Entries tagged with: Northside Festival

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photos by Tamara Porras, Prurient photos by Louis Caldarola, words by BBG

Iceage
Iceage

Prurient and Iceage headlined the Sacred Bones/Stereogum showcase at Public Assembly on June 17th, with help from Cult of Youth (who have a new album and tour with Cold Cave in August), The Men (who played Death By Audio earlier that week), Yellow Tears, Lost Tribe, Pop1280, and Anasazi. The show, part of the Northside Festival, marked the US debut of Iceage and is one of a few shows planned for the band in the coming weeks.

By the time I arrived at the Sacred Bones/Stereogum show after catching Deafheaven, Iceage had already taken the stage and were into their first song. The crowd was dancing like maniacs and had started a pit in front of the stage. The band's reverb and noise-heavy post-punk was as snotty and disaffected on stage as it is on New Brigade, and the audience ate it up.

Prurient
Prurient

I ducked out of Iceage a touch early though to get into the smaller room to catch Prurient which, as expected, filled quickly to capacity following the close of Iceage. Standing up front, I caught all of Dominick Fernow's violent and fantastic 15 minute set that included his Cold-Cave bandmate Wes Eisold addding another layer of electronic noise. Dominick screamed and thrashed violently (ultimately knocking over his rig) into two microphones while an icy mix of darkwave synths, black metal, and noise blasted through the PA. Incredible set.

If you missed out on the show on Friday (6/17) you can still catch quite a few of the bands in the coming weeks. Cult of Youth play Knitting Factory with Cold Cave on 7/12. Iceage are back in NYC for a few more dates including a FREE in-store Wednesday at Other Music and a show at 285 Kent on Saturday with JEFF The Brotherhood and a suprise guest (Fucked Up).

Yellow Tears have a few dates in their future as well, playing the Ende Tymes Festival of Noise and Experimental Liberation at Silent Barn on June 24th-26th, the Burning Fleshtival III at The Red Light District on 7/29 and 7/30, and The Stone on August 2nd.

We already posted the Men pics from the show HERE. More pictures from the rest of the show and some video of Yellow Tears (most of their set), Iceage, and Prurient, below...

Continue reading "Iceage, Prurient & friends played Public Assembly (Northside pics & video)"

words by Andrew Sacher, most photos by Jessica Amaya

Yacht

After watching Deervana at Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday (6/19), I ran over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch whatever I could of YACHT's set, which had already begun. I ended up being able to see the last 45 minutes or so of the Northside Festival show. They played a ton of material off the new album which vocalist Claire Evans mentioned was not out yet (it came out today, June 21) but admitted that many of us had probably heard it already. Being that she was very right in her assumption, the new material made for some of the most exciting moments of the night.

It was my first time seeing YACHT, and given that I hadn't heard too much about their live show, I wasn't expecting anything like the performance they gave. Not only was the music spot on, but the band's image really added to the entire show. Claire provocatively pranced around stage in all white with a white microphone/mic cable, while the rest of the band, Bobby Birdman included, stayed a bit stiller at their instruments in Devo-esque matching suits. On the few songs that Jona Bechtolt sang lead vocals, he was actually as animated as Claire, but in a manner that was more goofy than sexy. Jona jumped into the crowd where he sang the majority of one number. Both frontpeople had choreographed complementary dance moves, including one which crossed between the macarena and hear no evil/see no evil/speak no evil.

Midnight Magic and The Miracles Club both opened the show, but I obviously missed them, as did Jessica who was at Deervana too. More pictures of YACHT below...

Continue reading "YACHT played MHOW (pics)"

photos by Tamara Porras, words by Klaus Kinski

Guided By Voices

If you live in NYC (and don't live under a rock) you are very well aware that the 4-day music/film/art extravaganza that is The Northside Festival swept through the ultra-tough, filthy, gang ridden, and decrepit streets of North Williamsburg. Sadly, because of my rigid and limited musical preferences, the list of acts playing read like a foreign phone book to me and only one band (of the, what, 250? 300? bands) was enough for me to venture out and risk life and limb in the land of bad tattoos, cut-offs, deep Vs, and big sunglasses. That band? Guided By Voices.

This is my third time seeing the Classic Line-Up (anyone else sick of hearing them referred to as The Classic Line-Up?) and, whooooo boy, did they bring the stank! Besides the music and the license to drink excessively and pump one's fist high into the air, the best part of a GBV show (ANY GBV show, including non-Classic Line-Up shows) is the camaraderie. It never fails; whenever I am at a GBV show I run into friends who I never see otherwise, but who feel closer than most of the people I know on Facebook. And it's not hard to make new friends when you and several hundred other people are double-fisting over-priced beer and singing along to the music.

The fun started for me at 6pm on the dot as I arrived moments before Wavves hit the stage. It was 80 degrees, partly cloudy, nice breeze... perfect for an outdoor show. I have never seen Wavves, but being an avid BV reader they have a reputation in tow that certainly piqued my interest. And I liked them a lot. They were just straight up rock. Nothing flashy, nothing hard to digest... just good old fashioned rock. I mean, if you want rocket science, by all means, go listen to Yes or Dream Theater. They were definitely the perfect lead in to GBV. By the time they finished, the crowd was DEFINITELY ready for GBV's scheduled 7pm appearance.

The whole GBV atmosphere was a dream. 40 songs, 3 encores, a 99% crowd-rocking-out-and-singing-along percentage, beautiful weather, cold beers (come on people, you know that at this point in the evening price was hardly a concern)... perfection! GBV played everything from deep tracks to crowd favorites (set list below). Bob Pollard led the crowd as deftly as he led the band. Greg Demos, bedecked in a ruffled shirt and vest reminiscent of a 70s prom get up, often wielded his bass as though it was a sword. Tobin Sprout played the role of the quiet one, masterfully traversing his axe without showing too much dramatic flair or movement. And Mitch Mitchell. Jesus, between the tats, the ever present cigarette, his mighty Les Paul, and a facial expression that rarely deviates from a look of "I will fuck you up, so help me God," Mitch definitely gets the Badass of the Evening Award. Everything about the evening was perfect, and I have a feeling that this show will be the highlight of my summer. It's certainly going to take a lot to top it.

All snarkiness aside, the Northside Festival is a pretty phenomenal opportunity for people to catch a huge number of great bands, art, film, food, panels, and more for what amounts to a $60-or-so pittance. For the price, the variety of programming one can catch in a 4-day time span is rather remarkable. This year's fest boasted a much larger scope than last year and if this trend continues we can expect next year to be sensational as well. North Williamsburg, on the other hand, will no doubt be a much more grotesque and tedious neighborhood to find yourself in. But ain't that progress?

Beirut, Sharon Van Etten & Yellow Ostrich played the same temporary outdoor venue one night earlier. Pictures from the whole GBV show, The Babies and Surfer Blood included, and the full GBV setlist, below....

Continue reading "Guided By Voices played McCarren Park w/ Wavves, Surfer Blood & the Babies (pics & setlist)"

DOWNLOAD: Clams Casino - "Gorilla" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Clams Casino - FACT Mix (MP3)

Rainforest EP

Mike Volpe aka Clams Casino released an instrumental mixtape in March, largely made up of beats he produced for Lil B and Soulja Boy. He'll follow that up with his first collection of exclusively instrumental material, Rainforest EP on June 27 via Tri Angle. The EP is available for pre-order on Tri Angle's website and is streaming now below. You can also watch the video for the EP track "Gorilla" below and grab the MP3 above.

A brand new hip hop mix he made for FACT Magazine can also be downloaded above, and streamed below.

Clams Casino doesn't make it easy to figure out where he'll be performing live, and he doesn't seem to do so that often, but he actually was in Brooklyn on Sunday. He and DJ Neon Indian were added very last minute as surprise guests to the Northside dance party hapening at Cameo (Wise Blood, Creep, etc were on the announed lineup). I don't think anyone actually knew though (not to mention it was a Sunday). IGIF tweeted, "cameo is empty for clams casino, dude doesn't seem too into it, speakers sound blown out... but overall sounds hot." The circumstanes should be much better when Clams plays a PS1 Warm Up event on August 13 with Black Dice, His Name Is Alive (DJ set), and Tri Angle labelmates oOoOO, Ayshay, and Water Borders. It's his only announced date at the moment (that we know of).

Black Dice also open for Animal Collective at the sold out July 12 Prospect Park show like they did in 09.

Killer Mike recently freestyled over the Clams Casino track "Brainwash by London" off his instrumental mixtape for Pitchfork TV. Check out the video below. Killer Mike is currently working on a new album with El-P who just announced a Company Flow reunion show.

Clams Casino album stream and videos and stuff below...

Continue reading "Clams Casino (Rainforest EP stream, FACT Mix, Killer Mike freestyle, a Northside show, a PS1 show, new video & stuff)"

most photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Andrew Sacher

Deervana

Let me start off by saying the Deervana (aka Deer Tick as Nirvana) show at Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday (6/19) was the most fun I had at all of Northside Festival.

WATERS opened the sold out show, which was appropriate. Deer Tick was covering Nirvana and WATERS is the indie-folkie turned '90s-guitar-rocker Van Pierszalowski's new project. WATERS played material off their upcoming debut Out in the Light, which is being released on TBD in September. If the recordings sound as good as the songs did at Brooklyn Bowl, then Out in the Light is definitely an album to look out for. Towards the end of their set, Van said, "Nirvana are one of my favorite bands of all time and In Utero is my favorite album of all time. I'd also like to pay tribute to one of my other favorite bands of all time." WATERS then proceeded to, possibly ironically, cover Hole's "Violet." They ended the set with the one song they've released, "For The One." Catch them at their third and last NYC show on this run, this Tuesday (6/21) at Mercury Lounge before they head back to Oslo, Norway, where the band is based.

About 15 minutes, 9 guitars, and a few beer pitchers later, Deervana walked out on stage and said, "Tonight we are not Deer Tick." They proceeded to pay a more-than-sincere tribute to Nirvana. I very unfortunately never saw Nirvana, though I know Deer Tick honored them in more ways than one. Their set notably left out hits such as "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come As You Are," and "Heart Shaped Box," in favor of the less popular, but even more revered live mainstays like "School," "In Bloom," "Aneurysm," "Scentless Apprentice," "Blew," and others. Deervana not only echoed Nirvana in their approach to live setlists, but also in their raw energy and silly stage antics.

Mosh pits broke out to every song (save for "Something in the Way") and the crowd often overpowered Deervana while singing along. Fans crowd surfed, stage dived, grabbed band members, and threw drinks in the air. "It's like playing a party in your friend's garage whose dad is really rich and bought a bowling alley," said Deer Tick/Deervana frontman John McCauley. After only an hour of thrashing around to Nirvana songs, Deervana thanked Fender for "giving them things they could break," and broke into "Curmudgeon" which they ended by kicking over their drums and destroying their guitars, aptly aided by the dropping of bowling balls on the instruments. Despite the fact that Deervana could have played for another hour without losing crowd interest, the conditions on stage made it pretty clear they weren't even doing a one-song encore.

Setlist and more pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "DEERVANA & WATERS rocked Brooklyn Bowl (pics, setlist)"

by Andrew Sacher

Ed Askew

Upon first discovering Ed Askew's music a few years ago, I never thought I'd be able to see him live, but thanks to all the much deserved attention the psychedelic legend is now getting due to Drag City, Ed shows are becoming more and more common. Getting the chance to see him for the first time at St. Cecilia's Church on Saturday (6/17) (one night after Atlas Sound played there) was a pleasent surprise to say the least.

Although I was expecting/hoping to see him solo with either a guitar or piano, he was accompanied by a much younger keyboard player and stuck to just vocals and harmonica. He stood off to the side next to a podium which held his lyric sheets while his keyboard player was stationed in the middle of the stage. Despite admitting the sheets were there because he doesn't remember all of the lyrics, his voice was totally in tact and his delivery was excellent, lyric sheets or not. The humble setup was appropriate for Askew, who delivered his quirky songs with an awareness that they were far from marketable. It's with a completely straight face that he delivers lines like:

"Beautiful Tom smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful Tom.
Beautiful Tom smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful beautiful Tom.
smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful Tom.
Beautiful Tom smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful beautiful Tom."

He humbly spoke between songs, saying things like, "This song is one of my more recent ones, well not actually that recent. It was recorded in 1984 on a harpiscord for an album called Imperfiction which was just released now on a label called Drag City." He seemed almost confused that the esteemed Chicago indie label would reissue his work. It's great that they did though, and even better that Ed is still performing and can expose his music to new generations who were far from existing when he released his incredible debut Ask the Unicorn in 1968.

Woods, whose lo-fi approach to folk may not exist without the influence of musicians like Ed, were the headliners of the show (though I left before their set).

You can catch Ed Askew again supporting his Drag City-labelmate Bill Callahan on a tour which hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on July 11 and Bowery Ballroom on July 12. Tickets for both NYC shows are still available.

--

Speaking of Drag City, Six Organs of Admittance is playing a NYC show at Mercury Lounge on August 12th. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon. No more Six Organs dates to report, but all Ed dates and a video of Ed playing in Philly last week, below...

Continue reading "Ed Askew played a church, Six Organs playing Merc"

Deervana @ SXSW 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Deervana

Brooklyn's Northside Festival concludes today (Sunday, 6/19). If you're reading this, finish quickly and get yourself to one of three day shows that are underway.

The most in-demand show at the Northside Festival Sunday night is amazingly a tribute band (one I am also fond of). Deer Tick playing all Nirvana songs as Deervana proved themselves worthy at SXSW and again during a late-night surprise set at Bonnaroo. The show they're playing at Brooklyn Bowl tonight sold out long ago, so if you're planning on getting in with your badge, get there early. WATERS opens the show.

Your dancier alternative is the DFA showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg featuring a headlining set by YACHT whose last NYC show was at the bigger Webster Hall. The stacked bill also includes the Cut Copy-approved The Miracles Club and NYC disco staples Midnight Magic. Tickets are still on sale if you don't have a badge.

Other places to get some value out of your Northside Badge tonight include Bruar Falls where members of Love is All, Architecture in Helsinki & The Lucksmiths are all on the bill, and Coco66 which will have bands featuring members of Lighting Bolt and Cibo Matto. Diamond Rings and Porcelain Raft play a show at Europa with Bell. NYC Taper & Pop Tarts team up for a 2-stage show at Public Assembly that if you miss you can probably download later. After taking a night off, St Cecilia's Church hosts one final show with Mount Eerie, Nicholas Krgovich (of No Kids), and Wyrd Visions (check out the pics from the Atlas Sound show there on the first night). 285 Kent kicks off at 8:30pm with a set by New Moods and ends with a headlining 11:30pm set by Sun Airway. Various members of Das Racist and their associates play in between. The full Northside schedule is at Northside's site.

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

Beirut

Thirty minutes before showtime, the forecast wasn't looking good. What started as a small shower soon escalated into a near downpour, sending a patchwork of different colored umbrellas springing up at McCarren Park Friday night.

Then it happened: the event that nearly broke Twitter. It began with a low rumble that quickly rippled through the crowd. Then, "OH MY GOD! DOUBLE RAINBOW!" Within seconds, every smartphone was tracked on the sky, and cries of jubilation and cheap sarcasm rang out. If you think Sharon Van Etten is a tough act to follow, try a double rainbow. But Yellow Ostrich was up for trying.

Soon after the buzz died down, the newly signed Barsuk trio took the stage. Somehow despite all the weather-related chaos that had transpired over the past 30 minutes subsided just in time for the show. A Northside miracle.

Recorded, Yellow Ostrich is a fine-tuned, feel-good indie machine, but in a live setting, front man Alex Schaaf and company aren't afraid to let down their hair a bit. Sure, you still get the carefully looped harmonies - a delight to hear in the excellent "Whale" - but the music also takes on a more desperate and raucous tone, especially on new songs like "The Shake Down."

Sharon Van Etten

As I watched the stage transform for Sharon Van Etten's set, my excitement grew - especially when I spied Aaron Dessner of The National fiddling around with wires. "Hello, everybody. Thanks for bearing the rain," Van Etten said by way of introduction. She began her set with "Peace Signs."

With her honest lyrics and down-to-earth demeanor, and soul-soothing voice, Sharon Van Etten makes quick work of winning over the crowd. (I mean the woman dedicated a song to her dad in honor of Father's Day. How nice, right?)

As an added bonus, the last three songs of her set featured two additional musicians - Ben Lanz (on trombone) and Aaron Dessner (guitar) who is apparently producing Van Etten's next record.

Then, after a brief interlude from our sponsor, Zach Condon and company emerged to a round of applause that almost seemed more fitting for a Justin Bieber show than for Beirut.

Though Condon composed much of his newer music with a 17-piece mariachi band in mind, the six people on stage impressively flushed out the sound by constantly rotating through an assortment of instruments, including: French horn, tuba, drums, trombone, trumpet, accordion, and piano. But it was the ukulele - the crux to much of his earlier catalog - that seemed to garner the most applause.

After two short sets, it was nice to see Beirut take their time on stage. The band enthusiastically played through their set - no doubt inspired not only by the dedication of the rain-braving crowd but also by the stunning scenery in the distance. "It's nice to be playing for the Chrysler and the Empire State Building," Condon remarked. Of course with such a healthy play time (19 songs, by my count), they covered both the standards ("Postcards From Italy," "Elephant Gun," "Nantes," "Scenic World," and "Mount Wroclai" to name a few) and a handful of newer songs.

Though I was tempted to stay longer, if there was an encore, I didn't see it. After missing out on Seapony twice last week, I dashed out of the park and over to Pianos, where I made it in time to hear the last five songs from the delightful Seattle group. For the record, it was totally worth it.

More pictures from the Beirut show below...

Continue reading "Beirut, Sharon Van Etten, Aaron Dessner, Yellow Ostrich & a double rainbow in McCarren Park (pics & review)"

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

Cameo Gallery
Jonny Leather presents:
Christopher Paul Stelling 6pm
The Loom 5pm
Deleted Scenes 4pm
Wolf Ram Heart 3pm
Right on Dynamite 2pm
Merrickans (ex-Paul & the Patients) 1pm
Doors at tba, $5, 21+

Shea Stadium
Newtown Radio 1-Year Anniversary BBQ:
Laurel Halo 9pm
Autre Ne Veut 8pm
Steve Summers 7pm
Forma 6pm
Phonetag 5pm
Night Manager 4pm
Ex Cops 3pm
With DJ sets by Chocolate Bobka and Rezound (GT).
Doors at 2pm, $10, all ages

Spike Hill
Paper Trail & Paper Garden Records present:
Emanuel & the Fear 6:15pm
Big Tree 5:30pm
Clouder 4:45pm
Whale Belly 4pm
Project Jenny Project Jan 3pm
Infernal Devices 2pm
Friend Factory 1pm
With DJ sets by BRAHMS
Doors at 12pm, FREE, 21+

Twin Sister (more by Tim Griffin)
Twin Sister

Bill didn't have a chance to write a Saturday Northside guide, but since we did do one for Thursday and Friday, I want to at least quickly continue the trend. Here you go:

The big show of the day, today, Saturday, June 18th, is without a doubt Guided By Voices, Surfer Blood, Wavves and The Babies at McCarren Park.

Guided by Voices 7pm
Wavves 6pm
Surfer Blood 5pm
The Babies 4pm
If you don't have a badge, $35, or just don't care, there's also some good free afternoon shows you can pop into at Matchless, Spike Hill and the Woods.

There's no BIG show tonight, but garage giants Thee Oh Sees, who played a secret show at Death By Audio last night, should please at Brooklyn Bowl (where we found out the "secret guest" is Reptar who are also playing Governors Ball today) while Twin Sister and Allo Darlin hold it down at Music Hall of Williamsburg:

Twin Sister 11:30pm
Allo Darlin' 10:30pm
Ava Luna 9:45pm
Gabriel & the Hounds 9pm
If you miss The Babies at 4pm, they also play a midnight set as part of Academy Records & Other Music's showcase at Public Assembly tonight. it's right next door to the Music Hall show, you can run back and forth.

Fiery Eleanor Friedberger plays a show at Europa instead of in a church.

Meanwhile over at Union Pool the Sub Pop sister label Hardly Art showcases some of its bands: Woven Bones 11:30pm, Fergus & Geronimo 10:30pm, Colleen Green 9:30pm, Xray Eyeballs 8:30pm.

Those who like to enter Altered Zones will probably be chillin' down at 285 Kent. Flyer reposted below.

Bill hopes to make it to Knitting Factory by midnight to see White Fence. They go on before their tour-mate The Strange Boys, whose next album is coming out on Rough Trade, as part of the late show at the venue. The early show at Knitting Factory features Alela Diane (whose newest album came out on Rough Trade).

Look at the full schedule at Northside's site. Look for even more shows in "What's Going on Saturday."

Continue reading "a guide to Northside Fest Saturday"

Eleanor Friedberger @ Lambert's (more by Tim Griffin)
Eleanor Friedberger

As some already know, but I just realized last night, the Eleanor Friedberger, Ida, and Rebecca Gates Northside Festival show that was scheduled to take place at St. Cecilia's Church TONIGHT (6/18), was moved to Europa.

Eleanor kicks off a proper tour in support of her Merge solo album in July. All of those dates and her new video (again), below...

Continue reading "Eleanor Friedberger playing Europa instead of the church (and other tour dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Tony Castles - Juice (MP3)

Tony Castles

Tony Castles have a new 7" out on Famous Class and you can download the A-side, "Juice," at the top of this post. If you liked last year's dreamy "Black Girls in Dresses," you will dig this too. The band play a record release show tonight (6/18) at Death By Audio which is some Northside Festival counterprogramming from the folks at Impose. The show also has Regal Degal, Snakes Say Hisss! and Weekends (not Weekend or The Weekend, mind you).

Tony Castles will also play Glasslands on June 24 opening for The Beets, and will then head out on tour with a reunited Cibo Matto which should be fun. Hope they know their chicken. All Tony Castles tour dates are below.

Continue reading "Tony Castles released a 7" (MP3 premiere), playing shows (like tonight, and with Cibo Matto)"

DOWNLOAD: Miracles Club - "Light of Love" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Miracles Club - "Light of Love" (Cut Copy Re-Vision) (MP3)

Miracles Club

"We're not going to lie. When XLR8R first caught wind of The Miracles Club, we had our doubts. Granted, we were already fans of Honey Owens and her droney, experimental work as Valet and as a member of Nudge--we even made her the subject of an episode of XLR8R TV a couple years ago. But Honey Owens... doing house music? In Portland? And claiming classic Chicago sounds as an influence? No offense to our pals in the Pacific Northwest, but the City of Roses isn't exactly known for its love of DJ culture. Vintage stores, organic eats, and DIY noisemaking? Yes. Thumping, club-friendly beats? Not so much. So imagine our surprise when the outfit's debut EP, Light of Love, came out last year and was actually... good." [xl8r8r]
Portland's The Miracles Club released an EP of remixes of their track "Light of Love" on Cut Copy's Cutters Records back in May. Cut Copy contributed their own remix of the track to the EP. Listen to that and the original track above to compare.

Miracles Club have a number of Northside Festival shows coming up this weekend. They play the Let's Play House Northside showcase tonight (6/17) at Cameo with Blondes, Jacques Renault and others. They also DJ at 70 N 6th Street on June 18 with Konnichiwa and open for YACHT and Midnight Magic at the DFA Northside showcase on Sunday (6/19). Tickets are still on sale for the latter.

On July 23, they'll return to NYC to play the same PS1 Warm Up event that Gang Gang Dance is DJing. OFWGKTA's Syd tha Kyd, Laurel Halo (who plays 285 Kent tonight), and Lunice are also on the bill.

If you miss Laurel Halo at 285 Kent tonight, you can also catch her at the Newtown Radio 1 Year Anniversary BBQ at Shea Stadium on Sunday, June 19 with Autre Ne Veut, Forma and others.

Miracles Club EP album art a flier for tonight's show below...

Continue reading "The Miracles Club are here (and will be back) -- Northside dates, PS1 & a Cut Copy remix MP3"

photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Rachel Kowal

Atlas Sound in a church
Atlas Sound

Northside Festival got off to a sweaty start yesterday, but luckily, the weather held out. I don't think I'm alone in saying that last night may have been the most stacked. Forget a slow build-up. It was 8:00, and there were already at least three places I really wanted to be, but I decided to go with Atlas Sound. I mean it was at St. Cecilia's, so it got extra points.

"I think this is the first time I've been in a church," one guy said tentatively to his friend before the show started. With its stained glass windows, carefully carved decorations, shiny chandeliers, and beautiful pews, it was a sight to behold.

The setting couldn't have been more fitting for the opening act, Lichens. The set got off to a slow start - seven solid minutes of a monotone buzz, but it soon started to build with every passing minute as Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe added more to the mix, including some otherworldly vocals. The natural reverb of the space further complimented his sound.

After about playing for about thirty minutes straight, he stopped as suddenly as he had begun, and another one-man act, Adam Forkner (aka White Rainbow), took his place behind a folding table and began to fiddle with a series of knobs and pedals. Forkner, too, carefully looped his music together, but for him, the music was more to entertain - not to bring about a religious experience. With the addition of some bass in the mix, it was just enough to get two people near the front to stand up in their pews and start dancing. (I smell a Craigslist missed connection in the making.)

Up next was yet another one-man act, Atlas Sound. In his red button up shirt and high-wasted khaki pants, Bradford Cox was dressed for the occasion. The majority of his set comprised brand new songs (for which he apologized, saying he had forgotten how the other ones go), but he did at least slip in a few older ones, including "Shelia." It's only a matter of time before Cox starts to make up songs on the spot for each show (as he joked he was doing at the Brooklyn show).

Unfortunately, though the atmosphere was ornate, I didn't love the sound quality. (Or maybe I'm just spoiled from hearing him play at the Bell House.) At times, the guitar took on this jarring quality as it pierced through the otherwise dreamy mix, but the crowd didn't seem to mind too much (Andrew liked it). A number of people left their seats in the back and filled in the space in between the pews as the show went on.

After a brief encore, Bradford Cox delivered something of a benediction to the crowd, and turned everyone loose to dash to the next show - for me, it was off to a sticky hot Bruar Falls (as per Bill's recommendation) for a bit of jangly pop, courtesy of Reading Rainbow and Eternal Summers. It was still early after all.

--

Woods headlines the show at St. Cecilia's tonight (Friday). Eleanor Friedberger is Saturday (Eleanor moved to Europa). Mount Eerie is Sunday. More pictures from Thursday and a video too, below...

Continue reading "Northside night 1 w/ Atlas Sound, Lichens & White Rainbow (pics & review)"

by Bill Pearis

Iceage
Iceage

Night two of the Northside Festival (6/17). Lots of good options. This is what I recommend.  Whole schedule is here.

Apart from the outdoor Beirut show, I think the only show that is gonna prove to be tough to get into (for badgeholders) is the Sacred Bones/Stereogum showcase tonight at Public Assembly, due mainly to it being the U.S. debut of Denmark quartet Iceage. Their sound is on the punkier side of post-punk, slashy and tense and not without melody. Their live shows, in Denmark at least, are intense. Mind you, this won't be NYC-ers only chance to catch them.

The show is sold out so if you have a Northside badge you probably want to get there early. And of course Iceage are not the only reason to check out this show, and know if you like Iceage most of the bands should probably appeal to your sensibilities as well, even if you're going in blind. The Men were apparently awesome the other night at DBA, slaying down some sludgy Dino Jr style punk; and Cult Of Youth are like the Birthday Party doing sea chantys (kind of?). There's also Purient (Dom of Cold Cave), Pop. 1280 (anthemic indie rock w/ synth), Lost Tribe, Yellow Tears and Anasazi.

Selebrities
Selebrities

If you're over that way and find yourself shut out of Public Assembly, you might want to amble on down to Music Hall of Williamsburg just to check out the scene. I don't know a lot of the bands on the bill but I do like Selebrities who make New Order style pop. Their EP, Ladies Man Effect, is a free download over at their website and is worth doing so. Also playing MHoW are quality yelpy indie rockers Darlings, plus Like Diamonds, Rocky Buisness and Memberz Only.

Grooms
Grooms

Other good options for friday: Kanine Records has, like, most of their bands playing at Knitting Factory tonight, including Surfer Blood who'll also play the outdoor Guided by Voices show tomorrow. Also playing: Grooms, whose new album, Prom, is out next month; Eternal Summers who I think just keep getting better (and are pretty rockin' as a trio now); indiepop combo Dream Diary, Pepper Rabbit (folk pop from L.A.) and the tribal sounds of Zambri.

Or you could go to Glasslands to see Frankie Rose which is likely to be her last show for a while as she's gonna concentrate on making her second album for Slumberland. Her San Francisco pals and labelmates Brilliant Colors are also on the bill, who I like a lot too. There's also Regal Degal whose Speckled Fruit EP is worth seeking out at the merch table, plus Sherlock's Daughter (a band I thought only existed to open for canceled Charlatans shows).

What else? Woods will sound nice at St. Cecilia's Church (after a set by Ed Askew).

I caught Aaron Pfenning's (ex-Chairlift) new group Rewards a couple weeks ago and was impressed, they play Cameo tonight at 9:15.

You could also blow off Northside for what might be cool overload at Bed-Stuy's Sugarhill Disco for Gavin Russom's Crystal Ark.

And if you need some new tunes, my new Summer Fridays mix is up over at Sound Bites. Flyers below...

Continue reading "Bill's Northside Fest picks (Day 2)"

Alela Diane

Portland folk singer Alela Diane and her band Wild Divine are currently on tour with The Parson Red Heads, which comes to an end in early July. The tour, in support of Alela'a new Rough Trade-released record, hits NYC tonight (6/17) at City Winery and June 18 at Knitting Factory as part of the Northside Festival. Dry The River are also on the Brooklyn bill.

Alela has also been revealed as the opener on the previously announced Fleet Foxes tour this July. Fleet Foxes cannot wait. The tour doesn't include any NYC dates, but tickets are still available for Fleet Foxes' September 24 Williamsburg Waterfront show with The Walkmen.

Alela and Wild Divine played Housing Works Bookstore Cafe back in March. Check out a video from that performance, and more dates (including MusicfestNW) below...

Continue reading "Alela Diane is on a headlining tour, opening for Fleet Foxes later, in NYC now (dates)"

Rain

Beirut, Sharon Van Etten, and Yellow Ostrich play a sold out (except to badges) Northside Festival show in McCarren Park tonight. The Books, Junip, and Doveman play a free show in Prospect Park. Both shows are rain or shine, though lightning could change that. Hopefully it doesn't rain too hard, or at all. 50% is still only 50%!

Best Coast and The Decemberists played Prospect Park in the rain earlier in the week, and that wasn't too bad.

by Andrew Sacher

Atlas Sound at SXSW (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Deerhunter

Atlas Sound played St. Cecilia's Church last night (6/16) with support from Lichens and White Rainbow. If half hour drone sets are your thing, you may enjoy catching Lichens again at Zebulon on June 22 with Soft Circle and Urxed. And if you're into similar sounds, but with more hip hop beats, White Rainbow plays again tonight (6/17) at the Impose Magazine & Weird Magic show at 285 Kent Ave. The bill also includes Laurel Halo, La Big Vic, Co La (who aren't playing Death By Audio), and others. There will also be DJ sets by Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance), DJ Azizaman, and Weird Magic DJs.

Atlas Sound, which was Bradford Cox with mic, guitar and effect pedals, played a great set last night with a ton of new songs (Bradford said he didn't really remember how to play most of his old ones). A full review and pics of this show coming soon.

Tickets go on sale today (6/17) at noon for Deerhunter's August 23 Webster Hall show. Tickets are still available for their August 22 show at the same venue too.

Updated Deerhunter dates below...

Continue reading "Atlas Sound played a church w/ Lichens & White Rainbow (who plays 285 Kent w/ Laurel Halo tonight)"

Thee Oh Sees @ Summerstage in 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Death By Audio

Death By Audio lists tonight's show like this:

6.17 -$5- (doors are at 10pm for this show)
.??S
.?R?
.R?
Well, we may know at least one band on the bill. Thee Oh Sees play Brooklyn Bowl Saturday (6/18) but list "06-17 shhhhhhh...." on their website (thanks Maxim), so it's either them or there are two secret shows. Who do you think the other bands are?

Adventure, CO LA (Matt Papich of Ecstatic Sunshine), and Weekends were supposed to play Death by Audio Friday night, but that show was cancelled. Weekends will instead open for Dom at Brooklyn Bowl.

To add to the mystery, a "Surprise special guest" is also listed on the Saturday Thee Oh Sees Brooklyn Bowl show that Yellow Dogs, and Emil and Friends are also playing. Who's playing that one?

All Thee Oh Sees dates below...

Continue reading "secret show @ DbA Friday night? Thee Oh Sees? Secret band Saturday too? "

by BBG

The Men @ DbA
The Men

The Men began part one of their celebration of their new LP Leave Home with a show at Death By Audio last night (6/15) with some help from Olympia, WA's Milk Music, Nude Beach, and Marsh Hens. The show mixed garage rock, 80s/90s punk/indie nostalgia, and hardcore into one neat and crowd-surfable package, with the crowd going apeshit for both Milk Music's Dinosaur-Jr inspired punk and The Men's arty hardcore. I missed Marsh Hens, but Nude Beach preformed some bouncy garage that was fun and danceable.

If you have the chance, don't miss either Milk Music or The Men who BOTH play NYC shows on Friday (6/17). Milk Music is currently on a US tour that recently took them to Chaos in Tejas, and they'll perform again at Bruar Falls with German Measles, Reports, Yvette, and PC Worship. $8 or your Northside Badge gets you in. The Men play Public Assembly Friday with Iceage (who are doing more NYC dates), Prurient, AnasaNude Beachi, Cult of Youth, Lost Tribe, Pop. 1280, Yellow Tears and Wes Eisold of Cold Cave (DJ set). Tickets are sold-out, but you can try your luck with a Northside badge.

More pictures from Death By Audio and the Bruar Falls show flyer below...

Continue reading "The Men played Death By Audio with Milk Music (who play Bruar Falls next) --- pics"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Zaza - Distance Creator (MP3)

Zaza

As I just mentioned, Zaza are playing Coco66 tonight (6/16) as part of the Northside Festival. And after what seemed like an awfully long time, the band has also finally birthed their debut album, Sacred Geometry, which came out last week. (Digital only for now.) It's sleek and slinky, dark and danceable... a great late night summertime album. If I had a car, I bet it would make for great nightdriving music as well. Check out "Distance Creator" at the top of this post and you can stream the whole shebang below.

The band are good live too, with a cool light show that should benefit greatly from Coco66's in-house smoke machines. If you have other plans tonight, Zaza play next at Littlefield on June 24 with Martin Bisi and Quiet Lights.

Continue reading "Zaza released 'Sacred Geometry' --- album stream & dates"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Seapony - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Seapony - Blue Star (MP3)
DOWNLOADEternal Summers - Prisoner (MP3)
DOWNLOADKindest Lines - Destructive Paths to Live Happily (MP3)

Seapony
Seapony

It's year three of the Northside Festival, which for one weekend a year makes Williamsburg's music scene just a little crazier than it already is. This first night (tonight) is maybe the strongest overall, in that there are a lot of great showcases set up where -- if you don't have a badge -- you can stay put and get a quality night of music. Or if you do have a badge ($70 bucks, a good deal if you plan on going all four nights) -- some tough decisions. These are my personal picks, and not a comprehensive guide. Clearly lots more is going on (and even more shows that aren't part of Northside).

Radical Dads
Radical Dads

NYC Popfest has put together a really good show at Bruar Falls tonight featuring Eternal Summers, Reading Rainbow, The Secret History and Seapony. I highly recommend all four bands, but do consider going early (8:30) for Seapony who are here from Seattle and should appeal to those who covet 7"s from Sarah and Creation Records. MP3s from Seapony and Eternal Summers are at the top of this post.

Over at Union Pool,  Tiger Mountain booking (aka Skippy who books the Rock Shop) has a quality line-up of locals for ya. If you're looking for a great way to kick off your night, go here at 7:30 for Hospitality who make winsome but not unmuscular pop. Highly recommended. Later on in the evening is '90s indie rock loving Radical Dads whose great debut, Mega Rama, was released this week. (But not on vinyl...boo!). Pursesnatchers (Doug from Dirty on Purpose's band) finishes the night. Also playing: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and Indian Rebound.

Kindest Lines
Kindest Lines

Meanwhile at Public Assembly the good folks of No Fun Productions, The Bunker and Wierd Records, have an evening of minimal synth, coldwave, industial and other dark arts planned. Performers include noise and sound artists Rene Hell and Carlos Giffoni; the ethereal, danceable sounds of Laurel Halo; synthpop traditionalists Xeno & Oaklander who make their music with seriously old-school sequencers and keyboards (patch bays are involved); and New Orleans' Kindest Lineswho make pop music that should appeal to fans of early New Order (and, yes, The Cure).  There's also a host of acclaimed DJs spinning in-between sets.

X-Ray Eyeballs
XRay Eyeballs

Primo Chicago garage label HozAc Records is hosting the debauchery at Shea Stadium tonight, with Xray Eyeballs (who also play the Kanine show Friday at Knitting Factory), the K-Holes, Making Friendz and My Teenage Stride in there as well to pop things up a bit.

Randoms: I also recommend catching Zaza at Coco66 (11:45, dark and sexy) and Mr. Dream at Glasslands (Midnight, '90s indie rawk).

Again, just my picks. Do go see some music tonight!

Continue reading "Bill's Northside Fest picks (Day 1)"

Surfer Blood at Sasquatch 2011 (more by Josh Darr)
Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood will play a smaller Northside Festival show before opening for Guided By Voices on June 18 at McCarren Park. The first show is the Kanine Records showcase at Knitting Factory on June 17 with Eternal Summers, Grooms, Pepper Rabbit, Xray Eyeballs, Zambri, Dream Diary, and DJ Andy French. Tickets are on sale for that and still on sale for Guided By Voices too. Both shows can also be accessed with a Nothside badge.

Pepper Rabbit also play Bowery Ballroom tonight (6/16) with GIvers (tickets). They're also heading out on a tour with Braids which hits Mercury Lounge on September 6. Tickets go on sale for the Mercury show, which Pepper Rabbit is not listed as playing, on Friday (6/17) at noon.

All Surfer Blood dates below...

Continue reading "Surfer Blood playing 2 Northside shows, 1 w/ Pepper Rabbit "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Kindest Lines - Destructive Paths to Live Happily (MP3)

Kindest Lines

One of the bands I'm personally excited to see at the Northside Festival this week is New Orleans trio Kindest Lines who will play the Wierd Records showcase Thursday night (6/16) at Public Assembly with Xeno & Oaklander, Lauren Halo and a whole bunch of DJs. Kindest Lines will also play tonight's edition (6/15) of Weird's weekly party at Home Sweet Home. They have no other dates at the moment,

While Kindest Lines certainly appeal to Wierd's black-clad demographic, I think the band's debut, Covered in Dust, could be the label's breakout hit. There's your requesite minor key synth rock, but Kindest Lines also allow more than a few rays of sunshine inbetween the clouds. They've also studied up on how to meld vintage synths with guitars -- New Order's 1984 classic Low Life is an obvious touchstone here. It's a solid record.

Check out single "Destructive Paths to Live Happily" at the top of the post. The video for it is below.

Continue reading "Kindest Lines are here, released Covered in Dust (MP3, dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: WATERS - "For the One" (MP3)

WATERS

Van Pierszalowski, former lead singer of the recently broken-up Port O'Brien, now records under the moniker WATERS. Rather than the indie folk/pop Port O'Brien had become known for, in WATERS Van opts for a fuzzy '90s-lo-fi approach which can be heard above in the song "For the One." WATERS releases his debut LP Out In The Light on September 20 via TBD Records.

He's currently finishing up a tour in Europe with Wye Oak which he'll follow with three NYC dates. WATERS plays the Flavorpill/IROCKIROLL/The Bell House Northside showcase at Cameo Gallery on June 18 with Sean Bones, Neighbors, Zuzuka Poderosa, Young Adults, and Wojick. They also open for Deervana (aka Deer Tick as Nirvana) at their sold out Northside show at Brooklyn Bowl on June 19. WATERS then plays a headlining show at Mercury Lounge on June 21 with Exitmusic, Milagres, and Anni Rossi. Tickets are on sale.

The Cameo show is one of many that Sean Bones has happening at Cameo this month. He already played there last Thursday and he also plays there on June 23rd (with afro-funk band/collective Superhuman Happiness) and June 30th with the great New Moods. Full residency show lineups are below. Sean is playing new songs at the shows. Those songs will appear on the new record he's finishing recording with Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Cults, Vampire Weekend). Sean's last record came out on Frenchkiss.

New Moods have also been added as the opener on the July 1st Memory Tapes show at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are still on sale.

All tour dates below...

Continue reading "WATERS (ex Port O'Brien) releasing debut LP (MP3), playing shows ++++ Sean Bones & New Moods too (dates)"