Entries tagged with: Hoop Dreams

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by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: TOPS - Turn Your Love Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (For Real For Sure For You) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD:  Young Prisms - Floating in Blue (MP3)
DOWNLOADBoy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle (MP3)

Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco

It begins. Bands from all over the world -- England! Canada! Sweden! New Zealand! Virginia! -- descend on New York as they beat a path to Austin for this year's SXSW. Which is good for those who aren't going, as well as folks who are but want to see bands play longer than 25 minutes and aren't strung out on a four-day diet of free breakfast tacos, Vitamin Water and Amstel Light. There's lots more going on than what is covered below, but it's what I'm interested in over the next few days.

New Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco is in town from Vancouver to play a couple shows. He plays an all-C/T bill tonight (3/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DIVE, Hoop Dreams and headliners Beach Fossils (sold out), and then Glasslands tomorrow (3/3) with  headliners Widowspeak and  Quilt.

Demarco, who used to record under the name Makeout Videotapes, has a smoky baritone that is part Chris Isaak and part Tindersticks. His music owes a little to Isaak as well, with an early '60s vibe (Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent) by way of '80s neon, all on a four-track budget. You can check debut "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans" from his debut, Rock n' Roll Hotel (out 3/20) at the top of this post, which is indicative of what Demarco is all about. You can also watch the video for "Only You" which is kind of NSFW. Dude's a provocateur.

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

Tonight's MHoW show is the first NYC show we've had from Blacksburg, VA's Hoop Dreams in a long while. They were good when I saw them at Glasslands last year and have the potential to be breakouts for the label if they ever get around to releasing another record (only a single so far). Live, they're more in the Arcade Fire/Editors anthemic style than the single might suggest. It will also be a good opportunity to hear new music from Beach Fossils who are busy at work on their second LP.

And of course, DIVE, who are probably one of the more exciting live bands in Brooklyn right now and are a definite SXSW must-see if you don't live here and have the opportunity to catch them twice a week like we currently do. (They're also touring with Frankie Rose in April.) The show is sold out tonight, but I'd be shocked if there weren't tickets at the door at least when the box office opens.

TOPS
TOPS

Montreal band TOPS are playing 285 Kent tomorrow night as part of a killer bill that includes Blood Orange, Phone Tag and  Caged Animals. The four-piece is comprised of most (if not all) of MTL's Silly Kissers who played here a few times over the last few years and were a little on the precious side (they sometimes wore mime makeup). TOPS, however, are more in the Ariel Pink/Puro Instict brand of minimal keyboard pop. Their debut, Tender Opposites, came out this week on Artibus Records, which is also home to Grimes (in Canada). You can download "Turn Your Love Around" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing (and watch the further down.

As you may have read, 285 headliners Caged Animals will open the Official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on March 14 at Bar 69 which also includes Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young and one more TBA. If you haven't heard their tuneful, charming debut Eat Their Own yet, it's still streamable at their BandCamp. And they're terrific live.

So is Blood Orange, despite it just being Dev Hynes, his guitar and a laptop. I saw him last weekend at Glasslands where he spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. I do wish he'd get a band, but the one-man Blood Orange is a lot of fun. I haven't seen Phone Tag in a while, but I dig their brand of '80s synthpop.

Korallreven
Koralreven

Sunday night (3/4) at Bowery Ballroom is the NYC debut of Swedish duo Korallreven, one half of which is The Radio Dept.'s Daniel Tjäder. I like their debut album a lot, all lush, synth-driven dream pop but, like a lot of music like this, I wonder how they're going to make it an interesting concert experience. I envision two guys behind laptops and keyboards bobbing their heads and singing, with some projections and hopefully smoke machines.  Maybe they could move the downstairs couches to the main room? Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. I'm sure it will sound great in any case.  If you haven't heard them yet, you can download "Sa Sa Samoa" in regular and remixed form at the top of this post and watch the video at the bottom of this post. Also playing: Lemonade and Young Magic.

Bachelorette
Bachelorette

Also playing Sunday night, at Cameo, is Bachelorette -- aka New Zealander Annabel Alpers who I think lives here now. Buoyed by Alpers delicate, breathy voice, Bachelorette make ethereal synthpop not miles away from The Magnetic Fields, with whom she's going on tour for seven shows. (All dates at the bottom of this post.) I liked it better when she had a band, but the loop pedal incarnation is pretty lovely too. You can check out a couple videos below or stream her most recent album on Spotify.

Young Prisms at the Comet, Seattle (photo by Finest Kiss)
Young Prisms Finest Kiss

And looking into early next week, San Francisco's Young Prisms and Austin's Boy Friend are at Glasslands on Monday (3/5). Young Prisms new album, In Between, is out March 27 on Kanine and is a real step forward for the band. Their still mining first-wave shoegaze, but the songs are much stronger this time out with a couple that go for jangly Velocity Girl style pop. They will be very loud I guarantee you. Boy Friend will make a nice opener, with their hazy, 4-AD miasma vibe. You can download MP3s from both bands at the top of this post. Also playing, seemingly from another show, are Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and Tanks Amigo.

That's the big stuff for the next four days. But wait, there's more. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above:

The Young Empires at M for Montreal 2011
Young Empires

FRIDAY, MARCH 2

Like Friendly Fires and Foals? Check out Toronto's Young Empires are at Glasslands, with Saint Motel, Fan-Tan, and Transmission NYC (DJ set).

Expect a wild evening at Death by Audio with "original line-up" Tyvek, plus Habibi, Feelings and the Numerators. Stick-in-the-muds, go see something else!

Boston's pop veterans The Figgs play Littlefield. The band's new double album, The Day Gravity Stopped, is out sometime soon.

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Continue reading "Mac DeMarco, TOPS, Korallreven, Bachelorette, Young Prisms, Boy Friend and more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Dreamers (MP3)

Savoir Adore

It's been two years since Savoir Adore released their debut album In the Wooded Forrest. While they're busy finishing the follow-up, the band just released a new single on Neon Gold Records and you can download the track at the top of this post. "Dreamers" is high-fi, reaching-for-the-stars widescreen pop. You can dance to it too. Cover art below.

Meanwhile, Savoir Adore have four CMJ shows lined up: Thursday afternoon at Cake shop (10/20, 5PM FREE) for the NYC Taper party; Friday Night at Santos (10/21, 10:30PM, $10 w/o a badge) as part of the Neon Gold Showcase; Saturday afternoon at Bowery Electric (10/22, 5PM FREE w/ RSVP) and then Saturday night at Pianos upstairs (10:10PM, FREE). Flyers and lineups below.

The band also did a session for BlipTV, performing a new song "Loveliest Creature" which you can watch here.

Continue reading "Savoir Adore's new single & a bunch more CMJ parties"

photos and video by Jessica Amaya

Widowspeak @ Glasslands
Widowspeak

Widowspeak played their record release show at Glasslands on August 2 with Hoop Dreams, who just signed to Captured Tracks and were making their NYC live debut. Ex-Cops, and Crinkles were also on the bill. According to Pop Gun, who booked the show:

Captured Tracks label mates and Virginia natives Hoop Dreams played direct support with a packed stage (they have 6 members!) which included a few rotations like a little double teaming tambourine and even some violin action over the sentimental post-punk jams.

Widowspeak totally ruled the night. The band didn't say more than a few 'thank yous' when they took the stage, but they proceeded to play such a gorgeous set. Everything sounded really tight even though some of the material was really new, they even debuted a live performance of one of the album tracks!

Widowspeak's self titled debut came out on Captured Tracks this past Tuesday (8/9). You can purchase the album as LP/CD at the Captured Tracks webstore.

As mentioned, Widowspeak are supporting Vivian Girls on a September tour which culminates in a show at Knitting Factory on September 20. Tickets are still available. They also open for Woods at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (8/13). Tickets for that show are still available too.

Updated dates, more pictures, and video of Widowspeak from the show below...

Continue reading "Widowspeak played Glasslands w/ Hoop Dreams & friends (pics & video), playing more shows (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Widowspeak - Harsh Realm (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hoop Dreams - XCPR (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Crinkles - I'm a Dog (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: VHS or Beta - I Found a Reason (MP3)

Widowspeak
Widowspeak

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.

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

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.

You can also catch the shoegazy sounds of Burlington, VT's Crinkles (check out "I'm a Dog" at the top of this post) and Excops (new band from Hymns frontman Brian Harding).

Big Audio Dynamite @ Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Big Audio Dynamite

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.).

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.

Also playing is Bad Brains frontman HR, and onetime Smiths bassist Andy Rourke will DJ in between sets.

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.

Music streaming service Spotify is sponsoring a free show at Mercury Lounge with Suckers and Headless Horseman at Mercury Lounge. First come first served, no RSVP necessary.

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Continue reading "Widowspeak, Big Audio Dynamite, Hoop Dreams, Crinkles, VHS or Beta & more This Week in Indie"

Vivian Girls at Emo's in Austin in April (more by Tim Griffin)
Vivian GIrls

Vivian Girls are going on tour this September with fellow Brooklyn band Widowspeak. The tour culminates in Brooklyn on September 20 at Knitting Factory. Tickets are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

Vivian Girls also have a new video for "Take It As It Comes" off the cleaner-sounding Share the Joy, which came out earlier this year. You can watch it below.

Widowspeak, who Bill points out are hard to talk about without mentioning Mazzy Star, will release their self titled debut on August 9 via Captured Tracks. Check out the album track "Gun Shy" below. They play a record release show for the album on August 2 at Glasslands with Hoop Dreams, Crinkles and Ex-Cops. Tickets are on sale now and a flier for the show is below. They're also on the bill for the Woods 8/13 show at Bowery Ballroom with Ducktails and White Fence. Tickets are still on sale for that too.

All dates, videos, streams, flier and album art below...

Continue reading "Vivian Girls & Widowspeak dates, new video & stuff "