Entries tagged with: Norway
Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bon Iver recorded an iTunes session at East West studios which is available exclusively from iTunes starting today. It includes six tracks off 2011's great Bon Iver, Bon Iver and a cover of Bjork's "Who Is It?," which the band has played live many times. You can stream the session's opening track, "Beth/Rest" below.
As mentioned, Bon Iver is touring internationally throughout the summer and fall and will come to NYC on September 19 and 20 at Radio City Music Hall. Both of those shows are now sold out. All Bon Iver dates, including a recently announced European leg, are listed below.
Speaking of Bjork, she's teaming up with the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Children's Museum of Manhattan to create interactive educational programs for middle school-aged students based on her Biophilia app. Speaking about the program, Bjork said:
"It's not a bookish thing. You cannot learn to make music from a book." "I love books; they're like the best ever," she added. "There are things you can only learn from books, but it's also important to introduce the physical aspects. So for me, it was very important to make, somehow, music education that was physical." (via NY Daily News)Both Bon Iver and Bjork are set to play Oya Festival in Oslo, Norway this summer (Aug 7-11) with The Stone Roses, Refused, The Afghan Whigs, Bob Mould (performing Copper Blue), Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, John Maus, Purity Ring, Saint Etienne, SBTRKT, Screaming Females, St. Vincent, and more. Full list below.
Way Out West (Aug 9-11) in Gothenberg, Sweden features many of the same bands as Oya like Bon Iver, Refused, Afghan Whigs, St. Vincent, Purity Ring, John Maus, and Bob Mould in addition to Blur, Wilco, I Break Horses, Hot Chip, The War On Drugs, Mark Lanegan Band, Adolescents, Swans, and more. Check out the spotify playlist. The full lineup is listed below.
As mentioned, the reunited Mazzy Star is set to play both of those European festivals. Full lineups and the Bon Iver dates and song, below...
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
One Tail One Head @ Inferno Fest
There's no way to put it nicely. My final day at Inferno Festival was an extremely up and down affair. Thumbs down to the bloated and overthought bands that had polished themselves and dulled their edges. But a big thumbs up goes out to the "true Norwegian Black Metal" hordes that stood out by delivering laser-precise performances at their corpse painted, blood-soaked, and firebreathing best.
Coming onto a stage lit by candelabra, accompanied by a fire-breather and adorned with animal skulls (shocker: they were actually the first and only band to do so at the fest!), Throne of Katarsis played a killer set of blasting old school black metal with some doomy breakdowns. The corpse painted quartet were the first band on the main stage and though the turnout was small, it was positively worth getting to the venue early for.
Svarttjern was next on the John Dee stage, a band cut from a similar cloth as Throne of Katarsis, but with less breaks in between blasts... a relentless full on assault. The band came on stage covered with blood and in full corpse painted glory, complete with both the beastial inhuman growls, and the uniquely black metal "deer in headlights" looks at the audience. Theatrical yet never campy, and totally fun.
Einherjer, a pagan-y viking metal band that helped pave the way for much of the genre (along with names like Enslaved and many others), was next on the main stage. 99% of the time pagan-metal & viking metal gets the gas face, and live I found it even more repellent. As I type this, my laptop keeps wanting to autocorrect their name as Winger... coincidence?
Ancient Wisdom was next up on John Dee, playing their pagan style folk influenced by bands like Death in June. Outside of those clad with the hellion skull, manson's face, or some other holy terror indicator like Vegas, it seemed like a lot of the metal crowd didn't quite "get it", a sentiment I also heard a few times when they toured North America with Ghost. Regardless of the overall temperature of the room, I found the music to be interesting but the vocals didnt seem to fit in.
My losing streak continued with Decapitated, the Polish metal band that rebuilt itself after a horrid accident a few years ago, and Monolith Death Cult, a long-winded death metal band with technical tendencies but very little to offer in the good riffs department. Decapitated has definitely crafted their live show to a fine point and the foursome handled the stage well. I'm just not a fan of the chugga-chugga-squeal-style of tech death. Witchery, the "supergroup" made up of ex-members fo Brujeria, Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate, Dismember, Opeth, The Haunted and more, were similarly not my cup of tea but knew how to handle the stage and kept it interesting.
Then came One Tail One Head, the headliner at John Dee and a truly indestructible live juggernaut. One Tail One Head was yet another Norwegian band (that made three on Saturday) to reach into their country's storied black metal playbook and knock it out of the park. Musically speaking, these bands aren't breaking any new ground, but their approach with reverence and ferocity is so pure and devastating, it's hard to ignore them. I think bands like Borknagar and Arcturus (I'll... yawn... get into that later) forget that black metal is rooted in punk, and it's punk's "don't give a fuck" attitude that is so important to keeping the music's spirit alive (it's the difference between Discharge and MXPX).
One Tail One Head was one of my favorite performances from the whole fest, and definitely my favorite of the day (Svarttjern & Throne of Katarsis were the day's other highlights). The lead vocalist swings and thrashes like Erik of Watain, with the band keeping that same stage energy and intensity. The guitar/bass/drums trio are impeccably tight, much more so than I would expect for a band with only a couple demos and EPs to their name. Awesome set. This band needs to play in the US and soon.
After that amazing set it was on to the final band of the night, Arcturus at Rockefeller main stage. I don't particularly dig on symphonic black metal and for the most part progessive can be a dirty word for me, so the Arcturus set definitely fell on deaf ears. Their set, peppered with oodles of pyro felt like a Jerry Bruckheimer production; explosions hide the fact that the storyline, dialogue and execution were all weak.
Overall, an excellent weekend and I feel lucky to have been able to catch such great talent on foriegn soil. Inferno 2013, here I come.
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
Autopsy @ Inferno
It's true. Everything in Europe is a little bit different than the states. Case in point, the classic European mosh pit. In the USA, there's always a few knuckleheads walking in circles and trying to assert their pit supremacy with flailing arms, swing kicks, picking-up-change, and skanking. Kudos to an American band, Autopsy for showing me that European moshing is basically a mass of ear-to-ear smiles, pogoing, and kids bouncing off of each other like pinballs.
Agalloch had just started their set at Inferno by the time I got to the venue on the festival's third night, so I missed sets by Merah, Necronomicon and Aeon Throne. I have seen Agalloch a few times and am used to seeing them in a much smaller space; the Portland band on the gigantic Rockefeller stage was nothing less than epic, probably aided by the amazing knob-twiddling skills of the one and only Billy Anderson (who is touring with them as their soundman). Songs from their recent Marrow Of The Spirit and Ashes Against the Grain never sounded so good.
Agalloch's touring partners, the great Velnias, held down the John Dee in the set directly following, and their grand statements of black metal majesty have never sounded so big. The last time I saw the band was at the DIY space Acheron in NYC, so this was decidedly different.
No offense to either Agalloch or Velnias, but after two sets of multi-part epic black metal, catching Tsjuder on the main stage was a welcome change. Tsjuder were everything I wanted at that moment from a "true Norwegian black metal band" (self described, of course); simple in approach, nihilstic, relentless, hooky but without the corny, and with breakdowns straight from the Celtic Frost playbook. The crowd ate it up like it was a coconut curry (one of the only things to eat at the venue), and so did I. Side note: Tsjuder wins the prize for band with the most fans with a tattoo of their logo at Inferno.
Dead Trooper was next on the John Dee stage, and their thrash hybrid contained elements of black metal and many other different influences mixed in. While that in itself isn't a deal breaker, the alternating growls and clean singing in Hetfield style (sorrow becomes sorroooooo-wah) truly put this band over the "not interested" hump for me. Sorry homies.
I washed my hands clean of Dead Trooper with the always amazing Absu. The lightning fast Texas crew played favorites like the new album opener "Earth Ripper", "Four Crossed Wands", "Thirteen Blows" and my personal favorite Absu track, "Pillars of Mercy." The last time I saw Absu (at Europa), I was told that the song was arranged for two guitars so I am happy that the trio figured out a way to take that Tara classic on the road. Such a unique band, one of the few that can get away with campy song introductions and still rip as hard as the best of them.
Clad in cowboy attire, hair braided, and opening with riffs that sounded like more metallic versions of Morricone soundtracks, I thought I had Solstafir pegged as a progressive metal band with a southwestern slant. Though they started a bit shaky, the band tightened up by the end of the first song and played an interesting set of psychedelic metal with black metal parts that had some great moments. The crowd were nuts for the band, and I was surprised and definitely impressed.
Autopsy was the main attraction of the night, and rightfully so. The primitive death metal legends got the crow riled up and brought the first mosh pit of the evening with songs like "Severed Survival", "Gasping for Air", and later fare like "Maggot Holes" and "Hand of Darkness". So animated. So brutal. So amazing. I can't wait for the Bell House show.
Pictures from day three of Inferno are below.
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
Church of Misery
It's late and I'm strolling down Karl Johan's Gate in Oslo, trying to snag a snack at one of the only late-night spots in the area, 7-11 (it's not only NYC that they've infiltrated). A young woman aggressively walks over to me and says something in Norwegian that I clearly don't understand, and like any ugly American I respond with an "excuse me?". The girl fires back with a "Hi, handsome" and asks if I like her with a very pointed look of intent... Like Whodini said, the freaks come out at night.
Night fell on day two of the Inferno Festival (day 1 review/pics HERE) and instead of being dispersed across many clubs in the city, the creatures of the night (in this case, the bullet belted and corpse-painted set) converged on a single area, connecting clubs Rockefeller & John Dee. The two clubs are interconnected with a third stage (Rockefeller Annex) serving as the all-important metal-merch area, housing all manner of silver rings, zillion-dollar Morbid Angel ultra-limited boxsets, and your basic assortment of metal patches. The mighty Neseblod Records (home of the black metal museum that I visited last time I was here) had also set up shop, selling wares from their jaw-droppingly extensive collection.
Bands were staggered across the two stages with the show opening at a whopping 5:45PM with an appearance by Corpus Mortale at John Dee. Due to prior obligations, I stumbled into the venue in time to catch Anaal Nathrakh, missing Trollfest, Undying Inc, and the previously mentioned festival day opener.
Anaal Nathrakh played the Rockefeller stage at 7:45PM and the band was noticeably missing Mick Kenney, one half of the mostly-studio project. Vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (Dave Hunt) commented that problems at the US border (UK-born Kinney now lives in the states) had kept Kinney from performing at Inferno Festival, but the band forged on and seemed no worse for the wear. The band dedicated "Submission is For The Weak" from Codex Necro to the US Border authorities.
Maybe it was the Integrity sticker on the bassist's instrument, but I think Anaal Nathrakh has a distinct hardcore feel live. Hunt jerks around and slithers on stage like a hardcore vocalist yet when the songs require clean singing, he executes them perfectly. Awesome set, with my personal highlight being the blistering "The Final Submission".
The Konsortium, a supergroup featuring shrouded members of Mayhem and Kvelertak (I do believe it was their lead vocalist), followed on John Dee. Wearing white masks, the band played their version of black metal/thrash to the room, with the lead vocalist toting a copy of the New Testament. While bibles on stage at a metal show are hardly a new thing, this copy clearly had lyrics written inside of it (just an observation, no judgement). The band didn't leave much of an impression, positive or negative, and felt more like black metal by committee, not consortium.
White corpse-paint followed the white-masked when 1349 played the next set at the big Rockefeller stage. The band was much tighter than my previous experiences with them and the crowd energy was high during their performance as well. While I have waivered regarding 1349, their showing at Rockefeller renewed my faith.
Considering the list of bands that preceeded Vesen, a black-metal thrash crew from Oslo, I was intrigued at where they sat in the lineup. While Vesen is hardly breaking any new territory, their thrash-attack was energetic and compelling live. Fun set from this Norwegian four-piece.
The stage at Rockefeller was curtained when I got in place for Triptykon but I could hear the vocals being checked over the PA:
"COOKIE! COOKIE! C is for COOKIE! COOKIES GOOD! COOKIES GEEEUHRRR..." said the voice in a Cookie Monster style growl.
There is no evidence that Tom Warrior was responsible for that Sesame Street impression, but I'd like to think that he was.
Then the curtains parted and Triptykon came on stage. The band performed pieces from their recent Eparistera Daimones in addition to classic Celtic Frost tracks like "Circle of The Tyrants" and "The Usurper" featuring Ravn of 1349 on vocals. The band was definitely tight and delivered an excellent set with thick and hearty guitar tones that sounded amazing on the ample Rockefeller PA (not that a single band was poorly mixed in that room... I just think Triptykon sounded the best).
I then headed to the basement to see a band that I have longed to see for years.... Church of Misery! Church of Misery do a perfect mix of classic, bluesy doom riffs with sludge and have the sickening vocals of Hideki Fukasawa over top of it all. Booming, jaw-dropping and laser-precise, there was a moment during their set that I was convinced that Church of Misery was the baddest motherfucking band on the planet. One thing is for sure, they rip.
If there ever was a band that would enforce my "OMG Church of Misery is the best band evar" theory, it would be Borknagar who was up next. The band practices in progressive, folk-y style metal with keyboards and black metal tendencies but with none of those, you know, memorable parts. Kind of a sour note to end the night on the big stage and overall, but at least I saw some incredible music today.
More pictures from the whole day below....
Earth @ Inferno 2012
I stepped into the elevator at 2AM and almost slipped. Blood was all over the tile. It's hard to know what the source is when you're dealing with raging metalheads... costume? Drunken stumble? I'm back in Oslo at the heart of the Inferno Festival (at the Clarion Royal Christiana) which features some heavy hitters in the world of metal; the possibilities are endless.
Inferno Festival is in its eleventh year and features mostly Scandinavian artists with some touring bands. This year's fest features appearances from Autopsy, Borknagar, Arcturus, Agalloch, Velnias, Church of Misery, Anaal Nathrakh, and many more over four days at multiple venues. The first night (last night, 4/4) is "club night" where smaller bands play across a litany of small stages. The rest of the shows happen at John Dee and Rockefeller, a pair of stages that are connected by a stairway.
Last night started at Victoria, a jazz club decorated with the standard issue acoutrements: a mirrored bar with wood and glass, brass railings from floor to ceiling, and tons of tufted burgundy leather couches. The center of the room was a 200 capacity floor space (that usually houses tables and chairs), with the back wall housing stadium style seating and a pair of balconys above it all.
The show was a stop on the ongoing Earth/Mount Eerie/O Paon tour, a five week jaunt in Europe. The bands on this tour all specialize in darkly melodic tunes with clean guitar tones, so some might find their inclusion in Inferno Festival odd, but Earth has considerable metal pedigree and influence.
O Paon started the evening with her one-woman show. French is the primary tongue for Geneviève Castrée, whose compositions use looped vocals and guitar. Her performance was moving, with some of the songs being completely spontaneous despite the fact that she was fighting a cold.
"Sorry this is our 35th show and sometimes I like to get weird," she said after performing a short interlude with multiple interlocked vocal harmonies. One person's scratchpad is another's gold mine, I guess.
Mount Eerie followed O Paon, featuring Phil Elverum performing solo with a looping pedal and twelve-string. Elverum's fantastic bright guitar tone was the highlight of his outstanding set, which was comprised entirely of new material due on a pair of records coming in May and October. Some of the new material seemed to be in sketchbook form, others sounded like they were cut from the same reverby cloth as the black-metal influenced Wind's Poem, but there was definitely a song or two that sounded like the time on the road with Dylan Carlson had made its mark.
The room was full by the time Earth took the stage, mixed with Inferno festival-goers and indie folk alike. Earth was a four-piece in Oslo that night with a cello to add droney mid-tones in between Carlson's bright Telecaster and the basslines. As usual, Earth was somber, powerful and stunning.
After Earth, I made a pit stop to catch a bit of DJ Nocturno Culto's set before heading to see Solstorm at Rock In. Solstorm mixed elements of Isis-style post-metal with doom and a heavier post-rock influence, and unfortunately, a bit of uncontrollable noise. Despite the band's roots in the noise scene, they couldn't seem to control the waves of noise. Noise music to me is the art of controlling noise and feedback, but Solstorm's seemingl-random ear-piercing squeals didn't do anything but distract from their set.
More pictures from the first night, below...
Kvelertak in Oslo
Compared to days one and two, day three of By:Larm was considerably more indulgent. Two artists (Kvelertak and Mayhem) have played the US several times, and though I was definitely familiar with both, I wanted to see them on their "home turf" so to speak.
After a day of looking at records at Tiger and Big Dipper, I caught a super-early show from The Avalanche (who I saw on day one) before heading to Folketeateret to catch some of Ida Maria's opening set of indie-laced pop-punk. She commanded the crowd to get out of their seats and the audience agreed, dancing in the aisles.
the basement of Helvete in Oslo
Day two of By:Larm (read about day one HERE) started out with a "black metal" tour of Oslo lead by Anders Odden who has played with everyone from Celtic Frost to Satyricon to Ministry and played in death metallers Cadaver. The tour, which was especially educational for those with limited knowledge of the genre, took us to Holmenkollen Chapel (which was famously burned down by Varg Vikernes, Faust & Euronymous), the site of Helvete (the store owned by Euronymous of Mayhem) which is now a coffee shop, and Neseblod Records, a sort of museum/record store located downtown.
continued, with lots of pictures, below...
Dark Times in Oslo - 2/16/2012
By:Larm is Norway's version of SXSW, a mass of bands and seminars in Oslo over three days. By:Larm's focus is the best of Scandinavia though, and they highlight the region across 24 venues and seminar sites. As a result, most of the bands at By:Larm have never broken on our shores and more than likely haven't even played the states. That made for a lot of research and a considerable amount of excitement when I found something new and fresh. I definitely found some fun and interesting bands during day one this year (February 16th). Read more about it, commplete with pictures, below...
Santos Party House, Oslo, Norway
I recently spent the better part of two weeks in Norway covering a doubleheader of events in the capital city of Oslo - first the Santos Party House Annex during the World Snowboarding Championships and then the by:Larm Music Festival. The first part of my trip included shows with Turbonegro (who may be heading back to the US soon), Andrew WK & the WSC House Band, and Dropkick Murphys (who have shows coming up in Long Island and CT), and visits to Bergen, Voss (yes, like the water), and Flam. It's all detailed, many pictures included, below...
Beaten to Death at by:Larm (photo by BBG)
Greetings from Europe. I'm currently in Norway for a doubleheader of Oslo events: the World Snowboarding Championships (complete with an Andrew WK-curated Norweigian version of 'Santos Party House') and the by:Larm Music Festival. You might remember the snowboarding portion was also celebrated with a Turbonegro show at Santos in NYC in November. Regular programming and a review from Oslo, with requisite sausage/hummus/fat rock comments, will resume in full tomorrow.
In honor of my current trip, I'll leave you with some Norwegian favorites like One Tail, One Head, Haust, Okkultokrati and Hellhammer (honorary Norwegians with respect to their influence). Listen below.
What else is going on? A list of upcoming NYC shows and those songs, below...
by Bill Pearis
Childhood friends since they were six years old, the band formed in 2005 when the four girls were just 14 and began as a pop-punk band until they discovered reggae. These days, Razika draw comparisons to 2-Tone and Lilliput/Kleenex and you might even hear a little of Camper Van Beethoven's balalaika ska in there too. You can download two tracks from Program 81 at the top of this post -- "Eg Vetsje" is particularly stick-in-your-head catchy.
The band are here in NYC shooting a video and go back to Bergen after the Cameo show so it's you're only chance to see them for now. Razika share the bill with Ski Lodge (Smiths-y indiepop) and the laptop soul of Brooklyn-via-New-Zealand artist Lips.
Vreid at the first BV-BBG CMJ in 2008 (more by Leia Jospe)
It has been almost three years now since Norway's Vreid played their third ever US show at the first BV-BBG CMJ event back in 2008 (with Trap Them, Rival Schools and Made Out of Babies) at the old Knitting Factory (Norway's Shining played the same room hours later).
Now Vreid is returning and embarking on a North American tour TONIGHT that will see them headline dates with Kampfar & Necronomicon including this Sunday (8/28) at Europa in Brooklyn. Tickets are still available for the show that will also feature an appearance from Grafvolluth. All dates are listed below.
Montreal Mirror recently caught up with Vreid and asked how the recent tragedies in their home country affected them. Bassist Hváll said:
It affected us deeply. Our drummer worked in the government office that was destroyed, but thankfully, he was on vacation and wasn't at work that day. He didn't lose any of his closest coworkers, but it hit him personally as he worked with people who lost friends. He could hear the bang of the explosion from his house when it happened--his whole department was shattered to pieces. It was one of the most brutal things we've ever seen in Norway. This was a complete madman hell-bent on destruction. We all have children and when tragedy like this happens you just think about protecting your child. The slaughtering at the youth camp was one of the most savage things I think we've seen in modern history. If this could happen in Norway, it's proof it could happen anywhere.All tour dates, and some recent video of the band at Wacken 2011 is below.
Just wanted to take a second to also say that our thoughts and condolences are with the people of Norway today.
The above is a selection of tweets from Norwegian musicians that have graced the pages (and stages) of BrooklynVegan in the past. Blabbermouth has a list of reactions from more in the metal community (from Norway and elsewhere), including the above-pictured message from Enslaved who said, "Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to everybody touched by the fathomless tragedy that struck Norway yesterday. This is indeed a day for afterthought."
Jaga Jazzist at Oya 2009 (photo by Jan Erik Svendesen)
Plenty of your hipper bands might vary their influences list with acts like Tortoise, Charles Mingus, and the Neptunes just to prove they are cool. With the risky, sprawling, and somehow serene Jaga Jazzist, you can actually hear it. The ten-piece jazz-meets-electronics band from Norway came to life in 1994 when their main brain and songwriter, Lars Horntveth, was only 14. Two years later their debut album, Jævla Jazzist Grete Stitz, appeared, and Norwegians got their first taste of the band's combination of jazz chops and electronic quirkiness. Two years after that the Magazine EP appeared, but it was 2001's A Livingroom Hush that grabbed all the attention due to rave reviews and distribution by Warner Bros. in their homeland. Coldcut's label, Ninja Tune, picked the album up for worldwide distribution in 2002 and BBC radio listeners crowned it the Jazz Album of the Year. The remix-based Animal Chin appeared at the end of 2002 and was followed in 2003 by Stix, an album that found the band using more electronics without the help of remixers. What We Must followed in 2005 before a five-year break took the band out of the studio and off the road. Jaga Jazzist returned in 2010 with One-Armed Bandit, featuring new recruit Stian Westerhus on guitar. [AllMusic]Jaga Jazzist are now in the middle of a North American tour which will culminate on July 3 at Le Poisson Rouge. The NYC show is being opened by Doom Jazz (Jamie Saft and Bobby Previte). Tickets are still on sale.
Jaga Jazzist posted a video expressing their excitement when they announced the North American tour. Check that out along with some recent live videos, other Jaga Jazzist videos, and all tour dates, below...
Altaar at By:Larm (more)
Altaar aren't content with coming all the way from Norway just to level Austin three times (an appearance at the BrooklynVegan/Profound Lore show at Lovejoys on 3/19, the Profound Lore Official Showcase, and the Chaos in Tejas/Stereogum/Sacred Bones show). The Norwegian doom destroyers have added TWO last minute NYC dates this weekend, and a Boston show to boot! Altaar will join fellow Norwegians Deathcrush to play the Acheron in on 3/12 with Occultation, and Silent Barn on 3/13 with Explosive Improvised Device. From there they head to O'Brien's in Allston, MA for a 3/14 show before continuing to Texas.
BUT FIRST: Sten Ove Toft aka TOFT from Altaar will play a solo show TONIGHT (3/11) on an impressive bill that look like this:
1st: TOFTThe DIY show happens at 345 Eldert St. #218 in Brooklyn (L to Halsey), AND NOT AT Psychotropa as originally planned (Doors - 8pm, Show - 9pm, $8).
2nd: Man Forever Duo (mems. of Oneida/Lone Wolf)
3rd: Tall Firs
4th: Scarcity of Tanks
5th: Chris Grier & Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) Duo
Some video and flyers for Altaar's SXSW dates, are below.
by Bill Pearis
The Megaphonic Thrift
This year's SXSW festival is a month away and some of you may be sick of hearing about it already. Especially if you're not going. One nice thing about New York is a lot of the international acts play here either on their way to or from Austin, and usually doing longer sets than you'd get at the fest.
In that spirit, like last year, we're gonna bring a little of the SXSW spirit to Brooklyn -- minus the inability to find a cab at midnight. The BrooklynVegan & Tiger Mountain pre-SXSW Party will be at The Rock Shop on Monday, March 14 with Bloodgroup, The Megaphonic Thrift and The Lines. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.
Iceland synth pop collective Bloodgroup headline the night. Maybe you saw them at CMJ last year. The band's 2009 LP, the slinky, seductive Dry Land, drew favorable comparisons to The Knife. KEXP's blog wrote of their 2010 CMJ performance, "Bloodgroup could be this year's The xx, if enough people take the time to stop and listen." Stop and listen to Bloodgroup's single "My Arms" at the top of this post.
The Megaphonic Thrift (who share members with Casiokids and The Low Frequency in Stereo) played in NYC last March on their way to SXSW as their new album, Decay Destroy, had just come out in their home country of Norway. It's taken a year for the album to get an American release -- out next month on Sonic Union -- but it's probably good timing as their sound fits in well with the '90s indie rock resurgence we're experiencing right now.
Check out the "Candy Sin" -- part Sonic Youth, part Swervedriver -- at the top of this post. I've seen them a couple times. If you dig loud, shoegazy rock The Megaphonic Thrift do it very well. If you can't make the Rock Shop show, the band plays the night before (3/13) at Mercury Lounge where they'll play with Endless Boogie and Arboretum.
Openers are The Lines who hail from Wolverhampton, UK (home of Slade, Goldie and Ned's Atomic Dustbin) and, like Bloodgroup, were here last in October for CMJ. Check out their single "El Matador" at the top of this post which should appeal to fans of Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party, and other danceable UK indie.
Should be a fun night, especially because we're giving away Strongbow Cider to those who get there early (while it lasts). Videos and all tour dates for all three bands, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Casiokids - Finn Bikkjen! (MP3)
Casiokids, who just wrapped up a short tour of the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, will be heading back to the States next month for a few select dates, including an Oct 3 stop at Glasslands. Tickets are on sale now. They haven't played New York since our pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory back in March.
Since then, it's been a busy year for these Norwegians. Casiokids' album, Topp stemning på lokal bar, was released earlier this year on Polyvinyl which collected all of the band's singles from the last two years. Both the CD and the vinyl come with a bonus disc worth or remixes. You can download single "Finn Bikkjen!" above, and the charming video for the song is at the bottom of this post.
More recently, Casiokids were awarded one million Kroner ($160,000) by the band A-Ha (who are retiring this year) as one of four winners in a competition to find Norway's most promising acts. Hopefully they won't spend it all on new equipment -- the rummage sale keyboards are certainly part of the band's charm.
All Casiokids tour dates, plus that "Finn Bikkjen!" video, are after the jump.
I caught the Norweigian, David Byrne-approved, all-girl group Katzenjammer while I was in Norway for the by:Larm Festival earlier this year. Naturally, I never posted the pictures, so here they are in honor of the group's current tour which brings them to Mercury Lounge in NYC TONIGHT (7/6). They're a little corny, but super energetic and fun, and Mercury Lounge is a way smaller venue than where I saw them play in Norway to a highly enthusiastic crowd.
Alcest at their first ever live performance in Bucharest (more by Stefan Raduta)
Wardruna at the 2010 edition of by:Larm in Norway
April is supposed to be the gateway to rejuvenation; spring is around the corner and warm sun awaits. Yet Thursday, April 29th is a dark day in NYC despite upward swinging forecasts, as the city will host a pair of black metal events.
First up, is the seminar 'A Blaze In The Northern Sky - Norwegian Metal and The Culture That Spawned It", a discussion featuring Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Gaahl (ex-Gorgoroth, Wardruna), and Harold Fossberg (Turbonegro) at Scandinavia House (58 Park Avenue):
In the last two decades, a bizarre, intense, and violent musical subculture called Black Metal has emerged in Norway, and has subsequently become a worldwide phenomenon. In a unique seminar-meets-radio show format moderated by Patrizia Mazzuoccolo (also known as Miss Pee), the lecture will explore and promote the genre and its country through audio clips of bands, interviews with musicians and special guests (see below for details), and an audience Q & A session.Secondly and as previously discussed, Alcest will play NYC along with blackened blasters (and recent Candlelight signees) Woe and Have a Nice Life Tickets are still available for their show at The Studio @ Webster Hall, and I have a pair available for giveaway!
Nocturno Culto recently played Roadburn 2010 as part of Sarke, part II of Kim Kelly's review is on the way.
Wardruna, Gaahl included, recently played Folketeateret at the by:Larm Music Festival in snowy Norway (on Saturday, Feb. 20th) . An unposted set of pictures from that show, which was one of the major highlights of the long weekend, is continued below.
Details on how to win those Alcest tickets, some videos, and flyers for both events are below too...
Seabear @ by:Larm
Seabear was one of the bands I made sure not to miss when I ventured to Norway for the by:Larm festival in February, but I came away with mixed feelings about the band whose leader Sindri Már Sigfússon has been called the Icelandic Beck. Maybe I had jet lag and was sleepy or they were sleepy or they just make sleepy music. That's not to say the 7-piece band completely scared me away. If they had, I wouldn't be writing this post to point out that you can download the perfectly pleasant track "Lion Faced Boy" above (and listen to more like it at their MySpace), and that you can see them when they make their NYC debut at Mercury Lounge tonight (3/25) and when they play their 2nd NYC show at Southpaw on Friday (3/26). Both shows are with their tour-mates, Chicago's Via Tania, and Friday (and most of the tour) also includes a set by Soley aka Seabear's Sóley Stefánsdóttir. Check out an MP3 from her up there too.
Naturally, the band is visiting from Iceland for a trip that included SXSW where they played a bunch of shows last week. The trip was also timed to coincide with the release of their new album We Built A Fire. It's out now on Morr Music which is also the label that will release a new Soley EP on the day of the Southpaw show (both MP3s above are from those records).
Some live videos from SXSW, more pictures from by:Larm (where they performed at a club called John Dee), and all tour dates, below...
I've seen a ton of great bands [in Oslo] so far. Most are new to me. I'm trying to avoid bands I've seen or will definitely see soon. Serena Maneesh fall into both categories (SXSW = the "see soon" part), but I couldn't help myself and went and checked them out [Friday] night at [Sentrum] Scene in Oslo. They went on after Johann Johannsson who went on after Efterklang (it was 4AD night). I actually watched all three and even saw some bands in nearby venues during set change... there's a band on somewhere every half hour, and all bands only play for 30 minutes.... so if you're quick you can see at least 25 minutes of a 30 minute set twice an hour for about 7 hours straight...except Serena Maneesh actually who got 45 minutes as tonight's big headliner... actually [I think] Johann played longer too, but I left before he finished). [me, over the weekend]That's what I wrote over the weekend as a quick update while I was still in Oslo for the by:Larm festival. Meanwhile I'm still working on a complete post with everything I saw there, but, as it always goes - I'm so busy doing 100 different things so it's not done yet. In the meantime here is a full set of pictures from that Serena Maneesh show... which was great. It was especially cool to see the band play to a large crowd in their hometown, speaking only their native language and just generally being huge rock stars - loud sound, poses, great lights and all
As mentioned above, Efterklang played the same venue the same night, but the pictures I posted yesterday were from the show they played one night later. Both Efterklang and Serena Maneesh have shows coming up at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Both will also be at SXSW.
More pictures from Oslo below...
Denmark's Oh No Ono played two nights in NYC earlier this year in January. Of the band's new record, Eggs, Bill previously wrote: "It's psychedelic, baroque, glammy, 70's AM, with some synth pop and the occasional church choir thrown in. And very catchy stuff too." The two tracks above definitely showcase that eclecticism.
Since then I saw them this past Thursday (2/18) at by:Larm in snowy Norway. Three things: they were super tight, they are kind of getting huge over there, and my new name nickname for them is MEWGMT. The show took place at a third floor venue called Samfunnsalen which seemed to double as some type of lodge or government-run room. There were paintings and busts of men who could have been politicians since passed on the walls of the room which included a huge stage and plenty of standing space. Or maybe it was a school. That's what it reminded me of as I went up the three flights of tiled steps which included art sculptures on each floor's landing. Pictures from that show continue below.
The band next comes to the U.S. for SXSW which is followed by another visit to NYC for two more shows. They play Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, March 24th. Tickets are on sale. They'll also be opening for Little Dragon and VV Brown at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Thursday, March 25th. Tickets to that are still on sale.
Live videos from their last NYC stint, more pictures from Norway and all tour dates are below...
Eclectic Norwegian quartet Katzenjammer have a new video our for their song "Tea with Cinnamon," the new single (out March 2nd) for their forthcoming album, Le Pop, which is due June 1st on Nettwerk. We're premiering that video. Watch it below.
They'll be at by:Larm (in Oslo) this weekend (2/18) (like Hanne Hukkelberg and many others), and on the Lilith Fair tour this summer (dates TBA). Last year the band's US shows included the David Byrne-curated stage at Bonnaroo and Mercury Lounge. The video and all tour dates are below...
One night after opening for The Watson Twins in Brooklyn, Norway's Hanne Hukkelberg headlined her own show (an early one) at the Mercury Lounge on Saturday (2/13). Hukkelberg's set consisted mostly of songs from last year's full-length, Blood From A Stone. Saturday's show - which was full but not sold out - was the second night of a short, four-show, two-city tour that wraps tonight (2/15) in Boston. Then it's back to Norway for the by:Larm Festival later this week.
Norway's ruling party celebrated its election victory in a rock venue; more than 20% of the population attends a music festival every year; and it's not unusual to find gigs taking place in a mausoleum. Oslo is the music-mad capital of this music-mad nation, and the city's modest population of 550,000 sustains numerous venues, outstanding record shops and countless festivals.Opening the Merc show was New York's Ravens & Chimes whose next scheduled show is with Robbers on High Street at the Bell House on March 6th. More pictures including one of the setlist below....
Annual events cater for a wide range of tastes including metal, jazz, folk, world and electronica, while the Øya rock festival puts most larger UK equivalents to shame when it comes to bands, organisation and environmental credentials. And while showcase industry events Folkelarm and by:Larm attract music business figures from around the world to check out the talent, Norway's social democratic principles ensure that the gigs are also open to the public. [Guardian]
by Andrew Frisicano
If you can imagine it, Norwegian singer Hanne Hukkelberg used to carry vocals for doom metal band Funeral before settling into her own atmospheric folk. She's in NYC this weekend - her first show is at the Bell House on Friday, February 12th with The Watson Twins (who are at the Living Room tonight, 2/11 - for WFUV members only) and La Strada. Tickets are still on sale.
She headlines Saturday, February 13th at Mercury Lounge with Ravens & Chimes Tickets are on sale.
Hanne Hukkelberg is one of the many Nordic artists participating in By:larm, a regional showcase/festival in Oslo, Norway on February 18th-20th (a fest we'll be attending... more on that later). The full list of artists participating in that is below.
Her album Blood From a Stone came out last year on Nettwerk. Videos from that and all tour dates are below...