Entries tagged with: Sarah Neufeld
photo: Red Baraat at GoogaMooga 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The annual Winter Jazzfest returns to various NYC venues in 2016 from January 13-17. Since we last spoke, the lineup added a bunch of other artists, including Naytronix, Red Baraat, Sun Ra Arkestra, SK Kakraba (Awesome Tapes from Africa), No BS!, Nublu Orchestra, Forro in the Dark plays Zorn, Pedrito Martinez and many more.
They join previously announced names Bill Laswell, Brandon Seabrook Powerplant, Nels Cline, Colin Stetson, Dawn of Midi, Jose James, Kaki King, Kamasi Washington, Matana Roberts, Sarah Neufeld, The Ex and more. The full schedule is still TBA, but tickets for the whole festival and select individual shows are available.
Updated lineup below...
by Tatiana Tenreyro
Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld announced that her second solo album, The Ridge, will be released on February 26 via Paper Bag and shared the album's title track, which features her Arcade Fire bandmate Jeremy Gara on drums. It's a beautiful song, mostly instrumental, and you can stream it below. The tracklist is below too, and that's the artwork above.
This follows Sarah's collaborative album with Arcade Fire touring member Colin Stetson, Never were the way she was, which came out earlier this year. Both Sarah and Colin are billed to play NYC's annual Winter Jazzfest in 2016.
Sarah's new album isn't the only Arcade Fire side project that Jeremy Gara is part of either. He recently formed one with his AF bandmate Tim Kingsbury, that also includes Basia Bulat (who has her own new album and tour on the way).
Listen to Sarah Neufeld's new single below...
photo: Kamasi Washington at LPR on 10/16 (more by PSquared)
NYC's annual Winter Jazzfest will return in 2016 from January 13 - 17 at various venues. The initial lineup includes Bill Laswell, Brandon Seabrook Powerplant, Nels Cline, Colin Stetson, Dawn of Midi, Jose James, Kaki King, Kamasi Washington, Matana Roberts, Sarah Neufeld, The Ex and more.
The Kamasi Washington show is the previously-announced Webster Hall show (1/14) (tickets) and The Ex, Bill Laswell, Colin Stetson and Happy Apple all play together at LPR on 1/13 (tickets). Full schedule is still TBA. Festival passes are on sale now.
Kaki King also plays NYC tonight (10/26).
Check out the full initial lineup below...
Some of you may remember "Debut," the ambitious, large-scale production by Derrick Belcham (La Blogotheque) and choreographer Emily Terndrup (Sleep No More) that happened last year at Queens venue The Knockdown Center and featured music by Porcelain Raft's Mauro Remiddi, Julianna Barwick and more. Those folks are teaming up again for another large-scale production that again merges independent music, immersive dance theater and large-scale art installation, titled "Fable", that will be performed at Knockdown Center from October 8-17:
The production features a giant, sound-reactive enclosure that showcases a different, acclaimed musician for each of the six performances, a 360-degree sound environment and an expansive array of transforming light systems from floor to ceiling. In a shifting proscenium, an unpredictable choreographic and theatrical narrative immerses the audience on a depicting a revelatory encounter between a man and a mysterious voice who, over the course of a surreal and increasingly volatile evening, explore the variable boundary between delusion and actuality through the incomparable expanse of a century-old structure.Each evening features a score written and performed by Remiddi and David Moore (Bing & Ruth). However, each performance will feature an improvisational performance by a different artist and a DJ set to end the night. The lineup looks like:
Thursday, October 8th: Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire)Tickets are on sale now.
Friday, October 9th: Julianna Barwick
Saturday, October 10th: Porcelain Raft / White Hinterland
Thursday, October 15th: David Moore (Bing & Ruth)
Friday, October 16th: Blonde Redhead / Prince Rama
Saturday, October 17th: Skyler Skjelset (Fleet Foxes) / Julianna Barwick
Brooklyn polyrhythmic pop collective Superhuman Happiness will release their new album Escape Velocity on September 18 via Royal Potato Family (pre-order). The new album features contributions from Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld, who band leader Stuart Bogie has worked with when playing with Arcade Fire, and Grateful Dead family associate Joe Russo. The album includes seven songs, four of which you can stream now: "Middle Ground," "Super 8," "Catch A Break," and the brand new "Drawing Lines," which premieres in this post.
The band also has upcoming shows, including a release party in their hometown on September 19 at Knitting Factory with People's Champs, Teeel and Invisible Familiars. Tickets are on sale now.
All dates are listed, with the song streams, below...
The long list for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been announced. It includes Drake, The New Pornographers, Death From Above 1979, Caribou, Alvvays, White Lung, Viet Cong, METZ, Cold Specks, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld, Patrick Watson, Absolutely Free, Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah, Braids, Tobias Jesso Jr and more.
The shortlist will be announced July 16, and the winner will be announced September 21. Check out the full longlist below.
by Zack Baker
This year's edition of the Nelsonville Music Festival takes place from May 28-31 in Nelsonville, Ohio. The lineup features The Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, Built To Spill, The Black Lips, Merle Haggard, Mavis Staples, Lucero, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Oblivians, Ryley Walker and many more. Tickets for the festival are on sale now, with four-day and single-day passes both available. Kids under 12 get in free, and there are activities for children at the fest too.
Folk music has always been a key focus for the festival, but as you can see the lineup is pretty diverse. The fest is tucked away in the woods, which is a pretty great environment for this kind of stuff, and there's usually a chance to see artists play intimate acoustic sets in the No-Fi Cabin too. If you're coming from NYC, it's just about a 9-hour drive, and you can camp there.
Check out the lineup in full along with a video of last year's headliner Dinosaur Jr. playing the festival, below...
Saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld have played together previously -- both with The Arcade Fire and as an instrumental duo -- and are now putting their collaborations to tape on their new album Never were the way she was. It's due out on April 28 via Constellation. The songs were performed live with no overdubs and you can stream opening cut "The sun roars into view" below.
Stetson and Neufeld will be touring in June, including a stop at NYC's Bowery Ballroom on 6/16. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday (3/13) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (3/11) at noon. All tour dates, including Justin Vernon's Eaux Claires festival, are listed below...
More details have finally been announced for the Arthur Russell tribute album thatt he Red Hot organization is putting out. The album's being released on YepRoc on October 21, and is now titled Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (it was initially announced that it'd be called This Is How We Walk on the Moon). The acts involved -- Hot Chip, Robyn, Blood Orange, Jose Gonzalez, Sufjan Stevens, VEGA INTL (aka Neon Indian's Alan Palomo) and many more -- are as diverse as Russell's work, which included heartbreaking acoustic/cello ballads and ahead-of-it's-time dance music.
The compilation is the latest in the benefit album series for Red Hot, which has been raising AIDS and HIV awareness for nearly 25 years, and has put out Dark Was the Night, Red Hot + Rio and many others.
Full tracklist, plus a behind-the-scenes video with Hot Chip (who cover "Go Bang" by Russell's group Dinosaur L) and a YouTube mix of classic Russell tracks, below...
photos by David Andrako
Colin & Brooklyn Youth Chorus / Greg Fox
The Ecstatic Music Festival continued this past Saturday (3/22) at Merkin Concert Hall with sax great Colin Stetson (collaborator of Arcade Fire, Bon Iver and many others), joined by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. After their set together, Colin did a second set with an ensemble that included his sister Megan, Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Nefueld, and ex-Liturgy skins master Greg Fox, who also collaborated with Colin in NYC last month. Pictures of the show are in this post.
Ecstatic Music Festival wraps up this week with two shows: So Percussion with Buke & Gase on Wednesday (3/26), and Man Forever (fronted by Kid Millions of Oneida) with William Basinski on Saturday (3/29). You can still get tickets to both.
More pictures and the setlist from the Colin Stetson show below...
Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld (also of Bell Orchestre and The Luyas) just released a three-song EP, Black Ground, which doubles as bonus material for her 2013 LP, Hero Brother. The whole EP was co-produced by Nils Frahm and features arrangements from Owen Pallett on "Breathing Black Ground (Orchestral Version)." You can stream it in full below.
As mentioned, Sarah has a few solo shows coming up, including one in NYC this Friday (2/14) at The Kitchen. At Friday's show, she'll be joined by saxophonist Colin Stetson. Tickets are still available. Updated dates are listed below.
Colin Stetson next plays NYC without Sarah as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival on 3/22 at Merkin Concert Hall (tickets). In more related news, Owen Pallett's tour with Doldrums hits NYC this May, and Arcade Fire's tour hits NYC in August for three Barclays Center shows.
Meanwhile, speaking of Nils Frahm, his previously announced tour hits NYC on March 26 at Glasslands, and since we last spoke, he added a late show happening the same night. Both shows are with Douglas Dare, and you can get tickets to both. Updated dates are listed below.
Stream Sarah's new EP, with all lists of tour dates, below...
By Doug Moore
A few weeks ago, we mentioned that John Zorn, Bill Laswell, and Dave Lombardo will be playing some dates together this spring. As unusual as that collaboration is, here's another that might be even weirder: saxophonist Colin Stetson, who's worked with Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, Bon Iver and others, will play a set with bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3, Tomahawk) and drummer Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, ex-Liturgy) at Brooklyn's Grand Victory on February 9. IV, Daniel King, & Jeremiah Cymerman will provide support; tickets are available. Stetson has evidently worked with Dunn before, but it's still anyone's guess as to what this'll actually sound like. It's also an unusual opportunity to catch Stetson in close quarters; the bands he tours with most often rarely play in such cozy venues.
Speaking of touring, Stetson has some other live appearances in the offing. He's in Australia as we speak and will be back in North America for shows, including the aforementioned Ecstatic Music Festival on March 22 and the Big Ears Fest in Knoxville, TN. Check out all of Stetson's upcoming dates (and a few tunes) listed below.
Stetson's Constellation Records labelmate and sometimes collaborator, Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Belle Orchestre) will be in NYC for a show at The Kitchen on February 14. Tickets for this Valentine's Day show are on sale now. Neufeld, whose Hello Brother, came out last summer, has an Austin show coming up at Lambert's too. Datesare listed with everything else below.
Guardian Alien's most recent show was the final night at 285 Kent.
"We're Gonna Die" was inspired by an insight she traces to this incident, the idea that sadness brings isolation. We are most alone, most cut off from the possibility of comfort, when we are most in need of it. "It's not even like you can like rip off the mask and let it all hang out when you're in private around people who care about you," she confides, "because there's only so long you can keep dumping your pain on other people before eventually they start to get fed up. Which makes being in pain an incredibly lonely experience."Earlier this year, playwright Young Jean Lee adapted her cabaret We're Gonna Die, that she debuted in NYC at Joe's Pub in 2011 (the show the above review is from), into an album -- the debut release by her band Future Wife. The album has an impressive list of guests either performing or reading monologues, including David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Hanna, Ad-Rock, Matmos, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld. It was produced by Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas and Leverage Models. Lou Reed was a fan too, and called her "one of the most accomplished, articulate, versatile and hilarious playwrights, musicians, artists that we in America have to offer."
Also a universal one of course. The charm of "We're Gonna Die" is in how effectively (and humorously) Ms. Lee converts the exaltation that pop music can spread into a kind of collective consolation for life's unavoidable woes. Employing the same basic tools of songcraft -- catchy choruses, relatable lyrics, uplifting melodies -- she applies them not to the eternal subject of swooning romance but to darker if no less common experiences (more common experiences, probably): loneliness, unhappiness, the gut-churning 4 a.m. fears about the pointless mystery of life that all sensible souls are prey to. There is comfort, Ms. Lee suggests, in public celebration of the private misery we keep locked away for fear it will leave us too exposed. [NY Times]
She's now made a video for one of the album's tracks, "I'm Gonna Die," which makes its premiere in this post. You can watch it, along with the album's tracklist, below...
Arcade Fire and Belle Orchestre violinist Sarah Neufeld released her new album of instrumental compositions, Hero Brother, last month via Constellation Records. You can stream the whole record below. When playing solo violin work, having a room with good acoustics can be as intrinsic as the performance and in the case of this live video, both are pretty spectacular. Working with director Tracy Maurice, she performs "Tower" 156 feet below the earth at Howe Caverns in Schoharie County, NY. Maurice, who also shot the cover art there, says:
I had worked with Sarah before when I did the artwork for Funeral, Neon Bible and the first Bell Orchestre album. I was really exciting for me to work with her on her solo project and to have the chance to collaborate with her/ to interpret her singular vision. The textures/feeling of the cave really complimented the sound, the haunting echos/vocals, oscillating between ambient and raw energy...something both powerful and vulnerable that I love about her work.We've got the premiere of that video in this post and you can watch it below.
Meahwhile you can catch Neufeld live in NYC when she opens for Porcelain Raft on October 4 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets to that show are still available. This is her only upcoming date. She'll soon be very busy with Arcade Fire, though, probably, as their much-anticipated new album, Reflektor, comes out October 29.
Mac DeMarco @ Pitchfork 2013 (more by Cory Dewald)
Priests @ DBA (more by Ivey Haber)
Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...
The Defibulators, Future Folk, Tall Tall Trees, Dubl Handi, Bennett Sullivan, DJ Becky Birmingham @ Brooklyn Bowl
If you like traditional bluegrass with a bit of a punk edge, head to Brooklyn Bowl tonight to catch Brooklyn's The Defibulators playing a release show for their new album, Debt'll Get'em. Should be a grand ol' time.
Sarah Neufeld @ Rockwood Music Hall
Arcade Fire violinist just released her first solo album, Hero Brother. Tonight she plays with Bell Orchestre's Stef Schneider on percussion. Tickets are still available.
Pure Bathing Culture, Mary Alouette, Jimmy Whispers, Tiger Dare @ Glasslands
Pure Bathing Culture put the pop in "dream pop" (in a good way) and their recently released debut album, Moon Tides, is a great example of that. Swoon along at Glasslands tonight.
Priests, Neonates, Downtown Boys, Household @ Death By Audio
DC band Priests released their second tape EP earlier this summer, full of spiky, shouty, catchy, dancey tunes. You can stream it below. Actually the whole show is like that with LA's Neonates, Providence's Downtown Boys and local post-punks Household. Good show!
Mac DeMarco @ East River Amphitheater (FREE)
While he's become somewhat known for his on-and-off-stage antics (dude is funny), let's not forget last year's Mac DeMarco II is very a solid record and his band is just tight enough to keep things from delving into chaos.
Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Son of Dad, Shorts, Regal Degal @ Cake Shop
When he's not playing in Real Estate, Alex Bleeker makes drastically different music with his band The Freaks, who favor bluesy psychedelia over his other band's breezy jangle pop. Tonight he shares a bill with his Real Estate bandmate Jackson Pollis' other project, Son of Dad. And Regal Degal's weird art pop is worth showing up early for too.
Emeli Sande, Rudimental @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield
Emeli Sande headlines Central Park tonight, and if you're going, we especially think it's worth catching Rudimental, the four-piece house/drum & bass group, who do pop crossover a bit like Disclosure does. And Emeli sings on their album, so maybe there will be some on-stage collaboration?
Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, Bear's Den @ Forest Hills Stadium
Queens' Tennis stadium Forest Hills, which used to host live music decades ago, is starting to do so again, and tonight it gets its first show in ages from three British indie bands, Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, and Bear's Den.
VietNam, Prince Rupert's Drops, Jonathan Toubin (DJ Set) @ Union Pool
Longrunning band Vietnam returned after a five-year abscence to deliver A.merican D.ream, their first album in five years. It's a quality bill tonight, with an opening set from the psychy Prince Rupert's Drops and Jonathan Toubin on the turntables between sets.
Buster Poindexter @ Highline Ballroom
David Johansen has been back with the New York Dolls and doing some solo shows lately too, but for whatever reason tonight he's playing under his '80s/'90s pseudonym Buster Poindexter, best known for his version of "Hot Hot Hot."
Eve @ Gramercy Theatre
Eve returned this year with her first album in over a decade, and she actually sounded pretty hungry on a good deal of it. Not sure what she's like live these days, but you can find out for yourself at Gramercy Theatre (moved from Irving Plaza).
Matthew Sweet @ City Winery
Matthew Sweet went from being a college-radio cult favorite in the '80s to being a genuine alt-rock hitmaker in the '90s and gun-for-hire songwriter and guitarist in the '00s. His melodic skills and and catalog of great songs will be on display tonight.
Larry Graham @ B.B. King Blues Club
Grand Central Station funk conductor Larry Graham recently played Prince's post-VMAs show at City Winery. Prince has showed up at Graham's BB King's shows before. We're not saying he will tonight, but...just saying.
Roy Ayers @ Blue Note Jazz Club
Speaking of legendary funk, vibraphone master Roy Ayers is at Blue Note tonight. Let's hope her pulls out tracks from his much-lauded score to blaxploitation flick, Coffy (amongst his other great work). There are early and late shows, and it's his first of four nights at the venue.
The Rides @ The Iridium
Buffalo Springfield/CSNY's Stephen Stills heads up this blues rock supergroup that also features Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg. Sold out.
Big Terrific Comedy Show @ Cameo Gallery
Max Silvestri hosts this popular weekly free comedy show that tonight welcomes Leo Allen, Guy Branum, Jessi Klein, and Jim Tews.
Radness @ Union Hall
Hot 97's DJ Cipha Sounds & Lukas Kaiser are hosting this night of comedy featuring Hannibal Buress, Mark Normand, Giulia Rozzi, Lance Weiss, and Jason Burke.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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DOWNLOAD: Sarah Neufeld - Hero Brother (MP3)
Sarah Neufeld, who plays violin in The Arcade Fire and Belle Orchetre (and has spent time in The Luyas), is set to release her first solo album. Hero Brother will be out August 20 via Constellation Records. The album's title track can be downloaded above or streamed below.
Neufeld just played Crossing Brooklyn Ferry and, as mentioned, will be opening for Colin Stetson at Le Poisson Rouge on May 8 with Rafiq Bhatia on the bill as well. Tickets to that show are still available. All dates are listed, along with a video trailer for the album, below.
Solange at Bowery Ballroom in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As noted, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival will return to BAM from April 25 - 27 and is again curated by The National's Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner. A partial list of 2013 performers has been announced and includes headliners The Roots, Solange and TV on the Radio, as well as Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Julia Holter and Here We Go Magic. Full list of announced performers is below.
DOWNLOAD: Colin Stetson - "High Above A Grey Green Sea" (MP3)
Colin Stetson w/ Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As mentioned, sax machine Colin Stetson is set to release a new solo album this year, and since we last spoke, more details on that have been revealed. The album is called New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light and it will be out on April 30 via Constellation. It features guest vocals from Justin Vernon on four tracks (Colin's been a Bon Iver member for a while now) and was mixed by Ben Frost, who also worked on New History Warfare Vol. 2. You can download the avant-garde album track, "High Above A Grey Green Sea," above or stream it below. The album art and tracklist are also below.
Colin will be supporting the album with an extensive international tour which hits NYC on May 8 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Most of the surrounding shows are with past collaborator Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), but no support has been announced for the LPR show yet.
UPDATE: Neufeld plays LPR too, and Rafiq Bhatia as well.
A list of all dates, song stream, album art and tracklist below...
Sax wizard Colin Stetson is working on his new solo album which will be out at some point in 2013, but before that you'll get a chance to see him at an intimate NYC show with many guests at Zebulon on December 6. The show includes Colin doing a solo set, along with sets by Holly Miranda and her band, Sarah Neufeld on solo violin (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), and Lone Wolf (aka Ryan Saywer). Then Colin, Sarah and Ryan will do a collaborative set with Stuart Bogie, Adam Roberts, and Ryan Ferreira. No advance tickets for this show.
Colin Stetson is also part of the lineup for the 2013 Winter Jazz Fest which goes down across multiple venues in NYC on January 11 and 12. Colin will be playing The Bitter End on 1/12. Other artists on this year's tentative lineup include Nels Cline, Rafiq Bhatia, Debo Band, Vijay Iyer, and many many more. The full tentative lineup (with still more TBA) is below.
PIANA is an album of instrumental, solo piano pieces written by Gregory Rogove and performed by John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood). It also includes a DVD of musical and visual reinterpretations, or "remixes," of the piano pieces.Piana is out now on Knitting Factory Records. The full tracklist and list of remixers is below. The Billy Martin (also of Medeski Martin & Wood) remix is downloadable for free for the first (legal) time above.
Gregory Rogove, who you may also know from his work with Devendra Banhart, Priestbird and Megapuss (Devendra Banhart, Fabrizio Moretti, Gregory Rogove), will be performing songs from Piana on the previously mentioned 'Alone Together Tour' As you know:
The tour, consisting of a West Coast and East Coast run, will kick off on April 7 in Brooklyn, NY and will include three instrumentalists from different-but-related musical communities stepping out of the band atmosphere to present their solo compositions. The tour line-up includes Gregory Rogove and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire/Bell Orchestre / violin) on all dates, Billy Martin (Medeski Martin Wood / percussion) on the east coast leg, Colin Stetson (Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson / saxophone) on the west coast leg. Each artist will perform solo on their respective instrument, exploring a variety of different compositional approaches.More info on the record with the videos for "Sunken Ships" and "Jackyl" and all dates, below...
"Colin Stetson was crazy good at Glasslands. Like putting Ornette Coleman under a powerful microscope and throwing him off the jazz deep end." - Liam A
Colin Stetson at SXSW 2011 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Now both musicians will team up as part of the "Alone Together" tour - An Evening of Solo Works - with Gregory Rogove (Devendra Banhart, Priestbird, Megapuss) and Billy Martin (Medeski Martin & Wood), though Colin Stetson will NOT be on the first few dates of the tour that stars in Brooklyn at Littlefield on Saturday (4/7) and also hits Le Poisson Rouge on April 10. Tickets for the Littlefield show (no Stetson) and the LPR show (no Stetson) are on sale now.
To quote a tour description:
Neufeld will present her unique and vibrant solo violin pieces, Martin will perform his impressive array of spontaneous percussion/drum set compositions, Stetson will perform his spell-binding solo bass saxophone work, and Rogove will play his minimalist, solo piano pieces, from his recently released PIANA album (Knitting Factory Records).All tour dates, the live Stetson video, and video of Sarah playing with Pulp in 2011, below...
Colin Stetson at SXSW 2011 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Sax monarch Colin Stetson is heading out on a North American tour this spring. Most of the dates will be supported by Sarah Neufeld, who Stetson has played with in Bell Orchestre (with Richard Parry), and who is also a member of Arcade Fire and sometimes The Luyas. The tour will bring the two musicians to NYC on April 3 at Glasslands. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Towards the end of last year, Colin Stetson made a video for "Those Who Didn't Run," off the EP of the same name. The video was directed by Isaac Gale, who has worked with Colin in the past, in addition to working on many Doomtree-related videos (Doomtree are on tour too). You can watch that video below.
Speaking of the Arcade Fire, if you missed it, you can watch their entire recent episode of Austin City Limits online. Time will tell if they support Obama again in the upcoming election.
All Colin Stetson dates and the video below...
Austra @ BrooklynVegan Day Party @ Swan Dive
A few days have passed since I got back from Austin, and I'm still struggling to process the week. Yes, it was my first time at SXSW. Thanks to the never-ending supply of free tacos, music, beer, fellow music-devotees, and sunshine, I managed to retain that little-kid-like wonder throughout the week - even when severe sleep deprivation set in. (And I thought CMJ was a rush. Ha.)
By the time I left Austin on Sunday morning, I managed to see some 54 bands (no counting impromptu street performances) play in 20 different venues. Some were of course flops, but on the whole, I was impressed by the showcase of new and emerging artists. CMJ is great, but let's be honest. So many of the bands that play there play nearly every week in New York or Brooklyn anyway. Austin, on the other hand, seemed to get a much wider variety of acts, and I made it my goal to see as many unfamiliar and/or international artists as I could (in addition to of course scouting out some of my favorites like Sam Amidon, The Loom, tUnE-yArDs, and Papercuts).
Instead of potentially boring you with a lengthy play-by-play (which you can catch on my personal blog if you're interested), I'll try to succinctly present the highlights from my week. (Though to be fair, this is something of an impossible task.)
Since I flew into Houston and drove over (waaay cheaper), I didn't get to see a ton of music on Wednesday, but what I did catch was excellent. My first band of the festival, Still Corners (who recently signed to Sub Pop along with Memoryhouse), turned out to be one of my favorites all week. The British group's well-executed, dreamy sound was the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful outdoor setting on the lawn of the French Legation Museum for the the Bella Union/Yours day party. My two other favorite finds of the day were BOBBY (a Mountain Man side project that later played at one of the BV showcases) and the delightful Cali singer-songwriter Sea of Bees, whose eerily beautiful song "Gnomes" played on repeat in my head all week and prompted me to seek her out a second time the following day.
With the exception of the NPR Showcase, which featured the likes of Wild Flag, The Joy Formidable, and The Antlers (more on that later), the majority of Thursday left me lukewarm... that is until I stumbled upon Austra at the Domino showcase. (Austra also later performed at the BV show at Swan Dive on Saturday - pictures in this post.)
Wow. Zola Jesus may drive me a bit crazy at times due to Nika Roza Danilova's overly dramatic performance, but Austra seemed to strike exactly the right balance - theatrical and eye-catching without coming across as disingenuous or too over-the-top. Their beat was addictive, their appearance and dance moves, arresting. No question about it. Austra is definitely an artist to watch - and probably my favorite live act all week. Many of the sets I caught were only partial - I was constantly arriving late and leaving early in order to scamper off to another venue, but Austra held my attention (understatement of the year?), and I stuck around for the entirety of the set (Bill did too).
Just when you thought Montreal was tapped out on its music talent, along comes Little Scream. Singer-songwriter Laurel Sprengelmeyer aka Little Scream (who bears a striking resemblance to a young Susan Sarandon), just finished up The Golden Record, her first studio album, co-produced by Richard Reed Parry of the Arcade Fire and Belle Orchestre.
The album was recorded in Montreal and New York, in the home studios of Parry and Aaron Dessner of the National. Both artists contributed to the album, with Parry playing on multiple tracks. Additional guest musicians include Mike Fueurstack (Snailhouse), Becky Foon (Silver M. Zion), Patty McGee (Stars) and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Belle Orchestre).
The Golden Record (named after the 1977 Voyager space shuttle time capsule recording) is filled with stunning vocals and a beautiful use of reverb on songs such as "Your Radio." There are influences that span from the genre of folk on "Black Cloud," to the classical "Boatman." The heavy intro on "Cannons" bears the mark of Parry's work that can be heard in the Arcade Fire, but is unique at the same time. I was hooked right away with the soothing sounds of "Amahl," the album opener (a tribute to the Menotti opera that bears the same name), and the ballad that is "The Heron and the Fox."
There is good news for fans. Little Scream is on tour, playing this Saturday at the Pop Montreal Festival and the following Tuesday, 10/5, at Brooklyn's the Rock Shop. Tickets are still on sale for the Brooklyn show which is being headlined by Marnie Stern and also includes a set by the Forms.
LS is really excited to be playing the Pop Montreal Festival with Mary Margaret O'Hara, saying "she's kind of one of the reasons I play music." This set will also include guest musicians Becky Foon and Jess Robertson, and as previously noted, Doveman is also on that bill.
A limited run of CD's will be available at live shows, starting at the end of October. An official album release is slated for next spring. For a preview of The Golden Record, you can listen to new tunes at www.listn.to/littlescream and at her MySpace.
All tour dates and a Vincent Moon-directed Take Away Show, with pictures Ryan Muir took while that Take Away Show was being recorded at Pop Montreal last year, below...
photos by Ryan Muir
Hello hello!That was the invite message for Wednesday night's secret Luyas show. Hopefully you didn't have too much trouble figuring out where it was if you wanted to attend. If you weren't there and are wondering what it was like, well the pictures give a pretty good idea. They continue below.
Here is the info for our special secret event on Wednesday (21st) night.
Let's all meet at Kings Bar. It's located at 286 Seigel St., Brooklyn, NY 11206 between White and Bogart Sts. (Off the Morgan subway stop.)
We can have a drink there while waiting for everyone to arrive. It's probably a good idea to BYOB for a bit later on if that's your style.
If we are sending this to you, we would really really love to have you there, but if you can't make it, please feel free to come out to our other shows
And as their message says, if you missed it, come check out one of their other shows. There was tonight/Thursday at Webster Hall with Owen Pallett, Friday night at Sycamore, and Sunday at Glasslands, and.... (as already posted)... the just added Saturday night with Holiday Shores and The Morning Benders at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The Music Hall show is sold out, so if you have a ticket get there early. Luyas on at 9:00.
You'll recognize The Arcade Fire's Sarah Neufeld in these pictures. She played with them Wednesday night, but unfortunately won't be at any of the other shows this week. The pictures continue below...