Entries tagged with: Sondre Lerche
Sondre Lerche's new album, Please, will be out September 23. That's the cover art above and if you haven't listened to single "Bad Law" yet, you can do so below. Sondre just announced a tour to go along with the new record, which kicks off with a NYC release show at Bowery Ballroom on September 23. Tickets for the Bowery show go on sale Friday (6/13) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (6/11) at noon.
All tour dates are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
Divorce is a painful thing, I'm told, but it has often been the fuel for some great music (Shoot Out the Lights, Rumors, and Blood on the Tracks come to mind). Sondre Lerche's seventh album, Please, was made in the wake of his breakup with Mona Fastvold, his wife of eight years. (She directed The Sleepwalker for which Sondre did the score.) It does seem to have pushed him into new directions, if opening cut "Bad Law" is any indication. It starts off with a jazzy, funky riff that is well within Sondre's wheelhouse, but right after he asks "When crimes are passionate, can love be separate?," in come the drums. Crashing, calamitous drums, before returning to the groove -- like when someone puts the phone on hold so they can bang the receiver on whatever's nearby in frustration. It also goes without saying, this being Sondre, that the song is catchy as all get-out too. Stream it below.
Please will be out this fall on his own Mona Records imprint. No tour dates announced yet (he played Brooklyn back in February), but let's hope whenever they are, Sondre will be with a band. We need those drums. Single art, album tracklist and "Bad Law" stream below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Sondre Lerche @ Baby's All Right 2/20/2014
Sondre Lerche was originally supposed to play two shows at Rough Trade on Feb 21 & 23, but with the ongoing (though hopefully soon resolved) sound issues there, the show ended up getting smooshed into one bigger show at Baby's All Right last night (2/20). Opening with a new song, "Violent Game," Sondre (with help from a backing band) played a 13-song set drawn from throughout his career, including "Palindromes" from his new soundtrack to The Sleepwalker, and another brand new one, "At Times We Live Alone," which may or may not end up on the album he's currently recording.
Sondre's setlist, video of "Palidromes," and more pics from Baby's All Right below...
by Bill Pearis
Sondre Lerche: "Master Of Jevning" (via Sondre's instagram)
Sondre Lerche and Kato Ådland's score for Norwegian thriller The Sleepwalker (some may know it as Søvngjengeren) is out now and you can stream the very dreamy "You Sure Look Swell" below and listen the the whole thing via Rdio. The film just made it's US premiere at Sundance a couple weeks ago and you can check out the not-in-English trailer below.
As you may know, Sondre was to play two shows at Rough Trade this month (Feb. 21 & 23), but do to the venue/record store's not-quite-resolved sound/noise issues, those shows have been combined and moved to Baby's All Right on a new date, February 20. All tickets honored and refunds available at point of purchase. Tickets are also still available.
After that Sondre heads to Japan for a short tour. All dates are listed below.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
David Byrne / Jherek Bischoff / Zola Jesus @ St. Ann's Warehouse - 1/8/14
Jherek Bischoff began his guest-filled two-night stand at St. Ann's Warehouse last night (1/8), and if you weren't sure what to expect, it turned out to be a pretty extravagant affair. He was joined by a number of guest vocalists, including David Byrne, Sondre Lerche, Zola Jesus (aka Nika Danilova), Mirah, in addition to unannounced (but not unexpected) singers Zac Pennington (of Parenthetical Girls) and Sam Mickens. His band, among others, also included Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, Jen Goma (of People Get Ready/A Sunny Day In Glasgow) and the Contemporaneous Ensemble, conducted by David Bloom.
The first set was songs off of Jherek's Composed album, and the second set was songs by the guest vocalists with arrangements by Jherek. One of Mirah's songs, "Gold Rush," was a new one, and one of Zola Jesus's, "Lawless," was new as well. For the encore, David Byrne came out to do Talking Heads' "And She Was," eventually joined by all the guests on stage together. Pictures of the show are in this post.
Jherek and co. do it again tonight (1/9), which is unfortunately sold out.
More pictures from night 1, along with the setlist, below...
Jherek Bischoff (center) w/ Kornos Quartet in July (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Amanda Palmer/Parenthetical Girls collaborator Jherek Bischoff has announced a couple NYC shows for early 2014 with some pretty great guests. He'll be at St. Ann's Warehouse on January 8 and 9 with Contemporaneous Chamber Orchestra to perform his album Composed with David Byrne, Zola Jesus' Nika Danilova, Sondre Lerche, Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Mirah Zeitlyn. Tickets are on sale to St. Ann's Warehouse members now, and general on-sale begins Tuesday (12/17).
Watch the video for Jherek's David Byrne collaboration from Composed, below...
Officially first class: Sondre Lerche
Sondre Lerche is still working on his new album, but he does have music coming out before that. He collaborated with fellow musician Kato Ådland on the score to Norwegian drama The Sleepwalker which is out January 14. It's mostly instrumental but Sondre sings on two tracks. You may remember that he also did the score/soundtrack for Dan in Real Life a few years ago. The Sleepwalker film will makes its U.S. debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival which happens Jan. 16 - 26 in Park City, Utah.
Sondre splits his time between Bergen, Norway and Brooklyn, and he's got some shows coming up in his North American hometown in a couple months at Rough Trade NYC on February 21 & 23. Hopefully their sound issues will be fixed by then. Tickets to those two shows go on sale Friday (12/13) at noon. They are his only announced North American shows at present.
More Lerche news. The singer's likeness is being used on an official Norwegian postage stamp. It's part of a series based on Norwegian Popular Music. You can see that at the top of this post. And lastly, Sondre revealed on Facebook that his favorite album of 2013 was My Bloody Valentine's mbv. He also made a "40 Songs from 2013" that, while no specific order was given, includes songs by Julia Holter, King Krule, The Pastels, Prefab Sprout, Arcade Fire, David Bowie and more. You can check it out below....
photos by Wei Shi; words by Bill Pearis
Sondre Lerche, Luke Temple @ Bowery Ballroom -- 10/15/2013
Sondre Lerche, who's been somewhat quiet of late, broke the silence for a show at Bowery Ballroom during CMJ, headlining The Talkhouse showcase on October 15 that also featured Luke Temple and others. Where most NYC shows tend to just be Sondre solo, for this one he had a rhythm section in tow -- a nice treat, though he's certainly capable of captivating a crowd all by his lonesome. Pictures from his and Temples' sets are in this post.
While Lerche finishes up his new album, fans can look forward to a new 12" which is one of the many 2013 Record Store Day Black Friday releases. It's the first in a series of releases under the title Public Hi-Fi Sessions where bands record at Jim Eno's studio. This one features Sondre doing "Like Lazenby" and "Screen Door."
And speaking of the Talkhouse, Sondre reviewed the new Prefab Sprout album, Crimson / Red which was the first all-new Prefab Sprout album in 16 years. If you are familiar with Prefab Sprout, the band's influence on Lerche's music is pretty evident, and "I Cannot Let You Go" from his 2009 album Heartbeat Radio is an unabashed PS homage. In his review, he writes:
While I raked autumn leaves in my stepfather's garden, my vanity scanned the record for anything that might remind me of my own music. What I found resembled not so much how I sounded but how I felt. Barely 19 and still living with my mom while chasing my debut album across the world on infinite promotional tours, it was an incredibly confusing and eventful time. And Prefab Sprout turned out to be my absurd and emphatic compass through most of it. Their songs made room for everything I was dealing with: adolescent arrogance, sexual frustrations, conflicted resentment, helpless romanticism, long overdue generational confrontations.The review is mostly positive and nicely considered, and you can read the whole thing here. And if you haven't heard Crimson / Red yet, Paddy Mcaloon is in fine form -- both vocally and songwriting-ly. If the production is missing some of the granduer of 1990's Jordan the Comeback, the album is a welcome return, and album-opener "The Best Jewel Thief in the World" stands among Mcaloon's finest. You can stream that, and check out more pictures from Sondre Lerche's CMJ set, below...
by Bill Pearis
more sax: Sondre in the studio (via)
Sondre Lerche, who splits his time between Norway and Brooklyn these days, is busy working on his eighth record. Says the man:
It'll take some time, but I've been sporadically hard at work with a new album that I'm recording all over the place in collaboration with a bunch of talented friends and strangers. Here's a picture from a session at Skogen Studio i Bergen, where producer Matias Tellez (of Young Dreams fame) and I are discussing how we feel about the flowery shirt he's wearing. Other than that we pretty much finished three songs, that are now mix-ready so we're up and running and I've got loads more to record. Kjetil Møster (with saxophone) and Kim Åge Furuhaug contributed pure gold to a song called Logging Off that really took me by surprise. Something new is brewing. Picture by Birgit Sol for this month's Aftenposten K magazine, where there's a long article on Skogen and the other studios at Bergen Kjøtt.Meanwhile, Sondre is on an upcoming Scott Walker tribute album, Songs From Montague Terrace, contributing a cover of b-side "The Plague." You can stream it below. The record also features contributions from Dax Riggs, Nightlands, Coves, Bright Light Bright Light, Eugene McGuinness and more. It was supposed to be out September 16 but has been pushed back. Stay tuned.
In other news, Sondre has a couple upcoming North American dates, including one in NYC during CMJ. He'll play Bowery Ballroom on October 15 as part of the Talkhouse showcase (over the summer Sondre reviewed Julia Holter for The Talkhouse) that also features TEEN, Wet, and Saint Rich. Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today at noon and the general on-sale starts Friday (10/4) at noon. All dates are listed below.
by Klaus Kinski
For those keeping score, your man Klaus has played drums in many many unpopular and unsignable bands since 1991. I've dragged my 1964 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl 4 piece kit (2nd rack tom not shown) with 1965 Gretsch snare (all of which were purchased in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts for $175) from one end of the earth (the Northeast) to the other (the Midwest mostly) hundreds of times. 'Tis a gorgeous kit, in phenomenal condition, and I have endured hundreds if not millions of compliments regarding it's eye-watering beauty. I am a man who appreciates a nice set of drums. And I'm a man who appreciates a man who appreciates a nice set of drums. Therefore, I am a man who appreciates this wonderful compilation video featuring the great David Letterman appreciating his various musical guest's gear, focusing primarily, but not exclusively, drums. The video, and a list of who is in it, including GBV, Feist, Beirut, James Blake, The Strokes, Mastodon, St. Vincent, and many many more, is below. Behold!
Sondre Lerche @ MHOW, 2011 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Bad news: due to a hand injury, Van Dyke Parks will not be performing at the Henry Miller Library / Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge concert this Sunday (5/19) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show is now being billed as "Philip Glass and Friends," and in addition to Real Estate's stripped-down set, there will also be performances from Bryce Dessner, Tim Fain, Sondre Lerche, Nico Mulhy, and Nadia Sirota. Refunds will be given (details forthcoming), but tickets are still available
That MHOW show ends a week of programming around the Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Festival. Tonight's event is at Williamsburg bookstore Spoonbill & Sugartown, which will "look at Miller's relationship to a Community of the Free Spirit and the development of Williamsburg and Big Sur." Speakers include Magnus Toren (Director, Henry Miller Library), Dr Scott Von (Psychoanalyst, Director, New Clinic) and James Decker (Professor, Miller Scholar).
by Bill Pearis
Bonnie Prince Billy at ATP NY 2011 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook returns to the Allen Room (truly one of the most amazing concert settings in NYC) in January for its fifteenth season, which celebrates "the diversity of modern American song." The 2013 season kicks of January 30 with Lea Salonga and includes Bonnie "Prince" Billy on February 7, Sondre Lerche (who isn't American but lives in Brooklyn these days) on February 13, Mavis Staples on February 14, Tom Morello performing "The Nightwatchman" on February 16, Lost in the Trees on February 28, and more.
Additionally, there will be "six special concerts in the exceptionally intimate setting of the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, perched high above the Lincoln Center campus" beginning with Lindsay Mendez & Marco Paguia on March 29 and concluding with Ben Sollee on April 20.
Tickets to the American Songbook series go on sale November 13 but Friends of Lincoln Center can purchase starting Monday, November 5.
Full American Songbook line-up/schedule and a video of Ben Sollee playing "A Few Honest Words" at the Lincoln Memorial are below.
Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bon Iver recorded an iTunes session at East West studios which is available exclusively from iTunes starting today. It includes six tracks off 2011's great Bon Iver, Bon Iver and a cover of Bjork's "Who Is It?," which the band has played live many times. You can stream the session's opening track, "Beth/Rest" below.
As mentioned, Bon Iver is touring internationally throughout the summer and fall and will come to NYC on September 19 and 20 at Radio City Music Hall. Both of those shows are now sold out. All Bon Iver dates, including a recently announced European leg, are listed below.
Speaking of Bjork, she's teaming up with the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Children's Museum of Manhattan to create interactive educational programs for middle school-aged students based on her Biophilia app. Speaking about the program, Bjork said:
"It's not a bookish thing. You cannot learn to make music from a book." "I love books; they're like the best ever," she added. "There are things you can only learn from books, but it's also important to introduce the physical aspects. So for me, it was very important to make, somehow, music education that was physical." (via NY Daily News)Both Bon Iver and Bjork are set to play Oya Festival in Oslo, Norway this summer (Aug 7-11) with The Stone Roses, Refused, The Afghan Whigs, Bob Mould (performing Copper Blue), Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, John Maus, Purity Ring, Saint Etienne, SBTRKT, Screaming Females, St. Vincent, and more. Full list below.
Way Out West (Aug 9-11) in Gothenberg, Sweden features many of the same bands as Oya like Bon Iver, Refused, Afghan Whigs, St. Vincent, Purity Ring, John Maus, and Bob Mould in addition to Blur, Wilco, I Break Horses, Hot Chip, The War On Drugs, Mark Lanegan Band, Adolescents, Swans, and more. Check out the spotify playlist. The full lineup is listed below.
As mentioned, the reunited Mazzy Star is set to play both of those European festivals. Full lineups and the Bon Iver dates and song, below...
Sondre Lerche at MHOW in 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Sondre Lerche turns 30 this September, and in celebration of that he'll reissue his first four albums -- Faces Down, Two Way Monologue, Duper Sessions and Phantom Punch -- on vinyl for the first time ever with bonus tracks and outtakes and release a live album, Bootlegs, on September 4. In support of the releases, Sondre will be heading out on a tour which kicks off in his current hometown of NYC on his birthday, September 5 at Bowery Ballroom with Fancy Colors. Tickets for that show go on sale today at 3 PM.
A list of all dates and some videos are below.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Black Tambourine - What's Your Game? (MP3)
Black Tambourine back in the day...
The first night of chickfactor 2012: for the love of pop, which features sets from reunited Black Tambourine and Small Factory, sold out pretty quick, so Black Tambourine have added another show at Maxwells on Monday April 9 for those who didn't get tickets. It's with Fan Modine and Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap/Softies/Go Sailor) and tickets are still on sale and still available.
To commemorate chickfactor's 20th birthday, Black Tambourine have also recorded an EP of Ramones covers which will be released as a double 7" on Slumberland on May 15. Says the Slumberland press release:
It took a pretty special occasion to bring Black Tambourine out of retirement, even temporarily, and the 20th birthday of BT singer Pam Berry's Chickfactor magazine is definitely such an occasion. When the band were discussing the rather complicated logistics (members scattered across two continents) for the reunion shows, the thought of maybe doing some new recordings came to mind. The band quickly agreed that a tribute to one their favorite bands would be a fun project, and of course the Ramones jumped to the top of the list.You can download Black Tambourine's cover of "What's Your Game" (from the Ramones' 1977's LP Leave Home) which features backing vocals from the Rinettes (aka Linda Smith, Rose Melberg, Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls and Jenny Robbins from Honeymoon Diary). You can also stream it below.
After choosing which songs to work on, the band recorded using the same methodology as they did for the bonus tracks on their self-titled 2010 compilation LP. The gentlemen in the band convened in Maryland to lay down the music, the rough mixes were sent to Pam in London so she could add her inimitable vocals, and then the resulting recordings were sent back to Maryland for Archie to mix.
The final result is OneTwoThreeFour, a double 7" and download EP featuring Black Tambourine's versions of four of their most-loved Ramones tunes.
In other chickfactor news, in addition to the Maxwell's show, the 20th anniversary party has added a show in Portland on May 30 at the Bunk Bar, with Barbara Manning, Joe Pernice, The Softies and Selector Dub Narcotic (Calvin Johnson in DJ mode).
Speaking of Joe Pernice, he'll appear in NYC at City Winery as part of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders with Meg Baird (Espers), Bhi Bhiman, Sloane Crosley, A.M.Homes, Eugene Mirman, and Sondre Lerche on March 10th. Tickets are on sale.
Though the first night of the 3-day Bell House fest is sold out, you can still get tickets to the May 11 show (Legendary Jim Ruiz, Aislers Set, Pipas, Bridget St John) and the May 12 show (The Pines, The Softies, Stevie Jackson, Honeybunch).
There's also chickfactor shows in Arlington, VA's Artsphere on April 6 (Stevie Jackson, Frankie Rose, Honebunch, Dot Dash) and April 7 (Black Tambourine, Lilys, Fan Modine, Lorelei).
Click through for the stream of Black Tambourine's Ramones cover, plus cover art to the new EP...
words by Christopher Paragraph, photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
DOWNLOAD: Bird of Youth - Bombs Away, She Is Here to Stay (MP3)
Sondre Lerche looking sexy as usual @ MHOW Friday night
The Friday night show at Music Hall of Williamsburg featured three very different songwriters who all happen to live within a few blocks of the venue. The same is true for me so, in terms of proximity, the night was a success before it even began.
Bird Of Youth opened with a couple songs from their self-released album "Defender," breezing through them with ease and on-stage confidence that one would usually expect from a more seasoned band. This helped to counteract the darker themes of the songs, perhaps the best example of which was a song that lead singer Beth Wawerna wrote for her father. The unforgettable closing lines, "you watched me as I watched you watch me cry," caught more than a few off-guard. The songs are unique in terms of Wawerna's vocal phrasing. Rather than writing melodies over single chords, the melodies seem to form themselves over the chord changes. It feels like she allows the phrases to emerge from the song, instead of constructing a song around a pre-conceived melody. As a songwriter, Wawerna is doing something special and distinct. Unlike many female-fronted bands of their ilk, the songs don't hide behind her voice; her voice seems to be dragged along by the force of each song. This may present a problem for a pop singer, but for a band like Bird Of Youth, it proves to be a perfect way to articulate emotional, expressive songs. The last song of their short set took a different turn, however, and was significantly more poppy and conventionally structured. Working in a Nada Surf-esque style, the song succeeds in a way that runs counter the aforementioned thoughts in this review. An interesting way to end the set, leaving the audience pleased but just unsure enough to want to hear more.
Next was Will Sheff, frontman for the successful Okkervil River, a solo set sandwiched between two bands. It was informative and interesting to see Sheff perform solo. Over the years, Okkervil River has come to be known for their energetic, literate folk pop anthems. But most hear them as simply "a rock band." Sheff's folk influences shined through in this set, making the DNA of Okkervil River more apparent. Hearing these songs strummed and picked on an acoustic guitar made clear the influences of British folk songwriters like Roy Harper and Bill Fay. For audience members not interested in the musical roots behind Okkervil River (which many Sondre Lerche fans probably are not) Sheff provided an honest and emphatic set of complex, lyric-driven songs. It was clear form the entranced crowd that Sheff won over a bunch of new fans. Or at least hooked their curiosity. Sheff's lyrics beg the listener to re-listen. As opposed to the chordally-led phrasing of Beth Wawerna, Sheff's songs are driven by lyrics and melodies that command the chords. It was interesting to see songwriting approached from such different angles back-to-back. It is worth noting at this point that there were many people in the far back of the room who seemed intent on talking louder than the music. One can only assume they were attending to "see" Sondre Lerche and felt completely justified in talking over any other artist performing. Sheff took a moment to point out these people (which of course went right over their heads). This resulted in supportive applause from the majority, who were clearly distracted and annoyed by the loud group in the back.
SIDE NOTE: this raises a question, or at least an interesting debate: Is it "OK" to talk loudly at a concert? If someone pays $15 to see a show, isn't it reasonable to expect them to listen to the songs? And even if they aren't interested in a certain artist, isn't it reasonable to expect the respect and courtesy of keeping one's voice quiet, both in regards to the artists themselves and the fans who might actually be trying to listen? In the event that this occurs, should the artist take the initiative to shush them, or should a fellow audience member? Both? Neither? Discuss.
Back to the show. When Sondre Lerche took the stage, a young cavalcade of girls had pushed their way to the front. As he stepped to the mic the screams were shrill and unexpectedly loud. Lerche introduced himself with a solo number before bringing out the band. Although the synth player and bassist had apparently just joined the band a couple weeks earlier, they played tight and confidently, each member brimming with excitement about the songs, not just following charts. The drummer's incredible precision almost stole the show - he brought the energy of the songs out in ways drummers rarely can, and was single-handedly responsible for many "jaw-drop" moments. The only real way to describe it is that it's fueled by real passion for the songs. It's that special intangible thing you can't fake, and this guy clearly has it. Lerche fired off short gems from throughout his career, never letting go of the stranglehold he had on the crowd from the moment he stepped out. On one level his songs are complex, melding jazz chords with pop melodies a la Steely Dan. On another, he's able to perform simple, quiet ballads, which he did at one point, stepping away and unplugging, treating the silent room to an acoustic rendition of "Dear Laughing Doubters."
There were a handful of particularly special moments, including a performance of "When The River," a song about homesickness featuring a choir of the "people he misses most when he's away." This group included his wife, local songwriter JBM, and actor Christopher Abbott. Will Sheff and Beth Wawerna also joined Sondre on stage to trade verses on a cover of Steely Dan's "Dirty Work."
By the time the show was over, it truly felt like Lerche had turned the room into his own house full of friends. He stood atop a monitor wedge and performed the final encore, harmonizing to the 600+ people taking the lead vocal on "Modern Nature." Lerche has toured for years as a solo artist but seeing him with a band showed that he's not just a one-man show. His music is big and the full-band show proved him to be a full fledged rock n roll guy.
More pictures from the show, setlists included, and a video of Sondre and band on Letterman (from 11/22), below...
Will Sheff of Okkervil River at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by Tim Griffin)
Okkervil River have released a new covers EP Golden Opportunities 2, the follow-up to 2007's Golden Opportunities EP. Much like that 2007 release, part deux is FREE, but features songs from Ted Lucas, Jim Sullivan, David McComb, Bill Fay, and others. Get your copy at their site.
Okkervil River have no US dates at the moment, but you can catch frontman Will Sheff at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 12/2 with Sondre Lerche and Bird of Youth. Tickets are still available. Note: though Sondre did just tour with them, Peter Wolf Crier are not also opening the Brooklyn show.
Sondre Lerche at BV SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Sondre Lerche will tour Europe this fall in support of the EU/UK release date of his recently released self titled album. Shortly after he'll return to the US for a run of dates with Peter Wolf Crier, culminating in a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 2. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/26) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (8/24) at noon. All dates are listed below.
Milagres, whose new album Glowing Mouth is out 9/13 via Kill Rock Stars, meanwhile play Out In the Street Fest this Saturday in Brooklyn.
All dates and video below...
Just wanted to take a second to also say that our thoughts and condolences are with the people of Norway today.
The above is a selection of tweets from Norwegian musicians that have graced the pages (and stages) of BrooklynVegan in the past. Blabbermouth has a list of reactions from more in the metal community (from Norway and elsewhere), including the above-pictured message from Enslaved who said, "Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to everybody touched by the fathomless tragedy that struck Norway yesterday. This is indeed a day for afterthought."
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Wild Beasts - "Loop the Loop" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wooden Birds - Two Matchsticks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rayon Beach - Wave Pool Ether (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: John Wesley Coleman - Ooh Basketball (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Urge Overkill - Effigy (MP3)
This week is kind of nuts. I know you're all probably just going to be spending it reading A Dance with Dragons or going to see Harry Potter, but here's your TWII action... let's get into it.
Tom Vek is here for two shows, his first U.S. shows since 2005: an early show tonight (7/12) at Mercury Lounge and tomorrow (7/13) at Union Pool. I don't think either are sold out. His second album Leisure Seizure -- six years in the making -- has remained in constant rotation on my stereo since getting a copy in May and I'm pretty excited for these shows.
The new record still sounds like Tom Vek -- the staccato drum beats, sparse arrangements, his laid-back vocal style -- and maybe it's the absence but it still sounds fresh. It's a great record and a welcome return. I have no idea who is in his band these days, but he was fantastic live back when he toured for We Have Sound in 2005. I have a feeling he's still got it.
Wild Beasts are over for four East Coast shows, including two nights at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday (7/13) and Thursday (7/14). (They're also playing Philly and D.C.) These will be the first the band have done since releasing their third album, Smother, back in May. As I've said before, this is subtler album than Two Dancers that shows the influence of Talk Talk and The Blue Nile in particular. It's a grower, as they say, and a worthy successor to 2009's best album. Check out "Loop the Loop" at the top of this post.
Live, Wild Beasts are truly something to behold, transcending their records every time (at least every time I've seen them). Sky Larkin's Katie Harkin is playing keyboards with the band on this Stateside jaunt which is an added bonus for some of us. The rest of North America will get a chance to see Wild Beasts in September when they come back for a proper tour. All 2011 dates are at the bottom of this post.
Shifting gears wildly, we've got Chicago rock gods Urge Overkill in town for two shows this week. They play the Rocks Off cruise on Wednesday (7/13) and then the Rock Shop on Saturday (7/16) as part of the venue's big One Year Anniversary which is happening all this week.
Urge Overkill were odd men out in the '90s, doing suave, heavily postured cock rock in an era dominated by slacker indie and stoner sludge. 1993's Saturation is one of the decade's classics, all big riffs and attitude that has only gotten finer with age. The same can't be said for 1995's Exit the Dragon, which found the band succumbed to the rock n' roll excesses the band exemplified. (There were even rumors the band were too fucked up to even play on its recordings, having most parts subbed by session musicians.)
There were various comeback gigs in the '00s but I don't think anybody expected them to make a new album. Which made this year's Rock'n'Roll Submarine (great title) a double shock: it exists and, more importantly, it's pretty awesome. Kato and Roeser keep the same flame alive: badass riffs, supercatchy choruses, and that unfakeable rock n' roll spirit. (No Blackie Onassis, but some chemistry is just too volatile apparently.) There's also a world-weariness that keeps it all real. They aren't trying to pretend they haven't been through some serious shit. But to paraphrase "Effigy" (downloadable at the top of this post), they've always taken the loud way.
The Wooden Birds
Lovely Austin band The Wooden Birds play two shows this week as well: Thursday (7/14) at Mercury Lounge and Friday (7/15) at The Rock Shop. As you may know at this point, this is Andrew Kenny's post-American Analog Set band, which still has his drony motorik style but in a much more acoustic setting. The Wooden Birds' sophomore album, Two Matchsticks, is (in my opinion) much better than their debut: the arrangements are more dynamic and the addition of Matt Pond (both on guitar and vocally) adds a lot. (Matt Pond PA's Chris Hansen is a touring member as well.) You can check out the title track to the new album at the top of this post.
Tune-Yards @ MHOW (more by Amanda Hatfield)
What else? Hudson River Rocks starts this week (Thursday 7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra which is a pretty hard-to-pass-up free show. While I don't reach for her album much, there's no denying Merril Garbus is a magnetic performer who can win over crowds easily. While Austra's Katie Stelmanis doesn't quite have that charm, there is no denying her stage presence either and I'm a big fan of Austra's debut album which came out earlier this year. Thursday is supposed to be beautiful and this show seems like a no-brainer.
Austin's Rayon Beach play three shows this week: Thursday (7/14) at Don Pedro, then Friday (7/15) at Bruar Falls and Saturday (7/16) at Death by Audio. I wrote this a year ago and I think it still holds true:
Like a lot of the bands on Hozac Records (or bands from Austin for that matter), this trio fit under the psych/garage umbrella but there's a decided Brit bent to their music. Baroque garage, is that a thing? Think Syd-era Pink Floyd or The Pretty Things more than Woven Bones. Make no mistake -- Rayon Beach can and do get plenty loud. It's just sometimes with pinkies extended.Rayon Beach are on tour with fellow Austinite John Wesley Coleman III who is awesome in his own right. Last year's Bad Lady Goes to Jail, on Goner, incorporates country, soul and R&B into his sound (not to mention a unique worldview). He definitely stands out amongst the garage pack. If you feel like you've heard enough of this stuff, do give JWCIII a shot.
Anglophiles might already know that Scottish indiefolk cult legend King Creosote is in town this week, playing a late show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (7/14) and then at the Rock Shop on Sunday (7/17). Both shows are with the equally talented Jon Hopkins. I wrote about King Creosote back in March:
Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too.Anderson teamed with Hopkins for his new album Diamond Mine that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can check out the video for "Bubble" at the bottom of this post.
The Radio Dept
And now another weekend of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/15) is the final night of this year's abbreviated Seaport Music Festival, with The Radio Dept. The band are in the U.S. for this and the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago and that's it -- so we should count ourselves lucky. If you wanted to see them somewhere small, you're out of luck. (Unless you maybe found yourself at a shop that rocked on, say, Thursday night. Maybe.) Last year's Clinging to a Scheme was one of 2010's best albums (according to me) and though I do wish they'd get a drummer to play with them at shows, they still sound pretty great live.
I'm hoping the merch table has the new 180 gram vinyl reissues of the band's three albums. In particular I want to pick up their classic debut Lesser Matters, one of the best albums of the '00s. Opening are Asobi Seksu which is a pretty perfect pairing. The weather's supposed to be gorgeous, the show is free...this'll be sweet.
Saturday is the Village Voice 4 Knots Festival which is going out of its way to let us know it's not trying to be the Siren Festival. It's a nice line-up of bands, though, scaled to fit the Seaport. Apart from Eleanor Friedberger and Oberhofer, it is a pretty rock line-up what with headliners Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Davilla 666 and Mr. Dream. If you like to dance, they've got an indoor lounge over at 210 Front Street with an all DJ lineup that includes Yeasayer, Dan Deacon, Brahms and the Finger on the Pulse dudes (also DJing as Punches) spinning tunes. Things kick off at 1PM.
Then Sunday (7/17) is the last show of my Sound Bites Series down at the Fulton Stall Market and I'm super pleased to have Hospitality on cleanup. When I found out we were going to be doing the series again, Hospitality were the first band I thought of. If you haven't heard them, you can download their 2009 EP for free from their Bandcamp site. It's quite lovely. The band have gotten less precious since then, though no less charming, and recently the band expanded to a four-piece with drummer Nathan Michel moving to guitar making them decidedly more skronky now.
I am quite enamored with this band and you should definitely come down and see them. They are seriously good. If you come to only one Sound Bites Show this summer... this is your last chance. Hospitality are on at 3PM sharp and I'll be spinning tunes from around 1:30 or so. It's free!
And right after Hospitality finish, you can head across South Street to the Beekman Beer Garden for this week's Beach Party show with Frankie Rose and Xray Eyeballs. Both bands feature on that free downloadable mix you can get over at Insound. The Frankie Rose track is one I hadn't heard before, a cover of Slapp Happy's "Blue Flower" which you may know from covers either by Mazzy Star or Pale Saints.
Last week (Cheeseburger and Hard Nips) was fun and pretty fairly low-key. The spot -- formerly Water Taxi Beach -- is a pretty popular spot on its own, so expect a mixed crowd of those there for the show and those there just for the view/vibe. Bands start at 4PM. It's free.
And that's about it for this week. A few more daily picks are below.
TUESDAY, JULY 12
It's a heatwave today but Cold Cave will have the A/C cranked for their show Knitting Factory tonight. I do really like their new album Cherish the Light Years which kind of reminds me of '80s band Lords of the New Church. The show is with gothy sea chanty singers Cult of Youth, and Zambri who are newly signed to Kanine Records (and who were impressive at Knitting Factory during the Northside fest). The show is part of a tour that ends at Bowery Ballroom with Austra.
The newly reunited Cibo Matto are at Brooklyn Bowl. Though advance tickets sold out, there will be limited availability at the door. Go early. The show is one date of a tour that also hits Bowery Ballroom.
Though it may appear like there's less options than in summers past, there are still lots of great free NYC shows happening. Summerstage and Celebrate Brooklyn have kicked off their 2011 seasons last month, and continue this week. Los Lobos play Prospect Park as part of LAMC with Hello Seahorse! and Zigmat tonight, Friday (7/8), and on Saturday (7/9), a very different type of show will go down when the Brooklyn venue is taken over by Raekwon, Smif n Wessun, and Joell Ortiz.
In other free hip hop shows news, Pharoahe Monche appears as a guest with the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson ensemble at Harlem Stage on July 8 in Annunciation Park. The show is three days before Pharoahe plays a not-free show at BB King's (7/12).
For something different, Saturday (7/9) also means Pearl and the Beard with Lucius at Moscot and Penguin Prison, Wild Yaks, Janka Nabay, and Monogold at Rockbeach. It's a free show though they are selling $20 bus tickets.. If you miss Monogold at this show, they also play a free show at Pianos in the LES on Tuesday (7/12).
You can also check out the Summer Thunder Series at Union Pool on Saturday (7/9) with Rocksteady Yeti #2 and Prince Rupert's Drops. There will also be free jive energy drinks.
Sunday (7/10) marks the first Beekman Beer Garden 'Beach Party' of the summer with Cheeseburger and Hard Nips at 3 PM. The updated summer lineup is:
July 10 Cheeseburger w/ Hard NipsPow Wow! also play as part of Bill Pearis' Sound Bites Series at the Seaport at 3 PM (after a DJ set by Bill that starts at 2).
July 17 Xray Eyeballs w/ Frankie and the Outs
July 24 Swirlies w/ Psychedelic Horseshit
July 31 The Raveonettes w/ Eternal Summers
August 7 Mission of Burma
Head to Insound for a sampler of music related to the RiverRocks, Seaport and Fulton Stall shows.
On Monday (7/11), you can catch Tombs and Primitive Weapons play a free show at Saint Vitus, before Tombs kick off their European tour later this month.
The same night (7/11), Maze with Frankie Beverly play the Martin Luther King concert series at Wingate Field in Brooklyn.
The Stepkids, who are about to release their debut LP on Stones Throw, play a free show supporting Antibalas at Fort Greene Park on Tuesday (7/12). If you prefer your funk with a little more metal in it, you can catch Vernon Reid (of Living Color) play a free show outside City Winery the same evening as part of the Hudson Square Music and Wine Festival.
Wayne's World is screening at McCarren park on Wednesday (7/13).
One of the more exciting free shows of the summer (in our opinion) is the double bill of tUnE-yArDs and Austra. These female fronted art pop titans bring their outlandish shows to Pier 54 on July 14 (Located adjacent to New York City's Meatpacking District (at 14th Street), the Pier 54 gates open at 6 p.m. for all RiverRocks shows, with opening performances scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.).
If you're more in the mood for veteran female rockers, July 14 gives you the choice between Patti Smith's free show at Castle Clinton in Battery Park (where My Brightest Diamond played last night) and Joan Jett's free show in Coney Island (check out the whole summer lineup here).
As if those three shows aren't enough to make July 14 one of the hardest nights to pick a free show to attend, you could also end up at House of Vans for one of their 6 free 'Vans House Parties' and catch Superchunk, Off!, and Lemuria. House of Vans also recently revealed more additions to their summer parties. Check out the lineups which include Fucked Up, Cro-Mags, Man Man, Glass Candy and more.
Celebrate Brooklyn provides performances by Frankie Gavin and De Dannan and Liam O Maonlai & McPeake on Thursday (7/14) too.
You can also start your day off on Thursday (7/14) at Metrotech with Swamp Dogg from noon to 2 PM.
The Radio Dept. and Asobi Seksu hold it down at South Street Seaport on Friday (7/15). On Saturday (7/16) it's between Sondre Lerche's free acoustic in-store at Soundfix in Williamsburg and 4Knots Fest at the Seaport with Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Eleanor Friedberger, and others.
Like the Sunday prior, on July 17 you get the option of the Sound Bites Series at Seaport or the Beekman Beer Garden 'Beach Party.' Hospitality play the Sound Bites Series at the Seaport at 2 PM, and Xray Eyeballs, Frankie Rose & The Outs, and The Babies play a Beekman Beer Garden 'Beach Party' at 3 PM. This Sunday also gives you the option of Pink Martini at Central Park and The Manhattans at Crotona Park in the Bronx with Rhythm Revue.
Read more about this weekends' show in This Week in Indie. Stay tuned for another update like this in a week or two. Some flyers below...
by Bill Pearis
Love Inks @ SXSW (more)
Can you feel the love tonight? I can though mainly because we've got two bands with that in their name playing tonight. Though not in the same place. First is Austin's Love Inks who, as previously mentioned, are playing NYC for the first time. Tonight (6.2) they're at Glasslands with Rewards, Slowdance, and Celestial Shore. They'll also play Tuesday (6/7) at Pianos with Elastic Summer, Monokino and more.
Love Inks' debut, E.S.P., came out last month on City Slang and, as I wrote previously, it's a pretty little understated thing. Minimalist instrumentation -- guitar, bass, drum machine -- that doesn't get in the way of the band's main asset: singer Sherry LeBlanc's honeyed vocals. (In the same timbre as Beth Cosatino.) E.S.P. is what I like to call Sunday Morning music (Galaxie 500, Belle & Sebastian), and a fine example at that. You can check out "Blackeye" at the top of this post.
Tonight's Glasslands show is pretty solid all around. I've been wanting to check out Slowdance for some time. You can download two tracks from their website and both are pretty good: atmospheric rock that is, and yes, danceable. (Though maybe not slowdanceable.) Rewards, as you may remember, is Aaron Pfanning who was in Chairlift; and Celestial Shore are channeling some serious Brian Wilson vibes in a slightly mathy kind of way.
The other "love" band tonight is Portland trio Lovers (not to be confused with Lovvers), who are at Cake Shop with Household and Skeleton Head (They played last night at Union Hall...anybody go?). Lovers' most recent album, Dark Light, came out last fall on Badman Recordings and you can download "Figure 8" from it at the top of this post. It's a pretty good representation of the rest of the records: throbbing synths and big choruses. The BPMs are a little to slow to call it dance music, but it's definitely got a groove. Mood music you can move to.
You should get there early for local trio Household who I caught at Bruar Falls a couple weeks ago and really liked. They're in the Lilliput/Raincoats school of minimalist postpunk (or more recently Brilliant Colors or Yellowfever). No releases yet, but Household have a handful of streamable songs on their website which were produced by Andrew Raposo (who plays bass in various DFA-related bands). Definitely worth a listen.
Hospitality @ Pianos in Feb (more)
What else? After what seems like an awfully long time (two years plus), Hospitality are finally getting around to putting out an album. I think it's pretty much done, so hopefully we'll see that sooner than later. In the meantime, the trio are playing a whole bunch in June, starting Friday night (6/3) at Cake Shop where they'll share the bill with country folk act Numbers and Letters, and Edelweiss who kind of sound like first-album Foals and are not to be confused with the shortlived early '90s novelty act of the same name. The show is FREE.
Hospitality also play the final date of my Sound Bites series at the Fulton Stall Market on July 17. All upcoming shows are at the bottom of this post. More Fulton Stall Market (Seaport) shows are listed HERE.
TSOOL @ SXSW (more)
And last but certainly not least, the mighty Soundtrack of Our Lives arrive from Sweden this weekend, playing Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday (6/5) and The Bell House on Monday (6.6). If you enjoy '60s/'70s style rock, there are few bands that do it as well as TSOOL, and certainly not many who put on a better live show. I wrote of their 2009 show at Music Hall of Williamsburg:
A nearly two-hour show of guitar windmills, endless stick twirls, karate kicks, ponderous, psychedelic lyrics and massive riffs. You could watch The Soundtrack of Our Lives and spend the whole time picking apart the references: The Who, Stones, Pink Floyd, Love, Spirit, Faces, Beatles, etc. But to do so is to miss the point of TSOOL, who distill everything that is great about rock's classic late '60s / early '70s era into one incredible band. And an even better live show. Seriously, these guys knock it out of the park every time.The band have just released a best-of compilation, Golden Greats, which is a fine introduction to the band's catalogue to date (five albums, all doubles) and really showcases what this band does so well. But live is where they make you a believer. TSOOL are promising wildly different setlists for the two shows, and superfans can buy a discounted $35 ticket that gets you into both. These guys love to play, and usually do two-hour sets so... be prepared.
Opening the Le Poisson Rouge show are The Mommyheads ('90s era indie rockers who pop up now and again), and at The Bell House is Montreal's sitar-fueled Elephant Stone (an especially inspired pairing). TSOOL are also on Last Call With Carson Daly tonight (6/2).
That's the main stuff this week. A few more recommended shows, day-by-day, are below
THURSDAY, JUNE 2
Some of you may remember The Barracudas who led the UK surf-rock/garage revival in the early '80s. (If not, there's a video below.) Singer Jeremy Gluck has formed a new line-up of the group and they're playing Union Hall tonight. Don't be confused with Georgia's Barreracudas on the bill as well. We can only hope they'll hll play together as The Barrarerrarerracudadas.
Sondre Lerche at BV Day Party (more by Tim Griffin)
Vulture: Why release a self-titled album now?Like last year, Sondre Lerche will join the droves of bands making the trek to Austin for SXSW this month. His list of mid-March shows is below.
Sundre Lerche: Usually I have the title for the record pretty early on. I'll know which song title it is, or if it's a phrase from a song, but this time I didn't really have a clear vision of what it might be. I even asked my followers on Twitter for a suggestion. And of course -- no offense to them -- but that didn't prove to be fruitful. I sort of became obsessed with this whole title thing. I woke up from this dream one day and I had the perfect title, but I couldn't remember it. I'm not going to settle for anything but that title, and if I can't have it, it'll be a self-titled album.
Lerche's new and self-titled LP is due on June 7th via Mona Records. He kicks off a tour with Nightlands and Kishi Bashi on June 1st, hitting Bowery Ballroom on June 4th. Tickets for all dates are currently on fan presale, and Bowery Ballroom tickets go on general sale Friday.
Sondre's friend JBM is also returning to SXSW this year. You can catch him on 3/18 at Central Presbyterian Church (Sondre plays the same show) and earlier that same day at the TBA BV day party at Swan Dive (stay tuned).
All Sondre tour dates and some video, below...
Corrosion of Conformity fans (more by BBG)
The lastest list of SXSW additions is below....
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
JBM & Diamond Doves
"Jesse Marchant (JBM) took to the stage for a set that would also last about an hour. In contrast to [Sondre] Lerche's set, which was unified in its sound and delivery, Marchant delivered a set that ran the gamut between quiet and loud, stoic and rocking, solo and with band. The stark contrast between songs served Marchant, as it called attention not only to his versatility, but his ability to completely embrace each of the genres completely.More pictures from Tuesday night's Mercury Lounge show, that Sondre Lerche joined the bill on as an opener, below...
The material (as might be expected) was sourced largely (entirely?) from his debut record Not Even In July, for which [Tuesday] night was the record release party. However, much like the record, the tracks varied in their arrangement and instrumentation. For part of the set, Marchant was joined on stage by openers Diamond Doves as his backing band, and for others he took a solo seat to his songs. Moreover, even his solo act varied, sometimes finding him behind a makeshift drumkit, sometimes with a harmonica and guitar, and sometimes behind the keyboard." [Hippies are Dead]