Entries tagged with: Death by Audio
White Mice @ SXSW 2010 (more by Samantha Marble)
Providence, RI's weirdest theatrical slingers of doomy industrial noise, White Mice, released a new song on Halloween titled "Stinky n' The Strain" which is a 10-minute gob of their brand of heavy. It's a free download at their bandcamp and you can stream it below.
Seeing White Mice live is where it's at, though, and the band don't have a tour planned but are coming to NYC to play one last show at Death by Audio on Saturday (11/8). It's part of night of similarly twisted bands, including Doomsday Student (for whom it's a record release show), Child Bite, Burnt Skull, and Necking.
Flyer for the DbA show, plus new White Mice song, and a live video, below...
by Bill Pearis
Boston's Guerilla Toss certainly stay busy. They're already released an album on NNA Tapes and an EP on Infinity Cat in the past year so far. There's another EP, titled Smack the Brick, due out November 18 on NNA Tapes which features more of the band's hyper, inventive, everything-in-a-blender style. You can stream the whole thing below.
The band are gearing up for a European tour but will play a couple NYC-area dates before crossing the pond, including November 19 at the soon-to-close Death by Audio. That's DbA's fourth-to-last night and that date hasn't shown up on their website yet, so who else is on that bill is anybody's guess. (Their sound would certainly fit with someone like, say, Dan Deacon.) What your guess? Before that, Guerilla Toss play Bard College this Thursday Thursday (11/6).
All dates are listed, along with the EP stream, below...
by Bill Pearis
Deerhoof @ DbA 11/2/20014 (via @brooklynvegan instagram)
Sunday night (11/2) was the start of Death by Audio's final three weeks in existence. Edan Wilbur and Matt Conboy who run the space have been promising lots of suprises and last night's mystery headliner was Deerhoof whose new album, La Isla Bonita, is out this week (11/4). (You can stream it at NPR.) They played a super-fun set with Satomi Matsuzaki in dancemode the whole time, guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez bouncing off each other, and Greg Saunier beating the shit out of his drums. This was a real treat. Deerhoof officially start their tour with three consecutive nights at Baby's All Right -- you can still get tickets to the first two (11/4 & 11/5), but the third night (11/6) with Trans Am and White Reaper is sold out.
In other DbA "special guest" news, Thursday's show (11/6) with Woolen Men had a TBA headliner but that's now been revealed to be Woods. Which makes sense, Woolen Men's last album was released on Woodsist and they opened for Woods for the BV-curated Red Bull Sound Select show at Baby's back in April. The DbA Woods show also features Nonhorse and Lame Drivers and is $10 at the door.
Tonight's Tyvek show with Taiwan Housing Project and Ivy also has a "Special Guests" and DbA's site says they're "(another monster!)."
Sunday (11/9) is Pujol, Shellshag and a "Special Guest" that seems kinda obvious.
In other news, on Thursday, DbA launches an Death by Art that will happen not only in the main showspace but all over the adjacent facility, including "The Ranch" where the late night portion of this year's Halloween show (with Aa) took place and other nooks and crannies:
Death By Audio is closing its doors on November 22nd, so for the last 16 days we'll be opening up the entire floor to the public as an art installation. There will be murals, sculptures, interactive media, projections, sound art, and indie arcade cabinets installed in the hallways and the ranch.You can check out a map of all the Death by Art installations here, and a full list of contributing artists is below. In other art news, DbA is making really nice posters for many of these final shows (both Dirty on Purpose on Saturday, and Deerhoof got them) which are available for purchase ($10) at the bar, so look out for those.
The art show is FREE on THURSDAY NOV 6TH plus every Saturday-Sunday from 2PM-7PM until NOVEMBER 22ND.
The art show will ALSO be open to the patrons of the venue EVERY EVENING from 8PM to MIDNIGHT included with the price of admission.
Video of Deerhoof performing new song "Paradise Girls" at Death by Audio last night, plus "Death by Art" info, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Screaming Females at MHOW in May (more by Caroline Harrison)
Screaming Females are planning to release their sixth album, titled Rose Mountain, but while there still aren't many details on that they're prefacing it with a 7" for their new song, "Wishing Well." It starts off as one of the cleaner sounding Screamales songs, but they eventually pile on the distortion. Check it out below.
As discussed, Screaming Females are on tour with PUJOL which is set to wrap up in NJ on November 8 at Asbury Lanes. The next day, PUJOL play Death by Audio (11/9) with Screaming Females' pals/labelmates Shellshag and a special guest. Who could it be? That show is $10 at the door, no advance tickets.
All dates are listed, with the song stream, below...
Woolen Men @ Baby's All Right in April (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Portland, OR trio The Woolen Men will release a new EP, titled Rain Shapes, via Loglady Records in early 2015. You can check out a song from that, "Rain Shapes" -- a driving number in the band's catchy understated style. It premieres in this post and you can watch it below.
Woolen Men, who played the BV-presented Red Bull Sound Select show back in April, will be on a short East Coast tour starting next week, including a few NYC shows. They'll play one of the final shows at Death by Audio on November 6 with Lame Drivers and a mystery TBA headliner. Any guesses on who that might be? That Red Bull show was headlined by Woods (and Woodsist have put out Woolen Men records)...hmm.
They'll also play Shea Stadium on November 11 with Hamish Kilgour, and Cassie Ramone, and finally Cake Shop on November 12 with Journalism and Lures.
All dates are listed, along with the new song stream, below...
photos by Ebru Yildiz; words by Bill Pearis
APTBS @ DbA 10/27/2014
We actually don't know if last night (10/27) was A Place To Bury Strangers' final show at Death By Audio, but if they're planning to play the venue they helped build again, it will have to be in the next 26 days, since that's how little time is left before the DIY Williamsburg venue closes forever. But it's hard to imagine them topping what happened last night, a surprise-filled show that could have only been planned by folks who knew the space intimately.
APTBS, who also played a CMJ show at Rough Trade two nights earlier (where they played on the floor, not the stage), opened Monday night's sold-out show at DbA in a sea of fog and strobes, and ended it with a guitar sticking out of the ceiling (see above). The latter came soon after the band had jumped off the main stage, seemingly done with their set, and into the back room by the merch table, where a second smaller setup (including a vintage step drum machine) was ready for action. The band played a couple songs with that setup as the crowd figured out what was going on, and then tried to open the door to a little storage space, which was stuck. Frontman (and DbA pedal shop owner) Oliver Ackerman proceeded to bash the door with an amp till it opened. In that storage space was a second kit, drummer Robi Gonzalez went in and APTBS played one last song, with bassist Dion Lunadon on the merch table and that guitar ending up wedged in the drop-ceiling.
It was a crazy show, and a loud one. We warned you to wear earplugs. If you forgot them, the band conveniently had their own branded version for sale at the show, as well as prismatic "hallucinogenic vision" glasses to make things a little more trippy. Broken Water (from Washington), Gold Dime (featuring members of Talk Normal and Dreebs), and White Suns opened.
Less than a month of DbA left. Check out the current schedule of final shows, and stay tuned for more announcements. More pics from last night's APTBS show, including video of them covering Dead Moon's "Don't Look Back," below...
Protomartyr at DbA during CMJ (via @brooklynvegan)
Note for Nov: we are having our final show on 11/22 and we will be releasing the schedule for this month bit by bit as to keep everyone on their toes, we will be open every night, just dont wanna give away all the fun. stay tuned, and if you are wondering about playing one of these shows, im sorry but the schedule is full. thanks for all the wonderful years!Recent notable shows have included a packed week of CMJ (including Porches, the Burger Records showcase, and Wreckless Eric), 24 hours of drone, JEFF the Brotherhood & Diarrhea Planet, and last night's A Place To Bury Strangers show (photos coming soon).
As of today (10/28), 14 of the 22 final November shows are listed, though many of them just include secret guests (obvious candidates who haven't played there recently include Dan Deacon, Future Islands, Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall). The last two nights are "Top Secret." Speedy Ortiz, Hunters, Fiasco, Coasting, Pampers, Pujol, Tyvek, Shellshag, and many more are among those already listed. They knocked out the wall dividing the main room and the bar room, so crazy shows are a little more comfortable now. Most of these last shows do not have advance tickets, so if you're going to one of the more notable ones, be sure to get there early. (Last night's APTBS show sold out around 10 PM.) Check out the full posted schedule, including the Dirty On Purpose Reunion (11/1), the Halloween show with Aa, Liturgy and two nights of Oozing Wound, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Earlier this year, Aa (Big A little a) returned with VoyAager, their first album since 2007. Now they've got a video for one of its tracks, "Koosh." The video was "inspired by Abel Gance's classic silent sensory overload Napoleon" and it fits the avant-synth track well. It makes its premiere in this post and can be watched below.
As discussed, Aa will also be part of Death by Audio's last-ever Halloween show. They play the "Haunted Mansion" section of the venue that will be set up special for this show with PC Worship's Justin Frye and Chat Logs. In the main room there will be sets from the re-active Knyfe Hyts, Oozing Wound, The Fucking Ocean, Red Dawn II and Alien Whale. $10 gets you in and it goes til 3 AM.
Back when Death by Audio was known as the Sugar Factory, they used to have shows in the loft space adjacent to what's now the main show space. They call that space The Ranch and it looks like they're having shows again there, starting with a marathon drone event called Holly Jolloween which starts Saturday (10/25) at 7 PM and goes till 7 PM Sunday (10/26):
To kick off the final month of madness at Death By Audio, we're hosting a 24-hour wall of sound in the loft space behind the venue. Every performance will overlap with the set before and after, so that there will not be a second of silence for the duration of the day.Musicians involved in the droning include Will Sheff, Greg Fox, Excepter, Oliver Ackerman (A Place to Bury Strangers), Travis Johnson (Grooms), and lots more. The event is free and entrance to The Ranch is the door just to the right of DbA's on S. 2nd St.
List of participating Holly Jolloween drone performers below...
Porches with Greta Kline @ Baby's All Right (via beccaliebert)
Porches played their first of two nights at Baby's All Right last night (10/17), part of the the Baby's ongoing, pre-CMJ one year birthday party. The band were also celebrating their new Terrible Records single which you can pre-order on vinyl and listen to now below. The new song "Forgive" features a guest appearance by Greta Kline who also plays in Porches and leads her own project Frankie Cosmos who opened last night, but switches the order and headlines Baby's after Porches play tonight (10/18). After Frankie Cosmos, you can catch a set by Cashmere Cat who was added to the venue's schedule today.
If you can't make it to Baby's, Porches also added a Saturday night CMJ show at the soon-closing Death By Audio. The Arbutus/Terrible/JMC Aggregatee showcase also features sets by Tops (who played the even-later show at Baby's last night), Lydia Ainsworth and Regal Degal. The flyer for that is with the two new Porches songs below...
by Bill Pearis
Dirty on Purpose
Over the years, Death by Audio has been spiritual home to bands to more than a few bands, whether they've worked for the venue, the pedal shop or have just been part of scene. (It was almost like they lived there.) Some of those bands who have since called it quits are getting back together to say goodbye to DbA on November 1. Headlining the show are '00s-era underappreciated poppy shoegazers Dirty on Purpose who played their last ever show on New Year's Eve 2008. I was a fan and a friend (the first show I saw at DbA was Dirty on Purpose during CMJ 2005 back when they just called it the Sugar Factory), and anxious to see them again. If you've never checked them out, you can stream 2006's Hallelujah Sirens (via Rdio) below.
Also on the bill are Sisters (aka DbA co-runner Matt Conboy and Aaron Pfannebecker who made calamitous pop); San Francisco transplants French Miami (frontman Jay Heiselman now plays in Grooms, Roya and is a busy recording engineer); and Darlings who I was unaware broke up, and and if they did it's been really recent and they didn't tell anybody (we premiered a new song back in July and they just played Knitting Factory two weeks ago). [UPDATE: They didn't break up, but are pals with all the bands.] What, no Coin Under Tongue? The lovefest is $10 at the door. Flyer below.
Speaking of French Miami, next time you're at DbA on the way in or out, there's a box of French Miami's self-titled 2009 album on vinyl. Help yourself to one (it's a good record and you can stream it below).
While on the subject of DbA house bands, A Place to Bury Strangers are surely the venue's official one, as frontman Oliver Ackerman runs the pedal shop out of DbA's backroom. APTBS will play DbA on October 27 with Olympia, WA's Broken Water, plus Gold Dime (ex Talk Normal), and White Suns. That show is $8 at the door, and is just two days after playing Rough Trade (10/25) as part of Austin Psych Fest's CMJ showcase with White Fence, Moon Duo, King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard, Bo Ningen and more (tickets).
In other DbA news, we mentioned that construction has already begun on the building's transformation into Vice's new megafacility, and DbA suffered a bit on Monday (10/13) when the construction crew sawed open an active water line directly above the main showspace, sending 50+ gallons of water down through the drop ceiling. It was cleaned up by the time of the show that night. But let's not destroy the place before they close (that goes for showgoers too), ok?
Streams and flyers below...
New wave/punk veteran Wreckless Eric just played a WFMU show in NJ over the weekend (10/11), and he'll be heading out on a full tour of the US and Europe which kicks off later this month and continues into December. The tour begins in NYC on Tuesday (10/21) at Death by Audio which is a small and very cool place to see him, especially with the venue's impending closure. That show is with quality Brooklyn-via-Australia indie poppers Scott & Charlene's Wedding and $10 gets you in. All of Eric's dates are listed below.
Wreckless Eric is also continuing his reissue series with a new reissue of 1996's The Hitsville Houseband '12 o'clock Stereo' coming December 2 via Fire Records. You can stream a track from that, with the list of dates, below...
photos by P Squared Photography; words by Bill Pearis
JEFF the Brotherhood / Diarrhea Planet @ DBA 10/12/2014
Death by Audio still has another five weeks open but signs that things are changing are already apparent. Construction scaffolding is already up outside the building, and inside they've knocked down part of the wall that divides the front and back rooms of the DIY venue so you can see the stage all the way back at the bar. While the former is kinda depressing, the wall being gone inside actually makes the place a little more comfortable, especially for bananapants shows like JEFF the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet on Sunday (10/12). A little more room to breath and be clear of the constant crowdsurfing (for those not into that). Apparently, a lot of big, potentially wild shows are in the works.
There are few bands, to me at least, that are as synonymous with DbA as JEFF. Some of the craziest things I've ever seen at the place were during JEFF shows (including personally getting hit with a bottle rocket [unharmed] which was crazy, maybe not cool, but I won't forget it) and the band always make time to play there. Part of their tour with fellow Nashvillians Diarrhea Planet, this was the NYC debut of a new four-piece version of JEFF with a guitarist and bassist giving Jake and Jamin Orrall a little more oomph. I never had any problem with the duo version, mind you. Jake riffing away while Jamin, head down, laid down a motorik beat like a machine. But they sounded great. The crowd went the most nuts for We Are the Champions' "Mellow Out," at least till "the Wizard" made an appearance for a set-ending cover of Rush's "Working Man."
One more note about their set: I've seen a handful of shows at DbA since they announced the end, and JEFF were the first band not to sentimentalize on stage. Which I was personally thankful for, as it's felt like the longest eulogy ever sometimes (though the sentiment is certainly commiserated). They came to rock not to mourn, though Jamin said before their set he felt a little overwhelmed.
The crowd for Diarrhea Planet was actually much wilder than JEFF's, with near-constant crowd surfing, which seemed to fit their guitar-heavy, beer-rock anthems. There were a lot of guitars/guitarists on stage, all with Big Rock Moves, and the crowd was singing along to all the choruses, fists in air. I saw two amazing things during their set, both crowd-surfing related. Number 1: some kid, while atop the crowd, began taking selfies with a disposable camera. Whether intentional or not, he was immediately dropped. (I'd like to think it was on purpose). Number 2: One of the more frequent crowdsurfers was a girl whose birthday it was (apparently), and at one point she grabbed onto one of the fans in the drop-ceiling which immediately came down though was still hanging by the wires. Some guy raced from the back of the room, got hoisted up by the crowd and shoved the fan back into place. The band and the crowd went wild. This is the guy who put it back:
Before the headliners were Brooklyn's Scully, most of whom used to be in The Splinters (who played early DbA shows with JEFF) and who played a fun set of garagey pop. I missed first group: Nashville dancehall act Punani Huntah that features Jake Orrall on the decks (or laptop in this case).
JEFF and DP also played Santos Party House on Monday (10/13) as well. Pictures from the whole DbA show continue below...
Liturgy in 2009 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Black metal transcendentalists Liturgy are a full band again (beastly drummer Greg Fox included), and it's good news (and perhaps not a surprise) to hear they'll be playing Death by Audio before it closes. They're playing night 1 of their Thrill Jockey labelmates Oozing Wound's previously discussed two-night stand happening at the venue on Mischief Night (10/30) and Halloween (10/31). Also on that first night is Child Abuse and Cellular Chaos. $10 gets you in.
The 10/31 show is DbA's Halloween Haunted House Party and also features the re-active Knyfe Hyts, The Fucking Ocean, Red Dawn II and Alien Whale, plus in the "Haunted Mansion" there will be Aa, Justin Frye (of PC Worship) and Chat Logs. (Sounds spooky!) $10 gets you into this one too, and the show goes lateeee (til 3 AM).
Sludgy thrashers Oozing Wound are releasing their sophomore album, Earth Suck, on October 21 via Thrill Jockey, and while no songs have been released from that yet they did put out the ripping "Drug Reference" as an Adult Swim single earlier this year and you can stream that below.
Oozing Would will also be kicking off a tour a few days after the new LP drops, and they'll come to NYC for a two-night stand at the soon-to-close Death by Audio around Halloween. First they play 10/30 with Child Abuse and then play the venue's Halloween Haunted House Party on the 31st with more
UPDATE: Liturgy and others were announced for the shows.
All dates are listed, with the "Drug Reference" stream, below...
Walter TV @ Northside 2014 (more by PSquared)
Walter TV are probably best known as Mac DeMarco's backing band (that Mac often plays in). But the band, who are based outta LA these days (Mac's in Brooklyn) are going out on tour Mac-free this fall with Tonstartssbandht (whose Andy Boay is in the new lineup of Mac's band). The tour kicks off at the soon-to-close Death by Audio on October 6. No other bands on that bill, currently. That tour will also be in Austin for ACL fest and then heads to the West Coast. All dates are listed below.
There's a new video for "Master Ludi" from Walter TV's 2012 album, Appetite, which was recently just released for the first time on vinyl via Sinderlyn Records (part of the new Captured Tracks umbrella corp Omnian Music Group). You can watch that below.
by Bill Pearis
sensitive flowers: Las Rosas
Brooklyn psych-garage trio Las Rosas have a new single out with two terrific tracks -- the upbeat "Ms. America," and the more laid back "Sensitive Flower" -- both of which show off their flair for hooks, melody and arrangement. There is no reinvention of the wheel but Las Rosas sound fresh. There's limited-edition clear, square vinyl and you can check out both sides in this post.
Las Rosas have a few shows hometown shows coming up. They'll play at Rough Trade on September 27, a free day show Cassette Store Day party with Fletcher C. Johnson and BOYTOY. The next day (9/28) they'll play Rippers in Rockaway Beach with Scully, Wild Yaks, and more. That's also a free day show. And then they'll also play Burger Records' unofficial CMJ showcase at the soon-to-close Death by Audio on October 23 with more TBA.
Dates are listed, along with the new 7" stream, below...
by Bill Pearis
Ty Segall will be in NYC next week for two shows at Webster Hall on September 17 with Wand and Axis: Sova (sold out) and then September 18 with La Luz (tickets). Both of his 9/17 openers will play Death by Audio show while in town. Wand play Death by Audio on Tuesday (9/16) and they are currently the only band listed on DbA's website for that day (update: Honey are also on this show). I haven't heard anything... but it is an off day for Ty, who has played the soon-to-be-closed DIY venue many times over the years. Wand's very good new album is out on Ty's God label and will likely appeal to his fans. But who knows?
Axis: Sova, meanwhile, will play DbA on Thursday (9/18) with San Francisco's Life Stinks. The moniker of Chicago musician Brett Sova, Axis: Sova just made the tape Worse Fools Cease to Be a Shadow which for the first time features him backed by other musicians (two in this case). It's shitgazy psych and you can stream a few songs (and one from Life Stinks) in this post. Axis: Sova has some other non-Ty dates as well and those are listed below.
And in other news there's a new Matt Yoka-directed video for Ty Segall's "Manipulator," the title track of his excellent new album which you can watch below. But if you go to Ty's website you can actually manipulate it by clicking on different parts of the screen. Kind of cool. Watch it below...
Ty Segall at DbA in 2011 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Today we learned that beloved, long-running Brooklyn DIY venue Death By Audio is closing. It felt inevitable but we sure hoped it wasn't going to be so soon. Though we didn't mention it earlier, our first thought was that it might be related to reports earlier this year that VICE, who just received another $500 million in funding (!), is expanding and taking over the 60,000 sq.ft. building at the corner of S2 and Kent (NYC gave them $6.5 million in tax credits not to move out of the city).
Gothamist wondered about DbA too -- Death By Audio had no comment on the situation, but it's hard to believe the two situations are not at all related. Right now it is pure speculation. We just hope Glasslands doesn't suffer the same fate (they're in the same building too).
Meanwhile, DbA is open for another two-and-a-half months and they're promising to "swing for the fences" as far as final shows. (Will Ty Segall squeeze in one more DbA show next week?) One show that's a guaranteed don't miss is JEFF the Brotherhood on 10/12. Tickets are still available.
by Bill Pearis
Death by Audio in June (more by PSquared)
Well this one hurts. Long-running Williamsburg DIY venue Death by Audio is shutting down in November:
After seven years of operation Death By Audio will close on November 22, 2014. Running this space has been an incredible undertaking and a joy since day one. We have been fortunate enough to host bands from all over the US and the world nearly every night of the week. Amazingly, we've hosted in excess of 1000 acts a year for the past seven years. The effect pedal company will remain open and relocate to a temporary space until we find a more permanent home.Well, damn. It was a good run, but as one of my favorite places to see shows in the neighborhood, it'll be especially sad to see this one go. Glasslands is the last man standing on the block (which will soon include new Vice offices). This one really feels like end of an era.
When we first moved onto south 2nd street the only things on our block were a used police car lot and several empty buildings. Now there are a half dozen expensive restaurants, bars, a daycare center and a new condo building (that was an empty lot when we moved in). All ages DIY music venues are almost by definition temporary, and we feel fortunate to have lasted in this space for this long. We knew from the beginning that it couldn't last forever and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has preformed or attended any of our shows. We are still weighing options about what happens next and will let everyone know more about the future of Death By Audio as soon as we can.
Our closing party starts Wednesday Sept 10 and we will have great programing for these last 75 days. We are looking forward to putting on some really incredible shows to send off what has been one of the greatest undertakings of our lives. We hope to see you there.
Edan and Matt
P.S. If you're in Hot Snakes please get in touch.
Meanwhile the club is still open for two more months. On Thursday (9/11) you can see Shannon & the Clams, Liquor Store, Juniper Rising and Hobocop which should be a fun show. Advance tickets are available.
The good folks at guitar pedal shop Death by Audio have just announced their latest limited-edition artist collaboration: The Flaming Lips Space Ring Pedal. That's what it looks like (naked torso not included), above, and here's a description of what it does:
The Flaming Lips have worked with Death By Audio to design a truly unique effect capable of manipulating and transporting sound into exciting new dimensions. The circuit works by using a telephone decoding chip that is then squashed into a ring modulator comprised of specially matched diodes and custom wound transformers. This creates blooming, rich sounds ranging from warped tremolo staccatos to wild arpeggiator type sequences to alien fax machines hurled at the sun.To hear what that actually sounds like, check out a video in this post. The Flaming Lips Space Ring Pedal is only available the month of September and comes with a poster designed by Wayne Coyne. The first 200 pedals are signed by the band -- order yours.
The Space Ring has knobs for Volume, Psychedelic Warp, and an XYZ switch that flips the carriers with the modulators to create more modulated insanity.
Previous DbA collaborations have included Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer.
In other news, Lips side project Electric Wurmz released their album a couple weeks back, and Flaming Lips' song-by-song cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is due later this year.
The Flaming Lips Space Ring Pedal demo video below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher
Arcade Fire @ Barclays Center - 8/24/14
Arcade Fire completed the three-night Barclays Center run of their current tour last night (8/24). Like the first two, Dan Deacon and the reunited Unicorns opened, but this one was extra special because it also included an opening set from New York's legendary Television.
The Unicorns kicked things off early at 7:15 PM, and unfortunately the soon-to-be-filled venue was mostly empty for them, but this rare set (one of six dates they're playing this year) was a treat for those in attendance. They mostly stuck to material from their classic Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?, and despite Nick Diamonds and Alden Penner's more "serious" recent projects, they retained all the quirk from their Unicorns days for this show. Alden and Nick both ran around on stage, cracked jokes ("Some people have told us now that they've finally seen us they can die happy ... that is very accurate"), and seemed to be having a genuinely good time on stage playing those old songs. We certainly had a good time hearing them.
Television followed with an excellent set that included half of the classic Marquee Moon ("See No Evil," "Prove It," "Torn Curtain" and it's sprawling title track), but was more of a jammy psychedelic trip than a rehashing of old favorites. The band, whose lineup is 3/4 of the one that recorded Marquee Moon (Jimmy Rip in place of Richard Lloyd), are now almost 40 years past the release of that album and they don't perform all that frequently, but they were dead on last night. The interlocking guitar solos went on endlessly without dragging, and the rhythm section was locked in for all those jams. As improvisational as some of it sounded, parts like the ending of the instrumental break on "Marquee Moon" were exactly like the album. It was as powerful blasting from the stage at Barclays Center as it was the first time you heard it on record.
Immediately after Television's set, Dan Deacon got started on the small stage on the opposite end of the floor, hosting a huge dance competition on Barclays Center's ground floor which ended with the whole floor dancing. A second dance competition was then framed as a battle between Brooklyn DIY venue Death by Audio and NYC print-only show listings publication Showpaper. This was the second recent show we've attended that a now-big act playing to a lot of people in NYC gave props to Death by Audio from the stage (the last was Future Islands). Also spotted dancing in the crowd to Dan Deacon was fellow bald, bearded indie music maker Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav (Dan thanked him at the end). Dan's set was both a fun/funny activity for the crowd and an entertaining precursor to what was to follow.
Arcade Fire then took the stage at 9:30 for a 2-hour set (encore included) which was all thrills. At least in the world of music blogs and music twitter, Arcade Fire have gotten more than a little criticism for the last year or so of their career, which has included an elongated album rollout, lots of costumes, cover songs, and other gimmicks. But last night's show was such a truly good time, you'd have to be bitterly cynical to have been there and felt otherwise. Yes, it is a huge spectacle built for the huge venues they now typically play (this was their third arena show of the weekend in Brooklyn, and all three were full), but they do it without falling into bombast.
One of Arcade Fire's first NYC shows was ten years ago at the tiny Mercury Lounge (October 2004 to be exact). Core members Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, and Sarah Neufeld were all on stage that night, and impressively they're all still there ten years later. This time around they're joined by multiple other musicians (including sax genius Colin Stetson who you can catch in a more intimate environment at Baby's All Right TONIGHT (8/25)), a few people in paper mache bobblehead masks, dancers, confetti, and an elaborate light show, but they make it all unmistakably their own. The Arcade Fire of 2004 may not have written the dance-heavy "Reflektor" or "Sprawl II," but when the Arcade Fire of 2014 plays them right next to "Rebellion (Lies)" and "No Cars Go," nothing sounds out of place. The setlist was heaviest on Reflektor and lightest on Neon Bible, but it mostly felt like a very well curated collection of the many sounds Arcade Fire have made over the years, each song flowing perfectly into the next.
You know by now that Arcade Fire have been doing location-specific covers on this whole tour, and with NY Dolls' David Johansen (as Buster Poindexter) joining them for a cover of "Hot Hot Hot" on Friday, followed by Marky Ramone joining for two Ramones songs on Saturday, and Television opening last night's show (not to mention Deborah Harry joining them at Coachella), it seemed like a pretty good bet that they'd keep the CBGB theme going for this final show. And they did. But Television, though their opening set fit the theme, did not end up being the guest. Win Butler, like Dan Deacon before him, did point out how amazing it was to play with Television though. In fact, Win said last night's show was the best lineup of bands they ever played with at one show.
Arcade Fire & David Byrne
The CBGB-themed cover ended up being Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," after a fake-out of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" playing through the PA as The Reflektors mimed the song from the smaller stage at the back of the floor. Nobody from Suicide joined them for this one, but they brought out Talking Head David Byrne (who was also on stage with Arcade Fire almost ten years ago) to sing guest vocals, complete with white face makeup on. It seemed like a good bet that David would be joining them when we heard he was spotted in the building, and we're pretty sure he was even out dancing in a mask to Dan Deacon. (There was a rumor they'd be covering Bruce Springsteen after someone got a hold of the setlist early, uploaded it to setlist.fm, and must have mistakenly not realized Bruce's recording of that song is in fact a Suicide cover.)
"Dream Baby Dream" segued into "Here Comes the Night Time," followed by "Normal Person" (which included Win singing "New York I love you, but you're bringing me down" over the intro, further teasing those of us who were hoping for a James Murphy cameo), and then the show ended with the longest-ever version of "Wake Up." Even after the song's huge ending and the crowd's applause, Win started singing the "whoa-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh" part again as he and the band walked off stage, then the horn players joined back in, and the whole band proceeded to leave the stage in marching band fashion (the same way they had entered the venue 2 hours earlier) playing the song even once the PA was turned off until they fully exited the room.
Pictures of the third and final night are in this post (though unfortunately none of the openers this time). Saturday pictures HERE. Friday pictures HERE. More from Sunday, with a video of the Suicide cover and AF's setlist, below...
A Place to Bury Strangers at MHOW in 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Noisy Brooklyn shoegazers A Place to Bury Strangers have a number of international dates coming up, including a Taiwan festival in early August and a European tour in September-November. But in between that, they'll play a tiny show at their hometown stomping grounds Death by Audio on August 22. It's always a great to see APTBS back at DbA (like we did in December) when many of their shows now happen at larger places like Music Hall of Williamsburg, but this one's especially great because it's an all-killer bill of Philly noisemakers Bleeding Rainbow (who have toured with APTBS), Northampton indie rockers Potty Mouth, and Brooklyn indie rockers Shark? (who are labelmates with Potty Mouth and played Shea with them last night [7/25]). Admission for the show is $10 at the door.
All APTBS dates are listed, along with some videos, below...
photos by Vladislav Grach
Speedy Ortiz @ DbA - 7/5/13
Like the album, which at its best is clever and cutting, the show picked up in the second half, when [Sadie] Dupuis began to slash through the heaviness of the room, and also climb above the rest of the band -- Matt Robidoux on guitar, Darl Ferm on bass, Mike Falcone on drums -- with a voice that could be savage, on "MKVI," or deceptively sweet, on "No Below," or tart, as on "Gary," which is the album's emotional highlight. That song includes some of Ms Dupuis's sharpest lyrics, aimed at someone who left her for someone far less interesting. [New York Times]Speedy Ortiz release their debut album, Major Arcana, this week (7/9) via Carpark, and over the weekend they played release shows in NYC and Boston. The NYC show was a very sweaty one at Death by Audio on Friday (7/5), where they played the new album front to back, which singer Sadie Dupuis told the crowd they've never practiced or done before, as the NY Times (!!!) review quoted above points out.
The NYC release show had support from a totally stacked lineup, which also included grungy Baltimoreans Roomrunner, sludge rockers California X, no wave revivalists Sediment Club, and No One & the Somebodies. Pictures of the show are in this post.
More pictures from DbA below...
It probably goes without saying that long-running Williamsburg DIY spot Death by Audio gets a lot of good shows. Many of those are recorded -- you may have noticed a microphone sticking out of the drop-ceiling tiles. DbA has cherry-picked a dozen of the best moments from last year for a book of flexis simply titled Live at Death by Audio 2012 that is being released by Famous Class at the end of July. That's the cover art above.
Bands featured include JEFF the Brotherhood, METZ, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and A Place to Bury Strangers. It also features art by Brian Chippendale, Dave Singley, Perry Lubin, Matt Leins, Ron Rege Jr, Jon Vermilyea, and Brendan Nakahara.
Pre-orders are available now and comes with not only a digital version of the flexis but also a recording of the full Oh Sees / Ty Segall show. Full track list below.