Entries tagged with: John Grant

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England's Glastonbury Festival is pretty much the forefather to all crazy worldwide "20,000 people standing in a field" festivals we have today. The 2014 edition goes down June 27 - 29 in Pilton, UK and the lineup was just announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Jack White, Dolly Parton (!), Elbow, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Massive Attack, Pixies, M.I.A., Dexys Midnight Runners, Kasabian, Lily Allen and loads more. The festival's already sold-out. A few more acts -- including one more headliner -- is still to be announced but lineup as it stands is below...

Continue reading "Glastonbury 2014 line-up announced: Arcade Fire, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Jack White, Dolly Parton, Elbow, Dexys & more"


As mentioned, UK band Elbow's new album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything, is out March 11. If you haven't already, you can check out a couple tracks from it below. The band have just announced they'll be touring North America in May, and they'll play NYC's Webster Hall on May 16. Tickets for Webster Hall go on sale Friday (2/14) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (2/12) at noon. Even better: all dates are with John Grant and listed below.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the new album, Elbow are also getting their own limited edition beer. It's a pale ale, called Charge and is a "blend of three malts deliver a luscious biscuit malt flavour, whilst a nod to American steam beers, sees the beer fermented at a higher temperature than the norm to release a fruitier aroma and sweeter finish." The band say it will be available worldwide, so pester the bartender at whatever pub you watch Premier League games at 8 AM on a Saturday morning to get it.

All Elbow dates are listed, along with videos and tour flyer, below...

Continue reading "Elbow created their own beer, announce North American tour with John Grant (dates)"


Sasquatch! Music Festival is returning for two weekends in 2014 to The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, and the lineups (which are different both weekends) have just been announced. The May lineup (5/23 - 5/25, aka Memorial Day Weekend) includes Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Haim, Neko Case, Foals, Cut Copy, Violent Femmes, Elbow, Mogwai, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper, Rudimental, Phantogram, tUnE-yArDs, First Aid Kit, Rodriguez, AlunaGeorge, Panda Bear, Phosphorescent, Bob Mould, Washed Out, Austra, Parquet Courts, Deafheaven, Big Freedia, Liars, Waxahatchee, Tacocat, Princess (feat. Maya Rudolph), Bridget Everett, Eric Andre and more.

The July lineup (7/4 - 7/6, aka Independence Day Weekend) includes Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Broken Bells, Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, Gogol Bordello, Rhye, Black Angels, Deltron 3030, The Horrors, Junip, The Notwist, Kurt Vile, Talib Kweli, of Montreal, Action Bronson, Punch Brothers, Sharon Van Etten, Casey Veggies, RL Grime, Fuck Buttons, Courtney Barnett, Cloud Nothings, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Mikal Cronin, Mac DeMarco, Jon Hopkins, Gold Panda, Majical Cloudz, Duke Dumont, Oneohtrix Point Never, Death, Black Prairie, Latryx, Metz, John Grant, Reigning Sound, Young & Sick, Chad VanGaalen, Mutual Benefit, Helms Alee, Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman, Kurt Braunohler, John Hodgman and more. There will also be fireworks for the 4th of July.

Tickets (including a 2-weekend pass option) go on sale Saturday at 10 AM.

Full lineups for both weekends below...

Continue reading "Sasquatch! 2014 lineups announced (Outkast, Neutral Milk Hotel, Kraftwerk, New Order, QOTSA, The National, Frank Ocean, tUnE-yArDs, Deltron 3030 & WAY more)"


One of the coolest festivals in the world, Barcelona's Primavera Sound will hold its 2014 edition from May 29 - 31. Arcade Fire, Pixies and Neutral Milk Hotel were announced as headliners a while back but the fest announced it's headliners today via an online short film. They've outdone themselves this year, as the three day event includes a reunited Slowdive (!), Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The National, Television, Slint, Foals, Warpaint, St. Vincent, Majical Cloudz, Kendrick Lamar, The National, Metronomy, Queens of the Stone Age, Disclosure, CHVRCHES, Darkside, Julia Holter, Cloud Nothings , and more.

Full line-up below and tickets are on sale now.

Continue reading "Primavera Sound 2014 line-up: Slowdive, Arcade Fire, NMH, Kendrick Lamar, Disclosure, QOTSA, and more"

John GrantDisclosure

British newspaper The Guardian just finished publishing its Best Albums of 2013 list, after having rolled it out over the past couple weeks. It's got a lot of the albums most likely to show up on British lists, like These New Puritans, John Grant, Hookworms, and Arctic Monkeys, but its #1 is more in common with the US publications. Find out what it is, along with their other 39 picks, below...

Continue reading "The Guardian's 40 Best Albums of 2013"

photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis

John Grant @ Rough Trade, 12/3/2012

John Grant's second solo album, Pale Green Ghosts, has been appearing on a lot of best-of lists this year, and it landed in the top spot of Rough Trade Shops' Top Albums of 2013. Grant returned the favor last night by playing an in-store at the brand-new Brooklyn location and admission was free with purchase of the new record. This was the second of two Brooklyn gigs -- he played a seated show at Music Hall of Williamsburg the night before (12/2).

Both shows were in "stripped down" mode, which is the only way I've ever seen Grant -- him with accompaniment from a second keyboardist and an acoustic guitarist. He doesn't really need much else, with his songwriting very much in the mid-'70s Elton John / David Bowie / Paul Williams style, plus his voice (and stage presence) are already pretty widescreen. The Rough Trade set was fantastic, if short, maybe eight songs but he played pretty much all my favorites: "Sigourney Weaver," "Where Dreams Go to Die," "It Doesn't Matter to Him," "You Don't Have To," and his real showstopper, "GMF" (aka "Greatest Motherfucker"). Pictures from the Rough Trade show are in this post.

The NYC shows were a short stop for Grant before his European tour. Hopefully he'll come back soon. More pics from Rough Trade below...

Continue reading "John Grant played Rough Trade (pics) after MHOW"

Arctic Monkeys @ ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Arctic Monkeys

Kind of like MOJO's laddish slightly younger brother who went to college during '90s Britpop, UK monthly Q Magazine has time for new music but still pays attention to older artists as well. Their new issue -- with Robbie Williams on the cover -- doles out its Top 50 Albums of the Year (and other 2013 Q Awards). Topping the list is Arctic Monkeys' fifth album, AM.

Arctic Monkeys will be back in North America in early 2014, playing NYC at Madison Square Garden on February 8 with Deerhunter. Tickets are still available.

The entire Q Mag Top 50 LP list below...

Continue reading "Q Magazine's "50 LPs of 2013" List; Arctic Monkeys top it"

by Bill Pearis


Bill Calahan's album Dream River has topped MOJO magazine's Best Albums of 2013 list which is in the new year-end issue. Seems about right for a magazine that had both Paul McCartney on the cover of one issue this year and The Beatles on another (also the Stones, Dylan, Pink Floyd, Johnny Marr). Their #2 was a bit of a surprise, at least to me. The Arcade Fire's Reflektor only came in at #18 but they can just be happy with being the issue's cover stars. Check out that cover -- and the entire Top 50 list - below...

Continue reading "Mojo Magazine's Top 50 LPs of 2013"

Outside the soon-to-open Rough Trade NYC (via @brooklynvegan instagram)

Well it's that time of year again where everybody and their grandma start making Best of the Year lists. Almost always first out of the gate is Rough Trade Shops and their entire Top 101 list just went up. Here's the Top 20:

1. John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
2. Savages - Silence Yourself
3. Matthew E White - Big Inner
4. Dan Avery - Drone Logic
5. Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
6. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
7. Valerie June - Pushin' Against A Stone
8. Moderat - 2
9. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
10. Jessica Pratt - Jessica Pratt
11. Jagwar Ma - Howlin
12. Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In
13. My Bloody Valentine - MBV
14. Connan Mockasin - Caramel
15. Factory Floor - S/T
16. Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
17. London Grammar - If You Want
18. Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
19. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
20. Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day
You can check out the whole list below and read about each one on their site.

You can see their #1 -- John Grant -- at the new Rough Trade NYC on December 2 which is free with purchase of Pale Green Ghosts (which comes with an exclusive RT bonus disc). Grant also plays Music Hall of Williamsburg the day before (12/2) which is a "stripped-down acoustic show" and tickets are still available.

Rough Trade NYC is set to open its doors next Monday (11/25) and its first shows will be that day with Sky Ferreira (7 PM, free with purchase of b-sides CD) and Charles Bradley (8:30 PM, FREE). Other opening week performances include Matthew E. White (11/27, FREE), Marissa Nadler and Phosphorescent (both 11/30 and FREE).

A couple new Rough Trade shows were announced today: Au Revoir Simone, who just played a Kidrockers show over the weekend and will be touring with Broken Bells next year, will play a free show on December 17. That's after their free Brooklyn Night Bazaar show on December 7.

Anthemic Scottish rockers Glasvegas will play there on February 20 and they've also got a show at Mercury Lounge the day before (2/19). Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday at noon, with an AmEx presale for the Merc show on Wednesday (11/20) at noon.

Rough Trade's 101 Albums of 2013 list below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade's Top LPs of 2013; NYC store opens in 1 week ++ more shows announced (Glasvegas, Au Revoir Simone)"

Charles Bradley @ Lollapalooza 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Charles Bradley

This morning, Rough Trade NYC announced a few of their first ticketed evening shows. Now they've just announced a whole lot more, including some free in-stores. The record store/venue opens on November 25 with a free show from Charles Bradley that night. Phosphorescent and Marissa Nadler will both perform free in-stores on November 30, and John Grant performs on December 3 which is free with purchase of his new album Pale Green Ghosts (which comes with an exclusive RT bonus disc). Similarly, Nick Lowe is performing on December 8 and you can get into that one by purchasing his new Christmas album.

Other upcoming free in-stores include Matthew E. White (11/27) and The Stepkids (11/9). Another ticketed shows has been added as well, Allah-Las on 12/6 (no ticket info yet). Updated Rough Trade NYC show schedule is listed below...

Continue reading "more Rough Trade NYC shows announced: Phosphorescent, Charles Bradley, John Grant, Nick Lowe, Allah-Las & more)"

John Grant at LPR in May (more by PSquared Photography)
John Grant

While it doesn't look like he'll be doing a full North American tour, current Iceland resident John Grant will be in NYC in December for a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 2. Tickets go on sale Friday (11/1) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (10/30) at noon. It's his third show in NYC this year (four if you count his private Slipper Room show), each one a bigger venue.

John Grant's terrific second album, Pale Green Ghosts, came out back in May and will likely end up on a few Best of 2013 lists... which should start trickling in sometime soon. Most of Grant's upcoming dates are in Europe and all are listed, along with video of a live solo version of "Where Dreams Go to Die," below.

Continue reading "John Grant playing one-off show in NYC +++ European dates"

John Grant at LPR in April (more by PSquared Photography)
John Grant

Folk-turned-synth-pop musician John Grant recently kicked off his North American tour, which is set to come to NYC soon for a show on July 1. That show was initially set to happen at Mercury Lounge but has been moved to the larger Bowery Ballroom. NYC art pop singer Empress Of has been added as an opener to the show too. Tickets for the Bowery Ballroom show are available, and all tickets purchased for Mercury Lounge will be honored.

Updated dates are listed, along with a video, below...

Continue reading "John Grant's Mercury Lounge show moved to Bowery Ballroom; Empress Of opening (updated dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

Vampire Weekend at Roseland Ballroom last month (more by Robert Altman)
Vampire Weekend

The new Vampire Weekend album, Modern Vampires of the City, comes out on May 14 via XL, but you can now listen to the whole thing ahead of its release date on iTunes. Similarly to Contra's relationship to their debut, Modern Vampires of the City doesn't drastically different from its predecessor, but it works new subtleties into their sound which make the new record as essential as the first two. There's huge hooks here, great production, and as always, a few eccentricities thrown in too.

Vampire Weekend just played Roseland Ballroom, and their tour has them playing a much larger hometown show on September 20 at Barclays Center (tickets). In the midst of all that they made videos with Steve Buscemi, played Coachella, were just announced for ACL Music Fest, and will be on SNL this week. Streams of three tracks from the new album are below.

Survival / Classixx

You can also stream the psychedelic alt-metal self titled debut LP from Liturgy's Hunter Hunt-Hendrix's new project, Survival, over at Pitchfork. Their release party for the album happens this Thursday (5/9) at Acheron (tickets).

You can stream the dance-y new Classixx record, Hanging Gardens, over at NPR. Their tour has them opening for The Presets at Terminal 5 on Wednesday (5/8) (tickets), and they'll play their own NYC show in June.

John Grant, who recently played NYC, and returns on tour in July, is giving his new synth-filled album, Pale Green Ghosts, a US release on May 14 via Partisan and you can listen to it now over at Paste.

Talib Kweli's new guest-filled LP, Prisoner of Conscious, came out today (5/7) and it can be streamed in full at Billboard.

Vampire Weekend song streams below...

Continue reading "Vampire Weekend streaming new album (Survival, Classixx, John Grant & Talib Kweli too)"

photos by PSquared Photography

John Grant @ LPR, 4/26/2013
John Grant

After a night playing a stripped-down set to shmooze-happy industry types at The Slipper Room, current Iceland resident John Grant played a show anyone could go to last night (4/25) at Le Poisson Rouge. For this show, Grant had a band capable of bringing his '70s-style songs -- from 2010's Queen of Denmark and his new Pale Green Ghosts -- to full grandeur. Pictures and a video from last night's amzing set are in this post.

Despite being a great performer and between-song raconteur, Grant isn't much of a fan of touring, so you should take any chance you get to see him live.

If you missed last night's set, or live in somewhere not New York City, you're in luck as Grant has just just announced a North American tour to take place this summer. It includes another NYC date happening at Mercury Lounge on July 1. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale on May 1 at noon with the general on-sale happening on Friday, May 3 at noon. All tour dates are listed, along with more pictures and the video from last night and the video for "GMF," below.

Continue reading "John Grant played Le Poisson Rouge (pics & video); announces North American summer tour (dates)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

John Grant @ The Slipper Room, 4/24/2013
John Grant

Over from his adopted home of Iceland, John Grant in town to play Le Poisson Rouge tonight and do a little press for his electronic-leaning new album, Pale Green Ghosts. Last night (4/24), however, he played an hourlong private show for press and industry types at tiny Lower East Side club The Slipper Room. The room's jewel box stage there was perfect for John's witty, moving, lay-it-on-the-line songwriting style that is a direct descendent of Harry Nilsson, Elton John and Paul Williams (who, interestingly, was playing at the exact same time to a Cafe Carlyle audience that included Elaine Stritch!). He was much less chatty then when I saw him back in December 2010 but, with piano and acoustic guitar backing from a couple other musicians, John let the songs (and his amazing baritone pipes) do all the talking.

Tickets are still available for Le Poisson Rouge tonight which is highly recommended. More pictures from The Slipper Room are below.

Continue reading "John Grant played a private show at The Slipper Room (pics); plays Le Poisson Rouge tonight"

DOWNLOAD: John Grant - "Black Belt" (MP3)

John Grant (middle) w/ Midlake at SXSW 2011 (more by Bill Pearis)
John Grant

John Grant released his new, synthier album, Pale Green Ghosts, in the UK earlier this year, and as mentioned, it comes out in the US on May 14 via Partisan. The album features guest vocals from Sinead O'Connor and was produced by Biggi Veira of Iceland's Gus Gus. John will be supporting the album with a previously discussed tour that hits NYC on April 25 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show are still available, and if you can't make it, you can watch the live stream from the comfort of your own home. His tour was recently expanded, and all upcoming tour dates are listed below.

Ahead of the album's US release, John also had Hercules and Love Affair remix one of its tracks, "Black Belt." You can stream that clubby remix below and compare it to the original track, which you can download above.

In less positive news, John recently spoke to The Guardian about his 2011 diagnosis of being HIV positive, a topic he confronts on the new album:

Only after his HIV diagnosis has Grant accepted that he hadn't conquered his addiction but simply transferred it from substances to sex. "If I can't go out and do fat rails [of cocaine] off the bathroom floor at a club, I want to at least have my sex, because sex is natural. Nobody's going to deny me that, right? But that's just cheating. I was out there fucking for a purpose, to hurt myself, to punish myself for not being good enough. And when I realised I had to deal with that too, I was just so tired. I was like, Are you kidding me? I can't relate in a normal way to anything! I mean, it's enough to make you despair."
Head to The Guardian to read more, like John discussing his collaborations with Sinead O'Connor. There's also a great feature on John in the May 2013 issue of MOJO which is on newsstands now.

Updated dates are listed, along with those song streams, below...

Continue reading "John Grant expands tour, remixed by Hercules & Love Affair, discusses HIV diagnosis & collaborating w/ Sinead O'Connor"

photos by Matthew Eisman

Ásgeir Trausti @ Slipper Room
Asgeir Trausti

Icelandic singer Ásgeir Trausti was in town on his way to SXSW, and played LES club The Slipper Room on Monday (3/11). He played songs off his new album Dyrd i daudathogn, which recently won four Icelandic Music Awards. You may remember that John Grant, who now lives in Iceland, has been helping Ásgeir on an English-language version of the album which will be out later this year.

As we said, he's currently in Austin so if you're there for the madness, seek him out. (A few streams are below.) Meanwhile, more Slipper Room pics are below.

Continue reading "Asgeir Trausti played the Slipper Room (pics)"

MP3: John Grant - Black Belt (Dungeonesse Remix) (MP3)

Grant in his new home of Iceland

As mentioned, John Grant will release his new, electronics-infected album, Pale Green Ghosts, on May 14 via Partisan. He's just released a remix of album track "Black Belt" done by Dungeoness (aka Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak's latest project). You can download it above or stream it below.

While Grant has a European tour on the way, he currently only has one North American date scheduled which happens in NYC on April 25 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All tour dates are listed below.

Grant now calls Iceland his home (Biggi of Gus Gus produced part of his album) and has become enamoured with local artist Ásgeir Trausti. He has helped Ásgeir create an English-language version of his debut album, Dyrd i daudathogn, which recently won four Icelandic Music Awards. That version of the album will be out later this year via One Little Indian. You can check out a live video below.

Speaking of that label (also home to Bjork and Ólöf Arnalds), One Little Indian will release Stone Beads & Silver, the new album by Irish musician Marc Carroll, next month. You can check out the video for "Fool Disguised in Beggar's Clothes" below and catch him live when he plays NYC at Rockwood Music Hall on March 5. No advance tickets for that one. His only other US date scheduled at the moment is in LA.

A list of all John Grant dates, the remix stream, and Ásgeir Trausti and Marc Carroll videos, below...

Continue reading "John Grant released new remix, playing NYC and worked on Asgeir Trausti LP; Marc Carroll releasing LP, playing shows"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: John Grant - Black Belt (MP3)

The Strokes

As mentioned briefly in our "What's Going on Wednesday?" post, John Grant will release Pale Green Ghosts on May 14 via his new label home of Partisan. While the record still has some of the piano-bassed spacerock that distinguished his great 2010 LP, Queen of Denmark, the new album goes deep into electro-noir territory as well. The album was made with Biggi Veira, of Iceland's Gus Gus and features guest appearances from Sinead O'Connor and saxophonist Óskar Gudjónsson. The new direction suits Grant's sonorous barritone well.

You can download the dancefloor-friendly "Black Belt" above and check out the video for "Pale Green Ghosts" below.

Continue reading "John Grant readies 'Pale Green Ghosts' (MP3, video)"

Quicksand at Bowery Ballroom, Aug. 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)

Buke and Gase at Le Poisson Rouge in October (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Buke and Gase

Freddie Gibbs
Freddie Gibbs

today in NYC
* H'sao @ Joe's Pub
* Greg Johnson @ Union Hall
* Stephen Haynes @ The Stone
* Kathleen Edwards @ City Winery
* Harper Blynn @ The Living Room
* Lisa Lampanelli @ Apollo Theater
* Ivo Perelman Quartet @ The Stone
* Jonas Tauber Quartet @ Sycamore
* The Mandingo Ambassadors @ Barbes
* Trinidad James, Vinny Cha$e @ S.O.B's
* The Revivalists, Wolf! @ Mercury Lounge
* Al Gore @ Barnes & Noble-Union Square
* Kate Pittman's Denial and Error @ Barbes
* Bliss Blood, Al Street @ Pete's Candy Store
* Zula, Red Sea, In Buenos Aires @ Cake Shop
* Quicksand, Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Webster Hall
* WIERD w/ Menses, Foreplay @ Home Sweet Home
* Dead Heart Bloom, Gold Lake @ Mercury Lounge
* ESG, Callers, Pegasus Warning @ Bowery Electric
Big Terrific w/ Roger Hailes, Streeter Seidell @ Cameo
* Buke and Gase, STATS, Aleuchatistas @ Bowery Ballroom
Foy Vance, Dani Elliot, Kate Davis @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Homewrecker, Death First, Trenchgrinder @ Death By Audio
Ava Luna, Friends Roulette, ARMS, Celestial Shore @ Pianos
* Titus Andronicus, The Everymen, Pop Zeus @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks, Foy Vance @ Radio City Music Hall
* The Vaccines (DJ set), The Denzels (DJ set) @ 70 N. 6th street
* Freddie Gibbs, Children of the Night, Fat Tony @ Santos Party House
* Rapdragons, 83 Cutlass, Animal House, Wing Dam @ Public Assemly
* The Suzan, The immaculates, El Sportivo, Father Figures @ Glasslands
* Doron Sadja, Uumans, Lea Bertucci, The Jazz Massagers @ Silent Barn

You may remember that ESG's show at Bowery Electric back in October 2012 was one of the zillion shows canceled in Hurricane Sandy's wake. The make-up show is tonight at the venue with Callers and Pegasus Warning. ESG are calling it their "final show ever" and tickets are still available.

This week's WIERD party at Home Sweet Home will feature the live debut of Menses, the NYC debut of Foreplay (mem Warthog, ex-The Men) and a DJ set from Avana. Head below for the flyer. As usual, the party jumps off at 10 PM and goes until you-probably-should-be-in-bed.

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John Grant will release his new album, Pale Green Ghosts, in March. It's quite a departure from 2010's Queen of Denmark. Check out the video to the album's title track below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday?"

Secret Chiefs 3 at Terminal 5 (more by Zach Dilgard)
Secret Chiefs 3

Instrumental band Secret Chiefs 3 kicked off a European tour last month with DJ FAT32. The tour comes to North America in September. So far it only includes East Coast and Midwest shows, but West Coast dates are "being planned." Look for SC3 and FAT32 to play NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on September 13th. Tickets are on sale. All dates for the Trey Spruance-led band are listed below.

In October Secret Chiefs 3 play the Iceland Airwaves Festival with Bjork (she was just announced and will be doing a Biophilia performance), Austra, Beach House, Liturgy, SBTRKT, Suuns, Olof Arnalds, Tune-yards, John Grant, and many others. Full lineup at their site. The festival runs from October 12-16 and takes place in downtown Reykjavík. Bjork will also play five more shows in Reykjavík in October. All of those dates are listed below.

All SC3 tour dates and some videos below too...

Continue reading "Secret Chiefs 3 tour dates, Iceland Airwaves 2011 lineup"

John Grant @ Swan Dive (more by Bill Pearis)
John Grant

We actually had a post ready to go about how John Grant was coming back to the US to play some more shows including June 8th & 9th at Joe's Pub with his Bella Union labelmates Alessi's Ark and Heidi Spencer, but then John posted this message to Facebook...

"Um, just two minutes ago, at quarter to midnight I'm being told that my tour of the U.S. has been cancelled and I am in shock. But it's true, this is not a joke. Apparently there were no pre-sales to speak of and so they've decided to make this decision the night before I leave. Don't ask me any questions right now, I'm pissed off and need to find out more about wtf is going on."
damn, that sucks.

Josh T. Pearson @ Swan Dive (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Josh T Pearson

John Grant was at SXSW in March where he was backed by Midlake at a BV party at Swan Dive. Fellow singer-songwriter also known for being in a Bella Union-signed band who returned from a long hiatus in 2010 Josh T. Pearson played a BV party at the same venue the same week, and was, and still is, scheduled to play Joe's Pub one day after John was supposed to. Tickets are still on sale.

The NYC show is Josh's only US date. Check out a just-released Mute Session video of Josh playing "Sorry With A Song", below...

Continue reading "John Grant dates cancelled, Josh T. Pearson still happening"

by Bill Pearis

Wounded Lion @ Shangri La

After Wednedsay and Thursday... I spent most of Friday afternoon -- the hottest day of the fest, well into the '80s --at Sailor Jerry-sponsored East Side dive Shangri La where Chicago label Trouble in Mind was throwing a party in the back yard. Their party at Scoot Inn the year before was one of my favorites of SXSW2010 and I'd have to say the same the same of 2011. The label, run by husband and wife Bill & Lisa Roe (who are also in CoCoComa), is mostly a 7" label, releasing great singles from some of the best garage-pop artists around. Many of whom were there at Shangri La.

I got there as Seattle trio Night Beats were just starting. Never heard them before, but really dug their psych-garage sounds, and they definitely looked the part. They ended their set with a cover of The Count Five's classic "Psychotic Reaction," giving their version a little swing which made it their own. Look for Night Beats debut LP out on Trouble in Mind this summer.

While Cheap Time were playing, I noticed Lars Finberg milling about the yard...what was he doing here? The Intelligence were definitely not here, was his side-project Puberty playing and I didn't know it? No, he told me he was playing drums for L.A.'s Wounded Lion for their Austin shows. I was already looking forward to seeing WL, now even moreso.

I was getting a little antsy and decided to walk around the East Side a bit, stopping by Cheer Up Charlies where I caught a few songs by Norway's Tôg (who are in NYC as we speak) before heading back to the Trouble in Mind party to catch Nashville's The Paperhead. Looking a bit like Red Kross, the band -- all about 19 I think -- are trippier than anyone else on the bill. Their debut just came out on TiM.

Next up Wounded Lion, whose self-titled debut was one of last year's more underrated records. I think seeing them live would change naysayers opinion, they were one of the rockin'est, most fun shows of the week. Two singers: main man Brad Eberhard does the heavy lifting and guitar playing, while singer/percussionist Raffi Kalenderian is more in the Bob Nastanovich of the band, going apeshit with the tambourine and generally keeping things entertaining. There is much switching of instruments. They also let Lars Finberg take lead vocals for the Intelligence's "Turned to Puke." I really thought they'd do "Pony People," a Wounded Lion song that The Intelligence covered on Fake Surfers, but no. Great, great set.

I then Sprinted over to the BrooklynVegan party at Swan Dive for John Grant. Friday was hot and Swan Dive didn't seem to have AC or even ceiling fans and it was an oven in there, but it didn't matter. Another of my favorite shows of the week. I'd seen him play solo at Mercury Lounge, but this show was with Midlake, his backing band on last year's amazing Queen of Denmark. With the band, Grant's late-'70s leaning epics came to lush life. The drums sounded gigantic. So did Grant's voice. All that was missing was sequined clothing and glasses that made points of light look like starbursts. Highlights for me: power-ballad "Mars" and "Chicken Bones" which is some kind of sonic collision of Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Nilsson.

John Grant @ Swan Dive

continued below...

Continue reading "Bill's Week in Austin (Day 3 - Wounded Lion, John Grant, PS I Love You, TSOOL, WhoMadeWho, Wye Oak, Versus & more)"

DOWNLOAD: J Mascis - Not Enough (MP3)

J MascisMiddle Brother
Shilpa RaySallie Ford
dodosOld 97s

The first BrooklynVegan Swan Dive/Barbarella Austin Day Party lineup announcement is here! (this is the first of three BV day parties happening at these connecting venues, but just one of nine total BV events.)

This one happens Friday, March 18th from noon-6pm, is co-presented by KF Records (Knitting Factory) and Partisan Records, and features an exclusive Austin day party set by Middle Brother (aka Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, John McCauley of Deer Tick, and Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit). If you want to catch them though, you better get there early because the entire lineup is ridiculous and 100% free, and it looks like this.....

12:00 PM JBM
12:30 PM BOBBY
01:15 PM Holy Sons
02:00 PM Dolorean
03:00 PM John Grant featuring Midlake
04:00 PM Wye Oak
05:00 PM J Mascis

STAGE 2 (Barbarella Patio)
12:00 PM David Wax Museum
01:00 PM Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
02:00 PM Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
03:00 PM Deer Tick featuring Jonny Corndawg
04:00 PM Old 97's
05:00 PM Middle Brother

STAGE 3 (Barbarella Inside)
12:15 PM AgesandAges
01:00 PM Paleo
01:45 PM Warm Ghost
02:30 PM Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers
03:15 PM Vetiver
04:00 PM Oberhofer
05:00 PM The Dodos
I'm already exhausted (and we have three more similar lineups still TBA).

Note: We have Dolorean who is not to be confused with Delorean, yes that is Midlake up there backing the amazing John Grant, Jason Isbell will stick around to play with Middle Brother (like he did on their record), and yes Jonny Corndawg will be in the house.

I'm also happy to point out that, though everyone will sound great already, they are going to sound even better thanks to our official microphone sponsor Line 6, not to mention due to the help of the Korg keyboards, and Vox & Blackstar amps that we'll have on hand - all generous and much-appreciated BrooklynVegan show sponsors.

Also Note:

  • FREE Blublocker sunglasses to first 50 people in the door!
  • there will be FREE vegan Izzoz breakfast tacos while supplies last!
  • we'll have loads of FREE snacks courtesy of Sensible Portions!
  • we'll keep you hydrated with FREE Honest Tea!
  • you can keep your energy levels high with FREE Raw Revolution bars!
  • FREE Tierras organic tequila cocktails while supplies last!
  • more FREE food & DRINK details TBA!
  • and there will be awesome giveaways from Partisan & KF Records
    throughout the day!
Thanks also goes out to our sponsor ASCAP, everyone else that helped make this happen, and Zach Jaeger of Tonally Dude for creating the sweet poster you see (with a bunch of videos) below....

Continue reading " BrooklynVegan, KF Records & Partisan Records free Austin Day Party lineup (J Mascis, Middle Brother, Old 97's, Dodos, more)"

by Bill Pearis


Like every other UK music mag, MOJO published their Top Albums of 2010 list today. Your first reaction to their Album of the Year might be "Who is John Grant?" After hearing him you're likely to say "How have I not heard this before?"

Former frontman of The Czars, John Grant's solo debut, Queen of Denmark, came out back in April and features Midlake as his backing band. No surprise given the musicians involved, Queen of Denmark has a lush '70s sound somewhere between The Carpenters and Harry Nilsson (who he uncannily sounds like at times) with some pretty heavy lyrical themes. A little more info courtesy The Guardian:

Queen of Denmark is all about the 41-year-old Grant finally coming to terms with who he is. It's also the word-of-mouth hit of 2010, the ecstatic reviews that greeted its gentle soft rock melodies and grimly sardonic lyrics followed by a nomination for best breakthrough act at the Mojo awards earlier this month. Made with the assistance of acclaimed Texan folk rockers Midlake, who lent him their studio and nursed him through his emotional wobbles, it's offering Grant a first real chance of success: his previous band, the Czars, split in 2004 after struggling to muster even cult appeal. Text-book catharsis, Queen of Denmark manages to be frank, funny and sweet - much like Grant himself - while considering the origins of its author's crippled self-esteem. Growing up gay in a religious family in the midwest didn't help, nor did alcohol and drug abuse, nor difficulties in maintaining relationships. In fact, it was the demise of his most recent romantic entanglement that nudged him over the edge last autumn.
You can stream the whole of Queen of Denmark at the bottom of this post via a widget and I highly suggest you do. And you can go see him live. Grant (minus Midlake) starts his first headlining tour next week, with two stops in NYC: an early show at Mercury Lounge on December 8 and The Rock Shop on December 11.

All John Grant tour dates, the streaming player and video for "I Wanna Go to Mars," plus MOJO's entire Top 50 Albums of 2010 list are after the jump.

Continue reading "MOJO's Top Albums of 2010 + John Grant tour dates & stream"