Entries tagged with: Sondre Lerche

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Indie Holidays

It's about that time when musicians of all styles start putting out their versions of Christmas/holiday classics (or are writing their own). On the indie tip, we've already got a Cassie Ramone Christmas album coming, and today Amazon Prime released Indie for the Holidays which features Robert Pollard, YACHT, Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff, Fruit Bats, Rogue Wave, Reverend Horton Heat, Amason, Langhorne Slim, Anna Von Hausswolf and more.

The only way to hear the full thing as of now is on Amazon, but you can stream the YACHT, Langhorne Slim, Robert Pollard and Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff songs below...

Continue reading "YACHT, Robert Pollard, Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff and more on Amazon's 'Indie for the Holidays' compilation (listen)"

photo: King Diamond at FFF 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
King Diamond

You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...

Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Irving Plaza
With the first ELO album in 15 years just out, Jeff Lynne is officially back in the Orchestra pit. They're promising a big world tour next year, but tonight some lucky folks are gonna get "Sweet Talkin' Woman," "Mr. Blue Sky," "Showdown" "Livin' Thing" and other hits in a impossibly small (for ELO) venue.

King Diamond, Exodus @ Playstaton Theater
What would theatrical, high-voiced wailing metal be without King Diamond? Probably a lot worse. He's on night 2 of a three-night run at Best Buy Theater tonight playing his classic 1987 album, Abigail, in full. Thrash vets Exodus open.

Infest, Citizens Arrest, Suburbanite, Brain Slug @ Saint Vitus
Influential hardcore band Infest were initially around in the late '80s and early '90s, and helped pioneer what became known as powerviolence. Their first NYC shows ever happened last year, and this week they play two more. This is the first, and it's with the great Citizens Arrest.

together PANGEA, White Reaper, Surfbort @ Baby's All Right
A band known for crazy live shows and even crazier fans, California's together PANGEA should inspire mayhem at tonight's sold out show. (Baby's, you might as well just take down those acoustic ceiling tiles now.)vThe new wavey White Reaper are worth catching too.

Small Black, Painted Palms @ Baby's All Right
After Together PANGEA show: Brooklyn band Small Black just released their latest widescreen synthpop creation, Best Blues, via Jagjaguwar. This is their first of two nights at Baby's All Right.

Tall Juan, Sharkweek, LuxDeluxe, Manfred Kidd, Jordan Hull @ Arlene's Grocery
Lower East Side venue Arlene's Grocery is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend and we may not go there much these days but in a rapidly changing neighborhood, it's comforting to see some things haven't changed.

Hot Tuna @ Beacon Theatre
Jorma Kaukonen turns 75 next month, and he's celebrating that birthday with a two-night run of Hot Tuna shows at the Beacon. Tonight's show opens with Acoustic Hot Tuna and ends with a second set from Electric Hot Tuna.

Eternal Summers, Softspot, Little Racer, Monograms @ Cameo Gallery
It's the next-to-last night for N. 6th St. fixture Cameo Gallery and the early show is headlined by great Virginia indie rockers Eternal Summers.

The Juan Maclean (live), Evan Michael, Special Guest @ Cameo Gallery
The late show should be a real danceparty with the terrific live band version of The Juan Maclean.

Robyn Hitchcock @ City Winery (2 shows)
Robyn Hitchcock is the kind of performer that can entrance with a full band or just an acoustic guitar. Or less. He's always worth seeing and he continues to make great records, too.

Adele @ Joe's Pub
Adele made her US debut at this venue back in 2008. Now she's way bigger, so it'll be a real treat if you're one of the lucky ones who got in.

Dawn Landes @ Joe's Pub
Also at Joe's Pub tonight is singer/songwriter Dawn Landes, who very recently toured as a member of Sufjan Stevens' band.

Martin Courtney @ National Sawdust
Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney released his first solo album this year. If you liked the last Real Estate album you'll probably like this -- it's similar, but a bit folkier too.

Kode9, M.E.S.H., GENG @ Palisades
In addition to being the boss at the venerable Hyperdub label, Kode9 has been making influential dubstep for over a decade. He usually makes albums with The Spaceape, who sadly passed away, and his first solo album Nothing came out earlier this month.

Haybaby, Sharkmuffin, Dances, Melt @ Shea Stadium
Haybaby's debut album on Tiny Engines, Sleepy Kids, recalls the kind of indie rock that was coming out as the genre was slowly evolving out of punk. Tonight's the release show.

Blessed Thistle (Bob Bellerue), Sickness, Long Distant Poison @ The Acheron
To raise money for the Silent Barn (which is recovering from a fire), fellow Bushwick venue the Acheron throws a benefit tonight with noise musicians.

"Tinder Live!" w/ Lane Moore, Sondre Lerche, Danny Tamberelli, Mike Maronna, Amy O'Leary, Samhita Mukhopadhyay @ Bell House
Tinder Live is the "only comedy show exploring the crazy world of Tinder" and tonight's lineup of guests, including singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche and former Pete & Pete star Danny Tamberelli, makes it sound interesting.

Joe Jack Talcum (of Dead Milkmen), Cutters, Gozer @ Grand Victory
Responsible for singing The Dead Milkmen's catchiest songs (most famously "Punk Rock Girl") Joe Jack Talcum headlines this show tonight that also features longrunning Brooklyn punks Gozer.

Doug Gillard, Honey Radar, MPHO @ Union Pool
This is a very solid lineup, featuring indie rock legend Doug Gillard and the sludgy, overdriven pop of Honey Radar.

Oneohtrix Point Never, Matt Werth of RVNG Intl (DJ) @ Villain
NYC musician Daniel Lopatin continues to craft forward thinking electronic music under his Oneohtrix Point Never moniker, as his new LP Garden of Delete (on Warp) helps prove. Tonight's show is part of Pitchfork and Blackened Music's Tinnitus series.

Zs, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Wume, Sunwatchers @ Palisades
Long-running NYC experimental band Zs returned with another great album, Xe, earlier this year on Northern Spy. Openers Cloud Becomes Your Hand are well-matched.

Daniel Martin Moore, Matt Sucich @ Mercury Lounge
Jim James collaborator Daniel Martin Moore teamed up with Jim once again for his new album, Golden Age, which came out last month. Tonight he brings his tour in support of it to NYC.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.


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photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Sondre Lerche @ MHOW 6/30/2015
Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche wrapped up his short East Coast tour at hometown venue Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (6/30). Delicate Steve's Steve Marion, whose opening solo set had him down in the crowd, joined Sondre on stage for "At A Loss For Words" and "Despite The Night." Former tourmates TEEN also came out to provide backing vocals on a couple songs. Jonas Alaska played first (we missed him) but pictures of Steve Marion's and Sondre's sets are in this post.

More below...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche wrapped up his tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg with help from Delicate Steve and TEEN (pics)"

photos by P Squared Photography and Amanda Hatfield

Dresden Dolls / Kim Gordon / Howlin' Rain / Buzzcocks
The Dresden Dolls
Kim Gordon
2015 Record Store Day
2015 Record Store Day
2015 Record Store Day

Rough Trade NYC celebrated Record Store Day 2015 will an all-day party featuring live performances and signings. Among the highlights: the first Dresden Dolls show in NYC in five years; Sondre Lerche cut a record live to 78RPM lacquer; and Kim Gordon signed copies of her memoir, Girl in a Band. Buzzcocks, who played two NYC-area shows that week, stopped by to sign stuff too, plus there were live sets from Howlin' Rain, Ava Luna, Lee Bains III, Saun & Starr and Lord Raja. Pictures from Rough Trade's RSD15 events are in this post.

You could just walk into Rough Trade if you weren't shopping for Record Store Day exclusive releases. For those who were, there was a long line that, right before they opened on Saturday, stretched down and around Kent Ave up to N. 8th St. Apparently people were in line just after midnight on Friday. Madness!

Dresden Dolls' set was webcast live for supporters of Amanda's Patreon (an archived stream will be made available to everyone soon). More pics from Record Store Day at Rough Trade, below...

Continue reading "Dresden Dolls, Kim Gordon, Sondre Lerche, Buzzcocks, Howlin' Rain & more celebrated RSD15 at Rough Trade (pics)"


The Dresden Dolls' albums Yes, Virginia (2006) and No, Virginia (2008) are being getting their first-ever vinyl release for Record Store Day 2015 (Saturday, 4/18) as a a three-LP set, The Virginia Monologues. To celebrate, The Dresden Dolls (who haven't played NYC since 2010) will perform a free show at Rough Trade as part of the store's RSD15 special events on Saturday. Amanda Palmer (who is very pregnant right now) and Brian Viglione will also be signing copies of the vinyl at the store. Their set is at 6 PM and free. Keep in mind that the L Train will not be running from 8th Ave - Bedford at all this weekend.

As for the rest of Rough Trade's Record Store day events, Sondre Lerche will also be there, performing on the mezzanine while the 78 Project cuts his set directly to a 78RPM record, Alan Lomax-style. There will also be sets from Lee Bains III, Howlin Rain, Saun & Starr, Lord Raja, as well as signings by The Buzzcocks (who play NYC tonight and NJ on Friday) and Kim Gordon. One slot in their schedule is still listed as "Special Guests" -- any guesses? Schedule is listed below and you can see what RSD15 exclusives the store is getting here. Rough Trade will be open from 8 AM - 11 PM on Saturday.

Continue reading "Dresden Dolls playing free show at Rough Trade on RSD15; Sondre Lerche, too + Buzzcocks & Kim Gordon signings, more"

photo: Sondre Lerche @ Bowery Ballroom, 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche spends most of his time in Brooklyn these days but was back in Norway last month where he appeared on talk show Trygdekontoret, performing a solo acoustic cover of Big Star's "Thirteen" (a popular choice recently). You can watch that below.

In June, Sondre will play a few East Coast shows, hitting Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia and finally Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 30. Tickets for that show go on sale today (4/1) at noon.

All dates are listed, along with the "Thirteen" video and a Rdio stream of Sondre's 2014 album Please, below...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche covered Big Star's "Thirteen" on Norwegian TV (watch), playing NYC, Boston, DC & Philly in June "

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Sondre Lerche @ Bowery Ballroom 9/23/2014
Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche celebrated the release of his very good new album, Please, last night (9/23) at NYC's Bowery Ballroom. Unlike most North American tours where he's gone out solo, Sondre's got a rhythm section with him this time (jokingly referred to them as the merch table guys), and Teeny and Lizzy of tourmates TEEN provided backing vocals and keyboards on a few tracks. Phillip Glass collaborator Tim Fain, who Sondre kept calling T-Fain, also came out for violin at times, too. Appropriate for the occasion, setlist was mainly the new album, peppered with songs from his ever-growing back catalog.

Last night's Bowery show was also the first of his tour so look for him and TEEN at a city near you. Next stop: Philadelphia's Underground Arts on Thursday (9/25). More pictures from Bowery below...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche played Bowery Ballroom with TEEN (pics)"


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...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche announces fall tour dates"

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...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche releasing 'Please' this fall (stream a track)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Sondre Lerche @ Baby's All Right 2/20/2014
Sondre Lerche

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...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche played Baby's All Right (pics, video, setlist)"

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.

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche released 'The Sleepwalker' score (listen), moved his two Rough Trade shows into one at Baby's All Right"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

David Byrne / Jherek Bischoff / Zola Jesus @ St. Ann's Warehouse - 1/8/14
Jherek Bischoff
Jherek Bischoff
Jherek Bischoff

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...

Continue reading "Jherek Bischoff began his 2-night run at St. Ann's w/ David Byrne, Zola Jesus, Mirah, Sondre Lerche & more (pics/setlist)"

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).

Sondre Lerche also just announced two of his own NYC shows happening on February 21 and 23 at Rough Trade (tickets).

Watch the video for Jherek's David Byrne collaboration from Composed, below...

Continue reading "Jherek Bischoff announces shows w/ David Byrne, Zola Jesus, Sondre Lerche, Greg Saunier & others"

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....

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche scored a new film, on a Norwegian stamp, lists his favorite music of 2013, playing NYC in February"

photos by Wei Shi; words by Bill Pearis

Sondre Lerche, Luke Temple @ Bowery Ballroom -- 10/15/2013
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...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche played CMJ (pics), releasing RSD 12", reviewed the new Prefab Sprout album, 'Crimson / Red' (stream a track)"

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.

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche covered Scott Walker, working on new album, playing CMJ and other shows (dates, stream)"

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!

Continue reading "watch a video of David Letterman asking a bunch of different bands, "Are those your drums?""

Sondre Lerche @ MHOW, 2011 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Sondre Lerche

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.

Continue reading "Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2013 Season (Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Tom Morello, Sondre Lerche, Ben Sollee & more)"

Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bon Iver

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...

Continue reading "Bon Iver's new iTunes session, Bjork's new program at the NYPL & the full Oya & Way Out West festival lineups"

Sondre Lerche at MHOW in 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Sondre Lerche

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.

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche releasing live LP & reissues, touring (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Black Tambourine - What's Your Game? (MP3)

Black Tambourine back in the day...
Black Tambourine

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.

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.

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.

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...

Continue reading "Black Tambourine add chickfactor show at Maxwell's, releasing EP of Ramones covers"

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
Sondre Lerche

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."

Sondre Lerche

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...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche, Will Sheff & Bird of Youth @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (pics, review, setlist)"

Will Sheff of Okkervil River at Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by Tim Griffin)
Will Sheff

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.

In somewhat related news, Will's old band Shearwater, who recently signed to Sub Pop, have dates coming up with Sharon Van Etten that bring them to Music Hall of Williamsburg too.

Sondre Lerche at BV SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Sondre Lerche

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.

Peter Wolf Crier also have a bunch of dates with Milagres and a few others with Birds & Batteries. Those dates include one at Mercury Lounge on September 30 with Milagres. Tickets are on sale now.

Peter Wolf Crier are set to release the album Garden of Arms on September 6 via Jagjaguwar. You can pre-order the album at the Jagjaguwar webstore and grab one track HERE and another HERE.

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...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche touring w/ Peter Wolf Crier who are touring w/ Milagres (dates)"