Entries tagged with: Lilys

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photo: Lilys @ BV CMJ 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Lilys CMJ

Lilys have a new video for their song "High Writer at Home" from their classic 1994 album Eccsame the Photon Band, which just got an overdue vinyl repress via Frontier. The video was directed by Stephen "ESPO" Powers and Joey Garfield and incorporates footage from their graffiti art documentary A Love Letter for You. You can watch that below.

Stephen Powers, who used to be known as the street artist ESPO and did the artwork seen on Kurt Vile's Walking on a Pretty Daze, has a new exhibit titled "Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull)" which just opened at Brooklyn Museum:

This site-specific installation by artist Stephen Powers recalls the birth of new public art in Coney Island, and the emergence of a uniquely American and wholly "Coney Island" style of painting. As a longtime admirer of the fading craft of sign painting, Powers has revitalized the tradition of colorful, hand-painted signage and advertisements in an age of digitization. In his work, he uses logotypes that have a superficially commercial look, combining them with his own text to create enigmatic meanings that deliver an emotional punch.

Powers transforms our Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery into an immersive environment filled with paintings and signs created in the visual vernacular of the iconic seaside community.

"Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull)" is at Brooklyn Museum's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery through March 13.

Continue reading "Lilys share new video co-directed by Stephen "ESPO" Powers (who has a new exhibit at Brooklyn Museum)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, videos by (((unARTig))), words by Pink Baby

Lilys / Dilly Dally / Martin Courtney @ Baby's All Right - 10/17/15
BV CMJ 2015 Saturday
BV CMJ 2015 Saturday
BV CMJ 2015 Saturday

After the mere seven-hour BrooklynVegan Friday party at Baby's All Right during CMJ, we threw a 12-and-a-half hour party on Saturday (10/17). It kicked off bright and early at 11:30 AM with Murals and continued through midnight when reunited '90s shoegazers Lilys wrapped up their set.

Murals, whose sound these days is sort of pastoral and proggy (not unlike Andora-era Caribou at times) which was a gentle start to a long (fun) day, while we munched on free Thai samosas -- courtesy Baby's new Bangkok-inspired menu -- and sipped complimentary Bell's Brewery Octoberfest. Though that keg went quick, Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Lager were also on tap all day, and they gave out pins, sunglasses, bottle openers and other goodies, too.

After Murals it was Petal, whose set we wrote about and posted pictures of HERE (with her new album stream), and then we were treated to an early afternoon set by Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney. Martin was supporting and playing songs off his forthcoming solo debut, Many Moons (due 10/30 via Domino), and he was backed by an ace band that included Woods' Jarvis Taveniere (who produced the album) and Doug Keith of Sharon Van Etten's band (and several other projects). Martin plays an acoustic guitar the whole time, and they're a little more on the '70s folk/soft rock side than Real Estate's slightly janglier indie pop. Martin also threw in a cover of Pavement's "Major Leagues" which fit in perfectly with his own compositions. They ended the set with Doug Keith's extended guitar solo that Martin's Grateful Dead-obsessed Real Estate bandmate Alex Bleeker probably would've been proud of.

Then came Australian trio Methyl Ethel, who gave us a set of psychedelic dream pop and had a frontman with quite a bit of urgency to his performance. The Gotobeds then seriously kicked things up a notch with their tough, post-punk inspired indie rock. These guys are just the kind of smartasses you want at something like CMJ, coming on stage saying "Hey, we're Viet Cong! What!?! They're not using it anymore!" and being good enough musicians to make playing sloppy charming. The set featured their 'hit,' "NY's Alright" (which Kasan sang as "Baby's All Right" at least once), as well as songs from their upcoming Sub Pop debut, including one that Protomartyr's Joe Casey will be guesting on. Between that show and their set at Sub Pop's showcase two days earlier (which Protomartyr, who played our Baby's day parties in 2014, also played), they were a definite highlight of CMJ.

BV CMJ 2015 Saturday

They were followed by UK trio Shopping, one of the most buzzed about bands at CMJ this year (as the beyond packed room illustrated). They wear their minimal, danceable post-punk influences (Delta 5, The Slits) on their sleeve, but they make up for the lack of originality with a super fun live show. They were bouncing around up there the whole time, and if the crowd was more familiar with their songs (or drunker) you could imagine the rest of the room bouncing along with them. Tight musicians too.

The tight musicianship did not die down at all when Dilly Dally followed. They instantly won us over with an early set on our 2014 day party, but this year they returned bigger and better in every way. The sound and light show was perfect for them, which didn't hurt, but the band's grungy force and Katie Monks' throat-shredding voice is what keeps this band exciting every time.

Things got a bit calmer for Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep, who are still a new-ish band but already have a fully-formed unique vision. All three members wore matching outfits, and they're all set up in a horizontal line in the front of the stage. They all sing in close harmony, and they make a kind of arty pop that's not exactly in line with any current trend. While trying to remember who you saw at CMJ, you don't forget Stealing Sheep.

The rock returned when local staples The So So Glos followed. They've been doing their thing around NYC for years now, and they really do play like stars. Their poppy punk might have actually made them stars in 1995, but it's nice to get that kind of performance in a smaller venue in the midst of a CMJ party too. Things stayed turned up to 11 when Baltimore shoegazers Wildhoney followed. They don't exactly do the whole "punkgaze" thing that's been going on, but they definitely have a hard backbone as far as shoegaze bands go.

It was a full house when Frankie Cosmos kicked off the evening portion of our party with a set of appealing indie pop that is both winsome and spirited. Jessica Lea Mayfield, who played the ATO showcase the day before, then brought things down even softer than Frankie, with a haunting solo set. It would have been nice to see her full band, especially with her heavier new album out, but she's good with just a guitar too. Chicago garage punks Meat Wave followed and wasted no time turning things way back up. They're just a trio but they were one of the loudest and heaviest bands of the day. Almost their whole set was flooded in entirely red lights. It suited them well.

Up next were young locals The Lemon Twigs, who are still in their teens but already have approval from Foxygen whose Jonathan Rado is producing their forthcoming album. Fronted by Micheal and Brian D'Addario (who take turns between guitar/lead vocals and drums), The Lemon Twigs seem to take inspiration from mid-'70s rock: Michael, who wore eyeshadow, a floor-length robe and Aladdin Sane-Orange hair gave us the weirder songs with hints of Syd Barrett, early Bowie and Sparks; while Brian seemed to draw more from classic songwriters like Paul Williams, Burt Bacharach or Todd Rundgren. The whole band are seriously good musicians (and killer at harmonies) and, if these guys keep at it, it seems like they'll be crazy good by their mid-twenties.

BV CMJ 2015 Saturday

Mothers from Athens, GA then came on for the penultimate set of the day. Kristine Leschper has a great voice that reminded me more than once of Angel Olsen, and the music is a bit like Angel's last album too. It's folky at times, but driving indie rock at others. And the rest of her band were no slouches at all.

Finally Lilys wrapped up the day with what was only their fourth show of 2015... which is probably as many as they have played in the last five years. Kurt Heasley has seen nearly as many members of Lilys as The Fall, and this lineup -- the same as the two shows the weekend before at Baby's -- was put together by former member Don Devore, one of the five guitarists on stage. Sticking to songs from the band's early shoegaze years (like 1994's Eccsame the Photon Band which just got re-pressed on vinyl) with some seriously trippy projections, Lilys melted faces (helped along by Heasley's insistence that the A/C be turned off) with Clinton-era classics like "Ginger." We were very happy to bring this very rare show to fans (which included a lot of folks in other bands) to you for free. What a day!

Then we went to bed.

More pictures and videos from Saturday's show below...

Continue reading "Lilys, Dilly Dally, Shopping, Mothers, Martin Courtney, Frankie Cosmos, Gotobeds & more played BV's Saturday party (pics)"

photo: Lilys at Baby's last week (more by Greg Cristman)

photo: Martin Courtney with Real Estate at Radio City in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Martin Courtney

You already know the details for the free BV Friday day party at Baby's All Right. There's also an all-day BrooklynVegan Saturday party from 11:00 AM to midnight at Baby's.

Here's the lineup and set times:
SATURDAY, 10/17/2015 @ Baby's All Right

11:00 AM DOORS
11:30 Murals
12:15 Petal
1:00 Martin Courtney of Real Estate
1:45 Methyl Ethel
2:30 The Gotobeds
3:15 Shopping
4:00 Dilly Dally
4:45 Stealing Sheep
5:30 The So So Glos
6:15 Wildhoney
7:00 Frankie Cosmos
7:45 Jessica Lea Mayfield
8:30 Meat Wave
9:15 The Lemon Twigs
10:00 Mothers
10:45 Lilys
The day kicks off bright and early with Louisville's pastoral psych band Murals and free vegetarian southern Thai samosas off the new Baby's menu, a collaboration with Bangkok restaurant Soul Food Mahanakorn. American brunch will also be available for purchase.

Then it's Scranton, PA Tigers Jaw associates Petal. Following that is a 1 PM set from Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney, who's followed by Australia's Methyl Ethel, Pittsburgh smartass post-punks The Gotobeds, and more post-punk from UK band Shopping.

Things keep going with Toronto's roaring indie rockers Dilly Dally, the harmony-laden Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep, local punk staples The So So Glos, and Baltimore shoegazers Wildhoney. Then it's the twee-ish Frankie Cosmos, the ever-evolving Jessica Lea Mayfield, Chicago garage punks Meat Wave, the young but already very accomplished locals The Lemon Twigs, folky Athens indie rockers Mothers, and finally a very rare reunion set from '90s shoegazers Lilys (only their fourth of 2015) to wrap up the day.

Like on Friday, things kick off with a FREE KEG OF BELL'S BREWERY CRAFT BEER while it lasts. We'll also have three varieties of Bell's on tap all day and night.

photo: Frankie Cosmos at MoMA Nights in 2014 (more by Chris La Putt)
Frankie Cosmos

Again, all 12 hours of this show are totally FREE. No RSVP, no badge or anything required.

The show is one of five BrooklynVegan-presented shows in NYC this week. In addition to the Friday party, we're also presenting the two non-CMJ Front Bottoms shows at Irving Plaza.

Listen to the artists playing the Saturday party, below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan Saturday all-day show lineup (Lilys, Frankie Cosmos, Real Estate's Martin Courtney, Dilly Dally, Stealing Sheep, Jessica Lea Mayfield, free Bell's beer & more!)"

photos by Greg Cristman, words by Bill Pearis

Lilys @ Baby's All Right 10/11/2015

Kurt Heasley brought his band Lilys back for shows over the weekend, including Philadelphia and two at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right. Pictures and a show report follow, but if you missed the Baby's shows -- or want to see them again -- this lineup of Lilys will play Baby's All Right on Saturday (10/17), a 10:30pm set that's part of an entire day of BrooklynVegan-presented free CMJ fun. It starts at noon and goes till midnight.

We'll announce the full Saturday lineup soon UPDATE: FULL LINEUP HERE., and it also includes daytime sets from Martin Courtney (1 PM), Stealing Sheep and lots more. Meanwhile, check out who we have at Baby's on Friday (and tonight/Wednesday)


As for this past weekend's shows: Don Devore, who spent time in the Lilys, The Icarus Line, and Ink & Dagger (and is now Sick Feeling), assembled a seven-piece Lilys that, counting Heasley, featured five guitarists, and included members of MGMT, Ducktails, Acrylics and more. The focus of these shows was on Lilys first five years when they made noisy dreampop on records like Eccsame the Photon Band and A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns. Not knowing what to expect when the band took the stage late Friday night/Saturday morning (1:15 AM-ish?), I'm happy to report Lilys were awesome.

With five guitarists (one being pedal steel), they were a wall of sound and heavy as hell at times. (I had just come from seeing A Place to Bury Strangers at Saint Vitus, so my ears took a beating Friday.) It was a hit-filled setlist, including "Ginger" (which was used in a Cadillac commerical almost 10 years ago), "The Hermit Crab" and a dozen or so others. I went to both shows, setlists were at least similar if not identical (in selection, maybe not order). Light Heat opened the shows and on Sunday, frontman Quentin Stoltzfus (who used to be in Mazarin) joined Lilys for a song. Pictures and setlist for Friday's Lilys show, and video of them playing "Ginger" on Sunday, is below.

Lighting came entirely from projections, which was the sort of vibe you want from a show like this (unless you're a photographer). They were selling the limited-edition splatter vinyl edition of Eccsame the Photon Band reissue on Friday, but it was sold-out by Sunday's show.

More pics and stuff below...

Continue reading "Lilys reunited for two shows at Baby's All Right, playing FREE BV CMJ party on Saturday night (pics / setlist / video)"

by Bill Pearis


Kurt Heasley has reactivated Lilys for two special Brooklyn shows this weekend at Baby's All Right which will focus on the band's early-'90s dreampop material. With help former Lily Don Devore (who's currently of Sick Feeling), the assembled band includes members of MGMT, Ducktails, The Sea & Cake and we hear there might be some surprise guests, too. Tonight's late show at Baby's is sold out, but you can still get tickets to Sunday's show (10/11). Says Heasley of this weekend, "We are giving our best to life, hopefully leaving this place a little more beautiful."

In other news, Lilys' classic (ahead of its time, really) 1994 album Eccsame The Photon Band is getting a vinyl reissue via Frontier Records. It's out October 30 (pre-orders are available) but will be at the merch table this weekend for those going to these shows. You can stream the album below.

Continue reading "Lilys repressing 'Eccsame The Photon Band' on vinyl; Brooklyn shows are this weekend "


Shoegaze/dream pop vets Lilys recently announced a one-off show happening at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right, which is now sold out, but fortunately they added a second date for October 11 at the same venue. Tickets are on sale now. A Philly show for 10/10 was added too.

As mentioned, the shows are billed as "Corruption Wrecked My Life," and feature "never before or rarely performed early material 1990-1995." Band leader Kurt Heasley will be joined by Don Devore (currently of Sick Feeling), James Richardson (MGMT), Will Berman (MGMT), Travis Rosenberg, Matt Werth (RVNG Intl. founder), Ryan Rapsys (Euphone, The Sea & Cake) and Alex Craig (Limited, Ducktails, Big Troubles).

Continue reading "Lilys sold out Baby's, add Philly & second Brooklyn show"


Kurt Heasley of Lilys played Trans-Pecos earlier this month with his onetime bandmate Don Devore (who's currently of Sick Feeling). Kurt's now announced an official Lilys show, happening at Baby's All Right on October 9 and tickets are on sale now.

It's a very special one-time-only show which Heasley's calling "Corruption Wrecked My Life," featuring "never before or rarely performed early material 1990-1995." That time period was when Lilys were a shoegazy band and released such records as Eccsame The Photon Band and In The Presence of Nothing for labels like spinART and Slumberland. You can stream those two records below.

With Devore as musical director of this special show, they've put together a big band version of Lilys, that in addition to Heasley features:

James Richardson (MGMT)
Will Berman (MGMT)
Travis Rosenberg
Matt Werth (RVNG Intl. founder)
Ryan Rapsys (Euphone, The Sea & Cake)
Alex Craig (Limited, Ducktails, Big Troubles)
Stream Lilys' Eccsame The Photon Band and In The Presence of Nothing below...

Continue reading "Lilys playing one-off show at Baby's All Right featuring songs from the early '90s (tix on sale)"

photo: Ratatat at Governors Ball 2015 (more by PSquared)

photo: mewithoutYou at Skate & Surf 2015 (more by Mimi Hong)

photo: The Bird and the Bee at Carnegie Hall in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Bird and the Bee

You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...

mewithoutYou, Foxing, Field Mouse @ Bowery Ballroom
mewithoutYou have explored a lot of sonic territory throughout their career, and their newest album Pale Horses (out now on Run For Cover) most immediately recalls the art rock/post-hardcore blend of 2004's Catch for Us the Foxes and 2006's Brother, Sister. If you're going tonight, Foxing and Field Mouse are both worth catching too.

Ratatat, Hot Sugar @ Webster Hall
New York dance duo Ratatat's new album, Magnifique, is out today and they're celebrating its release with this show.

The Bird and the Bee, Liam Finn @ Webster Hall Marlin Room
Meanwhile, downstairs in Webster Hall's Marlin Room it's Greg Kurstin and Inara George, who are back with their first album in five years as suave pop duo The Bird & The Bee album. It's out today so...it's another release party. New Zealand's great Liam Finn opens.

The Detroit Cobras, The Ribeye Brothers, Junk Boys @ WFMU Monty Hall
The Motor City garage rock covers crew Detroit Cobras play their first of two NYC-area shows tonight.

Soda Shop, The Hairs, Railings, Dark Tea @ Cake Shop
It's a night of cardigan-friendly indiepop with '60s-sh Soda Shop and the tongue-in-cheek jangle of The Hairs.

KxDx, Diamond Terrifier/Michael Beharie/VHVL, Simon O'Connor, Limited @ Trans-Pecos
Kurt Heasley of Lilys is the "K" in KxDx and the "D" is his old Lilys bandmate Don Devore (these days of Sick Feeling). Hopefully they'll dust off some early-'00s tracks to play tonight.

No Age, Sun Foot, and Devin Gary & Ross @ Surf Pavillon
This event should be pretty cool, the three bands are traveling together as part of a music/art exhibit called "Generationalpictomusicapolis." In addition to the music, limited-edition, collaboratively made artworks created by each band member will be exhibited at the show, and available for purchase.

Big Quet, Real Numbers, Sunshine & the Rain, SWIVS @ Pine Box Rock Shop
Milwaukee's Real Numers make mod-ish, tinny and relentlessly catchy indiepop that owes a whole lot to Television Personalities. Tonight's their first of three NYC shows; headliners Big Quiet are also celebrating the release of their debut 7".

Into Another, Fairweather, Gates @ Gramercy Theatre
Two formerly broken up and now-reunited post-hardcore bands come together for this bill. There's Into Another, who came out of the early '90s NYC/Revelation Records scene and Virginia's Fairweather, one of the more underrated bands on Equal Vision in the early 2000s.

Mitski, Elvis Depressedly, eskimeaux, Normal Person @ Palisades
Mitski's 2014 album Bury Me at Makeout Creek gets better every time, with its mix of art rock, folk, and lo-fi indie. Tonight's her first of two NYC shows on her tour with the Run For Cover-signed Elvis Depressedly and Epoch member Eskimeaux.

Dalek, cleanteeth, Azar Swan, Final Boss @ Saint Vitus Bar
Industrial hip hop project Dalek had been hiatus since 2009, but they recently returned and are continuing to play shows. Also, don't miss goth duo Azar Swan if you're going to this one.

Bouncing Souls, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Screaming Females, Seaside Caves @ Starland Ballroom
NJ punk heroes The Bouncing Souls are playing a big home state show tonight, and it's especially good for a few reasons. For one, they're playing their excellent 2001 album How I Spent My Summer Vacation in full. And secondly, Andrew Jackson Jihad and Screaming Females are both bands that are worth seeing on their own, so this lineup is pretty stacked.

Unearthly Trance, churchburn, Belus @ Acheron
Brooklyn sludge weirdos Unearthly Trance broke up in 2012 and were very missed, but now they're back in action and have wasted no time playing tons of shows.

Neil Young, Puss 'N Boots @ Bethel Woods Center
Bethel Woods is the location where the original Woodstock was held. It's a few hours away from NYC but if you're going to make the trip, who better to see than someone who actually played Woodstock?

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.


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by Bill Pearis

The Clientele

Nice to see that indie zine chickfactor is having a third birthday party -- "chickfactor 22" -- at Brooklyn's The Bell House on March 20 & 21. Headlining the second night are The Clientele, who went on "indefinite hiatus" in 2011 (and haven't played NYC since the year before that); frontman Alasdair MacLean's more current group, Amor de Dias, which is a collaboration with Pipas' Lupe Núñez-Fernández, will play on the first night.

The 3/20 show is headlined by Withered Hand, with sets from Jim Ruiz Set (who has played all three years) and Lilys. The 3/21 show also features Versus, onetime SF Seals singer Barbara Manning and DC area indiepop group The Saturday People (who haven't played in a long time). Tickets go on sale Monday (2/3) at noon, and are $20 for each night in advance and $25 at the door. A $40 two-day pass is available too. You can buy them through Other Music in addition to online.

The Clientele line-up for the chickfactor show will be Maclean, James Hornsey on bass and Mark Keen on drums and this iteration hasn't played together since 2005. The Clientele also have a song on Merge Records' Or Thousands of Prizes 7" subscription, part of the label's 25th anniversary.

Withered Hand

Withered Hand, aka Edinburgh singer-songwriter Dan Willson, has a new album, titled New Gods, out March 25 via Slumberland. The new LP features guest appearances by Black Tambourine singer (and chickfactor co-founder) Pam Berry, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines and members of Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit.You can stream "Horshoe" and watch an album trailer below. Withered hand will be over for SXSW so look out for him there as well.

Continue reading "The Clientele, Withered Hand, Lilys, Versus, Barbara Manning & more playing "chickfactor 22" in March"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Black Tambourine - What's Your Game? (MP3)

Black Tambourine back in the day...
Black Tambourine

The first night of chickfactor 2012: for the love of pop, which features sets from reunited Black Tambourine and Small Factory, sold out pretty quick, so Black Tambourine have added another show at Maxwells on Monday April 9 for those who didn't get tickets. It's with Fan Modine and Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap/Softies/Go Sailor) and tickets are still on sale and still available.

To commemorate chickfactor's 20th birthday, Black Tambourine have also recorded an EP of Ramones covers which will be released as a double 7" on Slumberland on May 15. Says the Slumberland press release:

It took a pretty special occasion to bring Black Tambourine out of retirement, even temporarily, and the 20th birthday of BT singer Pam Berry's Chickfactor magazine is definitely such an occasion. When the band were discussing the rather complicated logistics (members scattered across two continents) for the reunion shows, the thought of maybe doing some new recordings came to mind. The band quickly agreed that a tribute to one their favorite bands would be a fun project, and of course the Ramones jumped to the top of the list.

After choosing which songs to work on, the band recorded using the same methodology as they did for the bonus tracks on their self-titled 2010 compilation LP. The gentlemen in the band convened in Maryland to lay down the music, the rough mixes were sent to Pam in London so she could add her inimitable vocals, and then the resulting recordings were sent back to Maryland for Archie to mix.

The final result is OneTwoThreeFour, a double 7" and download EP featuring Black Tambourine's versions of four of their most-loved Ramones tunes.

You can download Black Tambourine's cover of "What's Your Game" (from the Ramones' 1977's LP Leave Home) which features backing vocals from the Rinettes (aka Linda Smith, Rose Melberg, Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls and Jenny Robbins from Honeymoon Diary). You can also stream it below.

In other chickfactor news, in addition to the Maxwell's show, the 20th anniversary party has added a show in Portland on May 30 at the Bunk Bar, with Barbara Manning, Joe Pernice, The Softies and Selector Dub Narcotic (Calvin Johnson in DJ mode).

Speaking of Joe Pernice, he'll appear in NYC at City Winery as part of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders with Meg Baird (Espers), Bhi Bhiman, Sloane Crosley, A.M.Homes, Eugene Mirman, and Sondre Lerche on March 10th. Tickets are on sale.

Though the first night of the 3-day Bell House fest is sold out, you can still get tickets to the May 11 show (Legendary Jim Ruiz, Aislers Set, Pipas, Bridget St John) and the May 12 show (The Pines, The Softies, Stevie Jackson, Honeybunch).

There's also chickfactor shows in Arlington, VA's Artsphere on April 6 (Stevie Jackson, Frankie Rose, Honebunch, Dot Dash) and April 7 (Black Tambourine, Lilys, Fan Modine, Lorelei).

Click through for the stream of Black Tambourine's Ramones cover, plus cover art to the new EP...

Continue reading "Black Tambourine add chickfactor show at Maxwell's, releasing EP of Ramones covers"

by Bill Pearis

chickfactor #1 with cover stars Small Factory

chickfactor will celebrate its 20-year anniversary with five blissful nights of sparkling indie pop on the Northeast Corridor of the USA (three in NY; two in DC) including the first shows in years by Black Tambourine, Small Factory, Pipas, The Aislers Set, A Girl Called Eddy, The Softies, The Lois Plus, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group and Fan Modine and rare performances from such pop luminaries asStevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Frankie Rose, Lilys, Lorelei, Dot Dash, Versus, Bridget St John and Honey Bunch.

chickfactor started in 1992 in D.C. and New York by pop-loving maniacs Pam Berry and Gail O'Hara, who used to travel up and down the East Coast seeing Small Factory, Honey Bunch, the Wedding Present and any other fine indie-pop bands of the era. We are spoiled silly and lucky as all get-out to be able to present this super-stellar line-up. Get your ticket fast, do not dilly-dally!

Those who followed indiepop in the '90s most certainly read (and probably still have their copies of) fabled 'zine chickfactor, which was written all in lower-case and was read sideways like a calendar. Stephin Merritt was among the regular contributors and it was fun, funny and turned a lot of folks on to cool new sounds like Black Tambourine, Lois Maffeo, Small Factory, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Tiger Trap and many more. Stevie Jackson wrote a song about it for the second Belle & Sebastian album, maybe you heard it.

For chickfactor's 20th anniversary, founders Gail O'Hara and Pam Berry have put together a five-day, two-city festival that gathers many of the zine's most loved bands, many of whom haven't performed in 15 or more years. It happens April 6 and 7 at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia and then in NYC April 10 -12 at The Bell House (Maybe some of you went to the 10th anniversary show at Fez?).

Tickets for the Bell House are on sale today (1/12) noon and are $25 for individual nights (4/10, 4/11, 4/12) or $70 for a three day pass.

The shows shows break down like this:

April 6 (Artispace, Arlington, VA): Stevie Jackson, Frankie Rose, Honey Bunch, The Dot Dash

April 7 (Artispace, Arlington, VA): Black Tambourine, Lilys, Fan Modine, Lorelei

April 10 (The Bell House, Brooklyn): Black Tambourine, Small Factory, Versus, The Lois Plus + Special Guests.

April 11 (The Bell House, Brooklyn): The Aislers Set, Pipas, Bridget St. John, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group

April 12 (The Bell House, Brooklyn): Stevie Jackson, Honey Bunch, A Girl Called Eddy, The Softies


Black Tambourine (first East Coast shows in 20 years) and The Aislers Set (first in almost 10 years) are the big draws here, but this writer is especially excited about folk pop trio Small Factory who haven't played together in 15 years and Minneapolis' The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group whose 1995 album O Brother Where Art Thou? is a lost '90s classic (they're promising a new album this year too).

This comes a mere month before the sixth annual NYC Popfest (happening May 17 - 20) which means this spring is likely to be a very good year for indiepop fans. NYC Popfest hasn't divulged any of its line-up, but I hear it may be their most ambitious yet.

Click though for a detailed rundown of the chickfactor fest line-up, plus some vintage videos from the groups involved.

Continue reading "Black Tambourine, Aislers Set, Small Factory, Legendary Jim Ruiz Group & more reuniting for chickfactor festival"

DOWNLOAD: Ape School - Wail to God (Daedelus Remix) (MP3) (via)


"Keane is not the coolest band to blog about when I'm all indie rock up in your business. I am a slightly apologetic Keane fan. I think there are a few bands that can make dynamic, catchy singles that can appeal to the masses while still be genuine and heartfelt. I can see the fellas sweating over lyrics in studios, rather than thinking what would sell to the Wal-Mart crowd.

More than anything, and the reason I would see the band again in another few years, is that they are an unabashedly energetic live act. Sometimes, I'll take a great live act first. As for tonight, a 90-minute set filled with their hits and the obligatory Springsteen cover to soothe the Jersey folks." [Music Snobbery]

That quote is from Music Snobbery's review of the Keane show that took place at the Wellmont Theater in Jersey on Tuesday. They also played Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday. Portland's Sub Pop-signed band The Helio Sequence were on tour with Keane and opened both of those shows.

Now that the tour is over, The Helio Sequence are going on a headlining tour of their own which starts tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg (5/28). Also playing the Brooklyn show are Ape School, and the UK's Howling Bells who are currently on tour with... Coldplay! They can trade piano rock war stories. Speaking of which, did you know that...

After listening to Tim Rice-Oxley's piano playing during a weekend at Virginia Water, Surrey in 1997, Chris Martin invited him to join his newly formed band Coldplay. However, Rice-Oxley declined because he did not want to leave The Lotus Eaters, stating "I was seriously interested, but Keane were already operational and Coldplay's keyboard player idea was dropped." [Wikipedia]
Ape School, who are also playing MHOW tonight, is the new project of Michael Johnson who was in the Sub Pop band Holopaw, and in the Lilys in 2006. Ape School's self-titled album was released by Counter on April 28th. RCRD LBL has a track, and you can grab a remix Daedelus did above.

Daedelus has his own Brooklyn show coming up too - this June as part of the Northside Festival.

I have three pairs of tickets to giveaway to tonight's MHOW show. Details on how to win, and all tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Helio Sequence played Radio City w/ Keane, playing MHOW w/ Ape School (ex-Holopaw) & Howling Bells (tonight)"

someone let Witz on the stage last night @ Roseland Ballroom in NYC
My Bloody Valentine @ Roseland

The Wounded Knees (with special guest J Mascis), My Bloody Valentine and Le Volume Courbe played Roseland Ballroom in NYC last night (9/22). The above picture is proof.

Formed in Dublin in 1984, [My Bloody Valentine] developed its initial sound as a reaction against what other bands were doing, Mr. Shields said. Most were using the cushy sounds of flangers and chorus pedals; My Bloody Valentine, using an effect called reverse reverb, strove for something "ambient but upfront, with a dryness," Mr. Shields said. Later the band would pile up countless other effects -- loops, echoes, distortion boxes -- creating the sonic onslaught that has been cited as an influence by virtually every collegiate or indie-rock band that knows how to set off feedback. [NY Times]
Le Volume Courbe (here from the UK initially to play the MBV-curated day at ATP Sunday) will play two more NYC shows before they leave. Those, and other dates are below.

Friend-of-MBV Gemma Hayes plays the Virgin Megastore in NYC today (9/23). Last night she was at Mercury Lounge. On Sunday she was at ATP. More pictures from her ATP performance are below too.

My Bloody Valentine do it (Roseland) again tonight (9/23) with Lilys. From there MBV move on to Toronto. MBV ATP setlist & pics are HERE (along with lots of Roseland reviews in the comments). More Lilys ATP pics are, also, below...

Continue reading "My Bloody Valentine week continues, 2 more Le Volume Courbe NYC shows, more Lilys & Gemma Hayes ATP pics"

photos by Zach Dilgard, words by Black Bubblegum


After a great (and late) Saturday-night, morning (3pm) bloomed with Robin Guthrie (co-founder of Cocteau Twins) and his shimmering ambient soundscapes in the main room. Backlit by projections of fractals and waves, it was the perfect way to ease into Sunday. Le Volume Courbe and Wounded Knees (both opening for MBV tonight at Roseland) had already played on stage two, but sadly, I missed them.

While Guthrie shined on, I scooted on over to stage deux and caught a few minutes of sunny pop by The Lilys (opener for MBV in NYC night two).

continued below...

Continue reading "ATP NY day 3 - Lilys, EPMD, TOD, YLT, Dinosaur Jr., more..."

Photos by Bryan Bruchman


Thursday night (September 18) Lilys headlined the opening of the Bell House in Brooklyn. Takka Takka, Matt Pond PA and Robbers on High Street kicked off the night. The show was free.

On Sunday the Lilys played the MBV-curated day of the ATP festival in upstate NY. On Tuesday they're opening for My Bloody Valentine at Roseland Ballroom..

@ Roseland Ballroom, NYC
Sep 22 - My Bloody Valentine, Le Volume Courbe, the Wounded Knees
Sep 23 - My Bloody Valentine & Lilys
Pictures from MBV's set at ATP are HERE. More pictures of Lilys at the Bell House are below....

Continue reading "Lilys played Bell House (pics), opening for MBV @ Roseland"

photos by Chris La Putt

Bell House

September 18th was the official opening of the Bell House, the new venue in the Gowanus of Brooklyn. Though a private show happened Wednesday, Thursday night was the public's first look at the place which bears a slight resemblance to its sister bar, Union Hall. No bocce at this one though. What did you think?

The night was a celebration that included sets by Takka Takka, Robbers on High Street, Matt Pond PA and headliner Lilys - all free.

Tickets for upcoming events at the Bell House are on sale. That includes the BV Presents Department of Eagles show on October 6th.

More pictures of the venue, and of all three openers, below...

Continue reading "Takka Takka, Matt Pond PA & ROHS @ the Bell House - pics"

Mogwai @ Terminal 5, NYC - Sept 18, 2008 (soulblend)

"The pairing of venerable Scottish post-rockers Mogwai with Fuck Buttons, a knob-twiddling duo who weave subtle melodies through waves of tribal noise, is inspiring. Both groups make mostly instrumental soundscapes, but go about it in entirely different ways. Mogwai (pictured above) use traditional rock instruments; Fuck Buttons use Nintendo GameBoys, toy microphones, laptops, and whatever else seems to strike their fancy." [Washington City Paper]
The Mogwai / Fuck Buttons tour hit Terminal Five in NYC last night (Sept 18). Fuck Buttons play ATP NY on Saturday. Mogwai play the same upstate festival on Sunday.

Built to Spill, Thurston Moore, Tortoise, Meat Puppets and Bardo Pond play the sold out affair at a country club, TONIGHT (Sept 19). They're all playing full albums. Thurston practiced on Wednesday night in his hometown.

Brian Jonestown Massacre play a show in Brooklyn tonight. They play ATP on Sunday.

Lilys also play ATP on Sunday. They played the opening show at The Bell House in Brooklyn last night.

The Mogwai-scored Zidane hits select theaters on October 24th.

Bell House

In the shadow of the famous and brooding Kentile Floors sign in the burgeoning and classic neighborhood of Gowanus, The Bell House, a gorgeous new and unique music venue and lounge, will open its doors on September 18 at 6pm with free admission to the public. The Bell House is a magnificent two-room music and events venue located at 149 7th Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues. It was crafted out of an old 1920's warehouse once used as a printing press, but more recently used as a fly-by-night shipping company.

Conceived and created by the friends behind Union Hall (Park Slope) and Floyd (Brooklyn Heights), The Bell House are thrilled to be pioneers of sorts adding a prominent performance space to Brownstone Brooklyn. The main space boasts 25 foot wooden arched ceilings, a 450 square foot stage, and unobstructed views from any part of the room. "Brownstone Brooklyn needed a major music venue and event space, and we found a beautiful old building near the Gowanus that was seemingly designed for live music," said co-owner, Jim Carden. "We'll be able to graduate the bands we've championed at Union Hall to a space like no other in New York City and be able to host acts that were simply too big for the stage there", adds co-owner and talent buyer Jack McFadden

Press release continued, and an updated initial lineup, below...

Continue reading "more BELL HOUSE Brooklyn venue info, first show free "