Entries tagged with: Saturday Looks Good to Me
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Andrew Frisicano
Saturday Looks Good to Me
Saturday Looks Good to Me played their first New York City show in four years at the Knitting Factory on Friday, as part of NYC Popfest. Since disbanding the group in 2008, Thomas has been focusing on various projects: mainly his dream-pop duo City Center but also touring with upbeat outfit Swimsuit, which shares some members with the new Saturday Looks Good to Me iteration. The six piece band backed Fred and singer Carol Catherine Gray (who also plays fiddle) with synth, guitar, bass and drums. The group's Jonathan Richman-like simplicity and soulful beat carried old favorites ("Empty Room" "Alcohol," "The Girl's Distracted," and encores "Dialtone" and "Money in the Afterlife") as well as promising new songs. Thankfully the band has plans beyond this reunion tour: from the stage, Fred said to expect a new record in the fall.
The rest of Friday night's Popfest line-up included Barcelona's fizzy Cola Jet Set, energetic, wild haired Texans Wild Moccasins, fantastic Seattle trio Orca Team (whose performance we already wrote about), and openers Catnaps who did a glockenspeil-assisted cover of Joy Division's "Disorder," not the type of thing you associate with an indiepop festival.
More Popfest pictures are below, along with video courtesy of Bleary Eyed Brooklyn.
by Bill Pearis
Here's the second part of the NYC Popfest 2012 preview. For info on tonight's show at Knitting Factory can read part one here.
SATURDAY, MAY 19
There's a free show at Spike Hill with Sweden's rough-and-tumble Lisa Bouvier, the gentle sounds of Philippine band Outerhope (who also play The Rock Shop on Monday [5/21]) plus Pale Lights (featuring Comet Gain's Phil Sutcliffe and Andy from Crystal Stilts) and Brooklyn up-and-comers Habibi.
For those going to Spike Hill, you might want to head to Williamsburg early to check out the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair that is happening at food hipster mecca Smorgasburg from 11AM-6PM. Indiepop-friendly labels like Angular, Kanine, and What's Your Rupture? will be there, with some exclusive product as well. Plus lots of amazing food. Get there before noon to beat the insane lines.
It's an all-Williamsburg day for Popfest as the Saturday night show happens at Public Assembly with two legendary UK bands headlining; Comet Gain and The Pooh Sticks. The former, celebrating their 20th year in existence, are playing their first Popfest and first shows in NYC since 2009. Last year's Howl of the Lonely Crowd was another fine addition to their canon of footstompers and floorshakers.
The Pooh Sticks
The Pooh Sticks haven't played NYC since 1992 back when they were supporting the American release of their stone-cold classic Great White Wonder which cemented their rep as masters of tongue-in-cheek, arched brow indie. Actually it was already established with shambly 1988 singles "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well" and "On Tape" which is the "Losing My Edge" of its day. Arch, tuneful and not afraid to steal, The Pooh Sticks are indiepop royalty and, if recent live video on YouTube is correct, they still got it.
But the best group of the night -- or at least the best one you've never heard of before (probably) -- are on first. A quick listen to Pushy Parents are you can guess they're from Sweden (Stockholm to be specific) with a sound somewhere between early Cardigans and the Concretes. Their new Secret Secret EP is terrific: equal parts effortless melody, skill and just-right production. You can stream the whole thing and watch the video for its title track at the bottom of this post.
SUNDAY, MAY 20 (LITTLEFIELD)
Allo Darlin' with Gary Olson at Mercury Lounge (more)
Popfest ends with an all-day affair at Littlefield, featuring tourmates Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who have been written about before and you can see pictures from both band's visit to Mercury Lounge a few weeks back. They are both great and reason enough to go on Sunday.
But not the only reason. The Littlefield show will also feature the first-ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excellent albums before and after his fluke hit "Your Woman" in 1997. That song, as good as it it (and it is!) also isn't especially representative of White Town's body of work which tends to mix wispy melodies, delicate guitars and budget drum machines. Mishra has stayed active, continuing to release albums over the years, including last year's Monopole.
Also playing: Brooklyn indiepop mainstays The Ladybug Transistor whose frontman Gary Olson usually lends his trumpeting skills to at least one other Popfest band who needs it. (He'll probably also sing the male vocal parts on Allo Darlin's "Dreaming" as he's done before.)
The Holiday Crowd
And come early to Littlefield to catch local power pop combo Swearin' (which shares a couple members with Dear Marje who also play Popfest this year); Washington DC's Dot Dash, which features members of Julie Ocean and wordy '90s indiepoppers Tree Fort Angst.
The full Popfest Saturday - Sunday schedule is below, along with that Pushy Parents stream and video.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Popfest Mix (ZIP)
Burning Hearts @ NYC Popfest 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
It's NYC Popfest time again. Popfest happens Thursday - Sunday (May 17 - 20) at various venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can still get 4-day Festival Passes ($50) that will get you into all the weekend's shows, or you can buy tickets to individual shows.
There's a couple quick ways to check out all that's going on: Popfest has put together a free downloadable mix (linked above) with all the bands playing this year; and I put together a Spotify playlist with a couple songs from all the Popfest bands that have songs available on the service. If that's not enough, here's a little more about what's ahead, and this post covers Thursday and Friday night's shows. Saturday and Sunday preview will be later this week.
THURSDAY, MAY 17 (CAKE SHOP)
Like usual, Popfest kicks off Thursday (5/17) at Cake Shop. Headliners are Finland's Burning Hearts who were last here for Popfest 2009. The band's new album, Extinctions, mixes shimmery synths, jangly guitars and cooing guitars. You can stream the whole album at the bottom of this post. Burning Hearts also play a free show at LES store Ivana Helsinki (251 Elizabeth St.) and the Rock Shop on Monday (5/21) as part of a post-Popfest hangover show with Vancouver's Sleuth, the Philippines' Outerhearts and Orca Team (more on them below),
Staying in the same part of the world, Swedish powerpop band Speedmarket Avenue are also playing Thursday night. It's been four years since the band released their last album but, but a recently posted new song on their website gives hope for new musical activity. Hopefully we'll get a preview of their new album this week.
FRIDAY, MAY 18 (KNITTING FACTORY)
Friday night is at Knitting Factory with headliners Michigan's Saturday Looks Good to Me who haven't played NYC since the band dissolved in 2008. Main man Fred Thomas is promising a new album, so good to hear this will be more than just remember when.
For me the band I'm most excited to see Friday is Pacific Northwesterners Orca Team whose music is like a '50s dance party on a submarine with Tim Gane piloting. Their new album, Restraint, is out June 14 on the Happy Happy Birthday to Me label and is a little less specifically retro (and all the better for it). If you can't make it Friday night, Orca Team play two non-Popfest shows while here: a free show at XPO 929 (aka Party Expo) on Saturday (5/19) and they're also playing that 5/21 show at the Rock Shop with Burning Hearts and others.
As I said above, look for a preview of Saturday and Sunday's Popfest events later in the week. Meanwhile, the full NYC Popfest schedule (bands, set times, etc) is below.
Michigan indie poppers Saturday Looks Good to Me, led by main songwriter Fred Thomas, are set to kick off their first tour since Fred ended the project back in 2008. The tour kicks off next month with support from Wild Moccasins. That tour includes a Brooklyn show happening on May 18 at Knitting Factory with Cola Jet Set, Orca Team, and Catnaps. Tickets are on sale now for the show which is part of NYC Popfest. All dates are listed below.
SLGTM reissued their 2003 album, All Your Summer Songs, on 180-gram white vinyl for Record Store Day via Polyvinyl. Did you pick one of those up? If not, you can try your luck bidding on one on eBay. Fred is also promising a new SLGTM album due out this fall. Meanwhile, Polyvinyl have assembled a playlist of the band's work, which you can stream below.
All dates and playlist stream below...
by Bill Pearis
The Pooh Sticks in the early '90s
The sixth-annual NYC Pop Fest is happening May 17 - 20 and the organizers have just announced the 27 band line-up, which includes UK acts Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures who will wrap up their US tour together with their Popfest show, plus Comet Gain, Seattle's Seapony, Finland's Burning Hearts, Sweden's Speedmarket Avenue and The Electric Pop Group, and longrunning American indiepop group Saturday Looks Good to Me.
This year's line-up also included Wales' legendary Pooh Sticks (!) who haven't played in America since CMJ 1992, and the first ever American show from White Town (aka Jyoti Mishra) who made many excelent albums before and after his fluke (and unrepresentative) hit "Your Woman" in 1997. NYC is represented too, with The Ladybug Transistor, Habibi, Heaven's Gate, Pale Lights, The Marshmallows, Swearin' and Dear Marje.
Ticket and venue info is still TBA but sure to be announced soon. Click through for the full NYC Pop Fest 2012 line-up.
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: City Center - Teardrop Children (edit) (MP3)
Here's an exclusive look at the upcoming new record from City Center, the project of Brooklyn-Michigan duo Fred Thomas (of Saturday Still Looks Good to Me) and Ryan Howard. The group been playing for a few years now, initially as just Fred, and their self-titled debut, a swirling collage of buried melodies, came out last year on Type Records.
I saw them last fall, shortly after their debut's release, and they were already moving toward a less-murky, more guitar-based sound. Fred says that this record expands in that direction. The album, tentatively titled See My Skeleton, doesn't have a label yet, but Fred hopes to have it out this September. A first look - an edited version of the song "Teardrop Children" - is above.
Their upcoming tour kicks off with a Monday, March 29th show at Death By Audio (with Soft Circle, Drawlings and Love of Everything). Full dates are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: City Center - Open House (MP3)
City Center @ Nakamura House Party 3/14/09...
[Fred Thomas of City Center/Saturday Looks Good To Me]:
I leave tomorrow morning for Olympia to get it together for 2 months or so of touring with The Hive Dwellers and Chain & The Gang. Hive Dwellers is Calvin Johnson's new band/new songs and I play drums for the band. C&TG is Ian Svenonius' (Make Up/Weird War/Soft Focus talk show) new jam. I play bass in that one. After the last two months of playing lots of shows, recording all the time and hanging so hard with Ryan all in the name of playing some fucked up music with City Center, I'm really sad to be taking off for so long and putting the CC on hold. Luckily we're gonna play a few shows on this tour, and we also have a ton of things we're working on that will come to light soon... [City Center blog, 4.1.09]One of those "things we're working on" (or maybe "worked on") is most definitely the forthcoming self-titled debut record from City Center. Fred announced the disc, to be released by Type Records, on his blog a week earlier: "The record will be released on LP and CD, with a UK release date of May 25th and a US release date of June 8. It will be distributed by Forced Exposure and available directly from Type or by getting in touch with us directly here or on Myspace, etc. There will be some sort of digital media for it as well, just not sure what yet." New track "Open House" is available for download above.
The Hive Dwellers + Chain & the Gang tour dates mentioned above include two NYC shows: Friday, April 17th at 92YTribeca and Sunday, April 26th at the Market Hotel. Tickets are available for the 92YTribeca show, which also includes City Center on the bill.
Svenonius-led Chain & the Gang's debut Down With Liberty... Up With Chains! is coming out via Calvin Johnson's K Records on April 7th. Art and press release for that album below.
All tour dates, and City Center art and track list - also below...
Yura Yura Teikoku
today in NYC
* David Dondero @ Union Hall
* Springhouse @ Sound Fix Records
* The Bronx & Love City @ Maxwell's
* Effi Briest & many others @ Glasslands
* White Denim & Amazing Baby @ Mercury Lounge
* The Pains of Being Pure at Heart & Women @ Cake Shop
* Yura Yura Teikoku, Obits & Invisible Conga People @ MHOW
The Bronx also have a CMJ show at Fontana's.
Obits are not playing CMJ because at least one of the members will be out of town.
White Denim aren't playing CMJ, but they also have another NYC show on Monday.
Women and Amazing Baby both have plenty of shows to choose from during CMJ.
CMJ starts Tuesday which is also the night of the BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Ponytail is one of the bands on that bill. Check out their video for "Die Allman Bruder" below...
Sarah Palin was on SNL last night. I posted one video. Another (rap) one is below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Saturday Looks Good To Me - Whitey Hands (High Places Remix) (MediaFire MP3 link)
Fred Thomas has been keeping busy during the current Saturday Looks Good to Me hiatus. Under the City Center name, he's kept a steady blog of his audio experiments, while sporadically posting old SLGTM gems, with tour photos and journal entries along the way.
Though the latest post states, "It pains me today to officially retire as a musician and producer," I am pretty sure the City Center show at The Stone tonight (August 29, 2008) at 8pm, is still on. All dates below...
Calvin Johnson mural @ Dept of Safety, Anacortes, Washington (K Records)
Feb 14, 2008 - New York, New YorkAll tour dates below....
New York University, Shorin Hall - w/ Karl Blau 8PM All Ages
Feb 17, 2008 - New York, New York
Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery - 4PM
Feb 18, 2008 - Brooklyn, New York
Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell St (at Nassau, Greenpoint, Brooklyn G-Nassau or L-Graham) -w/ Karl Blau & Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me) 8:00PM $7.00 All Ages
DOWNLOAD: Fred Thomas - Last One (MP3)
Fred Thomas is the singer of Saturday Looks Good To Me. They came out with a good album in 2007. That's them/him im the picture above playing the BrooklynVegan day party at R Bar during CMJ 2007. More pictures like that HERE.
Fred also has a new solo CD out. It's out on Magic Marker Records, and called FLOOD. All I've heard so far is the track streaming at his MySpace, and the one I have linked for download at the top of this post.
DOWNLOAD: Saturday Looks Good To Me - Make A Plan (MP3)
After three years of relative silence, warped indie-pop collective Saturday Looks Good To Me return triumphantly with their fourth studio album Fill Up The Room which will drop on October 23. Following two critically acclaimed releases with Polyvinyl Records, this marks the beginning of the band's work with K Records, and a dramatic progression from their 60's tinged retro-pop sound to a more textured, experimental and colorful breed of pop music.Whatever it is, I like it. One MP3 above, and two more new songs streaming at their MySpace. See them...
SLGTM in NYC, 2007
Oct 05 @ Gramercy Theatre w/ The Blow & High Places (TONIGHT!!!)
Oct 16 @ CMJ Day Stage, 3pm (CMJ badges only)
Oct 17 @ Luna Lounge (K Records CMJ showcase) (TIX)
Oct 19 @ R Bar (BrooklynVegan free day party w/ The Black Kids, Yo Majesty, etc...)
All tour dates below....