Entries tagged with: Light Pollution
Dan Deacon & fans @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Dan Deacon, now signed to Domino (!) for a record due in 2012 (more details TBA), has still got it. Earlier this month, as you can see in the pictures here, I witnessed him play to a giant crowd of rabid fans at Fun Fun Fun Fest. As usual he played from the ground instead of the stage, and luckily with the help of a security guard to shield his equipment from the wild, swaying mass. More pictures are below.
====| FRIDAY 11/18 @ RIC/RAMBO @ 285 KENT AVE |====Dan will be back in NYC again in March to play a fancy show with the NOW Ensemble & the Calder Quartet as part of the recently-announced Ecstatic Music Festival. He also has lots of other dates scheduled which are listed below.
|| JM RAMBO presents
|| WHAM CITY COMEDY TOUR
|| Adam Endres
|| A Funny Clown
|| Alan Resnick
|| April Camlin
|| Ben O'Brien
|| Connor Kizer
|| Dan Deacon
|| Ellie Beziat
|| Erin Gleeson
|| Mason Ross
|| Peter O'Connell
|| Robby Rackleff
| RIC/RAMBO @ 285 KENT AVE |
285 Kent Ave @ South 1st | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 8pm | $8 | all ages
Last but not least, Dan is one of a few artists who have contributed tracks to a free holiday album that Carpark is releasing on 12/6. The full tracklist and more details on that are also below...
photos by Diana Wong, words by Jared Levy
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, last summer feels more and more like a distant memory. So, how can a collection of bands whose music felt topical a few months ago sustain interest in the late fall and winter? In the service of answering this question and building on their success this year, the Spanish Balearic band Delorean, along with True Panther label mates Lemonade and Chicago indie-rockers Light Pollution, added a stop at the Bowery Ballroom, the perfect NYC venue to gauge their current appeal. And, judging by the near capacity crowd gathered as Delorean eased into their set, either New Yorkers cannot let go of breezy pop or these bands offer an infectious sound irrespective of season.
Speaking to the latter, the Brooklyn band Lemonade opened in a style befitting the night. With drums, bass, and electronics, the trio focused on explosive rhythms and playful samples of four-on-the-floor style dance music. In support, members of Delorean stood on the side, dancing and, in the case of one member of Delorean, wearing a sharpie penned Lemonade fan t-shirt. These bands are kindred spirits of sorts and their mutual support lent a familial feel to the show.
Following Lemonade, Delorean issued a quick sound check as the crowd packed in. Once on the stage, guitarist and sampler artist Guillermo Astrain triggered an ambient loop, presumably easing the audience into Subiza stand-out "Stay Close." This loop, however played far longer than expected, and after an apology for the uncertain glitch, the familiar vocal sample kicked in, sign posting the larger than expected opening song. Immediately the band embraced the energy of the room, with keyboardist Unai Lazcano shifting and jostling his set-up to the rhythm and drummer Igor Escudeo switching in and out of double time.
Where Subiza can feel a bit hollow, tracks such as "Real Love" sounded richer from lead singer and bassist Ekhi Lopetegi's melodic accompaniment. At times Lopetegi's voice got swallowed in the mix, highlighting the group's frustrating tendency to indecipherably blend song parts and sounds together, but Escudeo's precise drumming kept the crowd and band perpetually engaged. Also, between songs, an airhorn blast, reminiscent of being at a European football match, cut through the silence, another reminder of the band's foreign culture and approach.
Regardless of the temperature or one's temperament, Delorean makes effective dance pop. The crowd ecstatically clapped, jumped, and grinded throughout the show, displaying if for nothing else that Delorean creates music that moves bodies. But, beyond the revelry, Delorean taps into a sound that produces moments, rather than having context dictate its appropriateness. And, when judging the merits of a band, longevity beyond a limited seasonal window surely speaks to strong song writing and staying power.
More pictures from Bowery Ballroom below...
by Bill Pearis
This will be a shorter column than usual (please hold your applause till the end) as I'm heading across the Canadian border to attend this year's M for Montreal festival where I'll be seeing the likes of The Dears, PS I Love You, Valleys and a bunch of bands who sing in French. (Also, Gene Simmons has been invited for some reason and will be filming his reality show while there.) It will also be about 20 degrees colder up there so, gentle readers, don't be too jealous of my international travels. There's plenty of cool stuff going on here.
Darwin Deez plays his last NYC show of 2010 at Mercury Lounge tonight (11/17) with Bell (who just played Glasslands the other night with Suuns), King Charles (a UK artist who just got done touring with Mumford & Sons - you might have caught him the past two nights at Terminal 5 - he also plays the Rock Shop on Thursday) and Friends. Darwin's had a good year... in the UK. He came in at #10 on NME's Cool List 2010 (in between Marcus Mumford and Carl Barat, for context) and was pictured on the cover of the issue (see above - the guy with the string on his forehead), and his self-titled debut came in at #56 on Rough Trade Shops' Best LPs of 2010 list.
Here in his home town (or home country), Darwin doesn't get much press or blog love. Mind you, his album hasn't even come out in the U.S. yet -- it's due February 2011, nearly a year after its UK release. (I also don't think his look is doing him any favors over here.) When it does hit these shores, it's definitely worth checking out -- a poppier, funkier take on Strokes-style indie rock that shows off impressive melodic and lyrical talent. It's an immediately likeable record and he deserves more attention than he's getting. Check out the Cosmos-inspired video to his single "Constellations" at the bottom of this post.
Xeno and Oaklander @ PS1 in 2009 (more by Zach Dilgard)
Tonight is also the seventh anniversary of the Wierd parties which started at Brooklyn's Southside Lounge and grew into a label specializing in minimal synth and darkwave. Wierd Records has released some great stuff this year, including debut albums from Automelodi and Frank (Just Frank). Their weekly party now happens at Home Sweet Home on Christie St. in the L.E.S. and for tonight's special occasion, in addition to great tunes and smoke machines they've got Xeno and Oaklander performing live. These two perform like the last three decades never happened, strictly analogue, with piles of vintage gear strung together with patch cables. Squint and you might think you'd been transported back to Sheffield, England circa 1979.
Zoos of Berlin
Detroit's Zoos of Berlin are taking a break from recording their second album to hit the East Coast for a couple of NYC dates this weekend. They play Friday (11/19) at Cake Shop and then a show at Spike Hill on Saturday (11/20). I've written about ZoB a bunch of times over the last year and always try and catch them when they're in town. There's no other band that sounds quite like them, a mix (as I've said before) of Berlin-era Bowie and Steely Dan.
If you haven't checked out their music yet, now's a perfect time as they've made both their eponymous EP and first album,"Taxis," available as free downloads from their Bandcamp page. And do go see them play if you can, they're tight and surprisingly funny given their regal sound.
One of my favorite new bands of last year, Acrylics, have finally put the finishing touches on their debut album which will drop on January 25, 2010. It's ten songs of dusty, dreamy pop (Mirage-era Fleetwood Mac gets you in the right ballpark) that is above all else a showcase for the duo's enviable songwriting abilities. The sparkling arrangements and soaring harmonies are impressive too.
With the new album in the can, Acrylics are starting to play live again and have two shows this weekend. They play Friday night at Glasslands with Chicago's Light Pollution (who leave on tour with Delorean and Lemonade a day later), Blood Orange (Dev of Lightspeed Champion who opened for Glasser last night and who also plays a show at Union Pool tonight), and Unsolved Mysteries. Acrylics also play Cameo Gallery on Saturday (11/20) with their pals Amazing Baby , and two hard-to-Google bands I'm not familiar with: TEEN, and Psychic (at first I thought the band was Teen Psychic, but it's apparently two separate groups).
Acrylics, Amazing Baby, and, and Teen are also part of an upcoming John Lennon Tribute show taking place at Glasslands on December 8th along with Nicole Atkins, Beige, Eytan & The Embassy, Here We Go Magic, Psychic, The Rassle, The Royal Chains, and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson.
Big Troubles @ Mercury Lounge last week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
And I'll hopefully be back from Montreal in time Sunday night (11/21) to hit Glasslands for their killer bill of Weekend, Young Prisms, Minks and Big Troubles (maybe you caught them recently opening for Magic Kids), one of the more solid, well-curated line-ups I've seen in a long time. If you like any one of these bands, you'll probably like the rest. As I've said before, Weekend's debut album, Sports, is a superior slice of post-punk shoegaze that is both pummeling and beautiful. Weekend aren't reinventing the wheel, but the San Francisco trio are expert drivers. Two MP3s are at the top of this post.
Their tour-mates are fellow San Franciscans Young Prisms who practice similar hazy, loud sonics and will release their debut album on Kanine early next year. You can check out an MP3 from it at the top of this post. If you can't make this show, Weekend and Young Prisms will be back after Thanksgiving for a show at Cake Shop on November 27.
The rest of the Glasslands bill: Minks, whose debut album on Captured Tracks is one of my highly anticipated releases of 2011 as I've dug both their singles so far, as well as their live show. And if you haven't heard Big Troubles' debut, which came out early this year on Olde English Spelling Bee, I recommend you remedy that, especially if you have a fondness for early-'90s shoegaze. Big Troubles know their stuff, have digested it all and come up with their own appealing version.
That's it for this week. Tour dates, videos, some others shows and flyers are below.
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 Benjamin Lozovsky
Deakin @ Glasslands
"Just got back from it. Didn't stick around for the cowboys & indians dance party, though I probably should have. I was faced on mushrooms the whole night and felt like the place was being overrun by 16 year olds. Twice some dumb scantily-clad broads approached me to ask if I'd buy them drinks cos they were only "20". This was very different from the demographic I imagined Prince Rama and Deakin would be playing for.The show described above too place in Massachusetts on Tuesday. The show pictured in this post took place place at Glasslands on Monday (9/13), one night earlier. It was Deakin of Animal Collective's first NYC solo show with an assist from current tour/label mate Prince Rama, and Silk Flowers and Amen Dunes.
Really bummed out about the arrest of Michael from Prince Rama, and the subsequent abridged setlist. But still they sounded really amazing, and Deakin's set was very cool. It's a shame most people there didn't seem to give much of a shit about the live music.
Can't believe I didn't stick around longer. What did I miss? But don't tell me a bunch of half naked 18 year old girls with face paint prancing around, beseeching older men to buy them drinks. Because I was there for that.
P.S. I was the awkward weirdo in the blue hoodie.
The trek continues for Prince Rama/Deakin, who play Montreal tonight and scoot across the west coast until the end of September. After that, Prince Rama will then link up with Light Pollution for another tour that kicks off in Chicago in early October before they both play NYC on 10/21 as part of the Carpark/Paw Tracks CMJ Showcase at Cake Shop. More details on that showcase TBA.
It's unclear why the guy from Prince Rama got arrested, but the above account makes at least three times I heard about it.
Prince Rama's new LP, Shadow Temple, is out now via Paw Tracks, dig on one track from the LP, "Lightening Fossil", downloadable above. Light Pollution's new LP, Apparitions, is out now also, and features "Witchcraft" available for download above.
Full tour dates and tons of pics from Glasslands are below...
photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
DOWNLOAD: The War on Drugs - Comin' Through (MP3)
The War on Drugs @ Knitting Factory Monday night
It's been over two years since The War on Drugs released their debut album, Wagonwheel Blues, via Secretly Canadian. And it's via that same label that we'll finally get another taste on October 26th which is the official release date of the band's 2nd album called Future Weather. Grab "Comin' Through", one of that record's eight tracks, for free above now. Cover art and full tracklist below.
Tonight (8/31), The War on Drugs follow up their appearance with Black Mountain at Knitting Factory last night, with a headlining show at the cozy Rock Shop. This time they share a bill with Light Pollution and Xylos.
More about last night's show later. In the meantime, here are some pics, with all tour dates and the new album's cover art and tracklist, below...
photos by Michael Dubin, words by Rachel Kowal
It's hard to know where to even begin when it comes to Railbird, the relatively unknown opener. When I walked into the Bowery Ballroom and saw Railbird on stage, I didn't know where to focus my energy. The bass player wore a top hat paired with his t-shirt, the female back-up singer wore some kind of Bill Cosby-inspired jacket, and then there was the singer, Sarah Pedinotti. Pedinotti was decked out in a red sparkly number and had three huge turkey feathers tucked into her unruly nest of curly brown hair. She was quite a sight to behold, and her lyrics - which covered nervous break downs, dreams, and haunted houses - were no less intriguing. Railbird closed their set with a "Limousine," which features the harmonica and an old-timey microphone, which certainly added pizzazz to the vocals.
Light Pollution followed Railbird's theatrical set of Americana/folk. This band didn't really do it for me. There's nothing particularly offensive about the Chicago band - their melodies are pretty good and the singer definitely had a lot of energy - but there was nothing particularly memorable about them either.
In the lull before Phantogram began performing, the stage was stripped bare and entirely re-arranged. Luckily, Phantogram doesn't require much - just a keyboard or two, a couple of mics, and a guitar... oh yeah, and the projection screen. Throughout their performance, images of dolphins swimming around, a rain-stained car window, and wind blowing through a meadow danced across the screen.
Given the experimental style of their music and their flashy appearance, it's hard to believe that Sarah Barthel and Joshua Carter practice in a barn in upstate New York and didn't just step off the L train. Their music relies heavily on samples and pre-recorded beats that are made to make you dance. (It's fun to imagine Sarah wearing pumps and a skin-tight black ensemble, head banging next to some chickens though.)
Phantogram's set was short - just 10 songs, including the encore. But their moody dance music, hip outfits, and intoxicating lyrics make for a compelling show. The allure of Sarah's smooth voice compliments Joshua's more raucous vocals.
And they were clearly excited to be playing to a sold-out crowd. "We're a very young band and from the bottom of our hearts, we're just so glad you're here," said Josh as their show neared to a close. With a big smile on her face, Sarah whipped out her iPhone and proceeded to take a photo of the crowd before walking off stage.
The Bowery Ballroom show happened last night, May 19th, and was part of a tour that also included a show at Maxwell's in Hoboken one night earlier. The Bowery setlist with more pictures of the headliner from Maxwell's, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Phantogram @ Brooklyn Bowl in December (more by Ryan Muir)
"When you go out at night in a place like Saratoga Springs, people just want to hear 'Freebird' covers, Journey covers, at the bar all night," [Phantogram's Saratoga-born Josh] Carter said in a recent phone call during Phantogram's tour with the Antlers. "We had to set up the community ourselves by doing DIY shows."Phantogram are on tour now with the Antlers on the West Coast. They go down the coast of California again this June with the xx (after both play Sasquatch).
Carter, a guitarist, and keyboardist Barthel have been friends since junior high. When Barthel finished college in Vermont and Carter quit the band he played with in New York City to work on his solo material, both wandered back to Saratoga Springs and rekindled their friendship over trips around town scanning the dollar bins for records. They shared a mutual love for Motown classics, drony indie-rock, and '60s French pop, like Serge Gainsbourg. [Seattle Weekly]
Then there's more touring on top of those, including shows with Light Pollution (who recently played Mercury Lounge). Both bands play Maxwell's on Tuesday, May 18th (tickets still on sale) and Bowery Ballroom on May 19th (tickets still on sale), the second of which has the lush, female-fronted Railbird, also from Saratoga Springs, on it too.
Light Pollution will be also back on June 8th and 9th as part of a tour with This Will Destroy You. Ticket info for those and all tour dates are below...
by Andrew Frisciano
DOWNLOAD: Light Pollution - Good Feelings (MP3)
Think About Life made a tour stop at Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, April 27th. A few days before that they played an early set at WBAR-B-Q (they had to make a show in Philly later that night), which I missed, so I can't speak to the quality of their performance. But at Mercury Lounge, they were just as amazing as at at the BrooklynVegan/M For Montreal SXSW day party the month before (and at CMJ before that). The disco-inspired jams on last year's Family are catchy and iPod-worthy, but the band is a sumpremely energetic spectacle live. The songs also take a different sheen with new members (since the record) Caila Thompson-Hannant on bass and vocals and drummer Greg Napier, who adds a human touch to the 404-heavy beats. They did a new song, and frontman Martin Cesar dedicated one tune to all the pretty girls of Manhattan.
Light Pollution, from Chicago, opened with effects-driven, shoegazey rock. Their barefoot guitar player tapped away at an array of pedals that swirled under frontman James Cicero's emotive vocals. "Good Feelings" is a good starting point, but not totally representative of their sound, which changes a bit with every song. The onstage banter too was endearingly awkward. They have NYC shows Friday and Saturday too.
More pictures are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Light Pollution - Good Feelings (MP3)
As mentioned previously, Montreal dance-pop band Think About Life play Mercury Lounge tonight, two days after playing an early set at the WBAR-B-Q on Sunday. Tickets are still on sale for that. It's a late show. The early show at the same venue features Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.
Opening the late show are Chicago's Light Pollution, who play a kind of synthy post-rock and whose debut LP, Apparitions, comes out June 8th on Carpark Records. That album's first single, "Good Feelings," a mid-tempo jam with appegiated synths under cymbal crashes and mountain-top vocals, is above. Its video is below.
Light Pollution have a few more shows this week too. They play Glasslands on Friday with electronica-pop bands of varying degrees: Keepaway, Memoryhouse, Tanlines and Psychobuildings. Saturday Light Pollution was scheduled to play at the still-closed Market Hotel - according to the band's Myspace, that show has been moved to Under 100, the sometimes-open venue that hosted Erykah Badu about a month ago.
Tanlines recently received a video for their song "Reinfo" from a fan, in the form of a video love letter/tour of the East Village. The band writes: "This guy who does a blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews randomly emailed us this video that he made for a girl named Anna. We like it, so now it's our official video!"
That, and a Light Pollution video and tour dates are below...