Entries tagged with: TOPS
by Bill Pearis
Pop Montreal HQ (via @popmontreal)
Pop Montreal happened last week at venues all over the Quebec city. I've been to M for Montreal many times, but this year was my first Pop and it was a pretty fun time. One thing you notice almost straight away is that unlike some festivals, this one clearly feels like it is for its home city first and foremost. Luckily, Montrealers are a friendly sort of folk. There were a handful of "international" acts (Ty Segall, Twin Shadow, Suzanne Vega), but the lion's share of the music was Canadian and specifically from Quebec. And there are no shortage of bands and artists in Montreal. I saw a bunch of them.
The festival works basically like SXSW, you get a badge which allows you in to all the participating venues (most in the city). Unlike SXSW however, said venues are not all conveniently located on or around a six-block stretch. There are patches of venues clustered around, but if you're trying to take advantage of your badge's club-hopping abilities, it involves hoofing it or cabs. I found myself on Saint Laurent a lot, which has La Sala Rosa, Casa del Popolo, Divan Orange, and a few others right around each other. There aren't a lot of day parties like you get at SXSW and CMJ, but plenty of late-night afterparty action.
I missed the basketball game and Steve Albini cooking class, but across five days, many Cadence Weapon sightings and the single worst hangover I've ever experienced, these were some of the Pop Montreal musical highlights:
The Unicorns @ Metropolis (9/21): Reforming at Arcade Fire's behest, Montreal cult band Unicorns played their final home show on the last night of Pop. It really is a different experience seeing them in their hometown. They did two single-note band hit encores as a joke before finally leaving the place with "I Was Born (a Unicorn)."
Light Fires @ Balattou (via)
Light Fires @ Ballattou (9/17): Toronto cross-dressing synthpop solo act Light Fires opened for Unicorns at Metropolis but I also caught her the first night of the fest at Ballattou, which clearly used to be a strip club. The seedy atmosphere fit Light Fires' vibe well, which was part Hedwig and part Erasure. (Her record's pretty good.) I stuck around afterwards for LA Foster who used to be in Mozart's Sister but now makes her own synth-n-B on her own.
Choses Sauvages @ Club Lambi (9/19) I don't think I've gone to Montreal and not seen a Francophone dancerock band, and this trip it was Choses Sauvages who were playing another place that seemed like it used to have exotic dancing. The French language works well for this kind of funky disco and the band goes the extra mile in the live department, hamming it up just enough.
TOPS @ Sala Rossa (9/19): TOPS are one of the more popular rising bands in Montreal and I'd seen them play a few times already (plus their old band Silly Kissers), but they've come a long way even in the last year. Jane Penny's confidence as a frontperson has grown and guitarist David Carriere's playing is Steely Dan clean. Hearing them do "Way to Be Loved" live was maybe the highlight of the fest. They'll be in NYC soon with Wampire, and for CMJ as well. Moon King opened and also just seem to get better.
Holy Data @ Divan Orange (via @brooklynvegan)
Holy Data @ Divan Orange (9/20): Featuring ex-members of Sunset Rubdown and Parlovr, with a fair amount of synths and effected guitars, Holy Data make a swirling, occasionally muscular brand of dreampop. You can check out a couple demos on their soundcloud.
Monomyth @ L'Escogriffe (9/18) Hailing from Halifax, NS and having all four members write and sing, I couldn't help but compare them a bit to Sloan. But Monomyth sound nothing like them though. Like Sloan, the styles of the songs vary wildly depending on who's singing (one of them clearly went through a jam band phase). But the songs are uniformly terrific, ranging from powerpop to warbly indiepop. Also, I really like L'Escogriffe's down-n-dirty rock vibe. Their new album, Saturnalia Regalia, came out this summer on Mint (stream it via Spotify)
Pat Jordache @ Pop HQ (9/20): I've seen Pat play a few times, and it's always a different lineup of the band. Here they were a three piece (no drummer) but their sound has gotten darker and groovier. Liquid bass, ala Japan or early Brian Eno, with appropriately gothy (but not too) vocals. We're due for some new music from Pat Jordache soon, keep an eye out.
The Muscadettes @ L'Escogriffe (9/20): Shouty two-piece (plus drummer live) who are here to have fun and make sure everyone else does too. Heaps of attitude and the songs loads of fun. Currently working on their debut album, you can check out a single here.
SEOUL @ The Plant (9/20): In addition to official shows, I also went to a Pop Montreal fashion show (weird/cool), and on Sunday checked out DIY space The Plant that reminded me of RIP Brooklyn spots Dead Herring and the old Silent Barn. Someone brought bagels from St. Viateur and you could help yourself, and between bands folks hung out behind the building where the railroad passed by every so often. SEOUL, who make airy pop that would sound at home on a Prefab Sprout album, are good Sunday afternoon hangout (hangover) music. They'll be in NYC for CMJ too.
Pop Montreal has announced dates for next year: September 16 - 20.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned, Wampire are set to release their new album, Bazaar, which is out October 7 on Polyvinyl. The band have just shared a second single from the album, "The Amazing Heart Attack," which is more of a driving rocker than the already-out-there "Wizard Staff" and you can stream both of those below.
Wampire will soon start their West Coast run with Temples and alfter that, they're going to hook up with Montreal band TOPS for a tour of the rest of North America. That will include an NYC stop on October 17 at Baby's All Right. Tickets for that show are on sale now. It's part of the Baby's All Right 1 year anniversary celebration, like the Porches/Frankie Cosmos show happening later that night.
As for TOPS, they just released their new album, Picture You Staring, via Arbutus Records. The band have become a lot more accomplished -- both with their instruments and with songwriting -- and there's a lot to like on the album, especially if you have a soft spot for late '70s/early-'80s soft rock. Especially good are the vaseline-on-the-lens ballad "Outside" (shades of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away") and terrific single "Way to Be Loved" which is built around guitarist David Carriere's irresistible riff and singer Jane Penny's cooing vocals. The video for that, directed by Fantavious Fritz and shot at Arbutus' Montreal HQ, features cameos by Cadence Weapon and Mac DeMarco (also Mac's testicles, be warned). You can watch the video and stream the full album (via Rdio) below.
Both Wampire and Porches will be around for CMJ, too, so look out for more shows to be announced as we get closer to the fest.
All tour dates are listed, along with video and streams, below...
The 2014 Edition of Pop Montreal happens September 17 - 21 at various clubs all over the Canadian city. The initial lineup of this year's fest includes Ty Segall, Panda Bear, Trust, Twin Shadow, Why?, PS I Love You, La Luz, Ought, Shonen Knife, Suzanne Vega and more. Early Bird Passes are on sale now.
Check out the full initial list of 2014 Pop Montreal performers, plus a teaser video, below...
by Bill Pearis
Montreal band TOPS, who finished up 2013 touring the US with King Krule (we caught them at M for Montreal), are going on the road with Edmonton's Calvin Love this spring before and after SXSW. The NYC stop on the tour happens at Baby's All Right on March 24. No word on advance tickets for the Baby's show. All are listed below.
TOPS released Tender Opposites via Arbutus about two years ago and you can stream that in full below. Surely a new record is in the works. As for Calvin Love, he's got a new tape, Highway Transmissions, coming out via Hit City USA and the A-side of that was actually recored live at Brooklyn DIY venue Shea Stadium for Newtown Radio. If you like Nerves-style power pop (including an actual Nerves cover) check it out -- you can stream it below.
by Bill Pearis
TOPS / Foxtrott @ M for Montreal 11/21/2013
Day 2 of M for Montreal featured five bands in their evening "official selection" which was again held at Casa Del Popolo and La Sala Rossa which are across the street from each other on St. Laurent Blvd. The night started strong with Foxtrott, aka Marie-Hélène L. Delorme, whose Shields EP is full of extremely catchy, quirky dancepop. (Stream it below, it's good.) For her live performance she was backed by a French horn (though a different one than she had at CMJ) which at times seemed to take the part that a guitar might've. We got a few new songs that I thought were as good as anything on the EP. Her music, I think, would work well in a more fleshed out band line-up but she held her own well. A live video of Foxtrott at Pop Montreal is below too.
Over at Sala Rossa it was TOPS who I've seen a number of times (they were at CMJ too), including when they used to be called Silly Kissers. They've grown a lot as a band -- and are now signed to Arbutus (aka Grimes' label) -- and have quite a few solid songs, many of which have an early '80s Fleetwood Mac vibe to them. There is also a dimestore quality to them which is kind of charming, but I wondered what they might sound like with fuller arrangements.
Back at Casa, it was MTL duo Solar Year whose ethereal brand of electronic music is icy with vocals that work like an instrument more than something where lyrics are important. They played against slow-motion projections of some palatial estate -- shades of Matthew Barney's Cremaster -- and, for it being as chilled-out as it was, I thought they were great. Their new album, Waverly, came out over the summer and you can stream it at Rdio.
Next was Odonis Odonis at Sala Rossa, who I've also seen a few times but am very into their gothy, post-punk garage which they play at maximum volume. While it's easy to describe them as I did in the last sentence, they don't exactly sound like anybody else and get better every time I see them. Great set.
After that was Toronto's Born Ruffians but I snuck out to catch UK band Temples over at Cafe Campus where I made it in time for half their set. Armed with 12-string guitars and Mark Bolan hair, I am a sucker for this sort of Byrdsy/Kinksy/glammy type of Britpop and on singles "Shelter Song" and "Keep in the Dark" they do it very well. The band just announced their debut album, Sun Structures, will be out in February and you can stream their new single "Mesmerize" below. Their first North American tour has them in NYC next week: Bowery Ballroom on November 25. (tickets) and Union Pool on November 26. (tickets)
My Thursday afternoon was also spent at Cafe Campus where its two stages were showcasing more commercially-minded pop -- some veering into Michael Buble territory -- the best of which was definitely Groenland whose music was on the orchestral side with strings and horns and a singer who played a ukulele and sounded more than a little like Adele.
Tonight (11/22), M for Montreal expands into M Fest with shows all over the city. That includes the BrooklynVegan co-presented show with We Are Wolves, Duchess Says and Solids at Cabaret Underworld, which is sold out.
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
YT//ST / Foxxtrott @ Arlene's Grocery 10/29/2013
The 2013 M for Montreal happens at various clubs across its namesake city from November 20 - 23. Like last year, in addition to it's industry conference/showcase side earlier in the week, the Friday and Saturday shows are part of M Fest which like a smaller scale CMJ or Pop Montreal with over 75 bands playing over those two days. This year's bands include Mac DeMarco, Born Ruffians, The Dears' Murray Lightburn, Thundercat, Thus:Owls, Laura Mvula, Young Galaxy, Pat Jordache, A Wilhelm Scream, Grand Analog, High Dials, Damien Robitaille, The Damn Truth, Kandle and more.
After partnering with the M folks at CMJ, SXSW and other festivals, BrooklynVegan will be co-presenting (with CMJ) our first show at the actual M for Montreal with We Are Wolves, Duchess Says (who've played M/BV shows at CMJ and SXSW) and Solids (who we've written about) at Cabaret Underworld on November 22. This will be the first time in ages that We Are Wolves and Duchess Says shared a bill together in Montreal. Tickets are on sale now, and the poster for that show is below.
You can check out the full M for Montreal line-up below and tickets for some of the other shows are on sale too. We'll be there the whole week so look for coverage then.
Some of the artists playing this year's fest were down for CMJ a couple weeks ago, playing the official M for Montreal showcase which happened at Arlene's Grocery on October 18. Our photographer was there for Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (who played our party earlier in the day), and A K U A, plus Kandle (who played last year's M) and Foxtrott (who we've written about), both of whom will play M for Montreal. Pictures from their sets are in this post. Later in the night there were sets from Pat Jordache and related soft rock project CAMP, and others.
Full list of M for Montreal 2013 peformers, the flyer for the BV presented show, and more pics from the M4M CMJ showcase, below...
Jacco Gardner @ Mercury Lounge in March (more by PSquared Photography)
One of the best parts about CMJ is the day shows that are often free and give you a chance to see live music and grab a bev on your lunch break (or call in sick). To give you a chance to plan your early afternoon ahead of time, we're giving you tomorrow's (Thursday's) daytime picks today (Wednesday). You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all shows, and here are some highlights...
The Bots, TV Girl, Gems, The Preatures, Wild Club, Holychild, The Everywheres, School of Night, J Fernandez, The Range @ Pianos
Fellow music blog I Guess I'm Floating is back with its Floatingfest CMJ party on both floors of Pianos. A good chance to check out Australian CMJ buzz-band The Preatures and LA's TV Girl (one of our CMJ picks).
Satellite, The Darcys, Keren Ann, Mood Rings, Kan Wakan @ Ace Hotel (FREE)
If you like your day parties somewhere a bit fancier, you can catch Atlanta's atmospheric Mood Rings, Canadians The Darcys, Keren Ann and more for free in the lobby of the posh Ace Hotel. Music starts early here (11 AM).
Caged Animals, Echo Friendly, School of Night, Julia Weldon, Bent Shapes, The Moondoggies, J Fernandez, Slow Down Molasses @ Cake Shop (FREE)
This is NYC Taper's annual day party and he's always got a lot of good bands playing, including Boston's Bent Shapes and locals Caged Animals. Can't make the show? He'll have downloadable recordings sometime after.
Ski Lodge, Au Revoir Simone, Saint Rich, Wild Club @ Judson Memorial Church (FREE)
Broadcasting from Judson Memorial Church (part of CMJ Fest HQ), KEXP brings in some of the week's biggest bands for live on-air performances that you can attend too.
Half Moon Run, Ghost Wave, Traumahelikopter, Birth of Joy, Prata Vetra, Instrumenti @ Knitting Factory (FREE)
Filter Magazine brings its Culture Collide festival to NYC in day party form with a pretty good line-up, including Montreal's Half Moon Run and New Zealand's Ghost Wave who are better than their name may have led to to believe.
Jacco Gardner, Ghost Wave, Tweens, Doug Keith, Casual Sex, John Murry, Ski Lodge @ Mission Sound Recording (FREE)
This is a pretty killer line-up, playing at Williamsburg recording studio Mission Sound Recording. Jacco Gardner and Tweens both made our list of 30 Artists to Check Out and we dig Ski Lodge and Ghost Wave as well.
Ratking, Ava Luna, Jamaican Queens, Krill, Calvin Love, Crispy Hexx, Young Oprah Winfrey @ Muchmore's (FREE)
This free My Social List day party features indie rappers Ratking, funk-punk collective Ava Luna, nasally indie rockers Krill, lo-fi pop dude Calvin Love and more. Noon-6.
Kirin J Callinan, TOPS, Pegasus Warning, Shy Hunters, Weeknight @ Bowery Electric ($5)
Sam Mickens is throwing this $5 day party at Bowery Electric (or free with CMJ badge), that's being headlined at 5 PM by crazy weird one-man band Kirin J Callinan, who is sure to put the "party" in "day party." Arbutus-signed Montreal band TOPS is on right before him at 4:15 and they're worth catching too.
Psychic Twin, Diamond Bones, Manicanparty, Palehound, Dark North, Clementine and the Galaxy, And the Kids
The band we most want to see at this one is Palehound, who is about to release her Bent Nail EP (stream it on Stereogum) on Exploding In Sound Records (the former home of her friends Speedy Ortiz). It's an excellent EP, pulling equally from quiet anti-folk and abrasive noise rock. She's on at 4 PM.
For all NYC shows, check out our full NYC show calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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Blind Boys of Alabama @ ACL Fest 10/11/2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
The Blind Boys of Alabama, whose new Justin Vernon-produced album is out now, just played Austin's ACL Music Festival on Friday (10/11) and their fall tour will hit NYC for a show at Terminal 5 on October 26 opening for Black Crowes. Tickets are still available.
But if you'd like to see them in NYC somewhere, sooner, smaller (much, much smaller), and for free, Blind Boys of Alabama will be here for CMJ and their only scheduled appearance is Friday (10/18) at Pianos (!!) as part of the Planetary Group day party that also features Courtney Barnett, TOPS, and more. The show is free but you do need to RSVP to attend. BBoA are on at 4PM and the full lineup/schedule is below.
The groups' new album, I'll Find a A Way, features guest appearances from Sam Amidon, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, and Patty Griffin. You can stream it via Spotify. All tour dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Our friends at M for Montreal will be down for CMJ again for their showcase which, as in years past, happens at Arlene's Grocery on October 18 with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, TOPS, Pat Jordache, CAMP, Kandle, A K U A and Foxtrott. Tickets are $10 at the door, or you can get in with a CMJ badge or Evening Showcase Pass (based on capacity, of course).
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, who formed in Montreal but now reside in Toronto, are probably the best-known band on the bill, and will release their new album, UZU, on October 29. The multi-hyphenate band are better known for their theatrical live shows which you should witness if you can. They're on
late at 1 AM. UPDATE: YT//ST are now playing at 10 PM. They play 285 Kent at 1 AM later that night (see below).
YT//ST are also playing at least two other shows during CMJ: the Panache showcase at Knitting Factory on October 16 with Jacco Gardner, Saint Rich, U.S. GIrls, Slim Twig, and Arp (tickets); and the unofficial Pitchfork show with Speedy Ortiz, Priests, Joanna Gruesome, Perfect Pussy, Eleanor Friedberger (solo), and Courtney Barnett (tickets). (Currently both P4K and M have Y//ST's settimes as 1 AM, some shifting will likely happen at Arlene's.) After CMJ, they'll play Basilica Hudson on Halloween, which sounds like a pretty good time, too.
TOPS played CMJ last year and are working on the follow-up to 2012's Tender Opposites which came out on Arbutus Records (Grimes, Doldrums, Blue Hawaii). You can stream that, in all it's lite R&B indiepop splendour, below.
It's been almost two years since Pat Jordache last played NYC and they've undergone a somewhat radical reinvention since then into dark postpunk territory, though not your average influences, pulling from Jah Wobble style dub, and mid-'80s 4AD (to my ears at least). You can stream their three digital singles from this year below ("O.M.O." is excellent). You can also catch Pat Jordache at Silent Barn on October 17 with CAMP (who also play the M showcase) and Chicago's J Fernandez. More info on that show here.
Pat also plays in CAMP, who share a similar vibe, with some slinky funk -- complete with '80s-style watery bass, -- on their track "Little Boy Blue," which reminds me of, um, Kajagoogoo. (In a good way? Maybe Japan is a more palatable comparison.) You can stream it below.
Kandle is Kandle Osborne whose father, Ben, is the singer of long-running extremely popular (in Canada) Canadian band 54-40. Sam Golberg of Broken Social Scene produced her debut EP (streamable below) and plays in her live band.
A K U A spent time recently as one of Solange's backup singers and, recently, has been collaborating with Twin Shadow drummer Andy Bauer, the results of which can be heard on this year's One's Company EP, which you can stream some of below.
As for Foxtrott, that is the name Marie-Hélène L. Delorme records under. Her music is definitely dance pop but don't look to compare her to other one-named Montreal singers -- it draws from a variety of global influences and is pretty good. Judge for yourself: a few tracks are streamable below.
As M for Montreal has done every year, the night starts off with a "poutine party" that is free and open to the public. During that time (5 - 7 PM) there are a couple Francophone acts playing, Quebec city rapper Webster and VioleTT Pi.
Song streams, videos, and the M for Montreal showcase schedule below...
Cadence Weapon @ MHOW, June 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Some of you may recall that before he became known as Cadence Weapon, Rollie Pemberton spent time as a music critic, having penned a number of reviews for Pitchfork in the early '00s. So chances are he knows his way around making year end lists, and we've got his best of 2012 list right here in this post. While it includes year-end regulars Kendrick Lamar and Jermih (and fellow Canadians Mac DeMarco and TOPS), his top spot is a bit of a surprise.
Rollie's pick for #1 release of 2012 is Captured Tracks' reissues of '80s low-fi indie cult band Cleaners from Venus whose cassette-only Blow Away Your Troubles (1981), On Any Normal Monday (1982), and Midnight Cleaners (1982) saw the light of day via Captured Tracks. The vinyl sold out but you can still get them on CD and digital, and stream them via Spotify.Captured Tracks will reissue Cleaners from Venus' next three albums (1983's The Golden Autumn, 1984's Under Wartime Conditions, and 1985's Songs for a Fallow Land) plus a disc's worth of rarites in February 2013.
Meanwhile, if you haven't heard Cadence Weapon's 2012 Polaris Prize-nominated album, Hope in Dirt City, you can stream that below too. Rollie's Best of 2012 LP list is below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Slow Magic / Levek / TOPS @ Pianos 10/16/2012
It seems like forever ago (only last week) but the first day of CMJ (Tuesday, 10/16) back before we became covered in handstamps and wristbands, we headed to the Lower East for early day parties, like the one Portals thew at Pianos. There we caught Montreal's dreamy and danceable TOPS, Florida's breezy, jammy Levek, Delaware trio Mean Lady, plus Brooklynites Young Magic, and the similarly named but very different Slow Magic, whose laptop-and-drums style (while masked) was much more aluring than we thought it was going to be (definitely the pleasant surprise of the afternoon).
More pictures from the show are below.
Braids at ATP NYC 2012 (more by Luiz Ruiz)
Montreal's Braids were just in NYC for ATP and while they were in the area, the closest club date they played was at Hoboken's Maxwell's a few days before ATP. Now they'll be returning to NYC during CMJ for a free, and far more intimate than ATP, show at Pianos on October 17 for the Tell All Your Friends day party. The show starts at noon and Braids are on at 6 PM. Other bands playing including Maus Haus, Blackbird Blackbird, Team Spirit, Solid Gold, Filligar, Triple Hex, Zulu Pearls, and still more. You can see the full list of artists and more details in the flier below.
This show is the only announced date for Braids at the moment.
UPDATE: Braids also play a larger CMJ show at Bowery Ballroom on October 20 with Wild Nothing (more of their dates HERE and HERE), Weekend, and Forma. Tickets to that show go on sale Wednesday (10/10) at noon.
In related news, Raphaelle of Braids' other band, Blue Hawaii will be playing some CMJ shows too, including the Sam Mickens CMJ party at Bowery Electric on October 18 with Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders, TOPS, and ZZZ's. It doesn't look like Sam Mickens is actually playing the show (he's been doing some booking for the venue lately), but you'll have a few chances to catch him playing in NYC this month and next.
After that show, Blue Hawaii will play the M for Montreal showcase at Arlene's Grocery on October 19 with Doldrums, Mozart's Sister, Absolutely Free, Royal Canoe, Plaster, Ariane Mofatt, and TOPS, and the POP Montreal day party at Cameo on October 20 with Goose Hut, Mozart's Sister, Solar Year, Valleys, C T Z N S H P.
Blue Hawaii also play the Arbutus Records Showcase at Death by Audio on October 20 with Doldrums, TOPS, Majical Cloudz, and Eola. As you may know, Arbutus is the label that Grimes was on before signing to 4AD. All the bands playing that DbA show are featured on a mix Arbutus made for CMJ which we're premiering in this post. Check it out, along with its tracklist, below.
As mentioned, Blue Hawaii will open for her in NYC at Bowery Ballroom on October 27 with Myths. Majical Cloudz, who are also on the Arbutus showcase and featured on Grimes' album, will open her show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (10/28) with Elite Gymnastics. All of Grimes' upcoming NYC shows are sold out.
The Braids flier, Arbutus CMJ mix, a song stream, and a list of all Blue Hawaii dates are below.
As mentioned, NYC rapper Kilo Kish will be opening for SBTRKT at Terminal 5 on Thursday (10/11) with Koreless and Nick Hook (tickets). But you'll also have a couple chances to catch her in smaller venues about a week after that during CMJ. She's playing the Yours Tru.ly.Gorilla vs Bear (YTGvB) and Forest Family showcase at Brooklyn's 285 Kent on October 18 with DIANA (whose members include Destroyer saxophonist Joseph Shabason), Sam Flax (who we just profiled), Atlanta rapper ForteBowie, Ryan Hemsworth, Flume, TOPS, and Empress Of. Evy Jane, who plays live at Glasslands the next day (10/19) (another Yours Truly party), DJs in between sets. The flier for that show is below.
Kilo also plays the previously mentioned Life or Death CMJ showcase on October 20 at 92YTribeca with Hilly Eye, Dogbite, Twerps, Slug Guts, Jozef Van Wissem, Mac DeMarco, Maria Minerva, Sky Ferreira, and two special guests. Tickets for that show are on sale or you can try to get in with your CMJ badge.
Kilo Kish is set to release a new single for her song "Navy," which was produced by Odd Future's The Internet (who Kilo toured with over the summer) on 12" vinyl this week (10/8) via The Blue Rider. It out now digitally and comes with a remix by MeLo-X on the b-side. You can watch the video for "Navy," and check out a list of all known Kilo Kish dates (more TBA), below.
Doldrums at MHOW last week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned, Doldrums (the project of Airick Woodhead) and Moon King (the project of Airick's brother/collaborator Daniel), who were both just in NYC will return for CMJ. We already know that Doldrums will be playing the Windish showcase at Mercury Lounge on October 17 with Hundred Waters, Strange Talk, High Highs, Mozart's Sister, and more (tickets).
It's now been announced that Doldrums and Moon King will team up for the M for Montreal CMJ showcase on October 19 at Arlene's Grocery. Mozart's Sister (who also shares a bill with Doldrums at the Windish showcase) is on the bill, as is Braids side project Blue Hawaii. The rest of show includes ex-DD/MM/YYYY krautrockers Absolutely Free, Royal Canoe (who are going on tour with Savoir Adore), impressive live dance rock outfit Plaster, TOPS, and Ariane Moffatt. No advance tickets for this one at the moment. You can also try to get in with your CMJ badge.
M For Montreal set times along with a list of all Doldrums dates and a song stream are below.
The full list of artists confirmed for the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon so far is below...
photos by David Andrako
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at The Garrison - 6/15/12
Like a Japanese Kiss, the self-described "Noh-wave" seven-piece were as much about the live spectacle as about their music, which oscillated between standard, straightforward rock and doom metal atmospherics. Not surprisingly, the band were better when they practised the latter, incorporating jabs of keyboard and harmonized group vocals into their full-bodied sound. They started weak -- plodding tempos and too-simple drumming did the band no favours -- but by the end, they'd won over the venue, using phrase cycling and repetition to build and release tension. -[Exclaim]NXNE's second night (June 15) included shows at more than thirty venues across Toronto. Pictures from shows at The Garrison, with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan (the subject of the above review), Doldrums, Art vs Science, and Peter Kernel, and at Silver Dollar Room, with TOPS and UN, are below.
If you missed it, check out pictures from Thursday's shows HERE.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: TOPS - Turn Your Love Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (For Real For Sure For You) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Young Prisms - Floating in Blue (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Boy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle (MP3)
It begins. Bands from all over the world -- England! Canada! Sweden! New Zealand! Virginia! -- descend on New York as they beat a path to Austin for this year's SXSW. Which is good for those who aren't going, as well as folks who are but want to see bands play longer than 25 minutes and aren't strung out on a four-day diet of free breakfast tacos, Vitamin Water and Amstel Light. There's lots more going on than what is covered below, but it's what I'm interested in over the next few days.
New Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco is in town from Vancouver to play a couple shows. He plays an all-C/T bill tonight (3/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DIVE, Hoop Dreams and headliners Beach Fossils (sold out), and then Glasslands tomorrow (3/3) with headliners Widowspeak and Quilt.
Demarco, who used to record under the name Makeout Videotapes, has a smoky baritone that is part Chris Isaak and part Tindersticks. His music owes a little to Isaak as well, with an early '60s vibe (Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent) by way of '80s neon, all on a four-track budget. You can check debut "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans" from his debut, Rock n' Roll Hotel (out 3/20) at the top of this post, which is indicative of what Demarco is all about. You can also watch the video for "Only You" which is kind of NSFW. Dude's a provocateur.
Tonight's MHoW show is the first NYC show we've had from Blacksburg, VA's Hoop Dreams in a long while. They were good when I saw them at Glasslands last year and have the potential to be breakouts for the label if they ever get around to releasing another record (only a single so far). Live, they're more in the Arcade Fire/Editors anthemic style than the single might suggest. It will also be a good opportunity to hear new music from Beach Fossils who are busy at work on their second LP.
And of course, DIVE, who are probably one of the more exciting live bands in Brooklyn right now and are a definite SXSW must-see if you don't live here and have the opportunity to catch them twice a week like we currently do. (They're also touring with Frankie Rose in April.) The show is sold out tonight, but I'd be shocked if there weren't tickets at the door at least when the box office opens.
Montreal band TOPS are playing 285 Kent tomorrow night as part of a killer bill that includes Blood Orange, Phone Tag and Caged Animals. The four-piece is comprised of most (if not all) of MTL's Silly Kissers who played here a few times over the last few years and were a little on the precious side (they sometimes wore mime makeup). TOPS, however, are more in the Ariel Pink/Puro Instict brand of minimal keyboard pop. Their debut, Tender Opposites, came out this week on Artibus Records, which is also home to Grimes (in Canada). You can download "Turn Your Love Around" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing (and watch the further down.
As you may have read, 285 headliners Caged Animals will open the Official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on March 14 at Bar 69 which also includes Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young and one more TBA. If you haven't heard their tuneful, charming debut Eat Their Own yet, it's still streamable at their BandCamp. And they're terrific live.
So is Blood Orange, despite it just being Dev Hynes, his guitar and a laptop. I saw him last weekend at Glasslands where he spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. I do wish he'd get a band, but the one-man Blood Orange is a lot of fun. I haven't seen Phone Tag in a while, but I dig their brand of '80s synthpop.
Sunday night (3/4) at Bowery Ballroom is the NYC debut of Swedish duo Korallreven, one half of which is The Radio Dept.'s Daniel Tjäder. I like their debut album a lot, all lush, synth-driven dream pop but, like a lot of music like this, I wonder how they're going to make it an interesting concert experience. I envision two guys behind laptops and keyboards bobbing their heads and singing, with some projections and hopefully smoke machines. Maybe they could move the downstairs couches to the main room? Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. I'm sure it will sound great in any case. If you haven't heard them yet, you can download "Sa Sa Samoa" in regular and remixed form at the top of this post and watch the video at the bottom of this post. Also playing: Lemonade and Young Magic.
Also playing Sunday night, at Cameo, is Bachelorette -- aka New Zealander Annabel Alpers who I think lives here now. Buoyed by Alpers delicate, breathy voice, Bachelorette make ethereal synthpop not miles away from The Magnetic Fields, with whom she's going on tour for seven shows. (All dates at the bottom of this post.) I liked it better when she had a band, but the loop pedal incarnation is pretty lovely too. You can check out a couple videos below or stream her most recent album on Spotify.
Young Prisms at the Comet, Seattle (photo by Finest Kiss)
And looking into early next week, San Francisco's Young Prisms and Austin's Boy Friend are at Glasslands on Monday (3/5). Young Prisms new album, In Between, is out March 27 on Kanine and is a real step forward for the band. Their still mining first-wave shoegaze, but the songs are much stronger this time out with a couple that go for jangly Velocity Girl style pop. They will be very loud I guarantee you. Boy Friend will make a nice opener, with their hazy, 4-AD miasma vibe. You can download MP3s from both bands at the top of this post. Also playing, seemingly from another show, are Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and Tanks Amigo.
That's the big stuff for the next four days. But wait, there's more. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above:
The Young Empires at M for Montreal 2011
FRIDAY, MARCH 2
Like Friendly Fires and Foals? Check out Toronto's Young Empires are at Glasslands, with Saint Motel, Fan-Tan, and Transmission NYC (DJ set).
Expect a wild evening at Death by Audio with "original line-up" Tyvek, plus Habibi, Feelings and the Numerators. Stick-in-the-muds, go see something else!
Boston's pop veterans The Figgs play Littlefield. The band's new double album, The Day Gravity Stopped, is out sometime soon.
Caged Animals at Brooklyn Bazaar in 2011 (more by Alyssa Tanchajja)
Some pretty solid shows are going down at 285 Kent in Brooklyn this weekend. Tonight (3/2), they're hosting a dance party with Ital, Slava (live), Laurel Halo, Rezzie Weird Magic, Ilirjana Alushaj, Jan Woo, and special guests. More details below.
On Saturday (3/3), it's Caged Animals (who also play the official BV SXSW showcase in Austin later this month), special guest Blood Orange (who recently sold out Glasslands), TOPS, Phone Tag, and Royal Baths (DJ) at the Brooklyn venue. More details below.
Brooklyn show details below...
by Bill Pearis
Thursday, we're in the thick of it now and maybe some of us are already frazzled. Which might explain why this picks post is shorter than yesterday's. Also, we're starting to see a lot of the same bands, so see this as a reminder as to what's happening where. This isn't comprehensive, just what I personally recommend. I've tried to include set times at the bottom of this post for all parties mentioned.
Hopefully you're going to stop by the BV Day Party at Kniting Factory which has Yellow Ostrich, Still Corners, Hundred Visions, Forest Fire, BOBBY, Main Attrakionz and the just added We Were Promised Jetpacks. Yellow Ostrich kicks things off at 12:30, hope you can make it down. There's free PBR & HobNob Wine too for those over 21.
You can make a day of it in Williamsburg, and we wouldn't grudge you for venue hopping. Public Assembly's got the Pop Montreal party today, with Miracle Fortress, Pat Jordache, Teen Daze, Tops, Tonstartssbandht, and Touchy Mob... plus food courtesy Mile End. Maybe some Montreal-style bagels?
Over at Bruar Falls it's the Camper's Rule Records party, with Radical Dads (if you're from out of town, one of my favorite new local bands), plus Fort Lean, Backords, Beat People, Easter Vomit, Yanqui, and Moonmen On the Moon, Man. Plus, you're running out of chances to hang out at Bruar Falls... it closes at the end of the month.
And at The Woods, there's a cool afternoon/early-evening party being thrown by the folks at all-girl-drummer zine Tom Tom, with a great line-up of bands that, yes, all feature ladies behind the kit. There's Baybee Teeth, Coasting, TEEN, The Suzan, Pearl & the Beard, Brute Heart and Satellite Sky. $5 cover for this one. Let's hope the sound has improved from last year's CMJ-week shows, which was a joke.
Of course it's hard to deny the allure of the Lower East Side, what with five or so clubs all within a block or two of each other, making for very easy show-hopping. The two best are on the same Ludlow Block. At Cake Shop, NYC Taper has indie rawkers Mr. Dream, the widescreen pop of Savoir Adore, the dreamy/dusty sounds of Widowspeak, superior psych group White Fence, the dark anthemecism of Hoop Dreams, plus Prussia and Teletextile.
And at Pianos,I Guess I'm Floating and Tell All Your Friends PR have two floors of fun, with a few Canadians (Grimes, Parlovr, Doldrums), one Australian (Little Red), dance music (Beat Connection, Body Language) and lots more. Full schedule is below.
Okay, those are my daytime choices of choice. Flyers and set times, some for shows not mentioned above, are below.