Entries tagged with: Spoon

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DOWNLOAD: Portastatic - Foam Hands (Destroyer cover) (MP3)

Portastatic

The idea for a whole EP of Merge covers stemmed from both listening to the SCORE! Merge covers compilation and from doing bookstore events to promote the Our Noise book, wherein we'd play some acoustic covers of songs that came out on Merge. Time permitting, this really could have been a much longer record, but in the spirit of quitting while I was ahead and also turning this in before the end of the year, I stopped at seven songs. Obviously, the Merge catalog is full of hundreds-thousands, actually-of songs I love, so I picked ones I either knew well or thought I could re-create without defiling too harshly. It wasn't easy to narrow down, so I just tried not to think about it too much, and then time constraints set in... -Mac McCaughan
Mac does a mean Bejar! Check out the MP3 above. Get the full EP at Merge. Tracklist below...

Continue reading "Portastatic cover Merge bands for EP (MP3)"

Spoon Transference

"Spoon's critical acclaim is almost comically universal. In December the online review aggregator Metacritic named Spoon the best artist of the decade, above acts like Radiohead and the White Stripes. In March the group will headline Radio City Music Hall. Though the band is now spread out around the country -- only Mr. Eno is in Austin; Mr. Daniel moved to Portland, Ore. in 2005; Mr. Harvey is in Dallas; and Mr. Pope is "intentionally homeless," he said -- it has a palpable cohesion thanks to Mr. Daniel's rigorous songwriting and pared-down aesthetic. They wear button-down shirts onstage and have no notable haircuts." [NY Times]
Spoon's new and seventh album, Transference is out on Merge Records on January 19, 2010. You can listen to the first single at NPR. A trailer for the album along with the tracklist and currently known dates below...

Continue reading "Spoon playing Radio City Music Hall in March, new album "Transference" out soon (cover & tracklist)"

DOWNLOAD: Harlem - Friendly Ghost (MP3)

Jay Reatard & Harlem shared a bill @ Emo's on Wed (photo by David Weaver)
Jay Reatard

"While [Jay Reatard's] set [at Emo's in Austin on Wednesday night] had all the makings of a fun night of pop-punk, it was sadly abridged at only 40 minutes -- less than the opening performance by Austin's own Harlem -- after two rowdy fans attacked Reatard on-stage shortly after he announced he was playing the night's final song. He retaliated by swinging his microphone stand and departed mid-song, giving the at-times rambunctious audience the finger as he exited the stage. There was to be no encore -- the lights went up and the PA music kicked in as the two intruding fans were arrested by police outside the club's Sixth Street entrance.

It was a good show -- while it lasted. And Reatard can't be held responsible for violent fans. But at less than 45 minutes and with a buzzkill of an ending, it's hard to regard the night as anything more than an initially promising disappointment. That's the sad thing about punk rock -- sometimes the anger overtakes the fun and an audience walks away let down. With a too-short set and a combative ending, Reatard's Wednesday night show ultimately felt less like a satisfactory set from a skilled player and more like a sad tease of the fun evening that might have been.

Update: The Austin Police Department's public information office has confirmed that Michael Buehrer, 20, and Peter Aravello, 23, were the two men arrested. Both have been charged with public intoxication.

Pitchfork has this statement from Reatard's publicist: "Jay was attacked, totally unprovoked, by two different people, both of whom were later arrested. One guy bolted onstage and came swinging at Jay, but security took him away pretty quickly. Soon after (the band hadn't stopped playing, by the way), another guy sprinted onstage and hit Jay. Unlike the first guy, Jay didn't even see this guy coming. So Jay defended himself with the mic stand until security took that guy away, too. Jay is safe and unhurt, and the cops were there for about an hour afterwards." [Austin 360]

I don't think Jay usually plays much longer than that anyway. Harlem, who were last here to play their label (Matador)'s showcase during CMJ (Jay is on Matador too), visits NYC again to play Mercury Lounge on February 10th. Tickets are on sale.

Jay's next and only upcoming show is opening for Spoon (like he did in Brooklyn once) at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on New Years Eve.

Harlem will announce more 2010 dates soon in support of their 2nd album, 'Hippies' which "hits North American record shops, farmers markets and digital storefronts on April 6 on the always popular LP, CD and MP3/FLAC configurations." MP3 from that album above. Cover art below...

Continue reading "Jay Reatard attacked in Austin (2 guys arrested), Harlem add NYC show & post new MP3 from 2010 Matador album"

Daft Punk

Daft Punk's first album had helped refresh house music in the mid 1990s; the second went further, rewriting electronic pop's pleasure principles to such a degree that when it came out a lot of people thought Discovery must be a put-on. They took the joy in the record for irony. Rather, the band had simply plunged into the raw popstuff of their 70s childhoods, from AOR to disco, Buggles to Manilow, rock to robotics. They wanted their listeners to get the rush of context-free delight they had hearing music as kids, and on "Aerodynamic" and "Digital Love" they succeeded wildly, dissolving a decade-plus of dance music good taste. And not all of Discovery looked back. The middle of the album is house music as string theory, with the duo finding dimensions of pleasure coiled within the tiniest loops: "Crescendolls" releases an awesome, gleeful energy by repeatedly triggering one five-second sample.

Discovery was simply the decade's best good-times record, with Daft Punk as pyramid-toting party wizards and the chipmunk Kraftwerk of "Harder Better Faster Stronger" their anthem. But this most celebratory of records has a bittersweet streak, too: Daft Punk know that a rush always carries the risk of exhaustion. Perhaps the album's most underappreciated track is the sad but gorgeous "Short Circuit", a three-minute robot graveyard of crumbled transistors and dying LEDs. But from Romanthony's first blissful, vocoded shout of "one more time!" the dominant emotion on Discovery is joy. A joy that wasn't afraid to be sentimental and funny as well as hard and futuristic, and is all the better for that. When a generation looks back and tries to catch a fuzzy hold of the music that made them happy this decade, Daft Punk's will be top of the list. --Tom Ewing [Pitchfork]

Daft Punk grabbed the #3 spot on Pitchfork's list of the Top 200 albums of the 2000s (now fully announced) (yesterday they were only up to #21). The top 20 are also listed below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork announces the top 20 albums of the decade "

by Andrew Frisicano

Mac and Britt embrace (Triangle Music)
Mac and Britt

The much anticipated XX Merge Festival took place last week in North Carolina with a five-day (July 22-July 26), Wednesday to Sunday run of shows. Last night (Sunday)'s show with She & Him, American Music Club and Wye Oak was the only fully announced lineup. The other four nights (and one day) were a grab bag of any number of Merge bands past and present. Did you go? What were the highlights?

Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, who recently played a pair of big NY shows, headlined the fest's first night (which also included Magnetic Fields). Superchunk, which features Merge founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, topped the bill of the second night. The third night included the reformed/reunited lineups of Spent, Polvo and Pipe.

Mac McCaughan came out on stage before [Pipe] instead of the night's emcee and announced that there was a lone protester outside. He invited him up on stage and it was Jon Wurster decked out in Phillies gear as Philly Boy Roy. He was holding a sign that said "Boycot MERGE." He complained that Merge didn't have any Philly bands on their roster and Mac said that they have bands from Jersey, which is close to Philly. You never compare Jersey to Philly in front of Philly Boy Roy. It was hilarious.

All of this led to the introduction of New Jersey punks Pipe. As soon as they kicked into their first song, beer cans and plastic bottles started flying. Frontman Ron Liberti ate it up and even put himself in the line of fire, headbutting some of the cans while kicking some back into the crowd. Liberti bounded around the stage, essentially taunting the crowd. The crowd loved the band's antics as did I (but that may have been different if I hadn't managed to stay dry). [triangle music]

You can see the partial setlist from Spoon, who headlined that night, below.

In addition to the Cat's Cradle shows (the venue for 4/5 of the night shows), Saturday featured a day show that included Julian Koster solo as Music Tapes and Mac McCaughan with violin accompaniment as Portastatic. A few videos from that set, below.

M. Ward, who's playing the Central Park Summerstage this Saturday (August 1st), played at the fest's Saturday night showcase. Zooey Deschanel joined him for a cover of the Beatles' "Birthday." Not too big of a surprise considering She & Him headlined the Sunday night show.

Other XX Merge artists who recently stopped in NYC include The Clientele and Richard Buckner (they played Music Hall of Williamsburg last Sunday), Versus and Superchunk (they played South Street Seaport last Friday), and Spent (they played Coco 66). Spoon didn't play a NYC show, but they were spotted in the audience of Paul McCartney's third of three shows at Citi Field in Queens. Destroyer is on his way up. He plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Mark Eitzel (as American Music Club) played Le Poisson Rouge and Maxwell's before XX Merge, and now he's on his way back for a show at The Bell House.

Lineups for each night of XX Merge, with videos, and a bunch of setlists, below...

Continue reading "Merge celebrated their 20th w/ 5 days of shows in North Carolina (lineups, reviews, pics, video setlists...)"

Kaki King @ BAM 2/7/09 (more by Natasha Ryan)
Kaki King

Steven Patrick Morrissey is turning 50 on May 22nd. Morrissey himself will be celebrating with a concert in his hometown of Manchester.

Others will be celebrating, that same night, right here in Brooklyn at Glasslands Gallery where Kaki King will play a "special set" at a Morrissey birthday celebration. Beta Beta, the Bodgea Girls and the Stationary Set are also on the bill. Flyer below.

This summer, King will be at Bonnaroo on June 12th and Northern California's music & yoga festival, Wanderlust, on Saturday, July 25th. The lineup for that fest includes Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Jenny Lewis, Amanda Palmer, Spoon, Broken Social Scene...and many more big "indie" names. The festival also offers yoga sessions with a full schedule of guest yogis. Both music+yoga tickets and music-only tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 12th.

Kaki King's newest record is her Mexican Teenagers EP, released March 30th by Cooking Vinyl.

Full details of both Morrissey's b-day and Wanderlust Festival, with posters, and Kaki King dates, below...

Continue reading "Morrissey turning 50, Kaki King celebrating @ Glasslands & playing the Wanderlust Festival (full 2009 lineup)"

photos by Graeme Flegenheimer

New Orleans Jazz Fest 2009
New Orleans Jazz Fest 2009

"From the moment you set foot inside the main gate at the Fair Grounds Race Course, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is like a music and food lover's "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel, with nearly every option inciting pure sonic and culinary bliss. A morning beignet in the Gospel Tent with Arthur Clayton & Purposely Anointed? A lazy afternoon perked up by some Crawfish Monica and the Drive-By Truckers joined by Booker T? How about a stroll to the Gentilly Stage for the sounds of Spoon and the Dirty Dozen horns, stopping for a quick bowl of gumbo along the way? Etta James and a Soft Shell Crab Po-Boy, anyone? All signs point to yes...

...Now in its 40th year, the 2009 edition of Jazz Fest continues to ramp up post-Hurricane Katrina, expanding to its full complement of 12 stages, up from nine last year, and seven days, up from six in recent years. The event's first of two weekends boasted music from nearly 200 acts, including the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Crescent City native Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Joe Cocker, Erykah Badu, James Taylor, Earth Wind and Fire, Pete Seeger, Hugh Masekela, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Etta James and many more." [All About Jazz]

Jazz Fest ran from April 24-26 & April 30-May 3 at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, LA. More pictures from the first weekend of the festival below...

Continue reading "a set of pictures from New Orleans Jazz Fest 2009 "

DOWNLOAD: Guv'ner - Bay's Way Cruel (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Guv'ner - Help Me (MP3)

XXMerge

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, Merge bands of the past and present will converge for 5 days of live music, July 22-26th in the heat of the sunny North Carolina summer. We are calling these 5 days of live music and mayhem, XX Merge.

XX Merge Wednesday, July 22nd - Sunday, July 26th
4 nights at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC
1 night at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, NC on UNC Campus Details of additional music & bedlam yet to come!

GuvnerFeaturing over 25 of your favorite Merge artists including...Superchunk, Spoon, Conor Oberst, Spent, M. Ward, The Rosebuds, Destroyer, Guv'ner, Polvo, Pipe & The Broken West. Many more bands both expected and unexpected still to-be-announced!

5-Day Passes are $150 and will get you in to all XX Merge festivities. Passes will go on sale on Wednesday, April 8th at 10 AM EST via catscradle.com and mergerecords.com. 5-day passes are nontransferable. A limited number of tickets for individual Cradle shows and the Memorial Hall show will be made available at a later date.

And this interesting tidbit from their FAQ's: "We will announce a (nearly) complete list of Merge bands who will be playing prior to the festival, but you will have to come to each show to find out who is playing on which night. We think it's more fun that way!"

The Rosebuds are now in the midst of their April tour that brings them back to NYC for two shows soon.

M Ward is also playing Coachella and Central Park Summerstage this year. All dates below.

Check out the video for Spent's "Umbrella Wars", below...

Continue reading "XX Merge - ticket info & initial festival lineup announced (Guv'ner, Spent, Pipe, Spoon, Conor & M Ward included)"

photos by Tim Griffin

White Rabbits

"After spending the better part of two years on the road (including festival stops at Lollapallooza, Glastonbury (UK), Sasquatch, Monolith and tours with The Walkmen, Spoon, Richard Swift, The Cribs, White Denim and Tokyo Police Club) White Rabbits hunkered down in their Brooklyn practice space to set about re-envisioning the dark pop of their debut Fort Nightly, while adding new sounds and influences to achieve an original work. The result is It's Frightening, their second full-length album - out May 19th on tbd records.

White Rabbits signed to tbd records (US home to Radiohead/Other Lives/Hatcham Social) and erected a makeshift studio in their basement rehearsal space to demo new material. Band members popped in and out over the course of several months lending ideas and personality to a new batch of songs that defy instant categorization. After enlisting tourmate, friend and songwriter Britt Daniel (Spoon) as producer, the pair began the process of exchanging demos between Brooklyn and Portland. White Rabbits recorded It's Frightening over the course of four weeks, only taking a break to play the Transmusicales Festival in Rennes, France. The sessions were recorded by visionary engineer Nicholas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY."

You may have noticed a lot more of Britt Daniel in Brooklyn lately (on the street, at Music Hall of Williamsburg, etc). The new White Rabbits album recording is probably why.

White Rabbits played their first of two sold out shows in a row at Mercury Lounge in NYC last night (2/18). The second is tonight. More pictures, the setlist from last night, and the new album tracklist, below...

Continue reading "White Rabbits - Mercury Lounge pics & new album info"

Hanukkah

The above drawing is a segment of the songsheet Oneida passed out at Sunday night's show at Maxwell's in Hoboken (12/21). It was the first of eight Yo La Tengo Hanukkah parties at the NJ venue this year, and, as promised, the Brooklyn band (Oneida) opened the night. As also promised, comedian Paul F. Tompkins opened with a set of comedy. AND, I'm feeling really good right now because two (sort of) of my guest guesses also came true last night. Both Britt Daniel and Janet Weiss (I guessed Britt and "Quasi") joined Yo La Tengo for some songs. To quote an email I got from Josh,

Oneida opened.
Then Paul F Tompkins.
Then YLT with Janet Weiss
For the encore - Paul F Tomkins joined the band and sang a Hannukah version of [Johnny Cash's] "Ring of Fire"
Then Britt Daniel joined and sang a few songs including "Mother and Child Reunion" [by Paul Simon]
Anonymous adds that there were covers of P.I.L., Amy Winehouse and Burt Bacharach as well.

The shows continue tonight (Monday, Hanukkah night two). We now know the openers for night eight, but who will open tonight? Will it be Titus Andronicus? Will it be Antietam? I'm not sure. Post your guesses and facts in the comments.

Download the whole Oneida songsheet (thx Josh) as a PDF HERE. Check out a Yo La Tengo video from last year's Hanukkah run, below...

Continue reading "It's Hanukkah Bitch! Britt Daniel & Janet Weiss joined Yo La Tengo, Oneida & Paul F Tompkins @ Maxwell's last night"

Dark Was the NightDark Was the Night

"What a fitting day to announce the complete list of artists involved with our upcoming album DARK WAS THE NIGHT - the February 17th 4AD release that will benefit the Red Hot Organization. It's World AIDS Day, and in honor of that, we bring you the exciting news."
More info on the previously mentioned comp below...

Continue reading "Dark Was the Night - full 4AD comp artist list, cover art, etc"

White Rabbits in Prospect Park (more by Chris La Putt)
White Rabbits

White Rabbits were en route to Cleveland last year when pianist Stephen Patterson received a call inviting the young Brooklyn septet to perform on The Late Show with David Letterman. "I completely freaked out," Patterson says. "I pulled off at a highway rest stop and we just ran around the van, calling our moms and dads."

Becoming elated over such news is more or less obligatory. Nellie McKay remembers "jumping in the air and doing a kind of flippery arm motion" upon being informed of her first Letterman booking; Spoon frontman Britt Daniel says he was "absolutely shocked" when told that Saturday Night Live had scheduled his band. But at the time of their Late Show invitation, White Rabbits were without a label apparatus, press clippings or even fans. "We got back in the van, drove to Cleveland and played a show for five people," Patterson says. When the day of the taping arrived, the musicians--whose vehicle had been stolen near their Bushwick home--hired a "man with a van" to drive them to the Ed Sullivan Theater. While waiting in the green room, they received another call, this time from their landlord. Their rent was overdue. [Time Out]

photos by Chris La Putt

Spoon @ Prospect Park

Britt Daniel, frontman for Spoon, is a noted Feist fan.

"First time I saw her, we got thrown on a bill, I'd never heard her," he says. "She came on and I thought 'Who is this person?' She blew me away. In terms of a charisma and connecting with the audience, I rank her up there with Prince. Plus, she has one of the great, intriguing voices of today." [Chicago Tribune]

Feist played a pay-show at the Prospect Park Bandshell last week. Jay Reatard, White Rabbits and Spoon played the one that happened last night (July 15, 2008). More pictures from that below...

Continue reading "Spoon, Jay Reatard & White Rabbits @ Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY - pics"

Matt & Kim @ McCarren Pool (more by Ryan Muir)
Matt and Kim at McCarren

today in NYC
* FREE STUFF
* Dungen @ (le) poisson rouge
* Mike Birbiglia @ Union Hall
* Ricky Gervais @ Wamu Theater
* Ratatat @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Fennesz & Sakamoto @ World Financial Center
* Spoon, White Rabbits & Jay Reatard @ Prospect Park
* Takka Takka, Uninhabitable Manisons & Pwrfl Power @ Pianos

Uninhabitable Mansions features members of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Things are moving slightly slower than normal around here this week. I'm taking sort of a working vacation. Should be back to normal on Monday.

What else?

White Rabbits @ SXSW (more by Ryan Muir)
White Rabbits

TOMORROW: (July 15, 2008) White Rabbits, Jay Reatard and Spoon are playing a ticketed show in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. The Constantines are not opening, though Spoon originally announced that they were.

I have two pairs of tickets to give away. To win, email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Spoon). Include your first and last name. Two winners will be contacted ASAP.

BeckBeck

Tickets are now on presale (password = BOWL) for a Beck/Spoon/MGMT show in LA on May 10th. More info on Beck's new album (which Paper Tiger/P4K say includes a collaboration with Cat Power) and Beck & Spoon tour dates below.....

Continue reading "Beck's Danger Mouse album (with Cat Power) - a Spoon show @ the Hollywood Bowl (PRESALE)... and stuff (tour dates)..."

the Constantines @ Mercury Lounge - Apr 16, 2008 (forklift)
The Constantines @ Mercury Lounge

Tickets are now on sale for the Spoon show in Brooklyn.

The Constantines are also currently on tour and playing Southpaw in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Jay Reatard is also playing shows at Europa & Bowery Ballroom soon too.

photos by Ryan Muir

Jay Reatard @ Mess With Texas in Austin, March 2008
Jay Reatard

Tickets are now on presale for Spoon's Prospect Park show. Jay Reatard & The Constantines are opening. (thx Eduardo)

The Constantines are also playing Mercury Lounge tonight (April 16, 2008).

Jay Reatard is also playing Europa & Bowery Ballroom soon. Tickets are still on sale for those. More Jay Reatard pics below...

Continue reading "Jay Reatard & Constantines opening for Spoon (PRESALE)"

DOWNLOAD: Spoon - I Turn My Camera On (MP3)

Spoon @ Terminal 5, NYC - April 9, 2008 (kidraerae)
Spoon

Spoon is playing the Prospect Park bandshell in Brooklyn on July 15th. Tickets go on sale Friday. Openers TBA. It's also worth nothing that not only is there a place called "Dick's Sporting Goods Park" in Colorado, they're also playing there - on July 19th (the Mile High Music Festival). More tour dates below...

Continue reading "Spoon played Terminal 5, playing Prospect Park in Brooklyn"

Handsome Furs @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC - April 6, 2008 (Jinners)
Handsome Furs

On Sunday I went to Bowery Ballroom (which I would like a lot more if it weren't usually packed with drunk hipsters that aren't into the band playing) and I saw the Handsome Furs. I love that band (it's my favorite of the Wolf Parade offshoots), but the music (which consists of Dan Boeckner on guitar and Alexei Perry on synth) is tricky to pull off live. But, as stated, I love it, I know Plague Park like the back of my hand, so it was great. If you'd never heard the music before, you might enjoy it less. [Another New York Playwright's Blog]
Handsome Furs play another NYC show tonight (April 9) at Terminal 5.

photos by Ryan Muir

White Rabbits @ SXSW

White Rabbits are not playing the Spoon and Handsome Furs show at Terminal 5 on April 9th. Neither are the Walkmen even though both bands will be on tour with Spoon before and after that show. It's probably because The Walkmen and White Rabbits just played a NYC show together at Webster Hall not long ago.

Supposedly White Rabbits are playing a show tonight though (March 28) - not WITH the Walkmen, but in their rehearsal space, and it's with Soft, The Subjects and Frankpollis also on the bill. All Ages. 140 w 24th street btwn 6th and 7th. $5.00 at the door. White Rabbits are also playing Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 7th. Tickets are on sale. They also played SXSW, and have a ton of other shows coming up all over the world.

To hear the latest song by White Rabbits, head over to RCRD LBL. More Texas pics, and all dates, below....

Continue reading "White Rabbits - a show tonight, Brooklyn & other Tour Dates"

Handsome SpoonHandsome Spoon

Handsome Furs are opening for Spoon at Terminal 5 three days after HF's headlining show at Bowery Ballroom. I guess that means the Walkmen & White Rabbits won't be opening for Spoon like they will be on the rest of the tour.

Spoon Boy

There's a presale for these dates going on now. (thx Eduardo)

The below video is kind of old, but I don't think I ever posted it......

Continue reading "a Spoon presale, Britt Daniel on Veronica Mars (video)"