Entries tagged with: Headless Horseman
photos by PSquared Photography
Billy Gibbons w/ Moving Sidewalks, 3/30/2013
That time and place, specifically, was 1967 to 1969, in Houston. The Moving Sidewalks -- the guitarist Billy Gibbons, the organist Tom Moore, the bassist Don Summers, the drummer Dan Mitchell -- learned from other great Texas bands like the 13th Floor Elevators from Austin, the Sir Douglas Quintet from San Antonio and the Zakary Thaks from Corpus Christi; they likely absorbed the thuggish pop stomp of the Seeds, from Los Angeles, and the aggressive and pop-savvy blues of Freddie King; and, before breaking up, they completely devoured, and got essentially lost in, the sound and style of the Jimi Hendrix Experience....For many, the idea of a Moving Sidewalks reunion seemed far-fetched and ridiculous, what with Billy Gibbons moving on to (much) bigger things as a member of ZZ Top. Yet fans of the '60s psych band from Texas were treated to a minor miracle Saturday night at BB King's (3/30) when the band joined Headless Horsemen for a rare one-off appearance. No other East Coast shows are on the docket, but Moving Sidewalks will be playing Austin Psych Fest later this month. Pictures and setlist are below.
For the archaeologists of vinyl the Moving Sidewalks re-enacted most of its artifacts: the early single "99th Floor," with a brisk, go-go-dancer vibe, a local hit in Houston in 1967; a slow, exaggeratedly heavy, funny arrangement of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand"; and songs from its Hendrix-inspired album, "Flash," messier and more soulful, which was released a little after tthe band split up and consequently never went anywhere. -[NY Times]
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...
DOWNLOAD: Chelsea Wolfe - "I Let Love In" (Nick Cave Cover) (MP3)
Chelsea Wolfe at Saint Vitus in August (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Stereogum and PopGun are co-presenting a CMJ showcase with Titus Andronicus, Delicate Steve, Chelsea Wolfe, Cuckoo Chaos, Mr. Dream, and Hollerado at Glasslands on October 18. Tickets are $15 with RSVP.
PopGun are also co-presenting the True Panther showcase at Glasslands, the Weird Vibes showcase at Cameo on October 20 with Weekend (who also play the BV CMJ showcase @ MHOW), Headless Horseman, Pat Jordache and others, and the Yours Truly showcase at Glasslands on October 21 with Active Child (who also play the BV CMJ showcase @ MHOW), Born Gold, The Stepkids, Memoryhouse, Caveman, Inc., and Ava Luna. PopGun also do their own showcase at Cameo on October 22 with Teen Daze, Art Vs. Science, and others. RSVP is open for all of the showcases.
Speaking of Chelsea Wolfe, she's got other CMJ shows scheduled including Europa on October 19, the Life or Death CMJ showcase at Cake Shop on October 20, a Pendu/Impose showcase at 285 Kent on October 22, and more TBA. She also recently recorded a cover of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' "I Let Love In." You can download that cover at the top of this post. Chelsea and her band also recently performed for an I-N Session. Check out a video of that performance below. In December, she'll go on a North American tour with The Black Heart Procession, though that tour unfortunately does not include any East Coast dates.
All dates and video below...
by Bill Pearis
After last week's crazy abundance of sonic riches, this week is nicely slim on choices (at least for thing's that interest me.) But even a fallow week has plenty to do.
Tonight (8/2) at Glasslands is the record release party for Widowspeak's self-titled debut, which is out on Captured Tracks. This local trio gets compared to Mazzy Star a lot -- and I am as guilty as anybody -- which is to say singer Molly Hamilton has the same smoky vocal quality as Hope Sandoval. And the band make vaguely '60s-ish pop, dreamy and twangy with lots of vibrato.
I pulled out She Hangs Brightly last night and, really... Widowspeak doesn't really sound all that much like Mazzy Star. Hamilton's voice is more breathy and effervescent than Sandoval's (and an undeniably powerful weapon live, a subtle knife), and their music isn't nearly as drowsy or patchouli-soaked. Beyond that, the band are good songwriters and performers -- the album is quite good. Though I still say their cover of "Wicked Game" is a little too on-the-nose.
The Glasslands show also is NYC live debut of new Captured Tracks signing Hoop Dreams. The six-piece are from Blacksburg, VA, same as fellow C/T band Wild Nothing. (The label has a stronghold on Southwest Virginia talent it seems.) The A-side to their Captured Tracks single, all two minutes of it, is hook-filled in a Spencer Krug kind of way, and you can download it at the top of this post. (The b-side is a little more dour.) It doesn't sound like six people made it, so I'm curious to see them play tonight.
Big Audio Dynamite @ Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
The newly reformed Big Audio Dynamite, who last played a somewhat prohibitively expensive (but awesome) show at Roseland back in April, are back in town to play Brooklyn Bowl tomorrow night (8/3). Tickets, a more reasonable $35, are sold out but there will be "limited admission" at the door, which will open at 6PM. Here's some of what I wrote about the Roseland show:
Getting nearly every single the band released plus some choice album cuts, the NYC show was a pretty perfect showcase for what made B.A.D. so great: killer dance songs ("C'mon Every Beatbox," "E=MC²," "Just Play Music"), hip hop and reggae-influenced jams ("Sightsee MC," "BAD"), the band's love of film ("Medicine Show"), and genuinely affecting pop ("The Other 99," "V. Thirteen"). We also got "Beyond the Pale," one of the best songs Jones has ever written, dedicated last night to Joe Strummer (who cowrote much of No. 10 Upping St.).Also playing is Bad Brains frontman HR, and onetime Smiths bassist Andy Rourke will DJ in between sets.
Apart from the tip of the hat to Strummer, Jones didn't do a whole lot of "remember when" talk and kept things mostly free of drippy nostalgia. He was, however, jovial and chatty, joking with the audience between songs or when things went askew, like a false start to encore number "E=MC²."
Band co-founder Don Letts is just one of the coolest dudes on the planet, and B.A.D. really came alive on any song that featured him, of which there was a fair amount: foreign war critique "A Party," the hard-hitting London travelogue that is "Sightsee MC!" and the band's theme tune, "BAD." (Also the reggae hoedown "Battle of All Saints Road," though I would've prefered No. 10 Upping St.'s "Ticket.") Letts, who's inching towards 60, jumped around the stage, dreads hitting the ground, like it was 25 years ago.
And that's the big stuff for this week in the TWIIverse. (Told you it was a quiet week.) As usual, some more daily picks, starting at Wednesday, are below.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3
Though it's been a while since they've been in the spotlight, Fountains of Wayne continue to write winning powerpop about everday minutae. That includes their just-released Sky Full of Holes. Hear songs from that -- as well as probably "Stacy's Mom" and "Radiation Vibe" -- tonight at Bowery Ballroom with Nicole Atkins opening. It's sold out, as is their acoustic show on Friday (8/5) at City Winery.
This week's Summerscreen in McCarren Park is '90s classic Clueless, with the sultry and danceable Zambri opening the show.
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
DOWNLOAD: Little Dragon - "Nightlight (Unknown Mortal Orchestra Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "How Can U Luv Me" (MP3)
UMO @ Glasslands
Unknown Mortal Orchestra headlined Glasslands on 6/4. Headless Horseman, Balkans, and Fort Lean rounded out the rest of the bill. Despite some gear issues, UMO played an hour long set that concluded with "How Can U Luv Me" to a relatively full crowd. UMO is currrently prepping to release their self-titled debut on Fat Possum on 6/21. Stream three songs at the label site and download one above along with a remix the band did for Little Dragon.
The Glasslands show was one of two NYC dates for UMO, who played Webster Hall with their tour-mates Portugal The Man the night before. They'll return both venues in September while on tour with Toro Y Moi who headlines Webster Hall on 9/14. Ava Luna is also on the bill and tickets are still available. One day later, 9/15, UMO return to Glasslands for another headlining show. Tickets are on sale for that too.
UMO also has a bunch of dates scheduled with Yuck.. All dates and more pictures from Glasslands below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Craft Spells - After The Moment (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Craft Spells - Party Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Crazy Rulers of the World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bare Wires - Ready to Go (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bare Wires - Seeking Love (MP3)
First up is Craft Spells who make their NYC debut tonight (4/8) at Music Hall of Williamsburg, opening for fellow Captured Tracks band Beach Fossils, plus Crinkles and an "Unannounced Special Guest" that might drum up some excitement if anyone could figure out who that might actually be. Craft Spells also play Saturday (4/9) at Glasslands with Cloud Nothings and the Sundelles, which is also a pretty solid lineup.
On record at least, Craft Spells is basically Justin Paul Vallesteros who made his debut album Idle Labor in his home. Vallesteros is making a go of it, having recently moved from Stockton, California to Seattle where he's turned Craft Spells into a quartet. Idle Labor is very much a bedroom pop album (and a very good one), clearly created by one guy who loves a lot of '80s music (OMD, Pale Fountains come to mind, as does New Order though mainly through the album art).
You can download two tracks from Idle Labor at the top of this post. But the Craft Spells live experience eschews the keyboards for a straight-up guitar pop sound that I'm told is a little more akin to Orange Juice. Which sounds pretty good too. We shall see.
As you're reading this column, you're probably well aware that the '90s are totally back. Which means bands from that era are totally back too. Bands like Sebadoh whose classic albums Sebadoh III, Bubble and Scrape and Bakesale helped define the sound of "indie rock." (I tried in vein to find a clip of Lou [wearing a Joy Division t-shirt] talking at length about breakups on MTV's Sex in the '90s. Somebody get on this please.] And they're totally back -- in NYC -- this weekend, playing Bowery Ballroom on April 9th and 10th. It looks like the Sunday show still has tickets at the moment.
To be fair, Lou Barlow, Jason Lowenstein and Eric Gaffney started playing together again in 2007 but it seems a lot more interesting now, what with Yuck slyly cribbing their moves and all. Oupa -- Yuck singer Daniel Bloomberg's side project -- are supposed to open for Sebadoh Saturday, though it's not listed on the Bowery website now. For sure you'll get Richard Buckner, who's opening both nights.
Keeping with the '90s indie rock vibe, don't forget Seattle's BOAT are playing Mercury Lounge tomorrow (4/9). It's a relatively early show -- BOAT are on at 9PM -- so you can go do something else after. They are super fun live, even when massive equipment failure threatens to derail them. BOAT persevere with good humor.
One of the things you could do after BOAT is just stay at Mercury Lounge for the late show, featuring post-rockers Bardo Pond and New Zealand's Surf City. While they've never really broken up, Bardo Pond are best known for their late-'90s canon on Matador, full of lengthy spaced-out jams full of crashing waves of guitar noise and throbbing bass. The band's hazy groove sounds intact on last year's self-titled new album.
Surf City, meanwhile, are indebted to the classic Flying Nun sound, meaning a whole lot of the Clean, a good dose of The Jean Paul Sartre Experience, and maybe a little Bats for good measure. Their new-ish album is called Kudos and is loaded with catchy, noisy guitar pop, like "Crazy Rulers of the World," downloadable above. Coincidentally, Crazy Rulers of the World is also the title of my forthcoming coffee table book about novelty measuring sticks. Go figure.
Surf City also play Glasslands on Tuesday (4/12) with Darlings, Lingering Doubt, and Little Racer.
That's it for this week's This Week in Indie. A few more daily picks follow.
FRIDAY, APRIL 8
Boston power pop band Pretty & Nice play Spike Hill. These guys are solid.
The name is kind of horrible and I'm personally not crazy about the music but I'm told Gobble Gobble's live show is unforgettable which might be reason enough to go check them out at Glasslands tonight. With Headless Horsemen.
SATURDAY, APRIL 9
Dinowalrus, She Keeps Bees, Total Slacker, Gunfight, Quiet Loudly, Pet Ghost Project, Mussels, Data Dog, El Jezel, Nature Boy, Shark? and more play the Brain-Cave Festival at Shea Stadium. Starts at 2PM, $10.
SUNDAY, APRIL 10
Garagey power pop band Bare Wires are at Cake Shop on Sunday with Fergus and Geronimo. Bare Wires are great, go out and see 'em!
OK, that's it! Tour dates, video, and flyers are below.
This Friday (2/4) and, every other Friday in February at Pianos, is reserved for Headless Horseman, the Brooklyn duo who recently dropped their five-song digital LP on Bandcamp. Stream it in full below, and download a pair of tracks from a forthcoming "digital seven-inch" due via Greedhead (above).
Fareed & Conner of HH will focus their energies on new material at Pianos, and have roped in a crew of notables during the four week stint. The residency kicks off on 2/4 with sets by Family Portrait, Beige, Mega Fortress, and Philip Seymour Hoffman while Nate of Cults DJs the affair (tickets).
The 2nd week (2/11) features Tony Castles, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson & Brahms on DJ duty (tickets), while a mystery headliner plays with DADS (featuring Hima Suri of Das Racist + Quinn Walker of Suckers) and Blood Orange and a DJ set from Das Racist on 2/18 (tickets). The residency closes on 2/25 with Popo & Android Lust and more TBA (no advanced tickets for that yet). The full lineups and flyer are below.
Cults and Brahms both have other dates in the near future too. As discussed, Cults, Magic Kids, and Superhumanoids are scheduled to take on Knitting Factory on March 30th(tickets) and March 31 at Mercury Lounge (tickets) as part of a larger Cults campaign to SXSW and on to Coachella. Brahms is scheduled to DJ Asobi Seksu's show at Mercury Lounge (tickets) and play Glasslands on 2/24 with Acrylics and New Moods (tickets).
More details on the HH residency, more Brahms dates, the digital 7-inch and the Headless Horseman album stream is below....
photos by Chris La Putt
"Neo-folk and it's many reinterpretations predominated the line-up, which included Headless Horseman, Bentley Addison Wood, Strand of Oaks, Matt Bauer, The Loom and more (we left before Death in it's many forms arrived). This is also just to say that the urban-woodsman look--plaid with hair on your head and/or on your chinny-chin chin--is still in, plus instruments that you probably haven't seen played since that brief stint in your middle school band (and a few odd balls): pots and pans, banjo, soprano/baritone ukulele, upright bass, French horn and trumpet. Watching Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks shimmy with his guitar, Matt Bauer plucking his banjo singing "Daddy was a spider and Momma was a fly," and The Loom in all their polyphonic glory, I was keenly reminded of how awesome house parties of the non-college-Milwaukee's-Beast breed really can be." [Dirty Art Smock]Though he didn't stay until the end (much like the above reviewer), Chris La Putt stopped by our loft party that took place on Friday, October 22nd. His pictures are in this post. He left after The Loom which means he missed Alcoholic Faith Mission, Dan Mangan, and O'Death.
The Loom left on a tour not long after the party. They're in Philly tonight (11/12) and the tour ends this Saturday night, 11/13, at Bowery Ballroom. They and Anais Mitchell are both opening for Horse Feathers. Tickets are still on sale, and I have a couple pairs you can win. Details at the end of the loft pictures, below...
Local Natives playing the loft in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
BrooklynVegan presents: The Whisk & Ladle Loft Show IIListen to some tracks from these artists HERE. RSVP if you're looking for a unique low key option away from the rat race tonight. See you there! And today at Public Assembly!
Date: Friday, October 22rd
Time: Doors @ 8pm
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. RSVP for specific location
*** RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org ***
9:00 - Headless Horseman (Brooklyn, NY)
9:45 - Strand of Oaks (Wilkes-Barre/Philadelphia, PA) -
10:30 - The Loom (Brooklyn, NY)
11:30 - Dan Mangan (Vancouver, CA) -
12:15 - O'Death (Brooklyn, NY) -