Entries tagged with: Radical Dads
photos by Erik Erikson; words by Bill Pearis
One night after James Murphy and other DFA peeps occupied the Kent Ave space, Friday night was the BV Presents evening of programming at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a ridiculously huge warehouse space that was home to holiday shopping, food vendors and rock music. I was taken aback by how big the performance space was, which had room for at least a dozen picnic tables, a half-pipe (nobody skated Friday night that I saw), and three bar areas, including a mezzanine.
Despite it being an enormous concrete box, sound was quite good and lighting was better than 90% of NYC's venues, and there were very cool video projections that mixed real-time footage of the show with vintage stock footage. As a person who actively avoids Terminal 5, I would frequent this space as-is if it were a real venue.
The evening kicked off with Radical Dads who were just terrific even though they had to play at 7PM. I really do think their spirited '90s style indie rock one of this city's best kept secrets, and their album Mega Rama is one of my favorites of 2011. And they're a great live band.
It was a fun evening all around. Caged Animals sounded terrific and Vincent Cachionne is an engaging, intense frontman who provided the night's confetti quotient. Big Troubles played a short, tight set that stuck mainly to the high points of this year's Romantic Comedy (of which there are many), and Dom were in top party-rock form.
The most fun for myself was getting to DJ with Frankie Rose in between bands. We decided to go song-for-song which is a fun competition, trying to find something that goes well off what the other person just played. This did lead to some fun, weird places, like me playing The Human League's "The Things Dreams Are Made Of" directly before Fucked Up took the stage. These things have a mind of their own...it made sense at the time.
Fucked Up were, as usual, awesome. They basically had just gotten off the plane from their stint opening for the Foo Fighters in Australia but if they were jetlagged you couldn't tell. Damien told the crowd it was great to be in front of people who were there to see them. We got a little over an hour set, which included their spirited cover of "Jingle Bells" which you may have seen them perform on the Anthony Bourdain holiday special and will be available this week as their side of a split 7" with Sloan. Stuff that in yer stocking.
Thanks to everyone who came out. Click through for lots more pics from Friday night's fun.
By Bill Pearis
Parlovr at M for Montreal 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Bill Pearis
One could argue (and we did, in our story on the band in the January-February issue!) that Fucked Up's rock opera David Comes to Life was uniquely resonant upon its June release because of the emotional synchronicity between an album that spilled forth with such an appropriately chaotic narrative and a year in which tumultuous disarray became the norm. But good lord, David Comes to Life could've been sung in backwards Tagalog and it still would've made perfect sense in 2011. That's the power of a gang of punks playing with Olympian levels of passion and purpose. [SPIN]SPIN publishes it's year-end issue next week, naming Fucked Up's David Comes to Life as 2011's best album. The top ten also includes EMA, Wild Flag, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li and more. The entire SPIN Top 50 Albums of 2011 is at the bottom of this post.
As you hopefully know, Fucked Up will be performing this Friday (12/16) at the BV-curated night of this weekend's Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a full evening of music that also includes Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads, as well as Frankie Rose spinning tunes. Tickets are only $10 and still available.
There's a lot more Fucked Up news actually. Tonight (11/12) the band will be guests on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Holiday Special, which also features Christoper Walken, Norah Jones and a lot of extremely non-vegan cooking (though the Vegan Black Metal Chef is also a guest). Maybe Fucked Up will play in Bourdain's fridge, like Das Racist did on last year's Holiday Special.
Next Tuesday (12/20) in the band's hometown of Toronto, Fucked Up will perform David Comes to Life in its entirety, with proceeds going to charity. (PS I Love You, The Sadies and Quest for Fire also perform.)
Fucked Up are also releasing a split Christmas single with Sloan, with proceeds benefiting the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund. Fucked Up's side is their take on "Jingle Bells," while Sloan tackle "The 12 Days of Christmas" (which is streamable below). Only 500 are being printed -- maybe they'll be some at the merch table this Friday?
The band have also announced the release of 2012's annual Chinese New Year single, "Year of the Tiger," which is out February 21. The 15-minute track features guest vocals from Austra, Duchess Says' Annie-Claude and Jim Jarmusch, which Matador claims is "MAYBE THE BEST THING FUCKED UP HAVE EVER RECORDED" but being their record label they're prone to such proclamations. But maybe it is.
Click through for a just-released video of "Turn the Season" plus video of the band performing "The Other Shoe" on Canada's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show, as well as the entire rundown of SPIN mag's Top 50 Albums of 2011...
by Bill Pearis
DOM @ Pier 54 (more by Chris La Putt)
Last week when we announced the 12/16 BrooklynVegan Presents holiday show with Fucked Up at Brooklyn Night Bazaar there was still one band TBD. Well it turns out here that the "D" in TBD stood for Dom. Yep, we're pleased to announce the poppy Worcester, Mass quintet round our our five band line-up. You can stream the entirety of Dom's still fresh Family of Love EP at the bottom of this post.
So let's recap. Here's what you're getting for your very reasonably-priced $10 ticket: Fucked Up, Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals and Radical Dads, plus Frankie Rose (and myself) spinning tunes. Brooklyn Night Bazaar is a three-day holiday shopping, eating, drinking and music extravaganza all under one roof, just a few blocks from the Bedford L stop (specifically 149 Kent Ave at N.5th St.). It's free to get in the shopping area; getting into the shows is extra.
In addition to our night, on Thursday, December 15 it's a headlining DJ set from James Murphy, plus the Crystal Ark Party Machine, Poolside (who were recently added too) and Midnight Magic; on Saturday, December 17 it's The Hold Steady plus Titus Andronicus, Wakey Wakey and W/O. For those curious about the shopping and eating side of things, a full list of vendors is here. Hope to see you there.
Click through to listen to Dom's new EP, and check out the Brooklyn Bazaar flyer.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Radical Dads - Little Tomb (Pursesnatchers Remix) (MP3)
Radical Dads at Bruar Falls, CMJ 2011
As I mentioned earlier, Radical Dads are playing the BV Holiday Party at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Friday, December 16 that also features headliners Fucked Up, plus Big Troubles, Caged Animals (and more more TBA) as well as Frankie Rose on the decks. All for only $10. One of my favorite live bands in Brooklyn, Radical Dads are definitely worth showing up early for.
Before that you can see Radical Dads open for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this Wednesday (12/7) at Webster Hall. Waters also play the show and tickets are still available. Robbie Guertin will be a busy man that night, as he's in both bands (drums for Rad Dads, guitar in CYHSY).
By the time of our holiday show, Radical Dads' debut album, Mega Rama, should be out on vinyl (and at the merch table) which would make a great holiday gift for the classic indie rock lover in your life. As I've said before, if you like Wild Flag, this has a similar vibe and great songs, though much less hyped. We've got a version of LP-opener "Little Tomb" remixed by Pursesnatchers, adding a few layers of soaring guitars to the song which was already reaching the stratosphere. Download it above. And you can stream all of Mega Rama at the bottom of this post.
by Bill Pearis
Fucked Up at House of Vans in July (more by Chris La Putt)
BrooklynVegan is really in the holiday spirit this year. In addition to the BV holiday party with Anna Calvi and Eleanor Friedberger at Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 13 and the Twin Sister/Widowspeak/Ava Luna show at Bowery Ballroom on December 17, we've added a third BV Presents show to the holiday themed mix.
We're psyched to be presenting a full evening of bands at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Friday, December 16, headlined by Toronto's amazing Fucked Up. Making things more festive will be Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads and one more we'll be announcing shortly. DJing in between bands will be Frankie Rose and myself. Tickets are a Bob Crachett-friendly $10 and on sale now.
If you don't know, Brooklyn Night Bazaar is a holiday shopping, eating, drinking and music extravaganza happening Dec. 15 - 17 at a giant warehouse in Williamsburg (149 Kent at N.5th). Shopping and food vendors is free, you gotta pay to see the bands. Thursday 12/15 is James Murphy DJ set with Poolside, Crystal Ark and Midnight Magic, and Saturday 12/17 is The Hold Steady with Titus Andronicus and Wakey Wakey. Full list of vendors is here.
Do come out it should be fun. (Did I mention it's only ten bucks for our night?) Flyer for the Brooklyn Night Bazaar is below.
by Bill Pearis
It never fails, the week after CMJ I get sick. So here I sit, with a big cup of green tea and a stuffy head, writing about shows that I want to go to, but probably won't. But hopefully you are in better health. There's a lot of great options this weekend.
As you may have heard, two-year-old Williamsburg club Bruar Falls is closing November 1. I live pretty close to the place, have seen a lot of great shows there and am bummed it's shutting its doors. But for Bruar Falls' Last Week Ever, it's going out in style with a bunch of great shows. Tonight (10/28) it's The Beets, Tanks Amigo, the Beachniks and, just in time for Halloween, a Misfits cover band.
Saturday night (10/29) is for you punkers out there: Stalkers, Tough Shits, Ex-Humans and Dino's Boys. And then Sunday night (10/30) it's Dive, Shark?, Air Waves and Bright Lights. And then Halloween night (10/31) is the for real last night ever with Friend Roulette, Hunktronik, Clouder and KNTRLR.
A lot of these bands are BF regulars so I imagine there will be a palpable party vibe there all weekend long. I'll miss ya.
Tonight (10/28) is the NYC debut of Wisconsin husband and wife duo Peaking Lights whose alluring, dubby album 963 came out early this year on Not Not Fun but is getting wider distribution next month via Mexican Summer and Domino imprint Weird World. You can download a few tracks from the record at the top of this post.
A lot of the strange sounds heard on the album come via homemade instruments and effects boxes that Aaron Coyes makes in the basement of his and singer Indra Dunis' home. You can find out more about this via an episode of VBS TV's Soundbuilders which is streaming at the bottom of this post. After watching that, I'm curious to see how Peaking Lights will pull off a live show, what with all the delicate McGuyver-esque gear. But the record's great and I'm hoping for the best.
One of my favorite sets at CMJ was seeing Radical Dads at Bruar Falls on Saturday night and reminded me just how good they've become. In fact, I'd go as far to say as they're one of Brooklyn's best bands right now. Certainly one of the more unheralded. If you like Wild Flag, I urge you to check out RD's debut album Mega Rama which has a similar vibe but is much less hyped. There's a streaming player at the bottom of this post.
I'm happy to report that Mega Rama is getting a belated vinyl release in December via Loud Baby Sounds. You can pre-order it now. The album art is one of my favorite record covers of the year and have been dying to own a big 12" version of it -- not to mention getting to play it on my turntable. Also on the vinyl tip, Radical Dads also have a 7" coming out in December, "Skateboarding Bulldog," which you can stream or download via a widget at the bottom of this post.
But more than maybe anything I suggest going to see them live which you can do tonight (10/28) at Spike Hill where they'll play with Plates of Cake, Quilty, and Conversion Party. Cover's only five bucks.
If glitchy dance music is more your thing, the weekend has two very good options. Star Slinger, who was supposed to play here in the spring but had to cancel, is finally making his NYC debut at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (10/28). After a bunch of head-turning remixes and download tracks, Star Slinger recently released his first "official" single, "Dumbin," via Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound which you can stream or download at the bottom of this post.
After the MHoW, which also has SHLOMO and Shitego on the bill, you might want to swing over to 285 Kent where there's a "secret guest" headliner. (G-Side and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire play as well.) Though not mentioned out-and-out, they do link to Star Slinger's website on the Facebook invite.
Then Saturday night (10/29), the Fixed party at Cameo has UK act Gold Panda who's been remixed by Star Slinger and is following up last year's excellent Lucky Shiner with his spin on the latest installment of K7!'s DJ Kicks series. In a bit of Brooklyn weekend synergy, GP's track "An Iceberg Hurled Through Northern Clouds" just got remixed by Peaking Lights and you can stream the remix of that below.
The Fixed party at Cameo also features Lemonade, Blondes and an open bar from 8 - 10. Gold Panda then heads the next day (ouch) to Moogfest in Ashville, NC.
Saturday night has a pretty killer show at Glasslands. Obits headline and are still driving on the high octane tank of gas that is their second album, Moody, Standard and Poor. Perhaps even more exciting, for some folks, is opener Office of Future Plans which is the new thing from Jawbox man J. Robbins.
And finally, a little preview into early next week. Don't forget that the Wax Idols/Terry Malts tour hits Cake Shop on Tuesday (11/1) and Shea Stadium on Wednesday (11/2) for a double dose of San Francisco style fuzz. As I wrote elsewhere on this site:
Wax Idols are the new group from Hether Fortune, who has spent time in Hunx & His Punx and Bare Wires. Fuzz pedals crash into jangly guitars, vocals are high sneer but also full of harmony, and there's room for both girl group balladry and a tough cover of Wire's "Sand in My Joints." The band's debut, No Future, is out next month on HoZac and is quite good. You can check out "Dead Like You" from it at the top of this post.Other bands on the Cake Shop bill are still TBA but the Shea Stadium show also features Sundelles, Habibi, and the ever-present Dive (if you haven't seen them yet, you're making an effort not to).
As for the Terry Malts, their debut 7" on Slumberland from earlier this year is three quick blasts of sunny pop covered in a thick blanket of white noise. (Somewhere between '80s West Coast punk and C-'86 lies their sound.) It's the new project from most of the guys in Magic Bullets, a band that has been put in cold storage -- they played their final show August 24. They've got a new 7" out in about a month, and you can download "Distracted" from the first one at the top of this post.
That's the main stuff. More daily picks are below.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28
Pixies continue to tour their best album, Dolittle, tonight at Asbury Park Convention Hall with Surfer Blood opening.
Meanwhile... Tanya Donnely, who was in the original line-up of the Breeders (not to mention Throwing Muses and then Belly) is doing a show at Joe's Pub. She'll be aded and abetted by Michael Hearst of One Ring Zero, writer Rick Moody, as well as Magnetic Fields cohorts Claudia Gonson and Sam Davol, plus Carrie Bradley who was also in the Breeders at one point (and folk rock band Ed's Redeeming Qualities).
by Bill Pearis
Thursday, we're in the thick of it now and maybe some of us are already frazzled. Which might explain why this picks post is shorter than yesterday's. Also, we're starting to see a lot of the same bands, so see this as a reminder as to what's happening where. This isn't comprehensive, just what I personally recommend. I've tried to include set times at the bottom of this post for all parties mentioned.
Hopefully you're going to stop by the BV Day Party at Kniting Factory which has Yellow Ostrich, Still Corners, Hundred Visions, Forest Fire, BOBBY, Main Attrakionz and the just added We Were Promised Jetpacks. Yellow Ostrich kicks things off at 12:30, hope you can make it down. There's free PBR & HobNob Wine too for those over 21.
You can make a day of it in Williamsburg, and we wouldn't grudge you for venue hopping. Public Assembly's got the Pop Montreal party today, with Miracle Fortress, Pat Jordache, Teen Daze, Tops, Tonstartssbandht, and Touchy Mob... plus food courtesy Mile End. Maybe some Montreal-style bagels?
Over at Bruar Falls it's the Camper's Rule Records party, with Radical Dads (if you're from out of town, one of my favorite new local bands), plus Fort Lean, Backords, Beat People, Easter Vomit, Yanqui, and Moonmen On the Moon, Man. Plus, you're running out of chances to hang out at Bruar Falls... it closes at the end of the month.
And at The Woods, there's a cool afternoon/early-evening party being thrown by the folks at all-girl-drummer zine Tom Tom, with a great line-up of bands that, yes, all feature ladies behind the kit. There's Baybee Teeth, Coasting, TEEN, The Suzan, Pearl & the Beard, Brute Heart and Satellite Sky. $5 cover for this one. Let's hope the sound has improved from last year's CMJ-week shows, which was a joke.
Of course it's hard to deny the allure of the Lower East Side, what with five or so clubs all within a block or two of each other, making for very easy show-hopping. The two best are on the same Ludlow Block. At Cake Shop, NYC Taper has indie rawkers Mr. Dream, the widescreen pop of Savoir Adore, the dreamy/dusty sounds of Widowspeak, superior psych group White Fence, the dark anthemecism of Hoop Dreams, plus Prussia and Teletextile.
And at Pianos,I Guess I'm Floating and Tell All Your Friends PR have two floors of fun, with a few Canadians (Grimes, Parlovr, Doldrums), one Australian (Little Red), dance music (Beat Connection, Body Language) and lots more. Full schedule is below.
Okay, those are my daytime choices of choice. Flyers and set times, some for shows not mentioned above, are below.
photos and video by Jessica Amaya
"Colorado band School Knights play Shea Stadium with The Hairs whose singer used to have a band called Knight School. Weird, right? Also playing: Grand Rapids and Radical Dads whose new video for "New Age Dinosuars" is at the bottom of this post." [This Week In Indie]A set of pictures from the Thursday night show, and videos too, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Mickey - For You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fungi Girls - Doldrums (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pure X - Dry Ice (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grooms - Tiger Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Weekend - End Times (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: pow wow! - It's Not That Easy (MP3)
Ok it's really hot out but don't let that stop you from seeing some great stuff this weekend. We've got a couple bands on the Hozac label in town this weekend. First is Chicago glam punks Mickey whose debut Rock n' Roll Dreamer just hit the racks. It's a sleazy vision of excess that is part The Sweet, part Johnny Thunders, part Schlitz malt liquor and three bags of glitter dumped on top. It's hook-filled debauched fun. Check out "For You" at the top of this post for a taste. I have not seen Mickey live but all signs point to chaos.
Mickey play Death By Audio tonight (7/7) with Liquor Store, Ex-Humans, The Fucking Ocean and Sleepies (this show sounds like trouble), and then Friday (7/8) at Cake Shop with Habibi, Jigglers, Teardrops and Siberians.
The other Hozac band is Austin trio Fungi Girls who I've been wanting to see for some time. They play Friday night (7/8) at Death By Audio with Xray Eyeballs and The Beets, and on Saturday (7/9) at Ding Dong Lounge as part of a Group Tightener curated show with the label's bands Pure X (more on them below) and Expensive Looks, plus Cool Cough.
Still in their teens, Fungi Girls seem to have already digested a lifetime of psych-pop influences and make a racket that sounds fresh and well beyond their years. (Why aren't these guys on Slumberland?) 2009's Seafaring Pyramids was excellent and I can't wait to hear the new album, Some Easy Magic, which is out next month. You can download "Doldrums" at the top of this post which was the b-side to a Hozac 7" that came out last year.
Pure X, who play with Fungi Girls on Saturday, are also from Austin and maybe you knew them as Pure Ecstasy which they used to be called. (A San Francisco cover band laid claim to the name.) Now Pure X, the band just released their debut LP, Pleasure, this week and you can download "Dry Ice" from it at the top of this post. Altered Zones has a stream of the whole thing. Recorded live with no overdubs, Pleasure is lovely and languid, not unlike the first Cowboy Junkies album or Galaxie 500. It's a nice Sunday morning kind of album as I'm fond of saying.
The band are in town for two shows. In addition to the previously mentioned Saturday show with Fungi Girls, Pure X also play Friday (7/8) at sweaty 285 Kent for a Chocolate Bobka curated show with Tonstartsbandht, Forma, and Run DMT.
If you go see Mickey tonight, Fungi Girls tomorrow and wanna make it three smoky nights in a row at Death By Audio, on Saturday (7/9) it's the record release party for Grooms' very good second album, Prom, which officially comes out next week on Kanine. The show is with Pterodactyl and The Immaculates.
The new album is a big leap from the band's debut, Rejoicer. The overt Sonic Youth-isms have melted and Grooms have come into their own with this one which feels confident and accomplished. It rocks pretty hard too, at times, but has pretty moments as well. Check out album opener "Tiger Trees" at the top of this post. Grooms were fantastic when I saw them at Northside but I imagine they'll be even more on their game at their Death By Audio home base.
The Wake @ NYC Popfest 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
And finally a bunch of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/8) is the third installment of the Seaport Music Festival with Scotland indiepop legends The Wake. As I wrote when they played Popfest last year:
"While they didn't get the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, The Wake's catalog is well-regarded, especially 1985's Here Comes Everybody which is a bona fide indie classic. Check out "O Pamela" at the top of this post. The band's hazy, reverb-laden sound has parallels to current bands like The Radio Dept or Wild Nothing, or any of the chillwave groups out there."Opening is San Francisco loud music trio Weekend who should not be confused with The Weeknd or Weekends. Weekend are one of my favorite new bands of the last year -- their debut LP Sports made my Best of 2010 list and their live show is not to be missed. I wonder what random Seaport tourists with make of their powerful din on Friday.
(editor's note: I was definitely wondering what random tourists may have thought when they came upon John Lennon's son and his supermodel girlfriend playing a show on the same stage recently).
Saturday (7/9) at the Seaport is an official "warm up" to next weekend's 4 Knots Festival, with Ted Leo and Screaming Females. Ted has played the Seaport five times and often not under the best conditions. He played in torrential downpours and with generator power the night of the 2003 blackout. Saturday he'll be marking the 10th anniversary of his album The Tyranny of Distance by playing it in full. Weather is supposed to be lovely.
Then on Sunday (7/10) is the penultimate Sound Bites Series show with pow wow! who are currently finishing up their debut album. After garnering a lot of buzz (and playing what seemed like every week) back in 2009, they took most of last year off to regroup and rethink. With a slightly retooled sound -- they're definitely a little more '80s indie and a little less early '00s rock now -- they'll play the Fulton Stall Market at 3PM. I DJ before and after. Check out "It's Not That Easy" at the top of this post.
Then after the Sound Bites show, you should head over to the Beekman Beer Garden for the first of the summer's Beach Party shows. This week it's the wildness that is Cheeseburger, plus Hard Nips. I hope Beekman (formerly Water Taxi Beach formerly Spiegeltent) is ready for flying beer. This should be fun. With the truncated Seaport Music Festival schedule this year (and no Pool Parties) I'm glad more is going on down at the Seaport, one of my favorite places during the summer.
If you want to hear more from the bands playing the Sound Bites Series, the Beach Parties, as well as Hudson River Rocks, the Seaport folks partnered with Insound for some free downloadable mixes. Bands include Austra, Metronomy, Xray Eyeballs, The Beets, pow wow!, DOM, Raveonettes, Radical Dads and more. I curated the Brooklyn Local mix with bands who have played both years of the Sound Bites Series, plus some other Brooklyn bands I think people should check out.
OK that's it for this week. A few more Thursday picks are below.
THURSDAY, JULY 7
Colorado band School Knights play Shea Stadium with The Hairs whose singer used to have a band called Knight School. Weird, right? Also playing: Grand Rapids and Radical Dads whose new video for "New Age Dinosuars" is at the bottom of this post.
by Bill Pearis
It's year three of the Northside Festival, which for one weekend a year makes Williamsburg's music scene just a little crazier than it already is. This first night (tonight) is maybe the strongest overall, in that there are a lot of great showcases set up where -- if you don't have a badge -- you can stay put and get a quality night of music. Or if you do have a badge ($70 bucks, a good deal if you plan on going all four nights) -- some tough decisions. These are my personal picks, and not a comprehensive guide. Clearly lots more is going on (and even more shows that aren't part of Northside).
NYC Popfest has put together a really good show at Bruar Falls tonight featuring Eternal Summers, Reading Rainbow, The Secret History and Seapony. I highly recommend all four bands, but do consider going early (8:30) for Seapony who are here from Seattle and should appeal to those who covet 7"s from Sarah and Creation Records. MP3s from Seapony and Eternal Summers are at the top of this post.
Over at Union Pool, Tiger Mountain booking (aka Skippy who books the Rock Shop) has a quality line-up of locals for ya. If you're looking for a great way to kick off your night, go here at 7:30 for Hospitality who make winsome but not unmuscular pop. Highly recommended. Later on in the evening is '90s indie rock loving Radical Dads whose great debut, Mega Rama, was released this week. (But not on vinyl...boo!). Pursesnatchers (Doug from Dirty on Purpose's band) finishes the night. Also playing: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and Indian Rebound.
Meanwhile at Public Assembly the good folks of No Fun Productions, The Bunker and Wierd Records, have an evening of minimal synth, coldwave, industial and other dark arts planned. Performers include noise and sound artists Rene Hell and Carlos Giffoni; the ethereal, danceable sounds of Laurel Halo; synthpop traditionalists Xeno & Oaklander who make their music with seriously old-school sequencers and keyboards (patch bays are involved); and New Orleans' Kindest Lineswho make pop music that should appeal to fans of early New Order (and, yes, The Cure). There's also a host of acclaimed DJs spinning in-between sets.
Primo Chicago garage label HozAc Records is hosting the debauchery at Shea Stadium tonight, with Xray Eyeballs (who also play the Kanine show Friday at Knitting Factory), the K-Holes, Making Friendz and My Teenage Stride in there as well to pop things up a bit.
Again, just my picks. Do go see some music tonight!
by Bill Pearis
Happy Summer everybody. Before we get into this week's recommended shows, I hope you've been spending the week, like I have, listening obsessively to Domino Radio which has put together an incredible all-star lineup of presenters for this seven-day experiment. All the shows are archived, so go back and listen to Felt/Denim mastermind Lawrence, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie (who appears on the new CSS record), Mute Records founder (and former Silicon Teen) Daniel Miller, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos spin tunes, among other notables. Upcoming DJ slots include Radiohead's Colin Greenwood on Friday, Robert Wyatt and Alfie are on Saturday, and The Pastels on Sunday. Here's hoping they bring it back at a later date.
Ok, let's get into what this weekend and beyond has in store. Austin powerhouse trio Ume's current tour hits the city this weekend for two shows: tonight (6/9) at Pianos and Saturday (6/11) at The Rock Shop. As previously reported, the band just signed to Modern Outsider records who will release their debut album, Phantoms, in August. Pretty much everybody here at BV are Ume fans. They write great songs and, yes, they are a bundle of energy on stage with some serious guitar heroics provided by singer Lauren Langer Larsen. After NYC the three of them head north to the NXNE festival. All Ume dates are at the bottom of this post.
Memoryhouse also roll into town this weekend. They play Glasslands on Friday (6/10) and Piano's on Saturday (6/11). Both shows are with dreamy acoustic trio High Highs who are worth getting there early to see.
As you may have heard the Toronto duo are now signed to Sub Pop and should have something out on the label by year's end. Memoryhouse is also now a full band, including a drummer, which make the likelihood of their music remaining Eno-ambient less likely. I'd probably have more of a clue if I'd caught their set at our SXSW party this year. Reports I could find from Austin were positive, though not especially descriptive. Anyone got a firsthand report? Personally I"m hoping this more traditional band format pulls them into Slowdive territory. We shall see.
Both shows have their individual draws. Glasslands also has personal faves North Highlands whose debut album is in the can, apparently, and now we just have to wait for someone to release it. They will definitely be the most energetic live band on the bill, unless all the other groups have radically changed. Well, I've never seen Wonder Bear live but judging by the chill sounds on their album Avalanche (a free download) but I have to imagine it will be a mellow affair.
Speaking of chill, you may remember the sweatbox that was Glasslands last summer, well with the new club's new makeover they also finally got A/C. Certainly the 90 degree heat of this week will be a good test for it's power.
Meanwhile the Pianos show on Saturday has Foxes in Fiction which is, on record, basically Warren Hildebrand who is now also a member of the Memoryhouse live touring unit. At SXSW he was backed by Memoryhouse so I'd expect the same here. Last year's Swung from Branches mixed soundscapes with more structured songwriting (he gets compared to Bradford Cox a lot) and his most recent FiF release, Alberto (download the whole thing for free HERE), finds him moving into even more pop territory. It's a packed Pianos bill, including Eastern Conference Champions and Suns (not Suuns).
Let's keep going, shall we? Nashville party rock trio Natural Child are here for a two-night stint at Death By Audio, playing Sunday (6/12) and Monday (6/13). The band's debut album is out now on JEFF the Brotherhood's Infinity Cat label which should give you a good idea of what you're in for. An even better indicator are the two tracks from it at the top of this post from the album. If you like Thin Lizzy, honky tonk side of the Stones and JEFF the Brotherhood, you'll probably dig Natural Child too. These shows are bound to be packed and sweaty (and smokey) so be prepared for that, as well as for having a good time.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is former Stereolab vocalist Laetitia Sadier who will be playing Le Poisson Rouge on Monday (6/13) and The Rock Shop on Wednesday (6/15). Her solo debut, The Trip, came out last year on Drag City and was a lovely album. Not that far off from what she did with her band for the last 15 or so years, but it has it's own special charms as well.
And lastly this Tuesday (6/14) is a swell double bill of danceable Canadians at Webster Hall: Junior Boys and Miracle Fortress. Junior Boys' fourth album, It's All True, is out that same day on Domino and is another fine example of their lithe, breezy style. Miracle Fortress -- aka Graham Van Pelt of Think About Life -- just released its second album, Was I the Wave, which finds him setting aside the first LP's guitars in favor of electronics with a decidedly Eno-esque slant. You can download album track "Miscalculations" at the top of this post. It's a really nice record. When I caught him at SXSW, Van Pelt performed solo surrounded by tons of equipment and a few vintage table lamps. Not bad for a one man show.
That's it for this week. A few more day-by-day picks follow.
THURSDAY JUNE 9
Did you know The Cloud Room was still together? They are and play Mercury Lounge tonight. Of course they're going to play local hit "Hey Now Now," no need to shout for it.
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
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ BAM in 2009 (more by Natasha Ryan)
"We have a new album coming out! It's called Hysterical, and it will be available on September 20th in the US, and September 12th in the UK, Europe, Japan, and Australia. ALSO, we are re-issuing our 1st album on vinyl. It has been remastered. We always thought the vinyl could sound better. That will be available on June 14th." - Clap Your Hands Say YeahIt was February 2009 when CYHSY played what they thought might be their final show at BAM in Brooklyn. Since then Alec Ounsworth made a go at being a solo artist and the other members have kept busy with various side projects too. Drummer Sean Greenhalgh, who sometimes fronts Guns n Roses cover band Mr. Brownstone, recently produced the Conversion Party EP. Robbie Guertin's band Radical Dads have a new album called Mega Rama out soon. Robbie also plays in Uninhabitable Mansions. And now CYHSY is back.
A Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album teaser video and some initial tour dates, Outside Lands Festival included (they were not part of the festival's lineup announcement), below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Generationals - Trust (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - No Lines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - Blame the Record (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Down Low (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Shark? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Sparrow (MP3)
I take you away from trying to figure out the identity of The Modern Weepers (my favorite comment guess: Hard-Fi) to talk about shows happening this weekend. As always, this being New York City, there's lots of great options.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are in town this week with Generationals and the two bands play tonight (5/11) at Mercury Lounge (sold out!) and tomorrow (5/12) at The Rock Shop (not sold out!). Dale Jr Jr also play Kidrockers on Sunday [5/14] at the Rock Shop with Pearl and the Beard.
I feel like there's been enough talk about Dale, whose dreamy brand of synth rock can be heard on their pretty good upcoming album It's a Corporate World which is out June 7. So I'm here to talk about Generationals who are surely one of the few indiepop bands in New Orleans. Unlike Big Freedia, they haven't appeared yet on an episode of Treme but their new album Actor-Caster is loaded with clever, tunefull pop. What they do isn't particularly cool at this second in time, but I think stuff like this is never really out of style. You can download the title track to last year's great Trust EP at the top of this post and there's a widget below that will get you two tracks from Actor-Caster for the price of your email.
Also here this week for a couple shows are Montreal's Malajube , playing The Rock Shop tonight (5/11) and will be at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/13) with the epic and amazing Besnard Lakes (and Nova Scotia's Wintersleep). If you were in Austin for SXSW this year, you may have seen Malajube at our SXSW day party this year we co-presented with M for Montreal who we are co-presenting a show with this Friday in Brighton (if anyone is headed to the Great Escape).
Like a lot of folks, Malajube made a big impression on me in 2006 with their record Trompe-L'Oeil and, even more, their string of fantastic CMJ performances that year. The tunes were catchy, they were great live, the language barrier didn't matter so much. I must admit 2009's Labarinthes didn't make much of an impression but I've really been enjoying the band's brand new album La Cavern. The album is out now in Canada and will be available in the U.S. sometime soon on MB3 Records. Maybe they'll have it at the merch tables this week.
The new album walks the line between guitar pop and space rock and I keep imagining them performing songs like the vaguely disco "Le Blizzard" on the Muppet Show. There's a general soft filter '70s vibe to the whole of La Cavern that feels very comforting. You can listen to the whole thing via a streaming widget doohickey at the bottom of this post.
Echo & the Bunnymen are at Irving Plaza on Friday (5/13) and Saturday (5/15) playing their first two albums -- 1979's Crocodiles and 1980's Heaven Up Here -- back to back, in their entirety. This may not be quite as exciting as seeing them at Radio City doing Ocean Rain with a full orchestra, but it's still pretty awesome.
Especially because the albums are post-punk classics. Crocodiles is all scratchy nervous energy and contains no mediocre songs whatsover. I could list them all if you wanted, each one amazing. The whole thing still sounds fantastic. Heaven Up Here is considerably darker, more paranoid but no less definitive. "Over the Wall" is one of their best-ever songs. These two records are also a great showcase for Will Seargent's guitar-playing that still sounds innovative today. I'm a little sceptical of Mac's ability to belt out these songs -- it's gonna be a workout on his pipes -- but the chance to hear deep cuts like "All That Jazz," "It Was a Pleasure," "Happy Death Men," and "With a Hip" is exciting.
Opening for both shows is Bunnymen megafan Kelley Stoltz, who has covered Crocodiles in its entirety, both on record and as an infrequent but incredible tribute act that also featured Spiral Stairs of Pavement and Shayde Sartin who's now in The Fresh & Onlys. (They played CMJ 2003 at Arlene's Grocery, it was awesome.) Anyway, Stoltz is now an established artist in his own right, putting out terrific records on Sub Pop when not playing drums in Sonny & the Sunsets. So if you're going to this show, do go early.
We now enter the local band portion of This Week in Indie. Let's start with L Magazine 8 Bands runners-up Gross Relations who are playing three times this week: tonight (5/11) at Don Pedro with Raccoon Fighter and The Horehounds, then tomorrow (5/12) at Bruar Falls with deVries and Hunktronic, and on Friday (5/13) at Cake Shop with The Bynars, Field Mouse and Infinity Hotel.
The band have been releasing a series of digital singles via their bandcamp page, all of which exemplify their brand of supercatchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock. You can download the A-sides of the last two at the top of this post. "Blame the Records" is especially good. As I said previously, those keyboard lead lines make for easy comparisons to the Rentals which I'm gonna guess is probably what they were going for. Which is fine -- the hooks are undeniable.
Radical Dads, meanwhile, were actually picked by the L Mag as one of those 8 Bands You Need To Hear and I certainly agree. And hear them you can Thursday at Cake Shop. The band's debut album, Mega Rama, is out next month and it's pretty damn good. I hear a lot of '90s DC here -- more Simple Machines and DeSoto than Teenbeat -- whether that was intentional or not. Which means, basically, strident, melodic indie rock. The record is also a contender for my favorite album art of the year, done by Michael Deforge, which you can see below. Also below is yet another widget, this one will allow you to stream or download Mega Rama track "New Age Dinosaur." Oh, and they are quite good live.
Also playing that Cake Shop show tomorrow are Shark? whose debut album True Waste comes out May 24. The band worked with former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone on the record and what I've heard sounds really good. You can download two tracks from the album up top, and Shark?'s Pixies-ish theme song is pretty fun.
And lastly, I'd like to write a little about Vacation who are opening for Oberhofer at Coco 66 on Saturday night (5/14). The band are pretty new. What started as a solo project for Paul Greenfield Daly, formed into a band during one of the blizzards this year. Vacation have only played out a couple of times (Brad Oberhofer was in the live incarnation briefly.) But I really, really like the songs available as free downloads on Vacation's Bandcamp site. While I wouldn't call it synthpop, Vacation are definitely danceable, kind of groovy and motorik. The track "Jean" in particular sounds like a hit to me, definitely check that one out.
That Coco 66 show also has the lately ubiquitous Widowspeak, and with Oberhofer that makes for a pretty good Saturday night. If you can't make it this weekend, Vacation are playing Pianos on May 22 with Dinner at the Thompsons.
OK that's the big stuff this week. Here are a few more picks, day-by-day:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11
It's a night of well-dressed pop at Glasslands with Princeton and the High Highs. I keep meaning to catch High Highs again, I was impressed when they played with Radio Department last year.
We haven't heard from locals Gray Goods since last year's Northside Fest. They emerge from their cocoon, sonically reborn, tonight at Union Pool, with Zachary Cale and D. Charles Speer and the Helix.
by Bill Pearis
It's that time of year again, when The L Magazine picks "8 Bands You Need to Hear Right Now." Like usual, the 2011 list is a mix of bands you may have seen, may have heard of, and more under-the-radar picks. No photoshoot at Bushwick Country Club this year. Here's the list, with the artists' next next NYC area show (where applicable):
Grand Rapids (no upcoming shows)This year's Honorable Mentions list includes Gross Relations, The Weed Hounds, The Hairs and more. There's also an entertaining sidebar where The L asks local bands and tastemakers "So, What's Wrong With the Brooklyn Music Scene?"
Devin Therriault (no upcoming shows)
Radical Dads (April 28 [tomorrow], The Delancey)
Mainland (May 25, Brooklyn Bowl)
Luke Rathborne (no upcoming shows)
Slowdance (May 9, Knitting Factory)
Yellow Ostrich (June 3, Mercury Lounge)
Family Trees (no upcoming shows)
And if you missed it, The L Mag's Northside Festival just announced a slew of new bands to this year's line-up, including Surfer Blood (opening for GbV), Sharon Van Etten (opening for Beirut), Iceage (U.S. debut), Frankie Rose & the Outs, Teengirl Fantasy, Theophilus London, DOM, Mount Eerie, White Fence, Blondes, Janka Nabay • Holiday Shores, Eternal Summers, Delicate Steve, Gatekeeper and pretty much every band on the "8 Bands" list.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: White Fence - Get That Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: White Wires - Be True to Your School ('Til You Get Kicked Out) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Buffalo Tom - "Arise, Watch" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Modern Skirts - Happy 81 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Modern Skirts - Bumber Car (MP3)
It's been kind of a bummer week with way too many great musicians lost (Gerard Smith, Poly Styrene, Pheobe Snow) but Spring is finally here and, well, the beat goes on. Lots of worthy shows this week.
First up is White Fence who are making a rare trip to the East Coast this week, playing a few shows here in NYC: Thursday at 285 Kent with Woods and Spectre Folk, then Saturday (4/30) at Cake Shop. I feel fairly certain that they are also "Beige Swordfights" listed as part of a sweet Death by Audio show on Friday (4/29) that includes The Beets, Fergus and Geronimo and The Sundelles.
White Fence is Tim Presley who also fronts LA psych-rock band Darker My Love. Where that band is more groovy in a JAMC/BJM kind of way, White Fence sounds like a lost nugget from the late '60s flower power scene. White Fence released its debut on Woodsist last year, and the second album, ...Is Growing Faith, came out this January. Both records are weird and wonderful, lots of great songs made more interesting with vintage sound and old-school tape effects. If you like Love, The Left Banke or, more recently, the Lilys (to name three L bands) you'll dig White Fence's scene.
Keeping with the color scheme, Ottowa, Ontario's White Wires are back in town for a one-off show on Thursday at Bruar Falls as part of a fun line-up of party rock and power pop. One of my favorite live bands of the last few years, White Wires play no-nonsense three-minute pop and do so with a joy you can't fake. White Wires new album, WWII, gets in and gets out in less than 30 minutes and should appeal to fans of the Nerves, early Tom Petty and The Undertones.
The rest of the show, brought to you by the good folks at Daed Pizza, looks pretty cool too with all-girl trio Babyshakes, and Games which is a new band formed from ex-members of Gentleman Jesse and Busy Signals. Obviously, this is not the synthy Games who now go by Ford & Lopatin. You can listen to this Games' swell debut single over at the Rob's House Records website.
What else? Buffalo Tom play Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (4/28). The Boston trio were once dubbed "Dinosaur Jr. Jr." (being signed to SST and having J Mascis produce your debut, it was an easy joke) but became one of the most popular bands of the early '90s alt rock scene. 1990's Birdbrain and 1992's Let Me Come Over are indie rock classics that were unavoidable on college radio and Alternative Nation (or episodes of My So-Called Life) and still hold up.
The band went on hiatus around 2000 but returned with 2007's Three Easy Pieces and have just released a new album, Skins, which came out in February. It's pretty good. More mature, yes, but Buffalo Tom can still bring the noise too. If you have any doubt, you can download the entirety of Buffalo Tom's Mercury Lounge show from November 2010 courtesy NYC Taper. You can also check out a track from Skins at the top of this post.
And finally, Lord Huron are here on Thursday (4/28, the night of Too Many Good Shows) at Mercury Lounge. (And at tonight at MHoW with Femi Kuti) (we're giving away a pair of tickets on Facebook). I like their EP well enough, and the Merc show seems likely to sell out, so I'm really here to say if you're going do go early enough to check out North Highlands who play right before them. It's their first show in a long time, as the band have been putting finishing touches on their debut album which they've been working hard on all winter. The band are promising lots of new songs which is pretty exciting. Anyone who's seen them play know North Highlands are great live and I think 2011 is gonna be a big year for them. Go see 'em! And yeah, stay for Lord Huron I guess.
That's mostly it for this week. A few more daily picks are below:
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27
Blogs may have gotten over their crush on Austin band Oh No! Oh My! but that doesn't mean they've gone stale. Hear their still-catchy indiepop tonight at The Rock Shop tonight. Go early to catch Atlanta's underrated Modern Skirts (check out two tracks at the top of this post).
Theophilus London will headline the "Official Northside Festival Opening Party" at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday, June 16th. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon, and then general sale Friday at noon. You can also try to get in with a Northside Festival badge.
The hip hop artist is one of 65+ new artists being officially added to the lineup of this year's Northside Festival (June 16-19 in various venues across Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY). Here's the full list:
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - Girlfriend (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - Caesar (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sic Alps - Do You Want to Give $$ (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tahiti 80 - Keys to the City (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Small Sins - Pot Calls Kettle Black (MP3)
Ty Segall in San Fran in January (more by kolored)
...and this is the week that SXSW comes to New York. Dear lord, there's a whole lot going on, so This Week in Indie is coming to you in two installments. This one runs, basically, though Thursday, March 10. Do take advantage of this embarrassment of indie rock riches.
We're got some quality San Francisco garage rock in town courtesy of Ty Segall, fresh off the Bruise Cruise and whose most recent album, Melted, still gets a lot of play in these parts. (Download two tracks from it at the top of this post.) Few are doing this kind of music with more melody, attitude and enthusiasm as Ty, which really comes across in the live show. He plays Mercury Lounge tonight (3/8, sold out!) and Death by Audio on Thursday (3/10).
The Mercury Lounge show is with Brooklynites Devin Therriault and The Sundelles. At Death by Audio, Ty is joined by Nashville's Heavy Cream (yes it's true, they have a new drummer), Liquor Store and Home Blitz. Ty then heads to Austin for SXSW. Look for Ty's new album, Goodbye Bread, out this summer on Drag City.
While many acts under the garage umbrella -- Ty Segall, The Intelligence, The Fresh & Onlys -- have begun to embrace mid-fi recording, Sic Alps remain happily in the sludge. Their new album, Napa Asylum, is 22 tracks -- short songs but thick as molasses. Something about this band raises the temperature, probably because it sounds like it was recorded in a moldy basement in a swamp in July. Some bands use lo-fi as camouflage. For Sic Alps it's all about atmosphere.
Live shows can be just as sweaty, even when it's freezing outside, and the less traditional the venue, the better they tend to sound. Which bodes well for these shows. Sic Alps play the Old Firehouse (aka DCTV HQ, 87 Lafayette in Manhattan) on Wednesday (3/9) and 285 Kent (next door to Glasslands) on Thursday (3/10). Both shows are with touring mates Magic Markers. The Old Firehouse show also has Gary War and Total Slacker; the 285 Kent show is with PC Worship and Hubble.
Tonight (3/8) also marks the first show first-generation synthpop group OMD have played in New York in 25 years. The show is at Terminal 5 and tickets are still available. As reported before, this is the inarguable classic line-up of the band, the one that created their first six albums. And while there is a new album they're touring for, the shows have been packed with hits. According to Unrest/TeenBeat honcho Mark Robinson's twitter feed, last night's show in Boston included "Messages," "Tesla Girls," "Electricity," "Forever Live and Die," "If You Leave" and pretty much everything else you'd want to hear.
If you're going tonight and still care about music that was made more recently than 20 years ago, do get there early for opener Oh Land who, like OMD, will be at SXSW next week. She plays the BV/M for Montreal day party in Austin on March 19 at Barbarella/Swan Dive.
What else? Parisians Tahiti 80 never got as popular as their contemporaries Phoenix but the band have made consistently engaging, danceable pop over the last 15 years, including what's found on the band's fifth album, the just-released The Past, The Present, & the Possible. The band play Mercury Lounge on Thursday (3/10).
I don't think I've seen Xavier Boyer and the rest of the band play since catching them at Brownies on the Wallpaper for the Soul tour, but have caught a number of their shows and Tahiti 80 are a solid live group. And the new album is good, dividing time between '60s influenced pop and more dancefloor-friendly material, both of which they do well. You can check "Keys to the City" at the top of this post.
Some of you may remember Toronto band Small Sins, who made a small splash back in the mid-'00s, putting out two albums of electronic-inflected indie pop on Astralwerks. They used to play NYC quite often back then. After 2007's Mood Swings the band kind of fell off the map, and I'd assumed singer-songwriter Thomas D'Arby had moved onto something else. Small Sins were basically a solo project for him after the dissolution of his old band Carnations anyway.
But turns out D'Arby was just in hibernation. Working with Tortise's John McEntire, D'Arby and the rest of Small Sins made Pot Calls Kettle Black, which came out last summer in Canada. A little bigger, a little more serious-sounding than the two other albums, Smalls Sins retain that mix of electronics, atmospherics and solid pop songwriting. You can download the album's title track at the top of this post.
I think the last time I saw them live is when they opened for Sloan at Southpaw back in 2007, though maybe I'm misremembering. Anyway, Small Sins are back in town this week, playing Santos Party House on Thursday (3/10) and The Rock Shop on Friday (3/11). The Santos Show is with '90s-rockin' Mr. Dream (who were good at Glasslands last week) and Quitzow; the Rock Shop also has True Womanhood and Suddenland.
Ok, that's the big stuff for mid-week. Stay tuned for Part 2 of TWII where we'll talk Still Corners, Edwyn Collins, Withered Hand, Megaphonic Thrift and more. Some more day-by-day picks are listed here:
TUESDAY, MARCH 8
Kurt Vile, whose new album Smoke Ring for My Halo is out today and garnered a well-deserved Best New Music in Pitchfork. He's doing three in-stores today: Academy in Williamsburg 5PM, then into the City for a stop at Generation (7PM) and Other Music (9PM). Soon to be on tour with J Mascis.
Much of ARMS' set was new songs from the band's proper debut, a "sci-fi break up album" that's due, hopefully, this summer. Judging by what we got last night, ARMS are definitely reaching for the stratosphere and may well achieve liftoff. The new songs sound big, with equal-sized hooks, played with an assurance. I was really impressed by their set -- they could be this year's Antlers with whom they occupy the same sonic space. You've got two more chances to see ARMS' during their February residence, you should really go if you can.
Hospitality almost stole the show for me. It had been a while since I'd seen this trio, who only gig sporadically but must practice often because they were tight, confident and surprisingly loud. While some of their music leans in the demure, Belle & Sebastian direction, some of the new material kinda rocked in an undistorted kind of way. They played a number of new songs I hadn't heard before, all of which were good. Hospitality's long-overdue debut is coming out this summer. 2011 could really be their year too.
Somehow I'd never seen Radical Dads before despite them gigging all the time. I'd always assumed Robbie Guertin played guitar for the band, as he does for Uninhabitable Mansions and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. But he's actually their drummer -- and a really good one. Musically, the bassless trio sorta reminded me of the early '90s DC indie, and could have fit on Simple Machines Records alongside Liquorice, Tsunami or Scrawl.
Openers were Translations, whose bassist also plays in ARMS. Their double A-side debut was one of my favorite singles of last year and this was my first time seeing them. There's a sort of dustbowl sound to them, a little Dwayne Eddy twang that works well with Andrew Fox's vocals that are part Robert Pollard and part Don Henley. There's a new wave bent to them as well and at times -- like on the sprawling "The M.O." -- it really opens up and soars. The band have new singles out this spring, something to look forward to.
Jessica Amaya shot some great (looking and sounding) video of ARMS and Hospitality which you can see below, along with more pictures of all the bands from last night.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - You Don't Know Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Yang Yang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Terry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Floaters (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - You Today (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Martial Canterel - Retrospective (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: The Vacant Lots - Confusion (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Don Giovanni Sampler (Zip)
In addition to being Black History Month, National Bird Feeding Month and National Sweet Potato Month, February also seems to consistently have a lot of band residencies. You may already be aware of ones by ARMS (who I'll get to shortly) and Yellow Ostrich, but I'd also like to point out that up-and-coming Brooklyn indie rock band Gross Relations starts a three-week Tuesday residency tonight (2/8) at Bruar Falls.
Gross Relations have been going less than a year, but seem to have a clear idea with what they want to sound like. Like Mr. Dream and Diehard, the band shares a love of '90s indie rock. With the prominent keyboard lead lines (or maybe it's heavily-treated guitar?) on both sides of their "Fuzzy Timelines" 7", it's pretty easy to make comparisons to The Rentals, but the band they really remind me of is Chicago's late, great Number One Cup.
Either way, it's a good thing. Gross Relations write some majorly catchy songs. You can download the b-side to their single at the top of this post. Tonight's residency also features The Toothaches (whose debut album is a free download), Gone Bad, and NT.
ARMS @ Glasslands in December (more by Andrew St. Clair)
I mentioned ARMS briefly above who are on Week Two (2/9) of their February Wednesdays residency at Pianos. Todd Goldstein and the rest of the band are finishing up work on their debut album (Kids Aflame was more of a Todd solo thing) with Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells). So expect a lot of new songs, I'd imagine. Todd says of the record, "It's a vast, hi-fi album. We're doing everything we can to take full advantage of the studio... the songs are very poppy and a little weird, there are lots of beautiful/scary textures, copious-but-thoughtful use of reverb... sequenced into a song-cycle, a sort of sci-fi breakup album." ARMS are hoping to have it out by the summer.
This week's residency is especially strong I think. It includes the lovely Hospitality, who finally seem to be getting down to business, having wrapped up their long-gestating debut album (also with Stoneback) which could be out as early as the spring. Let's hope! Singer Amber Papini promises a couple new songs at the show.
Also playing: Radical Dads, whose new single is a free for you (with email address) via the increasingly popular Download Widget (found below). And Translations (who share a member with ARMS) open who I am super psyched to finally be seeing live after months of digging their debut 7".
Show's eight bucks, will be a good one.
Also Wednesday is the record release party for Martial Canterel's You Today which came out today on Wierd Records. The show is part of Wierd's weekly Wednesday night party at Home Sweet Home. The flyer says performance at midnight, but I've never seen a band go on there before 1AM.
Martial Canterel is the non de synth of Sean McBride who is also one half of Xeno & Oaklander. McBride is kind of a luddite, making his records entirely on vintage equipment that was probably cutting-edge technology in 1980. Obviously it sounds very retro, but McBride's way of doing things also gives it a sound -- and authenticity -- you can't quite replicate on a laptop. Check out the title track at the top of this post. And if you dig that, also up there is a free downloadable Martial Canterel retrospective, including some rare songs.
In town this weekend is Anika whose debut album was a late-breaking entry into my Favorite Albums of 2011. Recorded in 12 days, live with no overdubs, it sounds like the missing link between The Slits and Lilliput. Portishead's Geoff Barrow -- his other band BEAK> is the backing band here -- gets the claustrophobic vibe just right. A lot of people have tried and failed to recreate that Martin Hannett Sound... Barrow nails it. And the material -- a mix of girl group covers and politically-charged originals -- suits Anika's Nico-esque delivery perfectly.
You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post. "Yang Yang" is a Yoko Ono cover, and "Terry" was originally recorded by Twinkle, who is probably best-known for having made the original version of "Golden Lights" that was later covered by The Smiths. (Many Smiths fans' least favorite track, but not mine. That would be "Never Had No One Ever.") The album sort of snuck out at the end of 2011, so catch up now. So good.
Don't get too excited though, Anika is just over for some DJ gigs -- I'm hearing we'll get her performing in May (and probably later at ATP) -- but I'd recommend checking one of them out nonetheless. Especially as three of them are free: on Thursday (2/10) she'll be at Gallery Bar with Blu Jemz, then Saturday (2/12) at Trophy Bar and a Valentine's Day set (2/14) at The Commodore. The remaining three NY DJ appearances are atMercury Lounge tomorrow night (2/9) spinning between sets at the Cubic Zirconia show (tickets), and Glasslands on Friday (2/11) where she'll spin in between sets by Javelin, High Life, & Monster Rally (tickets), and finally Santos Pary House on 2/16 as part of the previously discussed Beans show with Edan, Paten Locke & Bluebird (tickets).
That Javelin show on Friday night should be fun, as Anika's tastes will nicely contrast/compliment the sounds of Javelin (always one of the better live bands saddled with the "chillwave" tag), Highlife and Monster Rally.
That's the big stuff this week. Some more picks, day-by-day, are below.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Gang of Four at Webster Hall, though really it's more like Gang of Two as it's just Jon King and Andy Gill from the original line-up these days. Their new album, Content, isn't bad. But most people will go to hear "To Hell With Poverty," "At Home He's a Tourist," and other classics. And while Hugo and Dave will be missed, Andy Gill is still amazing to watch spit out those riffs, and Jon King remains possessed on stage -- especially when he's beating the shit out of a microwave on "He'd Send in the Army."
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Mystery Jets - Flash a Hungry Smile (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mystery Jets - Dreaming of Another World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dominant Legs - About My Girls (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose & the Outs - Candy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Red Mass - Saturn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tony Castles - Black Girls in Dresses (MP3)
Looks like there are still a few tickets to go see Mystery Jets tonight at Mercury Lounge now that the band have sorted out their visa issues after having to cancel last night's show (which I was going to go to). Frank at Chromewaves caught them in Toronto on Monday night:
Over the course of an hour, they split their set evenly between Serotonin and its predecessor, 2008's Twenty-One, and gave the respectably-sized crowd something to get boisterous about - which they did, right through to the soaring encore-closer "Dreaming Of Another World". Any concerns about what would happen to the rest of the tour were set aside in favour of just enjoying the moment.Looking through Frank's photos of the show, I was happy to see Mystery Jets aren't sporting any fashion disasters (see above) like when they played at Bowery Ballroom last year. That may sound superficial but it is distracting when a band you really like dresses like Blanche from Golden Girls. As I've said before, I was a huge fan of 2008's Twenty One and think their new one, Serotonin, is maybe better even if nothing on it quite reaches the highs of "Young Love" and "Two Doors Down."
If you're going, be sure to get there early for L.A.'s Dominant Legs whose new EP on Lefse records I like a lot. Any band that lists The Style Council as an influence is gonna grab my attention, at least enough to listen to it. They played last night at Mercury Lounge, their first NYC show, and reports on Twitter seemed to be pretty positive.
Frankie & the Outs @ SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Mystery Jets' cancellation last night has thrown a wrench into my schedule. I had planned on spending the evening at Glasslands for the Frankie Rose & the Outs' record release party but now I'm gonna hope the show goes late enough that I can do both tonight (9/15). We'll see how this works out. If nothing else I can pick up the record a week early tonight at the merch table. It's a really good album that, if maybe a little economical in the lyrical department, definitely showcases Rose's ease with hooks and harmonies. Check out an MP3 of the single "Candy" above and you can watch the Carrie-inspired video for the song -- which just premiered -- at the bottom.
It should be a fun night all around. Light Asylum, who the Outs shared the bill for their first-ever show last Halloween, headline the party, with opening slots from psych mystics Mirror Mirror and Pigeon who I can't find any info on. (But there are at least three other bands currently called Pigeon so you might want to rethink the name.) MINKS were originally supposed to play but seem to have fallen off the bill.
Dum Dum Girls
I have to imagine Frankie's pals Dum Dum Girls will be in attendance tonight (you can spot Dee Dee in the "Candy" video near the end) if they can make it in time following the first of their three gigs opening for Vampire Weekend this week at Radio City Music Hall. I would kind of like to see DDGs there, actually, as their echo-y girl group vibe could sound amazing with the venue's acoustics. But I'm not gonna. I might, however, try to catch them on Saturday night (9/18) at Knitting Factory where they'll play with Girls at Dawn and Reading Rainbow. Their self-titled Sub Pop debut has stayed in constant rotation since coming out out in March.
While we're on the subject of bands with whom Frankie Rose used to play drums, Crystal Stilts finally seem to be getting around to making a second record. A new single, "Shake the Shackles," is due out on Slumberland Records on October 21, their first new material in 18 months. The band have struggled a bit post-Frankie, and the last time I saw them play live (Fall 2009 I think) they seemed pretty out of sorts. But both sides of the new single is good -- you can listen to it at the bottom of this post -- and hopefully they've really shaked those shackles and rebounded.
Red Mass @ M For Montreal 2009 (more)
What else? Montreal art punks Red Mass will be here this weekend for two shows: Friday at Party Expo and Saturday at Death by Audio. Both shows are with X-ray Eyeballs. Somewhere between the Damned's goth-tinged punk and Nuggets era psych-garage, Red Mass also bring a sense of theatrics to their live performances. Frontman Choyce (late of CCP Gangbangs) has no problem with high concept and brings the Red to the stage -- both times I've seen them, the band dressed entirely in shades of crimson. But the music still does most of the talking. If you like this kind of thing at all, Red Mass are not to be missed.
Red mass are on their first real tour of the States -- well, the East Coast -- and they'll hook up with King Khan & the Shrines along the way. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
And finally, Superchunk are here this weekend, playing Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (9/18) and MHoW on Sunday (9/19). Both shows are sold out, but you can still see them at Other Music on Sunday afternoon (1PM). I've also had good luck getting tickets at MHoW at the box office day of show, so if you're without a ticket it's worth a try.
Even if you don't get to see them, you've still got their seriously awesome new album, Majesty Shredding. No phoning it in here, this is classic Superchunk. Over at Emusic, Michaelangelo Matos wrote a great review of the record and the opening paragraph really nails it:
Superchunk sound like they've been listening to a lot of Superchunk. Well, of course -- what else would they sound like? But think about that for a second. Most bands slow down as they age because most people slow down as they age: Sonic Youth isn't about to start flirting with hardcore again; the Rolling Stones will never cut another "She Said Yeah." That's nature. But Superchunk 2010 could be easily mistaken for Superchunk 1991 -- the tempo hasn't moved and the scrappiness hasn't budged. And scrappy is what this band does.Majesty Shredding is loaded with classic Superchunk Moments, from new single "Digging for Something" (you've seen the video by now, right?) to the manic "Crossed Wires" (a 7" from last summer) to my favorite song, the anthemic "Hot Tubes." It's so great to see a band 20 years into its career knock one out of the park.
That's enough for this week. A few more picks for the week, of things I didn't cover above, day by day:
WEDNESDAY, SEPT 15
I've been listening a lot to this Translations digital single which you can download for free. Both "sides" are really good, kind of Flying Nun/GbV style indie. Haven't seen them live but they play tonight at The Woods in Williamsburg. It's a free show.
Power pop fans should head straight to the Rock Shop for Tommy Keene, Title Tracks and Valley Lodge.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Girls with English Accents (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Harder Than It's Ever Been (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - Girlfriend (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - Caesar (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Royal Baths - Nikki Don't (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eternal Summers - Pogo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rayon Beach - The Memory Teeth (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dog Day - Synastry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dog Day - Wait it Out (Mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Deerhunter - Revival (ZIP)
DOWNLOAD: Versus - Invincible Hero (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: How to Dress Well - Ecstasy with Jojo (MP3)
Wild Beasts @ Lollapalooza 2010 (more by Josh Darr)
Just like the August bounty of tomatoes, corn and zucchini that can be currently found at your local farmer's market, we looking at five extremely fertile days of live music, much of it free. Take advantage now -- this crop is extremely perishable.
Wild Beasts are stopping in NYC tonight on their way back from Lollapalooza, playing Highline Ballroom. Their second album, Two Dancers, was my favorite album of 2009 and a year later I'm still listening to it. It's up for this year's Mercury Music Prize and if anybody is going to beat The xx it'll be Two Dancers. If you missed their shows last September, or their appearances here in February , don't miss them this time. Tickets are still available. The fluid interplay between the band is something to behold -- a real case of four people working as one mesmerizing whole. And those who still haven't gotten used to their vocal style, I say go see them live and everything makes more sense.
Domino Records is offering a free downloadable four-song EP featuring "We've Still Got the Taste Dancing on Our Tongues" in original and remixed form, a track previously only available as a Japanese b-side and an acoustic version of "The Devil's Crayon." The download widget is at the bottom of this post and expires August 14 so get on that. And do go see them live tonight if you can. Denmark's The Kissaway Trail and UK artist Lone Wolf are also on the bill.
Fergus and Geronimo
It's been a year since Denton, TX's Fergus & Geronimo were last in town, and while they haven't released anything new since last summer's initial flurry of singles, that should change soon. The band have signed with Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art who will hopefully be putting out a record sooner than later. In the meantime, UK label Transparent (who put out "Tell it in My Ear" last year) have offered up a new F&G track "Girls with English Accents" that you can download at the top of this post. Maybe a little more dreamy/folky and less soul-tinged than their previous output, it's still another winner from this excellent four-piece.
I saw them at 92-Y Tribeca last summer and thought they were terrific. Fergus & Geronimo play Cake-Shop tonight (8/11) with Radical Dads and Little Gold. They then play Saturday (8/14) at Don Pedro's with Liquor Store, Home Blitz, Moonmen on the Moon, Man, and Nashville's Pujol. That sounds like a party.
Also here from Texas this weekend are Austin's Rayon Beach who play Bruar Falls on Saturday (8/14) and Death by Audio on Sunday (8/15). Like a lot of the bands on Hozac Records (or bands from Austin for that matter), this trio fit under the psych/garage umbrella but there's a decided Brit bent to their music. Baroque garage, is that a thing? Think Syd-era Pink Floyd or The Pretty Things more than Woven Bones. Make no mistake -- Rayon Beach can and do get plenty loud. It's just sometimes with pinkies extended. Check out Memory Teeth's title track at the top of this post.
We're just getting started. Ty Segall and The Royal Baths are here from San Francisco, playing Cake Shop on Thursday (8/12) and Death by Audio on Friday (8/13). For my money, it doesn't get much better in the new garage scene than this guy, who has been cranking out records over the last two years. Amazingly, they're pretty much all good, and each record goes somewhere new. The latest, Melted, just out on Goner Records, adds some nice '60s paisley pop touches. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. And he's great live.
The Royal Baths, meanwhile, are sort of the flip side to Ty's sunshine pop. I wrote before that they're "kind of bad trip acid rock, dark and seedy but not atonal. But it's definitely down the rabbit hole. In a good way." Royal Baths debut LP is due out on Woodsist in September and you can check out album track "Nikki Don't" at the top of this post.
Still more. Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers are back -- they were last here for the Northside Festival -- for two shows: Thursday (8/12) at new Williamsburg venue The Pyramids and then Friday night (8/13) at Cake Shop. The band have signed with Kanine records who will put out their first full-length, Silver, in September. You can check out the album's first single, "Pogo," in the popular MP3 format at the top of this post. If you dig C-86 inspired pop like Brilliant Colors or Liechtenstein, you should definitely seek this duo out. Absolutely worth seeing live and nice folks too.
Both shows Eternal Summers are playing have pretty stacked bills. The Pyramids gig is with Philly's Reading Rainbow, all-girl quartet Rescue Bird, the shambly goodness that is German Measles and the wistful surf of Family Trees; Friday's Cake Shop show also has new-ish Brooklyn duo Yvette, the tinny, witty pop of Knight School and Halifax, NS band Dog Day.
Dog Day are actually here playing two shows. They play Thursday (8/12) at Bruar Falls in addition to the Cake Shop show on Friday. It's been a while since Halifax's mid-90s indie explosion that gave us Sloan and Thrush Hermit, but Dog Day are helping put the coastal city back on the map. Led by husband-and-wife team of Seth Smith and Nancy Ulrich, the quartet make moody, melodic indie rock that is not too dissimilar from The Figurines or The Comas. Last year's Concentration was one of 2009's lost gems. There's two songs to download at the top of this post and I highly suggest you do. You might find yourself saying "why haven't I heard these guys before?" Normally a quartet, for these NYC shows Dog Day will just be a duo of Smith/Ulrich and they'll be testing out new songs for their upcoming album.
Savoir Adore @ Coco66 for Northside (more by Don Gochenour)
And last but not least, Friday is the last Seaport Music Festival show of the season but they are really going out with a bang with The Wedding Present and Savoir Adore. I'm told we're getting a full 90-minute set from the Weddoes pretty close to what they played at Bowery Ballroom back in April: a career-spanning "hits" set and then they'll play 1989's Bizarro in full.
I saw the Bowery Bizzaro show and it was fantastic, especially the stuff from Side Two of the LP, the long, jangle-on-speed workouts of "Bewitched" and "Take Me!" David Gedge may be 50 but he can still tear into his guitar like Thatcher was still in office. There's video of "Take Me" from Bowery at the bottom of this post. The hits set was peppered with a few new songs too, which I thought were pretty good.
Savoir Adore, one of my favorite new NYC bands of the last few years, are always good live. If you have yet to check out their self-titled debut from last year, you definitely should.
As if this wasn't enough, here are a few more picks by day that weren't already covered above:
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11
Two of the best new bands of the last year -- Twin Sister and Oberhofer -- play Mercury Lounge with Ontario's MemoryHouse. Twin Sister and Memory House also play together on Thursday (8/12) at Monster Island Basement, the start of a two-week tour together. All dates at the bottom of this post.
At Coco 66 it's another installment of Show Off Your Sugar which pairs one band and one author to benefit 826NYC, a non-profit writing center for New York City students. Rock critic Chuck Klosterman reads and Here We Go Magic will rock.
The face of Arms...
Arms (Todd Goldstein, guitar player of the defunct Harlem Shakes) will be playing a NYC CD release show at Pianos on Thursday, November 12th for his full-length debut, Kids Aflame, which is out now on Gigantic Music. Two songs from the record are posted above, with a video and info below. Goldstein debuted his three-piece band that fills out his bedroom-recorded album at CMJ this year.
Strange Glue: Have you been to CMJ before and what are your thoughts about playing such a vibrant festival?Tickets for the Pianos show are on sale.
Todd: I've played several CMJs, now - although I have to say i've never been to a CMJ show other than my own. I never have time.
SG: Is it just you performing the Arms set or are you joined by any other talented musicians?
Todd: It'll be me, a drummer, and a bassist/singer. The harmonies alone are worth the price of admission.
Also at the gig will be an acoustic set by Dave Monks, frontman of Tokyo Police Club. Monks will be playing some songs off Tokyo Police Club's forthcoming, second record, due in early 2010 on mom+pop.
mom+pop was formed in 2008 by Cliff Burnstein, Peter Mensch and Michael Goldstone. Burnstein and Mensch are the owners of Qprime, one of music's most respected management firms, with a roster featuring the likes of Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Muse, Silversun Pickups, and The Mars Volta, among others. Goldstone is a veteran A&R exec whose most recent tenure at Sire saw him sign Regina Spektor and Tegan and Sara. In August 2008, he inked Joshua Radin as the first artist on the mom+pop label. Radin's album, Simple Times, released 21 days later on September 9, has since sold over 100,000 units and 400, 000 tracks. Other mom+pop artists include An Horse, signed to the label by Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara. mom+pop is a fully staffed label distributed independently by RED.Radical Dads, another group that shares members (Robbie and Chris are in Uninhabitable Mansions, and Robbie, again, plays with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), are also playing, with Sherlock's Daughter (who have a residency at the club) opening.
Dave Monks recently posted a cover he did of Harlem Shakes' "Strictly Game," as well as a new TPC song. Those and more Arms below...
Au Revoir Simone have spent the better part of 2009 working on, promoting and touring in support of their second album, Still Light, Still Night, wrapping things up -- for now, at least -- with a Brooklyn show at the Bell House on October 24 (tickets), which is part of the CMJ Music Marathon. The Bell House is also where their new video, "Shadows," was filmed. You can watch it over at the David Lynch Foundation Television website. Lynch has been a fan ever since he and ARS were paired together for that Barnes & Noble Upstairs at the Square event two years ago. He even wrote a nice little blurb for the girls:
"I LOVE AU REVOIR SIMONE ..... THESE GIRLS HAVE WHAT IT TAKES ..... MUSIC JUST FLOWS OUT OF THEM SO NATURALLY - AND IT'S GREAT MUSIC ...... THIS VIDEO FOR "SHADOWS" - FROM THEIR NEW ALBUM "STILL NIGHT, STILL LIGHT" IS MIGHTY - THE COLOR AND THE LIGHT ARE STELLAR - THE MOVES AND LOOKS - MINIMAL - CLEAN - MODERN AND SOLID ..... IT ALL COMES ALONG SO WELL SUPPORTING THE GIRLS AND THEIR MUSIC ..... ANNIE, ERIKA AND HEATHER HAVE GOT THEIR ACT TOGETHER - THEY'RE BIG - BUT THEY'RE GONNA BE BIGGER - THEY'RE GONNA BE REAL BIG"I hope someone has since told David his Caps Lock was on. That Bell House CMJ show also has baroque pop band The Postmarks, and San Francisco's folk-ska ensemble Still Flyin' on the bill.
In November, Au Revoir Simone travel to China for shows in Beijing and Shanghai. Tour dates are at the bottom of this post, as are more pictures from Au Revoir Simone's Bowery show from back in June. Findlay Brown, who is also playing CMJ at the same venue (Bowery), opened that June show.
In between now and ARS's trip to China, ARS member Annie Hart will spend some time with her other band, Uninhabitable Mansions, which also features Robbie and Tyler from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Uninhabitable Mansions' debut album, Nature is a Taker, is out now digitally, with the CD version due at the end of October and vinyl in January. Uninhabitable Mansions, which now includes Annie Hart's husband (and former Dirty on Purpose member) Doug Marvin on drums, has two NYC shows coming up: a free show next Wednesday (10/14) at Cake Shop which is part of the MIXER Reading Series, then they'll play the Bell House on October 22 (part of CMJ) with Robbers on High Street, Freelance Whales (who are also on the Bowery Ballroom show Findlay is playing), Pomegrates and others. After that, they're going on a short East Coast tour, ending with a October 30 show at Union Pool. Then the band's on hold until the new year when they expect to launch a more extensive U.S. tour.
CYHSY front-man Alec Ounsworth meanwhile has been doing his own thing and is appearing at Mercury Lounge during CMJ, as well as at a free BrooklynVegan day party at Pianos that same day (10/22). More details TBA.
Tour dates for Au Revoir Simone and Uninhabitable Mansions, plus more pictures from Au Revoir Simone's June 28 Bowery Ballroom show are below...