Entries tagged with: Spanish Prisoners

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photos by Greg Cristman; words by Bill Pearis

Jeff Goldbloom / fish. @ Brooklyn Rock Lottery 3
Jeff Goldbloom
Fish

The third annual Brooklyn Rock Lottery happened at Knitting Factory on Saturday (12/1). Musicians of varying styles and ages met at 10 AM and put their names in a hat and the five drummers picked their bandmates at random out of it. They then spent the day coming up with a name, writing original songs and practicing and made their stage debut that night. Proceeds from tickets and merch went to Hurricane Sandy relief. It was a lot of fun.

Even though the members were chosen at random, it seemed like the bands formed kind of naturally and had a cohesive sound. First up for the night was Jazz Karate, which featured Kenny Bernard (Ra Ra Riot), Franz Nicolay (ex Hold Steady / Against Me!), Pamela Martinez (Teletextile), Matt Singer, and Tom Blankenship (My Morning Jacket). With a harp and an accordion onstage, their music veered towards gypsy jazz and included a song about Tony Danza.

Next was Jeff Goldbloom whose members were Lua Rios (Gold Lake), Nick Sylvester (Mr. Dream), Noah Kardos-Fein (YVETTE), and Craig Lulada Pfunder (VHS or Beta). With a distinct sound -- heavy, shoegazy guitar epic-ry -- they were definitely the one group of the night that I'd actually want to see again. Good!

Then came the band I was most looking forward to, that had Yuck drummer Jonny Rogoff, Hospitality bassist Brian Betancourt, and Spanish Prisoners main man Leo Maymind, not to mention Dave Harrington from Nicholas Jaar's band and Gang Signs' Bryan Quackenbush. I was expecting melodic pop, but their name -- fish. -- shoulda been a giveaway. They played one 12-minute "jazz odyssey" type jam that showed just how good their collective musicianship was, but this has never been my thing.

Hardcore Lørd were next and it was almost entirely electronic, with tons of gear and lots of wires onstage. The band was Oliver Chapoy (Certain Creatures / ex Warm Ghost), Michael Sheffield (Sweet Bulbs / Heaven's Gate), Sara Lucas (Callers), and Christopher Puidokas (who toured with Blonde Redhead / The Silent Years). They took forever to set up but were probably my second favorite of the night, warm and ethereal.

The last band of the night was Nylon Guy and easily the most odds-n-sods, with Tyler Villard (Bezoar), Ian Young (touring saxophonist of M83), George Langford (Javelin), Jen Goma (People Get Ready / Sunny Day in Glasgow), and David Sheinkopf (The Subjects). No concessions were made to have a cohesive sound and everybody got to do their thing -- Villard doing a lot of hammer-on soloing, and Young smnoothing things out with his horn, and everyone else just kind of filling in the gaps. They did do a decent cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark," though.

ANIMAL New York were there too and got straight-off-the-board recordings of everybody except Nylon Guy. Check out streams of the other bands, as well as more pics from Brooklyn Rock Lottery 3, below.

Continue reading "members of My Morning Jacket, Yuck, Hospitality & more joined forces for Rock Lottery 3 (pics, streams)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Twin Sister - Kimi in a Rice Field (Spanish Prisoners remix) (MP3)

Spanish Prisoners

Spanish Prisoners' most recent album, Gold Fools, is only about eight months old but the Brooklyn band have a new cassette-only release, Prior Art, which will be out June 26 and "contains reworkings of songs by Clams Casino and Twin Sister, as well as remixes by shape shifters Sun Glitters and Rimar, mixed with gooey ambient stretches and swirling electronic interludes."

The Spanish Prisoners remix of Twin Sister's "Kimi in a Rice Field" -- which you can download at the top of this post -- gives the song a distinct '80s R&B thump while keeping Andrea Estella's vocals floating atop.

Spanish Prisoners have a couple notable shows coming up. They play Bowery Ballroom on Friday (6/1) opening for Freelance Whales (sold out), and will then play Knitting Factory on June 9 with 2:54 and Widowspeak (tickets are still available). The band has a few more additional dates as well and they're all listed below along with the cover art and tracklist to Prior Art.

Continue reading "Spanish Prisoners releasing 'Prior Art,' remix Twin Sister (MP3), opening for Freelance Whales, 2:54"

Freelance Whales

Tickets on sale at noon for a June 1st Freelance Whales show at Bowery Ballroom with Spanish Prisoners.

You can also catch Freelance Whale this year at Governors Ball.

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Sophia Knapp - Close to Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sophia Knapp - Into the Waves (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cardinal - Love Like Rain (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cardinal - Carbolic Smoke Ball (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Dreamers (Golden Pony remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Dreamers (MP3)

Del Fuegos in the '80s
Del Fuegos

Things are beginning to heat up, show-wise, as SXSW gets closer so if you're going to Austin you might do the smart thing and stay home and rest. But if you're dumb like me, there's lots of good music this weekend. To wit:

Dan Zanes these days is best known for his highly successful career as a maker of children's music, but in the '80s he fronted Boston's Del Fuegos, whose brand of no-nonsense roots rock was a college radio staple in the Reagan years. Dan and his brother Warren, plus other original members Tom Lloyd and Woody Giessmann have gotten the old band back together so 40-somethings can call the sitter and go hear him sing songs for grown ups. They play Bowery Ballroom tonight (2/23) and The Bell House on March 3.

In addition to records like 1984's The Longest Day and 1985's Boston, Mass, The Del Fuegos were one of the first "cool" bands to be accused of selling out, appearing in a Budweiser Miller commercial (which you can watch at the bottom of this post) that, if nothing else, inspired the classic Young Fresh Fellows song "Beer Money." Seems kind of silly today, and I'm sure Del Fuegos singles like "Don't Run Wild" and "I Still Want You" have held up pretty well.

The band have recorded a new EP, Silver Star, and you can stream one of its songs at the bottom of this post, where you'll find all Del Fuegos 2012 tour dates.

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Sophia Knapp
Sophia Knapp

Another option tonight, over at Union Pool, is Sophia Knapp who you may know from Lights or Cliffie Swan but will release her solo debut on Drag City next week. The press release for Into the Waves offers up "melodic psych pop of the 60's, Tropicalia ballads, chilly '80s New York dance records, and the seduction of Stevie Nicks or Françoise Hardy" as influences but I think it sounds uncannily like the soft-focus pop of late-'70s Olivia Newton John.

You can download two tracks from her album at the top of this post and watch the video for "Nothing to Lose" further down. In addition to tonight's show at Union Pool, Sophia plays a free record release show at Sway on Wednesday, Feb 29 (leap day), and opens for Nite Jewel at Bowery Ballroom on April 24.

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Cardinal (Richard Davies on the right)
Cardinal

There are a lot of good shows Friday night (2/24) and we'll start with Richard Davies at Cake Shop. The Australian-born singer fronted cult band The Moles in the late '80s, and whose 1994 album with Eric Matthews, Cardinal, is a baroque pop classic. Improbably, Davies and Matthews made a second Cardinal album, Hymns, that came out last month and basically picks up where the first one left off. It's a little more indie rock and a little less harpsichord and trumpets, but it's recognizably Cardinal. You can download two tracks from Hymns at the top of this post.

Davies will also be playing SXSW next month. He can be hit-or-miss live, but is a legend and worth going to see. Also playing are What Next?, the new band from onetime Cause Co-Motion dude David Klein that also features members of The Beets and Beachniks, so expect some scratchy shambolic (maybe charming) indiepop. Check out one song at their Bandcamp page. Also playing: The Pharmacy and Intuitions.

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Pat Jordache
Pat Jordache

Montreal's Pat Jordache play Glasslands Friday night (2/24). Pat was in Sister Suvi with Merrill Garbus and though his music is a little more trad-indie than tUnE-yArDs, it's still rather weird. When I saw them at CMJ, they reminded me of '80s goth but their album that dark side isn't quite as pronounced. Maybe it was the two drummer thing. Anyway, Pat Jordache make a cool racket and know how to play to a crowd. They're opening for Javellin which I realize is why most people are going to go to this show, but do get there early for Pat.

Savoir Adore
Savoir Adore

Over at Cameo on Friday, Savoir Adore are having a record release party for their Dreamers EP. The single "Dreamers" came out on Neon Gold late last year and expands on their heartfelt, big pop sound. The EP expands that 7" with a bunch of remixes, one of which you can download at the top of this post. The band are going out with fellow Neon Gold acts The Knocks and St. Lucia, touring their way to SXSW and all dates are at the bottom of this post. Savoir Adore are putting the finishing touches on their new album, Our Nature, which will be out later this year.

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Spanish Prisoners
Sophia Knapp

And finally, Spanish Prisoners are playing Knitting Factory Friday (2/24) with fellow locals Clouder. Spanish Prisoners album from last year, Gold Fools, is still a pay-what-you-want download from their Bandcamp page and is a terrific album if you haven't heard it yet. The band just released a video for "Know No Violence" which you can watch at the bottom of this post. Like pretty much every band in America, they're going on tour next month, stopping in Austin for SXSW, and all tour dates are below.

And that's the main stuff for this week's TWII. A few more day-by-day picks for shows not mentioned already are below

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23

We haven't heard from Acrylics in a while. See what they're up to at Cameo, with Kuroma, Tezeo, and Bright Moments.

Get trippy at Glasslands with Prince Rama, Gary War, Future Shuttle, ^w0rm b1n^, plus a DJ set from Gang Gang Dance.

Snowmine wrap up their Pianos residency tonight, playing with Tiny Victories, Decades, and Awning.

continued below...

Continue reading "Del Fuegos, Sophia Knapp, Richard Davies, Savoir Adore, Pat Jordache, Spanish Prisoners & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Cloud Nothings - "No Future/No Past" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cloud Nothings - "Stay Useless" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Best Fiend - "Higher Palms" (MP3)

Nada Surf
Nada Surf

The column comes early as it's a busy week and there are lots of shows to talk about. First up, venerable NYC trio Nada Surf's new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is out today and the band play Bowery Ballroom this evening to celebrate. Tonight's show is sold out but Nada Surf will be streaming the show live via their YouTube channel starting at 10PM. The band then head out for a good two months of touring and all dates are at the bottom of this post.

The band's seventh album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is another fine record in Nada Surf's catalog of positive-vibe guitar pop, bolstered this time out by Doug Gillard who provides a lot of great lead work. This kind of music may not be in fashion right now, but it also never really goes out of style. And they do it really well You can stream or download the ebullient first single "Waiting for Something" at the bottom of this post and Spotify users can listen to the album here.

Cloud Nothings - 'Attack on Memory'
Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory

Also out today: Cloud Nothings' Attack on Memory which, as Andrew noted a couple weeks ago, is much more sophisticated and agressive than the tuneful pop-punk the band have released in the past. They're still writing catchy songs -- check out "Stay Useless at the top of this post -- but the shift is fairly radical, so much so that main man Dylan Baldi briefly considered changing the name of the band. (It's not that radical.) It's a very good album, and you can listen to it on Spotify and watch the brand-new video for "No Future/No Past" at the bottom of this post.

The album, you may have seen, got Best New Music on the 'Fork yesterday, and despite this there are still tickets to be had for Cloud Nothings' show this Thursday (1/26) at The Studio @ Webster Hall though I imagine not for long. Knowing how good the band are live (what a drummer!) I'm really anxious to hear these songs live. It's a one-off show, but the band will tour starting mid-February including, need I say it, time in Austin for SXSW. All dates are at the bottom of this post.

The Hundred in the Hands - Bowery Ballroom Feb. 2011 (more)
Hundred in the Hands 

The Hundred in the Hands are playing their first show in a long time this Friday (1/27) at Glasslands, which will give us the first taste of the duo's second album which will be out on Warp at some point this year. While they haven't released any tracks from it yet, they are still updating the THITH Zine, the band's culture zine that most recently interview artist Zander Blom. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the archives that's worth checking out.

My Best Fiend
My Best Fiend

A lot of people will be at Glasslands on Friday just to check out THITH's Warp labelmates My Best Fiend whose album In Ghostlike Fading is out February 21. My Best Fiend are not your typical Warp act, closer to the space blues of Spiritualized or My Morning Jacket (or Neil Young) than the electronic music that fills most of the label's roster. The band have been plugging away in the Brooklyn scene for upwards of seven years and its good to see it pay off for them. You can download album-opener "Higher Palms" at the top of this post and you can stream "Cracking Eggs" (which features Light Asylum's Shannon Fuchness) further down.

The Glasslands show also features duo Bikini who make unapologetic four-on-the-floor dancefloor fodder, and Bear in Heaven will be DJing between sets, hopefully not playing all the records at 400,000% slower than normal.

Guy Harvey
Guy Harvey

And finally we have Florida's Guy Harvey, which is a band and not a solo artist and should not to be confused with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey which I did for half a second. The band are on tour with Gainsville residents Averkiou and hit NYC this weekend for two shows: Friday (1/27) at Cake Shop and Saturday (1/28) at Death by Audio. All GH/Averkiou dates are at the bottom of this post.

You may recognize Guy Harvey frontman Adam Perry from his moonlighting gig as an auxiliary member of Surfer Blood. There's not a lot of Guy Harvey music out there to listen to, but both sides of a 2010 7" (streamable below) are ace, with a strong Flying Nun influence. If you liked the Twerps album from last year, give Guy Harvey a listen. Averkiou, meanwhile, make fuzzy, shoegazy pop not too far from early Teenage Fanclub. Check out a few streaming tracks at the bottom of this post.

Friday's Cake Shop show is with Byrdsy locals Slow Country whose new album is a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp and is quite nice. Saturday's show at Death by Audio also has underrated Brooklyn bands I'm Turning Into and Bright Lights. Either show is worth checking out. Or go to both!

That's the main stuff for this week. Below are a few more picks, day-by-day, of shows not covered otherwise.

The Hairs
The Hairs

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24

There's a TWII-approved line-up at East Village mainstay Lit Lounge -- that is now booking bands I've heard of again -- with The Hairs (new single out next month), Pigeons, and Gross Relations.

Friends have shown up on most of the "Bands to Watch in 2012" lists. Go watch them in 2012, tonight, at Cameo as part of a very solid bill with Phonetag and Spanish Prisoners.

continued below...

Continue reading "Nada Surf, Cloud Nothings, Hundred in the Hands, My Best Fiend, Guy Harvey, Averkiou & more in This Week in Indie"

By Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Parlovr - Heaven/Hell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Atlas Sound - Terra Incognita (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Atlas Sound- Te Amo (MP3)

Parlovr at M for Montreal 2011
Parlovr/MforMontreal

It's that time of year again, so let's sing it up real pretty. Are we all in the spirit? Better be, because there's a zillion holiday parties going on this weekend, including two thrown by this very blog you are currently reading. How these parties differ from the shows we go to the rest of the year? Only a Scrooge would ask such a question. But to answer it: there's maybe more strand lights. And some Christmas songs thrown in sparsely by DJs or as covers by the bands playing. And some snowflakey sweaters. Whatever you call it, there's lot of great music to go see this weekend. Here's some of it.

Montreal's Parlovr are visiting, playing two shows. Tonight (12/15) they play the Popgun Holiday Party at Glasslands and then tomorrow (12/16) at Mercury Lounge with Shout Out Louds offshoot thing Serenades.

I'm on record as being a fan of this trio who I most recently saw at this year's M for Montreal. I'm not sure any of their records have quite captured the band's live energy, which is why you should go see them. But the recorded version of my favorite song, "Hell/Heaven," comes pretty close. You can download it above. Live, there's lots of flying hair (via singer/guitarists Alex and Jeremy) and flying limbs (lanky drummer Louis) that fits well with Parlovr's spiky indie rock. The band have recorded a holiday track called "Spike the Eggnog" which judging from the video (you can watch below) the spiking involves something much stronger than whiskey.

The Popgun Holiday Party tonight looks to be a good time, with Bell and TWII-faves North Highlands playing as well. There's also a "+ Special Guest" listed as well, no idea who that might be but the Popgun folks usually don't throw around that phrase too lightly.

Serenades

Tomorrow's show is with Serenades which is a Swedish super-duo consisting of Adam Olenius from Shout Out Louds and Markus Krunegård of Laakso. Their album Criminal Heaven is out next year in the U.S. and is chock-full of sparkling pop that seems aimed directly at the charts. It's slicker than Shout Out Louds (Laakso were pretty shiny, though they sang in Swedish) but still maintains that sharp melodic sense and shaggy, sad-eyed lyrical bent. You can download a track at the top of this post. Serenades also play tonight (12/15) at Knitting Factory.

Brooklyn Bazaar
BK Bazaar

There's also the Brooklyn Night Bazaar which runs tonight through Saturday. The enormous space (40,000 square feet!), the layout of which was based on the set of Lars Von Triers' Dogville (!!!), is a holiday shopping, eating, drinking and live music extravaganza as you have probably already heard. Tonight (12/15) is James Murphy DJing, along with Poolside, the Crystal Ark Party Machine and Midnight Magic. Saturday night (12/17) is The Hold Steady, Titus Andronicus and Wakey! Wakey!

Friday (12/16) is the BrooklynVegan Presents night with a SPIN Album of 2011 winners Fucked Up, plus Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, and Radical Dads. Frankie Rose and myself will be spinning tunes before the bands start and between sets. And only $10, so that's only two bucks a band. What a bargain! Tickets will be available at the door too. I am DJing starting at 5PM, Frankie will be there from 6PM and bands start at 7PM, with Radical Dads up first. (Then Caged Animals, Big Troubles, Dom, and Fucked Up.) If you're coming, do make an effort to get there in time for them, they're awesome. As are all the bands on the bill I think. Shop, eat, rock out, eat and shop some more, rinse repeat. Say hi.

Frankie Rose
Frankie Rose

In addition to DJing our party tomorrow, Frankie Rose is also playing an acoustic set at Glasslands on Saturday (12/17) as part of a Jonathan Toubin benefit that also features Xray Eyeballs, K-Holes and The Stalkers. Frankie Rose's new album, Interstellar, is out in February and I think will surprise a lot of people. She is definitely out of the garage on this one, ditching the reverb and embracing synthesizers, jangly guitars and her inner pop star. Like a lot of folks this year, The Wake seems to be an influence. Fans of Craft Spells are gonna like it.

As previously mentioned, Frankie will debut her new record and new band at the Knitting Factory on February 21.

And to wrap up BV holiday party related items, Saturday's fest with Twin Sister, Widowspeak and Ava Luna is sold out! Hope you got tickets! If you're going, we're raffling off a load of cool prizes -- like every Domino release of 2011 -- with all proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots.

Atlas Sound
Atlas Sound

And last but not least we've got Atlas Sound here for two shows this weekend:The Bell House on Saturday (12/17, tickets still available) and Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (12/18, sold out). Andrew Sacher wrote about Atlas Sound's new album Paralax a few weeks ago which I'm gonna quote:

The flow of the album subtly works in the slower, more ambient cuts to space out the relatively high amount (for an Atlas Sound record) of pop standouts. Like many pop experimentalists before him, Bradford Cox has mastered the art of leaving his own weird touch on even the simplest tune. This comes across most strongly on "Mona Lisa," a re-recording of a track that appeared on his Bedroom Databank collection. The song is carried by the sort of upbeat acoustic guitar rock that Bowie experimented with on Hunky Dory, and Bradford sings with a fragile falsetto that brings to mind Lennon's "#9 Dream."
I'll add that Parallax has a post-2AM vibe to it and some of Cox's best songs yet. It also reminds me, a bit, of Spoon too.

That's the big stuff. Some more picks, day-by-day, follow.

Continue reading "Parlovr, Fucked Up, Dom, Frankie Rose, Atlas Sound, Serenades, Jonathan Toubin & more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Courtney Dudley

Lord Huron @ Mercury Lounge
Lord Huron

The Wilderness of Manitoba @ Mercury Lounge
The Wilderness of Manitoba

"When i arrived at the mercury lounge a little after 8 char was already in the mostly empty performance area in the back enjoying the pop stylings of an impossibly young-looking (and quite decent) pop band called spanish prisoners. they were followed by the extremely affable (and lumberjackily-attractive) canadian folky pop group wilderness of manitoba, who created their hauntingly pretty sound by weaving their combined vocal harmonies over mountainesk sounds of banjo, cello, mandolin and guitar, and striking a perfect balance between mellow and intense..." [musikati]
One night after opening for Femi Kuti, Lord Huron headlined his own show at Mercury Lounge with a lineup consisting of North Highlands, The Wilderness of Manitoba & Spanish Prisoners. Pictures from that Thursday night gig are in this post.

For Toronto folk band The Wilderness of Manitoba, whose album When You Left The Fire is out May 10th on tinyOGRE, it was the first of a few trips to the NYC-area in coming months. Later this month they hit the road with Cloud Cult for a tour that hits both Maxwell's and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Then in July they hop on the road with Rasputina starting at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ. All tour dates, more pictures and a video, below...

Continue reading "The Wilderness of Manitoba played Mercury Lounge w/ Lord Huron, North Highlands & Spanish Prisoners (pics), touring w/ Cloud Cult & then Rasputina (dates)"

Lord Huron @ Bowery Ballroom during CMJ (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Lord Huron

Femi Kuti's current North American tour hits Highline Ballroom in NYC tonight (4/26). Tickets are still on sale and you'll get an opening set by producer/dj Nutritious.

Tickets are also still on sale for the Femi show happening Wednesday (4/27) at Music Hall of Williamsburg which now includes an opening set by Lord Huron who the LA Times has said "occasionally recalls Fleet Foxes, 'At Dawn'-era My Morning Jacket and Panda Bear." Lord just finished a string of dates with The Rural Alberta Advantage.

The Lord Huron Brooklyn/Femi show was previously listed as a day off on Lord's tour schedule which also includes a headlining show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (4/28). Tickets are still on sale for that NYC show which will get you opening sets by North Highlands, The Wilderness of Manitoba, and Spanish Prisoners.

All tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Femi Kuti is here, Lord Huron added to Brooklyn show (on tour now) --- updated 2011 dates"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Jaguar Club - Beat of My Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Jaguar Club - Who Says We're Last? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Spanish Prisoners - Los Angeles Guitar Dream EP (Zip)

JEFF the Brotherhood @ Death By Audio (more by Leia Jospe)
JEFF the Brotherhood

Nashville's JEFF the Brotherhood are back in town this weekend and if you missed Jake and Jamin's four-show run at Death by Audio last month you should definitely try to make one of their three area shows: Cake Shop on Friday (5/22), Bruar Falls on Saturday (5/23) or Death by Audio on Tuesday (5/26). They are a serious amount of fun. JEFF just made a video for their song "Bone Jam" which you can watch below.

Along for the ride are their Nashville neighbors Turbo Fruits, fronted by Jonas Stein who was guitarist in Be Your Own Pet. Their self-titled album from 2007 on Ecstatic Peace is a fun slab of grungy, garagey party rock. Since BYOP's dissolution, Turbo Fruits have gone through a couple lineup changes and have signed to Fat Possum, home of WAVVES, Crocodiles, and Andrew Bird. There's a video for their song "Volcano" below.

Spanish Prisoners
Spanish Prisoners

Elsewhere this weekend, the Spicy Times party returns to Union Hall with New York locals Jaguar Club, Spanish Prisoners and ECHOecho (who replaced the Shackletons). Most of the press Jaguar Club have gotten make reference to new wave or new-new wave which I think must come from them listing Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths and Talking Heads as influences on their MySpace. Apart from the new romantic singing style of frontman Will Popadic, I don't think there's anything overtly retro about Jaguar Club's sound. They're doing their own thing.

Spanish Prisoners are a band I've been meaning to write about for a while, as I thought their debut, Songs to Forget, was one of the more underrated (and underheard) albums of last year. Part of that was they didn't play all that much, the band kind of imploded with main Prisoner Leo Maymind rebuilding it this year into a new precision touring unit. The first fruits of this is a free download EP, Los Angeles Guitar Dream, which is a bit different than what they've done before but is pretty great, especially the ethereal-yet-dancey title track which you can check out at the top of this post. If you want to learn more about Spanish Prisoners and Jaguar Club, Maymind and Popadic recently interviewed each other and it's a pretty entertaining read.

Kingsbury Manx
Kingsbury Manx

Another good Saturday option is this week's Cake Shop 4th Anniversary Awesome Saturdays event. While not the 16-band spectacular that was last Saturday's party, this week features Chapel Hill, NC's The Kingsbury Manx who've been plugging away for nearly a decade now making good album after good album of gentle '60s-ish folk pop, garnering good reviews but not much attention. I would like to think this might change with their new album, Ascenseur Ouvert!, which might be their best yet, with songcraft playing as big a part as mood this time. If you like the current roster of Sub Pop folk (Fleet Foxes, Grand Archives) seek this band out. Also on the Cake Shop bill: fellow Chapel Hill natives (and Odessa Records labelmates) Americans in France; two dreamy artists from Arizona (Stephen Steinbrink and Hell-Kite); NYC-via-NZ's The Mad Scene which features Hamish Kilgour of the Clean, as well as Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo; and local post punks Fan-Tan.

Tour dates for most of the bands mentioned here, and videos after the jump...

Continue reading "JEFF the Brotherhood, Spanish Prisoners (free EP), Turbo Fruits, The Kingsbury Manx & more in This Week in Indie"

photos by Fresh Bread

DOWNLOAD: Thomas Function - Belly of the Beast (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Thomas Function - Conspiracy (MP3)

Thomas Function

Thomas Function played Cake Shop in NYC Saturday night (1/24). FB wrote, "I missed the the openers except for three songs by Spanish Prisoners. Thomas Function came on shortly after 11pm and were off by 11:45. A good number of people in the crowd sang loudly as the band raced through their songs. Their geeky garage rock vibe came across as endearing. All was good during the set except for the few seconds when it smelled like burnt carpet - an amp shorted out and was a few seconds away from causing a fire..."

Thomas Function also played inside Other Music record store on Friday, and they play again tonight, Sunday January 25th, at Mercury Lounge with Don Chambers and Goat and Trampled by Turtles. More Cake Shop pictures below...

Continue reading "Thomas Function @ Cake Shop, NYC - pics"

photos by Ryan Muir

Daniel Johnston @ Highline Ballroom

Daniel Johnston @ Highline Ballroom

NYC band Spanish Prisoners opened the show at Highline Ballroom, AND played some songs as Daniel's backing band. I was curious to know how that all came about, so I asked Spanish Prisoner frontman Leo Maymind about it before the show. He said....

I've always been a big fan of Daniel's music- it has a very innocent quality to it that attracted me to it. I saw that he was coming to New York and I got in touch with the venue, and we arranged the show so that my band, Spanish Prisoners, could open and back Daniel up for his set as well. This is something he's done in the past with previous tours, so it just worked out really well.

...we're only backing Daniel at this one show (as of now). We're going to be doing 5 or 6 songs with him, and he may be doing some solo, and some with his own guitarist.

I actually chose the songs we're doing with him from a list of possible songs. We rehearsed them on our own and are going over them with Daniel quickly at soundcheck. It's definitely an off-the-cuff sort of thing, so it'll be interesting and loose.

More photos from the show below....

Continue reading "Daniel Johnston & Spanish Prisoners @ Highline Ballroom"

DOWNLOAD: Spanish Prisoners - where god does his laundry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Spanish Prisoners - some among them are killers (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Spanish Prisoners - song for the weary (MP3)

Spanish Prisoners

* Human Giant @ UCB
* Burlesque @ Lucky 13 Saloon in Park Slope
* Mark Morgan of Sightings & Child Abuse @ Cake Shop
* Spanish Prisoners play with Ravens & Chimes @ Mercury Lounge

I have a pair of tickets to give away to the Mercury Lounge show. First person to e-mail BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Merc) gets them. Include your first and last name for list. What else?