Entries tagged with: Honey Bunch

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photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Bill Pearis

Stevie Jackson
Stevie Jackson

Belle & Sebastian's Stevie Jackson is a genuine charmer. Headlining the final night of Chickfactor 20: For the Love of Pop at The Bell House, he did much of the set solo (and with a scraggly beard and a bushy head of hair, Jackson looked a lot like Angel from The Rockford Files) and held the crowd's attention the whole time, performing a mix of Belle & Sebastian songs (not necesarilly his own), songs from his new solo album (I Can't Get No) Stevie Jackson, and covers (including a surprisingly great take on Elton John's "Rocket Man"). He's also a master of between-song banter and an audience participation leader. It was a great end to the three-day festival that felt more like a party than a series of concerts.

For about a third of the set, Jackson was backed by Honey Bunch, fronted by Jeffrey Underhill who also spent time in Velvet Crush, whose brand of Byrdsian guitar pop has been going on and off since the late '80s. Like the night before, I didn't get there till late so I missed The Softies, The Pines, The Ladybug Transistor and unannounced openers Franklin Bruno and Fan Modine. But we have pictures from the whole night, along with videos of The Softies and The Pines courtesy of Bleary Eyed Brooklyn. Click through for that.

Continue reading "Chickfactor 20 @ the Bell House (night 3 pics/video/review) -- Stevie Jackson, Honey Bunch, The Softies & more"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADBlack Tambourine - What's Your Game? (MP3)

Black Tambourine at Artsphere, Washington DC (via Sammich's instagram)
Black Tambourine

Between most songs in Black Tambourine's set, Mike Schulman, Archie Moore, and (Washington City Paper staffer) Brian Nelson switched off between guitar, bass, and percussion. Singer Pam Berry, lectern in tow, stayed in the center--and because it was true to the original recordings, it was OK that her voice was a little low in the mix. Everything was loud, fast, and feedback-strewn. About 5 percent of the audience was absolutely flipping out. Seventy to 80 percent was mostly flipping out, but with less flailing. "We've practiced three times in a row, which is three more times in a row than we'd ever practiced before," Moore said after the show. [Washington City Paper]
Black Tambourine are in the greater New York area, having played Maxwell's last night (with Fan Modine and Rose Melberg) and will headline tonight's first of three chickfactor 20th anniversary shows at The Bell House. Tonight (4/10 with Small Factory, Versus, the Lois Plus) and tomorrow (4/11 with The Aisler's Set, Pipas, Bridget St. John, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group) are sold out but you can still get tickets to Thursday's closing show (4/12) with Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Honey Bunch, The Pines, The Softies).

For those going tonight, there are two unannounced special guests opening the show, so get there at 8PM sharp! Black Tambourine's new EP of Ramones covers (download "What's Your Game?" above) isn't out till May 15 but I wouldn't be surprised if it was at the merch table tonight.

Additionally, for those Small Factory fans who couldn't get tickets tonight (or are maybe going to see Pulp), the reformed Rhode Islanders play Cake Shop on Friday (4/13) with Air Waves.

Click through to see the lovely poster for the chickfactor anniverary, done by Tae Won Yu (who did the art for Built to Spill's Perfect from Now On and Keep it Like a Secret).

Continue reading "Black Tambourine played D.C. & Maxwell's, playing 1st of 3 chickfactor anniversary shows in NYC (tonight @ Bell House)"

by Bill Pearis

chickfactor #1 with cover stars Small Factory
Chickfactor

chickfactor will celebrate its 20-year anniversary with five blissful nights of sparkling indie pop on the Northeast Corridor of the USA (three in NY; two in DC) including the first shows in years by Black Tambourine, Small Factory, Pipas, The Aislers Set, A Girl Called Eddy, The Softies, The Lois Plus, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group and Fan Modine and rare performances from such pop luminaries asStevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Frankie Rose, Lilys, Lorelei, Dot Dash, Versus, Bridget St John and Honey Bunch.

chickfactor started in 1992 in D.C. and New York by pop-loving maniacs Pam Berry and Gail O'Hara, who used to travel up and down the East Coast seeing Small Factory, Honey Bunch, the Wedding Present and any other fine indie-pop bands of the era. We are spoiled silly and lucky as all get-out to be able to present this super-stellar line-up. Get your ticket fast, do not dilly-dally!

Those who followed indiepop in the '90s most certainly read (and probably still have their copies of) fabled 'zine chickfactor, which was written all in lower-case and was read sideways like a calendar. Stephin Merritt was among the regular contributors and it was fun, funny and turned a lot of folks on to cool new sounds like Black Tambourine, Lois Maffeo, Small Factory, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Tiger Trap and many more. Stevie Jackson wrote a song about it for the second Belle & Sebastian album, maybe you heard it.

For chickfactor's 20th anniversary, founders Gail O'Hara and Pam Berry have put together a five-day, two-city festival that gathers many of the zine's most loved bands, many of whom haven't performed in 15 or more years. It happens April 6 and 7 at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia and then in NYC April 10 -12 at The Bell House (Maybe some of you went to the 10th anniversary show at Fez?).

Tickets for the Bell House are on sale today (1/12) noon and are $25 for individual nights (4/10, 4/11, 4/12) or $70 for a three day pass.

The shows shows break down like this:

April 6 (Artispace, Arlington, VA): Stevie Jackson, Frankie Rose, Honey Bunch, The Dot Dash

April 7 (Artispace, Arlington, VA): Black Tambourine, Lilys, Fan Modine, Lorelei

April 10 (The Bell House, Brooklyn): Black Tambourine, Small Factory, Versus, The Lois Plus + Special Guests.

April 11 (The Bell House, Brooklyn): The Aislers Set, Pipas, Bridget St. John, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group

April 12 (The Bell House, Brooklyn): Stevie Jackson, Honey Bunch, A Girl Called Eddy, The Softies

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Black Tambourine (first East Coast shows in 20 years) and The Aislers Set (first in almost 10 years) are the big draws here, but this writer is especially excited about folk pop trio Small Factory who haven't played together in 15 years and Minneapolis' The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group whose 1995 album O Brother Where Art Thou? is a lost '90s classic (they're promising a new album this year too).

This comes a mere month before the sixth annual NYC Popfest (happening May 17 - 20) which means this spring is likely to be a very good year for indiepop fans. NYC Popfest hasn't divulged any of its line-up, but I hear it may be their most ambitious yet.

Click though for a detailed rundown of the chickfactor fest line-up, plus some vintage videos from the groups involved.

Continue reading "Black Tambourine, Aislers Set, Small Factory, Legendary Jim Ruiz Group & more reuniting for chickfactor festival"