Entries tagged with: Our Band Could Be Your Life
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Frisicano
The "Our Band Could Be Your Life" tribute Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom ran more than four hours with 14 bands playing the music of 13 bands (plus a special encore act that covered Nirvana). Set changes were kept short, and bands generally played about 10-15 minutes (between one and four songs). Unannounced guests included Tim Harrington and Lee Ranaldo singing the Minutemen, Craig Finn playing the role of Minneapolis cop, and Dan Deacon's multimedia barrage and three-piece band. More highlights, lots of pictures, and a bunch of videos (UPDATE: NPR has audio of the show) are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Amor de Días - Bunhill Fields (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Damon & Naomi - "Walking Backwards" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Damon & Naomi - "Shadow Boxing" (M4A)
DOWNLOAD: BNLX - Burn the Boats (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BNLX - Garbage Strike (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beige - Folds (MP3)
Amor de Dias
This weekend is dominated, for me at least, by NYC Popfest but as I've already written an exhaustive (exhausting) post about that, so go read it and we'll discuss other shows here. There's lots more to cover anyway.
One thing, and this is Popfest related really, is that Amor de Días are here this weekend, playing Knitting Factory on Sunday (5/22) opening for Damon & Naomi. We've got a pair of tickets to give away to this show. Just send an email with your name to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Amor de Dias" and we'll pick a winner at random.
As you may know, the duo (Amor de Días) are Alisdair Maclean of The Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas, a group who played the first ever NYC Popfest back in 2007. I actually thought it was going to be Amor de Días in the "TBA" slot at the Thursday night Cake Shop show that turned out to be Pains of Being Pure at Heart. For this show to be happening at the same -- but not part of -- the 'Fest seems a little criminal.
MacLean and Núñez-Fernández formed Amor de Días back in 2008 and wrote and recorded whenever they had time, with help from current tourmates Damon & Naomi, indiepop legend (and master arranger) Louis Phillipe and Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson. Their debut, The Street of the Love of Days, came out this week on Merge and is a lovely little album as you might imagine from the talent involved. Their styles and voices are a perfect match for one another and the arrangements are just perfect. Among the treats is a particularly nice version of The Clientele's "Harvest Time." You can download "Bunhill Fields" at the top of this post.
Damon & Naomi's new album, False Beats and True Hearts, is a really nice record too. And if it's still pouring out Sunday night, all the better. It's an evening of rainy day music.
A much louder duo, also in town this weekend, are Minneapolis' BNLX, who play Pianos on Friday (5/20) and The Rock Shop on Saturday (5/21). I've written about them a couple times this year already and I do really dig their mix of rockin' tunes and corporate humor. I'll quote myself again:
Volume isn't just for punishment, though in the wrong hands it most certainly is. But sometimes you just can't achieve that clarity of sound, that particular strain of feedback, that shriiiiiiinnnnng you get from flicking the strings above the headnut, that tone...without cranking the amp. Ed Ackerson, a 20-year veteran guitar slinger of such Minneapolis bands as 27 Various and Polara, knows what he's doing. BNLX didn't just blow eardrums, they kinda blew minds...You can download two tracks from EP#5 at the top of this post, and I have a good feeling they'll have EP#6 at the merch table for the NYC shows. Also playing The Rock Shop show is Black Onassis, which is not the ex-drummer of Urge Overkill but a new group from former member(s) of Kasabian and Daylight for the Birds. Don't know much about them.
...for being just two of them and a laptop, they made quite a racket at the Rock Shop. Normally I'm one to complain about bands using canned backing instead of a real drummer, but vintage drum machine sounds -- right out of 1987, be it Jesus & Mary Chain or Age of Chance -- are kind of integral to what BNLX are doing. With a stroboscopic lightshow (what, no smoke machines?) you didn't really need anyone else.
More interesting is what's happening earlier that same evening at The Rock Shop: a tribute to Brian Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets featuring a cavalcade of indie rock talent. Here's the press release:
When Brian Eno's first solo record, Here Come the Warm Jets, came out in 1974 it turned heads. It continues to baffle great minds due to the sneaky way it overlays whimsical pop with the beginnings of Eno's whole philosophy of creativity and experimentation.Musicians performing include Travis Morrison (Dismemberment Plan), Hamish Kilgour (The Clean), Richard Baluyut (Versus), Rob Christiansen (Eggs), Amy Klein (Titus Andronicus), and Ben Trokan (Robbers On High Street).
Indy music stalwart Rob Christinsen (Eggs, Grenadine, East Ghost West Ghost) and Rock Shop booker Jack McFadden team up to present this great curiosity of a recording LIVE with a melange of rockers and experimentalists.
"It sounds fantastic but one of the things that I tried to do with Warm Jets was to bring musicians together who would normally never play together and to play a music that they couldn't agree upon. The music would come from the chemistry. But of course, it was impossible to do. I couldn't expect any of the session people I worked with to go along with it. They literally fought." - Brian Eno, 1974.
In that spirit, fifteen singers and ten instrumentalists from all musical worlds team up to perform this masterpiece.
The evening will be emceed by walking/talking Brian Eno encyclopedia, WNYC's John Schaefer.
Of course the big tribute this weekend is Sunday's Our Concert Could Be Your Life which celebrates the 10th anniversary of Michael Azzerad's chronicle of the American indie rock scene in the '80s. The talent assembled paying tribute to the bands covered in the book is pretty amazing, and it's changed/expanded a bit since first announced:
- Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black Flag
- Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
- Citay plays Mission of Burma
- Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
- Grooms plays Husker Du
- Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
- Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
- Callers plays Sonic Youth
- Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
- St. Vincent plays Big Black
- Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
- Buke and Gass plays Fugazi
- White Hills plays Mudhoney
- Yellow Ostrich plays Beat Happening
[note: both Tune-Yards and Buke and Gass play a sold out show at MHOW one day earlier. Dan Deacon also plays more shows this week. Delicate Steve has a headlining show coming up soon at Brooklyn Bowl.]
Cymbals Eat Guitars
And lastly, Cymbals Eat Guitars play their first show in a long time this Friday (5/20) at Glasslands. The band are finishing up their sophomore LP which is due out this fall
,so hopefully we'll get a preview of what's to come which they'll be playing in full at the show. The whole line-up is pretty good, with fellow '90s loving indie rockers Radical Dads (whose member Robbie just announced a new album for one of his other bands), Iranian transplants Yellow Dogs, and the psychedelic sounds of Mirror Mirror.
A few more picks, day by day, are below.
THURSDAY, MAY 19
Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black FlagNo, that's not a list of what happened in a weird dream last night. That is the LINEUP of a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22nd in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Azerrad's "classic history of the '80s indie underground", Our Band Could Be Your Life (a book everyone reading this site should probably own!)
Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
St. Vincent plays Big Black
Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
Buke & Gass plays Fugazi
To quote show co-presenter Tiger Mountain Presents, "some of the best bands in contemporary indie music will play songs by each of the 13 bands in the book."
"For years, all kinds of people -- musicians, people who run labels, concert promoters, journalists, whatever -- have told me that they've been very inspired by Our Band Could Be Your Life and the bands it profiles, which is incredibly gratifying and totally unexpected," says Azerrad. "The tenth anniversary of the book was a great occasion for the current generation of bands to celebrate these pioneers."More bands & guest hosts TBA. Tickets are $25 & go on sale Friday, 3/11 at noon.
Meanwhile the book will also be the topic of a panel discussion at SXSW that Merrill Garbus aka tUnE-yArDs (who is also playing the festival) will speak on.
Delicate Steve and Wye Oak are going to SXSW too. Wye Oak can be found at the BV/KF/Partisan day party at Swan Dive on Friday, 3/18. Wye Oak will also play Bowery Ballroom as part of a tour in April.
St. Vincent plays Big Black. I just felt like saying it again!