Entries tagged with: Grant Hart
by Bill Pearis
Eighties midwest punk greats Hüsker Dü have launched an official website this week. It's a merch store but the "official" part has fueled all sorts of reunion gossip. The band's 1987 flame-out was particularly acrimonious with no love lost between Grant Hart and Bob Mould, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune talked to bassist Greg Norton (a chef these days) who said "There's ongoing communication between the three of us now." If J. Mascis and Lou Barlow can hug it out, anything's possible? (If still highly unlikely.) What this hopefully means, however, is a possibility of remastered/expanded editions of Hüsker Dü's SST output which is long overdue. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, watch a live video from 1985 below...
photo: Bob Mould & Ryan Adams in NYC in 2014 (more by PSquared)
Butch Walker, who toured with Ryan Adams last year, recently released his seventh album Afraid of Ghosts on Dangerbird, and video surfaced of Ryan joining him during the studio sessions. Also along for the ride was Johnny Depp, who Ryan brought on stage in London last year and Bob Mould, who brought Ryan on stage for Husker Du songs in NYC last year. Watch the video below.
In related news, Bob Mould's former Husker Du bandmate Grant Hart will return to NYC this week for a show at Cake Shop on Saturday (3/21). It's with Forever House, Tinmouth and Funcrusher. His only other date we're aware of is in Chicago in May.
Grant Hart's 2013 concept album The Argument (based on Paradise Lost) was one of his best-received albums of his post-Husker Du career. He isn't prone to touring these days, but still plays one-offs regularly, including NYC. His next visit to Manhattan will be on May 24 at Bowery Electric. Grooms and "special guests" are also on the bill and tickets are on sale now.
In other news, documentary Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart continues to screen at film festivals around the country. It plays tonight (4/25) at the Brattle Theatre in Boston as part of IFFBoston. Then next week it screens at the Buffalo/Niagra Film Festival, Buffalo, NY on April 29; and then on May 3 as part of the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival. If it's playing near you, check it out. Film trailer.
As you may know, Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü released his newest album, The Argument -- one of the most well-received albums of his post-Dü career -- earlier this year, and has been supporting it with some shows. He's currently on tour in Europe, and upon returning to the US, he'll play a few more dates here, including one in NYC on November 22 at Cake Shop (the same venue he played in September). Other acts and admission price are TBA. All dates are listed below.
While Grant will be in NYC, that same day he'll be one of the speakers at the Three Rooms Press-presented "JFK/NYC/OMG," an "examination of conspiracies on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy," which takes place at the Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street, between Bleecker and W. 4th) in the West Village at 6 PM. In addition to Grant, other speakers include X singer Exene Cervenka, PUNK Magazine co-founder and former Spin editor Legs McNeil, poet/novelist/publisher Charles Plymell, Allen Ginsberg archivist Peter Hale, and writer/actor Peter Carlaftes. Admission is $20 at the door, first come, first served. Flyer below and more info here.
In other Grant Hart news, the documentary on him, Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart, directed by Gorman Bechard (who did the Replacements doc, Color Me Obsessed), will get its Midwest premiere on November 13 at Sound Unseen. It screened in NYC during the 2013 CBGB Music & Film Festival.
Speaking of Legs McNeil, he's one of the many old CBGB regulars to have written a tribute for the late Lou Reed. Legs contributed a bit to John Holstrom's interview with Lou in the first issue of PUNK Magazine, which is excellent, hilarious, and off-kilter (you can read it in the new-ish book on the magazine), and his recently-penned tribute to Lou is most of things, but also very sentimental. In a piece titled What Lou Reed Was Really Like: Legs McNeil's Tribute to the Velvet Underground Legend for The Daily Beast, Legs writes:
Over the years, people asked me, "What's Lou Reed really like?"Read the rest here.
"An asshole," I'd tell them and see the disappointment in their faces, and wait until they were thoroughly bummed out, before adding, "But if I'd written just one of the hundreds of great fucking rock and roll songs that he has written, maybe I'd finally be a happy man. Can you imagine if you'd written 'Heroin' or 'Sweet Jane' or 'Rock & Roll' or 'New Age' or any of his songs? Jesus, the guy really is good, isn't he?"
Unfortunately, I came to learn that Lou's "grumpy old man routine," at least in his younger days, was an act. I think Lou did it to keep out the noise. I know a select few people who were truly friendly with Lou and enjoyed the charming, funny, smart version of him, when he allowed himself to be human. How tedious. I prefer my version--the ultra-bored, quick-witted, cheap, miserable, malcontent man who never experienced a moment of joy in his life. It went with his songs.
Of course, thanks to Laurie Anderson, we know this is not true. Lou actually seemed to be silly in love with her, as so many gossipers and bloggers have detailed their stupid, tender moments. Makes you wanna barf. But Lou was human after all--and at least he tried to keep these snapshots to himself. And believe it or not, I think Lou died happy. Don't quote me on that, but I think he fooled us all.
All Grant Hart dates are listed, along with a stream of his LP, the trailer for his documentary, and the "JFK/NYC/OMG" flyer, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Bob Mould might be the more famous member of Hüsker Dü, but Grant Hart is an active solo artist too, and he just returned last month with his new album, The Argument, which has been getting some of the best reviews of his post-Dü career. Despite sharing a name with the final Fugazi album, he's got a lot more in common with David Bowie on this release. He's got a similar level of ambition (it's a conceptual double album based on Milton's Paradise Lost), and sometimes he even sings a bit like him too. You can stream the whole thing (via The Guardian) below.
Grant has one upcoming show scheduled at the moment, and it happens in NYC on September 13 at Cake Shop (not 9/12, as it's been listed in certain places), where he also played last year.
Album stream below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by BBG
Freshkills @ Hotel Vegan
Grant Hart played SXSW and has other upcoming shows scheduled including one in Philadelphia this Tuesday, one at Cake Shop on April 6th, and one in Brooklyn at Union Pool on April 7th alongside NYC's own post-punk crew Freshkills. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale. All dates are listed below.
Freshkills, who played a record release show at Pianos earlier this month, is also coming off of a tour down to SXSW, where they played the BBG stage on Wed (3/14) at Hotel Vegan. Some pictures from their set are in this post.
Grant Hart will (hopefully) be the subject of an upcoming documentary...
With Grant Hart as the only interview subject, EVERY EVERYTHING will tell the story of his life, from his beginnings, through his days in Hüsker Dü, and up to the present. In this feature-length documentary you'll learn his influences, his obsessions, his loves, his passions, his art, his music, and everything in between, leaving no stone unturned. For the first time ever, you'll hear everything about Grant Hart as told by Grant Hart -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Think of it as a rock 'n' roll FOG OF WAR!The documentary is currently seeking funding via Kickstarter - contribute if you can. Video for the Kickstarter, other dates & the Freshkills pics, below....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Braids - Lemonade (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: No Joy - No Joy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Psychobuildings - Birds of Prey (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: North Highlands - Sugar Lips (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Besnard Lakes - Albatross (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Land of Talk - May You Never (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cheap Time - Woodland Drive (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bad Sports -On Video (MP3)
Owen Pallett playing w/ the Luyas @ Webster Hall (more by Sarahana)
It's Memorial Day Weekend which used to mean, if you stayed in town, there was nothing to do except go see whatever piece of crap Hollywood was foisting upon us, hang out at backyard BBQs (not a bad thing at all), and enjoy a relatively emptied-out city. Not so much anymore. I mean, there's still Hollywood crap -- take your pick of sand-n-sandals epics SATC2 or Prince of Persia if you must -- but people stick around more, and there's clearly more options for the music fan. Lots of good stuff this weekend, most of which you can still get tickets.
Also: lots of Montreal action this weekend. Starting tonight (5/27) with an early show at Mercury Lounge with The Luyas and Braids. If you check in with BV fairly often you already know we're pretty big fans of the former. It took them a while to finally come play NYC but now that they have, they seem to be coming back weekly. It's not the most straightforward music, but there's a magical quality about The Luyas that worms its way under your skin.
Braids are doing a similar thing but with a different sonic palette, more electronic, more trancey. As I wrote before, I was impressed when I saw them on Tuesday at Knitting Factory. I wish they spent as much time on the songs as the soundscape-ish arrangements, but there's a lot of promise in their best songs (like "Lemonade" which you can download above) and they're definitely worth checking out. Like I said, it's an early show -- Luyas open at 7:30 -- which leaves most of your evening open. If you can't make it tonight, Braids also play Rooftop Films tomorrow, where they're paired with a collection of "Dark Toons," which sounds like a good match to me.
If you wanted to keep the MTL thing going after the early Luyas/Braids, you could then head over to Cameo Gallery to see No Joy who split their time between that city and Los Angeles. I don't know a whole lot about these two girls but I really dig the two songs that have been floating around which were produced by Think About Life/Miracle Fortress whiz kid Graham Van Pelt. I've seen some people call their sound shoegaze, but it's more in that Dinosaur Jr. kind of way than a Ride/Slowdive kind of way. Thick, sludgy and rockin'. Look out for an EP on Mexican Summer sometime soon. They played last night at Shea Stadium and apparently blew everyone's eardrums out. You are warned.
Also on this eclectic bill: the paranoid postpunk/electropop of Psychobuildings (check out "Birds of Prey" at the top of this post) who kind of remind me of The Pop Group; The Surprisers (another band featuring German Measles/Cause Co-motion/etc etc dudes); and the gentle orch-pop of North Highlands who I've written about before a few times.
And am writing about again right here. Shameless plug time. As you may have seen, I'm working with the Seaport Music folks to put on a series of lunchtime shows every Wednesday in June down at Pier 17 (the Seaport Stage). The shows are in conjunction with the Fulton Stall Markets, a farmers market in the old Fulton Fish Market stalls across the street from the Seaport. The market opens on Sunday and we're doing a kickoff show with North Highlands. I DJ at noon and then the band is on at 1PM. I'm super happy to have North Highlands play the first show, they were the first band I thought of for this, and think they're easily one of the most promising new bands in NYC. Anyway, come down if you can. The rest of the Sound Bites Lunchtime Series schedule (including The Beets, Ribbons and more) can be found here.
Besnard Lakes @ SXSW (more by Tim Griffin)
Okay, back to Montreal. Friday night (5/28) The Besnard Lakes are playing Bowery Ballroom with Land of Talk. People overuse the word "epic" but the Besnard Lakes make music that deserves that description. And epic doesn't necessarily mean "overblown." Take, for example, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent" which opens their new album Are the Roaring Night. It's an amazing slow build that explodes (in slo-mo, yet not in a Michael Bay way) in the chorus with a giant wave of guitars. One of my favorite songs of the year, and it crushed at the Brooklyn Vegan day party during this year's SXSW. I've never seen a bad Besnard Lakes show. I highly, highly recommend you go.
Openers Land of Talk are no slouches in the live department either. The band's second album, Cloak and Cipher, is due out August 24 on Saddle Creek, and we should get a nice preview of it tomorrow night.
A few more weekend picks, day by day (and tour dates below):
Shearwater @ Sasquatch 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
today in NYC
* Kraut @ Cake Shop
* Mr. Gnome @ Union Pool
* Bitch @ Knitting Factory
* Norah Jones @ The Theater @ MSG
* Miike Snow, Delorean @ Webster Hall
* Nada Surf @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Beaches, Flight, Total Slacker @ Death By Audio
* Love is All, Crystal Stilts, Beachniks @ Maxwell's
* Lymbyc System, Slow Six, Glass Ghost @ Glasslands
* Hawk and Dove, Pearl & The Beard @ The Bell House
* Basia Bulat, Sam Izdat @ Mercury Lounge (Early Show)
* Little Dragon, VV Brown @ Mercury Lounge (Late Show)
* Shearwater, Wye Oak, Hospital Ships @ Bowery Ballroom
* Mike Doughty & Christina Courtin @ (le) Poisson Rouge
* The Grates, Savoir Adore, Dappled Cities @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Extra Life, Zs, Skeletons, Nine 11 Thesaurus @ Silent Barn
* The Pack A.D., Cherie Lily, Zuzuka Ponderosa @ Santos Party House
* Erykah Badu, Spank Rock, MNDR, The Tony Castles @ Good Units
* Keren Ann, Joseph Arthur, Chris Garnaeu, Elysian Fields, Dayna Kurtz (Haiti benefit) @ City Winery
Tonight's Grant Hart / The Octagon show has been postponed to May 28th.
Though they still haven't made an official announcement, Nebula's break up is further confirmed by the cancellation of tonight's show at Pianos. Quest For Fire and Dangeroo won't be there either.
Delorean played two shows last night. First Music Hall of Williamsburg and then Coco66. Tonight they do it at Webster Hall (with Miike Snow).
Pere Ubu is at LPR Sunday.
A whole bunch of tickets recently went on sale.
Jamie Lidell's new video for "The Ring" below...
by Bill Pearis
The Yummy Fur
There's a lot of great shows this weekend, but top of the list for me is Scottish cult indie rockers The Yummy Fur who have reformed to play a few shows surrounding a new best-of compilation, titled Piggy Wings, due out sometime soon on What's Your Rupture. They play
171 Lombardy Market Hotel Friday night. More influential than popular, The Yummy Fur started their life making scratchy, scrappy indiepop a la early Fall but got more glammy and synthy as they went on. Frontman John McKeown took the glam part further with his current band, 1990s. And former members Paul Thompson (who'll be part of tomorrow's show) and Alex Kapranos (who probably won't) have done okay for themselves since in Franz Ferdinand.
You can download one of my favorite Yummy Fur songs -- the 1999 single "Police Man" -- at the top of this post. This is the first, and likely last, time they've ever played the States, so miss this gig at your peril. What to expect? McKeown tells the NY Press:
Nothing. I'm never even really sure there will be people there, but I'm happy to play for whoever shows up. It's not like the band is our life anymore, so it doesn't mean anything to us except that we have affection for it. We do take it seriously, we play the gig straight, but we want to have fun. When 1990s plays the States and same with Franz Ferdinand, there are always people who come out and say they loved The Yummy Fur but we never made it over. This is their one chance.Also playing the 171 Lombardy show are Bishop Allen, German Measles and Mcdonalds. There's some YouTube video of Yummy Fur's first reunion show in Glasgow at the bottom of this post, as well as all other U.S. Yummy Fur dates.
Grant Hart is back in town for two shows -- tonight (1/14) at Cake Shop and Friday at Knitting Factory. For a man whose previous band put out eight albums in six years (two of which were double LPs), Hart has slowed down a lot since -- Hot Wax is Grant's first album in ten years, and only his fourth since Husker Du split. He talked about his current Quality Over Quantity policy with the The AV Club.
AVC: Why the 10-year hiatus between Good News For Modern Man and Hot Wax?Tonight's Cake Shop show is good all around, with Drink Up Buttercup and Sisters opening. Tomorrow's Knitting Factory show, Grant is actually opening for Gary Lucas' Gods & Monsters. And you can also catch up with the other half of Husker Du's songwriting force -- Bob Mould, when he plays City Winery next week.
GH: I've delved into a lot of non-musical projects. Learning new things and accomplishing things with my hands that I put aside as an adult to devote all my time to music. As I've gotten older, I've been concentrating on quality and no filler, and spending more time constructing all of the parts of music, rather than going into the studio with one or two parts and then letting the rest work itself out. The first song, "You're The Reflection Of The Moon On The Water," I took a year to come up with what I thought was an appropriate third verse. That's a long time to hold back on a song that you're excited about in order to make it more of a fulfilling experience. Would I have taken that opportunity in 1985? Hell no.
More things to do this weekend:
Tonight (Thursday, 1/14)
Les Savvy Fav's Tim Harrington hosts a night of comedy and music at The Bell House, featuring charming Malaysian singer-songwriter Zee Avi, and one of my favorite comedians of the moment, Kumail Nanjiani. Plus Stardweller, Rory Scovel, Kevin Barker and screenings of Harrington's Beardo shorts. Plus other shenanigans.
Another chance to see Hot Rats, Danny and Gaz of Supergrass in cover band mode at Bowery Ballroom. Their take on The Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right" is pretty great. I'm told Tuesday's show at MHoW was a blast. The Heavy open (and then play 92YTribeca on Saturday).
At Silent Barn is a night of hazy indiepop, headlined by fine new local band Big Troubles whose debut 7" just came out and is well worth picking up. You can download "Freudian Slips" from it at the top of this post. I doubt they've ever heard '90s shoegazers The Boo Radleys, but "Freudian Slips" bears more than a little resemblance to the Boos' single "Lazy Day," dontcha think? Also playing: next generation twee poppers Dream Diary, the experimental noise of Blissed Out and dreamy New Haven band Procedure Club.
Real Estate @ Brooklyn Bowl - 1/5 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Not tired from playing every day last week, Real Estate headline a killer Less Artists More Condos show at new venue St James Church. There's open bar from 8 - 9, which is my kind of religion. Real Estate just put out a new EP on Mexican Summer which is, I think, the band's 78th release in just under a year. Also playing are The Tony Castles, The Beets, and two of my favorite new(ish) local bands: Beach Fossils and Total Slacker. You can download Total Slacker's five-song demo (via a Mediafire link) at the top of this post.
The Bell House has a fun show of new sound for now: Brooklyn chamber pop band Miracles of Modern Science (download their EP for free here), the raucous pop of Philadelphia's Drink Up Buttercup, Ravens & Chimes' folk pop and Milagres (maybe you remember them when they were called The Secret Life of Sophia).
Joe Pernice plays a solo show at Mercury Lounge where he'll likely talk as much as he will sing, which is fine -- he's a great banterer. A pretty good writer too, as read in his first novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop which he'll read from I'm told. Joe just finished his next album, which is apparently not a Pernice Brothers or Chappaquiddick Skyline or solo record. I hope he hasn't gone synthpop. Something entirely new for 2010 sounds good.
The Cribs @ Bowery Ballroom in 2008 (more by Vincent Cornelli)
If you can't make the St. James Church show on Friday, you can catch Beach Fossils again on Saturday night where they're playing a show at Monster Island put on by blog Chocolate Bobka. This looks to be a good show, as it also boasts Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Cleveland's Cloud Nothings and the druggy sounds of New Hope, Pennsylvania's Nude Beach. It's where I'll be Saturday night.
The Cribs (still with Johnny Marr) are at Irving Plaza where they'll play with our (well someone's) generation's Jim Morrison, the always entertaining Adam Green. "What Makes Him Act So Bad," the first MP3 off of Adam's upcoming album, Minor Love (out 2/16 on Fat Possum), is at the top of this post. The Cribs were just great when they played Bowery Ballroom in November.
Videos, flyers and tour dates follow...
Blurt: Do you ever feel like your contributions to Husker Du are overlooked?tonight in NYC
Grant Hart: This isn't thrown out as a condemnation of Bob, but I think that my fans know my material better than a lot of Bob's fans know his material. The reason I say that is every time I've gone to see a Bob Mould concert, someone has yelled out the name of one of my songs. When I'm out touring, I maybe hear that one out of five concerts.
The last couple of years of Husker Du proved this, but the larger your audience is the more dumb elements it's going to encompass. Bob's fans who never heard Husker Du, but heard Sugar first have more of a "Grant sucks" kind of attitude. I think with the popularity of Copper Blue, Bob ended up with a bunch of cowboys for listeners. If Bob and I were as competitive as our fans are, we would have never gotten past Land Speed Record.
* Peasant @ the Living Room
* Marit Bergman @ Sycamore
* Ronnie Spector @ BB King's
* Blip Festival @ The Bell House
* Garage A Trois @ Bowery Ballroom
* Aaron Neville @ Highline Ballroom
* Weston, Morning, The Fiendz @ Maxwell's
* Phantogram, Class Actress @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Lovepump Records (DJ) @ Insound Design Store
* Contact! w/ NY Phil @ Metropolitan Museum of Art
* Matisyahu, Travis McCoy @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Babies, Men and Women, Gary War, Coasting @ Ash's Place
* Grant Hart, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers @ 92YTribeca
* World Atlas, Zoos of Berlin, Leisurely, Palmyra @ Cake Shop
* Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers), Sharon Van Etten @ Mercury Lounge
* The Slackers, The Alrighters, Red Baraat, 100 DBs @ Knitting Factory
* A Praire Home Companion w/ Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux @ Town Hall
* Family Band, Violent Bullshit, Nightmare Air, Weird Owl @ Glasslands
* Great Elk, Matt Singer, Beu Jennings of Cheyenne & Wynn Walent @ Union Hall
* Dream Diary, Phil and the Osophers, The Invisible Hand, Drunk Tiger @ Matchless
* DFA Holiday Party w/ Free Energy, Special Disco Version, Holy Ghost!, Matt Cash, Justin Chearno @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
makes a semi-rare appearance tonight Death By Audio IS CANCELLED DUE TO BLIZZARD.
TONIGHT @ THE STUDIO @ WEBSTER HALL
The legendary L.A. punk label released Go Man Go, KELLY's solo debut in 1989. Founded by seminal punk band Black Flag, SST was also home to such alternative icons as Sonic Youth, Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr. and Sound Garden as well as fellow Antifolk founder Roger Manning. The project was produced by the Violent Femmes' Brian Ritchie and fast on the heels of releases by Cindy Lee Berryhill (Rhino), Michelle Shocked (Mercury) and Manning, established Antifolk as a national underground phenomenon.flyer below.
With performances by: Roger Manning, The Folk Bros., John S. Hall, Erin Regan, Kirk Kelly, Debe Dalton, Lach, Mike Rimbaud, John Kruth, Jeffrey Lewis, Joe Hurley, Jason Trachtenburg and Paddy on the Railway.
Husker Du's Grant Hart just released his first solo album since 1999's Good News for Modern Man. The record, Hot Wax, came out October 6th on Con D'or Records, and along for the ride were members of Godspeed You Black Emperor and Silver Mt. Zion (who recently backed Vic Chesnutt).
Hart is currently on tour behind the new disc, and he plays NYC's 92YTribeca on Saturday, December 19th. Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers are also on the bill. Tickets are on sale. One day later Grant appears at Record Collector in Bordentown, NJ.
About the new songs, Hart said, "the song 'Narcissus,Narcissus' is my first attempt at combining ancient Greek mythology and American rock-a-billy. By merging those influences with an ice cream truck atmosphere I think I have found a style that defines this period of my career. 'You're the Reflection of the Moon on the Water' is one of the most organic rock and roll songs that I have ever written. It's style owes a lot to my devotion for patti smith. It was inspired by a comment made by a monk during the selection process to find the next Panchen Lhama, who said of one candidate, 'he is the reflection of the moon on the water but he is not the moon.'"
Bob Mould also has shows coming up including 2 nights in a row in NYC.
Grant Hart album art, tracklist and all tour dates are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Drums - I Felt Stupid (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Drums - Instruct Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - Clever Girls Like Clever Boys More Than Clever Boys Like Clever Girls (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - I Love You, You Imbecile (feat. Ida Maria) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - 1983 (Pelle & Sebastian) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pelle Carlberg - 51,3 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: I Was a King - Norman Bleik (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Rural Alberta Advantage - Don't Haunt This Place (MP3)
Those Dancing Days @ Spaceland in LA - 05/23/09 (Clap Your Mirror Say Yeah)
Those Dancing Days were in town this week and the Scandinavian invasion continues through the weekend. Stockholm resident Pelle Carlberg, fresh from playing San Francisco's Popfest, is here on Saturday (5/30) at Union Hall (tix). While his new album, The Lilac Time, isn't quite as strong as 2007's In a Nutshell, he's a great performer and wouldn't miss him for the world. If you like Belle & Sebastian type pop (even he acknowledges he sounds a bit like them, see the MP3 at the top of this post), funny stories, and suitcases used as drums, you shouldn't miss it either.
The other reason not to miss it is the second-ever show by NYC Popfest breakout stars The Drums. For a band who claimed to have had their first practice a mere two hours before the show, The Drums seemed to have it pretty together at Popfest, with a full band and backup singers. Their MySpace lists gloomy Manchester post punk as reference points - the main influence to me seems to be the beach. As in where the surf meets the sand. The music's a little twangy, with the most whistling heard since "Young Folks," and song titles include "The Saddest Summer," "Down by the Water" and "Let's Go Surfing." Perfect for Watusi-ing. They're a lot of fun. And they've got a June residency at the Annex and will be playing the Northside Festival if you can't make the show on Saturday.
The Rural Alberta Advantage
Also Saturday night, over at Mercury Lounge, are Norway's I Was a King playing their second of three NYC shows. Their first is earlier that day at Generation Records. I have friends who saw them in Chicago and said they were great so I'm really looking forward to catching them. As I wrote previously, if you like Teenage Fanclub-y, harmony-and-feedback style pop, definitely go see them. They also play Union Hall on Sunday (5/31).
The Saturday show (which is an early one) is with Canadian trio The Rural Alberta Advantage, who also headline tonight (5/29) at The Bell House. The band won over crowds at SXSW, including at least one Pitchfork writer:
The percussive, stripped down indie-folk trio plays acoustic everything, but there's nothing quiet about them. Frontman Nils Edenloff sings in a strained yelp and plays his guitar like he's mad at it. This is the kind of band you imagine would do just fine unplugged. And at the end of their set, they did just that, walking to the center of the room and making their voices do all the work...The band's excellent self-released 2008 debut, Hometowns, just got picked up by Saddle Creek who'll release it in July.
Edenloff held everything together, but multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole did more to make this band fun to watch. She's a totally winning stage presence, grinning huge and clapping along when she didn't have anything to play. And her xylophone dings and backing vocals added warmth and stillness to the driving songs. Every one of those songs, according to Edenloff, concerns the Canadian province that gave the band their name. And every one of those songs just goes for it, in a racing-toward-the-sun kind of way. This band could be huge.
And if you need more earnest Canadians, Rock Plaza Central are in town, at Cake Shop on Monday (6/1) and the Bell House on Tuesday (6/2).
A few short bits:
Two great alt-rock icons are in town: X are at Bowery Ballroom all weekend (playing what you asked them to play). Tonight (5/29) and Saturday are sold out, as is but there are still tickets for Sunday's show. And former Husker Du drummer/singer Grant Hart will play Cake Shop tonight (5/29) and the Bell House on Monday (6/1).
Au Revoir Simone kick of their summer tour tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. If you haven't heard their new, critically-acclaimed album Still Night, Still Light (which I still have to look up to make sure I'm getting the title correct), it really is very good. Also on the bill and on the tour is The Antlers.
Did you get tickets for Art Brut Week? At this point, everything except the Monday (6/1) show is sold out and it's likely to go soon. If you haven't heard Art Brut Vs. Satan, maybe it's time rediscover the brilliance of Eddie Argos.
Select tour dates and videos after the jump...
One half of Husker Du's singing and songwriting, Bob Mould, played two sold-out shows at Joe's Pub in NYC in early April. The other half, Grant Hart, will play two shows in NYC as well. Grant's short North East tour includes a Friday, May 29th show at the Cake Shop with Grass Widow and Querent, and a Monday, June 1st show at the Bell House with Kevin Barker and Death Vessel. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale.
No word yet on a new album from Death Vessel. His last release, Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us, was put out by Sub Pop in August 2008. His first release, Stay Close, is available as limited vinyl from Immune. The Bell House show is one stop on a bigger tour for Death Vessel. All dates below.
In February, Grant Hart wrote...
I have a new album in the can and if anyone wants to talk about it, talk to me. It has been recorded in Montreal with members of A Silver Mt. Zion and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and in Minneapolis with members of Rank Strangers and Fat Kid Wednesdays. [MySpace]No word on a release yet.
All tour dates below...