Entries tagged with: Sharon Van Etten
Megafaun @ Bowery Ballroom in 2009 (more by Kurt Christensen)
Those looking for an excuse for a road trip this weekend:
Megafaun & Fight the Big Bull • 'Sounds of the South'Tickets for the three shows appear to still be available. I would go if I could, but knowing a live album will come of it is nice too.
feat. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver & Sharon Van Etten
Friday, September 17, 2010 | 8:00 pm
Saturday, September 18, 2010 | 8:00 pm
Sunday, September 19, 2010 | 5:00 pm
Hayti Heritage Center
$26 • Duke & NCCU Students $5
The members of Megafaun moved from Wisconsin to Raleigh with Vernon as the band DeYarmond Edison. After Vernon went back north to record as Bon Iver, the Cook brothers and Joe Westerlund stayed on in the Piedmont, crafting a timeless folk-pop that "drinks deeply from the well of the past but could only have been made today" (Drowned in Sound)--an archive of rural America's ghosts.
In this exclusive live recording event, the rustic avant-gardists team with Fight the Big Bull, the "thrilling" (NPR) 9-piece jazz collective from Richmond, VA, along with Vernon and the blisteringly talented Van Etten. Together in Durham for three shows only, they'll cut a live album based on Alan Lomax's collection of shape-note songs and dirt-floor hymns, Sounds of the South, gathered during a two-year trek through the American southeast (1959-1961).
Sharon Van Etten plays two NYC shows and then tours in October.
Meanwhile, Megafaun's fine new mini-LP Heretofore is out today (9/14). Check out two free songs from that above. Grab a remix the band did for The Acron @ My Old Kentucky Blog. And a video of Megafaun covering Gillian Welch with The Tallest Man on Earth, below...
photos by David Andrako
DOWNLOAD: Sharon Van Etten - Love More (MP3)
Sharon Van Etten's new album, Epic, pictured above, is out October 5th on Ba Da Bing, and you can catch her on the road before and after then. As previously mentioned in various posts, she will be playing some shows with Marissa Nadler and then later with Junip (who play Irving Plaza without Sharon on November 24th). She'll also be playing two record releases shows in NYC. They are October 8th @ Rock Shop w/ Julianna Barwick (tickets), and October 9th @ Mercury Lounge w/ Kyp Malone (tickets).
Rock Shop is also one of the places Sharon played earlier this month. A second set of pictures from her performance there, with all tour dates, below...
Bear In Heaven is playing the Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 19th. Tickets are on sale now.
Tickets are on sale at noon for the Deerhunter, Real Estate, Casino Versus Japan show at Webster Hall (you can also catch Deerhunter and Real Estate for free much sooner).
Paul Weller is playing Nokia Theatre on November 7th. Tickets are on sale.
Samiam, The Casting Out, I Hate Our Freedom, and Vs. Antelope are playing the Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 13th. Tickets are on sale now.
Aziz Ansari is headlining the Beacon Theatre as part of the New York Comedy Festival on November 6th. Tickets are currently on presale. General sale starts Monday at 10am.
Fitz & The Tantrums are playing The Mercury Lounge on September 25th. Tickets are on sale at noon.
Sharon Van Etten and Kyp Malone are playing The Mercury Lounge on October 9th. Tickets are on sale at noon.
Ra Ra Riot tourmates, Givers, are playing The Mercury Lounge on November 6th. Tickets are on sale at noon. It's Givers' only New York City show at the moment. They're not opening any of the four New York Ra Ra Riot dates.
Tunng is playing The Mercury Lounge on November 11th. Tickets are on sale at 9:30 PM.
Junip @ Bowery Ballroom 6/10/10 (Chris Goldberg)
Junip, the José González-fronted Swedish three-piece fronted who visited NYC in June, will be touring North Ameica this November (they're in Europe before and after that). The tour comes to NYC for a November 24th show at Irving Plaza. Tickets TBA.
Junip is releasing a new record, Fields, due September 14th on Mute and City Slang Recordsbunch. The first single off that, "Always," is a free download, as is their 2010 EP Rope & Summit (with a sign-up for their mailing list). Even more songs are streaming on their new website.
All Junip tour dates are below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Standard Fare - Dancing (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Standard Fare - Fifteen (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lower Dens - Tea Lights (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lower Dens - Hospice Gates (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Inocultist - Prophecy for the Summer (MP3)
Last night was kind of a blowout night for NYC concert-going. So many great shows, big and small, I hope you all went to something and didn't stay home watching Top Chef or something. (I missed it all, I had to work.) The weekend doesn't look quite as action-packed but there's no hurting for great music options.
My top pick for the weekend would be Standard Fare who are over from England and are playing two NYC shows: tonight (8/5) at Bruar Falls and tomorrow (8/6) for the Mondo! party at the about-to-be-renovated Don Hill's. I've written about Standard Fare more than once, so I'm just going to quote myself here:
Standard Fare's The Noyelle Beat (out now in America on Bar/None) is one of the best indiepop records of the year (along with Allo Darlin's debut). Cute, romantic, but with some muscle in there too. You can download a couple of tracks from it above. You should also watch the new video for their great single "Philadelphia" at the bottom of this post.Tonight's Bruar Falls show would be worth going to even if Standard Fare weren't playing. Also on this all-over-the-place bill are low-fi legend R. Stevie Moore (who recently played with Ariel Pink), all-girl trio Brian, and Japanese cosplay singer, Reni. Video of the latter is at the bottom of this post.
If you're not at Bruar Falls, you might consider its sister venue, Cake Shop, tonight (8/5) to catch Lower Dens, Air Waves and Inoculist. Lower Dens and Inoculist played together last night at Glasslands and by all reports (the ones I heard anyway) it was a great show. You can watch video from last night's show shot by Bleary-eyed Brooklyn at the bottom of this post. I saw Lower Dens during the Northside Fest and thought they were terrific and have been singing the praises of their debut album, Twin Hand Movement, all summer. The record sounds better now as our shadows get longer and the nights cool off. This is a August/September kind of album.
Inoculist (which I keep mispelling "inocultist) is fronted by Jana's brother John, and the two siblings definitely pull from the same record collection. Inoculist's debut, Spells, is a laid back affair, and comparisons to Low's first few albums are not unwarranted. Hunter and keyboardist Ashlyn Davis' voices are well matched for the band's mellow vibe. Really nice. The Hunters will be touring together for a couple weeks, but will split off mid-month and Inoculist will then head out with Little Gold for a week of shows while Lower Dens go it alone down the West Coast and the South.
Rounding out the Cake Shop bill is Air Waves whose debut album is due out on Underwater Peoples sometime in the near future. See them while you can -- Nicole is moving to Austin at the end of the month. Air Waves still have a few NYC shows left till then, though, including next Saturday's (8/14) Underwater Peoples Summer Showcase -- a blowout at Shea Stadium featuring Julian Lynch, Big Troubles, Fluffy Lumbers, Ducktails and more. Advance tickets are available at the UP website. See the flyer at the bottom of this post for the full line-up, and all remaining Air Waves NYC shows are down there too.
And a few more recommended weekend shows that I didn't cover above:
THURSDAY, AUG 5
Want to see some anthemic rock from popular Canadians? I guess I should be more specific. Want to see some anthemic rock from popular Canadians that is outdoors and free? Metric play Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park with Joan as Policewoman and Holly Miranda.
SHARK? are busy working on their Kickstarter-funded album but are taking a break to road test some songs at The Rock Shop. (Download previous SHARK? releases here.) where they'll play with The Great Unwashed (the ones from Staten Island, not New Zealand), Conversion Party, and The Rabbits.
The Rock Shop may have been open for a couple of months now, but last night's show marked the official party to celebrate the new Park Slope venue (the first show happened a month earlier). The Rock Shop is kind of like a smaller version of the Mercury Lounge (minus the door between the bar and the show space). There's a bar lining the wall as you walk in, and the concert space is in the back. There are even benches lining both walls like at the Mercury Lounge. But the Rock Shop benefits by having additional space upstairs with large open windows that look onto 4th Ave.
For such a small room (max capacity 120) the bill was pretty solid thanks in part to the venue's booker, Skippy McFadden, who formerly booked artists at both the Bell House and Union Hall. Just Sunday night, the 'surprise' headliner, tUnE-yArDs, opened for St. Vincent in Central Park.
But first up was a short set by a last-minute addition, Pat Jordache. Jordache and his two-man backing band (including the drummer of The Acorn) are apparently friends with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus, who danced a bit in the crowd during their set. With a full line-up of women scheduled for the evening, it was nice to get a little testosterone in the mix, too.
I expected the two main openers to put on a good show, but I hadn't heard a thing about Lady Lamb & the Beekeeper. Given the clunky and cutesy name, I was somewhat skeptical going into the set, but singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro quickly won me over with her beautiful lyrics, husky voice, guitar playing skills, and earnest little kid-like eyes. Unlike the other artists on the bill, Aly powered through her set alone. There were no bells and whistles, just a girl and a couple of guitars, and the result was stunning. Ally's voice is deep and raw. During the dramatic parts of her songs she rocks out on her electric guitar and nearly sings herself hoarse. Then without warning her voice becomes soft and sweet.
Up next was the Brooklyn transplant, Sharon Van Etten, who masterfully crafts heartbreaking (but ultimately triumphant) songs. Sharon began her first song solo, but was soon joined by her backing band, which included birthday girl Cat Martino on backing vox. Her new record, Epic, is slated to drop until October, but she had copies available for sale and showcased a number of songs during her set. The crowd responded fondly to the new material, prompting Sharon to comment, "I've never ever seen people bob their heads to my music before." She encouraged the warm, familial mood in the room by sweetly dedicating a song to her mother, who was present at the show.
Upon the conclusion of Sharon's set, the mood in the room became more frenetic in anticipation of tUnE-yArDs, the main act. After setting up the beat to her first song, "Hatari," Merrill Garbus offered a brief word of introduction. As the beat continued to pulse through the speakers, she inquired, "Can you dance to it?" before continuing, "Not that New Yorkers dance. I know you don't dance. Only in your bathrooms after you've pooped... Oh, New Yorkers don't poop." And with a knowing laugh from the crowd, she began to sing.
It's hard to know what to say about Merrill Garbus' dramatic musical project tUnE-yArDs that hasn't already been said. Either you're down with the tribal-like beats, fierce delivery, and zany presentation or you're talking at the back of the bar. Either way, seeing Merrill perform is an experience. When the stage allows for it, she takes advantage of the space and surrounds herself with a host of musical collaborators, but there was no room for a drum circle on the Rock Shop's small stage. Instead, Merrill handled the percussion herself, looping together upwards of 7 or 8 tracks at a time to create a rich, full-bodied sound. Merrill was also accompanied by Nate Brenner on bass and, for a few songs, a trio of brass players.
Though there were brief technical issues when Merrill began to play "Safety" on the ukulele, the audience didn't seem to mind the lull in the set. "Take your time!" "Just figure it out!" they shouted encouragingly as Merrill tried to rectify the situation. But eventually, she just had to give up. "Sorry. I just can't hear it at all. It just won't work [...] But I'll still play a good song. " And with that, she launched into the whimsical song "News."
Since she currently only has one album under her belt, Merrill has been playing many of the same songs at her shows, and the audience was fairly familiar with her material. When Merrill began to shout the question, "Do you want to live?" she was met by a resounding "YES!" before she had a chance to offer an explanation or a prompt. Fans of tUnE-yArDs will be glad to hear that new music is on the horizon. "This is the last time I will be playing this song ["Hatari"] in New York City before I finish a new album... so there," Merrill declared near the beginning of her set.
Following up her impressively strange debut BiRd-BrAiNs will be a difficult feat, but something tells me Merrill Garbus is up for the challenge.
More pictures from the show with Sharon and Merrill's setlists, below...
DOWNLOAD: Sharon Van Etten - Love More (MP3)
Margaret Cho, Reggie Watts, Jesse Baylin & Sarah Jarosz @ Bonnaroo (Bob I Am)
Though we already mentioned Sharon Van Etten's new record, and two upcoming NYC shows, there are more details out on both of those gigs. The first, August 2nd (tonight) at the Rock Shop, is the grand opening of the venue (co-presented by BrooklynVegan) and features a now-announced guest. Opening will be folkie Portland, ME band Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Tickets are on sale.
Sharon's other NYC show (currently the only one before a September tour with Marissa Nadler) is August 7th at Bushwick Starr. Also on the bill for that are Springs aka Mike Visser, who has shows with Dr. Dog's Scott McMicken coming up, and Comedy Central Records comedian Reggie Watts.
Reggie Watts will also be performing in Fort Greene Park on Tuesday, September 14th with Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens. The free show is the 2nd in a series curated by Other Music. The first happens August 10th in the same location with Dam-Funk and DJ Spinna. Flyer below.
Speaking of comedy (and there's more recent funny news here), Tracy Morgan will be doing two nights of stand up at Apollo Theater on September 24th and 25th, to be taped for his debut HBO special Tracy Morgan: Black And Blue. Tickets are on sale. He writes that "The special is going to be all the elements: fire, water, earth, air, the comedy bender, the Avatar of comedy experience."
Back to music, Sharon Van Etten recently sat down for a La Blogotheque session. Those videos and all tour dates are below...
photos by Kate Gardiner
"And Yawnfork continues." - Jim DeRogatis
Robyn dominated Friday @ the Pitchfork Festival
"Who knew the best performer of the day would be a blonde bombshell spinning Euro-disco? Robyn -- another Swede and a former child star who's fought hard to regain her own artistic control -- came out throwing punches in the air when she wasn't doing that elbows-high, shoulder-leaning dance all '80s female singers used to do. Fiesty, sexy, spunky, Robyn opened with the virtues of being a "Fembot," assured us that love hurts "With Every Heartbeat" and sang flawlessly through new single "Dancing on My Own" in front of a band dressed in all white, twiddling knobs and pounding synth-pad drums. The latter really exploded at the end of "Cobrastyle," with Robyn showing some kick-box dancing. Her Pink-ish pluck reached its zenith in "Don't F---ing Tell Me What to Do," during which she led some kind of aerobics class (sporting a totally Pat Benatar green beret, too). And she was the crowd favorite. Go figure." [Chicago Sun Times]Robyn is now on tour with Kelis (that tour includes three NYC shows).
This post comes five hours into Day Two of the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival (which is streaming online). Tonight's remaining acts are Wolf Parade, Panda Bear, and LCD Soundsystem. More pictures and a few videos from most of what came prior, below....
the vegan ice cream is ready to go @ Pitchfork 2010 (chicagosoydairy)
Sharon Van Etten will play the very first set at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival at 3:30pm Chicago time today, Friday, July 16th. She also plays the first set that streams live via their webcast at the festival's website. Full streaming schedule below...
DOWNLOAD: Sharon Van Etten - Love More (MP3)
photo by Kristianna Smith
Sharon Van Etten will be putting out her second record, a seven-song collection called Epic, on October 5th through Ba Da Bing. The track above is the last song off that. If you've seen her live recently (like at the Chris Knox Benefit), you may have caught it. In April, the song was covered at the Music Now Fest in Cincinnati by Bon Iver and members of the National. Their version (captured quite blurily) is posted below, as is a stripped-down acoustic rendition by Sharon.
The new record was recorded at Philly's Miner Street Studios and features vocal assists by Meg Baird (Espers), Cat Martino and Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees). A seven-inch is also due this summer on Polyvinyl.
Live, Sharon will be at Zebulon on July 7th to perform with a screening of The Builder. After that she has a pair of shows in Chicago including the Pitchfork Fest, and then a Saturday, August 7th show at Bushwick Starr with Mike Visser. She's also on the schedule for the Panda Bear- & Public Enemy-hosting Hopscotch Festival in North Carolina this September.
Tracklist for the new album, live videos and dates are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The members of expansive Chicago group Califone have a soft spot for film. In 2009 they made one of their own, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, which they toured around the country (and which just came out on DVD on May 27th). So it's no surprise that they've lent one of their tunes, an unreleased number called "Ro," to filmmaker R. Alverson for a package of songs "for or inspired by" his debut feature film, The Builder. The song will be part of a digital-only series to accompany the film's July 27th DVD release on Jagjaguwar (it's the label's first movie release). That Califone song, which features fellow Chicagoan Orso, is posted above, as are two other songs from the series by fellow BV favorites Sam Amidon and Sharon Van Etten.
Music for the film itself is provided by Bon Iver, Gregor Samsa, Pan American, Robert Donne and Spokane (a group that features Alverson and the film's co-producer Courtney Bowles).
The Builder will be make its New York debut at a free screening hosted at cozy Brooklyn bar Zebulon on Wednesday, July 7th. Sharon Van Etten will be playing a set at that.
Filming on Alverson's second feature New Jerusalem, which stars Will Oldham and Builder actor/co-writer Colm O'Leary, finished earlier this year.
The trailer & synopsis for The Builder, along with a video interview with Alverson, and Califone's handful of tour dates (all in the Midwest, besides an August show at Mass MoCa in North Adams, MA) are below...
It's hard to believe that The National headlined last night at Radio City Music Hall (they were the opener a few years ago when the Arcade Fire played there) and harder to believe that the massive space sold out. Sure, their last two albums have done especially well, but really? Radio City? I mean Lady Gaga is playing there in July. In "Little Faith," Matt Berninger sings, "I know what you think. You're waiting for Radio City to sink." Yes, ominous indeed.
The evening began with a rousing set by The Antlers. As if to echo the themes of hospitals, sickness, and funerals found in their solid debut, Hospice, white flowers decorated the stage. The Antlers' performance was bolstered by the addition of a two-man brass section (courtesy of Tim Cronin and Jon Natchez) and lovely female vocalist Sharon Van Etten. They played an extended version of the standout track "Sylvia" in addition to an unnamed new song. After playing a short string of songs from Hospice roughly in chronological order, The Antlers concluded their set with "Wake."
Walking into Radio City, I admit that the prospect of seeing two praise-worthy bands in such a huge space had me both exhilarated and fearful. Would they be able to master the space and overcome the obstacles posed by a seated show? How would they make the experience personal?
Though majestic, the space was a bit stifling. But to help cut down on the formality of a seated show, the majority of the orchestra section stood up when the band walked on stage and remained standing for the entirety of the evening. The National's front man, Matt Berninger, hopped off the stage to cavort with the audience in front during the third song, "Bloodbuzz Ohio." Sure, he only stayed down there for a few seconds, but it boded well for the rest of the show. The third wall came crashing down early.
The National also had some additional musicians on stage to help fill out their sound. Throughout the show, a small brass section again consisting of a trumpet and trombone contributed to the mix. Additional treats came on the seventh song, "Squalor Victoria," when a string section walked on stage. After that, it got almost ridiculous. St. Vincent's Annie Clark hopped on the piano for "Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks" and shared backing vocal responsibilities with Sufjan Stevens for the following song, "Afraid of Everyone." "I'm sorry they're so plain looking. We try to set a standard," Berninger wryly joked. "I wish we could have them on stage all night," replied a Dessner brother.
But the real magic happened during "Abel." At least, it did for me. Berninger jumped off the stage once again and started pulling that oh-so-long mic chord behind him as he walked up the aisle in the theatre. For a few seconds, I lost sight of him. And then, there he was, right outside my row. And then... what? Berninger started climbing over the seats and ended up stumbling right into Row WW, Seat 409 - my seat. As he stood haphazardly balanced on the seat behind me, he leaned over, grabbed my shoulder to steady himself and put the mic right in my face as he sang. And, though I know nearly all of the lyrics to their songs and the chorus to "Abel" in particular is embarrassingly simple, I admit I froze a little and was too stunned to sing along. After my moment had passed, Berninger continued on his way, climbing over the seat in front of me and then heading back to the stage. It's almost as if he knew that this was only going to be a one-paragraph review (since I recently wrote a lengthy one for the BAM show) and wanted to spice it up. After Berninger fled the scene, BrooklynVegan photographer Matt Eisman and I stared at each other in disbelief. Did that just happen?
The show continued with a few more songs and a solid four-song encore that (of course) included "Mr. November". This time when he wandered into the crowd, Berninger climbed the stairs to the first tier of the balcony where people encircled him and furiously sang along. Berninger proceded to walk to the far side of the balcony and back down again, his mic chord dangling over the crowd in the orchestra section below. After over an hour and a half of play, The National concluded their encore with "Terrible Love."
More pictures, a video and the setlists from Radio City, below...
photos by David Andrako
The Antlers, Phosphorescent, and Sharon Van Etten each played 20-25 minute sets at the High Violet Annex last night (5/13). That was followed by members of The National improvising over projected movies by Margarita Jimeno, Sufjan Stevens, Jonathan Dueck, Deborah Johnson, Ryan Irvin, and Justin Anderson.
The first National-related group was Bryan & Scott Devendorf, trumpet player Kyle Resnick and guitarist/trombonist/Beirut member Ben Lanz (both who also played on Letterman with the National yesterday). The second group was The Dessner Brothers who played along with an 11 minute experimental film that Sufjan Stevens made "using a digital camera while I had insomnia." Sufjan was in attendance (if you haven't figured that out yet) and introduced the song.
It was the third night of the National's temporary venue next door to Other Music. Even more people played live on the second night. It continues for a fourth night tonight/Friday (and ends Saturday) (lineups for those are both TBA, but expect some actual National songs to be played at at least one of them). More pictures from Thursday, below...
DOWNLOAD: Phosphorescent - The Mermaid Parade (MP3)
The National did not play the High Violet Annex last night (5/12), but many others did. A full report is coming shortly, but in the meantime I didn't want to hold back the information that tonight (5/13) will include films by Margarita Jimeno, Sufjan Stevens, Jonathan Dueck, Deborah Johnson, Ryan Irvin, and Justin Anderson. More importantly, there will also be live performance by The Antlers, Phosphorescent, Sharon Van Etten "and more".
For Phos, it will be his first of two shows tonight, though the second one at Mecury Lounge will be a much longer set (tickets are still available). It will also be his second of two shows this week on East 4th Street. High Violet Annex is right next door to Other Music where he played an in-store the other day (5/10). That's four NYC shows total if you count Union Pool in Brooklyn which he/they played one day after that. The Brooklyn gig was packed and front-man Matthew Houk expressed his joy more than once at playing a hometown show. They played almost the entire new album, Here's to Taking it Easy, which is out now. The crowd was singing along to new song "The Mermaid Parade" which you can download above for free.
A video of Martha Wainwright playing the High Violet Annex last night below...
Broken Social Scene @ SXSW (more by Bryan Bruchman)
tonight in NYC
* EPMD @ BB King's
* Steve Kimock @ The Stone
* Joseph Arthur @ Maxwell's
* Matt Mottel @ Issue Project Room
* Sleigh Bells, Mr. Dream @ Coco 66
* Broken Social Scene @ Webster Hall
* A-ha, Sondre Lerche @ Nokia Theatre
* Patrick Watson, Doveman @ 92YTribeca
* Mary Halvorson, Kevin Shea @ The Kitchen
* Starscream, Idiot Glee, Blair @ Glasslands
* The Jay Vons, The Suspicions @ Bruar Falls
* The Clean, Dimmer, Coasting @ The Bell House
* Local Natives, Suckers, JBM @ Bowery Ballroom
* Stinking Lizaveta, Pigs, Wizardry @ Union Pool
* Sharon Van Etten, St. Claire, Julie Fader @ Union Hall
* Boy Crisis, J'aime & I, Frances Rose @ Knitting Factory
* The Glitch Mob, Free The Robots, Deru @ Highline Ballroom
* Boom Chick, The Fieros, The Tales, The London Souls @ The Cameo
* Caribou, Toro y Moi, Hounds Of Hate @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* The Get It, Killing Phantoms, Apothecary Hymns, Cock Lorge @ Pianos
* All Leather, The Death Set, Cerebral Ballzy @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise
* JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, The Revelations, The Ex Caminos @ Southpaw
* Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Big Troubles, Sore Eros, Procedure Club @ Cake Shop
* The Golden Palominos, The Wingdale Community Singers, The Walking Hellos @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
This Week in Indie focuses on this weekend's shows that aren't sold out.
Hounds of Hate are first of third opener for Caribou and Toro y Moi.
Sharon Van Etten played a short set at the Chris Knox benefit last night. Tonight she's at Union Hall. A video of Sharon performing for NPR at SXSW, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
I snuck this picture of the t-shirt...
"Chris Knox (born September 2, 1952) is a New Zealand rock and roll musician, cartoonist, and DVD reviewer who emerged during the punk rock era with his bands The Enemy and Toy Love. After Toy Love disbanded in the early 1980s, he formed the group Tall Dwarfs with guitarist Alec Bathgate, much loved for their honest, unpolished sound and intense live shows. His 4-track machine was used to record most of the early Flying Nun singles." [Wiki]Jeff Mangum played a set of Neutral Milk Hotel songs for the first time in nine years at the benefit for his friend, musician Chris Knox, last night, Thursday, May 6th. From opener "Oh Comely" to encore "Engine," and "A Baby For Pree," "Two Headed Boy Pt. Two" and "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" in between, Mangum's voice was clear and strong as he sang from a chair into microphones set up a few feet away. Most of the audience looked somewhere between giddy excitement and shock. Some quietly sang along, others broke out into tears - one person choked on frantic, shallow breaths as "Oh Comely" climaxed, another stood with his hand over his gaping mouth, unable to move.
A few photos were furtively snapped in defiance of the posted signs, but most were content to just listen. Though "just listen" doesn't really describe the gasps, tears and unending applause. Mangum played with his eyes mostly closed, neck vein tensed, rocking and swooping to the contours of the songs. His eyelids fluttered open on the chorus of "A Baby for Pree" to reveal eyes rolled back into his head. Between songs Mangum gulped down water and was gracious, bordering on triumphant as he popped up at the end of "Aeroplane." He encouraged the crowd to contribute to the encore, "Engine." After the set, someone caught his attention with a book to sign, which he did. Most people up front looked anxious and ready for a post-show smoke.
It was fitting maybe that the bill for Mangum's last show, in 2001 in New Zealand, was with Chris Knox, who suffered a stroke in 2009. Though Jeff Mangum was a clear pinnacle, the rest of the benefit gig was an engaging, full evening which covered 12 bands and 2 comedians, and ran more than five and a half hours (though at least 1/3 of the venue cleared out after Mangum's 8:50pm set). The show ended at 1am, amazingly, exactly as scheduled.
Coasting (set time: 6:20pm) opened up with appropriately coastal guitar sounds and surefire drums, Sharon Van Etten played three songs with nuanced dynamics on electric guitar. The Magnetic Fields' Claudia Gonson played only one song as a trebly synth trio to cover "Beauty" which the band does on the Chris Knox tribute CD Stroke.
Robert Scott (of the Clean) and TVOTR's Kyp Malone (aka Rain Machine) both played solo guitar sets. Kyp, who told the crowd they should check out the new Devendra Banhart video (he checked it out in a cafe because he doesn't have internet), was joined by Emilyn Brodsky for what he said was a Bob Marley cover. Rachel Feinstein did raunchy comedy.
After that, there was New Zealand band Dimmer (who are in town for a while), The Mad Scene (Hamish Kilgour of the Clean's other band), David Kilgour of The Clean (backed by Yo La Tengo and one other band member) and comedy from John Mulaney (who killed it) (and who you may have seen doing a bit about girl scout cookies on a recent episode of SNL).
"Portastatic" was Mac backed by Yo La Tengo. They closed with Superchunk's "Slack Motherfucker" complete with windmill guitar moves and pogoing from some of the crowd (even though the concert was going into its fifth hour at this point). Yo La Tengo, with extra member David Kilgour on guitar, covered a Chris Knox song, said many kind words about Chris and closed with two songs from their 1993 album Painful, which Chris Knox contributed art work to.
The Clean, who Ira introduced as the greatest band in the world, and who'd already been up several times as their solo bands, closed the night right, both jangly and poppy. And despite the mass exodus after Jeff, a respectable amount of people were still there right until the last song. Catch the Clean again (if you have a ticket because it's sold out) at The Bell House tonight (5/7).
Editor's note: Ben Goldberg did an amazing job organizing the event, keeping scalpers away, and making sure that pretty much every person in that venue (except maybe the bartenders) paid their $75 donation to Chris Knox to get in the door (or $20 if you showed up after Jeff went off). Ben did less of an amazing job during his pre-Yo La Tengo stand up routine, but nobody's perfect!
Illegally shot (not by us!) audio and video from the event, and the new Devendra Banhart video, and Jeff Mangum's setlist again, below...
Modest Mouse @ Terminal 5 in March 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Modest Mouse will join Faith No More and Nas & Damian Marley (tickets) as one of the acts set to play at Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn this summer. Their Friday, July 23rd show will be ticketed/non-free (like the others mentioned). Tickets go on sale Friday at noon (which is when the just-added Faith no More show goes on sale too).
Modest Mouse's Brooklyn show is a week after they play the Pitchfork Festival which recently updated its lineup. New acts playing the Chicago fest include Big Boi, Major Lazer, Neon Indian, Beach House, Free Energy, Local Natives, Robyn & more. Check that out in full below. Single day tickets are still on sale.
UPDATE: Modest Mouse's Brooklyn show is one day after they play one in NJ.
Modest Mouse will be reissuing their third album, The Moon & Antarctica, on vinyl for its 10th anniversary, on Record Store Day - this Saturday, April 17th. "The album features restored original artwork and replicates the infinite lock groove found in the original vinyl pressings of 2000. The new vinyl reissue includes a download card for the album." All dates the the P4K Fest lineup, below...
LPR will be hosting a benefit on May 6 for New Zealand artist Chris Knox who suffered a series of strokes last year. Many of the aritsts performing at this show have contributed to a fantastic tribute/benefit album for Knox that was recently released.
Tickets for the benefit will go on sale through Kickstarter on March 30 (more details coming soon).
Artists appearing will include Yo La Tengo, Kyp Malone (of TV on the Radio), Portastatic, Claudia Gonson of the Magnetic Fields, Sharon Van Etten, and The Clean. There will also be a short acoustic performance by Jeff Mangum (formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel).
"I don't get to see these people. I don't see Leslie (Feist) any more. It's tough to see Amy (Millan) and Evan (Cranley) because they live in Montreal. Jimmy (Shaw) and Emily (Haines) have been on the road so much. They just came and we hung out in the studio for a few days in Toronto. Just to hang out was enough."SXSW Day Two startedd out for me with a performance by Sharon Van Etten who was heartachingly beautiful at St. David's Sanctuary. Sarah Jaffe and band followed - great folk/rock songs. Over at Stubb's Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw guesting on "Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl" with Broken Social Scene was the highlight of their show filled with new songs from the forthcoming record. Band Of Horses preceded and were great but their set was a bit short. Let's Wrestle (who didn't make it to NYC before Austin, but did make it to SXSW) during the day at Lovejoy's was loud and excellent. The Victorian Room at the Driskill Hotel was a perfect venue for Olof Arnalds and probably the most attractive setting for a show I've been to yet.
Broken Social Scene hasn't closed the door on collaborations, by any stretch. Metric's Haines and Shaw were invited onstage Thursday night to perform You Forgot It In People's show-stopping "Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl," while stretches of the show featured a six-piece horn section, the Beauties acting as a sort of all-male chorus line and vocal contributions from Jason Collett. [Toronto Star]
Some pictures and commentary from SXSW Day 1 HERE. Pictures from Day 2 continue below...
Megafaun mixing a new EP
Brad from Megafaun formed a cover band with St. Vincent and Justin Vernon at the BV/BP Haiti benefit at MHOW in January. He'll be back on the road with his twangy Megafaun brethren this March and April. We previously mentioned an April 2nd Megafaun show at Mercury Lounge. War on Drugs open that show. Tickets are on sale.
Their other NYC show, April 3rd at Union Pool, will be opened by Sharon Van Etten, who travels for a week with the tour. After she departs, fragile, harmonizing trio Breathe Owl Breathe join Megafaun on the road.
Damon & Naomi (the other Galaxie 500-related couple-duo) will be at 92Y Tribeca on Saturday, January 30th for the first-ever movie theater screening of their 2009 career-spanning DVD Damon & Naomi: 1001 Nights. After the film, the pair will do a Q&A with Harvard Film Archive director Haden Guest. Following that is a concert, with Damon & Naomi accompanied by guitarist Michio Kurihara (from Ghost). Sharon Van Etten opens the music portion. Tickets to the film and music are on sale, as are music-only tickets. We also have a pair of movie+music tickets to give away. Details are below.
A similar movie & music event will be at Boston/Cambridge's Brattle Theatre the next night (1/31).
A live performance from the DVD and contest details are below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material.
Sharon Van Etten played the free BrooklynVegan & Bowery Presents show at Pianos On October 24th. More pictures from her set below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
"In an enthralling concert at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night, playing the songs from "Hospice" to a rapt audience, the Antlers (from Brooklyn) made clear that the music was not just a vehicle for the story. It was its own molten element, moving at its own pace. Songs emerged from, and sometimes dissolved back into, stretches of abstract sound: Mr. Silberman's guitar feedback darkening like storm clouds, Darby Cicci's hissing or whooshing keyboard sounds, Michael Lerner's atmospheric cymbals, the band's loops and layers of static and effects that only gradually led into chords and rhythms. Eventually they were topped by the words." [NY Times]Check out our 'end of 2009' interview with Peter Silberman of the Antlers, and the one with Annie of Uninhabitable Mansions, and more pictures from their December 15th show at Bowery Ballroom, below...
After a decade in which private lives basically became public domain-- think confessional emo, YouTube, reality TV, and social networking updates-- you would think that we'd have become inured to the private pain of semi-autobiographical songwriting. But as the debut album by Peter Silberman's former solo project (it's now a trio) proves, with the right blend of earnest, whispery vocals, delicate, gauzy melodies, and strangely smothering scratchy effects, a desperately delivered concept album about personal loss still has the power to emotionally destroy listeners. Hospice, as its name implies, is not an easy album to take-- the haunting songs' plainspoken prose tells of mental illness, abortion, cancer, and death-- but couched in soaring anthems and swathed in layers of ambient noise, its heartbreaking stories are easy to love. --Rebecca Raber, Pitchfork.comPeter Silberman of The Antlers answered our end-of-year questionnaire...