Entries tagged with: Guards
No Joy @ Mexican Summer Five (more by P Squared)
Last week we posted that Dam-Funk were added to Brooklyn Night Bazaar's upcoming slate of shows on March 7. Since then, BKNB have announced even more of their spring schedule, with some pretty cool artists planned for the next couple months, including Ash, Guards, No Joy, Young Galaxy, Fear of Men and more.
Montreal widescreen synth pop combo Young Galaxy will play on Saturday, March 15 with American Royalty (who just played Baby's All Right), Bowmont, and Late Guest at the Party. That's the second of two nights presented by T / My Free Concert -- the Friday (3/14) show being Guards and more TBA.
On Saturday, April 5, it's long-running (and underrated) Irish band Ash (who lived here in NYC for a while) who will play with Run River North, and Golden Suits. That's part of a weekend presented by Pandora, with Bronze Radio Return, Boston's Gem Club (here not that long ago), and The Suzan playing on Friday, April 5.
Then the weekend of April 18/19 is presented by Insound and Kanine Records. The Friday show (4/18) is with UK band Fear of Men whose new album will be out around the time of this show, plus Drew Citron and Frankie Rose's band Beverly (whose new song we dig a lot), Toronto's Alvvays (who just played with Yuck at Bowery) and Florida band Beach Day. Then for the Saturday show (4/19), it's Montreal's No Joy, Philadelphia's Bleeding Rainbow (new LP and NYC release show at the end of Feb.), felow Philly band Little Big League, and a second appearance by Beach Day. Note that Saturday is also Record Store Day, so if you blew all your money on limited edition vinyl, remember Brooklyn Night Bazaar shows are free. Beverly, Beach Day and Bleeding Rainbow all feature on Kanine RDS compilation Non Violent Femmes.
Lastly, Friday, April 25 will play host to Total Slacker (who just had a record release party) and Reputante.
In addition to the free shows, Brooklyn Night Bazaar offers amusements (ping pong, mini golf, pinball and vintage arcade games), beer and wine, gourmet food, and a variety of shopping options from local vendors.
DIIV at Baby's All Right on NYE (more by Amanda Hatfield)
A concert series called Painted BLACK is returning to NYC and will feature three shows at Irving Plaza. Presented by NYC's MATTE Projects, Painted BLACK "is an exploration of a color and a lifestyle through a live experience. In the pursuit of this, the musical acts will be paired with visual artists, stage builders, sculptors, fashion designers, and filmmakers, creating unique pieces to be debuted at the series."
The first show, which coincides with Fashion Week, happens on February 13 and features electronic musicians Klangkarussell (DJ), Thomas Azier (live), and Stefan Biniak (DJ). Tickets for that one are on sale now.
The second one is more indie-rock oriented, featuring live sets by DIIV and Guards, plus a DJ set by Twin Shadow. Tickets for that one are on sale now.
Stay tuned for the third and final show to be announced. Flyer for the DIIV/Guards/Twin Shadow show, plus a video of DIIV from 285 Kent's last show, below...
Parquet Courts @ 4Knots 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned, DIIV were to play with Guards and Fletcher C. Johnson at a "JanSport Bonfire Session" at Williamsburg's Havemeyer Park on Saturday (9/21) which is free but the RSVP is now closed. Whether or not this has anything to do with last weekend's incident on the way to Basilica Sound Scape, DIIV have dropped off the show. In their place is a band called "Parkay Quarts" which is the same way Parquet Courts are spelling their name on the cover of their forthcoming EP. Is this how they're spelling it now? Probably not if the Con Agra legal department has any say. Updated flyer for the Havemeyer Park show is below.
Parquet Courts (spelled like that) open for Pixies's sold-out show tonight (9/20) at Bowery Ballroom and will play an EP release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 2 with support from The Beets, Yuppies, and Future Punx. Tickets for that show are still available.
That EP, titled You've Got Me Wonderin' Now, is out October 8 and you can stream a track below.
DIIV at Osheaga 2013 (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Jansport and Noisey are teaming up for their fifth and final JanSport Bonfire Session (which also included the Divine Fits/Japandroids show at SXSW), set to take place in NYC at Williamsburg's temporary community space Havemeyer Park on September 21 (between S3/S4 & Wythe/Kent) with three NYC artists: shoegazey rockers DIIV, anthemic popsters Guards, and guitar pop songwriter Fletcher C. Johnson. The show is free and RSVP is required, but it doesn't guarantee entry so get there early. 21+. Flyer and streams from all three artists below.
Havemeyer Park is also the same location that Nitehawk Outdoors is bringing free screenings and music to, the next one being Tuesday (9/10).
DIIV is also playing NYC this week as an opener for blink-182 at MHOW on Wednesday (9/11). Sold out.
Flyer and streams below...
LA Fest FYF Fest is celebrating 10 years this year, and will take over Los Angeles State Historic Park on August 24 & 25. Check out the massive lineup in the poster above, and in alphabetical order below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
messy Palma Violets craziness
Brit rockers Palma Violets brought their tour with Guards to NYC for their first of two shows here last night (5/9) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The Orwells, who also open for that same lineup at Bowery Ballroom tonight (5/10), opened the show. Pictures of all three bands from the Brooklyn show are in this post.
Both Palma Violets and Guards are out supporting their respective debut albums, 180 and In Guards We Trust, and have been playing much of the material from those releases on this tour. The Orwells, meanwhile, have a new EP on the way, which includes the new Dave Sitek-produced title track, "Other Voices."
More pictures from MHOW below..
Guards at the Slipper Room in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Indie pop crew Guards are playing a hometown show as part of the Downtown Music Festival at Bowery Ballroom tonight (5/10) with Palma Violets and The Orwells (tickets), and they've just announced that they'll play another one next month. The newly-added show happens on June 18 at Brooklyn Bowl, and it's part of that venue's Local x Local series, which means it's totally free as long as you RSVP.
The band have a number of other dates announced too. All of those are listed, along with the video for "Ready to Go" from their debut LP, below...
Autre Ne Veut at BV-SXSW 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned, Downtown Records are taking their Downtown Music Festivals to different North American cities this year, including NYC from May 10 to 11 across various LES venues, including Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, Angel Orensanz Center, Pianos, Cake Shop, Tammany Hall, Element, Capitale, Rockwood Music Hall and more.
In addition to the previously announced lineup of Black HIppy (aka Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), Purity Ring, Earl Sweatshirt, DIIV, Sky Ferreira, Trash Talk, Palma Violets, Teengirl Fantasy, and others; more acts have just been added. Those new acts include Andrewy Wyatt (of Miike Snow), Autre Ne Veut, Guards, Ryan Hemsworth, Port St. Willow, Kilo Kish, Ratking, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Vashtie, Fat Tony, d'Eon and Kingdom (playing with Kelela, who sang a song on the Teengirl Fantasy album last year and sings a song on the new Kingdom EP this year, which you can listen to below).
by Andrew Sacher
Guards at The Slipper Room in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
NYC indie pop crew Guards, whose debut LP, In Guards We Trust, is one of the catchiest albums of the year so far, is heading to Indio, CA for Coachella this weekend and they'll kick off a tour after that. The tour sees the band opening for Palma Violets, Best Coast, and Alt-J on separate dates, including both previously discussed Palma Violets NYC shows. Those shows happen on May 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and May 10 at Bowery Ballroom, the latter of which is also part of Downtown Music Festival. The Bowery date is sold out but tickets for the MHOW show are still available.
Guards' tour also brings them to other festivals like Primavera Sound, Osheaga, and Lollapalooza. All tour dates are listed, along with their recently made video for album standout "Ready To Go," below...
Osheaga Festival is returning to Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau from August 2-4. This year's lineup includes The Cure, Mumford and Sons, Phoenix, New Order, Vampire Weekend, Kendrick Lamar, Hot Chip, Alt-J, Beach House, Explosions in the Sky, Big Boi, Baauer, Father John Misty, Disclosure, Frightened Rabbit, Angel Haze, Jessie Ware, DIIV, Guards, and many more.
3-Day passes go on sale Friday (3/15) at noon. There are still over 20 artists TBA, but you can browse the complete initial lineup below...
Primavera Sound have announced their 2013 lineup, set to go down on May 22-26 in Barcelona, Spain. The announcement came via an animated video and artists performing include Phoenix, The Postal Service, Blur, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, My Bloody Valentine, Tame Impala, Wu-Tang Clan, Dead Can Dance, Grizzly Bear, The Knife, and loads more. Current lineup is below along with the flyer and video...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ra Ra Riot @ MHOW, 1/22/2013
Congratulations are in order for Ra Ra Riot, who released their latest LP, Beta Love, via Barsuk yesterday (1/22). The release was celebrated at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night with Savoir Adore, the first of two NYC shows.
You could sense a change in the crowds temperament when the band reached back and delivered "Too Too Too Fast", "Can You Tell", "Oh, La", "Ghost Under Rocks", and "Boy." The band took a risk and covered U2′s "Two Hearts Beat As One" and they surprisingly nailed it. You wouldn't normally put Ra Ra Riot and U2 cover band in the same sentence, but trust me, it worked.Hopefully you got into the sold-out show and if not, then maybe you streamed it on Youtube. If you did neither, you can still catch the archived show streaming below. Ra Ra Riot, who have been without Alexandra Lawn for almost a year now, play NYC again on Friday (1/25) at Webster Hall with Guards (sold out).
To no surprise the grand royal was "Dying Is Fine." It's arguably the bands finest moment to date. It's where the bands energy and the crowds reciprocation connected to form their own super-group. Hearing the song in such a magical moment caused a whole bunch of memories to come flooding back to me that were associated with that song years ago.-[We All Want Someone To Shout For]
More pics and a stream of last night's show are below...
DOWNLOAD: Ra Ra Riot - "Beta Love" (MP3)
Ra Ra Riot at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
As discussed, the band will support that album with a tour, which hits NYC for a hometown show on January 25 at Webster Hall with Cults-related band Guards (who also have a new album coming). Tickets for the Webster Hall show are still available, but if you'd like to see Ra Ra Riot in a smaller venue, you can catch them a few days earlier at Music Hall of Williamsburg on January 22 with Savoir Adore. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (1/4) at noon and if you can't make it, you can watch it from the comfort of your own home when it streams live on the Bowery Presents YouTube channel.
An updated list of dates and those song streams below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
every year between Christmas and New Year's, we catch up on unposted stuff. This year is no different...
2012 was the year the Slipper Room reopened and new show listing site DoNYC launched. Back on 11/14 those two things came together for a DoNYC launch party at the swanky Lower East Side venue. Guards, who put on a great show that night and whose debut album is coming in 2013, headlined the event along with DJ sets from Justin Miller and Body Language. Here are some pictures. More below...
by Bill Pearis
Guards are gearing up for the release of their debut album, In Guards We Trust, which will be out February 5. A couple tastes from the album are ready to scoop into now -- the new single "Coming True" is streamable below, as is the video for "Silver Lining." If you like "whoa-ohs" and instantly sing-a-long choruses (they're not that far from what the Rosebuds do, really), check it out.
They're an engaging live band too, at least when I saw them during CMJ this year. You can find out for yourself as Guards, fronted by Richie Follin (who is also a member of Cults with his sister Madeline), are on a tour now which includes a NYC stop at Knitting Factory on December 15 with TEEN and Your Youth. Tickets for that show are on sale. They'll hit the road with Menomena in February as well, though no dates in NYC for that jaunt.
A list of all Guards dates, video, and streams, below...
by Bill Pearis
Death Grips @ LPR, 10/17/2012 (via @brooklynvegan)
On Wednesday (10/17), CMJ was well under way and day parties were widespread across the Lower East Side yesterday (and to a lesser extent, Williamsburg). Andrew was out and about, like at the Terrorbird party at Cake Shop:
Prince Rama (via @brooklynvegan Instagram)
Says Andrew: "It was pretty easy to go in and out so it probably never hit capacity, but Cake Shop was still packed all afternoon for the Terrorbird party. I got there around 4 and caught great sets by Pictureplane, Prince Rama, Mykki Blanco, and Jerome LOL. How were the earlier ones that I missed?"
Meanwhile, BV photographer Amanda Hatfield roamed around the city, hitting the KEXP day show at Union Square Ballroom where she saw Daughter, High Highs, Cody ChesnuTT and Interpol frontman Paul Banks who was sharp-dressed as usual:
Paul Banks at CMJ Union, 10/17/2012 (via @brooklynvegan Instagram)
Stay tuned for better pictures from that. She later crossed paths with Andrew at Cake Shop, but also spent time at the Tell All Your Friends Party at Pianos where she caught Braids, and then they both headed over to Le Poisson Rouge for Ali Shaheed, Buke & Gase, Death Grips, and Flying Lotus which was by all accounts a bananas show.
Indians at Brooklyn Bowl, 10/17/2012 (via @brooklynvegan)
My CMJ Wednesday started a little later than planned a quick plop-down in the couch turned into an hour disconap, but I made it down to Brooklyn Bowl for Hype Machine's party to see Danish artist Indians. Andrew wrote a nice little recap of his Tuesday set at Living Room which I agree with but will say a bowling alley is maybe not the right place to see a one-man electronic act that is mostly downtemo, somber music. That said, he's got a great voice and would love to see him again not in a 7-10 split situation.
The big news from his set was that Indians pressed 500 copies of his 4AD debut on vinyl in plain brown sleeves to sell just at CMJ. The album won't actually be out till January, so this is a real treat. I wanted one, but wasn't going home anytime soon, so maybe I'll pick one up at one of his other shows this week.
I left the Hype Machine party before The Neighborhood went on, but the band did give me a glow-in-the-dark sticker while I was looking at the Indians vinyl at the merch table. Thanks, guys! I hoofed it up Wythe to South 2nd and poked my head in to Death by Audio to see what time METZ were going on (late) and then rounded the corner onto Kent to hit Glasslands for the Stereogum party where the line stretched long outside. I was lucky I managed to get in, but others weren't. The NY Times was there in the weeds, talking to folk in line, "many of them in fashionable clothes and carrying iPods."
When I got inside, I found things running late and heard the "Thank you, goodnight!" from Io Echo (who play our day party on Friday [10/17). Port St. Willow, who also played the NYC Taper show at Cake Shop today, were up next and sounded nice, but were maybe a little to mellow to follow a dance-y act.
Savages @ Glasslands 10/17/2012 (via @soundbitesnyc)
After their set I worked my way up front to catch Savages, the real reason I was there. As I wrote earlier, they kinda knocked me out. (Their rhythm section is insane.) Mind you, I am a sucker for this kind of sound (gothy post punk a la 1981) but Savages are the real deal. They play our day party Friday (10/19, 2:30) which you should totally try to make. Skip class, call in sick...whatever you have to do. It's a great line-up (The Intelligence! METZ!) and totally free.
Pitchfork loved Savages too.
Guards at Glasslands 10/17/2012 (via @brooklynvegan)
Guards (ex-Cults member Richie Follin's band) we up next and played a fine set of rousing, sing-a-long rock. Follin remarked it was nice to be back at Glasslands where they played their first-ever show.
Dum Dum Girls @ Glasslands, 10/17/2012 (via @soundbitesnyc)
Dum Dum Girls took the stage about 12:30 and seemed in good spirits, delivering the kind of all-killer-no-filler showcase set that makes festival attendance a plus sometimes. They even did their cover of Pale Saints "Sight of You" again (just like at Europa). New bassist (and talented photographer/filmmaker) Malia James is a great addition to the band, adding a little sass to DDG's otherwise cool demeanor. (She also looks more than a little like Jessica Paré [aka Megan Draper].)
And that was it for me for that night, but BBG was just getting started with a late night WIERD show at Home Sweet Home that featured Cult of Youth and Slug Guts. But elsewhere in the world...
Hundred Waters, who you can see tonight at Brooklyn Bowl with Lee 'Scratch' Perry, and who play the free BrooklynVegan day party at Public Assembly Saturday, started their CMJ run at Mercury Lounge last night with Pitchfork on hand.
We also got a peak at the renovated Slipper Room last night. BV's Dominick Mastrangelo stopped by for the Glassnote showcase set by Daughter (who open for the Walkmen and Dum Dum Girls at Terminal 5 tonight). "Very cool space. Look forward to catching more shows here", he tweeted. Stay tuned for more on that.
Local Natives headlined a one-off show at Bowery Ballroom.
The few who stuck it out till the end at the 285 Kent hip hop show last night are probably tired, as we know Sasha Go Hard went on some time after 3am... she came straight from the airport too, and then went right back to the airport and back to Chicago right after the show!
Speaking of our day party Friday, you can see Sky Ferreira there. Last night she played Union Hall., Check out a video below...
by Bill Pearis
Dum Dum Girls at Europa, 9/30/2012 (via @brooklynvegan Instagram)
Dum Dum Girls were just through town, playing a record release party at Europa on Sunday (9/30) for their new EP, End of Daze. (They also played an in-store at Other Music on Monday.) This was the
first second NYC DDGs show to feature new bassist Malia who replaced Bambi (who left to start her own band Cheap Curls). Looking a bit like Patricia Morison of Sisters of Mercy, she's been with the Girls for a while and fits right in with Sandy, Jules and now platinum blonde Dee Dee. Noo hiccups in their tight, 50-minute or so set that included pretty much everything you'd want to hear from their catalog to date, including the EP's flower-powered "Lord Knows." Dum Dum Girls set closed with a terrific cover of Pale Saints' 1989 single "Sight of You" which was a surprise to me but the band have been doing for most of the year. A great show overall, and Greenpoint club Europa (which seems to have been frozen in amber around 1980) was a cool place to see them. Video from their set is below.
If you missed the show and don't want to trek up to Terminal 5 to see them open for The Walkmen, the Dum Dum Girls will be here for CMJ, playing Stereogum's official showcase which happens on Wednesday, October 17 at Glasslands. Also playing, and definitely another reason to go to this, are new UK post-punk outfit Savages, who are making their first Stateside visit for CMJ.The rest of the Stereogum CMJ party includes Guards, Port St. Willow, IO ECHO and a DJ set from Icona Pop. Tickets are on sale now and only $5. Hard to pass up.
I'll remind you again that Dum Dum Girls drummer Sandy has her band, SISU, in town too. They played last night at Death by Audio but will play again in NYC on Friday (10/5) at Pianos with Young Boys and Suburban Living, and then at Glasslands on Wednesday (10/10) with Grooms, Royal Baths and Punks on Mars.
Meanwhile, Savages also play Mercury Lounge on October 19 with Choir of Young Believers, Daughter, San Cisco, Emma Louise and J. Thoven. Tickets are still on sale for that one too. Savages performed "Husbands" on Later with Jules Holland over the weekend and you can check out video from their appearance below.
Twin Sister at Bowery Ballroom in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Twin Sister, who played BV-Northside at MHOW in 2010, and played MHOW during Northside again in 2011, will be playing a Northside show once again this year. This time it's the Stereogum/Cameo showcase at Cameo Gallery on Saturday (6/16) with Guards, Physical Therapy, Caged Animals, Blonds, and Phonetag. Tickets for that show are available and we're giving away a pair. Contest details are below. It's the only announced show for Twin Sister at the moment.
A Twin Sister video and contest details below...
UPDATE: Okkervil River added!
DOWNLOAD: Fat Tony - Wife Plot (MP3)
pictured: Diamond Rugs, Action Bronson & eXquire
As you know, BrooklynVegan is taking over ALL THREE STAGES at connecting Austin venues Hotel Vegas & Volstead for FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT this week, and it's all 100% FREE (no RSVP or badges either). There's a big outdoor stage, and smaller stages inside Hotel Vegas & Volstead. Collectively we're calling the four day long party "Hotel Vegan" (located at 1500 E. 6th St, Austin, TX).
Stage 1 (Hotel Vegas Outside)For the 2nd year in a row, we've partnered up with our friends at Partisan Records and KF Records, and now the new Young One Records, to bring you a free Saturday blowout on three stages. This year we have an amazing lineup of 22 artists that includes a full stage of nothing but hip hop too.
12:00 Field Report
12:45 Ivan & Alyosha
1:30 Father John Misty (J Tilman, ex-Fleet Foxes)
2:15 J. Roddy Walston
4:00 Heartless Bastards
5:00 Diamond Rugs (John McCauley of Deer Tick w/ members of Los Lobos, Black Lips & more)
6:00 Okkervil River (Just added!)
Stage 2 (Hotel Vegas Inside) (hip hop stage)
12:15 - Lushlife
01:00 - Main Attrakionz
01:45 - Cadence Weapon
02:30 - Rittz
03:15 - Fat Tony
04:00 - Spaceghostpurrp
04:45 - Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire
05:30 - Action Bronson
Stage 3 (Volstead)
12:00 - Patrolled By Radar
1:00 - Emily Wells
2:00 - Phantom Family Halo
2:45 - Lumerians
3:30 - Hundred Visions
4:15 - Pond (mem. of Tame Impala)
5:00 - GUARDS
In addition to the completely FREE lineup of great music, we will also have complimentary drinks courtesy of HobNob Wines, our official wine partner and The Original Moonshine, our official spirit partner. We will also have FREE VEGAN TREATS courtesy of NadaMoo! and FREE Honest Tea. Arlo's great Vegan Food truck, located right next door, will be at all four days of Hotel Vegan selling food.
And we'll have some awesome giveaways from Partisan and KF Records, as well as cassette compilations from Young One Records (Including the above track "Wife Plot" by Fat Tony).
Listen to a playlist of artists playing this party on Spotify.
Special thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for making this party possible - including Vox, Blackstar and Korg, our official backline partners, as well as ASCAP, HobNob Wines, The Original Moonshine, NadaMoo!, Honest Tea, Partisan Records, KF Records & Young One Records!
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Deer Tick @ Webster Hall
Deer Tick hit Webster Hall last night (11/20) with Guards and Thomas Hardy (of Dead Confederate). it was the last date on a larger tour that kicked off in October and hit Reggie's in Chicago along the way, and it was probably the largest headlining show on that tour (and definitely much bigger than Death By Audio). Here are some pictures from Webster Hall, though none of the destruction (aka broken instruments) that ended the two hour show (Deer Tick is always good for ending things in style).
Two days earlier, the same lineup hit Ithaca where someone wrote...
Deer Tick's set was not as much a performance as much as it was a time for both fans and players to come together and enjoy each other's company through their love for music. Deer Tick was not playing and singing for us; they were playing and singing with us. This could not be articulated as accurately as when McCauley led a sing-along on opening number "The Bump," wailing "I suggest you move/We're full-grown men/We act like kids." This youthful playfulness that the band set forth from the get-go marked what would become an evening of a shared joy between the band and the crowd. But as much as both the musicians and the fans seemed to be enjoying themselves, the band may have overstayed their welcome. Even with a set that clocked in at over two hours in length including Deer Tick's set, some solo tunes from McCauley, and new material with a freshly formed supergroup featuring McCauley and opening acts Thomas Hardy and the Guards, the boys of Deer Tick seemed to have enjoyed themselves a little too much....The dates were in celebration of Divine Providence, the Deer Tick's new LP out now on Partisan Records.
-[Cornell Daily Sun]
When the Webster Hall show was first announced, I'm pretty sure Virgin Forest were listed as opener. I'm not sure what happened there, but today another Virgin Forest show was announced and it's happening at Glasslands on 12/7 and Ian O'Neil of Deer Tick is opening. Tickets are on sale.
More pictures from Webster Hall and a video of the Deer Tick/Guards/Thomas Hardy supergroup (see above), below...
photos by Tim Griffin
DEER TICK @ KUT Radio
Deer Tick, who played a free BV-presented show at Death By Audio back in October, are now completing a tour right here back in NYC at Webster Hall on Sunday night (11/20). Openers for the 9pm show are both Guards and Thomas Hardy of Dead Confederate, and some tickets are still available.
Earlier on the tour (10/25 to be exact), Deer Tick hit the new Emo's East in Austin, and also played a session for KUT radio and played an instore at Waterloo Records while they were in that Texas town. Video and more pictures from those two special appearances, below...
Casiokids @ Public Assembly
Well, another CMJ week has come and gone. How did you fare?
Though Northside summoned a number of my favorite artists to town, the CMJ line-up was rather thin by comparison, so I made it my goal to catch as many new acts as possible this year. With help from BV's tightly scheduled day parties, I managed to squeeze in 46 bands. While it's all still fresh in my mind (ie, before I spend the next week hibernating), here's a recap of my week, complete with my favorite finds...
I kicked things off with trance-inducing, one-man knob twittler Sun Glitters. Figuring out how to bring life to headphone-friendly, sample-heavy music in a live audience setting can be a challenge, but the few I saw this week (Million Young, Chad Valley and Luxembourg's Sun Glitters included) were decent.
If last year was the age of the one-man laptop act, 2011 was rife with lo-fi, synth/guitar-heavy (mostly) male groups cloaked in reverb. Each band had its strengths: Sunglasses (great energy on stage), Gauntlet Hair, Guards (perfectly summed up the sound of the moment), 1,2,3, Balkans (nice balance of in-your-face guitars and sunnily-swaggering vox), Tiny Victories. But after a while, I confess they all started to blend together--especially since a good chunk of these bands came early in the week for me.
What did stand out for me in this category was San Diego's garage-psych outfit Tropical Popsicle. Instead of falling flat, the deadpan vocal delivery of Tim Hines pulled me in and kept my attention, making me forget about my plans to leave midset. Another pleasant surprise for me was Dive, the side project of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith.
But after a rather slow start to the week when schedule issues and cancellations made me abandon my original plans, things definitely picked up midweek. I spent Wednesday evening shuffling around in the rain to some seven venues. From the synth-driven pop music of Norway's Casiokids (whom I managed to sneak in on my lunch hour) to the decent public radio-friendly folk-pop of The Lighthouse and The Whaler and Lissy Trullie's alluringly husky vocals, the day was full of pleasant surprises--not the least of which was John Maus, easily one of the highlights of my week.
As I walked through the door at 285 Kent, I immediately felt as if I had gone back in time. Thick music pumped from the DIY graffiti-covered space, through clouds of cigarette smoke. On stage, Maus shook with intensity as he addressed the mass of dancing, sweaty revelers. Beneath the shambling chaos of the quick synth riffs and simple drum lines is an unhinged but triumphant quality that is intoxicating. I had heard whispered stories of Maus shows before, but I never really understood the fervor until I saw it for myself.
Thursday was also packed with a number of good finds. I somehow found myself in the 7th floor of a swanky hotel for an "acoustic" (as in not electric; not unplugged) Dum Dum Girls set (though only 2/4 band members were present). Other highlights included the seriously talented and take-your-breath-away-beautiful dreamy folk-pop of Gem Club (who just released their debut album on Hardly Art), and Brooklyn's own, Headless Horseman who make fun, glitchy, hook-laden music with inventive beats (Their song "Wavlngth" was seriously one of my favorites all week.)
Friday, my band-count escalated rapidly, thanks to the BV day showcase at Public Assembly, which essentially had two bands playing each hour. I knocked out a few of the hyped bands in this fashion, including Chelsea Wolfe and Gauntlet Hair. (I also stepped over to Cameo briefly to catch a few adrenaline-packed songs from the Brooklyn duo Hunters.) With her beautifully haunting (but not annoying operatic) vocals Chelsea Wolfe was certainly one of the more memorable acts of the week. Would she be getting as much buzz if she didn't dress like "a medival [sic] reinactment [sic] person from Medival [sic] Times" (to quote an anonymous BV commenter)? Hard to say, but I have to give the woman credit--I couldn't take my eyes off her, and she was one of the few artists I caught twice. But my surprise favorite of the day show was Young Magic. Hip-hop and dark electro-pop may be unlikely bedfellows, but they sure make for quite an interesting pair. These guys are a force.
Other highlights of the day included the eye-catching electro-pop duo Purity Ring (love the name) and one of my favorite SXSW finds from earlier this year, Sea of Bees. At Webster Hall, Purity Ring's bass was so powerful at times that I almost forgot to breathe. Though the band relies on a lot of samples to craft their sound, they are far more interesting to watch due to their onstage chemistry and mysterious gold-piped instrument. Though nothing alike, my other favorite artist of the evening was Sea of Bees. Singer/songwriter Julie Baeziger's genuinely sweet demeanor and earnest acoustic performance are always a pleasant change of pace from the more aloof, laptop-driven artists that seem to sprout with the speed and frequency of mushrooms.
The week concluded not with a bang (I was turned away at the door of Brooklyn Bowl for Unknown Mortal Orchestra, whom I had hoped to end on), but with more of a slow fade-out. Forced to change my schedule at the last minute, I caught a few acts nearby, including Delicate Steve (how those five people were working from the same set list was a mystery at times given the haphazard nature of their sound, but it was fun to watch them put it all together), Races (pleasant and charming), Bleached, and about four minutes of the Kopecky Family Band (fun!) before hopping on the L and calling it a week.
So how does this year's CMJ stack up? Most people I spoke with seemed unimpressed. No doubt, the growth of SXSW--especially over the past few years--seems to have sucked some of the life out of CMJ. (It's hard to compete with free tacos, 76-degree days, and the compact nature of downtown Austin.) But like a hipster chick desperately scouring the racks at Beacon's Closet, I like the challenge of the frenzied search. There's good stuff in there hiding among the dross. You just have to look a bit harder.
Pictures in this post are from day parties at Pianos (We Listen for You) and Public Assembly (Under the Radar) on Wednesday. More of them below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Into the Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Immaculates - Hey Joe Kelly (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gospel Music - This Town Don't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Radiation City - The Color of Industry (MP3)
I think Wednesday is my favorite day for CMJ day parties. You get a lot of good bands, but it's not insanely packed like the weekend shows. And this year, there are a lot of great Wednesday afternoon options.
Before we get into it, I would like to say that Spotify has been a giant help in checking out music from bands playing and if you have the service, I recommend using it. (If you don't, chances are someone you know has invites to give out.) Much easier than Googling for Bandcamp, Soundcloud or (heaven forbid) Myspace sites. Spotify doesn't have everything, but it has most everything. I've got a CMJ 2011 Playlist that I update when I find something new and interesting which you're welcome to check out.
[editor's note/update/disclaimer: Spotify has partnered with us on all BV CMJ events this year, but Bill did not know that when he wrote that above paragraph, so please no conspiracy theories!]
Anyway, day shows:
PICK OF THE DAY: Under the Radar party at Public Assembly has a line-up that is pretty hard to beat, including one of my favorite bands of late, Still Corners whose chilly, majestic debut, Creatures of an Hour, came out last week on Sub Pop. Check out an MP3 of new single "Into the Trees" at the top of this post and you can stream the whole album at the bottom. Public Assembly is good and dark, ideal for their trippy accompanying lightshow. Still Corners also play Public Assembly Wednesday night which must be nice for them not having to schlep their gear around. They also play tomorrow at our day party at Knitting Factory and then the Sub Pop showcase at Mercury Lounge that night.
Also playing at Public Assembly: Norway's super-fun Casiokids, Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger (who maybe you caught last night with Wild Flag at Bowery Ballroom), the retro funk of The Stepkids (who also play our TBA Saturday party at Public Assembly), plus Chad Valley, Porcelain Raft. It's kind of a slam-dunk show.
THEN AGAIN... the folks at Terrorbird Media have put together a pretty great show at Cake Shop. It kicks off with newish, shit-hot Brooklyn garage-soul band The Immaculates who are worth showing up early for. Check out an MP3 at the top of this post. Then it's Virginia's Eternal Summers who have really come into their own since expanding from a duo to a trio.
Then it's Gospel Music which is Owen Holmes who used to be in CMJ 2007 buzz band Black Kids but now makes indiepop somewhere between Stephin Merrit and Jonathan Richman (which is a definite sweet spot for me.) Holmes got help from Hefner's Darren Hayman, Camera Obscura's Traceyanne Campbell and others on last year's Duets EP, but for his full-length debut, How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL, he shares the mike full-time with fellow Jacksonville resident Madeline Long. Check out an MP3 of first single "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars For Both Of Us" and watch the video (which features his old Black Kids pals) at the bottom. Gospel Music's other CMJ dates are down there as well.
Of course the nice thing about the Lower East Side is that every venue around there has a day show. At Pianos there's the We Listen For You party with Arms, Guards, The Pass, Parlovr, Nerves Jr. and Headless Horseman in the main room; upstairs it's the Big Hassle Media party with Radiation City, Aeroplane Pagaent, Clubfeet, Marques Toliver, J. Viewz, Pyramids and Army Navy.
If you're in the Ludlow area, do try and check out Portland's Radiation City (3PM) who've made one of the year's more charming debuts which drifts between moody, organ-driven numbers and more upbeat pop. Papercuts covering The Free Design? Add in some Mazzy Star smokiness and you're almost there. Check out "The Color of Industry" at the top of this post, and go seem them live at some point this week. Radiation City also play the PASTE party at The Living Room today too (4PM) and have shows this week, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
That PASTE party, which goes from 4 - 7 PM also features Lord Huron, Santah and The Lonely Forest.
And finally over at Fontanas (which you may remember from BV day parties of old or episodes of Louie) is this year's Pirate! Island party with a pretty good bunch of bands too: Canada's Hollerado, Nick Diamonds, Fairmont, Army Navy, The Great Book of John and The One & Nines. Set times at the bottom of this post.
Click through for flyers (including a couple day shows I didn't mention), streams, videos and set times. I'll have Wednesday nighttime picks a little later.
After moving their show from upstate to Brooklyn Bowl which was then followed by a 50% reduction in ticket price, Saturday's Daytrotter show is now not happening at all, as the bowling alley venue has cancelled all Saturday and Sunday shows "due to the hurricane. Ticket refunds will be offered." No bowling or food on those days either. Affected artists include JBM, We Are Augustines, Guards, Doug Paisley, Des Ark, Christopher Paul Stelling, The Loom, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra and (DJ) Talib Kweli.
Daytrotter's Monday show at the Living Room is still on though, and you can head to Brooklyn Bowl tonight (8/26) for a free show by Slowdance. The Dex Romweber Duo and Birds of Avalon show tonight was also cancelled, but that was a coincedence.
Cerebral Ballzy at the Acheron in 2010 (more by Samantha Marble)
Daytrotter is presenting the 'Barnstormer 5,' the website's first East Coast tour, at the end of this month into early September. Various bands play on various dates from New Hampshire to Iowa. All dates are listed below.
As of today, the tour hits NYC twice. First on August 27 at Brooklyn Bowl (instead of Ghent, NY where the show was originally scheduled) with JBM, We Are Augstines, Guards, Doug Paisley, Des Ark, Christopher Paul Stelling, and The Loom. Then again on August 29 at The Living Room with Cerebral Ballzy (??!?), Princeton, Guards, and We Are Augustines. Tickets, not cheap, are available for the whole tour including both NYC dates, but we are also giving away a pair of tickets to each NYC show. Details on how to win, with all dates (most with White Rabbits and some with Deer Tick), below....