Entries tagged with: SXSW
above is a screenshot of a 1/15 tweet by band Viet Cong
One of 2015's fastest rising indie bands, Viet Cong, has been the subject of many articles lately, not because of their music, but because of their controversial name. Though maybe not immediately obvious to most young Americans, "Viet Cong" is a loaded term. Sang Nguyen at Impose wrote:
This history of violence is what I am reminded of every time I see Viet Cong's band name pop up on my news feed, in the music media, and on festival line-ups. Comprised of two ex-members of the band Women (also a pretty contentious name considering none of the members were actually women), Viet Cong have released records on labels like Jagjaguwar, Mexican Summer, and Flemish Eye, while garnering critical acclaim from Stereogum, NPR and even Impose. Pitchfork, who in recent months have done a thorough job calling attention to instances of misogyny, racism, and cultural appropriation in popular music, gave the band's recent album "Best New Music" status and have them booked at both SXSW and their annual summer festival. [Impose]The controversy has been known to the Canadian band for as long as they've been putting themselves out there. They've talked about it in interviews. Comments show up in forums and on social media, even by the band themselves (see above), but it all just really bubbled to the surface last week when Oberlin College cancelled a show. A statement from the college reads:
I am writing to officially announce the cancellation of the Viet Cong show at Oberlin College's Dionysus Discotheque (commonly known as The 'Sco) meant to take place on Saturday March 14th, 2015. This statement aims to express the reasoning behind such a move. As the person behind booking this band, I would first and foremost like to apologize on both my and my booking organization's behalf for inviting a band with a name that deeply offends and hurts Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities, both in Oberlin and beyond. I acknowledge the problematic nature of a band naming themselves "Viet Cong" and extend my apology to anyone hurt or made uncomfortable by the name and its connotations.You can read the rest of that HERE.
Viet Cong is of course not the first band whose name has caused this kind of reaction. There are many examples including Joy Division (named after Nazi concentration camp brothels described in the novel House of Dolls) and New Order (perceived Nazi connotations). A more recent example is Muslims who changed their name to The Soft Pack. Another band who can definitely relate is Gang of Four, who also happen to be an active band right now too. In fact, the current lineup is on tour now and they play Irving Plaza in NYC TONIGHT (Saturday, 3/7 --- tickets still available).
We caught up with Gang of Four original and current member Andy Gill and asked him what he thought about the Viet Cong situation. Here's what he told us:
ANDY GILL of GANG OF FOUR to BROOKLYNVEGAN:Catch Gang of Four on tour and at SXSW where Viet Cong is also playing before their own upcoming tour.
it's a little ridiculous to ban bands for their name. We can all think of dozens of bands with really quite offensive names and as soon as you get into being the guardian of public morality, taking it upon yourself to decide whats ok and what is not, you are acting in an illiberal, undemocratic and anti-progressive way. People should be treated as grown ups, capable of making their own decisions . We should not be deciding for people what we think they are capable of understanding or not. Artists; film-makers, writers, musicians need to be un-censored so they can make their point, political or otherwise. - Andy
John Dwyer has a new Thee Oh Sees record for us, titled Mutilator Defeated At Last which will out May 18 via Castle Face. That's the cover art above and tracklist for the album is below. For the album, Thee Oh Sees are Dwyer, original member Brigid Dawson, plus Tim Hellman, Nick Murray, and Chris Woodhouse (who produced the album). You can stream lead cut "Web" below. You may have seen Thee Oh Sees play "Web" at Death by Audio last summer during the Northside Festival and high-quality video of that is below as well.
Thee Oh Sees will be in Austin for SXSW and there are no shortage of chances to see them there if you're going -- they've got nine shows lined up currently. They'll also be back in Austin in May for Austin Psych Fest's Levitation. All dates are listed below.
Shamir will release his debut album, Ratchet, on May 19 via XL Recordings. The Las Vegas native made the record here in NYC at Silent Barn with GODMODE's Nick Sylvester producing. That's the cover art above and you can check out the tracklist and an illustrated statement Shamir made about the album, below.
Shamir will be at SXSW this year, playing one of Pitchfork's parties and NPR's official showcase, both on March 18, and other shows there. He's got tour dates in May, too. All dates are listed, along with the video for last year's "On the Regular" single (which is on the album), below...
photo: Spoon at ACLTV taping in 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Once again, Hype Machine returns to SXSW for five days of Hype Hotel presented by Feed the Beat. It runs from March 17-21 at 1100 East 5th Street, Austin, TX. As usual, they've got some pretty big and exciting names with many of the lineups curated by different blogs like Gorilla vs Bear and Consequence of Sound.
The lineup includes Spoon, Best Coast, Twin Shadow, Autre Ne Veut, Earl Sweatshirt, Rae Sremmurd, iLoveMakonnen, Hudson Mohawke, Hundred Waters, Alvvays, Sophie, King Tuff, Twerps, Viet Cong, Yumi Zouma and more, plus a few DJs including DJ Carles.buzz. The exact schedule will be announced soon,, but meanwhile you can RSVP.
This year's Hype Hotel also celebrates Hype Machine's 10th birthday, and is co-sponsored by Mazda, Taco Bell, Tito's Vodka, and Miller Lite.
Full lineup below...
SXSW starts in a couple weeks and if you've been recently or read about it or seen pictures, you know that corporate branding is omnipresent there. One of the most infamous and blatant examples was the Doritos stage that looked like a giant vending machine, with the stage being the part where the snacks come out. This year, McDonald's, one of SXSW's "Super Sponsors," is throwing a party and they asked Brooklyn band Ex Cops to play. They declined and co-frontman Brian Harding posted an open letter to the fast food giant on the band's Facebook. Here's a couple excerpts:
This week our band was asked to play the McDonald's Showcase at the annual South by Southwest, also known to music insiders as "SXSW."You can read the whole thing below. It will be interesting to learn what artists are going to play the McDonald's SXSW party.
Their selling point was that this was "a great opportunity for additional exposure," and that "McDonald's will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc"
I don't, and doubt that they know what this means either.
Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald's can at least pay their talent a little. Right?
"There isn't a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately)"
As of 2013, McDonalds is valued at 90.3 billion dollars.
I will also go ahead and save time for any schill / troll rebuttals; "Are the other showcases paying you? No one is holding a gun to your head!" This is true. It is our choice (pretty much) to fly to Austin, play shows without soundcheck, and get paid nothing to a little. But hear this loud and clear, we LOVE making music, it is what we do, and despite some of its very apparent flaws, SXSW still provides a decent venue to be heard by some people who are really there to hear new music and not just do blow with dudes who wear square toe loafers.
It is a horrifying and gross reality when one sees the true nature of corporations and their pathetic attempts to achieve relevance with millennials. Doritos received a lot of flack for their stage a couple years ago, but i'm going to assume they paid Lady Gaga.
Right before they head to SXSW, Ex Cops will play Brooklyn Night Bazaar on March 13 with My Midnight Heart, Montreal band Heat, and Heaven. That show is free. All upcoming dates, including the SXSW shows they are playing, are listed (along with their whole open letter to McDonald's) below...
photo: Pianos Become the Teeth at Webster Studio in 2014 (more by Mimi Hong)
Pianos Become the Teeth went on a short headlining tour last year in support of their great 2014 album Keep You, and they've now announced a much longer one. Like last time, this one will include support from Gates, as well as hardcore rippers Loma Prieta.
Pianos also play two nearby festivals: Long Island's Spring Mixtape Fest on 3/28 with Title Fight, Defeater and more (tickets); and Asbury Park's Skate & Surf on 5/16 & 17 with Cloud Nothings, American Nightmare, Beach Slang and many more (tickets).
In addition to those, they also play SXSW and two other fests. Before Skate & Surf they play Cleveland's Spring Fling Festival (5/15) with The Movielife, mewithoutYou, Defeater, Iron Chic, Loma Prieta and more. Tickets are on sale. Full lineup below.
And a few days after Skate & Surf they play Michigan's Bled Fest (5/23) with Touche Amore, Modern Life Is War, The Early November, Modern Baseball, Small Brown Bike, Restorations and more. Tickets are on sale. Full lineup below.
Just yesterday we mentioned how TV on the Radio are touring this year but didn't have a NYC show scheduled. Well that changed quickly, as the band just revealed a show for May 20 at Kings Theatre with the wild Bo Ningen. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/6) at noon with AmEx and venue presales starting Thursday (3/5) at 10 AM.
TVOTR also have a couple shows with the Pixies and John Grant that are near NYC, including the BrooklynVegan-presented show on May 23 at Stone Pony Summerstage. Tickets for that show are now on Pixies presale. PASSWORD: SNAKES.
The BrooklynVegan presale starts Wednesday, and we'll post that password then.
Meanwhile, Kyp Malone's solo project Rain Machine plays NYC tonight (3/3) at Cameo with Lewis Lazar and The Hydras, Aerial East, and Kelsey Lu. Tickets are on sale.
Updated TVOTR dates are listed below...
If you're a regular reader of BrooklynVegan, you probably know that the 2015 edition of SXSW is coming up (March 17 - 22 in Austin, TX). Thousands of artists will flood Austin for the week, playing countless shows at countless music venues (BrooklynVegan day parties included).
Though some official showcases sell tickets at the door, your best way in to the shows is with a festival badge or wristband. Those are expensive and hard to get though, so we're giving away a pair of SXSW wristbands, courtesy of IFC Fairgrounds! BV Austin is also giving away a pair, courtesy of the same fine folks! Details on how to enter the BV contest are below.
The IFC Fairgrounds is returning to Austin during SXSW 2015 from March 19-21, featuring rides, food, carnival games, giveaways and, of course, live music. It's free to attend, but you do need to RSVP. You can check out the line-up below.
And don't forget to follow @BVSXSW on Twitter for more SXSW news and updates.
photo: Mega Bog @ Baby's All Right, CMJ 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
You may remember that Seattle artist Erin Birgy released the album Gone Banana under the name Mega Bog last fall. Album track "Wet Moss" has a new video, directed by Birgy herself, and you can watch that below.
Last in NYC for CMJ, Mega Bog start a North American tour this week which wraps up here in NYC at Shea Stadium on April 14 with CE Schneider Topical and more TBA. All dates, including ones at SXSW, are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
UK artist Bridie Monds-Watson makes music under the name SOAK. Nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2015 Poll, SOAK's music is delicate, sometimes beautiful, heartfelt stuff. Monds-Watson's beyond-her-years voice carries much of the emotion. (It's a little like Camera Obscura...with a widescreen lens.) With two 2014 singles under her belt, SOAK will release her debut album, Before We Forgot How to Dream, in June via Rough Trade. You can watch the video for the album's first single, "Sea Creatures," and listen to a few other songs (including a cover of Chvrches' "The Mother We Share"), below.
SOAK is coming to North America for SXSW and will stop in NYC on the way there, playing Rockwood Music Hall on March 12. It's presented by the Communion folks and tickets are on sale. All dates are listed, along with videos and song streams, below...
by Bill Pearis
La Luz y Ty (photo via @laluzband)
Seattle's best young surf band, La Luz, are currently in the studio with producer and former tourmate Ty Segall, working on their second album for Hardly Art. That's exciting! They're still in the mixing stage and haven't come up with a title for the album yet. Stay tuned. You can stream their first album via Rdio below.
In the meantime, La Luz are getting ready to tour their way to and from SXSW. That unfortunately doesn't bring them to the Northeast (DC is as north as they're going), but they'll be playing Burgerama Four and other dates. All are listed, along with a full-set video recorded at KEXP, below.
Tennessee Thomas of oughts-era LA band, The Like, has formed a new group called Summer Moon that features Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes, Erika Forster of Au Revoir Simone, and Lewis Lazar. The band made their first live appearance with a short set at Baby's All Right in December as one of the surprise guests at the David Lynch Foundation benefit with Budos Band and Jonathan Toubin. That show, which was also Thomas' 30th birthday party, featured a short set from Suzanne Vega with Dev Hynes and Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas (who is also Tennessee's dad). Anybody catch that show? The Examiner was there, saying Summer Moon's "sound is harder than the melodic pop of both Strokes and Like, with Tennessee Thomas giving it jet propulsion."
Summer Moon have a website, plus all the relevant socials, but no music up to hear yet. You can see them live, though, this Saturday (2/28) at Baby's All Right when they open for Sean Lennon's Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, a show that also features Invisible Familiars and Tall Tall Trees. That's sold out. Much further out, Summer Moon also open the Father John Misty and Angel Olsen show at Central Park Summerstage on August 5 and tickets are still available for that. They'll also be at SXSW.
by Bill Pearis
After having only two songs available to listen for the last two years or so, Montreal's SEOUL have finally announced details of their debut album. It's titled I Become A Shade and will be out June 9 via Last Gang/Grand Jury. They've also shared the LP's first single, the sumptuous "The Line" which is a great example of their brand of dreampop. Groovy and laid back (but not boring) it's like an update of the hushed pop Scotland's The Blue Nile made in the '80s and '90s. Stream it below.
As you may know, SEOUL will be in NYC this week for a show at Baby's All Right on Thursday (2/26) with Calvin Love and Buscabulla. Tickets are still available. The band will be back in the States for SXSW and will tour with UK group Ballet School after, including another NYC show, this time at Knitting Factory on April 18. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/27) at 10 AM.
All tour dates are listed, along with the new single stream and a teaser video, below...
photo: TEEN @ Bowery Ballroom, 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Carpark Records, home of Toro Y Moi, Speedy Ortiz, TEEN, Young Magic, and many more, is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year which means it's old enough to drive. For the occasion, they're releasing a super sweet basketball themed compilation on May 26 featuring 19 bands from their current roster. Most of the songs were recorded specifically for the comp (and are about hoops), including TEEN's "Dylan and Chong Playing Basketball" which makes its premiere in this post. You can stream it, and check out a Toro Y Moi vine, below.
There will also be a few Carpark anniversary shows, including one at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right on March 6 with Lexie Mountain Boys, Greg Davis, Greys, Chandos, Ear Pwr, Safety Scissors, Adventure, Jimmy Whispers, and DJs Young Magic and Montag. Tickets for that show are on sale. There will be one in DC, plus one in Austin during SXSW as well. Details on those are below.
by Bill Pearis
UK upstarts Spring King have a new EP, They're Coming After You, which is out April 20 via UK label Handsome Dad. It'll be out in the US sooner, as a digital single on Feb 24 via Mom + Pop imprint Mermaid Avenue. We've got the premiere of rocking lead single "City" which is a real corker. (If you like Wavves and Twin Peaks style of poppy indie rock, you'll probably like this.) You can stream it, and check out the EP's cover art, below.
Spring King will be visiting the US for SXSW this year, so if you're going to that keep an eye out. Unfortunately they aren't playing any shows outside of Austin. (Maybe you caught them at CMJ last year in NYC.) Right after SXSW they'll be touring the UK with Courtney Barnett. All dates are listed below...
Around since the start of the decade, Brooklyn band Fort Lean are only just now getting ready to put out their debut album. It's called Quiet Day and will be released this spring via Ooh La La. You can stream the catchy single "I Don't Mind" and "Cut to the Chase" below. The band have also offered up a cover of the Jeremy Spencer Band's "Travellin'" which makes it's premiere in this post. If you're unfamiliar with the original, Fort Lean guitarist Zach Fried will fill you in:
Jeremy Spencer was a guitar player in the initial incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, mostly known for abruptly disappearing while they were on tour in LA and joining a religious cult. This might be his greatest contribution to the world of music, I listen to this song a lot.Have a listen to that below.
Folks in NYC can catch Fort Lean this weekend as they play Rough Trade on Saturday (2/21) with NGHBRS and The Henry Millers. Tickets are on sale. They'll also be heading to SXSW next month, and playing the Savannah Stopover and other dates while on the road. All are listed below.
It's with a very heavy heart that me and the boys have to cancel our run of shows in North America. We were all looking forward to this, but alas the universe (and some impossible scheduling issues) have been against us this time. We'll still be out there for SXSW in Austin and will see the rest of you hopefully very soon. XThe affected dates include the NYC show that would have been 3/30 at The Studio at Webster Hall. Bummer.
Updated Carl Barât dates are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
Jacco Gardner has signed with Polyvinyl who will release his new album, Hypnophobia, on May 5. That's the cover art above which was designed by Julian House, best known for his work with Stereolab and Broadcast. As for the album's title, Jacco explains:
I came up with the title "Hypnophobia" while falling asleep and part of my brain just didn't turn off. I often have trouble letting go of reality, even though I prefer the world in my dreams... Hypnophobia comes from a place where fears, darkness and creativity collide, like a slightly scary lucid dream. Fearing a loss of control definitely plays a big part of it.You can check out Hypnophobia's first single, "Find Yourself," which is another of his catchy baroque-psych concoctions. Stream it below.
Over in March for SXSW and Burgerama, Jacco will also be playing a few West Coast dates with his former Trouble in Mind labelmates Ultimate Painting. No East Coast dates announced yet (he played NYC last summer). All dates are listed below.
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Laura Marling at McKittrick Hotel in 2011 (more by Chris La Putt)
British folk singer Laura Marling is set to release her fifth album, Short Movie, on March 24 via Ribbon Music, and so far she's put out two songs from it. Laura has gone full-band before, but if these two tracks are anything to go by, it's looking like Short Movie will be the farthest she's gone from her folk roots. The first single/title track is a nicely-arranged piece of folk rock that isn't too drastic a shift from her last album, but the newer "False Hope" has her stomping on the distortion pedal and getting backed by hard-hitting rock drums. Watch the videos for both below.
Laura doesn't have a US tour announced yet, but we know she'll be here for SXSW, and right after that she'll play NYC on March 23 at Warsaw with fellow indie folk band Villagers. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/20) at noon.
All known dates are listed, with the two new songs, below...
by Bill Pearis
Former Monotonix frontman Yonatan Gat will release his new solo album, Director, on March 3 via Joyful Noise. As you can hear from album track "North to South," he dabbles in a variety of styles -- some on the avant garde side, some that lean toward pop -- often all at once. Listen below.
To really get the Yonatan Gat experience, you really need to see him live, as he smudges the line between performer and audience. As long as you're prepared to be an active participant, his show's fun. Gat will be touring on the way to and from SXSW, kicking things off with an NYC record release show at Union Pool on March 3 with Beech Creeps, and the Kid Millions / Jim Sauter Duo. Tickets are on sale.
Right after that, he'll be on tour with Of Montreal including their March 11 show at Webster Hall (tickets). Some of the Of Montreal dates (not NYC) are also with Deerhoof. All dates are listed below....
by Bill Pearis
Swearing at Motorists
Dayton, OH cult band Swearing at Motorists, aka "The Two-Man-Who," have been making rock for 20-years with frontman Dave Doughman being the band's only constant (apart from being awesome). The list of former members is nearly as long as The Fall's. If you're unfamiliar, yes they're a little bit like Dayton's most famous Who-inclined indie rock band (but not too much), and you can stream last year's While Laughing, The Joker Tells The Truth as well as singles compilation Postcards from a Drinking Town (via Rdio) below.
Swearing at Motorists are going on tour with pals DTCV, whose Jim Greer used to be a member. (When he was writing for SPIN in the '90s, Greer moved to Dayton to join GBV.) Those dates include SXSW and a stop in NYC at Baby's All Right on March 28. Tickets are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
DTCV, meanwhile, will release their third album, Uptime!, on March 10 via Unsatisfied. You can check out the video for first single "X Water" below. The band have other dates apart from their run with Swearing at Motorists and all are listed, along with album art and tracklist, below...
Nashville's Turbo Fruits will release No Control, their fourth album, on April 20 via Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers. (That 4/20 release date is probably no accident.) The record was produced by Black Keys' Patrick Carney and you can stream first single "The Way I Want You" below.
The band will be heading to Austin for SXSW and playing shows on either side of it as well. They'll be in NYC for an album release show on April 9 at Baby's All Right. Tickets to that show go on sale today (2/6) at 10 AM. All dates, including a few with Surfer Blood, are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
London's Vision Fortune don't make it easy for you. Their 2013 debut, Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune, looked like $.25 bin mariachi record, all its songs were just roman numerals and it was basically just one long, connected droney throb. But it's an awesome long droney throb, not entirely unlike what Liars or Hookworms do and, at high enough volumes, Vision Fortune's appeal becomes apparent. The band have since signed to ATP Records who will release their second album, Country Music, next week (2/10). It's got slightly less confusing cover art and distinct, separate songs (that still segue together) with "normal" song titles... it's definitely a more inviting album, but is still dark, brooding music that sounds best as loud as possible. Again, Liars is a good reference point, or maybe This Heat, but Vision Fortune are their own beast. You can stream the whole album (and their first one) below.
Vision Fortune will be heading across the Atlantic to play SXSW and will hit NYC on the way back for two shows: April 2 at Baby's All Right and April 3 at Palisades with Mind Dynamics and Courtship Ritual. Tickets to both shows are on sale now. All tour dates are listed below.
Sunny Day Real Estate/Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel is releasing a solo album as Lieutenant this year, and now he's announced that he'll tour in support of it this spring. The tour begins at SXSW and it hits NYC for two shows: March 28 at Mercury Lounge and March 30 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for Merc and Vitus are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
The album features Nate's SDRE bandmate Jeremy Enigk, his Foos bandmate Chris Shiflett, and members of Helmet, Modest Mouse and The Head and the Heart. His live band features members of Fleet Foxes, The Bronx and Snow Patrol.
Listen to two tracks from the album, with the list of dates, below...
by Bill Pearis
Detroit's Turn to Crime are working on the follow-up to 2014's underrated Can't Love. If you haven't heard that, it's soulful garage rock that at times has a warm lived-in quality but also has its scratchy paranoid moments as well. Such are the times. You can stream the whole thing below.
The band, which features Derek Stanton from defunct Brooklyn band Awesome Color, will be heading to the East Coast next month for a handful of shows, including two in NYC: Cake Shop on February 25 with Dinowalrus and more TBA, and then February 26 at Shea Stadium with PC Worship and Beech Creeps. They'll also be heading to Austin for SXSW so if you're going to that, look for them there. All dates are listed below.
Speaking of Beech Creeps, the Brooklyn garage rock band (ex-People Get Ready, Yeasayer, Pterodactyl) are releasing their debut LP on March 3 via Monofonus Press, produced by Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, PC Worship). Stream a track below.