Entries tagged with: Swervedriver
by Bill Pearis
OG '90s shoegazers Swervedriver have been back in action since 2008 or so. My first-ever post on BV was about them and when they played Music Hall of Williamsburg that year, I wrote:
"Swervedriver came out and just killed it. Like the last ten years never happened. Jaw-droppingly, why-aren't-you-still-a-band-and-making-records good. And maybe it's just the decade that's passed, but they almost seemed better than I remembered."As to the "why aren't you still making records" part, they now are. The band are currently recording their first album since 1998's 99th Dream. Today (12/9) they released their first new single in 15 years. It's called "Deep Wound" (you may have seen them play it on Fallon when they toured last year) and it's got the overdriven guitars and soaring melodies the band are known for. It's good. The cover art, above, looks like their early Creation EPs too. You can stream it -- and the "Dub Wound" b-side that was mixed by Ride's Mark Gardener (!) -- below.
BEAUTIFUL NOISE is an in-depth exploration of a music movement in the late 20th century, a fascinating period when some innovative musicians mixed guitar noise into conventional pop song structures while maintaining a philosophy of letting the music speak for itself.Legendary shoegaze/dream pop bands My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and The Jesus and Mary Chain are subject of new documentary, Beautiful Noise, who have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money for the film to be distributed in film festivals and released on DVD/Blu-Ray (via Pitchfork). In addition to those three bands, the film will feature interviews with/appearances by members of other shoegaze pioneers like Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Curve, Swervedriver, Medicine, Pale Saints, and more, plus appearances by Wayne Coyne, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, and Robert Smith, and performance videos (and some interviews) with current bands like Sigur Ros, M83, A Place to Bury Strangers, Grouper, Serena Maneesh, and others. The Kickstarter campaign has reached just over $17,000 of its $75,000 goal as of this post, and is open until December 15. More info and rewards details at the documentary's Kickstarter project page.
Although many of the people interviewed are notoriously press shy they have opened up about their music and experiences from over 20 years ago; how they defied the rules and became sonic innovators that have inspired so many.
Currently the documentary is in the final stages for worldwide release, and we need your help to raise the $75,000 to pay for limited run licensing and finishing costs to distribute in Film Festivals and on DVD/Blu-Ray.
This documentary will finally be released only if the fans of this music believe in this project and contribute.
This comes shortly after the news that My Bloody Valentine plans to release an album by the end of the year.
Campaign video below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Swervedriver @ Bowery Ballroom
"...Simply put, from the first note of opening stunner "Last Train to Satansville" (from 1993's Mezcal Head), Swervedriver dominated. A sonic tour de force dominated by vocalist/guitarist Adam Franklin and tour fill-in drummer Mikey Jones (who did a TREMENDOUS job filling in for Graham Bonnar, who played with them last year but couldn't play on this tour) and augmented nicely by guitarist Jimmy Hartridge and bassist Steve George, most of this show saw Swervedriver stick to the raw, guttural, heavy punch of its first two Lps (1991's Raise and the aforementioned Mezcal Head). In addition to absolutely smashing versions of Raise-era singles like "Sandblasted," "Son of Mustang Ford" and Rave Down", we also got deep cuts like "Deep Seat," "Pile Up" and even the B-side "Scrawl and Scream". Mezcal Head was represented by a pile-driving version of "Never Lose That Feeling" along with "Girl on a Motorbike" (the first song played in the encore) and set closer "Duel". There were only several songs played from later albums (the best of which was a stunning version of Ejector Seat Reservation's "Son of Jaguar E") and "The Birds" (the finest song in their catalog, at least in this writer's estimation) didn't work quite as well as some of the other, earlier, fiercer material..." [The Big Takeover]Swervedriver and Heaven have now completed their short tour that brought them to Bowery Ballroom on 3/31. Here are some pictures from that NYC show. More of them (including the headliner's setlist), below...
As mentioned, Swervedriver play a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom in NYC tonight (3/31). Tickets are still on sale, and since we last spoke, NYC trio Heaven (whose members have been or are in The Comas, Dean and Britta, Ambulance LTD, The Big Sleep, Adam Franklin's band, Snowden, and Fan-Tan), was added as opener for this show and others.
A full list of dates and video from Swerverdriver's 3/26 appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, below...
Swervedriver at Bowery Ballroom, 2008 (more by Chris LaPutt)
Swervedriver began playing shows again this year when they went on an Australian tour, a European tour, and short North American tour, which took place this past June. An entire tour for 2012 hasn't been announced yet, but the band are beginning to announce some shows including one in NYC on March 31 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets go on sale Friday (12/9) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (12/7) at noon.
UPDATE: More dates announced.
All known (two) dates and some videos from their Irving Plaza show in June below...
Swervedriver's Adam Franklin & The Bolts of Melody are spending the tail end of Septmeber and into October on the road. Tonight finds them not only smack in the middle of their East Coast jaunt, but also at Mercury Lounge in NYC (9/30). Tickets are still available.
Hopewell will support tonight at Merc, and will also play Saint Vitus on 10/19 with Weird Owl, The Main Street Gospel, Nordic Nomadic, and Dead Stars. Tickets are on sale.
All Adam Franklin dates and some video is below.
Swervedriver at MHoW (more by Chris La Putt)
After returning for some dates in 2008 and playing various shows since (including an Australian tour earlier this year), Swervedriver will again return to play a pair of U.S. dates. The NYC show is at Irving Plaza on 6/16 and LA gets the Echoplex in LA on 6/19. Tickets are on sale for both (at the links). No word on whether that will expand into a proper tour.
UPDATE: Toronto and Chicago dates added.
Check out a couple of videos and all dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Australia's shimmering psych-pop band, The Church, are staying busy in their 29th year of existence with a flurry of new releases, a couple of solo projects, and a U.S. summer tour, including a stop at Irving Plaza on July 8 (tickets are on sale).
The band, which still features the founding core of singer/bassist Steve Kilbey, and guitarists Marty Wilson Piper and Peter Koppes (plus drummer Tim Powles who's been with the band since 1994), are set to release their 23rd album, Untitled #23, this month in Australia and will get a U.S. release on May 12. Additionally, The Chuch recently scored a short film, Shriek: An Afterword, based on the novel of the same name. Its soundtrack, Shriek: Excerpts from the Soundtrack, dropped in January, and was the first release on The Church's own Unorthodox Records. Both the new album and the soundtrack also spawned EPs. If that wasn't enough, Kilbey released his seventh solo album, Painkiller, last year and Marty Wilson-Piper just released his sixth solo album, Nightjar.
Opening for The Church on their upcoming U.S tour will be Swervedriver/Magnetic Morning singer Adam Franklin who just released his second solo album, Spent Bullets, on Second Motion Records who are also releasing The Church's Untitled #23.
Full U.S. tour dates, plus some classic Church videos, after the jump...
Photos by Tim Griffin
[Swervedriver's] Adam Franklin: Most of the earlier tunes were [Interpol's] Sam [Fogarino]'s, and mostly started with simple guitar lines, to which I would then place chord sequences beneath or counter-melodies on top. Sam also gave me a nine-minute Mellotron jam, which I cut and arranged into a verse/chorus/verse arrangement. I also wrote the lyrics and vocal melodies. Although 90 percent of the lyrics are mine, probably 50 percent of the titles are Sam's, due to the fact that he tends to name his demos. This makes it interesting for me, because the lyrical threads follow paths suggested by the titles. After we established a sound aesthetic, I began bringing in some song ideas to which Sam would add keyboards, guitars, atmospherics, rhythmic patterns.Both of those quotes are from an interview Adam gave to Wired. More pictures from last week's show at Southpaw below....
Adam Franklin: The live show should be fun. Myself and Sam essentially inhabit the engine room of a kick-ass live unit. The band sounds out-of-this-world after a week or two of rehearsal. Bolts of Melody's Josh Stoddard is on bass; Blasco, who has previously played live with Interpol and Secret Machines is on guitar, melodica and psychedelic banjo; and The Album Leaf's Jimmy LaValle is on keyboards. He was an obvious choice, as Sam and I have both known him separately for some time.
by Bill Pearis
Before blogs, before the internet as we know it, Jack Rabid was writing up all the shows he attended, the records he listened to, and interviewing his favorite bands. Since 1980 he's been publishing The Big Takeover which started as a Xeroxed 'zine but is now a legit glossy mag, thick as a phone book, and even more crammed with reviews and meaty interviews with some of the biggest indie/alt bands and artists on the planet. The passion (and the encyclopedic knowledge of the staff) makes it such an awesome read to this day.
In addition to The Big Takeover, Jack is also a great drummer. Having played in a number of bands over the years (early '80s punks Even Worse, and more recently Last Burning Embers), he might be best known as one-third of '90s-era trio Springhouse. While lumped in with the then UK dreampop scene (Ride, MBV, etc), Springhouse (Mitch Friedland on treated classical acoustic, and bassist Larry Heinemann) was closer to early-'80s groups like The Sound, The Comsat Angels and The Chameleons, the latter of whom they opened for on their 2002 reunion tour.
Springhouse released two very good, if under-heard, albums on Caroline in the '90s and have been slowly working on a third that will finally see the light of day in October. As Jack wrote on Bigtakeover.com:
"From Now to OK, which we've been working on for the better part of 10 years, is finally finished and will be released in October...on limited edition, 550 copies deluxe Bruce Licher-designed letterpress multi-layered foldout CD art package and free internet digital download, Radiohead-style (i.e. pay what you want!). Then we hit the road!"That tour is a "Big Takeover Presents" triple bill. Headlining are Magnetic Morning (previously known as The Setting Suns), the "supergroup" (my term) of Swervedriver's Adam Franklin, Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino and Jimmy LaValle of the Album Leaf. I saw them at their debut show back in December and despite a then-dearth of material (they've only got a six-song EP out so far, including three versions of one song and a cover) Magnetic Morning had it together, as you'd expect from a group of pros like this. They've been holed away in the studio all summer so I imagine we'll really find out what MM are all about in October.
Opening the Big Takeover tour is Washington DC's Julie Ocean, which is fronted by two veterans of the '90s DC/Arlington indie scene: Jim Spellman was in Velocity Girl and The High-Back Chairs (and is now a producer for CNN where he recently got Tasered on purpose); and Terry Banks was in Tree Fort Angst, The Saturday People and Glo-Worm. Julie Ocean's debut, Long Gone and Nearly There, is ridiculously catchy power pop.
Adam Franklin has also been keeping busy with his old band Swervedriver and Magnetic Morning's dates are part of a much bigger fall tour. All scheduled stops, and a video, are below...
by BrooklynVegan Mike
"There isn't any artistic integrity in just getting the band back together
and playing the old songs."
Neil Halstead, as a co-founder of Slowdive, was one of the architects of shoegazer, a genre that has seen a revival as of late with the reformation of My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver. In 1995, most of Slowdive morphed into Mojave 3 and has since been making beautiful countrified dream-pop. Halstead also mellows things out more on his solo records. His sophomore release Oh! Mighty Engine dropped last week on Jack Johnson's label Brushfire Records. He is also currently on tour with Jack. (yeah, we know).
This Sunday he opens the third day of the All Points West festival in Jersey City - the same day Jack closes. You can also catch Neil one day earlier at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. We caught up with Neil after he opened the second day of the Osheaga Festival in Montreal on Monday. We discussed tour mate Jack Johnson, a Slowdive reunion, and the re-emergence of shoegazer.
You've played a lot of festivals in your twenty year career. How does it feel to open a festival?
Neil: It's a dubious honor, isn't it? [laughs]. I would trade in the honor for a few more people. But the people were really nice. Very sweet. We enjoyed it.
You've been opening for Jack Johnson on his tour. How has that been?...
photos by Chris La Putt
Swervedriver played Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn last night (June 12, 2008). It was their second of two NYC reunion shows. The first was one night earlier at Bowery Ballroom. Bill went to that first show...
...Swervedriver came out and just killed it. Like the last ten years never happened. Jaw-droppingly, why-aren't-you-still-a-band-and-making-records good. And maybe it's just the decade that's passed, but they almost seemed better than I remembered. Swervedriver's sound hasn't dated I don't think -- it's the sound of vapor trails off hot desert pavement, or after-burners on a spaceship. On songs like the slow-burn "Duress" it felt like gravity lost its grip on us just a little bit. The band was clearly into it as much as the crowd. Adam Franklin is a cool dude, looking more like Geoffrey Wright having long-since shaved off his signature dreads, and didn't say more than ten word to the crowd the whole show but he had a smile on his face every time he did....More pictures from the Brooklyn show below...
by Bill Pearis
editor's note: Metal, comedy and 'dance' all have their own semi-regular BV feature writers. Those topics are getting a level of focus that I wished I could give to "indie rock" (that somewhat meaningless term, but it helps sometimes to categorize). That's why I contacted Bill...
Bill says: BV approached me about writing an indie rock column because I "repeatedly go to see The Young Knives and are excited about Versus reuniting." Which is to say I like unpopular bands and am, like, James Murphy old. This will likely take on more shape as the weeks go on, but for now here's a bunch of notable shows happening over the next five days.
editor's note part two: Bill forgot to mention the part where I said he is just as excited about the old (knowledgeable) as he is about the new (not jaded). OK, here we go....
Amazing Baby (tour dates at the end)
Firstly are the two Swervedriver reunion shows - tonight at Bowery Ballroom and tomorrow at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The '90s shoegaze scene has had a bit of a resurgence, with a slew of new bands inspired by its hazy, voluminous sound, including Dirty on Purpose (who open for them tonight), Deerhunter, Silversun Pickups, and every other band from Sweden. Obviously the big story this year are the upcoming My Bloody Valentine shows, but Swervedriver's shows are no less relevant or justified.
They may never have released anything as universally-praised and influential as Loveless, or as catchy as Ride's Going Blank Again, but Swervedriver rocked the hardest of any of the shoegaze bands and probably had the most consistent body of work. Unfortunately, of their four great albums, only 1995's Ejector Seat Reservation remains in print - though the good, if expensive, import Juggernaut Rides is a good introduction to the band. I've also got a few mp3's over at Sound Bites if you're interested, and Swervedriver's site has live MP3s for every song from every album, free to download.
Swervedriver were never the type to jump around the stage or make rock star poses (the shoegaze scene, after all, got its name because the bands tended to pay more attention to their many effects pedals than to "putting on a show") and frontman Adam Franklin isn't much for stage banter, but they were always a seriously good live band and reports from earlier dates on this tour (The Finest Kiss has a nice writeup and photos from the Seattle stop) show this, thankfully, hasn't changed.
Tickets for tonights' Bowery show are still available (June 11, 2008).
Local support for both nights are well chosen. Dirty on Purpose are obviously big fans - their newish EP for RCRD LBL is really good. Longwave open at Music Hall of Williamsburg. After getting the heave-ho from RCA, the band are currently working on a new album, and a few of the tracks are up on their MySpace and sound promising. Opening both shows are Glasgow's Terra Diablo who are actually managed by Swervedriver drummer, Jez.
The other big event this week is the NYC Popfest, now in its second year. The four-day event, at a handful of clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, is a must for lovers of chickfactor magazine, Sarah records, twee, jangle, and the generally lighter side of indie. (Also known as indiepop.) They've brought in bands from all over, including Massachusetts (Pants Yell!, Hands and Knees), the UK (The Hermit Crabs, The Foxgloves), two from Sweden (Love is All, Oh! Custer), plenty from here in NYC (Pains of Being Pure of Heart, My Teenage Stride, Ladybug Transistor, The Besties) and elsewhere.
The lineup also includes three legends of the indiepop scene. Glasgow's The Orchids (pictured), whose single "I've Got a Habit" was the second-ever release on the legendary Sarah records; Australia's The Cannanes (aka "the world's most 'indie' band) who've been making music since 1984; and Seattle's Tullycraft who were part of the US scene in the '90s.
The two bands I'm most excited to see are Scotland's The Hermit Crabs, who bear more than a passing resemblance to fellow Glaswegians Camera Obscura; and Finland's Cats on Fire whose album, The Province Complains, is one of the better indiepop albums of the last couple years. Plus, they're from Finland - a country that doesn't send a lot of bands our way.
Of course, the hot ticket for Popfest is Love is All's appearance Thursday night at Cake Shop. I'm not sure why the organizers put the weekend's biggest draw in a place the size of a closet, but I'm sure for those 20 people in the first three rows will really enjoy it. For everyone else, you'll be able to say "they sounded great!" The show is sold out... if you've got tickets get there early and enjoy the other bands (including fellow Swedes Oh! Custer and NYC's The Secret History).
by Asa E
DOWNLOAD: Swervedriver - Mars (Tramps, 07.16.1997) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Swervedriver - Cars Converge On Paris (Maxwells, 10.31.1998) (MP3)
Swervedriver @ Coachella 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
As previously, previously, and previously noted, legendary shoegazers Swervedriver are back. Their recent performance at Coachella was an 'artistic triumph,' according to the LA Times, which makes their upcoming dates (see below) all the more enticing. In the following interview, singer/guitarist Adam Franklin relates his desert island pedals as well as his distaste for the MySpace "shoegaze" category.
When I listen to Raise, I hear a lot of Dinosaur Jr. worship going on. You guys really work the guitar effects (wah pedals especially) and your vocals are buried. Any accuracy to this perception? And why is your singing so low in the mix?
Adam Franklin: Dinosaur were a big influence around the time of You're Living All Over Me and Bug, for sure. I don't really know why the vocals were so low but I certainly wasn't that confident with the vocals at the time plus it was also perhaps a prevailing stylistic trend at the time.
Did you receive any vocal training between Raise and Mezcal Head? The your voice is mixed much better and it carries a lot of melody as well.
Actually, I did have one singing lesson that may have been around that time. She was an opera singer and she had a picture of her with Pavarotti on her piano and she had at one time given lessons to Johnny Rotten. At the start of the lesson she got me to reach for my lowest and highest notes and then said "right. I guarantee that in an hour you will be singing 2 notes higher and 3 lower - and she was right.
More interview, as well as tour dates, below...
photos by Ryan Muir
The foursome's reunion for Coachella (they were a late add to the lineup) was largely unheralded, except by a few passionate fans who were keenly tuned into the band's recipe of guitar riffs and effects.Tickets are still on sale for their two NYC shows in June. More tour dates HERE. Photos & video from Coachella below....
Swervedriver's set before a one-third-full Mojave Tent on Sunday afternoon certainly ranked as a triumph artistically, as Adam Franklin and mates bathed the faithful in angsty roaring and subtler noodling. Ever stoic as a frontman, Franklin remained expressionless throughout (save for a smile of acknowledgment to a friend sidestage), but the music and the obvious joy with which drummer Jez Hindmarsh played spread smiles all around. [The LA Times]
As promised, the English shoe-gazy band Swervedriver (1989 - 1999) has reunited. They're playing Bowery Ballroom in NYC on June 11th, and then the next day at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets go on sale Friday. Video below...
DOWNLOAD: Swervedriver - Girl on a Motorbike (MP3)
In the meantime, front-man Adam Franklin has been keeping busy, and is playing Mercury Lounge in NYC on October 28th.
Adam Franklin of Swervedriver is playing Hoboken tonight (8/22), and Cake Shop tomorrow. Hopewell play both of those shows too. Hopewell are also playing Kickstock ("the Sunday night Kickball finals") at McCarren Pool on September 9th. It's free. Adam's whole solo album is still streaming HERE. All tour dates below....
Didn't see Byrne, Bowie or Reed in attendance at the Wilco concert at Warsaw last week, but Pavement's Stephen Malkmus was spotted, as was the slighly lesser known Adam Franklin. Admittedly I wouldn't have even recognized the ex-Swervedriver shoe-gazing frontman by myself, so I'm glad my friend not only pointed him out, but reminded me that Adam has a new solo album called Bolts of Melody - out 6/26/2007. Further research revealed that you can stream the entire album, and that Adam is playing at Mercury Lounge in NYC TONIGHT (July 2, 2007).
It's also worth noting that Adam has been collaborating with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino on a project called The Setting Suns.
The Setting Suns will start recording their debut EP (Title TBA) in NYC this June. Among the tracks to be included is a cover of the Kinks' "The Way Love Used To Be", and an "epic" version of "Cold War Kids". Sam intends to play Adam's guitar whenever Adam leaves the room. Release is scheduled for the fall. Further details will be posted as they develop....................The duo met over dinner in NYC last winter, while being introduced by long time, mutual friend, Jack Rabid (The Big Takeover).All AF tour dates below...