Entries tagged with: Diamond Rings

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DOWNLOAD: Handsome Furs - "What About Us" (Diamond Rings Remix) (MP3)

Spencer with Wolf Parade at Sasquatch 2011 (more by Josh Darr)
Wolf Parade

Spencer Krug will take his Moonface project on a previously announced tour which kicks off in July and runs through early August. As mentioned, the tour hits NYC on July 20 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are still available. If you miss him the first time around, Moonface will return to NYC on August 13 at Glasslands. No opener has been announced for either show yet. Tickets for the Glasslands show are also on sale now.. UPDATE: Moonface is NOT playing Glasslands, and never was.

Handsome Furs' new album Sound Kapital comes out June 28 via Sub Pop. It's streaming now on KCRW. Its first single "What About Us" was remixed by fellow Canadian Diamond Rings. Grab the MP3 above.

Handsome Furs dates HERE. Updated Moonface tour dates below...

Continue reading "Moonface adds date, Diamond Rings remixed Handsome Furs"

Diamond Rings backstage at Radio City Music Hall (more by Chris La Putt)
Diamond Rings

Speaking of Toronto artists with ties to Fucked Up, congrats to Diamond Rings, who signed to Astralwerks worldwide last month (except for Canada, where he'll stay at Secret City Records). The label will give last year's Special Affections the reissue treatment, look for that starting on June 21st.

Maybe it will even be at the merch table two days early, when Diamond Rings plays with Porcelain Raft at Europa on June 19th as part of the Northside Festival. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale, or you can try to get in with a Northside badge.

Porcelain Raft meanwhile plays a show with Here We Go Magic at Mercury Lounge on May 14th. Tickets are on sale for that, and NT and Bizi Gara are both also on the bill. For HWGM it's one of many May tour dates they have scheduled.

All tour dates and some videos below...

Continue reading "Diamond Rings now on Astralwerks, playing w/ Porcelain Raft who plays w/ Here We Go Magic who are on tour (dates)"

photos by Chris La Putt

PS I Love You w/ Diamond Rings @ Mercury Lounge
P.S. I Love You

"Long before he strapped on the gold lamé tights and donned rainbow facepaint, Diamond Rings (aka John O'Regan) was a member of the Toronto post-post-punk band The D'Urbervilles. Together they released two records between the years of 2005 and 2008 - but now they are no more.

Instead of calling it a day though, The D'Urbs have relaunched under the name Matters and already have a brand new 7? called "Get In Or Get Out," which you can order here from O'Regan's Hype Lighter imprint. The single precedes a full-length album, which currently has no release date.

The band will road test some of their new tunes and re-enter society when they play a handful of dates in April alongside Kingston power duo P.S. I Love You. [Much Music]

Those April Matters dates are listed below.

Meanwhile John O'Regan is out on tour as Diamond Rings with P.S. I Love You. They play Glasslands tonight (3/31). Last night they played Mercury Lounge, where like at SXSW, John joined P.S. I Love You on stage for their last song... during their first set. John took off beore P.S. I Love You played their second set - the free late-night one at the same venue (did anyone make it out to that one?).

A bunch of pictures and video from the earlier show (video of the collaboration included), below....

Continue reading "Diamond Rings reforms old band (renames it Matters), played Mercury Lounge w/ P.S. I Love You (pics, video)"

by Bill Pearis

Wounded Lion @ Shangri La
this1

After Wednedsay and Thursday... I spent most of Friday afternoon -- the hottest day of the fest, well into the '80s --at Sailor Jerry-sponsored East Side dive Shangri La where Chicago label Trouble in Mind was throwing a party in the back yard. Their party at Scoot Inn the year before was one of my favorites of SXSW2010 and I'd have to say the same the same of 2011. The label, run by husband and wife Bill & Lisa Roe (who are also in CoCoComa), is mostly a 7" label, releasing great singles from some of the best garage-pop artists around. Many of whom were there at Shangri La.

I got there as Seattle trio Night Beats were just starting. Never heard them before, but really dug their psych-garage sounds, and they definitely looked the part. They ended their set with a cover of The Count Five's classic "Psychotic Reaction," giving their version a little swing which made it their own. Look for Night Beats debut LP out on Trouble in Mind this summer.

While Cheap Time were playing, I noticed Lars Finberg milling about the yard...what was he doing here? The Intelligence were definitely not here, was his side-project Puberty playing and I didn't know it? No, he told me he was playing drums for L.A.'s Wounded Lion for their Austin shows. I was already looking forward to seeing WL, now even moreso.

I was getting a little antsy and decided to walk around the East Side a bit, stopping by Cheer Up Charlies where I caught a few songs by Norway's Tôg (who are in NYC as we speak) before heading back to the Trouble in Mind party to catch Nashville's The Paperhead. Looking a bit like Red Kross, the band -- all about 19 I think -- are trippier than anyone else on the bill. Their debut just came out on TiM.

Next up Wounded Lion, whose self-titled debut was one of last year's more underrated records. I think seeing them live would change naysayers opinion, they were one of the rockin'est, most fun shows of the week. Two singers: main man Brad Eberhard does the heavy lifting and guitar playing, while singer/percussionist Raffi Kalenderian is more in the Bob Nastanovich of the band, going apeshit with the tambourine and generally keeping things entertaining. There is much switching of instruments. They also let Lars Finberg take lead vocals for the Intelligence's "Turned to Puke." I really thought they'd do "Pony People," a Wounded Lion song that The Intelligence covered on Fake Surfers, but no. Great, great set.

I then Sprinted over to the BrooklynVegan party at Swan Dive for John Grant. Friday was hot and Swan Dive didn't seem to have AC or even ceiling fans and it was an oven in there, but it didn't matter. Another of my favorite shows of the week. I'd seen him play solo at Mercury Lounge, but this show was with Midlake, his backing band on last year's amazing Queen of Denmark. With the band, Grant's late-'70s leaning epics came to lush life. The drums sounded gigantic. So did Grant's voice. All that was missing was sequined clothing and glasses that made points of light look like starbursts. Highlights for me: power-ballad "Mars" and "Chicken Bones" which is some kind of sonic collision of Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Nilsson.

John Grant @ Swan Dive
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continued below...

Continue reading "Bill's Week in Austin (Day 3 - Wounded Lion, John Grant, PS I Love You, TSOOL, WhoMadeWho, Wye Oak, Versus & more)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - Leftovers (w/ Diamond Rings) (MP3)

PS I Love You @ BV/MFM Day Party @ Barbarella
P.S. I Love You

"Band of the night goes to P.S. I Love You, a Canadian guitar-drums duo that delivered concise pop songs with epic guitar strokes. Paul Saulnier approximated the sound of three guitarists on his instrument, his galactic chords and dense note clusters threatening to explode his songs, while Benjamin Nelson banged out precisely orchestrated parts like a human drum machine." [Greg Kot]
PS I Love You recorded a new single "Leftovers" with fellow Canadian Diamond Rings on guest vocals. The single is set for a physical release March 29 on Paper Bag Records. Download the song now above, and check out the full 7" 3-song tracklist, two b-sides included, below.

As we've mentioned, PS I Love You and Diamond Rings are on tour this month, and Diamond Rings (who were not originally announced on any of the NY dates) will be playing with PS I Love You on Wednesday March 30th at Mercury Lounge and on Thursday March 31 at Glasslands. Tickets are still on sale for Wednesday and Thursday

Both bands were just down at SXSW where PS I Love appeared at the BrooklynVegan & M For Montreal Free Saturday Day Party. A few shots from their set are in this post.

Earlier this month Diamond Rings released a video for "It's Not My Party." You can watch that below. All tour dates are down there too...

Continue reading "PS I Love You & Diamond Rings on tour, collaborated, played SXSW, etc (updated dates, live pics, new MP3 & video)"

photos by Chris La Putt

"Mazel tov to Robyn for selling out Radio City Music Hall and making 5400 people go completely bananas. What a memorable night!." - laura hess

Diamond Rings backstage @ Radio City
Diamond Rings

Robyn on stage @ Radio City
Robyn

Robyn brought her tour with Diamond Rings to Radio City Music Hall in NYC on Saturday night (2/5). More pictures from the night and Robyn's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Robyn played Radio City Music Hall with Diamond Rings & Natalia Kills (pics & setlist)"

PS I Love You
PS I Love You

Eye Weekly: This is an obvious question, but people want to know. Are you named after that terrible Hilary Swank movie? Or The Beatles song?

PS I Love You: Neither. That movie really haunts me; I've never seen it, but I know that I hate it. The name PS I Love You came about six or seven years ago. It's kind of silly but some friends of mine in Kingston decided that if there was ever a fan club for me, that's what it would be called. PS is my initials -- that's the joke, all my friends call me PS, so it's kind of like this statement where I'm being very self-indulgent and making fun of that, all at the same time.

PS I Love You, who you may have caught in December, have a sprinkling of shows scheduled before they hit the road on a larger scale in late February on their way towards SXSW. After Austin they'll tour their way back east eventually passing through NYC for two shows: March 30th at Mercury Lounge (tickets) and Glasslands on March 31 (tickets).

Neither NYC show has support bands listed yet, but most of PS I Love You's March run is with fellow Canadian Diamond Rings who will pass through NYC when he plays Radio City Music Hall... as part of his tour with Robyn who is headlining the venue on February 5th. All dates for both bands below...

Continue reading "PS I Love You touring w/ Diamond Rings who is touring w/ Robyn (2011 dates)"

photos by Bao Nguyen, words by Rachel Kowal

Diamond Rings @ Knitting Factory
CMJ

We're used to putting our mp3s on shuffle... why not shows, too? My music ADD came out in full force last Friday. I decided to make full use of my 'sick' day and somehow managed to see a whopping 16 bands (maybe a personal record?). I got my day started early with the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Public Assembly. With bands playing in the two neighboring rooms, it was all too easy to flit back and forth, which allowed me to catch four bands in under 90 minutes: The Phantom Band, The Luyas, Lower Dens, and Times New Viking. Though I saw only partial sets of the first and last, I made time to see the entirety of my two favorite. The Luyas never cease to charm - even when there are technical problems, and I enjoyed my first encounter with Lower Dens - another one of those notoriously ubiquitous CMJ bands.

Up next, I headed over to the Knitting Factory to take in part of the Distiller showcase. I was glad to learn that I only missed a couple of songs from S. Carey. Sean's soul-warming voice and classical training provided a nice respite from the overwhelming contingency of scuzzier, under-rehearsed bands. After seeing S. Carey open for The Tallest Man on Earth at a recent Webster Hall show, it was nice to see him in a smaller, more intimate setting. He also played a Brooklyn Vegan party at Public Assembly, but on Saturday

Bringing the energy back up was John O'Regan, the glam-man-spectacle behind Diamond Rings. When he had finally assembled his gear, he had time only for an abbreviated set - even for CMJ standards: just four songs - just enough to get the kids dancing. Up next was Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - a band I had not made note of on my hastily scrawled itinerary. Imagine my surprise when instead of the Southern rock-tinged folk music of Cotton Jones, I was met by a feisty female with a pension for shrieking lyrics about STDs and assaulting the audience with her abrasive stage 'banter.' ("We have a new 7" for sale. Just give me your fucking money because I want it.") Time to hit the bar for some free SoCo. Since the shows were running a bit late, I stayed only for about half of Cotton Jones (a folksier She & Him except the she - Whitney McGraw - is more than just a pretty face).

The Hush Now also played the Knitting Factory show, and Diamond Rings (whose new album is streaming) played a few other shows during the week. If you missed him, he's back December 4th to play Glasslands, and is touring a lot between now and then. All dates with more pictures from the whole Distiller show, below...

Continue reading "Diamond Rings played a CMJ show w/ S Carey, Cotton Jones & others, touring (dates, pics, full album stream) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - Facelove (MP3)
DOWNLOADPS I Love You - 2012 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Arena (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Up Past the Nursery (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The High Dials - Chinese Boxes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Elephant Stone - I am Blind (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: No Joy - Headless (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Parallels - Find the Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hot Panda - Mindlessnesslessness (MP3)

Radio Radio
Radio Radio

There's never any shortage of Canadians at CMJ but this year... there seems like more than usual. So lets get to it.

On Thursday (10/21) The M for Montreal folks are back for a second year at Arlene's Grocery with eight diverse bands (not all from MTL) they deem worthy of seeing. The band with the most buzz coming into CMJ is probably Kingston, Ontario PS I Love You who play at 9PM.  For a duo, these guys have a pretty giant sound, and their debut LP,  Meet Me at Muster Station, recently got a 8.1 on Pitchfork. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. PS I Love You are playing five shows this week ( 20th - 23rd) and all dates are at the bottom of this post.

Capping the evening at 1AM are Acadian hip hop group Radio Radio whose album Belmundo Regal was up for this year's prestigious Polaris Prize. (They lost to Karkwa.) You can listen to the whole record via a widget at the bottom of this post. They are, I'm pretty sure, the only act to rap in the Chiac dialect, which is kind of the French Canadian equivalent of Spanglish. I saw them two years ago in Montreal and they were super fun -- even though I had no idea what they were saying. If you have no Last Show tonight, definitely head over to Arlene's Grocery. It's their only CMJ show.

Also playing the M for Montreal show: our good friends The Luyas who will also play our free day party on Friday (their only other show); Red Mass who bring a touch of theatrics to their Damned-esque garage punk; the low fi garagey folk of Uncle Bad Touch (who get the JEFF the Brotherhood Seal of Approval); Vancouver duo The Pack A.D.; and laid back folk-soul-hiphop group Random Recipe (check out their LP widget at the bottom of this post).

Random Recipe
Random Recipe

If you show up at 6PM you'll be treated to a little pre show action: dream pop outfit Braids and free poutine, the official drunk food of Montreal (though not vegan). Set times for the whole night are at the bottom of this post. Braids play six times this week and all of their shows are listed at the bottom as well.

The biggest bummer about this show is it happens at the same time as the official BrooklynVegan Showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. But you can get a taste of Montreal at our show as Suuns are playing at 8:45 PM. You can download two Suuns tracks at the top of this post. If you dig shoegaze, Krautrock, or Clinic, you don't wanna miss this band. I caught them at Mercury Lounge over the summer and was impressed. If you can't make our show but still wanna see Suuns, they also play later Thursday (11:45 PM) at Pianos as part of the Secretly Canadian showcase. Those are their only two shows during CMJ week.

High Dials
High Dials

There are more Montreal bands here this week too. One of my favorites, The High Dials, play on Saturday (10/23) at the 269 Bar at 11PM. Their new album, Anthems for Doomed Youth, is another great offering of jangly psychedlia, shoegazy guitars and sunny harmonies. You can download "Chinese Boxes" from it at the top of this post.

You may remember that The High Dials used to have a sitar player who left after the band's first album. That guy, Rishi Dhir, now has his own group, Elephant Stone, whose album The Seven Seas, was up for the 2009 Polaris Prize.  Elephant Stone play the Trash Bar on Thursday (10/21, 10PM). If you can't see them then, Elephant Stone will be back in NYC in November.

More Montreal action: No Joy, who split their time between L.A. and MTL and will have your eardrums bleeding from their awesome, sludgy shoegaze. They play seven CMJ week shows, including the BV day party on Saturday (10/23) at Public Assembly. (Official announcement soon.) After CMJ,  No Joy head out with Vivian Girls offshoot La Sera (who plays a bunch her own CMJ shows) -- all dates are at the bottom of this post.

Folk band The Barr Brothers play two shows tonight tonight (10/19): Cameo Gallery at 7:30PM and then The Rock Shop at 11PM. They also play tomorrow (10/20, 7PM) at Rockwood Music Hall.

More MTL: rawkers Priestess play Mercury Lounge on Wednesday (10/20, 8:30PM); and AIDS Wolf play a late show at Knitting Factory Saturday night with Ty Segall (10/23, 1AM).

Time, space and sanity doesn't permit me to go through every single Canadian act here for CMJ, but here's a few more of note:

Much-buzzed, glammy, glitzy Diamond Rings plays six CMJ week shows, starting with tomorrow night's (10/20) killer Stereogum/Popgun party at Santos, that also includes Wild Nothing, Tamaryn, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., now-revealed headliner The Drums, and more. (Only $5 with RSVP.) All Diamond Rings CMJ dates, including an Underground Press/Distiller day party at Knitting Factory on Thursday, are at the bottom of this post.

Toronto synth-disco duo Parallels play two shows on Wednesday (10/20): Backstage (formerly the Annex) at 1opm and then 11:45PM at The Bell House (that's gonna be cutting it close). Check out their track "Find the Fire" at the top of this post.

Hot Panda
Hot Panda

Edmonton, Alberta's cute, frenetic indiepop foursome Hot Panda play two shows on Wednesday (10/20): a day show at Fontanas (2:40PM) and then that night at the Trash Bar (11PM). Check out "Mindlessnesslessness" from the band's new album, How Come I'm Dead? at the top of this post.

Two Hours Traffic hail from Prince Edward Island and traffik (sorry) in Weezer-ish power pop. They play the R Bar on Saturday (10/23) at 9PM.

And Woodhands, from Toronto, will bring their somewhat nerdy, definitely catchy snyth rock to The Bell House for a midnight set.

Tour dates, some flyers, videos, album widgets and other stuff are below.

Continue reading "Canadian invasion @ CMJ 2010 (PS I Love You, Hot Panda, No Joy, Radio Radio, Diamond Rings, High Dials, Braids, more) "

Matthew Dear @ MHOW in 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Matthew Dear

As mentioned, Pitchfork will be hosting three days of shows at Brooklyn Bowl during, but-it-looks-like/probably completely unaffiliated with, CMJ this year (Thursday/Friday/Saturday CMJ week). "Brooklyn Bowl is located at 61 Wythe Avenue between N. 11th and N. 12th streets. The festival starts at 2 p.m. each day, with doors opening at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10, both in advance and day of the show." They're calling it the #OFFLINE Festival.

Based on the lineups and start time, it looks like each #OFFLINE day will be about a 12 hour show. No set times yet though, but the full lineups and ticket links are below...

Matthew Dear is one of the biggest names on the list (he plays Saturday), and it will be one of three CMJ week shows for Matthew. His first is Friday night at Webster Hall with Jamaica and Dominique Young Unique. His third is later on Saturday at Public Assembly for the FIXED/Making Time Party with Matthew Dear, Crocodiles, Holy Ghost!, Javelin, Gold Panda, Jamaica, and Kisses.

The FIXED/Making Time party starts after the BrooklynVegan party which is also happening at Public Assembly that same day. Just to be clear:

SATURDAY OCTOBER 23RD
* BrooklynVegan @ Public Assembly 12-6pm (free - more details TBA)
* FIXED/Making Time @ Public Assembly 9pm-late (tickets)
* Pitchfork @ Brooklyn Bowl 2pm-late (tickets)
* BrooklynVegan metal @ Union Pool 7pm-late ($5.00 or CMJ badge at the door)

We (BrooklynVegan) will also be at Public Assembly all day on Friday, October 22nd (details TBA), and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on the Thursday night.

All Matthew Dear tour dates (many of which we previously posted including a November show at MHoW), and the Pitchfork #OFFLINE Fest info, below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork announces #OFFLINE not-CMJ parties, Matthew Dear also playing Making Time & Girls & Boys parties (lineups) "

words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Deerhoof
Deerhoof at Pop Montreal 2010

No rain, a bit of sun (if only briefly) and finally a day party outside to start Day Four (Saturday) of Pop Montreal (catch up with day 1, day 2 and day 3).

The Notman House had the grill up and running and the speakers loud enough I could clearly hear the first band of the day, Edmonton's The Whitsundays, in my room at the Opus Hotel across the street. People lined up for free pulled pork and/or lentil sandwiches, sipped beer, listened to the Edmonton quartet's opening set (a solid, catchy blend of garage rock/pop) or milled about the house. It was an eclectic mix of people with little kids running around with their faces painted and even greeting people as they made their way up the Notman House front steps. It felt like a party which the weather managed to kill off on Thursday and Friday.

Stuck around for a really entertaining set by another Edmonton band, Hot Panda, before catching the bus (free bus pass was a godsend) to catch Think About Life and Diamond Rings at Divan Orange. I walked up to see people hanging out and then caught a glimpse of the sheet of paper stuck to the door. "Sold Out," it read. Or, since it was a free day party 'at capacity' was more apt. So, I hung around in hopes of getting in, not nearly as disappointed as some of those around me who were clearly crushed by that white sheet of paper.

Think About Life played before Diamond Rings, and it cleared out a bit after their set. Diamond Rings is the solo project of John O'Regan of the D'Urbervilles, and he shows a lot of promise. Synths, guitar and processed beats via laptop made for some simple, yet agreeable, dance numbers. Though his own dance moves were cringe-inducing.

The evening part of the program looked to be a long one with Deerhoof announced via Twitter as the 2am Loft Party headliner at Espace Reunion. It started off at Cabaret Mile End and the news that Doveman, who was slotted in between Mary Margaret O'Hara and Little Scream, was unable to make it out of New York and canceled. Instead, Little Scream's short but enchanting opening set complete with string accompaniment gave way to replacement act Becky Foon + Howl which was Little Scream, Becky Foon on cello Jess Robertson on violin and other members. But I opted to dash up Parc to another Cabaret, Playhouse, to see what was happening there. The official Pop Schedule said I was supposed to be catching Secretary City, but instead I found a seven-piece collective, Olenka and The Autumn Lovers, who were supposed to play Thursday but their van broke down on the way in from London, Ontario. The pleasant surprises to this point were few and far between but Olenka and Co. were the biggest. A solid dose of folk, chamber pop and Americana (can you call it that if they're Canadian?) wrapped in Eastern European themes (there's certainly a bit of Beirut in their sound) through Olenka Krakus's memories of Communist Poland.

Mary Margaret O'Hara
Mary Margaret O'Hara at Pop Montreal 2010

Then it was back to Mile End for Mary Margaret O'Hara. In the past 10 years you could probably count her number of public performances on two hands, with fingers left over. Whirling in with her band 20 minutes before they took the stage, everything was left to chance; even the setlist, which was drawn from a hat by O'Hara and audience members. Clearly uncomfortable on stage, O'Hara flittered about, cracked jokes, forgot lyrics and made others up as she went. Her voice was clear and powerful, and despite only releasing one proper record in the late eighties (Miss America), she is still roundly adored. Hers was one of the highlights of the festival, including a beautiful remembrance of Vic Chesnutt that led into "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." (vid below) It was emotional stuff and when Little Scream came out right after to do a free improv piece, she was wiping away tears. "I don't think I can sing," she said, "I'm crying too much."

Reluctantly, I left to make my way up to Espace Reunion and caught the last couple of songs by Buke & Gass and worked my way to the front for Deerhoof who despite going on at 2am were up for it and so was the audience. During the rowdier numbers, and between drummer Greg Saunier's awkward attempts to banter in French, the crowd surfed and repeatedly tumbled on to the stage with even a few people deciding to just sit on the stage in front of the band. When I left at 3am (after devouring some incredibly good tacos) they were still going, but with one day remaining the only thing I could think about was my hotel bed.

More pictures from the whole day, and a few videos, below...

Continue reading "Pop Montreal 2010 - Day 4 in pics & review (Mary Margaret O'Hara, Deerhoof, Diamind Rings, Little Scream & more)"

photos by Ryan Muir, words by Rachel Kowal

Casiotone
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

When I saw a man wearing skin tight gold lamé leggings, a sports jersey, and a jean jacket mingling in the crowd at Monster Island Basement Sunday night, I didn't think too much of it. But as it turns out, the wildly dressed mystery man was John O'Regan, the man behind Diamond Rings, the evening's first opener.

After taking copious notes on John's appearance, I was pleased to hear that the Toronto-based glam pop artist seems to take his music fairly seriously. Sure, he's working with prefab beats and samples, but he also juggles guitar and keyboard duty, which makes his songs more relevant in a live setting. Then there's John's voice, which is surprisingly sonorous. His appearance may be over-the-top and flamboyant, but his smooth, deep vocals level out his music nicely.

Next up in Todd P's bag of tricks was the Sierra-Leonean musician Janka Nabay and his spirited group of musicians and back-up singers. Janka's set triggered an instant dance party both on stage and in the audience. The two women on stage left the bulk of the vocal responsibilities with Janka, but their energetic dancing complimented the tribal beats and celebratory music well.

Following Janka Nabay's lively set, Owen Ashworth, the man behind the moniker Casiotone For the Painfully Alone, walked on stage and began to methodically unpack a series of keyboards, samplers, and mixers. After he had finished assembling his one-man-band, he leaned into the mic. "I'd be happy to start if we want to do the changeover," he said over the din of the house music.

"Thanks so much for coming folks. I really appreciate it," he said as he warmed up. "I really like playing in Brooklyn. I'm not just saying that. Do not tell Albany that. [...] I just basically booked this short tour as an excuse to come visit friends and hang out in New York for a few days." And with that, he launched into a couple of newer song from last year's Vs. Children.

Unlike a number of artists who rely on laptops to generate significant portions of their songs, Owen builds most of the layers on stage, by navigating through a mass of wires, knobs, and keys - his arms often crossing to get the job done. There are definitely perks to seeing an artist who has been creating music for the better part of thirteen years. Owen has an impressive body of songs to pull from, and constantly finds ways to rework them in a live setting. Casiotone songs often fall between the 2 and 3-minute mark, but Owen manages to pack a story into each song thanks to his creative, humorous, and candid lyrics. Owen makes music akin to the heartfelt and often painfully (but endearingly) awkward mumblecore films Mark Duplass and Andrew Bujalski make.

Then, about midway through his set, Owen dropped the bomb. "Thanks to Todd for making the show happen. This is my first time here [at Monster Island] and I'm going to be playing here again in October and that's actually going to be the last Casiotone show in New York. I'm going to stop this in December... and I'll do something else after that."

After this big announcement, Owen began to take requests, and he was immediately met by an avalanche of song titles. "Cold White Christmas!" "Grandmother's Pearls!" "We Have Mice!" "Parthenon!" "When You Were Mine, please!" After just a few seconds, Owen jumped back in. "Alright, alright. Those are good suggestions, thanks." The crowd may have been relatively small, but there's something to be said of fans who actually care enough about the music to have an arsenal full of requests to call out when prompted. "Grandmother's Pearls," ended up winning this time. After each song, audience members called out more and more requests, and Owen usually obliged - even with "Young Shields," which he initially claimed was too bass-heavy to play. Owen closed out his set with "White Jetta" before stepping off stage and making his way through the crowd, receiving pats on the back as he went.

Be sure to check out Casiotone for the Painfully Alone while you still can. The last New York show is on October 15th at Monster Island Basement (all dates on that "final tour) still TBA).

More pictures and Casiotone's setlist from Monster Island, below..

Continue reading "Casiotone for the Painfully Alone played one of his last NYC shows @ Monster Island w/ Janka Nabay & Diamond Rings (pics, setlist) "

by Andrew Frisicano

Diamond Rings sporting peacock feathers @ Wrongbar in Toronto
NXNE

At Wrongbar in Toronto on Friday, 6/18 (before Mudhoney played at Horseshoe Tavern), One Big Silence, the new label from Fucked Up's Mike Haliechuk, hosted an NXNE showcase heavy on synths with dark, atmospheric duo TRUST, dramatic singer Katie Stelmanis (who backed up Zola Jesus the night before), glammy Diamond Rings (whose new 12" is the first release by the label) and Big Freedia (whose pictures you already saw). Pictures of the costumed Diamond Rings, who played to a packed and dancing hometown crowd that night, are in this post.

Now NYC can get a taste. As mentioned a few times already, Diamond Rings play that show at Glasslands, tonight, July 16th with Caribou (DJ Set), Class Actress, Teengirl Fantasy and Idiot Glee (RSVP), and if you miss it, there's one more chance to catch the tall Canadian in town on Sunday...

====| SUNDAY 7/18 @ MONSTER ISLAND |====

:: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
:::: Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang
:::::: Diamond Rings

| MONSTER ISLAND |
128 River St @ Metropolitan Ave | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 8pm | all ages | $10

Sunday's show is yet another date for Janka, and part of a very short solo tour for Casiotone.

All DR dates, the new basket ball-themed (I told you he was tall) Diamond Rings video that features a cameo from Fucked Up's Damian Abraham, and more NXNE pictures below....

Continue reading "Diamond Rings is here - dates, video & some pics from NXNE"

Make Music NY

tonight in NYC
* Make Music NY
* Mike Birbiglia @ UCB
* Jim Campilongo @ the Living Room
* Frog Eyes @ Sound Fix Records
* Ben Perowsky Quartet @ Barbes
* The Roots present The Jam @ Highline Ballroom
* Reverend Vince Anderson & His Love Choir @ Union Pool
* Hailey Wojcik, Blair, Oh The Color, Shark? @ The Cameo
* Darcy James Argue's Secret Society @ Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
* Indian Jewelry, Effi Briest, Total Slacker @ Mercury Lounge
* Reggie Watts, Heather Duby, Lunar Youth, Follow That Bird @ Pianos
* Jazz Talks w/ Esperanza Spalding and Anat Cohen (7pm) @ Greene Space
* Emanuel & The Fear, Dinosaur Feathers, The Silent League @ Knitting Factory
* Soundcheck w/Bobby McFerrin, Jason Moran & the Bandwagon-2pm@Greene Space
* Curren$y, Snakes Say Hisss, Rugz D. Bewler, Smoke DZA, Sean O'Connell, Tabi Bonney, Stalley, Ski Beatz, Hedgehog, Big K.R.I.T., McKenzie Eddy @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Stethoscopes, Scary Living, Gunfight!, MiniBoone, Quiet Loudly, Pet Ghost Project, Thought, The Courtesy Tier, The Twees, Black Taxi, The Binary Marketing Show @ Spike Hill

Make Music NY is today...

Now in its fourth year, Make Music New York, "the largest music event ever to grace Gotham" (Metro New York), is a unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York City, all on Monday, June 21st, the first day of summer. MMNY takes place simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 327 cities around the world -- a global celebration of music making.

From 11 in the morning to 10 at night, musicians of all ages, creeds, and musical persuasions -- from hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock -- perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, cemeteries, parks and gardens. From high school bands to marquee names, MMNY is open to anyone who wants to take part, enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend.

Check out the schedule. It includes this:
Joe's Pub
Block Party at Astor Pl and Fourth Ave, Manhattan

10 AM: The Whiskey Boys
10 AM: Joe Iconis
10:45 AM: Gabriel Kahane
11:45 AM: Shrive Alive
12:45 PM: The Xylopholks
1:45 PM: Electric Junkyard Gamelan
2:30 PM: The Bill Murray Experience
3:30 PM: Balthrop, Alabama
4:30 PM: Black Sea Hotel
5:15 PM: Pearl and the Beard
6:15 PM: Somi
AND THIS:
Hiro Ballroom, presented by the French Music Export Office in association with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
88 Ninth Ave (at 17th St), Manhattan
8PM: Sebastien Schuller
9PM: La Grande Sophie
10PM: General Elektriks
11PM: Acid Washed DJ
Make Music also coincides with "Play Me, I'm Yours," an installation that puts 60 pianos in locations around NY.

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival (the first in its summer series there) hosts a sunset screening of Goldfinger. Doors at 5pm.

Diamond Rings' new video for "Show Me Your Stuff", below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Monday? (Make Music NY day)"

photos by Ryan Muir

Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material.

Shapes & Sizes
Shape and Sizes

Check out all the pictures Ryan took at Pop Montreal in October by browsing the archive. Check out everything that wasn't already posted, below...

Continue reading "Pop Montreal 2009 - the rest of the pics "