Entries tagged with: Joanna Gruesome
photo by Kait Mordey
We recently mentioned that UK bands Joanna Gruesome and Trust Fund are releasing a split 12" that's due out September 22 via Happy Happy Birthday to Me in the US and via Reeks of Effort in the UK. We already heard one of the three JG contributions, and now we've got the premiere of one of Trust Fund's, "Scared." Trust Fund is a good fit for a split with Joanna Gruesome. The male/female harmonies and scrappy indie pop of "Scared" isn't too far off from the stuff we've heard from JG so far. And if you're unfamiliar with both bands, any '90s indie rock/indie pop fan should check this out. You can stream "Scared" with another of TF's contributions to the split, "Reading the Wrappers," below. You can pre-order the US or the UK release.
Joanna Gruesome also have a split with Perfect Pussy coming. They were recently in NYC for shows at Shea Stadium with Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth and The Love of Everything (pics) and South Street Seaport with Big Ups (pics).
Stream the Trust Fund songs below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Joanna Gruesome / Big Ups @ South Street Seaport - 8/29/14
After Joanna Gruesome's tour with Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth and The Love of Everything hit Shea Stadium on 8/26 (pics), they made their way back to NYC for a free show at the South Street Seaport on Friday (8/29), the final Seaport Music Festival show of the summer. (Perfect Pussy and Potty Mouth were in Asbury Park that night.) Opening this one was NYC's Big Ups, who look and sound right out of the '90s with influences that don't go too far beyond that era's Dischord and Touch & Go bands, and a wild frontman who does the sound justice.
Joanna Gruesome's set, though it was on a much higher stage for a much more spread out crowd than their Shea set a few days earlier, was just as enjoyable in this environment as it was in that one. And really for both bands the crowds were about as good as they could be at a place like the South Street Seaport: crowded in right up to the front of the barrier.
More pictures from the show, below...
photos by Dylan Johnson, words by Andrew Sacher
Perfect Pussy / Joanna Gruesome @ Shea - 8/26/14
The stacked Perfect Pussy / Joanna Gruesome / Potty Mouth / The Love of Everything tour kicked off last night (8/26) with a sold out show at Brooklyn's tiny Shea Stadium. It was a great show all around, and packed almost the entire time. Pictures are in this post.
The Love of Everything, aka Joan of Arc's Bobby Burg, kicked things off with a one-man-band set consisting of Bobby's voice, guitar, bass, synths, and a crude drum machine all going through a loop pedal. In a way, Love of Everything was the odd band out on the bill. It was the only one that wasn't a "band" in the traditional sense, and the only one whose songs didn't revolve around briskly strummed distorted guitars. But what he did have in common with the rest of the bill is his music came from a place of rawness and passion, rather than a traditional idea of "technique," something Bobby is undeniably a veteran of.
The energy level began to rise when Potty Mouth followed with their set of poppy punk, but really rose once Joanna Gruesome took the stage for one of the best sets I've seen of theirs yet. Joanna Gruesome are equal parts twee pop and more aggressive punk, but the energy of the latter is what wins out at their shows. All band members thrash around the stage like a hardcore band while singer Alanna McCardle stands at the mic, commanding the crowd with ease. For one song during this set, she took her mic off the stand and gave her wildest performance of the night. The rowdiness of the crowd matched that of the band, at one point causing Alanna to ask them to chill with the moshing ("that's fun for about five of you... and there's way more than five of you here").
There was a pause in the show after Joanna Gruesome, because Perfect Pussy were running late. But once they finally got there, they ran up on stage without a soundcheck and got the room going as nuts as it was for JG. Perfect Pussy's sets are short, but they pack more uninhibited aggression in 15 minutes than many rock bands can in double or triple that time. Last night was no exception, as the band went hard with minimal breaks from start to finish, and it ended with noise guy Sean Sutkus making controlled feedback minutes after the rest of the band had left the stage.
The tour continues, and splits this Friday (8/29), as Joanna Gruesome return to NYC on their own to headline a free South Street Seaport show with Big Ups, and Perfect Pussy/Potty Mouth play Asbury Park. Potty Mouth will also be back for a Cake Shop (9/3) show next week.
More pictures from Shea, below...
photos by Adela Loconte
The Strokes / Grimes / Boris
[Slowdive's] entire audience appears to be holding its breath, immersed in the British shoegaze band's ocean of sound. The three guitarists--Neil Halstead, Christian Savill, and Rachel Goswell--are urged on by the warm throb of Nick Chaplin's bass and the vigorous drumming of Simon Scott. It's a relief to hear a drummer at the festival who isn't playing in boring old 4/4. Goswell, resplendent in a silver dress and smiling shyly, sings the hook to "Crazy for You," its circular guitar figure still captivating 20 years later. Unfortunately, her pretty voice sounds paper thin in the mix of "Machine Gun" but the reverb-y guitars sound great. During "Souvlaki Space Station," left-handed Savill plays a solo in which his slide guitar sighs as if in post-coital bliss.LA's 2014 FYF Fest went down over the weekend (Saturday, 8/23 & Sunday, 8/24) with a killer lineup that included Phoenix, The Strokes, Interpol, Grimes, Slowdive, Slint, The Blood Brothers, Future Islands, Against Me!, Ty Segall, Boris, Run the Jewels, Darkside, Flying Lotus, Blood Orange, Haim, Murder City Devils, Four Tet, The Bronx, Deafheaven, La Dispute, Joyce Manor, Joanna Gruesome, Angel Olsen and many more. We've got pictures of a handful of the bands from both days, in this post.
One wonders whether most of these teens and twentysomethings have any idea who Slowdive is. After all, the band broke up--or, more accurately morphed into Mojave 3--when many of the attendees were in diapers. Is Slowdive cashing in on the reunion dollar or will they produce new material? One hopes for the latter. The band's multiple guitargasms are indescribably majestic and beautiful. The five-piece doesn't take the opportunity to play "Visions of LA," but "Alison" and a cover of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair" end the set on a highpoint. Before they depart, Goswell announces they'll be back in November. Can't wait. [Under the Radar]
More pics, with a stream of a new song by rapper Kosha Dillz where he namedrops 60 bands that played FYF, below...
J Mascis' Heavy Blanket at Summer Thunder 2013 (via @brooklynvegan instagram)
The long Labor Day Weekend (8/29-9/1) is upon us already, which for many is one last chance to enjoy the freedom of summer. It's a good time to get away for a weekend, but if you're staying in NYC for it, there's plenty to do here as well. We've put together our top 10 live music options going on in NYC during Labor Day Weekend, and you can check those out below...
Perfect Pussy at Pitchfork Festival 2014 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
We already knew Joanna Gruesome and Perfect Pussy will be touring together this month, and in the fall they'll put out a split 7" together too, via Slumberland/Captured Tracks/Fortuna Pop. The songs on the split include a cover and an original from each band, with Joanna Gruesome taking on emo/screamo veterans I Hate Myself's "...And Keep Reaching for Those Stars" and Perfect Pussy doing "Leash Called Love" by Bjork's old band The Sugarcubes. You can stream PP's take on The Sugarbabes and JG's original, "Psykick Espionage," below. The split also comes with a cartoon made by Perfect Pussy guitarist Ray McAndrew's brother Phil, who's also a MAD contributor. "The heroine in McAndrew's comic is a 'split' between Joanna Gruesome front woman Alanna McArdle and Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy, who battles misogynists, online trolls and haters everywhere." Check out a gif of the cartoon below as well.
The Joanna Gruesome/Perfect Pussy tour, which also includes Potty Mouth and the Joan of Arc-related The Love of Everything, hits NYC on August 26 at Shea Stadium. Tickets for this stacked show in a tiny venue are still available. Joanna Gruesome also play a free NYC show at South Street Seaport (8/29) three days later with Big Ups. That same day, Perfect Pussy and Potty Mouth play an Asbury Park show at Asbury Lanes.
Potty Mouth have other tour dates coming up after that, including a run with Aye Nako that brings them back to NYC on September 3 at Cake Shop. All of their dates are listed below.
In addition to the Joanna Gruesome and Speedy/Ex Hex shows, Big Ups have other local shows coming up, including one with the reunited Fiasco, Heeney and Turbosleaze at Shea Stadium on September 4; and another opening the Studio at Webster Hall (10/16) stop of Dope Body's tour (one of three NYC shows for Dope Body). Tickets for the Dope Body show are still available.
All lists of dates, and the streams from the Joanna Gruesome/Perfect Pussy split, below...
by Bill Pearis
Joanna Gruesome are presumably working on their second album. While we wait for news on that, the scrappy Welsh popsters will have one side of a split 12" with another UK band, Trust Fund, that will be out September 22 via Happy Happy Birthday to Me. Each band get three songs, and you can stream JG's very catchy "Jerome (Liar)" below. No tracks have been made available from Trust Fund's side, but you can stream the Briston, UK band's 2013 Don't Let Them Begin EP below. Only 500 copies of this are being pressed, order yours.
As you may know, Joanna Gruesome will be touring this summer, playing two NYC shows: August 26 at Shea Stadium with an impressive lineup of Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth and the Joan of Arc-related The Love of Everything (tickets), and then the free Seaport Music Festival show on August 29 with Big Ups.
All dates are listed, with streams and a flyer for the Shea Stadium show, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Joanna Gruesome at BV-CMJ 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew punky UK indie pop band Joanna Gruesome were coming over to the US for LA's FYF Fest and a free Seaport Music Festival show in NYC on August 29 with Big Ups. Since we last spoke, they've expanded their tour which now also includes a much smaller NYC show happening August 26 at Shea Stadium with a STACKED lineup of Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth and the Joan of Arc-related The Love of Everything. (It wasn't long ago that Perfect Pussy sold out two shows on their own around that size.) Tickets for what should be a packed, sweaty, and all-around very fun bill, are on sale now. All dates (including others with that same lineup) are listed below.
In related news, JG guitarist Owen Williams also plays in the band Grubs who recently released a new single, "Dec. 15 / Gym Shame." If you like Joanna Gruesome or other likeminded British indie pop bands, you'll probably dig this too. You can stream both tracks below.
The annual two-day FYF Fest is returning to LA from August 23-24 this year, and the lineup was just announced. It includes The Strokes, Phoenix, the reunited Blood Brothers who haven't played sine 2007 (!), Slowdive, Slint, Flying Lotus, Grimes, Blood Orange, Darkside, Jamie xx, Haim, Little Dragon, Future Islands, Death Grips (we know FYF is a festival they actually play), Ty Segall, Deafheaven, La Dispute, Joyce Manor, Against Me!, Built to Spill, Murder City Devils, The Bronx, Angel Olsen, Four Tet, Earl Sweatshirt, Joanna Gruesome and many more.
Tickets go on sale May 22 at noon PDT. Full lineup below...
Joanna Gruesome @ BVCMJ 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The Seaport Music Festival is back for its 13th season though, like 4Knots, somewhat reimagined. With the Pier 17 being redeveloped, the stage will now be on Fulton St. at Water St. with the stage facing East (meaning the audience will be on Fulton from Water down to South St.). We're told the stage is slightly smaller than the one at River Rocks.
More importantly, the Seaport Music Festival is back up to a robust eight Friday evenings from July 11 - August 29. Like the stage, the acts are a little smaller this year. The initial lineup:
Friday, July 11 Protomartyr, AlvvaysAs always Seaport Music Festival shows are free and open to the public.
Friday, July 18 Calvin Love, Las Rosas
Friday, July 25 Torres, TBA
Friday, August 1 Snowmine, The Casket Girls
Friday, August 8 Black Bananas, Shockwave Riderz
Friday, August 15 Boogarins, Jacco Gardner
Friday, August 22 Dead Gaze, TBA
Friday, August 29 Joanna Gruesome, Big Ups
by Andrew Sacher
UK fuzz rock/noise pop duo Playlounge hail from the same scene that's birthed bands such as Joanna Gruesome (who they've toured with, released a split with, and got matching tattoos with "in the early days"), Nai Harvest (who they're touring with now, no tattoos though), and Pinact. They plan to release their debut album, Pilot, on April 14 via Dog Knights (pre-order), which is also Nai Harvest's label in the UK.
The new single from the album, "Waves and Waves and Waves," should appeal to fans of any of those aforementioned bands (or PAWS or Japandroids). It's driving, covered in distortion, and rarely has time for anything besides piled-on guitar chords and speedy drumming. That track makes its premiere in this post. Listen, along with another LP cut, "Zero," below.
Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Chicago's Union Park from July 18-20 and the lineup was just announced. It includes Neutral Milk Hotel, Kendrick Lamar, Beck, Slowdive (their first reunion show in the US so far), Giorgio Morder, Sun Kil Moon, Factory Floor, Death Grips, the Haxan Cloak, Sharon Van Etten, tUnE-yArDs, The Julie Ruin, Grimes, Wild Beasts, DIIV, Ka, Circulatory System, Pusha T, The Range, Mas Ysa and more TBA. Tickets are on sale now.
In related news, Pitchfork is teaming up with ATP and Primavera Sound for London's Jabberwocky Festival which includes Neutral Milk Hotel, Electric Wizard, Deafheaven, Kode9, Earth, Pissed Jeans, Connan Mockasin, The Ex, Speedy Ortiz, Iceage, Vatican Shadow, Joanna Gruesome, Metz, Jesu, Chelsea Wolfe, Hookworms and more.
Initial day-by-day Pitchfork Fest lineup below...
by Andrew Sacher
Glasgow fuzz rock duo Pinact, who we profiled last year around the time they released their ripper of a single "Brew" (via Art Is Hard Records), are back with a new cut, "Guillotine." This one calms things down in comparison to "Brew," keeping things fuzzy and distorted, but heading more into mid-tempo alternative rock territory as opposed to Japandroids-style power punk. The song is from an upcoming compilation that Art Is Hard is co-releasing with the Reeks of Effort label (run by some of the Joanna Gruesome guys) appropriately titled Art Reeks. In addition to Pinact, the comp features tracks by Radstewart, Joey Fourr, and Poledo. It'll be out on March 3 but you can pre-order it now.
"Guillotine" premieres in this post, and you can listen to it, along with Art Reeks tracks from the other three bands, below...
by Bill Pearis
In addition to the Fear of Men special edition LP, Kanine Records announced their other Record Store Day 2014 releases today as well. One of them is a compilation called Non Violent Femmes, which culls tracks from some of today's more promising female-fronted bands from around the globe (well, America, UK, and NZ): Speedy Ortiz, Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow, Beach Day, Tashaki Miyaki, Is/Is, Beverly, TEEN (who just played Baby's All Right), Joanna Gruesome, Flowers, and Beaches. Ten of the 11 tracks are exclusive to the release.
And in a related vibe -- and this is cool -- Kanine will be reissuing Elastica's eponymous 1995 debut on vinyl for RSD. While they never managed to do much after, Elastica is packed with great songs -- "Connection," "Stutter," "Car Song," "Annie," "Line-Up," "Vaseline" -- and a true '90s classic.
Kanine is also releasing an alternate version of Surfer Blood's 2013 album Pythons, one that, apparently, Warner Brothers rejected for being too "punky."
Record Store Day happens in brick-and-mortar shops all around the globe on Saturday, April 19. Speedy Ortiz play free shows at Brooklyn Night Bazaar this Friday (2/7) with Krill, Odonis Odonis, Heeney, and Infinity Girl; and Other Music on 2/10. They're also streaming their new EP, Real Hair, which you can listen to on Pitchfork.
Check out a few Elastica videos below...
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
We've done some year-end lists in the past at BrooklynVegan, though you might notice that we're not the most consistent with them. This is for a few reasons, one being that with the varying tastes of our current group of contributors, we could never in a million years agree on a top 10, let alone an Album of the Year. So in an attempt to get around that obstacle, this year two BV writers, Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher, have made individual lists of the albums they loved most which we think each represent different parts of 2013 here at BrooklynVegan. They both made top 20s (and only had two albums in common), with commentary on the top 10, and you can check out both lists below...
We already posted BV contributor David Andrako's favorite live photos (that he took) of 2013, and now here's another from longtime BV contributor Dominick Mastrangelo. The one of Palma Violets above is one of his "13 for 13" pics picks, and you can check out the rest, along with a list of his favorite songs of the year, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Speedy Ortiz @ BV-CMJ party at Baby's All Right - 10/18/13
Northampton indie rockers Speedy Ortiz already announced they're opening US dates for Los Campesinos!, they've now announced they'll sooner tour in support of another band, indie rock greats The Breeders, who Speedy likely owe some influence to. As discussed, that tour hits NYC on December 19 and 20 at Webster Hall, and Speedy Ortiz will be opening both of those dates. Tickets for both shows are still available. Updated Speedy Ortiz dates, including a European tour with Joanna Gruesome, are listed below.
As mentioned, the Los Campesinos!/Speedy Ortiz tour hits NYC on January 22 at Irving Plaza. Tickets for that show are still available.
And though Speedy Ortiz aren't opening this one, if you're in Austin, catch The Breeders on New Year's Eve which is the last of their 'Last Splash' shows.
Back during CMJ, Speedy Ortiz played our Friday (10/18) party at Baby's All Right. We already posted one set of pictures from that show, and another set of Speedy are in this post. They continue below, along with a video of them playing "Ka Prow!" at that show (via Bleary Eyed Brooklyn), and their list of tour dates...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Torres / Pallbearer / Joanna Gruesome
After a hot set by Yuck (who played after Courtney Barnett, Pity Sex and more), things cooled down during King Dude's set, literally, as the venue succesfully tested out their air conditioning for the first time. Nothing were then followed by the heaviest band of the day: doom traditionalists Pallbearer, we announced as our special guest just hours earlier. They played with Saint Vitus at Europa the night before.
Then things eased their way back in a lighter direction, with alt-folk singer Torres -- playing as a duo rather than a four-piece -- who continues to get grungier and more intense each time. We were worried that the transition from the metal of Pallbearer to Torres would be a disaster, but it was just the opposite and both bands played to a full room, even if the faces were not all the same.
Then came one of the most fun sets of the day (if we do say so ourselves) from Hop Along, who had fans packing in towards the front of the venue and singing along for much of their set. Hop Along gave the love right back and didn't hide their excitement that they were getting to open for Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan and Mary Timony's new band Ex Hex. More about both of those special sets HERE.
After Ex Hex, the late-night portion of the show (we were only initially going until 10 PM) began with a set from Amsterdam's Jacco Gardner, who like Spires ten hours earlier, sound a lot like late '60s psych/baroque pop. Then came NYC's good lookin' rockers Drowners, followed by another big winner of this year's CMJ, Joanna Gruesome. The UK band only recently formed, banged out a debut LP mixing twee pop and punk called Weird Sister, and seriously honed their live show, which was one not to miss. A lot of folks who had clearly been at Arcade Fire earlier in the night (a lot of tuxes, a lot of animal masks) made it over for JG's set. The band didn't let amp issues or it being their last of a zillion CMJ shows slow them down, and their set ended with three of the five members in the crowd.
Finally, our epic-length party ended on a highly eccentric note, with a post-1AM set from UK duo Public Service Broadcasting who mix krauty dancerock with samples from '70s and '80s educational films. While they were lacking the projections they normally play with, they were still quite entertaining -- they addressed the crowd purely with dialogue samples -- and their tight set featured the only banjo of the night. After it all, somewhow we we were still standing.
Thanks again to Sailor Jerry and to Raw Revolution for supplying the free organic live food bars that scattered around the venue. Thanks to Vinny's Music, who provided backline equipment for the artists, to Baby's All Right for being so accomodating and for getting the doors open on time, to all the bands who played and to everyone that stopped by.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Courtney Barnett / Pity Sex / Yuck
Thursday morning we still didn't even know if new Williamsburg venue Baby's All Right would be allowed to open. One day later, we hosted what ended up being the venue's first show ever for six hours straight on Friday afternoon. We then returned the next morning for an all-day Saturday CMJ party that went from noon til just after 2 AM. Pictures, videos and a recap of that 14 hour 10/19 BrooklynVegan show are in this post.
We kicked things Saturday off with local band Spires, who may be a newish band from Brooklyn but sound more like one from the UK in the late '60s, followed by the shoegazey emo of Pity Sex, who balanced whispered vocals and atmospheric guitars on either side of the stage with their driving rhythm section in the middle. Before their set, at least one member of Pity Sex got some new art on his body in our pop up Three Kings Tattoo shop courtesy of Sailor Jerry who also supplied the free rum we started serving right at noon.
Next up was Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett, one of the big winners of this year's CMJ, who just released The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas, a collection of witty lyrics and Summer of Love psych pop. The songs are excellent, and she's got a nice stage presence with a funny attitude and some killer guitar freakouts. She offered a free CD to anyone who got a tattoo of her name.
After Courtney was Yuck, who were playing their first U.S. shows since singer Daniel Blumberg left the band. He wasn't really missed, as the rest of the band traded off vocals on the first album's songs and their new material seemed to go over equally well. (They also gave us their cover of New Order's "Age of Consent.) It was a packed -- and sweaty -- house with a very enthusiastic crowd. Great set.
Then we changed gears for goth/country singer King Dude (playing as a trio), who were a bit more rockin' than they are on record, which made for a good transition into Nothing, who have been tagged as shoegaze, are signed to a metal label but really just came off as a heavy rock band not tied to any specific subgenre (catch them, complete with a new tattoo they also got at the show, at 285 Kent on 10/29).
More about this show with pictures of the second half of the day are HERE. Everything described above, is pictured below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Joanna Gruesome / Eagulls @ Pianos 10/16/2013
The biggest surprise for me at CMJ so far had to be Welsh band Joanna Gruesome, who I caught yesterday (10/16) at the Kanine Records/SESAC party at Pianos (one of many CMJ shows the band has). I arrived a few more minutes before they started, and the crowd was already packed in all the way back to the door. And once they came on, the buzz for this band became pretty clear. From the sounds of their noise pop debut Weird Sister (out now on Slumberland), I expected something a bit more restrained and stripped down, but Joanna Gruesome are a beast of a live band. - [Andrew Sacher]For those looking to catch some of the more hotly-tipped 2013 CMJ acts on the early side, the Kanine Records / SEASAC day party at Pianos on Wednesday was the place to do it, with sets from UK acts Joanna Gruesome, Eagulls, The History of Apple Pie, and Atlanta's Mood Rings, plus CMJ vets Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow and Beach Day. Pictures from the Kanine party are in this post.
You can catch Eagulls today (10/18) at the free BrooklynVegan day party at brand new Williamsburg venue, Baby's All Right (the venue's first-ever show). Eagulls play at 1:30 PM, so come if you can. I caught them Wednesday night and thought they were really good angsty, postpunk-y rock.
As for Joanna Gruesome, they're definitely one of the Bands to See this week and you've still got a few chances to do so -- including the just-announced midnight slot at our takeover of Baby's All Right on Saturday (10/19), playing in between Drowners and Public Service Broadcasting. The whole day is free for anyone 21 and over, no RSVP or CMJ badge needed.
Joanna Gruesome @ Pianos upstairs (CMJ day 1) (by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Drowners (more by Luis Ruiz)
BrooklynVegan FREE CMJ ScheduleThat's two more bands of the 30 we were hoping to see added to the previously announced lineup, plus the always sexy Drowners, and one more band TBA (in addition to the 5pm band who we'll announce late Friday night. clue: we purposely put them after King Dude & Nothing).
@ Baby's All Right (146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY)
12:00 The Head and the Heart (acoustic)
12:45 Kirin J Callinan
03:15 Yamantaka//Sonic Titan
04:15 Omar Souleyman
05:15 Speedy Ortiz
12:45 Pity Sex
1:30 Courtney Barnett
3:00 King Dude
7:00 Hop Along
8:00 Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk)
9:00 Ex Hex (Mary Timony's new band's NYC debut)
10:00 TBA (stay tuned)
12:00 Joanna Gruesome
01:00 Public Service Broadcasting
See you at Baby's! (which is also open with a great lineup Friday night too).
Joanna Gruesome photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
Joanna Gruesome at Pianos 10/16/2013
We're in the midst of a crazy-as-usual CMJ -- we're on day 3 (10/17) -- and the headaches and lack-of-sleep are already kicking in. But it's all worth it for the many hours of live music. We already talked a bit about seeing Joanna Gruesome yesterday, and here's some more highlights of our Wednesday (10/16) of CMJ...
Bonzie @ Pianos (photo by Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan Instagram)
After I saw Joanna Gruesome downstairs at Pianos, I headed upstairs to catch young Chicago singer/songwriter Bonzie. I was a little skeptical about her potentially being a bit too on the manufactured-pop side, and there is definitely some of that, but she's also got a great voice and is clearly determined to be a memorable performer as well. Bonzie's got the kind of folky pop songs that are very much in style (and successful), but she and her band add some quirks to them that recall early-mid '00s freak folk more than they do Mumford & Sons.
Other than Joanna Gruesome, the best thing I saw at Pianos had to have been Bleeding Rainbow. They mentioned on stage that they're working on a new record (expected to be out February 2014) and were playing a lot of songs from it, and man were these new songs good. Their last record -- this year's Yeah Right -- is mostly poppy shoegaze (not that there's anything wrong with that), and they've always been heavier live than that album would suggest, but these new songs were sounding like some of their most driving, punkiest stuff. They often worked practically-screamed vocals, Sonic Youth-y string bends, and dirty power chords into their set -- not the typical elements of a band tagged as shoegaze and indie pop. - [AS]
Bill here... like ships passing in the night, Andrew left for Webster Hall and I got to Pianos for the night show that was happening in the upstairs. CMJ is about the only time to see full bands up there where's no stage, giving things more of a DIY feeling. I got there just in time to catch Brooklyn's Gross Relations who bang out '90s-style crunchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock a la The Rentals or The Pulsars. They do it really well and if you've never checked them out, their live show is a lot of fun. Their record's good too.
Next up was the band I came to see -- and whom Andrew had just seen downstairs at Pianos -- Joanna Gruesome. Already a big fan of their terrific debut, Weird Sister, I knew they were not going to be your quiet type cardigan-wearing indiepop band live, but they really threw themselves into their performance, and around the room a bit too. They're a no holds barred band -- a bit wild and wooly but holding it together -- and the packed room was fully into it. In addition to album cuts like the "Sugarcrush," "Secret Surprise" and "Madison" they turned Galaxie 500's dreamy "Tugboat Captain" into a killer noise-jam. I haven't seen Hookworms yet but Joanna Gruesome are my CMJ band to beat.
BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo happened to be there too and was kind enough to send a few JG pictures which are in this post.
From there I headed back to Williamsburg for the NME showcase at Glasslands. Leeds, UK's Eagulls are a band I've been wanting to see for some time. Coming on stage in a long coat, George Mitchell looks like the singer of a British postpunk band, and has the sneery stage presence -- and Northern England drawl -- to back it up. Kicking things off with excellent new single "Nerve Endings," they blasted through their short, fierce set with nary a nod to the audience. They play our BV day party on Friday (10/18).
Courtney Barnett @ Glasslands (via @soundbitesnyc)
Then came Australian singer Courtney Barnett who is my kind of singer-songwriter: funny, charming, unassuming and un-singer-songwritery. With a rhythm section backing her up, sonically she's more in the garage-psych world (in an almost Kinks kinda way) with her almost stream-of-consciousness story style lyrics driving things. She can rock but you leave remembering lyrical phrases as much as the music. And I left smiling with much of both.
You can catch Courtney a bunch this week, including the BV day party on Saturday. -[BP]
Now back to Andrew...
A$AP Rocky and Ferg @ Webster Hall (via @iboTV)
I spent my entire night portion of CMJ Wednesday at the Mass Appeal/Grooveshark showcase at Webster Hall, where we got sets from promising young Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru, punky duo The Bots, A$AP Mob, Casey Veggies and Schoolboy Q. A$AP Mob's set was only billed to feature Twelvy, Ant, and Nast, but A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg came out for the last few songs, including big Ferg songs "Work" and "Shabba" (video below). Ferg and Rocky were pretty much the stars of the night, but before they came out the rest of the Mob proved they could put on a fun show without them too. It wasn't long ago that A$AP Ferg wasn't a well-known solo artist yet, and it doesn't seem out of the question for other A$AP Mob members to start getting recognized for their own careers too.
Schoolboy Q's set included no guest appearances, but he did bring out new TDE signee Isaiah Rashad to do two of his own songs, and it wasn't hard to see what TDE sees in this guy. But back to Q. I don't think the place was sold out but it was pretty packed and Q had the whole crowd going nuts for him. When I saw Schoolboy Q in NYC earlier this year, the penultimate song in his set was his big song "Hands on the Wheel," which he cut off early saying he was tired of that and wanted to move on to new material, so he ended his set with the then-new single "Yay Yay." It was fun (and funny), but almost came off like he was forcing the crowd to be into his new stuff. This time around, he didn't need to do anything of the sort. He played "Hands on the Wheel" in the middle of his set without commenting on it, and ended the set with two of his new singles, "Collard Greens" and "Yay Yay." He not only pulled it off, but the crowd seemed more into those songs than his older stuff. I think we're all ready for that new album, Schoolboy Q. Check out a video from last night below. - [AS]
And back to Bill...
Regal Degal @ Ran Tea House (via @soundbitesnyc)
Yuck headlined the Glasslands show but went on laaaaaate as drummer (and American) Jonny Rogoff announced from the stage that the rest of the band were a bit slow in getting here due to visa issues (they were supposed to be here Tuesday) and airport security and such (but not a blizzard like their first US show).
I didn't stick around -- Yuck (who are all here now) are playing our BV day party on Saturday -- and went a few doors down Kent to Ran Tea House for the Terrible Records show to catch Regal Degal. The trio spent a year in Los Angeles which definitely did them some good, they are much tighter band than before they left. They're still making somewhat obtuse, arty music -- think 154 or The Pop Group with The Fall's repetition repetition repetition -- but it's never indulgently weird. It's naturally weird. And the rhythm section (Jamen Whitelock and Josiah Wolfson) is just killer.
And then I went to bed. - [BP]
CMJ continues today. Check out our list of day shows and night shows. We'll have more pictures from Wednesday's Pianos day parties and more CMJ coverage soon. More pics from Joanna Gruesome's Upstairs Pianos set and the videos from Webster Hall below...
by Doug Moore
Austin stoner rockers American Sharks are in two-steps-forward / one-step-back mode. The band was slated to open for Godflesh this coming Saturday, but as we've mentioned a couple of times over the past week, Godflesh have postponed their tour until April. (But government shutdown that purportedly led to the postponement is over now, so that's good, right?)
On the bright side for American Sharks, they're playing tonight's Cake Shop CMJ showcase with Joanna Gruesome, Weird Womb, Dirty Fences, Nancy, and Tweens. They're also playing at Union Pool on 10/22, presumably to make up for the canceled 10/19 Godflesh date. Dirty Fences and Nancy will also be on that bill, along with Hector's Pets. American Sharks are also hitting the road with Clutch and The Sword in November, and they've got a music video for "Overdrive" that pays pitch-perfect tribute to the cult classic Repo Man. I guess that's more like four steps forward and one step back.
Check out the "Overdrive" video and their upcoming dates with Clutch and the Sword below...
by Andrew Sacher
Joanna Gruesome at Pianos (photo by Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan Instagram)
The biggest surprise for me at CMJ so far had to be Welsh band Joanna Gruesome, who I caught yesterday (10/16) at the Kanine Records/SESAC party at Pianos (one of many CMJ shows the band has). I arrived a few more minutes before they started, and the crowd was already packed in all the way back to the door. And once they came on, the buzz for this band became pretty clear. From the sounds of their noise pop debut Weird Sister (out now on Slumberland), I expected something a bit more restrained and stripped down, but Joanna Gruesome are a beast of a live band. They wail on their guitars in that post-Sonic Youth style that always tends to be welcome in indie rock, they have the stage presence of a band who have toured relentlessly (they deserve to be playing this many CMJ shows) and the intensity of singer Alanna Gruesome (née Alanna McArdle) is no small part of that. Her balance of piercing shouts and softer twee-pop singing can get a bit buried on the record, but at Pianos yesterday, she took command over the entire room.
Joanna Gruesome have more shows coming up this week, and all of them are listed, along with full lineups, below...
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
Hop Along at Saint Vitus in September (more by Vladislav Grach)
Sure, NYC has a lot of great shows almost every night of the week. But CMJ definitely stacks the deck (and the stages) a little more, with some overachieving bands playing upwards of 10 times over the next five days (10/15 - 10/19). With that in mind, here are 30 bands we think are worth catching during CMJ 2013. Clicking on the artist name takes you to their corresponding page on our NYC Show Calendar with a list of all of their upcoming NYC shows. We also made a Spotify playlist featuring songs from all the bands (who are on the streaming service).
Check out our full list and a stream of that Spotify playlist below...