Entries tagged with: Elephant Stone
Elephant Stone @ The Bell House in April (more by PSquared Photography)
As mentioned, Montreal's jangly psych rockers, Elephant Stone, are on tour and will pull into NYC on Saturday (8/10) at Mercury Lounge. The show is will fellow sonic-trippers Morning Teleportation and tickets are still available.
The band recently turned over "A Silent Moment" (from this year's self-titled album) to The Horrors' Tom Furse to remix. Furse stripped out most of the guitars and upped the rolling bassline, tabla percussion and droning sitar to make for a much groovier version of the song. You can stream that, along with Elephant Stone's recent video for "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin," below.
by Bill Pearis
Elephant Stone @ Bell House in April (more by PSquared Photography)
Montreal's Elephant Stone have been no strangers in the Lower 48, having toured with Black Angels and Allah-Las in the Spring. Rishi Dhir and co will be heading back our way next month for a quick swing through the East Coast (and a couple dates in the Midwest), including a stop in NYC on August 10 at Mercury Lounge. That show is supporting trippy vibers Morning Teleportation with Desert Noises on the bill too. Tickets are currently on AmEx presale and go on sale to the general public on Friday (7/12) at noon.
If you haven't checked out Elephant Stone's new album yet it's their (to quote myself), "best batch of songs yet, clearly nodding at the past (The Byrds, Big Star) but without sounding overtly retro, sprinkled with just enough of Rishi Dhir's formidable sitar skills."
All tour dates are listed, along with a stream of the album, below...
Wild Belle are playing The Bowery Ballroom on October 8. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at noon, with a general on-sale starting Friday (7/12) at noon.
Ani DiFranco is playing Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 15. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at noon, with general on-sale starting Friday (7/12) at noon.
Morning Teleportation, Desert Noises, and Elephant Stone are playing The Mercury Lounge on August 10. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at noon.
John Oliver and Mike Birbiglia were added to tonight's A Night of Comedy to Benefit 826NYC @ The Bell House which is co-hosted by Eugene Mirman and Sarah Vowell and will also feature comedians Daniel Kitson and Reggie Watts. Tickets are still available.
Azealia Banks is the previously unannounced headliner playing the free Red Bull Sound Select show at The Starlight Ballroom in Philadelphia on July 26 with Mike Taylor and Khari Mateen. You can still request a ticket for that show and for the Gaslight Anthem one happening at Irving Plaza on July 27. Philly's flyer is below.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
photos by Tim Griffin
Goat / Deap Vally / Moving Sidewalks at Austin Psych Fest Day 3 - 4/28/13
Sunday was also about giving credence to the forbears of pysch-rock. Roky Erikson put on an energetic show to a loving and enthusiastic audience. The main attraction, and headliners for the fest, were the Moving Sidewalks featuring Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Any time one can catch Gibbons, it's worth paying attention, but unfortunately it seemed like some members of his old band hadn't played since the 1960s. Gibbons's familiar growl and deft guitar work did make up for most of it.Austin Psych Fest wrapped up its 2013 festival at its new home of Carson Creek Ranch last Sunday (4/28). The third, and final, day of the fest included sets by Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top band Moving Sidewalks, Swedish psych freakout group Goat, former 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson, The Black Angels, Black Angels collaborator/tourmate Rishi Dhir's project Elephant Stone, Clinic, King Khan & BBQ, White Fence, Deap Vally and more.
Sweden's Goat had the unfortunate slot coinciding with the second half of the Black Angels, but neither the crowd or the band seemed to notice. Dressed as gypsy druids, the band played a sort of jam-pysch rock with insane energy. The band wore masks, but the two female leads stole the show, euphorically jumping and singing throughout each song. [Austinist]
photos by PSquared Photography
Black Angels / Allah-Las / Elephant Stone @ The Bell House, 4/10/2013
Austin psych rockers The Black Angels played their second of two NYC shows last Wednesday (4/10) at The Bell House with tourmates Allah-Las from Los Angeles, and Montreal's Elephant Stone. (The first was at Webster Hall.) This was the third show of the week for Allah-Las, who snuck in a headlining set at Mercury Lounge between the two Black Angels shows. All three bands continue their tour as they head towards The Black Angels' homebase for Austin Psych Fest.
More photos from the Bell House, as well as setlists for Black Angels and Allah-Las, are below.
photos by Joe McCabe
Black Angels @ Webster Hall 4/8/2013
I love how they get weirder and darker with each other album. They have such a distinct sound, that there's isn't much reason to alter it. Like another band who I have an unhealthy obsession with, Stereolab, the Black Angels stick to what they do best -- recalling the west coast 60s psych rock scene mixed with some dirty, nasty, sexy, seductive guitar riffs. -[MusicSnobbery]As discussed, The Black Angels played the first of two NYC dates on April 8th at Webster Hall, snagging support from LA's Allah-Las and Montreal's Elephant Stone, the latter of whom's frontman, Rishi Dir, has been guesting with Black Angels on this tour as well. Pictures of the headliner are in this post. Allah-Las last night's show at Mercury Lounge, hopping on a bill with Young Magic (as hypothesized).
The Black Angels shows are in celebration of the band's new LP Indigo Meadow, and you can win an autographed copy of the gatefold vinyl which comes pressed on 180 gram with a download card and 20 page booklet. Details on how to enter are below.
All three bands play a sold-out Bell House tonight (4/10), and then continue on their wide-reaching tour. Black Angels' Webster Hall setlist is below.
Tamaryn is DJing at New York's Museum of Modern Art on Sunday evening (4/7) as part of a PopRally event called "Abstract Currents." Against projections of one-minute videos submitted by the public, Tamryn will provide a "hypnotic soundtrack to the collectively built abstract videoscape." It's in conjunction with MoMA's Abstraction, 1910-1925 and Abstract Generation: Now in Print exhibition and tickets are still available.
Later this month, Tamaryn will be in Texas' state capital for Austin Psych Fest (Apr. 26 - 28), which features a pretty amazing line-up that runs the gammut of "psychedelic," including Deerhunter, Spectrum, Black Mountain, OS Mutantes, The Moving Sidewalks, Clinic, Besnard Lakes, Elephant Stone, Roky Erickson, Sweden's GOAT and a bunch more. The fest just announced the day-by-day line-ups which are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Elephant Stone @ SXSW 2013 (via @BurgerRecords4life)
Montreal's Elephant Stone, who are currently in SXSW with most of the known music universe, will soon be on tour with Black Angels and Allah-Las, hitting NYC for two shows: April 8 at Webster Hall (tickets) and April 10 at The Bell House (tickets). Before that tour starts, Elephant Stone will be in NYC to play Pianos on April 2 with Data Romance, Spirit Animal and Desert Stars. No advance tickets to this show for now. They've got a few other non-Black Angels dates as well and all are listed below.
If you haven't checked out Elephant Stone's harmony-and-sitar-laden pysch-pop, you can stream their terrific new album below.
The Black Angels at MHOW in 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As mentioned, The Black Angels are releasing their new album, Indigo Meadow, on April 2 and going on a tour in support of it with fellow psych-rockers Elephant Stone (whose frontman, Rishi Dhir, has played sitar in Black Angels) and Allah-Las. That tour comes to NYC for the previously discussed show on April 8 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that one are still on sale, but if you'd like to catch the band in a smaller NYC location, you can also see them two days later at The Bell House (4/10). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Elephant Stone are also prepping a new album, which comes out next week (2/5), but you can stream it in full now.
An updated list of dates and the new Black Angels single, "Don't Play with Guns," below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Elephant Stone - Heavy Moon (MP3)
We've mentioned before that Montreal's Elephant Stone will be releasing their new album next week (2/5 digital, 2/12 for CD/LP) via Austin Psych Fest's Reverberation Appreciation Society label. It's easily their best batch of songs yet, clearly nodding at the past (The Byrds, Big Star) but without sounding overtly retro, sprinkled with just enough of Rishi Dir's formidable sitar skills. You can check it out for yourself, the whole album is streaming below and you can pre-order the album too if so desired.
You can see Elephant Stone live as well, as they're going on tour with pals Black Angels (Dir has been a touring member in the past), including a stop in NYC at Webster Hall on April 8 with Allah-Las in tow as well. Tickets for that show are still available.
Album stream below...
Austin's fuzzed-out Black Angels are set to release their fourth album, Indigo Meadow, on April 2. That's the album art above and you can stream the album's zeitgeist-y single "Don't Play with Guns" below.
The Black Angels will be heading out on a two-month tour right after the album's release, including a stop in NYC on April 8 at Webster Hall. Elephant Stone and Allah-Las will open and tickets go on AmEx presale on Wednesday (1/23) at noon with the regular on-sale happening on Friday (1/25) at noon.
Openers Elephant Stone is fronted by Rishi Dir who has spent time in The Black Angels touring unit and you can probably expect him to play sitar on a few Angels songs while they're out together. Elephant Stone's new self-titled album is out February 5 on the Reverberation Appreciation Society, the label run by Austin Psych Fest (which is run by THe Black Angels). Elephant Stone will be at SXSW in Austin before the Black Angels tour and additional tour dates are listed below.
Speaking of Austin Psych Fest, The Black Angels are headlining this year's event which happens April 26 -28 at Carson Creek Ranch.
Frightened Rabbit @ T5, Nov. 2010 (more by Lionel Bergeron)
SXSW has just announced another round of bands for the 2013 edition of the annual music festival that will happen March 12 - 17. This brings the total current number of acts to around 1300. Someome of the highlights include Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit, The Thermals, Black Lips, Camera Obscura, Merchandise, Bleached, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Eagles of Death Metal, Parenthetical Girls, Indians, Night Beds, IO Echo, KEN Mode, Prince Paul, Pure Bathing Culture, Sepalcure, UK motorik post-punks TOY, Finnish instrumentalists K-X-P, Toronto's Moon King, UK indie rockers Splashh (not Brooklyn Splash with one "h") and loads more. Head to BV Austin for the whole Round 3 list.
Elephant Stone, the project led by Montreal's Rishi Dhir, will release their previously discussed self-titled LP on February 5 via HIdden Pony, and they just made a kaleidoscopic video for their droning psych pop single, "Heavy Moon." You can check out that video for the first time at the bottom of this post.
As mentioned, Elephant Stone will be going on a tour soon which brings them to NYC on December 5 at Mercury Lounge with Zula (tickets) and December 6 at Union Pool with Isadora (formerly The Yes Way) (tickets).
In addition to his own band, Dhir has lent his sitar skills to The Soundtrack of Our Lives, The High Dials and The Black Angels (with whom he has also played bass) to name few. Both Elephant Stone and The Black Angels are part of the initial Austin Psych Fest lineup, which also includes Deerhunter, Boris, Wairpaint, DIIV, and others.
An updated list of Elephant Stone dates and that video are below.
Sasquatch! 2012 (more by Chris Graham and Rae Graham)
Quincy, WA music festival Sasquatch! has announced that it will return for its 12th installment to The Gorge over Memorial Day Weekend (5/24 - 5/27) in 2013. A limited number of discounted four-day festival passes will go on sale Friday (11/23) at 9 AM PST at the Sasquatch! website. The lineup will be announced in February.
In other US festival news, as recently mentioned on BV Austin, Austin Psych Fest will go down in Carson Creek Ranch from April 26 to 28 with Deerhunter, The Black Angels, Boris, Spectrum, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Clinic, Warpaint, DIIV, and many more. More info HERE.
Elephant Stone, the jangly, psychedelic pop project led by sitarist/bassist Rishi Dhir (who has lent his sitar skills to The Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, TSOOL and others) will release their sophomore, self-titled album on February 5 via Hidden Pony Records on CD and it will be out on vinyl via Reverberation Appreciation Society at some point next year too. You can preorder the CD now and stream the album's lead single, "Heavy Moon," below.
Though the album's not out until 2013, Elephant Stone will be touring before the end of 2012 and they'll hit NYC on December 5 at Mercury Lounge and December 6 at Union Pool. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show are on AmEx presale now and they go on sale to the general public on Friday (11/2) at noon. No advance tickets for the Union Pool show at the moment. The band was also just in NYC for CMJ. Did anyone catch them?
A list of all tour dates and the "Heavy Moon" stream below.
DOWNLOAD: Blessed Feathers - "Winter Sister" (MP3)
Wisconsin folk duo Blessed Feathers released their debut EP, Ocean of Weeds, earlier this month, and you can stream the entire thing below. The EP was produced by Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Real Estate) and also features Thor Harris of Swans. You can also grab a free MP3 of one of its tracks, "Winter Sister," at the top of this post, and check out the video for another, "Holyoke/Springfield," below.
The band just landed in NYC for CMJ, and you'll have a number of chances to see them, including the free BrooklynVegan day party on Friday (10/19), where they'll play an opening set in the back room at noon.
In addition to that, they'll play the SESAC showcase at Cake Shop tonight (10/17); the Popular/MCT day party at Bowery Electric on Thursday (10/18) with GHXST, Savoir Adore, Ambassadors, Santah, and Royal Canoe; the Fred Perry Artist Lounge at Stratosphere Sound Recording Studios on Thursday with The Luyas, Poor Moon, Foxygen, Ape School, So So Glos, Slug Guts, and Bleeding Rainbow; the Planetary Group day party at Pianos on Friday (10/19) with The Orwells, The Intelligence, San Cisco, Turbo Fruits, Rah Rah, Twerps, The Trouble with Templeton, Tim Chaisson, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Elephant Stone, and Ditka; and the Bowery Presents day party at Pianos on Saturday (10/20).
A list of all Blessed Feathers dates, a flyer for their CMJ shows, EP stream, and video are below...
By Bill Pearis
Welcome to Part 2 of this pre-SXSW edition of This Week in Indie (Part 1 HERE), which sees an insane amount of good show options over the next five days, even for New York which is never lacking for music options. Let's jump in, shall we?
Charli XCX and Clock Opera are two hotly-tipped UK acts who play a sold out show together Saturday night (3/10) at Knitting Factory, and a BV-presented (along with Neon Gold and Popgun Booking) show on Monday (3/12) at Santos that also features Django Django who play a sold out BV-Presented show Saturday night at Glasslands.
London's Charli XCX got a lot of attention last year for her singles "Stay Away" and "Nuclear Seasons" both of which mined '80s New Romantic synthpop. (You can watch the videos for both below.) She's currently recording her debut album, working with bigshot producers Patrik Berger (The Good Natured, Robyn) and Ariel Rechtshaid (Glasser, Theopolis London) while still attending London's Slade School of Fine Art (she's only 19). For those who wished Lykke Li's second album had more to dance to, Charli XCX may be your new favorite.
Clock Opera's debut album, Ways to Forget, is out April 9 on Moshi Moshi. You can watch the video for the new single "Once and Again" at the bottom of this post. There is definitely a little Coldplay in what they do, but Clock Opera also have a wide creative streak as can be heard in their fantastic, radical reworking of Metronomy's "The Bay" which is included on The English Riveria - The Unreleased Remixes.
2:54 at Pianos (more by Erik Erikson)
2:54 are back in town for the first time since November, playing Glasslands on Sunday (3/11) and Mercury Lounge on Monday (3/12). When I saw them at Pianos, they were a little rough around the edges (and suffering from unintended feedback) but you could tell they had a lot of potential. (That potential is already evident on their recordings, all massive-sounding gothy shoegaze. Which is to say a lot like '90s band Curve.) Let's hope they've spent the last four months playing live and returning to mean business.
Check out new single "You're Early" at the bottom of this post. 2:54 also play the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase, which happens March 14 at Bar 96, and a bunch of other shows in Austin. Catch 'em if you can.
Both 2:54 shows in NYC are with London duo Big Deal whose debut came out back in January on Mute. Here's what Andrew Sacher had to say at the time:
Big Deal (aka Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe) will release their debut LP, Lights Out, on January 24 via Mute. They don't seem to be using more than an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and their voices. They've got enough indie rock tendencies that it's bigger sounding than folk, but with the complete absence of drums, it's not nearly as large as their songwriting could lead it to be, and it ends up working to their advantage.You can stream Lights Out via Spotify and watch one of their videos at the bottom of this post. The Glasslands show Sunday also has ZAZA on the bill, which makes it a very tempting night out indeed. You can also catch Big Deal at 'Hotel Vegan' Wedsnesday in Austin.
If you're not going to see Django Django, Charli XCX and Clock Opera at Santos, or 2:54 and Big Deal at Mercury Lounge, you might want to spend your Monday evening at Glasslands taking in the charming sounds of Norway's Razika who last played here in October and not enough people saw. (Including me.) I'm still listening to their debut, Program 91, which owes a little to 2-Tone Records and Lilliput/Kleenex, with a smidge of Camper Van Beethoven's balalaika ska in there too. There are a couple MP3s from Program 91 at the top of this post, do check them out, along with the video for "Vondt i hjertet" which Razika filmed here (you may recognize Pete's Candy Store) when they were over last October. Razika also play our Wednedsay day party in Austin.
Also on the bill: Belgium's Balthazar, and Brooklyn's We Can't Enjoy Ourselves and Landlady, plus DJs Tanlines. Razika play a bunch of dates next week in Austin, including one at our Hotel Vegan on Wednesday (3/14).
Tuesday (3/13) and Wednesday (3/14) mark the first two American shows from UK trio New Build that features Al Doyle and Felix Martin from Hot Chip. The band released their debut album Yesterday Was Lived and Lost this week on their own Lanark Recordings label. You can stream it at the bottom of this post. There is a strong Roxy Music/Talking Heads vibe going on here which includes Doyle's vocals. It's slinky. It's sexy. And danceable. If you don't listen to closely to the lyrics, you'll probably like it a lot. No surprise: both these shows are sold out. Check out live footage from Glasgow at the bottom of this post, they sound pretty good.
That's the big stuff. A few more show picks, day-by-day, are below for things I haven't already covered in this post.
METZ at Cake Shop last night (3/8)
FRIDAY, MARCH 9
As mentioned Thursday, Toronto bands METZ and Teenanger are in town and will play Death By Audio tonight with Vaz and Pop. 1280. I caught METZ and Teenanger last night at Cake shop and was duly impressed by both. METZ in particular made some kind of intense awesome racket. They are great this show is highly recommended tonight.
Montreal's Automelodi (aka Xavier Paradis) played their first NYC show in a long time at the Weird party at Home Sweet Home this past Wednesday which I didn't realize was happening until it was over. Luckily, Automelodi play again tonight at Pianos. I was a huge fan of his 2010 album, here's hoping he plays lots of new songs. The Pianos show is with Frenshkills who are celebrating a new album and who also play our Wednesday day party in Ausitn.
by Bill Pearis
Love Inks @ SXSW (more)
Can you feel the love tonight? I can though mainly because we've got two bands with that in their name playing tonight. Though not in the same place. First is Austin's Love Inks who, as previously mentioned, are playing NYC for the first time. Tonight (6.2) they're at Glasslands with Rewards, Slowdance, and Celestial Shore. They'll also play Tuesday (6/7) at Pianos with Elastic Summer, Monokino and more.
Love Inks' debut, E.S.P., came out last month on City Slang and, as I wrote previously, it's a pretty little understated thing. Minimalist instrumentation -- guitar, bass, drum machine -- that doesn't get in the way of the band's main asset: singer Sherry LeBlanc's honeyed vocals. (In the same timbre as Beth Cosatino.) E.S.P. is what I like to call Sunday Morning music (Galaxie 500, Belle & Sebastian), and a fine example at that. You can check out "Blackeye" at the top of this post.
Tonight's Glasslands show is pretty solid all around. I've been wanting to check out Slowdance for some time. You can download two tracks from their website and both are pretty good: atmospheric rock that is, and yes, danceable. (Though maybe not slowdanceable.) Rewards, as you may remember, is Aaron Pfanning who was in Chairlift; and Celestial Shore are channeling some serious Brian Wilson vibes in a slightly mathy kind of way.
The other "love" band tonight is Portland trio Lovers (not to be confused with Lovvers), who are at Cake Shop with Household and Skeleton Head (They played last night at Union Hall...anybody go?). Lovers' most recent album, Dark Light, came out last fall on Badman Recordings and you can download "Figure 8" from it at the top of this post. It's a pretty good representation of the rest of the records: throbbing synths and big choruses. The BPMs are a little to slow to call it dance music, but it's definitely got a groove. Mood music you can move to.
You should get there early for local trio Household who I caught at Bruar Falls a couple weeks ago and really liked. They're in the Lilliput/Raincoats school of minimalist postpunk (or more recently Brilliant Colors or Yellowfever). No releases yet, but Household have a handful of streamable songs on their website which were produced by Andrew Raposo (who plays bass in various DFA-related bands). Definitely worth a listen.
Hospitality @ Pianos in Feb (more)
What else? After what seems like an awfully long time (two years plus), Hospitality are finally getting around to putting out an album. I think it's pretty much done, so hopefully we'll see that sooner than later. In the meantime, the trio are playing a whole bunch in June, starting Friday night (6/3) at Cake Shop where they'll share the bill with country folk act Numbers and Letters, and Edelweiss who kind of sound like first-album Foals and are not to be confused with the shortlived early '90s novelty act of the same name. The show is FREE.
Hospitality also play the final date of my Sound Bites series at the Fulton Stall Market on July 17. All upcoming shows are at the bottom of this post. More Fulton Stall Market (Seaport) shows are listed HERE.
TSOOL @ SXSW (more)
And last but certainly not least, the mighty Soundtrack of Our Lives arrive from Sweden this weekend, playing Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday (6/5) and The Bell House on Monday (6.6). If you enjoy '60s/'70s style rock, there are few bands that do it as well as TSOOL, and certainly not many who put on a better live show. I wrote of their 2009 show at Music Hall of Williamsburg:
A nearly two-hour show of guitar windmills, endless stick twirls, karate kicks, ponderous, psychedelic lyrics and massive riffs. You could watch The Soundtrack of Our Lives and spend the whole time picking apart the references: The Who, Stones, Pink Floyd, Love, Spirit, Faces, Beatles, etc. But to do so is to miss the point of TSOOL, who distill everything that is great about rock's classic late '60s / early '70s era into one incredible band. And an even better live show. Seriously, these guys knock it out of the park every time.The band have just released a best-of compilation, Golden Greats, which is a fine introduction to the band's catalogue to date (five albums, all doubles) and really showcases what this band does so well. But live is where they make you a believer. TSOOL are promising wildly different setlists for the two shows, and superfans can buy a discounted $35 ticket that gets you into both. These guys love to play, and usually do two-hour sets so... be prepared.
Opening the Le Poisson Rouge show are The Mommyheads ('90s era indie rockers who pop up now and again), and at The Bell House is Montreal's sitar-fueled Elephant Stone (an especially inspired pairing). TSOOL are also on Last Call With Carson Daly tonight (6/2).
That's the main stuff this week. A few more recommended shows, day-by-day, are below
THURSDAY, JUNE 2
Some of you may remember The Barracudas who led the UK surf-rock/garage revival in the early '80s. (If not, there's a video below.) Singer Jeremy Gluck has formed a new line-up of the group and they're playing Union Hall tonight. Don't be confused with Georgia's Barreracudas on the bill as well. We can only hope they'll hll play together as The Barrarerrarerracudadas.
by Bill Pearis
Thursday night was the first "official" day of M for Montreal (Wednesday was the unofficial start), which had us back at club Just Pour Rire, shuttling between its two stages for a diverse evening of music. From a programming standpoint, maybe a little too diverse. But it is one of the unique aspects of this fest, forced exposure.
The night began with the britpoppy psychedelia of Elephant Stone. Front man Rishi Dhir, who played in High Dials for a while, traded between bass, guitar and sitar, the latter of which is the band's most immediately distinguishing feature. Their songs are good too -- jangly psychedelic pop -- but it's certainly a trip to see Dhir sitting crosslegged on a platform playing this massive, cool intstrument. It's a nice, mellow start to the evening.
Next up was Marco Calliari, an Itallian Tom Colicchio (a musician too) lookalike who spent part of the '90s in thrash metal band Anonymous but now plays Italian folk music not too far off in style from, say, The Gypsy Kings. Calliari is an exuberant performer and his band is tight, but he's out of place of this otherwise electrified line-up. Also out of place: singer-songwriter Jason Bajada who was pleasant enough but didn't leave much of an impression.
Most everyone seemed in agreement that PS I Love You were the best band of the night. The duo from Kingston, Ontario are an indie Mutt and Jeff, kind of like the Pixies with a new wave back-end. Yelper-guitarist Paul Salnier actually pulls triple duty live, playing bass parts too via a Moog bass pedal setup which is pretty cool. Drummer Ben Nelson plays heavy on the high hat a la New Order's Stephen Morris which gives their songs danceability. Their record, Meet Me at the Muster Station, is good but live PS I Love You are a force. As previously mentioned, they're touring and playing NYC next week with Holiday Shores (12/03 at The Rock Shop, then Pianos the next night). Go see 'em.
Bad sound marred the set from Black Feelings who I could tell I'd really like given proper circumstances. Like their name implies, the trio grind out dense, foreboding post punk (PiL, Big Black). They are intense live, but it was like the sound guy forgot to turn the fader up on the guitars and the mix was muddy in general. Not so on last year's self-titled debut (out on Alien8 Recordings, also home to Think About Life, Duchess Says and others). They're also the kind of band better suited to grungy DIY spaces than fancier venues like this one.
Ditto that to Aids Wolf who are a defiantly acquired taste, even for those with adventurous palates. Entirely out of their element, the confrontational art-noise group settle into freakout mode that sound, to casual ears, entirely improvised a la Throbbing Gristle. (Anyone who's heard their records and then seen them live knows these three are insanely tight, serious musicians.) Chloe Lum spends most of the show with the microphone in her mouth. They are not boring but a little goes a long way and most of the room cleared out well before their set finishes. I'm told Gene Simmons, one of my fellow "international delegates" for the weekend, really dug them.
With the "official selection" finished for the night came the afterparty entertainment: Quebec City's Dance Laury Dance. who seemed super-psyched to have Simmons in the house. (He watched sitting from the balcony, like a mafia don, nodding approvingly.) Clad in denim and leather and testosterone, DLD are like Wolverine: The Band, with a sound and schtick somewhere between Motorhead and The Darkness. Ridiculous, but entertaining. Not that much irony here, either. The songs are a little more than riffs and slogans, which is fine, but when the band covered AC/DC their lack of potent hooks became apparent. Still, for pure rawk spectacle overload, they're something all right.
Still to come: Reports from Friday and Saturday. More blurry photos taken by me are below, along with PS I Love You tour dates and a Dance Laury Dance music video.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - Facelove (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - 2012 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Arena (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Up Past the Nursery (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The High Dials - Chinese Boxes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Elephant Stone - I am Blind (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: No Joy - Headless (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Parallels - Find the Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hot Panda - Mindlessnesslessness (MP3)
There's never any shortage of Canadians at CMJ but this year... there seems like more than usual. So lets get to it.
On Thursday (10/21) The M for Montreal folks are back for a second year at Arlene's Grocery with eight diverse bands (not all from MTL) they deem worthy of seeing. The band with the most buzz coming into CMJ is probably Kingston, Ontario PS I Love You who play at 9PM. For a duo, these guys have a pretty giant sound, and their debut LP, Meet Me at Muster Station, recently got a 8.1 on Pitchfork. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. PS I Love You are playing five shows this week ( 20th - 23rd) and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Capping the evening at 1AM are Acadian hip hop group Radio Radio whose album Belmundo Regal was up for this year's prestigious Polaris Prize. (They lost to Karkwa.) You can listen to the whole record via a widget at the bottom of this post. They are, I'm pretty sure, the only act to rap in the Chiac dialect, which is kind of the French Canadian equivalent of Spanglish. I saw them two years ago in Montreal and they were super fun -- even though I had no idea what they were saying. If you have no Last Show tonight, definitely head over to Arlene's Grocery. It's their only CMJ show.
Also playing the M for Montreal show: our good friends The Luyas who will also play our free day party on Friday (their only other show); Red Mass who bring a touch of theatrics to their Damned-esque garage punk; the low fi garagey folk of Uncle Bad Touch (who get the JEFF the Brotherhood Seal of Approval); Vancouver duo The Pack A.D.; and laid back folk-soul-hiphop group Random Recipe (check out their LP widget at the bottom of this post).
If you show up at 6PM you'll be treated to a little pre show action: dream pop outfit Braids and free poutine, the official drunk food of Montreal (though not vegan). Set times for the whole night are at the bottom of this post. Braids play six times this week and all of their shows are listed at the bottom as well.
The biggest bummer about this show is it happens at the same time as the official BrooklynVegan Showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. But you can get a taste of Montreal at our show as Suuns are playing at 8:45 PM. You can download two Suuns tracks at the top of this post. If you dig shoegaze, Krautrock, or Clinic, you don't wanna miss this band. I caught them at Mercury Lounge over the summer and was impressed. If you can't make our show but still wanna see Suuns, they also play later Thursday (11:45 PM) at Pianos as part of the Secretly Canadian showcase. Those are their only two shows during CMJ week.
There are more Montreal bands here this week too. One of my favorites, The High Dials, play on Saturday (10/23) at the 269 Bar at 11PM. Their new album, Anthems for Doomed Youth, is another great offering of jangly psychedlia, shoegazy guitars and sunny harmonies. You can download "Chinese Boxes" from it at the top of this post.
You may remember that The High Dials used to have a sitar player who left after the band's first album. That guy, Rishi Dhir, now has his own group, Elephant Stone, whose album The Seven Seas, was up for the 2009 Polaris Prize. Elephant Stone play the Trash Bar on Thursday (10/21, 10PM). If you can't see them then, Elephant Stone will be back in NYC in November.
More Montreal action: No Joy, who split their time between L.A. and MTL and will have your eardrums bleeding from their awesome, sludgy shoegaze. They play seven CMJ week shows, including the BV day party on Saturday (10/23) at Public Assembly. (Official announcement soon.) After CMJ, No Joy head out with Vivian Girls offshoot La Sera (who plays a bunch her own CMJ shows) -- all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Folk band The Barr Brothers play two shows tonight tonight (10/19): Cameo Gallery at 7:30PM and then The Rock Shop at 11PM. They also play tomorrow (10/20, 7PM) at Rockwood Music Hall.
Time, space and sanity doesn't permit me to go through every single Canadian act here for CMJ, but here's a few more of note:
Much-buzzed, glammy, glitzy Diamond Rings plays six CMJ week shows, starting with tomorrow night's (10/20) killer Stereogum/Popgun party at Santos, that also includes Wild Nothing, Tamaryn, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., now-revealed headliner The Drums, and more. (Only $5 with RSVP.) All Diamond Rings CMJ dates, including an Underground Press/Distiller day party at Knitting Factory on Thursday, are at the bottom of this post.
Toronto synth-disco duo Parallels play two shows on Wednesday (10/20): Backstage (formerly the Annex) at 1opm and then 11:45PM at The Bell House (that's gonna be cutting it close). Check out their track "Find the Fire" at the top of this post.
Edmonton, Alberta's cute, frenetic indiepop foursome Hot Panda play two shows on Wednesday (10/20): a day show at Fontanas (2:40PM) and then that night at the Trash Bar (11PM). Check out "Mindlessnesslessness" from the band's new album, How Come I'm Dead? at the top of this post.
Two Hours Traffic hail from Prince Edward Island and traffik (sorry) in Weezer-ish power pop. They play the R Bar on Saturday (10/23) at 9PM.
And Woodhands, from Toronto, will bring their somewhat nerdy, definitely catchy snyth rock to The Bell House for a midnight set.
Tour dates, some flyers, videos, album widgets and other stuff are below.