Entries tagged with: Liam Finn
More details have finally been announced for the Arthur Russell tribute album thatt he Red Hot organization is putting out. The album's being released on YepRoc on October 21, and is now titled Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (it was initially announced that it'd be called This Is How We Walk on the Moon). The acts involved -- Hot Chip, Robyn, Blood Orange, Jose Gonzalez, Sufjan Stevens, VEGA INTL (aka Neon Indian's Alan Palomo) and many more -- are as diverse as Russell's work, which included heartbreaking acoustic/cello ballads and ahead-of-it's-time dance music.
The compilation is the latest in the benefit album series for Red Hot, which has been raising AIDS and HIV awareness for nearly 25 years, and has put out Dark Was the Night, Red Hot + Rio and many others.
Full tracklist, plus a behind-the-scenes video with Hot Chip (who cover "Go Bang" by Russell's group Dinosaur L) and a YouTube mix of classic Russell tracks, below...
by Bill Pearis
Liam Finn released his new album, The Nihilist, earlier this month. Around the time he was playing Union Pool shows, Liam and his band played album ripper "Burn Up the Road" on a Brooklyn rooftop and video of that performance makes its premiere in this post. Watch it below.
If you missed his Union Pool "murmuration" residency and album preview show, he's touring this summer. Dates are not finalized but do include a show at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on July 19. It's an early show -- he's on at 7:30 -- and tickets for that show are on sale now.
While we wait for Liam to finalize those dates, watch the video below...
Friday night, the two rolled over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to keep the party going. The place was even more packed than Bowery Ballroom. This time, Mockasin began the performance playing his guitar while crowd surfing towards the stage. Once there, the band osmosisly soaked up Mockasin's vibe and started going koo-koo too, ditching various shirts and pants, with many in the crowd soon following suit. And mind you, this was already in the first 15 minutes of the show! Mac DeMarco got up and joined Liam Finn on bongos, Kirin J Callinan and his brother Tex got up there again, Jorge Elbrecht (from of Violens/Lansing-Dreiden), plus more ladies pulled up from the crowd. And it went like that for awhile longer, and seemingly into the backstage area, and no doubt into the great beyond that Connan Mockasin's mind dances around in. - [CMJ]After playing Bowery Ballroom on Thursday, Connan Mockasin and Kirin J Callinan took their party/tour across the East River to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (5/4). No Dev Hynes that night (he was singing at the William Onyeabor tribute) but Mac DeMarco showed up. The result: most of the band taking most of their clothes off and, at one point, building a teetering shirtless man tower as seen in the instagram above. Liam Finn and his brother Elroy were there again, and Violens frontman Jorge Elbrecht joined too, and it was another evening of kind-spirited debauchery. Did you go to MHOW or Bowery? Both?
Kirin & Connan play Toronto tonight (5/5). Remaining tour dates are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
Connan & Dev under the covers / Connan, Liam et al
By the end of Connan Mockasin's set at Bowery Ballroom last night (5/1), during an extended version of "Forever Dolphin Love," there were maybe upwards of 20 people on stage, including fellow kiwi Liam Finn on bongos, Blood Orange's Dev Hynes on guitar, Kirin J Callinan and his band, plus about seven girls pulled from the audience. At one point Kirin tossed Liam his guitar with which he played a solo and then tossed it back down to Kirin. It was a crazy love-in of a night that threatened to derail at any second but never quite did.
Connan, in a flowered silk suit that looked like it was bought from someone's aunt, started his set in the middle crowd, on the floor. After a mid-show intermission, he appeared from under a sheet with Dev to do Caramel slow jam "I Wanna Roll With You." Finn, who had Connan play a few of his Brooklyn "murmuration" shows, came out a few times throughout the show with some of his band. Like his music, it was loose and wobbly, but Connan's band (who were also dressed mostly like someone's aunt) is lithe and adept and can really make this stuff work. Plus, Connan's a kooky charmer which is what you need to pull off these sort of shenanigans. It wasn't all nuttiness. Connan played pretty much everything you'd want to hear, leaning a little more heavy on 2010's Please Turn Me Into The Snat than the new more R&B-flavored Caramel, though songs from the latter definitely come alive more than on the too-slick studio recordings. A very fun show.
Kirin J Callinan @ Bowery
This was the first time I'd seen Kirin J Callinan with a full band, including two drummers. The Australian artist's electro-goth material is a little more distinctive to these ears than his guitar-driven songs, but like Connan (though in a completely different way), Kirin's a genuine weirdo who couldn't be normal if he tried. And, thankfully, he's not trying.
Connan and Kirin do it again tonight (5/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the third night of their North American tour. Liam Finn will be joining Connan again tonight, though probably not Dev as he's part of the Atomic Bomb! A Tribute to William Onyeabor at BAM. But you never know what might happen. Tickets are still available but if you'd like to go for free, we're giving a pair away. Details below.
photos by P Squared Photography
Neil Finn / with Liam Finn @ Town Hall, 4/8/2014
When he sat down at the grand piano, Mr. Finn realized that part of the audience couldn't see him. When he moved to guitar, his elaborate pedal board failed and had to be carried backstage for repairs. For a while, Mr. Finn couldn't use his detailed guitar effects, playing directly through his amplifier; he joked about how much he missed his pedals until he got them back mid-set. To stay visible, Mr. Finn played his biggest hit, "Don't Dream It's Over" from Crowded House, on guitar rather than piano. When he did return to the piano, band members helped rotate it to a better angle. "It's one of those nights, ladies and gentlemen, when we have to abandon the script," Mr. Finn announced.Neil Finn just released a new album, Dizzy Heights, and was in NYC on Tuesday (4/8) at Town Hall, as part of his current tour. Despite some technical glitches early on (as detailed in the quoted Times review above), Neil carried on like the class act he is, playing for around two-and-half hours, including two encores. His set included plenty of Dizzy Heights, plus songs from throughout his nearly 40-year career, including Spit Enz and Crowded House classics. Setlist and pictures are in this post.
In a way, the dishevelment tied into the songs. Mr. Finn's narrators are often buffeted by their circumstances: insecure about life, entangled in iffy romances, longing for love but braced for disappointment. Yet his music tells different, more confident stories. Mr. Finn writes pop songs that expertly stretch the possibilities of verse-chorus-bridge; they use convoluted chord progressions, toy with meter and are full of twists and turns, even as the choruses stay catchy. - [New York Times]
Neil's band includes his wife, Sharon, on bass and during the encore it became a real family affair, bringing out sons Liam and Elroy (on drums), and they hooked up a computer with Skype so that their grandmother could watch the Finn's play. They did Liam's song "Fire in Your Belly" (not from his new album) and covered Bowie's "Moonage Daydream." Liam pulled a Hendrix and played guitar with his teeth and cut his face in the process. Careful, Liam! You can catch Liam (with Elroy on drums) in NYC at Union Pool next week.
Opening the show were Midlake who are in acoustic mode on this tour. Pictures of their opening set and more from Neil Finn, below...
by Bill Pearis
Liam Finn wrapped up his March "Murmuration" residency at Union Pool a couple weeks ago where he gave us an early taste of his new album, The Nihilist, which is out in about a month (May 6). That's the album's cover art above. At the last of the shows, Finn told the crowd they might be coming back to Union Pool very soon, which has turned out to be true: he'll return to Union Pool on April 18 where he'll play The Nihilist in full, "plus we will have special guests to keep it in spirit of the Murmurations."
The last two of his March Murmurations (3/25) featured fellow New Zealander Connan Mockasin who, at the final one, joined the band for a few Finn songs, played his own "It's Choade, My Dear" and made a very polite attempt at crowdsurfing. Perhaps he'll be back for this one? Tickets are on sale.
You can watch the creepy/funny video for The Nihilist's first single, "Snug as Fuck," plus live videos from his last Union Pool show (including a cover of Devo's "Gut Feeling), below...
Bath buds: Connan & Liam
Liam Finn's "murmuration" residency at Union Pool comes to a close Tuesday night (3/25). Last week, Connan Mockasin dropped by to collaborate and video of that (including a cover of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes") is below. Connan is chilling in Brooklyn in between SXSW and his upcoming tour with Kirin J Callinan and will return for Liam's final murmuration. Love as Laughter open the night and tickets are still available.
Connan and Kirin's tour has two NYC shows in May (Bowery Ballroom 5/1 & MHOW 5/2) and tickets are still available for those shows.
Videos from Liam Finn's Union Pool "murmurations" below...
Liam Finn kicks off his residency at Union Pool tonight (3/4) which includes shows every Tuesday in March with different guests each time. Tonight's guests will be Brooklyn psychedelic pop band Zula, who you may have caught at Glasslands last night (3/3) with Landlady and Friend Roulette. Tickets for tonight's show are still available.
Zula will also be in Austin for SXSW, and upon returning to Brooklyn, they'll play another hometown show on March 22 at Shea Stadium with Celestial Shore, Tiny Hazard and Body Parts.
All dates are listed, with some streams, below...
by Bill Pearis
We just posted about Neil Finn's new album and tour, and now we have news of his very talented son, Liam, who also has a new album coming out, titled The Nihilist, via Yep Roc on April 8. According to the press release, Finn played 67 instruments on the record, which actually sounds about right. Anyone who's seen his live shows knows the dude can play anything. And often does. You can stream the first-released track, the spacey "Snug as Fuck," below.
New York will have a few chances to hear the new album before it's out, as Liam Finn will be doing another of his "Murmuration" residencies every Tuesday in March at Brooklyn's Union Pool. (That's 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25.) Special guests, still TBA, will be there too and tickets are on sale now.
Check out a flyer for the March "Murmuration," the new album's tracklist and song stream, below...
Liam Finn is wrapping up his new album and will be testing out new material with one of his "murmurations," his word for residency. This will happen every Monday in April at Knitting Factory. April 1 is with Rifle/Recoil; April 8 is with Celestial Shore; April 15 has no opener as of now; April 22 is billed as "Liam Finn featuring Railbird"; and April 29 is with Rohypnotize. Tickets to all five shows are on sale now.
You can watch "video letter" about the Knitting Factory murmuration, which features a bit of new song "I," below.
Like all nerds and pretty much everyone, we're excited for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The movie doesn't hit theaters until December 13. but you can listen to the soundtrack to the film, which comes out on December 10, now. It's streaming in full below.
Like The Lord If The Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was scored by Howard Shore who is also working on the next two Hobbit films in this trilogy. It also features a track by Crowded House's Neil Finn with his sons Elroy and Liam, "Song of the Lonely Mountain," which you can listen to over at Rolling Stone, that will play in the end credits. The movies are filmed in New Zealand where the Finns are from, so that's a nice touch.
Soundtrack stream and tracklist below...
Haven't seen Liam Finn in a while? Clearly he's been hitting the gym. Catch the multi-instrumentalist/songwriter's impressive new look on the road now as part of a string of US dates with Deerhoof that have him in Houston tonight night before he slides up the East Coast by middle November. NYC can catch those impressive pecs at a solo show at Glasslands on November 16th where he'll team with Reuben and the Dark for a set (of the live show variety). Tickets are still available.
The Glasslands outing will help him bide time before he hits the studio with the goal being to complete a new record before Christmas. Details on said recording are sketchy, but hopefully Glasslands will showcase some of those new jams.
Dare Liam Finn into a push-up contest at the dates listed below.
The fabulous Fleshtones, NYC's progenitors of "super rock," will release a new EP in August titled Los Fleshtones Quatro x Quatro via Yep Roc records. Maybe they'll play some of it tonight (6/21) at Bowery Electric. The line-up for tonight's show is actually pretty cool all-around, with Steve Wynn & the Miracle Three, former Voidoid Ivan Julian, Swedish garage rockers Stupidity and Palmyra Delran. Tickets are still available.
The EP was recorded while on tour in Gijon, Spain and all four songs are in Spanish, including covers of two songs by Mexican rock band Los Johnny Jets. Says frontman Peter Zaremba:
The story of this record goes way back to our original bass player, Marek Pakulski, finding a bunch of albums including 'Los Johnny Jets A Go Go' in the trash in front of Joey Ramone's Lower Eastside tenement one night in 1977. Johnny Jets were a typical Mexican '60s rock and roll group -covering top-ten hits of the time like 'Wooly Bully' in Spanish with varying degrees of competence -- just the thing to appeal to The Fleshtones. Rather than the Spanish language versions of overly-familiar tunes like 'Hang On Sloopy', what really caught our ears were two more-or-less original tracks 'No Tengo Dinero' and 'Todos Queremos A Lupe' (which seemed to at least be inspired by Johnny Thunder's 1962 hit 'Loop De Loop'). We decided we would record these two songs ourselves as soon as possible. If nothing else, The Fleshtones are good for their word!In other news, The Fleshtones' record label, Yep Roc, turns 15 this year and they're throwing a three-day celebration at The Cat's Cradle in Carboro, NC on October 11, 12 and 13. No word on whether The Fleshtones will go down for it but confirmed YR15 artists include Dave Alvin, Chatham County Line, John Doe, Liam Finn, Fountains Of Wayne, Robyn Hitchcock, Los Straitjackets, Nick Lowe, Chuck Prophet, Eleni Mandell, Mayflies USA, Cheyenne Marie Mize, The Sadies, Sloan, Jim White and Master of Ceremonies John Wesley Harding. While three-day passes are sold out, you can still buy individual tickets to each night.
YR15 Flyer is below, along with a list of Fleshtones tour dates.
Greg Saunier & Liam Finn @ the Rock Shop (photo by David Wexler)
Tonight (1/30) is your last change to catch Liam Finn at the Rock Shop, for now at least. Tickets are still on sale.
The four-show residency began back on 1/9, and at least one person in the crowd drove down from Boston for that show. They wrote:
Finn cruised through two sets (see full setlists for each below), the first as just a man with his looping pedals while on the second he was joined by his brother Elroy on the drums and Jol Mulholland on the bass. In the first set Finn showed off his skills both behind the drums and on guitar, masterfully looping each instrument to create an astonishing amount of sound for one man.Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, who Liam played with at the last Rock Lottery, played with Liam at the Rock Shop last week (1/23). Face melting videos from 1/9 & 1/23, and the 1/9 setlist below...
The first set featured songs mostly from his solo debut I'll Be Lightning and his Champagne In Seashells EP, but Finn was also able to work out "Chase The Seasons" off of 2011's FOMO for the first time ever in concert (see video below). For the last two songs of set #1 (as well as a between songs jam) Finn was joined on stage by Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen. The musical chemistry between the two on "Don't Even Know Your Name" and "Lead Balloon" was nearly flawless even though the pair had seemingly had no previous practice time together with the songs....
As previously mentioned, the multi-talented Liam Finn will be performing at the Rock Shop every Monday in January starting tonight (1/9). Liam, who is taking requests on Facebook, wrote the following description of the shows:
After a whirlwind of a year of touring my album FOMO around the globe I have set up camp in NY and am immersing myself in this bubbling tub of creativity. I plan to unleash four very unique shows over the cold month and will be inviting friends old and new to take part in collaborating and steering. Ultimately I'd love the spontaneity to rule the night and I believe everyone in attendance will be as involved as each other - from the drunk up the back, to the familiar faces up the front, to the heckler jeering from the dark corner. Ever since I first saw Jon Brion perform one of his legendary Friday residencies at L.A's Largo I have been inspired to one day hold my own, and further exercise the captivating effect a little bit of danger and mystery has on all of us living in the moment. Basically, it'll be raucous, wild and tender. Come along and let's make a scene!Tickets for all the shows are still on sale. No guests have been announced.
Liam FInn at Occupy Wall St. Veterans Day Rally (via Saint Huck)
Liam Finn will kick off a residency at The Rock Shop on January 9 which will continue every Monday for the month of January. Tickets for each individual show or one ticket to get into all of them are on sale now. Each show will have a different special guest TBA. Liam recently spoke to NBC about the residency:
"Now that I am based in NY, I thought there was no better way to introduce myself formally and informally to the city than to host a series of shows that could incorporate the different facets of what I do," he said. "The Rock Shop just seemed like the perfect place, perfect size and has a nice community vibe already."Liam, who also recently took part in the Rock Lottery at Knitting Factory (he was put in a band with Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Kotaro Tsukada of Peelander-z, and Arone Dyer of Buke & Gass), is also one of the musicians who performed at the Occupy Wall St. Veterans Day Rally at Foley Square (11/11). You can check out two short clips from his set along with all dates below...
"At this point I have a lot of different fantasies lined up in my head of what could happen," he said. "I have friends I have invited to be a part of the shows and a lot will be left up to the day to figure exactly how things will run... but I will be playing half the show with my whole loop set up to attempt songs I haven't tried as a one man band as well as trusty favorites."
"I also will perform some of the show with my band I have been touring with all year and would love to also involve whoever's lurking around -- openers, drunks, friends and family -- in bringing a unique show each week to a cold Monday."
The Rock Lottery began in Denton, TX in 1997 (and in Seattle in 2006). This will be Brooklyn's second annual Rock Lottery. The premise is simple, but effective. Twenty-five hand picked musicians meet at 10:00AM at the evening's performance venue. These volunteers are organized into five groups through a lottery-based chance selection. The five separate groups are then released to practice at different locations. The musicians have twelve hours to create a band name and three to five songs (with a one cover-song limit). The groups will then perform what they have created that evening in front of a waiting audience.This goes down Saturday, 11/19, at Knitting Factory with names like Liam Finn, Britta Phillips, Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Dan Friel & Billy Jones. More listed below...
"Liam Finn, son of Crowded House frontman Neil Finn, played the Lustre Pearl stage in the gorgeous Waterfront District [during SXSW], a full band backing his passion-rock exhibition.Liam Finn has been out on tour since SXSW, and arrives in Brooklyn to headline The Bell House TONIGHT (4/9). All tour dates are listed below.
Accenting the end of several of his tracks by attacking a drum kit set up stage right, Finn unleashed a torrent of heartsongs that were anything but subtle and soft-spoken. Eddie Vedder brought him along as an opener on his 2009 solo tour, and the raw talent the man has with an acoustic guitar, a loop pedal and a microphone is enough to tempt any aspiring musician give up the craft for good, knowing their natural talent will never reach his." -[Crave Online]
Liam Finn is prepping to release his new LP, FOMO, via Yep Roc on June 21. The LP features "The Struggle" amongst its ten tracks which are listed below with a stream of that song.
The Luyas @ SXSW 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Opening the Brooklyn show and other shows on the tour are Montreal's The Luyas who will stop back in NYC on Tuesday, 4/12, for their own show at Pianos w/ Sherlock's Daughter, Young Magic, Zambri, and Emily Reo. All tour dates (including a European jaunt with the Dodos) are listed below. And...
"If that weren't enough, Record Store Day, April 16, brings you the Luyas' new exclusive split 7-inch with close friends Twin Sister. The record contains two new songs: the Luyas' "When I Am a Woman" and Twin Sister's "Meet the Frownies." Twin Sister's track was recorded for the wonderful Weathervane Music project.Look for that 7" at a record store near you on 4/16. The art is below, and don't forget that Twin Sister has a big Brooklyn show coming up too (and is playing Pitchfork and Culture Shock).
All dates, the other stuff, and The Luyas' new video for "Too Beautiful To Work," below...
"The 2011 Solid Sound lineup thus far: Wilco (Fri. & Sat.), the Levon Helm Band, Thurston Moore, Syl Johnson & the Sweet Divines, Here We Go Magic, Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, Pillow Wand (Nels Cline/Thurston Moore duo), Handsome Family, Liam Finn, Sic Alps, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Glenn Kotche, Pronto, the Autumn Defense, Comedy Cabaret curated by John Hodgman featuring Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman & Morgan Murphy, plus the return of the Story Pirates -- all at the largest contemporary art museum in the country with the backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts."Solid Sound goes down from June 24-26 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Tickets are on sale now.
photos by Chris La Putt
Blood Red Shoes @ MHOW
After Chris left the BV Loft Party all the way back on Friday, October 22nd, he headed over to Music Hall of Williamsburg for the Blue Flowers-presented CMJ showcase for a lineup of mostly UK bands including Chapel Club, Everything Everything, and Blood Red Shoes (who toured North America with Sky Larkin in October). Pictures from that show are in this post.
The occasion (to post these belated pics)? SXSW has already announced an initial lineup of bands playing in Austin from March 16-20, 2011, and Chapel Club is on that list (and I wouldn't be surprised of the other 2 mentioned bands end up coming too). Also on the list: Lia Ices, Braids, Asobi Seksu, Wye Oak, Suuns, Sun Airway, A Place to Bury Strangers and more. Full list under the rest of the MHOW pictures, below...
photos by Kurt Christensen
"Let's get one thing straight: Crowded House isn't a one-hit wonder. Sure, the Australian band is known by '80s music fans for its 1987 hit "Don't Dream It's Over" (and maybe the subsequent "Something So Strong"), but songwriter Neil Finn has actually guided different incarnations of the band through six full-length albums and earned critical acclaim for his solo albums and side projects." [NPR]You saw the setlist and the video from Wednesday night's show at Bowery Ballroom where David Byrne joined Crowded House and family (Sharon Finn and Liam Finn are both on the tour with Neil). Now here are the pics, along with video from the band's appearance on Jimmy Fallon (they really made the most of their trip here that included three shows at Bowery, and includes one at Wellmont Theatre tonight), below....
photos by Andrew St Clair
Crowded House completed their three-night run at Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (7/21). It was also at the third show that David Byrne came out for the encore to join the band on two Talking Heads covers. We actually have pictures from that show too, but the pictures in this post are from the 2nd night, July 20th. Stay tuned for the ones from night three.
If you missed the show, there's one more NYC-area chance when Crowded House plays Wellmont Theater in NJ on Friday.
More of the night two pictures, video of the David Byrne part from last night, and all three setlists (including which songs Neil Finn's wife Sharon son Liam played on), below...
Think About Life (who have a new CD and a CMJ show... info in a sec) member Graham Van Pelt is the main force behind Miracle Fortress, a band that also includes Jessie Stein who is also in popular Montreal band The Luyas.
And though they haven't released anything since 2007's Polaris-nominated Five Roses, Miracle Fortress is going on a tour at the end of October with Australia's Liam Finn (who hits Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand on his own). Those dates include a November 4th show at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Tickets are on sale.
Liam Finn recently made an EP with Eliza Jane called Champagne In Seashells which is out now via Yep Roc Records.
Some videos and all tour dates below...
Over Christmas 2008 and New Year 2009, [Crowded House's] Neil Finn has invited the core band from his 2001 Seven Worlds Collide project, plus some other special guests, to create a new album at Roundhead studios in Auckland, New Zealand.Wilco kick off their tour-ending two night run with Neil Young at Madison Square Garden tonight (Monday, December 15th).
Guests confirmed so far are Radiohead's Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien, legendary guitarist Johnny Marr, founder member of The Smiths and current member of US alternate rock innovators Modest Mouse, Soul Coughing's Sebastian Steinberg, multi-instrumentalist Lisa Germano, Wilco members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche and Pat Sansone, Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, along with NZ musicians Liam Finn, Don McGlashan and Bic Runga. All proceeds from this very special recording will go to support the continuing great work of Oxfam International.
There will also be a short series of intimate and informal live performances in New Zealand at Auckland's Powerstation on 5, 6 and 7 January 2009.
Everest opens both shows. Everest frontman Russell Pollard's wife's band The Watson Twins (like Everest's album and) play Town Hall in NYC in February.
by Bill Pearis
Not the most action-packed week of shows, at least as far as I'm concerned, but there's always a few worthwhile things to check out. In town this week are LA-via-Seattle band Army Navy, playing shows tonight (9/2) at Mercury Lounge and Thursday (9/4) at Union Pool. These guys mostly mine various eras of Scottish jangle, from the brittle, manic sounds of early-80s Postcard Records (Orange Juice, Joseph K) to the harmony-laden sounds of Teenage Fanclub and Cosmic Rough Riders. This is super-catchy stuff -- their self titled debut (due Oct 14) has spent a lot of time on my stereo this past week. You can download two tunes from the album at the top of this post -- they're both really good.
It was only after listening to -- and liking -- the album did I find out some interesting factoids about the band: Frontman Justin Kennedy spent his Seattle youth in Pinwheel, the "shitty punk band" that also featured Ben Gibbard; When their drummer left to pursue a screenwriting career (he's penning the Peter Berg-directed Dune redux, due in 2010), Attractions drummer Pete Thomas filled in on the stool for the album's recording sessions; and they're featured on the soundtrack to the music-obsessed comedy Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist which you might've seen a thousand commercials for already. And they're playing this week.
In competition with Army Navy on Thursday are Austinites Ringo Deathstarr (not to be confused with Atlanta's Gringo Starr), and also draw influence from Scottish indie rock. But in this case it's The Jesus and Mary Chain (circa "Sidewalking") and My Bloody Valentine. We're talking striped-tees-and-sunglasses shoegaze. Are they doing something new? Maybe not. But do they do it well? Definitely. Their show at Cake Shop is their only NYC show so if you're a dreampop fan, this might be a good holdover till MBV for real.
I'm not sure there's a whole lot else going on this week that hasn't already been mentioned multiple times. Liam Finn plays Bowery on Thursday and if you've never seen him before I can't recommend it much higher. He's certainly not the only performer to do the loop pedal one-man-band thing, but few do it as well or with better songs. Just wait till he gets on the drums. His album from last year, I'll Be Lightning, is fantastic. Also playing that show (and the rest of of Finn's US 2008 dates) are The Veils whose first record I liked a lot more than their most recent one but frontman Finn Andrews (who, like Liam Finn, has a notable dad, XTC/Shreikback's Barry Andrews) is also an engaging live performer.
All tour dates below...