nails it:
Superchunk sound like they've been listening to a lot of Superchunk. Well, of course -- what else would they sound like? But think about that for a second. Most bands slow down as they age because most people slow down as they age: Sonic Youth isn't about to start flirting with hardcore again; the Rolling Stones will never cut another "She Said Yeah." That's nature. But Superchunk 2010 could be easily mistaken for Superchunk 1991 -- the tempo hasn't moved and the scrappiness hasn't budged. And scrappy is what this band does.Majesty Shredding is loaded with classic Superchunk Moments, from new single "Digging for Something" (you've seen the video by now, right?) to the manic "Crossed Wires" (a 7" from last summer) to my favorite song, the anthemic "Hot Tubes." It's so great to see a band 20 years into its career knock one out of the park.
That's enough for this week. A few more picks for the week, of things I didn't cover above, day by day:
WEDNESDAY, SEPT 15
I've been listening a lot to this Translations digital single which you can download for free. Both "sides" are really good, kind of Flying Nun/GbV style indie. Haven't seen them live but they play tonight at The Woods in Williamsburg. It's a free show.
Power pop fans should head straight to the Rock Shop for Tommy Keene, Title Tracks and Valley Lodge.
Dean, Naomi & Damon (Galaxie 500)
Following the re-release of Galaxie 500's three classic albums on Domino and 20-20-20, Dean Wareham will perform a set of Galaxie 500 songs, backed by the Dean & Britta band (featuring Britta Phillips, drummer Anthony LaMarca and guitarist Matt Sumrow). Galaxie 500 formed in Cambridge, MA in 1987 and recorded three studio albums (Today, On Fire and This Is Our Music). They met with much acclaim in their short time together but disbanded in 1991. Wareham went on to form Luna.That's the official description of the event that Dean Wareham is bringing to various states across the country before the end of the year. Two of the shows will be opened by Crystal Stilts including August 20th at the Troc in Philly (tickets on sale) and August 19th at Bowery Ballroom in NYC (tickets on sale).
The Bowery Ballroom show is one of two Dean and Britta have scheduled in NYC at the moment. The other is the previously mentioned "13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests" show happening at NYU on October 22nd. They also have other Andy Warhol tour dates scheduled in support of the July 2th release of that CD too. More info and all dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Holiday Shores @ Pianos in 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
For a while it didn't look like Saturday's (4/24) Bruar Falls First Anniversary show was going to be much of a party. The 1990s are stuck in the UK thanks to that pesky volcano, and German Measles canceled due to a death in the family.
To say they've recovered is a bit of an understatement. Check out the new line-up: Holiday Shores, Micachu & the Shapes, Beach Fossils, plus house band Moonmen on the Moon, Man. There's also DJs Peggy Wang (of Pains at Being Pure at Heart) and Shirley Braha (of NY Noise), plus balloons and a 1AM open bar. It should be mentioned that the show is FREE.
Holiday Shores will be running over to Bruar following their opening set at the Morning Benders show Brooklyn Vegan is presenting at Music Hall of Williamsburg (we added them a while ago, but didn't rush to announce it because the show was already sold out), that now also includes our Montreal friends The Luyas (who we added yesterday!). Meanwhile Micachu have been stuck in the U.S. also thanks to the volcano, and have been playing around NYC to keep themselves busy. Maybe you saw them last night at Mercury Lounge. And Beach Fossils are one of the areas best new bands, and put on a fun live show -- they were great last Friday at Bruar Falls, even with a substitute drummer.
Bruar Falls has become one of my favorite places to see a show (living two blocks from it doesn't hurt) and there's always a nice community vibe there. It's been a great addition to the Williamsburg music scene. Between the bands, the free booze, the balloons and the very affordable entrance fee, this should be a hot ticket even on a very busy Saturday night. You might want to get there early.
Speaking of Saturday, The Music Hall Show on Saturday with Morning Benders, Holiday Shores and The Luyas is sold out, but if you really want to go we're giving away a pair of tickets. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "Morning Benders" as the subject. We'll pick a winner at random and be in touch with the lucky person tomorrow.
In other news, the 1990s show at The Bell House that was supposed to be tonight has been rescheduled for next Friday, April 30 (the whole show, not just the 1990s). Crystal Stilts, The Oranges Band (who just opened for the Hold Steady at Music Hall) and The Forgery Series (featuring Sohrab of Obits) will open. No word on whether the 1990s will play a makeup date for Bruar as well, but we'll keep you informed.
Check out a Holiday Shores video below...
Glasgow's The 1990s can be added to the still-growing list of bands that've canceled shows because of the volcanic ash situation. The group won't be able to make their two NYC shows this week (or the Philly date between), but those NYC shows are planning on going ahead without them.
The second is on Saturday, April 24th at Bruar Falls and is the club's first b-day party. The lineup for that is currently all TBA (minus DJs Shirley and Peggy, and "secret special guests") because the other band on it, German Measles, canceled too because of a death in the family.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned before, UK band Veronica Falls are playing this year's NYC Popfest on Thursday May 20 at Cake Shop. If you can't attend that, the band have booked a few other shows in town: they play Glasslands on May 15 with Crystal Stilts and Bruar Falls on May 16. Veronica Falls are also playing the Elm City Popfest in New Haven, CT on May 14 and Boston on May 17. After Popfest, they'll support Teenage Fanclub on a UK tour.
Based out of London, the band are made up of ex-members of defunct Glasgow bands The Royal We and Sexy Kids, as well as a member poached from Your Twenties. Their debut single "Found Love in a Graveyard" (one of my favorite tracks of 2009) is out now on Captured Tracks, the b-side of which is a really lovely version of Roky Erickson's "Starry Eyes." Download the A-side at the top of this post. The follow-up, "Beach Head," will be out May 18, just in time for Popfest. The Royal We and Sexy Kids never made it to America (worth checking out, though) so do try and catch one of their shows.
Speaking of NYC Popfest, festival passes are sold out but you can still buy individual tickets for all shows. It's a great line-up this year, including Manchester post punk legends The Wake, Seattle's BOAT, one of Pants Yell!'s last-ever shows, Tender Trap (new band from Amelia Fletcher of Talulah Gosh and Heavenly fame) (not to be confused with Temper Trap), Allo Darlin' and loads more. There's lots of information about the bands over at the official NYC Popfest blog. Also, the Popfest organizers have put together a nice mix of 17 of the popfest bands -- the link to the zip file is at the top of this post.
All 2010 Veronica Falls tour dates, videos and the tracklisting of that Popfest mix are all after the jump.
The Clipse are playing Highline Ballroom on May 6th with Ninjasonik. Tickets are on sale.
Tickets go on sale at the same time for a July 22nd "US Air Guitars Finals" show at Irving Plaza.
The final episode of Lost airs Sunday May 23rd. Tickets are on sale if you want to watch it at the Bell House.
Crystal Stilts, The 1990s, and Tanks Amigo plays The Bell House on April 22nd. Tickets are on sale.
The Middle East, Neon Indian, Crystal Castles & Local Natives tickets also went on sale.
Hold Steady & Willie Nelson tickets also went on sale.
Only three tickets left for the Will Johnson & Anders Parker NYC living room show.
Harlem @ Union Pool over the weekend (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Local Natives will headline Bowery Ballroom on May 6th. Tickets go on AmEx presale at noon.
Midnight Masses continue a February residency at Union Pool tonight (2/17).
Japandroids are also playing Sasquatch.
Catch Crystal Stilts much sooner at Music Hall of Williamsburg with The Beets / Christmas Island / Beach Fossils / The German Measles on February 20th. Tickets are still on sale.
Phosphorescent will play Maxwell's for the first time on April 2nd. Tickets are on sale.
Titus Andronicus and Harlem play the NJ club the very next night (4/24). Tickets are on sale.
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Erez Avissar
Beach Fossils @ Shea Stadium
Tickets are still on sale for the Crystal Stilts MHOW show on Saturday, February 20th. Opening up for that show are The Beets, Christmas Island, Beach Fossils and The German Measles (who have a gig with Bishop Allen coming up, more on that soon).
Leading up to that show, Christmas Island (whose debut came out this October on In the Red), The Beets and Beach Fossils are all on tour together this February. The MHOW show is the last of three separate NYC dates for the tour. The other two come February 9th at the Cake Shop and February 13th at Death by Audio.
The Beets have already had a pretty busy December as far as NYC shows go. And the month isn't over for Beach Fossils, who'll ring in the New Year with Frankie and the Outs, Surfer Blood and We Are Country Mice at the Cameo. Beach Fossils (aka Dustin Payseur) has a full-length on the way from Woodsist/Captured Tracks in March, and the song above is from a forthcoming Woodsist 7".
Looking ahead to SXSW, Christmas Island also lists an In the Red showcase at Austin's Beerland on March 19th. The song "Bed Island," a tuneful love song, is above.
All tour dates along with the rest of the pictures from the show at Shea Stadium last Wednesday (12/9), below...
Norah Jones is playing the WaMu Theater At Madison Square Garden on March 27th. Tickets are on sale (@ 10am).
Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck are playing two nights at Madison Square Garden in February. Tickets go on pre-sale on Monday.
Crystal Stilts are playing MHOW on February 20th. Tickets are on sale (more about this show later).
Omara Portuondo is playing Town Hall on February 27th. Tickets are on sale (@ 10am)
Saturday (12/5) night shows HERE.
Influential indie label Slumberland Records turned 20 in 2009 and celebrated this landmark with two big birthday shows -- one in Washington DC (where it got its start) and one in Brooklyn (where much of Slumberland's current roster reside). The Bell House show was a cardigan-clad indie marathon, with a nice mix of Slumberland bands (and fans) old and new. It really did feel like a party. There were favors for the guests (a Slumberland rarities compilation CD) and even a few surprises. Slumberland head honcho Mike Schulman joined Philadelphia's Brown Recluse on stage for some well-played tambourine, and Amy Linton, conspicuously absent from the listed proceedings, turned up for an unannounced, too-brief (and crazy loud) set of Henry's Dress and Aislers Set songs with help from Crystal Stilts. There might've even been a cake. With the label going strong, another 20 years doesn't seem entirely out of the question.
Videos (including the entire Henry's Dress/Aislers Set set), plus pictures of all the bands from the whole long, fun night are after the jump....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Cribs - We Were Aborted (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Prince of Tacoma (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Lately (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - I'm a Donkey for Your Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Last Cans of Paint (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose - Thee Only One (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Night Train (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Contour and Context (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Ropers - Revolver (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Nord Express - The Natural (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lorelei - Stale Houses (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Max Tundra - Which Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Deastro - Reaction To Substance M (MP3)
Tonight (11/11) and tomorrow are the last two shows of The Answering Machine's extended NYC visit, playing Bruar Falls tonight (with Dinnosaur Feathers and Zambri) and Cake Shop tomorrow (11/12, with Sholi). As I've said before, this Manchester band make superior Brit Indie and like their debut album, Another City, Another Sorry, quite a bit. You can get the whole thing at their bandcamp.com page.
Speaking of superior Brit Indie, The Cribs fourth album, Ignore the Ignorant, was released this week, just in time for their shows at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (11/12, still tickets available) and Friday (11/13, sold out). As you may know, The Cribs are now a four-piece, having added Johnny Marr to their otherwise all-Jarman lineup for the writing and recording of the new album which actually does sound like what you might expect it to. You've still got the big choruses and raw energy The Cribs are known for, but now with the flourishes and panache the onetime Smith is known for. I'd even say Ignore the Ignorant finds Johnny Marr sounding like Johhny Marr for the first time since his days in The The. It's a really strong record. But The Cribs are almost always better live than on record. I will be curious to see how Marr will affect the usual antics of Gary, Ryan, Ross. Will brothers still act like brothers when there's a legend nearly twice their age on stage?
The shows I'm most looking forward to this weekend are from Seattle's BOAT, a truly fun live band whose new album, Setting the Paces, is just terrific, loaded with irresistible indie pop, as much as you can fit on tangerine-colored vinyl. We're talking giant hooks, lyrics that are funny without being novelty (and have just enough of the crying-on-the-inside clown thing going on too), and production that is neither slick nor low fi. This is how it's done, and I've no doubt this will find its way into my Best of 2009 list.
BOAT play Union Hall on Friday (11/13) and Bruar Falls on Saturday (11/14) and you really should do yourself a favor and go see one of these shows. They don't make it East very often. Their live shows are fairly interactive -- they pass out bags of confetti and homemade shakers, and often work with signs and props -- but it never feels forced. They just want you to have a good time. The Union Hall show on Friday is with How I Became the Bomb; Saturday's Bruar Falls show is with Miniboone and Shark?
I feel a little bad that BOAT's show on Saturday is competing with the Slumberland 20th Anniversary show at The Bell House for the indie pop consumer's dollar. As someone who spent his college years going on road trips to Washington DC to see shows and go record shopping, Slumberland is intertwined with my musical upbringing, be it thumbing through Velocity Girl, Henry's Dress and Aislers Set 7"s at Arlington's Go Records, or hearing Stereolab's Switched On for the first time at Smash on M Street.
It's kind of amazing that, after a few years of dormancy, Slumberland has come back stronger than ever in the last year with records that have achieved a national level of attention that seemed impossible in the '90s. I'm still stunned at how popular Pains of Being Pure at Heart have gotten. It's a label that continues to be a labor of love for owner Mike Schulman. Maybe the listening public (now with the wide-reaching abilities of the internet) has come around to his way of thinking.
Anyway, Saturday's eight-band spectacular is a hard-t0-pass-up bill for any indie fan, featuring label heavy hitters The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (previously unannounced) and Crystal Stilts. There's also Boston's Pants Yell!, whose new album Received Pronunciation was just released and is what I'd call a textbook "grower," one whose many pleasures don't reveal themselves till maybe the third listen. The band are also swearing it's their last, and plan to break up next year (Check out an MP3 of "Cold Hands" above). Additionally, the show has Philadelphia's baroque-ish Brown Recluse from the label's current roster, and what is likely to be most people's first time seeing Frankie & the Outs, who were really good opening for Grass Widow at the Woodser a week ago.
There's also sets from three bands from Slumberland's dreamy '90s era: Lorelei, who have been back together since 2003, and The Ropers, and Nord Express who I'm pretty sure are playing their first shows since disbanding. While I know some Slumberland fanatics were hoping, wishing, crossing their fingers Schulman and Bell House booker Skippy might pull a rabbit out of their hat with more classic Slumberland bands (The Aislers Set, Black Tambourine, Velocity Girl or Rocketship), it's hard to argue with this lineup. It's gonna be a great night.
While on the subject of '90s indie rock, Versus are playing at Knitting Factory on Friday (11/13). Now augmented with a violinist (at least at their fantastic Seaport set this summer), they're sounding as good as they did in the '90s. Maybe even better. I'm told there's a new Versus album in the can and they're just trying to work out the whens and wheres of its release. The whole line-up at the Knit is TeenBeat related actually, with label head (and former Unrest frontman) Mark Robinson's new band Cotton Candy; Plus Minus which features Versus' James Balyut and ex-member Patrick Ramos and who are equally popular in their own right; The Solitary Cyclist which includes John Lindaman of True Love Always, Plus Minus drummer Chris Deaner, and food blogger (and friend of mine) Ganda Suthivarakom who has also performed with Miho Hatori, as well as in David Byrne's Imelda Marcos opera, Here Lies Love. Which leads us to the other band on the bill: Filipino indiepop band Ciudad. They've been playing shows here for the last month or so but this looks to be the final one before they head back to the Philippines.
A couple other quick shows of interest. If you ever wondered what became of Einar, the other vocalist in the Sugarcubes (the one who shouted things like "I really don't like lobster!"), his current gig is GhostDigital which matches weird electronics to his particular style of vocals. They play tonight (11/11) at Monkeytown with fellow homemade diode musician Caspar Electronics.
An evening-length concert of original scores and newly commissioned compositions for the intonarumori, or "noise-intoners" As part of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of Italian Futurism, the Performa 09 biennial, in collaboration with the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and SFMOMA, has invited Luciano Chessa to direct a reconstruction project to produce accurate replicas the legendary instruments (8 noise families of 1-3 instruments each, in various registers) that Russolo built in Milan in the summer of 1913. As the first instruments capable of creating and manipulating noises through entirely mechanical processes, the intonarumori can be considered to be the original analog synthesizer, and the ancestors to the latest electronic synthesizers used today.The night also features Blixa Bargeld, John Butcher, Luciano Chessa, Joan La Barbara, Nick Hallett, Pauline Oliveros, Mike Patton, Anat Pick, Elliott Sharp, Ulrich Krieger, Jennifer Walshe with Tony Conrad, Ghostigital with Skuli Sverrison, Finboggi Petursson, and Casper Electronics.
Sounds pretty cool. Aside: I used to fantasize that Einar formed a band with Fred Schneider. The most annoying band ever created.
OK that's it for this week. Videos and tour dates follow....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Grass Widow - To Where (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose - Thee Only One (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Puzzles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Dare (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - You Can Listen You Can Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - Zhong Nan Hai (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PK-14 - Behind All Ruptures (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Xiao He - MTV (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Answering Machine - Another City, Another Sorry (MP3)
Frankie & the Outs - debut show @ The Woods on Halloween
I'm barely recovered from post-CMJ cold and we've got a week that is so packed with good shows it feels like another festival is in town.
Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible are playing their first U.S. shows this week, starting with a free one tonight at Brooklyn Bowl. Their lauded debut album doesn't fit into one easy category, which befits a band on Matthew Herbert's label. It's all fairly warm and soulful, but with forays into funk, sparse ballads, electro and Krautrock. There's a lot going on and I'll be curious to see how a three-piece can pull it off live. The Invisible also play Santos tomorrow (11/5) opening for Dragonette, and then on Friday at Pianos (11/6) where they'll be on the same bill as Freelance Whales.
The Mary Onettes, here from Sweden, play their first NYC show this year, tonight (11/4) at Union Hall where they'll play with Blacklist. As I said before, like a lot of the bands on Labrador, The Mary Onettes love the '80s and wear those influences on their black-clad sleeves. But their second album, Islands, wears them a little more subtly, though they are still writing reach-for-the-stars chorus -- now with strings. I like them a lot. They also play Friday (11/6) at Studio @ Webster Hall and then Sunday (11/8) at Mercury Lounge.
San Francisco's awesome Grass Widow are also in town this weekend for a string of dates, starting tomorrow (11/5) at The Woodser with Frankie & the Outs, Air Waves and Hot Box. (There was to be a second show tomorrow, late at Monster Island, but that has been cancelled.) There are more than a few all-girl trios out there playing vaguely C-86 style indie (including fellow San Franciscans Brilliant Colors), but Grass Widow write better songs than most, and I really like both 12" EPs they've released this year.
The Woodser show was to be notable as the live debut of Frankie & the Outs, but then they went and played Halloween night at similarly named Willliamsburg bar The Woods (picture above). Frankie's debut single, "Thee Only One," is out now and is worth picking up -- though I think more for the dreamy b-side "Hollow Life" than the A-side (good as it is, and downloadable above) which is a little more of what you'd expect from someone who spent time in Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. Frankie's got a way with harmonies, and the less that gets in the way of them, the better. There were a couple of songs The Outs did Saturday which were similarly laid back, and the best songs of the night.
Grass Widow also play Market Hotel on Friday night (11/6) along with Vivian Girls, The Bitters and Stupid Party. If you haven't heard The Bitters, the Toronto duo feature Ben Cook of Fucked Up (who play Thursday at Masonic Temple) and Aerin Fogel. They've got a single and an EP on Captured Tracks, the latter of which I dig (haven't heard the single yet). While definitely on the "low" end of the "fi" scale, Bitters are different from anything else on Captured Tracks with an early-'60s rock n' roll vibe (or early '80s West Coast punk), and Ben and Aerin's harmonies front-and-center.|
Grass Widow also play Saturday (11/7) afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum with Crystal Stilts and the Beets, a show which finally today was officially announced by the museum...
"Inspired by Gail's idea, and because we love Brooklyn photographers, on First Saturday we are inviting local photographers to come and shoot the bands that are playing and post their photos to the Brooklyn Museum's flickr group. Afterwards, Bob Gruen, a rock photography legend who is featured in the exhibition and has shot the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and The Clash, will look at the photos and blog about his favorites here!" [Brooklyn Museum]Grass Window then play again at Market Hotel that night, for a show with Small Black, Pictureplane, Girls at Dawn and Cale Parks (formerly of Aloha). They're also going to play somewhere on Sunday (11/8)... venue TBA. Go see them if you can.
There's also the China Underground Invasion tour this weekend, with three of Beijing's best indie rock bands: Carsick Cars, PK-14 and Xiao He. In particular, I'm excited about Carsick Cars who I've actually heard of prior to this tour thanks to a friend who is living in Beijing and occasionally sends me music. They're definitely of the Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr school of noise n' drone. I only just got their new album, You Can Listen, You Can Talk, but have been listening to their 2008 debut a lot, and am told that its "Zhong Nan Hai" is like the Beijing indie anthem. The tour hits PowerHouse Arena tomorrow (11/5), Glasslands on Friday (11/6) and Santos on Saturday (11/7).
Tonight (11/4) is also the second week of The Answering Machine's three-week residency at Coco 66. The band has also added three more NYC dates while they're here: Nov. 9 at Pianos, Nov. 11 at Bruar Falls and Nov. 12 at Cake Shop.
And finally, Saturday night (11/7) French pop band Tahiti 80 play Mercury Lounge (tickets). When it comes to Franco-pop, Phoenix get the lion's share of the attention, but Tahiti 80 have been at it almost as long (if not just as long) and have made four danceable, hook-filled albums. The most recent of which, Activity Center, came out last year in France but is just now getting an American release. The band have retreated a bit from the full-on disco that was 2005's Fosbury, and gone back to the '60s sunshine of 2002's Wallpaper for the Soul which definitely suits them better. I haven't seen them play in ages, but they were always a good live band. Opening is Brookville, the other band from Ivy's Andy Chase -- who also produced Tahiti 80's first two albums.
Videos, tour dates and flyers are after the jump...
by Bill Pearis
As I just mentioned, the November 7th Frankie Rose and The Outs show at the Woodser will be with San Francisco's Grass Widow who will be in town for a week's worth of shows. Frankie was in a band with most of them, called Shitstorm, who basically became Grass Widow after Frankie moved to NYC.
Grass Widow have put out two records this year -- an LP on Make a Mess records which came out over the summer, and a new EP on Captured Tracks. They're both worth picking up, especially for fans of Brilliant Colors, Vivian Girls (with whom they'll play at Market Hotel on Nov. 6) and Liechtenstein. There's also a free afternoon show at Brooklyn Museum on Nov. 7 with Crystal Stilts and The Beets.
The November 7th date coincides with the museum's Who Shot Rock: Photographers of Rock and Roll exhibition which opens at the end of October.
All upcoming Grass Widow and Crystal Stilts dates, and a video, below...
by Bill Pearis
Frankie Rose is mainly known as a drummer, having played in Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, and Dum Dum Girls, but she's also a songwriter (she wrote VG's "Where Do You Run To?") and will be releasing her debut single, "Thee Only One," on Slumberland Records on October 27. She's also got a new band, Frankie and the Outs, who will make their live debut November 7th at The Woodser which will be the first show in a longtime for that South Williamsburg spot. Grass Widow is also on that bill.
With the new band, Frankie is sadly no longer drumming for Crystal Stilts. The split was amicable, guitarist JB plays guitar on her single. I'm told Crystal Stilts have a new drummer already, and the new Stilts lineup will even share a bill with Frankie and the Outs at two east coast Slumberland 20th Anniversary parties -- November 13th at the Black Cat and November 14 at the Bell House. (More on those further down the post.)
The Outs are a five piece, all girls, with whom Frankie will move from the drum kit to guitar (and vocals). The single's A-side is a two-and-a-half minute wall-of-sound pop that is what you might expect from someone who spent time in Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. (It could be the sister of CS's "Love is a Wave.") The B-side, "Hollow Life," is more unexpected -- organ-driven, harmony-laden, dreamy and drum-free, owing a lot to Spacemen 3.
Neither the A-side or the B-side of Frankie Rose's single has made it onto her MySpace page, but you can listen to her demo of "Where Do You Run To," a track the Vivian Girls only played once live. However, Frankie says it will be part of the The Outs live repertoire.
Frankie will be behind the drum kit, though, for the Dum Dum Girls upcoming CMJ shows. This will be an all-girl line-up, apparently, unlike DDG's live debut at the Woodsist/Captured Tracks Festival this summer that included Crocodiles' Brandon Welchez on guitar and Captured Tracks major domo Mike Sniper on bass. But that's only for these shows.
As mentioned above, Frankie and the Outs will play the two Slumberland Records 20th Anniversary shows at the Bell House and Black Cat. The full line-up for both shows is : Crystal Stilts, Brown Recluse, Pants Yell!, Frankie and the Outs; plus some reunions of classic Slumberland bands The Ropers, Nord Express, and Lorelei. It will be the first Ropers and Nord Express shows in ten years. Additionally, the Bell House show features a "special guest headliner." And as D.C. was the original home of the label, I wouldn't be surprised if some different special guests played that one too.
I think that is enough for one post. Tour dates and some videos below...
photos by Leia Jospe
"Hey everyone! We just started the first leg of our crazy nine week tour (which ends in NYC on Halloween). These next few weeks we will be joined by our brothers, the Beets, on what we've named the Nightmare of Sound tour. [Tuesday] night was our kickoff show in Brooklyn at Death by Audio.According to the latest set of Vivian Girls tour dates, their Halloween show has been combined with the Crystal Stilts Halloween show for one big Halloween show.
Cassie made new shirts for this tour. We have our Moped Girls 7"s, WFMU LPs, The World's Lousy comps, tote bags, pins, and soon (Sept. 8th) our new album, Everything Goes Wrong, on vinyl and CD. We played with Real Estate, Best Fwends, and the Beets." [Vivian Girls blog posting]
More pictures and some videos from Tuesday night's show at Death By Audio, a Beets/Vivian Girls tour video, and all tour dates, below...
DOWNLOAD: Vivian Girls - When I'm Gone (MP3)
photos by Joseph Xu, words by Andrew Frisicano
7:07 p.m.: The Vivian Girls put out one of my favorite albums of 2008, and their brief but hard-hitting set [at the Pitchfork Festival] doesn't disappoint. Big, melodic bass lines provide a foundation for innocent harmony vocals, a mix of tart and sweet that proves irresistible. Only disappointment, they didn't play "Where Do You Run To." [Chicago Tribune]That's a review of the Vivian Girls' July 19th set at Pitchfork Festival. The group will be kicking off their (relatively) short North American tour on August 25th with a show at Death By Audio. The Beets, who join them on most of their tour, open that gig. The trip leads up to the release of their sophomore album, Everything Goes Wrong, which comes out September 8th on In the Red. A track from that is above.
After a set of September/October tour dates in Japan & Australia, Vivian Girls are also tentatively scheduled to play a Halloween show that will "tentatively" (how Todd P lists it) happen at the Ridgewood Temple (1054 Bushwick Ave). Todd also lists two other shows that same night: Mount Eerie at the Market Hotel with Malkuth and Liturgy, and a show with Wooden Shjips, Religious Knives, and Crystal Stilts (who feature ex-Vivian Girl Frankie Rose on drums) at a venue TBA.
Meanwhile over in South Brooklyn, the Bell House will host a late show with Junior Boys and an early show with the King Khan & BBQ Show and Dum Dum Girls (who feature ex-Vivian Girl and current Crystal Stilt Frankie Rose on drums) (maybe not again though), on a Halloween that is shaping up to be a big night for NYC concerts this year (many that should not be competing).
Mroe pictures and interviews of the Vivian Girls at the Pitchfork Festival, with all tour dates, are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Yellow Fever - Culver City (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Yellow Fever - Joe Brown (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Harder Than It's Ever Been (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Magic Kids - Hey Boy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Coconut Coolouts - Party Jail (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Seaport Music Festival Sampler (Zip)
YellowFever @ Death By Audio - July 22, 2009 (by Bryan Bruchman)
There are a lot of out-of-town bands I'm looking forward to seeing this weekend, and luckily they're all playing more than once, and many are sharing the same bill.
First is Austin duo Yellow Fever who I have caught a few times in the last year and they are really something special I think. I wrote this the first time I saw them: "Their sound couldn't be more spare -- usually just drums, the simplest guitar (often just single notes, not chords), and Jennifer Moore's understated, kinda haunting voice. It's that space in between the instrumentation that makes them so special. It's a little bit like Young Marble Giants if Beth Orton was the singer instead of Alison Statton." My only complaint would be they are slow on releasing records, but I look forward to hearing new stuff from them while they're here. They played last night at Death by Audio, where Vivian Girls said this via Twitter: "Yellow Fever were amazing tonight! Don't miss their other NYC shows this week." So, yeah, don't miss 'em -- you've got four more chances, including tonight at Cake Shop. All dates HERE.
Fergus & Geronimo
While we're in the Lone Star state, let's talk about another duo, Fergus & Geronimo, who are from Denton, TX and are playing two NYC shows this weekend. Andrew Savage and Jason Kelly are also in such Denton bands as Wax Museums and Teenage Cool Kids respectively, bonded over a love of '60s pop, Motown and psych-rock (a Texas specialty). Those influences come through loud and clear in their music, most of which is, at this point, only available on their MySpace, which was enough to get interest from Tic Tac Totally, Transparent, and Woodsist all of whom will be putting out their records. The Woodsist 7", "Harder Than It's Ever Been," is out now and you can download the A-side at the top of this post. It's a 1:47 pop gem, one of the best of its kind since Box Elders' "Hole in My Head." This is super-catchy stuff, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them this weekend.
Fergus & Geronimo, who are a five-piece when they play live, are at 92 Y Tribeca on Friday (7/24) with Crystal Stilts, Portland's Little Claw and Memphis' Magic Kids who I'll get back to in a second. They also play Saturday (7/25) at Market Hotel, also with Magic Kids, as well as YellowFever and the ever-present (and very good) Beets (who have a tour coming up with the Vivian Girls). Tickets are still on sale for Friday's show.
Now onto Magic Kids. They're from Memphis and I first heard of them from a MySpace bulletin from Girls who played a show with them and enthusiastically raved about them. There's not a lot of bio info out there, but there seem to be a lot of them, and they clearly love '60s pop: Beach Boys, The Association, Tommy James & the Shondells, etc. The band have a record coming out sometime on Goner (home to Ty Segall and Box Elders and others) and you can download their single "Hey Boy" at the top of this post. They play Cake Shop tonight (7/23), that 92 Y Tribeca show tomorrow (7/24) and Market Hotel on Saturday night (7/25).
Personal and the Pizzas
Also this weekend we've got a couple West Coast bands, both of whom love a good slice, neither of whom seem to mind a little extra cheese, and they play together at Silent Barn on Friday and Cake Shop on Saturday.
Looking like greasers and sounding like New York 1975, Personal & the Pizzas originally hailed from New Jersey but now seem to call San Francisco their home. I'm not sure that there's a whole lot you need to say about these guys, you see their name you hear one song and you kind of know whether you're gonna like it or not. Maybe not for a whole album, but tracks like "I Don't Wanna Be No Personal Pizza" or "Brass Knuckles" would add flavor to any mix, and you just know they'll be fun live. Pizza Slayer interviewed them:
PS: Do you have pizza at all your shows? How does it enhance the experience?Meanwhile, Coconut Coolouts are from Seattle and feature not one but two stand-up drummers which would be enough to get me to the show. That and their songs are a lot of fun, sort of bouncy party garage rock and I'm pretty sure they have more songs about Pizza than P&Ps do. For a little more on them, I defer to my blog source for Seattle, The Finest Kiss:
P&P: Everybody loves the pie!! We probably order it like half and half..we're usually pretty broke so it's kinda hard to shell out like 70 or 80 bucks just for the love of it, but we'll do it. We don't care. Everyone loves Pizza and Pop. One time we was all dressed up in haWaiian shirts and coconut tits and all, and then we ordered some a them hawaaiian pizzas and then that delivery chic delivered the pies to us while we was playin with them shirts on and and she didn't know what the hell was goin on.
The Coconut Coolouts remind me of the Nuggets box set, where there are so many great bands with seminal songs on those cd's that I had never heard, it's hard to believe that the bands weren't bigger than their regional popularity. The Coconut Coolouts will likely be on on a Nuggets comp sometime in the year 2040 and people will be wondering why they had never heard of these guys with classics like Spinaround, Coconut Weekend, Party Jail and Stickup. Apparently they sometimes dress in banana costumes for gigs, no bananas were on stage but they were throwing out lifesavers saying they were acid.Personal & the Pizza and Coconut Coolouts have a split tour "Pizza Army" 7" that you'll wanna pick up at the merch table. Both NYC shows and a bunch of their other tour dates are with Tyvek.
A few more shows of interest this weekend. Black Moth Super Rainbow make their second Seaport Music series appearance on Friday (their first was in 2007 opening for Fugiya & Miyagi), this time headlining. Their latest album, Eating Us, was produced by Dave Fridman (Flaming Lips, MGMT among other things) and is pretty good. Opening will be low fi electro goths Blank Dogs whose new album, Under and Under, on In the Red Records I like a lot. They are also a band that benefits from good sound, something the Seaport has brought to every show this year. (Here We Go Magic in particular sounded stellar.) Also playing is one-man experimental band Dan Friel. Between the three acts there's gonna be a lot of temperamental old synthesizers, patch bays and homemade equipment on the Seaport stage -- let's hope it doesn't rain. I should also mention that Seaport Music has a "digital mixtape" you can download via Insound that features 15 of the acts playing this year, including all three of this week's acts (plus Superchunk, Casiokids and more). Download link is at the top of this post.
And don't forget Sissy Wish has added another show while in NY -- she plays Union Hall on Saturday night. She's better than her name.
Tour dates and video after the jump...
photos by Tim Griffin
The Mayfair Set
"Festival is a very misleading term to describe this showcase because this wasn't really a festival. There were a lot of bands playing which is a prerequisite for a festival, but beyond that there wasn't a whole hell of a lot that qualified this as a festival. It was basically just a really kick-ass show that lasted for two days. There was rain on Friday, and the show was moved indoors. I discovered this after circling the block several times. I could hear the music, and I could tell something was definitely going on but for the life of me I could not find the fucking place. Finally, I stopped two people who looked like they would definitely know where the show was and when I asked them "Do you know where the show is?" they responded by saying "Show? What show?" and then I tried again, this time clearing my throat before speaking, "I am looking for the Woodsist/Captured Tracks Fest-i-val. Would you happen to know where it is located?" and then the bro gave me an approving nod and explained to me that the show was going on above a grocery store called Mr. Kiwi's and that the way to get there is to slip through the door on the side. Many thanks to that dude because I found what I was looking for shortly there after." [no gift for the gab]Considering all the rain we've been having, it's amazing how nice it ended up being over Fourth of July weekend. Saturday's show in Battery Park, as well as the 2nd day of the Woodsist/Captured Tracks Fest at 979 Broadway Backyard had beautiful weather. Friday's show at South Street Seaport was completely dry and breezy as well. Unfortunately though, there was some rain earlier on Friday (6/3), and so the Woodsist Fest organizers were forced to make a decision, and that decision was to move the day's festivities to Market Hotel... the very, very hot Market Hotel.
Bands on the bill for that first day were Blank Dogs, Psychedelic Horseshit, caUSE co-MOTION!, the Mayfair Set, Gary War, Little Girls, Kid Romance, Beachniks, and the Gutsies. What were the highlights?
As Bill pointed out, the Mayfair Set is "a collaboration with Blank Dogs (and Captured Tracks domo) Mike Sniper" and Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls, who, as I just pointed out, is actually Kristin Gundred from Grand Ole Party. Live it was Kristin, Mike, JB from Crystal Stilts, Jeremy from Woods, and Jarvis Taveniere from Woods, Meneguar & other bands. For Mike and Kristin, it was the first of two bands they debuted at the fest over the weekend. On Saturday it was Dum Dum Girls. Both new bands were filled out by members of other bands (Dum Dum Girls had a Crystal Stilt and a Crocodile).
More pictures from Day One (minus the first three bands), below...
Dum Dum Girls @ Woodsist Fest - July 4, 2009 (bajapuntos)
The two-day Woodsist & Captured Tracks Festival happened in Brooklyn on Friday (7/3) and Saturday (7/4). Both days were supposed to take place at 979 Broadway Backyard, but Friday was moved to the very hot Market Hotel due to the threat of rain. Pictures of both days coming soon, but first here is video Bill took on Saturday during the first-ever performance by Dum Dum Girls.
Dum Dum Girls is really just one person - Dee Dee.... aka Kristin Gundred from Grand Ole Party who is married to Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles who she released a duet with (video below) and who was one of the members of the Dum Dum Girls band at Woodsist. The other two members of the band were Mike Sniper of Blank Dogs and Frankie Rose of Crystal Stilts (and a former Vivian Girl)...
DOWNLOAD: Woods - To Clean (MP3)
"...it has been damn near impossible to keep up with [Blank Dog] Mike Sniper's Captured Tracks label, who have hit the ground running with eight releases since the start of the year and many more slated for the near future. Captured Tracks is, to put it plainly, an outlet for Mr. Sniper to release records by bands he loves. In his mind it is "not a boutique label, " and by that he means that the releases are not meant to become instant eBay collectables, and will remain in print as long as there are people buying them. Some will have limited edition versions with alternate artwork or bonuses, but even these editions are easily and widely available. Affordable, available and well made, Captured Tracks is the populist record label. " [Agit Reader]The previously announced Brooklyn Festival got much, much more interesting...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Amazing Baby - Smoke Bros (MP3)
"I actually miss the days when you just wrote about Amazing Baby in eeevery post." - BV commenter Eric Serpa | June 4, 2009 4:59 PMThis one's for you, dude. Yes it has been a while since Amazing Baby have graced this column which started almost exactly a year ago and were featured in my inaugural post. Since then, the band have gone through a few line-up changes, expanded, contracted, and toured Europe a couple times (once with buddies MGMT). The band open for Phoenix at Terminal 5 this Friday (6/19) and will release their debut album, Rewild, on Tuesday, June 23. (It's out now on iTunes.) Few are more aware than me that a lot of people seem to dislike this band, though I think most of that comes from the company they keep and their image more than the music itself.
Do they have questionable taste when it comes to fashion, their album covers and music videos? Maybe, but I don't think you can accuse Amazing Baby of the same, musically, or jumping on any bandwagons. Rewild is psychedelic without being being retro, danceable at times, heavy, glammy, catchy as hell and full of inventive arrangements and production. It rocks and swoons and sounds great loud. And they don't sound like any single other band out there. You can download "Smoke Bros" (which reminds me of Shriekback a little bit) at the top of this post. And you can stream the whole album at their MySpace.
Still reading? Phoenix's openers at tomorrow's (6/18) Music Hall of Williamsburg is Lightspeed Champion. That show is beyond sold-out, but tonight (6/17), he's playing a warm up show at Mercury Lounge, which will be his first in a long time. Dev has become a Brooklyn resident in the last year, which is where he also recorded his still-untitled second solo album (due in Oct.) with help from the Spacecamp boys who will also be his backing band at both shows. As a fan of last year's underrated Falling Off the Lavendar Bridge, I'm anxious to hear Dev's new material. Tickets are still available.
Spacecamp are also playing a set of their own at Mercury Lounge, opening the night, though you'd think it would've made more sense for them to play next-to-last and just have Dev come out and join them for a seamless transition, but I am a blogger not a stage manager. The band now have a full-time keyboardist in the mix which has made them a bit funkier (clavinet tends to do that). You can can get an idea of that in the footage Joly shot from Spacecamp's Annex show two weeks ago (below). In between Spacecamp and Lightspeed are Apache Beat and New Orleans' Hurray for the Riff Raff.
The show I'm most looking forward to this week, though, is this Friday (6/19) at Bruar Falls: Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, German Measels, Baby Shakes and The Beets. I wrote about Nobunny the last time he was through town, having just caught him at SXSW, and his shows are fun and creepy all at the same time. (It's that mask.) If you haven't heard his debut, Love Visions, it's a lot of fun if you like bare-bones Ramones style punky pop. He recently put out a cassette-only album, Raw Romance, of demos and outtakes that was also pretty good -- it's sold out but maybe he'll have copies on tour with him. Nobunny also plays an all-ages show at Death by Audio two nights later (6/21).
The whole evening at Bruar Falls sounds like fun. Hunx and His Punx look and sound like they lept out of a John Waters movie and judging by their music videos I can only hope they bring that level of camp to their live show. Hunx has a new single out, "Teardrops on My Telephone," on Jay Reatard's Shattered label (also home to Nobunny). You can see the video for that song below. Hunx is playing a bunch of shows and parties this week, and all his dates are at the bottom of this post.
Also: the girl group punk of Baby Shakes; German Measels' fake mustache pop; and The Beets who seem to play every four days but I've enjoyed every show I've seen of theirs (including two previous at Bruar Falls).
Other shows of note: there's a TWII-approved line-up at Glasslands on tonight (6/17): Sisters, My Teenage Stride, and Knight School. All the bands are good, but if you haven't seen Sisters yet, you should really rectify that as soon as possible. On of my all time favorite new local bands of the moment.
Crocodiles are back in town, playing Union Pool on Thursday (6/18) and Mercury Lounge on Saturday (6/20). I don't care what Pitchfork says, I think their album is pretty good and they were fun at Pianos earlier this year.
And it wouldn't be a proper TWII column without mentioning this year's Twee as Fuck party at Cake Shop. TaF is a monthy party in London, as well as a fanzine and label, and they bring it over here in June. I went to last year's moderately-attended event which featured Afternoon Naps, Bears, and Pains at Being Pure at Heart who are headlining again this year though it's an understatement to say that things have changed for them. Not that they don't totally deserve it, but it still boggles my mind that the Pains have become a big as they have. TPOBPAH just announced a fall tour and those dates are below. Their next NYC show after Cake Shop is at South Street Seaport (home of tonight's Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Show).
With a lineup that also includes their Slumberland labelmates Crystal Stilts and Cause Co-Motion, as well as London's Hatcham Social, this is gonna be one super-packed, sweaty night at Cake Shop. Advance tickets are sold out, but there are a few available at the door if you get there early. Doors are at 7pm.
That's it for this week. Flyers, videos, and tour dates are after the jump....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Hatcham Social - So So Happy Making (MP3)
London's Hatcham Social are direct musical descendants of Orange Juice, Echo & the Bunnymen or, more recently, Clearlake: scratchy but melodic, with an occasional flair for the melodramatic, and very, very British. In the UK, they're signed to Fierce Panda, the label that first gave us Art Brut and, um, Coldplay; in the U.S they're with TBD Records, home of White Rabbits and Radiohead. Hatcham Social's long-time-coming debut, You Dig The Tunnel, I'll Hide The Soil, was co-produced by Tim Burgess of the Charlatans with whom they'll be touring this fall.
Before that, they'll be playing a handful of choice NYC shows over the next week or so, including Thursday's (6/18) Twee As Fuck party at Cake Shop that also features most of Slumberland's current roster: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Stilts, and Cause Co-Motion. Tickets ($10) to that show, by the way, can be bought in advance at either Cake Shop or Bruar Falls daily from noon to 10PM. Please note: "ONLY 200 TIX AVAILABLE!" Um... 200 people can fit in Cake Shop? UPDATE: Sold out, but tickets will be available at the door. Go early if you don't already have a ticket and want to get in.
Additionally, Hatcham Social are playing Mondo @ Don Hill's this Friday (6/19), and two dates with The Maccabees and Miike Snow: Saturday (6/20) at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Monday (6/22) at Mercury Lounge.
Check out the MP3 of "So So Happy Making" above, and there are videos, flyers and tour dates after the jump.
by Bill Pearis
I'm gonna keep this Sunday (6/14) post short and sweet, or try to. First a couple announcements. The So Cow at Shea Stadium is now officially part of the Northside Fest, happily taking badges (hopefully). They're on at 10:30P. The rest of the evening is The Specific Heats at 7:30, the Gutsies (not the Gusties as I had called them before, sorry guys) at 8:30, and Knight School at 9:30. That should be a fun show.
And Crystal Stilts have been added to the Ponytail-curated bill at Studio B (moved from its original location at the Shank) which seems the place to be Sunday night. The lineup is: Cool Dads at 9:30, Thank You at 10:15, Ponytail at 11:15, at Crystal Stilts at 12:15. You could also spend your whole Sunday at Studio B, the day party features the fun Phil & the Osophers (3PM), Oregon folkie Laura Gibson (4PM) and The Dodos (5PM) who'll hopefully be playing a lot of songs from their new album which is due out later this year.
A couple other recommendations: Bruar Falls plays host to an afternoon of bands curated by 1928 Recordings. No Soft Pack (who are now signed to Kemado), unfortunately, but the awesome Browns (3PM), plus Air Waves (4PM) and the Sundelles (5PM).
And while it should come as no surprise that metal isn't really my thing, Black Bubblegum assures me the line-up he's put together at Europa would crush me like a bug. In a good way?
There is of course lots more going on at Northside on Sunday. Am I missing anything crucial?
Dodos video below...
Broadway Backyard (more by Tim Griffin)