Entries tagged with: Field Music
by Bill Pearis
While Field Music are, for all intents and purposes on hiatus as a band, the Brewis brothers stay busy and still work together. Recently they've been helping Ian Black (who played bass in the live version of Field Music) who makes his own music as Slug. The impetus for Slug came from his time in the band, says Black:
you couldn't be on the road with them for a year and not feel inspired. Sometimes doing these things helps create a sense of self belief that you can create your own thing...however delusional that may be.If you dig the proggy pop of Field Music you will likely want to hear Slug's debut album, Ripe, which was produced by Peter and David Brewis and they play on it too. The album draws from a wide variety of wildly disparate influences:
What ifs' play a massive part in RIPE. What if we use a stoner metal riff and use it like a dub bass part or what if we combined the drumming style of John Bonham with James Brown beat and the squelch bass of Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli.We've got the premiere of "Greasy Mind," one of the album's funkier tracks, that draws from early electro and hard rock. It makes more sense when you listen than trying to describe it. Check it out, along with two other tracks from the album, below.
Ripe will be out April 13 in the UK and April 21 in the US via Memphis Industries. Slug will be touring the UK (with the Brewises in the band) and those dates are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
English towns Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne are only 25 minutes apart and bands from the area share a similar sensibility. Paul Smith of Newcastle's Maximo Park, and Peter Brewis of Sunderland's Field Music have been friends for some time, with Brewis working on Maximo Park's debut EP. The two will be releasing a collaborative album titled Frozen By Sight that's due out in November via Memphis Industries. For fans of Brewis' gorgeous The Week That Was album, this has those widescreen arrangements and baroque touches, along with Smith's literate, lyrical style. Peter's brother Davis (also of Field Music) co-produced. Says Peter:
We wanted to touch on a point somewhere between composition, songwriting and improvisation, but we also wanted to keep a sense of humour and a sense of the everyday.Get a taste of this very autumnal album via "Barcelona (at Eye Level)" which you can stream, along with the album art and tracklist, below...
by Bill Pearis
Last year, Manchester singer-songwriter Kiran Leonard released Bowler Hat Soup, an exceedingly assured debut, filled with momements both lovely and loud. It was all the more impressive considering Leonard was 17 upon its release. If you're unfamiliar, you can stream it below. Coinciding with his first proper UK tour, Leonard has released a version of "Geraldo's Farm" from the album that was remixed by Peter Brewis of Field Music and The Week That Was. Says Peter:
I've managed to ruin pieces of music before, but they're generally been my own - remixing takes this anti-skill of mine to a new level. Anyhoo, although I did almost as much deleting as I did recording (it's pretty minimal) I had lots of fun doing it and realized a lifelong ambition to do a track that includes an 'I feel for you' pastiche hi-hat part. I also couldn't bare to leave the recorder/penny whistle stuff out so I utilized them as a break-down solo.Brewis adds some complex drumming and a lot of synthesizers, giving the song an entirely new flavor. You can stream the "Geraldo's Farm" remix, and listen to the original and a live version, in this post.
As for playing North America, no word yet. But all UK tour dates are listed, along with streams (all of which are pretty different), below...
by Bill Pearis
It's been a minute since we're heard from the Brewis brothers who put Field Music in semi-hibernation after 2012's Plumb. The band did compose the score to a 1929 silent documentary, Drifters, which they performed at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival in September...but otherwise not much.
That changes with the announcement of a new album from School of Language, the solo project of David Brewis whose songs tended to be more cerebral and mathy than those of his brother, Peter. The new LP is titled Old Fears and will be out the first week of April via Memphis Industries. You can check out the first released song from the album, "Between The Suburbs," and the LP art and tracklist, in this post.
Let's hope Peter Brewis give us a second The Week That Was album this year too. Meanwhile, check out the new School of Language song and album info below...
by Bill Pearis
Hospitality @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8/31/2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
While I haven't revealed by Favorite Albums of 2012 list yet, I'll let it slip that Hospitality's eponymous debut album is pretty high up there. If you've yet to hear it's many guitar pop pleasures, you can stream it below. Wondering what the band have listened to the most in 2012? They've offered up their Top 10 of 2012 which you can peruse below. It's actually nine new albums and then the last slot goes to Led Zeppelin which singer Amber Papini admits she's been gorging on ever since Hurricane Sandy.
Sandy caused the band's headlining show at Bowery Ballroom to be postponed and the make-up date is right around the corner on January 10 with TEEN and Household. Tickets are still available and we're also giving away a pair.
Meanwhile, Hospitality next show after that will be as part of the Kidrockers series at Brooklyn Bowl, happening Sunday, February 10 at 11 AM. Tickets are $8 and on sale now -- kids 2 and under get in free. It's all ages on Sundays at Brooklyn Bowl till 6PM when it becomes 21+ like the rest of the week.
Kidrockers have announced a few other 2013 shows as well: Caveman (who just announced a big tour, including Webster Hall on 4/10) play on January 27 (tix); and Hooray for Earth play on February 3 (tix, they also play Knitting Factory next month). There is also the previously-announced DIIV show on January 13 (they play an "adult" show at BB that same night).
Hospitality's list of Top 10 LPs of 2012 is below.
by Bill Pearis
Frank Ocean at Angel Orensanz Center, 9/24/2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
One of the saddest losses of 2012 for me was the NYC print edition of The Onion which I always looked forward to picking up on Wednesdays and browsing while on the subway or getting some food on the neighborhood. (I still have my copy of the "CHINA STRONG" issue, easily one of the funniest they've ever done.) I lament of it for the AV Club half as well, as I've long found it to be amongst the best pop culture criticism/journalism out there. While NYC can no longer get physical copies, you can still read it online where the AV Club has really flourished.
It's Year-End season there too and have just published their Top 25 LPs of 2012 list, which was tallied by a complicated system that led to a lot of ties, including three albums claiming the #18 spot. There was no doubt who was getting the top slot, though, as Frank Ocean's Channel Orange got the most votes by a wide margin. There's no stopping that album on year end polls. Elsewhere on the list, you'll find more than a few records that cater to the late-'30s indie rock fan crowd (The Walkmen, Bob Mould, Field Music) and even Rush's Clockwork of Angels. You can look at individual writers' ballots as well. Check out the whole list below.
UK music magazine Uncut put out their list of the top 75 albums of 2012. The top ten leans pretty heavy on long-running '60s/'70s survivors who put out new albums this year, but plenty of the list-topping regulars from newer acts are on there too, along with a few interesting surprises (Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras & the Congos!). You can check out the full list below.
Q Magazine put out their Top 50 albums of 2012 list, choosing to do so in no particular order this year, making it more a pile than a list. Check out Q's picks in alphabetical order below.
The Fly is the "UK's most popular new music magazine," but if you haven't heard of it, its because it's a free monthly that doesn't really get international distribution. You can however read it online. The mag just released it's year-end issue and topping their Best Albums of 2012 is Sharon Van Etten's Tramp (which was just released in a Deluxe edition, a fine Xmas gift don't you know). Sharon narrowly beat out Grimes, whose Visions came in at #2. The whole list, in ascending order, is below and you can read what The Fly said about each album here.
A list of the Fly's Top 50 Albums of 2012 is below.
It's that time of year already I guess. NME quizzed a whole bunch of artists about their favorite album of the year. Bat For Lashes chose Alt-J who recently won the Mercury Prize and who chose Polica as their favorite. That and more, if you can understand what they're saying, in the video, below....
by Bill Pearis
Django Django at Glasslands, March 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The shortlist for the 2012 Mercury Prize, an award voted on by a panel of music industry professionals and journalists honoring UK albums of the year, was just announced:
The Maccabees - Given to the WildOdds seem pretty good for Alt-J (who play Bowery Ballroom tonight), who have not only made a great album with An Awesome Wave, but also the kind of album the Mercury Prize voters like. Though, though we shouldn't count out Micheal Kiwanuka's Home Again or Jessie Ware's Devotion. Now in its 20th year, this year's Mercury Prize will be given out November 1. (I am rooting for Django Django.) Last year's winner was Let England Shake by PJ Harvey.
Jessie Ware - Devotion
Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge
Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again
Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough
Ben Howard - Every Kingdom
Sam Lee - Ground of its Own
Field Music - Plumb
Django Django - S/T
Roller Trio - S/T
Plan B - Ill Manors
Frankie Rose releases Interstellar this month (2/21) and as Bill points out, she's left the garage pop of her debut behind in favor of synthy, jangly pop. It's a huge step up from her last album and you can stream the entire thing at SPIN. She plays a record release show for the album at Knitting Factory on February 21 with Dive and Night Manager.
The new album from Dr. Dog, Be The Void, is out this week (2/7) and streaming at Conan O'Brien's website Team Coco. Watch the video of their performance on the show last night (2/8) below. Also, don't forget to grab your tickets for their Terminal 5 show on 3/23 while they're still available. More tour dates HERE.
Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater are touring together in support of their upcoming albums which are both currently streaming on NPR. Listen to Sharon's HERE and Shearwater's HERE. Their tour hits NYC on 2/24 at MHOW and 2/25 at Bowery Ballroom. Both shows are sold out but Sharon plays Bowery again the next night (2/26) and tickets are still available.
Islands' new album, A Sleep & A Forgetting, is due out February 14 via ANTI- and you can stream the entire thing below. Their tour in support of it hits NYC on 2/25 at LPR. Tickets are still available.
Instrumental hip hop producer Mux Mool released his new album, Planet High School, digitally this week and that can be streamed in full below (via FADER).
Field Music will release their new album, Plumb, on February 14 via Memphis Industries. You can stream the whole thing at NPR.
Tennis's new album, Young and Old, is due out February 14 via Fat Possum and you can stream it in full below (via P4K). Their tour in support of it hits NYC on 3/3 at Bowery Ballroom and 3/5 at MHOW. The Bowery show is sold out but tickets for MHOW are still on sale.
It's not exactly an album, but Fucked Up's 15+ minute "Year of the Tiger" single which features Jim Jarmusch, Austra, and Annie-Claude Deschênes of Duchess Says, can be streamed below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Field Music - Measure (MP3)
Field Music @ The Bell House in February (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Sunderland, UK's Field Music are bringing their pastoral prog back to the States for a short Fall tour, including a September 23 stop at Littlefield. They were last here in February, just before the release of their third album, Field Music (Measure), which is a shoo-in for my personal Best of 2010 list. A hodgepodge of recognizable (if mostly British) influences -- from Fleetwood Mac to '80s-era Yes to Fairport Convention -- all filtered through the the Brewis brothers' distinct style, the double-LP is a real tour de force.
The Brewises bring it live, too, as anyone who has seen Field Music play live can attest. Extremely skilled musicians, the brothers take turns on drums whenever the other is singing. (David is especially fearsome behind the kit.) The other two members of the band are no slouches either. This is likely to be Field Music's last U.S. tour till the Brewises make another record.
Opening at the Littlefield show are Motel Motel who most recently played the Jelly Rock Yard with Zaza. Speaking of the Rock Yard, you have two more chances to experience it this summer including this Saturday, 9/4, with Bun B, Big Krit, Curren$y and more
All Field Music tour dates, plus a couple music videos, are below.
words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
The members of Field Music really wanted to play a gig in the US; so much in fact, that they had a one-off show at The Bell House Saturday (1/30), flying in early that morning and returning to England shortly after their performance. It was more than enough time to make their mark.
The date came after the band canceled performances in New York City and Chicago late in 2009 due to illness, and this occasion was far from ideal circumstances as well. But even with jetlag, horse throats and only a handful of rehearsals together as a new line up under their belts, Field Music played with inspiration and intrepid musical awareness.
Founding member Peter Brewis wasn't sure after the show whether the band sounded fully meshed yet, but as he and brother David calmly swapped out handling guitars and drums throughout then night, they demonstrated their confidence as leaders of a rapidly congealing group. New bassist Ian Black and multi-instrumentalist Kev Dosdale followed the Brewis' assured approach as the group tackled many new numbers from the band's revelatory, soon-to-be-released new album, Field Music (Measure). Powerful songs like "All You Ever Need To Say," and "Clear Water" added darkness and grit to the intelligence and grace that categorized their previous output. "I think we were listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin," said Peter, speaking of the recording of Field Music (Measure).
The Zeppelin flavor was most evident in the sparse but loudly punctuated drumming that frames many of their new creations. But other harder-edged influences abounded, sitting well with the more artsy inspiration they take from bands like Television and Steely Dan. Basically they've added some balls to their brainy youthfulness.
Speaking of youth, openers The Mugs and The Spinto Band were also at their most juvenile this night, to the enjoyment of the crowd. They both cater in a bouncy kind of indie hodge-podge, and there was a lot of bouncing by the two bands during their respective sets. The Mugs brought out a bullhorn for one number, and The Spinto Band brandished kazoos and clanged lots of cowbell. There were good ideas brought forth by both, and each of the two groups played with enough heart to somewhat mitigate their poorly defined musical identities and moments of lackluster songwriting.
It's not easy to balance the adolescent hopefulness of such spirited music with the ability to act well above your age. Field Music seems to have just the right measure of both.
Field Music return in March while on tour with The Clientele. More pictures from the Bell House with Field Music's setlist, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Oh No Ono - Internet Warrior (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Oh No Ono - Helplessly Young (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hooray for Earth - Surrounded by Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Field Music - Measure (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Twin Sister - Vampires with Dreaming Kids EP (Zip)
Oh No Ono
Denmark's Oh No Ono are in town this week for their first-ever NYC shows, the first of which was an in-store at Sound Fix last night. Anybody go? I'm seeing them tonight at Mercury Lounge, where they'll be playing with Bear in Heaven, ArpLine and Jaguar Club. Tomorrow they're at Union Hall with Depreciation Guild and Hooray for Earth. Oh No Ono's new album, Eggs, is impressively bonkers and almost impossible to describe succinctly. It's psychedelic, baroque, glammy, 70's AM, with some synth pop and the occasional church choir thrown in. And very catchy stuff too. Maybe they're the Sid and Marty Kroft version of Mew? Hear it for yourself -- there's two tracks at the top of this post. I can't wait to see how they pull all this off live.
Tonight's Mercury Lounge show is sold out, no surprise given they're playing with Bear in Heaven. Tomorrow's Union Hall show is just as solid though, with eight bit shoegazers The Depreciation Guild who will soon head off with Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Kurt Feldman's in both bands) for a tour of Japan. Also playing are Hooray for Earth, who neatly straddle the line between electronic pop and electrified rock. The sound is familiar and inviting yet I don't seem to be able to come up with any obvious comparisons to another band, which is a good thing. They've got a new EP, Momo, that is currently only available through Emusic (the latest in the Emusic Selects series) but I wouldn't be surprised if they were selling it at their merch table. It's definitely worth picking up. You can download the lead track, "Surrounded by Friends," at the top of this post.
After cancelling their performance last-minute at Skippy's birthday party back in December, Field Music are back for their make-up date this Saturday (1/30) at the Bell House. If you bought tickets before, they're still valid. And if you haven't got tickets, they're still on sale. The Brewis brothers' new album, Field Music (Measure), is out February 16 and here's what I wrote last time:
...it's another knockout from the Brewis brothers, 20 tracks that further refine their distinctive mix of nervy new wave, prog, krautrock, tea party pop and whatever else they're into at the time. It's a Field Music album, no doubt about it, but it's less buttoned up, more rhythm heavy ("Let's Write a Book" shows that one of them's been listening to Can) and willing to give anything a try. If you've never seen Field Music live before, you should definitely come out, the Brewises are shit-hot musicians as well (David is an especially impressive drummer). There used to be a lot of switching instruments when they were a trio, but now as a four-piece I wonder if that'll still happen.It really is a great album, probably the best thing the Brewis have done together or apart. You can download "Measure" at the top of this post which is reminiscent of Peter Brewis' The Week That Was project from 2008. Additionally, Field Music have announced dates for a spring North American tour opening for The Clientele that includes a March 23 stop at Bowery Ballroom. All Field Music/Clientele tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Friday (1/29) at Bruar Falls is a band a lot of people seem to be talking about right now: Twin Sister. To me, there's a little '80s delay-pedal shimmery-ness to them (Cocteau Twins, Disintigration-era Cure), nods to '70s muted-fretboard soft rock soul, as well as a pastoral folk thing going on. Basically, dreamy and beautiful stuff. They also remind me a bit of Montreal's Luyas who, if they ever make it down this way, Twin Sister would make a perfect double bill. Thier EP from last year, Vampires with Dreaming Kids, is a free download from their website, which we link to at the top of this post. A new EP titled Color Your Life is due in March on Infinite Best Recordings. There's a video trailer for the EP at the bottom of this post.
Twin Sister have a bunch of shows coming up. In addition to Friday's Bruar Falls -- which is free, btw-- they're also playing Saturday (1/30) at the loft above Richie's Gym which is out by the Myrtle JMZ stop. Both those shows are being presented by busy blog Chocolate Bobka and also feature Austin's languid, reverby Pure Ecstasy. The Bruar show also has Family Portrait and Baltimore's Run DMT. Twin Sister have a bunch more shows lined up in February, including 2/25 at Cameo with Toro Y Moi. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
A few other weekend picks, videos and tour dates below...
New Years Eve at The Bell House is sold out, though there will be "limited tickets at the door".
Check out our end of 2009 interview w/ Sohrab Habibion of Obits
Field Music's cancelled December 3rd Brooklyn show has been rescheduled for January 30th. No advance tickets to the Bell House show at the moment, though the venue reminds us that "tickets from the 12/3/09 show will be honoured this evening." The Spinto Band is the opener.
That U.S. trip won't be a long one for the UK band though. Look out for them to possibly schedule a Chicago show while they're here. Then they go back home in time for a show in Scotland on February 24th before returning to North America again in March to tour with The Clientele from March 15th through the March 23rd show at Bowery Ballroom which is now on sale. All dates below...
Field Music didn't make it, but there was a special reunion set by Pulsars, followed by the super duper Wye Oak who played before special guest Rumours last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn (12/3).
As advertised (at the last minute anyway), Rumours was a Fleetwood Mac cover band. Cover song experts Loser's Lounge made up the band and a rotating cast of singers came to the stage to play individual tunes. Those vocalists included Dave Hill dueting with Erika from Au Revoir Simone, Will Sheff dueting with Beth Wawerna, Matthew Caws, Britta, Sharon Van Etten, Wye Oak, and many more. The show was in honor of Bell House booker Skippy. Well, it was his birthday party, and he even came out to help perform "I Don't Wanna Know" with Mia Riddle. The full setlist (which did not include AC Newman or Eugene Mirman - both must be out of town) with a couple of videos below...
FIELD MUSIC US TRIP CANCELLEDThat sucks! The Bell House says, "Field Music have postponed their set until early 2010. All ticket holders of advance tickets will be guaranteed FREE admission tonight for Wye Oak, Pulsars, and the special secret set by Rumours, which is an all-star indie rock tribute to Fleetwood Mac (there, we said it). Your ticket will also be good for the re-scheduled Field Music show which will be announced shortly (you will be notified via Ticketweb)."
This is one of my worst days for some time. Unfortunately, we are not able to play our scheduled shows in New York tonight and in Chicago on Saturday. I've come down with flu-like symptoms and given the swine flu situation, spending eight hours sharing my germs with the population of an aeroplane heading to the US would seem like a very silly and fairly irresponsible thing to do. I'm totally devastated about this and would like to apologise to everyone who's bought tickets to come and see us and also to the promoters who've spent so much time and effort organising for us to come over and promoting the shows, especially to Jack at the Bell House -we were supposed to play this evening as part of his birthday celebrations.
We will try our very best to reschedule these shows sometime in the new year. In the meantime, again, I'm incredibly sorry we're not playing these shows. I hope we can make it up to you soon.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Big Pink - Velvet (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Pink - Dominoes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: JEFF the Brotherhood - Bone Jam (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: JEFF the Brotherhood - Heavy Damage (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Accolades (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Street Cars (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Coin Under Tongue - Junksmith (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dinowalrus - Electric Car, Gas Guitar (MP3)
Slow week my ass! The next four or five days are positively packed with shows, at least from a TWII standpoint. No time for small talk, let's get into it.
Tonight/Thursday's the big birthday celebration for Skippy who books The Bell House and Union Hall. I wish I could throw a party for myself and get bands like
Field Music (one of two American Performances in 2009) and Wye Oak to play it, not to mention a rare appearance by the mostly defunct '90s electropop band The Pulsars. Also, a band (or someone) called "Rumours" is on after Field Music play. Skippy has been tight-lipped about what this is, but my money is on some sort of all-star Fleetwood Mac cover band. (And if that's the case I'd bet you $20 it involves Carl Newman.) You're invited, too, to this "Improbable Birthday Concert" as tickets ($12, cheap!) are still available.
I've had the new Field Music album, Field Music (Measure), on repeat for the last couple days and it's another knockout from the Brewis brothers, 20 tracks that further refine their distinctive mix of baroque pop, nervy new wave, prog, krautrock and whatever else they're into at the time. It's a Field Music album, no doubt about it, but it's less buttoned up, more rhythm heavy ("Let's Write a Book" shows that one of them's been listening to Can) and willing to give anything a try. If you've never seen Field Music live before, you should definitely come out, the Brewises are shit-hot musicians as well (David is an especially impressive drummer). There used to be a lot of switching instruments when they were a trio, but now as a four-piece I wonder if that'll still happen.
We'll see tonight
Long-running Upstate New York power pop band The Figgs are are in town for two shows (or three if you count Saturday night in Staten Island): tonight/Thursday (12/3) at Bruar Falls with the Nouvellas and Friday (12/4) at Cake Shop. Both shows are with Detroit's The Sights who open for The Queers at Maxwell's on Saturday (The Queers play Southpaw tonight).
The Figgs are a band who I've always liked but never closely followed. Luckily, my friend Steve, who writes a genuine photocopied fanzine The Reynolds Report (now also available in convenient blog form) is arguably the foremost Figgs authority (and you'd be a fool to argue with him on this subject), so I asked him to write a little guest paragraph for this week's TWII:
The Figgs have been creating great power pop for two decades now, with no signs of stopping any time soon. Steeped in the tradition of The Replacements, Cheap Trick and Elvis Costello, their annual Christmas shows are always a great time to catch them as the coming of winter seems to kick the trio's playing up just a notch. Look for them to break out songs from their upcoming album (due out in April), a choice Christmas cover or two, a wide selection from their nine albums and their brand new 45 "Casino Hayes." I'm pretty sure it's the best song about a gambling-addicted drummer (um, their own) ever.The Figgs rock, so go see them! All dates below.
There's a competition for the power pop dollar this weekend. If you're not going to the Figgs on Friday (12/4), it's probably because you're going to see Sloan at the Bell House. That's where I'll be. My love of these Canadians is no secret, and even when they've made a less-than-totally-awesome album they're always worth seeing in concert, one of my favorite live bands of the '00s. (I'm pretty sure I've seen them at least once a year since 2001.) They've got a new five-song digital-only EP, Hit & Run, which is pretty darn good. Chris Murphy contributes two tracks, including the excellent "Take it Upon Yourself," and the rest of the band each gets one. Tickets ($17.50) are still available. They play with fellow Torontonians, the lovely and talented trio Magneta Lane, and locals Deleted Scenes.
And wait there's more on Friday! Speaking of Canadian, maybe you happened across one of the 37 reports I recently filed from this year's M for Montreal festival. One of that city's more exciting underground bands, Red Mass, make their American debut at Live With Animals Gallery in Williamsburg (same address as Monster Island). Their brand-new EP on Montreal label Semprini is a nice chunk of psych-garage and they definitely put on a good show. The big question is how big a Mass will they be? I've seen them twice -- once there was 10 of them, the second time only four. Safe bet would be somewhere in between. (Canadians love a good excuse to come party in NYC.) If I wasn't already spoken for, I'd definitely being going to see them. Golden Triangle are also on the bill. Singer Choyce told me their might be a house party gig on Saturday too, so look out for that.
The Big Pink
Oh crap, there's still more. The Big Pink, who are making a stink in the UK, are on their first major tour of the U.S., stopping at Bowery Ballroom tonight (12/3) and Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow (12/4). Haven't seen them live, but their album A Brief History Of Love is a nice slice of electro-shoegaze that reminds a lot of 30-somethings of early-'90s band Chapterhouse. The anthemic, fist-pumper "Dominos" might not stand the test of time but as an of-the-moment signifier, it's one of 2009's more memorable indie singles. You can download it at the top of this post. I hope they use lots and lots of dry ice and strobes. Crystal Antlers and Von Haze open both shows.
Pants Yell! @ The Bell House on 11/14 (more by Tim Griffin)
If you missed them when they played the Slumberland 20 party at the Bell House a few weeks back, you can download the audio from that show, and you can catch Boston's Pants Yell! at Bruar Falls on Saturday night which might be the last time they ever play the NYC area as they've vowed to break up next year. They'd be going out on a good note if that holds true, as their new album on Slumberland, Received Pronunciation, is another charming slice of deceptively gentle guitar pop. Pants Yell! rock more live than you might expect, they're drummer in particular is kind of a beast on the kit. They also know their indie rock history, from the Pastels and Felt to the Aislers Set, Unrest and beyond. The cover art, complete with a faux Japanese Obi strip, was done by Unrest/Teenbeat/Air Miami/Flin Flon/Cotton Candy maestro Mark Robinson.
JEFF the Brotherhood @ Glenn Danzig's House in Nashville (more by Paul Birman)
BV faves JEFF the Brotherhood, who've had a pretty good 2009, are back in town for the zillionth time this year (seems like they're here as much as Nashville) but that's okay, you don't really tire of their awesome power. Have you heard their album, Heavy Days? It's great. I know I tend to like the cardigan pop, but riffs and grooves this intense can not be denied. And they are just the best live. The vinyl of Heavy Days just got a second pressing with a new back cover, and there's also a new single, "Heavy Damage," which you can pick up at the merch table. The play Saturday (12/5) at Bowery Ballroom opening for Ted Leo (sold out), and then again on Monday (12/7) at Mercury Lounge for what they say is their last show of '09.
The Monday show is solid as a rawk. (Did I just write that? I'm doing this super late at night.) Also on the bill are Death by Audio's Sisters (noise pop backed by a foreboding amp monolith) and Coin Under Tongue (old school riff-heavy hard rock), plus Dinowalrus (kitchen sink psych not unlike early Flaming Lips). Sure it's a Monday, you're tired, but this bill is like aura caffeine. Show's eight bucks and tickets are still available. It's a bit weird to have JEFF in town and not playing Death By Audio, but if they can tear up Pianos on a Thursday afternoon (as they did at the BV day party during CMJ), they can destroy Mercury on a Monday night.
Dinowalrus, fronted by Titus Andronicus guitarist Pete Feigenbaum, are also at Union Pool tonight (12/3) with Dan Friel and others.. The MP3 on top of this post is from their debut album "%" which comes out on Kanine in January.
And finally, Brooklyn indiepop mainstays The Besties are calling it quits. I know, it's sad. Here it is in their words, straight from MySpace:
The Besties are officially done. As happens with many awesome relationships, stuff happens and things get hard, and so you end it and remain friends and all that junk. It's like that. We guess? Well, Kelly moved to Asheville, and Frank renewed his vows with the city of Boston. And other stuff. So there's that.Those two shows are Friday (12/4) at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ and then their last-ever performance will be Sunday (12/6) at Bruar Falls, which is made extra special because Bunnygrunt are coming in from St. Louis just to play this farewell show.
Here's the good news! We are playing two last shows around NYC in December, and we plan on going out with a serious bang. So sell some CDs (keep the Lemonheads ones), bodily fluids or organs for plane ticket money, start hitchhiking, do whatever you need to do - let's party!
Like the Besties, I must now say goodbye. But just for this week. Flyers and applicable tour dates follow...
by Bill Pearis
Sunderland, UK's indie-prog-pop band Field Music are back from a two-year hiatus, with a new line-up and a new LP, Field Music (Measure), due out in February. Before that, Field Music will play The Bell House on December 3 -- their first NYC show since March 2007. Tickets are still on sale. Still anchored around brothers Peter and David Brewis, Field Music are now a quartet, with two new members replacing keyboardist Andrew Moore who is training to be a professional chef.
During their hibernation, both Brewis had high concept solo projects: David recorded under the name School of Language, an almost clinical exploration of phonetics; and Peter made the excellent The Week That Was, a concept album about the news media that was equally influenced by Paul Auster and '80s Trevor Horn production style. David played drums with The Week That was, so it's not like the Brewis brothers had that much time apart. And judging from the new two tracks they've offered up as a free download (after giving them your email address), Peter and David are still doing their own thing, just now under one roof. David's "Each Time is a New Time" starts off with a almost Southern-fried boogie rock riff before being worked into a more familiar baroque/prog vibe, and Peter's string-laden "Measure" at least sonically sounds like a Week That Was track.
The Bell House show is one of two U.S. dates Field Music are playing (the other being Dec. 5 in Chicago), and is actually a birthday party for Skippy who books the club (and Union Hall). The whole night is kind of awesome. In addition to Field Music, he talked '90s synth pop act Pulsars into reforming just for this show. The Pulsars (brothers Dave and Harry Trumfio) were kind of a big deal for a hot moment in the mid-'90s, one of the first bands signed to Herb Albert and Jerry Moss' Almo Sounds label who released their debut album in 1997. The band got sidelined when Dave Trumfio's production work became sought-after, leaving the Pulsars' second album sitting on the shelf, near-finished. The Trumfios are still talking about finishing it, and are also now recording under a new name, Our Future.
Also playing are Baltimore's terrific Wye Oak who are one of my favorite live bands of the last few years. Their second album, The Knot, was a bit of a grower, replacing some of their more obvious poppier moments with a warm hypnotic drone. It's a lovely record. The Brooklyn show is one of four December dates for them. They're all listed below.
There's a fourth act on the Bell House bill, cryptically listed as "Rumours." I've heard no, uh, rumors, as to who it might be but given Skippy's soft rock proclivities I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a Fleetwood Mac cover band or something. But that is 100% speculation.
The Bell House is pretty rockin' all December longer. In addition to Skippy's birthday bash, Sloan play the very next night (December 4), and That Petrol Emotion their first NYC show in 15 years on December 12. There's also the fourth annual Blip Festival which happens December 17 - 19.
Videos and applicable tour dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Alabama's Thomas Function are in town this weekend for a trio of shows as part of trawl down the East Coast. Admission: I think I picked up Thomas Function's debut album, Celebration!, about four times last year thinking it was a LCD Soundsystem record -- singer Joshua Macero, whose mug graces the cover, looks a lot like James Murphy, at least when quickly flipping through CDs. After seeing so many times I finally got around to actually listening to it, and while absolutely nothing like the DFA head (not that I expected it to be), these Alabamians raise quite a ruckus with their spirited, organ-driven garage rock.
There's also come country and bluegrass in there too, as you might expect from a band living that far south but, really, Thomas Function grooves to their own beat. The band have also released a slew of 7" singles, most of which are now out of print or at least hard to find. Maybe they'll have some of them to sell at their shows. They play a free show at Other Music tonight (1/23), Cake Shop on Saturday (1/24) and Mercury Lounge on Sunday (1/25). Full tour dates and video at the bottom of this post.
The most interesting show of the weekend for me is Friday (1/23) at Death By Audio. Headlining are locals Golden Triangle, whose debut EP just came out on Kemado's vinyl-only imprint, Mexican Summer. (You can get it digitally from Emusic, though.) Some songs veer towards Vivian Girls/Fuzzbox/Slits territory, other songs remind me a lot of The Fall, and they cover Redd Kross' "Annette's Got the Hits." That's a one-two-three punch for me. (It's also the second band I've written about here to do a Redd Kross cover, the other being Box Elders.) The six-piece are about to head out on tour with King Khan & the Shrines so the rest of the country will get a chance to check them out too.
Also on the bill: Brazilian band Garotas Suecas, who will be compared to Os Mutantes because it's obvious and easy, but these kids are a little more straight up fun garage rock a la Mando Diao or The Fleshtones. I like what I've heard and it's the only NYC performance they have left (they also played Vassar last night). Plus, the lovely, downcast electric folk of NYC's Tall Firs; and hushed trio Metal Mountains that features Helen Rush, Samara Lubelski and Pat Gubler, all of whom spent time in Tower Recordings. So the night starts quiet and gets progressively louder and crazier.
I'd also like to (also) recommend the Valerie Collective show at Webster Hall tonight (1/23). Collective is a key term here. Many of the groups playing share members and the difference between Anoraak and College (my two favorites of the night), sonically, is minimal (one sings more than the other) but it's such a cool sound. It's big, lush, and retro, unabashedly '80s, and done to perfection. I have no idea if the groups will really translate to the live setting but if you're dancing you probably won't notice if they don't. Steve Moore's Lovelock is also on the bill.
The Week That Was
Lastly, SXSW will be upon us any minute and even if you aren't heading to Austin, New Yorkers are able to experience a little of the excitement as bands from the UK and Europe often make a pitstop here on their way to or from the festival. We already mentioned that Swedish rockers The Soundtrack of Our Lives are playing both Bowery and Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets are on-sale today, 1/23) which I wholeheartedly recommend you check out, but I'm even more excited to see that The Week That Was are playing Mercury Lounge on March 9.
TWTW are one of the two splinter groups created when Sunderland, UK's Field Music decided to retire that moniker but still basically make music together. David Brewis released a phonetics-obsessed solo project under the name School of Language (which toured here last March). His brother Peter created The Week That Was, a concept album equally obsessed with (lyrically) The Media and (sonically) the Big '80s production style of Kate Bush and Trevor Horn. It's a brilliant album that made my Top Five of 2008. Both David Brewis and Field Music keyboardist Andrew Moore, plus about five others on percussion and strings. I'm not sure how many members strong they'll be at Mercury Lounge, but if they even come close to replicating the album's wall-of-sound, it will be worth attending. Tickets are on-sale today since Noon.
All tour dates, videos and flyers after the jump....
DOWNLOAD: School of Language - Rockist Part 1 (MP3)
Sea From Shore (out new) is the debut School Of Language CD from Field Music's David Brewis. It's a solo project and has a few special guests including The Futureheads' Barry Hyde and David Craig, as well former star of Kenickie and Rosita, Marie Nixon and their friend Sarah McKeown. David will be touring the US for the month of March which includes a show on March 8th at the Cake Shop in NYC. For the US tour he's enlisted the help of bassist Doug McCombs (Tortoise/Eleventh Dream Day) and drummer Ryan Rapsys (Euphone/Jade Tree).MP3 above. Video and tour dates below....