Entries tagged with: Gross Relations
Joanna Gruesome photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
Joanna Gruesome at Pianos 10/16/2013
We're in the midst of a crazy-as-usual CMJ -- we're on day 3 (10/17) -- and the headaches and lack-of-sleep are already kicking in. But it's all worth it for the many hours of live music. We already talked a bit about seeing Joanna Gruesome yesterday, and here's some more highlights of our Wednesday (10/16) of CMJ...
Bonzie @ Pianos (photo by Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan Instagram)
After I saw Joanna Gruesome downstairs at Pianos, I headed upstairs to catch young Chicago singer/songwriter Bonzie. I was a little skeptical about her potentially being a bit too on the manufactured-pop side, and there is definitely some of that, but she's also got a great voice and is clearly determined to be a memorable performer as well. Bonzie's got the kind of folky pop songs that are very much in style (and successful), but she and her band add some quirks to them that recall early-mid '00s freak folk more than they do Mumford & Sons.
Other than Joanna Gruesome, the best thing I saw at Pianos had to have been Bleeding Rainbow. They mentioned on stage that they're working on a new record (expected to be out February 2014) and were playing a lot of songs from it, and man were these new songs good. Their last record -- this year's Yeah Right -- is mostly poppy shoegaze (not that there's anything wrong with that), and they've always been heavier live than that album would suggest, but these new songs were sounding like some of their most driving, punkiest stuff. They often worked practically-screamed vocals, Sonic Youth-y string bends, and dirty power chords into their set -- not the typical elements of a band tagged as shoegaze and indie pop. - [AS]
Bill here... like ships passing in the night, Andrew left for Webster Hall and I got to Pianos for the night show that was happening in the upstairs. CMJ is about the only time to see full bands up there where's no stage, giving things more of a DIY feeling. I got there just in time to catch Brooklyn's Gross Relations who bang out '90s-style crunchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock a la The Rentals or The Pulsars. They do it really well and if you've never checked them out, their live show is a lot of fun. Their record's good too.
Next up was the band I came to see -- and whom Andrew had just seen downstairs at Pianos -- Joanna Gruesome. Already a big fan of their terrific debut, Weird Sister, I knew they were not going to be your quiet type cardigan-wearing indiepop band live, but they really threw themselves into their performance, and around the room a bit too. They're a no holds barred band -- a bit wild and wooly but holding it together -- and the packed room was fully into it. In addition to album cuts like the "Sugarcrush," "Secret Surprise" and "Madison" they turned Galaxie 500's dreamy "Tugboat Captain" into a killer noise-jam. I haven't seen Hookworms yet but Joanna Gruesome are my CMJ band to beat.
BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo happened to be there too and was kind enough to send a few JG pictures which are in this post.
From there I headed back to Williamsburg for the NME showcase at Glasslands. Leeds, UK's Eagulls are a band I've been wanting to see for some time. Coming on stage in a long coat, George Mitchell looks like the singer of a British postpunk band, and has the sneery stage presence -- and Northern England drawl -- to back it up. Kicking things off with excellent new single "Nerve Endings," they blasted through their short, fierce set with nary a nod to the audience. They play our BV day party on Friday (10/18).
Courtney Barnett @ Glasslands (via @soundbitesnyc)
Then came Australian singer Courtney Barnett who is my kind of singer-songwriter: funny, charming, unassuming and un-singer-songwritery. With a rhythm section backing her up, sonically she's more in the garage-psych world (in an almost Kinks kinda way) with her almost stream-of-consciousness story style lyrics driving things. She can rock but you leave remembering lyrical phrases as much as the music. And I left smiling with much of both.
You can catch Courtney a bunch this week, including the BV day party on Saturday. -[BP]
Now back to Andrew...
A$AP Rocky and Ferg @ Webster Hall (via @iboTV)
I spent my entire night portion of CMJ Wednesday at the Mass Appeal/Grooveshark showcase at Webster Hall, where we got sets from promising young Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru, punky duo The Bots, A$AP Mob, Casey Veggies and Schoolboy Q. A$AP Mob's set was only billed to feature Twelvy, Ant, and Nast, but A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg came out for the last few songs, including big Ferg songs "Work" and "Shabba" (video below). Ferg and Rocky were pretty much the stars of the night, but before they came out the rest of the Mob proved they could put on a fun show without them too. It wasn't long ago that A$AP Ferg wasn't a well-known solo artist yet, and it doesn't seem out of the question for other A$AP Mob members to start getting recognized for their own careers too.
Schoolboy Q's set included no guest appearances, but he did bring out new TDE signee Isaiah Rashad to do two of his own songs, and it wasn't hard to see what TDE sees in this guy. But back to Q. I don't think the place was sold out but it was pretty packed and Q had the whole crowd going nuts for him. When I saw Schoolboy Q in NYC earlier this year, the penultimate song in his set was his big song "Hands on the Wheel," which he cut off early saying he was tired of that and wanted to move on to new material, so he ended his set with the then-new single "Yay Yay." It was fun (and funny), but almost came off like he was forcing the crowd to be into his new stuff. This time around, he didn't need to do anything of the sort. He played "Hands on the Wheel" in the middle of his set without commenting on it, and ended the set with two of his new singles, "Collard Greens" and "Yay Yay." He not only pulled it off, but the crowd seemed more into those songs than his older stuff. I think we're all ready for that new album, Schoolboy Q. Check out a video from last night below. - [AS]
And back to Bill...
Regal Degal @ Ran Tea House (via @soundbitesnyc)
Yuck headlined the Glasslands show but went on laaaaaate as drummer (and American) Jonny Rogoff announced from the stage that the rest of the band were a bit slow in getting here due to visa issues (they were supposed to be here Tuesday) and airport security and such (but not a blizzard like their first US show).
I didn't stick around -- Yuck (who are all here now) are playing our BV day party on Saturday -- and went a few doors down Kent to Ran Tea House for the Terrible Records show to catch Regal Degal. The trio spent a year in Los Angeles which definitely did them some good, they are much tighter band than before they left. They're still making somewhat obtuse, arty music -- think 154 or The Pop Group with The Fall's repetition repetition repetition -- but it's never indulgently weird. It's naturally weird. And the rhythm section (Jamen Whitelock and Josiah Wolfson) is just killer.
And then I went to bed. - [BP]
CMJ continues today. Check out our list of day shows and night shows. We'll have more pictures from Wednesday's Pianos day parties and more CMJ coverage soon. More pics from Joanna Gruesome's Upstairs Pianos set and the videos from Webster Hall below...
Savages at Laneway Festival 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
Au Revoir Simone @ Warsaw, 2010 (more by Jessica Amaya)
We are in the midst of CMJ Music Marathon and today the free day party options kick in pretty good, so check out our list of afternoon action we already posted. Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. We've got tonight's highlights -- most but not all are CMJ shows -- here and more options listed further down.
Savages, Duke Garwood @ Terminal 5
CMJ is not a contest but Savages "won" CMJ last year. Now with an album out, they're back to rub other bands noses in it at Terminal 5. Not really, they're nice people, and their trad postpunk should sound good in the cavernous venue.
Au Revoir Simone, Lou Doillon, Selebrities, Thomas Azier @ Highline Ballroom
Attention Francophiles, here's your CMJ show with real foreigners Lou Doillon and Thomas Azier, plus French sympathizers with synthesizers, Au Revoir Simone and Selebrities.
Talib Kweli, Black Moon, Phony PPL, Smif-n-Wessun, The Underachievers, Res, Cory Mo, Meka @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
In general, this is pretty much the biggest night for rap at CMJ this year. Tonight's also the Duck Down showcase co-headlined by Talib Kweli and veteran crew Black Moon who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their '93 debut, Enta Da Stage, backed by Phony PPL.
Vic Mensa, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, World's Fair, Deniro Farrar, Key!, Bryant Dope, Kid Daytona, Eddie B, Illclinton @ Santos Party House
Plus, Noisey does their rap party tonight with party rapper Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, cloud rap standout Deniro Farrar, and more.
Gangsta Boo (Three 6 Mafia), Oxymorrons, Illustrate, J. Natural, Kosha Dillz @ Littlefield
There's also this show with Three Six Mafia member Gangsta Boo, Oxymorrons, and Turquoise Jeep's pal Kosha Dillz.
Schoolboy Q, Casey Veggies, A$AP Mob, The Bots, Bishop Nehru, Isaiah Rashad @ Webster Hall
And last but certainly not least, Black Hippy's Schoolboy Q, who's been delaying his much-anticipated new album, headlines this show at Webster Hall. The lineup also features former Odd Future cohort Casey Veggies, three A$AP Mob members, young local rapper Bishop Nehru (who's been cutting his teeth opening for quite a few Black Hippy members in NYC), new TDE signee Isaiah Rashad and more.
Eternal Summers, TEEN, Quilt, Bleeding Rainbow, Mood Rings, Happy Jawbone @ Cameo Gallery
There is not a single bad band on this bill, from frequent tourmates Eternal Summers and Bleeding Rainbow, to dream pop sound of TEEN and Mood Rings, to the psychedelic sounds of Quilt and Happy Jawbone. This is a solid show.
Yuck, Courtney Barnett, Eagulls, Porcelain Raft, Theo Verney @ Glasslands
Hype-loving UK music weekly NME is presenting this showcase that only doesn't have Palma Violets because they just toured here. Instead you get UK acts Yuck and Egulls, plus Aussie charmer Courtney Barnett and more.
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Jacco Gardner, Saint Rich, US Girls, ARP, Slim Twig @ Knitting Factory
The folks at Panache Booking are behind this showcase, lining up a bunch of quality acts, including kabuki metallers YT//ST, Dutch psych prodigy Jacco Gardner and Delicate Steve offshoot Saint Rich.
White Denim, Calvin Love, Jonathan Rado, Zig Zags, Cotton Jones, Jacco Gardner, Courtney Barnett @ Mercury Lounge
Los Angeles music blog visits the other coast and has put together this line-up featuring White Denim and a solo show from Foxygen's Jonathan Rado.
Mean Creek, Shark?, The History of Apple Pie, SW/MM/NG, Joanna Gruesome, Gross Relations @ Pianos
UK indiepop acts Joanna Gruesome and The History of Apple Pie -- not to mention quality locals Shark? and Gross Relations -- highlight this Pianos show.
The Darcys, Zeus, Still Life Still, Gold & Youth, Lowell @ Cake Shop
There's more to Canada than Montreal. Explore some of our Northern neighbors' other musical cities (mainly Toronto) at this showcase. Maybe the Darcys will pull out some ther Steely Dan covers.
Byzantine, Black Anvil, Ramming Speed, Vattnet Viskar @ Europa
Metal Insider's CMJ showcase suffered a serious setback when Blake Judd's legal problems forced Nachtmystium to drop off the bill. However, Byzantine's first East Coast appearance in forever and a solid supporting cast keep this show solid.
Iceage @ Portland's Star Theater in March (more by Autumn Andel)
Iceage, Survival, Ivy @ The Acheron
Danish punks Iceage have hit NYC a few times this year, and this two-night stand at Acheron -- not part of CMJ -- will be their last one before the year ends. Even when they play a bigger place like Bowery Ballroom, Iceage act like they're in a tiny punk joint, so they should feel right at home here.
Hunters, Total Slacker, SISU, Perfect Pussy, LODRO, Tweens @ The Flat
Two of our "30 Bands Worth Seeing at CMJ" are on this bill (Tweens and Perfect Pussy), and the rest of the bill is recommended too -- SISU features half of the Dum Dum Girls, LODRO work the smoky noir vibe hard, and Hunters are always a kick live.
Young Braised, Mood Rings, Christines, Calvin Love @ Shea Stadium
Bushwick online station Newtown Radio is presenting this unofficial CMJ party with Canadian rapper Young Braised, indie sensualists Mood Rings, and Christines, the new band from Andy of Woven Bones (they sound nothing like Woven Bones).
Half Moon Run, The Preatures, Mystery Skulls, claire, Austin Brown, Bonzie, Dream Koala (DJ Set) @ The Bowery Hotel
This is one of School Night parties and is a pretty good lineup of more commercial indie bands (not that there's anything wrong with that) including Montreal's Half Moon Run and Australia's Preatures. Free with RSVP.
Running in the Fog, Mutual Benefit, Flagland, The Everywheres, Body Parts, Bent Shapes @ Muchmore's
Boston indiepop band Bent Shapes made our list of "30 CMJ Bands" too, they're jangly but not without bite.
Porcelain Raft, Sarah Neufeld, Sapphire Slows, Tei Shi, White Poppy, Dirty Beaches (DJ Set) @ 285 Kent Avenue
The last time I saw Porcelain Raft it was just main guy Mauro Remiddi and a drummer, but he performed like it was a much fuller band. At tonight's 285 Kent show he's with Arcade Fire collaborator Sarah Neufeld, two synth artists that we recently highlighted in our electronic music at CMJ roundup, Sapphire Slows, and Tei Shi, and more.
RatKing, Amp Live, Emily Bell, YC The Cynic, Tree, Denitia and Sene, The TonTons, Wavy Spice, Tanya Morgan, Myth Syzer, Pegasus Warning @ Free Candy
There's a lot of good indie rap on this bill, including bratty local trio Ratking, upcomer YC the Cynic, trio-recently-turned-duo Tanya Morgan, and promising Chicago rapper Tree. Plus tons more.
Nothing Changes w/ King Dude @ Home Sweet Home
King Dude makes old-style country ballads in a goth/noir kind of way, and while that could sound kinda novelty, it's actually pretty haunting and really well written stuff. He plays the weekly Nothing Changes party tonight. Late.
Flying Turns, Real Magic, TV Girl, Hockey, FLASH/LIGHTS, Shy Girls, Brothertiger, Landshapes, The Epilogues, Shady Elders, StaG, South of France @ Tammany Hall
This Tammany Hall show has a number of artists working in the electronic/pop world, including Real Magic, who's all contemporary beats and big vocals, TV Girl who combine hip hop and indie pop, plus a lot of samples, and Shy Girls, who at the moment may be best known for working with the PMR-signed Cyril Hahn.
Brian Wilson, Jeff Beck @ The Wellmont Theatre
The band who currently tours as The Beach Boys may not include their main songwriter Brian Wilson as a member, but Brian's on the road with fellow ex-Beach Boys Al Jardine and Dave Marks, plus guitar maestro Jeff Beck, playing a ton of favorites from The Beach Boys' career. Not part of CMJ.
Pattern is Movement, Leverage Models, Celestial Shore, Norwegian Arms, Laser Background, Paperhaus @ Union Pool
Tonight Union Pool goes for bands who bridge the gap between experimental and pop, including notables like Pattern Is Movement, Leverage Models, and Celestial Shore.
More notable Wednesday options are listed below, but for all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
There is no Big Terrific tonight because of CMJ but for other funny options, check out the NYC Comedy calendar .
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by Bill Pearis
We mentioned that noisy Welsh pop act Joanna Gruesome are coming over to NYC next week for CMJ, and at the time we knew of two day shows: Pianos on October 16 and The Rock Shop on October 19. Since then, the band have officially come in the running for this year's Most Shows During CMJ Award, with
nine eight appearances listed now, including the Pitchfork unofficial show at 285 Kent on October 18. Here's the rundown, with times where available:
10/15 Brooklyn, NY - Ran Tea House (Force Field PR showcase)Joanna Gruesome, whose debut Weird Sister is a terrific example of non-wimpy indiepop, just released the video for one of the records' standout cuts, "Sugarcrush," which features some pretty cool animation (and a talking cheeseburger) by Ewan Jones Morris and Casey Raymond. You can watch that below.
10/16 New York, NY - Pianos (Kanine Records/SESAC party) - 3:30pm
10/16 New York, NY - Pianos (Old Flame Party) 7:45pm
10/17 New York, NY - Cakeshop (Capeshok Presents) midnight
10/18 Brooklyn, NY - Shea Stadium (Portals Music) 9:00pm
10/18 Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent (Pitchfork showcase) 11:15pm
10/19 Brooklyn, NY - The Rock Shop (Lost Colony party) [day]
10/19 Brooklyn, NY - Death By Audio (Agency Group showcase)
Full lineups of the shows mentioned, where available, are below too.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned, Brooklyn indie rockers Butter the Children signed to Downtown Records and the first fruits of this, the three-song True Crime EP, will be out August 20. With an aggressive rhythm section powering tremolo-heavy glide guitar and poppy melodies, it's a nice first showing on the label. You can stream opening track "Spit It Out" below (via Stereogum).
Butter the Children play around their hometown a lot (like the two shows they played over the weekend), and as usual they have plenty more coming up. You can see them on Friday (8/2) at The Ho_se in Bushwick with Jesse Cooper Levy, Swear and Shake, Cutters, and O'Great North; August 5 at The Paper Box with Violent Past and Czech Neck (tickets); August 12 at Cake Shop with The Numerators and Wimps; a record release show at 285 Kent (8/20) on the day of the album's release; and the previously discussed show at Cake Shop on August 24 with Bent Shapes, Gross Relations, and Two Inch Astronaut.
EP cover art and song stream below...
by Bill Pearis
After a string of 7" singles and cassettes over the last four years, Boston trio Bent Shapes are set to release their debut album, Feels Weird, on August 20 via San Francisco label, Father/Daughter. The record is a little sharper than your average indie pop platter, with a welcome bit of angularity, muscle and attitude to compliment the jaunty tunes. Fans of '90s acts like Papas Fritas and Small Factory: you need to hear this record, and you can stream a couple tracks from the record below.
Bent Shapes will be heading down to NYC next month for a couple shows: August 24 at Cake Shop with Gross Relations, Two Inch Astronaut and Butter the Children, and then August 29 at Silent Barn with Shark? and The Doubts. They've got some dates in Boston before that and all are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Having released two EPs over the last couple years, Brooklyn's Gross Relations are set to unleash their debut album on August 20 via Old Flame. It's only coming out on cassette (and digital download). Pick it up next month at your local cassette store (if that is an actually thing that exists). The first single is "Cut the Final Scene" and is typical of the band's '90s-ish, ultra-melodic distorto-pop they're known for. We've got the premiere of that track and you can stream it below.
Track stream below...
Heliotropes at 480 Pixels party in August, one of many bands who had shows at Delinquency this week, (more by Chris La Putt)
To all Delinquency family, friends, performers, and promoters: We regret to inform that we have been forced to close temporarily and relocate all CMJ shows:(((( Please stay tuned for new show locations. We are supper bummed but will be back in a few weeks to continue spreading the loving party vibes and good times we have all shared this amazing summer. - [Delinquency Facebook]As mentioned above, Bushwick venue Delinquency got shut down and will be closed for the time being, meaning all their CMJ shows are finding new homes. So far:
Tonight's Sleepies, Mr. Dream, Yvette, Alan Watts and Fasano show has been moved to XPO 929 (more info here).
Tuesday's Permanent Wave/Greenpointers Blog/Campers' Rule Records showcase (10/16) with Heliotropes, Leda, Beach Day, Backwords, The Suzan and Easy Lover has been relocated to Public Assembly.
Wednesday's We Listen for You / The Needle Drop / Beats Per Minute day party (10/17) with Dent May, Mac Demarco, Teen Suicide, Poor Lily, The Deloreans, Attic and Abasement has also been moved to Public Assembly
No word yet on where Wednesday night's Mobil party (10/17 with Heems, Sasha Go Hard, Kitty Pryde + more) will end up, or Bird Dog day party on Thursday (10/18 with Ava Luna, Royal Canoe, Fegrus and Geronimo, Murals and more), or the Old Flame Records / Heist or Hit Record day party on Friday (10/19 w/ Caged Animals, Your Youth, Gross Relations and more) but Delinquency has been posting updates on their Facebook.
Hilly Eye at Bowery Ballroom in 2011 (more by Devan Council)
Hilly Eye (aka Amy Klein formerly of Titus Andronicus and Catherine Tung) will release their first 7" on Don Giovanni Records this spring and will follow that with a full length, due out on the label this summer.
They've got two local shows coming up, including one on Thursday (2/23) at Cake Shop with Quiet Loudly, Magnetic Island, and Passenger Peru, and another on March 11 at Public Assemly with Shigeto, Gross Relations, Hard Nips, Desert Sharks, and more. The show is part of Sunrise Fest, a memorial/benefit festival for the one year anniversary of the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last year (3/11/11). The fest runs all day from 2 PM to 11 PM with over 20 performances and is open to "all ages, all races, all people in this generation."
Both dates dates are listed with a video of the band at Ladyfest Boston below...
by Bill Pearis
The column comes early as it's a busy week and there are lots of shows to talk about. First up, venerable NYC trio Nada Surf's new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is out today and the band play Bowery Ballroom this evening to celebrate. Tonight's show is sold out but Nada Surf will be streaming the show live via their YouTube channel starting at 10PM. The band then head out for a good two months of touring and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
The band's seventh album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is another fine record in Nada Surf's catalog of positive-vibe guitar pop, bolstered this time out by Doug Gillard who provides a lot of great lead work. This kind of music may not be in fashion right now, but it also never really goes out of style. And they do it really well You can stream or download the ebullient first single "Waiting for Something" at the bottom of this post and Spotify users can listen to the album here.
Cloud Nothings - 'Attack on Memory'
Also out today: Cloud Nothings' Attack on Memory which, as Andrew noted a couple weeks ago, is much more sophisticated and agressive than the tuneful pop-punk the band have released in the past. They're still writing catchy songs -- check out "Stay Useless at the top of this post -- but the shift is fairly radical, so much so that main man Dylan Baldi briefly considered changing the name of the band. (It's not that radical.) It's a very good album, and you can listen to it on Spotify and watch the brand-new video for "No Future/No Past" at the bottom of this post.
The album, you may have seen, got Best New Music on the 'Fork yesterday, and despite this there are still tickets to be had for Cloud Nothings' show this Thursday (1/26) at The Studio @ Webster Hall though I imagine not for long. Knowing how good the band are live (what a drummer!) I'm really anxious to hear these songs live. It's a one-off show, but the band will tour starting mid-February including, need I say it, time in Austin for SXSW. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
The Hundred in the Hands - Bowery Ballroom Feb. 2011 (more)
The Hundred in the Hands are playing their first show in a long time this Friday (1/27) at Glasslands, which will give us the first taste of the duo's second album which will be out on Warp at some point this year. While they haven't released any tracks from it yet, they are still updating the THITH Zine, the band's culture zine that most recently interview artist Zander Blom. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the archives that's worth checking out.
My Best Fiend
A lot of people will be at Glasslands on Friday just to check out THITH's Warp labelmates My Best Fiend whose album In Ghostlike Fading is out February 21. My Best Fiend are not your typical Warp act, closer to the space blues of Spiritualized or My Morning Jacket (or Neil Young) than the electronic music that fills most of the label's roster. The band have been plugging away in the Brooklyn scene for upwards of seven years and its good to see it pay off for them. You can download album-opener "Higher Palms" at the top of this post and you can stream "Cracking Eggs" (which features Light Asylum's Shannon Fuchness) further down.
The Glasslands show also features duo Bikini who make unapologetic four-on-the-floor dancefloor fodder, and Bear in Heaven will be DJing between sets, hopefully not playing all the records at 400,000% slower than normal.
And finally we have Florida's Guy Harvey, which is a band and not a solo artist and should not to be confused with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey which I did for half a second. The band are on tour with Gainsville residents Averkiou and hit NYC this weekend for two shows: Friday (1/27) at Cake Shop and Saturday (1/28) at Death by Audio. All GH/Averkiou dates are at the bottom of this post.
You may recognize Guy Harvey frontman Adam Perry from his moonlighting gig as an auxiliary member of Surfer Blood. There's not a lot of Guy Harvey music out there to listen to, but both sides of a 2010 7" (streamable below) are ace, with a strong Flying Nun influence. If you liked the Twerps album from last year, give Guy Harvey a listen. Averkiou, meanwhile, make fuzzy, shoegazy pop not too far from early Teenage Fanclub. Check out a few streaming tracks at the bottom of this post.
Friday's Cake Shop show is with Byrdsy locals Slow Country whose new album is a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp and is quite nice. Saturday's show at Death by Audio also has underrated Brooklyn bands I'm Turning Into and Bright Lights. Either show is worth checking out. Or go to both!
That's the main stuff for this week. Below are a few more picks, day-by-day, of shows not covered otherwise.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
There's a TWII-approved line-up at East Village mainstay Lit Lounge -- that is now booking bands I've heard of again -- with The Hairs (new single out next month), Pigeons, and Gross Relations.
by Bill Pearis
Is it too late to say Happy New Year to all of you out there? Probably. Okay, nevermind. It is a New Year though, and the rock machine is already in full swing. If you haven't spent all your money on tickets to the chickfactor fest (I can't tell you how psyched I am to see Small Factory) there's some good options.
Top of my list this weekend is the previously mentioned Stepkids show at Knitting Factory on Saturday (1/14). Their self-titled debut made my Favorite Albums of 2011 list (#36) and don't feel it got enough attention. I wrote:
Like The Bees, The Stepkids recreate a specific era of sound -- early '70s psychedelic soul -- with such skill you might think it was some obscure Fifth Dimension album or outtakes from Psychedelic Shack. That it works beyond an exercise is mimicry shows how talented these three are.And they are crazy talented. All three members write and sing and spent time playing with the likes of Alicia Keys, Lauren Hill and 50 Cent before deciding to take a stranger path in music. I do wish they'd make a 15-piece Stepkids Love Unlimited Orchestra so they could really do the complexities of the album justice in a live setting, but what they accomplish as a trio is still pretty damn impressive. (A killer light show helps in that department.) They were great when they played our day party at Public Assembly during CMJ week during which we taped them doing an acoustic cover of Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" which you can watch at the bottom of this post. Also down there is the Tom Sharpling-directed video for "Legend in My Own Mind" which is pretty funny.
Opening for The Stepkids are San Diego band Cuckoo Chaos who also play Friday (1/13) at Mercury Lounge with Country Mice. The band have toured with Anna Calvi and were last in town during CMJ. The band play an appealing take on afrobeat-y indie rock with nice harmonies. I do really like their song "Just Ride It" which is downloadable at the top of this post. If you like that one, check out their album Woman (listen on Spotify, buy at eMusic) and consider going to one of their shows this weekend.
Radical Dads at Brooklyn Night Bazaar, December 2011
A few spots above the Stepkids on my Albums of 2011 list (#29) is Radical Dads' debut, Mega Rama, which is nine tasty chunks of shouty/catchy indie rock wrapped up in one of my favorite sleeves of the year. They're also a total blast live, as evidenced by anyone who showed up early to the BV-presented show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar last month.
You've got your first chance to catch Radical Dads in 2012, as previously mentioned, Friday night (1/13) where they play Cameo Gallery. The whole evening's card is pretty stacked with local talent. Also playing are mellow folk pop band Backwords (stream their new album below), the sloppy pop of Moonmen on the Moon, Man and the electro-tinged stylings of Yanqui.
King Krule, last night at Mercury Lounge
I would mention the King Krule shows happening this weekend but as they're all sold out, you're either going or you're not. I thought he was good when I saw him at Glasslands during CMJ. He looks even younger in person, but that voice seems to be from someone 30 years older. Anyway, a few more weekend picks are below, day-by-day....
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
Chain And The Gang, 5 Dollar Priest, Eleanor Friedberger, Nicole Atkins and many more play a Jonathan Toubin benefit at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight.
Next door at Public Assembly, the Juan Maclean and Com Truise are playing a party celebrating new MTV show I Just Want My Pants Back. Tickets were free with RSVP but list is at capacity.
by Andrew Sacher
Bloomington, IN psych-poppers Tammar released their new album, Visits on September 20 via Suicide Squeeze. The album's got hints of the kind of psych-rock channelled by The Standells, though some more modern influences come through too, especially on the beachy "Summer Fun." Check out the video for "The Last Line" below, and grab the MP3 of that song and "Yung Jun" above.
The band will play a record release show in their hometown of Bloomington, IN this Saturday (10/1) and have a short run of NYC shows coming up at the end of October. They play Cameo Gallery on October 28 with Heaven's Gate, Pianos on October 29 with Gross Relations and Little Racer, and they open for Moonface at Bowery Ballroom on October 30. Tickets are on sale now for the Pianos show and are still available for the Bowery Ballroom show with Moonface. Check Cameo's site for updates on that show.
All dates and video below...
by Bill Pearis
Happy Summer everybody. Before we get into this week's recommended shows, I hope you've been spending the week, like I have, listening obsessively to Domino Radio which has put together an incredible all-star lineup of presenters for this seven-day experiment. All the shows are archived, so go back and listen to Felt/Denim mastermind Lawrence, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie (who appears on the new CSS record), Mute Records founder (and former Silicon Teen) Daniel Miller, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos spin tunes, among other notables. Upcoming DJ slots include Radiohead's Colin Greenwood on Friday, Robert Wyatt and Alfie are on Saturday, and The Pastels on Sunday. Here's hoping they bring it back at a later date.
Ok, let's get into what this weekend and beyond has in store. Austin powerhouse trio Ume's current tour hits the city this weekend for two shows: tonight (6/9) at Pianos and Saturday (6/11) at The Rock Shop. As previously reported, the band just signed to Modern Outsider records who will release their debut album, Phantoms, in August. Pretty much everybody here at BV are Ume fans. They write great songs and, yes, they are a bundle of energy on stage with some serious guitar heroics provided by singer Lauren Langer Larsen. After NYC the three of them head north to the NXNE festival. All Ume dates are at the bottom of this post.
Memoryhouse also roll into town this weekend. They play Glasslands on Friday (6/10) and Piano's on Saturday (6/11). Both shows are with dreamy acoustic trio High Highs who are worth getting there early to see.
As you may have heard the Toronto duo are now signed to Sub Pop and should have something out on the label by year's end. Memoryhouse is also now a full band, including a drummer, which make the likelihood of their music remaining Eno-ambient less likely. I'd probably have more of a clue if I'd caught their set at our SXSW party this year. Reports I could find from Austin were positive, though not especially descriptive. Anyone got a firsthand report? Personally I"m hoping this more traditional band format pulls them into Slowdive territory. We shall see.
Both shows have their individual draws. Glasslands also has personal faves North Highlands whose debut album is in the can, apparently, and now we just have to wait for someone to release it. They will definitely be the most energetic live band on the bill, unless all the other groups have radically changed. Well, I've never seen Wonder Bear live but judging by the chill sounds on their album Avalanche (a free download) but I have to imagine it will be a mellow affair.
Speaking of chill, you may remember the sweatbox that was Glasslands last summer, well with the new club's new makeover they also finally got A/C. Certainly the 90 degree heat of this week will be a good test for it's power.
Meanwhile the Pianos show on Saturday has Foxes in Fiction which is, on record, basically Warren Hildebrand who is now also a member of the Memoryhouse live touring unit. At SXSW he was backed by Memoryhouse so I'd expect the same here. Last year's Swung from Branches mixed soundscapes with more structured songwriting (he gets compared to Bradford Cox a lot) and his most recent FiF release, Alberto (download the whole thing for free HERE), finds him moving into even more pop territory. It's a packed Pianos bill, including Eastern Conference Champions and Suns (not Suuns).
Let's keep going, shall we? Nashville party rock trio Natural Child are here for a two-night stint at Death By Audio, playing Sunday (6/12) and Monday (6/13). The band's debut album is out now on JEFF the Brotherhood's Infinity Cat label which should give you a good idea of what you're in for. An even better indicator are the two tracks from it at the top of this post from the album. If you like Thin Lizzy, honky tonk side of the Stones and JEFF the Brotherhood, you'll probably dig Natural Child too. These shows are bound to be packed and sweaty (and smokey) so be prepared for that, as well as for having a good time.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is former Stereolab vocalist Laetitia Sadier who will be playing Le Poisson Rouge on Monday (6/13) and The Rock Shop on Wednesday (6/15). Her solo debut, The Trip, came out last year on Drag City and was a lovely album. Not that far off from what she did with her band for the last 15 or so years, but it has it's own special charms as well.
And lastly this Tuesday (6/14) is a swell double bill of danceable Canadians at Webster Hall: Junior Boys and Miracle Fortress. Junior Boys' fourth album, It's All True, is out that same day on Domino and is another fine example of their lithe, breezy style. Miracle Fortress -- aka Graham Van Pelt of Think About Life -- just released its second album, Was I the Wave, which finds him setting aside the first LP's guitars in favor of electronics with a decidedly Eno-esque slant. You can download album track "Miscalculations" at the top of this post. It's a really nice record. When I caught him at SXSW, Van Pelt performed solo surrounded by tons of equipment and a few vintage table lamps. Not bad for a one man show.
That's it for this week. A few more day-by-day picks follow.
THURSDAY JUNE 9
Did you know The Cloud Room was still together? They are and play Mercury Lounge tonight. Of course they're going to play local hit "Hey Now Now," no need to shout for it.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Generationals - Trust (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - No Lines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - Blame the Record (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Down Low (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Shark? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Sparrow (MP3)
I take you away from trying to figure out the identity of The Modern Weepers (my favorite comment guess: Hard-Fi) to talk about shows happening this weekend. As always, this being New York City, there's lots of great options.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are in town this week with Generationals and the two bands play tonight (5/11) at Mercury Lounge (sold out!) and tomorrow (5/12) at The Rock Shop (not sold out!). Dale Jr Jr also play Kidrockers on Sunday [5/14] at the Rock Shop with Pearl and the Beard.
I feel like there's been enough talk about Dale, whose dreamy brand of synth rock can be heard on their pretty good upcoming album It's a Corporate World which is out June 7. So I'm here to talk about Generationals who are surely one of the few indiepop bands in New Orleans. Unlike Big Freedia, they haven't appeared yet on an episode of Treme but their new album Actor-Caster is loaded with clever, tunefull pop. What they do isn't particularly cool at this second in time, but I think stuff like this is never really out of style. You can download the title track to last year's great Trust EP at the top of this post and there's a widget below that will get you two tracks from Actor-Caster for the price of your email.
Also here this week for a couple shows are Montreal's Malajube , playing The Rock Shop tonight (5/11) and will be at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/13) with the epic and amazing Besnard Lakes (and Nova Scotia's Wintersleep). If you were in Austin for SXSW this year, you may have seen Malajube at our SXSW day party this year we co-presented with M for Montreal who we are co-presenting a show with this Friday in Brighton (if anyone is headed to the Great Escape).
Like a lot of folks, Malajube made a big impression on me in 2006 with their record Trompe-L'Oeil and, even more, their string of fantastic CMJ performances that year. The tunes were catchy, they were great live, the language barrier didn't matter so much. I must admit 2009's Labarinthes didn't make much of an impression but I've really been enjoying the band's brand new album La Cavern. The album is out now in Canada and will be available in the U.S. sometime soon on MB3 Records. Maybe they'll have it at the merch tables this week.
The new album walks the line between guitar pop and space rock and I keep imagining them performing songs like the vaguely disco "Le Blizzard" on the Muppet Show. There's a general soft filter '70s vibe to the whole of La Cavern that feels very comforting. You can listen to the whole thing via a streaming widget doohickey at the bottom of this post.
Echo & the Bunnymen are at Irving Plaza on Friday (5/13) and Saturday (5/15) playing their first two albums -- 1979's Crocodiles and 1980's Heaven Up Here -- back to back, in their entirety. This may not be quite as exciting as seeing them at Radio City doing Ocean Rain with a full orchestra, but it's still pretty awesome.
Especially because the albums are post-punk classics. Crocodiles is all scratchy nervous energy and contains no mediocre songs whatsover. I could list them all if you wanted, each one amazing. The whole thing still sounds fantastic. Heaven Up Here is considerably darker, more paranoid but no less definitive. "Over the Wall" is one of their best-ever songs. These two records are also a great showcase for Will Seargent's guitar-playing that still sounds innovative today. I'm a little sceptical of Mac's ability to belt out these songs -- it's gonna be a workout on his pipes -- but the chance to hear deep cuts like "All That Jazz," "It Was a Pleasure," "Happy Death Men," and "With a Hip" is exciting.
Opening for both shows is Bunnymen megafan Kelley Stoltz, who has covered Crocodiles in its entirety, both on record and as an infrequent but incredible tribute act that also featured Spiral Stairs of Pavement and Shayde Sartin who's now in The Fresh & Onlys. (They played CMJ 2003 at Arlene's Grocery, it was awesome.) Anyway, Stoltz is now an established artist in his own right, putting out terrific records on Sub Pop when not playing drums in Sonny & the Sunsets. So if you're going to this show, do go early.
We now enter the local band portion of This Week in Indie. Let's start with L Magazine 8 Bands runners-up Gross Relations who are playing three times this week: tonight (5/11) at Don Pedro with Raccoon Fighter and The Horehounds, then tomorrow (5/12) at Bruar Falls with deVries and Hunktronic, and on Friday (5/13) at Cake Shop with The Bynars, Field Mouse and Infinity Hotel.
The band have been releasing a series of digital singles via their bandcamp page, all of which exemplify their brand of supercatchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock. You can download the A-sides of the last two at the top of this post. "Blame the Records" is especially good. As I said previously, those keyboard lead lines make for easy comparisons to the Rentals which I'm gonna guess is probably what they were going for. Which is fine -- the hooks are undeniable.
Radical Dads, meanwhile, were actually picked by the L Mag as one of those 8 Bands You Need To Hear and I certainly agree. And hear them you can Thursday at Cake Shop. The band's debut album, Mega Rama, is out next month and it's pretty damn good. I hear a lot of '90s DC here -- more Simple Machines and DeSoto than Teenbeat -- whether that was intentional or not. Which means, basically, strident, melodic indie rock. The record is also a contender for my favorite album art of the year, done by Michael Deforge, which you can see below. Also below is yet another widget, this one will allow you to stream or download Mega Rama track "New Age Dinosaur." Oh, and they are quite good live.
Also playing that Cake Shop show tomorrow are Shark? whose debut album True Waste comes out May 24. The band worked with former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone on the record and what I've heard sounds really good. You can download two tracks from the album up top, and Shark?'s Pixies-ish theme song is pretty fun.
And lastly, I'd like to write a little about Vacation who are opening for Oberhofer at Coco 66 on Saturday night (5/14). The band are pretty new. What started as a solo project for Paul Greenfield Daly, formed into a band during one of the blizzards this year. Vacation have only played out a couple of times (Brad Oberhofer was in the live incarnation briefly.) But I really, really like the songs available as free downloads on Vacation's Bandcamp site. While I wouldn't call it synthpop, Vacation are definitely danceable, kind of groovy and motorik. The track "Jean" in particular sounds like a hit to me, definitely check that one out.
That Coco 66 show also has the lately ubiquitous Widowspeak, and with Oberhofer that makes for a pretty good Saturday night. If you can't make it this weekend, Vacation are playing Pianos on May 22 with Dinner at the Thompsons.
OK that's the big stuff this week. Here are a few more picks, day-by-day:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11
It's a night of well-dressed pop at Glasslands with Princeton and the High Highs. I keep meaning to catch High Highs again, I was impressed when they played with Radio Department last year.
We haven't heard from locals Gray Goods since last year's Northside Fest. They emerge from their cocoon, sonically reborn, tonight at Union Pool, with Zachary Cale and D. Charles Speer and the Helix.
by Bill Pearis
It's that time of year again, when The L Magazine picks "8 Bands You Need to Hear Right Now." Like usual, the 2011 list is a mix of bands you may have seen, may have heard of, and more under-the-radar picks. No photoshoot at Bushwick Country Club this year. Here's the list, with the artists' next next NYC area show (where applicable):
Grand Rapids (no upcoming shows)This year's Honorable Mentions list includes Gross Relations, The Weed Hounds, The Hairs and more. There's also an entertaining sidebar where The L asks local bands and tastemakers "So, What's Wrong With the Brooklyn Music Scene?"
Devin Therriault (no upcoming shows)
Radical Dads (April 28 [tomorrow], The Delancey)
Mainland (May 25, Brooklyn Bowl)
Luke Rathborne (no upcoming shows)
Slowdance (May 9, Knitting Factory)
Yellow Ostrich (June 3, Mercury Lounge)
Family Trees (no upcoming shows)
And if you missed it, The L Mag's Northside Festival just announced a slew of new bands to this year's line-up, including Surfer Blood (opening for GbV), Sharon Van Etten (opening for Beirut), Iceage (U.S. debut), Frankie Rose & the Outs, Teengirl Fantasy, Theophilus London, DOM, Mount Eerie, White Fence, Blondes, Janka Nabay • Holiday Shores, Eternal Summers, Delicate Steve, Gatekeeper and pretty much every band on the "8 Bands" list.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - You Don't Know Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Yang Yang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Terry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Floaters (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - You Today (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - Retrospective (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: The Vacant Lots - Confusion (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Don Giovanni Sampler (Zip)
In addition to being Black History Month, National Bird Feeding Month and National Sweet Potato Month, February also seems to consistently have a lot of band residencies. You may already be aware of ones by ARMS (who I'll get to shortly) and Yellow Ostrich, but I'd also like to point out that up-and-coming Brooklyn indie rock band Gross Relations starts a three-week Tuesday residency tonight (2/8) at Bruar Falls.
Gross Relations have been going less than a year, but seem to have a clear idea with what they want to sound like. Like Mr. Dream and Diehard, the band shares a love of '90s indie rock. With the prominent keyboard lead lines (or maybe it's heavily-treated guitar?) on both sides of their "Fuzzy Timelines" 7", it's pretty easy to make comparisons to The Rentals, but the band they really remind me of is Chicago's late, great Number One Cup.
Either way, it's a good thing. Gross Relations write some majorly catchy songs. You can download the b-side to their single at the top of this post. Tonight's residency also features The Toothaches (whose debut album is a free download), Gone Bad, and NT.
ARMS @ Glasslands in December (more by Andrew St. Clair)
I mentioned ARMS briefly above who are on Week Two (2/9) of their February Wednesdays residency at Pianos. Todd Goldstein and the rest of the band are finishing up work on their debut album (Kids Aflame was more of a Todd solo thing) with Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells). So expect a lot of new songs, I'd imagine. Todd says of the record, "It's a vast, hi-fi album. We're doing everything we can to take full advantage of the studio... the songs are very poppy and a little weird, there are lots of beautiful/scary textures, copious-but-thoughtful use of reverb... sequenced into a song-cycle, a sort of sci-fi breakup album." ARMS are hoping to have it out by the summer.
This week's residency is especially strong I think. It includes the lovely Hospitality, who finally seem to be getting down to business, having wrapped up their long-gestating debut album (also with Stoneback) which could be out as early as the spring. Let's hope! Singer Amber Papini promises a couple new songs at the show.
Also playing: Radical Dads, whose new single is a free for you (with email address) via the increasingly popular Download Widget (found below). And Translations (who share a member with ARMS) open who I am super psyched to finally be seeing live after months of digging their debut 7".
Show's eight bucks, will be a good one.
Also Wednesday is the record release party for Martial Canterel's You Today which came out today on Wierd Records. The show is part of Wierd's weekly Wednesday night party at Home Sweet Home. The flyer says performance at midnight, but I've never seen a band go on there before 1AM.
Martial Canterel is the non de synth of Sean McBride who is also one half of Xeno & Oaklander. McBride is kind of a luddite, making his records entirely on vintage equipment that was probably cutting-edge technology in 1980. Obviously it sounds very retro, but McBride's way of doing things also gives it a sound -- and authenticity -- you can't quite replicate on a laptop. Check out the title track at the top of this post. And if you dig that, also up there is a free downloadable Martial Canterel retrospective, including some rare songs.
In town this weekend is Anika whose debut album was a late-breaking entry into my Favorite Albums of 2011. Recorded in 12 days, live with no overdubs, it sounds like the missing link between The Slits and Lilliput. Portishead's Geoff Barrow -- his other band BEAK> is the backing band here -- gets the claustrophobic vibe just right. A lot of people have tried and failed to recreate that Martin Hannett Sound... Barrow nails it. And the material -- a mix of girl group covers and politically-charged originals -- suits Anika's Nico-esque delivery perfectly.
You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post. "Yang Yang" is a Yoko Ono cover, and "Terry" was originally recorded by Twinkle, who is probably best-known for having made the original version of "Golden Lights" that was later covered by The Smiths. (Many Smiths fans' least favorite track, but not mine. That would be "Never Had No One Ever.") The album sort of snuck out at the end of 2011, so catch up now. So good.
Don't get too excited though, Anika is just over for some DJ gigs -- I'm hearing we'll get her performing in May (and probably later at ATP) -- but I'd recommend checking one of them out nonetheless. Especially as three of them are free: on Thursday (2/10) she'll be at Gallery Bar with Blu Jemz, then Saturday (2/12) at Trophy Bar and a Valentine's Day set (2/14) at The Commodore. The remaining three NY DJ appearances are atMercury Lounge tomorrow night (2/9) spinning between sets at the Cubic Zirconia show (tickets), and Glasslands on Friday (2/11) where she'll spin in between sets by Javelin, High Life, & Monster Rally (tickets), and finally Santos Pary House on 2/16 as part of the previously discussed Beans show with Edan, Paten Locke & Bluebird (tickets).
That Javelin show on Friday night should be fun, as Anika's tastes will nicely contrast/compliment the sounds of Javelin (always one of the better live bands saddled with the "chillwave" tag), Highlife and Monster Rally.
That's the big stuff this week. Some more picks, day-by-day, are below.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Gang of Four at Webster Hall, though really it's more like Gang of Two as it's just Jon King and Andy Gill from the original line-up these days. Their new album, Content, isn't bad. But most people will go to hear "To Hell With Poverty," "At Home He's a Tourist," and other classics. And while Hugo and Dave will be missed, Andy Gill is still amazing to watch spit out those riffs, and Jon King remains possessed on stage -- especially when he's beating the shit out of a microwave on "He'd Send in the Army."