Entries tagged with: Fred Armisen
Marnie Stern at Late Night (via her Instagram)
New Brooklyn venue The Wick is finally slated to open its doors later this month. The venue have now expanded their initial schedule to include a performance from Marnie Stern on May 8--tickets are on sale now. This adds to the one-two punch of Liars on May 9 (tickets) and The Men, Obits on May 10 (tickets). The Wick show is Marnie's only announced date at the moment.
Marnie has also recently appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers (a few times), where she sat in with his 8G House Band lead by pal Fred Armisen. 8G also features Seth Jabour and Syd Butler (both of Les Savy Fav), Eli Janney (of Girls Against Boys), and Kim Thompson (of Beyoncé's band). Check out the complete episode (Marnie's intro comes in around 7-minutes) below...
Last night (3/8) was a very Brooklyn episode of Saturday Night Live with Girls' star/creator Lena Dunham hosting, and The National as musical guest. The National performed "Graceless" and "I Need My Girl," both of which are from the band's 2013 album, Trouble Will Find Me and you can watch video of both below.
To up last night's starpower, the episode also featured a bevy of cameos: Liam Neeson, John Hamm, and former SNL castmember Fred Armisen. The next new episode of SNL is March 29 with Louis CK as host. No musical guest has been announced, unless Louis is gonna pull a Drake.
The National will play two Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park in June as part of the band's continuing world tour. Watch their SNL performances below...
New York nonprofit 826NYC is celebrating 10 years of providing students ages 6 - 18 with free literacy and writing programs. Part of this year's festivities is a fundraising event happening March 5 at Town Hall called the Tenth Anniversary Chat Spectacular. Hosted by Eugene Mirman and Sarah Vowell, the night pairs distinguished artists in conversation, specifically: documentary filmmaker Ken Burns & author Kurt Andersen; former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver and musician / journalist Questlove; Portlandia's Fred Armisen & the Audience; as well as Russian author Masha Gessen and music by Robyn Hitchcock. 826NYC promise more guests to be announced.
Tickets to 826 NYC's Tenth Anniversary Chat Spectacular are on sale now.
Meyers, Armisen and the new 'Late Night' house band...
Fred Armisen will be the bandleader on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers. The host (and former SNL Weekend Update anchor) tweeted the above picture this afternoon writing, "Fred will curate and lead the band, and continue to run it even when he's off shooting Portlandia." The rest of the band includes Girls Vs. Boys bassist (and big time indie rock producer ) Eli Janney and, as Stereogum notes, that the band looks to include Seth Jabour and Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav. Armisen and LSV are old pals. The new Late Night makes its debut on February 24 on NBC.
The Roots, meanwhile, will remain Jimmy Fallon's house band when he takes over The Tonight Show on February 17. (Keeping Questlove and crew was part of the reason the show is moving back to NYC.) Guests the first week of the show include Will Smith and U2 (2/17), Lady Gaga (2/18), The Arcade Fire (2/20) and, here's a shocker, Justin Timberlake (2/21).
In related news, Portlandia returns February 27 for its fourth season on IFC. Musical guest stars to look out for include TVOTR's Tunde Adebimpe, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and QOTSA frontman Josh Homme.
Portlandia Live at Bowery Ballroom in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Fred Armisen (SNL, Ian Rubbish) and Carrie Brownstein's (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag) quirky IFC comedy Portlandia is returning for its fourth season on February 27, but ahead of that, you can get a sneak peek of the new season over at Entertainment Weekly. EW also points out that this season's celebrity guests include Kirsten Dunst, Maya Rudolph, Olivia Wilde, Vanessa Bayer, k.d. Lang, and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and previous guests Steve Buscemi, Jason Sudekis, Kyle MacLachlan and Jeff Goldblum will return.
Right before the new season airs, Fred and Carrie will make their way to NYC for "A Conversation with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein" at 92Y on February 25. Tickets are on sale now.
In related news, Drag City is releasing a series of 7" of the many fictional bands Armisen was a part of on Saturday Night Live. The first of these will be released on February 18 and features Blue Jean Committee's "Massachusetts Afternoon" (originally on a 2011 episode hosted by Jason Segel) on one side and and the pseudo-synthpop group Fingerlings' "Embrace Me" (from the 2011 Dana Carvey episode) on the flip. You can check out The Fingerlings' sketch below...
Fred w/ Haim (via @lancebangs)
Hugh Cornwell will soon be starting his North American tour, which includes a stop in NYC at Highline Ballroom on December 8 and tickets are still available. Opening for the onetime Stranglers vocalist will be fake old school UK punk rocker Ian Rubbish, aka comedian Fred Armisen (seen above hanging with Haim) with Piccadilly Circus accent. Seems like a good pairing.
Meanwhile, Hugh Cornwell made a video for "Totem & Taboo," the title track from his most recent album, and you can watch that -- and check out his full North American tour schedule -- below.
Fred Armisen listed some of his favorite records for Insound who is in turn selling those records at a discount. Haim is not on there, but you will find selections by Au Revoir Simone, Cults, Portlandia theme song star Washed Out, Frankie Rose, Prefab Sprout, Parquet Courts and more.
P.S. did you catch Fred on the latest episode of "Talking Dead"?
MGMT at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (More by Sarah Frankie Linder)
As discussed, indie-pop-turned-psych-weirdos MGMT are currently on a tour which brings them to NYC for a huge show at Barclays Center on December 13 with Dinosaur Jr. and Kuroma (fronted by a member of MGMT's live band). Tickets for that show are still available, but we're also giving away a pair. Details on how to enter to win are below.
If you're wondering what to expect from this ever-changing band at the Barclays Center show, this review on Memphis Flyer of Saturday's Orpheum Theatre show sheds some light:
You wanted to hear their big hits, like "Kids," "Time To Pretend," and "Electric Feel?" Score.Looking at the nightly setlists they've been posting on Instagram, they do change the order up from show to show. Speaking of their instagram, they're running a contest on it where you can win a chance to play the giant cowbell during "Your Life Is A Lie" on stage with them.
You wanted to hear the trippy stuff like "Siberian Breaks" and "Of Moons, Birds & Monsters?" Score.
You wanted to hear material from the new album? Score.
MGMT's set list broke down cleanly, with 6 cuts from Oracular Spectacular, 5 from Congratulations, and 5 from the newest album, MGMT.
You could use those numbers as a guideline and come up with many permutations of set lists, but MGMT elected to play their most accessible material. So they didn't play "4th Dimensional Transition" but they did play "Weekend Wars"; they didn't play "Lady Dada's Nightmare" but did "Flash Delirium"; didn't play the 2nd half of MGMT but did the first half.
In other Dinosaur Jr. news, J Mascis recently teamed up with Fred Armisen to cover TLC's "Waterfalls" at Berklee Performing Arts Center, which you can watch a video of below. J Mascis also just teamed up with Sharon Van Etten collaborator Doug Keith (not long after teaming up with Sharon Van Etten herself) to contribute a guitar solo to "Pure Gold In The 70s" off Doug's upcoming LP, Pony (due out 2/11). You can listen to that (via SPIN) below too.
Updated dates are listed, along with contest details, video and song stream, below...
As you may remember, former Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon were in NYC a few weeks ago to celebrate (and talk about) the new Clash box set that's just out. While here, they were interviewed by fellow old school punker Ian Rubbish (ok, Fred Armisen) whose own career, we learn, strangely mirrored The Clash's. Mick and Paul seemed to get a kick out of it and even played live with Rubbish for his fake old chestnut "Hey Policeman." You can watch it below, and catch Ian Rubbish live in LA Friday.
by Klaus Kinski
I have got a WICKED soft-spot in my soul for the great Tenacious D. Back in the day when I was still a young pup exploring the world of comedy at large, a friend of mine gave me a VHS tape (recorded in EP mode) that featured David Cross' special The Pride is Back as well as every single episode of the HBO Tenacious D television series. I was familiar with Jack Black from other things, but this series blew my mind apart into about eighteen different piles of pinkish green sludge. To this day (and I have been and will continue to be raked over the coals for this analogy) I think Jack Black is a phenomenal singer who brings to mind someone like the great Mike Patton. Their zeal for the majesty of rock and the hilarious adventures he and the cherubic Kyle Gass got into made the series an instant fave of yours truly.
Over the years, The D has given us great music, great videos, great tours, and great laughs. But now, they are giving us the mother of all gifts: FESTIVAL SUPREME! Curated by (and featuring) Tenacious D, Festival Supreme is a one day comedy/music fest taking place on the Santa Monica Pier in California on Saturday October 19, 2013. This rain-or-shine, nearly seven-hour event features a line-up that is so incredible that I had to read it like 7 times. Attendees will thrill to the comedy and music of Tim and Eric, The Mr. Show Experience(!), The Mighty Boosh, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Adam Sandler, The Gregory Brothers (aka the Autotune the News guys), Tig Notaro, Hannibal Buress, Eric Idle, Fred Armisen, Princess (Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum), Will Forte, Demetri Martin, Dynasty Handbag, Reggie Watts, Beardyman, Craig Robinson and the Nasty Delicious, Garfunkel & Oates, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Neil Hamburger Band, The Abe Lincoln Story, Nancy and Beth (Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt), and, of-fuckin-course, Tenacious D. I've included the list below for those of you who see things better visually as a list.
Pre-sale tickets will be available on Wednesday, June 12 at 10 AM PST (password is SUPREME). Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10am PST on Friday, June 14 at 10 AM PST. General admission tickets are $99 (plus fees), and VIP tickets are $250 (plus fees). VIP tickets include a VIP viewing platform of the main stage, VIP bar, access to golden toilets and special merchandise. Also, sorry kiddos, this is a 21+ event. HA! Grow up.
Preview video and line-up in list form is below.
Portland festival MusicFestNW is returning this year to multiple Portland venues from September 3-8 with a ton of bands including Animal Collective, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Superchunk, Deerhunter, Charles Bradley, Shuggie Otis, Joey Bada$$, Bonnie Prince Billy, Chromatics, Glass Candy, Flume, Youth Lagoon, Washed Out, The Thermals, TItus Andronicus, Bob Mould, Baroness, Austra, Ty Segall, The Bronx, The Men, Mount Eerie, White Lung, and many more. Ticket info is coming soon.
Initial lineup below...
by Bill Pearis
Fred Armisen & friends / Stefon & Seth / Kanye & Ben on SNL
Even without Kanye's musical appearance, last night's Ben Afleck hosted Saturday Night Live season finale was especially eventful (and teary) as it was the final show for three long-running star players: Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudekis.
Fred got his farewell moment via a sketch featuring his punk character Ian Rubbish who performed song called "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day." His band featured fellow departing castmembers Hader and Sudekis (and Taran Killam, sure to be a big player next season), and then he welcomed a cavalcade of musical talent onstage, including his Portlandia costar Carrie Brownstein, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, and the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones. With a chorus of "It's been alright, I've had a lovely night," it was a nice little sendoff. Video of that is below.
Hader got his sendoff moment, as expected, as Weekend Update nightlife correstondent Stefon, where anchor -- and soon to be Late Night host -- Seth Meyers finally gives in to his advances. "Weekend Update" also featured a surprise appearance by former co-anchor Amy Poehler who came out for "REALLY??" and stuck around to read the news. Seth, who is also SNL's head writer, will leave midseason next year to take over for Jimmy Fallon who is moving up to The Tonight Show.
Hader, Armisen, Sudekis and Meyers' departure leaves a giant comedy hole for next season. It will be interesting to see how Lorne Michaels fills it.
Ian Rubbish opening for Vampire Weekend last weekend (more by Robert Altman)
A few weeks ago, Saturday Night Live ran a filmed segment on fictional UK punk Ian Rubbish (aka Fred Armisen) who hated everything except the late Margaret Thatcher. Well, Fred has been carrying on the joke. You may have seen him as Rubbish opening for Vampire Weekend at Roseland on Sunday, and now he's actually released an EP as Ian Rubbish -- including "Sweet Iron Lady" and "Maggie Thatcher" -- as a free download. You may remember when Fred and Dave Grohl had fun with '80s hardcore on SNL a while back.
If you haven't seen the Ian Rubbish SNL short, you can stream it below.
photos by Robert Altman
Vampire Weekend @ Roseland Ballroom - 4/28/2013
Vampire Weekend played their very sold out and small (for them) show at Roseland Ballroom last night (4/28) in support of their upcoming album, Modern Vampires of the City (due out 5/14 via XL). If you couldn't get in, did you watch the Steve Buscemi-directed live webcast? Did you maybe watch it at Brooklyn Bowl? Like they said they would, Vampire Weekend previewed material from the new album at the show, and videos of them playing two new songs -- "Obvious Bicycle" and "Everlasting Arms" -- can be watched below (via Consequence of Sound). Comedian/musician Fred Armisen, as Thatcher-loving punk Ian Rubbish, opened the show and Steve Buscemi came out of the control booth for an appearance as well. Pictures and VW's setlist from the show are in this post and you can stream the entire concert below.
Not very surprisingly, like Phoenix did, Vampire Weekend have given fans who missed their small album-preview show a chance to see them in a much larger space this fall, Barclays Center on September 20. Tickets for that huge show go on sale Saturday (5/4) at 10 AM. Also as mentioned, the band will make their return to Saturday Night Live on May 11 when Kristen Wiig hosts.
Updated dates are listed, along with more pictures, the setlist, and videos from Roseland, below...
White Lung at SXSW 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Styles P @ BB King's
* Brain Cloud @ Barbes
* Chicha Libre @ Barbes
* Furthur @ The Capitol Theatre
* Joe Pug, Erin Ivey @ Union Hall
* Marc Maron @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Kim Richey & Darden Smith @ Joe's Pub
* Liam Finn, Railbird @ Knitting Factory
* Suuns, Weeknight @ Mercury Lounge
* Marc Broussard, Courrier @ City Winery
* Muse, Biffy Clyro @ Madison Square Garden
* Wyatt Cenac, Mark Normand, Liam McEneaney @ Littlefield
* Bobby Long, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald @ Mercury Lounge
* Matt Costa, The Blank Tapes, Vandaveer @ Bowery Ballroom
* White Lung, Syphilitic Lust, Boca Raton, Goosebumps @ The Acheron
* Jesse Harris, Sophie Auster, Leaves of Green @ Rockwood Music Hall
* The Hysterics, In School, Nuclear Spring, Solid Attitude @ Death By Audio
* J.Period, DJ Concerned, DJ Timoteo Gigante, DJ Wisdon @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Foot Village, Hurricanes of Love, Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth @ Silent Barn
* Living Room, The Reptilian, The Natural Disasters, The Moon Tooth @ Big Snow
* Swaai Boys, Gondola, Horrible Present, Goodbye, Forget It, South Paws @ Pianos
* R. Stevie Moore, Total Slacker, Tropical Ooze, Cassie Ramone (DJ Set) @ Glasslands
* Presidents of the United States of America, Eternal Summers, pow wow! @ Irving Plaza
* Silent Drape Runners, Thelma and the Sleaze, Clinical Trials, Wojcik, Little Band of Sailors @ Cake Shop
If you're headed to Irving Plaza to see The Presidents of the United States of America play their first album in full, get there early for Eternal Summers. They're currently taking pledges/pre-orders for their new album on PledgeMusic.
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This past Saturday's episode of SNL, which featured a performance by Miguel and a new Daft Punk ad, also included a Fred Armisen-led skit, which paid a "punk tribute" to the late Margaret Thatcher. The skit featured a band called Ian Rubbish and the Bizzaros, who write songs about the queen and other British politics (albeit from a different perspective than most punks had). Check out the video of that skit below. And it's not the first time Fred Armisen brought his knowledge of punk to SNL.
Empire of the Sun, the post-Sleepy Jackson pop project from Luke Steele, will release their second album, Ice on the Dune, in June. You can stream first single, "Alive," below.
Did you get your taxes done?
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
D'Angelo / Elvis Costello + Princess / Chris Rock & more @ Carnegie Hall
Amidst a snowy midtown backdrop, Carnegie Hall generated a little heat when the Michael Dorf-produced Prince Tribute opened last night (3/7). Stacked with performers giving props to the man in purple and paisley, the lineup featured some of the same names from the previous evening's "rehearsal" at City Winery, as well as surprise appearances from names like Chris Rock and more. Backed by The Roots with guitarist Wendy Melvion (of Prince's backing band The Revolution), D'Angelo show-closing numbers "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" / "1999" were the clear highlights of the evening, with performances from Bilal (doing "Sister" and channeling Keith Sweat circa 1990s), Bettye LaVette ("Kiss"), Sandra Bernhard ('Little Red Corvette") and Fdeluxe ("High Fashion/Mutiny") also causing impromptu aisle dances. Fun night, and it was great to see people up and out of their seats, wilding out in a buttoned-up place like Carnegie Hall.
More pics from last night including the setlist, The Waterboys, The Roots, Eric Leeds, Diane Birch, the Cardigans' Nina Perrson, DeVotchka, Bhi Bhiman, Kat Edmonson, Blind Boys of Alabama, Citizen Cope & Alice Smith, Talib Kweli, Princess (Gretchen Lieberum & Maya Rudolph) and all iterations there within, are below.
photos by Robert Altman
Elvis Costello / Nina Persson & Maya Rudolph @ City Winery
Elvis Costello, The Roots, Devotchka, The Waterboys, Nina Persson, Maya Rudolph (performing as "Princess" with Gretchen Lieberum), Fred Armisen, Bilal and more all blessed the stage at the "rehearsal" for the Prince Tribute scheduled for Carnegie Hall tonight (3/7). The show, which went down at City Winery last night (3/6), was sold-out and featured a night of all covers of songs by the purple one, including classics like "When Doves Cry," "Nothing Compares 2 U," "Purple Rain" and many many other staples.
D'Angelo, who played Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday night and will hits Carnegie Hall tonight, did not appear. Neither did Prince Rogers Nelson (the honoree of the evening), but that might have been for the best considering his recent penchant for destruction....
#rockgodstatus or #dickmove? You be the judge.
Of course Black Thought is of The Roots, Jimmy Fallon's house band. If you missed it, Prince appeared on Fallon late last week.
More pictures from City Winery last night are below.
Demetri Martin is set to release his second book, Point Your Face at This, on March 13 which "contains hundreds of drawings, jokes, and page-long bits, showcasing Martin's particular penchant for brevity and a sensibility all its own." Demetri will be going on tour to support the book's release and that will include five NYC area shows: the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, NY on March 8; Wellmont Theatre in NJ on March 9; the Tarrytown Theatre in Tarrytown, NY on March 15; Gramercy Theatre on March 18 and The Bell House on March 19.
Tickets to his Gramercy Theatre and NYCB Theatre shows go on sale Friday (1/25) at 10 AM; as do tickets for his Bell House and Tarrytown show. Tickets to the Wellmont Theatre go on sale Friday at noon. All Demetri Martin tour dates are listed below.
While on the subject of funny people, you may have seen on our "tickets on sale" post today, Fred Armisen is playing Bowery Ballroom on February 19 and tickets went on sale today and are still available. At the time we were "not exactly sure what he'll be doing" but Fred was kind enough to write in to say that the show will be "some comedy, some drumming, and some friendly guests!" So there you go.
Fred likes to drum, as you may know, from his time spent behind the kit in Trenchmouth, to his character Jens Hannemann's "Complicated Drumming" instructional videos, to his recent appearance with Yo La Tengo on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which you can watch below...
We're not exactly sure what he'll be doing but Fred Armisen is playing Bowery Ballroom on February 19. Tickets are on sale today at noon.
The Joy Formidable play two shows in NYC: April 17 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and April 18 at Webster Hall. Tickets to both shows go on AmEx presale today at noon.
Spacehog play a late show at Mercury Lounge on February 26. Tickets go on AmEx presale today at noon.
Lemonade play Cameo on Valentines Day (2/14) and tickets to that show are on sale now.
Little Green Cars play Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 26. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at noon.
Though the lineup won't be announced for a while, 'Early Bird' and 'Three Day' passes for the 2013 Newport Folk Festival are already sold out. It's not too late to get a 'Two Day' or 'Single Day' ticket though.
Graham Parker & the Rumour play Gramercy Theatre on April 14. Tickets are on sale now.
Industrial legends KMFDM play Irving Plaza on March 21. Tickets are on sale now.
Jessie Ware at The Box, Dec. 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Soundgarden at Irving Plaza, Nov. 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
today in NYC
* Lady Rizo @ Joe's Pub
* Brian Settles @ Barbes
* Mike Daisey @ Joe's Pub
* Soundgarden @ Terminal 5
* MS MR, Gospels @ Mercury Lounge
* The Mandingo Ambassadors @ Barbes
* John Cale @ Brooklyn Academy of Music
* School of Seven Bells @ Dr. Martens Store
* Andrew James, Dub Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Heliotropes, Gang Signs, Blackout @ Union Pool
* Black Prairie, John Wesley Harding @ Union Hall
* John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats @ Studio X
* WIERD w/ La Misma, Black Boot @ Home Sweet Home
* The Airborne Toxic Event, The Chevin @ Webster Hall
* Agusti Fernandez, Joe Morris, Nate Wooley @ The Stone
* Infected Mushroom DJ, The M Machine DJ @ Brooklyn Bowl
* G. Love & Special Sauce, Swear and Shake @ Irving Plaza
* The Trews, The Constant, the Rotaries @ Bowery Electric
* Child Bite, Firecracker Firecracker, The Flag @ Death By Audio
* Vaudeville, KO.DO.NA, Baby Copperhead, Ed Askew Band @ Cake Shop
* Zedd, Jessie Ware, Twenty One Pilots, Robert DeLong @ Highline Ballroom
* HUERCO S., Anthony Naples, Terekke, Bookworms & Steve Summers @ Cameo Gallery
* Mykki Blanco, Boychild, Psychoegyptian, Fatherhood, Dope Body @ Mercury Lounge
* Big Terrific w/ John Mulaney, James Adomian, Jackie Kashian, Kara Klenk @ Cameo
* Wild International, Jamaican Queens, Ludwig Persik, Steel Phantoms @ Glasslands
* A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Friend Roulette, Desert Stars, Relatives, Heidi Harris @ Pianos
* Electroputas, Beverly, Eye Banner, Metal Mountains @ Secret Project Robot
* Arrington de Dionyso, Greg Saunier, C. Spencer Yeh, Ross Chait Myles Eammons Duo, Lea Bertucci @ Silent Barn
* 'Allen Ginsberg's First Blues' w/ Lou Reed, Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, CA Conrad, Steven Taylor, Hettie Jones, Arthur's Landing & more @ Housing Works
Tonight's John Cale show at BAM is a tribute to Nico with a number of guests including Kim Gordon, Mark Lanegan, Sharon Van Etten, Magnetic Fields, and more.
Screaming Females are guests tonight on the Chris Gethard Show which airs tonight at 11 PM.
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Yo La Tengo's new album, Fade, is out this week and the band appeared last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing "Ohm" with Fred Armisen on second drums. (He played with them at one of their Hanukkah shows you may remember.) YLT also did "I'll Be Around" as an online exclusive and you can watch both below.
Electronic pop trio Darkstar are releasing their new album, News from Nowhere, on February 5 via Warp, but you can stream the entire thing ahead of its release, below.
Yo La Tengo + Fred Armisen @ Maxwell's, 12/9/2012 (via @j_maxed)
Sunday night was the second night of Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah Week residency at Maxwell's with surprise openers Fred Armisen and Sun Ra Arkestra. (Lambchop's Kurt Wagner made the night's mix CD.) Fred actually pulled double duty, playing drums for YLT's entire set (!) making for a double percussion evening that included covers of the Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun?" and the Ramones' "Can't Make it On Time." The whole Sunday setlist is below (and check out Saturday's HERE.).
Any guesses as to who will open for Yo La Tengo tonight? UPDATE: It's The Feelies!
While Fred was laying down the beat, his voice could be heard on last night's episode of The Simpsons where he and Carrie Brownstein played a Portland couple who moved next door to Homer and Marge. The episode also featured Patton Oswalt and The Decemberists. In a strange coincidence, Portlandia returns with a new episode this Friday night (12/14) before the IFC sketch show comes back in earnest on January 4 (there's a private premiere party at a museum in NYC tonight).
Fred was also on this week's Jamie Foxx-hosted SNL, but just barely.
Fred also recently sat in with Dinosaur Jr. at their You're Living All Over Me 25th Anniversary show at Terminal 5 and will be hosting the Snow Ball Ball at The Bell House this Sunday (12/16) which is now sold out.
Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah Night 2 setlist is below.
(via Yo La Tengo twitter)
Yo La Tengo played their first of eight sold out Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's last night (12/8) with opening sets by a reunited The Raybeats and comedian Emo Philips, and the mixtape made by Tom Scharpling (who was part of his own guest-filled event one night earlier). It was a benefit for the Fund to Rebuild Hoboken.
YLT took to their blog to recap the show, and of the openers, they wrote:
We've been seeing the Raybeats for so long that we remember when they were being billed as the Ex-Contortions (we also recall rotary phones, no-security airline check-in . . . stories? oh do we have stories!). Last night they did a too-short smorgasbord from their two lp's--can we cite the set's brevity to rationalize our not coming up with any photos of them? Perhaps, but how do we explain not wrangling drummer Don Christensen to reprise his impLOG version of Jewish songwriters Leiber and Stoller's "On Broadway"?You can read more HERE. WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow has the setlist, which included two new songs, a cover of Richard Hell's "The Kid With the Replaceable Head" (featuring Jody Harris of the Raybeats on guitar) and a cover of The Monkees' "Take A Giant Step."
Am I right to suggest that local Emo Philips appearances are nearly as rare as those of the Raybeats? The jokes were coming so fast, it's difficult for me to pick a favorite. But I'll bet WFMU air personality Gaylord Fields would have no such problem: I could hear his dumbfounded laughter when Emo pulled off a punchline drawing the distinction between the Latin and Greek meanings of "homo." (I'm sure Gaylord will be only too happy to explain.)
YLT continue their run tonight. Any guesses on who opens?
UPDATE: Tonight's (12/9) openers are Fred Armisen and The Sun Ra Arkestra, and Lambchop man main Kurt Wagner made the mix CD.
Full setlist and another pic from the show, below...
J. Mascis / Frank Black
Throughout the 90s and the first half of the 2000s, Dinosaur Jr. was one of the last rock groups you would have expected to get the old band back together, go on tour, and record new music--not to mention new music that's every bit as good as anything the original lineup made in the 80s. When J Mascis unceremoniously kicked out Lou Barlow, his high school friend and longtime bandmate, in 1989, it seemed like a mercy killing of the original lineup, which had devolved into a psychodramatic mess, marred by lack of communication and irreconcilable personality difference between Mascis and Barlow. ("It makes me sick that I spent six or seven years putting my heart and soul into that band," Barlow told Cut zine in 1990. "They're sleazebag snob pigs like no one I have met in my entire life. J's always been an asshole.") Mascis and Murph, and then just Mascis, went on to record a string of major-label records throughout the 90s that, though inconsistent, contain some of Dinosaur Jr.'s best and most well-known songs.
When Mascis killed Dinosaur Jr. in 1997, it seemed inconceivable that, a decade later, Mascis, Barlow and Murph would reunite. Time heals all wounds, I guess. It's perhaps less surprising that the band would be able to ably reprise their sprawling, melodic, blitzkrieg guitar-rock sound. Three records in to the latter-day reign of Dinosaur Jr., the band sounds as good as they ever have.
On Saturday at Terminal 5, Dinosaur Jr. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of You're Living All Over Me, their second album and the one that made nonchalance cool, made the extended guitar solo cool (again), and wedded melodic tendencies with noise and feedback in a theretofore unheard of fashion in the indie rock underground. The band opened their set with "Thumb," from 1991's Green Mind, with Suzanne Thorp of Mercury Rev guesting on flute, before Mascis matter-of-factly announced that now they'd be playing You're Living All Over Me in full.
A sleepy-looking Lee Ranaldo came out to share vocals with J on "Little Fury Things." Guests, some announced ahead of time, would be a recurring theme throughout the night, but not until later. Dinosaur Jr. ripped through the songs on their best album as if it were 1987 all over again. "Sludgefeast" was a punishing onslaught of guitar and staccato, gunfire drums, with Mascis's high lonesome whine cutting through the gain and distortion. "Tarpit" set off joyous dancing, propelled by Barlow's chunky bass chords and a deafening roar from Mascis's Jazzmaster that threatened to draw blood from the ears.
Watching Barlow and Mascis play on stage, it's not hard to extrapolate the personality differences that created their rift. Barlow, with his black Rickenbacker slung low, literally bounces from one foot to the other when playing, the joy at doing just this very thing--playing to an audience--so evident. He smiles, he cracks jokes, he acts as if he's living through the music. Mascis, on the other hand, with his laconic, slowhands style and deadpan announcements ("All right. Thanks a lot. That was side one."), plays as if the music lives through him. He's the hermetic savant tuned in to a frequency no one else can hear.
Barlow brought out a ukulele for "Poledo," the "awkward end to the amazing record," in his words. The cavernous space of Terminal 5 made the strident desolation of the song even more acute.
The second half of the show is the stuff legendary bootlegs are made of. A succession of guests filed onstage to help Dinosaur Jr. play their songs, or to transform them into other bands entirely. The first was Frank Black, who sang and played guitar on "Almost Fare," from this year's I Bet On Sky. Next, the band plus Black covered one of Black's songs--"Tame," from The Pixies' Doolittle. Black roared the chorus, tossed a painting into the first rows of the crowd, and exited. Kurt Vile, whose band opened the show, and Al Cisneros from Sleep were next. Cisneros took over bass duties from Barlow for a couple of songs, including the doom metal glazer "Alone" from 1997's Hand It Over. Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence took the drums for that one.
Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr and Broken Social Scene guru Kevin Drew emerged to play "The Wagon" with J, Lou and Murph. Then they covered Smiths track "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side," the words to which J was, uh, a little unsure of. Melvins drummer Dale Crover relieved Murph behind the kit for a skin-searing rendition of "Training Ground," a song by Mascis and Barlow's pre-Dinosaur hardcore band, Deep Wound. Don Fleming of Gumball and Dante Ferrando of Iron Cross helped the band cover "Crucified," and Kim Gordon gave a tempestuous performance on "Don't", Barlow's song from Bug that directly addresses the fractured relationship between him and Mascis. Gordon screamed, bellowed and cooed the song's one lyric ("Why don't you like me?") over and over again, dropping to her knees and falling to the stage like she was having an exorcism. It was intense. If Sonic Youth is over, she should start a hardcore band.
The encore began with a cover of the Stooges classic, "T.V. Eye," with Tommy Stinson on bass and Fred Armisen (whose show, Portlandia, will feature an appearance from J Mascis in its upcoming third season) on drums. Dinosaur Jr. closed with two classics: "Start Choppin" and "Freak Scene," the song that invented the slacker generation. It was a poignant, circle-closing moment. "Because when I need a friend," J sang, "it's still you," we all responded. The night was an amazing tribute to a great band, 25 years removed from their (so-far) signature achievement and, improbably, still going strong.
More pictures, some videos, and the setlist from the show (which also counted John Petkovic of Death of Samantha as a guest), below...
by Klaus Kinski (and Fred Armisen)
Fred meditates on his top ten...
In my tenure as BV's tallest and prettiest contributor, I've noticed that one of the most polarizing figures we mention on here is the great Fred Armisen. It's like, any time we mention this dude all the negative-Nancys crawl out of the wood work. Oh well... You know what they say ('they' being people who use terrible quips to express themselves); "Haters gonna hate." The reality is, Fred Armisen rules. He's one of my most favorite, funny, uber-talented oddballs in the biz. He's consistently funny on SNL, no matter how abysmal the sketch may be. His show Portlandia (which returns January 4th 2013 on IFC) is one of the funniest shows to hit the gogglebox in recent memory. And he keeps it real with small-venue residencies and club shows. Fred recently hipped us to the top 10 records of 2012 that floated his boat.
In addition to Portlandia's imminent return (many guest stars included), and the Portlandia book which is currently available, don't forget the Fred is hosting the Snow Ball Ball at the Bell (Ball) House on Sunday December 16. The show also features guest DJs Tunde Adebimpe (from TV On the Radio), Peter Hale (from Here We Go Magic) and more!
Check out Fred's 'Best of' list, below...
Map from 'Portlandia: A Visitor's Guide'
Fred Armisen and Eleanor Friedberger are appearing this Thursday (11/15) at Barnes & Noble Union Square in NYC for the bookstore's "Upstairs at the Square" series which is hosted by NPR's Katherine Lanpher. Fred will be talking about his and Carrie Brownstein's new book, PORTLANDIA: A Guide for Visitors and other subjects, with Eleanor Friedberger performing live. Fred's a drummer (among other things), so maybe he'll play along too.
Eleanor just wrapped up recording her new solo album for Merge which she recorded at DFA studios. Maybe you heard her preview new material at the Merge CMJ showcase last month? While you wait for that to come out, Eleanor appears on the new Christmas album Holidays Rule where she contributes a cover of Elvis' "Santa Please Bring My Baby (Back to Me)." Other artists on the compilation include Tame Impala, The Shins, Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright with Sharon Van Etten, Paul McCartney and more. You can stream the whole thing via Rdio below.
Meanwhile, Eleanor's brother (and Fiery Furnaces bandmate) Matthew Friedberger is currently on tour with The Sea & Cake which stops in spookily-lit Marfa, TX tonight. All tour dates are listed below.
When not promo-ing his new book (you preview it here and watch the video trailer for it below), Fred Armisen is staying busy on SNL where he recently played Mayor Bloomberg giving one of his post-Sandy NYC addresses, shoutout to "Homeland" included, below...
photos by David Andrako
Father John Misty / Andrew WK & Matt Sweeney
Petty Fest returned to NYC last night (10/24) at Webster Hall for a night of Tom Petty covers with a huge lineup of contributors backed by The Cabin Down Below Band. Cyndi Lauper, Fred Armisen, John McEnroe and Alia Shawkat were surprise guests. Nicole Atkins, Nick Zinner, and Josh Lattanzi teamed up for "Mary Jane's Last Dance," Father John Misty (who also played his second of two sold out shows in NYC last night and will be back at Webster Hall in January) did "Learning To Fly" and "I Won't Back Down," Har Mar Superstar did "Don't Do Me Like That," Andrew WK & Matt Sweeney did "Listen To Her Heart," Albert Hammond Jr. did "I Need To Know" (Fab played the show too), Caveman (who just played our day party and team up with Albert for a show again this Friday) did "Don't Come Around Here," plus a whole lot more.
More pictures from the Jameson-sponsored benefit show (all money went to Sweet Relief), and the setlist, below...