Entries tagged with: Rooftop Films
by Bill Pearis
Unlike a lot of bands that call NYC/Brooklyn home, duo Jack and Eliza actually grew up here and have been friends since childhood. Now musical partners, Jack and Eliza make winsome pop, at this point just letting their guitars and voices convey their charms. If you liked the early, stripped-down days of Slow Club with a little Beach Boys/Everly Brothers influence, they're pretty appealing. Jack and Eliza will release their debut EP, No Wonders, via Yebo Music later this summer and you can stream "Hold the Line" (not a Toto cover) below.
We've also got the premiere of a brand new song, "Simple Strait," via a live video shot at Brooklyn's Rare Book Room studios. The song might be on their debut full-length which they're working on. Watch that below.
You can also see Jack and Eliza play live. Catch them Friday (7/11) at Rooftop Films at Metrotech Commons that also features a series of "twisted, romantic short films." That event is free and more details are here. They'll also open for Ski Lodge at Glasslands on August 23 with Rumors on the bill as well. Tickets are on sale.
Jack and Eliza have a few other East Coast dates scheduled and all are listed, along with the song stream and video premiere, below...
Rooftop Films is in the midst of their 2014 season and Thursday's screening (7/3) happens at Industry City in Sunset Park. They're screeening Adam Newport-Berra's Thanksgiving, with a pre-movie performance by Reggie Watts who just played Town Hall. You can stick around for the afterparty sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits. Doors are at 8 PM, Reggie's on at 8:30 PM and the movie's at 9 PM, rain or shine. Tickets are still available. As for the movie, here's the synopsis:
Alex & Amy are the perfect Brooklyn couple. They have a cat, a Thanksgiving table of bohemian friends, and a glowing future together. Yet the sudden holiday appearance of Amy's mysterious brother Will quickly disrupts their idyllic lifestyle and calls into question what we're truly "thankful" for.After that, the next Rooftop Films screening is Saturday (7/5) at The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus. That night they're showing Russian/American documentary The Notorious Mr Bout with a live performance by Russian/American songwriter and Dirty Projectors collaborator Olga Bell. Tickets are available for that screening too. Trailer below...
by Ian Chainey
Last year, there was some doubt whether Idaho-born, Upstate New York-based guitarist Alexander Turnquist would play again. The ulnar nerve is his left hand required an operation, forcing the young man to relearn his craft. Operation done, back to playing, right? Not quite. When it rains, it pours. Shortly into his recovery, he was hospitalized with a serious case of meningitis. Despite the setbacks, he persevered.
Flying Fantasy, Turnquist's newest album out on June 10 through Western Vinyl (preorder), is a testament to what a tragedy it would've been if he was silenced. Like his other works, Flying Fantasy combines the busy picking of American primitive guitar pioneered by John Fahey, the modern classical minimalism of Steve Reich, and the ruminative, reflective qualities of a new-age composer such as Lubomyr Melnyk. Yet, for all of these influences, Flying Fantasy sounds like Alexander Turnquist more than ever. He's come out the other side of unfortunate circumstances with a fresh respect for sound. In fact, it's the sound of someone not taking anything for granted. Turnquist infuses every tone with himself, knowing there might be a time when there isn't anything left to give.
This creative drive is nowhere clearer than on "Red Carousel." Based on Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, a story of acceptance, "Red Carousel" also displays Turnquist's full arsenal as a composer and arranger. It opens with his wistful, melancholy picking on a 12 string guitar. James Blackshaw is the common comparison, but it also comes across like a guttier Don Bikoff. Soon, Turnquist takes off, ramping up the speed to create a downpour of tones. A percussive piano is added to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's. Then they're joined by long, legato french horn lines, acting as a suitable counter. When the cello comes in, you savor the overtones. At four minutes, Turnquist breaks it all down and turns his guitar's timbre in that of a thumb piano. It's a great refresher, and gives him the space to pull out all of the stops in the track's second half. After the breather, he rebuilds: in comes piano, cello, horn, wordless singing. The song goes and goes and goes until it spills over, allowing one last tone to vibrate into nothingness. That nothingness isn't taken for granted. It's a nothingness that could've been Turnquist's fate. Thankfully, it wasn't.
Alexander Turnquist has a few shows coming up including one at Trans Pecos in Queens on June 19 with Christopher Tignor, who contributed to Flying Fantasy, will be playing new solo material at the show (and at the show he plays with Alex in Hudson four days earlier). The Trans Peco date also includes Advaeta and Eula. Tickets are $8 at the door.
Before that you can catch Alexander and a film on the roof of the Old American Can Factory as part of Rooftop Films. Tickets for the June 13 event are available, and include live music before a screening of a documentary exploring the making of Man Ray's 1926 film Emak Bakia.
Stream "Red Carousel", making its premiere in this post, along with "Wildflower" (which premiered at Pitchfork), two older Turnquist selections and the list of dates, below...
by Bill Pearis
PULP: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets / The Trip to Italy
Rooftop Films is back with another summer-full of movies and live music under the stars. While the schedule hasn't been posted yet, the slate of films has. This year's line-up includes the genuinely terrific documentary PULP: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets which we hear won't be out till 2015 in the US; The Trip to Italy which features more of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon eating, arguing and impersonating Michael Caine; The Skeleton Twins, the new film starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader that's a drama not a comedy; Lukas Moodysson's acclaimed '80s-set girl/punk comedy We Are the Best! (which also screens at BAM); Sundance Fest hit Appropriate Behavior; dramedy; The One I Love which stars Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss; coming-of-age comedy Ping Pong Summer, and more. Full line-up below.
The 2014 season kicks off on May 16 at Industry City in Sunset Park with a short film program, and the following night (5/17) at Industry City it's a sneak preview of Gillian Robespierre's comedy Obvious Child which stars Jenny Slate and Gabby Hoffman. Ticket info -- and the live music portion of those events -- will be announced soon but you can watch the trailer for Obvious Child, and check out the 2014 Rooftop Films line-up, below.
The 10th annual Animation Block Party happens this week from July 25 - 28 at various Brooklyn venues, showcasing the best in professional, amateur and student animation. Things kick off Thursday (7/25) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with a party that features musical performances from Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, and Hooray for Earth. Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington is your host for the evening that will also include screenings of animated shorts from Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Pixar. Tickets for that are on sale now.
Friday's event (7/26) happens at Automotive High School in Greenpoint and is part of Rooftop Films. People's Champs will play live, followed by a program of shorts. Tickets for that are on sale now as well.
Saturday and Sunday's events (July 27 & 28) happen at BAM's Rose Cinemas with a mix of shorts programs, family fare (The Land Before Time), a screening of Beavis & Butthead Do America, and more. Visit BAM's site for full schedule and tickets.
yMusic at Carnegie Hall in January (more by Greg Cristman)
Contemporary classical sextet yMusic, who have worked with The National, Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors, My Brightest Diamond, and more, will be performing on Stage 2 at Rockwood Music Hall tonight (5/22), premiering works written by Sufjan Stevens, Timo Andres, and Marcos Balter, in addition to "less-new-but-still-pretty-new" works by Nico Muhly and Andrew Norman. Advance tickets for tonight's show are available. Doors are at 6:30. Did anyone catch them performing in a Harlem loft last night (5/21)?
yMusic are also performing with filmmaker Sam Green and The Quavers for a "night of outdoor music and cinema" on PIer 15 on June 20 as part of the River to RIver Festival and the Rooftop Films summer series.
Speaking of people performing works by Nico Muhly, that will also happen in November at BAM as part of the Next Wave Festival:
In this ambitious, expansive reimagining of the art-song recital, the 21c Liederabend festival comes to BAM, featuring music by many leading lights from the international and New York contemporary new-music scenes.Check out a video of yMusic performing the Annie Clark (St. Vincent)-penned tune, "Proven Badlands," for WYNC, below...
Boasting 10 world premieres, this unique weekend event--which played to sold-out audiences in its last two incarnations--pairs video artists and lighting designers with new-music ensemble NOVUS NY, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and top soloists. The eclectic, impeccably curated lineup is different each night and includes a commissioned song cycle by British-born composer Anna Clyne and music by Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Eric Whitacre, Marie Incontrera, David T. Little, Olga Neuwirth, Judd Greenstein, Paola Prestini, Ted Hearne, and many others.Featuring compositions by: Thomas Cabaniss, Christopher Ceronne, Thomas Cipullo, Anna Clyne, Mohammed Fairouz, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, Marie Incontrera, David T. Little, Tod Machover, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Olga Neuwirth, Paola Prestini, Huang Ruo, Timur and the Dime Museum, Michael van der Aa, Alexandra Vrebalov, Julian Wachner, Holcombe Waller, Eric Whitacre, and Du Yun.
As discussed, Erykah Badu and Yasiin Bey have joined forces for a fascinating show called "YOU'RE CAUSING QUITE A DISTURBANCE":
A collaboration with four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and 2012-2013 Brooklyn Phil Artist-in-Residence ERYKAH BADU and 2011-2012 Brooklyn Phil Artist-in-Residence YASIIN BEY (Mos Def) Featuring new arrangements from Badu's 2008 album New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War by Brooklyn composer TED HEARNE (plus original music by Hearne) as well as the legendary arrangements of Yasiin Bey's songs by composer DEREK BERMEL (plus original music by Bermel)The June 8 show at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House have sold out, but a second show has been added the next night (6/9). Tickets go on sale on May 20.
In related news, Brothers Hypnotic, a film about the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble will screen for free on Friday (5/17) as part of the Rooftop Films series, and will feature a live appearance from the group who have worked with both Badu and Bey.
Rooftop Films Summer Series kicks off in NYC tonight (5/10) with a showing of "This is What We Mean by Short Films" featuring "some of the greatest new short films from all around the world," and will go down at Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand Street (LES Manhattan). The series continues through the summer, featuring 45 screenings of films at multiple locations across the city. As always, most screenings are accompanied by live music, and though most of the bands aren't announced yet, the schedule does so far include yMusic, Darlene Love, Brazos and more. Darlene performs at a June 8th screening of Twenty Feet From Stardom which she also stars in.
Tickets are available for specific events at their website, and you can head below for a full listing of films and locations.
"For 16 years Rooftop Films has screened thousands of new indie films in cool outdoor spaces but we can't continue without your support." Watch their video below...
LCD Soundsystem at MSG in 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
There's already been quite a few chances to catch screenings of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits in NYC, and now while we await the DVD and Blu-Ray release (10/9), we've been given yet another chance to see the film. It will screen on the 25 ft screen at new outdoor Brooklyn venue The Well this Saturday (9/15) and it's totally free. The screening is being presented by Rooftop Films, NYC & Company, and Flavorpill and there will be a special guest DJ set from Dubspot before the screening. Doors are at 7 PM and entry is 18+. The flier for the screening is below.
The Shut Up and Play the Hits screening is one of the three remaining Rooftop Films screenings of the season, including the free IFB Labs Showcase Screening at Solar One on Monday (9/17) (on the pier at 2420 FDR Dr.). That showcase includes excerpt screenings of multiple films. You can check out the full list HERE. Doors open at 7:30 PM, there is live music TBA at 8:30, and the screenings begin at 9. There will also be a Q+A with the filmmakers.
Rooftop Films will also be presenting a screening of Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, which we just presented a screening of at Knitting Factory, and whose fictional band turned into a real band that played Cake Shop last Tuesday (9/11). The screening happens this Tuesday (9/18) at
Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand St above New Design High School) Solar One. This one's free too but RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is required. Doors are 7:30 PM, the band Brooklyn Brothers will play at 8:30, and the screening begins at 9.
Meanwhile, speaking of The Well, where Shut Up and Play the Hits screens, there's still only a few live shows scheduled there. Peter Murphy just played last month and the next upcoming live show is Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees on September 22 with K-Holes and DJ Jonathan Toubin. Tickets for that show are still available.
Flier for the Shut Up and Play the Hits screening is below..
We've all been there. Those big creative dreams we had when we were young fall prey to the practical concerns of student loans, rents, and families. Maybe we loved piano lessons as a kid but our father couldn't afford them. Maybe we fell in love with a sailor but our parents forbid us from seeing him. Maybe we went ahead and saw him anyways. And maybe when his ship sunk and he died, our mother told us: "what you refuse to give up yourself, God will take from you." After that, maybe we ran away to Iceland, where we worked odd jobs for many years until one day, at the tender age of 70, we rediscovered music.Documentary Grandma Lo-Fi will screen as part of Rooftop Films at The Old American Can Factory (232 Third St. at Third Avenue, Brooklyn) on Saturday, July 28. Tickets for that are still available. In addition to the screening, there will be a performance by Kira Kira which is actually Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, one of Grandma Lo-Fi's three directors. There is also a reception in the Can Factory courtyard following the screening with complimentary beverages.
Grandma Lo-Fi, the directorial debut of three Icelandic musicians, tells just such a story. The story of Sigríður Níelsdóttir, who recorded 600 songs in seven years, mixing together the sounds of household items, pets, found toys, and a Casio keyboard, achieving cult status among Icelandic musicians. One of her albums is all Cowboy songs, another has lyrics that are complete gibberish. Her passion and enthusiasm are infectious. Don't be surprised if by the end of the film you want to go out and get a Casio keyboard and hand-whisk and start recording homespun hits in your living room.
Shot mostly on Super-8 and 16mm film, Grandma Lo-Fi uses charming lo-fi animation and a delightfully quirky visual style to celebrate the life of a remarkable woman and her irrepressible creative drive.
In other Rooftop Films music documentary news, the PS 22 Chorus documentary Once in a Lullaby will screen for free at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George (home of the Staten Island Yankees) in PS 22's home borough of Staten Island on August 14. (More info here.)
If you haven't heard about this film about internet sensations and Oscar performers -- a big hit at the Tribeca Film Festival (where it premiered) -- here's the synopsis:
Public School 22 in NYC has more than just an amazing chorus, they have an amazing story. These 5th graders went from performing in their school auditorium on Staten Island to closing the show at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards! It all started when their dynamic and caring teacher Gregg Breinberg starting posting videos of their performances on YouTube. The videos went viral captivating viewers from your house to the White House (where they performed for President Obama) with the students' pure love of music. Celebrities and Indie Rockers alike started flocking to the elementary school to visit and perform. Then, at their annual Christmas concert they got a surprise visit from Oscar Co-Host Anne Hathaway who invited them to perform at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. With unprecedented access our crew follows them from the hallways and streets of Staten Island to the Red Carpet and backstage at the Kodak Theater for their big Oscar performance. Back stage drama combines with homesickness as the 10 year olds navigate the world of the entertainment elite. The drama culminates when the chorus director and the producer of the Oscars broadcast clash over creative differences and half the chorus looses their voices screaming at Disney the day before the big show. This documentary is an inspiring feel-good story that shows us children have a lot to teach about music, and that a talented teacher can teach his students the most important lesson of all; within themselves is the power to do anything.If you can't make it to Staten Island for the free screening, Once in a Lullaby will also play at the Los Angeles Laemmle NoHo from Aug, 10-16, and IFC Center in Manhattan from Aug. 3 - 9 as part of Docuweeks and tickets for those NYC screenings are on sale now.
Trailers for both Grandma Lo-Fi and Once in a Lullaby are below.
The Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), and NYC & Company, New York City's tourism, marketing and partnership organization, in conjunction with Rooftop Films [present] a new outdoor film series--Coney Island Flicks on the Beach--will take place in Coney Island for eight weeks this summer. Selected films will be shown on a jumbo 40-foot screen on the beach at West 10th Street every Monday night beginning July 2nd; screenings are free to the public and begin at dusk.It's July 2nd, so those begin tonight. Full schedule below...
Japandroids at Hotel Vegan, Austin TX 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
today in NYC
* Radiolab Live @ BAM
* Ledisi @ Beacon Theatre
* David Smooke @ The Stone
* The Big Terrific @ Cameo
* WFMU 7 Second Delay @ UCB
* moe. @ Beekman Beer Garden
* Your Hit Parade @ Joe's Pub
* Crocodiles, Devin @ Maxwell's
* Eleven Pond @ East River Park
* Will McEvoy's MUTASM @ Barbes
* The Epiphany Project @ Joe's Pub
* The Mandingo Ambassadors @ Barbes
* Spirit Family Reunion @ Bryant Park
* Marc Ribot Trio @ The Village Vanguard
* The Beach Boys @ PNC Bank Arts Center
* Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper @ Jones Beach
* The Young, Purling Hiss @ Mercury Lounge
* The Skatalites @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise
* Crosby, Stills and Nash @ Wellmont Theatre
* Amanda Palmer @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Still Flyin', Radical Dads @ Mercury Lounge
* Get it Out There with Eurgene Mirman & friends @ BAM
* MS MR, Beast Make Bomb @ Santos Party House
* Theophilus London @ Blue Note (early & late)
* Japandroids, Cadence Weapon @ Bowery Ballroom
* The Talent Show Presents Summer Camp @ Littlefield
* The Forecast, Brian Bonz, Electric Sun @ Knitting Factory
* Pretendo, The Walking Hellos, Lycaon Pictus @ Death By Audio
* Life Size Maps, Slow Animal, Half Day @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge
* The Whiskey Social, Chamber Band, The Great and Terrible @ Cake Shop
* Chris Corsano/Bill Nace/Steve Backowski Trio, Mv Carbon @ Zebulon
* Meta, Ari Hoenig, Francois Moutin, Thomas Enhco @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Maryclare Brzytwa, James Brandon Lewis and Kevin Robinson @ The Stone
* How Was Your Week? Live w/ Julie Klausner, Ted Leo, etc @ The Bell House
* The Sadies, The Jay Vons, DJ Jonathan Toubin (Spinning Between Sets) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Dynasty Electric, Jogyo, Technicolor Lenses, Ski Beatz (DJ set), Cumba Mele (DJ set) @ Glasslands
* Aviation Orange, Doris Cellar (of Freelance Whales), The Can't Tells @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* The Comedy screening with Vacation Dad @ Rooftop Films (BAM Cinematek Outdoors)
* Neckbeard Telecaster, Autre Ne Veut, Alan Watts, Rarechild, Dreamboat Crusaderz, Yoga Pose, Crusaderz @ Public Assembly
Tonight's Rooftop Films screening takes place outdoors across from BAM (Fulton Street and Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217) and is Rick Alverson's The Comedy which stars Tim Heidecker, James Murphy and Neil Hamburger(!). Musical guest for the night is Vacation Dad. The event, part of the ongoing BAMcinemaFest, will also include a Q&A with Rick Alverson, Tim Heidecker, and Kate Lyn Sheil. Tickets are still available.
Tame Impala posted a video teaser for their new album, Lonerism, which you can watch below.
You've probably heard about Lana Del Rey's "National Anthem" video where she and A$AP Rocky play Jackie O and JFK. It premiered today and you can watch it below.
You can also check out the video to SpaceGhostPurrp's "Osiris of the East" below.
For those staying home tonight, Zola Jesus will be performing with El-P on Conan tonight.
The Who's John Entwhistle died ten years ago today. See him in his prime -- you can stream The Who's entire 1970 Isle of Wight concert below.
Poster for Think of Me, screening Saturday, May 12
Starting on May 11 with This is What We Mean by Short Films, Rooftop Films will screen 23 feature films and 183 short films, including NY, US, and World Premieres. The films come from around the world, with off-beat and hilarious comedies, intimate and intense dramas, powerful and personal documentaries--all of which reflect Rooftop's focus on exciting, innovative, independent cinema. Most events include live music, filmmaker Q&As, special appearances by the films' casts and subjects, and after-parties with complementary drinks every weekend until Saturday, August 18...Rooftop Films starts it's Summer Series of pairing cool movies with cool music tonight (5/11) at Open Road Rooftop on the LES, with a program titled "This Is What We Mean By Short Films Opening Night" and musical guest Crinkes. It's sold out already, but you can get tickets to the Saturday night's (5/12) screening of Bryan Wizemann's Think of Me with musical guest Bird Courage.
...Along with their already outstanding venues spanning the roofs, parks, and piers of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, Rooftop Films is excited to screen at two new locations this year: Dekalb Market and MetroTech Commons. Located in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, the beautiful commons of MetroTech opened in 1992 and has become a preferred location for students, local residents and those employed in the nearby buildings to spend their free time. All screenings at MetroTech Commons are co-presented with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Housed in a collection of salvaged shipping containers, Dekalb Market has become a new community destination in downtown Brooklyn and brings together Brooklyn's creative entrepreneurs in a community setting that include an incubator farm, an event and performance venue, and a collection of eateries and work-sell spaces.
While the music side of Rooftop Films is still being firmed up (Doe Paoro, Mutual Benefit and Softspot are the only other ones announced so far), the full film program has been announced and is listed below...
Jose G (Junip) @ Irving Plaza in 2010 (more by Toby Tenembaum)
Jose Gonzalez will in fact be the musical guest at Rooftop Films' screening of the movie about him...
Rooftop Films is excited to announce that Jose Gonzalez will be the headlining artist for the 2011 Summer Series Live Music program. Rooftop's music programming has long been ahead of the curve and is an integral part of what makes Rooftop events so distinctive. Rooftop Films is proud to continue this tradition with Mr. Gonzalez's performance, along with concerts by rising stars such as the Brooklyn based bands Widowspeak, playing on May 27th and Snowmine, playing June 3rd. Additional bands will be announced shortly.Tickets for the Jose show and movie are on sale.
Mr. Gonzalez will perform on Sunday, June 19th, ahead of the new documentary The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of Jose Gonzalez, in which filmmakers Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand follow the fascinating Swedish artist for three years at home, in the studio, and on tour around world.
As previously mentioned, Prylf and other special guests will be performing with the musical movie "Sound of Noise" tonight (5/19). (And the timing of this is actually a coincidence but) Ela Orleans, who I just highlighted one post ago (and who also plays a show tonight) plays with the Rooftop film screening on 5/26.
Junip will be back NYC this summer to play a free show in Prospect Park with the Books and Doveman on June 17th, two days before Jose makes his 'Rooftop' appearance.
by Rachel Kowal
The weather may have been a bit brisk, but the long lines stretching around the New Design High School last night signaled a strong start to the fifteenth year of Rooftop Films.
Though there are a number of summer movie festivals, Rooftop Films is a bit different from the rest due to its extensive schedule (45+ events from now through August 20), diverse and lofty locales (15 spread out over 4 boroughs), and unique material (emerging talents, recent productions). Oh yeah... and nearly all the screenings also feature live music and free booze after the show.
After a brief introduction from the festival's founder, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Friday night's show began with a solid performance by Dustin Wong. Grabbing a chatty audience's attention can be a difficult task - especially when that audience is 600 people strong and perhaps more interested in the movie programming than in the pre-show. But for a one-man, one-guitar affair, Wong put on a surprisingly compelling show. With help from an army of pedals, he looped together layer after layer, beginning with the rhythm line and methodically adding quick-fingered guitar melodies and chords until he had crafted a lush, cinematic sound.
Wong's thirty-minute performance ebbed and flowed in intensity over the course of his set, but he didn't pause once for even a beat of silence. Then suddenly, after about thirty minutes of continual play and a few late vocal additions, Wong put down his guitar, bowed slightly, and sheepishly muttered a quick "thank you" before Rosenberg came back to introduce the next segment of the evening.
Typically, the events hinge on a full-length film, but Friday night's program featured nine shorts, each one tied to the theme of storytelling. They ranged from random (Chris Beckman's montage of Youtube videos in Oops), to zany (Matthew Silver's street corner prophet in Heartpocalypse), to unsettling (Carter Smith's taken on high school sex life in Yearbook), and just plain disturbing (David O'Reilly's sadistic and suicidal cartoon creations in The External World).
Stand-outs for me included Olivier Treiner's short The Piano Tuner, which begins as a comedy and ends on a rather surprising and suspenseful note, and David Lowery's heartwarming piece The Pioneer, which features Will Oldham (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) spinning a bedtime tall tale to an adorable little boy.
Sure, they may not be screening any cult classics but Rooftop Films offers a nice alternative to the typical summer offerings. Other featured musicians yet-to-come include: Widowspeak, Secret Mountains, and Snowmine.
Meanwhile you can catch Widowspeak tonight (5/17) at 285 Kent with Vivian Girls.
The next Rooftop Film is Thursday (5/19) and features the film The Sound of Noise ("A clever and maniacally entertaining Swedish comedy about a group of "musical terrorists" who break into hospitals, banks, and other public places to play compositions using the surroundings as their instruments") with live music from Swedish band Prylf AND "Special LIVE Heavyweight Drum Battle between the Drummers and the Filmmakers!" Movie trailer below.
Dustin Wong plays another NYC show Wednesday night (5/18) at Silent Barn with hear hums, emily reo, dark sea of awareness, and philip seymour hoffman. Dustin's band
Ponytail released a new album in April. A video of Dustin in action can be watched 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.
one of many films playing during the Rooftop Films summer season
Rooftop Films have announced their initial 2011 movie screening schedule with events happening in NYC "every weekend from May 13th - August 20th." It's chockful of films - shorts and features, with subject matter as varied as wrestling, codependent lesbian space aliens, and a documentary on musician Jose Gonzalez. The films screen at "15 spectacular outdoor venues with stunning views across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens & The Bronx," and as you know, are usually paired with a live music performance.
The live entertainment lineup is still mostly TBA, though they're listing the bands Fishermen Three and Secret Mountains on dates TBD. They'll also have filmmaker Q&As, "a live wrestling match at the screening of Robert Green's Fake it So Real, featuring the semi-pro wrestlers from that film, and a sneak attack performance by the musical guerillas from the Swedish comedy The Sound of Noise." No word on whether Jose Gonzalez will also accompany the screening of his film.
Stay tuned for music lineup updates as they come, but check out all the films and dates and other stuff that has been announced, below...
Rooftop Films popcorn @ New Design High School (more by Chris La Putt)
"Health gurus and nutritionists were outraged by news that a city school gives gym credits for selling hot dogs and soda.Rooftop Films returns to New Design High School on Friday, June 4th (music by Elephant Parade) and Saturday, June 5th (music by Dinosaur Feathers).
The Daily News reported Sunday that New Design High School in lower Manhattan allowed students to work the concession stand at Friday night Rooftop Films screenings to get the physical education credits they need to graduate.
"This makes me so angry. If that ever happened in my son's school, I would boycott the school. Taking care of your heart and your body is just as important as math and English," said Janine Whiteson, a nutritionist whose fifth-grader son attends Manhattan's Public School 290. [Daily News] (via)
by Rachel Kowal
the rooftop (irinaskaya)
People packed into the chairs on the massive roof of the New Design High School in lower Manhattan in anticipation of the evening's theme - 'Hopelessly Devoted.' The weather was right, and the mood was ripe as Air's "Playground Love" rung out over the PA system and greeted the crowd.
Rooftop Films founder and artistic director Mark Elijah Rosenberg introduced the band of the evening with a big grin on his face, saying: "We are very pleased to present you with one of my favorite bands tonight. Give it up for Frances." (There was a reason for the wildly effusive introduction, as we would later learn.)
Frances may not be as hip as some of the other bands lined up to play for Rooftop Films this summer, but they also seemed more at home on stage than last week's season opener, Twin Sister. Frances played eight songs in total, including a number of new songs that lead singer and bassist Paul Hogan says they hope to record on a new album.
The roof of the NDHS is a hard space to play. It's wide open, spans three separate semi-walled off sections, and many people talk throughout the performance. But despite these potential setbacks, the pleasant indie pop of Frances, who played again Saturday night at Pianos with ARMS, was well-suited to Friday evening's romantic theme.
Interestingly, the event that got the biggest cheer from the audience wasn't the music... or the films. As Mark Elijah Rosenberg introduced the shorts for the evening, he called up his girlfriend, Stephanie Skaff (of Frances), and things got a little bit mushy. "I love you. I will always love you," said Rosenberg. Then, the inevitable: "Stephanie Skaff, will you marry me?" At this point, the shrieks from the audience were so loud that they overshadowed Skaff's response, so she leaned down into the mic, and said, "Of course I said yes!"
The films for the evening were a bit overshadowed by this dramatic proposal, but they were still fun to watch. In some ways, the romances on screen seemed less scripted than the real-life proposal. The six shorts covered everything from "the best/worst first date ever," to kissing cousins, lovesick octopi, and a group pilgrimage to Iowa in the name of gay marriage. Two directors were also present - Gillian Robespierre ("Obvious Child) and Cody Stokes ("Heartland Transport").
Spike Jonze's eagerly anticipated Absolut-sponsored short "I'm Here" is a delightful - if not a bit sad - story of a devoted (robotic) boyfriend who is willing to sacrifice it all for his clumsy robotic girlfriend. Besides looking fantastic, it also has a pretty killer soundtrack. Songs by Of Montreal, Animal Collective, Girls, and Aska (of Moonrats) all factor into the score. You can stream Jonze's short in its entirety (35 mins) at its website. The trailer is below.
Another standout short was "Obvious Child," which features new SNL cast member, Jenny Slate. "Obvious Child" tells the awkward and surprisingly comical story of a bad break-up, a drunken hook-up, and the unplanned pregnancy that ensues. Watch that in its entirety below.
The evening concluded with free drinks at Fontana's, and I can't help but wonder if anyone took Rosenberg's advice and made a move.
Rooftop Films happened again on Saturday at the same venue, and that's where it will be again this Friday (5/28) and Saturday (5/29). Thursday you can catch them in Brooklyn w/ a performance by Natureboy.
photos by Chris La Putt
Rooftop Films officially kicked off their 2010 season of showing films on roofs accompanied by opening bands. Twin Sister helped launch the series on Friday night at the Design High School on the Lower East Side (350 Grand Street). Nine short films were screened including "Star Wars: Retold" which you can watch in its 4-minute entirety below.
Saturday night's show, also at Design High School, was a sneak peek at Kevin Asch's Holy Rollers which is about Hasidic Jews smuggling ecstasy into New York City. Mahogany was originally supposed to play that one, but they canceled and were replaced by Sephardic indie rockers DeLeon.
Catch Twin Sister this summer at the BV Northside Festival show at MHOW. Pictures from Friday and Saturday (5/15-5/16) continue below...
by Bill Pearis
The Fresh and Onlys
Last week, I focused on shows you could get into if you didn't get tickets to the weekend's many, many worthy shows. For this refreshingly informed and enthusiastic edition of TWII, all the exciting stuff (in my opinion) doesn't have advanced tickets. (Only one sold-out exception.) It's a pretty exciting weekend for music, so let's get into it.
San Francisco's fantastic Fresh & Onlys are back in town, playing Friday night (5/14) at Monster Island with Golden Triangle (who headline), The Babies and Coasting (who recently performed at that Chris Knox benefit). They also play Saturday (5/15) at Cake Shop with Liquor Store, Darlings, Girls at Dawn, and Xray Eyeballs (OJ from Golden Triangle's other band). Regular readers of this column, if those exist, know I'm a pretty huge fan of F&Os, but I really do think they're one of the best new bands out of the San Francisco scene. And one of the few bands whose quality nearly matches their hyper-prolific output.
Their latest EP, August in My Mind, is new on Captured Tracks and the band have releases due out this year on Hozac, Sacred Bones and In the Red, who'll be putting out the band's third album (within a year!). The band are already in town -- I ran into bassist Shayde Sartin on the street yesterday and he said the band were hoping to do some recording while here. They are hard workers!
I'm happy to report that singer Tim Cohen's arm has healed after a nasty break last summer that had him switching guitar for keyboards for all of their previous NYC shows. So the axe is back, though I'm gonna guess he'll play a little of both this time out. The MP3 for August in My Mind's "Diamond in the Dark" is at the top of this post. And if you can't see them this weekend, The Fresh & Onlys will be back for the Northside Festival in June.
Also this weekend: the American debut of UK band Veronica Falls, who play Glasslands on Saturday (5/15) with Crystal Stilts, Minks and Home Blitz ($12 and you need to RSVP); and then on Sunday (5/16) at Bruar Falls with Frankie Rose & the Outs, German Measles and The Surprisers ($8). Both shows are pretty killer, line-up wise. Veronica Falls are kind like a Fantasy League indiepop band. They met at a Comet Gain show (!), with members culled from short-lived but awesome Glasgow bands The Royal We and Sexy Kids, as well as the excellent-and-still-going Your Twenties. They owe lots to their ancestors -- a song like "Stephen" just has to be about The Pastels -- are mopey without being morose, and are just twee enough to be endearing. It's a delicate line, but Veronica Walls walk it perfectly.
Mind you, they've only released one single so far, the great "Found Love in a Graveyard" (downloadable above) with its killer cover of Roky Erickson's "Starry Eyes" on the flip, but there are few bands recently who've left me so hungry for more. Their second single, the Crystal Stilts-ish "Beachy Head," is pretty good too and due out next week. Hopefully they'll have copies with them at the shows.
If you can't make either show, or you like them so much you want to see them again, by all means come to Cake Shop next Thursday (5/20) when Veronica Falls play NYC Popfest along with Sweden's Leaving Mornington Crescent, the UK's Horowitz, the Sweater Girls from Los Angeles, plus winsome locals Dream Diary and Elephant Parade. We're going to be giving away a NYC Popfest festival pass...stay tuned to this channel for details!
And a few more shows, night by night:
Rooftop Films opening 2009 @ Open Road Rooftop (more by Ryan Muir)
Rooftop Films will open this year with a May 14th film & music event at Open Road Rooftop (above New Design High School, 350 Grand St in NYC), with music from Twin Sister (who have shows at a taqueria and elsewhere coming up). From there, the series will program movies and bands every weekend through August 15th.
On Friday, April 16th (tonight), there's a special pre-summer-season event with Norway's Hanne Hukkelberg at the Open Road Rooftop. Along with her set will be "a special presentation of Knut Eric Jensen's fantastic documentary, Cool & Crazy, a portrait of the dedicated members of Norway's Berlevag Male Choir." The unsubtitled trailer for that film is below. Tickets are on sale.
The schedule hasn't fully been announced yet, but what has, and a clip of last year's Troll 2 screening, are also below...
Jay-Z @ Gramercy Theatre on 9.9.09 (more by Brian Ach/WireImage)
The Melvins @ Webster Hall in May (more by Ryan Muir)
tonight in NYC
* Jay-Z @ Madison Square Garden
* Ben & Vesper, Ortolan @ Sycamore
* Pomegranates, Phantogram @ Union Hall
* Gowns, US Girls, Noveller @ Cake Shop
* Shilpa Ray @ Rooftop Films on the LES
* The Cult (performing "Love") @ Terminal 5
* The Rapture, The Golden Filter @ Stone Pony
* All Tomorrow's Parties @ Kutshers Country Club
* Down, Evil Army, Weedeater & The Melvins @ Nokia Theatre
* Wild Beasts, Rifle, The Library Is On Fire @ Union Pool
* Telefon Tel Aviv, Hanne Hukkelberg, The Race @ The Bell House
* Nakatomi Plaza, The Reveling, The New Dress, Avec @ Shea Stadium
* Super Furry Animals, Real Estate, The March Fourth @ Highline Ballroom
* Wordless Music w/ Tim Hecker, Grouper, Julianna Barwick @ Miller Theatre
* Glenn Branca Ensemble, Paranoid Critical Revolution @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
* The Spits, Woven Bones, The Heart Punchers, Cerebral Ballzy @ Knitting Factory
* The Intelligence, Golden Triangle, Wild Yaks, Arrington De Dionyso, Smarts @ Market Hotel
* A Place to Bury Strangers, Sian Alice Group, Nine 11 Thesaurus, Experimental Dental School, Reading Rainbow @ Death By Audio
All Tomorrow's Parties kicks off at Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, NY. WFMU will be broadcasting live from the fest Saturday and Sunday. Many of the bands playing tonight will be performing an entire classic album live.
The Cult aren't playing ATP, but they're also performing a full album live in NY tonight.
Fucked Up aren't playing tonight, but they're also performing a full album in NY, and tickets went on sale today.
Super Furry Animals warm up for ATP with a show at Highline Ballroom tonight (and Maxwell's tomorrow). This one is opened by local boys Real Estate and The March Fourth.
Real Estate also have a show scheduled for Saturday at Silent Barn with Desolation Wilderness.
Melvins play ATP on Saturday. Tonight they're at Nokia Theatre with Weedeater who played a semi-secret gig at The Charleston last night.
Jay-Z plays a sold-out 9/11 benefit at Madison Square Garden. If you can't be there, you can watch it commercial free and live on Fuse (9pm). Two nights ago Jay-Z played a much smaller show at Gramercy Theatre.
Telefon Tel Aviv is back on the road. Tonight they play The Bell House with Hanne Hukkelberg and The Race. Tomorrow they're at Mercury Lounge.
Wild Beasts play the last of three NYC shows tonight at Union Pool with Rifle and The Library Is On Fire. Last chance!
Noveller, who is at Cake Shop tonight, has been announced as one of the openers for The Jesus Lizard's upcoming NYC shows. Jesus Lizard play ATP NY tonight.
Nakatomi Plaza is playing two final farewell shows this weekend at Shea Stadium which is the venue These Arms Are Snakes just announced an upcoming show at.
Wordless Music's series of shows at Columbia's Miller Theatre continues with Tim Hecker, Grouper and Julianna Barwick.
Austin band Woven Bones' big tour stops at Knitting Factory Brooklyn. Also on the bill are The Spits, The Heart Punchers and Cerebral Ballzy. Woven Bones and The Spits also play Cake Shop on Saturday.
Knitting Factory is now on its third day as a music venue in Brooklyn. Les Savy Fav was the first band to play on Wednesday. Boss Hog (who also plays ATP this weekend) and Shilpa Ray was last night.
Shilpa Ray plays a probably-moved-indoors Rooftop Films show at 350 Grand Street @ Essex tonight (which is followed by an afterparty at Fontana's)
The Intelligence is in from Seattle to play Market Hotel with Golden Triangle, Wild Yaks, Arrington De Dionyso and Smarts. The Intelligence are also at Cake Shop on Sunday.
A Place to Bury Strangers, Sian Alice Group, Nine 11 Thesaurus, Experimental Dental School and Reading Rainbow are on the bill for the second night of The Maze at Death By Audio.
Good thing Glasvegas frontman James Allan was found, and good thing it was in NY because he and his band are set to open for Kings of Leon, not to be confused with Kings of Convenience, at the Izod Center on Saturday and again at Nassau Coliseum on Monday.
Glenn Branca Ensemble play with Paranoid Critical Revolution at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Tomorrow Branca talks with artist Dan Graham. Glenn played PS1 last Saturday.
If it stops raining, PS1 is again an option for this Saturday.
A new episode of Breakfast at Sulimay's below...
Move over Grizzly Bear... Sunset Rubdown also has a new video out! That is below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Kurt Vile - Overnite Religion (MP3)
Kurt Vile will be playing a Rooftop Films event on July 31st. There he'll ditch his backing band the Violators for a performance before a screening of the documentary on the film Troll 2, "the legendary worst movie ever made, according to IMDB ratings."
That flick is such an event, Rooftop Films decided to stretch it over two nights. On July 30th they will show the actual film, accompanied by a performance from The Drums (one of many upcoming shows from that band, who also played last night at the Bell House). Other bands with Rooftop Films shows scheduled include Stars Like Fleas and Teengirl Fantasy. Full schedule below.
Vile (with the Violators on hand) just played the first of several upcoming shows with Blues Control (who announced more fall dates, below) at Bruar Falls on July 17th. Blues Control's distorted wall of sound worked well through the club's cozy sound system, but the arsenal of the Violators maybe pushed the backline a little too far. Lyrics and flourishes that came through crystal clear at Broadway Backyard (where he played one of my favorite sets of the day) roared out as energetic albeit indeterminate gestures. Not quite as engaging, considering many of the songs still aren't out in recorded form.
Vile's Matador debut, Childish Prodigy, is still on the way. Check out mellow jam "Overnite Religion" off that, above. The full Rooftop Films schedule, with all Kurt Vile and Blues Control tour dates, and the Troll 2 trailer, below...