Entries tagged with: Jarvis Cocker
by Bill Pearis
Bad Sports @ Burgermania, Hotel Vegas
I'm not sure how many artists I saw over the course of five days at SXSW but it was a lot. My week started (Kelley Stoltz) and ended (La Luz) at Hotel Vegas which was probably my favorite place to see bands in Austin. In between I tried to catch everyone on my list, and luckily quite a few of them played our day parties at Red 7. So of these, many were expected, but there were a couple nice finds too. Here's my Top 10 artists I caught at SXSW:
Jarvis Cocker (Wednesday @ Austin Convention Center)
I missed Jarvis and (Pulp guitarist) Steve Mackey's "Desperate Sound System" DJ night on Tuesday (and didn't get to see the Pulp documentary) but I did happen into Jarvis' talk, titled "Extra Ordinary," at the Convention Center the next day. It was an hour-long discussion -- complete with PowerPoint presentations -- that framed his lyrical style of finding beauty (and humor) in the mundane. As you would expect, it was witty, urbane and nobody wanted it to end.
Hospitality (Thursday, Merge Showcase @ The Parish)
I didn't really intend on seeing Hospitality (a band I've seen many times, but not since their new LP) at SXSW but the hour they were playing was free on my schedule...and I'm so glad I did. Not only did the songs off Trouble sound great, but the band took their expanded musical palette to the songs off their debut, offering up radical reworkings that made their whole set fresh and exciting.
Sylvan Esso (Thursday @ BV day party and Chevrolet Courtyard)
A real suprise, as I am against laptop acts in general, Sylvan Esso really made it work. A good set of songs anchored things, but it was the stage presence and chemistry between singer Amelia Randall Meath and beatmaker Nicholas Sanborn. One of the few times my first thought wasn't "get a live drummer" though, now that you mention it, that wouldn't hurt.
Gruff Rhys (Thursday @ St. David's Historic Sanctuary & BV Friday Day Party)
One of the true talents of the last 20 years, Gruff Rhys could probably read the SXSW schedule and make it entertaining. At the church (and at our Friday day party), he previewed his new album, American Interior, which is a high-concept project that involves a book, film and mobile app. It worked with just an acoustic guitar (and a few handmade signs) too.
La Femme (BV Friday day party @ Red 7)
As they made my #3 album of 2013, I knew I was going to like La Femme live. I didn't expect them to be so genuinely awesome, especially in the tough noon opening slot. They sounded great, oozed Frenchiness, were a blast to watch. Expectations way exceeded. I can't wait to see them do a full set on Sunday (which BV is presenting).
Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Friday @ Chevrolet Courtyard & BV Saturday day party)
No disrespect to the TPOBPAH line-up that made the band's first two albums, but the all new version of band Kip Berman has put together -- including Drew Citron of Beverly, Jen Goma of ASDIG, and Dream Diary's Jacob Danish Sloan -- are seriously talented. And the Pains were never this much fun before. New record's really good, too.
Protomartyr (BV Saturday Day Party @ Red 7)
Dressed in grey Dockers and a button-down shirt, Protomartyr frontman Joe Casey looked like he was performing our day party slot on his lunch break. He kept one hand in his pocket, chewed gum and barely moved. But not unlike Mark E. Smith or David Thomas, there's a seething indifference seeping out of that shirt collar, and to me that dichotomy -- and the general badassedness songs on Protomartyr's new album -- was about as punk as it gets.
Fat White Family (BV Saturday day party)
Another of the bands I was most excited to see, Fat White Family brought a genuine sleezy rock n' roll attitude. Most of bandmembers were shirtless and sweaty by the second song, and frontman Lias Saoudi had an undeniable louche...is charm the right word? These are boys you don't bring home to mom. You can catch them this weekend in NYC.
Curtis Harding (Saturday, Burgermania @ Hotel Vegas)
Burgermania boasted some 60 bands across Hotel Vegas' four stages, with a new group starting every 15 minutes. Most of them being on the Fullerton, CA record label that was as much the star as the bands. (Their t-shirt booth, sporting about 10 styles, sold out of everything except XXLs.) I think I caught about 15 over the course of four hours. I arrived in time for the soul-garage of Atlanta's Curtis Harding, whose magnetism, pipes and chops were evident from note one. Look for his album on Burger later this year.
Bad Sports (Burgermania @ Hotel Vegas)
Having enjoyed all three albums by Bad Sports a lot (very Damned/Buzzcocks-style punk), I somehow never realized the band was fronted by OBN III's Orville Neeley until I saw them on stage as part of Burgermania. Having only seen Neeley in wildman OBN mode, it was cool to see him channel that energy into a guitar, ripping out one burner after another.
Other sets I liked: Kelley Stoltz, Coachwhips, Gap Dream, LA Font, SVPER, Cosmonauts, Cate Le Bon, Tweens, Warm Soda, The Hold Steady, Christopher Owens, Destruction Unit, Cherry Glazzer, Peter Matthew Bauer, Shocked Minds, Bleeding Rainbow, Connan Mockasin, The Fresh & Onlys, Quilt, Weyes Blood, Arthur Beatrice (and probably something I forgot).
Bands I missed who I wanted to see: Boogarins, Withered Hand, Bo Ningen... Spandau Ballet?
A few more Instagrams (including a few bands that fell outside the Top 10) below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Jarvis Cocker & Steve Mackey's "Desperate Sound System" / Jungle
The music portion of SXSW officially kicked off yesterday (3/12) and while there weren't as many events going on as there will be tonight through Saturday, there was still plenty to see. BV photographer Amanda Hatfield ran around and caught Pulp's Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey doing their "Desperate Sound System" DJ night at Hype Hotel, plus The Colourist who went on before them.
Then she headed to Central Presbyterian Church for the Bella Union showcase (where Jarvis and Steve also headed, but as audience members) and caught ex-Low Anthem member Jocie Adams' indie folk band Arc Iris and piano singer/songwriter Agnes Obel. After that, a few blocks away at Latitude 30 it was the enigmatic UK funk band Jungle, who are now in Austin after having played two NYC shows last week. The band, a five-piece live, are still choosing to remain on the mysterious side (despite revealing seven members in a recent promo pic), singing behind large pop filters that seem more like they're intended to block their [white] faces than block noise....
But at a Tuesday afternoon show at Spotify House, on an outdoor stage, Jungle didn't hide that they are about as Afro-British as the Average White Band was. In a truly post-racial world, perhaps their previous offerings would just be a random artifice. But in a truly post-racial world, naming a band Jungle and putting black faces on the packaging wouldn't leave such a queasy aftertaste. [NY Times]Amanda wrapped up her night at Buffalo Billiards for Avi Buffalo. Pictures of them, and all other bands mentioned, are in this post. They continue below...
The goal of the Everything is New project is to empower the children of Light of Love Children's Home, many of whom have been rescued from bonded labour, child prostitution, homelessness and abject poverty. The project creates the opportunity for the children to 'star' in the cultural forms they themselves consider most meaningful - popular music and cinema.The Everything is New project has resulted in two albums, both of which are out January 20: Sun Choir, which was composed and recorded by Scottish art-pop band Marram with the kids of Southeast India's Light of Love Children's Home and features guest appearances from Jarvis Cocker, Owen Pallett, Irvine Welsh and more; and BOATS where artists such as Four Tet, Rustie, Dan Deacon, YACHT, Bear in Heaven, Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, Max Tundra, Gang Gang Dance and more took samples of the children and built songs around them.
Proceeds from the project go to the charity Scottish Love in Action which feeds, clothes, houses, educates and provides medical care for over 500 children through the Light of Love Home and School. You can stream Rustie, YACHT, Jarvis Cocker and Four Tet's tracks below.
There's also a 70-minute feature film that's included with physical copies of the Sun Choir album. You can watch a short and a not so short making of videos below...
by Bill Pearis
Things are going great for Morrissey whose new book is selling like crazy. The new Issue of NME, as you can see from its cover above, features "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The UK music weekly picked these for the Top 10:
1. The Smiths - The Queen Is DeadJust keep in mind these are mostly British people making this list. Outkast's Stankonia is #500 if you were wondering, and the Top 50 are listed in this post. If you're wondering how NME came up with this list, here's what they said:
2. The Beatles - Revolver
3. David Bowie - Hunky Dory
4. The Strokes - Is This It
5. The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground
6. Pulp - Different Class
7. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
8. Pixies - Doolittle
9. The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album)
10. Oasis - Definitely Maybe
It means emailing a vast array of alumni from across the NME generations, from the sixties swingers through the hip young gunslingers of the 70s right up to today's troupe of rock'n'roll toreadors, and begging/bullying them to submit lists of their favourite fifty albums of all time. Some joined in, others were too busy/famous now, but we managed to gather together around 80 voters to submit lists, at which point the serious number-crunching began.One of those 80 was '90s-era NME editor Johnny "Cigarettes" Sharp, who talked to The Quietus about how he came up with his ballot (and these kind of lists in general):
I and the rest of the NME alumni were simply told to vote for our 'favourite' albums - Ideally a top 50 but really anything we could rustle up by the following Monday.The mag does have a sense of humor about all this. The bottom right corner of the cover has a picture of Morrissey saying "...until the next 500." NME is publishing the whole list -- in not annoying slideshow format -- throughout the day and you can click through 500 - 401, and 400 - 301 right now. Their top 50 are listed below....
And herein lies a flaw inherent in all such lists: The results are bound to be slanted towards the choices of the voters who they happen still to have contact details for, which will inevitably be the more recent contributors (Still, having first written for them over 20 years ago, they didn't do too badly tracking me down).
Inevitably, with the whole thing being a bit last-minute and no-budget, the votes were also those of individuals who could be arsed to sweat over a difficult task in their free time for no financial reward. Welcome to 21st century publishing.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at NPR's 2013 SXSW Showcase
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have been on tour for a while now, and it finally hits NYC this week for three shows with Sharon Van Etten, starting tonight (3/28) at Beacon Theatre and continuing Friday and Saturday at the same venue. All three are sold out. The Bad Seeds' tour was also down in Austin for SXSW earlier this month, where they played NPR's showcase at Stubb's with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Alt-J, Waxahatchee, and Youth Lagoon. Pictures of Nick Cave and YYYs are HERE and pictures of Waxahatchee's set are HERE. Even more pictures of Nick Cave's set are in this post.
Nick Cave also recently launched a Spotify app, which you can use to "discover the music of Nick Cave." It has streams of Nick's new album, Push the Sky Away, along with his classic material, and features a mood wheel where you can browse "carefully chosen moods which represent his songs" including Murder & Mayhem, Classic, Spiritual, and Super Dark. You can also make your own Nick Cave playlist and check out playlists made by others like Lou Reed and Jarvis Cocker.
And speaking of SXSW and Spotify, check out our "Best of BrooklynVegan SXSW 2013" Spotify playlist.
Updated dates are listed, along with more pictures from SXSW, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Hot Chip / Grimes / people dancing
Before the new year, we posted pictures of day 1 of the second of two S.S. Coachella cruises (this being the one that set sail from Jamaica). Now here's a set of pics of day 2 which includes Grimes, Hot Chip, and Bang & Olufsen which was a "secret" performance by Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and touring member Rob Smoughton (aka Grovesnor) who played at the ship's small bar at 2:30 AM.
The second day also featured Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp, who played the first day) who gave a surprise presentation of his lyircs book, Mother, Brother, Lover, plus Tokimonsta and more. Check out more shots from day 2 of the cruise below.
by Bill Pearis
Serafina Steer's 2010 album Change is Good, Change is Good was one of that year's more underrated records, spare and spooky, recalling '60s British folk, Young Marble Giants or Electrelane's more delicate moments. If you haven't heard it you can stream it via Rdio below.
One big fan of that album was Jarvis Cocker who declared it his favorite LP of 2010. When it came time to make her follow-up, Serafina asked the Pulp frontman if he might be up for producing and he said yes. They dished to Nowness:
Serafina Steer: When I asked you to produce my record, I'd heard that Alice Coltrane, in meditation, asked Stravinsky and John Coltrane whether she could arrange some of their music, and they said yes. I was thinking about her a lot and thought, 'I'll ask Jarvis.'Serafina Steer's new album is called The Moths Are Real (cover art above) and will be out in January via Stolen Recordings. The album is even more spare than her last, with many songs just Steer's voice and nimble harp-playing. (Jarvis sings back-up on one track, "The Removal Man," too.) It's quite lovely. In addition to producing the album, Jarvis also directed the album's first single, "Night Swim," which features synchronized swimming. You can watch that below along with a list of upcoming live dates (none in North America).
Jarvis Cocker: I never thought I would produce a record. I thought it would be one of my definitions of hell: having to listen to somebody else's music over and over again!
SS: Did you regret it?
JC: Well, what I liked was that your songs didn't follow a conventional structure, whereas I'm very conventional when I write songs. I didn't want to trample all over that. I suppose the role of the producer is quite nebulous--and my definition would be in some way helping to put your ideas into action. I just thought that I could help define them in some way. - [Nowness]
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
M83 / The Black Keys / Refused
"Coachella's new dueling weekends have unwittingly started a bitter turf war between those at the festival now and those who plan to come next week.After sets by Jimmy Cliff, Madness, Kendrick Lamar, Jimmy Cliff, Arctic Monkeys, EMA, Ximena Sarinana, Gary Clark Jr, Death Grips, and many more, night fell and the massive crowds at Coachella's first of two Fridays were treated to sets by Pulp (setlist & video HERE), Mazzy Star (more on their set in a second), Refused (more on their set HERE), The Black Keys (setlist below), M83, Amon Tobin (more about him HERE), and others (that we didn't get pictures of).
In years past, if you were the socially adept, party-minded type, you could pretty much bank on the fact that all the cool kids in your social satellite system would be somewhere on the Empire Polo Field, in line for Spicy Pie pizza, or wearing next-to-nothing at the Ace pool party.
This year, however, a text bearing the age-old Coachella rallying cry, "Dude! VIP lounge, now. Shots!" has a 50% chance of being met with the reply, "Dude. I'm coming next weekend. Too bad for you cuz it's so cold there right now."" [LA Times]
Our first set of Coachella Friday pics is HERE. The rest, along with the Black Keys setlist, below...
Jarvis Cocker @ Coachella 2012 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
After playing Wednesday and Thursday in NYC at Radio City Music Hall, Pulp brought the show (minus eight songs) to Coachella on Friday night. The pictures are HERE. Watch the full hour+ desert festival set, and check out the setlist, below...
photos by Ryan Muir
Jarvis Cocker & adoring fans @ Radio City Music Hall - 4/11/12
Well, that was excellent... Jarvis Cocker wiggled and pranced around the room in his natty suit, geek glasses and Cuban-heel boots, a brazen showgirl in the body of a pervy librarian. Who else besides Jarvis would get cheers from a New York audience by announcing it was the anniversary of The Great Gatsby's publication in 1925? And who else would recite lines from the book while throwing Snickers and Milky Way bars into the crowd? "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired," Jarvis said, quoting from Gatsby as a preface to "Something Changed," one of Pulp's big love ballads. "And if you are one of the pursued or the pursuing, this one's for you."We >previously posted the setlist from the second of two nights, and now here are the pictures from Pulp's show last night at Radio City Music Hall (4/12) (though unfortunately none of opener Jeffrey Lewis) (venue rules).
But everybody in a Pulp song is always pursued and pursuing, which is why their songs hold up so smashingly. They barely ever played the U.S. in their heyday, and Jarvis' superb solo shows haven't featured any Pulp material since the band split in the early 2000s. So ever since the band reunited the vintage "Common People"-era lineup, American fans have been waiting for this moment. -[Rolling Stone]
Jarvis scales Radio City Music Hall - 4/11/12 (photo by eversincedapper)
Pulp played their second of two shows at Radio City Music Hall last night (4/11), and though the setlists were pretty similar with the same amount of songs, they mixed it up a bit. This time "Misshapes" was played at the end of the encore instead of at the beginning of the show, "Bad Cover Version" was played in the encore instead of "Live Bed Show", and they played "Monday Morning" instead of "Party Hard." Check out the first night's setlist and pictures HERE. Check out the second night's setlist (UPDATE: Pictures HERE), below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
SHOW OF THE UNIVERSE!!!!!!! - Anonymous
Jarvis Cocker @ Radio City Music Hall - 4/10/2012
"Jarvis is a bit older now, but he still has it. He's an extraordinary performer, in part because he's such a specific character, and he's so fully comfortable in his skin. I think the very best rock stars are the people who impose their quirks on to the role rather than conform to the expectations of the job. He created his own archetype, but he belongs in a pantheon of the great oddball rock gods alongside Michael Stipe, David Byrne, Elvis Costello, Stephen Malkmus, Black Francis and James Murphy. Watching him in action is inspiring - his sort of confidence seems somehow attainable, whereas more traditional rock, pop and rap stars make it seem impossible and superhuman. Even in his biggest anthems - "Mis-Shapes" and "Common People," both of which presage the sentiment of the Occupy movement by nearly two decades - Cocker is at a human scale even as the music soars. Extremely lanky, yeah, but human scale." [Fluxblog]You already saw the setlist from last night's Pulp show which was the first of two shows at the fancy NYC venue for the reunited Britpop greats who also hit Fallon while in town and who continue on to play Coachella this weekend. Here are the pictures, opener Chromatics (who played Le Bain one night earlier) included. More below...
Pulp on Fallon
Jarvis is keeping busy. One day after he finished a run of shows at the Whitney Museum, and one day before two shows at Radio City, Pulp appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (last night, 4/9/2012). They performed one song on air, and one off. Watch both below...
photo via jennileetweets
"...In the latest iteration of "Who's Zoo?," performed on [Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday] at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with professionals alongside nondancers, the biggest improvement is live music: Relaxed Muscle, a two-member band featuring Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp) and Jason Buckle, perform four of the show's six songs.That's a snippet of the NY Times review of Michael Clark's "Who's Zoo?".
With the addition of live music and a cult-of-personality approach -- not only by the spectacularly louche Mr. Cocker, but also by Mr. Clark, who has given himself more cameos this time around -- "Who's Zoo?" is less of a dance than it ever was. Mr. Clark transforms it into a musical experience with movement...." [NY Times]
Now Jarvis just has one day before Pulp headlines Radio City Music Hall for two nights in a row, with two different openers. As mentioned, Chromatics open Tuesday's show while Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard opens Wednesday.
MEANWHILE, it looks like Chromatics play a semi-private, it's-going-to-be-really-hard-to-get in show at The Standard's Le Bain tonight (4/9) while some band called "The Junkyard" plays Cake Shop (with Dolfish and SLFM).
Meanwhile, Jarvis is already in NYC and preparing for a different kind of performance taking place at the Whitney Museum from April 5-8. As Art In America leaked the other day:
Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of Pulp, will play live on the Whitney Museum's fourth floor, according to a source with knowledge of the event. The British musician will perform Apr. 5-8 with his side project, Relaxed Muscle, alongside Michael Clark's dance company, organized as part of the Whitney Biennial.Tickets have been gone for these shows way before anyone knew Jarvis Cocker would be performing at them, but as the article points out, and the Whitney confirms:
Cocker formed Relaxed Muscle in 2002, following Pulp's break up. He performs as "Darren Spooner," using a violent performance style and over-the-top goth costumes and make-up. The group has maintained a relatively low profile since their sole album release in 2003.
Tickets are required to attend, and advance tickets are sold out. A limited number of tickets become available each day of the performance.
A limited number of tickets will be available at the Museum on the day of each performance on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11 am (1 pm on Fridays). The performance is free with Museum admission, but special entry tickets are required. We encourage anyone unable to get entry tickets to join the standby line which forms a half-hour before each performance. Museum admission is required to join the standby line.Note that the Whitney doesn't reveal Jarvis will be there, but he will. Good luck!
Jarvis is also DJing a Kurt Cobain-related party while in town. More details below...
Pulp @ Way Out West in 2011
The Coachella 2012 lineup was supposed to be announced in full by now (update: ANNOUNCED), so that may explain why Pulp just announced that they will in fact be playing the festival on both of its weekends: April 13 & 20. Now let's hope that also means a North American tour that comes all the way east. The rumored end-of-2011 US shows obviously didn't happen.
I was lucky enough to catch Pulp during their reunion dates in Europe over the summer, at the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg, Sweden to be exact. Here are some pictures from that glorious show, the great Jarvis Cocker, special guest Charlie Fink from Noah & the Whale, and many Swedish fans included. They continue below...
The December issue of Q Magazine is an 'Artists Of The Century' special edition, covering all of the acts that the fine staff of the good ship Q feel are the most important of the century so far. As befitting a special edition of the UK best selling music monthly requires a special cover was commissioned world renowned photographer John Wright has spent over a year shooting 34 artists to fit on triple fold out cover.What do you get when you throw Pitchfork's favorite albums in a blender with NME's? Q's favorite albums of 2009 are (questionable & very UK-centric and) listed below..
The issue is packed to the gills with pieces written by Russell Brand on Noel Gallagher, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis on Coldplay and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme on The Arctic Monkeys. In addition it also includes exclusive interviews and photos from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Dizzee Rascal, U2, Dave Grohl, Lily Allen, Rihanna, Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Brandon Flowers from The Killers, Elbow's Guy Garvey, Pink, Muse's Matt Bellamy, Murdoc from Gorillaz, The Kings Of Leon, Mark Ronson, Mika, Nick Cave, Robert Plant, Florence Welch, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and Tom Chaplin of Keane.
photos by Chris La Putt
NY MAG: How was working with Steve Albini on Further Complications?Jarvis Cocker played Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (7/30). Little Joy opened. Some more pictures are below...
Jarvis Cocker: It was kind like the polar opposite of most producers. He didn't want to get his fingerprints all over the record. And we're not that dissimilar in age; even though we were growing up in other continents, I guess it's that punk movement that brought us into music, so there were some points of reference in common. You know, being in the studio can be very, very dull, but this wasn't at all because when he wasn't playing poker online, we actually had some quite interesting conversations. And I suppose it's well-known -- he wears overalls to work because he treats it as a job rather than a creative enterprise, and that was quite a refreshing thing.
Throwed - "Houston slang, for being wasted, high, or both"
The above tweet comes to us from Questlove of the Roots live from Jarvis Cocker's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon taping. The episode will air tonight, after Jarvis is finished playing Music Hall of Williamsburg and around the time The Roots are playing Webster Hall. What is Questlove talking about? Video below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Veils - Killed by the Boom (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Foreign Born - Vacationing People (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Foreign Born - Early Warnings (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jaguar Club - Sleepwalking (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Betty Wang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Horse's Ha - The Piss Choir (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Polvo - Beggar's Bowl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Obits - Two-Headed Coin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Obits - Pine On (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Blacklist - Flight of the Demoiselles (MP3)
Jarvis Cocker @ MHOW in 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
There is a ton of stuff going on this weekend, but clearly the gig of the week is Jarvis Cocker (who is also on Jimmy Fallon tonight) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (7/30). The last last two years Jarvis held my top spot for Show of the Year and I have no doubt he will deliver tonight as well. He's truly on another plane of existence when it comes to performers. But I'm like a lot of you this year, I didn't buy tickets for Terminal 5 (a venue I'm kind of proud I've never been to) and then kicking yourselves when the show got downgraded to MHoW. It's kind of killing me that I won't be at this show, but luckily there are a lot of other good options.
If you are an Anglophile, I think your best bet tonight (7/30) is at Mercury Lounge for The Veils and Foreign Born. Tickets are still available. The Veils' new album, Sun Gangs, is a little more palatable, in my opinion, than 2006's Nux Vomica with singer Finn Andrews' vocals a little more reigned-in and less histrionic, though I realize that was a selling point for some people. (I was more of a fan of the first album, The Runaway Found, than the second album.) The new record is good, for fans of moody, heart-swelling anthemic rock. Check out "Killed by the Boom" at the top of this post. Having seen The Veils play for both previous albums (and both times at Mercury Lounge) I have not doubt that Andrews (son of XTC/Shriekback's Barry Andrews) will give 110%, if only that were possible. He will also likely wear a big hat.
Foreign Born, meanwhile, are from L.A. but clearly were raised on classic KROQ and the influence of The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, and House of Love was an undeniable presence on their 2007 debut, On the Wing Now, of which I was a fan. Their new album, Person to Person, still bears those influences but they've folded them in more delicately with their distinctly American sound so that it's more nuances than nods. (I do still hear a lot of House of Love in the guitars, though.) It's a really good album. They got a boost back in March when Ed Droste gushed about their new record on Grizzly Bear's blog:
I was pretty vocal about my love for their last album On the Wing Now, and this time around it's even better. I gotta say, something about the production of this album is really doing it for me. Crisper sounds, and Matt's voice sounds wonderful. This track "Vacationing People" is a lovely little pop gem, and it's not even scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the album. I hope that you all enjoy the song and check these guys out.You can download Foreign Born's "Vacationing People" and "Early Warnings" at the top of this post. If you are going, do try and go early and catch locals Jaguar Club who definitely fit well with the night's proceedings. Their debut, And We Wake Up Slowly, is out September 1 and is a nice distillation of various gloomy Brit-rock influences. They're young, still evolving, but worth checking out.
If you can't make Mercury Lounge tonight, both Foreign Born and the Veils are playing on Monday at The Bell House and you can get tickets here.
The Horse's Ha
Another good option tonight (7/30) is at Bruar Falls which has the first Hospitality show since late May, as their bassist pulls double-duty in White Rabbits who were on tour the last two months (and play Saturday at All Points West). I previously wrote in May: "Singer Amber Papini's delicate, airy voice matches so perfectly with her songwriting: jazzy pop that kind of reminds me of '60s chanteuse Claudine Longet or Austin's Yellow Fever. I've yet to see them live but I'm kinda in love with the songs." I've listened to their swoon-worthy CDR EP I don't know how many times since then and was quickly won over when I saw them live. Check out "Betty Wang" at the top of this post and see if you don't feel the same way. They've promised to play a whole bunch of new songs tonight, too.
Also on the Bruar Falls bill are Chicago's The Horse's Ha which is reason enough to go. Primarily a duo of James Elkington of The Zincs (kind of the Windy City's American Analog Set), and Janet Beveridge Bean who has spent time in the great '90s indie rock band Eleventh Dream Day as well as '00s folkies Freakwater. The Horse's Ha are their homage to late-'60s/early '70s Euro-hippy-folk like Fairport Convention and Pentangle, and their voices sound great together on their debut album, Of the Cathmawr Yards, which, like their name, is a Dylan Thomas reference. With a backing band of ace improv-jazz players (Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri, and Charles Rumback), this should be something. You can download their song "The Piss Choir" at the top of this post.
The Horse's Ha are also playing two more shows this weekend, both of which are opening slots for The Mekons who also call Chicago home these days: Friday at The Bell House and a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday. What do you say about the Mekons these days beyond that they are probably the only band from the original punk/post-punk era to rival The Fall on longevity, relevance, line-up changes, and essential output -- the only constant being change. The band are working on their 27th album, recording in Wales, so expect some new tunes at these two gigs: the Bell House show being semi-acoustic, the Mercury Lounge being full electric. Anyone who's seen the Mekons before should know to be prepared for a marathon, booze-soaked performance with a crowd of die-hard hard fans who match the band shot-for-shot, pint-for-pint. It can be a bit much for the uninitiated (or casual fan) but worth the effort. They are legends.
It's a great double-bill at the Seaport Music Series on Friday: Polvo are in town fresh off their appearance at XX Merge, have just re-signed to the label who will put out In Prism, the band's first album in ten years. You can check out "Beggar's Bowl" from it at the top of this post and if it represents the rest of the album, it definitely sounds like the Polvo I remember: intricate guitar lines, rhythmically complex, shredding indie rock. And Obits have put out one of my favorite rock albums of the year: full of pedal-to-the-metal, cheap trucker's speed style jams. I've seen them twice already this year, and Rick Froberg hasn't lost any snarl. Two downloadable tracks off their I Blame You album at the top of this post.
A complete 180 from Obits are... Modern English. Yes that Modern English, whose classic '80s single "I Melt With You" has been used at least twice in commercials to sell various things with cheese on it over the last 10 years,
will be performing at The Studio at Webster Hall on Friday CANCELLED. While that may be the only thing anyone remembers about them, the album that song came from, After the Snow, is actually a really solid platter of goth-tinged pop which, you may not remember, came out on 4AD (home of Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and The Wolfgang Press). It also contains the absolutely brilliant single "Life in the Gladhouse," probably the best thing the band ever did. The two albums that surrounded it (1981's Mesh and Lace and 1984's Ricochet Days) aren't bad either. I have no idea who is in this version of the band -- certainly singer Robbie Grey, probably guitarist Matthew Shipley -- or whether they're any good, but Modern English were more than a one-hit flashback fave.
I wonder if the members of Blacklist wouldn't be watching Modern English if they weren't playing at Cameo on Friday (7/31). Surely they've got a copy of Mesh & Lace in their record collection somewhere. Blacklist's debut, Midnight of the Century, was released this week and would've sounded at home on 4AD or Beggars Banquet in 1984. They've worked out the best bits of '80s goth: killer pumping basslines, effects-drenched guitars, the just-melodramatic-enough singing, and giant anthemic choruses. If you ever liked Sisters of Mercy, The Bolshoi, Death Cult, Xmal Deutschland, you're gonna dig Blacklist. It's pastiche, but it's done to perfection. You can check out "Flight of the Demoiselles" at the top of this post.
The Cameo show also features Austin's loud-as-hell shoegazers Ringo Deathstar who are way better than their name might suggest. Might be a good way to prep your ears for the My Bloody Valentine aural assault that will happen at All Points West on Saturday (7/31).
This is a big column this week! And it's almost over. Seattle's Justin Ripley is also in town this weekend. You may remember The Pamonas, the band he had in Lawrence, KS a couple years ago. Since relocating to Seattle, he went on a songwriting binge and has released three downloadable albums this year so far. It's a lot of material, wildly ranging in styles and fidelity, but quality across the tracks is surprisingly high. Plus, he's got power pop at his core and I'm gonna guess that's what you can expect from this weekend's shows, especially with half of the awesome, raucous Rooftop Vigilantes as his backing band. He plays Glasslands on Friday (7/31, with Midnight Masses), the Alphabet Lounge on Saturday (8/1) and Monkeytown on Sunday (8/2).
And finally I would be remiss to not mention All Points West, which is at Liberty State Park this weekend as I'm sure BV readers are already aware. I think it's a better lineup overall than last year (no Jack Johnson) and Saturday and Sunday are both pretty strong, though I'd have to give a slight edge to Sunday, what with Echo & the Bunnymen, Elbow, MGMT, Slilversun Pickups, Mogwai and Lykke Li. (Also La Roux, who I'm curious as to what they're like live.) I am no fan of outdoor festivals, but I had fun last year and am looking forward to this weekend.
Tour Dates and videos after the jump....
DOWNLOAD: Jarvis Cocker - Angela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jarvis Cocker - You're In My Eyes (Discosong - Pilooski mix) (MP3)
Jarvis Cocker kicked off a very short North American tour at V Fest in Vancouver last night (7/26).
British singer Jarvis Cocker is a funny dude. The former frontman of Pulp, he's as witty as they come. He questioned whether the audience had been struck by lightning last night, then quipped, "You look remarkably well."There was rain and lightning in Vanvouver over the weekend too. In NYC Jarvis's show is on Thursday, July 30th at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg (moved from the much larger Terminal 5). Little Joy opens. It is sold out. It was sold out the second they moved it from T5 which means people that waited to get tickets (or who would have bought tickets if they knew it was going to be at Music Hall in the first place) got shut out. There's now one more chance to get in. We have one pair of tickets to give away. Details are below.
Musically, too, he and his band were solid. (Rumour has it a conversation Richard Branson had with Cocker back in the '90s was the impetus behind the original V-Fest in 1996.)
Although, I have to say, I'm enjoying Cocker's banter with the audience (a bit one-sided, however) more. "Did anyone go swimming in the lake?" he asked. "Good, it's forbidden."
[The Vancouver Sun]
And speaking of giveaways, Cocker is currently giving away a remix of a song off his new album, Further Complications, which came out in May on Rough Trade. The remix in question, "You're In My Eyes (Discosong)," done by French DJ Pilooski, is available at jarviscocker.net and above. "Angela," off the new record, is also above.
Contest details and all tour dates are below...
DOWNLOAD: Jarvis Cocker - Angela (MP3)
Pulp front-man Jarvis Cocker is currently playing dates in support of his newest solo record, Further Complications, which came out in May on Rough Trade. Check out a track from it above. His tour was to include a July 30th show at Terminal 5. Instead, that show will happen at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for the other venue will be honored, but new tickets are not available - the show went instantly to "sold out" status when it moved (that's one way to sell out a show in this recession - move it to a venue 4-5 times smaller).
Jarvis's Rough Trade label-mates Little Joy will be opening that show. Little Joy usually features Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, but he most likely won't be at the MHOW show (except maybe as a special guest) as he'll be busy recording the forthcoming, fourth Strokes album. At Little Joy's last Bowery Ballroom show, Fabrizio only joined the band for their final song, as did Regina Spektor who Little Joy opened for at Beacon Theater less than a week earlier.
At the same time, Strokes singer Julian Casablancas is preparing to release his solo album, Phrazes for the Young, due later this year on Cult Records/RCA. The record is produced by Jason Lader (who's worked with Elvis Costello, Rilo Kiley and others) with additional production by Monster of Folk Mike Mogis, and will be accompanied by solo tour dates, to be announced.
Check out a YouTube preview of that record and its synthy, New Age direction, with all Little Joy tour dates, below...
Mutek banner in Montreal - May 27, 2009 (bneely)
Mutek, the electronic music festival celebrating its tenth year, is currently underway in Montreal. The five-day fest runs to Sunday, May 31st, and it's streaming online. Moderat, the Modeselektor & Apparat supergroup, performed at Mutek on Thursday, May 28th; the group plays NYC's Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, May 30th (the show was originally planned for Webster Hall). Tickets are still on sale.
Speaking of parties up North this summer... three other biggies are Ottawa Bluesfest (July 8th-19th), Vancouver Folk Music Festival (July 17-19th) and Calgary Folk Music Festival (July 23rd-26th). Each of those suitably transcend the "blues" and "folk" labels, hosting bands like The Dead Weather and Yeah Yeah Yeahs (in Ottawa), The Weakerthans and Rock Plaza Central (in Vancouver), and The Decemberists, Apostle of Hustle, Kid Koala and Akron/Family (in Calgary). Full lineup for the Calgary Fest (Ottawa in particular is much too massive to post) and ticket info below.
And don't forget about the previously reported Breeders-headlined Sled Island Fest in Calgary on June 24th-27th, Montreal's Osheaga, NXNE, and Toronto's Olympic Island Fest on July 11th, which will host Broken Social Scene and its Arts & Crafts cohorts.
Across the pond, UK's Glastonbury Festival, which runs from June 24th to 28th, has been sold out since February even though the full lineup wasn't announced until this week. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Blur will be joined by The Specials, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Spinal Tap, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Madness, Tom Jones, Animal Collective and many others.
And finally in the States, Monolith Festival, which runs from September 12th to 13th at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Colorado, has announced its intial lineup, Girl Talk, Passion Pit, and The Walkmen included. The whole thing is posted below.
The weekend before Monolith, Bumbershoot will take place in Seattle (September 5th-7th). That fest's lineup has been updated too. New additions include Vivian Girls, Akron/Family, and Elvis Perkins. All new additions, with previously announced acts, are below. Tickets are still on sale.
In Michigan, the Rothbury Festival over July 4th weekend will feature the only summer fest performance by The Dead, as well as sets by Bob Dylan, String Cheese Incident, Broken Social Scene and more. A few more jam-friendly acts were also just added to the bill. Full lineup below. Tickets are on sale.
Info on all the above fests, with ticket info, below...