Entries tagged with: The Dears

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by Bill Pearis

The Dears / She-Devils / Yonatan Gat @ M for Montreal 11/20/2015
M for Montreal
M for Montreal
M for Montreal

Friday of M for Montreal is when it goes from being an industry-centric confab to a full-blown, multi-venue music festival. Things started, for me, with a closing cocktail at Montreal's Phi Center that also featured a performance from Charlotte Cardin, a former contestant of Canada's The Voice who is probably better known currently as a model. I must admit I was not expecting much but with a delivery not unlike Amy Winehouse and an unassuming piano-pop style, she was pretty good. And at 20, she's got a lot of time to get better. A nice surprise.

Following the cocktail party, I got dinner then headed over to Theatre Fairmount to catch The Dears who were doing the anthemic, widescreen thing in Montreal for half a decade before Arcade Fire hit the scene. There was a period of time (2004-2005) where I was fairly obsessed with them, and I've always had a soft spot for their bombast even when they made less-than-stellar albums. But their new one, Times Infinity Vol 1, is their best in a while and they were really in top form on Friday, and didn't hold back on the older favorites, either. "You and I Are a Gang of Losers" and "Hate Then Love" (both from 2006's Gang of Losers) still tingle the spine and new cuts like "I Used to Pray for the Heavens to Fall" fit in great alongside.

From there I headed over to Casa Del Popolo for a showcase that was presented by Baby's All Right and featured a bunch of Arbutus-related bands, including She-Devils (much better than their M set on Wednesday), Moon King (really good, as usual), Alex Calder (who went on past my bedtime), and more.  I also popped across the street to catch Yonatan Gat at La Sala Rossa where he and his band were, as usual, set up on the floor and pretty much making fans of everyone in the room. His style of instrumental magic could be very reductively called surf-rock, but apart from some guitar lines, their highly improvisational style is not really anything like that.  You can experience it in NYC on Tuesday (11/24) at Knitting Factory with Pill and The Yin Yangs (tickets).

You can read recaps of M for Montreal day 1 here and day 2 here.  Stay tuned for day 4.

by Bill Pearis

The Dears Here's to the Death of All the Romance

The Dears have collaborated again with animator Sinbad Richardson for their new video "Here's to the Death of All the Romance," which is from the Montreal band's new album, Times Infinity Vol. 1. Like "I Used to Pray For The Heavens To Fall," it's a lyric video that also tells its own story. It's very sweet and keyboardist/singer Natalia Yanchak told us a little about it:

Illustrator and animator Sinbad's style brings a classic Montreal vibe to this video in that it's bright and irreverent, inviting while almost abstract. His animated mixtape is pretty cool too.

This is likely the most abstract music video The Dears have ever made, second only to the never released, avant-garde "S&M boxer" video for "Heathrow or Deathrow." With "Here's to the Death of All the Romance" the band is depicted as a group of loafing, off-duty CIA agents who can't help but sit around Saint-Louis Square while a praying mantis courts her snail lover. It's so very Montreal. Like "Men In Black" meets "Bee Movie."

The song itself namechecks one of The Dears' best-loved songs from their 2003 album No Cities Left. The video premieres in this post and you can watch below.

As mentioned, The Dears will be in NYC next week to play Rough Trade on October 28. Alexander F opens and tickets are still available. They'll be on tour in Canada in November, including a hometown stop at the 2015 M for Montreal Festival. All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "watch The Dears' animated video for "Here's to the Death of All the Romance""

photo: Dilly Dally @ BVCMJ 10/17/2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Dilly Dally CMJ

M for Montreal's 10th edition happens November 18 - 21. As in years past the first two days are more industry-oriented with single shows each night and then Friday and Saturday turn into a full-blown festival all over Montreal. The full lineup and schedule is now out and includes Doldrums, Calvin Love, Duchess Says, Chocolat (who just played CMJ), Plants and Animals, We Are Wolves, Yonatan Gat, She-Devils (who open for Majical Cloudz in Brooklyn tonight) and lots more. The join previously announced M performers Grimes, Dilly Dally, The Dears, and more. Badges and individual show tickets are on sale and full list of 2015 M for Montreal performers is below.

Continue reading "M for Montreal announces full 2015 lineup & schedule"

M for Montreal 2015
M for Montreal 2015

Montreal, Quebec hosts a lot of festivals. This weekend is Pop Montreal (BV will be there, stay tuned for coverage) and in November it's the M for Montreal 2015 edition from November 18-21. M leans a little bit towards industry conference for the first two days before turning into a full-blown fest at venues all over Montreal for the Friday and Saturday finish. For their big 10 edition, Grimes will headline the annual fest-closing show at Metropolis November 21 with tourmate Nicole Dollanganger and more TBA. Other artists already announced include The Dears (who just announced a NYC show), Dilly Dally, Yukon Blonde, Hey Rosetta!, Doomsquad, and more.

Most of the M for Montreal 2015 artists are still to be announced but badges and individual show tickets are on sale now. The initial lineup is listed below. Stay tuned for more, and for the lineup of M For Montreal's annual CMJ show, which is happening again this year at Arlene's Grocery in October.

Continue reading "M for Montreal initial 2015 lineup"

by Bill Pearis

The Dears

The Dears' new album Times Infinity Vol. 1 is out next week (9/25) and the Montreal band recently released a video for single "Whose Side Are You On?" Directed and animated by Sinbad Richardson, it tells the tale of a Hercules beetle looking to escape it's unfortunate urban confines. Says the director:

Murray [Lightburn] came by to sit down and talk about the video and the overall sentiment of Times Infinity. The point that mostly inspired the concept for I Used To Pray For The Heavens to Fall was when he described the feeling when Natalia and the kids leave the house and he has a deep sinking feeling of concern for them. I thought this was a dark and sweet notion of family and the story applies that notion to a young couple that are torn apart by entomology. I can't say how the Hercules beetle character came to be, it really just popped in my head once I started thinking of the story on an insect level.
Dears frontman Murray Lightburn adds:
Believe it or not, this is our very first 'lyric video.' We asked our pal Sinbad (Omega Dog video director) to create something special, something that would appeal to everyone, young and old. What he delivered was a 'lyric video+' that made Natalia [Yanchak - band keyboardist and Murray's wife], cry the first time she saw it.
Calling this a lyric video doesn't quite do it justice. You can check it out below. Also below is a stream of "Here's to the Death of All the Romance" (which references this song from The Dears' 2003 album No Cities Left.)

The Dears are on a Canadian tour this fall but will pop below the U.S. border to play Brooklyn's Rough Trade on October 28. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/18) at noon. All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "The Dears share more songs from 'Times Infinity Vol 1' (listen), touring Canada & playing NYC this fall"

by Bill Pearis

The Dears

It's been four years since we've heard from Montreal mainstays The Dears, but they've got not one but two new albums on the way. Well, two parts of whole, titled Times Infinity. The first volume will be out September 25 and the band have shared "I Used To Pray For The Heavens To Fall" from it. With n grandiose intro that all but says "we're back," the song is definitely Dears doing what they do best: go big. You can stream it below.

Times Infinity Vol 2 will be out in early 2016. No word on live dates just yet so stay tuned.

Continue reading "The Dears releasing two volume 'Times Infinity' albums, share "I Used To Pray For The Heavens To Fall" (listen)"

by Bill Pearis

Murray Lightburn @ M for Montreal 11/20/2013
M for Montreal

Here I am again at M for Montreal, the now eight annual edition that is part music festival and part industry conference. Right now it is more of the latter, with "international delegates" (of which I am one) in from around the world attending panel discussions, sanctioned schmoozathons and seeing the night's "official selection" of bands. Over the weekend it becomes M Fest and more resembles CMJ or Pop Montreal, with bands playing at a variety of clubs across the city.

Last night six bands played in the "official selection" at Casa Del Popolo and La Sala Rossa which is right across the street. The night started at Casa with Dusted, a new-ish project from Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt and drummer Leon Taheny. With Dusted, Borcherdt trades electronics for a more traditional rock format. Though the setup usually means bluesy garage, Dusted are much more atmospheric and emotive. The set started a little rocky, but the duo found their footing and the last couple songs were quite good. You can stream Dusted's debut album, Total Dust, below.

M for Montreal

Shuffling over to Sala Rossa, it was very new, very young MTL band Seoul, who I was told had formed just a few months ago and had played less than 10 shows total. Dominick had caught them at Pop Montreal last month and told me they were good and I might like them and I did. "I hear there are a lot of people in from out of town," the keyboardist told the crowd. "Just like a bar mitzvah. Please enjoy our special day." Young they may be, but they really seemed to have it together, making airy, crystaline pop that was funky and soulful in an '80s kind of way. Wild Nothing is an obvious current comparison but my mind drifted to actual Reagan-era Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile. You can stream "Stay With Us," the only song they've offered up the public so far, below.

Back at Casa, it was Black Atlass, aka Montreal based Alex Fleming who is a neo-R&B crooner, a la Sampha, Sam Smith, or The XX. The performance was just Fleming and a guy providing the beats, and I liked the production work in general (it's on the lo-fi side, but never what I'd call murky) but am not a fan of shows like this and it takes someone with supercharisma to pull it off. Black Atlass' video for "Paris" is below.

I don't know if I'd call what Majical Cloudz singer Devon Welsh has "supercharisma" but his performance style is utterly magnetic and had the liquored-up crowd of industry folk hushed for their entire set. Welsh's performance style almost borders on spoken word, punctuating accented sylables with a downward stab of his clenched fist, and sometimes stomping, not so much for percussion as emotion. Intense. Check out photos from Majical Cloudz recent set at Glasslands here.

In between those two, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan played over at La Sala Rossa and, having seen them twice last month during CMJ, I will admit to being checked out a little. But I do like what they do. The evening ended, officially, with a theatrical performance from Murray Lightburn who has fronted The Dears since before Montreal became a "thing." Lightburn's first solo album, MASS:LIGHT, came out earlier this year and while the songs are his typical anthemic style, musically its pretty much a synthpop album.

For the show, his only backing was two singers wearing masks and angel wings, with jingle bells on staff as occasional percussion. Lightburn, meanwhile, was all in black wearing an eyepatch with a light on it. With a carefully lit stage, he was cast in silhouette the whole time. At one point he knelt by the monitors, and someone wearing a pig mask came out and draped a cloak over him. It was at this point I thought "oh boy this is going to get good" hoping things would go full Phantom of the Paradise, but that was as kooky as the night got. If you're going to have something like that happen, personally I feel like you gotta follow-through and gleefully drive the train off the rails. That said, Lightburn does possess that supercharisma gene, and his voice remains a weapon of choice.

Though the night's "official selection" ended there, the evening did not as their was an afterparty at Casa featuring Mac DeMarco's other band Walter TV, whose set we wrote about here.

Thursday's official selection includes Born Ruffians, Odonis Odonis and Solar Year -- and I'll be spending the afternoon watching a bunch of bands I know zilcho about, which can be exciting -- so look forward to a report on that (and more of my signature blurry iPhone pics) to come.

Streams and videos from Dusted, Seoul, Black Atlas and Murray Lightburn, below...

Continue reading "M for Montreal 2013 day 1 review: Murray Lightburn, Majical Cloudz, Seoul, Dusted & more"

DOWNLOAD: Murray Lightburn - Motherfuckers (MP3)

Murray Lightburn

While long-running Montreal band The Dears are still an active entity, they're currently in downtime while individual members work on other projects. In addition to his photography work, frontman Murray Lightburn has his first solo album about to drop, titled MASS:LIGHT. While the songwriting style -- anthemic with a capital A -- is much the same as with The Dears, Lightburn's LP is guitar-free. The release date is still just Summer 2013, but the first track, "Motherfuckers," is downloadable above and streamable below. The video for the song is below too.

Patrick Krief

Guitars, however, are all over Patrick Krief's latest solo album, Hundred Thousand Pieces, another apple that doesn't fall too far from the Dears tree. You can stream via Spotify or Rdio. Krief has a few Northeast shows coming up, including Friday (7/12) at Bowery Electric with My Pet Dragon and Old Monk. Tickets are on sale now.

Krief will be back next month, playing The Saint in Asbury Park on August 14, and Union Hall on August 16. Tickets to both those shows are on sale now as well.

All Krief tour dates are listed, along with Murray Lightburn's song stream, below.

Continue reading "The Dears' Murray Lightburn releasing solo album; Patrick Krief touring, playing NYC this weekend (dates, streams)"

by Klaus Kinski


For those keeping score, your man Klaus has played drums in many many unpopular and unsignable bands since 1991. I've dragged my 1964 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl 4 piece kit (2nd rack tom not shown) with 1965 Gretsch snare (all of which were purchased in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts for $175) from one end of the earth (the Northeast) to the other (the Midwest mostly) hundreds of times. 'Tis a gorgeous kit, in phenomenal condition, and I have endured hundreds if not millions of compliments regarding it's eye-watering beauty. I am a man who appreciates a nice set of drums. And I'm a man who appreciates a man who appreciates a nice set of drums. Therefore, I am a man who appreciates this wonderful compilation video featuring the great David Letterman appreciating his various musical guest's gear, focusing primarily, but not exclusively, drums. The video, and a list of who is in it, including GBV, Feist, Beirut, James Blake, The Strokes, Mastodon, St. Vincent, and many many more, is below. Behold!

Continue reading "watch a video of David Letterman asking a bunch of different bands, "Are those your drums?""

photos by Amanda Hatfield

The Dears

Back on 3/29, The Dears made a post-SXSW stop in Brooklyn to play a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Rewards and the Rassle. A belated set of pictures from that show, continues below...

Continue reading "The Dears played Music Hall of Williamsburg (pics)"

The Dears at M For Montreal Montreal (more by Alexandre Bédard)
Dears at Pop Montreal

The Dears released their new LP Degeneration Street on 2/15, and are preparing to play multiple shows at SXSW in March and then heading to Europe in April. In between those dates, the Montreal band will swing by Brooklyn to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on 3/29. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday, 2/23, at noon, and go on regular sale on Friday.

All tour dates and some recent video, including The Dears on Letterman on 2/11, below...

Continue reading "The Dears playing SXSW, MHOW & other dates"

by Bill Pearis w/ photos by Alexandre Bédard

DOWNLOAD: Jesuslesfilles - Fous Le Camp (MP3)

Les Surveillantes
M For Montreal

The final day of M for Montreal had two showcases, both of which seemed programmed more to locals more than the "international delegates" like myself. Mainly because much of it was en Français.

First up was an all-Francophone afternoon. This might sound like drag to some, but I see it as a window to a world most Americans don't really know exists. And while a lot of it is heavy on the fromage, there's always a discovery to be made here. The only band that seems likely to make a dent below the border was Jesuslesfilles, who make a racket somewhere between the Pixies and early Dandy Warhols. Garagey, but not the blown-out levels kind, and the songs are very catchy even with the language barrier. Check out "Fous Le Camp" at the top of this post. It's from their excellent self-released album, Une Belle Table, which you can download in its entirety for free at their Bandcamp page. There's also video of them performing at the bottom of this post.

I also really, really liked Les Surveillantes, an incredibly charming, nerdy folk quartet from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba. Huddled around two microphones, and looking like French-Canadian Quakers, they sang about girls, apathy and science. "La Racine Carree du Couer" ("The Square Root of the Heart") was kind of about all three. Though all their songs were in French, their very funny between-song banter filled in the blanks for Anglo-monolingual folk in the audience. One of my favorite performances all week.

The rest of the Francophile showcase was a little more glitzy. Damien Robataille worked his inner Tom Jones for a crowd of excited ladies, one of whom threw a bra onstage. Tongue-in-cheek, yes, but sorta not at the same time. Montreal seems to like a little panache in their rock. We also got Yann Perreau, whose 2009 album was nominated for a Juno and epitomizes Francophile rock: indebted to Leonard Cohen, with a little Vegas and a little analogue electronic edge. And in his case, a little dub too. He was good.

Alex Nevsky seemed like a younger, blander version of Perreau, which I guess makes sense as Yann produced his new album. Nevsky and his band's flowered shirts were the most memorable thing about them. Monogrenade made anthemic, somewhat pompous rock that reminded me a bit of Parisian talent Benjamin Biolay but not as good. They had a cellist. And Geneviève Toupin crafted airy, ethereal pop not unlike Beth Orton.

Later that night was the big M for Metropolis show at the Metropolis theater, one of the nicest bigger (around 2500 capacity) venues I've ever been to. Great sightlines, sound, and lots of bars. It puts Hammerstein, Roseland and Terminal 5 to shame. The line-up here is of bands who are genuinely popular in Montreal, but it's equally schizophrenic as the other bills this week, a little something for everyone.

La Patere Rose, who also played last year's M, opens the show. She's very French, from the striped shirt to the accordion. There's also a little dance music vibe thrown into the chanson mix, as well as choreography. Very cute.

Up next was Pascale Picard Band who was so bland and forgettable I have to look up their name every time I try and reference them. If they ever made a French-Canadian remake of Dawson's Creek, Pascale Picard Band would likely be on the soundtrack.

Waking us up after that was Priestess, who -- unlike Dance Laury Dance earlier in the week -- brought some serious hard rock to M for Montreal. Though I was hoping for more mayhem. No pit, just some mild thrashing from the crowd. The band were tight and giving it their all though.

Next were The Dears whose sound is clearly designed for a big venue like Metropolis. They sounded properly epic, but played a set that was heavy on the new album, Degeneration Street, which no one has actually heard yet. (Not out till February). Maybe I don't understand how these things work, but I think if you're playing a big show like this, a festival crowd, cram your set with hits and play the best song from the new album. (That would be "Omega Dog" in this case.) Instead we only got the great "Lost in the Plot." Lost opportunity if you ask me.

Then we got the real entertainment of the night: Misteur Valaire, who I saw two years previously at M, and have become Montreal megastars. They're kind of the city's Hot Chip, in that they look like members of a high school AV club but make serious club music. Jazz trained, these guys are great musicians and have the crowd going mental the whole time. There's also costume changes and boy band style choreography.

What they don't have, however, are very many catchy songs which is where the Hot Chip comparison kind of falls apart. But in the moment, they are a one-stop dance party. But they'll need more hooks if they want to really translate to American audiences. That said, if you want to get a head start -- I think they'll be at SXSW 2011 -- you can download their album for free at their website.

The crowd kept dancing for Poirer, one of the hottest DJ/Producers in Montreal but at that point I was entirely wiped from four days of French-Canadian hospitality, music and general excess.

Videos of Jesuslesfilles and Les Surveillantes, plus some more pics, après le saut:

Continue reading "M For Montreal 2010 - night 4 in pics & review (The Dears, Les Surveillantes, Jesuslesfilles, Misteur Valaire & more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Fresh & Onlys - Waterfall (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Erland & the Carnival - Trouble in Mind (Mp3)

The Fresh & Onlys
The Fresh and Onlys

It's an early installment of TWII this week. Most of the awesome shows (to me) seem to be tonight through Thursday.

First up we've got The Fresh & Onlys who are currently on tour with Clinic. They both play tonight at Bowery Ballroom with Girls at Dawn opening. I like Clinic just fine -- their new album Bubblegum is good -- but we're seeing the Fresh & Onlys still riding a wave of creativity/prolificasy that has been going strong for almost two years. The band's new album, Play it Strange, is maybe their best yet, definitely their most sonically advanced. And live, they always seem to be on. They were great at the Northside Fest back in May. I know I write about them a lot, but they really are tops. Go see them!

There was supposed to be a second Clinic/F&Os show Wednesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg but that ended up getting canceled, so now The Fresh & Onlys will play Shea Stadium instead (11/3), sharing the bill with fellow San Franciscans The Royal Baths, plus X-Ray Eyeballs and Dutch Treat. The Fresh & Onlys and Royal Baths will also play Vassar on Thursday (11/4).

Royal Baths also play tonight (11/2) at Monster Island Basement with an otherwise all Baltimore bill: Ponytail's Dustin Wong, Holy Ghost Party and Avocado Happy Hour.

The Dears
The Dears

I will be speeding off to Shea Stadium on Wednesday after seeing The Dears at Knitting Factory, the first their two-night stay previewing their new, yet-to-be-titled album which won't be out till next year. (Tickets are available for Wednesday and Thursday.) As an occasional Dears-obsessive (2004 - 2005 I wouldn't shut up about them) I'm pretty excited about these shows, especially now that guitarist and O-Face master Patrick Krief is back in the band, as well as former members Rob Benvie and Roberto Arquilla. Drummer George Donosso [now in the High Dials] is still missed - we'll see how new member Jeff Luciani does on the kit.

The Dears are masters of epic, anthemic songs and I'm psyched to get to hear a whole new album in this way for the first time. And if this sounds a little daunting, reviews of other shows in Montreal and Toronto where they've been doing the same thing have said they're encoring with a set of favorites. And when the band is on, they can make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention. Here's hoping we get a little of that bristly excitement this time. You can check out live footage of new single "Omega Dog" at the bottom of this post.

The Duke Spirit
The Duke Spirit

Also mid week: Bluesy London rock band The Duke Spirit are here playing a one-off show at the now-reopened Santos Party House on Wednesday (11/03) where five bucks gets you in the door. I was a big fan of The Duke Spirit's 2008 album, Neptune, which matched big pop hooks with the band's already proven muscle. The band have a new EP, Kusama, out in December -- you can download "Everybody's Under Your Spell" from their website if you give them your email address -- and a new album in February 2011.

The Duke Spirit are definitely worth seeing live. All eyes tend to be on powerhouse vocalist Leila Moss, who has an undeniable stage presence and can play mean harmonica too. And for five bucks it's kind of a no-brainer.

Erland and the Carnival

If you wish The Coral were still doing sea shantys, you might want to check out London's Erland and the Carnival who are in town playing two club shows this week with Ireland's Villagers: tonight (11/2) at Knitting Factory and Wednesday at Mercury Lounge. Then they'll play a headlining show on Friday at The Rock Shop and then open for Paul Weller on Saturday (at the Apollo) and Sunday (at the Nokia Theater).

There's a bit of that hurdy-gurdy folky seaside sound to the group -- they're recording their new record on a ship, apparently -- and their debut album is pretty good if you like Pentangle, Delta blues, Love and The Doors all mixed together in a bucket. Erland Cooper is a talented songwriter, and I'm told a captivating live performer, and managed to recruit guitarist Simon Tong (formerly of The Verve, Blur and The Good, The Bad and The Queen) into his band. Will they be the next Mumford and Sons? I think they're a little too odd for that (probably a good thing), and there's no shortage of opportunities to see them. You can download an MP3 at the top of this post and there are a couple videos below.

A few more shows of note, day-by-day, not mentioned above:


Vocoder-loving Canadians Shout Out Out Out Out bring their many keyboards to Le Poisson Rouge Tuesday and Glasslands Wednesday (moved from Coco 66). Every time I write about this band -- who are pretty fun live -- I have to count the number of "outs" in their name. I can never remember. (Note to self: four "outs".)

continued below...

Continue reading "the Fresh & Onlys, Royal Baths, Dears, Duke Spirit, Erland and the Carnival, Dandy Warhols & more in This Week in Indie"

The Dears

The Dears have a new album due early 2011 on Dangerbird Records, and they'll be previewing it this fall with a series of live shows. The band will play the record in-full at eight shows scheduled as multi-night stays in three cities: three in Toronto and Montreal, two in Brooklyn. Merch sales at the shows will go to two charities, Montreal City Mission and War Child.

The NYC dates, on November 3rd and 4th at Knitting Factory, go on sale Friday, July 23rd at 10am.

They have a new lineup, pictured above, with some old faces. Details on the current lineup and the tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Dears performing new album in full on select dates "

Polyphonic Spree...
Polyphonic Spree

Southern Comfort will host a series of free shows beginning this August. The tour's two main headliners will be Ghostland Observatory and the Polyphonic Spree. DJ Lord of Public Enemy is set to open. The tour will bring the Polyphonic Spree to NYC's Webster Hall on October 1st.

What's the catch? You'll have to sign up for Soco's text messaging list to receive a ticket code.

SoCo is also involved in a new video series on Playboy.com called "Uncovered." That features musicians performing acoustic covers of their favorite artists -- the first edition, up now, is Dinosaur Jr. playing The Cure's "Just Like Heaven." Upcoming acts include Black Lips, A Camp, The Dears, Patterson Hood and Phosphorescent (who just announced a Brooklyn show). A partial list of who's playing what, with the SoCo tour's schedule and all upcoming Ghostland Observatory dates, below...

Continue reading "Polyphonic Spree, Dinosaur Jr, Ghostland Obervatory, Dears, others playing free SoCo shows, making Playboy videos"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Beets - What Did I Do? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pow Wow! - My House. Your House. Mine (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pow Wow! - 23 19 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Browns - For the Saints (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Browns - Forgotten Son (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Browns - Two of You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sundelles - So Long (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gary War - Bounce Four (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Papercuts - Future Primitive (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Papercuts - Future Primitve (Ruby Suns remix) (MP3)

The Beets @ Bruar Falls
The Beets

As you may have heard, L Magazine put out their annual "8 NYC Bands You Must Hear" issue this week. Tonight (5/1), three of the eight are playing live... and two of them are playing the same show. Those two would be pow wow! and The Beets who play at the Red Star bar in Greenpoint and I heartily give the thumbs up to both of them. I caught the latter last Friday when they played with Box Elders at Bruar Falls and thought they were great, maybe even just a smidge better than the Box Elders. In a weird way, The Beets kind of remind me of a more simplified version of '60s frat rock (The Troggs, Swingin' Medallions) by way of New Zealand. Though live their songs don't so much end as stop, somehow it all works. Their vinyl-only album, Spit in the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool (a nod to WWE's Carlito), is well worth seeking out. They've got a new EP on Captured Tracks coming out sooner than later too, so be on the lookout for that too. An MP3 is at the top of this post.

I've written about pow wow! previously and have seen them a couple times now and they are a lot of fun, and have the kind of party vibe about them that would make them perfect for a residency at Ruby's Bar in Coney Island. If such things existed. At both shows I saw, pow wow! had the crowd dancing. Also on the bill are The Wild Yaks and The Subjects. Entry's only $4 and there's free Colt-45 from 9-10. Flyer below.

The other L Magazine trumpeted band playing tonight are Darlings who'll be at the 92Y Tribeca. I'm not so familiar with them, but here's what the L said:

They call to mind a sloppier Teenage Fanclub or Sloan at times, with whimsical melodies that feel completely timeless. Then, out of nowhere, they turn into a loud, screamy rock band, like early Replacements or the Jason Lowenstein contributions to Sebadoh, or maybe even... Nirvana? Basically, they've held onto the idea that this whole music thing was always supposed to be fun because you get to bang on shit really, really hard -- it just so happens they bring an awful lot of other stuff to the table as well.
Comparing a band to Teenage Fanclub and Sloan is a quick way to get me to listen. Darlings play with Snakes Say Hiss, and Boogie Boarder. They also play May 7 at Glasslands with pow wow! and the Sundelles.

Speaking of, The Sundelles also play tonight (5/1) at Matchless with The Browns who made the L Magazine's "Honorable Mentions" list:. Both bands are on 1928 Recordings which is also home to The Soft Pack and sound not dissimilar to that band. (Actually, Browns frontman Ryan McReynolds owns 1928 Recordings so maybe it all makes sense.) And like The Soft Pack, The Browns do that uninterested-but-sneering-with-contempt attitudede thing particularly well. The Sundelles are a little happier and a little more low-fi, but also quite good. MP3s for both Browns and Sundelles are at the top of this post.

My other recommended Friday show would be The Dears.

Kurt Vile @ Silent Barn (more by Jacob Blickenstaff)
Kurt Vile

Moving on to Saturday, there's a potentially good show at Silent Barn (not my favorite Todd P venue i must admit) featuring Kurt Vile and Gary War who have played together there before. They both share a love of putting out a zillion releases in every format and as many labels as possible. Philadelphia's Kurt Vile is a good musician -- don't let his low-fi aesthetic fool you -- and his Woodist album, Constant Hitmaker, is very good. (His EP on Mexican Summer is less interesting to these ears.) Gary War is a bit weirder, more psychedelic and, like Blank Dogs, he likes to run his vocals through weird, watery effects. And also like Blank Dogs, he gives away his music on his blog, including the whole of his new album, New Ratheonport, which features "Bounce Four," which you can download at the top of this post, and a way-trippy cover of Alan Parsons Project's '70s soft rock classic, "Eye in the Sky." Two bands separate Kurt and Gary on the bill: Sightings and Drunkdriver.


And last but not least this week, we've mentioned before that Vetiver are in town for two shows: Sunday (5/3) at Bowery Ballroom and Thursday (5/7) at The Bell House. As much as I like the headliners -- and I do -- I'm more excited about openers Papercuts, who've made one of my favorite records of the year so far, You Can Have What You Want, which came out two weeks ago. The nom-de-rock of San Francisco resident Jason Quever, his second album is dense, layered, melodic and sounds like a warm Sunday morning, not unlike Cass McCombs. I liked Papercuts' 2007 debut, Can't Go Back, but this new one is just miles better. I have yet to see Papercuts the band (Quever augmented with a few friends) play live, and I know previous NYC stops have gotten mixed reviews, but I can't wait to see what they're like.

Videos and tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Beets, Papercuts, The Browns, Gary War, pow wow! & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

The Dears

The Dears' tour bus was stolen Wednesday night in Montreal as the band was home packing for their six-week North American tour. The coach was taken from the parking lot of the Comfort Inn at 700 Blvd. in St. Jean, Pointe-Claire while the driver was asleep in the hotel, prior to their 6 a.m. scheduled departure. Fortunately, no luggage or gear was on board at the time of the theft and the band's trailer was left behind. True to The Dears' resilient nature, the veteran band isn't letting this minor mishap slow them down and will kick off the tour tonight in Toronto. All shows are planned as scheduled.

If anybody has any information about the stolen tour bus or knows of its whereabouts please contact your local authorities. Bus model: Prevost, Series 60. Accuride Alcoa; license plate: V957YW [press release]

The Dears [whose bus was probably stolen by their publicist... just kidding!] will be playing their first NYC show since CMJ last year when this mostly-new iteration of the group were still getting their sea legs. And they were good then, but I'd have to imagine The Dears are a lot tighter now. Their most recent album, Missles, is another fine blast of epic-ness as only Murray Lightburn could give. Apparently they've written already written almost a whole new album's worth of songs since October, so hopefully they'll play a few while they're here. If you can't go tonight (5/1) at The Bell House, The Dears also play Bowery Ballroom on Monday (5/4). Eulogies and Great Northern open both shows. All dates below...

Continue reading "The Dears are here, stolen bus or not"

Tickets are on sale for the May 1st Dears show at The Bell House. Tickets are on Am Ex presale for the show happening the next day at Bowery Ballroom.

Tickets are on Am Ex presale for the A Camp show happening at Bowery Ballroom.

India.Arie is playing Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom on May 1st. Tickets are on Am Ex Presale.

Tickets went on presale this morning for Dark Was the Night at Radio City Music Hall.

The R.E.M. tribute at Carnegie Hall is tonight (3/11).

Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene)'s new video for "Love Is New" is below...

Continue reading "The Dears, A Camp, India.Arie & other tix "

by Andrew Frisicano

The Dears @ Hiro Ballroom - CMJ 2008 (more by Gabi Porter)

"Making [2008's] Missiles was a kind of therapy; written as the band was falling apart, recorded in the groups' final days. We finished it and then everyone who played on it left. While the collapse of the band doesn't correlate to the meaning or message of the songs, that sense of defeat, hope and uncertainty is still there. [The Dears keyboardist Natalia Yanchak to Vimby
The Dears are going on tour this May. That includes two NYC shows: a Friday, May 1st gig at The Bell House in Gowanus, and Monday, May 4th at Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan. Tickets for the latter go on AmEx Presale on Wednesday and then regular sale on Friday at noon. Both shows will be opened by Great Northern and the Dears' Dangerbird labelmates Eulogies.

Dangerbird will release Eulogies' full-length, Here Anonymous, on April 7th. See the video for the album's first track below.

The Dears played last year's CMJ as one of the first shows with its new line-up that includes members of Pony Up and Kill the Lights.

All tour dates, and videos, including the latest episode of The Dears' ongoing The Gospel According To The Dears series, below....

Continue reading "The Dears - 2009 Tour Dates (2 NYC shows) & some videos"

by 'Week in Indie' Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Black Diamond Bay - "Blue Mace" (MP3)

Black Diamond Bay

Watching the new line-up of Dears at Hiro Ballroom two weeks ago during CMJ, as good as I thought they were, it was definitely a bit strange to hear older songs like "Lost in the Plot" and "22: Death of All the Romance" and not see the old band up there, especially emotive guitarist Patrick Krief and fill-loving drummer George Donoso. They were definitely part of what made the Dears (circa 2003 - 2006) so amazing.

So it's good to know Krief and Donoso are still playing together in Black Diamond Bay who are on a short East Coast tour this week, including three dates in NYC. What started as a Patrick Krief solo project while still in The Dears has become a full-blown band (rounded out with bassist Andre Bendahan and keyboardist Roberto Piccioni) with their self-titled debut out soon. (They're selling it at their shows now.) Krief's style isn't that dissimilar from what he did in his former band, heartfelt songs with a sort of epic swagger to it. Check out the MP3 above and video after the jump to see what I mean. And go them live. Dates follow as well.

Continue reading "Black Diamond Bay (ex-Dears) - 2008 Tour Dates (3xNYC)"

Photos by Gabi Porter

The Dears

Hiro Ballroom was sparsely crowded when I arrived for the show on Thursday night (10/23), but filled up quickly as The Dears got ready to play. The best way to describe The Dears is epic and complicated, and if anyone were to force me to name my favorite band ever, of the 5 or 6 contenders The Dears always seem to float to the top. Murray Lightburn plays the tortured town crier of the apocalypse really well, and despite the melancholy and doom, it's a trip you want to take with him because the music is just so damn good. They blazed through a set that relied heavily on new songs, which were good enough for me to go home and buy the new album immediately." - Gabi
More pictures below...

Continue reading "The Dears @ Hiro Ballroom (CMJ), NYC - pics, setlist"

The Dears (new lineup) (pic by Liam Maloney)
The Dears

Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards - (Jason Kent
Bass Guitar, Keyboards - Lisa Smith (Pony Up)
Drums, Keyboards - Yann Geoffroy (Kill the Lights)
Piano, Keyboards, Vocals - Natalia
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards - Murray
Keyboards, Vocals - Laura Wills (Pony Up)
Guitar - Christopher McCarron (Land of Talk)
As mentioned before, The Dears are back with a new album and a new lineup and a plan to tour around CMJ this October. I don't know how Christopher McCarron is going to be in NJ and Virginia on the same day, but tickets are on sale for an October 22nd show at Maxwell's in Hoboken and for one the next day at Hiro Ballroom in NYC. All dates below...

Continue reading "The Dears - 2008 Tour Dates (CMJ, Maxwell's, etc)"

words by BrooklynVegan Mike, photos by Zach Dilgard

people watching Holy Fuck DJ @ Lollapalooza 2008
Holy Fuck DJ @ Lollapalooza

The Canadian music press is aflutter with the news that the conservative-led government cut off funding to a program designed to promote Canadian music abroad. It seems those rascals in Holy Fuck had the audacity to give themselves a name with a bad word in it and get funding from the program to tour the UK at the beginning of 08. The program also supports other varied fine arts including dance troupes and stand-up comedians. When the slashing was announced, the Toronto experimental rock group were singled out as one of the reasons for the measure. The government officials, however, have not gone into detail about what specifically about Holy Fuck's music would, in the words of one official, "raise the eyebrows of any typical Canadian." Scrolling Eye spoke to Holy **** frontman Brian Borcherd about it...

"The attention has gotten a little bit discouraging," Borcherdt tells Scrolling Eye before taking the stage [Wednesday] in Stuttgard, Germany. "We'll come back to our family and friends and, even after getting endorsed in the media in other countries by Lou Reed or Michael Stipe, all the people at home seem to be focused on is why they didn't mention our full name during the announcement for the Polaris Music Prize, or whether or not somebody printed it in a newspaper."

Borcherdt explains that the choice of moniker was a declaration of liberty from a system that made any artist beholden to such language standards. Their momentum owes almost everything to online media, where trifling profanity designations need not apply.

"We chose it for three basic reasons. First of all, it wasn't a band name that was already used before. Secondly, it's a wonderful expression when used in the happiest moments -- it's not like saying 'Fuck You' -- it's something that's said when you're excited or astonished. Thirdly, why not?"

For the typical Canadian (or American) unfamiliar with Holy Fuck, their music is predominantly instrumental and their 2nd record, LP, is (as just pointed out) nominated for this year's Polaris Music Prize which is meant to, you know, represent the best in Canadian music. This is obviously a scapegoating measure and one can only wonder what programs will get the axe next. As pointed out by Sebastian Grainger, a lot of Canadian artists, even established acts such as Nickelback and The Dears receive funding for albums, videos, and tours.

DearsSpeaking of the Dears, they've returned. The melancholic, maudlin Montreal band will be releasing their fourth studio album, Missiles, this fall...

I'm not going to lie to you kids: The new Dears album has been completed since April. It is called MISSILES. We have been wandering around the music industry wilderness the whole time, trying to secure a release date for the Fall. It's getting pretty f***ed out there. We thought very seriously about doing it ourselves. But that just wasn't realistic at all. Not in the least. And our relationships with Bella Union and Arts & Crafts had run their course. So at the 11th hour, in walked Dangerbird. Our beloved MapleMusic Recordings is still there for us and will release the record in Canada while Dangerbird Records will release it everywhere else. Should be an interesting/entertaining journey.
Many changes have occurred for Murray Lightburn and company since their their last Polaris-nominated record, Gang of Losers. Chief among them is that everyone, save for Lightburn and his wife Natalia Yanchak, have left the band.

If the track they posted, "Meltdown In A Major", is any indicator, the new record will be another gloriously over the top affair with lush arrangements and pensive lyrics. Tour dates are coming soon...

We [The Dears] are moving to organize some live concerts for October with an almost completely new line up, as a seven piece. We've been rehearsing a couple times a week. It's a bit weird, to be honest, looking around at all the new faces. But it's incredibly exciting to hear the sounds come alive again, and for all the right reasons with all the right intentions. Be excited. It is a new beginning.
So far we know they'll be visiting NYC in October during CMJ. In related news, No Cities Left was just reissued in the USA by One Little Indian Records.

Holy Fuck played Lollapalooza this year AND they DJ'd Lollapalooza this year. More pictures from their DJ set below...

Continue reading "Canada fucks w/ Holy Fuck, The Dears release new music "

DOWNLOAD: Uncut - Hideaway (MP3)


Patrick Krief is in the Dears, and has an awesome song where he sings with Land of Talk's Elizabeth Powell streaming on his MySpace, and this very week he's in NYC doing his solo thing along with fellow Canadians Uncut (as seen on Pitchfork). Last night they played Mercury Lounge, and next:

Patrick Krief & Uncut - 2007 Tour Dates
Jul 18 - Maxwell's Hoboken, New Jersey
Jul 19 - Club Midway New York, New York
Jul 20 - Union Hall Brooklyn, New York
Jul 21 - Soundfix Brooklyn, New York

Too bad Lizzie is not still in town. More dates below....

Continue reading "Patrick Krief (Dears) & Uncut - 2007 Tour Dates"