Entries tagged with: Howler
Long-running UK music weekly NME has just published their Year-End issue and have named Tame Impala's Lonerism as album of the year, with Grimes, Frank Ocean, Crystal Castles and Alt-J rounding out the Top 5. Tame Impala offshoot Pond comes in at #7. Check out the entire Top 50 list below.
NME's Top 50 LPs of 2012 are listed below.
The Fly is the "UK's most popular new music magazine," but if you haven't heard of it, its because it's a free monthly that doesn't really get international distribution. You can however read it online. The mag just released it's year-end issue and topping their Best Albums of 2012 is Sharon Van Etten's Tramp (which was just released in a Deluxe edition, a fine Xmas gift don't you know). Sharon narrowly beat out Grimes, whose Visions came in at #2. The whole list, in ascending order, is below and you can read what The Fly said about each album here.
A list of the Fly's Top 50 Albums of 2012 is below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Howler - I Told You Once (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fujiya & Miyagi - Ecstatic Dancer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dinowalrus - What Now (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pre War - Out There (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Royal Baths - Darling Divine (MP3)
Welcome to the Stop SOPA edition of TWII. Do you know how hard it would be to do this column without free knowledge via the internet? It would be riddled with factual errors. More so!
Minneapolis underage upstarts Howler are in town playing a whole bunch of shows. The onslaught began last night with an in-store at Other Music (their album came out yesterday), and continues with: an early show tonight (January 18) with Happy People andTiberius, January 19 at Death By Audio with Grooms andClouder, January 20 at Cameo Gallery with St. Lucia, and January 21 at Pianos with Dear Lions, Cemeteries, and The Everymen.
As mentioned, Howler's debut album came out yesterday and is titled America Give Up which kind of feels like a "just try not to like us" dare. Their sound -- a little Strokes, a little Jesus and Mary Chain, a little West Coast garage -- is indeed easy to like, even if there isn't much "new" about it. But the band have no shortage of hooks and a good dose of hard-to-fake attitude. As previously mentioned, ou can stream the whole thing at NPR.
Most of the hype is coming from the UK press who are still enamored with the Vaccines (with whom Howler's toured). I like Howler better than them and am going to make an effort to catch one of their shows this week. You should too, surely you've got one night free this week?
Fujiya & Miyagi
Also in town this week are Fugiya & Miyagi, playing Glasslands on Thursday (1/19) and Mercury Lounge on Saturday (1/21, sold out). The band have a new single out, "Ecstatic Dancer," that you can download at the top of this post. It's the kind of slinky, glammy stomper you could imagine Goldfrapp doing but with David Best's whispery vocals. No album attached to it as far as I can tell so it seems the single supports the tour, not the other way around as usual.
The band are also on the Power, Corruption & Lies Covered CD that comes with the February issue of MOJO, where the entirety of cover stars New Order's second album is covered by the likes of Destroyer, S.C.U.M. and Errors. Fujiya & Miyagi contribute a fairly wrote version of Side Two opener "Your Silent Face." (Stream it below.) The band are a good time live and are equally adept at both Neu!-style motorik and funky Can rhythms as you may already know. My favorite song is still "Ankle Injuries" but I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.
Thursday's Glasslands show is with Zambri, who really impressed me at Glasslands last month, Rarechild and The Golden Filter on DJ duties. For Saturday's show at Merc, openers are Aimes, Jangulaand Dinowalrus.
Dinowalrus' second album, Best Behavior, is due out March 6 on Old Flame records. If you haven't seen them in a while, the band dropped the dissonance in favor of a sound under the influenced of late '80s Manchester. While that means some danceable tracks, it also means atmospheric rockers like "What Now" which veers closer to The Chameleons or The Sound. You can download it at the top of this post.
If you're looking for something a little more mellow, man, perhaps you should check out onetime Eisley bassist Jonathan Wilson who is here for three shows this week. He's at Mercury Lounge tomorrow (1/19) for an early show and again on Friday (1/20) for a late show with Quilt), and then hits the Rock Shop on Saturday (1/ 21).
Jonathan Wilson's Gentle Spirit made its way onto many Best of 2011 lists, coming in at #4 on MOJO's year end coverage. Pazz n' Jop notsomuch, only three votes, which landed it in a 21-way tie for #372. Mind you, Wilson's music -- which recalls the heyday of early '70s Laurel Canyon -- is prime fodder for a magazine like MOJO that has a Beatle on the cover at least once a year, but Gentle Spirit is a genuinely gorgeous album that exudes a West Coast vibe even in the coldest New York winter. Spotify users can listen to the album here.
This is the only picture on Pre War's Facebook
And finally, for many in New York the phrase "pre war" is code for "not many electric outlets and no sink in the bathroom" but maybe that will change with Pre War the rock band who have dusted themselves off from the recently defunct Conversion Party. Like that band, Pre War traffic in catchy, big-chorused indie rock. Check out "Out There" at the top of this post and you can listen to more at the band's Tumblr.
You can catch Pre War live Thursday (1/19) at Cake Shop where they play with Grand Rapids, Plates of Cake, and Hunny.
That's the big stuff for this week. Day-by-day picks not covered above are below. Fight the power!
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18
Sharon Van Etten is at Mercury Lounge which if you don't have tickets, is sold out. She's got lots more shows coming up, though. Her new album, Tramp, is really good.
by Andrew Sacher
UK duo 2:54, who we suggested you check out when they made their US debut in NYC in late November, has a few US dates scheduled with fellow UK duo Big Deal surrounding SXSW. Those dates include March 11 at Glasslands and March 12 at Mercury Lounge, before they head to SXSW and finish up with a date together in LA. Tickets for the Mercury show go on sale today (1/13) at noon and tickets for the Glasslands show are not on sale yet but check ticketfly for updates.
Big Deal (aka Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe) will release their debut LP, Lights Out, on January 24 via Mute. They don't seem to be using more than an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and their voices. They've got enough indie rock tendencies that it's bigger sounding than folk, but with the complete absence of drums, it's not nearly as large as their songwriting could lead it to be, and it ends up working to their advantage. A few of the tracks from the album are available to stream below, including the single, "Chair," and an accompanying video, "Locked Up," "Homework," and perhaps the most memorable, "Talk," which revolves around the repeated chorus of "All I wanna do is talk/but seeing you fucks me up," a refrain with the brutal honesty of emo but without its stigmas. The artwork and tracklist for Lights Out is below.
2:54 @ Pianos in December (more by Erik Erikson)
2:54 also have some upcoming dates in the UK with another UK band, The Big Pink, whose new album, Future This, comes out next week and is streaming in full with track by track commentary from the band on SPIN.
NME also points out in their review of The Maccabees' new album, Given to the Wild, which came out 1/9 in the UK, that, "On their forthcoming tour, the band will be supported by 2:54." The two bands, who are now labelmates (2:54 signed to Fiction), also toured together in 2011. The Maccabees also have dates with another UK band we said you should check out, Trailer Trash Tracys, whose great debut LP, Ester, comes out February 7 via Domino.
In NME's review of The Maccabees' Given to the Wild, they called the album the "first classic album of 2012" and gave it a 9/10, the highest score they've given to any album by the band thus far (their first two got 8's). The album is pretty great. It was produced by DFA's Tim Goldsworthy, and he helps bring in a more ambient feel to their sound. It doesn't have the powerful choruses of Wall of Arms but it reaches similar heights by taking a step away from that and exploring layers of new and different sounds. Check out the videos for "Feel to Follow" and "Pelican" off the album below.
Speaking of bands that NME loves, Howler (who have 7 NYC shows coming up, 5 of which are this month) are featured on the cover of NME's 'New Music 2012 Special Issue' and their debut LP, America Give Up is streaming in full on NPR.
All dates, videos, and streams below...
The band will tour in support of the album next year starting with a week of album release shows in NYC. Things begin with an instore at Other Music on the album's release date (1/17). Then they play on January 18 at Pianos with Happy People and Tiberius,
January 19 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Mission of Burma (they've been removed from the Music Hall bill), January 19 at Death By Audio with Grooms and Clouder, January 20 at Cameo Gallery with St. Lucia, and January 21 at Pianos with Dear Lions, Cemeteries, and The Everymen.
Then they head overseas before heading out on a proper North American tour in March which returns to NYC in April when they'll hit Knitting Factory on April 10 and Mercury Lounge on April 11.
All tour dates and a video below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Yang Yang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Terry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon - "Total Decay" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon - Breath the Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mikal Cronin - Get Along (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mikal Cronin - Apathy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Howler - I Told You Once (MP3)
Hello and welcome to the ATP Runoff edition of This Week in Indie. (Aka ATPTWII.) Yes the big news is the Portishead-curated All Tomorrow's Parties which is happening this year in Asbury Park, NJ which looks to be super cool. (I would like to see The Pop Group.) There are still tickets available for most of it -- it gets a little confusing what with "Three Day Jeff Magnum" passes and other variations but this column will not get into that. We're talking bands/artists who are also playing NYC shows while here. And some other stuff too.
First and foremost, for me, is Anika who is making her North American live debut tonight (9/27) at Le Poisson Rouge and tickets still seem to be available. Her debut album snuck in late last year but made my Best of 2011 with it's mix of post-punk and dub, and I've been waiting to see her live ever since. As I wrote before:
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 at the top of this post, cover's of Yoko Ono's "Yang Yang" and obscure British girl group singer Twinkle's "Terry." Anika is here on a limited North American tour and all her dates are at the bottom of this post. Anika's live band is a 5-piece that includes two of the three members of BEAK> (Geoff Barrow is the one who doesn't play with her live).
Opening for Anika is local act Slowdance who you may remember made L Magazine's "8 Bands You Need to Hear" list and whose debut EP, Light & Color, was just released last week. It's a "name your price" download at their Bandcamp site. The whole thing is pretty good but I especially dig the opening track "Cake" which is kind of like early B-52's minus Fred Schneider but in French.
I mentioned BEAK> who, in addition to sharing members with Anika, will also be performing their own set at ATP and have also just released a split EP with Toronto's proggy, mathy DD/MM/YYYY who are playing Friday night at Cameo with like-minded noisemakers Yvette and Bambara. DD/MM/YY are on short East Coast tour while here for ATP and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
If you like DD/MM/YY or have been curious about seeing them live, you should go to this show... because they're breaking up at the end of October and the Cameo show is their last NYC show before doing so. I last saw them at M for Montreal two years ago, where I wrote:
Also impressive live are Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY who have clearly gotten much tighter than the last time I saw them (Don Pedro's, like three years ago). It's proggy-mathy, but bordering on chaos too. I'm not that crazy about their records -- a little too much going on at one time for my poppier tastes -- but I'd go see them again, no question.Don't get too sad about them calling it quits, as four of the five are regrouping under the name Absolutely Free and will make their live debut at M for Montreal this year.
More ATPTWII action: London trio Factory Floor play two NYC shows this week: tomorrow (9/28) at Knitting Factory with Apache Beat and FAN-TAN, and then Thursday (9/29) at Mercury Lounge with fellow Londoners Walls.
Factory Floor get a lot of Joy Division comparisons and JD/New Order drummer Stephen Morris is a fan, remixing last year's "Wooden Box" single. But apart from looking sad in their press shots, Factory Floor are more in the minimal wave camp with drone and repetition being their weapons of choice. Their new single "(R E A L L O V E)" is basically a goth/industrial/techno/Krautrock ode to Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder's "I Feel Love" and is pretty awesome.
The band's next release will be on DFA in November. Judging from live clips on YouTube (like them performing "(R E A L L O V E)" at Rough Trade which you can watch below), Factory Floor are intense live and you might want to rearrange your show schedule to see them.
The Soft Moon
And rounding out the ATP-related shows are San Francisco's The Soft Moon who were supposed to be opening for Mogwai (who had to cancel) but will now play 285 Kent on Saturday (10/1) with White Ring and Beige (video flyer below), and the Wierd Party next Wednesday (10/5). Their new EP, Total Decay, is out on Halloween via Captured Tracks and you can download a track from it (and one from their debut album) at the top of this post. If you like '80s 4AD goth (Clan of Xymox, Xmal Deutchland) you're probably already going.
Speaking of goth, in a totally different way we've got Veronica Falls in town for two shows: tonight (9/27) at Glasslands and tomorrow (9/28) at Pianos. Their debut, out last week on Slumberland, is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I wrote about it over at Sound Bites which I will quote here:
The band get the C-86 tag a lot but, apart from The Velvet Underground (which has inspired 95% of all indiepop), New Zealand seems to be a bigger influence anyway. "Misery" and current single "Bad Feeling" could both be Bats songs. (The Verlaines are a clear influence too, and I bet someone in the band loves The Chills' "Pink Frost.") But this is not a band you really sit around playing "spot the influence" to, as you're too busy swooning to the gorgeous melodies and Roxanne Clifford's truly lovely voice.When I said "goth" above, I mean more in an old school romance kind of way. Love and death, often intertwined. If you're on Spotify you can listen to the album here. They're great live, do go see them. Tonight's Glasslands show is with German Measles, Tanks Amigo and Darlings; the Pianos show is entirely TWII-endorsed, with McDonalds, Heaven's Gate and The Hairs.
There's not a dud in Veronica Falls' 36 minute running time. New songs ("Misery," "Bad Feeling," the effervescent "The Box") are equals to early singles "Found Love in a Graveyard" and "Beachy Head" which appear here in newly recorded versions that might actually improve on the original versions.
Ty Segall plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (9/29) and we've given him a lot of love over the last few years. He's awesome. If you're going, do get there early and see opener Mikal Cronin who plays in Ty's band and used to front Charlie & the Moonhearts. I liked the Moonhearts just fine, but playing with Ty seems to have done wonders. Mikal's self-titled LP on Trouble in Mind (produced by Ty) is far and away the best thing he's ever done, is one of my albums of the year, and I like it more than Segall's Goodbye Bread to be honest.
The album has great song after great song, killer hooks and harmonies -- SoCal garagey surf-pop at it's finest. You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post.
Friday is the last night of Monster Island Basement and the DIY venue is going out a big show featuring Regal Degal, Total Slacker, La Big Vic, Hume and Royal Baths. It's the record release party for Total Slacker's debut album, Thrashin', which got a 6.7 on Pitchfork today:
Total Slacker's sense of humor is the album's driving force, and it's both overt and weirdly specific. The lyrics, for the most part, are a goofy celebration of the slacker caricature. Between the references to weed and various snack foods, and the record's languid pace, Rountree perpetuates the archetypal slacker character with his nasal whine. The track "Thyme Traveling High School Dropout", for example, is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style branding for a guy who goes back to the 18th century because marijuana isn't illegal then. And the title "Stealing From Salvation Army" says it all-- he plans on doing just that after he wakes up in the afternoon. That's pretty much the whole album. Thrashin' largely depends on buying into that character and thinking it's funny, or at least interesting, for 40 minutes.With Total Slacker's propensity for instrument-destroying, this last night at Monster Island could be a doozy.
And finally, Minneapolis band Howler are playing their first NYC shows this week: Thursday (9/29) at Glasslands and Friday opening for Tapes n' Tapes at Bowery Ballroom. The band just signed with Rough Trade who put out their EP, This One's Different, not too long ago. They're getting more UK press than here in the States. NME gave the EP 8/10 saying:
Howler are musical pizza. They're not a band you define yourself by. They're a band you dance to. Which is not to say that Howler are stupid, or people who like Howler are stupid. They just don't feel the need to prove that they're clever.Everybody likes Pizza, right? The review goes on to make a Razorlight comparison, so this pie must have extra cheese. You can download a Howler track at the top of this post.
The title of this first EP by Rough Trade's most recent signings is both misleading and spot on. There's nothing much different about these Minneapolis boys at all, with their sexy bedhead hair, skinny limbs and small-child-romping-at-a-family-wedding goofy energy. Their bratty guitar pop is as familiar as skin, but also as warm and lovable. But then, how many flat, formulaic takes on this same sound are also-running around out there? Howler are different because they make commonplace components fly with a brilliant nonchalance.
And that's the big stuff for this week. Slightly smaller stuff is below, day-by day:
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Portland duo Viva Voce are at Mercury Lounge tonight. They don't get enough attention -- apart from just being two of them there's no "angle" per se, besides good songs and great musicianship -- and their new album The Future Will Destroy You is pretty good.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Somebody is playing Roseland tonight, can't remember who.