Entries tagged with: Edwyn Collins
by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
Ex Cops DJing at Other Music, RSD 2012 (more)
We're about a week out from Record Store Day 2013. When it began in 2008, RSD was a celebration of brick-and-mortar stores in the face of digital downloads, offering up exclusive releases to get people out to stores. It's blown up considerably since then, with hundreds of RSD-only releases. (Many of which fall into the hands of folks who turn it around on Ebay that same day, but what can you do?) While it is a mob scene these days, there is no doubt it helps what record stores there are left -- though not enough, as Record Store Day will be the last day for Williamsburg's Sound Fix. Participating stores around the country are listed here.
There are always some pretty cool exclusives too, items that may have never seen the light of day without RSD. With that in mind we've gone through the list of North American RSD exclusives to highlight a few things to keep an eye out. This isn't comprehensive, just stuff we wanna get. What records are you trying to get this year?
Edwyn Collins @ The Rock Shop, March 2011 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Onetime Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins will release Understated in March 2013, his eighth solo album and follow-up to 2010's terrific Losing Sleep. The album is being released by AED Records, the label Collins started with onetime Rough Trade A&R man James Endicott. You can stream the album's first single, "Too Bad (That's Sad)," below along with the album art which was done by Edwyn as well. And while it's probably too late to get them in time for Christmas, AED is selling holiday cards with a lovely Roe Deer illustration done by Edwyn. Save 'em for next year!
No North American tour announced as of yet, but he does have a Spring 2013 UK tour planned and those dates are listed below, along with the song stream.
by Bill Pearis
Yuck @ Barbarella (BV Party photo by Amanda Hatfield)
Moving on from Wednesday... Thursday, in some ways, was a bit of a bust for me. I blame St. Patrick's Day, one of my least favorite holidays. It is amateur hour. Attendance was up 40% at SXSW this year, and I'm guessing a lot of that was college kids on spring break all of whom already seemed to have had enough to drink by the time I hit 6th Street after the BrooklynVegan-curated portion of the Day Stage. It was a day spent trying to avoid getting puked on or punched.
Anyway, I headed over to our other Thursday afternoon event at Barbarella/Swan Dive, which was crowded but chill, arriving just in time to catch the end of Fergus & Geronimo and Beans' sets. Trying to navigate between the two connected clubs -- blazing sunshine at the patio stage, pitch black for the Barbarella inside stage -- was a bit tough.
I watched most of Yuck's set and thought they sounded great. Not the most exciting band to watch, but that's okay, not everyone can bounce around the stage like Superchunk to whom they owe more than a little sonic dept. Speaking of, Mac McCaughan was their for their whole set which I thought was kind of awesome. I asked him if he was there to collect royalties from Yuck. He laughed and said, "No way, I love these guys!"
Obits @ Barbarella (BV Party photo by Amanda Hatfield)
From there it was out to the Patio for Obits' set. There's something about their pedal-to-the-metal rock that sounds a little better in Texas. Plus they played the two songs I really wanted to hear: "You Gotta Lose" from the new album Moody, Standard and Poor, and their first-ever single "One Cross Apiece."
After scarfing down some tacos (courtesy of the El Diablo truck in Barbarella's backyard, yes a sister truck to the one here at Union Pool), I caught a little of Screaming Females, rip-roaring as usual, and Menomena before heading East to pick up my Fader Fort wristband. Probably a mistake to go to the one place with truly unlimited booze on St. Patrick's Day, it was a phantasmagoric scene of oversized spectacles, day-glo clothing, long lines, and marketing. And booze. Oh...and bands. Mazes, who I'd seen the night before, were playing and not many people seemed to be paying attention.
Most people seemed to be having the Best Time Ever but it was just a little much for me, so I opted for the green grass and relaxed vibe of the French Legation to catch Edwyn Collins which was just a pleasure. With a shit-hot band, including legend Dave Ruffy on drums, we got a 40-minute or so set, half of which was from his new album Losing Sleep, the rest from his back catalog, mostly from his Orange Juice days.
Missed opportunity: they didn't play OJ classic "The Day I Went Down to Texas." But otherwise no complaints. Just like at his Rock Shop show, the set's highlight was Losing Sleep track "In Your Eyes," with Edwyn's son Will singing co-lead, the part sung by Jonathan of The Drums. The Drums' Jacob Graham came out and played guitar with them too. Like his dad, Will Collins has pipes perfect for croony melodrama. Get this kid his own band!
Edwyn Collins @ French Legation
I zoned out at the Legation for a while before heading to Beauty Bar to see Swedish soft pop band Pacific! I love Pacific's first album, Reveries, a melange of '78-'82 soft rock influences, but had no idea what their live show would be like. I certainly wasn't expecting them to come out in cloaks and hoods. Backlit, they looked like Grim Reapers, albeit ones making music that would fit right in beside Air Supply and Falco.
From there it was off to Emo's Jr. to catch San Francisco's Magic Bullets. If you are ever in need of a pick-me-up, go see this band. Their singer is the dancin-est frontman I have ever seen, and the whole band really seems to enjoy playing...which is infectious. They ended their set with a cover of Altered Images' "I Could Be Happy," which fit right in with the band's sound (that owes more than a little to early-'80s Scottish pop).
Austra was playing at Emo's proper so we went to catch them. Buzz is just started to build for them but I think when their debut, Feel it Break, hits they will be unavoidable. The record is all hits and they've got a really good live show too, including identical twin sisters as backup singers. Eminently danceable, with soaring choruses, Austra have got it. I left before the Kills who went on next at what was the Domino showcase.
From here I met up with friends at Palm Door, near the Convention Center, and caught the tail-end of We Barbarians' set. The Long Beach trio's sound is not a million miles away from Bear Hands or Local Natives, dancefloor friendly rock. I thought they were pretty good. They hit New York in a couple weeks for two sold-out shows with Foster the People and Grouplove: Mercury Lounge on April 8 and Knitting Factory on April 9.
"You ready for some killer dubstep?" That's Shaun Durkan, bassist/singer for Weekend, who were up next. He kids, he kids. Intense and very, very loud, Weekend take a load of post punk influences and really do make them their own. They are just so good at what they do. You're knocked back by sheer force as Durkan's vocals swirl in and out as if from a parallel dimension. Easily one of the best sets I saw at SXSW. Weekend are in town in two weeks, for two shows: opening for Wire at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 5, and then an early show at Mercury Lounge on April 6 with Toronto's Little Girls.
We decided to end the night with Gayngs at large outdoor club Mohawk who are supposed to be on at 12:30 but are still setting up equipment an hour later. With what seems like 30 people in the band, I can see how it would take so long but my energy flagged and I took off before they played, deciding to catch the Night Owl bus back to my friend's apartment instead.
A few more photos below, some video, and applicable tour dates...
photos by Dana (DISTORTION) Yavin
Edwyn Collins, now down at SXSW, passed through NYC for two shows on Sunday and Monday. The first was at the Rock Shop. The second was Bowery Ballroom and that's where the pictures in this post are from. More of them, setlist included, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Eyes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Still Dawn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Religious Songs (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - Bootprints (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - My Favourite Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bloodgroup - My Arms (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Megaphonic Thrift - Candy Sin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Lines - El Matador (MP3)
I get it, I get it. Many of you do not want to hear about SXSW. It's like other people's dreams, if you're not in it (or at it) you don't care. But New York is lucky in that we reap the rewards of so many bands flying into the U.S. And this week is filthy with foreign bands on their way to Austin for SXSW. As I write this through a flu-induced haze, my eyes glaze over at the sheer number of quality entertainments happening now through Tuesday (3/15). So let's get into it.
I'm sure Poland has a lot of bands, but you don't hear about many of them in America. They don't tend to play here. Tonight (3/11) at Knitting Factory you can check out one of them. Bajzel is a one man band whom Polish Newsweek (I know) said "is our Beck. Only better." I don't know about that, but his music -- all made on loop pedals apparently -- is pretty cool.
For this tour he's cherry-picked some of his more English-friendly songs from his many Polish releases as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp. You can stream it at the bottom of this post. It ranges from rock to Eastern European folk to hip-hop influence dancepop. If you can't go Friday, Bajzel will also play Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday (3/15) with someone called That 1 Guy.
Also playing the Knitting Factory show are Vancouver's Mother Mother who headline and make melodramatic (bordering on histrionic) pop, and Elijah Bonfire, the new band from Kevin Calaba who used to front Stars of Track & Field. Bajzel will be back after SXSW, playing The Gutter on March 25 (it's like his bowling alley tour) with Plushies and Desert Stars.
Saturday (3/12) is the American debut of UK band Still Corners, who are now, like Memoryhouse and Niki and The Dove (both other recent announcements), officially part of the Sub Pop family. You can download both of their singles to date at the top of this post. The songs typify the band's dreamy, haunting sound. I'm super excited to see these folks. If you're going to Austin and have a SXSW badge, they're also playing the Dot Com Day Stage on Thursday (3/17) with Frankie & the Heartstrings and Erland & the Carnival, a line-up I curated. After Austin, the band are going on tour with labelmates Papercuts and all dates are below.
We now move to Scotland. Withered Hand is the music project of visual artist Dan Willson, who counts Jarvis Cocker and Frightened Rabbit as fans and is touring in support of his debut LP, Good News, which will be receiving a belated North American release on March 15 via Absolutely Kosher. Says The List of Good News:
Willson is a curious pop disciple: a deadpan bard eternally vexed by the doctrines of God, the inconsequence of life, and the transparent nature of modern swimwear. Good News, his gorgeous debut album, delivers a compendium of warped-rock sermons that variously reference Seventh-day Adventism ('Cornflake'); lyrical post-rationalisation ('For the Maudlin'); and knocking one out on your paramour's couch ('Religious Songs', his signature anthem).Check out two tracks at the top of this post (I especially like "Religious Songs."). Withered Hand plays
Despite his dedication to a DIY cause that's seen Withered Hand galvanise Edinburgh's live terrain and perform with Jeffrey Lewis and Calvin Johnson, Willson's quavering vocals and acoustic eulogies elicit heavy-hitters Bright Eyes (on woebegone porch-swing opener 'Providence') - and even Neil Young at times.
UPDATE: Due to visa issues, Withered Hand's Brooklyn show is cancelled, and the other shows might not happen either.
The Rockwood show is of special note as Withered Hand will be performing with (like at the same time) Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too. Monday will be Anderson's first-ever U.S. performance.
Speaking of first-evers, Thrawn, came out on Domino last month, his first U.S. release, and it's a good introduction to what he's about, though it doesn't include "Not One Bit Ashamed" one of Anderson's most moving songs. It's still a good first listen. You can download two tracks from it above. Anderson also runs Fence Records, part label, part collective that has James Yorkston, FOUND and Withered Hand on their roster. Kenny's got a new album, Diamond Mine, due out in May on Domino. The LP is a collaboration with Jon Hopkins that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can catch King Creosote at SXSW and in California too, and those dates are at the bottom of this ever-growing post.
The last of our Scotland artists is by no means the least. Edwyn Collins is playing his first American shows in eight years this weekend: Sunday night (3/13) at The Rock Shop (sold out) and Monday night (3/14) at Bowery Ballroom. His great new album Losing Sleep comes out in the U.S. on March 22 and you can download the title track at the top of this post. As I wrote before:
Edwyn Collins' new album, Losing Sleep, is one of the year's best. His first made since two brain haemorrhages nearly took his life in 2005 and left him at first without the ability to walk or talk, let alone write songs. That it exists at all is a miracle, that it's as great as it is a testament to his spirit. Helping him out on the album are a cavalcade of talent -- Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, The Drums, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers -- but always in the service of getting Collins' songs on record.Edwyn actually left a comment on that post (not about hummus), as to whether his band still features former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook was still in the band: "Yep, Paul and I are still playing together and we'll be with you soon." I wonder if there will be some special guests at one of these shows? I'm not counting on it, and you don't need any extra reason to go.
Opening both of Edwyn's shows are The Kinbeats, a London quartet made up of three brothers and their cousin who have been protegés of Collins' since his recovery from his two strokes in 2005. Their debut, produced by Collins, is due out sometime this year. The big Bs (Beach Boys, Beatles) are a clear influence on the band and kind of remind me of early-'00s band Cosmic Rough Riders. They won't be heading to Austin, so do get there early and check them out.
While we're in Scotland, don't forget Trashcan Sinatras are at Joe's Pub on Sunday (3/13).
The Megaphonic Thrift
Up next: Nordic bands. Norway's loud and awesome Megaphonic Thrift, who played in NYC last March on their way to SXSW as their new album, Decay Destroy, had just come out in their home country of Norway. It's taken a year for the album to get an American release -- out next month on Sonic Union -- but it's probably good timing as their sound fits in well with the '90s indie rock resurgence we're experiencing right now.
Check out the "Candy Sin" -- part Sonic Youth, part Swervedriver -- at the top of this post. I've seen them a couple times. If you dig loud, shoegazy rock The Megaphonic Thrift do it very well. They play Saturday Night (3/13) at Mercury Lounge with Endless Boogie and Arboretum. And then they play Monday night (3/14) at The Rock Shop as part of our second-annual BrooklynVegan SXSW Kickoff Party that also features Iceland's Bloodgroup and UK rock combo The Lines. Tickets are only $8, do come out if you can.
Moving South to Denmark we have WhoMadeWho who are playing both Santos Party House ands Mercury Lounge before they head to Texas.
The big news is, I guess, James Blake's first U.S. show on Monday at Music Hall of Williamsburg which is way sold out so if you couldn't get in there, there's no shortage of other stuff going on, as this finally-ending column just showed you. I'd love to see you come out to The Rock Shop, but it's hard to choose no doubt. Go see something, though.
Ok that's it. I'll be in Austin next week so no column but there's lots of post SXSW action in NYC coming up so stay tuned for that. Below are a few more good show options, day-by-day.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11
Toronto's Small Sins play the Rock Shop which I wrote about earlier this week.
Robyn Hitchcock and Joe Boyd are at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (3/11), which I wrote about earlier today.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (MP3)
Former Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins is set to play his first American shows since suffering a near-fatal brain haemorrhage in February 2005. He'll play The Rock Shop on Sunday, March 13 and Bowery Ballroom on Monday, March 14. Both shows go on sale Friday (1/28) at noon. Edwyn will then head to Austin for SXSW. These will be Edwyn's first NYC shows since he played solo acoustic at Mercury Lounge back in 2002 or so (2003? My memory is fuzzy).
Edwyn Collins' new album, Losing Sleep, is one of the year's best. His first made since two brain haemorrhages nearly took his life in 2005 and left him at first without the ability to walk or talk, let alone write songs. That it exists at all is a miracle, that it's as great as it is a testament to his spirit. Helping him out on the album are a cavalcade of talent -- Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, The Drums, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers -- but always in the service of getting Collins' songs on record.While his old band Orange Juice have finally gotten their due in the last few years (including a comprehensive box set last year on Domino), Edwyn is still best known in America for his 1995 hit "A Girl Like You." You can check out the video for the Franz Ferdinand-aided "Do It Again" (and a few other videos) below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Orange Juice - Felicity (MP3)
In what I hope (but don't promise) to be a regular feature, I'm gonna recommend a couple notable new reissues. What with the holiday season it full swing, either of these would make good holiday presents for the serious indie music lover.
Firstly is Domino Records' new Orange Juice box set, Coals to Newcastle, that compiles nearly everything the Glasgow legends ever recorded. (The single mix of "Rip it Up" is mysteriously absent.) This marks the first time 85% of this material has ever been released in America. Polydor reissued their albums on CD in 1997 but they fell out of print almost immediately. You can now chart the band's progression from their shambolic, jangly beginnings on Postcard Records through myriad line-up changes and transformation into what could be called an indie equivalent of Chic. Even the weird stuff -- like the high life-inspired "Million Pleading Faces" on Rip It Up -- is pretty good. And even if, like me, you shelled out the dough in the mid-'90s for the Polydor reissues (which went out of print almost instantly) there's previously unreleased 12" mixes, dub versions, rough mixes, non-LP singles, radio sessions, live tracks, and interviews. There's also a DVD containing rare Orange Juice television special Dada with Juice, and a Derek Jarman-directed video for "What Presence?" that I'd never seen before. (Why is this not on Youtube?) At $70 it ain't cheap, but if you think of it as less than ten bucks a disc it's not so bad. And well worth the money. You can stream 18 tracks from the box set over at Domino's website and download classic OJ single "Felicity" above.
While on the subject, OJ's Edwyn Collins' new album, Losing Sleep, is one of the year's best. His first made since two brain haemorrhages nearly took his life in 2005 and left him at first without the ability to walk or talk, let alone write songs. That it exists at all is a miracle, that it's as great as it is a testament to his spirit. Helping him out on the album are a cavalcade of talent -- Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, The Drums, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers -- but always in the service of getting Collins' songs on record. Like his last two albums, Losing Sleep hasn't been released in America but is well worth picking up on import. Hey Domino... how about putting this one out too.
Speaking of Domino, the label just reissued Robert Wyatt's entire back catalog on CD and vinyl. If you don't own Rock Bottom, Nothing Can Stop Us and Shleep... now is the perfect time. Then move on to the rest of his records.
The other notable reissue is the four-disc "Omnibus Edition" of The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, my personal favorite Fall album. The 1984 record was the first fully made with Mark E. Smith's then-wife Brix, who brought pop smarts to the Mancunian band's somewhat difficult sound, and their first produced by the great John Leckie. Along with guitarist Craig Scanlon, bassist Steven Hanley and drummer Karl Burns this is the classic Fall lineup in my opinion. The Omnibus Edition restore's the album's original running order, putting singles from the same time "Oh Brother!," "C.R.E.E.P." and "No Bulbs" on the second disc with their b-sides and rough mixes of album tracks. The third collects radio sessions, and the fourth is a live recording from their performance at the 1984 Pandora's Music Box Festival in Norway (set time 3:15AM) that shows what a powerhouse live band the Fall were at the time. The box set sold out in the UK, but seems to be easily gettable here in the U.S.
Beggars Banquet also reissued The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall on vinyl (just the album) which lets you hear classics like "2X4," "Slang King" and "Disney's Dream Debased" in their analogue glory. Also out on vinyl: its follow-up, This Nation's Saving Grace which is widely considered by people not me to be their best-ever album. (It is a very close second.) It gets the Omnibus treatment in January. Save up, kids.
An Orange Juice video below...