Entries tagged with: The Bell House

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photos by Jason House

Question Mark & The Mysterians @ the Bell House
Question Mark & The Mysterians

ABKCO Records, in conjuction with Real Gone Music, is proud to present the two albums released by Question Mark & the Mysterians on the Cameo label, pressed on 180-gram vinyl with the original artwork intact! Hailing from Saginaw, Michigan, this group of Mexican-American teenagers will forever be anointed as the garage band's garage band with all the bonafides collectors of '60s cool cherish--the name, derived from a Japanese horror film; the sound, an insistent, three chord beat powered by that unmistakable Vox organ tone; and, of course, the sunglasses-shod Question Mark himself, who claims to have been born on Mars and lived among the dinosaurs in a past life. Though their signature hit, "96 Tears," ranks as one of the most recognizable and beloved songs of the '60s, their two original albums have never come out on LP in this country since their original re- lease...till now!

• The Two Original Albums Released by the Legendary Garage Band on the Cameo Label

• Reissued on 180-Gram Vinyl, Remastered from the Original Tape Sources by Bob Ludwig and Lacquer Cutting by Carl Rowatti of TruTone Mastering

• Mastered at 45 rpm for Maximum Fidelity.

• First Time Available on LP in America Since Their Original LP Release

"96 Tears" and "action" are available, as of 11/15, via Real Gone Music

Question Mark & The Mysterians, who are probably best known for their classic "96 Tears", headlined the third night of the Norton Records 25th Anniversary at the Bell House on Saturday (11/12). Pictures and a video from their set are in this post and it all continues below...

Continue reading "Question Mark & the The Mysterians reissued records, played for Norton Records @ the Bell House (pics & video)"

photos by Jason House

Great Gaylord @ the Bell House
Great Gaylord & The Condo Fucks

After a raucous, sold-out first night of Norton's 25th Anniversary celebration at the Bell House, the party continued at the Brooklyn venue on Friday (11/11) where once again the night was opened by The Nor-Tones ("Norton's all-employee band includes members of the Little Killers, Daddy Long Legs, Stalkers, Girls At Dawn and LiveFastDie playing the hits of the Norton catalog.")

Night two also featured a set by mysterious cover band the Condo Fucks (aka Yo La Tengo) with Great Gaylord ("the Greatest Lousy Singer of all time"?). For the Condo Fucks it was their second NYC show in a short amount of time, though their first one at Mercury Lounge was sans Gaylord. Yo La Tengo will play eight more sold out shows over Hanukkah at Maxwell's (where Sunday's Norton show headliner The Sonics played on Saturday).

Also on the Friday night bill, some of which fell under the "R&B/Soul revue" umbrella, was Jackie and the Cedrics, a new lineup of Greg Cartwright's band Reigning Sound (featuring members of The Jay Vons), Mark Sultan (aka BBQ whose old partner King Khan played the night before), Lonnie Youngblood and the Bloodhounds with special guest Mick Collins (of the Gories and the Dirtbombs) on guitar, The Mighty Hannibal, Andre Williams (who also stopped by the night before), and Happy Organ man Dave "Baby" Cortez on keys.

More pictures and videos from most of Friday's bash, below...

Continue reading "Norton Records party @ the Bell House - night 2 pics & video (Condo Fucks, Reigning Sound, Mark Sultan, Mighty Hannibal & more)"

photos by Jessica Amaya

The Black Lips / The 5.6.7.8's
The Black Lips
The 5.6.7.8's

King Khan joined The Black Lips on stage at Bell House on Thursday, 11/10, the first night of the four-night celebration of Norton Records' 25th Anniversary at the Brooklyn venue. The Black Lips, who headlined Webtster Hall two weeks earlier, were a late, surprise addition to the already-sold-out bill. King Khan was a surprise addition to their set. The show also included The 5.6.7.8's from Japan (who played Mercury Lounge two nights later), Alarm Clocks, Phantom Surfers, Dex Romweber Duo, and The Nor-tones.

Here are some pictures, and video, from that whole night. They continue below...

Continue reading "Norton Records 25th Anniversary --- night 1 in pics & video (Black Lips, King Khan, The 5.6.7.8's & more)"

photos by David Andrako, words by Klaus Kinski

Louis CK

And the winner of the Klaus Kinski Are You Out of Your Fucking Mind? Award goes to Anonymous October 1, 2011 2:53 PM. Congrats! Please enjoy the dramatic eye-roll and annoyed sigh care of yours truly. The reason I am being such a jerk, 2:53PM, is because I am the KING of thinking things are a waste of time. I am a wretch, I am difficult to please, I am fussy, my personal comfort is paramount, and I don't go a single day without saying "This is such a waste of time" at least 10 times by lunchtime. If I am not out of the house and doing something by 8:00pm on a Friday night, the chances of me having the strength to leave my house at 10:30pm to haul my half-asleep ass in the pouring rain to Gowanus for an 11:30pm show where there is no chance my lazy ass will get a seat is about as close to 0% as you can get. Did it suck standing in the rain at the back of a line that wrapped around and up 2nd Ave? Yes. Did it suck to be that far back before someone from the Bell House bothered to announce that we needed to get a hand-stamp inside the venue and then get back in line? Yes. Did it suck that after I got my stamp about 35 more people had gotten in line, pushing me even further back? Yes. Did it suck making my way through the packed front room while drunken revelers shook their booties to an 80s cover band tearing it up on stage? Yes. All that shit totally sucked. And it almost broke me. But, man, the second I had a Red Stripe in my guts and Louis took the stage and the room erupted, I knew all of that prior bullshit wasn't actually such a big deal.

I was able to catch Louis CK's 11:30pm show, the third of three shows performed on Friday September 30th, 2011 at The Bell House. Louis has three shows coming up at the Beacon Theater in NYC on November 10th (two shows) and November 12th. The Beacon Theater shows are part of the New York Comedy Festival and are being taped for a Comedy Central special. The purpose of these three Bell House shows was two fold; to workshop new material and to give Brooklyn three cheap Louis CK shows. He did warn everyone that he'd have his notebook out which he admits is completely rude and inappropriate to do to an audience (sorry Janeane Garofalo). He also started off by explaining that the weird onsale arrangements were an effort to circumvent a whole shitload of scalper nonsense. He also elaborated on the confusing and frustrating economics regarding scalping and how they relate to him. He tries to make all of his huge shows (ie, the Beacon Theater) cheaper than someone like Kathy Griffin or Jim Gaffigan. That way his fans get sort of a break. Unfortunately that means scalpers buy up a ton of tickets because they're a bit inexpensive from the get-go. But then nobody will pay what the scalpers are asking, but the scalpers don't care because they didn't take much of a hit in the first place and the tickets completely go to waste. He says that a sold out Louis CK show is actually a room full of empty seats. It's a very sad scenario.

The room was packed to the gills, but still comfortable to stand and watch in. Louis fan-base has gotten very bro-y, so there were many moments of macho-dude-shouts coming from the audience. Some guy actually agreed with Louis aloud so many times that he had to call the dude out and tell him to shut up. Since this show was comprised of new material drawn straight out of his notebook, it'd be stupid to discuss the specifics of the material. However, he did broach a subject that I always hoped he would; his childhood. A lot of CK's material is drawn from his experiences as a father, a husband, and an ex-husband. For him to come out with 25 solid minutes of his early life that went from the US, to Mexico, and back to the US was a profound look into where this mofo is coming from. It's incredible. Also since he didn't have a show to do after this one, he went on for quite awhile. Since I was double fisting beer (yeah bro!) all night, it was hard to look at my watch but I think the show went well past 1:00am. This is easily one of the funniest comedy shows I have seen in a while, which shouldn't be a stretch considering the guy is a pro, but still. Tickets for upcoming Beacon Theater shows are pretty scarce, but based on what I saw on Friday his new material is some of the best I've seen of his in years. Go. To. It.

More pictures from the late, late show, below...

Continue reading "Louis CK played 3 shows @ The Bell House (pics & review from the late, late show)"

Louis CK

Louis CK's two Bell House shows sold out very quickly this morning. Luckily, not only did he add a third that starts at 11pm tonight after the other two shows, it will be cash only at the box office. $10 each. 2 ticket limit. The bad news is you have to be at the box office between 4-5pm to get them! Get there! (if you can, I'm not sure how you can, but maybe you live near there and are off from work today or something).

(so many places to be at 4pm on a Friday!)

Louis CK @ the Bell House in 2010 (more by David Andrako)
Louis CK

Louis CK will play a 7:00 and 9:00 show at The Bell House in Brooklyn on Friday (9/30). Tickets (at the links) go on sale the same day at 10am.

Louis also has a show coming up at the Beacon in November.

photos by David Andrako

Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale
Bobby Tisdale aka Jon Glaser

After kicking off on Thursday, the Eugene Mirman Festival (which ends tonight/Sunday) continued on Friday with two shows, "A Night Of Very Likeable Comedians" at Union Hall and "Invite Them Up" at The Bell House. The Union Hall show featured standup from Tom Allen, Tom Shillue, Kurt Braunohler, Seth Herzog, John Mulaney and Jane Borden. Kurt and John also headed over to The Bell House to perform alongside Eugene Mirman, Slovin and Allen, Janeane Garofalo and Jon Glaser, who filled in as/for Invite Them Up host Bobby Tisdale. A set of pictures from the show at The Bell House continues below...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Fest 2011 --- Day 2 @ The Bell House in pics (Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale, Janeane Garofalo, more)"

photos by David Andrako

Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2011

The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival is underway, and continues tonight (Friday, 9/16) at both Union Hall & the Bell House. Thursday night's show at the Bell House (the only Thursday night show there was) was a live taping of Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show, Star Talk. Eugene Mirman was a guest as were Kristen Schaal and Scott Adsit. Neil's guest, unannounced, was Alan Alda. They recorded the show for future broadcast and had a lengthy Q&A after the taping (stay tuned). Here are some pictures. They continue below...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Fest 2011 --- Day 1 @ The Bell House in pics (Neil deGrasse Tyson and... Alan Alda!)"

photos by Greg Cristman, words by BBG

Thou @ The Bell House
Thou

As discussed, Wolves In The Throne Room played their first of two NYC dates with Thou on Monday night (9/12) at The Bell House. Pictures and video from the show are in this post, and the pair do it again TONIGHT (9/14) at Death By Audio with Mutilation Rites. Advance tickets are sold out, but additional tickets will be available at the door.

Krallice supported at The Bell House, and the band will play one of their final dates of the year at Union Pool on Saturday (9/17), when they join Urfaust/Black Anvil as part of a trio of dates.

URFAUST & BLACK ANVIL - 2011 TOUR DATES
9/16 @ Golden West in Baltimore w/ Krallice & Oak (!)
9/17 @ Union Pool in Brooklyn w/ Krallice & Ruin Lust
9/18 @ Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia w/ Endless Humiliation
Did anyone catch Endless Humiliation with Raspberry Bulbs at Lit on 9/12?

The Urfaust show is one of two BrooklynVegan presented heavy shows taking place this weekend, with 40 Watt Sun hitting Public Assembly on 9/16 with the recently added Woe. In related news, 40 Watt Sun was added to Roadburn Fest 2012 with Agalloch and Sólstafir. The bands join the already confirmed appearances from d.USK (aka diSEMBOWELMENT), Voivod, Sleep, Saviours and Om.

More pictures and video from The Bell House below...

Continue reading "Wolves in the Throne Room, Thou & Krallice @ The Bell House (pics)"

Bell House

Evacuate to the Bell House tonight (8/26) to catch a show by punk veterans Deniz Tek & Ivan Julian, but then stay away for the rest of the weekend because David Kilgour & Richard Buckner and the rest of Saturday & Sunday's shows at both the Bell House and Union Hall are all cancelled.

With our Ted Leo show cancelled too, there's now a lot less music to see in Park Slope this weekend.

photos by Chris La Putt

Detroit Cobras @ The Bell House
The Detroit Cobras

The Detroit Cobras played The Bell House on Friday (8/12) as part of their tour that hit Maxwell's a day earlier (8/11)....

""...Rachel, Mary and crew played a pretty fucking awesome set complete with two encores. During the second encore Rachel pulled a lucky audience member on stage to help her sing "Ya Ya Ya (Looking for My Baby)" it was so beyond!" [Whatever]
The Brooklyn show was opened by The Baxx Sisi's and Des Roar who we missed. More pictures and a video of Detroit Cobras, a shot of their setlist included, below...

Continue reading "The Detroit Cobras played the Bell House (pics, video, setlist)"

"The Sonics? Wow!" - Anonymous | May 15, 2009 9:52 AM

Sonics Boom

Classic NYC garage rock label Norton Records will celebrate their 25th Anniversary over the course of four nights at The Bell House (Nov 10-13). The shows feature some pretty incredible artists, including most notably The Sonics, whose 1965 garage rock classic Here Are The Sonics is regarded by some as the first punk rock album. Norton Records reissued the album in 1999. The Sonics headline the last night (11/13) of the run. Tickets are on sale now for all four nights.

Tickets are also on sale for a daytime Sonics show happening November 12th at Maxwell's. You can hit this show and still not miss the show later that night at the Bell House. Sunday during the day is the Brooklyn Record Riot at Warsaw.

The Sonics need no introduction, but those not familiar should consider that Kurt Cobain said in a Nardwuar interview that "They got the most amazing drum sound I've ever heard. Still to this day, it's still my favorite drum sound. It sounds like he's hitting harder than anyone I've ever known." The White Stripes call them the "epitome of '60s punk," "harder than The Kinks," and say that "life becomes better after buying a Sonics record." Newer band Japandroids love them too, and say, "When you listen to it, even at low volumes, it sounds like it's blasting. And I like how you can feel they would melt your face if you saw them live." Don't sleep on catching them live. Last time they were in NYC was 2007. Who saw them at Warsaw? How was it? Check out videos from a December 2010 KEXP appearance below.

Fellow '60s garage rock vets ? and the Mysterians, best known for their 1966 single "96 Tears," headline the night before them. Other noteworthy bands include The Real Kids, led by John Felice of the The Modern Lovers, and The Randy Fuller Four. Randy Fuller was part of his brother's group The Bobby Fuller Four in the 1960s, who recorded the first successful version of the single "I Fought the Law," popularly covered by The Clash. Folllowing Bobby's untimely death in 1966 at age 23, Randy took over the group, which he renamed The Randy Fuller Four.

Reigning Sound, Mark Sultan (BBQ), The Condo Fucks, A-Bones, Flamin Groovies.... there are so many people on these bills, it's too much to list. Full lineup and some videos, below...

Continue reading "Norton Records anniversary shows happening at the Bell House, two Sonics shows too!"

photos by Ryan Barkan

DOWNLOAD: The Old 97s - Live at Cicero's, St. Louis, MO, 4-19-96 (zipped MP3s)

Old 97's @ BV-SXSW @ Barbarella
Old 97's

Old 97s "are proud to release The Grand Theatre Vol. 2, their ninth studio album, [July 5th] via New West Records. TGTV2 features 13 brand new songs and is once again produced by Salim Nourallah (The Grand Theatre Volume One and Blame It On Gravity.) Rolling Stone said:

"On their 2010 album, The Grand Theatre Vol. 1, the Old 97's per- formed new material live at a Dallas theater, then took the songs that went over best and recorded them in an Austin studio. Consisting of songs left over from Vol. 1, this second installment places Rhett Miller's articulate, off-the-cuff songs right between the composure of the control room and the looseness of the barroom. Miller savors lines like "He said, 'Can I buy a drink?'/What he meant was, 'Can I buy you?' " over his bandmates' proudly ordinary punky-tonk. But Miller is no roots reactionary: "Manhattan (I'm Done)" is the rare country dig at New York where it actually sounds like the singer gave the big city a fighting chance."
Old 97's were on a tour this past Spring that hit Webster Hall in Manhattan on April 9. Some videos from that show are below.

The band will kick off a new tour this Thursday (7/7), again returning to NYC, but maybe they are done with Manhattan. The Old 97's will instead play The Bell House in Brooklyn on July 13 and 14 . Tickets are on sale for both dates (7/13, 7/14).

Most July dates, including the Brooklyn shows, will be opened by Robert Ellis who released a new album this week too.

One of the few sets The Old 97's played during SXSW 2011 was (a great one at) the BrooklynVegan/Partisan/KF Records day party that Deer Tick, Middle Brother, Jonny Corndawg, Jason Isbell and many others also played. A belated set of pictures from the Austin show is in this post.

More of those pics, with videos from Webster Hall, the setlist to the 1996 live set you can download above, and all tour dates below...

Continue reading "Old 97's released their 9th studio album, heading out on tour -- 2011 dates & belated SXSW pics too"

PFT @ 92YTribeca in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Paul

Marc Maron hosts and curates WTF with Marc Maron at The Bell House tonight (6/1). An early show starts at 7 PM with Jonathan Katz, Will Arnett, Judy Gold, Marina Franklin, and Keith Robinson. The late show starts at 9 PM with Wyatt Cenac, Sam Lipsyte, Tom Scharpling, Horatio Sanz, and Kevin Allison. Both shows are sold out.

You can still get tickets however for the two Paul F. Tompkins shows happening at the same venue on October 22 and 23. Both nights will have completely different sets, and be recorded for a new comedy album. To quote Paul, "Be there, and be a part of history!*

* Once the show is over, it will be in the past and considered, technically, history."

Meanwhile catch Paul every month at the Largo in LA.

Christie Front Drive

Christie Front Drive was an American Emo/Indie band formed in Denver in 1993. Citing influences such as Superchunk, Jawbox, Buffalo Tom and Drive Like Jehu, the lineup consisted of Ron Marschall (drums), Jason Begin (guitar), Kerry McDonald (bass) and Eric Richter (guitar and vocals)...

Despite their short tenure [1993-1997], Christie Front Drive became a major influence on emo music in the 90's. Richter resurfaced in the bands Antarctica, The 101, and Golden City, and both Marschall and Begin went on to form The Blue Ontario. Marschall was also credited as an engineer on the The Apples in Stereo's album, The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone. Jason Begin is currently performing under the name This Body as well as the Portland based band Pireate Radio Deluxe and the random appearance with Modernstate. Bassist Kerry McDonald would go on to form The Mighty Rime, who released a self-titled record on Caulfield Records in 2002. -[Wiki]

After briefly reuniting in 2007, Christie Front Drive will return again to play a Brooklyn show at The Bell House on July 30th. Tickets go on sale at noon on Friday (5/20), but you can get presale tickets NOW using the password "InstantRomance". The band is celebrating the release their discography on Magic Bullet Records (the home of the Jesuit discography). Videos below...

Continue reading "Christie Front Drive reuniting, reissuing stuff (tickets on presale now for a Brooklyn show)"

photos by Kellyann Petry, Feelies review by Andrew Sacher

The Feelies @ Purchase
Feelies

Without any openers on the bill (they reportedly will play two sets with a break in the middle), The Feelies sold out their show happening at the Bell House in Brooklyn tonight (5/13). That's a good sign since next time they hit Brooklyn, they'll be tasked with headlining Celebrate Brooklyn's massive space in Prospect Park. Of course it helps that they'll be supported at that July 23rd show by both Real Estate (who also have some May shows coming up) and Times New Viking, and that it's FREE.

The Feelies, touring in support of their new album of all new material, Here Before, will also play shows in MA, PA and DC over the next few days, AND they will return to their favorite venue (my assumption) Maxwell's in Hoboken on July 1st and July 2nd. Tickets are now on sale for both (at the links). Last year they also played a show there on the 4th.

Back in April The Feelies co-headlined SUNY Purchase's annual Culture Shock Fest (that Real Estate also played), and Andrew Sacher reports:

As typical as it is to talk about 'saving the best for last,' that's exactly what happened at Culture Shock 2011. Twenty minutes before the entire festival was supposed to end, post-punk legends The Feelies launched into the first song off their hour and a half long set. Their immediately dancey songs sent the frenzied audience stage diving and moshing like nothing that has ever been seen at a Feelies show. They played a large range of material, including tracks off the immortal 1980 debut Crazy Rhythms as well the newly released Here Before, and everything in between. A few shouts were heard in between songs for "Fa Ce-La," and although The Feelies consistently responded to the shouts with a different song, there wasn't a second in their set to complain about. After just over an hour of jangly masterpieces, The Feelies left the stage. Although an encore has become something you can almost always expect from a headlining band, this was one of those situations where even if The Feelies didn't plan on coming back, they couldn't have deserved it more. They did of course return, and roused the crowd with three more songs, culminating in the immensely anticipated "Fa Ce-La." Despite the expectations that come along with an encore, The Feelies still found a way to surprise us even more when they came back out for a second one.
More pictures from that show, and all tour dates (a CT show too), below...

Continue reading "The Feelies played Culture Shock (pics), kicking off short tour, add Maxwell's show & a big free one in Brooklyn (dates)"

Chris Thile on stage with Punch Brothers (more by Winnie Cheung)
Chris Thile

Tickets are still available (back on sale) for tonight's Chris Thile/Michael Daves show at Rockwood Music Hall, day three of their three day stint at the venue in celebration of their debut duo record Sleep with One Eye Open. Out now via Nonesuch Records, it was "recorded live to tape over four days at Jack White's Third Man studio in Nashville, is a collection of 16 traditional tunes by bluegrass legends like The Monroe Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and Flatt & Scruggs." You can watch and listen to them discuss the record in one of the videos below. The others are them performing songs from it.

If you miss these shows, don't fear. Chris Thile will team with Michael Daves for another NYC show at The Bell House on July 20th. Tickets are on sale now. That's one new date added to the always-expanding intinerary of Chris Thile whose Punch Brothers project was also just announced on the lineup of this summer's free Celebrate Brooklyn concert series. They play June 30th with Justin Townes Earle and The Hackensaw Boys.

P.S. if you're going to Rockwood tonight, consider making it a double header, as Ben Sollee plays a show at the venue tonight too, his first of two nights in a row. Tickets are still available for that too.

All dates and videos below...

Continue reading "Chris Thile & Michael Daves released an LP, ending 3-night run @ Rockwood, add Brooklyn shows (dates)"

The Baseball Project

On one of the sunniest day of the year so far, Hobokenites came out in droves to eat, see local art and hear live music at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival on Sunday afternoon...

The Baseball Project... proceeded to rip a hole through the afternoon with the sheer power of their rocking and songwriting prowess. Highlights (and there were many) included Wynn's ode to Detroit Tiger's pitcher Mark Fidrych entitled '1976', McCaughey's wordtastic 'Panda and The Freak,' and the ridiculously talented rhythm section of Buck and Pitmon.

Craig Finn (of the Hold Steady) made a truly electric guest appearance on a tune for which he penned the lyrics called, 'Please Don't Call Them Twinkies.'" He was entirely captivating and having never heard/seen him sing live before, I think I fully understand now why his band is so popular. -[Patch]

As promised, Craig Finn also showed up two days earlier at The Baseball Project's 4/29 show at the Bell House. Watch Craig sing with them at the Brooklyn show, in a video below. In between Hoboken and Brooklyn, they also played a show at Drew's House in Ringwood, NJ where their setlist included covers of both the Cramps and the Flamin Groovies. Videos from that show are also below.

And with those triumphant dates in their rearview, The Baseball Project has announced their return to NYC with a date at City Winery on June 5th. Tickets are on sale. The NYC date is part of a larger string of mostly Northeastern dates that will also include a stop in Baseball Hall of Fame home Cooperstown on June 3rd (they play a brewery there).

All of this touring is in support of their second album, Volume Two: High and Inside, which was released March 1 on Yep Roc and includes guest appearances from Craig Finn, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan, and Chris Funk and John Moen of The Decemberists.

All tour dates, a video of the band on "Extra" (where they play "Fair Weather Fan" and talk about being accepted by the baseball community), and the above-mentioned videos, below....

Continue reading "The Baseball Project played Hoboken & Brooklyn w/ Craig Finn (and Drew's House too), announce more dates (City Winery)"

photos by Winnie Cheung

YLT @ the Bell House - 5/10/11
Yo La Tengo

"For their current U.S. tour, the band has embraced the indie-rock equivalent of "Wheel of Fortune," a large wheel divided into several categories, including songs beginning with the letter S or an entire instrumental film score written by the band. A spin by a guest lands on an imperative that sets the performance for the first set.

That wheel [was] with them Tuesday when they [began] a sold-out, two-night stint at the Bell House in Brooklyn.

"The less information we give people about what's going to happen, the better," Kaplan, now 54 years old, said in a recent interview.

The concept revitalizes Yo La Tengo's back catalog by stepping outside the common practices fueling the music industry's nostalgia boom. But it's also a lot of work.

"It calls upon us to be familiar with a lot of songs that, until we did it, we weren't familiar with at all," Kaplan said. "A couple of songs we'd never played [live] before -- some songs we'd never played in years."

For Kaplan, the notion of touring behind one of the group's classic albums holds little interest. "That was one of the things," he said. "Do we put records on [the wheel]? But we didn't want to."

The second set features songs of the band's choosing, a safeguard for the crowd should the wheel stop at one of the more esoteric options, such as "Sitcom Theater," which requires the members of Yo La Tango to act out an episode of a sitcom of their choosing." [WSJ]

Last night's first set, determined by the wheel, was "The Name Game" which meant all songs they played had a name in the title. You can see a picture of the list of names they played ("Griselda," etc), give or take a name, below.

The next Bell House show goes down this evening (5/11), with The Baxx Sisis opening. More pictures from last night's show which was opened by Antietam, and more tour dates too, below...

Continue reading "Yo La Tengo spun the wheel @ the Bell House w/ Antietam (pics), do it again tonight w/ The Baxx Sisis (dates)"

setlist photo courtesy of Mark Cyst
SeaweeD

Seaweed played their first NYC show in over a decade at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Friday, April 22, 2011. One fan wrote,

"...Needless to say the show was one for the ages. Honestly there was not a sad face in the entire crowd. Complete strangers became best friends while packed in front of the stage like sardines..."
That's a picture of the setlist above. Some videos from the show are below...

Continue reading "Seaweed reunited, played the Bell House (setlist & video)"

review & photos by Chris Gersbeck

Mission of Burma @ Maxwell's
Mission of Burma

I don't think I've missed more than a couple of New York City area Mission of Burma shows since I accidentally caught them at the Stillwell Stage at Siren Fest in '04. At that point in the band's history, they were still a somewhat recently reunited group, but clearly devoted to something more than just a few reunion performances. This was a group that was not so much reunited as they were picking up where they left off in 1983, anxious to write and record groundbreaking music yet again. Seven years and three (fantastic) full-length albums later, Mission of Burma have even further embedded their place in music history, a sort of indie music myth for our times.

So it goes without saying that these two shows, at Maxwell's on 1/28 and Bell House on 1/29 (both of which sold out) were met with excitement from the most devoted of Burma's fans. The band has become known for hand picking their opening acts, and in the case of these shows, they did an excellent job with both. New York City's Grandfather (not to be confused with Grandchildren) opened the Maxwell's show on Friday, a threesome with clear inspiration from Mission of Burma's unique timing and song structure. Their songs were dark, but meticulously written, with a heavy emphasis on rhythm. Grandfather's drummer, a highly energetic and precise musician, took on lead vocal duties as their guitarist and bassist flung themselves around on stage throughout their set. In hindsight, it made perfect sense when their guitarist told me before the show that Bob Weston and Steve Albini were behind their debut record. Check this band out (their next show is at Party Expo in Brooklyn 2/7/11).

Though I missed most of Buke & Gass's set at the Bell House on Saturday due to problems at the door, what I heard was great. A male-female duo from Brooklyn, both played seated, the percussion coming from a single kick drum stuffed with tambourines and a set of bells wrapped around the guitarist's ankle. Though highly melodic in contrast to Grandfather's set, you could tell why MoB tapped them to open, and they definitely had their share of fans in the crowd. Their next show is opening for Deerhoof at Europa, and then for Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson at the Stone.

Due to MoB's practice of choosing their setlists by committee just before hitting the stage meant getting two completely different sets between the two nights. The intimate (yet utterly explosive) Maxwell's performance initially consisted of later period Burma songs, opening with the Obliterati's "Donna Sumeria" and eventually hitting the Sound, the Speed, the Light's "1, 2, 3 Party!" and ONoffON's "the Setup". Smattered among the set was a slew of new material too, which is shaping to be yet another great set of songs from the band.

But their encore at Maxwell's is what made the crowd just completely lose themselves. As soon as Roger Miller began strumming the opening chords of "This Is Not A Photograph", the entire front of the stage became a group of pogo-ing lunatics. I don't think I've ever seen crowd surfing at a Burma show, and if you know the small space at Maxwell's you know there isn't much room to surf, but as soon as Clint Conley said, "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate" a rather enthusiastic fan catapulted from the stage into the crowd and somehow remained elevated for much longer than gravity should have allowed. Following with B-side "Max Ernst" and closing with the anthemic "Academy Fight Song" left everyone wanting more; in fact most people refused to leave until the house lights came on.

Luckily another Burma performance was just around the corner. Their set at the Bell House on Saturday was filled with just as much energy as the night before, but relied more heavily on material from their 1981 EP Signals, Calls & Marches and their only proper full length before their breakup, Vs. Pete Prescott's shouts from behind the drumkit sounded just as aggressive as ever, while Clint Conley's overdriven bass made older songs like "Mica" and "Fame & Fortune" sound even more furious than their studio counterparts. As much as I believe "underrated" describes Mission of Burma on a number of levels, one of the greatest aspects of MoB that goes unnoticed may be Roger Miller's unique slide guitar technique, particularly when soloing on songs like "Spider's Web". Bob Weston on tape loops provided those iconic swirls of noise during and between songs, reminding you that the band's fourth member is just as important to the Burma sound as any of the members on stage. And how great is it that when they launched into their most well known song, "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" during the first encore, I hadn't even considered that it wasn't played in the set yet, or at all the night before. Overwhelming response demanded a second encore, which consisted of the opening track from Vs., "Secrets", and again ending with "Academy Fight Song". Something tells me that if Roger Miller hadn't jokingly said, "Thanks, please go home, now," the crowd would have stuck around for even more.

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For more Roger, check out Chris's recent interview and check out Alloy Orchestra in NYC on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For more Bob, don't miss Shellac at ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror in Asbury Park. For more Mission of Burma, check out NYC Taper's recording of the Brooklyn show, and the rest of our pictures from both NYC-area shows with setlists, below...

Continue reading "Mission of Burma played Maxwell's w/ Grandfather, and the Bell House w/ Buke & Gass (pics, setlists & a live recording)"

photos by Jason House

O'Death

If physical contact with the audience was on your agenda as a show goer, you just had to hold on till O'Death took the stage. Very early on in the set the mosh pit began. As mosh pits often do, it grew. No one was hurt, it was all in good fun. It was hot and smelly. Some band members started to disrobe. Shirts flew off and the energy fueled an encore. -[musicmattersman]
O'Death, Tim Fite, and The Goddamn Rattlesnake teamed up to play The Bell House in 1/15 as part of a one off for all three bands. For O'Death, the show was one of two scheduled in NYC for 2011, as they recently announced that they will play again on 4/15 as part of a larger tour that will include an appearance at SXSW.

For The Goddamn Rattlesnake, The Bell House doubled as a record release party. J. Rattlesnake released the new LP via Bandcamp at the start of the year. Stream the LP in full. More pictures from The Bell House are below.

Continue reading "O'Death, Tim Fite & the Goddamn Rattlesnake played the Bell House (pics)"

Come at TT Bear's in September 2010 (photo by lumpBoston)
Come

Come eased into the gleaming gun-metal-colored chords of "Submerge,'' from the band's '92 bracing full-length debut, "Eleven: Eleven,'' and we were off.

They played all of that album, in fact, starting with the dank, slide guitar-soaked "Off to One Side'' and ending with an IV-drip slow, charred cover of the Stones' "I Got the Blues'' for the encore. In between were scarred expositions ("Sad Eyes''), blistering burns ("Dead Molly''), and always, the intuitively interlocking interplay between Zedek and Brokaw. If there was any rust on bassist Sean O'Brien and drummer Arthur Johnson, it had been quickly scraped off by the gashes of guitar and the churning roil of a sound that, for one night at least, transcended decades and discographies. -[Boston]

The above review comes from Come's 9/26 reunion appearance at TT the Bear's in Cambridge, MA, the first of two recent shows they played in 2010 (the other was at Matador 21). Now comes word that the band will expand their reach to NYC by playing The Bell House on April 16th with Eleventh Dream Day (who have a new album coming soon via Thrill Jockey). Tickets are on sale.

Come's Chris Brokaw was one of the special guests scheduled to play with Jennifer O'Connor at the Rock Shop last night (1/11). If you braved the snow to see that, how was it?

Some video from Come's recent reunion appearances are below.

Continue reading "Come are playing a NYC reunion show w/ Eleventh Dream Day"

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Conor Oberst and crew might have co-opted the Monsters of Folk moniker, but they've only grown to their current size by standing on the shoulders of even larger mythical beings. Two more likely candidates for that title, Bert Jansch and Neil Young, graced the Bell House Wednesday night. The two didn't perform together, but the long-standing connection between the six-string English Scottish troubadour and the American Canadian highwayman was noticeably present through their music.

Young made the surprise guest appearance as part of his wife Pegi's backing band, the opening act, and kept to the shadows most of the night. Bathed in dark crimson light, he filled in his wife's rollicking, twangy sound with subdued yet accented guitar licks, that unmistakable gritty rhythm style, and on one occasion harmonica. Even in just a supporting role, his focus was impenetrable. When Neil Young raises his guitar neck and dons that irascible stare, it commands attention like a force of nature. Pegi finished off her set with a version of Neil outtake "Doghouse," graciously letting her man share the spotlight as he sang backup and finally splayed out a solo.

But the highlight of the show was Jansch; his complex acoustic ruminations sprang to life like a Celtic fable, and his vocals, softer with age, tranquilly voiced stories that were equally anguished and joyous. For the most part Jansch's newer work blended seamlessly with his old material as one singular vision. The wistful classic "Rosemary Lane" from his eponymous 1971 album never felt out of touch with more recent songs like "My Donald," from 2001's Crimson Moon. That song was about his departed friend, the "hardest man in Scotland" who was both a failed lumberjack and a real whaler. As he told the stories behind his numbers in between songs, he sounded like Michael Caine with a guitar; understated, satirical, and spotlessly adorable. One song he wrote after a series of gigs with maligned rock star Pete Doherty. With deadpan wit, he noted, "I don't think he's allowed in your country."

Bert and Pegi finish their rescueduled tour together Friday night in Pittsburgh, and then Bert returns for two shows at Iridium Jazz on Monday night.

More pictures from the Bell House show below...

Continue reading "Neil Young played the Bell House w/ Pegi Young & headliner Bert Jansch (pics) "