Entries tagged with: Dream Diary

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DOWNLOAD: Secret Cities - "Love Crime" (MP3)

Pujol @ a BV party @ SXSW (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Pujol

"We'll start by letting Daniel Pujol tell you about his debut LP for Infinity Cat: "The X File On Main St. LP stylistically focuses on Nashville and draws from my work in MEEMAW and Saigon Baby/Wizardz. It is an aesthetic and conceptual assemblage of a lot of the recording and narrative ideas I've experimented with since 2007, but all at once. X File is a record for and about everything around in Nashville since I moved here in 2006. Ben Todd of Nashville's Dead, Dillon "Angel Baby" Watson of D. Watusi, and Wez Traylor of Natural Child and MEEMAW play on it. Their science keeps me honest; the truth is way, way, out there.""
[Infinity Cat]
Pujol's new album is out on Jeff The Brotherhood's Infinitay Cat label TODAY (6/14)

Pujol are on tour with Secret Cities. Both bands, both with new releases, are making their way to Toronto for NXNE, but meanwhile are in NYC for two shows. These dates are tonight (6/14) at Death By Audio with Dream Diary and Little Gold and tomorrow (6/15) at Cake Shop with Ava Luna.

Pujol and Secret Cities play NXNE together at Wrongbar on June 17 with Ty Segall and Julianna Barwick. Ty Segall is also on the lineup of the BV/M For Montreal 'Bruise Cruise' one day later.

Pujol are also playing the Sled Island festival in Calgary, AB on June 24-25 with Deer Tick, Dinosaur Feathers, Crocodiles, The Muffs and many others.

Ava Luna also play some dates in September with Toro y Moi including Webster Hall.

Secret Cities recently released the album Strange Hearts via Western Vinyl. Check out th3 MP3 of "Love Crimes" above, and the video for "Always Friends" off that album along with all tour dates below...

Continue reading "Secret Cities & Pujol released stuff, are on tour, in NYC now, on way to NXNE & other dates (MP3 & dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: NYC Popfest Mix (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: Pet Milk - Cherry Outline (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Record Store (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sea Lions - All Right (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Go Sailor - Windy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Soda Shop - Farewell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Days - Simple Thing (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Days - Downhill (MP3)
DOWNLOADFan Modine - Julu Road (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Kids on a Crime Spree - Sweet Tooth (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Silver Swans - Secrets (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Silver Swans - Anyone's Ghost (the National) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Silver Swans - Mother of Pearl (MP3)

Go Sailor
Go Sailor

This week is the fifth-annual NYC Popfest which happens Thursday - Sunday (May 19 - 22) at a variety of NYC and Brooklyn venues, playing host to around 30 bands from around the world. Previous years have seen the likes of The Radio Dept, Pelle Carlberg, The Drums, Love is All, Allo Darlin' and more.

Festival passes are sold out at this point -- as are tickets to Thursday's show at Cake Shop with Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Gold-Bears -- but you can still get tickets to any of the other individual events.

We're also giving away pairs of tickets to the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows. Line-ups for each night are at the bottom of this post. We've got:

1 pair of tickets for Friday night at Cameo
3 pais of tickets for Saturday night at Santos
5 pairs of tickets for the all-day Sunday show at The Rock Shop.
To enter, just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "POPFEST" and the day you want tickets for, aka "POPFEST FRIDAY." We'll pick winners at random. Please note many of these shows are 21+.

This year's Popfest is a nice mix of new and old, jangly and loud. Every year at Popfest I've discovered at least two bands I'd never heard of before who've gone on to be favorites. I imagine this year will be no different. There are some MP3s above, plus a swell 24-song mix the Popfest folks made for your downloadable enjoyment. For this year's preview I'm just going to go through the events day-by-day. Keep reading below...

Continue reading "a guide to NYC Popfest 2011 (with lots of MP3s, day by day analysis & chances to win free tickets too)"

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: Eternal Summers - Prisoner (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Crystal Stilts - Through the Floor (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zaza - Distance Creator (ZIP)

Lyonnais
Lyonnais

Coachella may be happening on the other coast but it's a lovely day here in NYC and I don't feel like I'm missing anything this weekend staying here. For one thing it's Record Store Day which also falls the same weekend and Tax Day which may be good or bad depending how you did this year. And there's lots of other stuff worth seeing too, so let's get into it.

McDonalds are one of these local groups whose name I'd seen around for a while and given the bands they often played with -- German Measles, Home Blitz, Tyvek -- I had it in my mind they sounded one way when, in fact, they don't. Well, that's not exactly true. They are kind of shambly indie. But their great new single "Good Parts" is like some lost obscure 7" from 1990 Manchester, that era when C-86 melted into the baggy scene. You can check it out -- in video form -- at the bottom of this post in a fun green-screened clip starring a lot of people you might recognize if you hang out at Bruars Falls or Cake Shop with any regularity.

McDonalds have three shows coming up in the next week: tonight (4/14) at Union Pool with Lyonnais and Helado Negro, then Saturday (4/16) as part of Cake Shop's Record Store Day extravaganza (more on that in a minute), and then next Wednesday (4/20) with former Swell Maps/Television Personalities dude Jowe Head & The Extremities.

As mentioned above, also playing the Union Pool show tonight are Atlanta four-piece Lyonnais whose dark, ethereal sound will likely draw comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive... or even mid-'80s goth like Xmal Deutchland or Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Their debut album is still being shopped around, but you can stream "Transitive Properties of Youth" at the bottom of this post, and a few more at their MySpace.

In addition to tonight's show, Lyonnais play tomorrow (4/15) at Glasslands and I imagine playing under the venue's stormcloud installation will be pretty apropos. I hope they are really loud too.

Eternal Summers
Eternal Summers

That Glasslands bill also features Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers who have a new EP titled Prisoner out on Kanine/Forrest Family next week. The title track -- downloadable above -- is one of my favorite Eternal Summers songs yet and the whole EP is pretty excellent overall. The band, at least the last time I saw them, have expanded to a trio for live shows which fills out their sound nicely.

The Glasslands show, in addition to Eternal Summers and Lyonnais, features Toronto's Golden Dogs and locals Dream Diary who don't play together so much anymore now that guitarist Madison moved to Memphis. Brad Oberhofer will DJ in-between bands.  That's a good night of music.

Eternal Summers also play Cake Shop on Saturday (4/16) which is the venue's Record Store Day extravaganza, featuring a slew of great -- mostly local -- bands. The downstairs will be a record mart during the day (noon - 6PM). Bands during the evening include the previously-mentioned McDonalds, Natural Child, Widowspeak, Overlord, Hands & Knees, Night Collectors and Twitchers. Eternal Summers head out on tour next month with the Beets and all those tour dates are at the bottom of the post.

Also, for the real record nerds, Cake Shop is running a fun little contest. They've made 77 versions of the Record Store Day flyer, each with different backgrounds taken from album covers. Take a look, name the artist and album of as many as you can and email your answers to cakeshopusa@gmail.com. The entry with the most correct answers (or first entry in case of a tie) wins either a $77 bar tab at Cake Shop or $77 credit for the Cape Shok record mart during that day. Winner's choice. I got about 55 for sure, with another 15 I could figure out with a little time.

---------------------------

And finally, Spectrum (aka Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember who also co-fronted Spacemen 3) are in town this weekend playing two shows with Crystal Stilts: Saturday (4/16) at Le Poisson Rouge and Sunday (4/17) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Kember is one of the forefathers of drone pop and in the past few years has become known for his work behind the boards, having produced MGMT's underrated/misunderstood Congratulations album, and he mixed the new Panda Bear. There's a new Spectrum album duo sometime soon too. Kember's influence seems more relevant than ever. Glad to see he's staying busy.

Crystal Stilts
Crystal Stilts

Crystal Stilts owe more than a little to Kember's many records. The band just released their second LP, In Love with Oblivion and I think it's pretty great, pretty easily besting their 2008 debut (which was one of my favorite albums of that year.) The production's better, the songs are better, and the artwork's really nice as well. It's hard to listen to the new album without thinking of Frankie Rose whose relentless drumming style, I feel, probably had a lot to do with the way standout songs like "Sycamore Tree" and "Death is What We Live For" were formed. Both of those Kraut-heavy tracks made their debut in late 2008. As much as I like Rose's solo work, I miss her being in this band.

But the new new songs show that it's still guitarist JB Townsend and singer Brad Hargett writing great songs. The biggest improvement over the first album is probably the influence of keyboardist Kyle Forrester, whose parts add a bright color to Crystal Stilts' sound, especially on "Silver Sun" and single "Shake the Shackles." The record got a deserved 7.9 in Pitchfork today. You can download "Through the Floor" at the top of this post and watch the video below. Crystal Stilts are on tour starting next week and all dates are below.

That's it for this edition. Some daily picks and more after the jump.

Continue reading "McDonalds, Lyonnais, Eternal Summers, Record Store Day @ Cake Shop, Spectrum, Crystal Stilts, Zaza, Rebecca Gates & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: BNLX - Do Without (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BNLX - Where is the Love? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BNLX - When Doves Cry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sweet Bulbs - Kissing Clouds (MP3)

Mitch Easter
BNLX

A lot of cool shows this week/weekend, some of which might be a bit under the radar. Let's get into it. Alt rock legend Mitch Easter, in addition to being part of that upcoming Big Star Third show, is on a rare Northeast tour right now that pulls into town Thursday (2/17) at The Rock Shop.

While he's maybe best known as a producer (the first two R.E.M.'s albums [with Don Dixon], Pavement's Brighten the Corners, Moose's ...XYZ among other things), Easter has had a long career as a musician, as a part ofThe Sneakers in the late '70s and frontman/songwriter for Let's Active, easily one of the most underrated bands of the '80s. He's also an incredible guitarist, and Let's Active albums are resplendent with awesome axe-work.

I like everything they ever did but 1986's Big Plans for Everybody is especially great, one of my favorite albums of that decade. Mitch put the kybosh on Let's Active in 1990 and didn't release any original material until 2008's Dynamico, an album which showed he still has chops and songs to spare.

Mitch's set at The Rock Shop is going to be heavy on the Let's Active tunes and if there's a song you really want to hear, like "Talking to Myself" from Big Plans, you can make a request. Opening the show are Brooklyn's own Boy Genius whose album from last year, Staggering, was produced by Mitch and is worth checking out. Also playing: Overlord.

BNLX

I'm pretty excited about this next one. Minneapolis' awesome and enigmatic BNLX play their first-ever NYC shows this week, stopping at Fontana's tomorrow night (2/17) and The Rock Shop on Friday (2/18).

BNLX seemingly stormed out of nowhere early 2010, releasing a new EP each quarter, featuring hand-printed, Neu!-esque sleeves and press releases like this:

-BNLX has been meeting and / or exceeding expectations since its inception in Q1 2010
-BNLX provides mission-critical services to the entertainment sector in the following categories:
--"music" (noise)
--found art -beatz / rhymez
--mélodies angéliques
--obfuscation / parallax
-these services are rendered in the live, recorded, and conceptual spheres
-BNLX is comprised of both organic and inorganic members
-this allows BNLX to achieve standards of performance surpassing nominal criteria
-Stage One of the BNLX First One Year Plan commenced in March, 2010; it has been successful
-Stage Two - the release of BNLX EP #2 - will be executed June 25th, 2010
-BNLX EP #2 will be available as a numbered limited edition CD art package
-it will also be available through iTunes, other digital retailers, and piracy
Keeping things mysterious, you could mainly only focus on the music which is pretty awesome: blistering post-punk inspired rock, with male/female, call-and-response vocals, feedback, harmonies, old-school drum machines and ridiculously catchy choruses. The first three EPs were all originals, and the fourth EP was all covers, including great versions of Rhianna's "Shut Up and Drive" and hometown legend Prince's "When Doves Cry." BNLX actually played the latter at First Avenue last month at an Onion party, which takes balls.

That obfuscation didn't last two long as people figured out that BNLX was the work of Minneapolis indie rock mainstay Ed Ackerson, who has led such excelent bands as The 27 Various and Polara over the last 25 years as well as running Susstones Records. His wife Ashley -- they're both also in Moodswings -- is the other half of the band. BNLX have culled the best of the four 2010 EPs as a free sampler which you can download for free. You can also check out a few of the songs, including that Prince cover, at the top of this post.

The Rock Shop show is part of the monthly Hard Light party which is a must for lovers of shoegaze, post-punk, '60s psych, Krautrock, metal, Sweden, feedback, '90s indie rock, and guitars in general. In addition to BNLX, Hard Light promises "drink specials- weirdo cult movies - and loudness."

Tamaryn

Speaking of shoegazy stuff, Tamaryn is back in NYC for her first proper shows since CMJ 2010. She plays Don Hill's on Thusday (2/17), and then an afternoon show at PS 1 on Saturday (2/19). I loved her debut album, The Waves, which came in at #12 on my Favorite LPs of 2011 list, and it's still in pretty heavy rotation here at TWII Headquarters (aka my kitchen). It reminds me a lot of the first Verve album,  tsunami waves of guitar matched with a nimble, groovy rhythm section and Tamaryn's lovely vocals.

There are a lot of chilly ice princesses out there right now, but I think Tamaryn deserves the crown. (Though I haven't heard the Austra album yet.) I thought she and her band were great at Coco66, those three songs before the cops shut it all down. If you can't make these shows, she'll be back in April touring with The Raveonettes, including two nights at Music Hall of Williamsburg (4/20 and 4/21). All Tamaryn tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Sweet Bulbs

Keeping with the theme, let's talk a bit about Sweet Bulbs, "Brooklyn's blurriest pop band," whose album came out this week on Blackburn Recordings. It's choc-a-bloc with seriously catchy songs that are buried under layers of swirly guitars and effects pedals and other sludge. As someone who loved bands like The Swirlies, Drop Nineteens, Lilys and Henry's Dress, this is right up my alley. For those mystified by that litany of obscure '90s indie bands, just know Sweet Bulbs make beautiful noise. You can download "Kissing Clouds" from the album at the top of this post.

Sweet Bulbs play Bruar Falls this Saturday (2/19) with White Laces, Arches, and Tungs. Do check 'em out.

That's the main stuff this week. A few more picks, day by day are below:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16

The Church play three albums from their catalog in their entirety tonight at Highline Ballroom: Untitled #23, Priest=Aura, and Starfish. That's over three hours of music, which seems like a lot to me even for a devoted Church fan. Maybe if it was Heyday instead of Untitled #23 I'd be more inclined to go. They'll do it again tomorrow (2/17) at BB King's.

Tonight is also the third week of ARMS' February residency at Pianos, this week with The Silent League, Your Youth, Inlets and Thunder & Lightning (which is the new band from Brent Katz who was Todd Goldstein's bandmate in Harlem Shakes). ARMS were teriffic last week, this is highly recommended.

continued below...

Continue reading "Mitch Easter, BNLX, Tamaryn, Sweet Bulbs & more in This Week in Indie"

DOWNLOAD: Dream Diary - Christmas All Over (MP3)

Christmas Sweater

Dream Diary will release their debut LP, You Are The Beat Out, on February 15th via Kanine Records. The above free holiday cover will not be on that album, but Dream Diary will be at Kanine Records' Wear Your Favorite '90s-style Christmas Sweater Holiday Party at Shea Stadium tonight (12/3). Flyer reposted below...

Continue reading "Dream Diary covered Petty's 'Christmas All Over' (MP3) "

Pete's Candy Store photos by Amanda Hatfield, Crash Mansion photos by Jessica Amaya, Pianos & Mercury Lounge photos by Chris La Putt, words by Rachel Kowal

Oh Land @ Rebel NYC (more by David Andrako)
Oh Land

You've been following the CMJ adventures of multiple BV contributors for two weeks now, including the day by day reviews from Rachel Kowal. Before too much more time passes, here is the conclusion of Rachel's week (with the end of day four and all of day five), and assorted pictures from four other shows all rolled into one big post. Check it all out, below....

Continue reading "Rachel's CMJ 2010 recap conclusion w/ lots of pics (Lia Ices, Sarah Jaffe, Ume, Robbers on High Street, Buke & Gass, more) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADAllo Darlin' - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOADAllo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOADHedgehog - Toy and 61 Festival (MP3)
DOWNLOADHedgehog - Waiting for the Last Bus (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sound of Arrows - M.A.G.I.C. (MP3)

Thg Sound of Arrows
Sound of Arrows

I'm just going to declare Thursday to be the bonkers, overstuffed day at CMJ2010. Even without a badge, you're gonna have to make some tough choices about what you want to do. It would also be a good day to call in sick.

Impose magazine is putting on great FREE unofficial shows all week -- nights at Don Pedros, days at The Woods.  Today's lineup currated by Pop Jew. It's definitely where I'll be this afternoon, and not just because it's four blocks from my house. The whole lineup is great  but above all else,Allo Darlin' is playing at 6PM, a band that has the ability to put a smile on the face of even the most hardened curmudgeon. (Chris Weingarten is currently in Finland so I can't actually prove this.) You would be dumb to miss them. It's one of two shows they're playing at CMJ.

The rest of the line-up is swell too: Bejiing  trio Hedgehog (their drummer is a pint-sized pistol); , Brooklyn's best new indiepop band, Dream Diary;  slacker-ish Bright Lights and local punks The Sleepies and Othermen. Bands start at 2PM and the show is not too crowded so there might be longer sets than you get elsewhere.... and there's a good taco truck in the back. This would make a great warm up if you are going to our night-time showcase at MHOW. Just an idea.

Of course there is good action as always on Ludlow St. At Pianos, I Guess I'm Floating presents two floors of bands, including This Week in Indie faves Violens, Oberhofer and Beach Fossils, plus Baths, Pepper Rabbit (a band I need to check out this week), Teen DazeMillion Young,  Young the Giant, Young Man (that's three "Young"s!), Coolrunnings and more! Bands start and noon. Free entry, free beer.

(note: also catch one of those Youngs, Young Man at our MHOW showcase at 8pm sharp)

Down the street at Cake Shop, it's the NYC Taper day party, with 12 bands in six hours on one stage, which seems pretty ambitious, but that's what CMJ is all about. Overload. The line-up is pretty choice too, including Soft Black, Diamond Rings (one of two day parties for Diamond Rings today), Keepaway, She Keeps Bees, ArpLine and more. First band (Courtesy Tier) is on at 12:30 and if you can't make it, I'm sure all the sets will be up on NYC Taper at some point. Free.

There are also two all-day parties going on. The first I'll mention is the Neon Gold party at Public Assembly which goes from 3PM to 3AM. Pop is the key word here, be it on the guitar side (Obefhofer, Savior Adore, Ava Luna) or the dancey side (Penguin Prison, Fenech-Soler, Brahms, The Knocks). Most interestingly, to me, is that Swedish band The Sound of Arrows is playing their first American show. I didn't even know they played live at all. The band have only released a few singles in their three-year existence, but their track "M.A.G.I.C" (downloadable above) was my #3 Single of 2009. I'm a little skeptical about them pulling it off live, but... might be worth checking out. The Neon Gold website has MP3s of every band playing. Limited badge entry, $12 otherwise.

Then there's Day 1 of Pitchfork's #Offline Fest, which runs from 2pm - midnight, with such bands as Dave Sitek/Maximum Balloon (he's DJing), glitchy UK act Gold Panda, Surfer Blood, Wild Nothing, Small Black and more. While it's hard to question the line-up, almost all of these are all bands are playing many other times during the week, often for free. And while Brooklyn Bowl is an awesome place in theory, it is pretty much insufferable Thurs - Sat nights: the bar is five deep, and half (if not more of) the crowd doesn't even realize there are bands playing at all. And I don't think the weekend conditions will be different because there's a "festival" happening. This will no doubt be the most tollerable of the three nights though, as I said, no arguing with the talent they've got on the stage.

NIGHTIME picks coming right up HERE. Flyers, some set times, etc after the jump.

Continue reading "CMJ 2010 - Bill's Thursday DAYTIME picks (Sound of Arrows, Hedgehog, Allo Darlin, NYC Taper, lots of Youngs & more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Silly Kissers - Treat Me Like You Do (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grimes - Weregild (MP3)
DOWNLOADWolf Gang - Lions in Cages (MP3)
DOWNLOADWolf Gang - Pieces of You (MP3)

Grimes

It's the weekend before CMJ which is usually pretty quiet, but...not this year. Me, I'm probably staying in. But you might want to check out:

Montreal's cute synthpop band  Silly Kissers are visiting, playing three shows this weekend: tonight (10/14) at Cake Shop, then Friday (10/15) at Silent Barn and Sunday at Glasslands. The band were here for CMJ last year, playing the M for Montreal night at Arlene's Grocery where they wore mime makeup which was probably a mistake. They were better when I saw them in their hometown last November:

"Silly Kissers didn't wear mime makeup this time (like they did at CMJ) which is a definite plus, but I really don't think they are "export ready." Which is not a dis. Their low fi, cutesy (sometimes charming) version of '80s synthpop would be more at home at a house party rather than with the fancy lights at club Juste Pour Rire."
Which makes all three places Silly Kissers are playing pretty ideal settings for them. They are fun, and the songs -- sugary, '80s-inspired indie-dancepop -- are undeniably catchy. Check out "Treat Me Like You Do" at the top of this post.

All three shows are with fellow MTL-er Claire Boucher who performs under the name Grimes. Her new record, Halafaxa, is a "pay what you want" download from their label's website. Ethereal, occasionally dub-infected and danceable, Halafaxa should appeal to fans of Delorean and Sally Shapiro (or even old 4AD bands like Colourbox or Dif Juz). Definitely worth a click. You can download "Weregild" from it at the top of the this post to give you a taste. Like a lot of music like this, making it interesting to watch in a live setting is the big hurdle. Can she do it? Go see them live.

By the way, I'll talk more about this later, but as we just pointed out, M For Montreal's 2010 CMJ showcase will again be at Arlene's Grocery, but this time with Random Recipe, The Luyas, Uncle Bad Touch, PS I Love You, Radio Radio, and Red Mass.

WolfgangWolfgang

London's Wolf Gang play the second of their NYC shows tonight (10/14). I have a soft spot for this sort of melodramatic anthemicism, especially when you add a dancey element to it. Did anyone go see them last night at Santos? You can check out two tracks at the top of this post: "Lions in Cages" which is pretty typical of what Wolf Gang do, and "Pieces of You" which sounds a little more like Grizzly Bear or something.

The show also has Acrylics on the bill who I like a lot but have been pretty quiet for the last six months so I'm anxious to see what they've been up to. Like maybe they've been making their debut album? Let's hope. Also playing are Safe and Painted Faces who I know bubkis about.

Toys & Tiny Instruments
Toys and Tiny Instruments

And finally I'd like to highlight a pretty cool show at Bruar Falls on Friday (10/15). Headlining are Toys & Tiny Instruments who don't need a lot of explanation. You see their name, and you know what they do.  But they're much better than you might expect. They played Bruar Falls back in the Spring and while the night started with some eye-rolling -- oh boy what is this novelty thing about to happen? -- everyone there ended up kinda being wowed. They may buy their gear at Toys R' Us but that doesn't mean they don't write awesome songs, and that they can't play their instruments well. I liked them so much I had them play my lunchtime series at the Seaport over the summer and they were great there too. Friday is the first show they've played since then and it's a release party for their debut EP.

The rest of the bill is pretty notable and eclectic: Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen (he sang lead on "Punk Rock Girl"); home recording legend R. Stevie Moore; and Beth Sorrentino who some of you may remember from '90s indie pop band Suddenly, Tammy! whose song "Lamp" still makes it onto mixes around my house.

Sparky Deathcap
Sparky

And a few more DAILY PICKS NOT COVERED ABOVE

THURSDAY, OCT 14

Fans of Los Campesinos!, who play Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday and Saturday night, might be interested to know that Rob Taylor also performs solo under the name Sparky Deathcap and will be doing so tonight at the Rock Shop. It's a free show starts at 8pm sharp.

The Delancey may feel a bit like Silent Barn tonight what with a lineup that includes My Teenage Stride, Lame Drivers, Suprisers and Easter Vomit. You can download five new MTS songs, all of which are good, over at Free Music Archive.

And if you'd like to laugh, Coco 66 tonight hosts Supershow!, a free comedy variety show, that tonight hasThu Tran of IFC's Food Party, the Found Footage Festival guys, Gabe Delahaye of Videogum, and more.

continued below...

Continue reading "Silly Kissers, Grimes, Wolf Gang, Toys & Tiny Instruments, Turbo Fruits & more in This Week in Indie"

Floyd Bennett Field

"The new location is a pristine secluded beach area called Raptor Point, at the North end of the main (decommissioned) runway of the abandoned airport, right on Jamaica Bay. Gorgeous views of Jamaica Bay, Mill Basin, and of the distant Manhattan skyline; and a pretty phenomenal sunset spot." - Todd P

Details below...

Continue reading "Todd P's Unamplified Acoustic BBQ is Sunday (new location) "

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

a day by day Week in Indie-like guide to this week's Northside Festival...

Northside HQ (freedubya)
Northside Festival

When I was looking at the full Friday Northside Festival schedule, I was a bit overwhelmed by the embarrassment of riches available to indie rock fans tonight. I felt like writing "Basically just go anywhere tonight and you're going to run into a good show." Which is mostly true. If you have a badge, you can flit between venues and make up your own killer bill.

Some of these shows are going to be crowded though. Like I bet Glasslands will be packed out the wazoo for Tame Impala, so if that's one you're interested in you might just want to plant yourself there early (advanced tickets are sold out). Do they have air conditioning at Glasslands yet? It might get so hot in there you'll start seeing things, which would go well with those Aussies' rhythm-heavy psych rock.

You could also go to Death By Audio (which does have A/C, and now two working bathrooms) for a rock-solid bill of guitar-centric bands brought to us by Less Artists More Condos. The lineup includes voluminous duo Sisters and their giant stack of amps; the under-appreciated and poppy Darlings; skilled noise merchants Grooms; and art punks Regal Degal who I definitely think are a "band to watch."

Moon Duo @ the Big Sur Woodsist Fest on June 12 (more by Rachel Carr)
Moon Duo

Moving away from the corner of S. 1st and Kent, the Woodsist Showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg is kind of a no-brainer. That said, headliners Woods and Real Estate play all the time here. I say go early for the San Francisco triple threat of Moon Duo, Sic Alps and The Fresh & Onlys, then skip off to something else.

Moon Duo, an offshoot of Wooden Shjips, play two chord (at most) psych-drone not unlike Spacemen 3 or Loop. I saw them the last night of SXSW when I was cold and tired, not the state of mind I'd recommend experiencing them. Not that the cold part will be an issue in this weather. There's not a lot to watch, so maybe locate a seat upstairs and bliss out.

Sic Alps are back to a duo after a short stint with Ty Segall on drums.  They haven't released anything in a year -- a long time for what was a pretty prolific band -- but that shouldn't hamper their live show, usually powered by a Jenga-like monolith stack of amps in the center of the stage. Their sound is thick and sludgy, but carefully prepared. It feels like a bog in July -- in a good way.

And I'm really looking forward to hearing The Fresh & Onlys with MHoW's sound system. While many of their many recordings have been decidedly lo-fi, these guys can really play and I think it's time they shake loose the "garage rock" tag that never really fit them in the first place. This is pop music. They are really a case of the whole adding up to more than their parts -- the whole band is great -- but if you go tonight, be sure to watch lead guitarist Wymond Miles. The guy is a genius and has a rack of pedals that would impress Kevin Shields. The sounds he gets deserve high fidelity. As do their great songs. I'm a huge fan, is it obvious?

Down the street from MHoW, at Cameo Gallery: Kanine Records, Wao Wao Records & Insound are presenting another great lineup under the venue's psychedelic Snuffelupagus. There's a bunch of really good locals (Dream Diary, Grooms, We Are Country Mice) but you might want to swing by to catch Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers who really impressed me when I saw them at Glasslands a couple months ago. Also: If you like the Pastels, Field Mice and all things indiepop, Dream Diary are your new favorite band if they haven't attained that already.

Madison of Dream Diary is pulling double duty tonight, as she is half of Coasting who'll play at Matchless as part of a bill curated by Georgia of blog Microphone Memory Emotion. Coasting's debut 7" is worth picking up, and if you're lucky you'll get a copy printed on lavender vinyl. Also playing are Family Portrait, Fluffy Lumbers and Bermuda Bonnie.

Over at Coco 66, there's a benefit for 826NYC (badges are accepted despite it being a benefit) with Sondre Lerche and Oberhoffer, plus a reading from author Shalom Auslander. Sondre usually plays MHoW or Bowery Ballroom these days, so to see him in such a small venue will be a treat. Anyone who's seen him before knows what a charmer -- and tunesmith -- he is. Plus, there's up-and-comers Oberhoffer who I wouldn't be surprised if they're playing much bigger venues very soon. Also there's an open vodka bar at 8PM.

Meanwhile at Union Pool, there's an early show (doors at 7PM) that features my new favorite band on Captured Tracks, MINKS. They've only got a single out so far, the Cure-esque "Funeral Song," which doesn't really represent what they do live. The six piece performing MINKS do have some Cure/New Order tendencies, but I'd say Felt is probably just as strong an influence, with clean jangly guitars and jazzy arrangements. Both times I've seen them live, my only complaint has been they didn't play long enough. Not sure of set time for MINKS, but there's not a lot else going on then, you can hang in the backyard of Union Pool and get some tacos from the El Diablo truck to recharge for the night ahead.

That seems like plenty for one night. A video from one of Tame Impala's sets at Pianos last night, below...

Continue reading "Bill's 2010 Northside Festival picks (Friday)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Leaving Mornington Crescent
Leaving Mornington Crescent

"The fourth annual NYC Popfest, which ran from Thursday [May 20th] through Sunday [May 23], consisted of five showcases featuring more than 30 bands, mostly those that adhered to a few key tenets: summery, lo-fi, melodic, twee, nonconfrontational. This was indie-pop in the vein of the late 1980s through the mid-'90s, a mode that has been creeping back into fashion as part of a broader full-scale pop revivalism in indie rock.

From Best Coast to Dum Dum Girls to the Pains of Being Pure at Heart to Vivian Girls to Strange Boys and beyond, pop is ascendant once again, especially the sort with debts to clean-cut '50s rock and girl-group pop and soul." [NY Times]

It's been almost a month since NYC PopFest happened, and we actually already posted a set of pictures from the first night at Cake Shop back then. BUT, like the NY Times, Dominick, who got the flu right after the fest, was also on hand. His pictures from the first two days, now finally ready for posting, continue below...

Continue reading "NYC PopFest Day 1 & 2 in pics (belated pics) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Miracles of Modern Science - I Found Space (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jacuzzi Boys - Bricks or Coconuts (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Aerosols - China (AAC)

The Phenomenal Handclap Band
PHB

We'll start this week with a contest. The Phenomenal Handclap Band play Music Hall of Williamsburg this Saturday (6/12) and if you'd like to win a pair of tickets, just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "Phenomenal" as the subject line (include your first and last name) and we'll pick a winner at random and notify them on Friday. The show is 18+. If you've never seen PHB before, it's '70s psychedelic disco overload, like if Michael Viner had formed a cult where the drink was Mai Tai's, not poison Kool Aid. The record is fun, but seeing them live is where it's at. And, like I said, where it's at is MHoW.

Miracles of Modern Science
Miracles of Modern Science

If The Incredible String Band wasn't already taken as a band name, that might have been a good one for the next group I'm going to talk about, but since it was they opted for Miracles of Modern Science. Eschewing guitars, the go for cello, double bass, violin and mandolin (plus drums). Actually, I'm pretty sure the whole "science" aspect of their name comes into play too, what with song titles like "I Found Space" (downloadable above), "Bossa Supernova" and "Luminol." So their music is nerdy in two completely separate ways. But it's also clever and catchy and not really pretentious despite all that goddamn science and orchestral stuff they're throwing in our face.

Miracles of Modern Science have a residency at Cake Shop starting this Thursday, with The Albertans (ex-Bravo Silva),  The Royal Chains, and Quiet Loudly rounding out the bill. MoMS play the two following Thursdays as well.

Jacuzzi Boys
Jacuzzi Boys

Friday night has two competing shows -- both in Williamsburg --  for your garage rock dollar, and if you're into this scene at all you're going to find it difficult to choose between them. Or at least pause for a second.

At Death by Audio, there's Quintron and Miss Pussycat, JEFF the Brotherhood and Golden Triangle. Actually, garage isn't the right term for Quintron's sleazy keyboard R&B which is augmented by some homemade equipment like the Drum Buddy, The Disco Light Machine and the Spit Machine. Quintron shows are a party. As are JEFF shows as you should know by now. As are Golden Triangle shows. Both of whom will be in their element at DBA and it will no doubt be packed to the gills and sweaty as hell. If you want to see JEFF and Quintron (who are on tour together) in more temperature-controlled environs, they also play Santos on Sunday (6/13). More dates HERE and below.

The other garagey option Friday (6/11) is at Knitting Factory with what is a pretty killer bill: Seattle protopunks The Spits, and the depraved lunacy that is Nobunny, plus Florida's Jacuzzi Boys and Liquor Store. I've written about The Spits and Nobunny before so I'm gonna focus on Jacuzzi Boys here if I may.

While definitely within the garage milieu, there's definitely more going on here with this Miami trio. Jacuzzi Boys sound is less blown-out sounding than most of their brethren, with a  strong post-VU New York vibe with them -- Television and The Feelies are pretty obvious influences here I think -- and their album from last year, No Seasons, is pretty damn great. A new single on Mexican Summer is worth checking out too, and you can download it's A-side at the top of this post.

If you can't make it Friday, Jacuzzi Boys also play Cake Shop on Sunday (6/13) with K-Holes (mems of Black Lips) and Xray Eyeballs (half of Golden Triangle).

The Aerosols
The Aerosols

Visiting us from San Francisco are The Aerosols, playing four shows this weekend, hitting three boroughs. When you hear about Bay Area bands these days, you tend to think of reverb, scratchy guitars and in-the-red levels of distortion. The Aerosols are more a little more jingle jangle, blissed-out sunshine pop that might go better with a nice cup of tea instead of a PBR. You can check out their song "China" at the top of this post to hear what I mean but if you dig mid-90s Elephant Six you're gonna like The Aerosols. The band they really remind me of -- and I'm going obscure here -- is the late '90s UK band Salako who put out records on Jeepster (Belle & Sebastian's original label) who always sounded to me like a field of daisies.

The Aerosols play Thursday night (6/10) at Silent Barn with My Teenage Stride, Dream Diary (who were one of the Popfest highlights this year) and The Surpriserswhich I think is the don't-miss show of their NYC visit.

They'll also play the Rock Star bar on Friday (6/11) with Fly Ashtray, Nude Broom (members of Flaming Fire), Bucolic Night Light Fungus' Fungus The(e); Staten Island's Doorway (62 Van Duzer St.) on Saturday (6/12) with Artanker Convoy; and then finally the downstairs room at Santos on Monday (6/14) with Persephone's Bees, Lily and the Parlour Tricks, and Alana Amram & the Rough Gems.

A few more shows, night by night:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9

School of Seven Bells debut material from their quite good second album, Disconnect from Desire, tonight and tomorrow at Mercury Lounge. Both shows are sold out but lurking outside hoping someone's got an extra ticket does pay off sometimes.

Breakthru Radio are throwing a fifth anniversary party at Glasslands with Glass Ghost, Werewolves, Phil & the Osophers and My Teenage Stride. It's a free show with free beer.

continued below...

Continue reading "Miracles of Modern Science, Quintron, Jacuzzi Boys, The Aerosols, TPHB, Starring & more in This Week in Indie "

photos by Jessica Amaya

"Veronica Falls was worth the wait and sauna-like conditions at Cake Shop. PopFest Day 1 ended very strong." - Tim

Veronica Falls @ Cake Shop on 5/20
Veronica Falls

"{Then there's Veronica Falls play the 5/20 show at Cake Shop. Maybe you saw them this past weekend when they played Glasslands on Saturday and Bruar Falls on Sunday. Their Glasslands performance was great, and they were surprisingly rockin', given the gentle nature of some of their recordings. Singer/guitarist James Hoare is a student of the David Gedge school of manic strumming, especially on their "Found Love in a Graveyard" single that becomes almost like an extended VU jam onstage." [Bill Pearis]
The 2010 edition of NYC PopFest concludes today, Sunday (5/23), at Littlefield in Brooklyn. It all started Thursday night, May 20th, at Cake Shop in Manhattan. A bunch of pictures and videos from that show, below....

Continue reading "NYC PopFest Day 1 @ Cake Shop in pics & video (Veronica Falls, Sweater Girls, Elephant Parade & more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Young and Dumb (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tender Trap - Girls with Guns (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOADAllo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOADVeronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moustache of Insanity - Amazon Wishlist (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Horowitz - Winona (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Embassy - It Pays to Belong (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Leaving Mornington Crescent - Corners (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Very Truly Yours - I'd Write You a Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Night Train (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bunnygrunt - Hometown Rockstar (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bears - Wait and See (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Tally (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sea Lions - I Wish I Was Lou Reed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: One Happy Island - Temporary Tattoo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Young Friends - Make Out Point (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Apple Orchard - Half Steps to Bright Smiles (MP3)
DOWNLOADDream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: World Atlas - Winter Stories (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Teenage Stride - Creep Academy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cotton Candy - Fantastic & Spectacular (MP3)

PopFest

NYC Popfest 2010 starts on Thursday with four days of cheery tunes and good vibes. And with temperatures that are supposed to climb into the '80s, we may finally answer the question, "When is it too hot to wear a vintage cardigan?" In years past, Popfest has played host to the likes of Pains of Being Pure at Heart ('07 & '08), Cats on Fire ('08 & '09), The Radio Dept ('09), BMX Bandits ('07), The Drums ('09), and lots more.

This year's line-up is pop-solid and we're giving away a Festival Pass that will get one person into all four nights. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "POPFEST" and we'll pick a winner at random and notify them Wednesday night (tonight). Please note, some of these Popfest shows are 21+.

Festival passes are otherwise sold out, but there are currently still tickets available for all four shows, though I think you might want to act quick on the Cake Shop (5/20) and Don Hills (5/21) shows as they're at small venues. Here's an overview of what's going on, complete with MP3s for almost every band playing (above).

The Wake
The Wake

Popfest organizers scored a coup getting Scottish indiepop legends The Wake (not the American goth band of the same name) to play the big Saturday (5/22) show at the Bell House. While they the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, their catalog is well-regarded, especially 1985's Here Comes Everybody which is a bona fide  indie classic. Check out "O Pamela" at the top of this post. The band's hazy, reverb-laden sound has parallels to current bands like The Radio Dept or Wild Nothing, or any of the chillwave groups out there.  The Wake are working on a new album due out this year. This is their only U.S. show. Stick around after The Wake's show for a DJ set from Victoria Bergsman.

Bunnygrunt
Bunnygrunt

Bunnygrunt date back to the early '90s cuddlecore scene (a genre which now sounds like some kind of porn for Furries) and were contemporaries of bands like Tiger Trap and Tullycraft. Reformed since 2004, these Saint Louis indie legends are pretty much patron saints to Popfest bands.

The Embassy
The Embassy

At the all-day Sunday (5/23) show at The Littlefield show features the first and only U.S. performance by enigmatic Swedish duo The Embassy who's music is somewhere between indiepop and Balearic disco. I liked 2005's Tacking which came out on the Service label, home of Jens Lekman, Studio and The Tough Alliance. Check out "It Pays to Belong" at the top of this post. but the band have been rather quiet since. Maybe we'll find out what's going on with them at the show.

Then there's Veronica Falls play the 5/20 show at Cake Shop. Maybe you saw them this past weekend when they played Glasslands on Saturday and Bruar Falls on Sunday. Their Glasslands performance was great, and they were surprisingly rockin', given the gentle nature of some of their recordings. Singer/guitarist James Hoare is a student of the David Gedge school of manic strumming, especially on their "Found Love in a Graveyard" single that becomes almost like an extended VU jam onstage.

Neverever
Neverever

Singer Roxanne Clifford and drummer Patrick Doyle were both in Glasgow's The Royal We, whose singer Jihae is now in Neverever who will play the Littlefield show on Sunday. The band also features her n0w-husband Wallace Meek who was in fellow Glaswegian band Bricolage but they now call Los Angeles their home. The band's debut, Angelic Swells, is out next week on Slumberland and is fairly indebted to '60s girl groups. Check out "Blue Genes" at the top of this post. I'll admit that part of me hopes we'll get a Veronica Falls/Neverever supergroup to play Royal We's awesome single "All the Rage" (the band never played America) but I'm not holding my breath.

Tender Trap
Tender Trap

Tender Trap play the Friday (5/21) show at Don Hill's which is also the bi-weekly Mondo! party. Not to be confused with anthemic Australian band The Temper Trap, The Tender Trap features Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey who were both in iconic indiepop bands Tallulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research. I was a big fan of their last album, 2006's 6 Billion People, Their new album, Dansette Dansette, is out June 22 on Slumberland Records and you can download "Girls with Guns" from it at the top of this post.

Recently added to Tender Trap's lineup is Elizabeth Darling of Allo Darlin who also play the Don Hills/Mondo! show. Their debut album is out June 7 (in the UK at least, not sure if anyone's grabbed it up stateside) and is full of bouncy and charming guitar pop not too far removed from Belle & Sebastian. Their single "The Polaroid Song" is one of my favorite tracks of 2009 and you can watch the Breakfast Club homage video for it at the bottom of this post. And you can download a couple tracks from the album at the top of this post. Allo Darlin are also making the most of their trip, playing a short East Coast tour. Dates are at the bottom of this post.

Moustache of Insanity
Moustache of Insnity

Allo Darlin's Will Harrison also plays in Moustache of Insanity who are playing the free daytime show on Saturday at Spike Hill. Sometimes compared to Moldy Peaches, the band should provide some levity (and cheap keyboards) to the proceedings. Check out "Amazon Wishlist" at the top of this post for an idea of what you're in for, and if you want to hear more, you can download a zip of their new EP here and there are loads of downloads via their website.

Some more UK bands: Horowitz make nerdy, nasally bedroom pop, and hearts!attack are one of the more ramshackle/low-fi groups playing the fest. Good stuff.

Leaving Mornington Crescent
Leaving Morning Crescent

And it wouldn't be a Popfest without some Swedish bands. In addition to The Embassy, there's Leaving Mornington Crescent who play Cake Shop on Thursday, and A Smile and a Whisper at Littlefield on Sunday.

The Don Hill's show on Friday will be the last-ever NYC show for Boston's Pants Yell! who are splitting up after playing a farewell show in their hometown next week.

One of the many highlights of The Bell House show is Seattle's BOAT who will play some non-popfest shows too.

One Happy Island
One Happy Island

This will be the second year in a row at Popfest for Chicago's Very Truly Yours, who are playing the e debut LP was just released this spring. You can download at track from it at the top of this post. Recommended if you like winsome, Camera Obscura style. pop.  Also back from last year are Vermont's Smittens (5/21 Don Hill's), and it will be the second Popfest for Boston's One Happy Island who last played it in 2008 and play this year at the Saturday afternoon free show at Spike Hill. Check out "Temporary Tattoo" at the top of this post.

There's a few animal bands (in addition to Bunnygrunt): Cleveland, OH's Bears, who play the Bell House show (5/22), are lush and lovely with gorgeous harmonies. Check out "Wait and See" at the top of this post, whereas Gold Bears (Spike Hill, free day show 5/22) from Atlanta, are more in the shambly tradition of The Shop Assistants and Boyracer. Then there's local duo Elephant Parade (Cake Shop on 5/20) who play laptoppy folk, and the Sea Lions (Oxnard, CA playing the Sunday show at Littlefield) evoke comparisons to the Pastels and The Clean.

Sweater Girls
Sweater

More out-of-town American bands: Sweater Girls are from Los Angeles and feature Allan Kingdom of C-86-era UK group The Siddelys; and Santa Monica Swim & Dive Club are actually from Michigan and play super-twee acoustic pop; The Young Friends are from Arizona but sound like Scotland 1980; and Apple Orchard hail from Richmond, California and make dreamy, Field Mice-ish pop (lots of free MP3s on their website).

Florida's For Ex-Lovers Only named themselves after a Black Tamborine song and kind of sound like that too. They play Littlefield on Saturday.

Opening the Don Hills show on Friday are Cotton Candy, which is Mark Robinson's current band that also features his wife. There's more a capella covers of old commercial jingles than you might expect from the former frontman of Unrest (who are reforming briefly).

And of course NYC is well represented. In addition to previously mentioned Elephant Parade, indiepop stalwarts My Teenage Stride, who are the only band to have played all for NYC Popfests, will play the big Bell House show on Saturday, as do World Atlas (NYC's answer to Belle & Sebastian); Dream Diary (NYC's answer to The Pastels/Field Mice) play Cake Shop on Thursday, and the shoegazy Corita play the free Saturday afternoon show at Spike Hill. And The Secret History make their third appearance at the Fest at Littlefield on Sunday.

Ok, I think I got everybody in there. Day-by-day Popfest schedule, plus some other tour dates and videos after the jump.

Continue reading "a massive guide to NYC Popfest 2010, lots of MP3s & a chance to win a festival badge "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Toro Y Moi - Blessa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Patrick Bower - The Dark Lord of Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Promises (MP3)

Wild Beasts @ Union Pool in 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Wild Beasts

Of all the things going on this week -- and there is no shortage of options as usual -- my number one pick would be for you to see Wild Beasts, who are on tour and play Bowery Ballroom on Friday (2/26, sold out) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday (2/28) Tickets still available for the Brooklyn show and we have a pair to giveaway. Details at the bottom of this post.

Their second album, Two Dancers, was my favorite album of 2009 and I still hear some new and amazing little detail every time I listen to it. I went to all three of their New York shows last September, all of which were great. The fluid interplay between the band is something to behold -- a real case of four people working as one mesmerizing whole. And those who still haven't gotten used to their vocal style, I say go see them live and everything makes more sense. Wild Beasts are one of a kind, at the top of their game, and you're dumb to miss them.

Both shows feature Toronto's Still Life Still as openers, and Violens will also play the MHoW show. Both openers also head to SXSW in March.

Morning Benders
Morning Benders

The other undeniable show this weekend is Saturday (2/27) at Market Hotel with a line-up that almost dares you not to go: Surfer Blood, Turbo Fruits, Beach Fossils, Grooms and Morning Benders. All bands I've written about in this weekly column more than once. Now most of these bands -- including out-of-towners Surfer Blood and Turbo Fruits -- play here enough that most people have seen them already. Except Morning Benders, recent transplants from San Francisco who have kind of blown up over the last two weeks thanks in part to a great new album, Big Echo (out March 9 on Rough Trade), as well as a killer live performance video (shot for Yours Truly) of the LP's lead track, "Excuses," that's been making the rounds. The version on the album is already pretty lovely, but here, done Phil Spector style with the Big Echo Orchestra (John Vanderslice and Christopher Owens of Girls among them) is pretty special. You can watch it at the bottom of this post, and download the MP3 of "Excuses" from The Morning Benders website for the mere price of your email address. The MP3 for "Promises" is above. Anyway, see them now before the album comes out and they no longer play places like Market Hotel.

... or the Housing Works Bookstore where they'll play tonight (2/25) with the garagey Shark? and twinkly folkies Cuddle Magic. Max Silvestri hosts. Presented by the Hype Machine, it's also a CD swap where you can take all those CDs you've ripped and trade them for others you don't have yet. Admission is $5 and at least one CD. Do bring something someone people would want to listen to, and not that CD of your cousin's ska band, OK?

The Morning Benders also play Mercury Lounge on April 22 (tickets still on sale). All tour dates for the band are at the bottom of this post.
---

Some more show picks shows by day:

THURSDAY 2/25

Toro Y Moi is playing Cameo Gallery but surprise surprise: Best New Music + 75 person capacity = sold out show. There will be some tickets ($5) available when doors open at 8PM. Twin Sister are also on the bill so if you already have tickets for this, show up early and see them -- they're great. If you don't make it in, Toro Y Moi rolls back through town on March 26 where he'll play Brooklyn Bowl with New Zealand's Ruby Suns. He'll be at SXSW too. All tour dates for him are at the bottom of this post.

Patrick Bower
Patrick Bower

Patrick Bower and The World Without Magic are likely to play tunes from their new EP, The Dark Lord (of Love), at Bruar Falls. You can download the Scott Walker-esque title track at the top of this post. It's pretty different than the more beardy folk of his solo work. I dig it. The show's free and also features country-ish Beau Jennings & The Holy Tulsa Thunder and the delicate orch-folk of Balene.

North Highlands, Dream Diary and Knight School are at Death by Audio. Now is the time to catch North Highlands, who were excellent at Bruar Falls last week and I think will be taking things to the "next level" (whatever that means) soon. Dream Diary are getting really good too, especially if you like Pastels-style indiepop, and Knight School are NYC's nerdiest, funniest, catchiest, tinniest band.

And at the Bell House there's laptop shoegaze maestro Ulrich Schnauss who made one of my favorite records of the '00s, A Strangely Isolated Place, and apparently had a hand in recently coaxing Chapterhouse out of retirement. It's actually a pretty cool night if you're into dreamy soundscapes. Also on the bill is Mark Van Hoen who was a founding member of awesome '90s band Seefeel (seek out 1993's Quique) and who's made music under the name Locust since the mid-'90s. Local dreamweavers Luxa open the night.


FRIDAY 2/26

If you weren't able to squeeze into Cameo on Thursday, Twin Sister play the equally tiny Matchless. As I said recently, they're probably the best new band I've seen in some time. I will say I'm predisposed to like their mix of Stereolab and Sade, but I was wowed when I saw them at Bruar Falls.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow

A Sunny Day in Glasgow are back in NYC, playing  Mercury Lounge (tickets). They've got a new EP, Nitetime Rainbows, coming out next week that shows off their more experimental, soundscape-y side. Which side will we get Friday? This is the start of a lengthy tour which of course includes SXSWAcrylics, who I love, are also playing the Mercury Lounge show.

Another chance to see Knight School, this time early on at Bruar Falls with awesomely loud (yet poppy) duo Sisters, sonic manipulator Noveller and the psych punk assault of Lame Drivers. After this show, Sisters hit the road with another Brooklyn duo, Coasting, for the tour heading to SXSW and then join up with Irish band So Cow after the fest. Tour dates are below.


SATURDAY 2/27

Hospitality haven't played live in at least six months, due mainly to their bass player's duties in White Rabbits. He won't be at Bruar Falls on Saturday so we'll be seeing a slightly different line-up of the band but I'm glad to have them back. Singer Amber Papini is quite the charming singer. They're opening for Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums -- who are also playing an early show at Mercury Lounge on Friday.

Another local band that hasn't played in ages: The Hundred in the Hands, whose song "Dressed in Dresden" I listened to a lot last summer. It's the only song on their Myspace, apart from about 10 different remixes. It's a good track, but I'm curious to see how many other songs they have. With Glasslands doors at 11 and two other bands on the bill (Ra Ra Rasputin, Esque) it'll be a late night.


SUNDAY 2/28

Go see Wild Beasts. Seriously.

That's it for this week. Videos, Wild Beasts contest, and tour dates are after the jump.

Continue reading "Wild Beasts, Morning Benders, Patrick Bower, Toro y Moi, Hospitality, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Veronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Lately (MP3)

Veronica FAlls

The line-up for the fourth annual NYC Popfest has just been announced, which will happen May 20 - 23 at a variety of venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Thirty-two bands from around the world will be playing, and I think it's a pretty strong bunch of bands. Highlights for me include Veronica Falls (pictured above) which features ex-members of The Royal We and Sexy Kids; newly-reformed Glasgow/Factory Records legends The Wake who'll have a new album out this year; London all-girl trio The Tender Trap (not to be confused with The Temper Trap); winsome Allo Darlin' who are also from London and will be at SXSW this year; L.A.'s Neverever (until recently known as the Champagne Socialists); and Seattle's awesome BOAT.

A few MP3s to whet your Popfest appetite. Ticket info hasn't been announced yet, but you can follow the Popfest blog or Twitter for updates. You can check out the full NYC Popfest line-up after the jump.

Continue reading "NYC Popfest 2010 lineup announced (Veronica Falls, The Wake, The Tender Trap, BOAT & more) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Yummy Fur - Policeman (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Big Troubles - Freudian Slips (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Adam Green - What Makes Him Act So Bad (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Total Slacker - Demos (mediafire zip)

The Yummy Fur
Yummy Fur

There's a lot of great shows this weekend, but top of the list for me is Scottish cult indie rockers The Yummy Fur who have reformed to play a few shows surrounding a new best-of compilation, titled Piggy Wings, due out sometime soon on What's Your Rupture. They play 171 Lombardy Market Hotel Friday night. More influential than popular, The Yummy Fur started their life making scratchy, scrappy indiepop a la early Fall but got more glammy and synthy as they went on. Frontman John McKeown took the glam part further with his current band, 1990s. And former members Paul Thompson (who'll be part of tomorrow's show) and Alex Kapranos (who probably won't) have done okay for themselves since in Franz Ferdinand.

You can download one of my favorite Yummy Fur songs -- the 1999 single "Police Man" -- at the top of this post. This is the first, and likely last, time they've ever played the States, so miss this gig at your peril. What to expect? McKeown tells the NY Press:

Nothing. I'm never even really sure there will be people there, but I'm happy to play for whoever shows up. It's not like the band is our life anymore, so it doesn't mean anything to us except that we have affection for it. We do take it seriously, we play the gig straight, but we want to have fun. When 1990s plays the States and same with Franz Ferdinand, there are always people who come out and say they loved The Yummy Fur but we never made it over. This is their one chance.
Also playing the 171 Lombardy show are Bishop Allen, German Measles and Mcdonalds. There's some YouTube video of Yummy Fur's first reunion show in Glasgow at the bottom of this post, as well as all other U.S. Yummy Fur dates.

Grant Hart

Grant Hart is back in town for two shows -- tonight (1/14) at Cake Shop and Friday at Knitting Factory. For a man whose previous band put out eight albums in six years (two of which were double LPs), Hart has slowed down a lot since -- Hot Wax is Grant's first album in ten years, and only his fourth since Husker Du split. He talked about his current Quality Over Quantity policy with the The AV Club.

AVC: Why the 10-year hiatus between Good News For Modern Man and Hot Wax?

GH: I've delved into a lot of non-musical projects. Learning new things and accomplishing things with my hands that I put aside as an adult to devote all my time to music. As I've gotten older, I've been concentrating on quality and no filler, and spending more time constructing all of the parts of music, rather than going into the studio with one or two parts and then letting the rest work itself out. The first song, "You're The Reflection Of The Moon On The Water," I took a year to come up with what I thought was an appropriate third verse. That's a long time to hold back on a song that you're excited about in order to make it more of a fulfilling experience. Would I have taken that opportunity in 1985? Hell no.

Tonight's Cake Shop show is good all around, with Drink Up Buttercup and Sisters opening. Tomorrow's Knitting Factory show, Grant is actually opening for Gary Lucas' Gods & Monsters. And you can also catch up with the other half of Husker Du's songwriting force -- Bob Mould, when he plays City Winery next week.

More things to do this weekend:

Zee Avi
Zee Avi

Tonight (Thursday, 1/14)

Les Savvy Fav's Tim Harrington hosts a night of comedy and music at The Bell House, featuring charming Malaysian singer-songwriter Zee Avi, and one of my favorite comedians of the moment, Kumail Nanjiani. Plus Stardweller, Rory Scovel, Kevin Barker and screenings of Harrington's Beardo shorts. Plus other shenanigans.

Another chance to see Hot Rats, Danny and Gaz of Supergrass in cover band mode at Bowery Ballroom. Their take on The Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right" is pretty great. I'm told Tuesday's show at MHoW was a blast. The Heavy open (and then play 92YTribeca on Saturday).

At Silent Barn is a night of hazy indiepop, headlined by fine new local band Big Troubles whose debut 7" just came out and is well worth picking up. You can download "Freudian Slips" from it at the top of this post. I doubt they've ever heard '90s shoegazers The Boo Radleys, but "Freudian Slips" bears more than a little resemblance to the Boos' single "Lazy Day," dontcha think? Also playing: next generation twee poppers Dream Diary, the experimental noise of Blissed Out and dreamy New Haven band Procedure Club.

Real Estate @ Brooklyn Bowl - 1/5 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
real Estate

Friday (1/15)

Not tired from playing every day last week, Real Estate headline a killer Less Artists More Condos show at new venue St James Church. There's open bar from 8 - 9, which is my kind of religion. Real Estate just put out a new EP on Mexican Summer which is, I think, the band's 78th release in just under a year. Also playing are The Tony Castles, The Beets, and two of my favorite new(ish) local bands: Beach Fossils and Total Slacker. You can download Total Slacker's five-song demo (via a Mediafire link) at the top of this post.

The Bell House has a fun show of new sound for now: Brooklyn chamber pop band Miracles of Modern Science (download their EP for free here), the raucous pop of Philadelphia's Drink Up Buttercup, Ravens & Chimes' folk pop and Milagres (maybe you remember them when they were called The Secret Life of Sophia).

Joe Pernice plays a solo show at Mercury Lounge where he'll likely talk as much as he will sing, which is fine -- he's a great banterer. A pretty good writer too, as read in his first novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop which he'll read from I'm told. Joe just finished his next album, which is apparently not a Pernice Brothers or Chappaquiddick Skyline or solo record. I hope he hasn't gone synthpop. Something entirely new for 2010 sounds good.

The Cribs @ Bowery Ballroom in 2008 (more by Vincent Cornelli)
The Cribs

Saturday (1/16)

If you can't make the St. James Church show on Friday, you can catch Beach Fossils again on Saturday night where they're playing a show at Monster Island put on by blog Chocolate Bobka. This looks to be a good show, as it also boasts Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Cleveland's Cloud Nothings and the druggy sounds of New Hope, Pennsylvania's Nude Beach. It's where I'll be Saturday night.

The Cribs (still with Johnny Marr) are at Irving Plaza where they'll play with our (well someone's) generation's Jim Morrison, the always entertaining Adam Green. "What Makes Him Act So Bad," the first MP3 off of Adam's upcoming album, Minor Love (out 2/16 on Fat Possum), is at the top of this post. The Cribs were just great when they played Bowery Ballroom in November.

Videos, flyers and tour dates follow...

Continue reading "Yummy Fur, Cribs, Grant Hart, Adam Green, Zee Avi, Big Troubles, Joe Pernice, Beardo & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Zoos of Berlin - Electrical Way (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Finish Line (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - I'm a Pilot (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Luna (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Ballet - The House of Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phantogram - When I'm Small (Mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Invisible Hand - There's Room in My Will (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Invisible Hand - Caught Myself in a Coy Trap (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Drunk Tigers - Outer Banks, Inner Peace (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phil and the Osophers - We Have All Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)

French Horn Rebellion
French Horn Rebellion

As previously reported, Detroit band Zoos of Berlin are in town this weekend -- playing Matchless tonight (12/18) and Cake Shop tomorrow (12/19). Mixing elements of baroque, Krautrock and '70s shag carpet, Zoos of Berlin don't really sound like anybody else -- which is a good thing, right? They're good live too, maybe even better than on their album (which is worth seeking out).

I'm told Zoos of Berlin are on early-ish (9:45) so my personal plan for tonight is to catch ZoB at Matchless then head over to Cameo Gallery for the Cantora Late Nite Holiday Special featuring Savoir Adore and French Horn Rebellion. Doors are at 11PM and if you RSVP, admission is only five bucks. I think I've probably written enough about Savoir Adore this year (and you can read their year-end Q&A) for you to know that I'm a big fan and think you should go see them. French Horn Rebellion is David Perlick-Molinari, who plays in the live line-up of Savoir Adore, and his brother Robert -- and their brand of funky electro draws inspiration from Michael Jackson and early '80s disco. They know their way around a catchy tune too -- "Up All Night" is pretty irresistible, and will end up on my Best Singles of 2009 list...whenever I get around to putting that together. That song's video is at the bottom of this post. I've never seen them live -- Paul and Diedre of Savoir Adore play in the French Horn Rebellion touring unit -- so looking forward to seeing them.

Fanfarlo @ MHOW during CMJ (more by Tim Griffin)
Fanfarlo

Also tonight: after a successful CMJ (including their great performance at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase), Fanfarlo are back in NYC, moving up to Webster Hall where they play with Freelance Whales. Not bad for a band who have yet to get written about at all on Pitchfork. (Though they are one of the choices in their Bands to Watch in 2010 section of theirreader's poll.) I'm still listening to their debut, Reservoir, which has held up over the last 10 months or so. It's a nice pairing with Freelance Whales who were lovely the only time I saw them --at the Brooklyn Vegan day party during CMJ where they played acoustic. Fanfarlo seem like a good band to see during the holidays -- they're very Christmasy. Tickets are still available. Fanfarlo recently stopped by the NPR offices to film an acoustic performance, including a cover of Low's "It Was Just Like Christmas," and you can watch that at the bottom of this post.

The Ballet
The Ballet

The long-running indiepop party Mondo! happens tonight (12/18) at Don Hill's and tonight features a performance by The Ballet who were kind of a big deal with blogs a few years back and played on a few choice bills, opening for Voxtrot, The Hidden Cameras and others. And then they just sort of faded away. Well, The Ballet are back with their second album melodic, upbeat synthpop, Bear Life, and I like it quite a bit. You can download album track "The House on Fire" at the top to this post. Stephin Merritt comparisons are inevitable but it's definitely more Future Bible Heroes than Magnetic Fields.

Phantogram
Phantogram

Moving on to Saturday (12/19), there's a worthwhile free show at Brooklyn Bowl with Phantogram and Class Actress. I might try to hit this one as I have yet to see Phantogram live and am a fan of their debut album, Eyelid Movies, which will get an official release on Barsuk Records in February 2010. You can download "When I'm Small" from the album at the top of this post. It's a pretty good taster for the album, which is kind of trip-hoppy but in a '00s sort of way (breakbeats but no John Barry or Morricone samples). Chilled, atmospheric, but still danceable.

Class Actress I wrote about last week, but have now actually seen them play (at Mercury Lounge). I don't think they've quite figured out the live show, but they're not bad. I like the EP which will be out on Terrible Records in the new year.

If you miss the bowling alley show, Phantogram also just added a February 12th show at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are on sale at noon.

Invisible Hand
The Invisible Hand

And finally, for the indie pop fans out there we've got a good show at Matchless on Saturday night, featuring Brooklyn bands Dream Diary and Phil & the Osophers, plus two bands from Charlottesville, Virginia -- The Invisible Hand and Drunk Tigers. The Invisible Hand remind me a bit of Of Montreal by way of Superchunk or the Clean. Definitely a '90s indie rock thing going on, pretty good. You can download two tracks at the top of this post. Drunk Tigers aren't bad either, a little more in the shouty Port O'Brien school of things.

As for the local acts, I'm on record as being a fan of Dream Diary whose jangly style should appeal to fans of The Pastels and other '80s-era Creation Records bands. And Phil and the Osophers have been at it for nearly five years and whose new album, Parallelo, is worth checking out -- you can download an MP3 at the top of this post.

That's gonna do it for this week. No column next week, so happy holidays folks. Videos, flyers and tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Ballet, Zoos of Berlin, Fanfarlo, Savoir Adore, Phil & the Osophers, Phantogram & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Dream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Big Troubles - Drastic and Difficult (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - It #1 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Finish Line (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - I'm a Pilot (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Luna (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jeremy Warmsley - If He Breaks Your Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Slaraffenland - Meet and Greet (Mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Slaraffenland - Open Your Eyes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Horrors - Sea Within a Sea (MP3)

Ty Segall's drummer @ Cake Shop (more by Tim Griffin)
Ty Segall

I realize we're all concerned about This Week Next Year in Indie, what with this Pavement stuff, but there are actually good shows in the next few days too, so let's get down to it.

Ty Segall is back in town, playing three area shows before heading down to Memphis for next weekend's Gonerfest. If you haven't picked up his new album, Lemons (which is on Goner Records), you really should -- I think it's one of the year's better slabs of garage. And by all means see him live. He (and his band) were great when they played Cake Shop back in June. You can catch him Friday (9/18) night at Death by Audio (as part of this Maze installation which I have yet to see, and where they recently "chopped some of the walls in half [to help] with the viewing".), Sunday night (9/20) at Mercury Lounge with Golden Triangle, and Monday (9/21) at Maxwell's.

All dates on this current tour are with fellow San Franciscans The Mantles whose self-titled debut is just out on Siltbreeze. Every time I think I've heard all the SF bands doing psych-garage, here comes another and they all seem to put their own stamp on it. The Mantles are a little more on the tuneful, paisley side of things -- think Lyres, Mouse & the Traps or even The Turtles -- that the scream through a distorted mic kind of thing, so they make for a good "similar but different" match to Ty's grittier style.

Dream Diary
Dream Diary

It's Rosh Hashanah this weekend and the folks at Silent Barn are throwing a party Saturday night in celebration of it: "The party is to celebrate 5770 and will have a Jewish theme but non-Jews are definitely welcome... and encouraged to attend. Gonna be a party and a blast!" Headlining are Dream Diary, who I caught last week at Bruar Falls and thought were really good. Dream Diaryplay what I'd call classic indiepop: jangly guitars, fey vocals, with a love of both sunny melodies and rainy day minor chords. Think The Pastels, Orange Peels, or Trembling Blue Stars. You can check out an MP3 of "Bird in My Garden" at the top of this post, and there's video from the Bruar Falls show below. Also playing: duo Big Troubles who are also Fluffy Lumbers' backing band (if that means anything to you), and The Kezners. Plus: apples and honey!

Fanfarlo
Fanfarlo

We are in the midst of The Bell House's First Anniversary, which early in the week saw shows from OK Go, Fountains of Wayne and Rhett Miller, and is now ankle deep in the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The last day of this weeklong celebration (Tuesday, 9/22), however, is the one I'm most excited about: Fanfarlo. It's one of two dates they're playing in NYC, they also are at Bowery Ballroom on Monday (9/21). I'm a longtime champion of these guys and it's great to see them playing two of my favorite venues in the city -- a big move up from the 40 or so people in attendance at Fat Baby during CMJ 2008. Their debut, Resevoir, has been available digitally for some time (they were even selling it for a dollar for a while there) is finally getting a proper release on Atlantic in October. It's one of my favorites of the year, but I think Fanfarlo are even better in concert where their sweeping anthemicism really comes alive. The Finest Kiss caught the first show of their U.S. tour in Seattle:

Fanfarlo get compared to Arcade Fire quite a lot, but where Arcade Fire are all about pomp and bombast, Fanfarlo soften the corners coming across as a warmer friendlier band. They can sound big, but they also know how to do quiet. They all seem to be able to play multiple instruments, and apparently get tired of playing the same thing all the time based on all the switching off they did, and that restlessness spread to audience during the encore, when the band brought out hollow plastic whistling tubes and handed them out to various audience members for the song Ghost. It was just about perfect (except for ducking a few times) with the whistling forming and eerie bed of sound over which the band played. Like the stage set up, it was just another example of the band making a big impact with tiny props. It was a Monday night, but Chop Suey was pretty full for a UK band touring the US with no album out yet. The majority of the people there must have been fans, because after the encore the audience demanded another song. The house music and lights were coming on but everyone persisted and the band obliged. I rarely see a genuine encore, but this indeed was one, and the band were a little taken aback. They weren't sure that they even knew another song that they could play, but they pulled out the A-side to their second single "You Are One Of The Few Outsiders Who Really Understands Us." It may be the poppiest song they have, and just like the rush of the opening "I'm a Pilot" this put a smile on everyone's face. In a lot of ways a gig is like a salesman making a sale, it's all about the presentation, and Fanfarlo have got it down, visually and sonically.
Tickets are still available for both the Bowery and Bell House shows, though I think the latter's lodge-y vibe will suit the band best. But do go see one -- or both -- shows if you can. Both nights also feature percussion-heavy Swedes Wildbirds and Peacedrums, who played last night at Cake Shop and will also play at Bruar Falls Friday with Ramona Falls.

Jeremy Warmsley
Jeremy Warmsley

Helping fill out Fanfarlo's sound on this American tour (he's playing as a member of their band) is London musician Jeremy Warmsley who travels in the same circles as Noah & the Whale, Lightspeed Champion, Emmy the Great, Slow Club, the Wave Pictures and the rest of London's new folk scene, much of which was documented last year on his online show Welcome To Our TV Show. (You can watch an episode below.) His debut album from last year, How We Became, has yet to be released in America but it's well worth seeking out, a nice mix of acoustics, electronics and well-crafted songs. While here with Fanfarlo, he's doing his own solo show (which is also his NYC debut) on Wednesday (9/23) at Pianos. He's performing solo acoustic, but maybe some of the Fanfarlo folks will still be around to help him out? We'll see. He's good. You can download his single "If He Breaks Your Heart" at the top of this post.

Slaraffenland
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If I wasn't going to the Fanfarlo show at Bell House I would probably be at Union Pool to see Denmark's Slaraffenland, their only NYC date of their current U.S. tour, most of which was spent opening for Akron/Family. Their new album, We're on Your Side, came out this week and while it's a little more straightforward than 2007's weird, wonderful Private Cinema, it's no less lovely. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. And I wholeheartedly recommend seeing them live. I wrote this about their show last year at Knitting Factory: "Live, Slaraffenland are pretty fascinating to watch, as all the members sing and play at least two instruments... often within the same song. The guitarist played the oboe; the percussionist played a variety of woodwinds; the bassist also played flute; and the keyboardist / sampler was often seen with a trombone. There is a lot of live sampling going on in their show -- many songs started with everyone playing horns which would become a backing loop -- so live percussion blended with canned bits. Very little of their music follows pop conventions, but there is melody and beauty if you stop waiting for the chorus and just let the music wash over you." You can also watch their Takeaway show further down this post.

Drink Up ButtercupIf you're looking for things to do tonight, I can recommend three shows. At Glasslands (9/17), it's Savoir Adore, Drink Up Buttercup, The Art of Shooting, and Candles of Paradise. Savoir Adore, who I've plugged many times before here on this site, are a great live band and I really like their debut, In the Wooded Forrest which is out this week on CD and vinyl. (They're giving away three tracks from it at their website.) I've also written about Drink Up Buttercup more than once, and the band have just signed to Yep Roc who will release their debut album early next year. In the meantime, you can download the A-side of their new single "Even Think" from YepRoc's website after giving them your email address.

There's also The Horrors at Bowery Ballroom. They didn't win the Mercury Prize (no surprise) but as I've said before, their new album Primary Colours is pretty great. I'll quote myself: "Mind you, I'm prone to like things that owe to '80s post punk and goth, as well as '90s shoegaze, but they transcend the influences I think. Like My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, some of the sounds on the record make you wonder if your stereo is melting. In a good way." Opening are Crocodiles who do a good JAMC / Spacemen 3 impersonation that works, I think, because they've got the attitude and snarl to back it up. Or maybe it's the sunglasses. If you miss them, both bands will be back in October.

And at Union Hall tonight (9/17) are We Are Ivy League, Americans who do wispy Brit indiepop just about perfectly. They got most of their press from being part of another band who wrote the Snakes on a Plane theme song, but I think their album from last year stands on its own. They've been mostly quiet since releasing it. It might be worth going to the show just to find out what's going on with them these days.

That's it for this week (and a bit of next). Flyers, videos, and tour dates follow...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo, Jeremy Warmsley, Ty Segall, Dream Diary, Slaraffenland, Horrors & more in This Week in Indie"