Entries tagged with: Diehard

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by Bill Pearis

Allo Darlin'
Allo Darlin

Hope you all survived Record Store Day. I didn't find most of what I was looking for (most of which was UK only) but I did get that great Lee Hazlewood comp on Light in the Attic. Hope you found what you wanted the most. Lots of good stuff this week, so let's get into it.

The most TWII show of the week happens tonight (4/24) at Mercury Lounge: Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures. It's the start of the two bands' tour together that will wrap up on Sunday, May 20 for the last day of the NYC Popfest which is happening at Littlefield (w/ Ladybug Transistor, White Town and about six more that day). All Allo Darlin'/Wave Pictures tour dates at the bottom of this post.

Allo Darlin's second LP, Europe, came out last week to pretty much across-the-board acclaim. It's a little more melancholy than the band's debut, with a lot less ukulele this time out. Maybe that seems like a good thing, but I must say I miss the exuberance of Allo Darlin's debut. The more subdued nature of the songs and production make it sound like a Camera Obscura album much of the time, a comparison I would've never made before. But Elizabeth Morris' songwriting and voice are still in fine form, it's all just a little more "mature."

You can stream Allo Darlin's Europe at the bottom of this post. I'm sure one thing that hasn't changed is Allo Darlin's ability to charm in the live setting.

The Wave Pictures
Wave Pictures

The same goes for The Wave Pictures who I will always go see live even if I'm not so crazy about the album they're touring to support. Not that they change so much from record to record. Their new album, Long Black Cars, is pretty good (listen at Spotify) I think but much like the rest: Dave Tattersall spins fascinating, funny stories with a singsong delivery. Most of their albums sound like they were recorded live, but it always comes off a million times more compelling when you actually see them play. Tattersall is also one of the funniest between-song banterers of our age. Also funny: the Darren Hayman-directed video for their song "Spaghetti" which you can watch below.

Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic

Here We Go Magic will release their third album, A Different Ship, in a couple weeks (May 8 specifically) and soon head out on a short UK tour before covering most of North America with Hospitality. (All dates are below.) Before that, HWGM play this Friday (4/26) at Knitting Factory with Glass Ghost.

The new album has an interesting birth. Stuck playing a pre-noon set at Glastonbury 2010, the groggy band were playing to a groggy crowd, none of whom seemed to be having any fun. Except for two guys dancing right up front, who turned out to be Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich. The band met Yorke and Godrich after their set and Godrich turned up at more European shows... and ended up producing Different Ships. This is the bands first album that didn't start with Luke Temple doing demos on his own, and with the band incorporated from the beginning (and working in Godrich's studio). While still boyant and dreamy, Different Ships feels a little bigger, a little more fully formed than the previous two. You can stream "Make Up Your Mind" at the bottom of this post as well stream new single "How Do I Know?" at Secretly Canadian's SoundCloud page.

The Feelies at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Tamara Porras)
The Feelies

And finally, while Feelies shows have become less rare since the band actually made a new album, but any chance to see one of the most influential NYC-area bands of the last 30 years is one you shouldn't pass up. And you have that chance on Friday (4/27) at the Bell House. While bands from Luna (who had the Feelies' Stanley Demeski on drums at the beginnning) to The Strokes have taken from them, there's no substitute for that Bill Million/Glen Mercer guitar interplay that still sounds like magic.

You can listen to the Feelies' terrific album from last year, Here Before, as well as some of their classic ones, at Spotify. The Feelies also play Saturday (4/28) at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY if you're up that way and a few more scheduled dates throughout the summer which are further down this post.

That's the big stuff this week. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above, are below.

Diehard
Diehard

TUESDAY, APRIL 24

Diehard are at Union Hall tonight with Everest, Benjamin Cartel (of Kaiser Cartel) and Resistor. Diehard just released a video for their theme songwhich you can watch below. It's from last year's The Times We Didn't Have Fun which you can download for free from Bandcamp. Diehard also play Saturday (4/28) at the Rock Bar in the west, West Village.

Colorado's Gauntlet Hair are in town at GLasslands tonight with dream poppers Field Mouse and Baby Alpaca.

Catch new Captured Tracks artist Mac Demarco tonight at Bowery Ballroom opening for Nite Jewel.

Nick Lowe
Nick Lowe

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25

One of the coolest cats around, Nick Lowe is at at Town Hall with nearly 40 years worth of amazing songs in his arsenal. Last year's The Old Magic was another winner from the Basher and you can stream it at Spotify and watch the comedy star-studded video for "Sensitive Man" below.

Sacramento's astral trio Sister Crayon wrap up their Pianos residency tonight with support from Megafortress, New Moods and Tygerstrype. Stay late for a free show from Japanese rockers ZZZ's.

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Continue reading "Allo Darlin', The Wave Pictures, Here We Go Magic, The Feelies, Nick Lowe & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: TOPS - Turn Your Love Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (For Real For Sure For You) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD:  Young Prisms - Floating in Blue (MP3)
DOWNLOADBoy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle (MP3)

Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco

It begins. Bands from all over the world -- England! Canada! Sweden! New Zealand! Virginia! -- descend on New York as they beat a path to Austin for this year's SXSW. Which is good for those who aren't going, as well as folks who are but want to see bands play longer than 25 minutes and aren't strung out on a four-day diet of free breakfast tacos, Vitamin Water and Amstel Light. There's lots more going on than what is covered below, but it's what I'm interested in over the next few days.

New Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco is in town from Vancouver to play a couple shows. He plays an all-C/T bill tonight (3/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DIVE, Hoop Dreams and headliners Beach Fossils (sold out), and then Glasslands tomorrow (3/3) with  headliners Widowspeak and  Quilt.

Demarco, who used to record under the name Makeout Videotapes, has a smoky baritone that is part Chris Isaak and part Tindersticks. His music owes a little to Isaak as well, with an early '60s vibe (Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent) by way of '80s neon, all on a four-track budget. You can check debut "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans" from his debut, Rock n' Roll Hotel (out 3/20) at the top of this post, which is indicative of what Demarco is all about. You can also watch the video for "Only You" which is kind of NSFW. Dude's a provocateur.

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

Tonight's MHoW show is the first NYC show we've had from Blacksburg, VA's Hoop Dreams in a long while. They were good when I saw them at Glasslands last year and have the potential to be breakouts for the label if they ever get around to releasing another record (only a single so far). Live, they're more in the Arcade Fire/Editors anthemic style than the single might suggest. It will also be a good opportunity to hear new music from Beach Fossils who are busy at work on their second LP.

And of course, DIVE, who are probably one of the more exciting live bands in Brooklyn right now and are a definite SXSW must-see if you don't live here and have the opportunity to catch them twice a week like we currently do. (They're also touring with Frankie Rose in April.) The show is sold out tonight, but I'd be shocked if there weren't tickets at the door at least when the box office opens.

TOPS
TOPS

Montreal band TOPS are playing 285 Kent tomorrow night as part of a killer bill that includes Blood Orange, Phone Tag and  Caged Animals. The four-piece is comprised of most (if not all) of MTL's Silly Kissers who played here a few times over the last few years and were a little on the precious side (they sometimes wore mime makeup). TOPS, however, are more in the Ariel Pink/Puro Instict brand of minimal keyboard pop. Their debut, Tender Opposites, came out this week on Artibus Records, which is also home to Grimes (in Canada). You can download "Turn Your Love Around" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing (and watch the further down.

As you may have read, 285 headliners Caged Animals will open the Official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on March 14 at Bar 69 which also includes Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young and one more TBA. If you haven't heard their tuneful, charming debut Eat Their Own yet, it's still streamable at their BandCamp. And they're terrific live.

So is Blood Orange, despite it just being Dev Hynes, his guitar and a laptop. I saw him last weekend at Glasslands where he spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. I do wish he'd get a band, but the one-man Blood Orange is a lot of fun. I haven't seen Phone Tag in a while, but I dig their brand of '80s synthpop.

Korallreven
Koralreven

Sunday night (3/4) at Bowery Ballroom is the NYC debut of Swedish duo Korallreven, one half of which is The Radio Dept.'s Daniel Tjäder. I like their debut album a lot, all lush, synth-driven dream pop but, like a lot of music like this, I wonder how they're going to make it an interesting concert experience. I envision two guys behind laptops and keyboards bobbing their heads and singing, with some projections and hopefully smoke machines.  Maybe they could move the downstairs couches to the main room? Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. I'm sure it will sound great in any case.  If you haven't heard them yet, you can download "Sa Sa Samoa" in regular and remixed form at the top of this post and watch the video at the bottom of this post. Also playing: Lemonade and Young Magic.

Bachelorette
Bachelorette

Also playing Sunday night, at Cameo, is Bachelorette -- aka New Zealander Annabel Alpers who I think lives here now. Buoyed by Alpers delicate, breathy voice, Bachelorette make ethereal synthpop not miles away from The Magnetic Fields, with whom she's going on tour for seven shows. (All dates at the bottom of this post.) I liked it better when she had a band, but the loop pedal incarnation is pretty lovely too. You can check out a couple videos below or stream her most recent album on Spotify.

Young Prisms at the Comet, Seattle (photo by Finest Kiss)
Young Prisms Finest Kiss

And looking into early next week, San Francisco's Young Prisms and Austin's Boy Friend are at Glasslands on Monday (3/5). Young Prisms new album, In Between, is out March 27 on Kanine and is a real step forward for the band. Their still mining first-wave shoegaze, but the songs are much stronger this time out with a couple that go for jangly Velocity Girl style pop. They will be very loud I guarantee you. Boy Friend will make a nice opener, with their hazy, 4-AD miasma vibe. You can download MP3s from both bands at the top of this post. Also playing, seemingly from another show, are Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and Tanks Amigo.

That's the big stuff for the next four days. But wait, there's more. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above:

The Young Empires at M for Montreal 2011
Young Empires

FRIDAY, MARCH 2

Like Friendly Fires and Foals? Check out Toronto's Young Empires are at Glasslands, with Saint Motel, Fan-Tan, and Transmission NYC (DJ set).

Expect a wild evening at Death by Audio with "original line-up" Tyvek, plus Habibi, Feelings and the Numerators. Stick-in-the-muds, go see something else!

Boston's pop veterans The Figgs play Littlefield. The band's new double album, The Day Gravity Stopped, is out sometime soon.

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Continue reading "Mac DeMarco, TOPS, Korallreven, Bachelorette, Young Prisms, Boy Friend and more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Big Troubles - "Misery" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wild Beasts - "Loop the Loop" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Diehard - A VerySerious Man (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Diehard - Diehard (MP3)
DOWNLOADCave - Adam Roberts (MP3)
DOWNLOADDive - Sometime (MP3)
DOWNLOADHeaven's Gate - Salome (MP3)

Big Troubles

Welcome to the first day of Autumn! The air is crisp, it's a pleasure to be outside...which is where you'll be on your way to the many good show options this week. Where to start...

I guess I should mention R.E.M.'s decision to "call it a day." It's the right thing to do... but I sorta wish it'd happened 13 years ago. The post-Bill Berry records had their good songs, but it was never really R.E.M. to me. But their first decade, few bands were as important and influential. Hopefully they continue to make music on their own (Peter Buck's got like four other bands anyway), and cross our fingers that doesn't mean a Micheal Stipe solo album of "standards."

This leads nicely into this week's first real item:  Big Troublesrecord release party tomorrow night (9/22) at Glasslands. Mitch Easter, who produced R.E.M.'s first two albums, was behind the boards for their new album, Romatic Comedy, which is out next week on Slumberland.

Those familiar with Big Troubles' sludgy, shoegazy debut album, Worry, might wonder if it's the same band this time. Working with Let's Active's Mitch Easter (who twiddled knobs on R.E.M.'s first two albums [and Pavement's Brighten the Corners), the band have cleaned up into a sparkling pop band. It's a dramatic transformation, not unlike the one Easter helped make happen with '90s shoegaze band Moose on their debut album, ...XYZ. With crazy catchy song after crazy catchy song, Romantic Comedy is a terrific album. You can download "Misery" at the top of this post.

The rest of the country will get to see them soon, as they're heading out on tour with their Slumberland labelmates The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (who headlined Bowery Ballroom this week) and then later with Real Estate who they play Bowery Ballroom with in November. All 2011 Big Troubles tour dates are at the bottom of this post, along with the video for their single "Sad Girls."

In addition to Big Troubles, their record release party also has  The Ice Choir and Cuffs playing as well, plus Ford & Lopatin on DJ duty.

Cuffs is the new band from former Pants Yell! frontman Andrew Churchman (one of Big Troubles is also in the band). They are at the same time more pure pop than PY! were and also more rockin'. They're good live.

Ice Choir
Ice Choid

The Ice Choir is the new project from Kurt Feldman who plays drums for Pains of Being Pure at Heart and used to front The Depreciation Guild. It's funky synthpop that sounds an awful lot like...Scritti Politti?! It's true. Listen to the songs on Bandcamp and compare with this. I'm very curious to see what The Ice Choir will be like live. Will Kurt wear a while suit with giant shoulder pads? I hope so.

Wild Beasts
Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts are back, playing two nights at Music Hall of Williamsburg (Friday 9/23 and Saturday 9/24) with BOBBY opening both shows. The band's third album, Smother, has been a real grower for me and find myself going back to it a lot.  It's definitely a subtler album than Two Dancers  that shows the influence of Talk Talk and The Blue Nile in particular. It's a grower, as they say, and a worthy successor to 2009's best album. Check out "Loop the Loop" at the top of this post and there's a new video for "Bed of Nails" below.

Live, Wild Beasts are truly something to behold,  transcending their records every time (at least every time I've seen them). Sky Larkin's Katie Harkin is back again playing keyboards with the band on this go-round which is an added bonus for some of us. I haven't seen them tour this album yet, so I'm really looking forward to this weekend's shows. All Wild Beasts tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

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So Girls' new album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost debuted at #37 on the Billboard which is pretty impressive -- and also means they'll be playing much bigger places next time they roll through town. Their Bowery Ballroom shows this weekend are sold out, natch, but you can try and squeeze into Other Music tonight (9/21) for their free in-store.

Diehard

What else? '90s-rocking locals Diehard are set to release their debut album, The Times We Didn't Have Fun, next week and it's a ripper, full of big riffs, bigger choruses, oohs and ahhs, and hooks o' plenty. You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post. You can listen to the whole shebang at their Bandcamp page.

The band are throwing a record release party this Friday (9/23) at Bruar Falls with likeminded pals Radical Dads, Shark? and Thunderclap also playing.

Cave @ Issue Project Room in 2010 (more by Greg Cristman)
Cave

Cave are here this weekend, playing Saturday, September 24 at soon-to-be-closed Live With Animals (with Amen Dunes, K-Holes & PC Worship), and then Sunday, September 25 at Cake Shop. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

As I wrote earlier this week, the band's new album  Neverendless finds finds them locking onto a groove and staying with it in the Neu!/Spacemen 3 tradition. You can download the "Adam Roberts" (the album's spaciest cut) at the top of this post and watch the video for the album's chugging, motoroik single, "WUJ," below.

Dive @ Shea Stadium
Dive

And finally, two bands I wrote about last week -- Dive and Heaven's Gate  (MP3s for both above) -- play again together tomorrow night (9/22) at 285 Kent, with Dustin Wong and Prussia. At the time, I hadn't seen either play live but remedied that last Friday at Shea Stadium. Both bands were very good, but different than I was expecting.

Heaven's Gate are much less shoegazy than their old band Sweetbulbs, with more of a blues-punk vibe (think Cramps or maybe JSBE or early YYYs). But their best songs still have some of that melodic swirl to them.

As for Dive, their recordings are very Beach Fossils-y (frontman Cole Smith is in the band). But live, Dive are a motorik dynamo, very Krautrock at times. There's a lot of flying hair, the band are whirling dervishes on stage. I was impressed. Dive are also playing Pianos earlier Thursday night (9PM) if you want to catch them there.

Here are some more picks, by day, not mentioned above:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Cymbals Eat Guitars play Music Hall of Williamsburg. Their new album, Lenses Alien, is more '90s style indie rock guitar heroics, maybe a little more pop than their first. Hooray for Earth and Beige open.

Though if you're a '90s indie rock fan, you might instead be seeing Olivia Tremor Control and The Music Tapes at Le Poisson Rouge. OTC's Dusk at Cubist Castle remains a '90s classic. if you can't make it, NPR will be streaming it online.

Or if the '80s is more your thing, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are at Irving Plaza.

There's also the Hipster Puppies Cassette Release Party at Public Assembly. Music critic and frequent Twitter fighter Chris Weingarten is putting out a mix tape companion to his book which is based on his tumblr. Zs, Dinowalrus, Mountains and Burning Star Core all play sets. More info here.

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Continue reading "Big Troubles, Ice Choir, Wild Beasts, Girls, Diehard, Dive, Heaven's Gate & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: White Fence - Get That Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: White Wires - Be True to Your School ('Til You Get Kicked Out) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Buffalo Tom - "Arise, Watch" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Modern Skirts - Happy 81 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Modern Skirts - Bumber Car (MP3)

White Fence
White Fence

It's been kind of a bummer week with way too many great musicians lost (Gerard Smith, Poly Styrene, Pheobe Snow) but Spring is finally here and, well, the beat goes on. Lots of worthy shows this week.

First up is White Fence who are making a rare trip to the East Coast this week, playing a few shows here in NYC: Thursday at 285 Kent with Woods and Spectre Folk, then Saturday (4/30) at Cake Shop. I feel fairly certain that they are also "Beige Swordfights" listed as part of a sweet Death by Audio show on Friday (4/29) that includes The Beets, Fergus and Geronimo and The Sundelles.

White Fence is Tim Presley who also fronts LA psych-rock band Darker My Love. Where that band is more groovy in a JAMC/BJM kind of way, White Fence sounds like a lost nugget from the late '60s flower power scene. White Fence released its debut on Woodsist last year, and the second album, ...Is Growing Faith, came out this January. Both records are weird and wonderful, lots of great songs made more interesting with vintage sound and old-school tape effects. If you like Love, The Left Banke or, more recently, the Lilys (to name three L bands) you'll dig White Fence's scene.

White Wires
White Wires

Keeping with the color scheme, Ottowa, Ontario's White Wires are back in town for a one-off show on Thursday at Bruar Falls as part of a fun line-up of party rock and power pop. One of my favorite live bands of the last few years, White Wires play no-nonsense three-minute pop and do so with a joy you can't fake. White Wires new album, WWII, gets in and gets out in less than 30 minutes and should appeal to fans of the Nerves, early Tom Petty and The Undertones.

The rest of the show, brought to you by the good folks at Daed Pizza, looks pretty cool too with all-girl trio Babyshakes, and Games which is a new band formed from ex-members of Gentleman Jesse and Busy Signals. Obviously, this is not the synthy Games who now go by Ford & Lopatin. You can listen to this Games' swell debut single over at the Rob's House Records website.

Buffalo Tom
Buffalo Tom

What else? Buffalo Tom play Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (4/28). The Boston trio were once dubbed "Dinosaur Jr. Jr." (being signed to SST and having J Mascis produce your debut, it was an easy joke) but became one of the most popular bands of the early '90s alt rock scene. 1990's Birdbrain and 1992's Let Me Come Over are indie rock classics that were unavoidable on college radio and Alternative Nation (or episodes of My So-Called Life) and still hold up.

The band went on hiatus around 2000 but returned with 2007's Three Easy Pieces and have just released a new album, Skins, which came out in February. It's pretty good. More mature, yes, but Buffalo Tom can still bring the noise too. If you have any doubt, you can download the entirety of Buffalo Tom's Mercury Lounge show from November 2010 courtesy NYC Taper. You can also check out a track from Skins at the top of this post.

Modern Skirts
Modern Skirts

And finally, Lord Huron are here on Thursday (4/28, the night of Too Many Good Shows) at Mercury Lounge. (And at tonight at MHoW with Femi Kuti) (we're giving away a pair of tickets on Facebook). I like their EP well enough, and the Merc show seems likely to sell out, so I'm really here to say if you're going do go early enough to check out North Highlands who play right before them. It's their first show in a long time, as the band have been putting finishing touches on their debut album which they've been working hard on all winter. The band are promising lots of new songs which is pretty exciting. Anyone who's seen them play know North Highlands are great live and I think 2011 is gonna be a big year for them. Go see 'em! And yeah, stay for Lord Huron I guess.

That's mostly it for this week. A few more daily picks are below:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

Blogs may have gotten over their crush on Austin band Oh No! Oh My! but that doesn't mean they've gone stale. Hear their still-catchy indiepop tonight at The Rock Shop tonight. Go early to catch Atlanta's underrated Modern Skirts (check out two tracks at the top of this post).

Diehard, who've been busy recording their Kickstarter-funded debut album, try out some songs live at Cake Shop. One of NYC's best indie rock rock bands.

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Continue reading "White Fence, White Wires, Games (not Ford & Lopatin), Buffalo Tom, North Highlands, Modern Skirts, Yelle & more in This Week in Indie"

Northside

Theophilus London will headline the "Official Northside Festival Opening Party" at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday, June 16th. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon, and then general sale Friday at noon. You can also try to get in with a Northside Festival badge.

The hip hop artist is one of 65+ new artists being officially added to the lineup of this year's Northside Festival (June 16-19 in various venues across Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY). Here's the full list:

Continue reading "Northside Fest adds 65+ bands to lineup, Theophilus @ MHOW, Mount Eerie, Iceage & more ++ open studios & DIY films"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - You Don't Know Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Yang Yang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Terry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Floaters (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - You Today (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - Retrospective (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: The Vacant Lots - Confusion (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Don Giovanni Sampler (Zip)

Gross Relations
Gross Relations

In addition to being Black History Month, National Bird Feeding Month and National Sweet Potato Month, February also seems to consistently have a lot of band residencies. You may already be aware of ones by ARMS (who I'll get to shortly) and Yellow Ostrich,  but I'd also like to point out that up-and-coming Brooklyn indie rock band Gross Relations starts a three-week Tuesday residency tonight (2/8) at Bruar Falls.

Gross Relations have been going less than a year, but seem to have a clear idea with what they want to sound like. Like Mr. Dream and Diehard, the band shares a love of '90s indie rock. With the prominent keyboard lead lines (or maybe it's heavily-treated guitar?) on both sides of their "Fuzzy Timelines" 7", it's pretty easy to make comparisons to The Rentals, but the band they really remind me of is Chicago's late, great Number One Cup.

Either way, it's a good thing. Gross Relations write some majorly catchy songs. You can download the b-side to their single at the top of this post. Tonight's residency also features The Toothaches (whose debut album is a free download), Gone Bad, and NT.

ARMS @ Glasslands in December (more by Andrew St. Clair)
ARMS

I mentioned ARMS briefly above who are on Week Two (2/9) of their February Wednesdays residency at Pianos. Todd Goldstein and the rest of the band are finishing up work on their debut album (Kids Aflame was more of a Todd solo thing) with Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells). So expect a lot of new songs, I'd imagine. Todd says of the record, "It's a vast, hi-fi album. We're doing everything we can to take full advantage of the studio... the songs are very poppy and a little weird, there are lots of beautiful/scary textures, copious-but-thoughtful use of reverb... sequenced into a song-cycle, a sort of sci-fi breakup album." ARMS are hoping to have it out by the summer.

This week's residency is especially strong I think. It includes the lovely Hospitality, who finally seem to be getting down to business, having wrapped up their long-gestating debut album (also with Stoneback) which could be out as early as the spring. Let's hope! Singer Amber Papini promises a couple new songs at the show.

Also playing: Radical Dads, whose new single is a free  for you (with email address) via the increasingly popular Download Widget (found below). And Translations (who share a member with ARMS) open who I am super psyched to finally be seeing live after months of digging their debut 7".

Show's eight bucks, will be a good one.

Martial Canterel
>Martial Canterel

Also Wednesday is the record release party for Martial Canterel's You Today which came out today on Wierd Records. The show is part of Wierd's weekly Wednesday night party at Home Sweet Home. The flyer says performance at midnight, but I've never seen a band go on there before 1AM.

Martial Canterel is the non de synth of Sean McBride who is also one half of Xeno & Oaklander. McBride is kind of a luddite, making his records entirely on vintage equipment that was probably cutting-edge technology in 1980. Obviously it sounds very retro, but McBride's way of doing things also gives it a sound -- and authenticity -- you can't quite replicate on a laptop. Check out the title track at the top of this post. And if you dig that, also up there is a free downloadable Martial Canterel retrospective, including some rare songs.

Anika
Anika

In town this weekend is Anika whose debut album was a late-breaking entry into my Favorite Albums of 2011. Recorded in 12 days, live with no overdubs, it sounds like the missing link between The Slits and Lilliput. Portishead's Geoff Barrow -- his other band BEAK> is the backing band here -- gets the claustrophobic vibe just right. A lot of people have tried and failed to recreate that Martin Hannett Sound... Barrow nails it. And the material -- a mix of girl group covers and politically-charged originals -- suits Anika's Nico-esque delivery perfectly.

You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post. "Yang Yang" is a Yoko Ono cover, and "Terry" was originally recorded by Twinkle, who is probably best-known for having made the original version of "Golden Lights" that was later covered by The Smiths. (Many Smiths fans' least favorite track, but not mine. That would be "Never Had No One Ever.") The album sort of snuck out at the end of 2011, so catch up now. So good.

Don't get too excited though, Anika is just over for some DJ gigs -- I'm hearing we'll get her performing in May (and probably later at ATP) -- but I'd recommend checking one of them out nonetheless. Especially as three of them are free: on Thursday (2/10) she'll be at Gallery Bar with Blu Jemz, then  Saturday (2/12) at Trophy Bar and a Valentine's Day set  (2/14) at The Commodore. The remaining three NY DJ appearances are atMercury Lounge tomorrow night (2/9) spinning between sets at the Cubic Zirconia show (tickets), and Glasslands on Friday (2/11) where she'll spin in between sets by JavelinHigh Life, & Monster Rally (tickets), and finally Santos Pary House on 2/16 as part of the previously discussed Beans show with EdanPaten LockeBluebird (tickets).

That Javelin show on Friday night should be fun, as Anika's tastes will nicely contrast/compliment the sounds of Javelin (always one of the better live bands saddled with the "chillwave" tag), Highlife and Monster Rally.

That's the big stuff this week. Some more picks, day-by-day, are below.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

Gang of Four at Webster Hall, though really it's more like Gang of Two as it's just Jon King and Andy Gill from the original line-up these days. Their new album, Content, isn't bad. But most people will go to hear "To Hell With Poverty," "At Home He's  a Tourist," and other classics. And while Hugo and Dave will be missed, Andy Gill is still amazing to watch spit out those riffs, and Jon King remains possessed on stage -- especially when he's beating the shit out of a microwave on "He'd Send in the Army."

continued below...

Continue reading "Gross Relations, ARMS, Martial Canterel, Anika, Vacant Lots, Javelin, Abe Vigoda, Don Giovanni, more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Marielle Solan

Real Estate

Real Estate will play a free show on 12/19 at Brooklyn Bowl. The 21+ event kicks off with 6PM doors, is their only current tour date and is part of the "Local by Local" series that also recently brought Crystal Stilts to the venue (on 11/14).

Real Estate played a private (and also free) show on a Rocks Off concert cruise on Saturday (11/13) in celebration of the birthday of Mike Greenhaus (of jam band magazine Relix Magazine). It was invite-only, though one attendee told me they weren't actually checking a list at the door. According to Amy Jacques (via an email to me):

"...in keeping with the Relix theme, Real Estate teased Phish's "First Tube," thanked bassist Alex Bleeker for "being more into jambands than the rest of us" and guitarist Matthew Mondanile joked about taking mushrooms at a Phish show.

Also, in keeping with the jamband cover theme, [opener] Rottweiler the Best (which shares members with [other opener] Diehard) opened with a punk version of "I Know You Rider," made famous by the Grateful Dead, and Diehard's Ezra Selove nodded to his Weezer cover band Blue Album Group by riffing on a few Weezer songs between sets. [Fourth band on the bill] MiniBoone closed the night to a packed house and continued playing as the ship docked."
More pictures from the show are below...

Continue reading "Real Estate played a boat w/ Diehard & Miniboone (pics), playing a free show at a bowling alley"

by Bill Pearis

Diehard

Makers of quality melodic indie rock, Diehard have just released a new EP, Ultimate Heartthrob, that is a free download from their Bandcamp page. You can also listen to it via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. While still clearly indebted to the glory days of indie rock, Ultimate Heartthrob doesn't lean as obviously on the '90s as much as their previous EP, but the songs are no less tuneful.

Diehard have a few shows coming up, including one tonight (9/9) at Shea Stadium where they'll play with Olympia, WA's Christmas,  Dutch Treat, Total Slacker and Widow's Peak. They'll also be playing a few East Coast dates with Shark? and all those shows are listed after the jump.

Continue reading "upcoming Diehard shows & a free EP"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Weekend - End Times (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Weekend - All American (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Procedure Club - Feel Sorry for Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Procedure Club - Rather (MP3)
DOWNLOADNo Joy - No Joy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ceremony - Someday (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Games - Everything is Working (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Family Trees - Dream Talkin (MP3)

Weekend @ Cake Shop
Weekend

I hope you all survived the insanity that was last week. Thankfully, this week is not quite as action packed but still a lot of cool stuff going on. Let's get to it.

Lovers of shoegazy noisepop will want to be at Silent Barn tonight (8/18) for a pretty killer quadruple bill at which earplugs are definitely recommended. San Francisco's Weekend and New Haven, CT's Procedure Club are both signed to Slumberland Records. Weekend are pretty clean-cut looking dudes who make a dark-edged squall that shows a direct through-line from Joy Division to Jesus and Mary Chain to Ride and beyond. I caught them last night at Cake Shop and despite a few microphone problems I thought they were pretty good. Loud. Really loud. The band have already released singles on Transparent and Mexican Summer -- download tracks from those at the top of this post -- and the Slumberland album, Sports (is the title perhaps a tip of a hit to fellow Bay Area musician Huey Lewis?), is out in November. Weekend also play Death by Audio tomorrow (8/19) tomorrow night with sonic compatriots A Place to Bury Strangers.

Procedure Club
Procedure Club

Procedure Club, meanwhile, are more on the bedroom pop side of things. Their album, Doomed Forever, came out in June and is a pretty low fi affair, but the songwriting begins to shine through the cacophony on repeated listens. Check out two tracks from the album above, and there's a video for "Rather" at the bottom of this post.

As for the rest of the Silent Barn bill, there's LA/Montreal duo No Joy who I've written about before (but still haven't seen) and are possibly the loudest band on a very loud night. The band's debut 7" is out now on Mexican Summer (grab the b-side above) and is recommended to those whose taste leans towards the sludgy side of things. No Joy are also playing the Death by Audio show with APTBS and Weekend tomorrow night, and will then head out on tour with Dungen, and those tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Rounding out the show are Fredericksburg, VA's Ceremony who crib more than a little from JAMC (and Medicine and The Radio Dept.), though their album, Rocket Fire, has some nice moments on it -- you can download an MP3 of "Someday" at the top of this post.

Dean and Britta
Dean and Britta

Dean Wareham kicks off his "Plays Galaxie 500" tour tonight at the Rock Shop, and he'll do it again tomorrow night at Bowery Ballroom with Crystal Stilts opening. Both shows are sold out so I won't go on and on here, but I'm looking forward to this trip down Memory Lane. Hopefully he'll pull out some of my favorites ("Strange," "Parking Lot," "Oblivious"). Dean talked to the AV Club about the difficulties of rearranging the songs for his current band:

AVC: You play with four people now instead of three.

DW: We like four people, because I listen to the records, and there's generally two guitars, because there's an overdub on each track. Or sometimes Matt [Sumrow] plays keyboards; he switches back and forth. I think it sounds fuller with the live guitar. When I go back and look at the old Galaxie 500 live recordings, sometimes Kramer would get onstage with us and play a few songs. It sounded a little fuller. There are times when it works great as a three-piece, too.

AVC: Does touring the Galaxie songs as a four-piece involve some rearranging?

DW: It involves some rehearsing. The songs are more difficult to play than I remember. I listened to the live Galaxie 500 album from Copenhagen, and I realized that's at the end of a tour, after we had been touring for a couple of months and had gotten pretty good at it. In terms of chord structure, the songs are incredibly simple. For example, a song like "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste" is only one chord, but there's a whole lot going on in it.

AVC: Peter Buck talks about how hard it was late in R.E.M.'s career to relearn some of their early songs. Because they didn't know what they were doing at first, it's incredibly difficult to replicate.

DW: On "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste," when I was going over my guitar solo, I had no idea what I was doing and I was completely lost. Then I'm like, "How did I do that?"

AVC: It's hard to stumble into the same thing twice.

DW: Well, obviously I don't have to replicate it note-for-note. Mind you, I've got fans who get mad if I play "Snowstorm" and I do the solo with the fuzz pedal instead of the wah-wah. "What! How could he do that?"

Dean & Britta, meanwhile, have a new album, 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests, which they'll be touring in the fall.  (NYC's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on 10/22.) All Dean Wareham Plays Galaxie 500 tour dates (including the Music Hall of Willimsburg one that was just added in December) , HERE, and video of the original band doing "Strange" is at the bottom of this post.

Deva
Deva

And a few more picks, day-by-day of shows that weren't covered above.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18

Family Trees, who probably own a Galaxie 500 record or two, play their dreamy folk pop to Pianos tonight opening for Julian Lynch and Family Portrait. Check out Family Tree's lovely "Dream Talkin'" at the top of this post.

Quality indie rockers Diehard highlight a fun bill at Bruar Falls that also has The Vandelles and The Sanctuaries.

Air Waves, The Beets, Easter Vomit and Rifle Recoil play a benefit for Yellow Fever's Jennifer Moore at Death by Audio.

continued below...

Continue reading "Weekend, APTBS, Procedure Club, Galaxie 500, Games, No Joy, Ceremony, Family Trees & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Twin Shadow - Slow (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Total Slacker - Cops Freak Me Out (MP3)

Summer Blondes
Summer Blondes

Ok it's a busy weekend of shows. It always is, I always say that. But this TWII is seems more packed than most. No doubt, it is time to try a little harder in the band name department. Especially when it comes to beachy ones of which, anyone who even casually checks in with Pitchfork can tell you, there are too many of. Adding to the band name clutter and confusion are Oakland, CA's Summer Blondes who are visiting us this weekend. They play tonight (7/21) at Shea Stadium, a house party in Bushwick on Friday (7/23) and Bruar Falls on Saturday.

Given their name and hometown, it may not surprise you learn that Summer Blondes (who are dudes, maybe that's a surprise) make low-fi surf garage rock. That said, and lack of moniker originality aside, I like these guys. Alternating between laid back instrumentals and blown-out rockers (and some that most interestingly fall in between), there's more musicality going on here than you might expect. Also: their drummer is a manic powerhouse, and their singer/screamer appears to be a little nuts. No records out yet, but the band do have CDR demos they've been handing out at shows so keep an eye/ear out for those.

Pujol
Pujol

Also playing that Saturday Bruar Falls show are Nashville's Pujol who are on JEFF the Brotherhood's Infinity Cat label. Is it just me or does it seem like there's a Nashville band in town every weekend? Bye bye JEFF and Heavy Cream, but hello Pujol. You may know him from Wizardz or MEEMAW if you follow the Nashville scene closer than I do. Like all the bands on the Infinity Cat roster, Daniel Pujol makes poppy, punky party rock that is hard to dislike.

If you can't make the Bruar show, Pujol also play Silent Barn on Sunday night and that one's with The Beets, Knight School, and Moonmen on the Moon, Man. Check out a couple Pujol music videos at the bottom of this post with all dates.

Moving from Nashville to Memphis, as mentioned in the previous post, we've got Magic Kids in town for a couple of show. Read more about that there.

Twin Shadow
Twin Shadow

For being in a band who have never done a whole lot for me one way or the other (there, I admit it), I like every band on Chris Taylor's Terrible Records.  The label's next release is the debut from locals Twin Shadow which will be out September 28. The brainchild of stylish New Yorker George Lewis Jr., Twin Shadow mix a variety of '80s influences into a pretty distinctive sound. For example, on "Slow," which you can download at the top of this post, you can hear a little Joy Division in the drumbeat, and the arpeggiated, delay-effected guitar is straight out of The Chameleons or U2's playbook. You can even hear a little Prince ("I Would Die 4 U") and Bruce Springsteen ("I'm on Fire") in there too. But he makes it all into something new.

Lewis, who sounds like The Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan but looks more than a little like Phil Lynott, is a charismatic cat on stage... see them now in small places while you can. Twin Shadow play Cake Shop Thursday (7/22) and Coco 66 on Friday (7/23). Both shows are with Hooray for Earth.

Free Energy @ the Pitchfork Festival (more by Kate Gardiner)

And last but certainly not least, this Friday's edition of the Seaport Music Festival might just be the biggest of the Summer with Free Energy, Best Coast and Loose Limbs. Best Coast couldn't be any hotter right now with just about every media outlet writing about their debut album which comes out next week. It's a fine showcase for Bethany Cosentino's natural way with a melody, her great Loretta Lynn-ish voice, and her ability to rhyme the word "crazy." Much has been made of the single-minded lyrical themes -- a very bad breakup, weed -- but I prefer to focus on those melodies and her voice which can stop you in your tracks. It a gorgeous record in that respect, and Best Coast, now with full-time drummer Ali (swiped from Vivian Girls), have been good the three times I've seen them this year (twice at SXSW, once at Knitting Factory). It's also Best Coast's only NYC show (not counting the invite-only one last night) until they return at the end of September. All tour dates are below.

Headliners Free Energy should be right at home on a big outdoor stage, as their album is loaded with festival-ready fist-pumping rock anthems, stealing the best bits of Thin Lizzy, ELO and '80s stadium rock. Perfect summer music, that goes down easier than Bud Light. Get there early for trio Loose Limbs (who are signed to Seaport Music Records), and I'll be DJing a second week in a row. Will I play The Darkness? Seems likely.

--

That's gonna do it for this edition. There's some more daily picks of things worth checking out that I didn't cover above:

WEDNESDAY, JULY 21

Montreal's Parlovr and Suuns play the first of their two shows this week at Mercury Lounge and both are worth catching (and one is now signed to Secretly Canadian). It's an early show.

You could make a Montreal night of it by then heading over to Home Sweet Home for the Wierd party where Automelodi play at Midnight.

Sludgy noisemerchants Total Slacker (check out new MP3 "Cops Freak Me Out" at the top of this post) and funky Ava Luna (who impressed during Northside) headline a bill at Glasslands that also includes Mala Strana and Baltimore's loud Weekends.

Diehard, who'll have a new EP out soon of catchy, classic-sounding indie rock,  at Union Pool with The Waylons and World War.

continued below...

Continue reading "Summer Blondes, Twin Shadow, Violens, Free Energy, Pujol, Best Coast, Midnight Juggernauts, more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Chew Lips - Seven (MP3)

Chew Lips

Though they need to rethink that terrible name, up-and-coming Londoners Chew Lips are a likeable bunch - their aim is to make "music that sounds so dated it doesn't date", and on their debut they've fulfilled the brief. Unicorn is 32 minutes of the bippety-boppety electro sounds that defined 2009, making it feel both contemporary(ish) and retro, with the fleshy vocals of one-name singer Tigs comprising the selling point. [The Guardian]
Chew Lips are flying over from England to play their first NYC show this Monday, 4/12, at Littlefield. Rock bands Diehard and The Press open. Not the most congruous bill, but such is the world of showcasing.

You can download their track "Seven" above which is from their debut album, Unicorn, which came out earlier this year. It's a one-off show, as the band flies back for a UK tour. All dates are below, along with some of Chew Lips videos.

Continue reading "Chew Lips visiting from UK for a single NY show - dates, MP3"

by Bill Pearis

L Mag

The L Magazine's fifth annual "8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear" issue just hit the streets and the internet. It's got some familiar names (Twin Sister, North Highlands, Oberhofer) and some less-known ones (Nohow On, Asa Ransom). And like ever year, it's sure to spark some friendly debate, which I'll start: what, no Beach Fossils? Anyway, here's the L's Class of 2010, with each band's next NYC show just in case you wanna check 'em out (three of them are conveniently playing together at Cake Shop this Tuesday, April 6):

Honorable mentions include Die Hard, Shark?, and Ribbons. You may remember discussing previous L Mag lists in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

P.S. The L Magazine-produced Northside Festival returns this year: June 24-27

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADStandard Fare - Dancing (MP3)
DOWNLOADDiehard - Cool Kids (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sally Head - Man with Small Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Woods - I Was Gone (MP3)

Standard Fare

Standard Fare

It's March Madness, people. New York is very lucky to get a lot of SXSW runnoff and between now (3/11) and Monday (3/15) you can go see loads of great bands from all over the world -- Norway, England, Bushwick -- and they'll probably play longer sets than they will in Austin. So if you're not going to the fest (and most people aren't despite how empty Williamsburg will be next week), here's your chance to experience some of the fun. And if you are going, you can cross some bands off your list early and start getting used to late nights, loud music and cheap beer. If you're not already used to that.

I already talked about Free Energy. And speaking of Philadelphia, that the name of my favorite song on the new album by Sheffield, England's Standard Fare who play tonight at Cake Shop (3/11). It's got one of the better opening lyrical salvos that I've heard in a while: "Global warming is getting me down / It's making the sea between us wider and deeper / Now, I'm not Moses and I don't know how to split up the ocean and drive right on over." The music -- sprightly indie jangle -- suits it perfectly. The album's called The Noyelle Beat (out 3/16) and I highly recommend it, as well as going to see Standard Fare live.

Tonight's show is headlined by Diehard who if you haven't seen yet you should correct that soon. Unabashed lovers of '90s indie (but I wouldn't call them retro), they know their way around stick-in-your-head hooks. A perfect way to warm up for those Pavement reunion gigs. Also playing are Vancouver's low-fi rockers Makeout Videotape and Brooklynites Sally Head.

Wild Nothing

Virgina's Wild Nothing are back in town, playing Market Hotel tonight with Fluffy Lumbers, former Cibo Mato singer Miho Hatori and Blissed Out, and then they open for Woods, Real Estate and Happy Birthday at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (3/12).  I really like their debut album, Gemini, that will be out in May on Captured Tracks. The label just put out Wild Nothing's cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting " as a new 7" that's worth picking up while you wait for the album. If you like early '90s UK shoegaze and twee (Pale Saints, Field Mice are good touchstones) you should definitely check out them out. They haven't quite figured out the live show, but they're getting there and worth showing up early to check out. They'll also play Shea Stadium on Saturday (3/13) and will be back in two weeks to play Glasslands on April 2.

If you're going to the MHoW show on Friday (sold out), do get there early as Happy Birthday are worth seeing too. I caught them a couple weeks ago opening for the Dum Dum Girls and was taken by their mix of Big Star powerpop and Dinosaur Jr. sludge. Their album, due on Sub Pop this Tuesday (3/16), also has some synthy numbers on it too which they eschewed live when I saw them. It's not the most cohesive album, but almost all the songs are good. They'll be at SXSW too.

Woods, meanwhile, just announced that their new album, At Echo Lake, will be out May 11 on Woodsist. Check out the first song released from it, "I Was Gone," at the top of this post. Tracklisting and all tour dates below.

flyer

I feel like it goes without saying that all these bands written about this week will be heading to SXSW, including a bunch from here. Seven (mostly) local bands who are Austin-bound will be playing at Cake Shop on Saturday (3/13) which will serve as a gas money fundraiser for their trip down to Texas. Playing will be: Darlings, Sundelles, Total Slacker,  Big TroublesI'm Turning Into, My Teenage Stride, pus Raleigh, NC's Whatever Brains, and Virgina's Invisible Hand. The $10 door gets split equally between all bands, who each get 20 minute sets. There's additional drink specials if you bring road snacks for the bands.

While I'm here, I should mention that one of my favorite songs of last year was My Teenage Stride's digital single "Creep Academy" which has just been pressed as a real 7" so I urge you to pick that up, as well as any other merch from the other bands that might suit your fancy. Extra gas and food money for the bands.

Fliers, tour dates and a few more daily picks below...

Continue reading "Wild Nothing, Woods, Standard Fare, Diehard, Sally Head, pre-SXSW shows & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Standard Fare - Dancing (MP3)

Standard Fare

From Sheffield, England come trio Standard Fare, who'll be in New York (and Philly and Boston) before heading to SXSW: They'll play Cake Shop on March 11 (w/ Diehard) and March 14 at Death By Audio. Singer Emma Kupa has a way with a tune as well as clever, lovelorn lyrics and Standard Fare's debut, The Noyelle Beat, is pretty sweet. It comes out March 16 on Bar None Records. Download their single "Dancing" at the top of this post. If you like the likes of Sky Larkin, The Lodger, Los Campesinos! or The Blake Babies, you should definitely check them out. If you're going to SXSW they'll be playing the Cake Shop/Slumberland party on Friday, March 19 at Mohawk with Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Grass Widow, Frankie & the Outs, Summer Cats and Reading Rainbow, plus a few day parties during the week.

All tour dates, plus a video for "Dancing" are after the jump.

Continue reading "Standard Fare MP3 & tour dates (2 NYC shows, the Cake Shop/Slumberland SXSW showcase & more) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Oh No Ono - Internet Warrior (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Oh No Ono - Helplessly Young (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hooray for Earth - Surrounded by Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Field Music - Measure (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Twin Sister - Vampires with Dreaming Kids EP (Zip)

Oh No Ono
Oh No

Denmark's Oh No Ono are in town this week for their first-ever NYC shows, the first of which was an in-store at Sound Fix last night. Anybody go? I'm seeing them tonight at Mercury Lounge, where they'll be playing with Bear in Heaven, ArpLine and Jaguar Club. Tomorrow they're at Union Hall with Depreciation Guild and Hooray for Earth. Oh No Ono's new album, Eggs, is impressively bonkers and almost impossible to describe succinctly. It's psychedelic, baroque, glammy, 70's AM, with some synth pop and the occasional church choir thrown in. And very catchy stuff too. Maybe they're the Sid and Marty Kroft version of Mew? Hear it for yourself -- there's two tracks at the top of this post. I can't wait to see how they pull all this off live.

Tonight's Mercury Lounge show is sold out, no surprise given they're playing with Bear in Heaven. Tomorrow's Union Hall show is just as solid though, with eight bit shoegazers The Depreciation Guild who will soon head off with Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Kurt Feldman's in both bands) for a tour of Japan. Also playing are Hooray for Earth, who neatly straddle the line between electronic pop and electrified rock. The sound is familiar and inviting yet I don't seem to be able to come up with any obvious comparisons to another band, which is a good thing. They've got a new EP, Momo, that is currently only available through Emusic (the latest in the Emusic Selects series) but I wouldn't be surprised if they were selling it at their merch table. It's definitely worth picking up. You can download the lead track, "Surrounded by Friends," at the top of this post.

Field Music
Field Music

After cancelling their performance last-minute at Skippy's birthday party back in December, Field Music are back for their make-up date this Saturday (1/30) at the Bell House. If you bought tickets before, they're still valid. And if you haven't got tickets, they're still on sale. The Brewis brothers' new album, Field Music (Measure), is out February 16 and here's what I wrote last time:

...it's another knockout from the Brewis brothers, 20 tracks that further refine their distinctive mix of nervy new wave, prog, krautrock, tea party pop and whatever else they're into at the time. It's a Field Music album, no doubt about it, but it's less buttoned up, more rhythm heavy ("Let's Write a Book" shows that one of them's been listening to Can) and willing to give anything a try. If you've never seen Field Music live before, you should definitely come out, the Brewises are shit-hot musicians as well (David is an especially impressive drummer). There used to be a lot of switching instruments when they were a trio, but now as a four-piece I wonder if that'll still happen.
It really is a great album, probably the best thing the Brewis have done together or apart. You can download "Measure" at the top of this post which is reminiscent of Peter Brewis' The Week That Was project from 2008. Additionally, Field Music have announced dates for a spring North American tour opening for The Clientele that includes a March 23 stop at Bowery Ballroom. All Field Music/Clientele tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Twin Sister
Twin Sister

Friday (1/29) at Bruar Falls is a band a lot of people seem to be talking about right now: Twin Sister. To me, there's a little '80s delay-pedal shimmery-ness to them (Cocteau Twins, Disintigration-era Cure), nods to '70s muted-fretboard soft rock soul, as well as a pastoral folk thing going on. Basically, dreamy and beautiful stuff. They also remind me a bit of Montreal's Luyas who, if they ever make it down this way, Twin Sister would make a perfect double bill. Thier EP from last year, Vampires with Dreaming Kids, is a free download from their website, which we link to at the top of this post. A new EP titled Color Your Life is due in March on Infinite Best Recordings. There's a video trailer for the EP at the bottom of this post.

Twin Sister have a bunch of shows coming up. In addition to Friday's Bruar Falls -- which is free, btw-- they're also playing Saturday (1/30) at the loft above Richie's Gym which is out by the Myrtle JMZ stop. Both those shows are being presented by busy blog Chocolate Bobka and also feature Austin's languid, reverby Pure Ecstasy. The Bruar show also has Family Portrait and Baltimore's Run DMT. Twin Sister have a bunch more shows lined up in February, including 2/25 at Cameo with Toro Y Moi. All dates are at the bottom of this post.

A few other weekend picks, videos and tour dates below...

Continue reading "Oh No Ono, Hooray For Earth, Field Music, Twin Sister, Javelin, Diehard & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Beach Fossils - Time (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Campo-Formio - El Joke (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Total Slacker - Crystal Necklace (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Diehard - Cool Kids (MP3)

Total Slacker
Total Slacker

Tonight's the last show of The Babies' three-night Williamsburg run, this one part of a five-band bill at Glasslands. I didn't go to their show last night at Brooklyn Bowl with Real Estate, but most of the word I heard from friends who was pretty positive, including BV's own Andrew Frisicano. (When did Babies add the "The" to their name, btw?) The show tonight (1/6) is a solid line-up, maybe the most interesting of the three. Beach Fossils, who get better each time I see them, are set to have a busy 2010, with singles on Woodsist and Captured Tracks and a debut album in March that's a joint release between those two labels. The first taste of that is the song "Time" which you can download above. Sounds like they've dropped the weird vocal effects that I've disliked in the past, so that's the last I'll say on that subject. They're big hopes for this year. Beach Fossils head out on tour with The Beets and San Francisco's Christmas Island in February (Cake Shop on 2/9), and those dates are at the bottom of this post.

Also playing are Total Slacker, whose music sounds a lot like their name -- hazy, lazy with some majorly sarcastic lyrics. I spent much of this morning listening to the songs on their MySpace, none of which get above Galaxie 500 velocity but have high repeat listenability. ("Video Store Rental Guy" is pretty funny.) You can download one of them, "Crystal Necklace," at the top of this post. Total Slacker have a few more shows lined up if you can't make it to Glasslands tonight and those dates are at the bottom of this post. Also also playing tonight: Washington DC's True Womanhood and The Sundelles.

Diehard
Diehard

Thursday (1/7) at Union Pool is the record release party for local band Diehard's new EP, Oh So Premier. I wrote previously that they "channeled mid-'90s indie rock" and I think that comes through on the very tuneful tracks on the new record -- you can download "Cool Kids" from it at the top of this post. Singer Ezra Selove has one of those Indie Rock Voices, like Quasi's Sam Coomes or the Delgados' Alun Woodward, that sounds good paired with distorted guitars and female vocals (in this case, guitarist Liz Schroeter). These guys are good. Also playing: Mr. Dream, a band that features two rock journalists (Former Pitchfork and Village Voice writer Nick Sylvester and P4k's Adam Moerder), and experimental art-folkers My Favorite Things.

Also Thursday night (1/7): can-bashing Philadelphians Drink Up Buttercup play The Studio at Webster Hall. Their debut album, Born and Thrown on a Hook, is out March 23 on Yep Roc. The show also features Alex Bleeker and The Freaks, which is the country-folky side project from Real Estate bassist, and a few others.

Campo-Formio
Campo-Formio

Friday night (1/8) at Silent Barn is a real international affair, with bands from France (Subtle Turnhips), Puerto Rico (Campo-Formio) and two completely different parts of Brooklyn (My Teenage Stride and Electricians). There's not a lot of information out there about enigmatic Franco-garage punks Subtle Turnhips but apparently they've been around for a long time. You can download their entire new album for free from their website. One of the tracks from is is linked above.

Campo-Formio describe themselves thusly: "An intense power trio influenced by the sounds since proto-punk. We have a lot of energy to blast people's faces in our live performances. A twangy, shimmery guitar with a creative strumming, a deep bass and intense drum patterns beautifully present one ugly presentation." You can check out their creative, Unrest-like strumming on the track "El Joke" at the top of this post. In addition to the Silent Barn show on Friday, Campo-Formio also play Meat Town in New Bruswick, NJ on Saturday (1/9) and then Don Pedro's on 1/15 and Arlene's Grocery on 1/16.

Flyers and tour dates after the jump....

Continue reading "Beach Fossils, Total Slacker, Diehard, Drink Up Buttercup, Subtle Turnhips, Campo-Formio & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Diehard - Karaoke King (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Small Black - Despicable Dogs (MP3)

Free Energy
Free Energy

Philadelphia's nostalgic party rockers Free Energy are playing The Bell House next Tuesday (11/10). This is the band's first NYC show since a pretty successful CMJ run:

This group's laser-guided desire to be the go-to Dazed and Confused house band makes their ultimate intent curious. Considering the caveman riffs, boogie bass, and lyrics like, "you can do what you want to do," the question is: Are these guys kidding? The answer is (basically), "no."

Because when Sprangers sings, "you can do what you want to do," or, "never give up," or even, "bang pop pop," he means it-- possibly more than a grown man should. So this is seriously fun music, the type of thing Weezer have attempted for the last few years except not as creepy or cloying. [Pitchfork]

After the Bell House show, Free Energy are hitting the road for a string of South West dates that were supposed to be with UK band The Rakes who instead decided to break up instead. (They announced it during CMJ, which somewhat explains why we're only mentioning it now.) The Rakes will be missed, but here's hoping singer Alan Donahoe finds a new band soon. He'll need to do something with that nervous energy. The affected NYC date is November 12th at Highline Ballroom ("refunds available at all points of purchase").

Free Energy are also playing Santos Party House on November 28 with Glint opening.

Back to the Bell House show though. Also playing are another band who had a good CMJ, Brooklyn's Small Black. While they seem a little more song-based than most of the bands lumped in with this chillwave/glo-fi thing, there is a Washed Out remix of their (very good) current single "Despicable Dogs" So let's just lump them in there too and make it easy on ourselves for now. Unlike Washed Out though, Small Black have already figured out how to make their live show interesting. So if you missed them during CMJ, here's another chance. They play Market Hotel on November 7th too, with Pictureplane, Cale Parks, Grass Widow, and The Girls at Dawn. All dates below.

Also on the Bell House line-up are relatively new band Diehard who seem to be actively channeling mid-'90s American indie rock like Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and Pavement, and they do it very well. Check out their song "Karaoke King" at the top of this post, and if you like that they've got two more downloadable MP3s at their website.

Live videos of Free Energy and Small Black from CMJ, plus all tour dates are below.

Continue reading "Free Energy tour dates without the Rakes who broke up, a show w/ Small Black who play Brooklyn w/ Pictureplane too"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: So Cow - Cassablanca (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: So Cow - Shackleton (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Free Energy - Dream City (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Diehard - Christine (MP3)

So Cow

If you missed So Cow's four-night run at NYC last month, you're going to get one more chance to see them before he heads back to Ireland -- Monday, June 15 at the Bell House. Meanwhile, his tour is winding up with a sweep across California. This unassuming Irishman has made a lot of converts on this trip, so don't pass up this last NYC show for who knows how long. The Bell House show, which is only $5, also features new DFA signees (and ex-Hockey players) Free Energy and '90s indie rock ifluenced Brooklynites Diehard.

Video from a couple So Cow's U.S. shows and remaining tour dates after the jump....

Continue reading "So Cow continues U.S. tour - adds another Brooklyn show "