Entries tagged with: MO
by Johnny Zachman
Belle & Sebastian at Pitchfork Paris on Friday - 10/31/14
Perfect Pussy began the second day of the festival, but I showed up a little later and my night started with Australian songwriter D.D Dumbo, a one man act. Dumbo used a Danelectro 12-string guitar, an octave pedal, drums, pan flute and recorder to generate an entirely loop-based sound. I thought that Dumbo was an incredibly proficient looper, but sometimes the layers were so thick that it became difficult to follow the songs.
Up next was Son Lux, the project of New York City's baroque experimental songwriter Ryan Lott. On stage, Lott (playing keyboards and vocals) was joined by drummer Ian Chang (also of Brazos) and avant-jazz guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, a highly impressive trio. The song's arrangements left room for Bhatia's improvisations to shine, and the guitarist responded with an arresting series of sounds, combining distortion, panning and tremolo to send his guitar soaring around the room through a series of seemingly broken speakers. Chang drummed with mechanic deliberation and Lott added layers of effects on his vocals to match the grand nature of his soundscapes.
Future Islands came out dressed in Halloween costumes, which included lead singer Sam Herring in vampire makeup (which he quickly sweat off after the first few songs). It's no secret that Herring is an incredibly engaging performer, and last night he danced all over the stage with remarkable fluidity, bending his knees in ways I never thought possible, jumping into the photo pit to sing with the crowd, and injecting his delivery with more than a little of the theatrical. The band nailed a variety of high-energy selections from their 4AD debut Singles, including "Seasons," which has apparently just been dubbed a "miracle" by Bono.
Danish singer-songwriter MO kept the energy high, performing her style of synth-heavy electronic pop backed by a drummer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, and complemented with a series of projections. If last night was the post-rock and ambient night, then tonight was the pop night, and I thought that the upbeat hook-heavy run from Future Islands all the way through Belle & Sebastian gave the night a great energy.
CHVRCHES brought out the most extensive lighting set up of the festival thus far, complementing their arena-ready songs with equally commanding visuals. Lauren Mayberry's voice was spot-on - the best I've heard it thus far - and the band performed many of the highlights from their full-length, including "Recover," "The Mother We Share," "We Sink" and "Gun."
St. VIncent was next. It's been such a pleasure to watch St. Vincent's live show evolve into the aggressive, fully realized animal that it is now. A set that started with "Rattlesnake" only grew in intensity throughout, with the guitars and synths especially screaming on new songs like "Huey Newton" and "Bring Me Your Loves." It's inspiring to witness the variety of textures that Annie Clark can pull out of her guitar - it felt like a jet airplane, a synthesizer, a vacuum cleaner and a theremin at various points in the night - and it helped propel the band through an incredibly engaging set, closing out with an updated version of "Your Lips Are Red" from Marry Me.
And what a treat it was to see Belle & Sebastian! Stuart Murdoch and company brought out a four-piece string section to complement their already intricate arrangements, and there could be no complaints about the setlist: The show opened with the rocking "You're Just A Baby" and included magnificent takes on "Fox In the Snow," "Like Dylan In The Movies," The Boy With The Arab Strap" and "Sleep The Clock Around." Murdoch was in excellent form and as charming as ever, attempting his best French, pulling out some Sam Herring-esque dance moves, inviting fans to come dance on stage, and (most importantly) delivering his gorgeous vocal with delightful ease. The band received what appeared to be a true encore from the loudest crowd of the night, ending on the ever-so-appropriate "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying."
The festival continues tonight with tUnE-yArDs, Caribou, Four Tet, Jamie xx, Foxygen and much more. If you're not there, you can stream it live HERE. Archived videos of previous sets at that link too.
A few more pictures from Friday (including one of Belle & Sebastian's setlist) below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The National / How to Dress Well / the scene
Earlier this month, we sent longtime BrooklynVegan contributor Dominick Mastrangelo to the 2014 Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Here's his report and photos from Day 2...
Flow Festival Day 2 ended up leaning heavily toward American bands. It wasn't planned, but with The Horrors canceling a couple days earlier and some scheduling conflicts, it's just how it played out. And not that it was necessarily a bad thing. There's definitely something cool and pleasantly disjointing about seeing bands you've seen stateside in a time zone seven hours away.
But the day did start out with two really solid Finnish bands back to back: The electro-pop of Shivan Dragn and prog-rock instrumentalists - and Spencer Krug collaborators - Siinai.
With a bit of time to kill I venture to the Main Stage to see Les Ambassadeurs led by Salif Keita. The catchy Afro-pop of the ensemble provided an enjoyable, uplifting respite before a run of bands in quick succession.
I caught a brief bit of How To Dress Well. My first time seeing Tom Krell since Pitchfork in 2011 and I was struck by how intense his live set had become. A much more assured and visceral performance than before -- eschewing the string quartet he had with him at Pitchfork in favor of a more straightforward live performance.
From there it was over to the Blue Tent for Bill Callahan, one of the artists I was truly jazzed about seeing in Helsinki. Callahan always seems to come across as the coolest guy in the room and as great as his set was, I was disappointed that much of the crowd chose to talk during his set. (Apparently, this is not a problem exclusive to concerts and festivals in the States.) But I maneuvered to a spot close up where the attention was more rapt and mesmerized by Callahan's smooth bass-baritone and stayed for the entire set; the first band whose set I stayed from start to finish.
I managed to catch a few songs of Danish pop-songstress, MØ at the Black Tent. It was a high-energy set and Karen Ørsted was dressed appropriately in boxing trunks and black tank top, bouncing from stage to speakers and whipping the crowd into a frenzy as us photographers in the pit worked hard to keep up with her.
After a bit of a break, I ventured over to the Balloon 360 stage to see Marissa Nadler. The stage-in-the-round setup, where the sound seemingly comes from everywhere, was perfect for Nadler's haunting, airy songs. It was simply beautiful.
The Main Stage was the next stop for The National. I'd mentioned earlier how wonderfully disjointing it was to see bands across the pond and maybe the The National were more so than any of the American-based bands I saw on the weekend. My first National show was seeing them open for John Vanderslice at a tiny rock club in Denton, TX nearly ten years ago. I've seen them at various points since on their upward trajectory so it was only fitting that I see them headline a festival in Europe. From Denton to Helsinki in a decade.
I finished off my night back at the Balloon Stage for Poliça. Drummers Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu faced each other and singer Channy Leaneagh and bassist Chris Bierden took up opposing spots with producer Ryan Olson on the edge of the stage running production. It was hypnotic as the glow of the balloon and hazy LED lights provided dreamy ambiance for rhythmic drum beats and the effects-laden voice of Leaneagh. With Jamie xx performing in the Black Tent and French electronic mastermind Kavinsky in the Blue Tent at the same time as Poliça it was impossible to be everywhere, so I opted to stay outside under the cozy environs of the balloon.
The evening continued at a techno club where we drank cider and beer and danced to generally undanceable songs before spilling out into the brisk Helsinki night and heading to another summer-specific after party out at the water. There young locals were hanging out drinking and chatting in a mashup of languages: Finnish, German, French, English... Some opted for an early morning swim, stripping down and flinging themselves off the dock into the chill. Some drifting way, way out into the dark.
As I rolled up to my hotel in the early morning hours of Sunday, with the sky brightening in the east, I got that feeling you get when you're having an absolute blast somewhere that you don't call home.
I didn't want to leave.
Porter Robinson, Giraffage and Lemaitre are playing Terminal 5 on October 11 & 12. Night 1 is sold out but tickets for night 2 go on sale today at noon.
MØ and Holychild are playing Webster Hall on September 21. Tickets for that show go on sale today at 10 AM.
John Joseph (Cro-Mags) and Howie Abrams (In-Effect Records, etc) have joined on for the Q&A portion of our NYC premiere of the City Gardens documentary "Riot on the Dance Floor". Tickets are still available.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
Helsinki has some nice architecture...
After spending three days shooting portraits and other SoundWave tent activities for us at Lollapalooza in Chicago, BrooklynVegan photographer Dominick Mastrangelo took off to Finland for this year's Flow Festival. Keep checking back for his coverage from the fest throughout the weekend, starting now...
With Lollapalooza in the books for another year, this weekend's summer festivals look west to San Francisco for Outside Lands. And they also look east, way east, across the pond to the Scandinavian and Nordic countries whom are all holding their own festivals. Norway's Oya Festival is up and running while Sweden's Way Out West and Flow Festival in Finland take place Friday through Sunday. At the time of this writing, I'm 31,000 feet over Iceland and bound for the beautiful seaport city of Helsinki for Flow. The lineup is a healthy mix of heavy hitters, indie-popular bands as well as Finnish talent.
Last week's Lollapalooza headliners, Skrillex and OutKast, are headlining on Friday (8/8) and Sunday (8/10)respectively. The National, whose seemingly endless tour in support of last year's Trouble Will Find Me, roll in to town after playing Oya and Way Out West to headline on Saturday.
In addition to the headliners, the fest also features Röyksopp & Robyn, Polica, Little Dragon, Marissa Nadler, The Horrors, Darkside, Bill Callahan and Janelle Monae are also performing. And a handful of artists who performed at Pitchfork a few weeks ago will be making their way to Helsinki as well including Slowdive, Real Estate and Neneh Cherry.
Flow also gives a nod toward festivals like SXSW and CMJ with a host of talks on tech and music as well as a screening over 40 short films. The National will also feature on the film side with a screening of the documentary Mistaken For Strangers.
Update: Being seven hours ahead of New York, I've been out and about in Helsinki today. Posters for Flow are everywhere, the weather was gorgeous and I spent most of my afternoon out on Suomenlinna, a fortress built on six islands in the Gulf of Finland. (That beautiful weather disappeared in less than an hour as it's presently pouring outside.) Some photos from my afternoon jaunt, plus the full Flow lineup, below...
ongoing construction on Houston St's sinkhole (via Bonnie DeWitt)
You may have heard that yesterday (5/22) a water main ruptured and caused a giant sinkhole on Houston St. outside Katz's Deli which flooded their basement (but didn't cause them to close), affected other nearby business, and caused both shows at Mercury Lounge to move to new venues. An updated report from NBC reads:
City officials said five commercial buildings and eight residential buildings were without water for several hours, but the main was repaired and service was restored by about 1 a.m. Thursday. Crews worked overnight to make road repairs, which were expected to be completed sometime Friday.Mercury Lounge is back open tonight (5/23), including the 6:30 show with Baby Baby, the 7:30 show with American Aquarium and Elijah Ocean, and the 10:30 show with Rebelmatic and Radio Daze.
Basements of several buildings were flooded, including Katz's, owner Jake Dell said. An entire garbage truck's worth of food had to be thrown out.
Initially, tonight's late show at Merc was MO, but she was moved to Music Hall of Williamsburg weeks ago, nothing to do with the sinkhole. The rising MO meanwhile announced a Webster Hall show yesterday and that's on sale now.
The Austin City Limits Festival returns to Austin's Zilker Park for two weekends, October 3-5 & October 10-12. The lineup was just announced and includes Eminem, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Beck, The Replacements, Spoon, Belle & Sebastian, Interpol, Broken Bells, St. Vincent, Jimmy Cliff, The Gaslight Anthem, Jenny Lewis, The Rosebuds, Sam Smith, Real Estate, tUnE-yArDs, Jagwar Ma, Mac DeMarco, Polica, My Brightest Diamond and many more.
Tickets go on sale today (4/22) at 10 AM CDT. Full lineup below...
(photo via @skiiilodge)
Tickets for the co-headlining Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails shows at Susquehanna Bank Center, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and PNC Bank Arts Center with Death Grips go on sale today at 10 AM.
Tomas Barfod is DJing The Studio at Webster Hall on April 3. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Kishi Bashi is playing Bowery Ballroom on June 4 and MHOW on 5. Tickets for those shows go on sale today at noon.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
by Bill Pearis
Following an early live outing from Prince Innocence, she effortlessly commands the attention of the jostling room, her performance is completely natural, professional and expressive. Bounding around the small stage in a brilliantly baggy t-shirt, proudly brandishing the Chess Club Records crest, she is a bundle of frenetic energy, an energy which translates into the music she produces so succinctly. The opening to 'Maiden' blasts out early in the set; its crystal clear guitar riff, rumbling bass synth and manufactured drums are a potent song-writing weapon used to full effect.
With another twinkling opening hook that summons an almost Yuletide feeling, latest track 'Glass' comes flying out next and is a definite highlight. "What a pleasant sensation!" is belted out at the top-end of her powerful range, confirming how prolific a chorus-creator MØ is as. The aforementioned 'Pilgrim' and the closing 'Crazy For You' are equally impressive; the former making use of the fidgeting monochrome projection behind, showing playful, immaculately timed visuals of vintage horn sections and swing dancing. - [The Line of Best Fit]
With only three released tracks to her name, Danish singer Karen Marie Ørsted -- you can call her MØ -- is already garnering a lot of attention and comparisons to other female electronic artists who shall remain nameless. You can stream all those songs below. MØ is in NYC as we speak playing a couple shows here before heading to SXSW. She's at Santos tonight (3/7) for a FREE Popshop party with Watch the Duck; and will play Glasslands on Friday with Alpine and White Prism (tickets). All tour dates are listed below.
Some in NYC may have caught her during CMJ 2012. She was here with a film crew and you can watch a short documentary about her CMJ below.
Eternal Summers at Knitting Factory in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Roanoke, VA indie pop band Eternal Summers will be heading out later this year as a support act on Nada Surf's tour which comes to NYC on December 14 for a show at Bowery Ballroom. Nada Surf also plays Bowery Ballroom again the next night (12/15) but no opener has been announced for that show. Tickets for both of Nada Surf's Bowery Ballroom shows are on sale now.
Eternal Summers will be in NYC much sooner though, seeing as they're scheduled to play at least three CMJ week shows. First they'll play the Kanine Records/Wild Honey Pie/Etnies/Brooklyn Brewery/BreakThru Radio day party at Cameo Gallery on October 19 with Valleys, Beach Day, Bleeding Rainbow, Zambri, Moon King, Roommates, and DJ sets from Patrick Wimberly (of Chairlift), Thomas Fekete (of Surfer Blood), Allen Blickle (of Baroness), and Xray Eyeballs. The party is free and starts at noon (flier below). Then they'll play the Dirty Laundry & Get Bent party at Pianos on October 20 with Har Mar Superstar, The Sundelles, Fergus & Geronimo, Shark?, Squarehead, Radical Dads, and MØ. Tickets for that show are on sale now and the flier is below.
Eternal Summers will also play our BrooklynVegan day party at Public Assembly on Saturday (10/20) which is totally free. More info on that coming soon. Meanwhile we announced the lineup of our Friday day party at the same venue.
The band released their new album, Correct Behavior, over the summer and already have videos for its tracks, "Millions" and "You Kill." They recently finished up the video shoot for "Good As You," which you'll be seeing in the near future and are also holding a video contest for "I Love You." Entries are due October 31. You can watch those two aforementioned videos below, where you'll also find show flyers and a list of upcoming dates.