Entries tagged with: Pale Lights
by Bill Pearis
UK singer/songwriter Darren Hayman spent much of the '90s in cult indie band Hefner where his literate takes on romance (and warbly vocal style) played like a Mike Leigh movie. After a string of singles, EP and full-lengths, the band signed to Too Pure/Beggars where they released four albums, including The Fidelity Wars which is probably their defining album. Hefner broke up in the early '00s but Darren has remained prolific, making records as The French, plus collaborations with The Wave Pictures and others. In certain circles, he's kind of a big deal. His most recent release was a single with Emma Kupa (formerly of Standard Fare) which you can stream, along with some other songs from throughout his career, below.
Hayman hasn't played NYC in about 15 years (Brownies was the last show I remember) but that changes this month when he'll play Cake Shop on July 26 with The Smittens, Pale Lights, and Let's Whisper. NYC Popfest is presenting the show which is the only North American date for Hayman.
Vermont's The Smittens have a new EP coming out in August, titled Love Record Breaker, which is more of their winsome, anthemic (but understated) indiepop. You can stream the title track below. Their Burlington neighbors Let's Whisper open the night.
In between the two VT bands are Pale Lights, which features Phil Sutton of Comet Gain. They released their debut album, Before There Were Pictures, last month and it's quite good, the sort of lightly psychedelic janglepop that Postcard Records and Creation used to release. It's also not that too far off from what Comet Gain does, either. (Also, Phil sounds a little like Lloyd Cole.) You can stream the whole album below. In addition to the Cake Shop show, Pale Lights are also playing August 9 at Friends and Lovers in Crown Heights with the rest of the lineup TBA.
by Bill Pearis
With a debut 7" on the way soon, the band will be in NYC for a string of shows in July. They'll play Mercury Lounge on July 8 with Chalk & Numbers and Pale Lights; Death by Audio on July 9 with Flown and more TBA; and Cake Shop on July 10 with The Hairs and The Scarfs. There's another NYC show happening July 11, venue TBA. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show are on AmEx presale now and go on sale to the general public on Friday (5/24) at noon.
If you live in Seattle, you can see Week of Wonders tonight (5/22) at Sunset Tavern with Hats Off and Charms. All tour dates are listed below.
RJD2 is playing a HARD NYC event at Terminal 5 on October 4 with Zeds Dead, Paper Diamond, Green Lantern and Branchez. Tickets to that show go on sale today at noon.
Iggy Azalea is playing The Bowery Ballroom on June 17. Tickets to that show go on sale today at noon.
Mike Birbiglia is playing Carnegie Hall on June 2. Tickets to that show are on sale now.
Week of Wonders, Chalk & Numbers, and Pale Lights are playing Mercury Lounge on July 8. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at noon, with a general on-sale starting Friday (5/24) at noon.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned, San Francisco quartet The Mantles are releasing Long Enough to Leave via Slumberland on June 18. If you dig '60s garage pop, keep an eye out for this one. The band have just released a second track, "Hello," which you can stream alongside the previously-released "Brown Balloon" below.
We also knew that The Mantles were playing Cake Shop on July 13 which is with Piano Movers and Comet Gain/Crystal Stilts-related band Pale Lights. Turns out that is the final night of a short East Coast tour with Juan Wauters of The Beets. They've got a second NYC show as well at Shea Stadium on July 9 with the rest of the line-up still TBA. All tour dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Orca Team at NYC Popfest 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Seattles's Orca Team were one of my highlights of this year's NYC Popfest and, we already told you about this, but just a heads up that the band will be back this weekend playing Cameo on Sunday (July 1). The show also features Persephone's Bees, Treasure Mammal, underrated punks The Numerators. Tickets are $8 and will be available at the door. If you can't make it to Cameo on Sunday, Orca Team will be back on Wednesday, July 18 for a show at Cake Shop with fellow Portlanders Woollen Men, plus Lame Drivers and Pale Lights. The band are playing all over and all tour dates are listed below.
Since we last wrote about them, Orca Team released their new album Restraint which melds early '60s pop and surf pop with Krautrock rhythms and basslines, and you can stream that below.
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
"comet gain & pooh sticks were great last night @ public assembly in brooklyn. only took approx 15-20 years to see them live." - @dfarecords
The Pooh Sticks
It was the kind of night that could really only happen at Public Assembly. The back room rumbled from the crush of Ulcerate (who had their gear stolen later that night) and Tombs, while the front was hosting the third evening of NYC Popfest, which made for a culture clash in the mutually shared hallway. With The Pooh Sticks on the bill, it was hardest Popfest has ever come to "rocking," what with the legendary Welsh band's proclivity towards crunchy powerpop a la Slade or The Sweet. No better example of that than their 1991 single "Young People," with it's twin guitar leads and lyrics that rang of even more irony now that that song is old enough to drink. (And it was ironic when first released.) A truly fantastic set.
Despite the gray hair, frontman Hue Williams was a bundle of energy and the band was tight and, yes, rocking. In addition to "Young People," we got pretty much all The Pooh Sticks' well-known material, including early indiepop sides "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well" and "On Tape," as well as later tracks like "Who Loves You" and "The World is Turning On."
Headliners Comet Gain rocked too, albiet in a more shambolic indie kind of way, despite frontman David Feck's threats of putting the audience to sleep after the Pooh Sticks killer set. But Comet Gain fans are fervent and the crowd was pumped and loaded for the band who hadn't played NYC in four years. (A little too loaded, some friends of mine got hit by projectile vomit from someone who couldn't hold their booze.) Check out video of their set at the bottom of this post.
The evening started with Sweden's Pushy Parents who were playing their second-ever show, but they sounded pretty together to these ears. Speedmarket Avenue's Isak Klasson played drums. (His own band played earlier in the week.) It was a short set, highlighted by current single "Secret Secret."
The rest of the night: Seattle's winsome and tuneful Seapony were good but needed to be louder (the metal show next door won that round); and Sweden's Electric Pop Group were pleasant enough but with a laptop rhythm section, maybe they should've played first.
Earlier Saturday it was the Popfest day show at Spike Hill with Filipino duo Outerhope, Sweden's Lisa Bouvier and locals Pale Lights and Habibi. I didn't make that one, but our photographer did and pictures of all Saturday Popfest action are below, along with Bleary Eyed Brooklyn's videos.
by Bill Pearis
Here's the second part of the NYC Popfest 2012 preview. For info on tonight's show at Knitting Factory can read part one here.
SATURDAY, MAY 19
There's a free show at Spike Hill with Sweden's rough-and-tumble Lisa Bouvier, the gentle sounds of Philippine band Outerhope (who also play The Rock Shop on Monday [5/21]) plus Pale Lights (featuring Comet Gain's Phil Sutcliffe and Andy from Crystal Stilts) and Brooklyn up-and-comers Habibi.
For those going to Spike Hill, you might want to head to Williamsburg early to check out the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair that is happening at food hipster mecca Smorgasburg from 11AM-6PM. Indiepop-friendly labels like Angular, Kanine, and What's Your Rupture? will be there, with some exclusive product as well. Plus lots of amazing food. Get there before noon to beat the insane lines.
It's an all-Williamsburg day for Popfest as the Saturday night show happens at Public Assembly with two legendary UK bands headlining; Comet Gain and The Pooh Sticks. The former, celebrating their 20th year in existence, are playing their first Popfest and first shows in NYC since 2009. Last year's Howl of the Lonely Crowd was another fine addition to their canon of footstompers and floorshakers.
The Pooh Sticks
The Pooh Sticks haven't played NYC since 1992 back when they were supporting the American release of their stone-cold classic Great White Wonder which cemented their rep as masters of tongue-in-cheek, arched brow indie. Actually it was already established with shambly 1988 singles "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well" and "On Tape" which is the "Losing My Edge" of its day. Arch, tuneful and not afraid to steal, The Pooh Sticks are indiepop royalty and, if recent live video on YouTube is correct, they still got it.
But the best group of the night -- or at least the best one you've never heard of before (probably) -- are on first. A quick listen to Pushy Parents are you can guess they're from Sweden (Stockholm to be specific) with a sound somewhere between early Cardigans and the Concretes. Their new Secret Secret EP is terrific: equal parts effortless melody, skill and just-right production. You can stream the whole thing and watch the video for its title track at the bottom of this post.
SUNDAY, MAY 20 (LITTLEFIELD)
Allo Darlin' with Gary Olson at Mercury Lounge (more)
Popfest ends with an all-day affair at Littlefield, featuring tourmates Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who have been written about before and you can see pictures from both band's visit to Mercury Lounge a few weeks back. They are both great and reason enough to go on Sunday.
But not the only reason. The Littlefield show will also feature the first-ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excellent albums before and after his fluke hit "Your Woman" in 1997. That song, as good as it it (and it is!) also isn't especially representative of White Town's body of work which tends to mix wispy melodies, delicate guitars and budget drum machines. Mishra has stayed active, continuing to release albums over the years, including last year's Monopole.
Also playing: Brooklyn indiepop mainstays The Ladybug Transistor whose frontman Gary Olson usually lends his trumpeting skills to at least one other Popfest band who needs it. (He'll probably also sing the male vocal parts on Allo Darlin's "Dreaming" as he's done before.)
The Holiday Crowd
And come early to Littlefield to catch local power pop combo Swearin' (which shares a couple members with Dear Marje who also play Popfest this year); Washington DC's Dot Dash, which features members of Julie Ocean and wordy '90s indiepoppers Tree Fort Angst.
The full Popfest Saturday - Sunday schedule is below, along with that Pushy Parents stream and video.
by Bill Pearis
The Pooh Sticks in the early '90s
The sixth-annual NYC Pop Fest is happening May 17 - 20 and the organizers have just announced the 27 band line-up, which includes UK acts Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who will wrap up their US tour together with their Popfest show, plus Comet Gain, Seattle's Seapony, Finland's Burning Hearts, Sweden's Speedmarket Avenue and The Electric Pop Group, and longrunning American indiepop group Saturday Looks Good to Me.
This year's line-up also included Wales' legendary Pooh Sticks (!) who haven't played in America since CMJ 1992, and the first ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excelent albums before and after his fluke (and unrepresentative) hit "Your Woman" in 1997. NYC is represented too, with The Ladybug Transistor, Habibi, Heaven's Gate, Pale Lights, The Marshmallows, Swearin' and Dear Marje.
Ticket and venue info is still TBA but sure to be announced soon. Click through for the full NYC Pop Fest 2012 line-up.