Entries tagged with: Seapony

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photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

"comet gain & pooh sticks were great last night @ public assembly in brooklyn. only took approx 15-20 years to see them live." - @dfarecords

The Pooh Sticks
The Pooh Sticks

It was the kind of night that could really only happen at Public Assembly. The back room rumbled from the crush of Ulcerate (who had their gear stolen later that night) and Tombs, while the front was hosting the third evening of NYC Popfest, which made for a culture clash in the mutually shared hallway. With The Pooh Sticks on the bill, it was hardest Popfest has ever come to "rocking," what with the legendary Welsh band's proclivity towards crunchy powerpop a la Slade or The Sweet. No better example of that than their 1991 single "Young People," with it's twin guitar leads and lyrics that rang of even more irony now that that song is old enough to drink. (And it was ironic when first released.) A truly fantastic set.

Despite the gray hair, frontman Hue Williams was a bundle of energy and the band was tight and, yes, rocking. In addition to "Young People," we got pretty much all The Pooh Sticks' well-known material, including early indiepop sides "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well" and "On Tape," as well as later tracks like "Who Loves You" and "The World is Turning On."

Headliners Comet Gain rocked too, albiet in a more shambolic indie kind of way, despite frontman David Feck's threats of putting the audience to sleep after the Pooh Sticks killer set. But Comet Gain fans are fervent and the crowd was pumped and loaded for the band who hadn't played NYC in four years. (A little too loaded, some friends of mine got hit by projectile vomit from someone who couldn't hold their booze.) Check out video of their set at the bottom of this post.

The evening started with Sweden's Pushy Parents who were playing their second-ever show, but they sounded pretty together to these ears. Speedmarket Avenue's Isak Klasson played drums. (His own band played earlier in the week.) It was a short set, highlighted by current single "Secret Secret."

The rest of the night: Seattle's winsome and tuneful Seapony were good but needed to be louder (the metal show next door won that round); and Sweden's Electric Pop Group were pleasant enough but with a laptop rhythm section, maybe they should've played first.

Earlier Saturday it was the Popfest day show at Spike Hill with Filipino duo Outerhope, Sweden's Lisa Bouvier and locals Pale Lights and Habibi. I didn't make that one, but our photographer did and pictures of all Saturday Popfest action are below, along with Bleary Eyed Brooklyn's videos.

Continue reading "NYC Popfest 2012 Day 3: Pooh Sticks, Comet Gain, Seapony, Pushy Parents, Habibi, Pale Lights and more (pics video)"

by Bill Pearis

Comet Gain
Comet Gain

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

Outerhope
Outerhope

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.

The rest of the Public Assembly line-up:  Seattle's charming Seapony (who play Friday night [5/18] at Littlefield); the gentle jangle of Gothenburg, Sweden's Electric Pop Group.

Pushy Parents
Pushy Parents

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)
Allo Darlin

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
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.

There's also two Canadian bands on Sunday's bill: Sleuth from Vancouver, and Toronto's The Holiday Crowd who have clearly listened to their share of The Smiths.

The full Popfest Saturday - Sunday schedule is below, along with that Pushy Parents stream and video.

Continue reading "NYC Popfest 2012 preview (Pt. 2): Comet Gain, The Pooh Sticks, White Town, The Ladybug Transistor, The Wave Pictures, Allo Darlin', Pushy Parents, and more"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Seapony - Blue Star (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Seapony - Dreaming (MP3)

Seapony

Seattle's Seapony are one of the many bands in town for this weekend's NYC Popfest, playing as part of the Saturday night (5/19) show at Public Assembly with Comet Gain and the Pooh Sticks. Tickets for that show are available. In addition to the Popfest show, Seapony are also playing Friday night (5/18) at Littlefield with local shoegazey pop band Field Mouse. Next weekend Seapony play the San Francisco Popfest (May 25 - 27). All upcoming Seapony tour dates are listed at the bottom of this post.

Seapony's shimmery, exceedingly hummable debut album, Come Away with Me, was released about a year ago via Sub Pop kid sister label Hardly Art. You can download two tracks ("Dreaming" is especially catchy) from the album at the top of this post or stream the whole thing below.

Most recently the band contributed a new track to a Hardly Art 5th Anniversary compilation that could only be procured at the label's anniversary shows, but you can stream it below.

Those streams and a list of all dates below...

Continue reading "Seapony are here, playing Popfest and Littlefield"

Bumbershoot

The 2012 music lineup was announced today for Bumbershoot: Seattle's Music & Arts Festival, which is produced by non-profit arts organization One Reel and takes place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3, at Seattle Center. The 42-year-old urban festival stands on top nationally in its variety as it showcases both familiar and up-and-coming regional and national talent in many musical genres, as well as in comedy, theater, literary and visual arts, dance, film and children's programming.

Bumbershoot's Mainstage in KeyArena will feature two multi-act performances each day. Artists scheduled to perform there include groundbreaking alternative rock band Jane's Addiction, jazz legend Tony Bennett, electronic phenom Skrillex, a hip hop double bill with Mac Miller and Big Sean, M83, and AWOLNATION among others. Additional Mainstage acts will be announced in coming weeks.

Tickets are all-inclusive. All festival offerings, including Mainstage admission on a first-come, first-served basis (no separate pass required), and late-night electronic music curated by Decibel Festival for Bumbershoot After Dark, are included in the price of a single-day or 3-day ticket
The complete Bumbershoot 2012 lineup below...

Continue reading "Bumbershoot 2012 lineup (Jane's Addiction, Tony Bennett & Skrillex are the headliners)"

by Bill Pearis

The Pooh Sticks in the early '90s
The Pooh Sticks

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.

Continue reading "NYC Pop Fest 2012 line-up announced: Pooh Sticks, White Town, Comet Gain, Allo Darlin', Wave Pictures, Burning Hearts and many more playing"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Seapony - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Seapony - Blue Star (MP3)
DOWNLOADEternal Summers - Prisoner (MP3)
DOWNLOADKindest Lines - Destructive Paths to Live Happily (MP3)

Seapony
Seapony

It's year three of the Northside Festival, which for one weekend a year makes Williamsburg's music scene just a little crazier than it already is. This first night (tonight) is maybe the strongest overall, in that there are a lot of great showcases set up where -- if you don't have a badge -- you can stay put and get a quality night of music. Or if you do have a badge ($70 bucks, a good deal if you plan on going all four nights) -- some tough decisions. These are my personal picks, and not a comprehensive guide. Clearly lots more is going on (and even more shows that aren't part of Northside).

Radical Dads
Radical Dads

NYC Popfest has put together a really good show at Bruar Falls tonight featuring Eternal Summers, Reading Rainbow, The Secret History and Seapony. I highly recommend all four bands, but do consider going early (8:30) for Seapony who are here from Seattle and should appeal to those who covet 7"s from Sarah and Creation Records. MP3s from Seapony and Eternal Summers are at the top of this post.

Over at Union Pool,  Tiger Mountain booking (aka Skippy who books the Rock Shop) has a quality line-up of locals for ya. If you're looking for a great way to kick off your night, go here at 7:30 for Hospitality who make winsome but not unmuscular pop. Highly recommended. Later on in the evening is '90s indie rock loving Radical Dads whose great debut, Mega Rama, was released this week. (But not on vinyl...boo!). Pursesnatchers (Doug from Dirty on Purpose's band) finishes the night. Also playing: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and Indian Rebound.

Kindest Lines
Kindest Lines

Meanwhile at Public Assembly the good folks of No Fun Productions, The Bunker and Wierd Records, have an evening of minimal synth, coldwave, industial and other dark arts planned. Performers include noise and sound artists Rene Hell and Carlos Giffoni; the ethereal, danceable sounds of Laurel Halo; synthpop traditionalists Xeno & Oaklander who make their music with seriously old-school sequencers and keyboards (patch bays are involved); and New Orleans' Kindest Lineswho make pop music that should appeal to fans of early New Order (and, yes, The Cure).  There's also a host of acclaimed DJs spinning in-between sets.

X-Ray Eyeballs
XRay Eyeballs

Primo Chicago garage label HozAc Records is hosting the debauchery at Shea Stadium tonight, with Xray Eyeballs (who also play the Kanine show Friday at Knitting Factory), the K-Holes, Making Friendz and My Teenage Stride in there as well to pop things up a bit.

Randoms: I also recommend catching Zaza at Coco66 (11:45, dark and sexy) and Mr. Dream at Glasslands (Midnight, '90s indie rawk).

Again, just my picks. Do go see some music tonight!

Continue reading "Bill's Northside Fest picks (Day 1)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Idiot Glee - Trouble at the Dancehall (MP3)

Idiot Glee
Idiot Glee

Idiot Glee, aka Lexington, KY resident James Friley, plays Glasslands tonight (6/15) with Holiday Shores, Seattle's Seapony and The House Floor. It's a record release party for Idiot Glee's debut album, Paddywhack, which came out last week on Moshi Moshi.

The album puts a variety of '60s pop and soul touchstones through a decidedly modern DIY filter. Says Drowned in Sound:

What's instantly charming about Paddywhack is its welcoming aspect as Friley's honesty and sincerity creates a warming romanticism. In amongst the 'Build Me Up Buttercup' type bass line and floating warble of spaced out synths, he croons: "If you say it right/I'll be right on time/Finally make my way to the pool/And we turn and dance all night." It all flows with the same passionate tone as Rufus Wainwright but whereas Rufus channels his emotion through sharp dynamic changes, Friley prefers to let his voice glide on, entering spectral realms. Admittedly, while all the reverbration works for the spiritual nature of the music, it sometimes doesn't work as well for Friley's voice.
Check out "Trouble at the Dancehall" at the top of this post. After tonight's show, Friley heads across the border for the NXNE Festival and then a couple Midwest U.S. dates.

Seapony also play shows at Bruar Falls and Pianos this week.

Holiday Shores, whose new album New Masses for Squaw Peak will be released by twosyllable records on Sep. 13, also plays three NYC shows this week. All dates, the video for new song "Threepeat Got Old", and a stream of the band covering Talking Heads song "Cities" are all below.

Full Idiot Glee tour itinerary, and a video for song "Let's Get Down Together," are also below.

Continue reading "Idiot Glee released 'Paddywhack', touring (MP3, dates, a NYC show tonight with Seapony and Holiday Shores)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD:Seapony - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOAD:Seapony - Blue Star (MP3)
DOWNLOADEternal Summers - Prisoner (MP3)

Seapony
Seapony

NYC Popfest is now over. It was a fun four days (as said before, Gold-Bears were seriously amazing). Popfest is branching out this year, increasing their presence throughout the year. They'll be at this year's Northside Festival for a June 16 showcase at Bruar Falls with The Secret History, Eternal Summers and Seattle's Seapony. I'm hearing rumors of CMJ and SXSW showcases in the works too.

Seapony will be playing three shows during their NYC visit. In addition to the Northside show, they'll play June 15 at Glasslands (w/ Idiot Glee, Holiday Shores and TEEN) and June 17 at Pianos. Their debut full length "Go With Me" comes out on Hardly Art on 5/31, and has some really lovely songs on it, melodic, jangly pop not unlike the kind Creation Records used to release before they signed Oasis. You can check out two tracks at the top of this post -- "Dreaming" is especially lovely.

Eternal Summers, meanwhile, are currently on tour with The Beets.... which will have them meeting up with Seapony this week at San Francisco Popfest. Check out the title track from Eternal Summers' new EP at the top of this post.

All tour dates for Seapony and Eternal Summers are below.

Continue reading "Seapony releasing "Go With Me", touring, playing shows w/ Eternal Summers (who are on tour now) -- MP3s & dates"