Entries tagged with: NYC Popfest

25 result(s) displayed (26 - 50 of 61):

SLGTM

Michigan indie poppers Saturday Looks Good to Me, led by main songwriter Fred Thomas, are set to kick off their first tour since Fred ended the project back in 2008. The tour kicks off next month with support from Wild Moccasins. That tour includes a Brooklyn show happening on May 18 at Knitting Factory with Cola Jet Set, Orca Team, and Catnaps. Tickets are on sale now for the show which is part of NYC Popfest. All dates are listed below.

SLGTM reissued their 2003 album, All Your Summer Songs, on 180-gram white vinyl for Record Store Day via Polyvinyl. Did you pick one of those up? If not, you can try your luck bidding on one on eBay. Fred is also promising a new SLGTM album due out this fall. Meanwhile, Polyvinyl have assembled a playlist of the band's work, which you can stream below.

All dates and playlist stream below...

Continue reading "Saturday Looks Good to Me return -- tour dates announced, new record promised"

by Bill Pearis

The Pooh Sticks in the early '90s
The Pooh Sticks

The sixth-annual NYC Pop Fest is happening May 17 - 20 and the organizers have just announced the 27 band line-up, which includes UK acts Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who will wrap up their US tour together with their Popfest show, plus Comet Gain, Seattle's Seapony, Finland's Burning Hearts, Sweden's Speedmarket Avenue and The Electric Pop Group, and longrunning American indiepop group Saturday Looks Good to Me.

This year's line-up also included Wales' legendary Pooh Sticks (!) who haven't played in America since CMJ 1992, and the first ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excelent albums before and after his fluke (and unrepresentative) hit "Your Woman" in 1997. NYC is represented too, with The Ladybug Transistor, Habibi, Heaven's Gate, Pale Lights, The Marshmallows, Swearin' and Dear Marje.

Ticket and venue info is still TBA but sure to be announced soon. Click through for the full NYC Pop Fest 2012 line-up.

Continue reading "NYC Pop Fest 2012 line-up announced: Pooh Sticks, White Town, Comet Gain, Allo Darlin', Wave Pictures, Burning Hearts and many more playing"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD:Seapony - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOAD:Seapony - Blue Star (MP3)
DOWNLOADEternal Summers - Prisoner (MP3)

Seapony
Seapony

NYC Popfest is now over. It was a fun four days (as said before, Gold-Bears were seriously amazing). Popfest is branching out this year, increasing their presence throughout the year. They'll be at this year's Northside Festival for a June 16 showcase at Bruar Falls with The Secret History, Eternal Summers and Seattle's Seapony. I'm hearing rumors of CMJ and SXSW showcases in the works too.

Seapony will be playing three shows during their NYC visit. In addition to the Northside show, they'll play June 15 at Glasslands (w/ Idiot Glee, Holiday Shores and TEEN) and June 17 at Pianos. Their debut full length "Go With Me" comes out on Hardly Art on 5/31, and has some really lovely songs on it, melodic, jangly pop not unlike the kind Creation Records used to release before they signed Oasis. You can check out two tracks at the top of this post -- "Dreaming" is especially lovely.

Eternal Summers, meanwhile, are currently on tour with The Beets.... which will have them meeting up with Seapony this week at San Francisco Popfest. Check out the title track from Eternal Summers' new EP at the top of this post.

All tour dates for Seapony and Eternal Summers are below.

Continue reading "Seapony releasing "Go With Me", touring, playing shows w/ Eternal Summers (who are on tour now) -- MP3s & dates"

DOWNLOAD: Fan Modine - Julu Road (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fan Modine - Through the Valley (MP3)

Go Sailor

Go Sailor may be band from the past, but they have found Twitter and that's where the above message was posted last night during the NYC Popfest opening night show at Cake Shop where sets were played by PET MILK (PA), AMIDA (UK), GOLD-BEARS (GA), SEA LIONS (CA), DREAM DIARY (NYC), and THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART (NYC). Bill says it was surprisingly not that crowded, and that Gold-Bears were the stars of the night ("like Superchunk covering the Wedding Present, that kind of energy"). Pains sounded great too, though Peggy Wang joked, "I think we were better at Popfest '07." Here's a picture from their set at Popfest 2011:

Pains

Watch a video of Gold-Bears below.

Go Sailor's tweet also refers to the show they're playing for Popfest at Cameo tonight (5/20). They headline. SODA SHOP (NYC), CAUCUS (JAPAN), THE FELT TIPS (UK), and BETTY AND THE WEREWOLVES (UK) are all also on the bill which Bill discusses in much more detail in his entire fest preview. If you don't have a ticket, they say "LIMITED AMOUNT OF TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR (DAY OF SHOW)."

Go Sailor member Rose Melberg spoke to NY Press. Why did they reunite? "We had a great time when we got together last year for the Slumberland 20 year anniversary shows. So now when an opportunity comes up to play that works out for all of us we figure we might as well do it. It is mostly just a chance for us to hang out with each other since we all live so far apart." Who knows when they'll reunite again, so don't miss your chance tonight.

Popfest continues on Saturday and Sunday, and invividual day tickets are still on sale for both of those shows. Saturday is at Santos Party House. Sunday is the Rock Shop. More about both shows in our guide, but I do want to just remind you that Sunday's headliner is Fan Modine who doesn't get out much, and whose only other scheduled show at the moment is on 5/28 at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. The Rock Shop show will double as a record release show for Gratitude the Shipper, his first album in seven years. Two songs from that album are re-posted on the top of this post.

But that's not all. As previously mentioned, many of the bands playing Popfest have other stuff scheduled too, and you'll find some of those shows listed HERE, HERE, and HERE. May you have a very great tweekend.

A video of Gold-Bears performing in the Newtown Radio studios, below...

Continue reading "NYC Popfest continues, Gold-Bears played w/ TPOBPAH, Go Sailor is tonight, Fan Modine Sunday"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Amor de Días - Bunhill Fields (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Damon & Naomi - "Walking Backwards" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Damon & Naomi - "Shadow Boxing" (M4A)
DOWNLOADBNLX - Burn the Boats (MP3)
DOWNLOADBNLX - Garbage Strike (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beige - Folds (MP3)

Amor de Dias
Amor de Dias

This weekend is dominated, for me at least, by NYC Popfest but as I've already written an exhaustive (exhausting) post about that, so go read it and we'll discuss other shows here. There's lots more to cover anyway.

One thing, and this is Popfest related really, is that Amor de Días are here this weekend, playing Knitting Factory on Sunday (5/22) opening for Damon & Naomi. We've got a pair of tickets to give away to this show. Just send an email with your name to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Amor de Dias" and we'll pick a winner at random.

As you may know, the duo (Amor de Días) are Alisdair Maclean of The Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas, a group who played the first ever NYC Popfest back in 2007. I actually thought it was going to be Amor de Días in the "TBA" slot at the Thursday night Cake Shop show that turned out to be Pains of Being Pure at Heart. For this show to be happening at the same -- but not part of -- the 'Fest seems a little criminal.

MacLean and Núñez-Fernández formed Amor de Días back in 2008 and wrote and recorded whenever they had time, with help from current tourmates Damon & Naomi, indiepop legend (and master arranger) Louis Phillipe and Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson. Their debut, The Street of the Love of Days, came out this week on Merge and is a lovely little album as you might imagine from the talent involved. Their styles and voices are a perfect match for one another and the arrangements are just perfect. Among the treats is a particularly nice version of The Clientele's "Harvest Time." You can download "Bunhill Fields" at the top of this post.

Damon & Naomi's new album, False Beats and True Hearts, is a really nice record too. And if it's still pouring out Sunday night, all the better. It's an evening of rainy day music.

BNLX
BNLX

A much louder duo, also in town this weekend, are Minneapolis' BNLX, who play Pianos on Friday (5/20) and The Rock Shop on Saturday (5/21). I've written about them a couple times this year already and I do really dig their mix of rockin' tunes and corporate humor. I'll quote myself again:

Volume isn't just for punishment, though in the wrong hands it most certainly is. But sometimes you just can't achieve that clarity of sound, that particular strain of feedback, that shriiiiiiinnnnng you get from flicking the strings above the headnut, that tone...without cranking the amp. Ed Ackerson, a 20-year veteran guitar slinger of such Minneapolis bands as 27 Various and Polara, knows what he's doing. BNLX didn't just blow eardrums, they kinda blew minds...

...for being just two of them and a laptop, they made quite a racket at the Rock Shop. Normally I'm one to complain about bands using canned backing instead of a real drummer, but vintage drum machine sounds -- right out of 1987, be it Jesus & Mary Chain or Age of Chance -- are kind of integral to what BNLX are doing. With a stroboscopic lightshow (what, no smoke machines?) you didn't really need anyone else.

You can download two tracks from EP#5 at the top of this post, and I have a good feeling they'll have EP#6 at the merch table for the NYC shows. Also playing The Rock Shop show is Black Onassis, which is not the ex-drummer of Urge Overkill but a new group from former member(s) of Kasabian and Daylight for the Birds. Don't know much about them.

Jets

More interesting is what's happening earlier that same evening at The Rock Shop: a tribute to Brian Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets featuring a cavalcade of indie rock talent. Here's the press release:

When Brian Eno's first solo record, Here Come the Warm Jets, came out in 1974 it turned heads. It continues to baffle great minds due to the sneaky way it overlays whimsical pop with the beginnings of Eno's whole philosophy of creativity and experimentation.

Indy music stalwart Rob Christinsen (Eggs, Grenadine, East Ghost West Ghost) and Rock Shop booker Jack McFadden team up to present this great curiosity of a recording LIVE with a melange of rockers and experimentalists.

"It sounds fantastic but one of the things that I tried to do with Warm Jets was to bring musicians together who would normally never play together and to play a music that they couldn't agree upon. The music would come from the chemistry. But of course, it was impossible to do. I couldn't expect any of the session people I worked with to go along with it. They literally fought." - Brian Eno, 1974.

In that spirit, fifteen singers and ten instrumentalists from all musical worlds team up to perform this masterpiece.

The evening will be emceed by walking/talking Brian Eno encyclopedia, WNYC's John Schaefer.

Musicians performing include Travis Morrison (Dismemberment Plan), Hamish Kilgour (The Clean), Richard Baluyut (Versus), Rob Christiansen (Eggs), Amy Klein (Titus Andronicus), and Ben Trokan (Robbers On High Street).

book

Of course the big tribute this weekend is Sunday's Our Concert Could Be Your Life which celebrates the 10th anniversary of Michael Azzerad's chronicle of the American indie rock scene in the '80s. The talent assembled paying tribute to the bands covered in the book is pretty amazing, and it's changed/expanded a bit since first announced:

  • Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black Flag
  • Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
  • Citay plays Mission of Burma
  • Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
  • Grooms plays Husker Du
  • Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
  • Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
  • Callers plays Sonic Youth
  • Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
  • St. Vincent plays Big Black
  • Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
  • Buke and Gass plays Fugazi
  • White Hills plays Mudhoney
  • Yellow Ostrich plays Beat Happening
Janeane Garofalo and Eugene Mirman host the evening -- which is sold out, but I wouldn't be surprised if tickets were released day of show. Keep an eye out. UPDATE: They are back on sale as I type this.

[note: both Tune-Yards and Buke and Gass play a sold out show at MHOW one day earlier. Dan Deacon also plays more shows this week. Delicate Steve has a headlining show coming up soon at Brooklyn Bowl.]

---

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Cymbals Eat Guitars

And lastly, Cymbals Eat Guitars play their first show in a long time this Friday (5/20) at Glasslands. The band are finishing up their sophomore LP which is due out this fall ,so hopefully we'll get a preview of what's to come which they'll be playing in full at the show. The whole line-up is pretty good, with fellow '90s loving indie rockers Radical Dads (whose member Robbie just announced a new album for one of his other bands), Iranian transplants Yellow Dogs, and the psychedelic sounds of Mirror Mirror.

A few more picks, day by day, are below.

THURSDAY, MAY 19

It should be a fun night at Union Pool with neo baggy kids McDonalds, volatile and soul-bearing Wild Yaks, and The Surprisers.

continued below...

Continue reading "Amor de Días, not Popfest, BNLX, Cymbals Eat Guitars, album & book tribute shows, Cheeseburger, Beige & more in This Week in Indie "

DOWNLOAD: Kids on a Crime Spree - Sweet Tooth (MP3)

Kids on a Crime Spree

"[NYC Popfest] also marks the NYC debut of Kids on a Crime Spree, the band from Mario Hernandez, formerly of Ciao Bella and From Bubblegum to Sky (who played Popfest in '08). Kids' debut album, We Love You So Bad, is out May 31 on Slumberland (a word I have typed more than "indiepop" in this post) and is up there with my favorite things Mario has done over the last 20 years. '60s melodies meet bubblegum vocals in a smoky haze of feedback, distortion and handclaps. It's real good. Check out "Sweet Tooth" at the top of this post." - Bill
Like Sea Lions (whose total NYC show count is up to 5), the Slumberland-signed California band Kids on a Crime Spree are coming to NYC for Popfest, but playing more than just one show.

Like Sea Lions, Kids on a Crime Spree are playing Death By Audio on Saturday, 5/21, with The Hairs who play with Kids on a Crime Spree again at the Popfest show happening Sunday, 5/22 at the Rock Shop (a show we're giving away tickets for). Kids on a Crime Spree were also supposed to play with the Hairs AGAIN on Monday at Cake Shop, but that is cancelled. There is also a possible 5/20 show at Shea Stadium, but the venue doesn't list it and the band said it's tentative.

Finally, like Sea Lions, Kids on a Crime Spree are playing San Francisco Popfest on May 28th.If you know of other shows, let me know in the comments.

More about NYC Popfest, HERE. More about the new Slumberland album and all dates, below...

Continue reading "Kids on a Crime Spree releasing album on Slumberland, playing Popfest & other shows"

DOWNLOAD: Sea Lions - All Right (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Record Store (MP3)

Sea Lions
Sea Lions

As Bill wrote in our NYC Popfest 2011 preview, "Another repeat are Oxnard California's Sea Lions who were one of my favorites last year and who I'm pretty sure will have a record out on Slumberland too."

Sea Lions are playing Popfest, but they also have two other NYC shows coming up (that I could find) four other NYC shows coming up. On May 19th they play the sold out NYC Popfest show at Cake Shop with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Gold-Bears (who play and more. Two days later you can catch them TWICE. They play Saturday night shows at both Glasslands and Death By Audio in Brooklyn on a bill with other Popfest bands, and then the next afternoon, Sunday, 5/22. you can find them at a party in Bushwick. On May 24th they play Brooklyn Fireproof. On May 28th they are back in their home-state for an appearance on a Slumberland showcase at San Francisco Popfest. More details on all those dates, below.

Meanwhile for a taste of NYC Popfest before it even starts, Gold-Bears (who play Cake Shop with Sea Lions) are here and play Brooklyn Fireproof tonight (5/17) with The Hairs (who play Death By Audio with Sea Lions).

The Hairs (the new group from Kevin of Knight School fame) also play Rock Shop Sunday, Cake Shop Monday, and South Street Seaport in July. All dates below...

Continue reading "Gold-Bears are here, Sea Lions are coming, Popfest & other shows too (many w/ the Hairs)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: NYC Popfest Mix (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: Pet Milk - Cherry Outline (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Record Store (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sea Lions - All Right (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Go Sailor - Windy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Soda Shop - Farewell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Days - Simple Thing (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Days - Downhill (MP3)
DOWNLOADFan Modine - Julu Road (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Kids on a Crime Spree - Sweet Tooth (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Silver Swans - Secrets (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Silver Swans - Anyone's Ghost (the National) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Silver Swans - Mother of Pearl (MP3)

Go Sailor
Go Sailor

This week is the fifth-annual NYC Popfest which happens Thursday - Sunday (May 19 - 22) at a variety of NYC and Brooklyn venues, playing host to around 30 bands from around the world. Previous years have seen the likes of The Radio Dept, Pelle Carlberg, The Drums, Love is All, Allo Darlin' and more.

Festival passes are sold out at this point -- as are tickets to Thursday's show at Cake Shop with Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Gold-Bears -- but you can still get tickets to any of the other individual events.

We're also giving away pairs of tickets to the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows. Line-ups for each night are at the bottom of this post. We've got:

1 pair of tickets for Friday night at Cameo
3 pais of tickets for Saturday night at Santos
5 pairs of tickets for the all-day Sunday show at The Rock Shop.
To enter, just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "POPFEST" and the day you want tickets for, aka "POPFEST FRIDAY." We'll pick winners at random. Please note many of these shows are 21+.

This year's Popfest is a nice mix of new and old, jangly and loud. Every year at Popfest I've discovered at least two bands I'd never heard of before who've gone on to be favorites. I imagine this year will be no different. There are some MP3s above, plus a swell 24-song mix the Popfest folks made for your downloadable enjoyment. For this year's preview I'm just going to go through the events day-by-day. Keep reading below...

Continue reading "a guide to NYC Popfest 2011 (with lots of MP3s, day by day analysis & chances to win free tickets too)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

BOAT
Boat

In honor of our ramped up coverage of NYC Popfest 2011 (with more coming soon), here is an unposted set of pictures from NYC Popfest 2010 (day 3 & 4). More below...

Continue reading "NYC PopFest 2010, Day 3 & 4 in pics (belated pics)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Record Store (MP3)

Goldbears

Even without Pains, Thursday, May 19th at Cake Shop is a must see. Also playing that NYC Popfest show are their Slumberland labelmates Gold-Bears who have a similar ability to mix sweet melodies with roaring guitars. Their debut album, Are You Falling in Love?, just came out this week and is excellent. If there is a midpoint between The Wedding Present and The Mountain Goats, Gold-Bears may just be that. You can download their track "Record Store" at the top of this post. Gold-Bears haven't played NYC since last year's Popfest (when they played the Saturday matinee show.) More about the Cake Shop lineup and other bands playing Popfest coming soon (stay tuned).

Gold-Bears are on tour now, and if you can't make it to Cake Shop, they also play Brooklyn Fireproof two days earlier (with w/ the Hairs, the Sanctuaries, and Inland Island). All dates and a video are below...

Continue reading "Gold-Bears released an album on Slumberland, on tour now, playing Popfest (MP3, video & dates)"

by Bill Pearis

Pains @ Webster Hall (more by Winnie Cheung)
Pains

There has been an "11PM TBA" slot on the opening night of the fifth-annual NYC Popfest for the last month, and I've been hoping it would be someone really cool, and it is. Popfest HQ has announced that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart -- who just headlined Webster Hall -- will headline the May 19th show at Cake Shop. TPOBPAH last played Popfest in 2008 before most people knew who they were.

Individual tickets for that show are sold out, but four-day passes which will get you in are still available. More about all the bands playing Popfest this year coming soon. More Pains dates below...

Continue reading "TPOBPAH playing Cake Shop for Popfest (4-day passes still on sale) , and other dates"

NYC Popfest

Tickets are on sale for shows at the Rock Shop, Santos Party House, Cake Shop and Cameo. You can get four-day passes at the link too.

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Leaving Mornington Crescent
Leaving Mornington Crescent

"The fourth annual NYC Popfest, which ran from Thursday [May 20th] through Sunday [May 23], consisted of five showcases featuring more than 30 bands, mostly those that adhered to a few key tenets: summery, lo-fi, melodic, twee, nonconfrontational. This was indie-pop in the vein of the late 1980s through the mid-'90s, a mode that has been creeping back into fashion as part of a broader full-scale pop revivalism in indie rock.

From Best Coast to Dum Dum Girls to the Pains of Being Pure at Heart to Vivian Girls to Strange Boys and beyond, pop is ascendant once again, especially the sort with debts to clean-cut '50s rock and girl-group pop and soul." [NY Times]

It's been almost a month since NYC PopFest happened, and we actually already posted a set of pictures from the first night at Cake Shop back then. BUT, like the NY Times, Dominick, who got the flu right after the fest, was also on hand. His pictures from the first two days, now finally ready for posting, continue below...

Continue reading "NYC PopFest Day 1 & 2 in pics (belated pics) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADThe Sea Lions - I Wish I Was Lou Reed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sea Lions - Good Feelings (MP3)

Sea Lions @ Littlefield on Sunday
Sea Lions

NYC Popfest 2010 wrapped up on Sunday (Thursday coverage here) with an all-day event at Littlefield. One of the discoveries of the day (and of the Fest) for me was Oxnard, CA's Sea Lions who looked like they formed at the local Youth Center and sounded like a poppier (and more together) version of Cause Co-Motion. They exuded a kind of naive charm with super-catchy, no-pretense songs like "Oh No," "Good Feelings" and "Beautiful Day."

Then I remembered that Seattle blog (and old friend of mine) The Finest Kiss had picked their "Let's Groove" 7" as his Single of 2010, to which he wrote:

The Sea Lions aren't quite surf, not quite punk, and not quite twee.  What they are is ballsy to make the A-side of their first single an instrumental, but the Sea Lions seem to know what they're doing. In a year where sun, surf and sand were recurring themes around the indieverse the Sea Lions did it the best. No trendy reverb or washed out vocals, just straight up pop.
The Sea Lions have stuck around the East Coast to play some more shows. Maybe you saw them last night Bruar Falls with fellow Popfest attendees Neverever. They play Bruar Falls again tonight (5/25) for a free show, and then Shea Stadium on Friday (5/29). Both shows are with Toledo, OH's Handglops. Check out two Sea Lions MP3s at the top of this post and all Sea Lions tour dates are below.

Continue reading "The Sea Lions played PopFest & are sticking around a little longer - 2010 dates & some MP3s"

photos by Jessica Amaya

"Veronica Falls was worth the wait and sauna-like conditions at Cake Shop. PopFest Day 1 ended very strong." - Tim

Veronica Falls @ Cake Shop on 5/20
Veronica Falls

"{Then there's Veronica Falls play the 5/20 show at Cake Shop. Maybe you saw them this past weekend when they played Glasslands on Saturday and Bruar Falls on Sunday. Their Glasslands performance was great, and they were surprisingly rockin', given the gentle nature of some of their recordings. Singer/guitarist James Hoare is a student of the David Gedge school of manic strumming, especially on their "Found Love in a Graveyard" single that becomes almost like an extended VU jam onstage." [Bill Pearis]
The 2010 edition of NYC PopFest concludes today, Sunday (5/23), at Littlefield in Brooklyn. It all started Thursday night, May 20th, at Cake Shop in Manhattan. A bunch of pictures and videos from that show, below....

Continue reading "NYC PopFest Day 1 @ Cake Shop in pics & video (Veronica Falls, Sweater Girls, Elephant Parade & more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Young and Dumb (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tender Trap - Girls with Guns (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOADAllo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOADVeronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moustache of Insanity - Amazon Wishlist (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Horowitz - Winona (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Embassy - It Pays to Belong (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Leaving Mornington Crescent - Corners (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Very Truly Yours - I'd Write You a Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Night Train (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bunnygrunt - Hometown Rockstar (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bears - Wait and See (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Tally (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sea Lions - I Wish I Was Lou Reed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: One Happy Island - Temporary Tattoo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Young Friends - Make Out Point (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Apple Orchard - Half Steps to Bright Smiles (MP3)
DOWNLOADDream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: World Atlas - Winter Stories (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Teenage Stride - Creep Academy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cotton Candy - Fantastic & Spectacular (MP3)

PopFest

NYC Popfest 2010 starts on Thursday with four days of cheery tunes and good vibes. And with temperatures that are supposed to climb into the '80s, we may finally answer the question, "When is it too hot to wear a vintage cardigan?" In years past, Popfest has played host to the likes of Pains of Being Pure at Heart ('07 & '08), Cats on Fire ('08 & '09), The Radio Dept ('09), BMX Bandits ('07), The Drums ('09), and lots more.

This year's line-up is pop-solid and we're giving away a Festival Pass that will get one person into all four nights. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "POPFEST" and we'll pick a winner at random and notify them Wednesday night (tonight). Please note, some of these Popfest shows are 21+.

Festival passes are otherwise sold out, but there are currently still tickets available for all four shows, though I think you might want to act quick on the Cake Shop (5/20) and Don Hills (5/21) shows as they're at small venues. Here's an overview of what's going on, complete with MP3s for almost every band playing (above).

The Wake
The Wake

Popfest organizers scored a coup getting Scottish indiepop legends The Wake (not the American goth band of the same name) to play the big Saturday (5/22) show at the Bell House. While they the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, their catalog is well-regarded, especially 1985's Here Comes Everybody which is a bona fide  indie classic. Check out "O Pamela" at the top of this post. The band's hazy, reverb-laden sound has parallels to current bands like The Radio Dept or Wild Nothing, or any of the chillwave groups out there.  The Wake are working on a new album due out this year. This is their only U.S. show. Stick around after The Wake's show for a DJ set from Victoria Bergsman.

Bunnygrunt
Bunnygrunt

Bunnygrunt date back to the early '90s cuddlecore scene (a genre which now sounds like some kind of porn for Furries) and were contemporaries of bands like Tiger Trap and Tullycraft. Reformed since 2004, these Saint Louis indie legends are pretty much patron saints to Popfest bands.

The Embassy
The Embassy

At the all-day Sunday (5/23) show at The Littlefield show features the first and only U.S. performance by enigmatic Swedish duo The Embassy who's music is somewhere between indiepop and Balearic disco. I liked 2005's Tacking which came out on the Service label, home of Jens Lekman, Studio and The Tough Alliance. Check out "It Pays to Belong" at the top of this post. but the band have been rather quiet since. Maybe we'll find out what's going on with them at the show.

Then there's Veronica Falls play the 5/20 show at Cake Shop. Maybe you saw them this past weekend when they played Glasslands on Saturday and Bruar Falls on Sunday. Their Glasslands performance was great, and they were surprisingly rockin', given the gentle nature of some of their recordings. Singer/guitarist James Hoare is a student of the David Gedge school of manic strumming, especially on their "Found Love in a Graveyard" single that becomes almost like an extended VU jam onstage.

Neverever
Neverever

Singer Roxanne Clifford and drummer Patrick Doyle were both in Glasgow's The Royal We, whose singer Jihae is now in Neverever who will play the Littlefield show on Sunday. The band also features her n0w-husband Wallace Meek who was in fellow Glaswegian band Bricolage but they now call Los Angeles their home. The band's debut, Angelic Swells, is out next week on Slumberland and is fairly indebted to '60s girl groups. Check out "Blue Genes" at the top of this post. I'll admit that part of me hopes we'll get a Veronica Falls/Neverever supergroup to play Royal We's awesome single "All the Rage" (the band never played America) but I'm not holding my breath.

Tender Trap
Tender Trap

Tender Trap play the Friday (5/21) show at Don Hill's which is also the bi-weekly Mondo! party. Not to be confused with anthemic Australian band The Temper Trap, The Tender Trap features Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey who were both in iconic indiepop bands Tallulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research. I was a big fan of their last album, 2006's 6 Billion People, Their new album, Dansette Dansette, is out June 22 on Slumberland Records and you can download "Girls with Guns" from it at the top of this post.

Recently added to Tender Trap's lineup is Elizabeth Darling of Allo Darlin who also play the Don Hills/Mondo! show. Their debut album is out June 7 (in the UK at least, not sure if anyone's grabbed it up stateside) and is full of bouncy and charming guitar pop not too far removed from Belle & Sebastian. Their single "The Polaroid Song" is one of my favorite tracks of 2009 and you can watch the Breakfast Club homage video for it at the bottom of this post. And you can download a couple tracks from the album at the top of this post. Allo Darlin are also making the most of their trip, playing a short East Coast tour. Dates are at the bottom of this post.

Moustache of Insanity
Moustache of Insnity

Allo Darlin's Will Harrison also plays in Moustache of Insanity who are playing the free daytime show on Saturday at Spike Hill. Sometimes compared to Moldy Peaches, the band should provide some levity (and cheap keyboards) to the proceedings. Check out "Amazon Wishlist" at the top of this post for an idea of what you're in for, and if you want to hear more, you can download a zip of their new EP here and there are loads of downloads via their website.

Some more UK bands: Horowitz make nerdy, nasally bedroom pop, and hearts!attack are one of the more ramshackle/low-fi groups playing the fest. Good stuff.

Leaving Mornington Crescent
Leaving Morning Crescent

And it wouldn't be a Popfest without some Swedish bands. In addition to The Embassy, there's Leaving Mornington Crescent who play Cake Shop on Thursday, and A Smile and a Whisper at Littlefield on Sunday.

The Don Hill's show on Friday will be the last-ever NYC show for Boston's Pants Yell! who are splitting up after playing a farewell show in their hometown next week.

One of the many highlights of The Bell House show is Seattle's BOAT who will play some non-popfest shows too.

One Happy Island
One Happy Island

This will be the second year in a row at Popfest for Chicago's Very Truly Yours, who are playing the e debut LP was just released this spring. You can download at track from it at the top of this post. Recommended if you like winsome, Camera Obscura style. pop.  Also back from last year are Vermont's Smittens (5/21 Don Hill's), and it will be the second Popfest for Boston's One Happy Island who last played it in 2008 and play this year at the Saturday afternoon free show at Spike Hill. Check out "Temporary Tattoo" at the top of this post.

There's a few animal bands (in addition to Bunnygrunt): Cleveland, OH's Bears, who play the Bell House show (5/22), are lush and lovely with gorgeous harmonies. Check out "Wait and See" at the top of this post, whereas Gold Bears (Spike Hill, free day show 5/22) from Atlanta, are more in the shambly tradition of The Shop Assistants and Boyracer. Then there's local duo Elephant Parade (Cake Shop on 5/20) who play laptoppy folk, and the Sea Lions (Oxnard, CA playing the Sunday show at Littlefield) evoke comparisons to the Pastels and The Clean.

Sweater Girls
Sweater

More out-of-town American bands: Sweater Girls are from Los Angeles and feature Allan Kingdom of C-86-era UK group The Siddelys; and Santa Monica Swim & Dive Club are actually from Michigan and play super-twee acoustic pop; The Young Friends are from Arizona but sound like Scotland 1980; and Apple Orchard hail from Richmond, California and make dreamy, Field Mice-ish pop (lots of free MP3s on their website).

Florida's For Ex-Lovers Only named themselves after a Black Tamborine song and kind of sound like that too. They play Littlefield on Saturday.

Opening the Don Hills show on Friday are Cotton Candy, which is Mark Robinson's current band that also features his wife. There's more a capella covers of old commercial jingles than you might expect from the former frontman of Unrest (who are reforming briefly).

And of course NYC is well represented. In addition to previously mentioned Elephant Parade, indiepop stalwarts My Teenage Stride, who are the only band to have played all for NYC Popfests, will play the big Bell House show on Saturday, as do World Atlas (NYC's answer to Belle & Sebastian); Dream Diary (NYC's answer to The Pastels/Field Mice) play Cake Shop on Thursday, and the shoegazy Corita play the free Saturday afternoon show at Spike Hill. And The Secret History make their third appearance at the Fest at Littlefield on Sunday.

Ok, I think I got everybody in there. Day-by-day Popfest schedule, plus some other tour dates and videos after the jump.

Continue reading "a massive guide to NYC Popfest 2010, lots of MP3s & a chance to win a festival badge "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADBOAT - Prince of Tacoma (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - Lately (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - I'm a Donkey for Your Love (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - Last Cans of Paint (MP3)

BOAT (more by Ryan Muir)
BOAT

In addition to playing this year's NYC Popfest (Saturday, May 22 at Bell House), Seattle's BOAT have two other shows lined up while visiting our city. They'll play Bruar Falls on Thursday, May 20 with You, You're Awesome from Cincinnati and Brooklyn's Jirpah. They're also playing a second show on 5/22 after the Bell House performance -- a late night (doors at 11PM) at Glasslands where they'll share the bill with DOM (who play our Northside Fest show) and Happy Birthday and "more TBA."

The Bell House show is the big event for this year's Popfest, with Scottish post punk band The Wake playing America for the first time ever. Plus Brooklyn's My Teenage Stride and World Atlas, Bears from Cleveland, and Chicago's Very Truly Yours.

BOAT are also playing some other Popfests around the country (San Francisco, Athens, GA) as well as a few other shows. All 2010 tour dates, plus a couple KEXP performance videos, are below...

Continue reading "more BOAT dates & Popfest shows "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Veronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: NYC Popfest Mix (ZIP)

Veronica Falls

As mentioned before, UK band Veronica Falls are playing this year's NYC Popfest on Thursday May 20 at Cake Shop. If you can't attend that, the band have booked a few other shows in town: they play Glasslands on May 15 with Crystal Stilts and Bruar Falls on May 16. Veronica Falls are also playing the Elm City Popfest in New Haven, CT on May 14 and Boston on May 17. After Popfest, they'll support Teenage Fanclub on a UK tour.

Based out of London, the band are made up of ex-members of defunct Glasgow bands The Royal We and Sexy Kids, as well as a member poached from Your Twenties. Their debut single "Found Love in a Graveyard" (one of my favorite tracks of 2009) is out now on Captured Tracks, the b-side of which is a really lovely version of Roky Erickson's "Starry Eyes." Download the A-side at the top of this post. The follow-up, "Beach Head," will be out May 18, just in time for Popfest. The Royal We and Sexy Kids never made it to America (worth checking out, though) so do try and catch one of their shows.

Speaking of NYC Popfest, festival passes are sold out but you can still buy individual tickets for all shows. It's a great line-up this year, including Manchester post punk legends The Wake, Seattle's BOAT, one of Pants Yell!'s last-ever shows, Tender Trap (new band from Amelia Fletcher of Talulah Gosh and Heavenly fame) (not to be confused with Temper Trap), Allo Darlin' and loads more. There's lots of information about the bands over at the official NYC Popfest blog. Also, the Popfest organizers have put together a nice mix of 17 of the popfest bands -- the link to the zip file is at the top of this post.

All 2010 Veronica Falls tour dates, videos and the tracklisting of that Popfest mix are all after the jump.

Continue reading "more Veronica Falls tour dates & a free Popfest MP3 mix "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Veronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Lately (MP3)

Veronica FAlls

The line-up for the fourth annual NYC Popfest has just been announced, which will happen May 20 - 23 at a variety of venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Thirty-two bands from around the world will be playing, and I think it's a pretty strong bunch of bands. Highlights for me include Veronica Falls (pictured above) which features ex-members of The Royal We and Sexy Kids; newly-reformed Glasgow/Factory Records legends The Wake who'll have a new album out this year; London all-girl trio The Tender Trap (not to be confused with The Temper Trap); winsome Allo Darlin' who are also from London and will be at SXSW this year; L.A.'s Neverever (until recently known as the Champagne Socialists); and Seattle's awesome BOAT.

A few MP3s to whet your Popfest appetite. Ticket info hasn't been announced yet, but you can follow the Popfest blog or Twitter for updates. You can check out the full NYC Popfest line-up after the jump.

Continue reading "NYC Popfest 2010 lineup announced (Veronica Falls, The Wake, The Tender Trap, BOAT & more) "

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
Suburban Kids with Bibilical Names

NYC Popfest ended last Sunday with a marathon of a show in the basement of Cake Shop on the Lower East Side. We already posted the pictures of The Drums (with a short summary of that day), and you can browse pics from the first three nights of NYC Popfest HERE. Now check out the rest from day four (5/17), with a bunch of videos, below...

Continue reading "NYC Popfest (2009) - night 4 pics & video from Cake Shop "

words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

The Drums

Nobody knew what was in store; not the band and certainly not those in attendance. But the first-ever show by Florida's The Drums (Jonathan Pierce of Elkland and Jacob Graham of Horse Shoes) was arguably the highlight of the final day of NYC Popfest (5/17). Playing shimmery, surf-pop with a bit of post-punk bent, The Drums charged through an all-too-brief performance that set the tone for the second half of a marathon day in which 12 bands performed at Cake Shop on the Lower East Side. There was bouncy, jubilant pop from Vermont's The Smittens and a thoughtful, stripped down set from ex-Softie Rose Melberg early on; quirkiness from Casper and The Cookies (who managed to knock out the string lights during their set) and dreamy pop of the Burning Hearts (comprised of members of Cats On Fire) later; and a raucous end to Popfest by Sweden's Suburban Kids With Biblical Names. But wedged in between was a killer seven-song salvo by The Drums who follow up their Popfest success with a show on May 30 at Union Hall with Pelle Carlberg (tix).

If you miss them, don't worry, they also have four more NYC shows at the Annex scheduled in June - the same month their debut EP, Summertime, will be released. Listen at their website. All dates, and more Popfest pictures below...

Continue reading "The Drums wowed Popfest (pics), playing 5 more NYC shows "

words by Eleanor Whitney and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

DOWNLOAD: The Secret History - It's Not the End of the World Jonah (MP3)

The Secret History
The Secret History

The New York City Popfest continued on Saturday night (5/16) with a packed line-up and packed house at Brooklyn's Bell House. Following openers Computer Perfection, California-based Eux Autres put in a super energetic set. From the persistent "bam bam bam" of the drums to the classic trade off of boy/girl vocals complete with girl group-esque harmonies, Eux Autres captured true the pop spirit of the festival. The were buoyed by trumpet playing from the Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson, Brooklyn's go-to musician for indie trumpeting.

The Secret History, who rose from the ashes of indie new wave darlings My Favorite, followed with pop melodies from the eerie, narrative driven side of the spectrum. Lead vocalist Lisa Ronson, clad in all black, and vocalist Erin Dermondy, clad in all white, were a glamorous site, but were too frozen at times for the dramatics the songs demanded as they invoked monsters and dead rock stars. Lisa's talents as a singer were best showcased during a cover of the Smiths' "Reel Around the Fountain," which singer and keyboardist Michael Grace, Jr. explained was "the reason he started writing pop songs and will never write a hit." At one point during the set Michael wore a tambourine as a halo, which served as a fitting popfest metaphor.

Following The Secret History's densely orchestrated anthems, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Pant Yell! played an enjoyably straight-ahead, indie rock set. It was heavy on the jangly guitar and three boys in the band wore their earnest hearts on their stripped sleeves.

The lineup's crown jewel were Swedish headliners The Radio Dept. in their second US appearance since 2003 (their first was one night earlier). The band delivered shimmering, dreamy pop with plenty of laptop-based layers and effects-laden guitars to keep Shoegaze fans satisfied. Their use of electronic, as opposed to live, drums made their set musically less energetic than the other bands, but the sound was still nice and full and the energy on the stage dynamic.

While from stage The Radio Dept. delivered down tempo, atmospheric pop with song titles like "I Wanted You to Feel the Same" and "The Worst Taste in Music" the sold-out crowd acted like they were at the indie-pop equivalent of an arena rock concert. The merest "thank you" uttered by the band brought forth roaring applause and cheers. While The Radio Dept.'s danceable beats and charming crush of sounds seem best suited for mild-mannered bopping, the activity of most of the crowd during their set, they also inspired fist pumping and ecstatic hand waving. After their one-song encore legions of fans rushed towards the stage to thank the band as they exited to howling applause. It was clear Brooklynites demand their pop and have high expectations for Swedish bands to deliver it. Thought their set felt short at 40 minutes, The Radio Dept. fans were not disappointed.

Pictures & videos from Day One, HERE. Day Two, HERE, Day Three, below...

Continue reading "NYC Popfest - night 3 pics & video (The Secret History, Radio Dept. Pants Yell! & more...) "

words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Freddie and the Trojan Horse (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - The Worst Taste in Music (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - A Window (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Pulling Our Weight (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Why Won’t You Talk About It? (MP3)

The Radio Dept.
The Radio Dept.

"The Friday night show at Don Hill's was advertised as a "warm-up show" but it was hardly a dry run. [The Radio Dept.'s] eight-song set ran over half an hour - a full showcase at some festivals - and even though they had no drummer, no bassist and played over a significant amount of pre-recorded backing tracks - usually things that'd put me right off - they still grabbed the heartstrings. It's the songs. It didn't matter how they did it, but they came off with all the beautiful melancholy the records carried without sounding like a karaoke act. Favouring the cleaner sonic aesthetic of their more recent works, both Martin Carlberg and Johan Duncanson reproduced their surprisingly intricate guitar parts flawlessly, Carlberg's vocals were resonant with yearning and resignation and the feeling of being wrapped in a fuzzy blanket of sound very much in effect. True, their onstage charisma was nearly non-existent - they seemed awkward and uncertain how to respond to the enthusiasm of the audience - but even that fit perfectly with their persona." [Chromewaves]
Day Two of NYC Popfest (Friday, May 15, 2009) moved from local and stateside bands to The Scandavian countries. Sweden's The Radio Dept. (in a warm-up to their headlining show the next day) and Lichtenstein both performed ahead of the excellent Cats On Fire. Cats' lead-singer, Mattias Björkas, looks like David Bowie, sounds eerily like Morrissey and coyingly moves and postures like Rhett Miller. Their set at Don Hill's put everyone in a proper mood for the Mondo indie dance party that followed. Early on, local-boy Don Lennon and L.A.'s The Tartans also performed.

Cats on Fire and Lichtenstein shared a bill again, last night (5/19) at Bruar Falls in Brooklyn. More pictures and videos from the Don Hill's show below...

Continue reading "NYC Popfest - night 2 pics & video (The Radio Dept, Cats on Fire, Lichtenstein & more...) "

photos & words by Dominick Mastrangelo

My Teenage Stride

My Teenage Stride

NYC Popfest, the four-day love affair with all things indiepop started on Thursday (5/14) with a lineup featuring all New York City bands. A full Cake Shop watched Knight School kick things off, followed by Soft City's first-ever show. Girl group, Dream Bitches, The Metric Mile (now a five-piece), My Teenage Stride featuring one of drummer Brett Whitmoyer's last shows with the band, and The Ballet rounded out Day One.

"Best band of the night was My Teenage Stride who seem to shed members after each Popfest performance. Last year, they lost a bassist and guitarist. Tonight was MTS' final show with longtime drummer Brett Whitmoyer, and frontman Jed Smith seem genuinely broken up about it. "New York is a shitty place for bands,' he admitted to the crowd before clarifying, "Well, a shitty place for bands to try and make it." It's especially shitty, as My Teenage Stride are at a creative peak if you ask me, with their current string of monthly Emusic singles being some of the best stuff they've done to date. They played their May single, which has yet to actually drop and the name of which I missed, and it rivals "Creep Academy" for awesomeness. (I shot video of it, which is below.) They'll have to rebound quickly, though, as their next gig is Monday night at The Bell House." [Bill Pearis]
The full lineup of Monday's show (5/18) is My Teenage Stride, The Beets, and Tom Hamilton. It's just $5.00 to get in, and there's free beer from 7:30-8:30pm.

More pictures from Night One of Popfest at Cake Shop, below...

Continue reading "NYC Popfest - night 1 pics (My Teenage Stride, Knight School, The Ballet, Soft City & more...) "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Springfactory - On the Back of Your Bike (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Springfactory - Get Out of Bed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Tartans - The Cats of Camerford (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Horoscope (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Letter from a Voyage to Sweden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Liechtenstein - Roses in the Park (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Vaselines - Son of a Gurn (MP3)

Pop Fest

Firstly, an update on NYC Popfest which starts tonight (5/14) and runs through Sunday (5/17). Advance tickets are sold out for the Saturday (5/16) show with The Radio Dept., Pants Yell! and The Secret History at The Bell House, as has the all-day Sunday show at Cake Shop, though the latter should have tickets at the door. The good news is The Radio Dept. have been added to the Friday night (5/15) show at the Don Hill's which already includes Sweden's Liechtenstein, the spiffy pop of Finland's Cats on Fire, L.A. band The Tartans and local boy Don Lennon. If you ask me, this is the unmissable show of the weekend. Tickets are still available through the Popfest website. Also, if you can't make the show Friday, both Leichtenstien and Cats on Fire play Bruar Falls on Tuesday, May 19.

In other Popfest news, another Swedish band, Stockholm's Springfactory, have been added to the free day show on Saturday at Cake Shop. There's a couple MP3s of theirs to check out at the top of this post. The fest kicks off tonight with an all-locals show at Cake Shop featuring Knight School, Soft City, Dream Bitches, The Metric Mile, My Teenage Stride and the Ballet. Full Popfest lineup is at the bottom of this post and there are loads more MP3s from just about all the bands HERE.

Acrylics
Acrylics

There's lots of other non-Popfest stuff going on this weekend, much of it making me wish I could be in two places at once. Cameo Gallery tonight (5/14) plays host to two Dirty on Purpose offshoots: Joe and the Flying Spoons which is guitarist Joe Jurewicz country-tinged outfit that features a chorus of girl backup singers; and Pursesnatchers which is drummer Doug Marvin's solo project that is the closest in sound of any of the DoP splinter groups to the original. Also on the bill: awesome duo Sisters who I've written about recently and were runners up in this year's L Magazine thing; and Acrylics who make lovely synthy pop not dissimilar to The Rosebuds. The three songs on Acrylics' MySpace are all quite good, definitely worth checking out whether you plan on hitting this show or not.

Cake Shop

Cake Shop is celebrating its four-year anniversary this month with a series of special-event Saturdays. This Saturday's (5/16) seems especially special: an ADD-friendly marathon of 16 bands playing four songs each (natch), with different drink specials in between each band. And it's only $4 to get in. The party kicks off with Knight School at 8PM and finishes with Moonmen on the Moon, Man (supposedly from San Diego but who look suspiciously like Cake Shop owners and staff) around 1AM if they stay on schedule. In between, My Teenage Stride, The Beets, Boy Genius, Air Waves and more will get their 15 minutes. Check out the flyer below for the full list of bands and set times. This sounds like a blast.

Spiral Beach
Spiral Beach

I should also mention that Toronto's Spiral Beach are in town this weekend playing three shows: Tonight (5/14) at Death by Audio, and two shows on Friday (5/15): an early one at Fontana's, and then a house show at 265 Mikibbin St in Bushwick. Spiral Beach opened for Sloan at Bowery Ballroom a couple years ago and I wrote at the time: "I don't even know how to describe them. They're a bit like the Coral or the Zutons, by way of Oingo Boingo (minus the horns). Psychotic circus music?" They were a lot of fun. The band's 2007 album, Ball, just getting released in the U.S.

The Vaselines
Vaselines

And last but not least... The Vaselines! They play Sunday (5/17) at Bowery Ballroom (with Woods) and tickets are still available; Monday's (5/18) show at at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Adam Green is sold out. The band played Seattle on Tuesday and The Finest Kiss had this to say:

Seeing the Vaselines last night was like sex on the second date. The first date was last summer at Sub Pop 20 festival. Their set at Marymoor Park last July was just about perfect with Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee's sexually tinged funny stage banter and even better harmonies, they were easily the highlight of that perfect summer afternoon. After a first date that goes so well, you always kind of prepare yourself for a letdown on date number two. You start to see the imperfections, maybe a few wrinkles or a bald spot. The Vaselines may have their imperfections, but I'm still blinded by lust to really notice any of them. Francis joked saying that you may think you're at the wrong gig if you're looking for the people on the poster, referring to the much younger looking Vaselines that adorned the advertising for the show. They also tried to explain their long absence with wild stories of Eugene becoming a Hare Krishna, explaining his lack of hair, and Frances's time in prison for allegedly getting facials with underage boys...

The better sounding Vaselines is probably due to the band being better musicians than they were 20 years ago. Even though they sounded less ragged, they still have the attitude and humor that made them so special in the first place. There is no way that anyone at this gig went home disappointed from this gig, besides sounding great, they played every single one of their songs and even graced us with two brand new ones.

The band's classic compilation, The Way of the Vaselines, just got reissued on Sub Pop as a two-CD/3-platter-vinyl deluxe edition, now retitled Enter the Vaselines and it's just essential. And go see them if you can.

Flyers, videos, tour dates and the full popfest schedule after the jump...

Continue reading "NYC Pop Fest, Acrylics, Vaselines, Springfactory, Cake Shop, Spiral Beach & more in This Week in Indie"