Entries tagged with: Fools Gold (band)
photos by Tim Griffin
James Blake / Kanye West
"Light sprinkles ushered in the first day of the tenth annual Austin City Limits Music (ACL) Festival, but it was a welcome reprieve from the humid heat that has been plaguing the area and the state. Music and festival fans came in droves to see their favorite ACL artists, and rumors swirled throughout the day as to who the main headliner of the evening, Kanye West, would share the stage with..." [Pegasus News]Kanye, who was playing opposite Coldplay on Friday night, didn't share the stage with anyone except his dancers. Those who have seen or read about any of Kanye's recent shows know what his set at ACL looked like, complete with multiple acts, ballerinas and big backdrops.
Austin City Limits continues today, Saturday (9/17). You can stream it online. More pictures from Friday below...
photos by Chris Graham
"At the sold-out Sasquatch, bands holding down the headliner spots haven't necessarily turned out to be the biggest draws. Sure, My Morning Jacket played to a mostly packed house on Saturday, and Massive Attack was overwhelmingly solid on Sunday despite a not-so-full amphitheater floor, but the band drawing the most populous, most stoked, most deserved gathering was unquestionably Vampire Weekend." [SPIN]Pictures of Vampire Weekend, My Morning Jacket, and the rest of Day One of this year's Sasquatch Festival (which just went down over Memorial Day Weekend), below...
DOWNLOAD: Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba - Musow (MP3)
Malian musician Bassekou Kouyate is a master of the ngoni, a small stringed instrument that's something of a cross between a lute, a mandolin and a banjo....[in March] he brought his band and their joyous sound to Troy in support of his new album, "I Speak Fula," and it was heavenly. In addition to Kouyate, the band featured his wife Amy Sacko on vocals, two percussionists and three other musicians playing ngonis of varying sizes.Bassekou Kouyate & (his band) Ngoni ba visited NYC & North America for shows in March (here they played Carnegie Hall). They'll be back for more shows this summer. Those include a free Central Park Summerstage show on Sunday, July 25th with L.A. Afropop-influenced Fool's Gold.
The lyrics were in a foreign language, but there was nothing foreign about the almighty groove that the band laid down. With microphone pick-ups attached to their instruments with electrical tape, the band simply rocked the house.
One song sounded like a second cousin to Appalachian mountain bluegrass. Still another was spiced with Spanish flamenco and Middle Eastern motifs. But mostly, the 100-minute performance was steeped in the blues. African blues, to be sure, but also obviously related to the blues of Taj Mahal, B.B. King and even Jimi Hendrix. And when Kouyate leaned in to use his wah-wah footpedal, it was easy to draw a direct line from his Malian blues to the Grateful Dead. [Nippertown]
Kouyate's, I Speak Fula, which you can get a track from above, came out in late 2009 and was the first release on Sub Pop's Next Ambiance imprint...
Founded by Jon Kertzer, the host of KEXP's "The Best Ambiance" radio show, a long-running weekly program that focuses on both pop and traditional music from the African continent, Next Ambiance continues the musical exploration, with an emphasis on mind-blowing and life-changing artists with no particular regional or cultural bias.Other upcoming shows include free gigs in L.A. and Chicago. Videos and all tour dates are below...
"I've listened and learned so much from Jon's show ("The Best Ambiance") for half of my life. It just seemed natural to put his knowledge, resources and remarkable taste to further use. It'll certainly be a boon to listeners everywhere," commented Sub Pop Records co-founder, Jonathan Poneman. "Our first release with Bassekou Kouyate and his incredible band Ngoni ba from Mali in West Africa, is the perfect way to begin this new adventure. Their album I Speak Fula captures this truly original music, like nothing you have heard before."
by Benjamin Lozovsky
Amidst a row of amps of guitar amps standing like a determined frontline and a lonely djembe, there was a rising solo call of "welcome to the desert!" That was Tinariwen's introduction to the world of the Kel Tamashek, the culture and impetus for their haunting, brilliant music.
There wasn't much talk of the band's incredible back-story, one that effuses the most epitomized struggles of any post-colonial African establishment, at their sold out show at Highline Ballroom Thursday (2/18). As hinted at in their website biography, the Malian collective seems eager to eschew all those overwrought connections to guns and violence and revolution. It's even evident in the band's lineup; other than founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, the 30 year old group consists of a new generation of musicians, ones that were just children during the tumultuous era of strife and rebellion for the Tuareg people.
There isn't really a need for nostalgia; the songs of Tinariwen, just as much the product of a life-long love for music as the output of a propaganda machine, are instantly rich with an ancestral tapestry of social struggle and semi-nomadic desert life. The music reflects the Sahara vividly; the sound is so clean, yet it feels dense and thorough like an accumulation of prehistoric sand. Instrumental melodies and vocal chanting rise in and out like the impermanence of drifting dunes. The music is simultaneously full of sunshine and unsettling chills; it especially heated up Thursday in darker, more mournful numbers like "Assouf" and "Assawt N'Chet Tamashek," where painful emotions and intense musicianship generated a fiery coupling.
The outward simplicity of Tinariwen's music is bellied by layers of complex syncopation and disconcerting minor/major tonal coupling; even when things seem full of joy, there is expressive depth. There was always a mixture of road-worn epitaph and innocence Thursday; creating a sense of the latter seemed even more remarkable given the talent of the musicians, especially the rhythm section of bassist Eyadou Ag Leche (he plays like a young Bootsy) and percussionist Said Ag Ayad (who consistently made his one drum roar like an entire corps).
It's easy to forget that Tinariwen are savvy, world-trekking rockers now. They still move like nomads though, albeit with more guitar amps and less camels. Fortunately, they still sing like them as well.
Fool's Gold opened this show, and the one that happened a day later at The Bell House. Tinariwen are back this summer to play Central Park Summerstage, part of a trip that also includes Bonnaroo. More pictures from Highline Balroom below...
DOWNLOAD: Fool's Gold - Surprise Hotel (MP3)
Tinariwen will be playing a series of North American dates this February and March. That includes the previously mentioned NYC shows at Highline Ballroom on February 18th and the Bell House on February 19th. Tickets are still on sale for both. Opening those two shows will be L.A. afro-pop band and all around good time, Fool's Gold.
Fool's Gold were last here when they toured with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Local Natives in November (a pair of NYC shows), and it was CMJ the month before that when I think they made their NYC debut.
It's freezing outside right now, but this next announcement reminds me that summer is not that far away. Tinariwen have also announced that they'll play a June 26th show at Central Park Summerstage. That's the second official announcement for the outdoor venue's 2010 season. The first was the long--in-advance notice of the upcoming post-summer Pavement shows.
In somewhat related news, Passion Pit and Tokyo Police Club are playing the Prospect Park Bandshell on Tuesday, June 29th. Tickets are on presale now (with general sale starting on Saturday). Allen Toussaint may also be another artist appearing in Prospect Park this summer (6/12).
All Tinariwen and Fool's Gold tour dates and videos for both are below...
Trend You Wish Would Go Away
- 90s revivalism (No Age, Japandroids, Cymbals Eat Guitars)
- Afropop indie (Dirty Projectors, Fool's Gold, Abe Vigoda)
- Animal Collective acolytes (Blind Man's Colour, Our Brother the Native, USF)
- Balearic (jj, John Talabot, Windsurf/Hatchback)
- Chillwave/glo-fi (Washed Out, Neon Indian, Nite Jewel)
- Dubstep and its offshoots (wonky, funky, bassline)
- Post-Lily Allen UK pop (La Roux, Little Boots, Florence and the Machine)
- Prim, buttoned-up indie (Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, St. Vincent)
- Shitgaze/lo-fi aesthetics (Times New Viking, Wavves, Vivian Girls)
photos by Leia Jospe
DOWNLOAD: Local Natives - Sun Hands (MP3)
Fool's Gold / Local Natives
"Indeed, in many ways Local Natives' Gorilla Manor is like a science experiment in how to create a critically acclaimed album: take some of the ethereal folksiness of Fleet Foxes ('Airplanes'), add some Arcade Fire-ish choral harmonies (' Shape Shifter', 'Stranger Things'), a dash of Broken Social Scene's quirkiness ('World News', 'Camera Talk') sprinkle with Cold War Kids-esque off-kilter timings and shouty middle eights ('Sun Hands', 'Warning Sign'), throw in some post-punk Gang Of Four meets Bloc Party drumming and a half-tablespoon of string-soaked balladry ('Who Knows Who Cares') and simmer for 45 minutes before wrapping it up in a warm glow. The result? Arguably the most intriguing and enduring debut of the year." [State]That review is from an Irish site. The album is not yet available in the states (though its rumored that a signing announcement is coming soon).
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are on tour with Fool's Gold and Local Natives. The three bands played Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday (11/17) followed by a Wednesday (11/18 - last night) show at Music Hall of Williamsburg where Edward Sharpe also played in August when they were last here.
Both opening bands joined the other on stage for a song. During Local Natives' set it was their last song "Sun Hands" that Fool's Gold backed them up on. Download that track above. More pictures from last night below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Tim and I stopped by the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last time they were in town (8/30). I was especially curious to see what all the fuss was about. The show, much like the two Ed (aka Alex Ebert of Ima Robot) is playing/played in NYC this week, sold out well in advance. I left the show with mixed feelings. It was a while ago, but the thing I remember the most about it - besides the theatrical aspects of it (I mean that in a school play kind of way) (actually if I had to review the show in one word, I would choose "Hair"), was the insane crowd. I barely knew they existed, but the extremely packed Brooklyn venue was going crazy and singing all the words. It was one of those rare shows when the audience honestly demanded an encore - the cheers for the barefooted, hippie/Devendra-Banhart-like frontman to return to the stage were deafening.
They played Bowery Ballroom last night (11/17) and do it again at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (11/18). As previously mentioned, openers on the tour and at these shows are the great Local Natives and Fool's Gold (both bands that got plenty of attention this past CMJ). More pictures from the August show below...
DOWNLOAD: Local Natives - Airplane (MP3)
'gorilla manor' is the debut album from the local natives who were the buzz band of 's sxsw. the los angeles quintet makes music that crackles with frenetic beats, agile melodies and cascading harmonies, tightly assembled in songs that advocate, in varying degrees of exuberance and wonderment. their harmonic style is indicative of the influence of hazy beach bums of 60s socal and zombified brit pop, while their percussion philosophy derives from somewhere more natural: a unifying connection between the five-piece developed over hours spent living together in their own guerilla hideaway in silverlake, california. the album has the warmth and instant attraction of hearing the fleet foxes, mid peroid talking heads or band of horses for the first time. it was love at first listen... [Rough Trade Shop]That's Rough Trade's description of Local Natives' debut record, Gorilla Manor, which comes out in the UK on November 2nd. Check out "Airplane" above.
The band will be in NYC for CMJ (and tours North American extensively with White Rabbits, then Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Fool's Gold afterward). On Thursday, Oct. 22nd, they play early at Fontana's, and again later that night at Mercury Lounge. The Mercury Lounge show is a good one, with Sean Bones, Hockey, Ambulance LTD, Alec Ounsworth (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) (who plays the BV day party at Pianos earlier that day), Patrick Watson and JBM rounding out the bill.
On Friday (10/23) they play a Neon Gold/Chess Club showcase at Santos with Theophilus London, Yes Giantess, Boy Crisis, Darwin Deez, Body Language and more. Later that night the play the BrooklynVegan loft party in Williamsburg.
In November they open for Edward Sharpe at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets are on sale.
Videos of the group, cool artwork from the new album and full dates for their upcoming tours are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Beach Fossils - Vacation (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fool's Gold - Surprise Hotel (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Raveonettes - Last Dance (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Raveonettes - Suicide (MP3)
It's almost CMJ time and if you (and by "you" I mean "me") were smart you'd rest up till Tuesday... but there's a lot of good shows between now and then, so it's easier said than done. If you don't mind the rain and cold that this weekend is bringing.
Perhaps the most interesting show of the night is at Knitting Factory where legendary all-female post-punk band The Raincoats play as part of The Royal Flush Festival. With odd instrumentation, unconventional songwriting and a generally itchy, discordant vibe, the London group's three original albums (1979's self-titled debut , 1981's Odyshape, 1984's Moving) were mildly successful on the UK indie charts but proved highly influential. (Their records have aged exceptionally well.) Kurt Cobain was a huge fan, and actually got his label DGC to reissue the Raincoats' albums and convinced the band to reform and open for Nirvana on a 1994 UK tour, though he would die a week before it was to start. But the reformation proved creatively successful, and Raincoats recorded a third album, Looking in the Shadows, in 1996. They've stayed sporadically active ever since.
Tonight's show also features Soft Power which is the project from onetime Autoclave/Helium singer Mary Timony -- reason enough for many to go right there. Timony was one of the '90s most distinctive guitarists and songwriters, and her post-Helium solo work has been good too. Soft Power is apparently more of a collaborative effort -- bandmates Jonah Takagi (who plays a homemade baritone guitar) and keyboardist Winston Yu write and sing as well. The two songs on Soft Power's MySpace sound pretty good. The show is rounded out by onetime Slits guitarist Viv Albertine.
If you miss it, Soft Power have another show scheduled on November 14th at Southpaw.
The Horrors @ Bowery Ballroom earlier in the tour (more by Oren Loloi)
The Horrors are back in town tonight (10/15) playing Music Hall of Williamsburg, wrapping up their U.S. tour (their Maxwell's show was cancelled) supporting their great new album Primary Colours, which I've gone on about a couple times already. But we are getting close to Halloween, so what better time to embrace your goth side with this show? Tonight's show is with JAMC/Spacemen 3-loving San Diego band Crocodiles, a definite good fit with The Horrors, and soul/blues/gospel/punks Black Diamond Heavies.
Air Waves @ The Yard over the summer (more by Sarahana)
Meanwhile, over at Market Hotel is a solid, all-locals line-up, headed by Beach Fossils. I've had quibbles with their sound in the past (silly vocal effects) and they need to write a few more songs, like soon, but they've become a good band very quickly, and the last time I saw them they really had it together. As I've said before, there's a definite New Zealand vibe going on (maybe a little early R.E.M. too), super catchy songs with bouncy arrangements. I like them a lot. Also playing are Air Waves who've been playing around for a while now but have just gotten around to releasing their first EP which is really quite lovely, in a folky Velvet Underground kind of way. Singer Nicole Schneit is a talented songwriter and Air Waves' keep things simple and focused on the songs. Rounding out the bill are acid-prog collective Prince Rama of Ayodhya and PC Worship.
Speaking of Air Waves, they're looking for a drummer:
Someone reliable, good drummer, quick learner, committed, fun. After a bunch of CMJ shows, we have a 2 week European tour for February, and a March tour down to SXSW for the third time.If you'd like to apply, you can do so via their MySpace.
20-34 if possible. Female or male.
L.A's Fool's Gold, not to be confused with A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs' record label of the same name, hit town for a string of shows that begins tonight (10/16) at the Cameo, continues Saturday at Cake Shop and runs through CMJ. Conceived by Israeli-born singer Luke Top and guitarist Lewis Pesacov, Fool's Gold are draw heavy influence from Afrobeat, but sing almost exclusively in Hebrew, and the band numbers anywhere from 8 - 11. There's a lot of buzz about Fool's Gold right now, the video for single "Surprise Hotel" has been making the rounds (and you can download the MP3 above). I'm not 100% on these guys yet, but I'm curious enough to see them live. The Cake Shop show also features a DJ set from Lemonade.
In November, Fool's Gold goes out on tour in support of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. That tour includes shows at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for both are on sale. All Fool's Gold dates are at the bottom of this post.
I should briefly mention Echo & The Bunnymen who play tomorrow (10/17) at Mercury Lounge which will certainly be a fun tiny place to see them if you got tickets. If not, they're back playing Hammerstein Ballroom on November 22. Much like 2005's Siberia, the new album, The Fountain, is better than I was expecting it to be, thanks mainly to Will Seargent's still-inventive, soaring guitar-work. He's a true original. Ian McCulloch's cigarette-fueled vocals are like a great big hug, warm and nostalgic, though his lyrics at times are more than a little cringeworthy ("I love that sweet sack you're in / I love your saccharine"). But they still sound like the Bunnymen (well, circa 1987).
And finally, if you missed The Raveonettes at Webster Hall (or Maxwell's) earlier this week, you can still see them at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday (10/18). The band have never really strayed from their Phil Spector meets JAMC formula, but Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo began perfecting and elevating it with last year's Lust Lust Lust, and while they turn down the volume (or at least the distortion) for the new In and Out of Control, I think it's their best batch of songs yet -- nearly every song on it could be a single. You can download two of them at the top of this post. And even when they were making less inspired records, The Raveonettes were always a good live band. And here they're coming off two strong records. Go see them. Opening are Austin's Black Angels, who sound a lot like the Brian Jonestown Massacre but do it pretty well.
That's it for the weekend. Get ready for the CMJ onslaught. Tour dates and videos follow.
DOWNLOAD: The Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa (Violens remix) (MP3)
Ted Leo @ Pier 54 in July (more by Chris La Putt)
Ted Leo is one of many the acts lined up for the space at 107 Suffolk St (alternately called The Suffolk, Flamboyán Theater and Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center) during this year's CMJ Festival. The space, which also has a "beach" bar, isn't unaccustomed to shows - it hosted Ponytail in April - but around this time of year its usually set up as a haunted house (now housed elsewhere).
Ted Leo (now on Matador) will be headlining a True Panther/Matador Records showcase at the Suffolk on Friday, October 23rd. The impressive lineup for that night includes Glasser, Harlem, Cold Cave (who just played NYC with Faust) and Lemonade (who have many other CMJ shows, listed below). It's one of the official CMJ shows there (full schedule is below).
That gig is one of two shows set up by True Panther - on Saturday, October 24th they're also putting on a show at Pianos with Restless People (mems. of Professor Murder/Tanlines who debut five days earlier at Santos), Janka Nabay (backed by Javelin), Glasser (backed by Tanlines), Delorean and Lemonade. Flyer below.
Ted Leo also has some other upcoming dates scheduled including a post-CMJ headlining gig at Bowery Ballroom
The Suffolk is also playing host to unofficial, non-badge, first-come, first-served parties. AAM has one on Thursday, October 22nd (10pm) with Surfer Blood, Air Waves, Surf City, Violens (Very Vest remix MP3 reposted above), Lemonade and New York Night Train DJ Jonathan Toubin (who has his own showcase at Santos on Tuesday).
Schedules and flyers for all of the above shows are below...