Entries tagged with: Knitting Factory

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words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

Black Mountain

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...

Continue reading "Black Mountain played the Knitting Factory (pics & setlist) "

photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

DOWNLOAD: The War on Drugs - Comin' Through (MP3)

The War on Drugs @ Knitting Factory Monday night

The War On Drugs

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...

Continue reading "The War on Drugs releasing 'Future Weather' (MP3), played Knitting Factory (pics), playing Rock Shop today & other dates"

photos by Marcus Lauer

Mucca Pazza, going nutza @ Knitting Factory
Mucca Pazza

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...

Continue reading "Mucca Pazza, Stumblebum Brass Band & Starring played Knitting Factory (pics), playing more shows (dates) "

by BBG

"Edan and Paten Locke last night at The Knitting Factory... the illest rap show I've seen in years..." -junksciencerap

"Edan at knitting factory, so dope." -moesuli

"I felt weird wearing a Mr. Lif shirt when Mr. Lif came on stage. I left as soon as the encore ended. I didn't wanna be #thatguy. #nogroupie" -greenspam

Edan and Mr Lif at Knitting Factory on Tuesday (via & via)
Mr Lif and Edan

" In his finale set, Edan did it accapella, spitting a, what seemed like, infinite rhyming masterpiece without missing a beat or taking a breath. He brings a level of intellectualism to his lyricism and it shows with his fan base, many of who remained after the show ended in small clusters to discuss the performance." [DD172]
Mr. Lif also made an unannounced appearance at Tuesday's Edan show (8/24) at Knitting Factory which doubled as a screening for Edan's film, 'Echo Party'.

And another Edan Brooklyn show has been announced. This time he'll appear as part of a "Bowling for Beats" event at Brooklyn Bowl on 9/26 which will be co-headlined by Pete Rock and Prince Paul, with other sets from J-Zone, and J57 (Brown Bag All-Stars), and Psycho Les (of the Beatnuts). Tickets should be on sale soon.

And while we're "Bowling for Beats", why not get "Lyrics To Go", as DJ Evil Dee, Mr. Walt, the X Factor Boogie Blind, and New Beatminerz will spin at a Labor Day party at Brooklyn Bowl on September 5. Tickets are on sale.

Questlove will spin at Brooklyn Bowl every Thursday in September. On 8/31, he and his crew The Roots will be the focus of a listening party for their upcoming LP Wake Up! with John Legend. The event is free, but the upcoming Roots/John Legend live show at Terminal 5 on 9/23 is NOT. Tickets are on sale Monday (8/30) at noon.

Video of Edan at Knitting Factory is below...

Continue reading "Mr Lif joined Edan @ Knitting Factory, Edan joins Pete Rock & Prince Paul @ Brooklyn Bowl (and other upcoming events)"

NoBunny

"Hail! Hail! America's favorite loopily leporine rock 'n' roller, Nobunny, is back with a new album, First Blood, and it's his catchiest batch of tunes yet. The melodious masked man kicks it off with "Ain't It a Shame," a bittersweet tale of a rocky romance in which Nobunny's lover has no choice but to endure his frequent indiscretions. He's just that damned charming. "Blow Dumb" is a Velvet-y tribute to all the things that make life worth livin'-"smokin' Copenhagen," make-out sessions and "burger breaks." In fact, First Blood never overstays its welcome and lasts about as long as a particularly adventurous mid-party burger run." - Goner
Goner Records will release First Blood on September 21st. That's the cover art above. Nobunny will play a free show in NYC, courtesy of Scion, TONIGHT (8/25) @ Knitting Factory (RSVP). Jacuzzi Boys open the night. Flyer and all dates below...

Continue reading "new Nobunny LP coming on Goner, free show tonight"

words by BBG, photos by Meghan McInnis

Indecision makes all the ladies get rowdy!
Indecision

Indecision emerged from slumber to play Knitting Factory, handing out beatdowns in bulk with some help from a supporting cast of Incendiary, Backtrack, Maximum Penalty, and Thirsty! on a Saturday evening (7/10).

No word on the next move for Indecision, but judging by the frequency that they play, expect their Knitting Factory appearance to be their last for a while. Pictures from Knitting Factory are below...

Continue reading "Indecision, Maximum Penalty, Backtrack & Incendiary @ Knitting Factory (pics)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Lights On - Red Flashing Lights (MP3)

Lights On
Lights On

Anglophilic San Diegans Lights On are in town this week, playing three shows here in NYC: tonight (7/14) at Knitting Factory, Friday (7/16) at Cake Shop and Saturday (7/17) at Union Hall. They'll also play Larry's in Danbury, CT tomorrow (7/15) night.

Not unlike Foreign Born, the echoes of '80s-era KROQ are all over the band's tuneful debut, Here Comes the Ocean, which is out now digitally in all the usual places and on vinyl/cassette via their website. Echo & the Bunnymen is the comparison they get most often and it's hard to deny, especially on the LP's midtempo closing tracks "She Comes Walking Down Slowly" and "It Never Stops" which coulda come straight off 1987's 'grey album.' The rest of the album is more energetic and not quite as influence-specific, but it's very Velvet Underground '80s sonic diaspora if you get my drift. The whole record's pretty catchy stuff, and you can download "Red Flashing Lights" which reminds me a little of Sweden's Mary Onettes.

Tonight's Knitting Factory show is part of a wine event called Summer of Reisling that also has the Black Hollies, Nouvellas and Himalaya on the bill. $30 gets you into show and four glasses of this particular varietal, seven of which are on offer (it's very similar to the new Vivo in Vino that Holly Miranda is playing coming up). If you just want to see the bands at Knitting Factory, it's $15.

The Cake Shop and Union Hall shows both feature New Mexico (formerly Apes of Wrath) and the Cake Shop show is headlined by synth-rockers Kordan.

All Lights On tour dates after the jump...

Continue reading "Lights On are here & touring (dates & MP3), Knitting Factory pairing bands w/ wine (tonight)"

by Andrew Frisicano

"I was just on stage watching the oblivians destroy knitting factory. I think I can die happy now" - Tyler Trykowski

oblivians

The Oblivians reunited for a packed Scion Garage show at Knitting Factory on Thursday night. And though the guys, who split in '98, get together every once in a while to play a show, it was reportedly the first Oblivians show in NYC in thirteen years, and was very welcome. The band traded instruments, and were joined for the encore by Reigning Sound/WFMU's Dave Amels on keys.

The Oblivians play Friday (tonight) in Kearny, again with Andre Ethier. Look for Jack Yarber to return for a Southpaw show later in July.

More pictures from Knitting Factory are below...

Continue reading "the reunited Oblivians played Knitting Factory (pics) "

words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Alex Reside

WAVVES

Wavves, Cloud Nothings and Dom all had the honor of ringing in the second annual Northside Festival at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn Thursday night (6/24).

Dom upgraded their band since last I saw them, with psychedelic video projections being mixed live on stage and a new guitarist, though there's still a pre-recorded backing track for some of the songs. One track snuck out of the speakers a song early, giving up a snippet of their ace single "Living in America," which the band jumped on. They stormed through that, then closed with their slightly bent cover of Polaris's "Hey Sandy." Their evolution from smooshed laptop pop to a working live band has pulled some interesting sounds out of the group. New songs (and some of the rearranged old ones) had a Man or Astroman-esque sci-fi surf feel to them, with Dom's trebly, effects-tweaked vocals chiming in.

At Dom's Mercury Lounge show a while back, there were some mildly antagonistic jabs at the crowd. Not so much here though in one inspired moment Dom announced that he would be giving away a copy of their EP, and then sang a full minute or two of a song dangling it in front of the crowd before flinging it over their heads. It was a non-musical diversion sure, but an endearing, slightly goofy touch.

Cloud Nothings surprised me with their smart, briskly-paced pub punk. Not a slow song in their set. The frantic drummer kept them propelled while the rhythm section's other half spurted out consistently witty basslines. Their proficiency wasn't the only selling point though. There were with plenty of hooks and sharply crafted songs plotted through the headnodding speed.

Wavves has always has a sun-baked feel, and new songs like "King of the Beach" embrace that to the max with an even poppier sound. Their drummer talked almost nonstop between songs, with free associating comments that repped Paulie Shore, called out John Norris in the audience (we all see and love you John), and generally made himself sound happy to have an audience. The crowd also had no reservations about taking the spotlight, welcoming themselves to the stage to one-up with dance moved before jumping into the crowd (you can see some of that in action in the video we posted previously from the show). One managed a midsong fist-bump. Nathan also crowd surfed midsolo, and then postencore jumped into drums and drummer. Both lay there a while, maybe hurt, until one fiending shirtless dude crawled up on stage (not for the first time) to dance a bit more and announce that they were in fact alright.

The official opening show's official afterparty didn't fare quite as well, after someone threw a beer bottle off the roof of the venue (Shea Stadium) and through the back window of a police cruiser.

Catch Dom again on Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Catch WAVVES this Sunday in Jersey. Get WAVVES' new album digitally on July 1st...

King of The Beach, originally slated for an Aug. 3 release date, will now be available via iTunes exclusively on July 1, all other digital outlets on July 13 and the physical street date (CD / LP) remains Aug. 3.
Listen to a mixtape WAVVES made HERE.. More pictures from Knitting Factory below...

Continue reading "WAVVES, Cloud Nothings & Dom @ Knitting Factory (pics) "

words by BBG, photos by Greg Cristman, additional pics by Samantha Marble

Luc LeMay of Gorguts
Gorguts

Gorguts. Portal. Krallice. Bloody Panda. On one show! Knitting Factory on Wednesday (5/26) was a bit much to comprehend, what with a stellar four band bill like that, and as expected the sold-out Blackened Music/BV show was a jawdropper.

Bloody Panda started the evening out sans their usual executioner hoods, blasting out a powerful set of ominous darkness that was a perfect opposite to the tremolo-picking/riff-tastic bill that would follow. Starting with a shriek from vocalist Yoshiko that sent a shiver up my spine (imagine the middle ground between a high-pitched squeal and a door hinge creaking), I realized that it had been quite sometime since I last saw the band (members are now scattered around the globe) and had forgotten how compelling they were live. The band seems as though they have moved past shock & awe in the riff department and on to moody, powerful soundscapes with riffy passages (ala Swans). Either way, incredible set from this sextet.

Krallice swapped slots with Portal before the show started, and followed BP. As usual, the fearsome foursome played a rousing set of technical yet tuneful black metal which, much like at Europa, featured a decent amount of new songs. No word on what that material will hit the shelves, but expected it to be as brutal, complex, and powerful as their previous two releases. Incredible band.

Portal
Portal

The atonal and costumed beast Portal was next, and the room was buzzing with anticipation. How would Portal's music translate in a live setting? What would they look like? Would the band come off as schticky or theatrical? Around 10PM, the band sauntered on stage, each clad in all black with hoods, one wearing a hangman's noose around his neck. Once the down-tuned and discordant riffs began, in came The Curator, the band's theatrical vocalist. Dressing in a black pope outfit, The Curator summoned some of the most unholy of bellows, gesturing in ways not unlike the pontiff himself. Extremely theatrical and totally fun, Portal are fascinating live, and hopefully we won't have to wait to see them again.

After a bill like that, I would have more than content with calling it a night... but Gorguts was next! The reunited Canadian DM gods (now featuring Colin Marston & Kevin Hufnagel) delivered a powerful set of brutal, eclectic tunes, with a good portion of those coming from the bands FORTHCOMING album (in 2011!). Classics from Obscura and beyond were all well represented, and the band were balanced, tight and badass in the live setting.

The thing that I enjoyed most about Gorguts' performance was the focus on something that I find lacking in tech-death in 2010; too many bands think that technically impressive riffs always equals brutality. Some of the simplest riffs ever are also the most brutal... it's more about feel and power behind those riffs and not that really rad seven-fret stretch you can do. Hey, it is called technical DEATH metal after all, amirite?

More pics, some setlists, and some must-see video is below....

Continue reading "Gorguts, Portal, Krallice & Bloody Panda played Knitting Factory - pics, video, setlists"

photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Braids - Lemonade (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wild Nothing - Chinatown (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Depreciation Guild - Crucify You (MP3)

Braids
Knitting Factory

Montreal quartet Braids played the Knitting Factory last night (5/26), opening for The Depreciation Guild and Wild Nothing. It was the first of what are now four NYC shows this week. Initially it was just last night's show and one Thursday (5/27) at Mercury Lounge with fellow Montrealers The Luyas (early show, no advance tickets). But they have added a loft show tonight (5/26) in Bushwick (538 Johnson Street #202, 8:30PM) and they will also be playing Rooftop Films on Friday (5/27).

For a band as young as Braids (age of the band and age of the members) I thought they really had it together last night, playing an almost seamless set where long songs flowed into the next. Mixing electronics, loops, shoegazy guitars, proggy rhythms, Braids are familiar and accessible but seem to have already figured out their own sonic niche. Some songs were more dreamlike, others had a more melodic grounding. (I preferred the latter). That said, tomorrow's show with The Luyas is a pretty perfect pairing.

Wild Nothing
Knitting Factory

Wild Nothing have gotten better each time I've seen them and last night they seemed ready for serious touring. The band's debut, Gemini, came out yesterday and is easily the most accessible record Captured Tracks has released to date, full of insanely catchy pop, owing much to mid-'80s UK indie. While you could cite obscurities like The Field Mice and Pale Saints, to say Wild Nothing also kind of sound like The Cure would not be incorrect. The crowd around the front of the stage was mostly female and mostly dancing.

Another influence made itself apparent last night when the band did a spot-on cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." Singer Jack Tatum did a credible Stevie Nicks (he's got a great falsetto) and their version was both reverent and yet still sounded like Wild Nothing. They aren't the most exciting live band, but they've only been playing together as a band for a few months (the record is just Tatum), so that should come. But they sounded great.

Wild Nothing have a few shows in June opening for Neon Indian, including June 17 at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

The Depreciation Guild
Knitting Factory

Headliners The Depreciation Guild were also celebrating the release of an album -- their second, Spirit Youth, which is out on Kanine. Where their first, self-released album played up the 8-bit electronics element, the new album and last night's show was all about the guitars. Frontman Kurt Feldman is clearly a fan of '90s shoegaze and Deprecation Guild channels that sound flawlessly. (They also look the part too.) It's a real wall of sound they've got going, played at proper tinnitus volume. Feldman and guitarist Christoph Hochheim both also play in Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and that band's pop sensibilities have probably influenced their songwriting. Spirit Youth has strong melodies to go along with their perfected ethereal sound.

More pictures from the KF show, two setlists and more dates, below...

Continue reading "Braids played Knitting Factory w/ Wild Nothing & Depreciation Guild (pics & setlists), add 2 more shows (a loft tonight)"

Spectrum (aka Peter Kember)
Spectrum

Peter Kember (born 19 November 1965) is a British musician, more usually known as Sonic Boom and was a founding member of Spacemen 3. Kember and Jason Pierce (born on the same day in Rugby, Warwickshire) formed Spacemen 3 in 1985. Sonic Boom's first solo album, Spectrum (the same name he eventually gave his new band), was recorded in 1989 while Spacemen 3.... In 2010, Peter Kember produced MGMT's second album, titled 'Congratulations'. Congratulations is musically adventurous, featuring nine psychedelic, space-inspired tracks that were no doubt, influenced by Kember... [Wikipedia]
On May 19, 2010, MGMT surprised the crowd at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn by joining the show's headliner Spectrum on stage during the encore for a reportedly 19 minute version of Spacemen 3 song "Suicide".Update via JamBands.com:
"MGMT keyboardist Ben Goldwasser and frontman Andrew VanWyngarden joined the group onstage at the start of its encore for the Silver Apples' "A Pox on You." The musicians later returned for a jam leading out of Spacemen 3's "Suicide" that featured Goldwasser on synthesizer and VanWyngarden on auxiliary percussion. The musicians then both switched to effects pedals and other digital toys for the improvisational number that closed the night. The jam segments spiraled on for almost 20-minutes."
One night earlier, Lost cast members showed up to watch Lost at the same Brooklyn venue (Knitting Factory is having the Best Week Ever). It was Spectrum's 2nd NYC show in less than a week. The first was part of the Joshua Light Fest at Abrons Arts Center.

That said, it's not the first time Sonic Boom and members of MGMT played live in public together. An older example is in the videos below...

Continue reading "MGMT played with Spectrum @ Knitting Factory "

"We saw the band Previously On Lost in Brooklyn tonight. Awesome! Great meeting everybody." - Carlton Cuse

"Just met Jin and hurley @ the knitting factory in brooklyn!
Both still alive!" - Nate Skinner

Knitting Factory employees & Lost cast members - 5/18/2010
Lost

Knitting Factory hosts a Lost viewing party every Tuesday night, or I should say "used to host" because last night's 2nd-to-last episode was the venue's final Lost event. Lost tribute band Previously on Lost played a set after the show aired, and as you can see above, actual Lost cast members stopped by to check out the show. Previously on Lost's next show happens at the Lost finale party at the Bell House on Sunday (it is sold out).

UPDATE For those asking, it was in fact "Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (executive producers/head writers) and Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Daniel Day Kim (Jin)" that were there. Two more pictures that the venue sent me below...

Spectrum plays the Knitting Factory tonight (5/19).

Continue reading "Lost cast members watched Lost @ Knitting Factory "

FElaFEla

Kniting Factory Records, in the process of reissuing all of Fela Kuti's catalog, is hosting at re-release party for 7 CDs (that contain 14 albums) that they're calling "Na Poi" releases (named after his '72 LP/song) tonight (5/10) at Knitting Factory. It's free and there will be music from the Fela Un-Dustrial Complex DJs.

Other upcoming Fela-related events include the after-party for this year's Obie Awards, which will have Antibalas playing a set at Webster Hall on Monday, May 17th. Tickets are on sale. Fela!, which won an Obie for its Off Broadway run, is nominated for 11 Tony awards this year.

Between those, Antibalas & Fela! band member Stuart Bogie plays with his group Superhuman Happiness at Pianos on Friday May 14th.

And don't forget about Antibalas for free in Battery Park, Femi Kuti at Lincoln Center, and Fela drummer Tony Allen at BAM Metrotech and Stuy Town Oval this summer.

Videos are below...

Continue reading "upcoming Fela events - Antibalas at Webster Hall & more"

Cris Brokaw and Mark Farina

"THE ANGEL'S MESSAGE TO ME" by chris and GEOFF FARINA (KARATE, GLORYTELLERS) was released on march 18 in the uk and europe on damnably records and comes out in the US later this spring on CAPITAN.

the duo's cd features pre-WWII country blues songs including "stagger lee," "in the evening," and "make me a pallet on your floor." [Chris Brokaw]

They play together from 7-pm at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn today (4/22) for free. All dates and a video below...

Continue reading "Chris Brokaw (Codeine, Come) & Geoff Farina (Karate) made an album & are touring (free show in BK TONIGHT)"

words by BBG, photos by Chloe Rice

Leatherface at Knitting Factory in March
Leatherface

Leatherface... blew the doors off a sold out -- and then some -- performance at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory...
The crowd, far younger than I expected, was filled with fans in their twenties and thirties who were fully supportive of Stubbs & Co.... Stubbs, looking near 50, probably seemed far more fascinating to this crowd of young'uns precisely because he was not another twenty-something from Brooklyn. He was exotic.
Stubbs belted out songs like "Springtime" (arguably the group's best song), "I Want the Moon" (the one that made the venue positively erupt) and "Never Say Goodbye" (the "single" and a superb one at that from the new album) with conviction and pathos.
The group also played, among others, "Isn't Life Just Sweet?," "Broken," and "Diego Garcia" from Stormy Petrel. Leatherface's epochal Mush (1992) also gained plenty of attention with the spine-tingling "Not Superstitious," "Dead Industrial Atmosphere," "Not a Day Goes By," "How Lonely" and "Message in a Bottle," by THE POLICE, all getting a hearing. - [The Big Takeover]
Two months and seven days after playing Knitting Factory (March 5th), Leatherface is back for a second helping on May 12th as part of a larger US tour that includes an appearance at Chaos in Tejas. Tickets are on sale.

Pics, video and the setlist from Leatherface's last appearance at Knitting Factory, and their full tour sked is below...

Continue reading "Leatherface played NYC (pics) & they will again soon (dates)"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Fela Kuti - Water No Get Enemy (MP3)

Fela

Fela!, the musical based on the Afrobeat pioneer's songs and life, has been running on Broadway since November - this upcoming November it'll be expanding to London's National Theatre - with its two Broadway leads (who alternate nights now) splitting US and UK duties.

The show is more of a concert with a story than a typical Broadway experience. It's a worthwhile night (if a bit expensive, though you can usually find discount tickets), and it goes without saying that the music is superbly performed by the house band, comprised of mostly Antibalas members. Though it's seated, prepare to get up and dance: the strongly encouraged crowd participation is one of the show's more unique aspects (check it out in the video below).

Fela Kuti's complex and often controversial views (on politics, women, AIDS) are condensed for the purposes of the show, but the amount of drugs, sex and politics included is still considerable. And it's hard to argue with New York mag's assertion that "if you don't spend a portion of Fela! staring at the amazing asses onstage, you're just not doing your job." The show has also raised a larger debate about authenticity and representation with regard to Fela and his music. A big feature in the Voice last fall discussed some of those issues at the start of the Broadway run (the show tightened up considerably from its Off Broadway version). Another more recently written good read is Afrobeat blog's response to the claim of one Times critic that the show is culturally insensitive..

Information on discount tickets can be found here.

A big implicit part of the show is the continuing Afrobeat revival outside of it. Around NYC, Antibalas and its associated acts have been central to that. Those groups, that include Amayo's Fu-Arkist-Ra and Ocote Soul Sounds, play sporadically around town. One of them, Stuart Bogie, sax player for Fela! and Antibalas, and his band Superhuman Happiness performed last night at Union Pool, for a show with Nomo, In Tall Buildings and Natalie Bell.

Off stage, Knitting Factory Records is in the process of reissuing Fela's catalog, and it'll be releasing an original cast recording of the Broadway show on June 8th, the tracklist of which is below. Their first Fela disc was a best-of compilation, which came out last fall - a track from that is above.

There's also a Record Store Day-only 10-inch EP of Kuti's "My Lady Frustration" and "Wayo" on the A-side and "Lover" + "Eko" which you should at least be able to find at Sound Fix.

Outside of those Brooklyn-centric Fela-influenced acts, there are also two of Fela's sons, Femi (who toured North America last summer) and Seun, who lead their own bands. Femi Kuti and the Positive Force will be back in the US for a tour this July - that includes a July 12th show at New York's City Center. Ticket info TBA.

Videos of Fela! the musical and Fela the performer, cast CD tracklist, and all Femi tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Fela! still on Broadway & going to London, the soundtrack & actual Fela CDs coming soon, Femi Kuti touring this summer"

photos by Tim Griffin

Jonny Corndawg
Corndawg

"Who the hell is Jonny Corndawg? Well, that's a reasonable question. Performing under a state-fair-sounding moniker, clad in an American flag shirt with an eagle medallion and singing "When a Ford Man Turns to Chevy," could cause plenty of people to write him off as an ironic character, parodying country music for the delight of Williamsburg blipsters, but that's not right. One could spend hours peeling away the layers of Jonny Corndawg, but the best way to sum him up is: a guy who writes and sings really cool songs... and just happens to be an absurdly skilled leather craftsman and airbrush artist." [ThePeoplesMusic]
Tim stopped by Knitting Factory and saw a bit of Jonny Corndawg before heading to Music Hall of Williamsburg for Light Asylum & LCD Soundystem. Unfortunately he (and I) couldn't stick around KF long enough to see Tim Barry's headlining set (or even Red River Clay who played 2nd), but luckily unARTigNYC shot really great video of over 8 minutes of the Avail singer's performance. Check that video after the Corndawg pics which continue below...

Continue reading "Tim Barry & Jonny Corndawg @ Knitting Factory - pics, video"

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky w/ additional photos by Leia Jospe

Fang Island
Fang Island

Fang Island lock on with their jaws and don't relent. The Brooklyn band never gave up its hold on an enthusiastic audience at their sold out show at the Brooklyn Knitting Factory Monday night. Fang Island evade outright comparisons with an enticing mix of textured guitar polyphonics, uplifting vocal harmonies and mosh-worthy tumult. For their encore the band played a groovy cover of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby," obviously for the many people over time who have wondered what that song might sound like with triple harmonized lead guitars mimicking the melody.

Idolands and Anamanaguchi opened the show. Anamanaguchi flaunted an equal love of fallen electronics and Blink 182 (already apparent, they highlighted their influence even more by momentarily flirting with the riff from "Dammit"), spitting gleefully acrid 8-bit melodies on top of Marshall stack guitars and matter-of-fact power pop.

More Fang Island dates HERE. More pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "Fang Island & Anamanaguchi @ Knitting Factory (pics) "

by Dominick Mastrangelo

Best Coast
Best Coast

"The three-piece [Best Coast] are definitely a good time, packing thick, retro bass and drum lines that could have been ripped from '60s girl groups, and then speeding it all up for scruffy, Ramones-inspired power pop. It's a proven winning formula when it works, and work it does on humorous, peppy anthems such as "Wish He Was You."" [La Times]
Best Coast played to a sold out crowd at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Tuesday night (4/6). Bethany Cosentino mixed a handful of new songs (the best of the lot, for me, continues to be "Boyfriend") with crowd favorites like "When I'm With You" and "This Is Real". Ali Koehler of the Vivian Girls guested on drums. Her VG bandmate, Cassie Ramone, was on stage earlier with excellent openers, The Babies, and Canadian band, The Bitters, were slotted in between.

The Bitters and Best Coast share a bill again tonight (4/7) at Mercury Lounge. More pictures from last night including one of the BC setlist, below...

Continue reading "Best Coast, the Bitters & the Babies @ Knitting Factory (pics) "

Black Lips @ Brooklyn Bowl (more by Gabi Porter)
Black Lips

It's all things Scion (the car) and Black Lips (the band) around here lately and that trend continues in this post. The next Toyota-sponsored garage rock show in Brooklyn will take place on Thursday, April 29th at Knitting Factory and feature sets by both the Black Lips and Pierced Arrows. Admission is free with RSVP. Flyer and all dates below...

Continue reading "Black Lips & Pierced Arrows playing free Scion Garage show & other dates "

photos by Ben Lozovsky

Danielson

It doesn't' really matter who Daniel Smith plays with; whether its with his real family or indie all-stars (and protégés) like Sufjan Stevens and Yoni Wolf, the Danielson directive comes across loudly.

On Monday (3/8) at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, Smith's band was largely comprised of members from fellow tour-mates Ben & Vesper and Ortolan (Stevens was there, but only as a supporter). That reflected in the crisp and jazz-tinged renditions of standout tracks from Ships, which made up the majority of the Danielson set. There was still an endearingly petulant attitude to the music, especially during "Rubbernecker," an older punk-friendly number that saw Smith's ascending screech turn into a growl. Under Smith's helm, happiness grows a bite.

Slightly more tame were openers Ben & Vesper. They played an elegant, if not restrained, set filled with accordions and trumpet passages. Ortolan were fresh off their album release party the night before in Philadelphia, and used that enthusiasm to fend off any jitters during their performance. With soulful inklings and Motown girl-group aspirations, they performed tracks from their new Daniel Smith produced record, Time On A String, with titles too long they couldn't quite remember the full names. But it shows they have deeper thoughts that rise up throughout their youthful plaintiveness.

After this tour, Smith plans to finish up the near completed new Danielson album, recorded with members of his current band as well as some "special guests," as Smith promised after the show. Regardless of who shows up, it will most likely be the same beautiful tune.

Since the NYC show, the three bands toured to Texas and played SXSW.

"Daniel Smith's newest protege's are a four girl group called Ortolan. These are four fresh faced, small town hipsters who performed a set of quirky indie pop songs. Great harmonies with atonal elements and constantly shifting rhythms make this group compelling to hear. Though they claim a lead vocalist many of their songs feature dual lead vocals between the guitarist and keyboard player. At times they seemed surprised the SXSW crowed genuinely liked their music." [One21]
Danielson played Beauty Bar on Wednesday night (3/17) at 11:15pm and then Daniel Smith came over to watch his friends Serena Maneesh play their (extra late) set at the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase at Club DeVille (they were supposed to go on at 1, but went on at 2). Daniel contributed backing vocals to their 2005 album self-titled album. Serena Maneesh contributed to the 2006 Danielson album Ships. Sufjan contributed to both of those.

No pics from Texas, but more pictures from Knitting Factory are below...

Continue reading "Danielson, Ben and Vesper & Ortolan played Knitting Factory Brooklyn (pics) & SXSW"

photos by Chris La Putt, words by Bill Pearis

WhoMadeWho/The Wave Pictures
Who Made Who
The Wave Pictures

Last night (3/15) was the Brooklyn Vegan Pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory which was a whole lot of fun with four great bands and free PBR. The night started with Banjo or Freakout which on recordings is basically one guy making tripped-out pysch on his laptop. Honestly, I was a little worried we might get something similar onstage. But this was Banjo or Freakout the rock band, a four-piece, still sounding like Spacemen 3 but the very loud and rocking version of that band. With a proper light show these guys could be a knockout.

Next up were the Wave Pictures who I'm pretty sure charmed everyone in the room. Singer David Tattersal, in addition to being a hell of a songwriter and pretty fierce guitarist, is a very funny guy. His between-song stories were just as entertaining and the music. At one point he accidentally unplugged his guitar mid-solo, but he hilariously covered the gaff made for one of the more memorable moments of the evening. The Wave Pictures play the BV day party in Austin on Friday, March 20 at Club Deville (5:30 set time) and will be back in New York  on March 28 at Mercury Lounge.

Denmark trio WhoMadeWho were originally supposed to go on last, almost like an afterparty to our official lineup, but when Let's Wrestle couldn't make it we moved them into their slot. Which ended up being a plus for everyone as they kind of stole the show. Looking like a cross between Sparks and Yello (at Octoberfest) and sounding like some kind of synth funk you'd hear from Bizarro World DFA Records, they were weird and awesome and won the initially-perplexed crowd over quickly. If you're going to SXSW, they're definitely a "don't miss" band.

I wouldn't want to have to follow WhoMadeWho, but Casiokids' craft fair dancepop -- full of cheap keyboards, cowbell, woodblock and a pineapple shaker -- did just fine. Opening with "Togens Hule," their set started slow but built steadily and had the crowd dancing by the one-two punch finish of of their double a-side "Verdens Storste Land" and "Fot I Hose." The latter was especially impressive as by the end of the song, every band member was playing a different instrument and the beat never stopped. It's tough not to smile while watching these guys.

I spent a lot of the night in the sound booth, DJing in-between sets which was a blast (for me, at least), especially on a really nice sound system like Knitting Factory's. Hope everyone who came had fun too. Now it's time to pack for Austin. Hope to see some of you there.

More pictures from the night below...

Continue reading "The Wave Pictures, WhoMadeWho, Casiokids & Banjo or Freakout played our pre-SXSW show @ Knitting Factory - pics"

Nicole Atkins @ Bowery Ballroom - Feb 3rd (more by Bao Nguyen)
Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins's SXSW Picks

1) High On Fire: I like my metal slooooow!

2) Roky Erickson with Okkervil River: I missed them last time I was at sxsw. I love both of these guys music so seeing them together I'm sure is going to be unreal!

3) Band of Horses: Yep, I missed the boat on these guys and have only recently discovered them. I have been listening to their last record on repeat for two weeks now.

Nicole can catch Roky Erickson with Okkervil River at the BV/M For Montreal day party at Galaxy Room on March 20th, and you can catch Nicole Atkins, backed by Future Clouds & Radar, at the BV day party at Club DeVille one day earlier! Nicole joins the growing list of bands on that show. I've also already announced Twin Sister, Centro-matic, Lucero, The Antlers and Pearly Gate Music. Full lineup TBA momemtarily. Nicole's full SXSW schedule is below.

And as previously mentioned, you can see Nicole Atkins perform tonight, Friday, March 12th at City Winery in NYC with Joseph Arthur, as part of his weekly Friday residency at the venue. Limited tickets are still on sale.

Then, on March 26th she'll be playing the first show at OHM, a new private show space in the lobby of a NYC high-rise in Chelsea...

OHM is a 37-story rental tower located at 312 11th Avenue in the West Chelsea district. There is over 25,000 square feet of amenity space in the tower, including the lobby which holds an intimate performance space. Knitting Factory Entertainment will be exclusively bringing live entertainment to this space.
The show is only open to residents of the building and their guests however. "The concept is to create an extremely intimate environment where artists can connect with a built-in crowd eager to participate in a unique experience."

All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Nicole Atkins playing City Winery (tonight), SXSW (including a BV day party) & OHM (a Knitting Factory-booked apt building)"