Entries tagged with: Knitting Factory
photos by Amanda Hatfield
BOBBY @ Knitting Factory
"If you were at Knitting Factory last night, you got a trio of entertainment forms. You have the experimental musical stylings of BOBBY, you have projected artistic images and the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. As we know, Cinco de Mayo is when St. Mayo drove five big snakes out of Tijuana using a mariachi band while wearing a big sombrero.Molly Sarle was in fact the female voice on stage with her own band BOBBY at Knitting Factory last night (5/5), a change from BOBBY's last NYC show, and every other show they've played since. Mountain Man member Amelia Meath, who filled in for Molly at the previous shows, instead watched this one from the front row.
The Massachusetts-based collective are a fairly new band as founded by Tom Greenberg and featuring Molly Sarle of the popular vocal group Mountain Man. When I use the term experimental, that's a code word for "I have no idea what genre of music this lies under". Then I have to admit that music shouldn't need to be defined by genres. With the sparse guitars and a few electronic samplers, keyboards and processors, BOBBY does a fine of job making all that weirdness come together. It does help that Sarle's whoops and moans gives their set an other worldly quality." [Music Snobbery]
BOBBY played after a chill set by Real Estate side project Alex Bleeker & the Freaks (who covered a Mountain Man song). Detroit band Prussia opened the show and impressed with high energy and strong vocals. To quote Flagpole, "Imagine Flowers-era Rolling Stones colliding with Animal Collective while hanging out at Vampire Weekend's house and you're on the right track."
Right before the show we hosted a Hornitos Tequila-sponsored Cinco de Mayo party in the Knitting Factory front bar. 21+ ticketholders could choose between a free "Vegan Margarita" (named after the website more than the ingredients) and the "What about Bobb(by)" (or they could have both) (or as many as they could drink/hold in a 2 hour period). Which one did you like better? I thought I liked the "Vegan" better at first, but ended up partial to the "Bobby."
BOBBY return to NYC as part of a tour with Thao & Mirah. Prussia also played a show one night earlier at Mercury Lounge with Dominique Young Unique. Alex Bleeker's band Real Estate has a few shows coming up later this month.
More pictures from the Knitting Factory show, below...
... after the Holly Golightly show at the same venue (Friday night).
If you can't make it, tickets are still on sale for The Antlers' May 19th show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Their May 20th show at Bowery Ballroom is sold out. Both shows are part of their May tour with Little Scream in support of their new album 'Burst Apart', which is currently streaming over at NPR, and which has cover art that looks a lot like the flyer above (Burst Apart is out May 10th on Frenchkiss. above flyer designed by Tonally Dude).
Meanwhile... come drink and then see BOBBY, Alex Bleeker & Prussia at Knitting Factory tonight (5/5).
The eclectic sounds of Grails played Knitting Factory on a wet Easter night (last night, 4/24) with tour-mate James Blackshaw. Unfortunately, I missed all of Moonrises's set and at least half of James Blackshaw's, though his twelve-string guitar's resonant (in tone and emotion) and gorgeous compositions sounded amazing.
Grails played material from across their output to a mesmerized crowd. New tracks like "I Almost Grew My Hair" mixed with old songs like encore track "Reincarnation Blues." The six-piece rotated instruments, with Emil Amos (who is also in Om) playing both drums and guitar, while the other band members weilded lap steel, keys, sampler, melodica, shaker, and more. Grails is supporting their current jaw-dropping effort Deep Politics (out now on Temporary Residence).
More pictures from last night's show are below...
photos by Winnie Cheung
A few nights after they played a show with Craft Spells and Beach Fossils at Music Hall of Williamsburg, which was right after they played a show at Mercury Lounge, The Drums shared a bill with Matthew Dear at Knitting Factory (last night, 4/11). A set of pictures from that sold out Brooklyn show continues below...
Devin The Dude at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by BBG)
Devin The Dude is hitting the road, and will play NYC at Knitting Factory on
April 27th as part of a round of dates with his crew The Coughee Brothaz. Tickets are on sale. Devin The Dude and The Coughee Brothaz are preparing to release their new LP Fresh Brew on April 19th. All dates below.
Alternatively, if you are looking to save a few bucks and are planning on catching a few hip hop shows at Knitting Factory, the venue is currently offering a three pack of tickets for Devin The Dude, the previously discussed Zion I & Grouch show on
April 22nd , and CunninLynguists on April 30th. Tickets for the three pack are on sale.
And though his show isn't part of the "three-pack" of Knitting Factory shows, DJ Quik will play the venue on June 9th. Tickets are on sale. Quik is welcoming his new LP The Book of David via his own Mad Science imprint. Look for appearances from Ice Cube, Dwele, Bun B, and Bizzy Bone among others on the LP.
All tour dates, and a stream of a new DJ Quik song is below.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Back before they played SXSW, but after Bowery Ballrooom, TRAA, Pepper Rabbit and The Loom played a Brooklyn show at Knitting Factory. Pictures from that show are in this post and they continue below...
photos by Shanda Boyett
The Smith Westerns played Knitting Factory on March 5, two days after a show at Mercury Lounge, and their last public stop on a pre-SXSW tour. But they're not headed off to Austin just yet. FIRST, a visit to a... department store....
Baths @ Knitting Factory
Star Slinger may have bowed out, but Saturday night's alliterative line-up still proved to be a delightful exercise in spacey electro-pop. The show began with Mikey Sanders' project, Blackbird Blackbird. Though he typically performs solo, Sanders had help from his friend Frank. Much like Baths, Blackbird Blackbird is heavily comprised of bass-heavy laptop samples that are skillfully manipulated by a series of knobs and faders and set to nice, clear vocals.
Sanders mentioned multiple times how "fucking stoked" he was to be playing over the course of his 20-minute set, and the audience responded to this enthusiasm by beginning to loosen up. Though the night was still young, it was clear that a dance party was brewing.
But before things got too frenzied, the dancers got a bit of a respite thanks to Braids' pleasantly dreamy set. After a long, meandering instrumental intro as the band and technicians ironed out some last-minute kinks, the lights suddenly changed and Braids exploded into the moody crowd pleaser "Lemonade."
Lead singer and guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston had a big smile on her face throughout the evening, despite her apparent illness. (She had thought ahead to bring a a steaming thermos and a Kleenex box on stage with her.) But even more notable than her upbeat disposition was her ability to hit every note - especially the high ones in "Lammicken." (At times, she looked a bit surprised when she nailed them, too.) When she finally confessed that she had "lost" her voice near the end of their set, she could barely talk. Luckily, the final song in the set called for some shrieking and audience participation.
When it was finally time for Baths, both Will Wiesenfeld and the sold-out crowd were ready to dance. "Ok. You guys want to hear music, I assume," Wiesenfeld began. "Let's do it!" As he began to play his first song, he turned to the sound technician a few seconds in. "Everything louder! Louder, louder, louder!"
It's easy to knock laptop musicians, but unlike some performers, Wiesenfeld is anything but dull. With his hands moving rapidly over dials and knobs, Wiesenfeld was a blur. He danced as much as physically possible, sending the key ring at his belt loop jingling wildly, which added yet another layer to the music.
"Oh my God. I love him already!" yelled a girl behind me during the first song. Everyone was gushing and in good spirits - it's hard not to be with lyrics like "It's a breezy, beautiful day." Meanwhile, Wiesenfeld was soaking up the love with a big grin on his face. "We're all friends here. I know all of you," he cried out at one point.
He was moving so much that he somehow managed to dislodge his glasses - twice. "I don't have any rock star things other than my glasses falling off, so that's peak. That's as bad ass as I get," he joked.
Following his action-packed set (which included a number of new songs), Wiesenfeld returned to uproarious applause for a one-song encore before admitting to the crowd and admitting, I don't have any more. I'm going to disappear."
The Saturday night show was over before midnight which is when Todd P took over for a late night party feating a set by John Maus.
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Zs - Acres of Skin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zs - Diamond Terrifier (Zebrablood remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zs - AcresRMX (Gabe Andruzzi Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zs - Gentleman Amateur (Leg Lifters "Professional" Remix) (MP3)
Unlike basically every other cultural outlet, the writers of Tiny Mix Tapes voted to give their Album of Year honors to an artist that isn't Kanye West. Instead, they gave it to NYC avant-noise/rock group Zs for their excellent 2010 album New Slaves. (Don't worry: Kanye still made #10.)
Zs will start the new year with a complement to that record, New Slaves II: Essence Implosion!, a collection of remixes that comes out on the Social Registry on Tuesday, January 25th. On the record, the band's tracks are reworked by the likes of Genesis P. Orridge, JG Thirwell, Gabe Andruzzi of The Rapture and others, and the whole thing starts off with a new track featuring Charlie Looker, Weasel Walter and WFMU's Marty McSorely. Two of those remixes are posted above, along with an exclusive mix not on the release done by Justin Pearson of The Locust (That's the Leg Lifters "Professional" Remix of "Gentleman Amateur"). You can also check out "Acres of Skin" from New Slaves, to give you a taste of the source material.
Zs have an album-release show for the disc Monday/tonight at Knitting Factory with Thee Majesty (Feat. Genesis P-Orridge), Ecstatic Sunshine, Cex and DJ DRUZZ (The Rapture/Throne Of Blood). The group has a special set (with an extra member) planned in honor of the release, so expect something unusual. Tickets are still on sale.
Also coming up, Zs: Black Crown Ceremony will play with Sightings, White Suns and Normal Love at Death By Audio on January 28th.
See a Zs live session from SXSW, the album's tracklist and more below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
DOWNLOAD: Pregnant - Self-titled LP (ZIP)
"King Tuff totally rocked it at the knitting factory tonight.
Glad I didn't miss it!" - BeyondBeyondisBeyond
King Tuff (aka Kyle Thomas who also happens to be in Witch and Feathers and Happy Birthday) headlined (an actual birthday party) at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last night (1/20) with support from Frankie Rose & The Outs and Nude Beach. That's Tuff above, and more pictures of the show are below.
Nude Beach (the NY band) will join Nomos and The Men for a FREE show at Generation Records at 2PM on Sunday (1/23). Nude Beach is replacing Pregnant on the in-store bill, who recently dropped off of the show but is still scheduled to play Cake Shop on Mar 18 with Black Wine & Big Eyes. Bone up for Cake Shop by checking out their self-titled LP, out on vinyl now, but you can preview that LP on digital form above.
Generation Records is also a bit of a homecoming show for Nomos and The Men, as both bands recently came back from a two week tour of the West Coast which saw them share dates with Mammoth Grinder, Hatred Surge, Skin Like Iron, Walls, and many others. Both bands released LPs in 2010; Nomos dropped Notes From The Acheron in September (order it) while The Men are currently on their second pressing of Immaculada after initially releasing it in May (snag one).
More pictures and a video from Knitting Factory, below...
DOWNLOAD: Acid Mothers Temple - "In O" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Acid Mothers Temple - "In A" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers - "Heaven In Stereo" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers - "Venus Shaver" (MP3)
photos by Greg Cristman
Acid Mothers Temple @ Knitting Factory
Acid Mothers Temple, in the form of Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO, will return to tour North America in March. That tour hits Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on April 12th. Tickets are on sale.
The last time Acid Mothers Temple was at Knitting Factory was last April. A lost set of pictures from that show adorn this post. Acid Mothers Temple released their latest LP In O To Infinity via Important Records. Two MP3s above come from that release.
Almost all of Acid Mother's upcoming tour, including the Brooklyn show, is with Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers who have a new LP on the way. Teenage and Torture will be released on January 18th via Knitting Factory Records. Dig on a pair of songs from that release, including the previously posted "Venus Shaver" that appears on the 7", above.
Help Shilpa celebrate that new LP at a show happening on Friday, January 21st at Brooklyn Bowl with Soft Black and She Keeps Bees. Tickets are on sale for the gig which is one of two Shilpa has scheduled this month. The other is in Buffalo.
All dates and more AMT pictures below...
Hittleman Brewery in Bushwick
Three former music executives at the Knitting Factory will open a cavernous indie music venue in a former 19th-century brewery on Meserole Street.The article goes on to say how the venue will differentiate itself from other Brooklyn venues like Knitting Factory and Music Hall of Williamsburg. If you read it, make sure to also read the comments which clarify a point that Joshua Richholt made about "The Wick" not being "Walmart-like". The author makes it seem like Joshua dissed Bowery Presents, but that wasn't actually the case (it was the author of the article doing the not-factual dissing).
The new venue, called "The Wick," will be the ground floor of the former Hittleman Brewery near Bushwick Avenue -- a building that already houses several music-related companies, including an equipment shop, a rehearsal space and a music-focused radio station.
That's what attracted General Manager Joshua Richholt, talent booker of the moment Chris White and operations manager Shay Vishawadia.
"The building is sort of a Mecca for musicians," said Richholt. "If they want to rehearse overnight or have a studio session, they can go down to the recording studio. A touring band can come through here and not need to go anywhere else."
The plan calls for a main stage and a bar that can hold 400 and 700 people. It could open as early as this summer. -[The Brooklyn Paper]
Talent booker/buyer Chris White, since leaving Knitting Factory, in addition to working on The Wick (see above), has teamed up with ex-Bell House/Union Hall booker Skippy to form Tiger Mountain Presents which now books shows at The Rock Shop, Littlefield, Santos Party House and elsewhere.
And actually, the upcoming Mavis Staples show at the Bell House is a Tiger Mountain Presents show, which means that Skippy booked a show at the Bell House again.
words & photos by BBG
There were a considerable amount of "thank you"s and "it's an honor"s peppered in between hyper blasts and vocal grunts at Knitting Factory. The reunited Citizens Arrest played the Brooklyn venue on Friday (12/17), and then one more show at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia the next night. It wasn't their first outing thought - they played a surprise show on Long Island on 12/4/10, but it was their first with Ted Leo back on guitar (Ted was on tour during the Long Island show).
Mind Eraser and Asshole Parade also played Knitting Factory as part of a helluva of a triple bill. All three bands killed, though both cXa and Mind Eraser were jawdropping. More pictures and video from Knitting Factory, as well as video from Kung Fu Necktie is below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
"We're having technical difficulties," Duncanson said, waiting patiently as the Radio Dept.'s first US show in more than a year ground to a halt. The sound guys eventually sorted things out, and although they neglected to turn up Duncanson's vocals, which had been virtually inaudible from the start, the group picked up right where it had left off.The Radio Dept and Braids kicked off a two-night NYC run at Knitting Factory, with a bit of technical difficulty, on Tuesday night (11/30). The 2nd show happened at Bowery Ballroom one night later. The pictures in this post are from the first show which also featured a set by High Highs, and which was one night after Braids played Mercury Lounge. Bowery pics on the way. More Knit pics below...
"OK, so this is the encore," Duncanson said, just before making a more successful pass through 'I Want You to Feel the Same,' a yearning 2006 pop ballad that ought to have come along two decades earlier, so that John Hughes might have included it on his 'Breakfast Club' soundtrack.
The Radio Dept. went on to play five more songs, and while there was, in fact, no encore, there didn't need to be. By the end of their 40-minute set, Duncanson, keyboardist Martin Carlberg and second guitarist Daniel Tjäder had already revisited three decades of European indie rock, referencing -- and at times combining -- the defiant fuzz of the Jesus and Mary Chain, jangle of the Smiths, dance beats of the Stone Roses, noisiness of My Bloody Valentine, halcyon droning of Cocteau Twins and preciousness of Belle and Sebastian. [Spinner]
photos by Amanda Hatfield
"Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink had gone their separate ways musically speaking in the last couple of years, so to see them again as Azure Ray onstage Saturday night at the Mercury Lounge was certainly a special occasion. With a trio of multi-instrumentalists, the duo brought their intimate and hauntingly beautiful music to a pretty sizable crow. Safe to say Azure Ray did not disappoint. Their set list that covered all of their studio albums from their 2001 self-titled debut through their new album Drawing Down the Moon such as "Displaced" "Raining in Athens," "Safe and Sound," and the new songs, the lovely "Don't Leave My Mind" and the somber and moody "Signs in the Leaves." Taylor and Fink traded on the lead vocals and their harmony singing together was lush and ethereal. Their encore consisted of "The Drinks We Drink Last Night" and "Rise," the latter song featuring background vocals by two lucky audience members invited on the stage." -[David Chiu]James Husband opened the show and later played as a member of Azure Ray's band at both Mercury Lounge (review above) and Knitting Factory (pictures in this post). Tim Fite also opened both shows and continues on tour with Azure Ray & James Husband through the DC show tonight.
Pictures from Brooklyn and videos from both NYC shows below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Obits @ Knitting Factory
Obits played two hometown nights in a row at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn over the weekend. On Friday, November 12th, the packed show was with Shark? and Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach's band forgetters. Saturday night was with Bottomless Pit (ex-Silkworm) and Black Helicopter. Pictures from Friday are in this post, as is a full video stream of Obits' performance, captured by the Knitting Factory livestream, from that night (below in two parts).
Obits are now resting for the holidays, but will head out on a proper, albeit short, Southeastern tour in the new year with Gentleman Jesse and His Men who meanwhile have New Years Eve and New Years Day shows scheduled at the Earl in Atlanta with Gringo Star and Noot d' Noot. Gentleman Jesse and His Men played a show at Knitting Factory back on 10/22 (CMJ), and Knitting Factory taped that, and you can watch that in full below too.
Tour dates and more pictures and those videos, below...
"What a better way to celebrate Halloween then w/ a black metal show of epic proportions! Woe & Krieg" - Wren Leader
"I know nothing about either band, 'cept that
I just saw Woe & they killed" - AnUncontrollableUrge
Chris Grigg on stage with Woe
Woe frontman/Krieg drummer Chris Grigg did double duty late Saturday night, in the wee hours of Halloween, as Woe supported Krieg at Knitting Factory as part of the BrooklynVegan/Haunting The Chapel production that directly followed the AGE/Hellshock which concluded before 12. Pictures and video from the late show are in this post.
Both Krieg and Woe are touring in support of their new Candlelight LPs, The Isolationist and Quietly, Undramatically respectively. Both are out now and worth a listen.
More pictures and some video from the midnight black mass are below.
words & photos by BBG
8PM marked the start of two killer back to back shows at Knitting Factory on 10/30, the first of which featured crusty Japanese hardcore band AGE with Hellshock, Atakke, Perdition, and Cervix. The show was one of two that night for AGE/Hellshock, as the pair ended up playing a surprise show later at Acheron with Kakka Hatta 77 and Acid Reflux.
Of the touring parties, Hellshock crammed the most kids into the room, but it was AGE that impressed me the most with their wildman hardcore antics and foul riffs. Hellshock's death metal vocals over thrash-y d-beat were also well executed, as was the always dependable Atakke. Perdition was probably the single most violent set of the night. They inciting frenzied moshing to go along with their vocalists' out-of control stage antics (whipping around the stage, swinging the mic stand and smashing things with its base).
It was an awesome (Mischief) night of crust-y punk extremity that continued as the clock struck midnight and it turned Halloween. That's when Krieg & Woe took over the venue to darken things a bit... More about the late Krieg/Woe show is on the way, but for now dig on the moshpits, the costumes, and the massacre that was AGE & Hellshock, below...
Diamond Rings @ Knitting Factory
We're used to putting our mp3s on shuffle... why not shows, too? My music ADD came out in full force last Friday. I decided to make full use of my 'sick' day and somehow managed to see a whopping 16 bands (maybe a personal record?). I got my day started early with the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Public Assembly. With bands playing in the two neighboring rooms, it was all too easy to flit back and forth, which allowed me to catch four bands in under 90 minutes: The Phantom Band, The Luyas, Lower Dens, and Times New Viking. Though I saw only partial sets of the first and last, I made time to see the entirety of my two favorite. The Luyas never cease to charm - even when there are technical problems, and I enjoyed my first encounter with Lower Dens - another one of those notoriously ubiquitous CMJ bands.
Up next, I headed over to the Knitting Factory to take in part of the Distiller showcase. I was glad to learn that I only missed a couple of songs from S. Carey. Sean's soul-warming voice and classical training provided a nice respite from the overwhelming contingency of scuzzier, under-rehearsed bands. After seeing S. Carey open for The Tallest Man on Earth at a recent Webster Hall show, it was nice to see him in a smaller, more intimate setting. He also played a Brooklyn Vegan party at Public Assembly, but on Saturday
Bringing the energy back up was John O'Regan, the glam-man-spectacle behind Diamond Rings. When he had finally assembled his gear, he had time only for an abbreviated set - even for CMJ standards: just four songs - just enough to get the kids dancing. Up next was Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - a band I had not made note of on my hastily scrawled itinerary. Imagine my surprise when instead of the Southern rock-tinged folk music of Cotton Jones, I was met by a feisty female with a pension for shrieking lyrics about STDs and assaulting the audience with her abrasive stage 'banter.' ("We have a new 7" for sale. Just give me your fucking money because I want it.") Time to hit the bar for some free SoCo. Since the shows were running a bit late, I stayed only for about half of Cotton Jones (a folksier She & Him except the she - Whitney McGraw - is more than just a pretty face).
The Hush Now also played the Knitting Factory show, and Diamond Rings (whose new album is streaming) played a few other shows during the week. If you missed him, he's back December 4th to play Glasslands, and is touring a lot between now and then. All dates with more pictures from the whole Distiller show, below...
photos by Chris Gersbeck
Perfume Genius @ Knitting Factory
"Perfume Genius - This is one of Matador's newest acts, and I have to admit that I never listened to their record when I got it. I actually left during the [Vegas] set and missed most of it. From what I heard from others, they were quite good - even a highlight of the [Matador] festival. Their placement after The Jon Spencer Blues Explosio seemed odd, though." [The Dark Stuff]That blurb refers to Matador's 21st Birthday Party in Las Vegas which took place the weekend before last which is when Perfume Genius, undeterred by the shutdown L-Train, played a headlining set at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn (Sunday, 10/10).
Perfume Genius will kick off a European tour on 10/18. All dates, and more pictures from Knitting Factory with opener Sebastian Blanck (no shots of White Ring, unfortunately), below...
Willifest kicks off with an opening night gala at Galapagos in DUMBO tonight (maybe they forgot it moved!), and then continues with a full schedule of events/movies happening in Williamsburg on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
One highlight of the fest (well, I haven't seen it) includes a new documentary about the McCarren Pool Parties. In it you'll see a bunch of photographs by Bao Nguyen that first appeared on BrooklynVegan.com. Bao writes:
"A documentary that features my concert photography will be playing this weekend at the first ever Williamsburg International Film Festival. It's opening the festival on Thursday night but all the tickets sold out so they added a second show on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM at the Knitting Factory. Let me know if you can make it. Unfortunately tickets can only be bought at the door."More details on "Pool Party", below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Screaming Females played their record release show at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last night (9/15), and their next NYC show has already been revealed. Get to Webster Hall early on Saturday, 9/25, because they're now first of three on the Titus Andronicus/Free Energy show happening there that night. Tickets are still on sale.
Meanwhile Screaming Females are still on tour including tonight in Philly with a very special guest...
"Hey Philly! We're playing a last minute show with our friends the Screaming Females tonight at The Ox (1652 N. 2nd St.). Show starts at 9, over by 12. Come down and get their awesome new record Castle Talk, by Screaming Females!" - Ted LeoThat's a sweet surprise.
Shellshag and Big Eyes opened the Brooklyn show last night (9/15). If you weren't there, maybe you watched the live stream... I didn't know about the stream until now... which is okay because the entire stream is still watchable. Check that out, with more pictures from the show, and the setlist, below....
words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
On their upcoming album Wilderness Heart, the Black Mountain chose to soften up their previously diamond-tough chemical composition with bittersweet acoustic touches and largely uncluttered vocal and melodic elements.
Live though, its all-continental upheaval, all the time. With few exceptions, like opening its set at the Knitting Factory Monday (8/30) with "Radiant Hearts," an especially atmospheric Wilderness track full of woozy Melotron, Black Mountain focused on expanding the already waist-busting girth (bore) of their heavy, 70's obsessed riff rock.
Even as their more varied approach on Wilderness does a lot to widen their musical identity, guitarist Stephen McBean and his Vancouver bandmates are still immeasurably spurred forth musically by their idols. The Hammond organs blaring over a sludgy yet punctuated drum beat during "Old Fangs" felt like an ode to Steppenwolf. "The Hair Song," with an unusual (for the band) country-road warmth and spirit of optimism, could easily be a skillful reworking of Zeppelin's "Traveling Riverside Blues."
But pinpointing each individual reference throughout Black Mountain's music is counterintuitive. To experience the group is more of a wholly sensory indulgence than a challenging intellectual pursuit. Monday night, it was better to let the brooding yet ethereal howl of McBean and vocalist Amber Weber confuse your spirits, or to follow the minute subtleties of McBean's hefty but economical guitar, or listen for unpredictable synth lines by Jeremy Schmidt rising from sonic muck, or just let the unflappable rhythm section of bassist Matt Camirand and drummer Josh Wells leave your head freely swiveling in a drugged-out haze.
Opener The War On Drugs make referential drugged-out haze as well, but choose reverb heavy California sounds, distantly approachable Americana, and the Velvet Underground circa Loaded as their template instead. Most of the band's songs progressed slowly throughout their set, each rising with intensity around mostly static drum patterns and droney, arpeggiated chords played by leader and guitarist Adam Granduciel. It was far from the direct and plaintive meets noisy approach on their recorded work, and the group spent most of its set winning over the audience. After most fully capturing the crowd's attention with the foot-stomping Kraut meets Springsteen number "A Needle in Your Eye," the group then inexplicably finished with an unnecessarily prolonged, 10 plus minute drone and noise exploration that instead of bringing their mind altering aspirations to a head, actually sobered most listeners up. The War on Drugs rages on.
Black Mountain hit the road with The Black Angels at the end of October. The War on Drugs played a 2nd NYC show last night at The Rock Shop (how was that?).
Pictures from War on Drug's Knitting Factory set are HERE with pictures from the rest of the show, with Black Mountain's setlist, below...
photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
DOWNLOAD: The War on Drugs - Comin' Through (MP3)
The War on Drugs @ Knitting Factory Monday night
It's been over two years since The War on Drugs released their debut album, Wagonwheel Blues, via Secretly Canadian. And it's via that same label that we'll finally get another taste on October 26th which is the official release date of the band's 2nd album called Future Weather. Grab "Comin' Through", one of that record's eight tracks, for free above now. Cover art and full tracklist below.
Tonight (8/31), The War on Drugs follow up their appearance with Black Mountain at Knitting Factory last night, with a headlining show at the cozy Rock Shop. This time they share a bill with Light Pollution and Xylos.
More about last night's show later. In the meantime, here are some pics, with all tour dates and the new album's cover art and tracklist, below...
photos by Marcus Lauer
Mucca Pazza, going nutza @ Knitting Factory
Mucca Pazza, the opening act [at Lincoln Center], was entertaining in a novelty way: competent, fun, funny and fully entertaining. Their geeky routine consisted of knowledgeably eclectic musicians wearing high-school band uniforms, playing music and jumping about the stage accompanied by four cheerleaders. If a category had to be assigned them, perhaps it would be Om-Pa-Pa-Klezmer. [Queer New York]Big Band bombast from Chicago's Mucca Pazza was in effect at Knitting Factory on August 6th , as the band headlined the space with an assist from from LES's Stumblebum Brass Band, and Starring. Belated pictures and video from that show are below.
If you missed the brassy madness, Mucca Pazza (who also played Lincoln Center Out of Doors while they were here) will do small strings of dates in September and October, eventually landing at Wellmont on 10/9 where they will support Primus. Meanwhile, Stumblebum Brass band are scheduled to play NYC TONIGHT as part of "The Underclass Revue" with Brownbird Rudy Relic, Orb Mellon, and Low Society at Bowery Electric. The gig is one of three upcoming gigs for the local band. They will also play Sept 11th at Rockwood Music Hall and Oct 6th at Otto's Shrunken Head.
More pictures from Knitting Factory below...