Entries tagged with: Hozac

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by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Peoples Temple - Sons of Stone (MP3)

Peoples Temple

The Peoples Temple are on tour and make their NYC debut tonight (4/6) at Death by Audio with Apache Dropout, Yellow Dogs and Dead Sands.The band's Sons of Stone made my Favorite Albums of 2012 list, where I wrote this:

For those who long for the days when Anton Newcombe wrote catchy psych pop instead of plodding through the haze for eight minutes at a stretch might want to check out Lansing, Michigan's Peoples Temple. Not only do they share a proclivity for catchy '60s-ish acid pop, their name is a reference to Jim Jones' cult. Dig.
You can download Sons of Stone's title track at the top of this post and click through for the video for "Axeman", the flyer for tonight's show, and all dates....

Continue reading "The Peoples Temple on tour, making NYC debut tonight at Death by Audio (MP3, video, dates)"

by Bill Pearis

The Band in Heaven

As we hit the heart of winter in New York, the sunny climes of Florida sound pretty good right now. As does some of the music coming out of there, even if on the dark and moody side like West Palm Beach's The Band in Heaven. The group's debut 7" was just released on HoZac: four hits of fuzzy psych rock of varying prescriptions, from the driving lead track "Sleazy Dreams" to the tabla/sitar-fueled "If You Only Knew."

The EP ends with a methadone rework of "Sleazy Dreams" called "Sludgy Dreams" for which the band have just released a trippy music video, animated with cutouts a la Terry Gilliam. We're premiering said video and you can watch it at the bottom of this post, along with a stream of the entire HoZac EP. 2012 should be a busy one for these Floridians, with a second 7" due on Sympathy for the Record Industry later this year.

The Band in Heaven will also be headed to Austin for SXSW, where they'll play showcases/parties for HoZac, Austin Psych Fest, Cherry Sustainable, Get Bent and others. Look for details -- as well as more tour dates -- as March approaches.

In related HoZac news, Radar Eyes' long-gestating debut album is out February 7. Those in Chicago should hit the FREE record release show on February 6.

Check out The Band in Heaven's "Sludgy Dreams" video below, as well as audio streams and cover art to the Hozac 7".

Continue reading "Check out The Band in Heaven (video premiere, EP stream)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Heavy Times - Future City (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brain Idea - Oh I'm Free (MP3)

Heavy Times
Heavy Times

Chicago trio Heavy Times will release their second album, Jacker, later this month on HoZac Records. It's one big snarl of an album and you can download "Future City" off it at the top of this post. If you dig Obits and "I Wanna Live" era Ramones (or the HoZac label in general), this is right up your bowling alley.

Heavy Times will hit the road in November for a short East Coast tour with stops at Shea Stadium on 11/17 and Party Expo on 11/18. They're touring with fellow Chicago band Brain Idea whose EP on Mexican Summer from this past summer owes more than a little to '80s Flying Nun bands and is worth checking out. An MP3 for "Oh I'm Free" is at the top of this post.

All Heavy Times/Brain Idea tour dates, plus a video for Heavy Times' "Skull Hair," are below.

Continue reading "Heavy Times releasing Jacker on HoZac, touring w/ Brain Idea (MP3, dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Wax Idols - "Dead Like You" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Terry Malts - Distracted (MP3)

Wax Idols
Wax Idols

Two of San Francisco's newer, noisier pop bands, Wax Idols and Terry Malts, will be hitting the road together next month for a cross-country tour that has two stops in NYC: November 1 at Cake Shop and November 2 and Shea Stadium. All tour dates are listed at the bottom of this post.

Wax Idols are the new group from Hether Fortune, who has spent time in Hunx & His Punx and Bare Wires. Fuzz pedals crash into jangly guitars, vocals are high sneer but also full of harmony, and there's room for both girl group balladry and a tough cover of Wire's "Sand in My Joints." The band's debut, No Future, is out next month on HoZac and is quite good. You can check out "Dead Like You" from it at the top of this post.

Terry Malts
Terry Malts

As for the Terry Malts, their debut 7" on Slumberland from earlier this year is three quick blasts of sunny pop covered in a thick blanket of white noise. (Somewhere between '80s West Coast punk and C-'86 lies their sound.) Slumberland's press release talks of them being a "mysterious presence on the local scene for a while now. Popping up with great regularity on gigs around town, they come, they slay, then they disappear into the dark night." But turns out Terry Malts are the new project from most of the guys in Magic Bullets, a band that has been put in cold storage -- they played their final show August 24. They've got a new 7" out in about a month, and you can download "Distracted" from the first one at the top of this post.

Tours of the whole country can be expensive, and if you'd like to help the Wax Idols/Terry Malts cross-country sojourn, there's a Kickstarter for it. All tour dates, plus some videos, are below.

Continue reading "Wax Idols going on tour w/ Terry Malts (dates, MP3 & video)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Mickey - For You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fungi Girls - Doldrums (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pure X - Dry Ice (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grooms - Tiger Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOADThe Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Weekend - End Times (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: pow wow! - It's Not That Easy (MP3) 

Mickey
Mickey

Ok it's really hot out but don't let that stop you from seeing some great stuff this weekend. We've got a couple bands on the Hozac label in town this weekend. First is Chicago glam punks Mickey whose debut Rock n' Roll Dreamer just hit the racks. It's a sleazy vision of excess that is part The Sweet, part Johnny Thunders, part Schlitz malt liquor and three bags of glitter dumped on top. It's hook-filled debauched fun. Check out "For You" at the top of this post for a taste. I have not seen Mickey live but all signs point to chaos.

Mickey play Death By Audio tonight (7/7) with Liquor Store, Ex-Humans, The Fucking Ocean and Sleepies (this show sounds like trouble), and then Friday (7/8) at Cake Shop with Habibi, Jigglers, Teardrops and Siberians.

Fungi Girls
Fungi Girls

The other Hozac band is Austin trio Fungi Girls who I've been wanting to see for some time. They play Friday night (7/8) at Death By Audio with Xray Eyeballs and The Beets, and on Saturday (7/9) at Ding Dong Lounge as part of a Group Tightener curated show with the label's bands Pure X (more on them below) and Expensive Looks, plus Cool Cough.

Still in their teens, Fungi Girls seem to have already digested a lifetime of psych-pop influences and make a racket that sounds fresh and well beyond their years. (Why aren't these guys on Slumberland?) 2009's Seafaring Pyramids was excellent and I can't wait to hear the new album, Some Easy Magic, which is out next month. You can download "Doldrums" at the top of this post which was the b-side to a Hozac 7" that came out last year.

Pure x

Pure X, who play with Fungi Girls on Saturday, are also from Austin and maybe you knew them as Pure Ecstasy which they used to be called. (A San Francisco cover band laid claim to the name.) Now Pure X, the band just released their debut LP, Pleasure, this week and you can download "Dry Ice" from it at the top of this post. Altered Zones has a stream of the whole thing. Recorded live with no overdubs, Pleasure is lovely and languid, not unlike the first Cowboy Junkies album or Galaxie 500. It's a nice Sunday morning kind of album as I'm fond of saying.

The band are in town for two shows. In addition to the previously mentioned Saturday show with Fungi Girls, Pure X also play Friday (7/8) at sweaty 285 Kent for a Chocolate Bobka curated show with Tonstartsbandht, Forma, and Run DMT.

Grooms
Grooms

If you go see Mickey tonight, Fungi Girls tomorrow and wanna make it three smoky nights in a row at Death By Audio, on Saturday (7/9) it's the record release party for Grooms' very good second album, Prom, which officially comes out next week on Kanine. The show is with Pterodactyl and The Immaculates.

The new album is a big leap from the band's debut, Rejoicer. The overt Sonic Youth-isms have melted and Grooms have come into their own with this one which feels confident and accomplished. It rocks pretty hard too, at times, but has pretty moments as well. Check out album opener "Tiger Trees" at the top of this post. Grooms were fantastic when I saw them at Northside but I imagine they'll be even more on their game at their Death By Audio home base.

The Wake @ NYC Popfest 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
the Wake

And finally a bunch of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/8) is the third installment of the Seaport Music Festival with Scotland indiepop legends The Wake. As I wrote when they played Popfest last year:

"While they didn't get the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, The Wake's catalog is well-regarded, especially 1985's Here Comes Everybody which is a bona fide  indie classic. Check out "O Pamela" at the top of this post. The band's hazy, reverb-laden sound has parallels to current bands like The Radio Dept or Wild Nothing, or any of the chillwave groups out there."
Opening is San Francisco loud music trio Weekend who should not be confused with The Weeknd or Weekends. Weekend are one of my favorite new bands of the last year -- their debut LP Sports made my Best of 2010 list and their live show is not to be missed. I wonder what random Seaport tourists with make of their powerful din on Friday.

(editor's note: I was definitely wondering what random tourists may have thought when they came upon John Lennon's son and his supermodel girlfriend playing a show on the same stage recently).

Saturday (7/9) at the Seaport is an official "warm up" to next weekend's 4 Knots Festival, with Ted Leo and Screaming Females. Ted has played the Seaport five times and often not under the best conditions. He played in torrential downpours and with generator power the night of the 2003 blackout. Saturday he'll be marking the 10th anniversary of his album The Tyranny of Distance by playing it in full. Weather is supposed to be lovely.

Then on Sunday (7/10) is the penultimate Sound Bites Series show with pow wow! who are currently finishing up their debut album. After garnering a lot of buzz (and playing what seemed like every week) back in 2009, they took most of last year off to regroup and rethink. With a slightly retooled sound -- they're definitely a little more '80s indie and a little less early '00s rock now -- they'll play the Fulton Stall Market at 3PM. I DJ before and after. Check out "It's Not That Easy" at the top of this post.

Then after the Sound Bites show, you should head over to the Beekman Beer Garden for the first of the summer's Beach Party shows. This week it's the wildness that is Cheeseburger, plus Hard Nips. I hope Beekman (formerly Water Taxi Beach formerly Spiegeltent) is ready for flying beer. This should be fun. With the truncated Seaport Music Festival schedule this year (and no Pool Parties) I'm glad more is going on down at the Seaport, one of my favorite places during the summer.

If you want to hear more from the bands playing the Sound Bites Series, the Beach Parties, as well as Hudson River Rocks, the Seaport folks partnered with Insound for some free downloadable mixes. Bands include Austra, Metronomy, Xray Eyeballs, The Beets, pow wow!, DOM, Raveonettes, Radical Dads and more. I curated the Brooklyn Local mix with bands who have played both years of the Sound Bites Series, plus some other Brooklyn bands I think people should check out. 

OK that's it for this week. A few more Thursday picks are below.

THURSDAY, JULY 7

Steel Phantoms, ARMS, and Shark? are at Brooklyn Bowl. It's free if you go before 7PM. After that it's five bucks.

Colorado band School Knights play Shea Stadium with The Hairs whose singer used to have a band called Knight School. Weird, right? Also playing: Grand Rapids and Radical Dads whose new video for "New Age Dinosuars" is at the bottom of this post.

contininued below...

Continue reading "Mickey, Fungi Girls, Pure X, Grooms, The Wake, Weekend, pow wow! & more in This Week in Indie"

DOWNLOAD: Pure X - "Dry Ice" (MP3)

Pure X photos by Grant MacAllister

Pure X opening for This Will Destroy You in Chicago in May
Pure X

Austin's Pure X (formerly Pure Ecstasy) are releasing their first full length, Pleasure on July 5 via Acéphale in North America. A limited edition LP is available for pre-order on Acéphale's website. The first LP pressing is limited to 1000 copies on heavyweight vinyl, and the first 200 on ultraclear vinyl with red splatter. Grab the MP3 for "Dry Ice" above and check out the track "Twisted Mirror", along with the full tracklist and cover art, below.

The band recently finished up a tour with This Will Destroy You that hit Bowery Ballroom on June 2nd. A few pictures from their set on 5/28 at Bottom Lounge in Chicago are in this post

They've got a few upcoming dates in July, including two NYC shows: July 8 at 285 Kent and July 9 at Ding Dong Lounge. The 285 Kent show, presented by Chocolate Bobka, also has Tonstartbandht, FORMA, and RUN DMT on the blll. Ding Dong Lounge doesn't acytually list Pure X on the July 9th show which has Fungi Girls, Cough Cool, and Expensive Looks on the bill, but we'll assume for now at least that they are also playing it.

Fungi Girls opening for Hunx in Austin (more by Tim Griffin)
Fungi Girls

"Texas' Fungi Girls are back making news with a teaser of two songs from their second LP, Some Easy Magic, scheduled to be released July 11 from Hozac Records. Take a listen to two of the songs off the LP and feel free to download one of 'em. It's not a stretch to say that we'll be getting some more of that hazey, nostalgic, garage/surf that they do oh so well." [Chromewaves]
For fellow Austinites Fungi Girls, the Ding Dong Lounge show is one day of a much larger tour that also includes July 8th at Death By Audio with The Beets, Xray Eyeballs, and Fergus & Geronimo. All dates are listed below.

All dates, pics, soundcloud streams, album art and tracklist below...

Continue reading "Pure X releasing 'Pleasure', playing shows, one with Fungi Girls (who are touring too) -- MP3s, live pics, dates"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Super Wild Horses - Golden Town (MP3)

Super Wild HorseS

Major omission from this week's This Week in Indie: Melbourne's duo Super Wild Horses are playing TWO shows tonight (9/16). First at Cameo Gallery with Reading Rainbow and Night Manager, then later at Death by Audio with fellow Aussies UV Race, Home Blitz and Pink Reason.

Their new LP on Hozac, produced by Eddie Current Suppression Ring's Mikey Young, is packed with fuzzy indie rock that has a definite early '90s feel to it. (Tsunami or Scrawl do come to mind.) Check out "Golden Town" at the top of this post. Its video is below along with all Super Wild Horses tour dates...

Continue reading "Super Wild Horses are here (dates, MP3, video) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Girls with English Accents (MP3)
DOWNLOADFergus & Geronimo - Harder Than It's Ever Been (MP3)
DOWNLOADTy Segall - Girlfriend (MP3)
DOWNLOADTy Segall - Caesar (MP3)
DOWNLOADRoyal Baths - Nikki Don't (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eternal Summers - Pogo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rayon Beach - The Memory Teeth (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dog Day - Synastry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dog Day - Wait it Out (Mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Deerhunter - Revival (ZIP)
DOWNLOAD: Versus - Invincible Hero (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: How to Dress Well - Ecstasy with Jojo (MP3)

Wild Beasts @ Lollapalooza 2010 (more by Josh Darr)
Wild Beasts

Just like the August bounty of tomatoes, corn and zucchini that can be currently found at your local farmer's market, we looking at five extremely fertile days of live music, much of it free. Take advantage now -- this crop is extremely perishable.

Wild Beasts are stopping in NYC tonight on their way back from Lollapalooza, playing Highline Ballroom. Their second album, Two Dancers, was my favorite album of 2009 and a year later I'm still listening to it. It's up for this year's Mercury Music Prize and if anybody is going to beat The xx it'll be Two Dancers. If you missed their shows last September, or their appearances here in February , don't miss them this time. Tickets are still available. The fluid interplay between the band is something to behold -- a real case of four people working as one mesmerizing whole. And those who still haven't gotten used to their vocal style, I say go see them live and everything makes more sense.

Domino Records is offering a free downloadable four-song EP featuring "We've Still Got the Taste Dancing on Our Tongues" in original and remixed form, a track previously only available as a Japanese b-side and an acoustic version of "The Devil's Crayon." The download widget is at the bottom of this post and expires August 14 so get on that. And do go see them live tonight if you can. Denmark's The Kissaway Trail and UK artist Lone Wolf are also on the bill.

Fergus and Geronimo
Fergus and Geronimo

It's been a year since Denton, TX's Fergus & Geronimo were last in town, and while they haven't released anything new since last summer's initial flurry of singles, that should change soon. The band have signed with Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art who will hopefully be putting out a record sooner than later. In the meantime, UK label Transparent (who put out "Tell it in My Ear" last year) have offered up a new F&G track "Girls with English Accents" that you can download at the top of this post. Maybe a little more dreamy/folky and less soul-tinged than their previous output, it's still another winner from this excellent four-piece.

I saw them at 92-Y Tribeca last summer and thought they were terrific. Fergus & Geronimo play Cake-Shop tonight (8/11) with Radical Dads and Little Gold. They then play Saturday (8/14) at Don Pedro's with Liquor Store, Home Blitz, Moonmen on the Moon, Man, and Nashville's Pujol. That sounds like a party.

Rayon Beach

Also here from Texas this weekend are Austin's Rayon Beach who play Bruar Falls on Saturday (8/14) and Death by Audio on Sunday (8/15). Like a lot of the bands on Hozac Records (or bands from Austin for that matter), this trio fit under the psych/garage umbrella but there's a decided Brit bent to their music. Baroque garage, is that a thing? Think Syd-era Pink Floyd or The Pretty Things more than Woven Bones. Make no mistake -- Rayon Beach can and do get plenty loud. It's just sometimes with pinkies extended. Check out Memory Teeth's title track at the top of this post.

The Bruar falls show is with Girls at Dawn and Xray Eyeballs; the Death by Audio show also features The Beets and Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch.

Ty Segall

Ty SEgall

We're just getting started. Ty Segall and The Royal Baths are here from San Francisco, playing Cake Shop on Thursday (8/12) and Death by Audio on Friday (8/13). For my money, it doesn't get much better in the new garage scene than this guy, who has been cranking out records over the last two years. Amazingly, they're pretty much all good, and each record goes somewhere new. The latest, Melted, just out on Goner Records, adds some nice '60s paisley pop touches. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. And he's great live.

The Royal Baths, meanwhile, are sort of the flip side to Ty's sunshine pop. I wrote before that they're "kind of bad trip acid rock, dark and seedy but not atonal. But it's definitely down the rabbit hole. In a good way." Royal Baths debut LP is due out on Woodsist in September and you can check out album track "Nikki Don't" at the top of this post.

Eternal Summers
Eternal Summers

Still more. Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers are back -- they were last here for the Northside Festival -- for two shows: Thursday (8/12) at new Williamsburg venue The Pyramids and then Friday night (8/13) at Cake Shop. The band have signed with Kanine records who will put out their first full-length, Silver, in September. You can check out the album's first single, "Pogo," in the popular MP3 format at the top of this post. If you dig C-86 inspired pop like Brilliant Colors or Liechtenstein, you should definitely seek this duo out. Absolutely worth seeing live and nice folks too.

Both shows Eternal Summers are playing have pretty stacked bills. The Pyramids gig is with Philly's Reading Rainbow, all-girl quartet Rescue Bird, the shambly goodness that is German Measles and the wistful surf of Family Trees; Friday's Cake Shop show also has new-ish Brooklyn duo Yvette, the tinny, witty pop of Knight School and Halifax, NS band Dog Day.

Dog Day
Dog Day

Dog Day are actually here playing two shows. They play Thursday (8/12) at Bruar Falls in addition to the Cake Shop show on Friday. It's been a while since Halifax's mid-90s indie explosion that gave us Sloan and Thrush Hermit, but Dog Day are helping put the coastal city back on the map. Led by husband-and-wife team of Seth Smith and Nancy Ulrich, the quartet make moody, melodic indie rock that is not too dissimilar from The Figurines or The Comas. Last year's Concentration was one of 2009's lost gems. There's two songs to download at the top of this post and I highly suggest you do. You might find yourself saying "why haven't I heard these guys before?" Normally a quartet, for these NYC shows Dog Day will just be a duo of Smith/Ulrich and they'll be testing out new songs for their upcoming album.

Savoir Adore @ Coco66 for Northside (more by Don Gochenour)
Savoir Adore

And last but not least, Friday is the last Seaport Music Festival show of the season but they are really going out with a bang with The Wedding Present and Savoir Adore. I'm told we're getting a full 90-minute set from the Weddoes pretty close to what they played at Bowery Ballroom back in April: a career-spanning "hits" set and then they'll play 1989's Bizarro in full.

I saw the Bowery Bizzaro show and it was fantastic, especially the stuff from Side Two of the LP, the long, jangle-on-speed workouts of "Bewitched" and "Take Me!" David Gedge may be 50 but he can still tear into his guitar like Thatcher was still in office. There's video of "Take Me" from Bowery at the bottom of this post. The hits set was peppered with a few new songs too, which I thought were pretty good.

Savoir Adore, one of my favorite new NYC bands of the last few years, are always good live. If you have yet to check out their self-titled debut from last year, you definitely should.

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As if this wasn't enough, here are a few more picks by day that weren't already covered above:

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11

Two of the best new bands of the last year -- Twin Sister and Oberhofer -- play Mercury Lounge with Ontario's MemoryHouse. Twin Sister and Memory House also play together on Thursday (8/12) at Monster Island Basement, the start of a two-week tour together. All dates at the bottom of this post.

At Coco 66 it's another installment of Show Off Your Sugar which pairs one band and one author to benefit 826NYC, a non-profit writing center for New York City students. Rock critic Chuck Klosterman reads and Here We Go Magic will rock.

continued below...

Continue reading "Wild Beasts, Fergus & Geronimo, Rayon Beach, Ty Segall, Eternal Summers, Dog Day, the Wedding Present & more in This Week in Indie "

DOWNLOAD: Nerve City - The Armory (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Nerve City - The Creek (MP3)

Nerve City

Richmond, Virginia's Nerve City [are] another impeccably morose, yet captivating home-recording outfit that has also made the leap into performing live shows. With a brand new 10" EP entitled I Fucked Death, released [in May] on Kill Shaman Records, Nerve City already have the rare ability to crawl under your skin with their gloomy yet humanizing songs that echo with the cold jangly chills of death's imminent arrival, and it's never felt so good. Like the soundtrack to watching a funeral parade slowly drive by, Nerve City nail their simplistic songs with the grace of a black angel falling from the sky, yet never come off as contrived. Sharing a sound and execution similar to their friends/cohorts Medication from Connecticut, Nerve City channel an indescribable eeriness that devolves and reemerges with each stirring song, creating such an atmosphere of sonic paralysis that is nothing short of hypnotic. Look for a new Nerve City 7" EP on HoZac [out now], as well as their debut LP on Sweet Rot soon. [Victim of Time]
Nerve City's new HoZac 7" is pictured above. A bunch of songs are streaming at their MySpace and you can grab two for free download above.

Nerve City play a free show at Bruar Falls in Brooklyn tonight (1/18). Erostratus, Datus, Future Lives (ex-Band of Horses), and Quickly Quietly are also on the bill.

Hozac

Chris Swanson (Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian/Dead Oceans): I'm not sure that people don't know labels now. I still think the music geeks know labels.
Portia Sabin (Kill Rock Stars): I think labels are caught in a cultural bind: No one really wants to know what a label does; it's like the sausage factory. Even long-established bands have a hard time talking about what labels do.
Gerard Cosloy (Matador): I mean, HoZac couldn't have a singles club otherwise.
Mac McCaughan (Merge): I'm one of those people that doesn't pay attention, either, I guess; I don't know what HoZac is!
Carrie Brownstein: I don't know HoZac, either.
Gerard Cosloy: GOOGLE THAT S---.
Mac McCaughan: GTS!
Maggie Vail (Kill Rock Stars): http://www.hozacrecords.com/
Check out the whole thing at Carrie's NPR blog.

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Smith Westerns - Be My Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Portugal the Man - People Say (MP3)

The Smith Westerns
Smith Westerns

Last night (8/3) I went to the semi-secret Los Campesinos!/Girls show at Union Pool and both bands were great. This was a warm-up gig for their North American tour ("Welcome to our rehearsal," joked lead singer Gareth), which officially launches tonight at Webster Hall. (Tickets are still available.) As mentioned previously this will be the last Los Campesinos tour to feature singer/keyboardist Aleks, though they made no mention of that last night -- It was all smiles and glockenspiels and shouted choruses. Losing Aleks is definitely going to change the band dynamic, so do go see them on this go-round if you can.

And get there early for the openers, too. Last night was the third time I've seen Girls in the last two months and my only complaint was their set was too short. I wrote this when they played Mercury Lounge back in June:

Sometime in the last twelve months, Girls got good. They were good last July when I saw them at both Market Hotel and Glasslands, but but there was a ramshackle vibe that felt like they weren't sure whether they were really ready to leave the bedroom. But at Mercury lounge they are really good. Like "Whoa what happened" good. Credit new drummer (all loosey-goosey Keith Moon fills) and a nimble-fingered lead guitarist for the transformation. Christopher Owens and Chet White have always had the songs, mind you. In a lot of ways Girls are the ultimate San Francisco band: the laid-back vibe, the folky jammy-ness that has always been present there, as well as the neo-psych scene that has popped up over the last ten years. But Girls are working on a whole other plain of dreamy, hazy beauty and noise.
Opening the show are Chicago's Smith Westerns who are all still teenagers but have just put out a promising debut album on the HoZac label and also served time as Nobunny's backing band. While basically making the kind of adenoidal low-fi indie that's popular your DIY clubs around the nation, Smith Westerns add a big dollup of '70s glam to their sound which definitely differentiates them from the pack. That and some pretty strong songwriting. Pitchfork interviewed them recently:
Pitchfork: You're all under 21 Does that make playing shows in clubs tough?

Cullen Omori: Yes and no. You can't really go to a show and expect that you're going to be able to drink there. They're really strict about it. We have no problem getting shows, but it just sucks because you just sit around without being able to drink.

Pitchfork: When you're as young as you guys are, how do you learn about garage rock?

CO: We got Nuggets from one of my parents' old friends. We were making music, and it was just awful punk music. And he's like, "Well, you know, it sounds like this. So here, listen to this." And so he gave us Nuggets and Back From the Grave stuff. And that's how we went about making it. It was just, like, straight that. And then we started listening more to David Bowie and Marc Bolan, T. Rex kinda things. [Pitchfork]

If you can't make any of their dates with Los Campesinos and Girls, Smith Westerns will be back on a tour of their own in about a month. Full tour dates are at the bottom of the post.

Portugal. The Man
Portugal the Man

Also in town this week are Portland-via-Alaska quartet Portugal. The Man who have an annoying period in the middle of their name and are a little more hippie-friendly than most of the stuff I write about in this column. But I do like their new album, The Satanic Satanist, which focuses more on solid pop songs than psychedelic freakouts. I would call them more groovy than soulful, but it works, and there more memorable songs on the album than you usually get theses days. Tomorrow's show (8/5) at Mercury Lounge is sold out but they play tonight at Union Pool (8/4) and there should still be tickets at the door. If you miss both of those, they will be back in October with a show at Maxwell's (10/16, tickets) and one at Bowery Ballroom (10/23, CMJ). All dates below.

This column to be continued with more going on this week. Tour dates from the above-mentioned bands, below...

Continue reading "The Smith Westerns, Los Campesinos!, Girls, Portugal. The Man & more in This Week in Indie (part 1)"

Davila 666 @ Southpaw Friday night - July 24, 2009
Davila 666

Mannequin Men are on tour with Puerto Rico's Davila 666 (who have released music on In The Red and HoZac). Friday night the two garage rock bands played Southpaw in Brooklyn. I went for Mannequin Men whose new album I've been listening to a lot, but the powerful, funny, entertaining and energetic Davila 666 (who don't seem to know much English, or at least they choose not to speak it much from stage) are the ones who left the biggest impression. Their next official NYC tour stop is Wednesday at the Studio @ Webster Hall, but they are also playing a was-secret show at Don Pedro's in Brooklyn tonight (7/20).

All tour dates and video from a festival show last year in Puerto Rico where they wore some interesting costumes, below...

Continue reading "Davila 666 & Mannequin Men - secret Brooklyn show tonight "

Dum Dum Girls @ Woodsist Fest (more by Tim Griffin)
Dum Dum Girls

Dum Dum Girls have officially signed to Sub Pop. That all happened so fast. Look for their Sub Pop debut to come out in early 2010. In the meantime there's the Captured Tracks EP, a 7" on Hozac, and EP on Zoo Music. Check eBay for some of it.

More pics from Dum Dum Girls' first show HERE, and live video HERE. Listen to "Jail La La" below...

Continue reading "Dum Dum Girls sign to Sub Pop"