Entries tagged with: Lower Dens
photos by Fred Pessaro // BBG
The 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival kicked off in Union Park on Friday (7/13) afternoon after heavy rain slightly delayed the opening of the gates. Rain continued to be a theme of the day, but it couldn't stop the fun. Local garage rock greats Outer Minds played the first set, and the first great set of the day, followed by Jana Hunter's Lower Dens across the park which was the first set streamed live. The webcast continues today, Sunday, with Ty Segall, Real Estate, Chavez, Vampire Weekend and more.
More recaps from the weekend coming. For now, here are the pictures from Friday. One set is on BV Chicago. Another is here on BrooklynVegan, and they continue below...
shittychandelier with a pitchfork
If the many artists playing the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago this weekend, only a few will be part of the webcast on Pitchfork's Youtube Channel. Check out the schedule (in Chicago time I assume), and the stream itself, below...
by Bill Pearis
Hazy Montreal rockers No Joy are hitting the road and crushing eardrum, joining Lower Dens on their upcoming summer tour that hits NYC on July 19 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show are still available and all Lower Dens/No Joy tour dates are listed below.
Right before that tour begins (June 19 to be specific), No Joy will release Negaverse, a new five-song EP on Mexican Summer which refines the band's swirling maelstrom of big guitars and ethereal vocals. Alan McGee would've signed them to Creation in a heartbeat in 1990. Sounds good today too -- you can stream the EP's lead track, "Junior," alongside the record's cover art and tracklist below.
photos by Joe McCabe
Before coming out for an almost-unheard-of-at-Glasslands three-song encore, frontwoman Jana Hunter of Lower Dens stepped out from behind the keys and mic stand to stand in front of the monitors, among the crowd, and close the main set with the Houston musician Arthur Bates' "Hours". And why the hell not? Though known for being a bit reserved onstage, Hunter has watched her Baltimore-based band be anointed an "It" band in the city that decides such things. She certainly has nothing to be self-conscious about, if she ever did.Not counting the Insound thing, Lower Dens played two record release shows last week to celebrate their new album, Nootropics. We've got pictures from the May 2 Glaslands show, and NYCTaper was there and you can download Lower Dens' whole set over his way. They also played Mercury Lounge.
Not that this extremely sold-out show, or the spate of overwhelmingly positive recent reviews, are the first time anyone noticed the band. Their first record, Twin-Hand Movement, had a lot to recommend it, and critics agreed. But Nootropics, which dropped this week, is the kind of record that takes the band's sound and appeal to the proverbial "next level". Rather than an excellent followup to a good start, Nootropics accomplishes the feat that bedevils many second records - evolving the band's sound and broadening its sonic palette while retaining the core of what drew notice in the first place.[NYC Taper]
Lower Dens play New York again on July 17 at Bowery Ballroom as part of a recently announced tour. Tickets are still on sale. Lower Dens' Glasslands setlist and pictures, openers Air Waves included, and all tour dates, below....
Just a reminder that, after a quickly-sold-out AmEx presale yesterday, tickets go on sale at noon today (5/4) to see Beach House at Bowery Ballroom on May 15. It's the same day as the Baltimore duo's fourth album, Bloom, is released via Sub Pop. Their East Coast tour begins tonight in Charlottesville, VA.
Speaking of Charm City, Lower Dens play Bowery Ballroom on July 19 and those tickets also go on sale at noon. Lower Dens, play tonight in Washington, DC, released their second album, Nootropics, this week.
All tour dates for Beach House and Lower Dens are below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Lower Dens - "Brains"
Lower Dens' terrific second album, Nootropics, is out today on Domino subsidiary Ribbon Music, and they just announced a tour with No Joy that wraps up at Bowery Ballroom on July 19. Tickets go on sale for the Bowery show on Friday (May 4) at Noon and the Amex pre-sale starts tomorrow (May 2) at noon. Meanwhile, Lower Dens played the Insound offices last night for people who pre-bought Nootropics and play sold out shows tonight (5/1) at Mercury Lounge and Wednesday (5/2) at Glasslands.
Nootropics is new musical territory for Jana Hunter and crew, with a much spacier sound than their debut, Twin Hand Movment, and is a little closer in sound to their Baltimore neighbors Beach House. (I might argue that Nootropics out-Beach Houses the new Beach House album, Bloom, but that's just me.) Pitchfork gave it a 8.2 today, but not Best New Music. You can download the motorik-driven first single "Brains" at the top of this post and stream the album on Spotify. They also just released a video for new single "Propogation" full of spooky, glowing beekeepers. Spooky beekeeper music actually isn't a bad description of Nootropics, either.
Click through for the "Propogation" video and all Lower Dens tour dates...
As previously mentioned, Lower Dens will be going on a tour in support of a new record later this month. That tour includes two NYC shows which are now SOLD OUT. However, there now a third way to catch them in NYC, one day before the other two shows. Insound says:
Be one of the first 50 pre-orders and receive one ticket to an intimate live performance by Lower Dens on April 30, 2012!As of this post, there is still room, so order away!
* Once your order is placed, within 48 hours, you will be emailed to confirm your attendance and then notified of the time/location of the show, along with your ticket
* Each pre-order will grant you one ticket to the performance
* You will be able to pick up your pre-order at the performance, along with an exclusive signed poster (shipping charges will be removed from your order)
* Transportation NOT included (you must be in the NYC area)
Lower Dens at South Street Seaport in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
They've got some upcoming shows, many of which are at colleges like Vassar College on 2/29, and also Chicago show in March and SXSW. The band just announced a tour which includes NYC shows happening at Mercury Lounge on May 1 and Glasslands on May 2. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show go on sale Friday (2/24) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (2/22) at noon. Glasslands tickets TBA. All tour dates are listed with their new video below...
DOWNLOAD: Lower Dens - "Brains" (MP3)
The National have announced that they're headlining and curating at ATP in Minehead UK, which is happening from December 7-9, 2012. So far, in addition to The National, the lineup (not very surprisingly) includes Sharon Van Etten (who plays the sold out Mercury Lounge tonight), My Brightest Diamond, Wye Oak, Megafaun, The Antlers, Buke and Gase (FKA Buke and Gass), Lower Dens, Owen Pallett, Boris, Tim Hecker, Kronos Quartet, Suuns< and Dark Dark Dark. More artists TBA. Tickets go on sale Friday (1/20) at 2 PM.
Maybe this lineup will shed some light on the bands Aaron and Bryce Dessner will be choosing when they curate BAM in May.
ATP's NJ festival happens in September and is being curated by Greg Dulli.
Speaking of Lower Dens, they've just revealed plans to release a followup to their 2010 debut LP, Twin-Hand Movement. The new album, titled Nootropics, will be out April 30 via the Domino affiliate label Ribbon Music. Grab the fast paced lead single, "Brains," at the top of this post and stream it below. Also below is the album artwork and tracklist.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Cass McCombs @ MHOW
Cass McCombs and Lower Dens brought their tour to Maxwell's on Wednesday (7/20) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday (7/21). Cass played a very even mix of material off his last four albums and some new unreleased ones too as you can hear in NYC Taper's recording of the NJ show. Our pictures and the setlist from the Brooklyn show, continue below...
photos and video by Jessica Amaya
Lower Dens @ South Street Seaport
After losing Will, Jana Hunter put together a new Lower Dens which made its debut in Toronto during NXNE. That new band made its NYC debut at South Street Seaport Friday night, and will hit NYC again as part of its tour with Cass McCombs. Dirty Beaches, who also played NXNE, also played South Street Seaport Friday night. Pictures from that free NYC show are in this post. More of them, with videos and tour dates too, below...
by Bill Pearis
Holiday weekends generally mean less bands of note playing in NYC which seems to be the case this year for the Fourth of July, but there is some great stuff happening nonetheless. First and formost for me are Canadian rock icons Sloan, who play Bowery Ballroom tonight (6/29) and Knitting Factory tomorrow (6/30). If you missed it, I interviewed guitarist Jay Ferguson earlier this week which was a lot of fun. Here's him talking about playing Sloan's new fantastic album, The Double Cross, live:
It's fun, especially the first three songs on the record which are kind of a little mini suite that flow into each other. We play those right at the beginning, flowing together so it's a fun exercise to pull off. It's always fun to play the new songs. Maybe more fun for us than the audience. We've been around for 20 years and hopefully the audience is interested the new material but you hope you're not boring them. When Mick Jagger says, "Here's another new one from Bridges to Babylon," everyone goes to get a drink. Hopefully people will patiently listen until we play one of our huge hits from 1998.Sloan was one of the first things (second, specifically) I ever wrote about for this site and am pretty much a superfan. I've seen them play countless times and are one of my favorite live bands ever. If you've never seen them, do yourself a favor and go to one of these shows, it's pretty much a guaranteed good time. Also, check out Sloan's rockin' version of Gary Numan's classic "Cars" that the band did for AV Club series Undercover. The video is below.
It is Independence Day weekend which means The Feelies at Maxwell's. These are now becoming the summertime equivalent of Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah shows and there are three this year: Friday(7/1) and Saturday (7/2) which are both sold out and Sunday (7/3) which still has tickets.
In addition to the band's classic catalog -- and host of covers -- The Feelies have a new album this time out as you may know. Here Before is the band's first album in 20 years and finds Glen Mercer, Bill Million and the rest of the band picking up basically where they left off. But really, what else would you expect. It's a lovely album, probably most reminiscent of 1985's The Good Earth with the prevelance of acoustic guitars. That magic interplay between Mercer and Million is still there. This is an album for early evening Sunday back yard barbeques. And anyone who's seen The Feelies live since they got back together knows they've still got it.
And if you can't make the Maxwell's shows, The Feelies play Celebrate Brooklyn on July 23.
If you want to let it all hang out, maybe go see Nobunny who plays Knitting Factory on Friday (7/1) and a late show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday (7/2). He will certainly be hanging out, most of him at least, as it's a rare show where he doesn't strip down to his tightie whities. The sleazoid schtick remains fun because Nobunny's songs are pretty undeniably catchy in a Ramones-y pop-punk meets Happy Days kind of way. As can be heard on last year's First Blood. Live shows remain unhinged. If you're in a Nobunny state of mind, it's a good time.
I do wonder about that mask, though. He does wash it occasionally, right? If you can wash it.
And if you're in an electronic pop kind of mood, Memory Tapes play a late show on Friday night (7/1) at Mercury Lounge. Main Memory man Dayve Hawk has crafted a lovely thing with his second album Player Piano which comes out next week. Using mostly live drums this time out gives it a real human beating heart, I think, and bodes well for the live shows this time around. (I was a little underwhelmed when I saw them at the Pool Parties last summer but that wasn't an ideal venue for what MT do.) I dig the record's songwriting and production, both of which are pretty teriffic. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. And do check out the very cool video for "Yes I Know" at the bottom of this post.
And that's mostly it for this holiday weekend. Happy America! A few more picks -- and shameless plugging -- below.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29
John Maus and Puro Instinct are at Mercury Lounge. I caught both last night at Glasslands. Maus' show, which shouldn't work, does thanks to his dedication and intensity. A little goes a long way, though. (I really like the new album, I should say.) Puro Instict can really sing and play... better songs will come with time. They're young.
photos by Tim Griffin & BBG, words by BBG
An uber-late Thursday night with Tragedy and Origin of M ruined me for Friday day shows (and daylight, for that matter), but I was not going to miss one of my favorite two-pieces, Iron Lung at Emo's outdoors on the 2nd day of Chaos in Tejas 2011 (June 3rd). The band was third on the bill that hot and sticky night. They played after Hatred Surge and Cider, and were followed by an amazing lineup of fast/brutal featuring Innumerable Forms, Extortion, Citizens Arrest, and the piece de resistance, a headlining set from none other than Autopsy. The show was a stark contrast to what was happeing on the inside state: Lower Dens, Milk Music, The Young, and Unholy Two. Allo Darlin' were supposed to play too, but they cancelled (their NYC shows seem to still be happenning though).
My "day" started with a mix of witty banter and powerviolence brutality from Iron Lung, the first of what would be several pits of the evening. The duo are bulldozer-strength despite their numbers, and incited stage dives & pits despite the early hour. After a set from the dependably great Innumerable Forms (though we need some new mat'l gentlemen!), which featured Justin of Mind Eraser backed by Mammoth Grinder, Extortion took the stage to play a fastball of a set to a highly responsive (and stagedive-y) crowd. The band's clean tone fast-core was great, and the band delivered a more powerful set than at Maryland Deathfest... possibly due to the lack of barrier?
Citizens Arrest followed Extortion. It was the NYC hardcore greats' last set in the foreseeable future, and the fans at Chaos in Tejas were definitely more receptive than the MDF bunch (also, barrier?). The show resembled the band's showing at Knitting Factory in December with plenty of stage dives, dancing, and general mayhem. Many of the dancing few were from band's themselves, so it was awesome to see members of great bands going apeshit just like the rest of us. Awesome set.
Autopsy headlined the evening, sitting comfortably in the middle ground between wide-eyed maniac and perfectly executed death metal veterans. The band played material from their latest Macabre Eternal, as well as earlier material during their hour+ set. From the moment that the band's intro music came on, the crowd was pressed up against each other in the front rows, with the audience swaying from side to side and front to back in the humidity. It was hot, but not hot enough for me to take my eyes off of Autopsy. Awesome set.
During Autopsy I poked my head into the Emo's indoor room where a sparsely populated crowd were enjoying Lower Dens (catch them on tour with Cass McCombs). I enjoyed the air-conditioning.
Cass McCombs played Bowery Ballroom earlier this month in support of his new album Wit's End. He finishes up a tour in Europe tonight (6/2), but returns to the road in July. Kicking off July 7th in Arizona, Cass will tour North America for the rest of that month. Most dates are with Lower Dens, including the one they' play at Music Hall of Williamsburg on July 21. Tickets for the Brooklyn show go on sale Saturday (6/4) at noon.
Lower Dens meanwhile are down in Texas where they'll play Chaos in Tejas this weekend. Their other upcoming dates include a free show at South Street Seaport.
Cass also plays MusicfestNW in September, not long after he gets back from another trip to Europe. All tour dates and the new video for "County Line", below...
Lower Dens @ Bowery Ballroom during CMJ (more by Amanda Hatfield)
"Our guitarist, and sometimes drummer, Will Adams, has decided to leave the band, due to exhaustion. As a result we are very sorry to announce the cancellation of some of our upcoming shows. Will's gonna be sorely missed, and we're not sure yet exactly what that will mean for the future of our band, but there will be one."Lower Dens vocalist and guitarist Jana Hunter (brother of John) followed that up with:
"To be clear, we're still working things out after Will's departure, but we are BY NO MEANS breaking up, and we still plan on playing all the other shows we have scheduled this summer and beyond, including Marfa, Austin, Houston, NYC, etc. See yall soon. - jh"One of thsoe upcoming shows they're still playing is at the South Street Seaport this summer. Another is part of Hopscotch, and they'll be at NXNE too. Baltimore City Paper has more info in a new interview with Jana.
Other Lower Dens dates and a video of Glory Girls playing Glasslands, below...
Evan Dando at The Bell House (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
Evan Dando & The Lemonheads have a few random upcoming dates scheduled. The Lemonheads will share a bill with The Canon Logic on April 28th at Maxwell's in Hoboken. Tickets are still available. You can also catch Josh Lattanzi of The Lemonheads at Bowery Ballroom on May 26 & 27 as part of the Bob Dylan tribute that will also include members of the Strokes, Hold Steady, etc, etc.
All other upcoming Evan Dando dates are in other countries at the moment, including a June 16th Evan & Juliana Hatfield show in Toronto for the NXNE festival which, like Brooklyn's own multi-venue festival Northside, recently expanded its lineup. Some of the other bands playing are in the title of this post. The rest are listed below.
All Dando-related dates and some videos below too...
The second annual Hopscotch Festival will go down in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, across 12 different venues with over 135 bands, from September 8th through 10th. The lineup this year runs the gamut of independent music... from traditional indie staples (The Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, Superchunk) to southern-inflected rock (Drive-By Truckers) to noise (Prurient) to hip hop (Beans) to garage (Jeff The Brotherhood) to funk (Budos Band) to metal (Krallice), and everywhere in between (Swans, Rhys Chatham, etc etc). Tickets are currently on sale. Full lineup is below.
Hopscotch happens almost three months after Guided By Voices play a Brooklyn Northside Festival show in McCarren Park (tickets) which is one day after Beirut plays a Northside Festival show on the same McCarren Park stage with... Sharon Van Etten (though she may have been accidentally announced at one point, they officially kept her placement on the bill under wraps until after Saturday's Music Hall of Williamsburg show). Tickets for Beirut/SVE are still on sale, and another opener will be added too.
Hopscotch lineup below...
fireworks @ the Seaport in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
INITIAL SOUTH STREET SEAPORT CONCERT LINEUP
June 24: The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon) + TBA
June 26: My Teenage Stride (Sunday)
July 01: Lower Dens & Dirty Beaches
July 03: The Hairs (Sunday)
July 08: The Wake & Weekend
July 10: Pow Wow! (Sunday)
July 15: The Radio Dept. & Asobi Seksu
July 16: 4Knots Music Festival (Saturday)
All Friday shows start at 7pm. Sunday shows, which are the return of our own Bill Pearis' Sound Bites series (but now on Sundays instead of at lunch), begin at 2pm. Both are part of the annual River To River Festival at The Seaport.
More free Seaport dates, shows and bands TBA, including maybe a Mad Decent Block Party.
Lower Dens at Bruar Falls (more by Jessica Amaya)
Next week Lower Dens will hit the road to get to SXSW followed by a European tour that will last them through mid-April. After a couple of weeks away from the road, they'll play some more shows including one at the more intimate Mercury Lounge on May 1st with Tara Jane O'Neil. Tickets go on AMEX presale Wednesday at noon (3/2), and regular sale on Friday.
Mercury Lounge is one of two NYC dates scheduled for Tara Jane O'Neil. She'll also play Death by Audio on April 24th with Broken Water, Grass Widow, and Talk Normal. That is one of two NYC dates scheduled for Grass Widow (who'll also support Hunx & His Punx at Glasslands).
The Tara Jane O'Neil dates precede the release of "Ruh Roh", A collaborative LP with Nikaido Kazumi (5/24 on K Records) an album described as "an experiment in improvisation and collaboration without shared language". Listen to at track at K.
All tour dates, video from Lower Dens' MHOW show and more below...
Lower Dens @ Bowery Ballroom during CMJ (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As previously discussed, Harvey Milk are in fact playing three shows at Union Pool and they've added support for each night. Tickets are now on sale and still available for all three: March 13th with Occultation (mem Negative Plane!), March 14th with Villains, and the newly-onsale March 15th with Luke Roberts.
Downtown legend Joey Arias is headlining Town Hall on 4/21. Tickets go on presale at noon.
Balkan Beat Box are playing Webster Hall on 4/26. Tickets go on sale at noon.
The Airborne Toxic Event are playing Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom and Webster Hall in three days. Tickets for all of them go on sale at noon.
Jukebox the Ghost and Wakey Wakey co-headline a show at Bowery Ballroom that same week. Tickets go on sale at noon.
The Boxer Rebellion have shows coming up at Bowery and Music Hall - both on sale.
Jeff Mangum tickets also went on sale at 11am and noon.
Strokes MSG tickets are also on sale.
Delicate Steve on Governors Island (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Congrats to Delicate Steve, whose new LP Wondervisions is out now via Luaka Bop. Check out the video below for the title track featuring Dirty Projector Nat Baldwin (who plays Knit on 2/10 - tickets). Its a breezy funky track smothered in vintage keys ala.... you guessed it, Stevie Wonder.
And though Akron Family will take them out on an extensive run of dates including 2/17 at Knitting Factory (tickets) and 3/5 at Bowery Ballroom (tickets), Delicate Steve will celebrate the new LP with a record release show at Public Assembly on Saturday (2/5). As discussed, he'll be joined by Dustin Wong (Ponytail, Ecstatic Sunshine), Grandchildren, & Strange Shapes. Tickets are still available. You can also catch DS at the Meat Locker in Montclair, NJ TONIGHT (2/4) and at BAR Nightclub in New Haven, CT on 2/9.
A few days after Public Assembly, Wong will cross paths with the Woods/Ducktails tour that hits Monster Island Basement TONIGHT (2/4) with Metal Mountains. The tour recently hit Portland, Maine, and you can check out pictures from the Apohadion Theater show below. Ducktails will be back on stage later this month when they team up with Glory Girls to open for Lower Dens at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/25 (tickets)
Dustin Wong recently supported Nightlands, aka Dave Hartley of The War on Drugs, at his debut show at Glasslands on 1/19 with Tony Castles (who play Death By Audio tonight). Check out some pictures from Glasslands below. Nightlands went on to perform another four dates before the tour came to an end in Pontiac, MI. That included a gig in Chicago:
"Playing just his fourth show, Hartley's Chicago set began with a few songs alone with his acoustic guitar and some drum machine samples. Apparently having already mastered looping effects, Hartley was maintaining a strong vocal presence without any accompaniment, but opening act Houses joined him for the final two thirds of his set anyway. They brought with them a mandolin, louder percussion, and a noisier electric guitar. Live drumming was essential to Suzerain, the highlight of Nightlands' debut full-length, Forget the Mantra. And the additional set of voices enabled even more dynamic harmonies, especially for their chorally exultant closer, 300 Clouds."Annnnnnd one last reminder, Hartley's other project The War on Drugs is scheduled to support Destroyer on the tour that hits April 3rd at Webster Hall (tickets).
All tour dates and some video/song streams are below...
Wye Oak @ Siren Fest 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
One day after they open for the Decemberists for three nights in a row at Beacon Theater, Wye Oak will play a private record release show at the intimate Rock Shop in Brooklyn. You can't buy tickets to the show, but I have four pairs that four lucky winners can win. Details on winning your way into the 1/27 show are below.
Wye Oak stay on the road with the Decemberists through February 4th (then Mountain Man take over as opener for Colin Meloy and gang). Wye Oak then get back on the road in March for four nights with Lower Dens whose only other announced show at the moment is February 25th gig at Music Hall of Williamsburg which goes on sale Friday at noon.
After playing with Lower Dens, Wye Oak will go out on tour with Callers who can also be found at Union Pool in Brooklyn on January 29th with Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors and Teen. Callers released an album called "Life of Love" via Western Vinyl in 2010.
Wye Oak's new album, Civilian, will be released by Merge Records on March 8th. You can pre-order it now. Lower Dens, who released their full length Twin-Hand Movement back in July, released a new single called "Batman" this week. You can listen to that song, with all tour dates for all bands and contest details below...
Tragedy fan at Chaos in Tejas 2008 (photo by joecurry666)
After an initial lineup was announced earlier this year, Chaos in Tejas is back for more with another set of bands confirmed for the June 2nd - 5th Austin festival. Get to booking your ticket if you're interested in seeing Kriegshog (from Japan, their last show ever), a Youth of Today reunion (Ray Cappo, Porcell, Ken Olden + a drummer who isn't Sammy), Low Threat Profile, Omar Souleyman, Hooded Menace, Lower Dens, Double Negative, FYP, Oneohtrix Point Never, Veins (their only show ever), Universal Order of Armageddon, and many many others. Oh, and by the way, the previously discussed Autopsy appearance will be their only US show of the year. Full list of bands playing the multi-venue party is below.
In related news, Low Threat Profile (members of Lack Of Interest/Infest/No Comment) released their debut LP via Deep Six Records before the new year. Pick it up at your favorite distro/webstore, like Tankcrimes or Phantom City.
Universal Order of Armageddon play NYC TWICE soon; on 1/21 at Cake Shop with Trophy Wife (and more TBA) and 1/22 at Death By Audio with The Body, Orphan, and (according to Youth Attack) Salvation. Take note, the lineups have changed since we first posted, and differ from what Kill Rock Stars has posted (click the link for Baltimore and Philly date info too).
Current Chaos in Tejas lineup (more announcements are due soon), below...
Diamond Rings @ Knitting Factory
We're used to putting our mp3s on shuffle... why not shows, too? My music ADD came out in full force last Friday. I decided to make full use of my 'sick' day and somehow managed to see a whopping 16 bands (maybe a personal record?). I got my day started early with the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Public Assembly. With bands playing in the two neighboring rooms, it was all too easy to flit back and forth, which allowed me to catch four bands in under 90 minutes: The Phantom Band, The Luyas, Lower Dens, and Times New Viking. Though I saw only partial sets of the first and last, I made time to see the entirety of my two favorite. The Luyas never cease to charm - even when there are technical problems, and I enjoyed my first encounter with Lower Dens - another one of those notoriously ubiquitous CMJ bands.
Up next, I headed over to the Knitting Factory to take in part of the Distiller showcase. I was glad to learn that I only missed a couple of songs from S. Carey. Sean's soul-warming voice and classical training provided a nice respite from the overwhelming contingency of scuzzier, under-rehearsed bands. After seeing S. Carey open for The Tallest Man on Earth at a recent Webster Hall show, it was nice to see him in a smaller, more intimate setting. He also played a Brooklyn Vegan party at Public Assembly, but on Saturday
Bringing the energy back up was John O'Regan, the glam-man-spectacle behind Diamond Rings. When he had finally assembled his gear, he had time only for an abbreviated set - even for CMJ standards: just four songs - just enough to get the kids dancing. Up next was Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - a band I had not made note of on my hastily scrawled itinerary. Imagine my surprise when instead of the Southern rock-tinged folk music of Cotton Jones, I was met by a feisty female with a pension for shrieking lyrics about STDs and assaulting the audience with her abrasive stage 'banter.' ("We have a new 7" for sale. Just give me your fucking money because I want it.") Time to hit the bar for some free SoCo. Since the shows were running a bit late, I stayed only for about half of Cotton Jones (a folksier She & Him except the she - Whitney McGraw - is more than just a pretty face).
The Hush Now also played the Knitting Factory show, and Diamond Rings (whose new album is streaming) played a few other shows during the week. If you missed him, he's back December 4th to play Glasslands, and is touring a lot between now and then. All dates with more pictures from the whole Distiller show, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Lia Ices @ Bowery Ballroom
"The sweetest white lie of the CMJ Music Marathon came from the folky songwriter Lia Ices, leading her band at the Lower East Side club Pianos on Thursday night. While half the crowd chatted indifferently, she sang, "For only you I sing, for only you." Yet Ms. Ices, whose debut album is due in January, was playing CMJ, along with more than 1,000 other groups, for precisely the opposite reason. She was seeking a chance to be heard, sooner or later, by a larger audience." [NY Times]Neon Indian co-headlined the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars?) Group CMJ showcase at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night, 10/23. After a super long week of shooting day and night, Amanda didn't make it to their midnight set. She did get to the show though and caught openers Braids (6pm), Fake Problems (6:45), Lord Huron (7:30), Lia Ices (8:30), Lower Dens (9:15), and Wild Nothing (10:00). She left before Dom. I also went to the show but got there close to when Neon Indian was finishing (I caught Surfer Blood's entire 1am set).
Did you miss Neon Indian too? The next chance to see them is tonight (10/29), at Brooklyn Bowl where they're playing with the buzz-tacular lineup of Prince Rama and Apache Beat. Tickets are still on sale, and I have a pair you can win.
Details on how you can win, with tonight's flyer (under the pics), and more pictures from the Bowery Ballroom show (sans Neon Indian), below...