Entries tagged with: PARLOVR

23 result(s) displayed (1 - 23 of 23):

Polaris Prize

The long list for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been revealed. It includes Leonard Cohen, Cold Specks, Drake, Feist, Fucked Up, Grimes, Japandroids, The Weeknd, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, and more. Check out the full list below. Who's your money on?

Continue reading "2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List revealed"

Jonathan Richman
Jonathan Richman

tonight in NYC
* Robbie Fulks @ Barbes
* Chicha Libre @ Barbes
* Jesse Harris @ The Stone
* John Roderick @ The Rock Shop
* Grouplove, Reptar @ Webster Hall
* Dave Matthews Band @ Jones Beach
* Janka Nabay, Nass Gnawa @ Zebulon
* Jonathan Richman @ Bowery Ballroom
* Lakecia Benjamin @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Black Box Revelation @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Reckless Sons, Romans @ Mercury Lounge
* Ed Sheeran @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra @ Joe's Pub
* Zulu Winter, Dinowalrus @ Mercury Lounge
* T Bird and the Breaks, the Ghost Wolves @ The Studio
* The Jay Vons, The Live Ones @ Union Pool
* Matthew Sweet, Elizabeth Cook @ City Winery
* Kenny Wollesen's Search & Enjoy @ The Stone
* Glen Hasnard @ Housing Works Used Book Cafe
* Spaceghostpurrp, Vinnie Chase, Despot @ SOB's
* The New York Pops, Ozomatli @ Central Park Summerstage
* Michael Mizrahi, Nadia Sirota @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Bushman, NiyoRah, DJ Soul Selector @ Herbert Von King Park, Summerstage
* Bass Drum of Death, DZ Deathrays, Shark? @ Glasslands
* Juiceboxxx, Dark Sister, Extreme Animals @ Cake Shop
* Water Knot, The New Facility, Automotive High School @ Cameo
* The Walking Tree, Gabriel The Marine, NGHBRS, Happy Body Slow Brain, Abel @ Knitting Factory
* Drake, J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, French Montana @ PNC Bank Arts Center
* Pussy Riot benefit w/ Ad-Rock (DJ set), Heliotropes, Tin Vulva, Shady Hawkins @ Death By Audio

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Today is the anniversary of Sailor Jerry's death, and so they're giving free anchor tattoos at Three Kings Tattoo tonight. Free drinks are being served at Matchless.

John Hodgman will be appearing with John Roderick tonight at the Rock Shop.

Glenn Hansard, who plays Housing Works tonight and who has an upcoming show at Beacon Theater, played songs from his new solo album on Fallon last night. Watch what he performed on air, and a web exclusive video, below.

Garage rockers Fidlar, who open for The Hives next week at Terminal 5, have a new video for their single "No Waves" and you can watch it below.

Montreal trio Parlovr, who were in town recently, made a video for their single "Holding Onto Something," which you can also watch below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Tuesday?"

by Bill Pearis

Parlovr at Hotel Vegan, SXSW 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Parlovr

Montreal's Parlovr are visiting NYC, playing Glasslands TONIGHT (5/30) with Mainland, We Run, and The Drowners. Tickets are still available. It's a one off show for the band before they head out on a tour of the US and Canada in June.

Parlovr just released their second album, Kook Soul, on Dine Alone records. The album was a long time coming for the band, starting two years ago when the band were on the verge of breaking up, reveals a story in the Montreal Mirror:

...they continued touring in support of an album they were tired of, forced to spend long hours on the road--not an ideal situation for a pair of combustible personalities at drastically different points in their lives. Alex Cooper had pencilled in a wedding date with his longtime squeeze, only to have her end it. Louis Jackson, by his own admission, "was becoming a complete whore." A van ride from Brooklyn to Providence on a blistering July day almost sealed the group's fate.

"Every single word uttered devolved into petty arguing, and we still had six hours to go. [Drummer] Jeremy [MacCuish] was in the back, I don't know how he put up with it," recalls Cooper.

"It was also the hottest day of the year in New York," interjects the stoic MacCuish, with only a faint hint of exasperation. "It was bumper to bumper through Connecticut because everyone was driv­ing to the beach, and the air-conditioning was broken."

The band sorted things out, obviously, and Kook Soul is a big step up from their self-titled debut, influenced heavily by repeated listens to The Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin and old '50s records. The songs sound good live too -- I caught Parlovr a couple times during SXSW this year. Check 'em out if you can.

You can stream Kook Soul below, and check out all listed Parlovr tourdates.

Continue reading "Parlovr released 'Kook Soul,' playing Glasslands tonight"

sledisland

The 2012 edition of Calgary, Alberta festival Sled Island is set to take place from June 20-23 at venues throughout the city. This year includes over 200 bands performing at 30 venues plus a large comedy schedule, film screenings, and art shows.

Sled Island 2012 will once again use outdoor venue Olympic Plaza as its main stage, featuring performances by Feist, The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Dudes, Shabazz Palaces, Parlovr, and others.

Acts including Russian Circles, Hot Snakes, The Antlers, Boris, Thurston Moore, Willis Earl Beal, Trust, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Terry Malts, Neil Hamburger, How To Dress Well, The Evaporators (aka Nardwuar's band), DJ Jonathan Toubin, Hannibal Buress, Andrew W.K., Tim Heidecker, Archers of Loaf, and many more will be performing at various bars and venues. Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post.

Festival passes, individual tickets for some clubs shows, and tickets for the Olympic Plaza events only are all on sale. The full festival schedule iwill be announced in June.

Full lineup and 2012 festival trailer below...

Continue reading "Feist, Stephen Malkmus, The Hold Steady and lots more playing Calgary's Sled Island Festival (full line-up)"

the flyer (with most of the bands playing on it)
flyer

BrooklynVegan is proud to team up with M for Montreal again for a FREE Day Party in Austin on Thursday, March 15th from noon-7pm at Hotel Vegan (one of BrooklynVegan's FOUR DAYS in the venue located at 1500 E. 6th St.).

I'll let this full three-stage lineup speak for itself...

Stage 1 (Hotel Vegas Outside)
12:00 Of Monsters & Men
12:45 Glen Hansard (of Swell Season & the Frames)
1:30 We Are Serenades (formerly Serenades, mem. Shout Out Louds)
2:15 Hospitality
3:00 Korallreven (mem. of the Radio Dept)
3:45 Fanfarlo
4:30 The Drums
5:15 The Wedding Present
6:15 This Will Destroy You

Stage 2 (Hotel Vegas Inside)
12:00 Half Moon Run
12:45 Thus:Owls
1:30 Cold Specks
2:15 Cymbals Eat Guitars
3:00 The Velvet Teen
3:45 Yellow Ostrich
4:30 The Jealous Sound
5:15 Parlovr

Stage 3 (Volstead) (BV Austin stage)
12:15 Love Inks
1:00 Feathers
1:45 Gashcat
2:30 Ringo Deathstarr
3:15 Silent Diane
4:00 The Young
5:00 Ume

That's all Austin bands on the BV Austin stage. It's going to a very great day

In addition to the completely free lineup of 24 bands playing on THREE stages, we will also have complimentary drinks courtesy of HobNob Wines, the official wine parter of our entire week of FREE PARTIES at Hotel Vegan (check out HobNob's Facebook page for free music downloads), and a hosted bar courtesy of Sailor Jerry

We will also have FREE VEGAN TREATS courtesy of NadaMoo! and FREE Honest Tea. AND Supercuts will have a team of stylists on-site the entire day providing FREE haircuts and styling!

Special thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for making this party possible - including Vox, Blackstar and Korg, our official backline partners, as well as ASCAP, HobNob Wines, NadaMoo!, Sailor Jerry and M for Montreal! And special thanks to GBH Design for making our awesome flyer!

--

This is the first full day at Hotel Vegan announced. 2/3 of the Wednesday lineup is HERE. Friday and Saturday coming shortly.

We also have THREE official showcases (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday), and a Saturday metal day party at Lovejoys,

by Dominick Mastrangelo

Serenades @ Knitting Factory
The Serenades

Serenades, the Swedish duo of Alex Olenius (Shout Out Louds) and Markus Krunegard (Laakso), made their NYC debut on Thursday (12/15) at the Knitting Factory. Their short tour culminated with a midnight show on Friday (12/16) at the Mercury Lounge. One might have excused the duo for going the easy route and performing to only backing tracks, but the Swedes brought along members of Miike Snow and Lykke Li's band to create a formidable five-piece.

The band only has a handful of shows under their belt, but their unabashed, full-on pop already seems too big for such small venues. "Birds" is arguably the best of the lot with ebullient horns and quick-fire strings, punctuated with the refrain "There was something missing in my life / now I know what love is all about." The alone-at-the-holidays track "Come Home" (also the title of their EP) was timely and "All The Words," the lead-track on their full-length, Criminal Heaven (due for a US release in the spring), is already perfectly slotted as the set closer.

Out of the two NYC shows, the Mercury Lounge show had the better turnout, later start time, and better vibe. Based on the strength of the songs and as more Shout Out Louds fans become aware of the project, it won't be surprising to see Serenades at the Bowery or Music Hall when they return for a full tour next year.

Of note was Knitting Factory opener XNY, the Brooklyn-based guitar and drum duo of Pam Autuori and Jacob Schreiber. Not entirely sold on the recorded stuff yet but their live set was assured and enjoyable.

More pictures, Mercury Lounge setlist and the video for "Birds" below...

Continue reading "Serenades played Mercury Lounge w/ Parlovr & Knitting Factory w/ XNY (pics & review)"

By Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Parlovr - Heaven/Hell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Atlas Sound - Terra Incognita (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Atlas Sound- Te Amo (MP3)

Parlovr at M for Montreal 2011
Parlovr/MforMontreal

It's that time of year again, so let's sing it up real pretty. Are we all in the spirit? Better be, because there's a zillion holiday parties going on this weekend, including two thrown by this very blog you are currently reading. How these parties differ from the shows we go to the rest of the year? Only a Scrooge would ask such a question. But to answer it: there's maybe more strand lights. And some Christmas songs thrown in sparsely by DJs or as covers by the bands playing. And some snowflakey sweaters. Whatever you call it, there's lot of great music to go see this weekend. Here's some of it.

Montreal's Parlovr are visiting, playing two shows. Tonight (12/15) they play the Popgun Holiday Party at Glasslands and then tomorrow (12/16) at Mercury Lounge with Shout Out Louds offshoot thing Serenades.

I'm on record as being a fan of this trio who I most recently saw at this year's M for Montreal. I'm not sure any of their records have quite captured the band's live energy, which is why you should go see them. But the recorded version of my favorite song, "Hell/Heaven," comes pretty close. You can download it above. Live, there's lots of flying hair (via singer/guitarists Alex and Jeremy) and flying limbs (lanky drummer Louis) that fits well with Parlovr's spiky indie rock. The band have recorded a holiday track called "Spike the Eggnog" which judging from the video (you can watch below) the spiking involves something much stronger than whiskey.

The Popgun Holiday Party tonight looks to be a good time, with Bell and TWII-faves North Highlands playing as well. There's also a "+ Special Guest" listed as well, no idea who that might be but the Popgun folks usually don't throw around that phrase too lightly.

Serenades

Tomorrow's show is with Serenades which is a Swedish super-duo consisting of Adam Olenius from Shout Out Louds and Markus Krunegård of Laakso. Their album Criminal Heaven is out next year in the U.S. and is chock-full of sparkling pop that seems aimed directly at the charts. It's slicker than Shout Out Louds (Laakso were pretty shiny, though they sang in Swedish) but still maintains that sharp melodic sense and shaggy, sad-eyed lyrical bent. You can download a track at the top of this post. Serenades also play tonight (12/15) at Knitting Factory.

Brooklyn Bazaar
BK Bazaar

There's also the Brooklyn Night Bazaar which runs tonight through Saturday. The enormous space (40,000 square feet!), the layout of which was based on the set of Lars Von Triers' Dogville (!!!), is a holiday shopping, eating, drinking and live music extravaganza as you have probably already heard. Tonight (12/15) is James Murphy DJing, along with Poolside, the Crystal Ark Party Machine and Midnight Magic. Saturday night (12/17) is The Hold Steady, Titus Andronicus and Wakey! Wakey!

Friday (12/16) is the BrooklynVegan Presents night with a SPIN Album of 2011 winners Fucked Up, plus Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, and Radical Dads. Frankie Rose and myself will be spinning tunes before the bands start and between sets. And only $10, so that's only two bucks a band. What a bargain! Tickets will be available at the door too. I am DJing starting at 5PM, Frankie will be there from 6PM and bands start at 7PM, with Radical Dads up first. (Then Caged Animals, Big Troubles, Dom, and Fucked Up.) If you're coming, do make an effort to get there in time for them, they're awesome. As are all the bands on the bill I think. Shop, eat, rock out, eat and shop some more, rinse repeat. Say hi.

Frankie Rose
Frankie Rose

In addition to DJing our party tomorrow, Frankie Rose is also playing an acoustic set at Glasslands on Saturday (12/17) as part of a Jonathan Toubin benefit that also features Xray Eyeballs, K-Holes and The Stalkers. Frankie Rose's new album, Interstellar, is out in February and I think will surprise a lot of people. She is definitely out of the garage on this one, ditching the reverb and embracing synthesizers, jangly guitars and her inner pop star. Like a lot of folks this year, The Wake seems to be an influence. Fans of Craft Spells are gonna like it.

As previously mentioned, Frankie will debut her new record and new band at the Knitting Factory on February 21.

And to wrap up BV holiday party related items, Saturday's fest with Twin Sister, Widowspeak and Ava Luna is sold out! Hope you got tickets! If you're going, we're raffling off a load of cool prizes -- like every Domino release of 2011 -- with all proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots.

Atlas Sound
Atlas Sound

And last but not least we've got Atlas Sound here for two shows this weekend:The Bell House on Saturday (12/17, tickets still available) and Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (12/18, sold out). Andrew Sacher wrote about Atlas Sound's new album Paralax a few weeks ago which I'm gonna quote:

The flow of the album subtly works in the slower, more ambient cuts to space out the relatively high amount (for an Atlas Sound record) of pop standouts. Like many pop experimentalists before him, Bradford Cox has mastered the art of leaving his own weird touch on even the simplest tune. This comes across most strongly on "Mona Lisa," a re-recording of a track that appeared on his Bedroom Databank collection. The song is carried by the sort of upbeat acoustic guitar rock that Bowie experimented with on Hunky Dory, and Bradford sings with a fragile falsetto that brings to mind Lennon's "#9 Dream."
I'll add that Parallax has a post-2AM vibe to it and some of Cox's best songs yet. It also reminds me, a bit, of Spoon too.

That's the big stuff. Some more picks, day-by-day, follow.

Continue reading "Parlovr, Fucked Up, Dom, Frankie Rose, Atlas Sound, Serenades, Jonathan Toubin & more in This Week in Indie"

By Bill Pearis

Serenades

Serenades are a Swedish duo who formed just this year, but you might be familiar with the members. Adam Olenius fronts Shout Out Louds and Markus Krunegård spent most of the '00s in the band Laakso. The band makes their NYC debut this week with shows on Thursday (12/15) at Knitting Factory and a late show Friday (12/16, doors at 10:30) at Mercury Lounge with Montreal's Parlovr opening.

Parlovr, who I just saw in Montreal, also play the Popgun Holiday Party at Glasslands with North Highlands, BELL, and Leisure on Thursday.

With their indiepop backgrounds you might not be surprised to learn that Serenades are tuneful, with heart-on-sleeve lyrics and anthemic/precious arrangements, though the duo are definitely more full-on radio-friendly pop than Shout out Louds (who are still together) ever were. Serenades' debut album, Criminal Heaven, is out now in Sweden but America is going to have to settle for the digital-only Come Home EP until next year.

The EP's title cut (which is on the album too) is a pouty, holiday-themed track that takes it's cues from Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (The production and melody part, not the pretense or Bono wailing "Thank god it's them instead of you!" part.) You can also watch the video for "Oceans" at the bottom of this post and download the track (via a widget) as well...

Continue reading "Shout Out Louds offshoot Serenades playing NYC this week, Parlovr too"

By Bill Pearis

Half Moon Run

As an "international delegate" at M for Montreal, by Friday you start to get a little worn out. Your day is booked with meet-ups, panels, something called "speed schmoozing" and loads of bands. Most of it's fun or interesting but I went to sneak a catnap on Friday afternoon and ended up sleeping through one whole showcase. (Sorry, I.No and Bobby Bazini.)

But there was a lot of good in what I did see, including what most agreed was the best new band of the week, Half Moon Run. The Montreal trio match songwriting (and harmonies) of '60s folk rock with the atmospherics of Radiohead. A little too like Radiohead occasionally, but for the most part Half Moon Run had found their own way. I was instantly impressed but it took me a day to get their name right: I tweeted praise for something called Full Moon Circle, which I later realized was partially from one of their songs "Full Circle." (That song and another are streaming at the bottom of this post.) Maybe the name's not so memorable but their music sure was.

Buddy McNeil and the Magic Mirrors

The afternoon show Half Moon Run were part of also featured Buddy McNeil and the Magic Mirrors, punchy twang-n-roll dressed in Nautical outfits; Toronto four-piece The Midway State who make commercial-sounding alt-rock (clearly talented but definitely MOR); and the widescreen roar that was Passwords, who all the Brit journalists in attendance seemed to go gaga for.

Hollerado

After the unplanned three-hour konk-out and some much-needed dinner it was off to La Sala Rossa again for the official evening showcase, which was co-presented by CMJ. Hollerado headlined the show and are a lot of fun. And know their way around a giant hooks, the kind that would've made them hugely popular in the mid-'90s. Songs like "Americanarama" and "Juliette" (from their debut Record in a Bag) would've fit perfectly in between "Seether" and "Sucked Out" on a mixtape. As it is, Hollerado are merely Very Popular in Canada and fans are vocal and rowdy in a good-natured way. The band encourage it with confetti cannons, glowing beach balls and a cover of "Fat Bottom Girls." They also had awesome t-shirts at the merch table co-opting the Wu-Tang Clan logo and the Heisenberg sketch the Cousins pray to in Breaking Bad.

Parlovr

The showcase also had Parlovr on the bill who I've seen a handful of times over the last three years and have become a really solid live band. There's a lot of flying hair and the drummer is crazy tall with long arms flying the whole time. I'm not sure they have yet to write a song as catchy as "Heaven/Hell" which opens their set. If they have, they're not playing it yet.

Uncle Bad Touch

Also on the La Sala Rossa bill: Montreal's Uncle Bad Touch who recently signed to JEFF the Brotherhood's Infinity Cat label and that probably tells you a lot about their sound. (Riffy, sneery, Nuggets-y party rock.) For those in NYC, Uncle Bad Touch play Death By Audio on November 29.

We also got duo TONSSTARTBANDHT who started off Animal Collectively but became progressively more prone to dissonance. I still don't know how to pronounce their name.

Doldrums

Like the previous night, they had us running across the street to Casa Del Popolo to see more bands. Toronto's Doldrums (aka Alrick Woodhead) was wonderfully ADD, twiddling knobs, hammering sample triggers and pacing around the stage. Too many ideas crammed into one 20-minute set? Maybe, but it was exciting seeing talent that is only just now beginning to show its potential.

Thus:Owls

The other band at Casa Del Popolo was Candian/Swedish combo Thus:Owls, the only band of the week to use a colon in their name. The band stay busy in Montreal, backing Patrick Watson and Marie Pierre Arthur (who would play the next night). Here, fronted by harpsichord-wielding Erika Angell, they are delicate and stirring and swoony. Angell's got some pipes.

Misteur Valaire

After the Salla Rosa show, we headed over to the late-night after party at Club Soda, one of Montreal's many amazing venues. (Seriously, no city I've visited has more clubs with great sound, great lighting and intelligent layout as Montreal.) I walked in about three songs into Plaster's set which was pretty great. Squelchy and banging, they do live dance music right. If there was a little more flow in their set, they'd give Soulwax a run for their money.

Next was Misteur Valaire who some of you may have seen at one of our day parties during SXSW this year. Seeing them on their home turf, however, is something else. Montreal loves Misteur Valaire who, like a lot of groups genuinely popular with the locals, come with a thick slice of fromage coating everything they do. They definitely put on a show, complete with costume changes. Hipster nerd Franco-Canadian boy band who have serious musical chops applied totally in the pursuit of a good time. The crowd was going mental for the entire set, which didn't finish till 2AM.

At that point I was finished and left before Bran Van 3000 started, choosing instead sweet sleep.

Click through for a few more pictures from Friday's showcases, plus the Half Moon Run streaming player and some video of Hollerado and TONSTARTSSBANDHT in action.

Continue reading "M for Montreal 2011 -- Night 3 in pics & review (Half Moon Run, Hollerado, Parlovr, Doldrums, Uncle Bad Touch, Misteur Valaire & more)"

words by Rachel Kowal, photos by Amanda Hatfield

Casiokids @ Public Assembly
Casiokids

Well, another CMJ week has come and gone. How did you fare?

Though Northside summoned a number of my favorite artists to town, the CMJ line-up was rather thin by comparison, so I made it my goal to catch as many new acts as possible this year. With help from BV's tightly scheduled day parties, I managed to squeeze in 46 bands. While it's all still fresh in my mind (ie, before I spend the next week hibernating), here's a recap of my week, complete with my favorite finds...

I kicked things off with trance-inducing, one-man knob twittler Sun Glitters. Figuring out how to bring life to headphone-friendly, sample-heavy music in a live audience setting can be a challenge, but the few I saw this week (Million Young, Chad Valley and Luxembourg's Sun Glitters included) were decent.

If last year was the age of the one-man laptop act, 2011 was rife with lo-fi, synth/guitar-heavy (mostly) male groups cloaked in reverb. Each band had its strengths: Sunglasses (great energy on stage), Gauntlet Hair, Guards (perfectly summed up the sound of the moment), 1,2,3, Balkans (nice balance of in-your-face guitars and sunnily-swaggering vox), Tiny Victories. But after a while, I confess they all started to blend together--especially since a good chunk of these bands came early in the week for me.

What did stand out for me in this category was San Diego's garage-psych outfit Tropical Popsicle. Instead of falling flat, the deadpan vocal delivery of Tim Hines pulled me in and kept my attention, making me forget about my plans to leave midset. Another pleasant surprise for me was Dive, the side project of Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith.

But after a rather slow start to the week when schedule issues and cancellations made me abandon my original plans, things definitely picked up midweek. I spent Wednesday evening shuffling around in the rain to some seven venues. From the synth-driven pop music of Norway's Casiokids (whom I managed to sneak in on my lunch hour) to the decent public radio-friendly folk-pop of The Lighthouse and The Whaler and Lissy Trullie's alluringly husky vocals, the day was full of pleasant surprises--not the least of which was John Maus, easily one of the highlights of my week.

As I walked through the door at 285 Kent, I immediately felt as if I had gone back in time. Thick music pumped from the DIY graffiti-covered space, through clouds of cigarette smoke. On stage, Maus shook with intensity as he addressed the mass of dancing, sweaty revelers. Beneath the shambling chaos of the quick synth riffs and simple drum lines is an unhinged but triumphant quality that is intoxicating. I had heard whispered stories of Maus shows before, but I never really understood the fervor until I saw it for myself.

Thursday was also packed with a number of good finds. I somehow found myself in the 7th floor of a swanky hotel for an "acoustic" (as in not electric; not unplugged) Dum Dum Girls set (though only 2/4 band members were present). Other highlights included the seriously talented and take-your-breath-away-beautiful dreamy folk-pop of Gem Club (who just released their debut album on Hardly Art), and Brooklyn's own, Headless Horseman who make fun, glitchy, hook-laden music with inventive beats (Their song "Wavlngth" was seriously one of my favorites all week.)

Friday, my band-count escalated rapidly, thanks to the BV day showcase at Public Assembly, which essentially had two bands playing each hour. I knocked out a few of the hyped bands in this fashion, including Chelsea Wolfe and Gauntlet Hair. (I also stepped over to Cameo briefly to catch a few adrenaline-packed songs from the Brooklyn duo Hunters.) With her beautifully haunting (but not annoying operatic) vocals Chelsea Wolfe was certainly one of the more memorable acts of the week. Would she be getting as much buzz if she didn't dress like "a medival [sic] reinactment [sic] person from Medival [sic] Times" (to quote an anonymous BV commenter)? Hard to say, but I have to give the woman credit--I couldn't take my eyes off her, and she was one of the few artists I caught twice. But my surprise favorite of the day show was Young Magic. Hip-hop and dark electro-pop may be unlikely bedfellows, but they sure make for quite an interesting pair. These guys are a force.

Other highlights of the day included the eye-catching electro-pop duo Purity Ring (love the name) and one of my favorite SXSW finds from earlier this year, Sea of Bees. At Webster Hall, Purity Ring's bass was so powerful at times that I almost forgot to breathe. Though the band relies on a lot of samples to craft their sound, they are far more interesting to watch due to their onstage chemistry and mysterious gold-piped instrument. Though nothing alike, my other favorite artist of the evening was Sea of Bees. Singer/songwriter Julie Baeziger's genuinely sweet demeanor and earnest acoustic performance are always a pleasant change of pace from the more aloof, laptop-driven artists that seem to sprout with the speed and frequency of mushrooms.

The week concluded not with a bang (I was turned away at the door of Brooklyn Bowl for Unknown Mortal Orchestra, whom I had hoped to end on), but with more of a slow fade-out. Forced to change my schedule at the last minute, I caught a few acts nearby, including Delicate Steve (how those five people were working from the same set list was a mystery at times given the haphazard nature of their sound, but it was fun to watch them put it all together), Races (pleasant and charming), Bleached, and about four minutes of the Kopecky Family Band (fun!) before hopping on the L and calling it a week.

So how does this year's CMJ stack up? Most people I spoke with seemed unimpressed. No doubt, the growth of SXSW--especially over the past few years--seems to have sucked some of the life out of CMJ. (It's hard to compete with free tacos, 76-degree days, and the compact nature of downtown Austin.) But like a hipster chick desperately scouring the racks at Beacon's Closet, I like the challenge of the frenzied search. There's good stuff in there hiding among the dross. You just have to look a bit harder.

---

Pictures in this post are from day parties at Pianos (We Listen for You) and Public Assembly (Under the Radar) on Wednesday. More of them below...

Continue reading "Rachel's CMJ recap +++ pics from 2 Wednesday day parties"

DOWNLOAD: The Stepkids - "Shadows on Behalf" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Stepkids - "Legend In My Own Mind" (MP3)

The Stepkids
The Stepkids

Spotify Late Nights at Mercury Lounge continue this Thursday (8/18) with Delicate Steve, The Stepkids, Parlovr and DJ Young Elz (RCRD LBL/Our Show). Admission for the 21+ show is free, doors are at 10 PM and the show is first come, first served. Those in attendance will receive an access code for Spotify US.

The Stepkids also head out this September supporting The Horrors on their tour. The tour culminates on October 4 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are still available. The Stepkids will release their self titled debut LP on September 27 via Stones Throw. Grab two tracks from that album above, and watch a video for another below with all dates....

Continue reading "Stepkids playing free Spotify show w/ Delicate Steve & Parlovr, touring w/ The Horrors (dates)"

Parlovr

As mentioned, Montreal band Parlovr was supposed to play Glasslands in Brooklyn on Saturday night. As you can see in the message above, they never made it. Later that night they announced that "the van lives...............maybe." They've been quiet since, but hopefully that means they will in fact make it to Mercury Lounge tonight (Monday, 7/25). UPDATE: They say they will be there.

After NYC they jump on tour with Handsome Furs, though not for very long. All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Parlovr didn't make it to Glasslands, hopefully will play Merc tonight, then tour w/ Handsome Furs"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Title Tracks - All Tricks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pursesnatchers - Baseball on the Radio (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Paperhead - Back to Those Days (MP3)

The Paperhead
Paperhead

First up is The Paperhead who are in town for two shows: Tonight (7/2) at Death by Audio and Friday (7/22) at Bruar Falls. I caught The Paperhead at SXSW during the Trouble in Mind day party where the Nashville band stood out from than the rest of the bands on the bill (or the label). Instead of fuzzed-out garage rock, The Paperhead favor paisley-powered psych. Their Trouble in Mind debut is a nice cup of mushroom tea and the band (who also look the part) are pretty good live.

The Gytters
Gytters

Tonight's show at DBA is with fellow Nashville residents and tourmates D Watusi, plus The Gytters, The Hairs and which is a pretty good bill all around. Get there early to check out openers The Gytters who I caught a couple weeks ago at Bruar Falls. The band is fronted by Scott Rosenthall who plays keyboards in Class Actress and has played with (and produced) The Beets. Sorta twangy new wave, you can download their song "Divebombers" from their bandcamp site. And The Hairs play this show too. Their 7" on Magic Marker is four songs of near-perfect snarky indiepop.

Friday's show at Bruar Falls is headlined by Conversion Party who manage to be anthemic without the pretense that often comes with it. D Watusi also play, plus Pennsylvania's Royal Shoals and Tank.

Pursesnatchers
Pursesnatchers

You may remember Doug Marvin from mid-'00s band Dirty on Purpose where he played drums and also sang (and wrote) some of the neo-shoegazers' catchiest material. Since DoP went kaput, Doug has continued making music under the Pursesnatchers moniker. Originally a true solo project, Pursesnatchers have become a real band with Doug moving to guitar, for a lineup and that also includes his wife Annie Hart (one third of Au Revoir Simone, and they both play in Uninhabitable Mansions) who also takes lead vocals on a couple songs.

That band made Pursesnatchers' new album, A Pattern Language, which just came out this week. The sound is an extension of what Doug did in Dirty on Purpose: melodic, brittle songs that are bolstered by waves of guitar. It's a really nice record. You can download "Baseball on the Radio" at the top of this post.

The point of all this is that Pursenatchers are playing a record release party for the album Friday night (7/22) at Union Hall with The Thieves and Finding Fiction.

Title Tracks
Title Tracks

John Davis' post-Georgie James group, Title Tracks, are also here this weekend, playing Cake Shop on Saturday (7/23) with Face Time, Steel Phantoms and Follower. There's been a little shifting in the Title Tracks camp who are now playing as a (power) trio. There's a new Title Tracks album too, In Blank, which is another platter of terrific power pop in the Nerves/Shoes/Nick Lowe tradition. You can download "All Tricks" at the top of this post. I haven't seen the new line-up but if it's anywhere near as good as previous incarnations, I heartily endorse seeing Title Tracks live.

Parlovr
Parlovr

And finally, Montreal trio Parlovr are in town for two shows: Friday night (7/22) at Glasslands and then Monday (7/25) at Mercury Lounge opening for Cloud Control. Parlovr make good use of their visa and play here fairly often but I really do think they're great live and are absolutely worth checking out. As I wrote before:

Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too.
Their new EP, Heaven/Hell/Big/Love, goes a long way to getting that live energy to a recording. You can download the title track, a live favorite of mine, at the top of this post.

That's it for this week. There are a few more day-by-day picks below.

Dent May

THURSDAY, JULY 21

Dent May has been on tour with Real Estate but plays a smaller show with Real Estate's Alex Bleeker and (underwater) peep Julian Lynch, at Glasslands. Prince Rama will be your DJs for the evening. Dent ditches the ukulele for his great new single "Fun" which is almost a dance track with its groovy bassline, keyboards and electronic handclaps. It's available digitally now, and the 7" is out physically in September. You can stream it below.

Cass McCombs, Lower Dens should make for a lovely evening of mellow music at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

The Monkees play for free at Coney Island at the Cyclones Stadium. While a lot of people just remember them for "Daydream Believer" they made a lot of great music, actually, and hopefully they'll play some deep cuts like "Randy Scouse Git" and "Forget That Girl." Hopefully they won't play that Davy Jones song from the Brady Bunch. Actually that songs pretty good.

continued below...

Continue reading "The Paperhead, Pursesnatchers, Title Tracks, Parlovr, Dent May, The Monkees & more in This Week in Indie"

Evan Dando at The Bell House (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
Evan Dando

Evan Dando & The Lemonheads have a few random upcoming dates scheduled. The Lemonheads will share a bill with The Canon Logic on April 28th at Maxwell's in Hoboken. Tickets are still available. You can also catch Josh Lattanzi of The Lemonheads at Bowery Ballroom on May 26 & 27 as part of the Bob Dylan tribute that will also include members of the Strokes, Hold Steady, etc, etc.

All other upcoming Evan Dando dates are in other countries at the moment, including a June 16th Evan & Juliana Hatfield show in Toronto for the NXNE festival which, like Brooklyn's own multi-venue festival Northside, recently expanded its lineup. Some of the other bands playing are in the title of this post. The rest are listed below.

All Dando-related dates and some videos below too...

Continue reading "Lemonheads playing shows, NXNE expands lineup (includes Descendents, Stars, Devo, OFF!, Juliana Hatfield, more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Parlovr - Pen to the Paper (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Arena (MP3)

Parlovr

Making good use of those year-long visas, Montreal trio Parlovr are heading back down to the States next week for a short North East tour, with two stops here in NYC: Wednesday, July 21 for an early show at Mercury Lounge and and Friday, July 23 at Knitting Factory. Both show are with fellow Montreal act Suuns. (More on them further down this post.)

Parlovr's 2008 debut just got a belated stateside release  -- download "Pen to the Paper" at the top of this post -- and the band are about to head back into the studio for its follow-up. As I've said before, they're an entertaining live band. Here's what I wrote from last year's M for Montreal:

The band's self-titled, self-released 2008 album does not do them justice, making them sound like a Wolf Parade Jr. Live, Parlovr are way more energetic, fun and melodic -- though it may have also had something to do with a fair amount of new material in their set. Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too.
Be sure to watch Parlovr's two new Takeaway shows which are at the bottom of this post. One of them features an unexpected run-in with a Montreal councilman, the outcome of which probably wouldn't happen in NYC.

After their U.S. jaunt, Parlovr will head back to Montreal, where they'll play a free warm-up party for the Osheaga Festival on July 29 at Cafe Campus that is being sponsored by Brooklyn Vegan, M for Montreal, Canadian music mag Exclaim and Blue Skies Turn Black. The 2010 Osheaga Festival is July 31 and August 1, with Arcade Fire, Weezer, Pavement, The National and Metric among the bands playing.

The BV/M4M show is one of a few "Osheaga in the City" events leading up to the big Festival weekend and also features Isis of Thunderheist and Sean Nicholas Savage.

Suuns
Suuns

Meanwhile, Suuns will continue on in the U.S. after their dates with Parlovr. The band, who until just a couple month ago were known as Zeroes, will hit the road, opening for some of the dates on Land of Talk's fall tour. (Their portion of the tour will end before Land of Talk plays Bowery on November 6 though.) The band's EP, Zeroes, is quite good, sounding a little bit like Clinic -- dark and claustrophobic but also capable of going epic, as on "Arena" which you can download at the top of this post. This will be a good double-bill.

Those two Parlovr takeaway shows, flyers and tour dates for both Parlovr and Suuns are after the jump.

Continue reading "Parlovr touring w/ Suuns (who tour w/ Land of Talk), playing free BV-presented Osheaga show & other dates ++ MP3s"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Inlets - In Which I, Robert (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Inlets - Bright Orange Air (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Inlets - Pictures of Trees (MP3)

Zeus

It's a mostly Canadian edition of This Week in Indie, so grab a bag of pickle flavor potato chips and let's dig in. Jason Collett, who is a sometimes member of Broken Social Scene, is here playing tonight (Friday, 4/23) at Mercury Lounge and Saturday (4/24) at Union Hall (tix). Of all the satellite performers of BSS, I think Collett is kind of the unsung hero, making terrific album after terrific album in his understated West Coast country-rock style while Stars and Metric get all the attention. Not undeservedly, necessarily, but Collett's a class act, ace tunesmith, and great performer who deserves a lot more recognition. That includes his new album, Rat a Tat.

As you may have read, Collett is touring with Zeus who used to be his backing band (and will be here) and are really good in their own right. Their new album, Say Us, has a sort of '60s Brit feel, with little moments that make me think of the Kinks, Zombies and late period Beatles. This tour, called the Bonfire Ball, will feature collaborations with Collett and Zeus and, at the Union Hall show, fellow Toronto act Bahamas. (Bahamas aren't playing Mercury Lounge for some reason.) Sounds like a tuneful, convivial evening.

Parlovr @ M For Montreal 2009 (more)
Parlovr

We've written at length about The Luyas being in town for their first-ever NYC shows. I'm kicking myself a little that I didn't go to their secret Loft show on Wednesday (a video is below), but there are plenty of opportunities to see them before they leave. They're playing the teeny tiny Sycamore tonight (4/23), and if you're already going to see The Morning Benders Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, which is/was sold out (tickets back on sale at the moment), do show up early to catch them.

But your easiest opportunity is probably Sunday night (4/25) at Glasslands. As an added bonus, they're playing with their Montreal neighbors Parlovr who I think are pretty awesome and would be worth going to this show just to see them. Here's what I wrote when I saw them at M for Montreal last November:

The band's self-titled, self-released 2008 album does not do them justice, making them sound like a Wolf Parade Jr. Live, Parlovr are way more energetic, fun and melodic -- though it may have also had something to do with a fair amount of new material in their set. Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too.
This is Parlovr's only NYC show, they just finished up a tour with We Are Wolves and decided to join the Luyas for this last show. It's only $7. Well worth checking out.

Think About Life @ CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Think ABout Life

You could do a Montreal triple play (I guess hat trick would be the more apropos sports metaphor) on Sunday if you go early to the WBAR-B-Q and catch Think About Life who are one of my favorite live bands. You have to try really hard to have a bad time at one of their shows. When they played our official SXSW day party this year, I wrote this:

My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singerMartin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. They were the only band that made me forget how cold it was that day.
If you can't drag yourself out of bed in time to make the WBAR-B-Q (gonna guess they're on before 2pm), which is free, Think About Life are back in the city on Tuesday (4/27) playing at Mercury Lounge playing with Chicago's Light Pollution. There's no LOST this week (not that that should ever stop you from seeing this band)...what else you got to do?

Inlets in a loft (more by Chris La Putt)
Inlets

One non-Canadian weekend pick before I leave you. Inlets' debut, Inter Arbiter, was released this week and tonight (4/23) is the official release party at Union Hall (with Sparrow House). You can listen to the whole thing over at Spinner. It's a lovely listen, baroque pop with amazing harmonies. I've personally never seen them live and am curious to see how much of this they can reproduce live. I'd imagine that at the record release party there might even be special guests. I am not privy to any inside info,  but Zach Condon [editor's note: whose arm was in a sling at the April 12th John Shade show at Mercury Lounge] and Angel Deradoorian do play on the record (and Sufjan Stevens was there to see them at our CMJ loft party).

And don't forget about Saturday night's (4/24) Bruar Falls One Year Anniversary Party with Micachu & the Shapes, Holiday Shores, Beach Fossils and... balloons! It's free and I have a feeling will be crazy packed (and probably quite debauched) so get there early.

That's it for this week. Some videos and flyers are below...

Continue reading "Jason Collett, Zeus, Parlovr, Think About Life, Inlets & more in This Week in Indie "

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Luyas - Tiny Head (MP3)

The Luyas

The other highlight for me Thursday night was getting to see The Luyas who are really unlike anything else going right now. They almost defy easy description. The closest I came up with was "Joanna Newsom fronting Mercury Rev" which at least gets you near the right ballpark. Singer (and member of Miracle Fortress when Graham isn't playing solo) Jessie Stein's voice has a child-like quality to it, and the band can go from intimate to epic and joyous within a song. There's unusual instrumentation too -- Pietro Amato's french horn is integral to their sound, and Stein is the only person other than the Liars' Aaron Hemphill that I've seen play a Moodswinger. All these disparate elements shouldn't work together, but they do... and gorgeously. The Luya's 2007 debut, Faker Death, is good but the new material they played last night was even better. The band's new album is due in early 2010 and could be a real stunner.
That quote was from when I saw The Luyas at M for Montreal last October. Finally, New York is getting its first chance to see then, this week, with four shows: Wednesday, April 21 in a loft (a "secret show"); Thursday, April 22 at Webster Hall opening for Owen Pallett; Friday, April 23 at the Sycamore; and Sunday, April 25 at Glasslands which also has fellow Montreal band Parlovr, who just finished a tour with We Are Wolves, on the bill (who are excellent in their own right).

While they haven't set a date for their new album, The Luyas' second album is finished and will be out hopefully sooner than later. Check out "Tiny Head" from it above and you can also hear new tracks "Canary" and "Moodslayer" via their MySpace. You can also check out an extended Take Away Session at the bottom of this post (filmed around the band's most recent Pop Montreal appearance), along with all upcoming tour dates. They really are something special live, so you might want to make room on your schedule this week to see them...

Continue reading "The Luyas are here - new MP3 & 4 NYC shows (1 w/ Parlovr)"

DOWNLOAD: Think About Life - Johanna (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Think About Life - Havin My Baby (MP3)

Think About Life @ Arlene's CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Think About Life

Speaking of Canada, Montreal's Think About Life just finished up a run of February shows in Europe. Stateside, they have plenty of shows coming up, including SXSW in Austin where you can catch them at the official M For Montreal showcase at Paradise on Thursday, March 18th. The full lineup for that show:

La Patère Rose @ 8:00 p.m.
The Lovely Feathers @ 9:00 p.m.
Parlovr @ 10:00 p.m.
Beast @ 11:00 p.m.
Think About Life @ 12:00 a.m.
We Are Wolves @ 1:00 a.m.
M For Montreal's nighttime showase is not to be confused with the M For Montreal & BrooklynVegan daytime showcase that is happening at Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room) on Saturday, March 20th featuring Roky Erickson backed by Okkervil River, Andrew WK, and more (Montreal and non-Canadian) bands TBA.

In total Think About Life will be on the North American Road from March 12th through April 30th, making two NYC stops along the way. They play Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, April 27th. Tickets are on sale now. Two days earlier they will be one of the band's at this year's WBAR-B-Q on Sunday, April 25th at Barnard College. Last year's WBAR-B-Q was played by Gang Gang Dance, Free Blood and more.

The two tracks above from their 2009 record Family. All tour dates and the video for their future-disco epic "Sweet Sixteen" are below...

Continue reading "Think About Life touring, playing SXSW (M For Montreal showcase), WBAR-B-Q, Mercury Lounge & more - 2010 dates"

by Bill Pearis

Le Matos
M for Montreal

Last year when I went to M for Montreal, I didn't know any of the bands going in, which made it sort of exciting, with no preconceived notions from hype or un-hype. This time, though, I had heard many of the bands at M, as well as having seen a handful of them before. At Friday's sélection officielle at club Just Pour Rire (10/20), I'd seen half of the bands before, and the other half I'd given at least a cursory listen.

The best surprise of the night was electronic trio Le Matos who are kind of Montreal's Simian Mobile Disco, and tore the place up with a blinding set of squelchy techno. I mean blinding literally: surrounded by a ring of versatile "light pillars" (my term) you could barely see the musicians. Most of my pictures were either a giant block of bright color or completely black thanks to the strobes. If you've seen SMD's live set, it was definitely influenced by that but Le Matos took it full circle. While their music feels a little 2007, but in the moment, at maximum volume and with that light show, it was kind of awesome and the crowd was eating it up like so much sugary cereal. They are getting a lot of remix work, so look out for these guys next year.

My favorite non-surprise was probably Parlovr who I caught at CMJ about a month ago and was impressed by then. Even more so now. The band's self-titled, self-released 2008 album does not do them justice, making them sound like a Wolf Parade Jr. Live, Parlovr are way more energetic, fun and melodic -- though it may have also had something to do with a fair amount of new material in their set. Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too. New album due early next year apparently.

Also impressive live are Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY who have clearly gotten much tighter than the last time I saw them (Don Pedro's, like three years ago). It's proggy-mathy, but bordering on chaos too. I'm not that crazy about their records -- a little too much going on at one time for my poppier tastes -- but I'd go see them again, no question.

The rest of the evening's bands were a little underwhelming. Silly Kissers didn't wear mime makeup this time (like they did at CMJ) which is a definite plus, but I really don't think they are "export ready." Which is not a dis. Their low fi, cutesy (sometimes charming) version of '80s synthpop would be more at home at a house party rather than with the fancy lights at Juste Pour Rire -- though a special appearance from Cadence Weapon (his second of the fest) added cred.

Neither Two Hours Traffic (Weezer-ish power pop) or Silver Starling (who sounded like a more commercially-minded Arcade Fire) did much for me.

The night ended with a "surprise" performance by BEAST, which wasn't that much of a surprise as one of M's organizers is their manager, but it was a welcome finish to Friday. Like Think About Life, seeing BEAST in front of an adoring Montreal crowd is a completely different experience from seeing them in skeptical New York. This was my fourth time seeing them (previously, most recently at the Brooklyn Vegan day party during CMJ), and though their set has pretty much remained the same since this time last year, they do it so well. singer Betti Bonifassi has such magnetism - it's still fun. And the crowd was going crazy for them. They brought down the house.

The previous night's review and pics are HERE. More pictures from night two, and video of Parlovr's performance are below...

Continue reading "M For Montreal 2009 - night 2 in pics & review (Le Matos, Parlovr, DD/MM/YYYY, Silly Kissers, Beast & more) "

SXSWSXSW

SXSWeek 2010: March 12-21
Interactive: March 12-16
Film: March 12-20
Music: March 17-21
The intial lineup of bands playing the music portion, below...

Continue reading "SXSW 2010 - dates & initial band lineup "

words by Bill Pearis, photos by Chris La Putt

Parlovr
Parlovr

I said it a few time throughout CMJ week this year: Montreal just tries harder. I'm not saying the city's artists make better albums than everyone else, but as far as giving their all on stage, band-for-band, Montreal groups are much more likely to entertain you than one from another city. Maybe that's just the one's they're sending us, but there was plenty of evidence to support this theory during CMJ 2009, and no place more concentrated than at the M for Montreal showcase at Arlene's Grocery on Wednesday (10/21) where there were six of the city's bands on display.

The night started early with a sampling on Montreal's most famous drunk food, poutine, and a set by up-and comers Parlovr (pronounced "parlour," if you're wondering) who made an impressive, shouty racket. The manic trio feature two guitarists (one of whom also plays keyboards) who take turns on vocals and flipping their hair around, while their bearded drummer walloped away.

Silly Kissers
Silly Kissers

Silly Kissers had most NYers in the audience looking around uncomfortably -- we're not used to synthpop bands who wear mime make-up -- and maybe here's a MTL band trying a bit too hard in that department but their songs were kinda catchy and a group of girls in front of me were dancing nonstop and singing along.

Then came BEAST who took most of the crowd by surprise, and won most of them over by the end of their set. As I said before, singer Betti Bonafassi is a magnetic performer, and when she sings off-mike for the opening of "Ashtray," the power of her voice becomes instantly apparent. The rest of the band are no slouches either. Drummer and co-songwriter Jean-Phi Goncalves occasionally picks up a megaphone and starts rapping in French, guitarist Serge Pelletier lays down Morricone-like leads, and it's hard to miss Jonathan Dauphinais' instrument -- a bass/keyboard combo that looks to have been fused together MacGuyver-style. (BEAST also played a great early set three days later at our Saturday day party at Pianos.)

By the time Think About Life took the stage, Arlene's Grocery was packed and the crowd was ready for fun. As good as they were playing a very, very early opening set at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg the night before, the band clearly is fueled by the audience and the crowd was eating it up. It was easily one of the top five sets I saw at CMJ this year. It doesn't hurt that their new album, Family, is awesome -- loaded with stick-in-your-head jams, including "Sweet Sixteen" and "Young Hearts." Also, adding singer Caila Thompson-Hannant (of Shapes & Sizes) gives frontman Martin Cesar someone to play off of, which just makes them all the more fun.

Duchess Says
Dutchess Says

At this point I had to exit, but there was also We Are Wolves and Malajube, followed by the awesome mayhem that is Duchess Says, who also played our Thursday day party at Pianos. By the looks of these photos, and from reading people's Twitter feeds, Duchess Says' show at Arlene's was wild (when people wrote they "destroyed" Arlene's, it was more literal than most "killed it" CMJ tweets). The band clearly won over the Pianos crowd too (NY Times included) and anyone who has been within 20 feet of singer Annie-Claude in performance mode will never forget it.

Video of Parlovr, Think About Life and Duchess Says, plus lots more pictures from the M for Montreal showcase (and one set from Pianos), after the jump...

Continue reading "M for Montreal @ CMJ 2009 - pics (Think About Life, Duchess Says, Parlovr, Beast, Malajube, We are Wolves, Silly Kissers)"

DOWNLOAD: The Purrs - Stay With Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pete & the Pirates - Jennifer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Let's Wrestle - Tanks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Records of a Flagpole Skater (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Surf City - Kudos (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: A Classic Education - We Can Always Run to Hawaii (MP3)

A Classic Education
A Classic Education

DAYTIME:

Again today (10/21) I suggest you just stay on the Lower East Side for your free day party action. At Cake Shop is the Terrorbird Digital party with the mod-ish Black Hollies, dark and dreamy Zaza, Nashville's fun Turbofruits, LA all-girl trio Warpaint, Montreal's Silver Starling and San Francisco's Tempo No Tempo. Plus: free cupcakes while they last.

Up the street at Pianos is the Force Field PR party which has Real Estate, Kentucky's These United States, CMJ overachievers Surfer Blood (who were good yesterday at Cake Shop), San Francisco's good time party pals Still Flyin', noisy locals Grooms (who were also good at Cake Shop yesterday), Sub Pop band Holopaw, UK act Stricken City and L.A.'s Seven Saturdays.

And you might even wander down to Santos Party House for the Hype Machine/Babelgum party that has a nice lineup of dance acts: Australia's Midnight Juggernauts, retrofuturist VEGA, Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells, smooth and soulful sounds of Theophilus London, and Norway's Alan Wilkis who puts his own spin on early '80s new wave funk. This one starts a bit later than the other day parties, at a civilized 3PM.

If you're in Williamsburg this afternoon (maybe to pick up your Vice Late Nights info at American Apparel) you might want to swing by Bruar Falls where they'll be a low key day show featuring Bologna, Italy's A Classic Education (who will also be playing the Brooklyn Vegan day party tomorrow [10/21] at Pianos). They were one of my favorites from SXSW. Also on the Bruar bill are three Brooklyn bands: My Teenage Stride, Knight School and Palomar. 2 - 6PM. Free!

NIGHTTIME:

Personally, this is my most conflicted night with at least three shows in completely different places that I feel I could stay at the whole night. If you're downtown at the day parties, you might want to head over to the M for Montreal showcase which starts with a 5PM performance from Parlovr. I was talking to a friend yesterday who was raving about their recent Pop Montreal performance and said they might be the next MTL band to break out. The rest of the M4M bill is solid, including Think About Life who were just fantastic last night at the official BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Also dont' miss BEASTand Duchess Says, the latter of whom will also play our free day party Thursday at Pianos.

Then there's also the great show at The Bell House with personal faves Pete & the Pirates and excellent New Zealanders Surf City -- both of whom are also playing the free BrooklynVegan/Bowery Presents day party on Saturday at Pianos. Also on the bill are Pete & the Pirates' Stolen Recordings labelmates Let's Wrestle, as well as North Carolina's The Love Language, the latter of whom will be playing our Friday night loft party. The Bell House show is $14 without a CMJ badge.

There's also a great lineup of bands at Santos tonight on two floors, including Cymbals Eat Guitars and DEASTRO (who both play our Saturday party), Free Energy, Real Estate, and Beach Fossils, plus a couple awesome bands from Norway: Ungdomskullen and I Was a King. It's $15 if you don't have a badge.

Richard Davies

Richard Davies

And I'd like to highlight a couple artists who play their only CMJ shows tonight, at the same timeslot (9pm) in different Bleeker Street venues. (I know.) At Kenny's Castaways is Richard Davies who fronted the great Australian band The Moles in the late '80s/early '90s, and then moved to the U.S. where he formed chamber pop duo Cardinal with Eric Matthews, and their sole 1994 album remains one of the best things Sub Pop has ever released. After Cardinal, he put out three very good solo albums (1998's Telegraph is pretty great, actually), and then in 2000 or so, he decided to go to law school and has had his own practice since. But he's started playing again recently and, according to this interview, he and Matthews have restarted Cardinal, which is kind of exciting. But tonight here he'll play as a trio with a new band. Glad to have him back.

The Purrs
The Purrs

And down the street at Wicked Willy's are The Purrs who hail from Seattle and have just released their very good second album Amused, Confused and More Bad News. Mix a little '80s Paisley Underground with '90s Britpop and you're in the ballpark of their sound. You can download their song "Stay Here With Me" at the top of this post. 9PM at Wicked Willy's (149 Bleeker).

What else is good today? Hip Hop recommendations HERE. Flyers and day party set times, and all Classic Education dates, below.

Continue reading "CMJ 2009 - Bill's Wednesday picks & stuff (day, night parties, A Classic Education, Richard Davies, The Purrs, more)"

by Bill Pearis

Duchess Says
Duchess Says
Duchess Says

We already mentioned that Montreal's Think About Life will be in town this week playing Tuesday night's BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg and the M for Montreal night at Arlene's Grocery on Wednesday (10/21). Also playing the M4M show are electro-punks Duchess Says, whose only other show this week will be the BrooklynVegan day party on Thursday (10/22) at Pianos. Full line-up for that show will be announced soon.

Duchess Says were probably the wildest band I saw at last year's M for Montreal festival, due almost entirely to spitfire singer Annie-Claude. She is a woman possessed onstage, wild-eyed and not afraid to leap into the crowd... or drag the crowd onstage. They are loved in their hometown -- the show I saw, the crowd was going completely mental -- but they haven't toured that much in America so it's a real treat to have them here this week, and to have them at our day party.

If you want to get a good cross-section of the Montreal scene, and aren't scared of seeing some bands who sing in French, you should definitely hit up Arlene's Grocery Wednesday night which has an excellent line-up. In addition to Think About Life and Duchess Says, the M for Montreal showcase features: "trip rock" duo BEAST, whose singer Betty Bonifassi provided the vocals for Triplets of Belleville. As I wrote after seeing them, she's got one of Those Voices (Shirley Bassey comes to mind) - smoky, world-wear, yet powerful, enough to cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand at attention. BEAST are playing four shows during CMJ, and all dates are below.

Also playing: Up-and-comers Parlovr play shouty, anthemic indie rock not entirely unlike Wolf Parade and they apparently wowed audiences at this year's Pop Montreal; Malajube who did very well for themselves when they played CMJ in 2006; MTL scene veterans We Are Wolves; and the electropop sounds of Silly Kissers.

The High Dials
The High Dials

Not playing that night but also from Montreal and also playing CMJ are The High Dials whose most recent album, Moon Country, made my Best Albums of 2008 list. If you're unfamiliar, they make country-tinged '60s-ish psych-rock, with great harmonies and occasional doses of druggy drone. The High Dials are playing two NYC shows this week, both on Saturday (10/24). First at Lit (10:15) and then at Arlene's Grocery (12:30). They are fantastic live, you should definitely clear some space for these guys. They're also playing a few East Coast coast while down in America, too, and those dates are below.

And while I'm talking about Canada and Arlene's Grocery, Thursday (10/22) is this year's Canadian Blast which has hard rockers Priestess, the anthemic alt-rock of Jets Overhead, funk-soul mashup Grand Analog, hip hop act Classified and youngsters Spiral Beach.

Tour dates, flyers and videos after the jump...

Continue reading "Duchess Says, The High Dials, Malajube & other bands from Montreal (coming to CMJ, touring)"