Entries tagged with: Savoir Adore
It was fun to close out the second-annual Northside Festival at Coco 66 with North Highlands, The Luyas, Savoir Adore and Gray Goods. Things got off to a bit of a late start but no one seemed to mind, and most people who showed up stayed the whole night. There was dancing, and smoke machines and lazers and everyone wanted to know what the hell instrument that was Jessie from The Luyas was playing. (Answer: a moodswinger.) Thanks to everyone who came out.
More pictures (of 3 of the bands), plus some really nice videos below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: North Highlands - Collar Bones (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - three tracks from In the Wooded Forrest (link takes you to download page)
DOWNLOAD: The Luyas - Tiny Head (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gray Goods - Color Divide (MP3)
North Highlands @ South Street Seaport (more by Chris La Putt)
Brooklyn Vegan hasn't met a festival to which we haven't wanted to add one more party. So in addition to the official Brooklyn Vegan show at Music Hall of Williamsburg and two heavy showcases being presented by BV-BBG -- all of which are Saturday night -- there's now a fourth BV-related Northside Festival show, Sunday night (6/27) at Coco 66. This one's being presented by me, as a Brooklyn Vegan's This Week in Indie/Sound Bites and features North Highlands, The Luyas, Savoir Adore and Gray Goods. Tickets are $10 or you can get in with your Northside Festival badge.
If you read/skim TWII on a regular basis you've heard of most of the bands. North Highlands have only been together for about a year but they've really come into their own recently, making gentle, engaging orch-pop that is really rather magical when they play live. They were just great when they played the Sound Bites Lunchtime Series earlier this month at the Seaport, and I couldn't be happier to have them play this too.
Not that I don't want you to stay at Coco 66 all night, but if you can't make their 11PM set, North Highlands play earlier Sunday night at Cameo; and they also play Saturday afternoon at Spike Hill as part of The L Magazine's "8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear Right Now" showcase which is free -- no badge necessary.
This is The Luyas only Northside show, though the band are down from Montreal for three shows, including Rooftop Films tonight (6/24) and tomorrow night (6/25) at 929 Broadway (same building as Party Expo, but 2nd floor) with Adult Themes. I am super-psyched to have them on the bill.
Savoir Adore are one of my favorite local bands of the last two years and their album, In the Wooded Forrest, made my Best of 2010 list. The record just got released in the UK and the band is heading over there in July for their first-ever tour there. They are also a great live band.
Savoir Adore also play the night before (Saturday, 6/26) at Brooklyn Bowl as part of the Cantora Records showcase that also includes BRAHMS, Gordon Voidwell and The Tony Castles.
Gray Goods is the new band from Ryan Brown, formerly of Soft Pack cohorts Browns. (In fact, Gray Goods' drummer is the little brother of Soft Pack guitarist Matt McLoughlin.) You can check out the Feelies-esque "Color Divide" at the top of this post which is from the new Singles EP on 1928 Recordings. Gray Goods will also play later Sunday night at Bruar Falls.
I think that's a damn good show. Come by if you can. Set times are below....
by Bill Pearis
It's another jam-packed week of shows. In addition to Taken By Trees, El Perro Del Mar and The Soundtrack of our Lives, here's some of the ones I'm excited about.
tonight (2/16): New Cantora Records signees Bear Hands play The Studio at Webster Hall. You can download the band's percussion-heavy new single "What a Drag" for free from their website if you're willing to give them your email address. You can also watch the video at the bottom of this post.
Also tonight (2/16), Beast kick off what is now a run of three NYC shows. As we pointed out earlier today, "Beast are at the Living Room tonight. They play the Cameo tomorrow night late...and they've added an early set at the Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, where the show is with Fight Like Apes, Honor By August, Stationary Set and Tryptics."
This week is last of Savoir Adore's February Thursdays residency at Cake Shop and we've got a pair of tickets up for grabs. Just email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM and we'll pick a winner at random. In addition to Savoir Adore (have I mentioned their album made my Best of 2009 list?), it's another good group of openers. The Bloodsugars make '80s-inspired widescreen pop that at times sounds uncannily like Prefab Sprout -- and good Prefab Sprout, not "hot dog jumping frog Albequerque" Prefab Sprout. Which is to say these folks know their way around big pop hooks, and are kind of a perfect match with Savoir Adore. You can download "Light at the End of the Tunnel" from last year's underrated I Can't Go On, I'll Go On at the top of this post.
Also on Thursday (2/18), Dan Black is in town at Mercury Lounge. There's a new version of Dan's single "Symphonies" that features Kid Cudi, and you can watch the new video for it at the bottom of this post.
Bear in Heaven @ Mercury Lounge in January (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
A few more shows. Bear in Heaven, who were just great at Mercury Lounge a couple weeks back, play Glasslands on Friday night (2/19) with Secret Machines. What I like about them live is that you can tell they all really enjoying being in Bear in Heaven and playing these songs. They're just a lot of fun to watch, and they're pretty tight too with a drummer beats the shit out of his instrument.
Secret Machines are headlining, a band I haven't seen play in some time but have always liked. They've got a trippy, string-heavy new single, "Like I Can," that you can listen to on their website. Also playing what sounds like a full evening are electro rock quintet Mon Khmer, Noveller and Papa.
Saturday (2/20) marks the end of The Beets/Beach Fossils/Christmas Island tour where they'll play Music Hall of Williamsburg along with German Measels and headliners Crystal Stilts who I still haven't managed to catch since Frankie Rose left the drummer's chair.
Dum Dum Girls
Speaking of Frankie, she'll be pulling double duty Sunday night at Mercury Lounge where her own bandThe Outs will open for Dum Dum Girls (she's their drummer). DDG's debut album for Sub Pop is about six weeks away but you can download the album's first single, "Jail La La," at the top of this post. (It's out on 7" today with a nice cover of the Stones' "Play With Fire" on the flip.) I'm usually not one for re-recording songs that have already been released, but I actually think this recording is spruces things up just enough without unraveling their reverby gauze. After heading to London for a few shows, Dum Dum Girls will be back for SXSW and then will go on tour with Girls in April. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
Frankie & the Outs are really coming along as a band too, and thought they were fantastic at Monster Island this past weekend. The vocal harmonies in particular are the band's strong point, with a bit of soul in there too actually, kind of like some late-'60s girl rockers. I'd love to hear them cover The Kelly Affair/Carry Nation's "Sweet Talking Candy Man" from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. But maybe that's just me.
Also playing are Dum Dum Girls' Sub Pop labelmates Happy Birthday, whose super-catchy song "Girls FM" is downloadable at the top of this post. It's power pop, but kind of gritty/garagy and makes me anxious to hear more.
That's it for this week. Flyers, videos and tour dates after the jump...
by Bill Pearis
It's a good week in New York for lovers of no-muss-no-fuss garage rock -- there's a lot of it in town. Austin trio Harlem are playing a trio of shows, the first of which is tonight (2/10) at Mercury Lounge with Girls at Dawn. They then play Friday (2/12) with Frankie & the Outs and The Siberians at Monster Island, and then hit Union Pool on Saturday (2/13) with Jemina Pearl. The band's second album (and first for Matador), Hippies, is out in April and doesn't stray too far from the greasy lo-fi of their debut, but with a bit more, um, finesse. They haven't polished the furniture, just tidied up a bit and the songs don't substitute reverb and distortion, for songwriting chops and attitude. It's a good record.
I'm going to see them tonight Mercury Lounge, but if I had to recommend one of the three shows, Monster Island on Friday seems like the right place to see them with the best and most economical ($7) of the overall line-ups. The Siberians make the kind of garage you would've heard at Cavestomp ten years ago before the genre became cool again -- more Lyres-style organ, less scuzz. Stupid Party are molasses-thick with extra sludge.
The night starts with Blacksburg, VA's Wild Nothing whose dreamy new single, "Summer Holiday," was just released on Captured Tracks. Think a slightly less wimpy Trembling Blue Stars and you're in the general sonic ballpark. Maybe you've already heardhis cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting" that made its way around the internet last year. I'm pretty sure on record it's just one guy, so what guise Wild Nothing will take live is anybody's guess. And Frankie & the Outs have really come along as a band over the last five months and are coming into their own -- and apparently they've just wrapped up recording their debut album. Hopefully that will be out sooner than later.
Both Wild Nothing and the Outs will play Monster Island again the next night (2/13) for another great show, this time with Blank Dogs (who haven't played in a while), Sisters and Ireland's So Cow. This will be the first NYC appearance from So Cow since his assault on the U.S. last summer where he charmed nearly everyone who went to see him play. His new album, Meaningless Friendly, is supposedly out this month though there's no mention of it on the Tic Tac Totally website. Ask him what the hell's up with that at the merch table, won't you? If you can't make it Saturday night, So Cow plays again on Sunday (2/14) at Cake Shop with Vivian Girls/Woods side project The Babies, the Nick Cave-y Preacher and the Knife (who are also playing a fashion show on Friday) and retro doowop stylings of White Blue Yellow and Clouds. So Cow will be in here for nearly six weeks (including SXSW), playing just about everywhere in North America so do go see him if you can.
Monday night at Cake Shop was the kickoff show for Christmas Island / Beets / Beach Fossils tour which will take them down and up the East Coast over the next ten days. If you missed that show, all three play again on Saturday (2/13) at Death by Audio and then will close the tour on 2/20 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Crystal Stilts and German Measles (tickets are still on sale for the latter). Matt Volz, who does all the The Beets' artwork, designed a great poster for the tour which you can actually buy via Captured Tracks website and at the merch table on this tour (and is given a CT release number a la Factory Records). You can see a big version of it here.
I've written plenty about Beach Fossils and The Beets before and both bands play here often, they live here, so the real draw here is San Diego's Christmas Island. Their album from last year, Blackout Summer, didn't get much attention but is well worth checking out. You can download a track from it at the top of this post. Not unlike fellow Californians Nodzzz, Christmas Island make somewhat surfy, definitely nasally/nerdy indie rock that at times reminds me of the Dead Milkmen (when Joe Jack Talcum sang). They were good when I saw them at SXSW last year and look forward to seeing them again on Friday. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Tomorrow (2/11) is the second of Savoir Adore's three Thursdays in February residency at Cake Shop and I've got another pair of tickets to give away. Just email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "Savoir Adore" in the subject and I'll pick a winner at random. Openers this week are really good. Both CYHSY/Savoir Adore side project Uninhabitable Mansions and We Are Country Mice have been written about by me before, but I'll like to highlight Brooklyn band North Highlands who make rather lovely piano-driven orch pop. Singer Brenda Malvani has one of those airy but strong voices that seems to have dictated the sound of the band, it all just goes down so well together. They're good live too. You can download title track from their Sugar Lips EP at the top of this post. In between bands this week, Pat from Pop Tarts Suck Toasted (a victim of this week's nasty "Music Blogocide 2K10") will spin tunes. Should be a great night.
A couple more. The Obits anniversary shows are at Cake Shop Friday and Saturday night. Sure to be awesome.
And finally don't forget about Diamond Nights and Cheeseburger (with guest vocalists) this Saturday (2/13) at Brooklyn Bowl. If ever there were two bands to see at a bowling alley, it's these two. The Coco66 show Diamond Nights were originally booked to play on Friday isn't happening so this may be your only chance ever to see them rock it again, as the band has been defunct for over two years. They definitely went before their time. Really looking forward to this one.
That's it for this week. Flyers and tour dates below.
by Bill Pearis
If you were like me, you spent last night at home puzzling over the LOST premiere (or maybe you went to the Bell House to watch it.) But maybe in an alternate universe I chose instead to go see Oberhofer at Pianos last night. And also in that alternate universe, everyone has health care and I own my own apartment and there is a jukebox in every high school cafeteria. I digress. Luckily for me in this world, Oberhofer are playing again this Friday (2/5) at The Studio @ Webster Hall with Radical Dads.
There's no shortage of bedroom rockers out there hawking their one-man-bands on MySpace, but Oberhofer definitely have something. While there is plenty of every home recording enthusiast's best friends, reverb and distortion, Oberhoffer is not Wavves-style scuzz. The most obvious comparison is probably The Dodos (clattery drums, glockenspiel, whistling), but I even hear a little Real Estate in there too on the track "Away FRM You" which you can download above. You can download a seven-song EP via his MySpace by giving up your email address. While the recordings are just Brad, he's put together an actual band which is what you'll The Studio @ Webster Hall on Friday.
Savoir Adore will play Cake Shop the next three Thursdays. Their debut, In the Wooded Forrest, is loaded with great big pop songs and made my Favorite Albums of 2009 list and they are great live too, so if you've yet to check them out live don't wait any longer. The band has hand-picked the bands for their residency shows, and this Thursday (2/4) is especially good, featuring the very good and fun French Horn Rebellion who you might also see opening for Hot Chip this weekend. The two bands help each other out live (FHR's David Perlick-Molinari plays guitar in Savoir Adore; Savoir's singer Paul Hammer plays drums in FHR) so there should be a good party vibe going on.
Also on the bill are DJ/electronic artist Pocketknife and singer-songwriter Cameron Hull. If you'd like to go I've got a pair of tickets to give away. Just send an email with "Savoir Adore" as the subject to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM and a winner will be chosen at random.
Hot Chip's show with French Horn Rebellion happens Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It's sold out, but you can also catch Hot Chip one night earlier at Highline Ballroom with Free Energy. The MySpace Secret Show is free - first come, first served.
There's a lot going on this week. Also Thursday, at Studio @ Webster Hall is another Twin Sister show put on by blog Chocolate Bobka. (Seriously, McGregor puts on shows like some people put on pants [ie fairly often].) I finally got to see Twin Sister last Friday at Bruar Falls and I was pretty blown away by how good they are live. Last year's Vampires with Dreaming Kids EP (downloadable from their website), as good as it is, doesn't really give an accurate picture of what they now sound like. These days, they're combining '80s-back-to-jazz (Sade, Style Council) with more drony/Krautrock type stuff (Notwist, Stereolab). They were just fantastic live, and I haven't come away from a show that excited about a new band in some time. Totally impressed. Twin Sister have a bunch of shows coming up and I do suggest you check them out soon, as I think 2010 is gonna be big for them.
And a few more quick recommendations:
The Soft Pack's debt album is out today, well worth buying, and they play a free all-ages show at Cake Shop on Friday (2/5). Doors are at Midnight. One of my favorite live bands of the last two years. if you miss the small venue show, they'll back back in March April to play Maxwell's, Mercury Lounge and Music Hall of Williamsburg (all just went on sale).
Montreal's We Are Wolves are in town this weekend, and play The Studio @ Webster Hall on Friday (2/5) and Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday (2/6). The Saturday show is also the Hot Chip MHOW afterparty with a DJ set by the band.
Golden Triangle's debut for Hardly Art, titled Double Jointer, is out on March 3 and you can download an MP3 from it, "Neon Noose," at the top of this post. The band will be going on tour around that time as well (tour dates below) but play a one-off show this Saturday at Union Pool with the Cramps-y garage of K-Holes. This should be a fairy debauched good time.
Acrylics play twice this weekend: Friday night (2/4) at Brooklyn Bowl with Tanlines as part of BAM's "Sounds Like Brooklyn" Festival. Then they're on a kind of amazing bill the next night (2/5) at Glasslands that is officially the record release party for Class Actress' debut EP. Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor (who runs Terrible Records that both bands are on) DJs. The show also features Blood Orange (aka Dev of Lightspeed Champion) and The Morning Benders. That's a good show!
An MP3 from The Morning Benders' new album Big Echo (out March 9th on Rough Trade) is above. All of their March and April tour dates in support of the new record are below.
There's a new video for Acrylics' "Molly's Vertigo" after the jump as well, along with tour dates and flyers...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - three tracks from In the Wooded Forrest (link takes you to download page)
One of the nicest bands and most underrated bands in Brooklyn, Savoir Adore have been going for almost two years but just their debut album, In the Wooded Forrest, on Cantora Records. It's loaded with big pop hooks, clever productions and positive vibes. They are also a lot of fun live, which you can find out for yourself tonight (12/18) -- they play The Cantora Holiday party with French Horn Rebellion. It's $5 with RSVP, doors are at 11PM. You can also catch them at Mercury Lounge on January 14th. Tickets are on sale at noon.
Core members Paul Hammer and Deidre Munro answered our year-end questionnaire...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Zoos of Berlin - Electrical Way (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Finish Line (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - I'm a Pilot (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Luna (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Ballet - The House of Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phantogram - When I'm Small (Mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Invisible Hand - There's Room in My Will (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Invisible Hand - Caught Myself in a Coy Trap (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Drunk Tigers - Outer Banks, Inner Peace (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phil and the Osophers - We Have All Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
French Horn Rebellion
As previously reported, Detroit band Zoos of Berlin are in town this weekend -- playing Matchless tonight (12/18) and Cake Shop tomorrow (12/19). Mixing elements of baroque, Krautrock and '70s shag carpet, Zoos of Berlin don't really sound like anybody else -- which is a good thing, right? They're good live too, maybe even better than on their album (which is worth seeking out).
I'm told Zoos of Berlin are on early-ish (9:45) so my personal plan for tonight is to catch ZoB at Matchless then head over to Cameo Gallery for the Cantora Late Nite Holiday Special featuring Savoir Adore and French Horn Rebellion. Doors are at 11PM and if you RSVP, admission is only five bucks. I think I've probably written enough about Savoir Adore this year (and you can read their year-end Q&A) for you to know that I'm a big fan and think you should go see them. French Horn Rebellion is David Perlick-Molinari, who plays in the live line-up of Savoir Adore, and his brother Robert -- and their brand of funky electro draws inspiration from Michael Jackson and early '80s disco. They know their way around a catchy tune too -- "Up All Night" is pretty irresistible, and will end up on my Best Singles of 2009 list...whenever I get around to putting that together. That song's video is at the bottom of this post. I've never seen them live -- Paul and Diedre of Savoir Adore play in the French Horn Rebellion touring unit -- so looking forward to seeing them.
Fanfarlo @ MHOW during CMJ (more by Tim Griffin)
Also tonight: after a successful CMJ (including their great performance at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase), Fanfarlo are back in NYC, moving up to Webster Hall where they play with Freelance Whales. Not bad for a band who have yet to get written about at all on Pitchfork. (Though they are one of the choices in their Bands to Watch in 2010 section of theirreader's poll.) I'm still listening to their debut, Reservoir, which has held up over the last 10 months or so. It's a nice pairing with Freelance Whales who were lovely the only time I saw them --at the Brooklyn Vegan day party during CMJ where they played acoustic. Fanfarlo seem like a good band to see during the holidays -- they're very Christmasy. Tickets are still available. Fanfarlo recently stopped by the NPR offices to film an acoustic performance, including a cover of Low's "It Was Just Like Christmas," and you can watch that at the bottom of this post.
The long-running indiepop party Mondo! happens tonight (12/18) at Don Hill's and tonight features a performance by The Ballet who were kind of a big deal with blogs a few years back and played on a few choice bills, opening for Voxtrot, The Hidden Cameras and others. And then they just sort of faded away. Well, The Ballet are back with their second album melodic, upbeat synthpop, Bear Life, and I like it quite a bit. You can download album track "The House on Fire" at the top to this post. Stephin Merritt comparisons are inevitable but it's definitely more Future Bible Heroes than Magnetic Fields.
Moving on to Saturday (12/19), there's a worthwhile free show at Brooklyn Bowl with Phantogram and Class Actress. I might try to hit this one as I have yet to see Phantogram live and am a fan of their debut album, Eyelid Movies, which will get an official release on Barsuk Records in February 2010. You can download "When I'm Small" from the album at the top of this post. It's a pretty good taster for the album, which is kind of trip-hoppy but in a '00s sort of way (breakbeats but no John Barry or Morricone samples). Chilled, atmospheric, but still danceable.
Class Actress I wrote about last week, but have now actually seen them play (at Mercury Lounge). I don't think they've quite figured out the live show, but they're not bad. I like the EP which will be out on Terrible Records in the new year.
If you miss the bowling alley show, Phantogram also just added a February 12th show at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are on sale at noon.
And finally, for the indie pop fans out there we've got a good show at Matchless on Saturday night, featuring Brooklyn bands Dream Diary and Phil & the Osophers, plus two bands from Charlottesville, Virginia -- The Invisible Hand and Drunk Tigers. The Invisible Hand remind me a bit of Of Montreal by way of Superchunk or the Clean. Definitely a '90s indie rock thing going on, pretty good. You can download two tracks at the top of this post. Drunk Tigers aren't bad either, a little more in the shouty Port O'Brien school of things.
As for the local acts, I'm on record as being a fan of Dream Diary whose jangly style should appeal to fans of The Pastels and other '80s-era Creation Records bands. And Phil and the Osophers have been at it for nearly five years and whose new album, Parallelo, is worth checking out -- you can download an MP3 at the top of this post.
That's gonna do it for this week. No column next week, so happy holidays folks. Videos, flyers and tour dates are below...
by Bill Pearis
Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Bowery Ballroom in May (more by Ryan Muir)
Okay, so Saturday is officially bonkers. I think every band in town this week is playing somewhere, sometimes more than once. There are so many good shows you may get an ulcer trying to narrow down your choices. Here we go:
Surely there's no place you'd rather be Saturday afternoon than at the free Brooklyn Vegan / Bowery Presents party at Pianos. We've got both floors going, with Cymbals Eat Guitars, Deastro, Pete & the Pirates, Surf City, BEAST, Smith Westerns, Dent May and many more. Plus free Miller and Vitamin Water, and, before and during BEAST's set: free bloody marys. Set times below.
But apparently there are other daytime shows. You might be forgiven if you snuck out and went to Music Snobbery's day party next door at The Living Room. I'm a big fan of Savoir Adore and Sissy Wish, and he's also got Denmark's Choir of Young Believers, Dawn Landes and Bird of Youth.
Then in Williamsburg (which is giving Ludlow St. a run for its money this year)... blogger collective After the Jump have put together a great free show at Brooklyn Bowl, with Surfer Blood, Harlem, Savoir Adore, Soft Black, Grooms, Bear in Heaven, and Small Black. Maybe we'll even get a supergroup of Soft Small Black. Anything can happen on the last day of CMJ.
Then there's the Pitchfork-curated Showpaper benefit at Market Hotel is so big it actually goes till 6AM. (Though it's just DJs after midnight.) It's a good opportunity, especially, for the under-21 crowd to see a lot of the CMJ bands (Surfer Blood, Delorean, Cold Cave) who have otherwise played bars. It's not free, but the $8 goes to keep Showpaper going, which is probably the greatest source for all-ages shows in the city.
Underwater Peoples have put on three showcases during CMJ week, and this last one is at Cameo Gallery. 14 bands from noon to 7PM, including Air Waves, Fluffy Lumbers, Frat Dad, Big Troubles, Spanish Prisoners, and Family Portrait. It may be getting a bit more chilly, but the beachy vibe will be present here this afternoon. Not free, but only $7.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Dream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Big Troubles - Drastic and Difficult (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ty Segall - It #1 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Finish Line (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - I'm a Pilot (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fanfarlo - Luna (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jeremy Warmsley - If He Breaks Your Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Slaraffenland - Meet and Greet (Mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Slaraffenland - Open Your Eyes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Horrors - Sea Within a Sea (MP3)
Ty Segall's drummer @ Cake Shop (more by Tim Griffin)
I realize we're all concerned about This Week Next Year in Indie, what with this Pavement stuff, but there are actually good shows in the next few days too, so let's get down to it.
Ty Segall is back in town, playing three area shows before heading down to Memphis for next weekend's Gonerfest. If you haven't picked up his new album, Lemons (which is on Goner Records), you really should -- I think it's one of the year's better slabs of garage. And by all means see him live. He (and his band) were great when they played Cake Shop back in June. You can catch him Friday (9/18) night at Death by Audio (as part of this Maze installation which I have yet to see, and where they recently "chopped some of the walls in half [to help] with the viewing".), Sunday night (9/20) at Mercury Lounge with Golden Triangle, and Monday (9/21) at Maxwell's.
All dates on this current tour are with fellow San Franciscans The Mantles whose self-titled debut is just out on Siltbreeze. Every time I think I've heard all the SF bands doing psych-garage, here comes another and they all seem to put their own stamp on it. The Mantles are a little more on the tuneful, paisley side of things -- think Lyres, Mouse & the Traps or even The Turtles -- that the scream through a distorted mic kind of thing, so they make for a good "similar but different" match to Ty's grittier style.
It's Rosh Hashanah this weekend and the folks at Silent Barn are throwing a party Saturday night in celebration of it: "The party is to celebrate 5770 and will have a Jewish theme but non-Jews are definitely welcome... and encouraged to attend. Gonna be a party and a blast!" Headlining are Dream Diary, who I caught last week at Bruar Falls and thought were really good. Dream Diaryplay what I'd call classic indiepop: jangly guitars, fey vocals, with a love of both sunny melodies and rainy day minor chords. Think The Pastels, Orange Peels, or Trembling Blue Stars. You can check out an MP3 of "Bird in My Garden" at the top of this post, and there's video from the Bruar Falls show below. Also playing: duo Big Troubles who are also Fluffy Lumbers' backing band (if that means anything to you), and The Kezners. Plus: apples and honey!
We are in the midst of The Bell House's First Anniversary, which early in the week saw shows from OK Go, Fountains of Wayne and Rhett Miller, and is now ankle deep in the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The last day of this weeklong celebration (Tuesday, 9/22), however, is the one I'm most excited about: Fanfarlo. It's one of two dates they're playing in NYC, they also are at Bowery Ballroom on Monday (9/21). I'm a longtime champion of these guys and it's great to see them playing two of my favorite venues in the city -- a big move up from the 40 or so people in attendance at Fat Baby during CMJ 2008. Their debut, Resevoir, has been available digitally for some time (they were even selling it for a dollar for a while there) is finally getting a proper release on Atlantic in October. It's one of my favorites of the year, but I think Fanfarlo are even better in concert where their sweeping anthemicism really comes alive. The Finest Kiss caught the first show of their U.S. tour in Seattle:
Fanfarlo get compared to Arcade Fire quite a lot, but where Arcade Fire are all about pomp and bombast, Fanfarlo soften the corners coming across as a warmer friendlier band. They can sound big, but they also know how to do quiet. They all seem to be able to play multiple instruments, and apparently get tired of playing the same thing all the time based on all the switching off they did, and that restlessness spread to audience during the encore, when the band brought out hollow plastic whistling tubes and handed them out to various audience members for the song Ghost. It was just about perfect (except for ducking a few times) with the whistling forming and eerie bed of sound over which the band played. Like the stage set up, it was just another example of the band making a big impact with tiny props. It was a Monday night, but Chop Suey was pretty full for a UK band touring the US with no album out yet. The majority of the people there must have been fans, because after the encore the audience demanded another song. The house music and lights were coming on but everyone persisted and the band obliged. I rarely see a genuine encore, but this indeed was one, and the band were a little taken aback. They weren't sure that they even knew another song that they could play, but they pulled out the A-side to their second single "You Are One Of The Few Outsiders Who Really Understands Us." It may be the poppiest song they have, and just like the rush of the opening "I'm a Pilot" this put a smile on everyone's face. In a lot of ways a gig is like a salesman making a sale, it's all about the presentation, and Fanfarlo have got it down, visually and sonically.Tickets are still available for both the Bowery and Bell House shows, though I think the latter's lodge-y vibe will suit the band best. But do go see one -- or both -- shows if you can. Both nights also feature percussion-heavy Swedes Wildbirds and Peacedrums, who played last night at Cake Shop and will also play at Bruar Falls Friday with Ramona Falls.
Helping fill out Fanfarlo's sound on this American tour (he's playing as a member of their band) is London musician Jeremy Warmsley who travels in the same circles as Noah & the Whale, Lightspeed Champion, Emmy the Great, Slow Club, the Wave Pictures and the rest of London's new folk scene, much of which was documented last year on his online show Welcome To Our TV Show. (You can watch an episode below.) His debut album from last year, How We Became, has yet to be released in America but it's well worth seeking out, a nice mix of acoustics, electronics and well-crafted songs. While here with Fanfarlo, he's doing his own solo show (which is also his NYC debut) on Wednesday (9/23) at Pianos. He's performing solo acoustic, but maybe some of the Fanfarlo folks will still be around to help him out? We'll see. He's good. You can download his single "If He Breaks Your Heart" at the top of this post.
If I wasn't going to the Fanfarlo show at Bell House I would probably be at Union Pool to see Denmark's Slaraffenland, their only NYC date of their current U.S. tour, most of which was spent opening for Akron/Family. Their new album, We're on Your Side, came out this week and while it's a little more straightforward than 2007's weird, wonderful Private Cinema, it's no less lovely. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. And I wholeheartedly recommend seeing them live. I wrote this about their show last year at Knitting Factory: "Live, Slaraffenland are pretty fascinating to watch, as all the members sing and play at least two instruments... often within the same song. The guitarist played the oboe; the percussionist played a variety of woodwinds; the bassist also played flute; and the keyboardist / sampler was often seen with a trombone. There is a lot of live sampling going on in their show -- many songs started with everyone playing horns which would become a backing loop -- so live percussion blended with canned bits. Very little of their music follows pop conventions, but there is melody and beauty if you stop waiting for the chorus and just let the music wash over you." You can also watch their Takeaway show further down this post.
If you're looking for things to do tonight, I can recommend three shows. At Glasslands (9/17), it's Savoir Adore, Drink Up Buttercup, The Art of Shooting, and Candles of Paradise. Savoir Adore, who I've plugged many times before here on this site, are a great live band and I really like their debut, In the Wooded Forrest which is out this week on CD and vinyl. (They're giving away three tracks from it at their website.) I've also written about Drink Up Buttercup more than once, and the band have just signed to Yep Roc who will release their debut album early next year. In the meantime, you can download the A-side of their new single "Even Think" from YepRoc's website after giving them your email address.
There's also The Horrors at Bowery Ballroom. They didn't win the Mercury Prize (no surprise) but as I've said before, their new album Primary Colours is pretty great. I'll quote myself: "Mind you, I'm prone to like things that owe to '80s post punk and goth, as well as '90s shoegaze, but they transcend the influences I think. Like My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, some of the sounds on the record make you wonder if your stereo is melting. In a good way." Opening are Crocodiles who do a good JAMC / Spacemen 3 impersonation that works, I think, because they've got the attitude and snarl to back it up. Or maybe it's the sunglasses. If you miss them, both bands will be back in October.
And at Union Hall tonight (9/17) are We Are Ivy League, Americans who do wispy Brit indiepop just about perfectly. They got most of their press from being part of another band who wrote the Snakes on a Plane theme song, but I think their album from last year stands on its own. They've been mostly quiet since releasing it. It might be worth going to the show just to find out what's going on with them these days.
That's it for this week (and a bit of next). Flyers, videos, and tour dates follow...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Dinosaur Feathers - Early Morning Risers (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Betty Wang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Acrylics - Molly's Vertigo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beach Fossils - Vacation (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Family Portrait - Mega Secrets (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darwin Deez - Bad Day (MP3)
Cymbals Eat Guitars
It's hard to believe online indie record store Insound has been around for ten years. Actually it's just hard to believe 1999 was a decade ago, but the calendar says it's so. Insound is also based out of NYC, so we're lucky enough to be invited to their 10 year birthday party tonight (8/27) at Brooklyn Bowl featuring a hard-to-pass-up line-up of local talent: Cymbals Eat Guitars, These Are Powers, The Drums, Real Estate and at least one band yet-to-be-announced (sort of). $10 gets you in the door and there's free Brooklyn Brewery beer from 6 - 9.
Another very good option in Williamsburg tonight (8/27) is happening at Glasslands, featuring Effi Briest, Mahogany, and Free Blood (but not Deradoorian). The all-girl Effi Briest are in the same spooky, rhythm-heavy realm as the Life Without Buildings or the Slits (and maybe just a little Siouxsie). They've got a split 7" with Telepathe that's out now and they're working on their debut album as we speak. Mahogany, whose new line-up now (nine-strong according to their Myspace) seems to have been nailed down with the addition of former Dirty on Purpose bassist DJ Boudreau, will hopefully be playing some new material as it's been three years since their fantastic Connectivity. Free Blood bring a surprising amount of heat for such a minimal sound, thanks to the chemistry between ex-!!! John Pugh and Madeline Davy. And rounding out the bill are (The) Tony Castles who share a member with Boogie Boarder and are about to hit the studio with Jake Aron (Chairlift, Yeasayer, Acrylics).
This weekend is the After the Jump Festival which happens Friday - Sunday at Gowanus art space/venue Littlefield. ATJ is a group of bloggers that puts on events throughout the year, but this is the third year for their multi-day event and every night is pretty solid featuring some of the best new bands in NYC and a few from out of town. The full schedule and flyer is at the bottom of the post but I'll highlight a few from each night.
Friday (8/28): I have yet to see sound-collage dance act Javelin but I do like their records and am curious to see how they pull it off live. It's also their last show possibly November, so get in while you can. You can also catchy buzzy Florida band Holiday Shores (more on them below), indie pop royals My Teenage Stride, and the beachy Dinosaur Feathers.
Saturday (8/29): Philly's Free Energy (not to be confused with Free Blood) are a lot of fun if you have no problem with early '80s stadium rock or silly outfits. Despite a feeling I should know better, their live show and giant hooks won me over. Also: the Tom Waits-meets-garage-rock of Wild Yaks and the clattering, poppy Drink Up Buttercup. The night ends as a dance party with just-added Ninjasonik and the wacky Das Racist.
Sunday (8/30): Two of my favorite new NYC bands are playing on the early side. I've written a little bit about Acrylics before, but I've caught them three times over the summer and have been more impressed each time. "Molly's Vertigo," which you can download at the top of this post gives you a good idea of their sound, which is sort of '80s-ish with a dusty Southwest vibe, which maybe makes them a bit like the Rosebuds or Mirage-era Fleetwood Mac. Vocalists Molly Shea and Jason Klauber nail the harmonies and they've got an excellent pedal steel player. They're on at 8PM, don't miss them. Right before Acrylics are Hospitality, who I've written about before, are very charming live and don't play often enough. I haven't managed to catch them since May and am hoping for lots of new songs Sunday.
You can still buy discounted $25 passes for the whole shebang until Friday (8/28) morning. Individual tickets are $10 are night. There's also free beer each night from 6 - 7PM. Again, the whole After the Jump Fest schedule is below.
Holiday Shores @ Pianos in June (more by Tim Griffin)
More weekend recommendations. Fellow Brooklyn blogger Chocolate Bobka has put together a solid show at Cameo on Saturday night, with four bands that genuinely compliment each other. My previously-mentioned qualms with their vocals aside, Beach Fossils are hard to dislike and a lot of fun live. I've also been listening to the Holiday Shores (who also play the ATJ Fest the night before) dreamy, melodic debut, Columbus'd The Whim, a lot recently. It's a nice end-of-summer record. Connecticut's Sore Eros are pals with Kurt Vile and Gary War; and Washington DC's Family Portrait are part of the Underwater Peoples scene... Real Estate comparisons aren't entirely inappropriate and you can check out their song "Mega Secret" at the top of this post.
And also Saturday, there's an early show (7PM) at Glasslands featuring Phantogram, a duo who, for lack of a better term, are kind of trip-hoppy but in a '00s sort of way (breakbeats but no John Barry or Morricone samples). Chilled, atmospheric, but still danceable. Their debut album, Eyelid Movies, is a pretty good listen. Also playing are Savoir Adore who I've probably written about enough lately, and Darwin Deez.
Full After the Jump Fest schedule, some Flyers and music videos below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Blind Man Color - Heavy Cloud Hustle (JVG Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beach Fossils - Vacation (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mitch Easter - Time Warping (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mitch Easter - Sudden Crown Drop (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Asteroid #4 - Flowers of Ours (MP3)
Hope everyone stayed cool this weekend. Before I get into picks for the first part of this week, I'd just like to point out that we've got a remix (a BV exclusive, I'm told) of Blind Man's Colour's "Heavy Cloud Hustle" in the popular MP3 format to download at the very top of this post. The band were in town this weekend and I caught their Saturday night set at Union Hall where I was surprised to see a traditional guitar-bass-drums-keyboard setup for a band whose album, Season Dreaming (out tomorrow 8/18) leans heavily into Animal Collective sound collage territory. They pulled it off pretty well for only have played live for a month, though the band could use a few more peppy songs.
That night's show -- that also included San Diego's Lights On and Philly's Drink Up Buttercup -- was stolen by locals Beach Fossils who've figured out a distinctive sound: two guitarists but neither of them play chords, just single notes that play off each and the bouncy basslines. The band bounces around a lot too; nobody stands still in this band. It's a sound somewhere between the Clean and early R.E.M. and it's hard to dislike. I wish they'd drop the vibrato effects on the vocals which I think are an unnecessary affectation, but otherwise I'm a fan. They haven't put out anything yet, but they've got records out sometime soon on Woodsist and Captured Tracks (not surprisingly they played the festival put on by the same two labels), and you can download an MP3 of their track "Vacation" at the top of this post. They've also got ties to the Underwater Peoples Records who are putting on a show at Market Hotel this Saturday (8/22) that Beach Fossils are playing -- along with every band associated with the label. That includes Ducktails, sister band Real Estate, Air Waves, Fluffy Lumbers and bunch more. The show's only $5 and doors are at 4pm. Full schedule for the show is at the bottom of this post.
Rewinding a bit, Ambulance LTD play their first shows this week since finally being released from their contract from former, bankrupt label, TVT. I really like their 2004 debut and hopefully we'll get to hear its John Cale-produced follow-up sooner than later, but you can get a taste live this week. The band's show tomorrow night (8/18) at Mercury Lounge is sold out, but you can still get tickets for tonight's show (8/17) at Union Hall. Both shows are with the great Savoir Adore so get there early and be sure to pick up a copy of their debut, In the Wooded Forrest, which is only available at their shows (or digitally) right now.
In town for two shows this week is North Carolina indie rock legend Mitch Easter, who plays Southpaw on Tuesday (8/18) and Maxwell's on Thursday (8/20). While he's maybe best known as a producer (the first two R.E.M.'s albums [with Don Dixon], Pavement's Brighten the Corners, Moose's ...XYZ among other things), but Easter has had a long career as a musician, as a part of The Sneakers in the late '70s and frontman/songwriter for Let's Active, easily one of the most underrated bands of the '80s. He's also an incredible guitarist, and Let's Active albums are resplendent with awesome axe-work.
I like everything they ever did but 1986's Big Plans for Everybody is especially great, one of my favorite albums of that decade. Mitch put the kybosh on Let's Active in 1990 and didn't release any original material until last year's Dynamico, an album which showed he still has chops and songs to spare. He opened for the dB's at Bowery Ballroom two years ago where he played most of Let's Active's big songs ("Every Word Means No," "Waters Part," "Fell," "In Little Ways") and has since been touring with his "Let's Active cover band" Gravel Truck that splits the set between classics and new songs. Easter helped shape the sound of the underground in the '80s and '90s, and is absolutely still worth checking out.
Both shows are with Amy Speace whose new album 'The Killer In Me' was engineered by Mitch.
The Asteroid #4
And lastly, Philadelphia's The Asteroid #4 is playing Tuesday night (8/18) at Glasslands in Brooklyn. The band recently toured with The Brian Jonestown Massacre which gives you a good idea of what you can expect, and they're not unlike Philly neighbors (The Sounds of) Kaleidescope... but they're better. Last year's These Flowers of Ours, is pretty ace, a nice blend of The Byrds, Ride and Spiritualized. You can stream the whole thing here and download the album's title track at the top of this post. The Glasslands show is with a couple likeminded bands: Austin's Runaway Sun and Brooklyn's Revival Times.
That's it for now. Tour dates, flyers and videos after the jump...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: JEFF the Brotherhood - Heavy Damage (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Coin Under Tongue - The So Far EP (link to zip)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Accolades (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Street Cars (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lovvers - Human Hair (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darlings - If This is Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darlings - Teenage Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Machines EP (link to Zip)
DOWNLOAD: Acrylics - Molly's Vertigo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Clientele - I Wonder Who We Are (MP3)
JEFF the Brotherhood @ Death By Audio (more by Leia Jospe)
JEFF the Brotherhood are back in town! If you missed them the last two times they were in town, well, you've got three more chances this week: tonight (7/15) at Death by Audio, Thursday (7/16) at Cake Shop and a secret show on Friday (7/17) that will be announced day of show via their Twitter. Seriously, Jake and Jamin put on one of the rockin-est, most fun shows I've seen this year. The boys are putting the final touches on their new album, Heavy Days, which comes out October 6 via their own Infinity Cat label. They've also got a new 7" single, "Heavy Damage," that they should still have copies of at shows, but you can download the a-side at the top of this post. They'll also be touring with the legendary Shonen Knife this fall.
Tonight's show at Death by Audio should be deafening. JEFF shares the bill with noise-pop duo Sisters, who I've written about more than once already, and have become big fans of. Third on the bill are Sisters' Death By Audio Records label-mates Coin Under Tongue who make the kind of stoner, punk-inflected hard rock that Sub Pop used to specialize in, in the label's early days. (I'm talking Tad, Mudhoney, Das Damen). There's other influences in there too -- metal plays a big part, as does UK punk and postpunk I suspect. And there are some really nice guitar parts when the guys aren't stomping on the pedals but basically you're getting balls-to-the-wall, scream-the-chorus rock. It goes without saying Coin Under Tongue are really, really loud. But they've got songs to match the volume. They're finishing work on their new album, but have offered up a progress report of an EP that you can download at the top of this post. It rocks.
Thursday night's show at Cake Shop (JEFF plays first, like 8:30) is also a good lineup, with the kickoff show of Brit band Lovvers' American tour. Try not to hold that double V against them, these guys are good, and play sloppy, catchy garage punk. You see Wipers and Germs comparisons thrown around a lot, but I was more encouraged to check them out when they listed '60s-loving '80s UK act The Baracudas as an influence on their MySpace. There's an EP out now -- you can download it's lead track "Human Hair" at the top of this post -- and their debut album OCD Go Go Go Girls is due out in October.
Also on the bill are Darlings who, now that I've seen them play and heard their album, I don't think sound anything like Teenage Fanclub or Sloan (so said L Magazine). To me, it's more '90s slacker indie rock -- Pavement, Sebadoh (which The L cited too), or even Small Factory. Comparisons or no, Darlings' debut, Yeah I Know, is chock-a-block with stick-in-your-head songs, two of which you can download at the top of this post.
Savoir Adore have been written about more than a few times this year and am a big fan. Sometimes anthemic, sometimes danceable, singer-guitarists Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer write hopeful, melodic, pristine pop and their isn't a dud among the 14 tracks on their debut album, In the Wooded Forrest, which is out this week digitally and has been in constant rotation on my stereo this week. They're even better live if you ask me, giving maybe the best performance I saw during the Northside Fest. You can see them live and pick up the album at their record release party Friday night at Cameo Gallery (7/17). The $10 entry gets you a copy of the CD which is a pretty good deal. You can get three of the album's songs for free via their Machines EP which is linked to at the top of this post.
Making it an even better deal is that the show also features Acrylics who were easily the best Northside Fest performance by a band I hadn't seen before. Like Savoir Adore, Acrylics make '80s-tinged guitar pop with boy-girl harmonies and big hooks. You can download their song "Molly's Vertigo" at the top of this post.
You can also catch Acrylics with fellow Cantora artists Francis and the Lights at Music Hall of Williamsburg for the official Siren Fest afterparty. This year's Siren is the best line-up they've had in ages... maybe ever. Built to Spill, Thee Oh Sees, Micachu, Japandroids, A Place to Bury Strangers, Monotonix, Future of the Left, Frightened Rabbit -- it's pretty much good band after good band. The worst thing about it is having to make a choice between bands, or trying to run between stages and miss half a bands set in the process. I would like to call out Grand Duchy which is Frank Black and his wife Violet Clark. If you haven't heard their album, Petit Fours, it's really good and not quite like anything like Frank Black has been involved with before. You can also catch Grand Duchy on Friday at Maxwell's.
Saturday's weather report isn't so hot right now -- they're calling for thunderstorms -- but we can hope they're wrong.
Also this weekend are a couple shows featuring bands who'll soon play Merge Records' 2oth Anniversary spectacular, XX Merge. This Friday's (7/17) edition of the Seaport Music Festival is Superchunk and Versus. Superchunk's influence on indie rock over the last 15 years cannot be overestimated (and I'm not even considering that Mac and Laura started the label) while Versus were one of the '90s more under-appreciated groups who are currently recording their first new album in nine years!
And then Sunday, The Clientele are playing Music Hall of Williamsburg -- and you can check out "I Wonder Who We Are," the first released track from their new album, Bonfires on the Heath, at the top of this post.
That's it for this week. Videos, flyers and tour dates are after the jump...
Toronto electro-duo Woodhands are on a US tour in the wake of their recent Paper Bag Records Dancer EP. After the success of their cover for Eddy Grant's one-hit wonder "Electric Avenue" (ABOVE) (blessed by Eddy himself), the keytar-n-drums unit of Daniel Werb and Paul Banwatt have decided to tackle Katy Perry's hit single "I Kissed a Girl" (ABOVE). According to Werb, "we did it because the spirit of the song spoke to us: It's that feeling of being overwhelmed by the moment, of indulgence, of unfettered hedonism. Also, Katy Perry is hella hot. And the song is dope." [Paperbag Recs]The band closes its tour in NYC on Saturday, May 16th at the Delancey. The show is part of the venue's monthly Loose Nukes party. Savoir Adore and Deleted Scenes are also playing. In addition to the Dancer EP, Woodhands also released an iTunes-exclusive live EP earlier this year.
The Delancey show is also a release party for Savoir Adore's new Machines EP.
"They are also one of the featured bands on $99 Music Videos, with a new unreleased song. If you're not familiar with the series, we dared Savoir Adore and director Matthew Semel to create a music video for $99 or less. The result is in 2-parts: an awesome music video and a behind-the-scenes episode where you can check out footage that follows the band and the director during the music video shoot."Watch both of those videos below.
If you want to see "I Kissed a Girl" done by its originator (do you?), Katy Perry is touring the world this summer. That includes a Tuesday, July 28th show at NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets are on Citi/Live Nation presale now. General sale starts Saturday, May 16th at 10am.
A CFCF remix of Woodhands' "Dancer," with live videos of the band from 2009 (including at SXSW) and an interview, and all other videos and tour dates below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Box Elders - Hole in My Head (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jeremy Jay - In This Lonely Town (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Headlights - Cherry Tulips (TJ Lipple Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Headlights - Market Girl (Album Leaf Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Love Language - Lalita (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Julie Doiron - Consolation Prize (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Katie Stelmanis - In My Favour (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Transylvanian Candy Patrol (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darwin Deez - Bad Day (MP3)
The Box Elders are back for the first time since their loin-clothed Market Hotel show back in January, playing Bruar Falls on Friday (4/24) and Cake Shop on Saturday (4/25). For those, like myself, who have played their sole single, "Hole in My Head," to death at this point and are anxiously awaiting new stuff from them... we must continue to wait. Their debut album on Goner, Alice and Friends, won't be out till August 4. Their next release is just a single that's only available via the Hozac Hookup Club which subscriptions sold out quick for. And as mentioned before, Box Elders will have a single out on Jay Reatard's newly-reinvigorated Shattered Records. Maybe the band will have a tour CD-R or something?
Friday should be one of the first real tests of Bruar Falls as far as in-demand shows. The place is teeny-tiny (not that Cake Shop is big). It should be a tight fit. Getting there early would be smart, and luckily the lineup is pretty good, with Bay Area psych folk band Dame Satan; Jackson Heights' The Beets whose debut, Spit in the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool, is out now on Captured Tracks and worth seeking out for those who dig garagey '60s proto-punk; and caUSE co-MOTION offshoot German Measles. The Cake Shop show should be a little more manageable.
Whichever night I'm not going to see Box Elders, I'll probably go see Blank Dogs. Originally just the name of Captured Tracks head Mike Sniper's many, many home recordings, Blank Dogs have become a real band over the last year and a good one at that. Sniper has also dropped the anonymity schtick for the most part, actually showing his face in a new press photo, just in time for the new double-LP, Under and Under, which is out in June on In the Red. It's still of the mid-'80s goth sound (I think they sound like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry if you remember them) but more refined and catchier songs. The creepy/funny video to the album's first single, "Setting Fire to Your House," is further down this post.
Blank Dogs play Friday (4/24) at Secret Project Robot in Williamsburg which is the same building at Monster Island, and share the bill with two kindred spirits: the gothy (and a bit silly if you ask me) Cold Cave, and Brooklyn's Mazing Vids who've been around for a while but don't play very often anymore.
Saturday's show at Silent Barn is a bit more varied and probably better for it, with two other bands that would be worth seeing on their own. Jeremy Jay just released his second album on K that swings from Cars-ish new wave, to twangy surf rock. It's a good record, and you can download the single "In This Lonely Town" at the top of this post. Rounding out the solid line-up is Mobile, Alabama's Wizzard Sleeve whose debut is out sometime soon on Hozac. With song titles like "Chrome Intensifier" and "Pterodactly Meltdown" you know your in for a trippy time, but it's not paisley shirt acid rock. Their brand of psych feels very modern, with a big dose of krautrock for good measure. I really feel this show is a hard one to pass up.
Jeremy Jay also plays a show on Friday (4/24) at Union Hall with Illuminations and James William Hindle. Tickets are on sale. All dates below.
There are a lot of hard to pass-up shows this weekend. Canadian singer Julie Doiron is in town, playing Cake Shop on Friday (4/24) and Union Hall on Saturday (4/25). Some may know her for her work with Mt. Eerie, and others remember Julie from her days fronting Eric's Trip who released three albums on Sub Pop in the early '90s. She's been prolific ever since Eric's Trip broke up in 1997, releasing a string of quality, if somewhat downcast solo albums. Her latest, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day, is ebullient in comparison but no less special. She's got one of those voices, not unlike Chan Marshall or Beth Orton, that can make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention. Check out the album's "Consolation Prize" at the top of this post, and the video for "Heavy Snow" at the bottom.
The Julie Doiron Cake Shop show is an early one, so you could theoretically hit it before going elsewhere. Plus, speaking of magical, unique voices, fellow Canadian (and Cake Shop fave) Katie Stelmanis is also on the bill. There's an MP3 at the top of the post (and a video below) and here's what Popmatters said earlier this year:
Katie Stelmanis was already starting to pick up steam in 2008. Almost a year since her nearly unnoticed debut album, Join Us dropped on Blocks Recording Club (a record co-op based in Toronto), Stelmanis was featured on Fucked Up's Chemistry of Common Life, and split a Matador released 7" with them in late 2008. In 2009, people are bound to pick up on the ethereal and eerie leanings of this powerful vocalist and songwriter.If you're a fan of Bat For Lashes (there's a similar Kate Bush thing going on), Katie is well worth checking out. She also plays Death by Audio later that Saturday night, and new Brooklyn venue Sycamore the next day (4/25).
Opening for Julie Doiron at the Union Hall show on Saturday is Purse Snatchers, which is former Dirty on Purpose drummer Doug Marvin's new musical project.
A few more recommended shows:
I've plugged local band Savoir Adore before, who in my opinion are one of the best unheralded pop bands in town. They're playing tonight (4/23) at Pianos and you should really go out and see them. There's a newish song to download at the top of this post and is more indicative of what they do live than their concept-EP debut from last year. If you like Stars or The Go-Betweens or any classic pop, I really don't think you'll be disappointed. Also on the bill is Darwin Deez, who make infectious, '80s-tinged dance pop that's kind of hard to dislike. One of their MP3s is above too.
As you may have read on this site, Chicago's Headlights are playing on Friday (4/24) at the Bell House. If you're going to that show (or are looking for something to do and everything else I've written about here doesn't sound interesting to you), I implore you to show up early and check out North Carolina's The Love Language. I really like their self-titled debut that is warm and inviting, lush and low-fi at the same time.
And Sunday night (4/26) at Maxwells is the Fourth Anniversary party for Musicsnobbery.com. Last year, Moby filled in when headliners The Teeth broke up days before his Third Anniversary party. This year there's no such drama, but the line-up is solid: Crystal Stilts, Mahogany (both faves of mine) and Motel Motel. Might I suggest you bring Musicsnobbery blog founder Chris some cookies in appreciation?
Tour dates and videos after the jump...
by Bill Pearis
This week is especially filthy with good shows so let's not waste any time. The biggest deal, at least for me, is the WAVVES / NODZZZ who are playing in town three times this weekend. Both are from California, spell their names in all-caps with repeated consonants and make lo-fi punky pop. San Diego's WAVVES seem to be getting most of the attention, with two records out in less than a year - last year's Wavves on Woodsist and the forthcoming Wavvves (note the extra V) on Fat Possum (it was originally on De Stijl). On record, WAVVES is basically one dude, Nathan Williams, but live they are a duo, and from the clips I've seen on YouTube, they are slightly less imposing live than on their distortion-on-everything recordings.
I'm more excited about NODZZZ, who are a trio from San Francisco and just released a great vinyl-only 12" on What's Your Rupture. (You can also get it on Emusic.) It's bratty and nasally and sounds a lot like the Dead Milkmen, but NODZZZ aren't as overtly jokey. They play Friday (2/6) at Market Hotel, Saturday (2/7) at Less Artists More Condos, and a Sunday (2/8) afternoon show at the Underground Lounge. All shows are with Woods and Blank Dogs.
Good show tonight (2/4) at Cake Shop. Portland's Musée Mécanique make baroque pop, heavy with mellotron, glockenspiel, and accordion. Their album from last year, Hold This Ghost, is quite lovely. It might be too precious for some, but I hear they are really good live (especially for you glockenspiel lovers) and would like to check them out. Also playing are locals Soft Black (not to be confused with The Soft Pack) who are starting to get some attention. I haven't seen them live but their new album, The Earth is Black (and Other Apocalyptic Lullabies for Children), has some good songs on it. And as this site mentioned previously, Dave Deporis opens.
One of my favorite new local bands, Savoir Adore, are playing Thursday at Bowery Ballroom, opening for Francis and the Lights. Fronted by Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer, Savoir Adore make the kind pristine guitar pop you used to hear a lot with '80s bands like The Go-Betweens and Let's Active but isn't so much in fashion these days. They aren't too far away from what Stars do, either, though less grandiose if you know what I mean. Ther EP Savoir Adore have out on Cantora Records is good, but is a concept record fairy tale thing that is good but not a very good introduction to the band. (Their proper debut will be out on Cantora this summer.) I've seen them a couple times and they are very, very good live. If you don't check them out at Bowery, keep their name in mind. Definitely one of my Bands to Watch in '09.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart released their great debut album this week and are kicking off a month-long tour with The Deprecation Guild with a show this Saturday (2/7) at Mercury Lounge that also features their Slumberland label-mates cAUSE co-MOTION. It's sold out, but TPOPBAH play The Bell House on March 13 with awesome UK band Let's Wrestle (who are also playing a Todd P show but more on that later) and Knight School. Tickets are still on sale for that one.
Also Saturday (afternoon) at Union Hall is a (2pm) show that seems transported in a time machine from Brownies in 1997, with Babe the Blue Ox, Ida, and The Mommyheads. The night is actually the second-annual memorial tribute to Mommyheads drummer (and later for Beekeeper) Jan Kotik who lost a three-year battle with cancer in 2007. The Mommyheads, who I was unaware were back together, put out a new record last year, You're Not a Dream. As for Babe the Blue Ox, I never really got into them but they had a fervent following in the '90s. The original line-up got back together last year and are working on a new record so I'm told. And Ida have been making truly lovely folk-pop since the early-'90s, having grown from a duo to a four-piece over the years and are now on Polyvinyl, who released last year's underheard Lover's Prayers. Also on the bill: The Ditty Committee and Mighty High. It's a free afternoon show!
And finally in this overstuffed post, Cake Shop is having their first ever Yo Doo, a monthy swap meet type mart that is best explained in this press release:
YO DOO is a brand spanking new art + comix + small press + record fair that happens on the first Saturday of every month at New York City's Cake Shop. From noon till seven you can see + hear + buy + trade with the cream of D.I.Y. crop on both floors of the store, followed by a special live musical performance. We are looking for small publishers, record labels, printmakers, zinemakers, comix manufacturers, artists and crafters who want to want to sell their wares and have a good time. At YO DOO, Cake Shop is your shop.Among the vendors will be Cake Shop's in-house label Cape Shok and this week Yo Doo also features performances from Love Panther and Baltimore's Sick Weapons. A full rundown of vendors at the Yo Doo blog. It's free admission. Buy stuff, it's what the goverment wants you to do!
Tour dates, flyers and videos below...