Entries tagged with: Fanfarlo

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Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo released their new album, Let's Go Extinct, back in February and if you haven't heard it yet -- it leans Big '80s with loads of synths and saxes and sweeping choruses -- you can stream it via Rdio. The songs work in a more stripped down setting too -- we've got the video premiere of a "bedroom acoustic" version of the album's "The Beginning And The End" which you can watch below.

Fanfarlo begin their North American tour next week which hits NYC for two shows: Bowery Ballroom on April 22, and Rough Trade on April 23. Tickets are still available.

All dates are listed, along with the video premiere, below...

Continue reading "watch Fanfarlo play an acoustic bedroom session; their North American tour starts next week"

by Bill Pearis

Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo are set to return with their third album, Let's Go Extinct, which will be out February 11 via Blue Horizon. From the sound of the first two tracks to be made public -- single "Landlocked" and "A Distance" -- the new album takes a dancier direction and frontman Simon Balthazar singing in a more forceful manner. You can stream both of those, and the video for "Landlocked," below.

Fanfarlo will be touring North America this spring with two stops in NYC: April 22 at Bowery Ballroom and April 23 at Rough Trade. Tickets for both NYC shows go on sale Friday (1/17) at noon with an AmEx presale for Bowery beginning Wednesday (1/15) at noon.

All tour dates are listed, along with the track streams/videos, below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo releasing 'Let's Go Extinct' in February, touring this spring (dates & streams)"

Dry the River @ Lincoln Hall recently (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Dry the RiveR

Nitsuh Abebe recently published an article in NY Magazine called "The Indie-Folk Crossover: Commercials for Our Selves in a Hunger Games World" which discusses all the popularity bands like Mumford & Sons, The Head & The Heart and Of Monsters & Men are having...

There's a whole clutch of indie-folk guitar bands, up-and-comers and major-label crossovers alike, who enjoy dressing as if they just stepped out from among the coal miners of Hunger Games' District 12 and prefer hardscrabble tales of personal determination to gothic glitter. There are hugely successful Grammy favorites like Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire; jaunty American acts like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros; whole slews of whispery guitar-pluckers with ampersands in their names, from the Head & the Heart to Boy & Bear; and baroque Brits like Dry the River and Fanfarlo. Somewhere at the center of them is a form of polished, triumphal, suspender-friendly indie-folk that is, for the moment, enjoying a surprising amount of commercial success...
Dry the River just announced a May headlining tour that hits Mercury Lounge on 5/21. Tickets go on sale at noon. All tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Indie-folk enjoying commercial success... (Dry the River announce May tour)"

the flyer (with most of the bands playing on it)
flyer

BrooklynVegan is proud to team up with M for Montreal again for a FREE Day Party in Austin on Thursday, March 15th from noon-7pm at Hotel Vegan (one of BrooklynVegan's FOUR DAYS in the venue located at 1500 E. 6th St.).

I'll let this full three-stage lineup speak for itself...

Stage 1 (Hotel Vegas Outside)
12:00 Of Monsters & Men
12:45 Glen Hansard (of Swell Season & the Frames)
1:30 We Are Serenades (formerly Serenades, mem. Shout Out Louds)
2:15 Hospitality
3:00 Korallreven (mem. of the Radio Dept)
3:45 Fanfarlo
4:30 The Drums
5:15 The Wedding Present
6:15 This Will Destroy You

Stage 2 (Hotel Vegas Inside)
12:00 Half Moon Run
12:45 Thus:Owls
1:30 Cold Specks
2:15 Cymbals Eat Guitars
3:00 The Velvet Teen
3:45 Yellow Ostrich
4:30 The Jealous Sound
5:15 Parlovr

Stage 3 (Volstead) (BV Austin stage)
12:15 Love Inks
1:00 Feathers
1:45 Gashcat
2:30 Ringo Deathstarr
3:15 Silent Diane
4:00 The Young
5:00 Ume

That's all Austin bands on the BV Austin stage. It's going to a very great day

In addition to the completely free lineup of 24 bands playing on THREE stages, we will also have complimentary drinks courtesy of HobNob Wines, the official wine parter of our entire week of FREE PARTIES at Hotel Vegan (check out HobNob's Facebook page for free music downloads), and a hosted bar courtesy of Sailor Jerry

We will also have FREE VEGAN TREATS courtesy of NadaMoo! and FREE Honest Tea. AND Supercuts will have a team of stylists on-site the entire day providing FREE haircuts and styling!

Special thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for making this party possible - including Vox, Blackstar and Korg, our official backline partners, as well as ASCAP, HobNob Wines, NadaMoo!, Sailor Jerry and M for Montreal! And special thanks to GBH Design for making our awesome flyer!

--

This is the first full day at Hotel Vegan announced. 2/3 of the Wednesday lineup is HERE. Friday and Saturday coming shortly.

We also have THREE official showcases (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday), and a Saturday metal day party at Lovejoys,

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Rachel Kowal

Fanfarlo @ Webster Hall
Fanfarlo

After hearing their 2009 debut, Reservoir, I thought I had Fanfarlo pegged, but as the bridge on the cover of their recently released album suggests, the pop folk darlings are venturing into a new sonic territory. Sure, they're still as charming as ever, but as I learned when I saw them play at Glasslands last October, they've begun to grow teeth.

But before Fanfarlo took the stage at Webster Hall last night (3/6), Young Man and Nightlands played quick sets. I enjoyed Chicago's Young Man when I saw them open for label mates Local Natives at Governors Island a couple of summers ago, but sadly, they fell victim to an astonishingly terrible mix at Webster Hall when within seconds of their first song, the sheer force of the bass drum launched an assault on the crowd and made me feel like an unwitting participant in an old Maxwell tapes ad. The bass was so overpowering and unbearable that people around me actually broke concert cool to clasp their hands over their ears in a desperate attempt to preserve their hearing. Hopefully they fare better at SXSW.

Following Young Man's Richter Scale-tipping performance, Nightlands, the second act, hardly registered as a blip on the radar. For the Philly trio, a harp - not drums - rounded out the mix and offered a much-needed respite from the bass drum of death. Given what we had just witnessed with Young Man's set, the ultra-chill and beautifully melodic Nightlands seemed wildly out of place. Then again, Fanfarlo definitely seems to have its hand in a couple of pots, combining the quiet, safe side of orchestral folk pop with their newer, more experimental sound. (Experimental for them, anyway.)

After a long set change, Fanfarlo kicked off their performance with the surprisingly edgy "Replicate," one of the stand out tracks on Rooms Filled with Light thanks to singer Simon Balthazar's staccato vocals and the quick blasts of keys that drive the song. I grimaced earlier when I saw the sound guy drag the mic stand closer to the bass drum, but luckily, the percussion - though still a bit too loud in the mix - was restrained. The band's new material has a sparse, scientific quality that calls attention to each delicate violin solo or assertive trumpet interlude. Absent from last night's show were the usual melodicas, mandolins, glockenspiels, and singing saws.

And yet, despite the band's adoption of cooler aesthetic on their latest release (randomly projected images replaced the whimsical lights and colorful flags that adorned the stage during their Reservoir tour), their performance, which included a good mix of their older songs, still radiates warmth. Balthazar hasn't lost that endearing swagger to his voice, and I have to say the addition of the impromptu Swedish lesson ("Skål!" Balthazar said as he raised his bottle of wine) was pretty adorable.

Another thing that certainly hasn't changed for Fanfarlo is their penchant for the gradual build-up. The tension in their new material is palpable, but somehow, though they've turned up the heat on the last album, they maintain a tight rein on the music, opting to substitute keyboard solos or occasional taps on a drum machine in the place of a rocking guitar riff or a more traditional breakdown. Looking around Webster Hall, I almost chuckled. The urge to dance is clearly in the air, but without the big moments, the audience's movement is comically limited to polite foot tapping and an insistent, but mild-mannered bobbing. And though I might have longed for them to let it all go, it's that careful restraint in that individuates Fanfarlo and has me longing for more. Given the natural progression on their first two albums, I'm already looking forward to what comes next. It's only a matter of time before that pot boils over.

---

We're happy to announce that Fanfarlo will be playing "Hotel Vegan" (at Hotel Vegas) at SXSW this year on Thursday, March 15th. Stay tuned for more details.

More pictures and the setlist from Webster Hall, below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo played Webster Hall (pics, review), playing BV-SXSW"

Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom in 2011 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Radiohead
Coachella

Coachella which is taking place over the course of two weekends this year (April 13-15 and 20-22) revealed their 2012 lineup. Last week, Azealia Banks was the first artist confirmed, and earlier today they confirmed The Weeknd (maybe he found a band?), and before that, Jimmy Cliff, Breakbot, and Housse De Racket. The reunited Pulp then announced itself. The full lineup also includes headliners The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, not to mention, as predicted, the reunited At the Drive In and the reunited Mazzy Star (!), and Madness and Refused (!) and Jeff Mangum and many, many more that you can see below...

Continue reading "Coachella 2012 lineup announced (two weekends worth)"

by Bill Pearis

Fanfarlo return to NYC in a couple months for a show at Webster Hall on March 6th. Tickets are on sale today (Jan. 6) at noon. The band are also playing the Canadian Music Fest in Toronto on March 24 but otherwise have no other North American dates scheduled -- though SXSW just happens to occur conveniently in between those dates. The band were last in NYC back in October.

Fanfarlo's sophomore album, Rooms Filled of Light, is released February 28 which gives everyone about a week to get familiar with the new songs for the show. You can check out the album artwork and tracklisting at the bottom of this post. Like they did with Resevoir , Fanfarlo are also releasing a limited edition box set version of the new album:

We are very pleased to announce that we have just put together a limited edition boxset version of our second album, Rooms Filled With Light, which apart from the album itself includes things like additional songs and original artwork by Allison Diaz, not to mention a compass (should your sense of direction be as poor as mine).

This beauty is available to pre-order NOW. And as a thanks we'll send you a couple of additional exclusive tracks straight away. They are two songs off Reservoir that we, true to our habit of reworking songs, re-jigged and recorded live on a cold afternoon in Manhattan a few weeks ago. This will give you a little flavour of things to come when we go back on the road next year! See you then...
Simon/Fanfarlo

The boxset includes:

Ltd Edition clamshell box
Double sided poster
5 band portrait postcards
12 page illustrated booklet
A compass
Standard album
Bonus disc featuring 4 extra tracks
2 x exclusive MP3's delivered instantly

And one last bit of Fanfarlo news, bassist Justin Finch has a solo project called The Castle which he explained on the band's website:
Maybe it was the excitement of writing and recording the new Fanfarlo record that inspired me to finally try and produce some of the triumphant, science fiction inspired synthesizer sounds battling it out in my head. I've decided I don't want to be too precious about it so I'm putting it online in it's semi-finished state. Presenting The Castle. Here is a link to 5 downloadable songs. I hope you enjoy them.
You can stream and download those songs -- "I think it sounds something like the soundtrack to Flight of The Navigator or The Terminator" says Justin -- at the bottom of this post. Also below is, as mentioned, cover art and tracklisting for Rooms Filled With Light, and an interview with the band conducted at last month's Mexefest in Lisbon, Portugal...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo playing NYC & Canadian Music Fest in March, releasing box set along with new album & stuff"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

Fanfarlo @ Glasslands
Fanfarlo

When I saw that Fanfarlo was playing at Glasslands, I confess I was a bit surprised. When I saw them play in 2009, I almost couldn't handle the cute overload (and I'm typically a fan of all things twee). But last night, the string lights and brightly colored flags that once decorated their stage were noticeably absent.

Early in the evening, it quickly became apparent that the cool, more electronic-based tone adopted in the first song from their upcoming album, "Replicate," is not an exception but a rule. In addition to showcasing a number of new songs, Fanfarlo reinterpreted much of their older discography, trading many of the lighter, folksier elements (acoustic guitar, tambourine, standard keyboard) for a moodier, more electronic sound where synths played a larger role and even a drum machine occasionally found its way into the mix (in addition to the traditional kit). Even the band's wardrobe seemed to be shifting. Instead of boyish cuts in muted colors, Cathy Lucas, the band's sole female member, wore a chic all-black outfit.

Whether the band is undergoing a temporary identity crisis or merely a healthy progression of their sound remains to be seen, but it seems that their heart is still in it. (On their official site, the band excitedly likens their new album to "a nuclear submarine falling from space.") Even as they move away from their organic roots, Simon Balthazar still has that infectious swagger to his vocals, and the sold-out crowd found plenty of opportunities to clap and bop along to the old and new material alike.

Didn't get a chance to see them at either of their shows this week? Balthazar promised to be back with a "proper tour" next year, presumably to coincide with the release of their next album, Rooms Filled With Light, which drops at the end of February.

---

Like they did a few days earlier at Mercury Lounge, Fanfarlo's touring partner Double Ghost opened the Glasslands. Tonight the bands will be able to participate in ghoulish activities around the city in celebration of Halloween (they have the night off) before heading to Philadelphia for the final night of Fanfarlo's US tour.

More pictures from Glasslands, some video (including a performance of new song "Tunguska" from Mercury Lounge), and all tour dates are below.

Continue reading "Fanfarlo & Double Ghost played Glasslands too (pics, review)"

photos by Jessica Amaya

Fanfarlo @ Mercury Lounge
Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo headlined Mercury Lounge last night (10/27) with an appearance from Double Ghost, the same lineup that will make an appearance at Glasslands this Sunday (10/30). Both last night and Sunday were/are sold-out.

Fanfarlo are prepping the release of , the band's new LP Rooms Filled With Light due on Feb 2012. One of the two songs to make its way out, "Replicate", has already spawned its share of remixes.

Stay tuned for a review from the Glasslands show. More pictures from Merc, a video, and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo & Double Ghost @ Mercury Lounge (pics & video)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Peaking Lights - All The Sun That Shines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Peaking Lights - Tiger Eyes (Laid Back) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Peaking Lights - Hey Sparrow (MP3)

Bruar Falls

It never fails, the week after CMJ I get sick. So here I sit, with a big cup of green tea and a stuffy head, writing about shows that I want to go to, but probably won't. But hopefully you are in better health. There's a lot of great options this weekend.

As you may have heard, two-year-old Williamsburg club Bruar Falls is closing November 1. I live pretty close to the place, have seen a lot of great shows there and am bummed it's shutting its doors. But for Bruar Falls' Last Week Ever, it's going out in style with a bunch of great shows. Tonight (10/28) it's The Beets, Tanks Amigo, the Beachniks and, just in time for Halloween, a Misfits cover band.

Saturday night (10/29) is for you punkers out there: Stalkers, Tough Shits, Ex-Humans and Dino's Boys. And then Sunday night (10/30) it's Dive, Shark?, Air Waves and Bright Lights. And then Halloween night (10/31) is the for real last night ever with Friend Roulette, Hunktronik, Clouder and KNTRLR.

A lot of these bands are BF regulars so I imagine there will be a palpable party vibe there all weekend long. I'll miss ya.

Peaking Lights
Peaking Lights

Tonight (10/28) is the NYC debut of Wisconsin husband and wife duo Peaking Lights whose alluring, dubby album 963 came out early this year on Not Not Fun but is getting wider distribution next month via Mexican Summer and Domino imprint Weird World. You can download a few tracks from the record at the top of this post.

A lot of the strange sounds heard on the album come via homemade instruments and effects boxes that Aaron Coyes makes in the basement of his and singer Indra Dunis' home. You can find out more about this via an episode of VBS TV's Soundbuilders which is streaming at the bottom of this post. After watching that, I'm curious to see how Peaking Lights will pull off a live show, what with all the delicate McGuyver-esque gear. But the record's great and I'm hoping for the best.

Radical Dads
Radical Dads

One of my favorite sets at CMJ was seeing Radical Dads at Bruar Falls on Saturday night and reminded me just how good they've become. In fact, I'd go as far to say as they're one of Brooklyn's best bands right now. Certainly one of the more unheralded. If you like Wild Flag, I urge you to check out RD's debut album Mega Rama which has a similar vibe but is much less hyped. There's a streaming player at the bottom of this post.

I'm happy to report that Mega Rama is getting a belated vinyl release in December via Loud Baby Sounds. You can pre-order it now. The album art is one of my favorite record covers of the year and have been dying to own a big 12" version of it -- not to mention getting to play it on my turntable. Also on the vinyl tip, Radical Dads also have a 7" coming out in December, "Skateboarding Bulldog," which you can stream or download via a widget at the bottom of this post.

But more than maybe anything I suggest going to see them live which you can do tonight (10/28) at Spike Hill where they'll play with Plates of Cake, Quilty,  and Conversion Party. Cover's only five bucks.

Star Slinger
Star Slinger

If glitchy dance music is more your thing, the weekend has two very good options. Star Slinger, who was supposed to play here in the spring but had to cancel, is finally making his NYC debut at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (10/28). After a bunch of head-turning remixes and download tracks, Star Slinger recently released his first "official" single, "Dumbin," via Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound which you can stream or download at the bottom of this post.

After the MHoW, which also has SHLOMO and Shitego on the bill, you might want to swing over to 285 Kent where there's  a "secret guest" headliner. (G-Side and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire play as well.) Though not mentioned out-and-out, they do link to Star Slinger's website on the Facebook invite.

Gold Panda
Gold Panda

Then Saturday night (10/29), the Fixed party at Cameo has UK act Gold Panda who's been remixed by Star Slinger and is following up last year's excellent Lucky Shiner with his spin on the latest installment of K7!'s DJ Kicks series. In a bit of Brooklyn weekend synergy, GP's track "An Iceberg Hurled Through Northern Clouds" just got remixed by Peaking Lights and you can stream the remix of that below.

The Fixed party at Cameo also features Lemonade, Blondes and an open bar from 8 - 10. Gold Panda then heads the next day (ouch) to Moogfest in Ashville, NC.

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Saturday night has a pretty killer show at Glasslands. Obits headline and are still driving on the high octane tank of gas that is their second album, Moody, Standard and Poor.  Perhaps even more exciting, for some folks, is opener Office of Future Plans which is the new thing from Jawbox man J. Robbins.

Terry Malts
Terry Malts

And finally, a little preview into early next week. Don't forget that the Wax Idols/Terry Malts tour hits Cake Shop on Tuesday (11/1) and Shea Stadium on Wednesday (11/2) for a double dose of San Francisco style fuzz. As I wrote elsewhere on this site:

Wax Idols are the new group from Hether Fortune, who has spent time in Hunx & His Punx and Bare Wires. Fuzz pedals crash into jangly guitars, vocals are high sneer but also full of harmony, and there's room for both girl group balladry and a tough cover of Wire's "Sand in My Joints." The band's debut, No Future, is out next month on HoZac and is quite good. You can check out "Dead Like You" from it at the top of this post.

As for the Terry Malts, their debut 7" on Slumberland from earlier this year is three quick blasts of sunny pop covered in a thick blanket of white noise. (Somewhere between '80s West Coast punk and C-'86 lies their sound.) It's the new project from most of the guys in Magic Bullets, a band that has been put in cold storage -- they played their final show August 24. They've got a new 7" out in about a month, and you can download "Distracted" from the first one at the top of this post.

Other bands on the Cake Shop bill are still TBA but the Shea Stadium show also features Sundelles, Habibi, and the ever-present Dive (if you haven't seen them yet, you're making an effort not to).

That's the main stuff. More daily picks are below.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28

Pixies continue to tour their best album, Dolittle, tonight at Asbury Park Convention Hall with Surfer Blood opening.

Meanwhile... Tanya Donnely, who was in the original line-up of the Breeders (not to mention Throwing Muses and then Belly) is doing a show at Joe's Pub. She'll be aded and abetted by Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero, writer Rick Moody, as well as Magnetic Fields cohorts Claudia Gonson and Sam Davol, plus Carrie Bradley who was also in the Breeders at one point (and folk rock band Ed's Redeeming Qualities).

Over at St. Vitus, it's an evening of dark sounds, with French minimal waver Frank (Just Frank), Bootblacks and Philly's Hot Guts.

continued below...

Continue reading "Peaking Lights, Star Slinger, Radical Dads, Bruar Falls, Gold Panda, Wax Idols, Obits & more in This Week in Indie"

Fanfarlo @ The Bell House in 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)
Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo play Mercury Lounge tonight (10/27), one of two sold out shows they'll play in town before the end of the weekend with Double Ghost. They've also since added a few dates since we last spoke. They're all listed below.

Fanfarlo are getting ready for the release of their new album Rooms Filled With Light which will see the light of day on February 28th, 2012. Two of the songs from that album,"Deconstruction" and "Replicate", already have videos which you can watch, along with remixes of the latter, below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo on the road, post 'Replicate' remixes & other videos"

Fanfarlo at SXSW 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Fanfarlo

Fanfarlo will return soon with a new album and some shows. In July Paste talked to the band...

...the group has been working on the follow-up to Reservoir with producer Ben Allen, who's worked with the likes of Animal Collective and Deerhunter.

"We really liked Ben's style," said Simon Balthazar, Fanfarlo frontman. "We must have talked to a dozen different producers, but it really worked out [with Ben]. He's a really great guy, he had just really good ideas. We definitely got the most out of each other."

Balthazar and his band mates recently wrapped up recording their new album with Allen, and are expecting to release it in early 2012.

"It's been a long, pretty intensive process," said Balthazar. "We just came off the road in September, so we just kind of sat down, wrote an album, went and recorded it in the studio in the countryside in Wales."

Sounds good. Expect a preview of some of those songs in a live setting when the band returns to North America for at least two shows in October. They play Mercury Lounge on October 27 and Glasslands on October 30. Tickets for the Mercury show go on sale Friday (9/9) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/7) at noon and tickets for the Glasslands show are on sale now. No other dates to speak of yet, but stay tuned, and check out a video below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo prepping new album, schedule NYC shows (dates)"

photos by Bao Nguyen

"Agh. Free Black Keys concert tonight at the Classic Car Club but lines were CRAZY!" - quiet soliloquy

Black Keys

"Fans have overwhelmingly expressed, in 354+ comments on The Black Keys Facebook page, that the band has "sold out" following an announcement that a new song, "Chop And Change", will be a part of the soundtrack for the third installment of extremely popular vampire movie franchise "Twilight".

The Black Keys' have sold out? Yeah, sure. If anything, they've finally just sold in on their own terms.

In most cases, the term "sold out" would be fantastic news to artists in regards to shows, books, CDs, etc. It simply claims that the artist/event is doing so well that they have run out of space or items and that it is pretty much exclusive and rare - a privilege, really. It's heartbreaking to the people who did not get a chance to be a part of it, but it does hint at success, which can obviously be rendered in many different ways. For people who appreciate "underground" or lesser-known works or talents, however, "selling out" is the worst possible brand that you can get from a fan - it pretty much means that you are now not good enough to be appreciated anymore, and that you are now "mainstream" or "too trendy."" [The Black Keys Fan Lounge]

The Black Keys, who are opening or Pearl Jam at MSG this week (and playing a benefit at Housing Works that will also be a temporary Black Keys pop up shop), and whose sole SXSW show this year was a T-Mobile-sponsored Mog show, played a Microsoft/Verizon Kin show in NYC last night (5/15). The show took place at the Classic Car Club in Tribeca, just like the Passion Pit one did one night earlier. A free Kin Ting Tings show also happened last night at a different venue.

No more Kin shows in NYC, but Chicago has one by The Dead Weather coming up. The Dead Weather (who also opened a pop up shop in NYC when their last record came out), along with Metric (who play NYC tonight/Sunday), Muse (who are taking Metric on tour), Band of Horses (who also open for Pearl Jam at MSG this week), Vampire Weekend and others, also appear on the new Twilight soundtrack. The full tracklisting and more pictures from the Kin show below...

Continue reading "The Black Keys played the Classic Car Club in NYC (pics), appear on the new Twilight Soundtrack (track list)"

by Dominick Mastrangelo

The Black Keys
The Black Keys

"Hello, and welcome to Portland, Oregon," quipped James Mercer, as he and Danger Mouse greeted the freezing crowd at Mog Day Party on the final day of SXSW. A 40-degree drop in temperature from Friday caused flip-flops and t-shirts to be replaced by hoodies, coats and gloves. Broken Bells were just one of several excellent bands that filled the indoor and outdoor venues of the Mohawk.

I finally made it downtown before 2pm by taking the rather efficient Metro Capitol bus. Traffic along I-35 into downtown took almost an hour the day before from just 10 minutes north. Arriving a little after noon Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers were already on inside. Ray was squeezing the hell out of that squeezbox and her raspy, scowling voice was alarming so early in the day. It certainly set a tone. And Free Energy complete with free cassettes started things outside with their unabashed good times garage rock.

Back inside The Dum Dum Girls were up next with more of the same hazy lo-fi pop that drummer Frankie Rose was laying down the night before on the same stage with her band. I skipped back outside for Demolished Thoughts though Andrew WK (an advertised member along with Thurston Moore and J Mascis) was absent and the bassist for Fucked Up was filling in. It was thrashing punk stuff with silly songs like the 45-second "I Hate Kids" (those were the lyrics) followed by the 45-second "I Hate Sports" (some videos below).

Then it was back inside for a little dance - hip hop with Rye Rye and then back outside for Broken Bells - who kept busy at the festival. For a band only a couple months old they were tight and the songs sounded great. Inside again for Freelance Whales and then back outside for The Antlers, back inside for Real Estate and finally back outside for the Black Keys who straight up killed. Mercer and Danger Mouse (who produced the Keys' Attack & Release) and members of the Antlers were sidestage rocking out. The crowd was hanging over rails and pushing in toward the stage. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney had everyone riveted and rocking. Certainly the most polished performance of the day, perhaps the festival.

Unexpectedly, as I ventured back to the convention center, I stumbled upon Fanfarlo about to perform in Brush Square with free drinks (Shiner Bock!) and heaters to keep the tent warm. Fantastic live show. "If we knew there were going to be so many photographers, we'd have done better," quipped multi-instrumentalist Cathy Lucas about the the band's appearance.

For the evening it was all about finishing strong. I made my way to the Victorian Room at the Driskill for Miss Li who was great and her band was stellar, over to St. David's Bethel Hall to see some Texas bands as part of the Western Vinyl Showcase, including an unimpressive Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. I decided to go all out and dashed over to Barbarella for the excellent Best Coast who also played a couple of new songs that sounded really good. Back to St. David's for the ambient Sleep Whale (formerly MOM) from Denton, TX down to Paradise for crazy afro-beat inflected dance music courtesy of New York's Tanlines (it was a full-on dance party.) Finally, it was back over to St. David's for the beautiful, classical-leaning experimental band Balmorhea.

Day One HERE. Day two HERE. Day Three HERE. Day Four pictures and videos continued below...

Continue reading "SXSW 2010 day 4 pics & review (Black Keys, Dum Dum Girls, Broken Bells, Demolished Thoughts, Antlers, Fanfarlo, more)"

DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Ghosting (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Generator 2nd Floor (MP3)

Freelance Whales
Freelance Whales

Freelance Whales' six-week tour with Fanfarlo ended on Friday (12/18) with their show at Webster Hall. Pictures from that show are currently stuck on a memory card in some distant airport after finally making on an airplane that was delayed due to the snowstorm. Videos from from that show, including an interview where Fanfarlo's Justin Finch admits to the band that he's planning a Fleetwood Mac cover project (though someone already beat them to it), are below.

Freelance Whales' Weathervanes will get a re-release in 2010 (March 16th to be specific) through Frenchkiss & Mom + Pop Records. To sweeten the deal on that record (which has been out since before CMJ) the band has also "worked really closely with our favorite chilean illustrator/animator Joaquin Cocina, in making a little wordless storybook to go along with the record." There's a preorder, with other treats, available now.

Still Life Still's 2010 plans include four-nights at Mercury Lounge in January, followed by a tour with Wild Beasts (which comes to Bowery and MHOW at the end of February). For one of those Mercury Lounge shows, the Wednesday, January 20th one will be headlined by Freelance Whales and will also feature Animal Tropical. Tickets are on sale. Other bands playing with SLS are Des Roar and Dead Sparrows on January 6th, Hypernova on January 13th, and Blip Blip Bleep on January 29th. No advance tickets for those.

Speaking of Fanfarlo - the band's website is hosting a digital Advent calendar. For each day (leading up to X-mas) the band offers up new artwork, blog posts and special performance clips like the goodie of today (12/21) - where the band plays a Christmas song while stuck in traffic en route to NPR in D.C. (the following NPR office show was posted already). That Advent video and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Freelance Whales finished touring w/ Fanfarlo, played Webster Hall, playing Mercury Lounge w/ Still Life Still "

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"

Local Natives @ BV loft - CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Local Natives

Frenchkiss Records is celebrating its 10th year in existence. Started by Les Savy Fav's Syd Butler in 1999 as a way for his band to release their second album, the label has grown to include over 25 bands with over 40 releases. Most recently they've found success with The Dodos, The Antlers, and of course, Passion Pit who are definitely now pretty "huge". Though still on Frenchkiss, Passion Pit are also shared with Columbia Records (home of Mew, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, and... Slayer).

And it continues. Frenchkiss announced this week that they signed not one, but two CMJ 2009 buzz bands - both with fine new albums and impressive live shows to match. The NYC label will release California band Local Natives' Gorilla Manor (already out in Europe) on February 26, 2010. They also just signed NYC's Freelance Whales, though like with Passion Pit, that deal is shared with someone else - Mom+Pop Records to be exact, aka. the label that also just snagged Tokyo Police Club (who share a manager with Passion Pit).

The Antlers headline Bowery Ballroom on December 15th. Get tickets before they sell out. Uninhabitable Mansions and Sharon Van Etten (who is sure to sing with the headliners too) open the show. Their only other scheduled show at the moment is March 3rd at Union Chapel in London.

Local Natives are still on tour with Fool's Gold and Edward Sharpe. They visited NYC in November which wasn't long after CMJ when the band played two BV parties - one at Pianos and the one in a loft. Updated dates below.

Freelance Whales are currently on tour with Fanfarlo. That tour ends in NYC on December 18th at Webster Hall. Tickets are still on sale. Freelance Whales also played a BV CMJ show @ Pianos.

Tim Harrington, when not belting out rock songs and climbing over the crowd on a ladder in his underwear as the frontman of Les Savy Fav, makes a "line of patterned products" called Deadly Squire. This Sunday (TODAY), December 6th, Deadly Squire is having a huge sale at Bird in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). Flyer below.

Slayer is going on tour with Megadeth and Testament in January. A "Raining Blood" video with all the other stuff below...

Continue reading "the label connections of Slayer-->Passion Pit-->the Antlers--> Local Natives --> Freelance Whales --> Tokyo Police Club"

SXSWSXSW

SXSWeek 2010: March 12-21
Interactive: March 12-16
Film: March 12-20
Music: March 17-21
The intial lineup of bands playing the music portion, below...

Continue reading "SXSW 2010 - dates & initial band lineup "

photos by Vincent Cornelli

Fanfarlo @ CMJ 2009
Fanfarlo

The 2010 CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival will take place in New York City from October 19 to 23. The 2009 CMJ Music Marathon began on October 20th which was the same night as the BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. A new set of pictures from that show is continued below...

Continue reading "2010 CMJ dates, 2009 CMJ pictures (from the BrooklynVegan showcase @ Music Hall of Williamsburg) "

photos by Bryan Bruchman

DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Ghosting (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Generator 2nd Floor (MP3)

Freelance Whales

Queens' Freelance Whales were one of the stand-out acts at this year's CMJ. The still-unsigned band played a number of shows, including the BV Pianos day party on Thursday, October 22nd, where they played a very applause-worthy, acoustic set of feel-good indie pop in the venue's upstairs to a large crowd for 1pm on a weekday. Among the many instruments they had with them: a watering can. Picture above. Another picture and some videos below.

The NY Times caught their Wednesday, October 21st set at Santos...

Freelance Whales sang anthems for the utterly diffident: "We could be friends/We have several interests in common." Quavery high lead vocals, banjo picking, march beats and the inevitable glockenspiel were elevated by crescendos that were no less effective for being so methodical, each verse thickening with countermelodies from synthesizer and guitars. Sure, Freelance Whales -- really, it's not too late for a band name change -- is glancing over its shoulder at Arcade Fire, but in song after song, twerpiness discovered its own dignity.
The band, whose self-released debut, Weathervanes, came out in September (tracks from it are above), are doing well for themselves without a label (though that probably won't be their status for long). They're set to head out on a six-week tour with Fanfarlo that starts Nov. 9th in Chicago. The tour finishes with a show at Webster Hall on December 18th. Tickets are on sale.

Before they leave, Freelance Whales will play a pre-tour, kick off show at Pianos on Friday, November 6th with Radical Sons and The Invisible (who are also playing two other NYC shows while they are here from the UK). Tickets are on sale.

The band also writes that they're going to be featured on this week's seaon finale of Bored to Death, in which "jason schwartzmann and zak galafianakis (sp?) get colonics and dodge strollers in brooklyn, as they themselves deal with their oral and anal fixations, as adult infants." Sounds interesting!

Videos from their acoustic set at Pianos, and all tour dates, are below...

Continue reading "Freelance Whales played CMJ (pics & video), playing Pianos (again) & touring w/ Fanfarlo (dates)"

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Arctic Monkeys show happening at Terminal 5.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Fanfarlo show happening at Webster Hall.

La Roux, who plays a sold out show at Highline Ballroom on Monday (10/26), is headlining Webster Hall on February 11th. Tickets are on sale (@ noon).

photos by Tim Griffin

fanfarlo

"What a difference a year makes for Fanfarlo. My donut-eating London buddies first came through these parts last year for CMJ, but now they are downright expert and confident performers. The large stage suits them well for their rousing choruses and invigorating melodies. The added element for this show was handing out plastic accordion-like tubes. You basically twirl these things over your head and they make a whirling noise. I grabbed one and managed to hit Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons in the head. My bad." [Music Snobbery]
I can't believe Marcus Mumford was at the show last night. I mean I can believe it because he and Laura Marling (who played) are tight, but I can't believe it because I was originally trying to get them on the bill too! (but they weren't going to be in town in time) (I guess plans changed) (it was a while ago). Mumford and Sons play Mercury Lounge tonight (10/21), and Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday (10/22).

I will admit I was exhausted by the time Fanfarlo went on last night. So much work goes into planning a show and then it only gets more hectic on the day-of, and then I showed up at Music Hall around 4:30pm, and then five bands played before them (including the Wheel). Then, not only did things get a little delayed causing Fanfarlo's set time to be pushed back about 45 minutes (they were originally scheduled for 11:00), The Antlers rocked it so hard right before them that I didn't think I could listen to any more music. Apparently some people felt the same way (or it just got too late), because at least 100 people left after the Antlers, leaving room for more people to fill the club back up before Fanfarlo went on.

For Fanfarlo it was their second show that day. Their first was earlier at Pianos (packed I heard), and it was actually because of that Pianos show that they had a limited soundcheck at Music Hall which in turn caused them to go on even later due to all the instruments they needed to make sure were working right before they played... and then they played, and it was great, and the crowd went wild for an encore, and like they did at The Bell House last month, they came back and played an encore which included handing out those plastic tubes for people to whip around in a dangerous manner (see above), but unlike The Bell House, there was no member of Beirut in their band this time. Last night was also way better than the Bell House show (but maybe I'm biased).

Their final CMJ 2009 show is tonight (10/21) at Bowery Ballroom with Midnight Juggernauts. It's sold out, though if you have a CMJ badge you can still try and get in. Also playing Bowery Ballroom tonight are Freelance Whales, WHO will also open for Fanfarlo when they come back to NYC in December to headline Webster Hall. Tickets for that December 18th show are now on AmEx presale, and go on general sale on Friday at noon.

The new date is part of a December North American tour. All dates and more pictures from last night, below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo played BV-CMJ @ MHOW (pics), playing Webster Hall w/ Freelance Whales & other Tour Dates (+ Bowery tonight)"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Ghosting (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Generator 2nd Floor (MP3)

Freelance Whales

Who are Freelance Whales? They're a five-piece band from Queens that started up in late 2008 and has already put out their first, self-released full-length, weathervanes, which came out in September on iTunes. The band's varied indie-pop has a humble, homespun quality to it. They lean on banjos and xylophones for tender rural sounds but also use glitchy and elecro backing to good effect. Check it out in the tracks off their LP posted above.

Freelance Whales will be busy during CMJ. They play Wednesday (10/21) at Bowery Ballroom with Fanfarlo (who play tonight at MHOW), Midnight Juggernauts, The Postelles, TigerCity and Findlay Brown. They also play an acoustic set at the BV day party at Pianos on Thursday (10/22 - full details soon), and they have a gig at the Bell House later that night for the Gothamist showcase (with Uninhabitable Mansions, Robbers on High Street, Pomegrates and more). They also play Saturday at the Delancey's Deli Magazine/This Side Up/Young and Hungry party. All dates below.

In the clips below, the band sounds equally crisp on an abandoned Staten Island farm as on the Bedford Avenue L train platform, and there's a nice Sufjan vibe the song "Broken Horse." See those and all tour dates below...

Continue reading "Freelance Whales from Queens playing CMJ - MP3 & videos"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Finish Line (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - I'm a Pilot (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Luna (MP3)

Fanfarlo @ The Bell House in September (more by Ryan Muir)
Fanfarlo

Oh boy, how is CMJ here already? Whether you have a badge or not, there's lots and lots of good stuff to see. These are my picks for today (10/20).

DAYTIME:

Unless there's an absolutely killer show somewhere else, I don't see any reason to go anywhere besides the Lower East side where you can flit between a handful of free day parties. The best of which today -- hands down -- is Pop Tarts Suck Toasted's at Cake Shop, with a nice mix of quality locals Sisters, Grooms, Dinosaur Feathers) and hyped out-of-town acts (two from Florida: Surfer Blood and Holiday Shores). Though you might be tempted to pop over to Pianos for The Music Slut/Sneak Attack party where Fanfarlo will be playing the smallest venue of their CMJ run.

NIGHTTIME:

Fanfarlo, of course, are also playing the official BrookynVegan CMJ showcase tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It would certainly be an interesting juxtaposition if you went to both Fanfarlo shows. The venue's awesome sound will certainly enhance Fanfarlo's sweeping anthemicism. Also on the MHoW show: Best New Music recipients The Antlers, the lovely and talented Laura Marling, awesome Montreal band Think About Life (on at 7pm), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel, the Walter Schreifels Band and the comedy stylings of Mr. Dave Hill. Tickets are still available if you don't have a badge.

If I wasn't going to MHoW tonight, you'd probably find me at the New Zealand party at Red Bull Space with Surf City (who also play the Subbacultcha showcase at Cake Shop tonight) and Bang Bang Eche; or possibly The Studio @ Webster hall for Stereogum's party with Glasser, Free Energy, The Golden Filter and Cold Cave at The Studio (free with RSVP which is now closed but might re-open sometime soon); or maybe at Le Poisson Rouge for Broadcast and Atlas Sound (tickets sold out, but badges accepted).

Whatever you do tonight, take it easy. You don't want to burn out the first night! Hip Hop recommendations HERE. Fliers, set times, and all Cold Cave dates, below...

Continue reading "CMJ 2009 - Bill's Tuesday picks & stuff"

First Aid Kit

Swedish band First Aid Kit were set to make their U.S. debut at CMJ this year. They had a show scheduled at Joe's Pub, were set to open for School of Seven Bells and The xx at Webster Hall Music Hall of Williamsburg, and play the MusicSnobbery CMJ showcase at Living Room. Luckily, MusicSnobbery got Sissy Wish to replace them on his show.

The cancelation, due to visa issues (the U.S. wouldn't let them in) was just announced, though they seem to allude to it in a message they posted on their website on Septeber 23rd. Maybe they were fighting it. That message and a video below...

Continue reading "First Aid Kit cancels US trip, CMJ shows (visa issues)"

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