Entries tagged with: Northside Festival
GZA at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
GZA, who is about to play two shows with Bad Brains next week, including one in Brooklyn at MHOW on 4/18 (sold out), has announced that he'll be performing his classuc solo LP, Liquid Swords, in its entirety at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 14 as part of Northside Festival. He'll be backed by by Austin's Grupo Fantasma like he was at SXSW (videos HERE). Grupo Fantasma's "psychedelic funk alter-ego" Brownout opens the show. Tickets are on AmEx presale now and go on sale to the general public on Friday (4/13) at noon.
GZA released Liquid Swords in 1995 as his second solo LP and first to come out after Wu Tang's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). He's toured the album in the past and recently performed it again at Rock the Bells 2011. The videos for "Cold World" and "Shadowboxin" off Liquid Swords are below.
GZA and RZA (who produced Liquid Swords) have been planning a sequel to Liquid Swords which continues to be postponed, but GZA plans to release a different new album, titled Dark Matter, this year.
In other hip hop news, Schoolboy Q is in NYC to play SOB's tonight (4/11).
All dates and videos below...
Ben Verellen with Helms Alee at The Charleston (more by Markus Shaffer)
Stoked to announce that BrooklynVegan and Brutal Panda have teamed up to present a rare reunion of Harkonen who will head out on a short string of East Coast dates! The shows will be their first on the east side since their dissolution in 2005, and feature supporting appearances from The Atlas Moth and Whores on all dates. The tour kicks off in Boston at Middle East on June 14th (with special guest Zozobra) before moving to NYC at Union Pool on June 15th with a special guest (TBA). The tour concludes the next day in Philadelphia (on 6/16) as part of a show with Ladder Devils.
The NYC date is an official BrooklynVegan/Brutal Panda Northside Festival showcase. Tickets are on sale OR you can get in with your Northside badge (details forthcoming). Stay tuned for other BV Northside events too.
Tour flyer and some video below....
Aussies Royal Headache, who were last here in 2011, are coming back to US shores for a string of dates that will include Chaos in Tejas and a pair of NYC shows: Cake Shop on June 13th and an unspecified Northside Festival show the next day (June 14th, a Chaos in Tejas/Fun Fun Fun Fest collaboration). Full list of dates is below.
Royal Headache are preparing a stateside release of their debut LP, due on May 8th via What's Your Rupture? Records. The band have a pop-inflected punk sound akin to Buzzcocks and The Jam meets The Kinks, but with stellar R&B vocals that recall Paul Weller. Download "Girls" above and stream "Down The Lane" and "Really in Love" below beside all tour dates....
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Thee Oh Sees fun @ Brooklyn Bowl
As previously mentioned (more than once) (three times at least), Thee Oh Sees and Total Control are on tour together and playing DIY great 285 Kent (TONIGHT - 11/17) and posher Manhattan locale Le Poisson Rouge (Friday - 11/18).
Total Control also played a show at Saint Vitus last night with the Men. We don't have pictures from that one, but here is an older set from when Thee Oh Sees were last here in June to play the Northside Festival. They continue below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Beirut @ Northside Festival
Beirut is currently on tour in support of the release of the upcoming album The Rip Tide (album art below), which is available for pre-order. That tour has been expanded and now includes two NYC dates at Terminal 5 on September 21 and 22. Tickets go on sale Friday (7/8) at noon.
Beirut's last NYC show was in McCarren Park with Sharon Van Etten and Yellow Ostrich as part of the Northside Festival. We already talked about that, but here's a second set of pictures from the event in this post.
The rest of those pictures, all tour dates and Rip Tide album art below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Eleanor Friedberger & band @ Europa
After checking out Guided By Voices earlier in the day, Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger played Europa instead of St. Cecilia's Church on Saturday (6/18) as part of the Northside Festival. The show was opened by Ida, Rebecca Gates, and Spectre Folk. To make that lineup even more exciting, Ted Leo showed up as a secret guest to perform a set right before Eleanor (the second time Ted played Europa in less than a month). Bradford Cox was among the Northside attendees at the Brooklyn show which is pictured in this post.
Ted Leo @ Europa
If you missed Ted at Europa, catch him as a special guest again on Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen at Littlefield this Monday (6/27). He also plays a free 4Knots Fest kickoff show at Seaport on July 9. He won't be at the actual 4Knots Fest, but Eleanor will (and, as announced today, so will Mr. Dream, the band featuring ex-Village Voice writer Nick Sylvester).
Back in February Eleanor took part in a Loser's Lounge tribute to Queen show at Joe's Pub. Backed by an 8+ member ensemble, she got her Freddie Mercury on to "You're My Best Friend". Check out the video, and more pictures from the Northside show below...
Twin Sister @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
The last two nights of Northside were decent, if not a bit predictable. Though I was curious about Kelly Pratt (Arcade Fire/Beirut)'s new band Bright Moments (they played their first show at the Luaka Bop showcase), I decided to play it safe on Saturday night and headed over to the Music Hall of Williamsburg where I was familiar with the last three artists on the bill.
Somehow, the venue was actually running ahead of schedule, leaving me with only one song from the peppy Brooklyn collective Ava Luna. Luckily, I got my fix of group vocals from the next band, London's Allo Darlin'. The mood in the room (both on stage and off) was lively. As if attempting to match the vibrant performance, a number of people near the front of the floor danced enthusiastically (or rather, jumped up and down) for the entirety of the set. The band dedicated one song to Clarence Clemons who passed away earlier that night.
Twin Sister rounded out the evening. With vocalist Andrea Estella's shifting persona, you never really know what you're going to get. This time, Estella was decked out in a long white wig, oversized glasses (sans lenses), and a demure white button-up blouse, complete with matching bowtie. Whether the changing aesthetic is driven by a shyness or confidence is unclear, but it seems to be in keeping with her dramatic and affected vocals.
Toward the mid-section of their set, Twin Sister showcased a handful of songs from their upcoming album, due out in September on Domino. With the combination of charming low-key songs and funkier electro-pop songs, like the new single "Bad Street," the Brooklyn group can sometimes feel a bit schizophrenic to me, but they handled the shifting tempos in their set like pros. After a few punchier songs, nearly everyone in the band cleared the stage save for Eric Cardona and Estella, who stayed on to play a couple of their quieter and more intimate songs, including the lovely "Nectarine" and one from their upcoming album. Far from making the audience lose interest, these were the portions of the show that seemed to garner the most applause.
Mount Eerie @ St. Cecilia's Church (this photo by Michael Barron)
After a string of nights traipsing between venues and navigating the particularly unkind MTA service changes, Northside concluded where it began for me - in St. Cecilia's Church.
Though it was definitely Mount Eerie that sold me on the show, one of the biggest surprises of the long weekend was the first opener, Wyrd Visions. The set-up was simple - just a guy and his guitar, but within seconds of starting to play, the crowd was locked in a silent reverence.
With his hair slicked back and white collar shirt, Colin Bergh serenaded crowd with his long, melodious instrumental interludes and soothing vocals. Though I had never heard his music before, it somehow seemed both comfortingly familiar and organic. What better opener for Mount Eerie than a man who sings of things like ghosts and nature? The setting of the church only added to Bergh's stark mystique.
Up next was Nicholas Krgovich who played his own set before joining Phil Elverum for the main act. In his SADE t-shirt, Krgovich paced around the small space, clutching two mics and singing over samples of sultry saxes and hip hop beats. After a few songs, he was joined by Katie Eastburn who lent her vocal talents for a handful of songs, including a cover of the Prefab Sprout song, "Doo Wop in Harlem."
By the time Mount Eerie began, the church had filled out nicely. As a longtime Phil Elverum fan, I was eager to learn what had made the set list, but from a brief conversation with Elverum before the show, I knew not to expect anything too old. The show began and ended with songs from the darker and heavier album Wind's Poem ("Wind Speaks" and "Stone's Ode," respectively). Sandwiched in the middle were even newer songs that Elverum told me hadn't yet been recorded.
Even though he didn't delve too far back into the discography, I was still on the edge of my seat for every song... and yes, a bit heart broken that there was no encore. Whether a product of my ever diminishing attention span or the quickly changing music scene, much of what I listen to has a pitifully short shelf life. Elverum's music is one of the only things that I've held onto year after year, even as he turned in his hushed, lo-fi recordings and ventured into more metal territory. In stark contrast to the "ironic" bullshit that seems to drive some of today's trends, there is something in Elverum's steady voice and calm, down-to-earth demeanor that deeply resonates with me and reminds me why I fell in love with music in the first place.
My only gripe of the evening (apart from the brevity of Elverum's set, of course) is that I didn't have enough money to purchase both The Glow, pt. 2 on vinyl and some music from Wyrd Visions.
photos by Diana Wong
DOWNLOAD: Junior Boys - "A Truly Happy Ending" (Diamond Rings Remix) (MP3)
Diamond Rings @ Europa
Speaking of Diamond Rings, they've been announced as the opener on the previously discussed Twin Shadow tour which hits Maxwell's on September 6 and Webster Hall on October 7. Tickets go on sale Thursday (6/23) at 9 PM for the Maxwell's show and Friday (6/24) at noon for the Webster Hall show.
Diamond Rings, who recently signed to Astralwerks, re-released his debut Special Affections on the label today (6/21). In light of the reissue, the album is currently streaming on Spinner.
Diamond Rings also keeps busy making remixes. We just posted one he did for Handsome Furs. Above you can grab a new one he did for Junior Boys.
Diamond Rings just played a Northside Festival show on Sunday with Porcelain Raft and Bell. Pictures from that show continue, with all tour dates, below...
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.
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...
words by Andrew Sacher, most photos by Jessica Amaya
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.
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....
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).
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...
most photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Andrew Sacher
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...
by Andrew Sacher
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...
Deervana @ SXSW 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
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.
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."
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...
SUNDAY, JUNE 19
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+
Newtown Radio 1-Year Anniversary BBQ:
Laurel Halo 9pm
Autre Ne Veut 8pm
Steve Summers 7pm
Night Manager 4pm
Ex Cops 3pm
With DJ sets by Chocolate Bobka and Rezound (GT).
Doors at 2pm, $10, all ages
Paper Trail & Paper Garden Records present:
Emanuel & the Fear 6:15pm
Big Tree 5:30pm
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)
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 7pmIf 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.
Surfer Blood 5pm
The Babies 4pm
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 11:30pmIf 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.
Allo Darlin' 10:30pm
Ava Luna 9:45pm
Gabriel & the Hounds 9pm
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).
Eleanor Friedberger @ Lambert's (more by Tim Griffin)
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.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Tony Castles - Juice (MP3)
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.
DOWNLOAD: Miracles Club - "Light of Love" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Miracles Club - "Light of Love" (Cut Copy Re-Vision) (MP3)
"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.
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...
Atlas Sound in a church
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.
by Bill Pearis
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.
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.
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).
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...
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.