Entries tagged with: Girls
photos by Vincent Cornelli, words by Andrew Frisicano
"Smith westerns just pissed all over our backstage floor." - Girls
The second NYC-area stop on the Girls/Real Estate tour, after the Nov. 2nd kick off at Maxwell's, happened Friday, November 6th at Bowery Ballroom. Girls frontman Christopher Owens and bassist/album producer JR White took to the Bowery Ballroom stage with their new guitarist and drummer (after their former axeman quit during their recent European tour) for Girls' biggest NYC show so far. The show was sold out.
And so what began as a coronation became an exercise in the lowering of expectations, in a performance that was, for the most part, frustratingly inert. Mr. Owens, his hair matted with sweat or some other adhesive, meandered through most of "Album," along with some new songs and a blissful cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End." He sings in a mottled, nasal quaver that demands a sort of reverence to ingest fully, but the quiet in the room wasn't of the good kind. Regardless, Mr. Owens, Mr. White and the two members of the touring band, Ryan Lynch on guitar and Garrett Godard on drums, plowed on with the ease of a campfire singalong. (Mr. Godard sang harmony on many songs, a welcome jolt of energy.) [NY Times]The Smith Westerns were reportedly in the house. The Girls/RE tour continues to wind back to California. More pictures and a video of Girls single "Lust for Life" from the gig, below...
After months of speculation (much of it in our own corridors), we can happily announce that Matador Records has purchased the True Panther Sounds label. TPS, best known to many of you as the imprint behind Girls' recent rise to prominence, will continue to be managed by label founder Dean Bein. What would possess Matador to become involved with another label in this capacity? As Victor Kiam once explained his decision to purchase the Remington Shaver operation, "I liked it so much, I bought the company." Needless to say, we like Dean, Girls, Glasser, Tanlines, Lemonade and Hunx & His Punx much more than than Mr. Kiam appreciated those razor blades.Girls, who Amazon says put out the 6th best album of 2009, are on tour with Real Estate. They play a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom in NYC tonight (11/6).
At the moment, Girls' 'Album' is the only True Panther Sounds title to be worked through Matador's fearsome promotional & marketing machinery (ie. Hunx' recent 'Gay Singles' LP, was not). However, in the months to come, additional offerings from TPS' impressive roster (prior releases have included titles from The Fly Girlz, Ty Segall, Rainbow Bridge, The Standing Nudes amongst others) will receive similar treatment. Stay tuned! [Matador]
Girls were not here for CMJ when Matador and True Panther teamed up for a showcase at The Suffolk.
Tanlines' last NYC show was at the Guggenheim with Yeasayer.
By Andrew Frisicano
Real Estate's 1st national tour starts [11/2] at Maxwell's with GIRLS. It's in NJ... HOW FITTING. -realyrealestate twitter
Real Estate @ Glasslands, Oct. 22nd, 2009
"Very rarely does one see a show where all the bands are equally satisfying. Last night at Maxwell's was one of those times. The double whammy of a bill featured two sides of the same coin: Real Estate, the New Jersey rockers who focus on solos and long, textured rhythmic build ups, and Girls, the San Francisco band focused on the major-swoon inducing Christopher Owens and his superb heartbreak act. By the end of the show I didn't know whether to jump up and down with enthusiasm or run home and cry.The full dates of their trip, which includes another NYC-area Girls show on Friday, November 6th at Bowery Ballroom, are posted below.
I've seen Real Estate before and each time I do I like them more and more. It's just that kind of band that gets into your head and grows, filling up all the space between synapses, like a re-uptake inhibitor drug. The band is really all about jams- of course there are lyrics and melody but the power in Real Estate lies in their guitar solos and Alex Bleeker's interesting and almost guitar-like bass playing.
Matt Mondanile and Martin Courtney trade back and forth, when one solos the other builds the song- it happens slowly and deliberately. It's easy to get lost in the hazy chord progressions... and that's a good thing." [MME]
The band's self-titled debut record is officially out November 17th on Woodsist, but it has been available at shows throughout CMJ. During CMJ week, the band hit a number of showcases, official and unofficial. Those included the Pitchfork/Showpaper show at Market Hotel on Oct. 24 and the Death+Taxes show with Japandroids at Glasslands on Oct. 22. Pictures from that Glasslands show are posted below.
Between shows, they also found time to record an acoustic "Hotbox" session at The Levi's/FADER Fort, which is also posted below...
DOWNLOAD: Girls - Lust for Life (MP3)
Happy Monday. I'm still wiped out from this past post-CMJ Halloween World Series weekend, but three notable indie rock tours hit town tonight (11/2) (the night the Yankees might win it all in Philadelphia). Luckily all three tours include at least two NYC-area chances to to see the bands, though some will be harder to get tickets for than others.
First up is Girls.
Owens and White first united as roommates in San Francisco, but their lives couldn't have started out more differently. While White was playing in punk bands in his parents' Santa Cruz garage and going to recording school, Owens was growing up as part of the Slovenian sect of the Children of God cult, where secular music was forbidden unless one of the cult's adults decided to indulge the younger members' desire to learn the occasional Beatles or 1960s folk tune. [SFBG]Touring behind their great new True Panther/Matador "album", Girls are now in demand. They probably could have added a 2nd NYC show to their itinerary, but instead they kept it modest. They'll play a single show at Maxwell's in Hoboken (tonight), and then one at Bowery Ballroom (11/6), both of which are with Real Estate and completely sold out.
For those counting, Pitchfork recently gave the Girls album a 9.1. Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors are the only two albums that got higher ratings from the website this year, and only three other "Best New" albums got as high as a 9.0 in 2009. Those are Grizzly Bear, the Flaming Lips, and the new... Fuck Buttons.
Fuck Buttons' "Tarot Sport" was released on October 20th via ATP Recordings. The band kicked off their tour in support of it last night (11/1) in Northampton, MA. Tonight, 11/2, the show is at Bowery Ballroom.
I think they're also back on November 27th to play Market Hotel though that show has disappeared from existence... maybe just temporarily because tickets are still available for tonight's Bowery show. Growing play on all dates, and These are Powers also open tonight. Updated dates below.
These Are Powers also play Glasslands with Soft Circle and three bands from China on November 6th (more about that later), and a Cinema 16 show at Galapagos on November 21st ("we will be performing a live, original score for PSAs from the 50s and 60s").
Finally, speaking of cinema, UK band Noah and the Whale screened a movie upstairs at Pianos last night. Today (11/2), they kick off a three night run at Mercury Lounge. Robert Francis opens all three shows, and each night has a different first-of-three opener. Tonight it's Alex and Janel. Tuesday is Essie Jain. Wednesday is Sharon Van Etten. Tickets are still available for all three shows. Video from a recent BBC Radio 1 live session, below...
DOWNLOAD: Real Estate - Beach Comber (MP3)
Real Estate @ Brooklyn Bowl in August (more by Oren Loloi)
Real Estate have only been around short time, but it seems like hardly a week goes by without a show from the band or one of its member's solo projects (Ducktails, Predator Vision, etc.). They'll finally get around to releasing their debut LP, a self-titled record, on November 17th on the Woodsist label. The first track from that is posted above and two other "album versions" are up on their Myspace.
Real Estate play a tour send-off/Showpaper benefit on October 14th at Monster Island Basement with Big Troubles and Honeydos. The tour in question is a short jaunt down South, before they return for a slew of CMJ-related shows. The first of those happen October 21st at Pianos and Santos (the later of which is an Oh My Rockness party with The Drums and others). Their other CMJ gigs include an Underwater Peoples showcase at The Delancey, a Death & Taxes show at Glasslands on October 22nd with Japandroids (one of many CMJ gigs for that band) and a Mexican Summer/Kemado Showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 24th. Joining them at MHOW will be Farmer Dave Scher (his first in NYC since opening for Jenny Lewis in June), Young Prisms, The Smith Westerns who have other CMJ shows TBA), and The Amazing, a Swedish group with members of the Kemado-signed Dungen, Anna Jarvinen and Sagor & Swing (streaming tracks at their MySpace). Tickets for that Music Hall show are on sale.
One artist who's not playing that show or any CMJ shows at all is Washed Out (Georgia's Ernest Greene). He'll play just one NYC show (his second live show ever) one day before CMJ at Santos Party House on October 19th with Restless People. Tickets are on sale. I tried to get him to open the BrooklynVegan CMJ show at Music Hall on October 20th (one day later), but he said he can't even stay in town that long due to personal commitments back home.
Rising, Breaking, Band to Watch vs Bear, Washed Out (the next Neon Indian even), though fairly new to the scene, already appears on a free Outfitters compilation that also includes tracks by Girls, Vivian Girls, A Place to Bury Strangers, No Age, Le Loup, Rain Machine, The xx, The Very Best, Kurt Vile and The Dodos (who have two NYC shows this week). Washed Out's "Life of Leisure" 12" is out on Mexican Summer now.
One day after CMJ (10/25), Real Estate play a 1:00PM NYC show just for kids (Kidrockers) at The Living Room with... Neon Indian. Tickets are on sale ("Adults must be accompanied by a kid and vice versa").
Real Estate will follow up their CMJ with a November tour with Girls. That hits Maxwell's on November 2nd and Bowery Ballroom on November 6th. Real Estate album, tour dates and flyers below...
Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Do Make Say Think / Happiness Project shows coming up at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg.
DOWNLOAD: Girls - Lust for Life (MP3)
Girls @ Cake Shop in June (more by Tim Griffin)
San Francisco's Girls (a band that's been discussed here quite a bit over the past couple months) have nearly three months of touring lined up in support of their album, Album, which comes out September 22nd on True Panther Sounds. True Panther is the home of Lemonade and Hunx and His Punx, and well as "a new label working within the Matador family". The first song off that record is posted above, and the whole thing is currently streaming at the label's website.
The band gets back from a Europe tour at end of October, and with only a little more than a week off, sets out across North America. The first date of that leg will be a November 2nd show at Maxwell's. Tickets are on sale.
A few days later, the band plays a November 6th show at the Bowery Ballroom. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday, Sept. 16th at noon. General sale starts on Friday at the same time.
Album artwork, tracklist, the "Lust for Life" video, and all tour dates are below...
by Bill Pearis
The Smith Westerns
Last night (8/3) I went to the semi-secret Los Campesinos!/Girls show at Union Pool and both bands were great. This was a warm-up gig for their North American tour ("Welcome to our rehearsal," joked lead singer Gareth), which officially launches tonight at Webster Hall. (Tickets are still available.) As mentioned previously this will be the last Los Campesinos tour to feature singer/keyboardist Aleks, though they made no mention of that last night -- It was all smiles and glockenspiels and shouted choruses. Losing Aleks is definitely going to change the band dynamic, so do go see them on this go-round if you can.
And get there early for the openers, too. Last night was the third time I've seen Girls in the last two months and my only complaint was their set was too short. I wrote this when they played Mercury Lounge back in June:
Sometime in the last twelve months, Girls got good. They were good last July when I saw them at both Market Hotel and Glasslands, but but there was a ramshackle vibe that felt like they weren't sure whether they were really ready to leave the bedroom. But at Mercury lounge they are really good. Like "Whoa what happened" good. Credit new drummer (all loosey-goosey Keith Moon fills) and a nimble-fingered lead guitarist for the transformation. Christopher Owens and Chet White have always had the songs, mind you. In a lot of ways Girls are the ultimate San Francisco band: the laid-back vibe, the folky jammy-ness that has always been present there, as well as the neo-psych scene that has popped up over the last ten years. But Girls are working on a whole other plain of dreamy, hazy beauty and noise.Opening the show are Chicago's Smith Westerns who are all still teenagers but have just put out a promising debut album on the HoZac label and also served time as Nobunny's backing band. While basically making the kind of adenoidal low-fi indie that's popular your DIY clubs around the nation, Smith Westerns add a big dollup of '70s glam to their sound which definitely differentiates them from the pack. That and some pretty strong songwriting. Pitchfork interviewed them recently:
Pitchfork: You're all under 21 Does that make playing shows in clubs tough?If you can't make any of their dates with Los Campesinos and Girls, Smith Westerns will be back on a tour of their own in about a month. Full tour dates are at the bottom of the post.
Cullen Omori: Yes and no. You can't really go to a show and expect that you're going to be able to drink there. They're really strict about it. We have no problem getting shows, but it just sucks because you just sit around without being able to drink.
Pitchfork: When you're as young as you guys are, how do you learn about garage rock?
CO: We got Nuggets from one of my parents' old friends. We were making music, and it was just awful punk music. And he's like, "Well, you know, it sounds like this. So here, listen to this." And so he gave us Nuggets and Back From the Grave stuff. And that's how we went about making it. It was just, like, straight that. And then we started listening more to David Bowie and Marc Bolan, T. Rex kinda things. [Pitchfork]
Portugal. The Man
Also in town this week are Portland-via-Alaska quartet Portugal. The Man who have an annoying period in the middle of their name and are a little more hippie-friendly than most of the stuff I write about in this column. But I do like their new album, The Satanic Satanist, which focuses more on solid pop songs than psychedelic freakouts. I would call them more groovy than soulful, but it works, and there more memorable songs on the album than you usually get theses days. Tomorrow's show (8/5) at Mercury Lounge is sold out but they play tonight at Union Pool (8/4) and there should still be tickets at the door. If you miss both of those, they will be back in October with a show at Maxwell's (10/16, tickets) and one at Bowery Ballroom (10/23, CMJ). All dates below.
This column to be continued with more going on this week. Tour dates from the above-mentioned bands, below...
Girls @ Cake Shop in NYC (more by Tim Griffin)
Girls and Los Campesinos! are kicking off a tour together at Webster Hall in NYC on Tuesday (8/4, tickets), but first you can catch them at secret-ish show at Union Pool in Brooklyn TONIGHT (8/3). $10 tickets at the door only, 8pm doors, 8:30 show.
photos by Tim Griffin
Ty Segall is one of many great garage rock acts coming out of San Francisco these days. He recently swung into NYC for a set of dates at the end of June. The pictures here are from his June 27th gig at the Cake Shop w/ Charlie and the Moonhearts and Girls (who also played Mercury Lounge on that trip).
Ty's new, second record, Lemons was released this week on Goner Records. You can peep "It #1" off that, and one track from his debut, above.
Ty's future plans include playing the West Coast portion of Shonen Knife's North American tour in October and November. All tour dates, album art, track list, and pictures from Cake Shop are below...
photos by Fresh Bread
"Sometime in the last twelve months, Girls got good. They were good last July when I saw them at both Market Hotel and Glasslands, but but there was a ramshackle vibe that felt like they weren't sure whether they were really ready to leave the bedroom. But at Mercury lounge they are really good. Like "Whoa what happened" good. Credit new drummer (all loosey-goosey Keith Moon fills) and a nimble-fingered lead guitarist for the transformation. Christopher Owens and Chet White have always had the songs, mind you. In a lot of ways Girls are the ultimate San Francisco band: the laid-back vibe, the folky jammy-ness that has always been present there, as well as the neo-psych scene that has popped up over the last ten years. But it's totally different than the garage scene of Thee Oh Sees or Ty Segall (with whom they played at Cake Shop on Saturday). Girls are working on a whole other plain of dreamy, hazy beauty and noise." [Bill Pearis]Girls played three shows while they were in town - Mercury Lounge, Cake Shop, and Monster Island. More pictures from Mercury Lounge, including one of the setlist, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - It #1 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - The Drag (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Charlie & the Moonhearts - Cagemouth (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Most Serene Republic - Heavens to Purgatory (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Your Nature - Triangle Eyes (M4A)
This week it's all about San Francisco, as far as this column is concerned. (Actually, next week will also be all about San Francisco, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Especially, I've already digressed into a long parenthetical statement after only one sentence.) As mentioned previously, garage rock wunderkind Ty Segall will be in town this weekend and I really hope you go see him. His new album, Lemons, is just fantastic, much better than I was honestly expecting and I like his debut. It's thick and sweaty sounding, perfect for the hot and humid nights that are just around the corner. And while the sonics are not so difficult to master (reverb, in-the-red levels), it's the songs that has kept Lemons on repeat lately. The album's not out till July 14, but he'll have copies for sale at the shows: Saturday (6/27) at Cake Shop and Sunday (6/28) at Death by Audio.
Girls with girls
Saturday's Ty Segall show at Cake Shop is the don't miss show of the week, however, as San Francisco's hazy, folky, occasionally very very loud Girls are also on the bill. It's been almost a year since they last played in town. I saw them twice then -- at Market Hotel and Glasslands -- and they had people going crazy then (as you can kind of see in murky video I shot, which is at the bottom of this post) with only one single out. A year later, they still haven't released much else but that will change soon -- their debut album is due out on True Panther Sounds on September 22. You can still download two tracks from RCRD LBL, including the awesome, epic "Hellhole Ratrace" which will be released as a 10" single (it's nearly seven minutes long) prior to the album's release. The just-released video for the song is at the bottom of this post.
Actually, all three shows Girls are playing this weekend are worth seeing. Tonight (6/25) is the first, at Mercury Lounge where they share the stage with St. Louis' Radical Sons, Philadelphia DFA signees Free Energy (who are kind of like the Strokes covering Journey, which is better than that may seem), and Texans The Paper Chase whose new album, Someday This Could All Be Yours, just came out on Kill Rock Stars.
Friday night (6/26), Girls play Monster Island Basement with Real Estate (kind of a perfect match), Kurt Vile & the Violators (now on Matador) and Beach Fossils. (Both Real Estate and Beach Fossils also play the Woodsist/Captured Tracks Festival next week.)
If you miss Girls this time around, they'll be back in August with Los Campesinos!
Other worthy show choices for you: Tonight is also the latest Adult Swim Presents' Summer Series at Santos Party House. I feel confident in saying that, apart from maybe a festival somewhere down the line, this may be your only chance to ever see Cheeseburger and A.C. Newman on the same bill. Mr. Newman, if by chance you're reading this -- wear old shoes. The stage will be an inch-thick in beer after the mayhem that is a typical Cheeseburger set. There's also the garage rock sounds of Atlanta's Woggles, and burlesque fun with the Pontani Sisters. The evening is hosted by "Jon" from Adult Swim's very funny Witness Protection Program reality show Delocated. As I said, it's free so get there early if you want to get in. Doors are at 7PM, 18+.
Following the Adult Swim mayhem, they're gonna mop the stage (well, they should) and get ready for the second show of the evening: The Phenomenal Handclap Band, who've been gigging a lot lately, which isn't surprising as their debut album just came out this week on Friendly Fire. If you haven't seen them yet, you should definitely make a point to do so -- they are quite the '70s disco/rock explosion. If you RSVP, admission is free for the first 100 through the door -- after that it's only five bucks. If you don't RSVP, you're dumb, and it's $10. Doors are at 10PM, and this one's 21 and over. We've also got a couple pair of tickets to give away.
The Most Serene Republic
Also tonight (6/25): Canada's Most Serene Republic are in the midst of a short East Coast tour, revving up interest in their new album, ...And the Ever-Expanding Universe, which is out July 14. While I often find their music a bit too complicated for its own good, I have always found them fascinating live, that they can actually pull off those complex arrangements. I haven't heard the new album, but "Heavens to Purgatory" which you can download at the top of this post, clocks in at a mere 2:34 and is pretty catchy. So maybe they've turned over a new, concise leaf. Most Serene Republic play tonight at Cake Shop with Your Nature who sound like a lot of things I liked in the '80s (U2, The Chameleons come to mind), and you can download thier song "Triangle Eyes" as well at the top of this post. MSR also play Union Hall on Saturday (6/27) with Pursesnatchers and Adam's Castle. In between (6/26), they fit in a Philadelphia show too. All tour dates at the bottom of the post.
Also also, a bunch of good show options on Friday: The Feelies play an special, acoustic show at the Whitney on Friday; Blonde Redhead and the Olof Arnalds play a free Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park; and I did a double take when I saw that '80s Australian noisemongers Lubricated Goat were playing Don Pedros. Was unware they were still together -- clearly I don't follow this site close enough.
The Legends are also here.
And finally, Steve Wynn and his current band, The Miracle Three, will perform The Dream Syndicate's classic 1984 album, Medicine Show, in full on Saturday (6/27) at the Bell House (tix) -- the first time the album has been played live start-to-finish by Wynn, ever. (They'll do it again in LA on July 9.) One of the originators of LA's '80s "Paisley Underground" scene, The Dream Syndicate were one of those bands that never quite managed to capture the magic of their live performance on a studio album -- but Medecine Show comes pretty close.
Videos, tour dates, and flyers after the jump...
Aleks Campesinos! (in the red dress) @ Coachella 2009 (more by Darren Kim)
I don't really know how to start this. I'm not sure I can really find the right words to express how I feel about leaving the band. Not in a vaguely coherent manner anyway so I'm sorry if this all comes across as either overly-sentimental or strangely detached.Aleks is leaving Los Campesinos!, but not before one more record and US tour. The tour in question kicks off August 4th in NYC with a show at Webster Hall, brings them to Chicago for Lollapalooza, and ends at the end of August with their appearance at San Diego's Street Scene Festival.
Making the decision to leave was very difficult and even though I'm excited about what the future has in store for both me and the rest of Los Camp! (once they unveil their bright spangly new line-up), I still get a lump in my throat every time I think about my time in the band coming to an end. Trust me, I'm gutted. The past 3 years have given me some of the best times of my life full of incredible experiences and wonderful people. I am really grateful to have been a part of the Los Campesinos! story. I'm going to miss so much about the whole thing and no doubt regret this move a thousand times over when I'm stuck in some dark corner of a library, while the band are busy playing to thousands in some paradise location...
On the other hand, I can't wait to attend my first Los Camp! gig and watch from the audience: I'll be like a proud parent. (Or a bitter heckler, we'll see how it goes) I know they can only get better. In any case, they better put me on the guest list.
And now our Wikipedia page will have a "Former Members" section: won't that look impressive...
That all seems massively inadequate.
To sum up:
Almost all dates are with San Francisco's Girls who will also be making a trip to NYC even earlier...
Friday June 26th @ MONSTER ISLAND BASEMENTGirls are also playing Mercury Lounge on June 25th with The Paper Chase, Free Energy, and Radical Sons. Tickets are on sale.
:: Real Estate
:::::: Beach Fossils
| MONSTER ISLAND BASEMENT |
128 River St @ Metropolitan Ave | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 8:30pm | all ages | $7
Tickets for the Webster Hall show are now on AmEx presale. All dates below...
The 2009 Capitol Hill Block Party takes over Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood July 24-25. The Block Party is an annual music festival that draws upon and showcases the best indie and underground rock in the US, with a special focus on its Northwest artists. Launched 12 years ago, the Block Party has evolved into Seattle's most anticipated outdoor party. With over 40 bands on 3 stages, great food, and plenty of cheap beer, this is by far the best party of the summer.Initial lineup (including Jesus Lizard) and more info below...
WHITE WILLIAMS - ViolatorThere is "a secret special guest" playing with Hearts of Darkness, Suckers and Girls @ The Delancey tonight (July 18). My guess is White Williams who probably can't play any NYC shows until his one at the Seaport with Dirty Projectors
Limited Edition , UK 7" Vinyl, In A Picture Sleeve.
B. Violator (Hearts Of Darkness Remix)
Tonight is the 2nd of four NYC shows Girls are playing this week.
Women @ Sled Island 2008 (more by Rae Holtsabum)
"Recorded by label-mate Chad VanGaalen and the band members, the 10 song (2 of them above), self-titled album by Women is an explosion out of the gates for this young band. Sometimes light and spacious, at other times eerie and dense with an ominous weight, this debut flirts with the noisy beauty of the Velvet Underground and effortlessly toys with the intricacy and playfulness of Deerhoof as crude percussion beats out a pulsing tattoo of clatter."* WomEn recently played Sled Island
* WomAn play Death By Audio tonight (July 17)
* Parenthetical Girls release Entanglements Sept 9 (MP3 above)
* Girls play Market Hotel tonight
* Girls play Glasslands w/ Crystal Stilts Saturday
* Vivian Girls are playing AAS w/ Sex Vid Friday
* Vivian Girls are going on tour w/ Crystal Stilts
* Crystal Stilts recently played Southpaw
* Crystal Antlers just played a bunch of NYC shows
* Crystal Skulls are now (some of) Fleet Foxes
* Crystal Castles recently played Studio B and Glastonbury
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Sic Alps - Bathman (MP3)
Sic Alps (BullyRook)
Another busy weekend, eh? The Village Voice Siren Festival, now in it's eighth year, is just one of those things you go to, despite massive crowds and the tendency for it to always fall on the hottest, most humid day of the Summer. (Saturday's high is predicted as 90°.) It's a good excuse to visit one of the last seedy places left in New York before it gets its makeover and, for me, a chance to ride the Cyclone and visit my favorite pizzeria in the five boroughs, Totonno's.
Despite falling on the same weekend as the Pitchfork fest in Chicago (and competition from River to River, Summerstage and JellyNYC's Pool Parties), the Siren organizers have put together a good lineup. Hard to really complain about a free show, especially one with Stephen Malkmus, Broken Social Scene, Islands and The Dodos. Also Film School who I don't think get enough credit as good as they are. I'm also curious to see new Matador signees Jaguar Love who I bet will be entertaining even though I find the singer's voice a bit hard to take.
This year's Siren Fest also features an Official Afterparty at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Apes and Androids, A Place to Bury Strangers and Marnie Stern which could upstage the Coney Island show, depending on how all-out A&A go. (And they tend to go all-out.) However, it's not your only good option in Williamsburg on Saturday night (July 19).
At Glasslands on Saturday, there's a pretty killer bill featuring The Crystal Stilts, San Francisco's Girls. I caught the Crystal Stilts at the Charleston last week, and they just get better (and further from the JAMC comparisons) every time. Definitely one of my favorite NYC bands of the moment and their full-length debut is due out later this year on Slumberland. Meanwhile, Girls are fairly new to me but the songs on RCRDLBL are really good fuzzy pop (I'm trying really hard not to use "shoegaze" so much anymore) and even better is the single "Morning Light" to which there's a good video found further down this post. This is the first time in NYC, and they'll be playing four shows total here, including the Stereogum/MyOpenBar show tonight (July 17) at Market Hotel with Quinn Walker and Imaad Waasif.
Also visiting this weekend from San Francisco (and also a two-piece) are Sic Alps whose fourth album, U.S. EZ, was just released this week. If you're unfamiliar with them, it's sort of '60s psychedelic rock/pop/folk with some '90s indie rock int there too. As much as I like the new album (check out "Bathman" at the top of this post), the best place to start is with A Long Way Around to a Shortcut, which collects a handful of singles and EPs the band have released over the last couple years. Sic Alps play Death by Audio on Saturday (7/19, with Cause Co-Motion and others) and Union Pool on Sunday (7/20). As DBA and Glasslands are literally right around the corner from each other, it might be possible to hit the key bands at both shows if set times allow.