Entries tagged with: Magnetic Fields
As you may know, Future Bible Heroes (Stephin Merrit, Christopher Ewen and Claudia Gonson) are releasing Partygoing, their first album in 11 years, on June 8 via Merge. You may also recall, they'll be playing June 12 at The Bell House as part of the Chickfactor 21 indiestravaganza. Tickets are still available for that.
About a month after the Chickfactor show, Future Bible Heroes will go on an actual tour, their first since 2002. Before you get super excited, we said Stephin Merrit "may or may not appear with them." And while he may still make an appearance for that show, for the actual tour, the FBH line-up is Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, Christopher Ewen and Anthony Kaczynski. So no Merrit on those, just so you know. The dates include another NYC show: July 23 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for the Bowery show are currently on AmEx presale and go on regular sale on Friday (5/10). All tour dates are listed, along with a new video documentary about the band, below.
by Bill Pearis
Future Bible Heroes will release their third album, Partygoing, on June 8 via Merge. If you don't know, FBH are Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merrit (lyrics, vocals), onetime Figures on a Beach member Christopher Ewen (music) and Magnetic Fields Claudia Gonson (vocals). This is their first album since 2002's Eternal Youth. It seems like a good time for the return of their bubbly synthpop. You can stream first single, "Living, Loving, Partygoing" below.
Additionally, merge are reissuing the group's three albums (I like 1997's Memories of Love a lot) and EPs onto one three-LP / four-CD collection that will be released the same day.
At the encouragement of Bob Dylan, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg went into the studio in 1971 to record his first ever album of music. He then re-entered the studio in 1976 and 1981 and finally in 1983 he compiled all of the recordings (which featured contributions from Dylan, members of his band, and Arthur Russell, and was produced by John Hammond Sr.) onto a double LP called FIrst Blues. Now, 30 years later, Ginsberg Recordings are reissuing the album in vinyl and digital formats, and to celebrate they're throwing a release party in NYC.
The celebration takes place on January 16 at Housing Works Cafe (126 Crosby St.) with Ginsberg's "friends, collaborators, relatives and co-conspirators" Lou Reed, Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, CA Conrad, Steven Taylor, Hettie Jones, Arthur's Landing, and others. A limited edition of "500 seven track vinyl that mimics the original style down to the newspaper insert" will be available at Housing Works that night and online.
That same night, Lou Reed's Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale will be doing a Nico tribute at BAM (1/16) with a number of guests including Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Mark Lanegan, Magnetic Fields, and more. Tickets for that show are still available.
Some song streams from First Blues below...
Arto Lindsay of legendary no wave group DNA, The Lounge Lizards, and pursuer of an impressive solo career, will be performing material from throughout his career in NYC TONIGHT (11/30) at the New Museum. Tickets for the show ($12 for members, $15 for non-members) are available.
Speaking of no wave legends, Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks), who played Knitting Factory earlier this month will be playing with her band Big Sexy Noise in NYC on December 17 at Bowery Electric with "Caught on Tape" duo Thurston Moore/John Moloney. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
For Thurston Moore and John Moloney, the Bowery Electric show is part of a short December northeast tour that the duo will be on, which also includes the previously discussed Brooklyn show at Union Pool on December 11 with Speedy Ortiz and Lone Wolf. All of their dates are listed below.
In other related news, Thurston's ex-wife/Sonic Youth bandmate Kim Gordon, who will guest at the upcoming, sold-out Dinosaur Jr. You're Living All Over Me show at T5, will also be a guest with John Cale (of the Velvet Underground) when he does a tribute to Nico at BAM on January 16 at the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Other guests at that show include Mark Lanegan, Sharon Van Etten, Magnetic Fields, Joan as Police Woman, Peaches, Nick Franglen, and Meshell Ndegocello. Tickets for that show are available. It's one of two shows that John Cale is doing for the BAM Next Wave festival.
A list of all Thurston Moore/John Moloney dates and some videos, below.
photos by Diana Wong
Orbital / Disclosure / Thomas Dolby @ Moogfest, 10/27/2012
Day two of Moogfest 2012 (10/27) in Asheville, NC was another full roster of events, musical performances and really cool analog synths. New Wave artist-turned-ringtone pioneer Thomas Dolby recieved the 2012 Moog Innovation Award after which he performed as well. Other performers from the night included techno legends Carl Craig and UK duo Orbital (who had the most infectiously excitable crowd), new talent Disclosure (who just played NYC and sent some of the Moogfest crowd into hysterics) and Magnetic Fields. There was also a presentation on the Moog Google Doodle and more.
TPOBPAH @ Summerstage 7/7/2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a new single coming out in conjunction with a fall European tour, featuring two covers. One side takes on Magnetic Fields' "Jeremy" and on the flip it's East River Pipe's "My Life is Wrong." Says keyboardist Peggy Wang of the Magnetic Fields cover:
The Magnetic Fields were a band without context. ...I can look back at the time and see how the Magnetic Fields were a band that could exist outside of a context and still make me fall in love with them. I didn't need to know if they were anyone else's favorite band, I didn't need to know what they looked like or where they were from or any frivolous details a hypothetical Tigerbeat interview might have divulged to me. The Magnetic Fields might have been the last band I ever unconditionally loved without ever stopping to try to understand why - just the kind of love story I hoped to one day live through.You can stream TPOBPAH's "Jeremy" below. The band, who last played NYC opening for Guided by Voices at Summerstage, played MusicFest Northwest in Portand, OR last month and did a KEXP session while there which included a new song, "Kelly." You can watch them perform that below as well, along with a list of all upcoming tour dates.
Inspired by k3wl orgs like Public School, Cabinet, Brooklyn Brainery, & with a general commitment to diversity, Public Assembly's putting on the Ritz: gallery shows, panel discussions & radical arts get intermixed with our normal jams: cool bands, killer late night parties, and drank. Pro-women, pro-queer, pro-art, pro-imagination, proproblem solving, fans of the radical, and understanding of your budget - we're here to provide the best week-long version of a state-funded liberal arts college we can. LiveEt cetera happens at Public Assembly from September 16 - 22 and features over two dozen lectures, panel discussions, demonstrations, concerts and other learning-leaning events, most of which are free. This includes the previously discussed vintage synthesizer demo with Xeno & Oaklander on 9/16, the Gang Gang Dance / Sun Araw show on 9/21 to which tickets are still available, the back room show on September 21 with Total Slacker, Indian Jewelry, Black Marble, and Plastic Flowers which is free, and "The Emma Straub Hollywood Variety Hour" on September 22 with actor Andrew McCarthy and Magnetic Fields' Stephin Meritt.
Other events include a brewing discussion titled "How Beer Changed Everything" on 9/20, and "The Moon Presents ... A Tribute to Books" with comedian Chris Gethard and The Onion's Todd Hanson. All Et cetera events are listed below and there's more information at their website.
Stephin Merritt w/ Magnetic Fields at Beacon Theater in April (more by Chris La Putt)
As mentioned, The Magnetic Fields will be touring this fall surrounding their appearance at Asheville's Moogfest. And though the tour won't hit NYC (but comes close with Hudson, NY's Helsinki Hudson on October 25) Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt will be in NYC for three separate events beforehand. First, he'll be at City Winery on September 21 to discuss the 1968 Japanese film The Black Lizard and will choose a second film to screen at the show as well. Tickets for that are on sale now.
Then, he'll be at Public Assembly on September 22 for Emma Straub's 'Hollywood Variety Hour' with author Andrew McCarthy and blogger Maris Kreizman. Stephin will be performing as well as speaking with Emma. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Lastly, Stephin and Emma will team up again for the October 19 installment of John Wesley Harding's 'Cabinet of Wonders' variety shows at City Winery. Other guets for that show include The Citizen's Band (Angela McCluskey & Nina Persson), Nick Hornby, Eugene MIrman, and Aaron Neville. Tickets for that show and the other two announced Cabinet of Wonders shows (9/8 & 11/16) are on sale now.
On Labor Day (9/3), Stephin Merritt played three songs for the one-year anniversary of Big Gay Ice Cream's East Village shop. You can check out a video of that performance below.
Magnetic Fields at Beacon Theater in April (more by Chris La Putt)
The Magnetic Fields released their solid new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, this past March and supported it with a tour which hit NYC for two Beacon Theatre shows in April. The band have recently added a few more dates to go down this fall. None in NYC but they'll be nearby when they play Helsinki Hudson on October 25 in Hudson, NY. Tickets for that show go on sale today (7/31).
A list of all dates and the video for "Andrew in Drag" below...
photos by Chris La Putt
The Magnetic Fields @ Beacon Theater
"Though Merritt performs much of the music on his studio albums himself, the live incarnation of Magnetic Fields has long featured Claudia Gonson on piano and vocals, cellist Sam Davol and guitarist John Woo, all of whom where in typically elegant form [at the recent Friday night LA show]. The core group was augmented by vocalist/ukulele player Shirley Simms, whose presence tilted the set list toward songs on which she has appeared over the years, including "Drive On, Driver" and "No One Will Ever Love You."" [LA Times]Like they did in Chicago, the Magnetic Fields are playing two shows in NYC as part of their current tour. The first of those was last night, 4/3, at the Beacon Theater with Devotchka who open for them at the same venue tonight. The setlists have been pretty similar on this tour, so check out what they played in LA (which Chris remembers as being about what they played in NYC), under the pictures from Tuesday's NYC show, below...
Can't wait until those Beacon Theater shows? After playing Union Transfer in Philly l;ast night, Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields will be performing a free show along with author Emma Straub in a Barnes & Noble in NYC today (3/8).
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Bachelorette @ Cameo
Annabel Alpers, known by her stage name Bachelorette played Cameo on March 4th with support from Baby Alpaca and Bermuda Bonnie. She has also been opening for the Magnetic Fields. Someone who saw the Albany show wrote:
"Bachelorette - the stage name of New Zealand singer-songwriter Annabel Alpers - opened the show with a hypnotic solo performance that was dripping with new wave-vintage electro-pop, from the throbbing, big-buzz backbeat of "Blanket" to the gauzy, reverb-drenched swirl of "Love Is a Drug." She accompanied herself on a pair of laptops, the occasional shake of a maraca or the tap of a tambourine and dreamy, drifting vocals as she wove a sparkling sonic tapestry."Bachelorette opens for the Mag Fields in Philadelphia tonight and then will take a couple weeks away from the road before jetting to the West Coast to support Stephin Merritt for another string of dates that head Eastward by month's end. Tour dates are listed below.
The new record by The Magnetic Fields, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, is out NOW via Merge and the band will hit Beacon Theater for two nights, April 3rd and 4th with Devotchka, as well as SXSW for a few shows. Tickets for 4/3 and for 4/4 are still available.
All tour dates and pictures from Cameo are below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
"Not even kidding. lou reed watched @dasracist perform tonight & flipped the fuck out. at carnegie hall. how was your night?" - El-P
"The night wrapped up with Lenny Kaye leading the Patti Smith band through a brief tribute to the garage-rock compilation Nuggets, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and Lou Reed, who performed three songs. Reed conducted the string quartet and the drummer to improvise with him at moments, which felt awkward in the beginning; the ending, however--as the string quartet jammed in tandem with Smith's guitarists and Reed himself--was pretty impressive. At the very end Laurie Anderson and the whole evening's cast returned to the stage for a curtain call, during which the room sang "Happy Birthday" to Philip Glass." [Village Voice]Video of the Happy Birthday moment and pictures from all of last night's benefit at Carnegie Hall, below...
Devotchka @ Metro in Chicago in January (more by Ben Rodig)
The accidentally revealed it on the intitial tour announcement, so we always figured there would be two, but now the 2nd is annnounced too:
"The Magnetic Fields have added a second show at the Beacon Theater in New York City on April 4th, the day following their current, nearly sold out show. Devotchka (acoustic) will open the show. Presale tickets are currently available via Music Today. General tickets go on sale this Friday, Feb 10 via Ticketmaster.Devotchka (acoustic) also open the April 3rd NYC show, and all dates that are listed below. There will also be an AmEx presale for the new show on Wednesday at noon. More info on both Beacon dates at Ticketmaster.
Devotchka recently played a show at Metro in Chicago. More pictures like the one above, at BV Chicago.
Ceremony @ ABC No Rio in 2010 (more by Lionel Bergeron)
today in NYC
* Sea of Bees @ Sycamore
* David Garrett @ Beacon Theatre
* Jenny Owen Youngs @ The Rock Shop
* F. Stokes @ Brooklyn Academy of Music
* The Darkness, Foxy Shazam @ Irving Plaza
* The Rapture DJs, Alex English @ Yotel
* Bezoar, Gang Signs, Wizardry @ Union Pool
* Anoraak, Punches @ Brooklyn Bowl
* First Saturdays @ Brooklyn Museum
* Julie Christmas, Steve Brodsky @ Saint Vitus
* Marshall Crenshaw, Garland Jeffreys @ Maxwell's
* Nick Zammuto (of The Books), Achante @ 92YTribeca
* Diehard, Lord Classic, Cooling Towers @ The Gutter
* Suckers, Devin Therriault, Writer @ Knitting Factory
* David Cross, Bridey Elliot, Greg Johnson @ 222 Ave B
* Dive, Caged Animals, Fabric, Heavenly Beat @ Cake Shop
* John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders @ City Winery
* Skrillex, Skream & Benga, KOAN Sound, TOKiMONSTA @ Terminal 5
* Tom Carter, GDFX, Maria Chavez, Twistycat, Eola @ Shea Stadium
* Still Birth, Hoor-Paar-Kraat, Kama Rupa, Pharmakon @ The Stone
* Tycho, Oneohtrix Point Never, Beacon @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Jherek Bischoff, Mirah, Wordless Music Orchestra @ Merkin Concert Hall
* Apollo Heights, Dead Leaf Echo, Her Vanished Grace, Washerwoman @ Spike Hill
* Edie Sedgewick, The Immaculates, Bob Doto (of Sprcss) @ Death By Audio
* La Big Vic, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Family Portrait @ Mercury Lounge
* Strange Shapes, Jeane, Olden Yolk (mem. Quilt), Jefferson High @ Big Snow
* Gavin Creel, Stephen Oremus (American Songbook) @ Lincoln Center's Allen Room
* Crazy & the Brain, Birth Control, They Live, Schwervon! @ The Studio @ Webster Hall
* Ceremony, Pissed Jeans, The Rival Mob, Hoax, Kim Phuc, Gods & Queens @ Le Poisson Rouge
Soul Train Flash Mob in Times Square at 4pm.
The Magnetic Fields released an illustrative music video for their song "Andrew in Drag," the first single off their upcoming album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, out March 6 on Merge. Check it out below...
Antony @ Radio City (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Antony played a show at Radio City Music Hall last night. And this was just announced:
Tibet House US is thrilled to announce that Antony and Stephin Merritt have joined the bill for the 22nd Annual Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall on Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 7:30pm. This year's esteemed line-up, curated by Philip Glass, the concert's artistic director, includes Lou Reed, James Blake, Dechen Shak-Dagsay, Laurie Anderson, and Rahzel, in addition to Antony and Stephin. Tickets are on sale now and available through the Carnegie Hall Box Office. Special packages that include concert tickets and a fundraising reception following the show with the event's Honorary Chairpersons Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard and the evening's performing artists are available through Tibet House US.Lou Reed, who has performed with Antony in the past, was the last addition. Tickets are still on sale.
James Blake is also DJing Le Poisson Rouge while he's in town.
The Magnetic Fields are going on tour in March and April.
Stephin Merritt has a new The Magnetic Fields LP on the way due via Merge Records on March 6th. Love at the Bottom of the Sea is the band's 10th LP, and they'll celebrate its release with a string of dates this spring that will include SXSW and two shows in NYC at the Beacon Theater on April 3rd and 4th. A fan presale has started, while Beacon Theater tickets go on AMEX presale Wednesday (12/14) at 11AM and regular sale Friday.
The new tour dates also list a NYC appearance at Barnes & Noble on March 8th. Stay tuned for more info on that. All dates are listed below.
The release marks a bit of a departure from Merritt's recent work...
After putting out three synthesizer-free albums, The Magnetic Fields are returning to the signature mix of synth and acoustic sounds they established in the 90s with Merge releases such as The Charm of the Highway Strip and Get Lost. Stephin Merritt has come back to synths with a fresh approach: "Most of the synthesizers on the record didn't exist when we were last using synthesizers," he notes. The songs -- none over three minutes long -- were recorded in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York with Merritt's usual cast of collaborators: Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Johny Blood and Daniel Handler.Preorder a copy of Love at the Bottom of the Sea at Merge to get all sorts of exclusives (vinyl colorways, a signed poster and Magnetic Fields button) and check out all tour dates and the tracklisting below.
DOWNLOAD: Laura Barrett - Bluebird (MP3)
Last night (3/10) marked the first of the Magnetic Fields' 3-night run at Town Hall (they also played a show at BAM earlier in the tour) in New York City with over two dozen songs spanning the band's 20-year discography. It also marked the release of the band's ninth album, Realism, ending Stephin Merrit's "no-synth" rule (reportedly, the upcoming album will be composed completely with synthesizers). The concert, like the new album, marked a direction towards a subdued (many critics calling it "folksy") sound to the Fields' repretoire; the antithesis of the band's 2008 album, Distortion, which was madeup entirely of guitar fuzz and feedback. Stephin serenely drolled on throughout the set, occasionally switching lead vocals with Claudia Gonson and Shirley Timms. During the set, Claudia announced that they'll be releasing 20 tickets for sale today, for tonight's show (I'm willing to bet there'll be some on Friday as well). Just get to the Town Hall box office before the show.
After this 3-day stint in NYC the band is off to Europe but you can can continue to see what's going on behind the scenes, and at the merch table, at their tour blog. Here's hoping that their NYC blog posts won't be all about Paul Rudd stopping by to see the show.
On April 20th, Merge Records will also be releasing the band's much celebrated 3-disc anthology, 69 Love Songs, on vinyl for the first time. Incidentally, the highlight of the show for me was finally hearing Wi' Nae Wee Bairn Ye'll Me Beget live.
What else is there for Stephin Merritt aside from composing music and lyrics to an off-broadway play and then having Peter Gabriel cover one of your songs? Well a documentary on Stephin and the band will be making its world premiere at SXSW next week entitled Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. Take a look at the trailer below.
Laura Barrett opened for the band. More pictures and setlist below:
DOWNLOAD: Peter Gabriel - Flume (Bon Iver cover) (MP3)
Peter Gabriel's new record Scratch My Back is an all-cover, orchestra-backed collection of songs from Bowie's "Heroes" to Arcade Fire's "My Body Is a Cage." There's also a Bon Iver cover, a soft-spoken take on "Flume," which you can get above (full track list below). The record is described as "the first part of a series of song exchanges in which Peter and other leading artists reinterpret each others songs." It comes out in UK/Europe on February 15th (through EMI), in Canada on February 16th (through Universal Music) and in the US on March 2nd through Gabriel's own Real World Records.
Gabriel's album-supporting tour is short and sweet. He plays three European cities in March, then there are three North American stops - one night in L.A. and Montreal, and two nights at New York's Radio City Music Hall on May 2nd and 3rd. Tickets go on AmEx presale Sunday, Febraury 7th. General sale starts Tuesday, February 16th at 10am. For all the dates, he'll have a 54-piece orchestra in tow.
In other rock legends playing Radio City news, tickets go on general sale Friday for a show Ringo Starr and his All Star Band are playing at the venue in July.
Full Peter Gabriel tracklist w/ album art, an audio interview with Peter about the album, and tour dates, below...
tonight in NYC
* Aziz Ansari @ Comix
* Questlove (DJ) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* We Sing Baby Dee! #3 @ Joe's Pub
* Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ B.B. King's
* Cold Cave, Nite Jewel @ Mercury Lounge
* Gonzales' Piano Talk Show w/ Sia @ Joe's Pub
* Josh Rouse, Christina Courtin @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
* Atlas Sound, Neon Indian, Sisters @ NYU Kimmel Center
* Alberta Cross, Hacienda, Your Nature @ Bowery Ballroom
* Delta Spirit, Gordon Gano & the Ryan Brothers, The Willowz @ Pianos
* Up Died Sound, Skeletons @ Zebulon (BAM's Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival)
* Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Peace Loving, Living Things, GDFX @ Shea Stadium
* Anti-Flag, Aiden, Cancer Bats, Star Fucking Hipsters @ Highline Ballroom
* Maria Chavez & Shelley Burgon, Mike Wexler, Corridors @ Issue Project Room
* Savoir Adore, French Horn Rebellion, Magic Magic, Pocket Knife @ Cake Shop
* Big Troubles, Twin Sister, Pigeons, Alice Cohen, Run DMT @ Studio at Webster Hall
* Navegante, Dynasty Electric, Dalanshar @ Southpaw (Sounds like Brooklyn Fest)
* The Vandelles, Dinowalrus, The Naked Hearts @ Littlefield (BAM's Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival)
* Kelli Rudick, Brent Arnold, Emily Hope Price @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn (BAM's Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival)
* M. Lamar, Glass Lamborghini, Tim Kuhl, Yage Gains, Tim Porbaix @ Goodbye Blue Monday (BAM's Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival)
* Unsound Festival w/ Vladislav Delay, Sebastian Meissner, Kwartludium @ David Rubenstein Atrium at the Lincoln Center
* Japanther, The Death Set, Cerebral Ballzy, Boogie Boarder, Leaders @ Station 171 (BAM's Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival)
* Benefit for Doctors Without Borders w/ DJs Ari Up, Lady Miss Kier, Kim Ann Foxman, Allison Wolfe, and more! @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
The Unsound Festival kicks off.
"Sounds Like Brooklyn" runs all weekend at various Brooklyn venues.
Aziz Ansari does 8 shows at Comix this week.
Those Darlins play Bowery Ballroom on Friday.
Tune-Yards plays The Bell House on Friday.
Blockhead plays Mercury Lounge on Friday.
Tonight's early show at Joe's Pub, "We Sing Baby Dee! #3" will feature "Andrew WK, Corn Mo, Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch, Curtis Eller, Aimee Curl, Lance Horne, Mathew and Sarah, Philip Raia and Lila, a special guest appearance by 9 year old singer Frankky Lou Hightower from Kansas City and Baby Dee herself" Baby Dee plays the Stone Friday.
And though Andrew WK isn't scheduled to appear at the late show at Joe's tonight, he is bound to stick around to see his pal Gonzales kick of his residency. Sia is the special guest on that show. Andrew is the special guest next week.
The trailer for the upcoming Stephin Merritt/Magnetic Fields documentary (no NYC screenings to speak of yet) is posted below. The band is in NYC on Feb 13th, then again for multiple dates in March.
Frightened Rabbit's new video for "Nothing Like You", below...
Alberta Cross is headlining Bowery Ballroom on February 4th. Tickets are on sale (@ noon).
Tickets are on sale at noon for the three Jonathan Richman shows taking place at Music Hall of Williamsburg in February.
People Under the Stairs are playing Bowery Ballroom on January 23rd. Tickets are on sale (@ noon).
Slayer, Tinariwen, and other tickets are on sale too.
Pictured above is ROCKABILLY BARBIE.
Raphael Saadiq is playing Terminal 5 on December 4th. Tickets are on sale.
Alberta Cross is headlining Bowery Ballroom on February 4th. Tickets are on AmEx presale (@ noon).
Violens and Acrylics share a bill at Mercury Lounge on December 9th. Tickets are on sale.
Slim pickins for New Years Eve shows in NYC this year. Mercury Lounge has The A-Bones opening for The Detroit Cobras. Tickets are on sale.
by Andrew Frisicano
Mac and Britt embrace (Triangle Music)
The much anticipated XX Merge Festival took place last week in North Carolina with a five-day (July 22-July 26), Wednesday to Sunday run of shows. Last night (Sunday)'s show with She & Him, American Music Club and Wye Oak was the only fully announced lineup. The other four nights (and one day) were a grab bag of any number of Merge bands past and present. Did you go? What were the highlights?
Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, who recently played a pair of big NY shows, headlined the fest's first night (which also included Magnetic Fields). Superchunk, which features Merge founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, topped the bill of the second night. The third night included the reformed/reunited lineups of Spent, Polvo and Pipe.
Mac McCaughan came out on stage before [Pipe] instead of the night's emcee and announced that there was a lone protester outside. He invited him up on stage and it was Jon Wurster decked out in Phillies gear as Philly Boy Roy. He was holding a sign that said "Boycot MERGE." He complained that Merge didn't have any Philly bands on their roster and Mac said that they have bands from Jersey, which is close to Philly. You never compare Jersey to Philly in front of Philly Boy Roy. It was hilarious.You can see the partial setlist from Spoon, who headlined that night, below.
All of this led to the introduction of New Jersey punks Pipe. As soon as they kicked into their first song, beer cans and plastic bottles started flying. Frontman Ron Liberti ate it up and even put himself in the line of fire, headbutting some of the cans while kicking some back into the crowd. Liberti bounded around the stage, essentially taunting the crowd. The crowd loved the band's antics as did I (but that may have been different if I hadn't managed to stay dry). [triangle music]
In addition to the Cat's Cradle shows (the venue for 4/5 of the night shows), Saturday featured a day show that included Julian Koster solo as Music Tapes and Mac McCaughan with violin accompaniment as Portastatic. A few videos from that set, below.
M. Ward, who's playing the Central Park Summerstage this Saturday (August 1st), played at the fest's Saturday night showcase. Zooey Deschanel joined him for a cover of the Beatles' "Birthday." Not too big of a surprise considering She & Him headlined the Sunday night show.
Other XX Merge artists who recently stopped in NYC include The Clientele and Richard Buckner (they played Music Hall of Williamsburg last Sunday), Versus and Superchunk (they played South Street Seaport last Friday), and Spent (they played Coco 66). Spoon didn't play a NYC show, but they were spotted in the audience of Paul McCartney's third of three shows at Citi Field in Queens. Destroyer is on his way up. He plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Mark Eitzel (as American Music Club) played Le Poisson Rouge and Maxwell's before XX Merge, and now he's on his way back for a show at The Bell House.
Lineups for each night of XX Merge, with videos, and a bunch of setlists, below...
by Ryan Barkan
Smashing Pumpkins @ United Palace Theatre, NYC(more by Chris La Putt)
Lately it seems all Billy Corgan wants to do is either get involved in political battles or license his music for entertainment purposes. Case in point, the Billy Corgan avatar is playable in Guitar Hero World Tour, released last October. That was followed by a three-song Smashing Pumpkins GH track pack becoming available for download as DLC in December. Then, on the biggest advertising stage of the year (i.e. the Super Bowl) a new single "FOL" was dropped in a spot for Hyundai. The Super Bowl one-upper came recently when Billy decided to let loose...for the first time...arguably the band's biggest song ("Today") on a Visa commercial. Visa was not done there however, as Billy and the Pumpkins just weren't enough music for the brand to express itself via 30 second spots.
The credit card company dusted off '70s rock band The Moody Blues' classic jam "Tuesday Afternoon" for a spot dubbed "the Aquarium". To finish off, the coolest of the recent Visa spots has creative direction around the Brooklyn-based performance artist known as "Crutch", Bill Shannon. The commercial sees Bill dance through city streets with his patented crutch dance technique to the Don Thomas song "Come On Train". Watch the Smashing Pumpkins one below.
Other Notable Licensing News:
The Magnetic Fields song "Underwear" appropriately provides soundtrack to an artsy, dream sequence-esque commercial for Puma. Watch it below.
Both Vampire Weekend (about 8 seconds of "Campus") and Beck's "E-Pro" were enlisted for this commercial trailer for the new Paul Rudd film "I Love You Man".