Entries tagged with: Lets Wrestle

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photos by Rachel Juarez-Carr

Jessica Pratt / Wesley Gonzalez
Jessica Pratt
Wesley Gonzalez

Jessica Pratt has been on tour pretty much all year in support of the excellent On Your Own Love Again (on Drag City). We caught her in NYC a few times, and earlier this month we caught her again at London's Bush Hall (9/8). Pictures are in this post.

Opening the show was Let's Wrestle frontman Wesley Gonzalez, who was making his solo debut. Let's Wrestle released their self-titled third album last year on Fortuna Pop (following 2011's Steve Albini-recorded Nursing Home on Merge) and it turned out to be their last. Following a farewell show in July the band called it quits. Wesley's next show is 9/29 at Servant Jazz Quarters in London.

More pictures from Bush Hall, and Jessica's updated list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Let's Wrestle broke up; singer Wesley Gonzalez made his solo debut in London with Jessica Pratt (pics)"

by Bill Pearis


It's been about three years since we've heard from London's Let's Wrestle but the band are back, having released their eponymous third album last week (2/10) via UK label Fortuna Pop. The band's previous shambolic maelstrom has been tempered, now favoring a gentle jangle not unlike early Go-Betweens or Crooked Rain-era Pavement. While that rambunctiousness is missed, the cleaned-up sound actually fits very well with singer Wesley Patrick Gonzalez's self-effacing, witty and romantic songwriting. The two singles released so far -- "Rain Ruins Revolution" and "Codeine and Marshmallows" -- have been ace, and you can watch the video for both below.

No word on a U.S. release/label for the new album. You may remember Let's Wrestle's last album, 2011's Nursing Home, came out on Merge.

Videos and streams below...

Continue reading "Let's Wrestle released self-titled third album (stream two songs)"

by Bill Pearis

Micachu & the Shapes at Terminal 5 in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Micachu and the Shapes

Micachu & the Shapes' second studio album, Never, was released this week, loaded with tight angled rhythms, calamatous percussion and highly effected vocals. Devo and The Residents seem to be big influences this time out and the record also features an appearance by Wesley of Let's Wrestle on the song "Nothing." The band made a video for every song on the album and you can watch them all below -- they're definitely of a piece. You can also stream the album via Spotify.

Micachu, who opened for tUnE-yArDs last month and played a headlining set at Glasslands, will be back in North America in September to open for Animal Collective on their tour which hits NYC October 5 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to that show are still available. After that, Micachu & the Shapes will play a headlining show October 8 at Le Poisson Rouge. No support has been announced yet but tickets are on sale now.

Micachu & the Shapes were supposed to DJ Warm Up at MoMA PS1 this Saturday (7/28), but they've since dropped off and have been replaced by Sinkane. The rest of the lineup includes Slava, MJ Cole, DJ Spoko, and Van Rivers. Tickets for Warm Up are on sale now.

A list of all Micachu & the Shapes dates and those videos below...

Continue reading "Micachu & the Shapes made videos for every song on 'Never', opening for AnCo, playing LPR, dropped off Warm Up (dates)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Bowery Ballroom

"[Quasi] played for about an hour, running through most of the catchier songs from [new album] American Gong, including "Everything & Nothing At All," "Black Dogs and Bubbles," "Rockabilly Party," and "Laissez le Bon Temps Roulez"...that song's lyrics perhaps embody the philosophy of the mature musician in a musical form that favors the youthful. As individuals, the members of Quasi have played with everyone from the late, great Sleater-Kinney and Elliott Smith, to Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and Bright Eyes. "You might say your race is run or you can rise up on the sound in the center of the sun ... I used to be mad, not crazy, just mad, not anymore, the receding taillights of a teenage dream." Not only is rock and roll not the fountain of youth, but it often eats its own young. Getting older is not for sissies, especially if you are a rock musician.

Performing only a few songs from other releases, including "All the Same, "Sword of God," and for an encore, that great Portland anthem "It's Raining," they ended the show with a perfect rendition of "Pictures of Lily," another song about the dangers of being misled by dreams. Quasi hasn't given up their dreams, they have brought to them a steel edge, pulsing beats and ferocious chords that do not go gently into that good night." [Metro Music Scene]

The above review is from Quasi's April 24th show in Washington DC, two nights after the band played (with some technical difficulty) at NYC's Bowery Ballroom on April 22nd.

Both gig were with UK band Let's Wrestle, whose tour with Quasi continues up till May. It was Let's Wrestle's first time in NYC since CMJ after a failed attempt at visiting before SXSW. Blair also opened the NYC show.

The Quasi set was recorded by NYCTaper. His setlist with more pictures and videos from the Bowery show (including a shot of the setlist) are below...

Continue reading "Quasi, Let's Wrestle & Blair played Bowery Ballroom - pics, video, setlist, recording"

by Dominick Mastrangelo

Broken Social Scene

"I don't get to see these people. I don't see Leslie (Feist) any more. It's tough to see Amy (Millan) and Evan (Cranley) because they live in Montreal. Jimmy (Shaw) and Emily (Haines) have been on the road so much. They just came and we hung out in the studio for a few days in Toronto. Just to hang out was enough."

Broken Social Scene hasn't closed the door on collaborations, by any stretch. Metric's Haines and Shaw were invited onstage Thursday night to perform You Forgot It In People's show-stopping "Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl," while stretches of the show featured a six-piece horn section, the Beauties acting as a sort of all-male chorus line and vocal contributions from Jason Collett. [Toronto Star]

SXSW Day Two startedd out for me with a performance by Sharon Van Etten who was heartachingly beautiful at St. David's Sanctuary. Sarah Jaffe and band followed - great folk/rock songs. Over at Stubb's Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw guesting on "Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl" with Broken Social Scene was the highlight of their show filled with new songs from the forthcoming record. Band Of Horses preceded and were great but their set was a bit short. Let's Wrestle (who didn't make it to NYC before Austin, but did make it to SXSW) during the day at Lovejoy's was loud and excellent. The Victorian Room at the Driskill Hotel was a perfect venue for Olof Arnalds and probably the most attractive setting for a show I've been to yet.

Some pictures and commentary from SXSW Day 1 HERE. Pictures from Day 2 continue below...

Continue reading "SXSW 2010 day 2 in pics & review (Broken Social Scene, Sharon Van Etten, Olof Arnalds, Let's Wrestle, Band of Horses, more) "

Lets Wrestle

Super frustrating - we just got word that Let's Wrestle are no longer making it to the United States today (they didn't get their visas in time, but will still make it to SXSW). I'm really sorry about this. We do have free PBR from 7-9 though and are working on a replacement. Maybe The Smirking Worm is still in town. :/
(stay tuned) (and tickets are still on sale)

WhoMadeWho on at 10 instead of midnight. No more bands being added.

DOWNLOAD: Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Titus Andronicus - Four Score And Seven (part one) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Titus Andronicus - Four Score And Seven (part two) (MP3)

Titus Andronicus (new member below) @ United Palace (more by Diana Wong)
Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus have a new record, The Monitor, coming out March 9th on XL. That'll be celebrated with a record release show this Saturday, March 6th at Bowery Ballroom with Parts & Labor, The Babies and Cloud Nothings. Tickets are still on sale.

After that they head out on a record shop in-store tour - the closest that gets to NYC is Fords, NJ's Vintage Vinyl, over the bridge from Staten Island, on March 8th. The tour continues from there ad infinitum, and includes SXSW, where they'll play a few shows. One is the Fucked Up Saves Music showcase on Saturday night at Red 7. Another is the free BrooklynVegan Emo's day party on Wednesday (March 17th), which is also with Fucked Up. Both bands play that Emo's show on the main/outdoor stage with Japandroids, The Black Angels and more TBA. We're also simultaneously hosting the indoor stage with Torche, Withered, Landmine Marathon, Salome, Dark Castle, Javelina and The Atlas Moth.

The NYC-area shows on Titus Andronicus's post-SXSW tour happen on April 11th (Men Can Stop Rape Benefit @ Red Hook High School), April 13th (Rodrigues Coffee House @ Fordham University) and April 14th (at SUNY Purchase Student Center). Those last two (and others) are with the Babies. Let's Wrestle, who you can catch at Knitting Factory on March 15th, opens another leg of the tour through the South and West Coast. Titus ends the tour on April 24th with a show at Maxwell's with Harlem (tickets still on sale).

The three songs above (two reposted, and the new full-force opener "A More Perfect Union") are from the new record, which features guest appearances by members of "Ponytail, Wye Oak, Vivian Girls, Hold Steady, etc.d and a generous assortment of colorful New Paltz locals [where they recorded the album]." As you can see above, the band also sports new member Amy Klein on guitar and violin. More info on the record, a preview video, tour poster, and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Titus Andronicus MP3 & tour dates (in-stores, SXSW, Bowery, SUNY, Red Hook High School, Fordham, Maxwell's & more)"

DOWNLOAD: Sweet Apple - Do You Remember (MP3)

Thurston w/ Sonic Youth @ MHOW in November (more by Lori Baily)
Sonic Youth

Society's Ills: In 1994 Society's Ills (Moore, Cadena, Watt, Markey) made their world premier with the now coveted "Skins, Brains, and Guts" release - a slab that managed to cram (9) 7 seconds covers onto one 7". In 2010, the band is back and once again fronted by Thurston but he brings with him a new crue of slayers to launch the hardcore fury:

Thurston Moore: Vocals
J Mascis: Guitar
Don Fleming: Guitar [SY producer & Velvet Monkeys/Gumball frontman]
Andrew W.K.: Bass
Awesome Allison: Drums [from Awesome Color]

This set is their first, but don't worry if you miss it cause I'm sure we can put this together again in another 15 years! [Ecstatic Peace]

Society's Ills play in addition to Thurston Moore solo, Talk Normal, The Entrance Band, Violent Soho, the Slits' Viv Albertine, Awesome Color, Jemina Pearl and more at the Ecstatic Peace SXSW Showcase happening Friday, March 19th at Red 7 in Austin. Curious about Society's Ills? Their version of 7 Seconds' "I Hate Sports" is below.

J Mascis will also be playing at SXSW with Sweet Apple, who are playing Mercury Lounge on April 20th. One of their SXSW sets will be at the showcase for TeePee Records, who are putting out the Sweet Apple debut, Love & Desperation, a track from which is above. That show is Thursday, March 18th at Habana Calle 6, and also on the bill are Priestess, Iron Age, Nebula, Naam, Imaad Wasif and more. Full details and a poster are below. Tee Pee Records has also teamed up with BrooklynVegan and Chronic Youth for another day party taking place on Saturday, March 20th in Austin. This is the first we've mentioned it. Stay tuned for more info.

Lou Barlow will also be at SXSW (backed again by The Missingmen) - one of his shows will be the Merge Records showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard on March 18th also featuring Let's Wrestle, She & Him, and others. Full lineup below. For She & Him it's one of two official SXSW shows. They also play Saturday night (March 20th) at Auditorium Shores (with Justin Townes Earle & TBA). Cheap Trick play the same slot at Auditorium Shores one night earlier.

Merge's showcase mentions that one slot will be filled by "Special Guest". We don't know who that is, but we'd have to guess Superchunk is a strong possibility since Mac & Laura have a speaking engagement (in a bookstore) on March 17th, and another one (official SXSW) at the convention center on March 19th (with Michael Azerrad), and the band is on the bill of the Village Voice day party happening at La Zona Rosa the afternoon of March 19th (with the xx, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Surfer Blood). It's definitely not Spoon who play the NPR show at Stubb's on March 17th with Deerhunter (their tour-mates) and The Walkmen.

Society's Ills Bassist Andrew W.K. will also be performing separately (and speaking) at SXSW (and at MtyMx in Mexico).

Kim and Thurston are playing with the Plastic Ono Band in their two-night Brooklyn Academy of Music run. They were at the dress rehearsal (aka the first night) last night (2/16). BV photographer Greg Cristman was in the audience and told us, "One definite highlight was Thurston and Kim played with Yoko as a trio and did a killer version of Mulberry from Unfinished Music No. 2 while the film Fly was projected on a huge screen behind them!" - a (poor quality) video clip of one of the other songs is below.

Full lineups for the showcases and videos are below...

Continue reading "Thurston Moore (& Kim) rehearsed w/ Yoko @ BAM, recreating Society's Ills (w/ Mascis, WK), appearing @ SXSW (like She & Him, Merge Records, Tee Pee...) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Fot I Hose (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wave Pictures - Strawberry Cable (MP3)

The Wave Pictures
Wave Pictures

As just mentioned, BrooklynVegan is throwing a pre-SXSW party on March 15th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn with three (possibly four) bands on their way to Austin: Let's Wrestle, Casiokids, and The Wave Pictures. Stay tuned for one more band TBA. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.

Both Casiokids and The Wave Pictures come to us courtesy excellent UK label Moshi Moshi who are finally opening up a U.S. branch that will put out a double-pack of The Wave Pictures last two records (2009's If You Leave it Alone and 2008's Instant Coffee Baby) on April 27. I'm a big, big fan of these guys who were fantastic when they played the Seaport Music Festival last summer and I'm pretty psyched we got them on the bill. Check out their single "Strawberry Cables" (from If You Leave it Alone) which you can download above.

Norway's Casiokids also played that Seaport show and were in NYC right before SXSW last year too, and played a BV day party in Austin last year as well. The Norwegians keep releasing singles (including one of my favorite tracks from last year, "Fot I Hose," which you can download above) with no mention of an album in the works. There is, however, a Norway-only compilation of their recent releases called TOPP STEMNING PÅ LOKAL BAR, which was released today (2/15) and includes a bonus disc of remixes. So be sure to pick that up next time you're in Oslo, and do grab one for me. It includes their brand new single "En Vill Hest" which also only seems to be available in Norway but the video for it is at the bottom of this post. I've referred to them before as Norway's Hot Chip and they bring a similar exuberance to their live shows. Casiokids are actually opening for Hot Chip on their UK tour which starts tonight (dates are below).

For more SXSW news you might want to subscribe to the new Brooklyn Vegan SXSW Twitter feed which we just launched this weekend.

Videos and tour dates below....

Continue reading "Casiokids (on tour w/ Hot Chip) & The Wave Pictures (Moshi Moshi's first US release) playing a pre-SXSW BV show in NYC"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - We Are the Men You Will Grow to Love Soon (MP3)

Lets Wrestle

SXSW is almost exactly a month away and BrooklynVegan is going to be very active there, throwing more than a couple parties (official and unofficial) which we'll be telling you more about as it gets closer to the actual festival. Despite what music blogs lead you to believe (and the mass of people that will be there), not everybody goes to Austin in March. With that in mind, we're trying to bring a little SXSW to NYC this year by throwing a pre-Festival party on March 15 at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn with three (possibly four) bands on their way to Austin: Let's Wrestle, Casiokids, and The Wave Pictures. Stay tuned for one more band TBA. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.

Let's Wrestle have just signed to Merge, who will be putting out their great debut album, In the Court of Wrestling Let's, on March 23. (The import made my Best of 2009 list.) You can download a track from it at the top of this post. Maybe you caught one of their CMJ shows back in October -- they're a lot of fun. In addition to our show and SXSW, Let's Wrestle will be on tour with Quasi in April -- including a 4/22 stop at Bowery Ballroom (tickets). All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Let's Wrestle now on Merge, touring w/ Quasi, playing SXSW & a pre-SXSW BV show in NYC - MP3, video & 2010 dates"

DOWNLOAD: The Purrs - Stay With Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pete & the Pirates - Jennifer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - Tanks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Records of a Flagpole Skater (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Kudos (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: A Classic Education - We Can Always Run to Hawaii (MP3)

A Classic Education
A Classic Education


Again today (10/21) I suggest you just stay on the Lower East Side for your free day party action. At Cake Shop is the Terrorbird Digital party with the mod-ish Black Hollies, dark and dreamy Zaza, Nashville's fun Turbofruits, LA all-girl trio Warpaint, Montreal's Silver Starling and San Francisco's Tempo No Tempo. Plus: free cupcakes while they last.

Up the street at Pianos is the Force Field PR party which has Real Estate, Kentucky's These United States, CMJ overachievers Surfer Blood (who were good yesterday at Cake Shop), San Francisco's good time party pals Still Flyin', noisy locals Grooms (who were also good at Cake Shop yesterday), Sub Pop band Holopaw, UK act Stricken City and L.A.'s Seven Saturdays.

And you might even wander down to Santos Party House for the Hype Machine/Babelgum party that has a nice lineup of dance acts: Australia's Midnight Juggernauts, retrofuturist VEGA, Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells, smooth and soulful sounds of Theophilus London, and Norway's Alan Wilkis who puts his own spin on early '80s new wave funk. This one starts a bit later than the other day parties, at a civilized 3PM.

If you're in Williamsburg this afternoon (maybe to pick up your Vice Late Nights info at American Apparel) you might want to swing by Bruar Falls where they'll be a low key day show featuring Bologna, Italy's A Classic Education (who will also be playing the Brooklyn Vegan day party tomorrow [10/21] at Pianos). They were one of my favorites from SXSW. Also on the Bruar bill are three Brooklyn bands: My Teenage Stride, Knight School and Palomar. 2 - 6PM. Free!


Personally, this is my most conflicted night with at least three shows in completely different places that I feel I could stay at the whole night. If you're downtown at the day parties, you might want to head over to the M for Montreal showcase which starts with a 5PM performance from Parlovr. I was talking to a friend yesterday who was raving about their recent Pop Montreal performance and said they might be the next MTL band to break out. The rest of the M4M bill is solid, including Think About Life who were just fantastic last night at the official BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Also dont' miss BEASTand Duchess Says, the latter of whom will also play our free day party Thursday at Pianos.

Then there's also the great show at The Bell House with personal faves Pete & the Pirates and excellent New Zealanders Surf City -- both of whom are also playing the free BrooklynVegan/Bowery Presents day party on Saturday at Pianos. Also on the bill are Pete & the Pirates' Stolen Recordings labelmates Let's Wrestle, as well as North Carolina's The Love Language, the latter of whom will be playing our Friday night loft party. The Bell House show is $14 without a CMJ badge.

There's also a great lineup of bands at Santos tonight on two floors, including Cymbals Eat Guitars and DEASTRO (who both play our Saturday party), Free Energy, Real Estate, and Beach Fossils, plus a couple awesome bands from Norway: Ungdomskullen and I Was a King. It's $15 if you don't have a badge.

Richard Davies

Richard Davies

And I'd like to highlight a couple artists who play their only CMJ shows tonight, at the same timeslot (9pm) in different Bleeker Street venues. (I know.) At Kenny's Castaways is Richard Davies who fronted the great Australian band The Moles in the late '80s/early '90s, and then moved to the U.S. where he formed chamber pop duo Cardinal with Eric Matthews, and their sole 1994 album remains one of the best things Sub Pop has ever released. After Cardinal, he put out three very good solo albums (1998's Telegraph is pretty great, actually), and then in 2000 or so, he decided to go to law school and has had his own practice since. But he's started playing again recently and, according to this interview, he and Matthews have restarted Cardinal, which is kind of exciting. But tonight here he'll play as a trio with a new band. Glad to have him back.

The Purrs
The Purrs

And down the street at Wicked Willy's are The Purrs who hail from Seattle and have just released their very good second album Amused, Confused and More Bad News. Mix a little '80s Paisley Underground with '90s Britpop and you're in the ballpark of their sound. You can download their song "Stay Here With Me" at the top of this post. 9PM at Wicked Willy's (149 Bleeker).

What else is good today? Hip Hop recommendations HERE. Flyers and day party set times, and all Classic Education dates, below.

Continue reading "CMJ 2009 - Bill's Wednesday picks & stuff (day, night parties, A Classic Education, Richard Davies, The Purrs, more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Pete & the Pirates - Jennifer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - Tanks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tap Tap - Queen of Hearts (MP3)

Let's Wrestle
Lets Wrestle

Two of UK label Stolen Recordings' best bands will be here next week for CMJ: Let's Wrestle and Pete & the Pirates. Both are playing The Bell House Wednesday night (10/21) as part of a pretty killer line-up that also includes New Zealand's great Surf City and Chicago's The Love Language. While the Bell House is far from the Lower East Side heart of the CMJ action, there's enough good bands on this bill that it would be hard to feel like you're missing out on anything better.

Maybe you saw Let's Wrestle back in March when they played NYC right before SXSW. Their debut album, In the Court of Wrestling Let's, came out earlier this year and is charmingly shambolic, full of catchy songs and self-deprecating humor. They were the last band I saw at SXSW which was a great way to close out the festival.

Pete and the Pirates
Pete and the Pirates

Pete & the Pirates, however, topped my list of SXSW 2009 favorites:

Easily the best band I saw at SxSW this year. Of course, as their album Little Death made my Best of 2008, I already had a predilection to like them but Pete and the Pirates so nailed their great songs live -- the harmonies, the guitar interplay, everything -- that I just had a big grin on my face the whole time. My only regret: not seeing them more than once.
And what I wrote about their album, Little Death:
I can't quite put my finger on who Pete and the Pirates remind me of -- the Bats? Billy Bragg? Somewhere in between? -- but I can't get their songs out of my head. Spot-on harmonies, jaunty melodies, nice arrangements, funny-sad-literate lyrics, and great song after great song.
Pete & the Pirates are putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to Little Death, but if you're a fan and are in the need of new songs, frontman Tom Sanders also has a solo project, Tap Tap, which just released its second album, On My Way, which is also very good. I'm not really sure what differentiates the two, but as long as there are enough songs to go around I don't care.

In addition to the Wednesday Bell House show, both Pete & the Pirates and Let's Wrestle will be playing unofficial shows during CMJ as well. Pete & the Pirates, along with Surf City, are playing the free BrooklynVegan/Bowery Presents party at Pianos on the afternoon of Saturday, October 24th (full details TBA). All dates for both, as they stand right now, plus some videos, are below.

Continue reading "label-mates Pete & The Pirates and Let's Wrestle coming for CMJ (MP3's, videos & 2009 tour dates) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Records of a Flagpole Skater (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Kudos (MP3)

Surfer Blood @ Bruar Falls
Surf City

Florida's Surfer Blood went from being ignored to super-hyped overnight. One night in particular, actually: August 27, 2009. The band had been in town playing a string of woefully attended gigs. The last was to be at the Surf Bar, only to get a venue change to Bruar Falls that night. Thanks to the Internet, they manage to play to 30-40 people at Bruar that night and I think just about everyone who was at that show felt at least a little like I did:

It's not very often you go into a show blind and leave wowed but that what my reaction to seeing West Palm Beach, Florida's Surfer Blood last night at Bruar Falls. I think I was expecting a slightly poppier take on the shambolic noise skuzz that blows through smaller Williamsburg venues these days. But, despite reverbed vocals and echo guitars effects that would sometimes seize and glitch like an episode of Tim & Eric, Surfer Blood make accomplished, hook-filled indie rock with clever arrangements and great harmonies, as performed by four guys who can actually, you know, play. You hear so little music like this anymore from new bands -- Seattle's BOAT come to mind -- that is this catchy, skilled but not polished. It's not going to change your life or anything (yes, they do sound a little like the Shins), but it'll have you humming and awaiting the next time they come through town.
If you were following Twitter that night, you could actually watch the buzz from the Bruar Falls show to the Pitchfork 'Forkcast' the next day. If they'd had one more night in NYC after that, who knows what would've happened.

Their upcoming debut LP, Astro Coast, is choc-full of super catchy indie rock. And soon back for CMJ, if you miss Surfer Blood this time, it's because you're actively trying to avoid them -- according to their MySpace, they're playing 10 shows (announced so far) here next week. If there's a band playing more shows, I haven't heard about it. All dates below including the free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos on Thursday, October 22nd (noon-6pm) (full details TBA).

Surf City
Surf City

Giving them a run for the money is New Zealand's Surf City, easily one of my most-anticipated bands of CMJ 2009, who are playing three official CMJ events and a bunch of day parties. They had a full schedule posted on their MySpace last night including eight area shows...which has since been taken down. Guess things are in flux. It's been a long time since a new Kiwi band so evoked the classic Flying Nun sound, and had such good songs to boot. Not that they've released much to date -- an EP and a song for MORR Music's tribute to Flying Nun is about it -- but everything so far is pretty great, especially if you're a fan of The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, and The Bats. Check out "Records of a Flagpole Skater" and the especially good "Kudos" at the top of this post.

Official CMJ shows: There's an opening night Giant Step party on Tuesday at the Red Bull Space (40 Thompson) where Surf City are part of an all-Kiwi line-up, including Die! Die Die!, Bang Bang Eche, Kingston, Motocade, Kidz In Space, David Dallas, and Smashproof. The show is FREE with RSVP, and you can check out videos and MP3s from all the bands at the RSVP page.

Surf City play again later Tuesday night at Cake Shop with ZZZ, Moi Non Plus and more ($8 without a badge) and then Wednesday (10/21) at The Bell House with Pete & The Pirates, Let's Wrestle, The Love Language, and Dawn Landes. ($14 without badge; advance tickets are available.) Surf City are also on the bill of the other free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos that is happening on the afternoon of Saturday, October 24th (in partnership with Bowery Presents). Check the band's MySpace hopefully soon for full day party schedule.

All scheduled dates for Surfer Blood (who are also playing a bunch of dates with Art Brut including the November Brooklyn Bowl show) and Surf City, plus videos, below...

Continue reading "Surfer Blood (Florida) vs. Surf City (New Zealand) - MP3s & tour dates (both playing CMJ & BrooklynVegan day parties) "

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"

Women @ Cake Shop (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)

tonight in NYC
* Allman Brothers @ Beacon
* The Fab Faux @ Terminal 5
* Butch Walker @ Webster Hall
* A-Trak, DJ Mehdi @ Studio B
* The Budos Band @ Union Pool
* PT Walkley @ Abrons Art Center
* Care Bears On Fire @ The Bell House
* The Pogues, Lucero @ Roseland Ballroom
* Chris Mills, Mascott, Bird of Youth @ Union Hall
* Bell XI, The Harlem Shakes @ Highline Ballroom
* Screaming Tea Party, Hunters, Run! @ Cake Shop
* Child Abuse, Lonesome, Hallux, Grasso Electrica @ Lit
* BLK JKS, Preacher and the Knife @ Santos Party House
* Peaches (DJ Set), So Me (DJ Set), Violens @ Tribeca Grand Hotel
* Dufus, Jeff Lewis, Daniel Wright, Haydn Cole @ Pete's Candy Store
* Flower Travellin' Band, Endless Boogie @ The Studio @ Webster Hall
* Body Language, Nancy, Jon Hopkins, We Have Band, Postwar Years @ Pianos
* My Teenage Stride, A Classic Education, Knight School, Human Hearts @ Cake Shop
* Crystal Stilts, Blank Dogs, Women, Naked On The Vague, Silk Flowers @ MHOW
* No Fun presents Emeralds, Carlos Giffoni, Thurston Moore, Eric Copeland & more @ Glasslands

Fight Like Apes played a show last night, and have another one coming up at Pianos.

Mumford and Sons are here Sunday and Monday.

Slow Club played Cake Shop last night, and play Cameo on Sunday.

We Have Band played last night, and have two more NYC shows to go.

Powersolo play shows on Sunday and Monday.

A Classic Education play their 2nd of three NYC shows tonight.

Let's Wrestle played all four of their NYC shows. Video from the Monster Island show, below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday?"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Micachu - Lips (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Micachu - Golden Phone (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - I won't Lie To You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Post War Years - Black Morning (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Screaming Tea Party - I'd Rather Be Stuck on the Stair Rail (MP3)

Micachu & The Shapes

In the past few days I've highlighted a bunch of bands coming over from Europe to play shows at both SXSW and in NYC (Mumford & Sons, Peggy Sue & Jay Jay Pistolet and 18th Dye, Powersolo & Snake and Jet's Amazing Bullit Band). We also did a rundown of Australia's offers last week. This post has four more UK bands. Info on Micachu & The Shapes, Let's Wrestle, Post War Years and Screaming Tea Party, below...

Continue reading "Micachu and 3 other UK bands playing NYC & SXSW 2009"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - I Won't Lie to You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Screaming Tea Party - I'd Rather Be Stuck on the Stair Rail (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Sad Captains - Great Expectations (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Artefacts For Space Travel - Recoup (MP3)

Let's Wrestle
Lets Wrestle

London's Stolen Recordings (not to be confused with Ultragrrrl's Stolen Transmission) is one of the cooler small UK indie labels, having released some great records last year including Pete and the Pirates' Little Death which made my Best of 2008 list. Like seemingly everyone in the music industry, the label is going to have a showcase at next month's South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX, featuring almost their entire roster: Pete & the Pirates, Let's Wrestle, My Sad Captains, Screaming Tea Party and Artefacts for Space Travel. It's Thursday night at Wave Rooftop if you're interested and are attending.

While none of Stolen Recordings records have gotten released in America, you can get almost all of them on Emusic if you subscribe to that. For those in NYC, we get our own mini Stolen Recordings showcase soon, featuring two of the label's groups - Let's Wrestle and Screaming Tea Party. They both will be playing a handful of shows here before they head to Austin.

Let's Wrestle are punky, shambolic, and pretty irresistible. Check out "I Won't Lie to You" at the top of this post, it's probably the band's most well-known song to date and is indicative of singer Wesley Patrick Gonzalez's lyrical style that is both funny and self-deprecating, a style somewhere between Los Campesinos and Art Brut. ("No matter how many records I buy, I can't fill this void.") Their EP from last year, In Loving Memory Of, collected some of their best songs though not "Song for an Abba Tribute Record" or "I Wish I was in Husker Du" two songs that are worth searching for. Maybe they'll show up on their debut, In the Court of Wrestling Let's, when it comes out later this year.

Let's Wrestle are playing four shows in NYC, including one at Maxwell's, one opening for Black Lips at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets), and, as previously mentioned, one opening for Pains of Being Pure at Heart at The Bell House (tickets). Pains and Let's Wrestle will also do a few East Coast dates in addition to the Brooklyn show. All dates are at the bottom of this post.

Screaming Tea Party
Screaming Tea Party

Tokyo via London trio Screaming Tea Party get compared to Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain a lot, and there are plenty of buzzsaw riffs, shouty choruses and blasts of noise to be found on their debut EP, Golden Blue, though they made me think of early-'90s band Daisy Chainsaw, if you remember them at all. Judge for yourself: their single "I'd Rather be Stuck on the Stair Rail" can be downloaded at the top of this post. Screaming Tea Party have three NYC shows -- though none on the same bill as Let's Wrestle -- including stops at Cake Shop, Fontanas, and the Crashin' In pre-SXSW party with Depreciation Guild, Mirror Mirror and We Are Country Mice at Public Assembly.

Full details at the bottom of this post, along with some videos...

Continue reading "Let's Wrestle & Screaming Tea Party are coming - NY, SXSW"

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.


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...

Continue reading "Black Diamond Bay, Organs, Knight School, Right on Dynamite & more in This Week in Indie"