Entries tagged with: Franz Nicolay

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 29):

by Andrew Sacher

Hop Along (via)
Hop Along

We're reaching the point of the year where all of the exciting music has pretty much finished coming out and you've got some time before next year to check out all of the stuff that might have flown under your radar over the course of the past twelve months. If you've been doing that and haven't already checked out Hop Along's unfairly overlooked (and great) Get Disowned, you should do yourself a favor and give it a listen. I caught the band back in September and they bring it live too. If you like your indie rock of the Don Giovanni variety (Lemuria, Waxahatchee) with a dash of Neutral Milk Hotel, you'll dig Hop Along. You can stream the whole record below ("Tibetan Pop Stars" is a standout).

Before the year ends, Hop Along will make their way over to NYC for one more show here on Wednesday, December 19 at Public Assembly for Bomb the Music Industry!'s fifth annual holiday toy drive. Franz Nicolay (Hold Steady, Against Me!, and more) is also on the bill. Tickets for that show are on sale now. The only other show Hop Along have scheduled at the moment is in their hometown of Philly as an opener at Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start's reunion show in January.

A list of all dates and the album stream are below...

Continue reading "Hop Along playing shows, including Bomb the Music Industry's annual holiday toy drive in Brooklyn (dates & LP stream)"

photos by Greg Cristman; words by Bill Pearis

Jeff Goldbloom / fish. @ Brooklyn Rock Lottery 3
Jeff Goldbloom
Fish

The third annual Brooklyn Rock Lottery happened at Knitting Factory on Saturday (12/1). Musicians of varying styles and ages met at 10 AM and put their names in a hat and the five drummers picked their bandmates at random out of it. They then spent the day coming up with a name, writing original songs and practicing and made their stage debut that night. Proceeds from tickets and merch went to Hurricane Sandy relief. It was a lot of fun.

Even though the members were chosen at random, it seemed like the bands formed kind of naturally and had a cohesive sound. First up for the night was Jazz Karate, which featured Kenny Bernard (Ra Ra Riot), Franz Nicolay (ex Hold Steady / Against Me!), Pamela Martinez (Teletextile), Matt Singer, and Tom Blankenship (My Morning Jacket). With a harp and an accordion onstage, their music veered towards gypsy jazz and included a song about Tony Danza.

Next was Jeff Goldbloom whose members were Lua Rios (Gold Lake), Nick Sylvester (Mr. Dream), Noah Kardos-Fein (YVETTE), and Craig Lulada Pfunder (VHS or Beta). With a distinct sound -- heavy, shoegazy guitar epic-ry -- they were definitely the one group of the night that I'd actually want to see again. Good!

Then came the band I was most looking forward to, that had Yuck drummer Jonny Rogoff, Hospitality bassist Brian Betancourt, and Spanish Prisoners main man Leo Maymind, not to mention Dave Harrington from Nicholas Jaar's band and Gang Signs' Bryan Quackenbush. I was expecting melodic pop, but their name -- fish. -- shoulda been a giveaway. They played one 12-minute "jazz odyssey" type jam that showed just how good their collective musicianship was, but this has never been my thing.

Hardcore Lørd were next and it was almost entirely electronic, with tons of gear and lots of wires onstage. The band was Oliver Chapoy (Certain Creatures / ex Warm Ghost), Michael Sheffield (Sweet Bulbs / Heaven's Gate), Sara Lucas (Callers), and Christopher Puidokas (who toured with Blonde Redhead / The Silent Years). They took forever to set up but were probably my second favorite of the night, warm and ethereal.

The last band of the night was Nylon Guy and easily the most odds-n-sods, with Tyler Villard (Bezoar), Ian Young (touring saxophonist of M83), George Langford (Javelin), Jen Goma (People Get Ready / Sunny Day in Glasgow), and David Sheinkopf (The Subjects). No concessions were made to have a cohesive sound and everybody got to do their thing -- Villard doing a lot of hammer-on soloing, and Young smnoothing things out with his horn, and everyone else just kind of filling in the gaps. They did do a decent cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark," though.

ANIMAL New York were there too and got straight-off-the-board recordings of everybody except Nylon Guy. Check out streams of the other bands, as well as more pics from Brooklyn Rock Lottery 3, below.

Continue reading "members of My Morning Jacket, Yuck, Hospitality & more joined forces for Rock Lottery 3 (pics, streams)"

The Fest 11

The Fest is back for round 11 (!) adding bands from across the spectrum of punk rock for the multi-day Gainesville, Florida extravaganza. The Fest announced its initial lineup earlier this month but has doubled that number, bringing the total tally to a whopping 217, and there are more to go! The lineup includes Lagwagon, Naked Raygun, Baroness, Red Fang, Off with Their Heads, Torche, Valient Thorr, 7 Seconds, F.Y.P., Braid, Titus Andronicus, Toys That Kill, Underground Railroad to Candyland, Frank Turner and many more (see below). Tickets are now on sale (and sold out quick last year).

Full lineup is below, expect to see some surprises at The Fest as well; Sleepytime Trio reunited there last year.

Continue reading "The Fest returns to Gainesville in 2012 --- lineup & tickets"

Arms Aloft

Much like Chuck Ragan is doing with the Revival Tour Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds is leading a group of punks-gone-acoustic on the road, himself included, for the inaugural Arms Aloft Social & Musical Roadshow. Kevin Seconds and Kepi Ghoulie (of Groovie Ghoulies) have been out on tour since 3/12 and have a rotating cast of characters opening for them. Currently that includes Franz Nicolay (of e World/Inferno Friendship Society, ex-Hold Steady, etc) and Vic Ruggiero (of the Slackers, sometimes-Rancid, etc). All four of them play Pianos in NYC TONIGHT (3/22) before continuing on to a "private party" which is one night before they play Asbury Lanes. All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Kevin Seconds, Kepi Ghoulie, Franz Nicolay & Vic Ruggiero are on tour (at Pianos tonight)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Quilt - Penobska Oakwalk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Quilt - Cowboys In The Void (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lilac - So Young (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Total Slacker - Secret VHS Collection (MP3)

Quilt

2011 is winding down, holidays are on the horizon and bands, for the most part, stop touring till the new year. Not quite yet, but things are starting to slow down significantly. Which is a good chance to check out local acts if you're still itching to go see some live music this weekend.

Quilt are not local but it's a short trip down from Boston they're making to play Glasslands tonight (11/9), the record release party for their debut LP which came out on Mexican Summer this week. Like a lot of music on the label, there's a laid-back psych quality to the music and, as Andrew Sacher noted previously, Quilt have an undeniable late '60s Haight-Ashbury vibe. Maybe a few less flowers in their hair, but it's there. This kind of stuff also evokes New Zealand comparisons too whether they've ever listened to the Clean or Tall Dwarves before or not. It's a terrific record and you can download two tracks off it at the top of this post and the whole thing is up on Spotify. I heard good things about Quilt's shows at CMJ too.

Lilac

It's a pretty stacked bill tonight at Glasslands. Also playing are San Francisco's Lilac who appear to be jetting in just for this show. They've also got a psych-rock thing going on, but it's filtered more through '80s UK acts like Primal Scream, the Bunnymen and the Stone Roses. (Some Velocity Girl in there too maybe.) Organ-heavy and danceable. Lilac released their first EP over the summer which is pretty damn good and you can download the single "So Young" at the top of this post and watch the video below.

Also playing are instrument-destroying, '90s-loving locals Total Slacker who released their debut album, Thrashin', not too long ago. It's a little too '90s at times -- I'm surprised they don't have an Angelfire website -- but I can't deny it's a pretty fun record. The band they remind me the most of, and this is an obscure reference, is late '80s band Christmas who later morphed into Combustible Edison. There's a similar melodic and harmony style to what they did and Total Slacker do, not to mention a love of psychedelics. You can download album cut "Secret VHS Collection" at the top of this post (and watch the video below).

Still more bands playing tonight's Glasslands show: Dive, who seem to be playing every show everywhere these days, and Royal Baths.

I'm Turning Into

Tomorrow night (11/10) at Union Hall is a band who doesn't get enough attention. I'm Turning Into have been around for a couple years, having moved up from the DC area and quickly ingratiating themselves into the Bushwick indie community. (Two of them became My Teenage Stride's rhythm section what seemed like almost immediately.) The band's Parcel of Marbles was released on cassette (and digitally) this summer and is appropriately low-fi given the release format. More in a Robert Pollard kind of way, than the more recent garage scene that people associate with the low-fi tag. I'm Turning Into have plenty of pop smarts and its eminently likeable. You can stream the whole of Parcel of Marbles at the bottom of this post.

Also playing are Pre-War which is some sort of Conversion Party offshoot, and The Thieves.

ARMS

ARMS released their new album Summer Skills this week and they play a record release party for it this Friday (11/11) at Glasslands. Earlier this year, Todd Goldstein described the record as a "sort of sci-fi breakup album" and that comes through, I think, even without focusing on the lyrics. The fat synths give the record an epic, widescreen quality. You can download three tracks from Summer Skills via ARMS' Bandcamp site and get the whole record from your digital retailer of choice. Physical release is still TBD.

Also playing: TWII faves Hospitality, Franz Nicolay and The Building.

Moonmen on the Moon, Man

And finally, Friday is November 11 which makes it 11/11/11 which is kinda cool and might "mean something" to numerologists. (Though not as much as November 11, 1111 did. That was a party.) To the folks at Cake Shop, it's an excuse to have 11 bands play in one night. You might expect an appropriate cover charge, but it's actually half that. Yes $5.50 gets you in, probably the first time ever the door will have had to deal with coins which should make the door person real happy. Amongst the bands playing are Cake Shop house band Moonmen on the Moon, Man who have been gigging around a lot lately and have become pretty good. If you like early '90s indie like Eleventh Dream Day or Madder Rose, check 'em out. There's a whole bunch of songs up on their Bandcamp page to listen to.

Cake Shop is still looking for that 11th band (or maybe its a surprise guest?) but the rest of the line-up is American Darlings, Celestial Shore, Mainland, Birdhand, Young Heel, Corsair, Edelweiss, Night Manager and Normally Important.

That's it for this week. A few day-by-day picks follow for shows not covered above.

---

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10

It's week two of Miniboone's Thursday's in November residency. If you go tonight you get a free copy of their just-released debut album, On Miniboone Mountain. You can download a couple tracks right now at their Bandcamp.

continued below...

Continue reading "Quilt, Lilac, Total Slacker, ARMS, I'm Turning Into, Moonmen on the Moon Man and more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Hospitality @ Bowery Ballroom
Hospitality

"Since it was the Merge Showcase, the show itself featured a short set from Hospitality, a new signee to the label that showed a great deal of promise. Their music was meat-and-potatoes indie, with a little Stereolab and a little Built to Spill, but it was a perfect, if perfunctory, set-up for Wild Flag." [tripped media]
As previously mentioned, Hospitality played a CMJ show at Bowery Ballroom with Wild Flag and Eleanor Friedberger, and play another local show with Caveman and JPF at Brooklyn Bowl tonight (11/2). Tonight's "Local x Local" show is free with RSVP, but RSVP is now closed. You can however still get in for just $5, either in advance or at the door. Caveman have no other upcoming shows.

Hospitality also play a show on 11/11 at Glasslands with ARMS, Franz Nicolay, The Building. That one is $10. ARMS have no other upcoming shows.

The next "Local x Local" at Brooklyn Bowl is in December with Delicate Steve and Milagres.

More pictures from Bowery Ballroom below...

Continue reading "more Hospitality pics & upcoming shows (one with Caveman tonight, one with ARMS later)"

Bookfest

Book fans take note of the Brooklyn Book Fest schedule, with "bookend" events starting today (9/15) and running through Sunday (9/18). One of the many events is a musical evening at Goodbye Blue Monday tonight....

Bovary? A tango for Anna Karenina? Every title, author and genre is fodder for songs written and performed by local musicians including Corn Mo, Phoebe Kreutz, Franz Nicolay, Sweet Soubrette, Dan and Rachel and Natti Vogel, inspired by Keith Richards' autobiography. Hosted by Susan Hwang.
Another takes place at Issue Project Room. The actual festival is on Sunday.

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Ra Ra Riot

While Pavement was waving goodbye across town, Ra Ra Riot played Music Hall of Williamsburg with Anamanaguchi on 9/24. It was RRR's fourth and final show of their residency across two venues (Bowery pics from night one and night two). Now that the four dates are over, the Syracuse band can get to the business of hitting the road, where the band will be for the remainder of the year. They play Toad's Place Tuesday with their tour-mates Chikita Violenta and We Barbarians.

In other news, Ra Ra Riot was on NPR's Soundcheck last week and recently announced a new split 7" with Stornoway. The split, which is limited to 1000 pieces and will appear on 4AD, features 'Fuel Up' by Stornaway as well as Ra Ra Riot's "Boy", both of which appear on the bands respective new LPs. Reminder, Stornaway is scheduled to play Bowery Ballroom on 12/2 with Franz Nicolay (tickets) as part of a larger US tour. Their updated dates below.

Anamanaguchi's MHOW appearance meant two shows in two days, as the band also played Death By Audio with Tera Melos, Pteradactyl, and Fiasco the previous night. Pics from that show are on the way with a new song by Anamanaguchi. Stay tuned.

More pictures from the 9/24 MHOW show, with the Stornoway dates, below...

Continue reading "Ra Ra Riot on tour, played MHOW w/ Anamanaguchi (pics), released a 7" w/ Stornoway (who are touring soon)"

by BBG

DOWNLOAD: Franz Nicolay - "This Is Not A Pipe" (MP3)

Franz Nicolay

To quote GZA, "You gotta diversify." Franz Nicolay knows that. As if Franz wasn't diverse enough, since he left The Hold Steady, Nicolay has delved into Complicated Gardening Techniques, hit the road with Against Me!, has a new record due on 10/12 entitled Luck & Courage (dig on "This Is Not A Pipe" above), and now has another thing to punch up his resume.... puppet tribute shows?

Franz, who played a private "Backyard Brunch" session in Williamsburg on Saturday, will perform Talking Heads songs as part of Puppet Playlist @ The Tank (354 W. 45th St., NYC) on 9/15 (two shows) and 9/16 (one show). What is Puppet Playlist?

"Puppet Playlist is a bi-monthly evening of puppetry and music by some of New York's most interesting puppeteers and singer-songwriters. The puppeteers create original pieces based on songs by our theme pick, and in between the acts, alternating with live covers of the music."
Franz Nicolay is also scheduled to play two other shows in the next month, both of which are on sale: Highline Ballroom on 9/2 (tickets) with Yula Be'eri and Eddie The Gun, as well as Vivo In Vino on 9/26 (tickets).

More info on "Yula Be'Eri" below...

Continue reading "Franz Nicolay keeping busy, playing shows "

Lollapalooza

It's Lollapalooza 2010 this weekend and you can watch the webcast HERE.

photos by Toby Tenenbaum

Silversun Pickups

"The show last night was great. It was at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg. I swear Brooklyn is looking more like Manhattan every day. I miss the old Brooklyn. Ken and I used to go to raves in the factory buildings in Williamsburg - the Cat's Head was one I particularly remember - wild. I had friends who lived there in 89 and the early 90's, it was definitely the fringes - think Johnny Suede, yeah that's the Williamsburg I know.

But they made a nice open space on the water. The stage faced the city so the musicians kept commenting how how awesome it was to play in varying stages of sunset looking over Manhattan. It was beautiful...

...The [second] band was Against Me. I'd only heard "I was a teenage anarchist" on the radio and of course loved the song. They were a really tight bar punk band. Matt said they reminded him of a lighter version of The Drop Kick Murphys. The thing that bugs me is this 'woah-oh-oh' chorus thing all these bands like Cold Play, Kings of Leon are doing. They did that and it annoyed me because it was unnecessary. It was tight and a bit raucous. I liked them a lot." [Semper Fido]

Band of Horses, Grizzly Bear & Karen Elson kicked off the season of shows at Williamsburg Waterfront last Sunday. Show number two happened on Friday when the Silversun Pickups / Against Me! / Henry Clay People tour came to Brooklyn. More pictures and the setlists and a video from that show, below...

Continue reading "Silversun Pickups & Against Me! played Williamsburg Waterfront - pics, video & setlist"

by Andrew Frisicano

Bushwick Book Club

Bushwick Book Club, the series that challenges songwriters to tackle a new literary subject each month at Goodbye Blue Monday, will be hosting a double-bill of sorts on Tuesday, April 6th (tonight). The usual themed event will be happening and will focus on songs about Dolly Parton's memoir My Life And Other Unfinished Business. Performers include Major Matt Mason, Franz Nicolay (via Skype), Maria Sonevytsky, Susan Hwang, Sarah Pappalardo, I Feel Awesome, DanyJulieyDany, Angela Carlucci, Matthew Varvil and Joe Crow Ryan.

The second part of the evening is that the show is also a release party for The Bushwick Book Club, Volume 1: 2009, a 58-song MP3 CD of songs from the first year of the Book Club by Franz Nicolay, Corn Mo, Jeffrey Lewis, Phoebe Kreutz and more. A fuller list with a bigger version of the artwork by Jeffrey Lewis, below.

Six of the 58 (including Franz's Watchmen-themed song) are streaming on the Book Club's Myspace.

The reading assignments for 2010 and a list of more artists that appear on the CD, below...

Continue reading "Bushwick Book Club releasing a CD, hosting more shows "

by Andrew Frisicano

Franz Nicolay

Ex-Hold Steady troubadour Franz Nicolay is currently on the West Coast prepping for a short tour that kicks off from there next week, but that won't (hopefully) stop him from joining in via Skype on this month's Bushwick Book Club at Goodbye Blue Monday on Tuesday, April 6th (tonight).

His other upcoming dates include NYC-area shows on April 23rd show at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, May 11th show at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park with Bomb The Music Industry, and a May 14th performance at the release party for Kate Rockland's debut novel Falling Is Like This, at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint, along with music writer Rob Sheffield.

He's also set to play a May 21st edition of the weekly Small Beast series gone big at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Ticket info for that is forthcoming, and the lineup should include Botanica, Barbez, Bee & Flower, Little Annie, Spottiswoode, Blasco and others.

This May and June Franz heads to Europe as a touring member of Florida punk rockers Against Me, who have a new album, White Crosses, out June 8th on Sire Records. Franz says, "Gonna be a touring Against Me for the summer. I have already prepared my beard and promise to give at least the recommended 35 percent." For whatever reason, the band isn't using Franz in the US though. They kick off a North American tour without him in April and play Asbury Park's Stone Pony on April 29th. Tickets are on sale (Sweden's Moneybrother is also on that bill and part of the tour). Against Me!'s new video for the song "Rapid Decompression" off the new record is below with all dates. The LP will be their second on Sire and their first since the departure of drummer Warren Oakes (replaced by Hot Water Music's George Rebelo).

Meanwhile, Franz's Hold Steady compatriots have been putting up tracks from their new album, Heaven Is Whenever, set to come out May 4th. The record's piano and keyboard parts (which are right up front on some of the new tracks) are played by guitarist Tad Kubler. Three of those new ones are streaming on their Myspace.

As for Franz, he's also released a book & other assorted projects, and soon, a new CD.

[After my tour], I'm starting work on my new full-length with producer Jim Keller, who's worked with everyone from Franz Ferdinand to Willie Nelson to Mastodon. Unlike "Major General," it's all new songs, nothing from the vaults - and in case you're curious what that means, I've posted demos for two of the songs, "Felix & Adelita" and "This Is Not A Pipe," at myspace.com/franznicolay. Hope you like.
All Franz & Small Beast tour dates, and Hold Steady & Against Me album info are below..

Continue reading "Hold Steady streaming new songs, Franz Nicolay keeping busy, playing in Against Me! (but not for their upcoming US tour) "

Evelyn Evelyn

Evelyn Evelyn, Amanda Palmer's new project with Seattle musician/busker Jason Webley, NYC composer Sxip Shirey and other artists know for their vaudevillian and just general wacky ways. They'll be hitting the road this April, May and June. The show travels Europe and North America, and includes a six-night run at NYC's Lucille Lortel Theatre from June 8-13. Ticket info coming soon.

The album is co-produced by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, and is out now in a bunch of different packages (including an 11 million dollar offer to travel the world from Himalayas and Antarctica to Western Massachusetts). The concept behind the project is that the two Evelyns are a ("fictional"?) pair of conjoined twins.

EVELYN and EVELYN NEVILLE are a songwriting duo performing original compositions on piano, ukulele, guitar and accordion. The sisters are parapagus tripus dibrachius twins, sharing three legs, two arms, three lungs, two hearts and a single liver.

Born September 11, 1985 on a small farm on the Kansas-Colorado border, the Evelyns have traveled the greater part of North America performing with "Dillard & Fullerton's Illusive Traveling Show". Their unique musical style is inspired by their many eclectic influences - from 80's music to showtunes, Joy Division to the Andrews Sisters.

The sisters currently reside in Walla Walla, Washington. They are fluent in chicken and their favorite colors are purple and yellow.

Songs are streaming on the project's Myspace.

The record's extensive list of guests and all tour dates (with details on how to hook the touring band of 5 people up with lodging and food) are below...

Continue reading "Evelyn Evelyn is Amanda Palmer & friends - new album & tour dates including 6 nights @ NYC's Lucille Lortel Theatre"

Sidewalk Cafe

Winter Antifolk Festival is happening at Sidewalk Cafe (94 Ave A) through February 26th. It kicked off last night (2/15) with an open mike, and gets into the schedule proper Tuesday with sets from Larkin Grimm, Jeffrey Lewis (solo) and others. The full festival schedule (with songwriters like Phoebe Kreutz, Lach, The Pendulum Swings feat. Jason Trachtenburg, Dufus, Franz Nicolay associates The Debutante Hour, The Wowz, Toby Goodshank and many more) is below.

For Dufus (aka Seth Faergolzia), his February 24th festival appearance is his first of five upcoming shows at the East Village venue. He'll be in residency there in March which is the same month he has a residency at Boulder Coffee Co. in Rochester. All of his dates and a video are below too...

Continue reading "Winter Antifolk Festival 2010 through Feb 26 - Dufus, Jeff Lewis, Larkin Grimm, Jason Trachtenburg, Phoebe Kreutz..."

Jason Collett

Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas have announced a North American revue tour featuring all three artists performing together and alone. The three acts have a long history of collaboration, as intertwined as their musical lineage. Instead of the typical show in which each act plays its own set, Collett, Zeus and Bahamas will all take the stage together, playing songs by all three. The tour comes on the heels of new albums for Collett (Rat A Tat Tat, March 9) and Zeus (Say Us, February 23), and songs from both will be featured throughout the evening. [Arts & Crafts]
Zeus initially formed to play as Collett's backing band in 2008, and the group will be in NYC for two shows before the joint tour starts. On February 26th, they'll open for Franz Nicolay (doing one of his first NY shows since his departure from the Hold Steady was made official) and Tim Fite at Knitting Factory (tickets are on sale). They're also playing with The Sadies and People of the North on February 27th at Mercury Lounge. Tickets to that are available as well.

Bahamas is songwriter Afie Jurvanen, and he has backing-band bonafides too. As documented on Alfie's Myspace, "for the last many years he's been playing other people's music-- PasoMino, Great Lake Swimmers, The Stills, Howie Beck, Amy Millan, Jason Collett, Hayden and zeus. He's spent the last few years playing piano and guitar with Feist." Later in February, he'll be opening some Canadian dates for Wilco, who kick off a tour very soon.

The three-band tour starts in earnest this March, and includes SXSW. They'll play across the US and Canada before ending up in NYC near the end of April. There's a Union Hall show in Brooklyn on April 24th (tickets TBA), and one the night before, Friday, April 23rd, at Mercury Lounge (though that one lists "Jason Collett only" for some odd reason). Tickets for the Manhattan show are on AmEx presale now. General sale starts Friday at noon.

Jason Collett's other band, Broken Social Scene, are touring and releasing a new album this summer.

Full tour dates, Zeus' new stop-motion video for "Through Your Head" (and it's making-of), and a free Jazon Collett track are below...

Continue reading "Jason Collett & his band Zeus both releasing albums, playing together & separately, touring w/ Bahamas (2010 dates)"

DOWNLOAD: Pearl and the Beard - Lost In Singapore (w/ Franz Nicolay) (MP3)

Franz Nicolay w/ Hold Steady @ Coachella '09 (more by Darren Kim)
Franz Nicolay

You should know: I've left The Hold Steady. I told the band I'd be leaving in early September, played my last show with them in Minneapolis around Thanksgiving, and dotted the t's and crossed the i's this week. Five years seemed like a nice round number. Thanks to everyone who was a part of the experience, especially the Unified Scene, who are nice folks. I'll see you all soon in any case. [FranzNicolay.com]
Franz goes on to list the bevy of projects that've been keeping him busy: a story collection called Complicated Gardening Techniques, a new CD with Mischief Brew & Guignol Fight Dirty, his own solo EP (a follow-up to his 2009 LP Major General), production work with The Debutante Hour, and a World/Inferno barbershop EP.

Franz has some solo shows coming up (in addition to his collaborative projects). He plays Knitting Factory on February 26th for a show with Tim Fite and Toronto band Zeus. Tickets are on sale. He'll also be touring the UK in March.

His band Guignol will be playing Freddy's Backroom on February 2nd with The Debutante Hour, Phoebe Kreutz and Otis Pike.

In 2009, he collaborated with Pearl and the Beard, putting accordion to the track above, off their album God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson. Pearl and the Beard have a show coming up this weekend, Saturday, January 23rd at Mercury Lounge, where they'll play with Xylos, Team Genius, Echo Station, The Static Jacks and Valerie June. Tickets are on sale. Their "Will Smith Medly" video is below, along with some Franz videos and all tour dates...

Continue reading "Franz Nicolay quits the Hold Steady, playing shows, collaborating (w/ Pearl & the Beard, others)"

photos by Zach Roberts

Amanda Palmer

"She did a mix of her solo songs with Dresden songs, some old cabaret standards. A really sad song about a woman growing up and missing her mom now that shes gone. It made me cry. She did a funny song about a pirate too.

It wasnt just a regular concert though. Amanda read snippets from her boyfriend Neil Gaiman's book titled Who Killed Amanda Palmer. Its a really cool book that I totally need to get. Its basically a photo book of Amanda dead in different scenarios and stories that go along with the pictures. She read a story about a guy in a hot air balloon with his girlfriend and he was typing a novel with a typewriter and the picture is Amanda in a field with a typewriter on her head and groceries to the side. It was cute.

She also did a question and answer period. I was bummed because I found out there was a fishbowl where people could submit questions and had I known I would have put in a few haha. She answered about 4 which was awesome.

Also during the tour, at every show she has artists doing drawings and painting during the concert. Towards the end of the show, she auctions them off. Well there were two artists and both paintings went for 300 each! Pretty damn nifty." [Natalia]

Franz Nicolay and Sxip Shirey joined Amanda Palmer and the Nervous Cabaret for the show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night (11/14). Franz played a show at Southpaw on the same night and he plays again with Demander and Hoots & Hellmouth at Mercury Lounge tonight (11/16).

Amanda and friends covered "That's Not My Name" by the Ting Tings at the show. A video of that and more pictures below...

Continue reading "Amanda Palmer & Nervous Cabaret played MHOW (pics), covered Ting Tings w/ Franz Nicolay & Sxip Shirey (video) "

by Andrew Frisicano

The Hold Steady @ Rothbury Festival in July (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
The Hold Steady

Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady, along with author Chuck Klosterman, will be the featured guests at this month's Radio Happy Hour at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Saturday, November 14th (2pm). In past months, the live variety show's hosts have included Andrew W.K., Norah Jones and TVotR's Tunde Adebimpe. Clips of those past shows are below. Tickets are on sale.

Interestingly, Finn is in the process of co-adapting Chuck Klosterman's 2001 memoir Fargo Rock City with writer Tom Ruprecht (of the David Letterman show). It should also be noted that Finn & Kubler's pre-Hold Steady gig Lifter Puller will get its entire catalog of CDs re-released online on December 1st, along with a new book titled Lifter Puller Vs. the End Of and a single/rarities collection.

After Radio Happy Hour, you can catch their Hold Steady bandmate Franz Nicolay at Southpaw for "HARTZVEYTIK! A Heartbreak Survival Society Social." Also on the bill are The Low & the Lonesome, Ariel Schrag, Royal Pink, Soft Power (feat. Mary Timony) and The Shondes. There will be vegan cupcakes. Tickets are on sale.

Then, on Thursday, November 19th, see rock cultural criticism godfather Greil Marcus when he appears uptown at Columbia University's Altschul Auditorium (417 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th St) at 6pm. The event is a "lecture-performance" for the 20th-anniversary re-release of his book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, out this month. The book deals with "the cross-currents, tangles, and whirlpools that made such vastly different movements as dada, lettrism, the Situationist International, and punk part of a single current." The event is free and open to the public. A video of Marcus discussing his 2006 book In The Shape of Things to Come is posted below. Greil Marcus wrote the book on Bob Dylan (actually a few of them) - the same night Dylan plays the last show of three shows even further uptown at United Palace Theatre.

Franz Nicolay has more upcoming tour dates, including a show at Mercury Lounge on November 16th (tix). Those and "Lipstick Traces" videos, and the flyer for that event, below...

Continue reading "Greil Marcus, Chuck Klosterman, & members of the Hold Steady - various NYC events & tour dates "

Nite Owl

Hollis J. Mason (1916 - October 31, 1985) is a character in the comic book limited series Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and published by DC Comics. He is called Nite Owl and is a modified version of the various Blue Beetle characters created for Fox Feature Syndicate and later sold to Charlton Comics. [Watchmen Wiki]
According to Geekanard, last night's Bushwick Book Club (the Watchmen themed one) at Goodbye Blue Monday, "saw a full hour and a half of music, and while as with any open-mic night there will be varying degrees of quality, it was definitely a good time. There was also at least one truly great song that got right to the heart and soul of one of Watchmen's most endearing characters."

That great song was performed by Franz Nicolay (of Hold Steady fame). Check out the video below...

Continue reading "Franz Nicolay was Hollis Wadsworth Mason Junior @ Bushwick Book Club last night (video) "

Rockwood Music Hall
Rumor has it that LES spot Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, NY, NY) will be expanding its current, limited-capacity venue. Have you heard that?

The intimate venue, is known for being a great place to see a live show and for hosting surprise/secret performances by well-known artists like Ryan Adams and Norah Jones (under the guise of side-bands like The Sloppy Joannes and Puss n Boots). In fact, Puss n Boots ("P n B") is scheduled to perform at Rockwood on Saturday, May 9th. They played Mercury Lounge earlier this year.

The next night, Sunday, May 10th, the venue's Second Sundays series will host its "closing concert" from 6-8pm with special guests. The series organizer Danielle writes that the event is transitioning "from a monthly event to special event format. For now, let's just say...it's less, 'all good things come to an end' and more, 'good things come to those who wait.'" Performers for the event include Jonathan Spottiswoode, Elizabeth Ziman, Paul Brill, Jamie Leonhart, Casey Shea, Sasha Dobson (who is 1/3 of Puss n Boots) and Becky and Nathan Bliss of Barnaby Bright.

At Rockwood later the same night will be singer/accordianist/keyboardist Corn Mo (who opened for Dead Milkmen at the Warsaw in April), and a mysterious "Bushranger." (any clue?)

Casey Shea, in addition to playing Sunday the 10th, is also playing Rockwood tonight (5/6). He goes on long after Jeremiah Lockwood of The Sway Machinery, and right before a mysterious "Archibald Hext" (Ari Hest?). Check Rockwood's site for their latest full schedule.

Last night (May 5th), Corn Mo played the Bushwick Book Club (not at Rockwood), a first Tuesdays event in Brooklyn where songwriters compose and perform original tunes inspired a selected book. This month's subject was Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Other performers included event organizer Susan Hwang, Natti Vogel, Josh Deeter, Lady Blanche, Anna Leuchtenberger, Duck and Swallow, Joe Crow Ryan, Sara Lautman, Andrea Larose, Dan Costello, and Rachel Devlin. Franz Nicolay of the Hold Steady performed at the series' March edition, which focused on the novella Flatland. He's on the schedule again for June 2nd, when the collective inspiration will come from Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Flyers, videos & Corn Mo clips, below...

Continue reading "Rockwood Music Hall expanding? - upcoming shows include Corn Mo, Puss n Boots, 'Archibald Hext' & 'Bushranger'"

Semi Precious Weapons & Rachael Ray @ Santos in NYC (Nicky Digital) (thx Krista)
Semi Precious Weapons and Rachel Ray

As posted earlier today, Franz Nicolay & Major General will be opening for the Pogues at Roseland Ballroom on March 13th, but that is just one of many shows the Hold Steady's moustached member has coming up. Another one is tonight, March 5th...

3/5 FRANZ NICOLAY @ Small Beast Salon
Guest-hosting & curating.
THIS WEEK: 8:15-8:45 Franz Nicolay
8:55-9:25 Yoni Gordon
9:30-10:05 Serena Jost
10:15-11 Jennifer O'Connor
@ The Delancey - 168 Delancey, NYC
Franz is doing the same thing at the Delancey with a different bill on March 12th too, and he's doing a reading at Bar Matchless on March 14th. He'll have a busy few days which almost immediately then turns into a Hold Steady trip to SXSW that starts with a pitstop in Portland for a March 16th show at the Crystal Ballroom.

At SXSW, Franz is playing one solo/Major General show, and The Hold Steady are playing two. The first HS show is Friday March 20th at Mohawk. That's a public, official SXSW appearance. The second is the next day at Maggie May's for the Tom Jones-and-Semi-Precious Weapons-loving Rachael Ray. And they're not the only ones playing her party. As previously mentioned, The Airborne Toxic Event will be there, and so will New York Dolls, Ra Ra Riot and The Thermals. You can see the whole lineup and more details on the Dunkin Donuts spokesperson's website. The picture above was taken at Rachael's NYC show at Santos last week. See more like it at Nicky Digital's site.

NY Dolls also have an official SXSW show, and Sylvain Sylvain is sitting on a SXSW panel called "The Sound and the Fury". This all in addition to a new record coming out...

After working together on the New York Dolls' influential debut in 1973, the group reunited this winter with producer Todd Rundgren to record their fourth studio album, Cause I Sez So, set for a May 5 release on Atco Records.

Recorded at Utopia Sound Studio in Kauai, Hawaii, the album features 11 original compositions and a new version of "Trash," which was on their 1973 debut album. "It was amazing working with Todd again, and I think we were able to evoke the special sound of our first album and drag it by the hair into the present," says frontman Johansen.

Prior to the album's release, the New York Dolls-David Johansen (vocals); Sylvain Sylvain (guitar); Steve Conte (guitar); Brian Delaney (drums); and Sami Yaffa (bass)-will appear at the South By Southwest (SXSW) music conference and festival in Austin, TX. [as outlined above]

No upcoming Dolls dates in NY, bit Ra Ra Riot are at NYU TONIGHT (3/5), The Hold Steady are at Irving Plaza on March 30th, and The Thermals are playing Bowery Ballroom twice in May.

The NY Times went to RR's SXSW show last year. Video below...

Continue reading "Franz Nicolay, Rachael Ray, NY Dolls, Thermals, NYC, SXSW "

DOWNLOAD: Lucero - What Else Would You Have Me Be (MP3)

Lucero

The Pogues have cancelled their March 12th show at Roseland Ballroom in NYC.

Due to unforeseen circumstances we regret to announce the cancellation of the New York show on the Thursday 12th March at Roseland Ballroom. All tickets bought for the Thursday show will be honoured for the Saturday 14th March show at the same venue. We are sorry for any inconvenienced caused.
March 14th wasn't even one of the originally scheduled shows. It was added later.

Franz Nicolay of the Hold Steady (solo) is opening March 13th. Lucero is opening March 14th. Other tour openers include Tom Gabel of Against Me! on both Boston shows, and Ben Nichols from Lucero (solo) on two of the three shows in Washington DC.

The Pogues and Lucero were also scheduled to play Langerado in Florida, which was scheduled to happen this coming weekend.

After Roseland, Lucero will continue on a tour that now also includes a stop in Austin for SXSW.

Franz NicolayHold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay's solo album, Major General, is out tomorrow. (Editor's note: Late of the Pier is out in the US too.)

Vinyl reissues of Dead Can Dance'sSpleen and Ideal, the Jam's All Mod Cons, the Lemonheads' It's a Shame About Ray are tempting, as are three M83 vinyl reissues: Before the Dawn Heals Us, Digital Shades, Vol. 1, and Saturdays=Youth

Next week's release week is huge (new albums by Antony and the Johnsons, Animal Collective, A.C. Newman, and that's just the artists beginning with "A"), so I am saving the bulk of the month's music budget for the January 20th releases.

What new releases can you recommend? Have I left anything off the list?

Continue reading "Largehearted Boy's Interesting CD Releases This Week"

Franz Nicolay

Hex Education Journal: What made you want to come out with a solo album now? Did you feel the time was just right?

Franz Nicolay: I feel the time is right to start setting the groundwork. Before joining World/Inferno I had fronted my own band, but I was having no success, nobody cared. So when I joined World/Inferno and it was a band that actually had fans I was like "thank god!" I just sort of put that part of myself aside for five or six years, but I knew it was something I was going to turn to, and one of the benefits of being in World/Inferno was that I had been that I was able to do a lot of different projects and one of the things I was missing in the intense and steady touring process was the opportunity to do different kinds of music. I was afraid of getting re-defined as a piano player in a rock band.
While I do a certain amount of songwriting in The Hold Steady Im sort of the John Paul Jones or George Harrison of the group.

The Sunday night late show at Le Poisson Rouge (1/11) in NYC features Nathaniel Rateliff, Sxip Shirey, and Franz Nicolay. All of Franz's tour dates below...

Continue reading "Franz Nicolay - 2009 Tour Dates (Sunday @ LPR)"

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