Entries tagged with: Knight School

12 result(s) displayed (1 - 12 of 12):

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Toro Y Moi - Blessa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Patrick Bower - The Dark Lord of Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Promises (MP3)

Wild Beasts @ Union Pool in 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Wild Beasts

Of all the things going on this week -- and there is no shortage of options as usual -- my number one pick would be for you to see Wild Beasts, who are on tour and play Bowery Ballroom on Friday (2/26, sold out) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday (2/28) Tickets still available for the Brooklyn show and we have a pair to giveaway. Details at the bottom of this post.

Their second album, Two Dancers, was my favorite album of 2009 and I still hear some new and amazing little detail every time I listen to it. I went to all three of their New York shows last September, all of which were great. The fluid interplay between the band is something to behold -- a real case of four people working as one mesmerizing whole. And those who still haven't gotten used to their vocal style, I say go see them live and everything makes more sense. Wild Beasts are one of a kind, at the top of their game, and you're dumb to miss them.

Both shows feature Toronto's Still Life Still as openers, and Violens will also play the MHoW show. Both openers also head to SXSW in March.

Morning Benders
Morning Benders

The other undeniable show this weekend is Saturday (2/27) at Market Hotel with a line-up that almost dares you not to go: Surfer Blood, Turbo Fruits, Beach Fossils, Grooms and Morning Benders. All bands I've written about in this weekly column more than once. Now most of these bands -- including out-of-towners Surfer Blood and Turbo Fruits -- play here enough that most people have seen them already. Except Morning Benders, recent transplants from San Francisco who have kind of blown up over the last two weeks thanks in part to a great new album, Big Echo (out March 9 on Rough Trade), as well as a killer live performance video (shot for Yours Truly) of the LP's lead track, "Excuses," that's been making the rounds. The version on the album is already pretty lovely, but here, done Phil Spector style with the Big Echo Orchestra (John Vanderslice and Christopher Owens of Girls among them) is pretty special. You can watch it at the bottom of this post, and download the MP3 of "Excuses" from The Morning Benders website for the mere price of your email address. The MP3 for "Promises" is above. Anyway, see them now before the album comes out and they no longer play places like Market Hotel.

... or the Housing Works Bookstore where they'll play tonight (2/25) with the garagey Shark? and twinkly folkies Cuddle Magic. Max Silvestri hosts. Presented by the Hype Machine, it's also a CD swap where you can take all those CDs you've ripped and trade them for others you don't have yet. Admission is $5 and at least one CD. Do bring something someone people would want to listen to, and not that CD of your cousin's ska band, OK?

The Morning Benders also play Mercury Lounge on April 22 (tickets still on sale). All tour dates for the band are at the bottom of this post.
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Some more show picks shows by day:

THURSDAY 2/25

Toro Y Moi is playing Cameo Gallery but surprise surprise: Best New Music + 75 person capacity = sold out show. There will be some tickets ($5) available when doors open at 8PM. Twin Sister are also on the bill so if you already have tickets for this, show up early and see them -- they're great. If you don't make it in, Toro Y Moi rolls back through town on March 26 where he'll play Brooklyn Bowl with New Zealand's Ruby Suns. He'll be at SXSW too. All tour dates for him are at the bottom of this post.

Patrick Bower
Patrick Bower

Patrick Bower and The World Without Magic are likely to play tunes from their new EP, The Dark Lord (of Love), at Bruar Falls. You can download the Scott Walker-esque title track at the top of this post. It's pretty different than the more beardy folk of his solo work. I dig it. The show's free and also features country-ish Beau Jennings & The Holy Tulsa Thunder and the delicate orch-folk of Balene.

North Highlands, Dream Diary and Knight School are at Death by Audio. Now is the time to catch North Highlands, who were excellent at Bruar Falls last week and I think will be taking things to the "next level" (whatever that means) soon. Dream Diary are getting really good too, especially if you like Pastels-style indiepop, and Knight School are NYC's nerdiest, funniest, catchiest, tinniest band.

And at the Bell House there's laptop shoegaze maestro Ulrich Schnauss who made one of my favorite records of the '00s, A Strangely Isolated Place, and apparently had a hand in recently coaxing Chapterhouse out of retirement. It's actually a pretty cool night if you're into dreamy soundscapes. Also on the bill is Mark Van Hoen who was a founding member of awesome '90s band Seefeel (seek out 1993's Quique) and who's made music under the name Locust since the mid-'90s. Local dreamweavers Luxa open the night.


FRIDAY 2/26

If you weren't able to squeeze into Cameo on Thursday, Twin Sister play the equally tiny Matchless. As I said recently, they're probably the best new band I've seen in some time. I will say I'm predisposed to like their mix of Stereolab and Sade, but I was wowed when I saw them at Bruar Falls.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow

A Sunny Day in Glasgow are back in NYC, playing  Mercury Lounge (tickets). They've got a new EP, Nitetime Rainbows, coming out next week that shows off their more experimental, soundscape-y side. Which side will we get Friday? This is the start of a lengthy tour which of course includes SXSWAcrylics, who I love, are also playing the Mercury Lounge show.

Another chance to see Knight School, this time early on at Bruar Falls with awesomely loud (yet poppy) duo Sisters, sonic manipulator Noveller and the psych punk assault of Lame Drivers. After this show, Sisters hit the road with another Brooklyn duo, Coasting, for the tour heading to SXSW and then join up with Irish band So Cow after the fest. Tour dates are below.


SATURDAY 2/27

Hospitality haven't played live in at least six months, due mainly to their bass player's duties in White Rabbits. He won't be at Bruar Falls on Saturday so we'll be seeing a slightly different line-up of the band but I'm glad to have them back. Singer Amber Papini is quite the charming singer. They're opening for Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums -- who are also playing an early show at Mercury Lounge on Friday.

Another local band that hasn't played in ages: The Hundred in the Hands, whose song "Dressed in Dresden" I listened to a lot last summer. It's the only song on their Myspace, apart from about 10 different remixes. It's a good track, but I'm curious to see how many other songs they have. With Glasslands doors at 11 and two other bands on the bill (Ra Ra Rasputin, Esque) it'll be a late night.


SUNDAY 2/28

Go see Wild Beasts. Seriously.

That's it for this week. Videos, Wild Beasts contest, and tour dates are after the jump.

Continue reading "Wild Beasts, Morning Benders, Patrick Bower, Toro y Moi, Hospitality, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, more in This Week in Indie"

Beachniks

today in NYC
* The Rub @ Southpaw
* Beachniks @ Glasslands **
* NinjaSonik @ Mercury Lounge
* late night dance party @ Market Hotel
* Roky Erickson, Love City @ Maxwell's
* Lux Perpetua, Horse's Mouth, An American Chinese @ Cake Shop
* The xx (DJ Set), VHS or BETA (DJ Set), Finger on the Pulse @ LPR
* Steel Train, The London Souls & Harvest Moon (burlesque) @ Brooklyn Bowl

** The Glasslands show has a ton of bands on it in honor of the Beachniks' new record on Captured Tracks. They are: The Missionaries // The Honeydo's // Moonmen on the Moon, Man // Knight School // Tough Knuckles // Air Waves // The Nymphets // My Teenage Stride // The Surprisers // Juan Wauters (of the Beets) // Beachniks // + DJs Emily, Brian and David --- flyer below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday?"

Knight School

Hi!

It looks like Knight School is listed to play a show with These Are Powers, Grooms, Ecstatic Sunshine, and Smith Westerns on 9-5-09 at Under the Tracks in New York. We were very honored to be listed, however, no one ever contacted me about such a show. So if you are psyched to catch all these said bands tomorrow, be aware that Knight School are not playing it and we think it might be a typo or mistake. No offense to anyone involved. We'd hate to show up and just be turned away for not having confirmation.

However, we are playing a Bruar Falls Labor Day bbq.

Happy Holidayz!

K

DOWNLOAD: The Smith Westerns - Be My Girl (MP3)

photos by Lori Baily

These Are Powers

These Are Powers played the Insound Party on August 27th at the now-Bowery-affiliated Brooklyn Bowl. That's where the new set of pictures in this post are from.

They're playing another big (and free) show this weekend, on Saturday, September 5th at Under the Tracks (sometimes called "Under the Highline) (502 W 25th St between 10th and 11th Aves). They play with Ecstatic Sunshine, The Smith Westerns, Grooms and Knight School. More info including a supposed RSVP, below.

The show was previously mentioned in the Week in Indie post in reference to The Smith Westerns who played Vassar last night and at Monster Island Basement on September 2nd with Titus Andronicus. They also play Bruar Falls in Brooklyn tonight (9/4) (confirmed).

More These are Powers pictures, and Under The Tracks show info, below....

Continue reading "These Are Powers playing free show Under the Tracks w/ The Smith Westerns, others ++ more Brooklyn Bowl pics "

by Bill Pearis (and Andrew Frisicano)

DOWNLOAD: Casper & the Cookies - Little King (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Casper & the Cookies - Pete Erchick Bicentennial Service Area (MP3)

Casper & the Cookies @ NYC Popfest (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Casper & the Cookies

Casper & the Cookies are now out on tour this July. The band's NYC-area stops include tonight (7/21) at Cake Shop and tomorrow (7/22) performance at Bruar Falls. Opening both dates will be tourmates Everything, Now. Also opening Bruar Falls will be Boy Genius and Knight School.

Athens, Georgia resident Jason NeSmith has been using variations of the Casper moniker for nearly 15 years, and the Cookies have been in existence since 1999. NeSmith was also a touring member of Of Montreal around the time of Satanic Panic in the Attic, and the Cookies share with that band a love of glittery makeup and off-kilter pop. Casper and the Cookies, however, look more to the power pop of Big Star and Cheap Trick for their inspiration. I thought they were great at this year's NYC Popfest. There's video from their performance at the bottom of this post.

Casper's newest record, Modern Silence, came out May 12th on CD through Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. The vinyl edition was released on July 20th release via People In a Position To Know Records (who are also handing some of the new Wand releases). Details on the record are...

Casper and the Cookies - Modern Silence GATEFOLD 2xLP + 5" lathe cut!: They come in a beautiful, gatefold cover with a different design than the CD. There are only 500 copies made, and only 200 copies are on AUDIOPHILE RED vinyl, in honor of [singer] Jason [NeSmith's] obsession with the Japanese red-vinyl version of Sgt. Peppers and their reputation of being the best sounding version of that album. The first 50 preorders will receive a special clear 5" lathe cut with exclusive songs.
Check out that album art and tracklist below. Two songs off the new record are posted above.

About the upcoming tour, the band writes, "We're planning on keeping you updated with Twitter, sooo if you're out in Tweetyland, and you wanna know what's happening (who knows, there might be a surprise performance or something!!), you can follow us at http://twitter.com/candthecookies."

All tour dates, NYC Popfest video, album art and tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Casper & the Cookies is here - new album & 2009 tour dates"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Amazing Baby - Smoke Bros (MP3)

Amazing Baby
Amazing Baby

"I actually miss the days when you just wrote about Amazing Baby in eeevery post." - BV commenter Eric Serpa | June 4, 2009 4:59 PM
This one's for you, dude. Yes it has been a while since Amazing Baby have graced this column which started almost exactly a year ago and were featured in my inaugural post. Since then, the band have gone through a few line-up changes, expanded, contracted, and toured Europe a couple times (once with buddies MGMT). The band open for Phoenix at Terminal 5 this Friday (6/19) and will release their debut album, Rewild, on Tuesday, June 23. (It's out now on iTunes.) Few are more aware than me that a lot of people seem to dislike this band, though I think most of that comes from the company they keep and their image more than the music itself.

Do they have questionable taste when it comes to fashion, their album covers and music videos? Maybe, but I don't think you can accuse Amazing Baby of the same, musically, or jumping on any bandwagons. Rewild is psychedelic without being being retro, danceable at times, heavy, glammy, catchy as hell and full of inventive arrangements and production. It rocks and swoons and sounds great loud. And they don't sound like any single other band out there. You can download "Smoke Bros" (which reminds me of Shriekback a little bit) at the top of this post. And you can stream the whole album at their MySpace.

Lightspeed Champion

Still reading? Phoenix's openers at tomorrow's (6/18) Music Hall of Williamsburg is Lightspeed Champion. That show is beyond sold-out, but tonight (6/17), he's playing a warm up show at Mercury Lounge, which will be his first in a long time. Dev has become a Brooklyn resident in the last year, which is where he also recorded his still-untitled second solo album (due in Oct.) with help from the Spacecamp boys who will also be his backing band at both shows. As a fan of last year's underrated Falling Off the Lavendar Bridge, I'm anxious to hear Dev's new material. Tickets are still available.

Spacecamp are also playing a set of their own at Mercury Lounge, opening the night, though you'd think it would've made more sense for them to play next-to-last and just have Dev come out and join them for a seamless transition, but I am a blogger not a stage manager. The band now have a full-time keyboardist in the mix which has made them a bit funkier (clavinet tends to do that). You can can get an idea of that in the footage Joly shot from Spacecamp's Annex show two weeks ago (below). In between Spacecamp and Lightspeed are Apache Beat and New Orleans' Hurray for the Riff Raff.

Nobunny
Nobunny

The show I'm most looking forward to this week, though, is this Friday (6/19) at Bruar Falls: Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, German Measels, Baby Shakes and The Beets. I wrote about Nobunny the last time he was through town, having just caught him at SXSW, and his shows are fun and creepy all at the same time. (It's that mask.) If you haven't heard his debut, Love Visions, it's a lot of fun if you like bare-bones Ramones style punky pop. He recently put out a cassette-only album, Raw Romance, of demos and outtakes that was also pretty good -- it's sold out but maybe he'll have copies on tour with him. Nobunny also plays an all-ages show at Death by Audio two nights later (6/21).

Hunx

The whole evening at Bruar Falls sounds like fun. Hunx and His Punx look and sound like they lept out of a John Waters movie and judging by their music videos I can only hope they bring that level of camp to their live show. Hunx has a new single out, "Teardrops on My Telephone," on Jay Reatard's Shattered label (also home to Nobunny). You can see the video for that song below. Hunx is playing a bunch of shows and parties this week, and all his dates are at the bottom of this post.

Also: the girl group punk of Baby Shakes; German Measels' fake mustache pop; and The Beets who seem to play every four days but I've enjoyed every show I've seen of theirs (including two previous at Bruar Falls).

Other shows of note: there's a TWII-approved line-up at Glasslands on tonight (6/17): Sisters, My Teenage Stride, and Knight School. All the bands are good, but if you haven't seen Sisters yet, you should really rectify that as soon as possible. On of my all time favorite new local bands of the moment.

Crocodiles are back in town, playing Union Pool on Thursday (6/18) and Mercury Lounge on Saturday (6/20). I don't care what Pitchfork says, I think their album is pretty good and they were fun at Pianos earlier this year.

And it wouldn't be a proper TWII column without mentioning this year's Twee as Fuck party at Cake Shop. TaF is a monthy party in London, as well as a fanzine and label, and they bring it over here in June. I went to last year's moderately-attended event which featured Afternoon Naps, Bears, and Pains at Being Pure at Heart who are headlining again this year though it's an understatement to say that things have changed for them. Not that they don't totally deserve it, but it still boggles my mind that the Pains have become a big as they have. TPOBPAH just announced a fall tour and those dates are below. Their next NYC show after Cake Shop is at South Street Seaport (home of tonight's Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Show).

With a lineup that also includes their Slumberland labelmates Crystal Stilts and Cause Co-Motion, as well as London's Hatcham Social, this is gonna be one super-packed, sweaty night at Cake Shop. Advance tickets are sold out, but there are a few available at the door if you get there early. Doors are at 7pm.

That's it for this week. Flyers, videos, and tour dates are after the jump....

Continue reading "Amazing Baby, Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx, Lightspeed Champion, TPOBPAH & more in This Week In Indie "

photos & words by Dominick Mastrangelo

My Teenage Stride

My Teenage Stride

NYC Popfest, the four-day love affair with all things indiepop started on Thursday (5/14) with a lineup featuring all New York City bands. A full Cake Shop watched Knight School kick things off, followed by Soft City's first-ever show. Girl group, Dream Bitches, The Metric Mile (now a five-piece), My Teenage Stride featuring one of drummer Brett Whitmoyer's last shows with the band, and The Ballet rounded out Day One.

"Best band of the night was My Teenage Stride who seem to shed members after each Popfest performance. Last year, they lost a bassist and guitarist. Tonight was MTS' final show with longtime drummer Brett Whitmoyer, and frontman Jed Smith seem genuinely broken up about it. "New York is a shitty place for bands,' he admitted to the crowd before clarifying, "Well, a shitty place for bands to try and make it." It's especially shitty, as My Teenage Stride are at a creative peak if you ask me, with their current string of monthly Emusic singles being some of the best stuff they've done to date. They played their May single, which has yet to actually drop and the name of which I missed, and it rivals "Creep Academy" for awesomeness. (I shot video of it, which is below.) They'll have to rebound quickly, though, as their next gig is Monday night at The Bell House." [Bill Pearis]
The full lineup of Monday's show (5/18) is My Teenage Stride, The Beets, and Tom Hamilton. It's just $5.00 to get in, and there's free beer from 7:30-8:30pm.

More pictures from Night One of Popfest at Cake Shop, below...

Continue reading "NYC Popfest - night 1 pics (My Teenage Stride, Knight School, The Ballet, Soft City & more...) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Springfactory - On the Back of Your Bike (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Springfactory - Get Out of Bed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Tartans - The Cats of Camerford (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Horoscope (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Letter from a Voyage to Sweden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Liechtenstein - Roses in the Park (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Vaselines - Son of a Gurn (MP3)

Pop Fest

Firstly, an update on NYC Popfest which starts tonight (5/14) and runs through Sunday (5/17). Advance tickets are sold out for the Saturday (5/16) show with The Radio Dept., Pants Yell! and The Secret History at The Bell House, as has the all-day Sunday show at Cake Shop, though the latter should have tickets at the door. The good news is The Radio Dept. have been added to the Friday night (5/15) show at the Don Hill's which already includes Sweden's Liechtenstein, the spiffy pop of Finland's Cats on Fire, L.A. band The Tartans and local boy Don Lennon. If you ask me, this is the unmissable show of the weekend. Tickets are still available through the Popfest website. Also, if you can't make the show Friday, both Leichtenstien and Cats on Fire play Bruar Falls on Tuesday, May 19.

In other Popfest news, another Swedish band, Stockholm's Springfactory, have been added to the free day show on Saturday at Cake Shop. There's a couple MP3s of theirs to check out at the top of this post. The fest kicks off tonight with an all-locals show at Cake Shop featuring Knight School, Soft City, Dream Bitches, The Metric Mile, My Teenage Stride and the Ballet. Full Popfest lineup is at the bottom of this post and there are loads more MP3s from just about all the bands HERE.

Acrylics
Acrylics

There's lots of other non-Popfest stuff going on this weekend, much of it making me wish I could be in two places at once. Cameo Gallery tonight (5/14) plays host to two Dirty on Purpose offshoots: Joe and the Flying Spoons which is guitarist Joe Jurewicz country-tinged outfit that features a chorus of girl backup singers; and Pursesnatchers which is drummer Doug Marvin's solo project that is the closest in sound of any of the DoP splinter groups to the original. Also on the bill: awesome duo Sisters who I've written about recently and were runners up in this year's L Magazine thing; and Acrylics who make lovely synthy pop not dissimilar to The Rosebuds. The three songs on Acrylics' MySpace are all quite good, definitely worth checking out whether you plan on hitting this show or not.

Cake Shop

Cake Shop is celebrating its four-year anniversary this month with a series of special-event Saturdays. This Saturday's (5/16) seems especially special: an ADD-friendly marathon of 16 bands playing four songs each (natch), with different drink specials in between each band. And it's only $4 to get in. The party kicks off with Knight School at 8PM and finishes with Moonmen on the Moon, Man (supposedly from San Diego but who look suspiciously like Cake Shop owners and staff) around 1AM if they stay on schedule. In between, My Teenage Stride, The Beets, Boy Genius, Air Waves and more will get their 15 minutes. Check out the flyer below for the full list of bands and set times. This sounds like a blast.

Spiral Beach
Spiral Beach

I should also mention that Toronto's Spiral Beach are in town this weekend playing three shows: Tonight (5/14) at Death by Audio, and two shows on Friday (5/15): an early one at Fontana's, and then a house show at 265 Mikibbin St in Bushwick. Spiral Beach opened for Sloan at Bowery Ballroom a couple years ago and I wrote at the time: "I don't even know how to describe them. They're a bit like the Coral or the Zutons, by way of Oingo Boingo (minus the horns). Psychotic circus music?" They were a lot of fun. The band's 2007 album, Ball, just getting released in the U.S.

The Vaselines
Vaselines

And last but not least... The Vaselines! They play Sunday (5/17) at Bowery Ballroom (with Woods) and tickets are still available; Monday's (5/18) show at at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Adam Green is sold out. The band played Seattle on Tuesday and The Finest Kiss had this to say:

Seeing the Vaselines last night was like sex on the second date. The first date was last summer at Sub Pop 20 festival. Their set at Marymoor Park last July was just about perfect with Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee's sexually tinged funny stage banter and even better harmonies, they were easily the highlight of that perfect summer afternoon. After a first date that goes so well, you always kind of prepare yourself for a letdown on date number two. You start to see the imperfections, maybe a few wrinkles or a bald spot. The Vaselines may have their imperfections, but I'm still blinded by lust to really notice any of them. Francis joked saying that you may think you're at the wrong gig if you're looking for the people on the poster, referring to the much younger looking Vaselines that adorned the advertising for the show. They also tried to explain their long absence with wild stories of Eugene becoming a Hare Krishna, explaining his lack of hair, and Frances's time in prison for allegedly getting facials with underage boys...

The better sounding Vaselines is probably due to the band being better musicians than they were 20 years ago. Even though they sounded less ragged, they still have the attitude and humor that made them so special in the first place. There is no way that anyone at this gig went home disappointed from this gig, besides sounding great, they played every single one of their songs and even graced us with two brand new ones.

The band's classic compilation, The Way of the Vaselines, just got reissued on Sub Pop as a two-CD/3-platter-vinyl deluxe edition, now retitled Enter the Vaselines and it's just essential. And go see them if you can.

Flyers, videos, tour dates and the full popfest schedule after the jump...

Continue reading "NYC Pop Fest, Acrylics, Vaselines, Springfactory, Cake Shop, Spiral Beach & more in This Week in Indie"

8 bands
L Mags bands you should hear

The did it in 2007, and again in 2008, and this year L Magazine is back with their list of "8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear" (plus some runner-ups). Check out the 2009 list, and discuss, below...

Continue reading "L Mag's 2009 list of "8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear""

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Freddie and the Trojan Horse (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Why Won't You Talk About It? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - The Worst Taste in Music (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Liechtenstein - Stalking Skills (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Letters from a Voyage to Sweden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Burning Hearts - I Lost My Color Vision (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Computer Perfection - The Fool is Hurt (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hidden Ghost Balloon Ship - Hidden Ghost Balloon Ship (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: The Icicles - La Ti Da (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell - Magenta and Green (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Smittens - Stop the Bombs! (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eux Autres - When I'm Up (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Knight School - Pregnant Again (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Teenage Stride - Ears Like Golden Bats (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Metric Mile - How to Beat the SAT (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Secret History - It's Not the End of the World Jonah (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Ballet - In My Head (MP3)

The Radio Dept
The Radio Dept

Enigmatic Swedish band The Radio Dept. are to play their first U.S. show since 2003 (which was in San Francisco), as part of the third-annual NYC Popfest which happens this year from May 14 - 17. Whether or not the band will have finished their delayed follow-up to 2005's Pet Grief remains to be seen, but there are lots of folks who've been waiting years for Radio Dept to play here and, so far, the Popfest date is the only one they're doing.

LiechtensteinWhile the Radio Dept will no-doubt be the biggest draw, NYC Popfest has put together a pretty great lineup including a few other notable acts, more Swedes: all-girl trio Liechtenstein, who've put out a bunch of great 7-inches and will have a new EP out on Slumberland in May. We'll also get two bands from Finland: Cats on Fire, who made their U.S. debut at last year's fest; and the lovely synth-acoustic pop of Burning Hearts whose debut album, Aboa Sleeping, was released last month.

North America is well represented as you might expect. Detroit gives us Computer Perfection (who are not synth pop despite the name), and offshoot band Hidden Ghost Ship, whose very good debut album you can download for free. (The link is at the top of this post.) There's also Grand Rapids' The Icicles whose song "La Ti Da" you might know from a Target commercial; Boston's awesome Pants Yell! who were one of my favorites from last year's event; Ohio's The 1959 Hat Company and Afternoon Naps; California brings us L.A.'s The Tartans (12-strings and glockenspeil pop) and San Francisco's Eux Autres (janglepop); Vermont's Smittens (who remind me of '90s indie pop band Small Factory); Athens, GA's great power popppers Casper & the Cookies; Chicago's Very Truly Yours (classic twee pop) and Canada's Rose Melberg.

The bulk of the bands are from NYC, and include: My Teenage Stride whose new Emusic single "Creep Academy" is one of my favorite songs they've ever done; Knight School (who I've written about before); Boy Genius (ditto) and The Secret History (double ditto); plus the newly-quintet-ed The Metric Mile, Soft City, Dream Bitches, The Ballet, Strega, and Don Lennon.

Most of the Popfest shows will happen at Cake Shop, with a Friday night show at Don Hill's in conjunction with Mondo! and the Radio Dept. show at The Bell House. Unlike the two previous years, there's no BBQ/day show at Union Pool. Pricing and that sort of thing hasn't been ironed out yet, but the individual night's lineups are below:

Continue reading "NYC Popfest - 2009 lineup, The Radio Dept. included "

DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - I Won't Lie to You (MP3)

words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Chris La Putt

Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played the Bell House in Brooklyn on Friday, March 13th, with Let's Wrestle and Knight School.

Here the group played most of its album, faithfully rendered and with minimal flash. When not wringing notes out of his guitar, Mr. Berman delivered his words solemnly, helpfully leavened by Ms. Wang, whose high harmonies, even when faintly whispered, added necessary texture. So did her synthesizer, which was smooth and glassy on "Young Adult Friction" and needling and whiny on "The Tenure Itch." [NY Times]
This week, Pains visits SXSW, playing a bunch of shows including the BV day party on Thursday, Opal Divine's Freehouse on Thursday night and Emo's Jr on Friday - before touring at the end of April. The band has scheduled two NYC shows, so far, this summer: May 12th at the Bowery Ballroom (on sale now) and June 18th at Cake Shop with Crystal Stilts.

Let's Wrestle, whose NYC visit included a MHOW show (3/10) with Black Lips, are also in Austin, playing Thursday at Wave Rooftop, Saturday at Volume, and other places.

More Bell House pics below...

Continue reading "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Let's Wrestle & Knight School @ the Bell House in Brooklyn - pics"

DOWNLOAD: Organs EP (Mediafire zip)
DOWNLOAD: Knight School - Pregnant Again (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Right on Dynamite - Mantra for the Madness (MP3)

by Bill Pearis

Black Diamond Bay
Black Diamond Bay

We've been having pretty wintry weather here lately but it's nothing compared to the cold snap much of Canada has faced in the last week -- Montreal hit record lows last week. Which will probably make the mid-20s feel balmy for Black Diamond Bay, who have trekked down across the border to play a few U.S. shows over the next week. When last we checked in with the band (featuring ex-Dears members Patrick Krief and George Donoso), they had finished their home-recorded debut album, which they were only selling on tour from the merch tables.

In the interim, they went back, recorded a couple new songs and had it mixed by some big-time pros. This new version, now called Calm Awaits, will be out officially in March but you can hear about half of it on BDB's Myspace as we speak. Black Diamond Bay play Fontana's tonight with The Depreciation Guild (Wednesday, 1/28) and an early set at Mercury Lounge on February 5. They were great at Pianos back in November, and as I've said before, you really have to see them live to experience Black Diamond Bay in all their drum fills n spiraling solos glory.

Organs
Organs

This weekend has two good shows at Williamsburg's Don Pedro's. Friday night (1/30) has garage- trio Organs who describe themselves as "If Hank Williams listened to the Stooges while fucking Little Richard." I guess that works as well as anything, and definitely gets you in the right ballpark. You can listen and judge for yourself, though, as the band have their debut EP available to download for free -- the link to which is at the top of this post. Also playing Friday night are The Specific Heats who take their cues from '60s flower-power pop like Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Chocolate Watchband as well as '80s Creation Records indie (which is sorta the same thing). Frontman Matt Patalano has also been in loads of other bands concurrently, having just recently given up his bassist gig in My Teenage Stride. Opening is Boston singer Elizabeth Butters who makes what I'd call "old timey" folk. Take a listen at her MySpace.

Knight School
Knight School

Saturday (1/31) at Don Pedros more local indiepop worth checking out. I caught openers Knight School back in December at Cake Shop's Christmas party and thought they were great. They're lo-fi pop in the same vein as Television Personalities, the Vaselines or the Pastels -- all of whom I'm going to guess they love. Their album, The Poor and Needy Need to Party, just came out on Lost Music Records which is run by the folks from the recently defunct Indie MP3 blog. There's an MP3 at the top of this post and you can stream the whole album at Last.fm. In addition to some other upcoming shows (including 2/17 at Glasslands with Specific Heats), they're playing with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and UK's awesome Let's Wrestle at The Bell House on March 13 which you don't want to miss. Tickets are on sale.

Also playing that night: reverb-drenched Jackson Heights duo The Beets, and then the night gets heavier with The Juggs (deep-fried riff rock), and The Gulf of Michigan (who sound a bit like Leonard Cohen fronting the Stooges).

ice skatingFriday, January 30 is pretty busy. But a fun way to start the night, potentially, would be to skate to the sounds of Neckbeard Telecaster and Grand Mal at Seaport Ice. The weather is supposed to be in the 30s, pretty nice, though I wonder what windchill will be like when you're right by the river. I'm looking forward to finding out the rest of Seaport Ice's schedule (what bands would you want to skate to?), as well as getting some exercise at a show for once, instead of just drinking beer.

And one last option for Friday night: Brooklyn band Right on Dynamite are playing Pianos. You may have seen them open for Frightened Rabbit at Bowery Ballroom earlier this month. There debut EP is pretty catchy stuff, and while you rarely read a piece about them that doesn't mention The Strokes, if you ask me the most obvious comparison would be The Cribs (who I love), but with a few less "whoa-oh" choruses. You can download EP track "Mantra for the Madness" at the top of this post.

All tour dates below...

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