Entries tagged with: Still Corners

23 result(s) displayed (1 - 23 of 23):

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Austin's Feathers have had a busy year. They released their debut album, If All Here Now, have toured the country (they played NYC in May) and opened for Depeche Mode during SXSW. 2014 looks to be exciting for them as well, with a new EP, Only One, and a trip across the Atlantic next month where they'll be opening up for Depeche Mode again, this time on a few European dates. On their way there, they'll stop in NYC for a warm-up show, playing Mercury Lounge on January 7. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

This tour will mark a new line-up for the band, with Christine Aprile (ex-Sleep Over, Silent Diane), Su Swann (Hussle Club), Jon Minor and Destiny Montague (Midnight Masses, Carl Sagan). All tour dates are listed below.

Feathers frontperson Anastasia Dimou was nice enough to give us her Top 10 Records of 2013, including commentary on some of them. Her list doesn't stray to far from the style of music she makes, which means if you like Feathers, you may want to check some of these out. Read her list below....

Continue reading "Feathers working on new EP, list their favorite LPs of 2013, playing NYC before European tour w/ Depeche Mode (dates)"

CMJ 2013

The 2013 CMJ Music Marathon happens from October 15 - 19 at clubs all over New York City. As we've been tweeting about at @BVCMJ, tonight (8/27), the CMJ folks held an announcement party at Bowery Electric with live performances from Weekend and Magic Man.

They also announced their initial line-up for this year's fest, which includes Kevin Drew, The Long Winters, Real Estate, Obits, The Dismemberment Plan (Terminal 5), Pelican (who are playing both of our Invisible Oranges showcases at Saint Vitus), Jacco Gardner, Good Riddance, Godflesh, Eagulls, the Pendu Sound showcase, and many more.

We'll have a set of pics from Weekend and Magic Man soon, but for now peruse the full initial CMJ 2013 line-up below.

Continue reading "CMJ 2013 initial line-up released"

photos by Jonathon Bernstein; words by Bill Pearis

CHVRCHES / Still Corners @ Webster Hall, 6/17/2013
Chvrches
Still Corners

Scottish synthpop trio CHVRCHES just blew through town for two sold-out shows, playing Webster Hall on Monday (6/17) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday (6/18), both of which were with tourmates Still Corners. The band did a 12-song set -- likely the bulk of their fortcoming debut LP, due in September -- plus their standard encore cover of Prince's "I Would Die 4 U." Pictures from Webster Hall are in this post.

After their two shows, CHVRCHES stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform their hit "The Mother We Share" and you can watch video of that below. Also last night, Still Corners played a terrific headlining set at Mercury Lounge with openers Imperial Topaz.

CHVRCHES will be at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware on Saturday, and while they're there, you can also watch us interview them live at 1PM on the Soundwave Stage where they'll return to DJ later that day before playing their festival set. To be more specific, their day looks like this:

CHVURCHES @ Firefly Fest 2013
1:00 - live interview with BrooklynVegan @ Soundwave Stage
4:00 - Hype Machine DJ set @ Soundwave Stage
5:45 - live set on The BackYard Stage
CHVRCHES also just announced a fall tour. Probably no surprise that their NYC date on it is at Terminal 5, happening on September 22, which is two days before their album comes out. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale June 26 at noon with the general on-sale starting June 28 at noon.

All CHVRCHES tour dates are listed, along with Fallon performance video and more pictures from Webster Hall, below.

Continue reading "CHVRCHES played Fallon & NYC shows w/ Still Corners, announce tour (Terminal 5 included) -- dates, pics & video"

NXNE

While Bonnaroo is happening in Tennessee and Northside is going down here in Brooklyn, up in Toronto, ON it's time again for NXNE. Much like SXSW, the festival spans film, interactive, comedy and art, but the music portion runs tonight (6/12) and runs through Sunday (6/16) at various venues all over city. The centerpieces are the free big concerts thrown at Younge Dundas Square. This year's Social Distortion on Thursday (6/13), The National on Friday (6/14), Billy Talent on Saturday (6/15), and Ludacris with Joey Bada$$, Deniro Farrar, The Underachievers, Fat Tony, and more on Sunday (6/16).

Our friends at M for Montreal are throwing two parties at NXNE. The first is at Sneaky Dee's on Friday with with Mauves, Webster, UN, Brazos, plus Julian Lynch and The Luyas who are on a collaborative tour (that plays Northside too). There's also a "special guest" at 2 AM and for the real partiers, Psyche Tounge at 3 AM.

Then on Saturday (6/15) its the Panache Booking and M for Montreal Bruise Cruise (which they did last year too) with Mikal Cronin, We are Wolves, Odonis Odonis and Fat Tony... on a boat! Flyer for both parties is below.

There are over 1000 acts playing NXNE this year, including Fucked Up, Dan Deacon, Villagers, Still Corners, FLAG, Mikal Cronin, Calexico, Why?, Merchandise, just to name a new -- check out the full NXNE schedule. BV photographer David Andrako will be there covering the action so look for pictures in the coming days.

Sloan, who moved from Halifax, NS to Toronto a long time ago, are celebrating the 21st anniversary of their label, murderecords, with a party at Great Hall on Friday June 14. Sloan will perform the entirety of their first EP, Peppermint, which was the label's innagural release, The Super Friendz (which at times included Sloan's Chris Murphy) and and Mike O'Neill who some of you may remember from his '90s band The Inbreds. There's also a limited-edition box set of murderecords 12 7" singles they released in the '90s that will come with a commemorative book. Only 500 of these are being made and will go on sale next week via Sloan's Website. Sloan, you may remember, also recently released a hardcore tribute 7". You can check out a video about the murderecords box set, along with a flyer for the NXNE party, below.

In addition to those free shows (and the other ones we mentioned above), there's a bunch of other shows we're looking forward to at NXNE. Take a look at what those are, and where/when you can see them, below...

Continue reading "NXNE is kicking off in Toronto this week: The National, Bruise Cruise, Sloan 'murderecords' party & more"

by Bill Pearis

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Still Corners released their second album, Strange Pleasures, last month via Sub Pop and if you haven't heard it yet, it's a terrific record. I was a big fan of their debut but I think Strange Pleasures is better, adding synthpop elements to their icy, ethereal sound. You can stream the whole record via Rdio or Spotify.

The band are currently on a tour with CHVRCHES which includes two sold-out NYC shows. That tour derailed Still Corners previously-announced headlining shows, with their Glasslands date getting canceled and the Mercury Lounge show moving from June 11 to June 19. Opening at Mercury is previously-profiled Imperial Topaz, making for a strong double-bill. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge are still available.

Updated dates are listed, along with the video for Still Corners's single "Berlin Lovers," below.

Continue reading "Still Corners on tour w/ CHVRCHES; Mercury Lounge show rescheduled"

still corners

As mentioned, UK dreampop band Still Corners' will be here in June playing Glasslands on 6/12 and tickets go on sale Friday (4/5) at noon. As often happens, a second NYC show has popped up, Mercury Lounge the day before (6/11). Tickets to that show go on AmEx presale today (4/3) at noon with the regular on-sale happening on Friday at noon. Those shows are part of a full North American tour and all dates are listed below.

We're exactly a month out from the release of Still Corners' synthy second album, Strange Pleasures, out 5/3 on Sub Pop. The band have just released the video for the album's first single, "Berlin Lovers," and you can watch that below.

Continue reading "Still Corners release new video, announce North American tour including second NYC show (updated dates)"

Still Corners

As mentioned, Still Corners' new album, Strange Pleasures, is out next month (5/4) on Sub Pop. Reduced to a duo of core members Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray, the band embrace synthesizers which gives their sound an Air-y feel. The band are playing Toronto's NXNE Festival in June and will stop in NYC on their way there, playing Glasslands on June 12. Tickets to that show go on sale Friday (4/5) at noon.

Still Corners are one of many new additions to 2013 of NXNE which happens at various Toronto venues from June 10 - 16. All Still Corners dates are listed, along with the updated NXNE lineup, below...

Continue reading "Still Corners playing NYC before NXNE (dates & updated lineup)"

by Bill Pearis

still corners

News about Glasslands clouds had me thinking about UK group Still Corners, who once used a photo shot against that fluffy formation as their press shot. The band will soon be back with their sophomore album, Strange Pleasures, to be released via Sub Pop on May 3. Principle musician Greg Hughes has rethought the group, reducing it to a duo of him and breathy singer Tessa Murray. And where the first album, Creatures of an Hour, recalled an imagined soundtrack from French new wave cinema, the new album teleports to the '80s, heavy on spacey synths and drum machines. Says Hughes:

Musically, Creatures... was soft and relaxing but it was a massively cathartic record for me. I was destroyed after being in a relationship; it's all in there, suicide... all that stuff. I needed to calm my soul and Creatures... did that for me. Strange Pleasures is more of an adventure out toward the open seas. It's an exploring type of record: strange new lands, strange new love...
You can stream "Berlin Lovers" from the album below and download for the price of your email adress. Tracklisting and cover art for Strange Pleasures are below too.

Continue reading "Still Corners releasing 'Strange Pleasures' (stream a track)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Still Corners @ Mercury Lounge
Still Corners

Still Corners are coming back from the UK to play some shows with The War on Drugs and Arc in Round in December. That includes the December 11th Bowery Ballroom show. Tickets are still on sale.

Still Corners was last around in October during CMJ when they played a BrooklynVegan day party and the Sub Pop official showcase at Mercury Lounge. Here are some pictures from the latter. More of them with all tour dates below...

Continue reading "Still Corners touring with the War on Drugs --- 2011 tour dates & some more pics from CMJ"

photos by Bryan Bruchman

Yellow Ostrich @ Knitting Factory
Yellow Ostrich

As far as BrooklynVegan shows were concerned, we started out this year's CMJ in a lowkey manner with a free Thursday day show at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. We Were Promised Jetpacks, announced that same day, headlined the show that began with a set by Yellow Ostrich at 12:30pm.

Though they didn't play acoustic like they did the night before at the FatCat CMJ showcase at Mercury Lounge, WWPJ mixed it up by performing as a three-piece since one of their members wasn't in town yet. Expect a four-piece at Webster Hall and other dates of their tour. Austin's Hundred Visions played their 2pm set despite their 15 passenger van being stolen from its parking spot in Williamsburg the night before. Luckily most of their gear was not in it at the time.

The whole day looked like this:

12:30 Yellow Ostrich (Barsuk)
1:15 Still Corners (Sub Pop)
2:00 Hundred Visions (unsigned)
2:45 Forest Fire (FatCat)
3:15 BOBBY (Partisan)
4:00 Main Attrakionz (Mishka)
5:00 We Were Promised Jetpacks (FatCat)
Those in attendance also enjoyed free beverages courtesy of HobNob Wine and PBR, and free snacks courtesy of popchips and Raw Revolution.

Thanks everyone who stopped by. Here are some pictures. More below...

Continue reading "BV Thursday Day Party @ KF in pics (Main Attrakionz, We Were Promised Jetpacks ,Yellow Ostrich, Still Corners & more)"

We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Southpaw in 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
We Were Promised Jetpacks
We Were Promised Jetpacks

12:30 Yellow Ostrich (Barsuk)
1:15 Still Corners (Sub Pop)
2:00 Hundred Visions (unsigned)
2:45 Forest Fire (FatCat)
3:15 BOBBY (Partisan)
4:00 Main Attrakionz (Mishka)
5:00 We Were Promised Jetpacks (FatCat)
Just hours before doors (noon!), we are excited to announce the addition of Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks to our free all-ages day party happening today (10/20) at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Don't forget (for those of you that are 21+) we'll also be serving free HobNob Wine and PBR.

Maybe you caught WWPJ play an acoustic set alongside Forest Fire last night at Mercury Lounge? How was it? They kick off a tour with Bear Hands that includes a HEADLINING show at Webster Hall (!) in less than a week (Webster tickets are still on sale).

Listen to most of the bands playing this party via our Spotify Playlist. Get there early for Yellow Ostrich who reportedly killed it at Brooklyn Bowl last night.

Listen to a song by Hundred Visions below...

Continue reading "We Were Promised Jetpacks playing FREE BV SHOW TODAY (Main Attrakionz, BOBBY, Still Corners & more too!)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Into the Trees (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Immaculates - Hey Joe Kelly (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gospel Music - This Town Don't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Radiation City - The Color of Industry (MP3)

Still Corners
Still Corners

I think Wednesday is my favorite day for CMJ day parties. You get a lot of good bands, but it's not insanely packed like the weekend shows. And this year, there are a lot of great Wednesday afternoon options.

Before we get into it, I would like to say that Spotify has been a giant help in checking out music from bands playing and if you have the service, I recommend using it. (If you don't, chances are someone you know has invites to give out.) Much easier than Googling for Bandcamp, Soundcloud or (heaven forbid) Myspace sites. Spotify doesn't have everything, but it has most everything. I've got a CMJ 2011 Playlist that I update when I find something new and interesting which you're welcome to check out.

[editor's note/update/disclaimer: Spotify has partnered with us on all BV CMJ events this year, but Bill did not know that when he wrote that above paragraph, so please no conspiracy theories!]

Anyway, day shows:

PICK OF THE DAY: Under the Radar party at Public Assembly has a line-up that is pretty hard to beat, including one of my favorite bands of late, Still Corners whose chilly, majestic debut, Creatures of an Hour, came out last week on Sub Pop. Check out an MP3 of new single "Into the Trees" at the top of this post and you can stream the whole album at the bottom. Public Assembly is good and dark, ideal for their trippy accompanying lightshow. Still Corners also play Public Assembly Wednesday night which must be nice for them not having to schlep their gear around. They also play tomorrow at our day party at Knitting Factory and then the Sub Pop showcase at Mercury Lounge that night.

Also playing at Public Assembly: Norway's super-fun Casiokids, Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger (who maybe you caught last night with Wild Flag at Bowery Ballroom), the retro funk of The Stepkids (who also play our TBA Saturday party at Public Assembly), plus Chad Valley, Porcelain Raft. It's kind of a slam-dunk show.

The Immaculates
The Immaculates

THEN AGAIN... the folks at Terrorbird Media have put together a pretty great show at Cake Shop. It kicks off with newish, shit-hot Brooklyn garage-soul band The Immaculates who are worth showing up early for. Check out an MP3 at the top of this post. Then it's Virginia's Eternal Summers who have really come into their own since expanding from a duo to a trio.

Gospel Music
Gospel Music

Then it's Gospel Music which is Owen Holmes who used to be in CMJ 2007 buzz band Black Kids but now makes indiepop somewhere between Stephin Merrit and Jonathan Richman (which is a definite sweet spot for me.) Holmes got help from Hefner's Darren Hayman, Camera Obscura's Traceyanne Campbell and others on last year's Duets EP, but for his full-length debut, How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL,  he shares the mike full-time with fellow Jacksonville resident Madeline Long. Check out an MP3 of first single "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars For Both Of Us" and watch the video (which features his old Black Kids pals) at the bottom. Gospel Music's other CMJ dates are down there as well.

The rest of the Terrorbird line-up: Cloud Nothings, Mux Mool, Widowspeak, Teen Daze and Cubik Zirconia. That's a quality free show too folks.

Of course the nice thing about the Lower East Side is that every venue around there has a day show. At Pianos there's the We Listen For You party with Arms, Guards, The Pass, Parlovr, Nerves Jr. and Headless Horseman in the main room; upstairs it's the Big Hassle Media party with Radiation City, Aeroplane Pagaent, Clubfeet, Marques Toliver, J. Viewz, Pyramids and Army Navy.

Radiation City
Radiation City

If you're in the Ludlow area, do try and check out Portland's Radiation City (3PM) who've made one of the year's more charming debuts which drifts between moody, organ-driven numbers and more upbeat pop. Papercuts covering The Free Design? Add in some Mazzy Star smokiness and you're almost there. Check out "The Color of Industry" at the top of this post, and go seem them live at some point this week. Radiation City also play the PASTE party at The Living Room today too (4PM) and have shows this week, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.

That PASTE party, which goes from 4 - 7 PM also features Lord Huron, Santah and The Lonely Forest.

And finally over at Fontanas (which you may remember from BV day parties of old or episodes of Louie) is this year's Pirate! Island party with a pretty good bunch of bands too: Canada's Hollerado, Nick Diamonds, Fairmont, Army Navy, The Great Book of John and The One & Nines. Set times at the bottom of this post.

Click through for flyers (including a couple day shows I didn't mention), streams, videos and set times. I'll have Wednesday nighttime picks a little later.

Continue reading "CMJ 2011 - Bill's Wednesday daytime picks (Still Corners, Gospel Music, The Immaculates, Radiation City & more)"

flyre

Nothing like waiting for the last minute! Please join us for a somewhat low key affair this Thursday (10/20) afternoon at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn for an all ages, FREE, afternoon show featuring:

12:30 Yellow Ostrich (Barsuk)
1:15 Still Corners (Sub Pop)
2:00 Hundred Visions (unsigned)
2:45 Forest Fire (FatCat)
3:15 BOBBY (Partisan)
4:00 Main Attrakionz (Mishka)
That's six free bands (and we might add one more). No RSVP required. Just show up.

UPDATE: The Phantom Family Halo has sadly cancelled due to a family emergency. Yellow Ostrich has stepped in to take their place though!

AND to sweeten the deal (literally), we'll be serving free wine to those 21-and-over courtesy of HobNob Wines (who give away free MP3s on their Facebook page).

Prefer beer? We'll also have free PBR while supplies last.

You'll also be able to snack on free popchips and Raw Revolution bars while you watch the show or hang out in the venue's front bar.

Get there early because first 25 people in the door will also receive a rare BrooklynVegan t-shirt! (not many of these exist - we sold them for charity at CMJ last year).

We're getting a little techie this year too and have partnered with Spotify (our official official digital music service partner) and Sony Bloggie (our official video partner) for all BV CMJ events including the two TBA ones happening at Public Assembly on Friday & Saturday. Stay tuned for a BV video series coming after CMJ with highlights, interviews and special performances from the week (all filmed on a Bloggie). Listen to a playlist that contains four of of the six artists playing this show on Spotify now (Phantom Family Halo's recently-released four-song EP they did with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy included). .Stay tuned for more Spotify playlists throughout the week too.

Thanks also to Knitting Factory Records & Partisan Records for helping make this happen, and thanks to Zach Jaeger (Tonally Dude) for the flyer you see above. See you Thursday! Meanwhile check out Still Corners' video for "Wish" below...

Continue reading "BV Presents a Thursday FREE not-CMJ day party (lineup) -------- free bands, free drinks, free willie"

Fader Fort

Though most of the lineup has yet to be revealed - except for King Krule, Metronomy (who also play MHOW), Purity Ring, Fat Trel (pictured above) and Bleached (more on them in a sec), this year's CMJ Fader Fort RSVP is up and running for their 10/21 and 10/22 shows at 443 w 18th St in Manhattan. More details, including the lineup, TBA soon.

Those dates are the same as the two free BrooklynVegan parties happening at Public Assembly in Brooklyn (no RSVP required), though Fader Fort runs 2-9pm, and the BV parties are from noon-6pm.

Vice's Noisey party with Twin Shadow happens at Santos Party House on the night of 10/19, and as previously mentioned, Twin Shadow are also playing another show which is now announced and is also free and also requires RSVP. The newly-announced show also happens at night, but on Saturday, 10/22, at Le Bain. It's the "Making Time" party and Seekae is also on the bill.

Making Time is FIXED's Philly sister, and FIXED have a CMJ party of their own as well. Their showcase will take place at Public Assembly on 10/19 with Teengirl Fantasy, Still Corners, Lemonade, Chad Valley, Radio People, Warm Ghost, CFCF (DJ Set), and Resident DJs JDH & Dave P (who also DJs Making Time). Tycho was originally scheduled to play this showcase but has since cancelled all of his CMJ shows in favor of a single pre-CMJ show happening at MHOW this Sunday. Tickets for the FIXED show are on sale.

DOWNLOAD: Gem Club - "Twins" (MP3)

J. Mascis at Hammerstein Ballroom in August (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
J. Mascis

Sub Pop/Hardly Art are presenting Lamefest II: Eclectic Boogaloo (aka their 2011 CMJ showcase) at Mercury Lounge on October 20. The lineup includes J. Mascis, Still Corners, Jacuzzi Boys, Gem Club, Xray Eyeballs, and special guests. Tickets go on sale Friday (9/9) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/7) at noon. Update: Here are the set times:

Special Guests- 1am
J Mascis - 12am
Still Corners - 11pm
Memoryhouse - 10pm
Jacuzzi Boys - 9pm
Gem Club - 8pm
XRay Eyeballs- 7pm
You can also catch Xray Eyeballs nine days later opening for Black Lips at Webster Hall (10/29). Davila 666 are also on the bill. Tickets are still available. They also play Death by Audio on September 13 with Grave Babies, Perpetual Ritual, and a "secret guest that have some monster head room." In possibly related news, Ganglians play the Rock Shop one night earlier.

Gem Club also play Glasslands on September 30 with Youth Lagoon and Gardens & Villa. They've recently released a new track, "Twins," off their upcoming LP Breakers. Grab an MP3 of that track above.

Jacuzzi Boys also play a Hardly Art CMJ party at 285 Kent on October 21 and the Bruise Cruise CMJ show on October 22. Venue and full lineup TBA.

Still Corners recently made a video for "Cuckoo." Check that out along with all dates below...

Continue reading "Sub Pop CMJ showcase announced (J Mascis & Still Corners included), Xray Eyeballs playing other shows too (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADStill Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)
DOWNLOADStill Corners - Eyes (MP3)

Still Corners @ SXSW (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Still Corners

As befitting their autumnal sound, Still Corners' debut album, Creatures of an Hour, is set for release October 11 on Sub Pop. Later that same week, the UK act will start a fairly extensive North American tour which will roll into NYC on October 20 and 21 for this year's CMJ festival. Exact details of their CMJ shows is still TBA but the rest of the tour is pretty much set and all tourd ates are at the bottom of this post.

Also at the bottom of this post is a download widget for Creatures of an Hour's first single "Cuckoo," an icy blast that is pretty representative of Still Corners' sound. (You can download some older tracks above.) I've seen them a few times now, at Glasslands and a couple times during SXSW -- including BV's official Dot Com Day Stage show:

They sounded fantastic: part '60s soundtrack music (Barry, Morricone), part psych pop (Strawberry Alarm Clock, VU) and a big dose of motorik Kraut, as heard in a very Neu!-esque instrumental. Guitarist Leon Dufficy is a vintage man, be it fashion (Jarvis via Cecil Beaton) or his arsenal of pedals (he's got a vibrato worthy of Portishead); singer Tessa Murray would've been a perfect Warhol superstar. The rhythm section right in the pocket. Still Corners know exactly what they're aiming for and have pretty much hit the bullseye.
Their psychedelic visuals (very Joshua Light) add a lot to the performance, which wasn't always evident at SXSW but shouldn't be a problem for this tour.

All Still Corners tour dates and that download widget are below.

Continue reading "Still Corners release new MP3, album info, tour dates, CMJ"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

Austra @ BrooklynVegan Day Party @ Swan Dive
Austra

A few days have passed since I got back from Austin, and I'm still struggling to process the week. Yes, it was my first time at SXSW. Thanks to the never-ending supply of free tacos, music, beer, fellow music-devotees, and sunshine, I managed to retain that little-kid-like wonder throughout the week - even when severe sleep deprivation set in. (And I thought CMJ was a rush. Ha.)

By the time I left Austin on Sunday morning, I managed to see some 54 bands (no counting impromptu street performances) play in 20 different venues. Some were of course flops, but on the whole, I was impressed by the showcase of new and emerging artists. CMJ is great, but let's be honest. So many of the bands that play there play nearly every week in New York or Brooklyn anyway. Austin, on the other hand, seemed to get a much wider variety of acts, and I made it my goal to see as many unfamiliar and/or international artists as I could (in addition to of course scouting out some of my favorites like Sam Amidon, The Loom, tUnE-yArDs, and Papercuts).

Instead of potentially boring you with a lengthy play-by-play (which you can catch on my personal blog if you're interested), I'll try to succinctly present the highlights from my week. (Though to be fair, this is something of an impossible task.)

Since I flew into Houston and drove over (waaay cheaper), I didn't get to see a ton of music on Wednesday, but what I did catch was excellent. My first band of the festival, Still Corners (who recently signed to Sub Pop along with Memoryhouse), turned out to be one of my favorites all week. The British group's well-executed, dreamy sound was the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful outdoor setting on the lawn of the French Legation Museum for the the Bella Union/Yours day party. My two other favorite finds of the day were BOBBY (a Mountain Man side project that later played at one of the BV showcases) and the delightful Cali singer-songwriter Sea of Bees, whose eerily beautiful song "Gnomes" played on repeat in my head all week and prompted me to seek her out a second time the following day.

With the exception of the NPR Showcase, which featured the likes of Wild Flag, The Joy Formidable, and The Antlers (more on that later), the majority of Thursday left me lukewarm... that is until I stumbled upon Austra at the Domino showcase. (Austra also later performed at the BV show at Swan Dive on Saturday - pictures in this post.)

Wow. Zola Jesus may drive me a bit crazy at times due to Nika Roza Danilova's overly dramatic performance, but Austra seemed to strike exactly the right balance - theatrical and eye-catching without coming across as disingenuous or too over-the-top. Their beat was addictive, their appearance and dance moves, arresting. No question about it. Austra is definitely an artist to watch - and probably my favorite live act all week. Many of the sets I caught were only partial - I was constantly arriving late and leaving early in order to scamper off to another venue, but Austra held my attention (understatement of the year?), and I stuck around for the entirety of the set (Bill did too).

continued below...

Continue reading "Rachel's Best of SXSW w/ pics by Amanda (Austra, Josh T Pearson, Lost in the Trees, The Loom, Yellow Ostrich & more)"

by Bill Pearis

Erland & the Carnival
SXSW

There were two official SXSW daytime stages in the Austin Convention Center: the Radio Day Stage and the Dot Com Day Stage. BrooklynVegan programmed the first half of the Thursday Dot Com Day Stage, really more of a This Week in Indie show as I chose the bands. It may not be the sexiest room in Austin, there was no free sports-booze beverages, but sound was great and it was a nice little early afternooon of music if I do say so myself.

Listening to Erland & the Carnival's pastoral, psychedelic hurdy-gurdy music, I imagined frontman Erland Cooper to be diminutive, like the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, or Prince. In fact, Cooper is very tall and athletic, with a strong handshake capable of rattling the coffee out of an unsuspecting blogger's other hand.

This size and stature gives muscle to the band's live show, as does the general musicianship of the Carnival -- which includes ringer guitarist Simon Tong who also pinch-hit in The Verve and Blur. I like the new album, Nightingale, quite a bit but the songs really come alive -- even for the noon slot in the Convention Center. But I'd really like to see them in a dark packed club.

Speaking of dark, new Sub Pop signees Still Corners spent more time trying to turn off the lights in the room before their set as they did sound-checking. Their '60s style projections, an integral part of their hazy psychedelic vibe, were unfortunately displayed next to the band instead of on them. It is what it is (and was probably more ideal than the outdoor show they played at the French Legation Museum).

The room was pretty full for their set and the crowd didn't seem to mind, as they sounded fantastic: part '60s soundtrack music (Barry, Morricone), part psych pop (Strawberry Alarm Clock, VU) and a big dose of motorik Kraut, as heard in a very Neu!-esque instrumental. Guitarist Leon Dufficy is a vintage man, be it fashion (Jarvis via Cecil Beaton) or his arsenal of pedals (he's got a vibrato worthy of Portishead); singer Tessa Murray would've been a perfect Warhol superstar. The rhythm section right in the pocket.

Still Corners know exactly what they're aiming for and have pretty much hit the bullseye. Even without the visuals, they were perfect music to sit in the dark, chill out and nurse a hangover. (not so perfect for taking pictures with a point-and-shoot, though.) The band should have a single out via Sub Pop soon, are currently on tour with labelmates Papercuts, including a stop at Mercury Lounge on Saturday (3/26).

Harrys Gym, from Norway, were last-minute fill-ins when Frankie & the Heartstrings suffered dreaded visa-itis. Their ethereal sound was a perfect compliment to Still Corners. A blown amp delayed their start time a bit, unfortunately, but when things got rolling I was taken with bandleader Anne Lise Frøkedal's spine-tingling pipes and guitar prowess. Harrys Gym also rocked a lot harder than I was expecting. They were great. Hopefully they'll tour here soon.

There's a few more examples of my photographic skills, plus video of Erland's set, and Still Corners/Papercuts tour dates after the jump.

Continue reading "Erland & the Carnival, Still Corners & Harrys Gym played the BV Dot Com SXSW Day Stage (pics, video)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADStill Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)
DOWNLOADStill Corners - Eyes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Still Dawn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Religious Songs (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - Bootprints (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - My Favourite Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOADEdwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (MP3)
DOWNLOADBloodgroup - My Arms (MP3)
DOWNLOADThe Megaphonic Thrift - Candy Sin (MP3)
DOWNLOADThe Lines - El Matador (MP3)

Bajzel
Bajzel

I get it, I get it. Many of you do not want to hear about SXSW. It's like other people's dreams, if you're not in it (or at it) you don't care. But New York is lucky in that we reap the rewards of so many bands flying into the U.S. And this week is filthy with foreign bands on their way to Austin for SXSW. As I write this through a flu-induced haze, my eyes glaze over at the sheer number of quality entertainments happening now through Tuesday (3/15). So let's get into it.

I'm sure Poland has a lot of bands, but you don't hear about many of them in America. They don't tend to play here. Tonight (3/11) at Knitting Factory you can check out one of them. Bajzel is a one man band whom Polish Newsweek (I know) said "is our Beck. Only better." I don't know about that, but his music -- all made on loop pedals apparently -- is pretty cool.

For this tour he's cherry-picked some of his more English-friendly songs from his many Polish releases as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp. You can stream it at the bottom of this post. It ranges from rock to Eastern European folk to hip-hop influence dancepop. If you can't go Friday, Bajzel will also play Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday (3/15) with someone called That 1 Guy.

Also playing the Knitting Factory show are Vancouver's Mother Mother who headline and make melodramatic (bordering on histrionic) pop, and Elijah Bonfire, the new band from Kevin Calaba who used to front Stars of Track & Field. Bajzel will be back after SXSW, playing The Gutter on March 25 (it's like his bowling alley tour) with Plushies and Desert Stars.

Still Corners
Still Corners

Saturday (3/12) is the American debut of UK band Still Corners, who are now, like Memoryhouse and Niki and The Dove (both other recent announcements), officially part of the Sub Pop family. You can download both of their singles to date at the top of this post. The songs typify the band's dreamy, haunting sound. I'm super excited to see these folks. If you're going to Austin and have a SXSW badge, they're also playing the Dot Com Day Stage on Thursday (3/17) with Frankie & the Heartstrings and Erland & the Carnival, a line-up I curated. After Austin, the band are going on tour with labelmates Papercuts and all dates are below.

Withered Hand
Withered Hand

We now move to Scotland. Withered Hand is the music project of visual artist Dan Willson, who counts Jarvis Cocker and Frightened Rabbit as fans and is touring in support of his debut LP, Good News, which will be receiving a belated North American release on March 15 via Absolutely Kosher. Says The List of Good News:

Willson is a curious pop disciple: a deadpan bard eternally vexed by the doctrines of God, the inconsequence of life, and the transparent nature of modern swimwear. Good News, his gorgeous debut album, delivers a compendium of warped-rock sermons that variously reference Seventh-day Adventism ('Cornflake'); lyrical post-rationalisation ('For the Maudlin'); and knocking one out on your paramour's couch ('Religious Songs', his signature anthem).

Despite his dedication to a DIY cause that's seen Withered Hand galvanise Edinburgh's live terrain and perform with Jeffrey Lewis and Calvin Johnson, Willson's quavering vocals and acoustic eulogies elicit heavy-hitters Bright Eyes (on woebegone porch-swing opener 'Providence') - and even Neil Young at times.

Check out two tracks at the top of this post (I especially like "Religious Songs."). Withered Hand plays Littlefield on Saturday (3/12) with The Morgues; he'll then play two shows on Monday (3/14), at Rockwood Music Hall (early) and Cake Shop (later).

UPDATE: Due to visa issues, Withered Hand's Brooklyn show is cancelled, and the other shows might not happen either.

King Creosote
King Creosote

The Rockwood show is of special note as Withered Hand will be performing with (like at the same time) Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too. Monday will be Anderson's first-ever U.S. performance.

Speaking of first-evers, Thrawn, came out on Domino last month, his first U.S. release, and it's a good introduction to what he's about, though it doesn't include "Not One Bit Ashamed" one of Anderson's most moving songs. It's still a good first listen. You can download two tracks from it above. Anderson also runs Fence Records, part label, part collective that has James Yorkston, FOUND and Withered Hand on their roster. Kenny's got a new album, Diamond Mine, due out in May on Domino. The LP is a collaboration with Jon Hopkins that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can catch King Creosote at SXSW and in California too, and those dates are at the bottom of this ever-growing post.

Edwyn Collins
Edwyn Collins

The last of our Scotland artists is by no means the least. Edwyn Collins is playing his first American shows in eight years this weekend: Sunday night (3/13) at The Rock Shop (sold out) and Monday night (3/14) at Bowery Ballroom. His great new album Losing Sleep comes out in the U.S. on March 22 and you can download the title track at the top of this post. As I wrote before:

Edwyn Collins' new album, Losing Sleep, is one of the year's best. His first made since two brain haemorrhages nearly took his life in 2005 and left him at first without the ability to walk or talk, let alone write songs. That it exists at all is a miracle, that it's as great as it is a testament to his spirit. Helping him out on the album are a cavalcade of talent -- Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, The Drums, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers -- but always in the service of getting Collins' songs on record.
Edwyn actually left a comment on that post (not about hummus), as to whether his band still features former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook was still in the band: "Yep, Paul and I are still playing together and we'll be with you soon." I wonder if there will be some special guests at one of these shows? I'm not counting on it, and you don't need any extra reason to go.

Opening both of Edwyn's shows are The Kinbeats, a London quartet made up of three brothers and their cousin who have been protegés of Collins' since his recovery from his two strokes in 2005. Their debut, produced by Collins, is due out sometime this year. The big Bs (Beach Boys, Beatles)  are a clear influence on the band and kind of remind me of early-'00s band Cosmic Rough Riders. They won't be heading to Austin, so do get there early and check them out.

While we're in Scotland, don't forget Trashcan Sinatras are at Joe's Pub on Sunday (3/13).

The Megaphonic Thrift
Megaphonic Thrift

Up next: Nordic bands. Norway's loud and awesome Megaphonic Thrift, who  played in NYC last March on their way to SXSW as their new album, Decay Destroy, had just come out in their home country of Norway. It's taken a year for the album to get an American release -- out next month on Sonic Union -- but it's probably good timing as their sound fits in well with the '90s indie rock resurgence we're experiencing right now.

Check out the "Candy Sin" -- part Sonic Youth, part Swervedriver -- at the top of this post. I've seen them a couple times. If you dig loud, shoegazy rock The Megaphonic Thrift do it very well. They play Saturday Night (3/13) at Mercury Lounge with Endless Boogie and Arboretum. And then they play Monday night (3/14) at The Rock Shop as part of our second-annual BrooklynVegan SXSW Kickoff Party that also features Iceland's Bloodgroup and UK rock combo The Lines. Tickets are only $8, do come out if you can.

Moving South to Denmark we have WhoMadeWho who are playing both Santos Party House ands Mercury Lounge before they head to Texas.

The big news is, I guess, James Blake's first U.S. show on Monday at Music Hall of Williamsburg which is way sold out so if you couldn't get in there, there's no shortage of other stuff going on, as this finally-ending column just showed you. I'd love to see you come out to The Rock Shop, but it's hard to choose no doubt. Go see something, though.

Ok that's it. I'll be in Austin next week so no column but there's lots of post SXSW action in NYC coming up so stay tuned for that. Below are a few more good show options, day-by-day.

FRIDAY, MARCH 11

Villa Venus (ex-Metric Mile/My Teenage Stride) play at Cameo. If you like Low and Galaxie 500, you should download their free EP on Bandcamp. Also playing: Yellow Ostrich and Ex-Cops.

Toronto's Small Sins play the Rock Shop which I wrote about earlier this week.

Robyn Hitchcock and Joe Boyd are at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (3/11), which I wrote about earlier today.

continued below...

Continue reading "Edwyn Collins, Bajzel, Megaphonic Thrift, King Creosote, Still Corners, Withered Hand & more in This Week in Indie (part 2)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Erland & the Carnival - Nightingale (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie & the Heartstrings - Ungrateful (MP3)

Erland & the Carnival
Erland

In addition to the official BrooklynVegan SXSW Showcase (3/16), I'm happy to announce we are also officially presenting bands on Thursday, March 17 at the new Dot Com Day Stage in the Austin Convention Center. The line-up is:

12PM: Erland & the Carnival
1PM: Still Corners
2PM: Frankie & the Heartstrings

As it is in the Convention Center (Ballroom G to be specific), the Dot Com Day Stage is for SXSW registrants only (sorry). So if you've got a badge, do stop by (and if you don't, we and the bands have plenty other stuff going on too - stay tuned for more announcements and look at the full list of dates below). I'm pretty excited about the bands, three from the UK who I've been dying to see.

Led by charismatic singer/songwriter Erland Cooper, Erland & the Carnival are a strange, enticing blend of pastoral folk, psychedelic rock, Britpop and whatever else comes into their heads. The band (which includes former Verve/The Good the Bad & the Queen guitarist Simon Tong) recorded their very good new album, Nightingale , in the bowels of a ship. At times the album is reminiscent of the literate pop practiced by The Divine Comedy, in a psychedelic sea shanty hurdy gurdy man kind of way. (That's a good thing.) You can download the title track at the top of this post and the album is out in America on March 29 via YepRoc. Did anyone go see The Carnival when they played last November?

Still Corners
Still Corners

According to their bio on the SXSW website, Still Corners "have just signed an album deal with Sub Pop, single due out in April, debut full length in June," though there's been no mention of it from those at Sub Pop yet. One thing we do know: the band are playing their first-ever American show at Glasslands on Saturday, March 12. Check out the dreamy, captivating single "Endless Summer" at the top of this post. After SXSW, Still Corners head out on a North American tour with Papercuts and all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Frankie & the Heartstrings
Frankie and the heartstrings

Frankie & the Heartstrings, meanwhile, just released their Edwyn Collins-produced debut album, Hunger, which debuted at #38 on the UK album charts. (No word on an American release.) Collins' former band Orange Juice is a clear influence, as is pre-dungaree Dexy's Midnight Runners. Says The Fly:

"Occasionally a band comes along with the miracle secret to crafting perfect pop music - not pop in the bastardised, Olly Murs sense of the word, but pop in its purest, most exuberant form...Hunger could easily be a singles collection, such is the calibre of its contents."
You can download "Ungrateful" at the top of this post.

If you're not going to Austin this year, Frankie & the Heartstrings play an early show at Mercury Lounge on Monday, March 21. The Merc's website lists Veronica Falls as opening, which would have been sweet, but I'm told that's not happening now (we .

We'll have more updates soon as to BrooklynVegan's goings-on in Austin during the week of SXSW so stay tuned. Videos from all three bands playing the DotCom Day Stage, and more tour dates, below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan SXSW Dot Com Day Stage & other Erland & the Carnival, Still Corners & Frankie & the Heartstrings news"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Banjo or Freakout - Go Ahead (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Banjo or Freakout - 105 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Papercuts - Do What You Will (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Eyes (MP3)

Banjo or Freakout

We last saw Banjo or Freakout in NYC  last March for the BrooklynVegan Pre-SXSW party at Knitting Factory where they opened the show. BoF will be back at SXSW this year and will stop in New York afterward, playing Glasslands on March 25 . Right after that they hook up with San Francisco band Papercuts for a short tour which kicks off at Knitting Factory on March 29. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Banjo or Freakout's debut album is out March 8 on Rare Book Room and is a nice expansion of the Spacemen 3/My Bloody Valentine influenced sounds main man Alessio Natalizia has been self-releasing over the last couple years, with more melody and song structure added to his impressive soundscape skills. You can check out two songs from the album at the top of this post and stream the whole album (via the Hype Machine) at the bottom of this post.  As for the live show, BoF had just become a four-piece when they played here last year and I thought they were pretty good.

Papercuts
Papercuts

Papercuts meanwhile will release their fourth album, Fading Parade, on March 1 which will be their first for Sub Pop. If you liked 2009's You Can Have What You Want, you'll dig the new album too. It's a little bigger in scope, with producer Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Little Joy) helping Jason Quever expand Papercuts' sonic palette with glockenspiel, strings and old analogue keyboards. But Quever's intimate-yet-anthemic songs and breathy vocals remain at the heart of Fading Parade. Download "Do What You Will" at the top of this post and there's a widget at the bottom of the post that will let you download that song with another LP track as well as a previously unreleased song.

Before hooking up with Banjo or Freakout, Papercuts have a busy touring schedule. They begin a tour with Beach House this week which hits NYC next week (2/ 23, 2/25) for two sold out shows at Webster Hall. Papercuts will then tour with UK act Still Corners for their first U.S. tour which hits Mercury Lounge on March 26.

Still Corners
Still Corners

Still Corners with also be in NYC before their show with Papercuts, as they headline Glasslands on March 12. We're still waiting for details on their full-length and who is putting it out (they're playing with a few Sub Pop bands while in the U.S...maybe?), but in the meantime check out the band's two excellent singles from last year, "Endless Summer" and "Don't Fall in Love," and their gorgeous cover of Rogue Wave's "Eyes" at the top of this post.

Tour dates for Banjo or Freakout, Papercuts and Still Corners, plus album streams, download widgets and videos are all after the jump.

Continue reading "Banjo or Freakout, Papercuts & Still Corners are playing shows & releasing new stuff (MP3s & tour dates)"

DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)

Still Corners

" We're not complaining - in fact, we're rejoicing - but there's a lot of groups putting 60s surf-pop, doo wop and girl-group art ache through a C86 or MBV filter, and giving it loads of reverb, echo, delay and shimmer. Especially shimmer. The Drums are kind of doing it, Best Coast and Tennis certainly are, even British duos such as Summer Camp are getting in on the act. Some of them - Magic Kids and the Superimposers, for example - are heavier on the 60s retro, while others such as Wild Nothing are more 80s. A few - such as the mighty Washed Out - ride a lush, ambient wave that laps the shores of synth-pop and shoegaze. All of them gladden the heart to the extent that we are moved to declare this a new golden age of indie.

Even in such stellar company, Still Corners stand out. Of the five tracks we've heard, three are magnificent, two are plain gorgeous, and one may come to define a genre yet to be named - although you can bet your favourite FX pedal it's not going to be chillgaze." [Guardian]

London's Still Corners have shows coming up in London, Sweden and Brooklyn. The Brooklyn date is March 12th at Glasslands (not 11th as posted some places) and it's on sale now. Download "Don't Fall in Love" above. Watch "Wish", with all dates, below...

Continue reading "Still Corners are coming (MP3, video & a NYC show) "