Entries tagged with: King Creosote
by Bill Pearis
Scottish singer/songwriter Dan Willson will release New Gods, his second album as Withered Hand next week (3/25) via Slumberland. It's a sparkling collection of literate pop, and the record features appearances Black Tambourine's Pam Berry, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines and members of Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit. It's a really lovely album. We're premiering a stream of the entire album which you can listen to below.
Withered Hand just played SXSW and he'll be in NYC this week for the first night of Chickfactor 22 at The Bell House on Thursday (3/20) with The Jim Ruiz Set, Lilys and Amor de Dias. Joining him onstage at this show are Pam Berry and Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) which should make for a special show. Tickets are still available.
Flyer for Chickfactor 22 (designed by Tae Won Yu) and the Withered Hand album stream, below...
by Bill Pearis
Electronic musician Jon Hopkins will release his new album, Immunity, on June 4 via Domino. While making a name for himself with more ambient textures, Hopkins is definitely aiming more for the dancefloor on this one which traces the arc of an epic night out. His sometimes collaborator King Creosote sings on the nine-minute title-track which closes the LP. You can check out the quite lovely video for first single "Open Eye Signal" below, as well as a very cool promotional film for the album that uses time-lapse photography of microscopic crystal growth. You can also stream a Nosaj Thing remix of "Open Eye Signal" below too
Jon is coming over to North America in a couple weeks to play Mutek in Montreal and will swing through NYC after for a record release party at Glasslands on June 4. Tickets for that show are on sale now and all tour dates are listed below.
Josh T Pearson @ BV-SXSW 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Check out Rough Trade's list of the Top 100 Albums of 2011 (yay Josh T Pearson!), below...
The shortlist has been revealed for the 2011 Mercury Prize. The list includes some major albums like James Blake's incredibly striking self titled debut, PJ Harvey's massive comeback Let England Shake, and Adele's 21, in addition to some other interesting choices like Anna Calvi's self titled debut and King Creosote & Jon Hopkins collaborative album Diamond Mine.
Katy B, who paid a brief visit to the US in June, is also nominated.
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins were just in NYC for two shows, including Thursday (7/14) at Mercury Lounge and Sunday (7/17) at The Rock Shop. The shows were part of a short tour which ends this week. They also play some shows together in August and September.
It's also interesting to note the absence of Radiohead on this list. The King of Limbs is the first of the band's album not to be nominated since Amnesiac's nomination in 2001 (though they've never actually won).
Check out the full list below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Wild Beasts - "Loop the Loop" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wooden Birds - Two Matchsticks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rayon Beach - Wave Pool Ether (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: John Wesley Coleman - Ooh Basketball (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Urge Overkill - Effigy (MP3)
This week is kind of nuts. I know you're all probably just going to be spending it reading A Dance with Dragons or going to see Harry Potter, but here's your TWII action... let's get into it.
Tom Vek is here for two shows, his first U.S. shows since 2005: an early show tonight (7/12) at Mercury Lounge and tomorrow (7/13) at Union Pool. I don't think either are sold out. His second album Leisure Seizure -- six years in the making -- has remained in constant rotation on my stereo since getting a copy in May and I'm pretty excited for these shows.
The new record still sounds like Tom Vek -- the staccato drum beats, sparse arrangements, his laid-back vocal style -- and maybe it's the absence but it still sounds fresh. It's a great record and a welcome return. I have no idea who is in his band these days, but he was fantastic live back when he toured for We Have Sound in 2005. I have a feeling he's still got it.
Wild Beasts are over for four East Coast shows, including two nights at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday (7/13) and Thursday (7/14). (They're also playing Philly and D.C.) These will be the first the band have done since releasing their third album, Smother, back in May. As I've said before, this is subtler album than Two Dancers that shows the influence of Talk Talk and The Blue Nile in particular. It's a grower, as they say, and a worthy successor to 2009's best album. Check out "Loop the Loop" at the top of this post.
Live, Wild Beasts are truly something to behold, transcending their records every time (at least every time I've seen them). Sky Larkin's Katie Harkin is playing keyboards with the band on this Stateside jaunt which is an added bonus for some of us. The rest of North America will get a chance to see Wild Beasts in September when they come back for a proper tour. All 2011 dates are at the bottom of this post.
Shifting gears wildly, we've got Chicago rock gods Urge Overkill in town for two shows this week. They play the Rocks Off cruise on Wednesday (7/13) and then the Rock Shop on Saturday (7/16) as part of the venue's big One Year Anniversary which is happening all this week.
Urge Overkill were odd men out in the '90s, doing suave, heavily postured cock rock in an era dominated by slacker indie and stoner sludge. 1993's Saturation is one of the decade's classics, all big riffs and attitude that has only gotten finer with age. The same can't be said for 1995's Exit the Dragon, which found the band succumbed to the rock n' roll excesses the band exemplified. (There were even rumors the band were too fucked up to even play on its recordings, having most parts subbed by session musicians.)
There were various comeback gigs in the '00s but I don't think anybody expected them to make a new album. Which made this year's Rock'n'Roll Submarine (great title) a double shock: it exists and, more importantly, it's pretty awesome. Kato and Roeser keep the same flame alive: badass riffs, supercatchy choruses, and that unfakeable rock n' roll spirit. (No Blackie Onassis, but some chemistry is just too volatile apparently.) There's also a world-weariness that keeps it all real. They aren't trying to pretend they haven't been through some serious shit. But to paraphrase "Effigy" (downloadable at the top of this post), they've always taken the loud way.
The Wooden Birds
Lovely Austin band The Wooden Birds play two shows this week as well: Thursday (7/14) at Mercury Lounge and Friday (7/15) at The Rock Shop. As you may know at this point, this is Andrew Kenny's post-American Analog Set band, which still has his drony motorik style but in a much more acoustic setting. The Wooden Birds' sophomore album, Two Matchsticks, is (in my opinion) much better than their debut: the arrangements are more dynamic and the addition of Matt Pond (both on guitar and vocally) adds a lot. (Matt Pond PA's Chris Hansen is a touring member as well.) You can check out the title track to the new album at the top of this post.
Tune-Yards @ MHOW (more by Amanda Hatfield)
What else? Hudson River Rocks starts this week (Thursday 7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra which is a pretty hard-to-pass-up free show. While I don't reach for her album much, there's no denying Merril Garbus is a magnetic performer who can win over crowds easily. While Austra's Katie Stelmanis doesn't quite have that charm, there is no denying her stage presence either and I'm a big fan of Austra's debut album which came out earlier this year. Thursday is supposed to be beautiful and this show seems like a no-brainer.
Austin's Rayon Beach play three shows this week: Thursday (7/14) at Don Pedro, then Friday (7/15) at Bruar Falls and Saturday (7/16) at Death by Audio. I wrote this a year ago and I think it still holds true:
Like a lot of the bands on Hozac Records (or bands from Austin for that matter), this trio fit under the psych/garage umbrella but there's a decided Brit bent to their music. Baroque garage, is that a thing? Think Syd-era Pink Floyd or The Pretty Things more than Woven Bones. Make no mistake -- Rayon Beach can and do get plenty loud. It's just sometimes with pinkies extended.Rayon Beach are on tour with fellow Austinite John Wesley Coleman III who is awesome in his own right. Last year's Bad Lady Goes to Jail, on Goner, incorporates country, soul and R&B into his sound (not to mention a unique worldview). He definitely stands out amongst the garage pack. If you feel like you've heard enough of this stuff, do give JWCIII a shot.
Anglophiles might already know that Scottish indiefolk cult legend King Creosote is in town this week, playing a late show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (7/14) and then at the Rock Shop on Sunday (7/17). Both shows are with the equally talented Jon Hopkins. I wrote about King Creosote back in March:
Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too.Anderson teamed with Hopkins for his new album Diamond Mine that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can check out the video for "Bubble" at the bottom of this post.
The Radio Dept
And now another weekend of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/15) is the final night of this year's abbreviated Seaport Music Festival, with The Radio Dept. The band are in the U.S. for this and the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago and that's it -- so we should count ourselves lucky. If you wanted to see them somewhere small, you're out of luck. (Unless you maybe found yourself at a shop that rocked on, say, Thursday night. Maybe.) Last year's Clinging to a Scheme was one of 2010's best albums (according to me) and though I do wish they'd get a drummer to play with them at shows, they still sound pretty great live.
I'm hoping the merch table has the new 180 gram vinyl reissues of the band's three albums. In particular I want to pick up their classic debut Lesser Matters, one of the best albums of the '00s. Opening are Asobi Seksu which is a pretty perfect pairing. The weather's supposed to be gorgeous, the show is free...this'll be sweet.
Saturday is the Village Voice 4 Knots Festival which is going out of its way to let us know it's not trying to be the Siren Festival. It's a nice line-up of bands, though, scaled to fit the Seaport. Apart from Eleanor Friedberger and Oberhofer, it is a pretty rock line-up what with headliners Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Davilla 666 and Mr. Dream. If you like to dance, they've got an indoor lounge over at 210 Front Street with an all DJ lineup that includes Yeasayer, Dan Deacon, Brahms and the Finger on the Pulse dudes (also DJing as Punches) spinning tunes. Things kick off at 1PM.
Then Sunday (7/17) is the last show of my Sound Bites Series down at the Fulton Stall Market and I'm super pleased to have Hospitality on cleanup. When I found out we were going to be doing the series again, Hospitality were the first band I thought of. If you haven't heard them, you can download their 2009 EP for free from their Bandcamp site. It's quite lovely. The band have gotten less precious since then, though no less charming, and recently the band expanded to a four-piece with drummer Nathan Michel moving to guitar making them decidedly more skronky now.
I am quite enamored with this band and you should definitely come down and see them. They are seriously good. If you come to only one Sound Bites Show this summer... this is your last chance. Hospitality are on at 3PM sharp and I'll be spinning tunes from around 1:30 or so. It's free!
And right after Hospitality finish, you can head across South Street to the Beekman Beer Garden for this week's Beach Party show with Frankie Rose and Xray Eyeballs. Both bands feature on that free downloadable mix you can get over at Insound. The Frankie Rose track is one I hadn't heard before, a cover of Slapp Happy's "Blue Flower" which you may know from covers either by Mazzy Star or Pale Saints.
Last week (Cheeseburger and Hard Nips) was fun and pretty fairly low-key. The spot -- formerly Water Taxi Beach -- is a pretty popular spot on its own, so expect a mixed crowd of those there for the show and those there just for the view/vibe. Bands start at 4PM. It's free.
And that's about it for this week. A few more daily picks are below.
TUESDAY, JULY 12
It's a heatwave today but Cold Cave will have the A/C cranked for their show Knitting Factory tonight. I do really like their new album Cherish the Light Years which kind of reminds me of '80s band Lords of the New Church. The show is with gothy sea chanty singers Cult of Youth, and Zambri who are newly signed to Kanine Records (and who were impressive at Knitting Factory during the Northside fest). The show is part of a tour that ends at Bowery Ballroom with Austra.
The newly reunited Cibo Matto are at Brooklyn Bowl. Though advance tickets sold out, there will be limited availability at the door. Go early. The show is one date of a tour that also hits Bowery Ballroom.
DOWNLOAD: Jon Hopkins - Insides (Rival Consoles RMX) (MP3)
Singer-songwriter King Creosote and producer/Eno collaborator Jon Hopkins, now labelmates with Real Estate, Ducktails & Alex Bleeker, teamed up to record the album Diamond Mine which dropped in the USA via Domino Records on May 24. They go on a short North American tour in July in support of the album. That tour hits Mercury Lounge on July 14 (tickets go on sale Friday at noon) and The Rock Shop on July 17 (tickets on sale now). All dates are listed below.
King Creosote visited the US for the first time in March. As Bill wrote at the time:
"Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too."Domino released his album Thrawn around that time.
Jon Hopkins also recently recorded a new track for a Japan benefit compilation, and is giving away the remix of his song "Insides" that you can download above. He returns to New York (Troy, NY) in September to perform at EMPAC with Four Tet.
King Creosote and Jon Hopkins made a video for the track "Bubble" off the new album. Check it out along with a 'making of' video and all tour dates below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Eyes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Still Dawn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Religious Songs (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - Bootprints (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - My Favourite Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bloodgroup - My Arms (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Megaphonic Thrift - Candy Sin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Lines - El Matador (MP3)
I get it, I get it. Many of you do not want to hear about SXSW. It's like other people's dreams, if you're not in it (or at it) you don't care. But New York is lucky in that we reap the rewards of so many bands flying into the U.S. And this week is filthy with foreign bands on their way to Austin for SXSW. As I write this through a flu-induced haze, my eyes glaze over at the sheer number of quality entertainments happening now through Tuesday (3/15). So let's get into it.
I'm sure Poland has a lot of bands, but you don't hear about many of them in America. They don't tend to play here. Tonight (3/11) at Knitting Factory you can check out one of them. Bajzel is a one man band whom Polish Newsweek (I know) said "is our Beck. Only better." I don't know about that, but his music -- all made on loop pedals apparently -- is pretty cool.
For this tour he's cherry-picked some of his more English-friendly songs from his many Polish releases as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp. You can stream it at the bottom of this post. It ranges from rock to Eastern European folk to hip-hop influence dancepop. If you can't go Friday, Bajzel will also play Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday (3/15) with someone called That 1 Guy.
Also playing the Knitting Factory show are Vancouver's Mother Mother who headline and make melodramatic (bordering on histrionic) pop, and Elijah Bonfire, the new band from Kevin Calaba who used to front Stars of Track & Field. Bajzel will be back after SXSW, playing The Gutter on March 25 (it's like his bowling alley tour) with Plushies and Desert Stars.
Saturday (3/12) is the American debut of UK band Still Corners, who are now, like Memoryhouse and Niki and The Dove (both other recent announcements), officially part of the Sub Pop family. You can download both of their singles to date at the top of this post. The songs typify the band's dreamy, haunting sound. I'm super excited to see these folks. If you're going to Austin and have a SXSW badge, they're also playing the Dot Com Day Stage on Thursday (3/17) with Frankie & the Heartstrings and Erland & the Carnival, a line-up I curated. After Austin, the band are going on tour with labelmates Papercuts and all dates are below.
We now move to Scotland. Withered Hand is the music project of visual artist Dan Willson, who counts Jarvis Cocker and Frightened Rabbit as fans and is touring in support of his debut LP, Good News, which will be receiving a belated North American release on March 15 via Absolutely Kosher. Says The List of Good News:
Willson is a curious pop disciple: a deadpan bard eternally vexed by the doctrines of God, the inconsequence of life, and the transparent nature of modern swimwear. Good News, his gorgeous debut album, delivers a compendium of warped-rock sermons that variously reference Seventh-day Adventism ('Cornflake'); lyrical post-rationalisation ('For the Maudlin'); and knocking one out on your paramour's couch ('Religious Songs', his signature anthem).Check out two tracks at the top of this post (I especially like "Religious Songs."). Withered Hand plays
Despite his dedication to a DIY cause that's seen Withered Hand galvanise Edinburgh's live terrain and perform with Jeffrey Lewis and Calvin Johnson, Willson's quavering vocals and acoustic eulogies elicit heavy-hitters Bright Eyes (on woebegone porch-swing opener 'Providence') - and even Neil Young at times.
UPDATE: Due to visa issues, Withered Hand's Brooklyn show is cancelled, and the other shows might not happen either.
The Rockwood show is of special note as Withered Hand will be performing with (like at the same time) Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too. Monday will be Anderson's first-ever U.S. performance.
Speaking of first-evers, Thrawn, came out on Domino last month, his first U.S. release, and it's a good introduction to what he's about, though it doesn't include "Not One Bit Ashamed" one of Anderson's most moving songs. It's still a good first listen. You can download two tracks from it above. Anderson also runs Fence Records, part label, part collective that has James Yorkston, FOUND and Withered Hand on their roster. Kenny's got a new album, Diamond Mine, due out in May on Domino. The LP is a collaboration with Jon Hopkins that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can catch King Creosote at SXSW and in California too, and those dates are at the bottom of this ever-growing post.
The last of our Scotland artists is by no means the least. Edwyn Collins is playing his first American shows in eight years this weekend: Sunday night (3/13) at The Rock Shop (sold out) and Monday night (3/14) at Bowery Ballroom. His great new album Losing Sleep comes out in the U.S. on March 22 and you can download the title track at the top of this post. As I wrote before:
Edwyn Collins' new album, Losing Sleep, is one of the year's best. His first made since two brain haemorrhages nearly took his life in 2005 and left him at first without the ability to walk or talk, let alone write songs. That it exists at all is a miracle, that it's as great as it is a testament to his spirit. Helping him out on the album are a cavalcade of talent -- Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, The Drums, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers -- but always in the service of getting Collins' songs on record.Edwyn actually left a comment on that post (not about hummus), as to whether his band still features former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook was still in the band: "Yep, Paul and I are still playing together and we'll be with you soon." I wonder if there will be some special guests at one of these shows? I'm not counting on it, and you don't need any extra reason to go.
Opening both of Edwyn's shows are The Kinbeats, a London quartet made up of three brothers and their cousin who have been protegés of Collins' since his recovery from his two strokes in 2005. Their debut, produced by Collins, is due out sometime this year. The big Bs (Beach Boys, Beatles) are a clear influence on the band and kind of remind me of early-'00s band Cosmic Rough Riders. They won't be heading to Austin, so do get there early and check them out.
While we're in Scotland, don't forget Trashcan Sinatras are at Joe's Pub on Sunday (3/13).
The Megaphonic Thrift
Up next: Nordic bands. Norway's loud and awesome Megaphonic Thrift, who played in NYC last March on their way to SXSW as their new album, Decay Destroy, had just come out in their home country of Norway. It's taken a year for the album to get an American release -- out next month on Sonic Union -- but it's probably good timing as their sound fits in well with the '90s indie rock resurgence we're experiencing right now.
Check out the "Candy Sin" -- part Sonic Youth, part Swervedriver -- at the top of this post. I've seen them a couple times. If you dig loud, shoegazy rock The Megaphonic Thrift do it very well. They play Saturday Night (3/13) at Mercury Lounge with Endless Boogie and Arboretum. And then they play Monday night (3/14) at The Rock Shop as part of our second-annual BrooklynVegan SXSW Kickoff Party that also features Iceland's Bloodgroup and UK rock combo The Lines. Tickets are only $8, do come out if you can.
Moving South to Denmark we have WhoMadeWho who are playing both Santos Party House ands Mercury Lounge before they head to Texas.
The big news is, I guess, James Blake's first U.S. show on Monday at Music Hall of Williamsburg which is way sold out so if you couldn't get in there, there's no shortage of other stuff going on, as this finally-ending column just showed you. I'd love to see you come out to The Rock Shop, but it's hard to choose no doubt. Go see something, though.
Ok that's it. I'll be in Austin next week so no column but there's lots of post SXSW action in NYC coming up so stay tuned for that. Below are a few more good show options, day-by-day.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11
Toronto's Small Sins play the Rock Shop which I wrote about earlier this week.
Robyn Hitchcock and Joe Boyd are at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (3/11), which I wrote about earlier today.