Entries tagged with: Maxwells
"Even if you weren't a big fan of Built to Spill--and I was never converted by their postmodern updates of classic Neil Young and Crazy Horse guitar jams--you had to pity bandleader, guitarist, vocalist and Idaho native Doug Martsch for having the unenviable task of trying to follow the Jesus Lizard, headlining over that band in its home town.Built to Spill played the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago on Friday night (7/17). Saturday they headlined the Coney Island Siren Festival in Brooklyn. Sunday they played a much smaller show at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ (where they played for almost 2 hours). Pictures, videos and the setlists from the two festival shows, below...
Martsch and his bandmates tried their best, making impressive use of dramatic dynamics shifts with quiet interludes exploding into six-string rave-ups. But it was sort of like following a gourmet meal with a Twinkie for desert: It might have been fine as a snack at a different time, but after what had preceded it, there simply was no point." [Jim DeRogatis - Chicago Sun Times @ Pitchfork]
DOWNLOAD: Super Furry Animals - Inaugural Trams (MP3)
Super Furry Animals @ Maxwells 1/23/08 (more by Leia Jospe)
ATP NY runs from Sept 11-13. SFA must be playing on the 13th, which is the Flaming Lips day, because the band is playing a show at the Highline Ballroom on September 11th and one at Maxwell's on the 12th. Tickets for both go on sale Friday, July 10th at noon.
The group's last record, Dark Days/Light Years, came out in April on Rough Trade. Check out a song from that, above.
All tour dates for SFA and Grouper below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"Interweaving elements of The Band, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and a dose of Bruce Springsteen, The Roadside Graves manage to produce a unique and coherent sound, pulsing with the energy of their large ensemble and anchored by the gritty and melodic vocals of lead singer John Gleason. My Son's Home is an 18-song comprehensive tour of quality American music. Deftly moving from folk, to rock, to back-porch country, the Roadside Graves have produced one of the best roots-Americana records of the past five years, hands down." [Stark Online]The Roadside Graves played Pianos on Friday (6/26). We weren't there, but Tim did get this set of pictures from their show earlier in the month when they opened for Lucero at Maxwell's. Catch them this Friday (7/3) at Union Hall in Brooklyn. More of the Maxwell's pictures below...
Ida Maria @ Webster Hall (more by Chris La Putt)
Some observations on Ida (pronounced "eee-DA") Maria's set on Sunday night at The Bell House.She's coming back this summer with shows scattered around the country in July and August including one taking place at Maxwell's on Thursday, August 13th with opener Franz Nicolay. Tickets are on sale now.
1) Ida Maria stuffed smokeless tobacco into her mouth twice during the set.
2) She confessed to drinking champagne before the show but waited until the last song, "Oh My God," to pour water over her head. [video below]
4) The drummer played something suspiciously like a drum solo before "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked." It was really good.
6) I could probably watch Ida Maria scream for about fifteen minutes before getting bored. Actual words not necessary.
The above mentioned video, video blogs from Ida's June tour, and all tour dates, below...
Malajube @ Oya Fest 2007 (more photos)
English Canada isn't exactly a model of tolerance when it comes to franco-pop, but here the intricate pop of [2006's] Trompe L'Oeil was taken to heart by a nation's worth of critics and indie-rock fans, scoring Malajube a nomination on the first-ever shortlist for the Polaris Music Prize later that year. Suddenly, Malajube found itself appointed ambassador for the "other" half of the Montreal underground, the half that conducts its rock `n' roll business in French and, as a result, rarely gets much mention in Anglo coverage of the city's recent, globally documented musical blossoming.Labyrinthes came out in the US on Dare to Care in March. In support of that, Malajube has been playing regular dates in their native Canada -- they'll be visiting the US for shows in July. Those include a gig at Maxwell's on Wednesday, July 22nd and a show at new Brooklyn venue Littlefield on Friday, July 24th. Tickets for the Maxwell's show are on sale.
Frontman Julien Mineau concedes it was "really flattering" when U.S. organs like Pitchfork and Spin started singing Malajube's praises, and says he's still somewhat boggled that the band's latest album, Labyrinthes - out [February 2009] on Montreal indie label Dare to Care - is about to receive an official American release.
"It's strange. We're lucky to be listened to even though we're in an English-music world," [Mineau] says from his home in Ste-Ursule, a rural community on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. "But it's cool like that. I'm really happy that we get this kind of attention..." [Toronto Star]
UPDATE: A July 21st Mercury Lounge show was added too. Tickets on sale Thursday.
The band put out a video for the song "Porté disparu," off the new record. That's posted below with a making-of and a live rendition of the tune, and all tour dates...
photos by Tim Griffin
"Lucero on the heels of four Hold Steady shows in a damn row? I may very well be far too old for these things. The weather is nice(r) and it only makes a man think that it's a good idea to ride the bike to Hoboken and post up at Maxwells. The boys are still touring behind Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers, but they have a new record in the can and haven't been shy about playing the new material live. It sounds great.... No real surprises, save for Ben playing a bunch of the stuff from The Last Pale Light In The West as sort of a first encore, but pretty bad ass all around." [Jaded Scenester NYC]It was three NYC-area shows in two days for Lucero over this weekend, and none of them had anything to do with the Northside Festival. It all started Friday night at Maxwell's (review and picture above), followed by the outdoor Big Apple BBQ on Saturday which was followed that night by a private party at Pianos with Hull. More dates and pictures from Maxwell's, below...
DOWNLOAD: Mannequin Men - Massage (MP3)
Chicago's Mannequin Men visted NYC for two nights in May when they played Union Hall and the Cake Shop. The band now has a July tour planned in support of their new disc, Lose Your Illusion, Too, out now on Flameshovel Records. That tour includes another pair of NYC gigs: Mannequin Men play Southpaw on Friday, July 17th and the Studio at Webster Hall on Monday, July 22nd. Tickets to the band's July 22nd show are on sale.
Both show are with tourmates Davila 666.
The band recently recorded a video for "Massage," a song from the new record, posted above. Look for that, with West Coast dates, soon. All current tour dates are below...
The Mummies @ Maxwell's in Hoboken - June 9, 2009
The Mummies played their first two of three NYC-area shows at Maxwell's in Hoboken last night (6/9). The third and final is tonight at Southpaw. A couple of videos from last night below...
The Feelies @ Battery Park (more by Jason Bergman)
Feelies have added a 3rd Maxwell's show to the two that were already planned for the venue on July 3rd and 4th. The additional gig will happen at Maxwell's on Thursday, July 2nd. Tickets to that show are on sale. Tickets to July 4th gig are still available too. July 3rd is sold out.
That Whitney series had a "TBA" listed for the Friday, July 24th show with YellowFever. The "TBA" band will in fact be Woods who fit in perfectly with rest of the bands playing the museum that month... Vivian Girls, Titus Andronicus, etc..
Other upcoming Woods shows include July 15th at the Bowery Ballroom with WAVVES', and the Woodsist/Captured Tracks Fest happening July 3rd and 4th at 979 Broadway Backyard in Brooklyn. Woods member Jeremy Earl is also head of the Woodsist label (whose roster includes WAVVES).
Woods will also be at the Saturday, June 13th Northside Fest show at The Shank. That Woodsist-friendly bill also includes Kurt Vile (and the Violators), who was on the label and recently signed to Matador, Grooms (ex-Muggabears) (also playing the Whitney), Pygmy Shrews and Blues Control.
Woods' own new full-length, Songs of Shame, was co-released in April by Woodsist and Shrimper Records.
Blues Control's 2007 disc Puff came out on Woodsist; their new LP, Local Flavor, is out July 14th on Siltbreeze. The record includes a guest contribution by Kurt Vile on trumpet and acoustic guitar. And the Northside Shank show isn't the only Vile/Blues Control show coming up. The two bands will share a NYC bill twice in August - at Cake Shop and Silent Barn.
More info on those gigs, plus all Woods and Blues Control tour dates, with album info, below...
DOWNLOAD: Future of the Left - The Hope That House Built (MP3)
Future of the Left @ Webster Hall in October (more by Nathan Miller)
And like Built to Spill, Frightened Rabbit and Grand Duchy, Future of the Left have paired their Siren Fest spot with a show at NJ venue Maxwell's. Future of the Left will play the club on Monday, July 13th. Tickets are on sale.
The band's new album, Travels With Myself And Another, comes out June 22nd on 4AD. Pre-orders through the Future of the Left site come with a link to download the album now. The record's first single "The Hope That House Built" is posted above, and the video for the same song, and all tour dates are below...
photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
Condo Fucks (aka Yo La Tengo) in NOLA
The above and below photos are from a show the Condo Fucks played with the A-Bones at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans on April 27th.
At that gig, the A-Bones were joined by Roy Loney of the Flamin' Groovies. The next night, at the Ponderosa Stomp Festival, the A-Bones played as the backing band for Loney and Cyril Jordan (also of The Flamin' Groovies). That reunited combo comes to Maxwell's in Hoboken on July 23rd and Southpaw in Brooklyn on July 24th. Tickets for the Southpaw show and tickets for the Maxwell's gig are both on sale.
Yo La Tengo currently have three shows booked. The band plays Primavera Sound Festival tonight (May 29th) in Barcelona. The band opens for Wilco at Brooklyn's Keyspan Park on Monday, July 13th (tickets still on sale for that) and plays Pitchfork Music Festival's "Set List by Request" night on July 17th.
More pictures from New Orleans and all tour dates below...
Like Frightened Rabbit, Built to Spill are playing the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago and the Siren Festival in Brooklyn in the same weekend this July. And like Frightened Rabbit and Grand Duchy, Built to Spill will play a 2nd NYC-area show - at Maxwell's - while they're here on the east coast, except BTS's NJ date comes one day after Siren. Tickets for the intimate July 19th Jersey show go on sale Friday, May 29th at noon (thx qweebaroo). All dates below...
"Frank Black is an unassuming monster. In between songs at Harlow's last Monday, he affectionately listened to his wife, Grand Duchy singer/bassist Violet Clark, as she recounted unfunny anecdotes. But Black nursed his red wine, eyes peering from behind neon-lens black sunglasses, and let her jaw. Nice husband.Frank Black's new band Grand Duchy has already played a bunch of shows - just none in the NYC-area yet. That changes in July.
When Black's took his turn on the mic, he first soothed up to it, coiling his portly build like a chunky cobra about to strike. And then he did, ripping into songs with that gentle, inimitable Frank Black baritone that pretty much every 16-year-old teenage poseur wanted to hear emerge from their pubescent throat back in 1989." [Sacramento News & Review]
Like Frightened Rabbit, Grand Duchy will be playing the Siren Festival in Coney Island on July 18th, and Maxwell's in Hoboken one day earlier. Frightened Rabbit's show is early. Frank Black's show is late. Tickets are on sale. All dates below...
Frightened Rabbit @ Bowery Ballroom in January (more by Natasha Ryan)
Frightened Rabbit are one of the bands playing both the Siren & Pitchfork festivals in the same weekend this year. They're also one of the bands playing a show at Maxwell's in Hoboken right before Siren happens. Tickets for the July 17th NJ show are on sale. It's an early show. Fellow Siren player Grand Duchy plays Maxwell's later that night. All dates below...
Oneida @ The Yard 8/29/08 (more by Chris La Putt)
Welcome to Rated O, the triple album and second installment of Oneida's much-anticipated "Thank Your Parents" triptych of releases. In August of 2008 Oneida released the first installment, Preteen Weaponry, and now, Rated O, the centerpiece of the "Thank Your Parents" trilogy, has been bestowed upon us.Oneida's Rated O comes out July 7th on Jagjaguwar. Three MP3s from that record are posted above.
For the recording of Rated O the band expanded to five members, adding longtime brahs Shahin Motia and Barry London to the regular lineup. Motia has been performing with Oneida for several years; London is the sound engineer who has recorded the last several Oneida albums and is chief brah at the Ocropolis (Oneida's Brooklyn recording studio). [Jagjaguwar]
The band will be touring North America in support of Rated O this summer. Those dates so far include a Friday, July 10th show at Maxwell's in Hoboken with This Moment in Black History and Dump (James McNew). Tickets are on sale.
Who is Dump?
Dump is a vehicle for releasing the four-track home recordings of Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew. His recordings occasionally feature guest performers such as Sue Garner and Fontaine Toups. For live performances McNew has been joined at various times by Ira Kaplan (who also plays with A-Bones when not playing with Yo La Tengo), Georgia Hubley, Todd Barry on drums, and Dave Ramirez on guitar. [Wikipedia]Oneida's summer tour also includes a Todd P show Friday, July 24th in a venue tba.
The band is visiting Europe for Primavera Sound on May 30th, then again in August. All dates, album art, and track list, below...
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Lori Baily
Mike Watt and the Missingmen (drummer Raul Morales and guitarist Tom Watson) played the first of two NYC-area shows Thursday, May 7th at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ. Tonight (Friday, May 8th) the group visits the Mercury Lounge.
At Maxwell's, Watt kicked things off with a terse "1-2-Surf's up" before launching into an opening group instrumental. Watson on guitar faced-off against Watt on bass, with Morales pounding out the measures between. But the drum kit was anything but neutral territory: on more than one occasion Watt egged on Morales by crashing the cymbals with his hands, and spent most of the 4-or-so Watson-sung tunes perched behind drum set before stumbling across stage toward his own mic.
Tom Watson's guitar playing was a definite highlight. He spanned a spectrum of styles, from the pop-punk of the band's Roky Erickson cover, "Sweet Honey Pie," to the closely comped funk of the Minutemen numbers (which included Double Nickels tracks "One Reporter's Opinion," "Anxious Mo-fo," and "Toadies"). Watson, like Watt, channels the free-wheeling ideals of punk into a musically divergent direction; most times his sound was more "downtown" guitar than Johnny Ramone. Solos and oblique noises squeaked over Morales' even-handed drums in starts and stops, while across stage Watt ratcheted up the neck of his short-scale bass.
Watt on bass was unhinged but on point as he alternately strummed and slapped through the setlist, which mixed new tunes, older Watt material (Ball Hog b-side "The Big Bang Theory") and copious covers. I didn't catch all the cover songs, but "Ex-Lion Tamer" (Wire) and "Little Johnny Jewel" (Television) were two, with many more tucked in. The band took few breaks, and the vocals came out till Watt was beat red.
In total, the gig was something of a career primer with a definite look toward the future. Watt closed the set with his usual -- an emphatic "start yer own band."
More pictures from the show below...
words by Black Bubblegum, photos by Justina Villanueva
The Bronx @ Maxwell's
The Bronx was in Hoboken. No, not in some prehistoric-pangea-way - LA punks The Bronx (and Trash Talk) descended upon Maxwell's on April 22nd, one of two shows for the crew in the NYC area. Our esteemed photographer Justina was able to catch The Bronx, but missed Trash Talk. Fortunately, she caught up with the trio outside the venue, who at the time of their meeting, were not huffing paint, vandalizing buildings, or involved in hooliganism of any kind. We can't confirm their later activities.
Trash Talk outside Maxwell's
More Bronx pictures below...
by Black Bubblegum
The Bronx are on tour with Trash Talk. You may have caught them at Bowery Ballroom on Monday (April 20), or the next day (last night) in Philly. If not, you have another NYC-area chance to see the LA crew at Maxwell's tonight (4/22, tickets here).
In celebration of their area appearance, the band hooked us up with their new video. It's for the song "Past Lives" from their latest LP. Directed by Johnny Bekevac, it may be the greatest video ever made that merges breakdancing and punk rock. Check it out, along with more pictures taken during their set at the BrooklynVegan party they played at SXSW, and all tour dates, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The record release party for that disc will be a NYC boat cruise show hosted by Rocks Off on Friday, July 10th. Tickets are on sale.
Even sooner, the A-Bones play a show at NJ's Maxwell's on Friday, May 8th with Roddy Jackson and The Memphis Morticians. Tickets for that show are also on sale.
Tickets are on sale for other Rock Off boat shows too. Ska bands the Slackers (June 27) and the Pietasters (August 15) and UK punks the Business (May 15) are some of the bands on the schedule so far.
Down in New Orleans, the A-Bones are playing a show with the Condo Fucks (aka Yo La Tengo) on April 27th. That's followed by appearances at the Ponderosa Stomp Festival in the same town on April 28th and 29th. NYC's own mini version of that festival will happen at Lincoln Center in mid-July. The A-Bones aren't currently scheduled to be a part of that, but the full line-up won't be announced until April 22nd.
More info on the new A-Bones album, all tour dates, plus videos including one with Ira from YLT on vocals and guitar, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
June is going to be an exciting month for Old 97's fans. "An Evening With Old 97's" will be on tour in June through the eastern States. Both Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond will perform solo acoustic sets before taking the stage with Old 97's. Old97s.com has tickets for many of these shows.That tour visits Hoboken, NJ venue Maxwell's for four nights - tickets are on general sale for the shows on June 19th, June 20th, June 23rd and June 24th shows. The Old 97's will also play at Westchester's Tarrytown Music Hall (less than 1 hour from Grand Central) on Friday, June 26th. Tickets for that show are on sale, too.
And before those dates, Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller will play (Le) Poisson Rouge on Thursday, April 16th with Starling Crush. Tickets are on sale.
Miller's other Greater NY-area shows might be of interest as well. His May 30th show in Hunter, NY is part of the three-day Mountain Jam Festival. (Tickets are on sale - full lineup below.) And his May 1st show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ is part of the Writers in the Raw series. Miller appears there with David Johansen (of the New York Dolls), Alec Ounsworth (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), and Ashton Shepherd. (Tickets are on sale.)
Miller's newest, self-titled solo album will be out June 9th on Shout! Factory Records.
All tour dates, with Rhett Miller track list and Mountain Jam lineup below...
Last July, The Feelies played some shows at Maxwell's followed by their big and official reunion appearance on July 4th at Battery Park. This year, The Feelies will play Maxwell's ON July 4th, and one day earlier on July 3rd. Tickets for both shows are now on sale.
After they reunited, the Feelies didn't stop. Most recently they played a few non-NYC-area shows, an R.E.M. tribute at Carnegie Hall, and a NJ show on New Years Eve with Yo La Tengo.. In September of last year, they played NYC shows at both Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. The timing on those was not ideal though, as many potential ticket holders were probably upstate at the first-annual ATP NY Festival.
This year, The Feelies, instead of competing with it, are playing ATP NY (11 Sep 2009 to 13 Sep 2009, Kutshers Country Club). But that's not all; The Feelies will perform their 1980 album Crazy Rhythms at the festival where Dirty Three, Suicide, and The Drones are also performing full albums as part of the Don't Look Back day (9/11). Flaming Lips, Jesus Lizard, Melvins & the rest of the ATP lineup so far, HERE.
A live "Crazy Rhythm" video below...
by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Kylesa - "Said & Done" (MP3)
Kylesa @ Full Metal Texas, SXSW (more pics here)
Kylesa have scheduled ANOTHER pair of shows in the NYC area: May 27th at Maxwell's (tickets here) and Cake Shop on May 30th (yeah you read that right). That makes FIVE total NYC area shows that the Savannah crew has lined up in the month of May if you count their sold-out shows with Mastodon & Intronaut at MHOW and Irving Plaza and the one with Coheed & Cambria at Starland Ballroom. You officially have no excuse to miss 'em.
Kylesa is touring in support of their kick-ass new record Static Tensions, which includes "Said & Done" (above). Pitchfork dug it too.
Meanwhile, Kylesa drummer (one of them) Eric Hernandez's other project, Capsule, (who we profiled last year) have released a digital-only release entitled Tape + Demo + Tour. Check out the song "Just Three Lines" from that release (originally found on a short run, tour-only CD-R) at their myspace and pick it up at iTunes.
In addition, dig on the below videos that Capsule put together chronicling their show at The Fest 7 in Gainsville, FL.
All dates below...
mike watt & the missingmen
I put the missingmen together in the summer of 2006 in order to bring forth my third punk rock opera "hyphenated-man" (the first two being 1997's "contemplating the engine room" and 2004's "the secondman's middle stand"). whereas "...engine room" dealt w/my pop's life in the navy as a metaphor for the story of the minutemen and "...middle stand" was a parallel to dante's "comedia" dealing w/an illness that almost killed me in 2000, this third opera will be quite different in that it has no standard narrative (libretto!) meaning no regular beginning-middle-end and will be as it were "simultaneous" in the way a mirror from just inside my head - right in this middle-age moment of mine - was then shattered into thirtynine pieces, each showing a piece of my state of mind (or out-of-mind) as of now. "thirty tunes?" yes, they're little ones. too heavy to really hear minutemen stuff for many years, I had to face myself and get the nerve up to hear it again when I agreed to let keith scheiron and tim irwin make the "we jam econo" documentary (many thanks to them and all who helped out on that). I even did a few gigs w/george hurley w/us as a duet doing the old tunes and it was trippy for me, like I was digging on how "econo" those tiny tunes were - no filler, right to point. a big influence was those little creatures in those old hieronymus bosch painting - I read a theory about them maybe being visualizations of proverbs or aphorisms and me, not knowing much about sixteenth century dutch/flemish culture, made up my own meanings! -Mike WattMike Watt (of the Minutemen) has a bunch of shows scheduled over the next few months
UPDATE: All upcoming Mike Watt shows are Missingmen dates.
Dates includes May 7th at Maxwell's in Hoboken (tickets on sale now), May 8th at Mercury Lounge in NYC (tickets on sale at noon), a bunch of other headlining dates, and a bunch of shows opening for Dinosaur Jr. (J Mascis and Mike Watt together again).
There's a small gap in Mike's schedule at the beginning of May. I thought maybe new dates would show up, but according to an update I got from Mike himself after I first published this: "in the middle, may 3-4-5 has me three days in the studio w/them to record my third opera at tony maimone's studio in brooklyn (studio g)." Them = the missingmen. Also, Mike's calling the trip "'prac for the 3rd opera' tour 2009."
Dinosaur Jr's. tour starts not long after SXSW..
Having recently signed with Jagjaguwar, Dinosaur Jr will be hitting the road in April to road test new material in a town near you in cozier environs than you might expect. For the fortunate fans who score tickets to these select shows, they will also receive either a limited edition, tour-only 7" or a digital download code with the purchase of a ticket. The songs on this release were recorded live during a Pitchfork.tv feature at J Mascis' own Bisquiteen Studios.You can watch those and other videos, and see all tour dates, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The Music Tapes @ a CMJ show (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
The Music Tapes played Maxwell's in Hoboken on Sunday (3/1), and for those who missed the criminally under attended show (maybe something to do with the weather), you're in luck - they'll be back in town on Tuesday (tonight, 3/3) playing the Bell House with the same lineup of opening acts: musical mad scientist Brian Dewan and upbeat Elephant 6-ers Nana Grizol. Tickets are still available, and we're giving away a pair of tickets. Details below.
For the show at Maxwell's, I trekked through the blowing snow to arrive in Hoboken, a place that seems to have frozen in time the most picturesque parts of every U.S. small town. Inside the show space, hidden past the club's front restaurant-bar area, 40-50 brave concertgoer gathered around the stage, where second-act Nana Grizol rocked with warming exuberance. (I missed opener Brian Dewan - more on him later, though.)
Nana Grizol's eight-strong lineup crammed the stage, which was crowded with 7-Foot Tall Metronome and Static the Singing TV standing at attention for the upcoming Music Tapes set. But first, the Athens, GA, band shared songs and swapped instruments, which included guitar, bass, and two drum sets. One member switched from clarinet to trumpet to melodica with ease. The horn section expanded into three trumpet harmonies, then contracted to a single euphonium. The bulk of the songs were fronted by Theo Hilton, who sang with a kind of Promise Ring innocence in his voice. The roaring, clanking sound convinced me to shell out for a copy of their 2008 Orange Twin recording, Love It Love It.
Between bands, opener Brian Dewan set up a projector and screened a short film so good it made me wish I trudged out sooner to catch his solo set. The hand-drawn animated slides that populated the film told a short history of civic pride, coyly poking fun at the structures of society by connecting scenes of Aztec ritual sacrifice, paying taxes, and odious parking meters into a modern parable that paid homage to archaic public service videos. Each frame change was announced with a studious "plonk."
Shortly after, The Music Tapes took the stage, borrowing most of Nana Grizol's members (or maybe vice-versa). Julian Koster, as always, fronted the band with a banjo and saw. Elephant 6-regular Nesey Gallons also played banjo - in all, a lot of the Elephant 6 holiday tour seemed to be on board. On "Aliens," Dewan even joined the band, playing one of his homemade Melody Gins, a knob-covered oscillator contraption.
Koster played many of the same songs he did at the band's Mercury Lounge CMJ show: "Freeing Song for Reindeer,"
"Majesty," "Song for Oceans Falling," "Orchestra's Orchestration" and "What the Television Tells Us" (the latter two with props). A number of the songs started with just Koster and ended in double-drums, double-distorted banjo noise. On "Song for the Death of Parents," Koster played percussion by bouncing a kickball on a soup kettle with a microphone hidden underneath in a perfect melding of theme and medium.
Julian came into the crowd to play a singing-saw version of "The First Noel" and a song on his tiny electric organ, before returning to the stage and closing the show with "Manifest Destiny." (He also promised to play a crowd game with bells on Tuesday at the Bell House.)
Live, The Music Tapes continue to be one of the most consistently entertaining bands around. The scratchy, distorted sound of its recordings (can a singing saw's sound actually be recorded?), while interesting, drastically understates the buoyant joy and enigmatic energy of Koster and Co. in person.
Besides at tonight's Bell House show, New Yorkers can catch Brian Dewan when he performs a free set with his homemade-instrument project, Dewanatron (with cousin Leon), at the opening of Pierogi Gallery (177 N 9th St, Brooklyn) on Saturday, March 7, 9pm.
Video and contest details below...