Entries tagged with: Sheer Agony
by Bill Pearis
(photo by Ryan Collerd)
Philadelphia's Lantern are set to release their new album, Black Highways And Green Garden Roads on February 19 via Fixture Records (cassette) and Sophomore Lounge (vinyl). The band, led by Zachary Fairbrother and Emily Robb, call Montreal their second home, with Sheer Agony's Christian Simmons on drums, and the new LP was made at the city's The Bottle Garden (run by fellow Fixture artist Freelove Fenner). There's an early-'60s streak that runs wide in their sound with close harmonies and twangy/garagey tones, but there is great finesse what they do. That is quite apparent in the swirling, melodic "We Are Here" which makes its premiere in this post. Check it out below.
by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis & Amanda Hatfield
photo: Kendrick Lamar at Day For Night 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Every year is a good year for new music, but 2015 felt like the best one in a while. It was an especially great year for major label rap, after 2014 was an especially slow one, but it was good for plenty more than that too: folk, post-punk, indie pop, noise, art pop, punk, etc. We only have one metal album on our list, but there's a lot more where that came from at our metal sister site Invisible Oranges, who posted individual writer lists over the past few weeks. 2015 birthed excellent newcomers, and gave us crucial returns from artists who have been doing it for decades. This year, BrooklynVegan crowned a #1 pick for album of the year with the rest of our top 50 listed alphabetically. Some of the records have songs you couldn't leave your house without hearing, and others flew pretty under the radar, but we truly love each one.
Read our top 50 below...
by Bill Pearis
photo: Sheer Agony @ Baby's All Right, CMJ 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Montreal's Sheer Agony released their long-awaited debut album, Masterpiece, back in October via Couples Skate. While the title is definitely tongue-in-cheek, it isn't that far off either -- 13 witty, exceedingly melodic, instrumentally/lyrically sharp guitar pop nuggets. Most of them hover around the two-minute mark while still packing in an insane amount of hooks and ideas. Comparisons to Chris Stamey-era dB's, The Homosexuals, and mid-'90s Sloan (Chris Murphy songs in particular) are all pretty accurate. There's not a bum song on the LP and you can stream the whole thing below.
Last in NYC for CMJ, Sheer Agony will be back to play Cake Shop on January 8 with Brooklyn band The Dirty Blondes and more TBA. Tickets are on sale now. It's their only show currently on their schedule.
It's part two of our 2015 wrap-up where BV editors Bill Pearis, Andrew Sacher and site founder Dave play more of their favorite songs of the year, and discuss such topics as favorite live bands, overused words in band names, comebacks, and what we're looking forward to in 2016.
Like all "Spotify in Residence" shows, you need to be a Spotify subscriber to hear the host segments, but anyone can listen to the full playlist of all songs. Follow that link to subscribe and stay tuned for another new episode in January.
by Bill Pearis
Sheer Agony / Laced / Mega Bog @ Baby's All Right 10/13/2015
After catching Stealing Sheep at Living Room, I popped over to Baby's All Right briefly to catch Montreal's Sheer Agony who were playing the Bayonet / Couples Skate showcase. Making nervy powerpop a la Nick Lowe and early dB's plus touches of the Kinks and other Britpop, these guys are very much in my wheelhouse and they did not disappoint. Playing a bunch of stuff off their forthcoming debut album, Masterpiece, the band (which now includes former Think About Life drummer Matt Shane) were tight and punchy, leaving little room for anything but the hooks. Except when they digressed into the solo from "Hotel California," which singer Jackson MacIntosh admitted was probably a bad idea.
Sheer Agony have one more CMJ show tonight (10/14) at Knitting Factory, playing at 9:45 PM with Gramma's Boyfriend, The Babe Rainbow, Slim Twig, Drinks, Juan Wauters and Ezra Furman also on the bill. Tickets are still available and you can use a CMJ badge/showpass as well (subject to capacity).
Also on the bill for the Bayonet/Couples Skate showcase were Laced (featuring Bayonet co-owner Dustin Payseur) and Mega Bog, (both of which our photographer Amanda caught as well) and headliner Frankie Cosmos (we had to leave early, sorry Frankie). More pics below...
photo: Destruction Unit at Union Pool in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
CMJ is upon us here in NYC, which means hundreds of artists from around the world will be playing too many shows to keep track of over the next five days (10/13-10/17). If you're feeling overwhelmed at all about who to see, we've narrowed things down to a list of, appropriately, 15 that we really think you should try to catch. We also made a Soundcloud playlist featuring songs from the artists (except a few that aren't on Soundcloud).
Check that out, and all of our picks, below...
Laced, which is Beach Fossils singer Dustin Payseur, Nude Beach drummer Ryan Naideau (also of Warthog) and Couple Skate Records owner Ian Kim Judd, played their first show a little over a year ago. They're now set to release their debut 7" EP via Bayonet Records, the label Payseur runs with his wife Katie Garcia. The EP was recorded by Mac DeMarco at his house in The Rockaways and the first single is hazy zoomer "Clear." Payseur told The Fader:
The very first time we got into a space together, this song came out immediately. It set the initial sonic tone for Laced without us ever talking about what the band was supposed to be. It was refreshing to have the song come out so naturally.Listen to "Clear" below.
Laced have a couple shows coming up. They play Alphaville on September 24 with Pill and B Boys. That show is $8 at the door. Next month, Laced play the Bayonet Records / Couple Skate CMJ Showcase at Baby's All Right on October 13 with Mega Bog, Sheer Agony, and headliner Frankie Cosmos. Tickets go on sale Friday (9/11) at noon.
In related CMJ news: Frankie Cosmos also plays "The Wild Honey Pie Presents The Beehive" at The Wick on October 16 with Phony Ppl, Dent May (Solo), Lazyeyes, Fraser A. Gorman, Corbu, Stone Cold Fox, The Britanys, Acid Dad, Sam Cohen, and Piers. That show is free with RSVP (or a CMJ badge) or $5 at the door.
The 2015 CMJ Music Marathon happens from October 13-17, and today the initial list of artists was revealed. A bunch of these are NYC shows we've posted about (browse our "CMJ" tag), but highlights include Car Seat Headrest, Cheatahs, Destruction Unit, Dent May, Dilly Dally, Doomsquad, Drinks, Eternal Summers, Evans the Death, Ex Hex, Expert Alterations, Ezra Furman, Frankie Cosmos, Hooton Tennis Club, Kamasi Washington, Kero Kero Bonito, Mercury Rev, Nai Harvest, Neon Indian, Panda Bear, Perfect Pussy, Protomartyr, S, Shannon and the Clams, Slim Twig, Stealing Sheep, The Album Leaf, The Dirty Nil, The Men, The Wonder Years, Titus Andronicus and Wildhoney. Check out the full list below.
Badges are on sale.
by Bill Pearis
photo by Tess Roby
Montreal's Sheer Agony made a strong splash with the debut 7" back in 2012 that showed off their brand of mutant powerpop that owed more than a little to Chris Stamey and his work on those first two dB's albums. Then apart from the occasional tour and local Montreal shows, we didn't hear much from them. Happily they were hard at work on their debut album, cheekily titled Masterpiece, which will be out October 30 via Couple Skate (part of Captured Tracks' Omnian Music umbrella).
It was worth the wait, 13 tracks of killer pop in half an hour, absolutely crammed with hooks and nary a wasted second. If you like The dB's or The Soft Boys or Sex Clark Five (or New Pornographers), you'll definitely want to check out first single "I Have A Dream" the video for which appears in this post. Directed by Peter Woodford (of fellow MTL band Freelove Fenner) and features a dirty cop looking to bust up a DIY show but ends up having a very rock n' roll night. Shot at actual Montreal DIY spot The Drones Club, also look out for a cameo from Peter Segar of Homeshake as "The Bartender." Watch below.
Sheer Agony just wrapped up a North American tour with Homeshake which didn't hit NYC. The band will be here, however, for CMJ and currently have two shows on their schedule: the Bayonet/Couple Skate showcase on October 13 at Baby's All Right with Frankie Cosmos, Laced and Mega Bog (tickets on sale 9/11 at noon); and then the Panache showcase that happens October 14 at Knitting Factory with Ezra Furman, Juan Wauters, Drinks, Slim Twig, The Babe Rainbow and Gramma's Boyfriend (tickets). Sheer Agony also play Pop Montreal on September 19.
by Bill Pearis
Slim Twig has released a video for "Fadeout Killer" from his new album, Thank You for Sticking wtih Twig. Like the song, there's a dreamlike quality to the video, directed by David Rendall, that has Twig running a race of one. There's also a woman in a house answering a phone. They are connected. What does it mean? That is a question probably for a therapist, but you can watch it below.
Since we last posted, Slim Twig has added a few tour dates. We knew he was going to be here for CMJ and one of those shows has been announced: Knitting Factory on October 14. That's a Panache showcase that's also with Ezra Furman, Juan Wauters, Drinks (aka Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley of White Fence), Montreal's Sheer Agony, The Babe Rainbow, Gramma's Boyfriend (featuring Haley Bonar). That is a pretty good lineup and tickets to that go on sale today at 10 AM. Poster for that show is below
Updated Slim Twin tour dates are listed, along with the "Fadeout Killer" video, below...
Though the 2013 Sled Island Festival got flooded out, it returns to Calgary, AB this year from June 18 - 22. The full line-up will be announced on April 29, but artists appearing include St. Vincent, Spiritualized, Neko Case, Rocket from the Crypt (who play NYC tonight), Rhye, Touche Amore, Bob Mould, Mission of Burma, The Julie Ruin, Killer Mike, White Lung, and more. Festival passes are on sale now, with tickets to individual shows going on sale April 11.
Full initial line-up of Sled Island 2014 artists, and a teaser video, below...
Pissed Jeans @ MHOW, 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...
Psalm Zero, Yautja, Geryon, Kevin Hufnagel @ The Acheron
Psalm Zero is the new band of Andrew Hock (Castevet) and Charlie Looker (ex-Extra Life), but past projects aside, Psalm Zero stands up on its own as some pretty great out-there industrial metal. Nashville sludge/grind bashers Yautja make this an excellent double bill, and the first half of the night should get interesting too with Geryon (also featuring a member of Castevet) and Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Vaura, Gorguts).
Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss, Pampers @ Knitting Factory
Pissed Jeans continue to perfect their blend of My War-era Black Flag and Stooges fury, and at this point they're really a force of their own. There's great support too, coming from the grungy Purling Hiss and local art punks Pampers.
Sheer Agony, Sam Kogon, Comfy, Band Practice @ Silent Barn
Montreal's Sheer Agony make the kind of perfect powerpop gems that are exquisitely crafted but also sound tossed off. If you like The dB's or early XTC (or the first Shins album), these folks are absolutely worth checking out. Stream a few songs below.
Teengirl Fantasy, L-Vis 1990, Lafawndah, Brother Bruno (live vox by Aggressiva), Aurora Hala @ Cameo Gallery
There's a lot of dancey goodness on tonight's Cameo bill including the psychedelic dance of Teengirl Fantasy, Night Slugs co-head L-Vis 1990, electronic eccentric Lafawndah and more.
Cerebral Ballzy, Black Sheep @ Gramercy Theatre
This is an interesting double bill with the NYC punk of Cerebral Ballzy and the NYC hip hop of veteran duo Black Sheep. Genre differences aside, both acts should be pretty fun tonight. UPDATE: This show has been postponed.
Jay Farrar @ City Winery
As frontman for Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, Jay Farrar is alt country royalty, with a cannon of dusty, heartfelt, world-weary songs. This is his second of two nights at City Winery and tickets are still available.
IV (w/ Colin Stetson, Trevor Dunn, Greg Fox), Daniel King, Jeremiah Cymerman @ The Grand Victory
This should be a pretty interesting: sax great Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, etc) teams up with bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3, Tomahawk), and drummer Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, ex-Liturgy) for a trio set tonight. Who knows what all three of these very talented and very different musicians will pull off as one unit?
The Brought Low, Deep Swell, Kings Destroy @ Saint Vitus
Brooklyn trio The Brought Low make the kind of fist-pumping hard rock that may not always be popular but never goes out of style. Doom-y crew Kings Destroy open the night.
Boytoy, Dinowalrus, Little Racer, Slonk Donkerson, Sports Guy @ Baby's All Right
If you're looking to see a nice mix of Brooklyn's poppier indie rock bands, this is a good one: Boytoy are equal parts sunshine and sludge; Dinowalrus mix strong hooks with an ever-morphing litany of UK '80s/'90s influences; Little Racer write undeniably catchy choruses; Slonk Donkerson dip into '90s angst; and the night starts with Florida transplants Sports Guy.
Psychic TV, Tamaryn (DJ) @ MoMA PS1
This event is a book launch for PTV domo Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, featuring a live performance from Psychic TV and Starred, with a DJ set from Tamaryn, a reading by Jarrett Earnest, and films by Orridge and Leigha Mason.
Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
Big league comedy talent (Chris Rock, Louis CK, etc) show up regularly (and unannounced) for Hannibal's very popular free comedy show at Knitting Factory's front bar. Get there early.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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by Bill Pearis
Montreal's Sheer Agony have been in America for a few weeks,
touring on either side of SXSW with Philadelpia pals Lantern. The trek wraps up this week with two shows in NYC: March 29 at Barnard College with Tonstartsbandht, Rutabega, and Herzog Rizing; and March 30 at Silent Barn with Martin and Lawrence, and more TBA.
UPDATE: Sheer Agony wrote in to say they're not actually playing the post-SXSW shows with Lantern. Bummer!
Last here in December 2011, Sheer Agony make tightly-wound, jittery pop that is jam-packed with hooks. Power pop fans who hold Shoes, Sex Clark Five and those first two dB's albums sacred would do well to check out the band's three singles, like last year's great self-tiled EP. You can stream them all below. They're good live, too. All upcoming tour dates are listed below.
The 2012 edition of Calgary, Alberta festival Sled Island is set to take place from June 20-23 at venues throughout the city. This year includes over 200 bands performing at 30 venues plus a large comedy schedule, film screenings, and art shows.
Sled Island 2012 will once again use outdoor venue Olympic Plaza as its main stage, featuring performances by Feist, The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Dudes, Shabazz Palaces, Parlovr, and others.
Acts including Russian Circles, Hot Snakes, The Antlers, Boris, Thurston Moore, Willis Earl Beal, Trust, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Terry Malts, Neil Hamburger, How To Dress Well, The Evaporators (aka Nardwuar's band), DJ Jonathan Toubin, Hannibal Buress, Andrew W.K., Tim Heidecker, Archers of Loaf, and many more will be performing at various bars and venues. Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post.
Full lineup and 2012 festival trailer below...
by Bill Pearis
Sheer Agony at Halifax Pop Explosion 2011
We've had a lot of Montreal acts through town this week. Last night, Karkwa played Rockwood Music Hall, The Barr Brothers played Union Pool and Doldrums hit both Glasslands and Shea Stadium. For those looking to tic two more spots on your Montreal Indie Super Saver Card, head to Big Snow Buffalo Lodge tomorrow (12/10) to catch two newish bands: Sheer Agony and Each Other.
Sheer Agony only have two songs on their Bandcamp page, but both are pretty great and you can stream/download them below. It's nervy pop, big on melody and packing a lot into a short running time, much the way groups like the dB's, Soft Boys and the Sex Clark Five did in the early '80s. I want to hear more.
Each Other features member of Halifax band Long Long Long and are perhaps a little more on the psych (in a Syd Barret kind of way) with some skronky/noodly guitarwork, but there's still an emphasis on melody, with some really nice harmonies to boot. You can stream/download their Taking Trips mini-LP at the bottom of this post as well.
Calgary, Alberta (via Pittsburgh or the other way around) is represented as well with Feel Alright who are also out in the psych-pop field picking poppies, letting the tape hiss shine on their recordings, some of which are streamable below. In a similar vein are Street Gnar, the sole Brooklyn act on the Big Snow bill tomorrow.
Click through for the show flyer and more dates and streaming players for all four bands.