Entries tagged with: The Besnard Lakes

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 25):

by Bill Pearis

The Essex Green

Former Brooklynites and makers of '60s-inspired baroque psych pop, The Essex Green, have been, for the most part, in hibernation since 2006's Merge-released Cannibal Sea. They regrouped last year and are finishing up work on their first album in 10 years. The band's website offers up the portrait above and promises "details soon" of a new record and tour, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, you can listen to 2003's The Long Goodbye and Cannibal Sea.

The Essex Green have announced they'll be playing the sixth edition of the Waking Windows Festival takes place May 6-8 in downtown Winooski, VT. This year's lineup also includes includes YACHT, Protomartyr, Waxahatchee, Mac MacCaughan, Speedy Ortiz, Plants and Animals, Low Cut Connie, Lady Lamb and more. Tickets are on sale, and the full lineup is listed below.

Continue reading "The Essex Green working on first new LP in 10 years, playing Vermont's Waking Windows fest (line-up)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Bill Pearis

The Besnard Lakes

The applause was loud before The Besnard Lakes played a note, and it was coming from the stage. The Montreal band were offering up thanks to the forty or so fans who trudged through the blizzard-like conditions of Winter Storm Jonas to see their free in-store at Rough Trade on Saturday afternoon (1/23). "We were here a year ago, almost to the day. They were predicting 'snowpocalypse' then too, but it ended up being a couple inches," frontman Jace Lasek told the crowd. "But when we looked out the window this morning we were like 'oh shit.'" (They set up a cardboard Ghost cutout on the floor just in case no one showed up.) Troupers and snow experts that they are, The Besnard Lakes actually helped the Rough Trade staff shovel the sidewalk and entrance to the store.

The circumstances of the day -- this was basically the only high-profile show that actually happened on Saturday -- made for a special show. Opening with Are the Roaring Night's great "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," the band stuck mainly to songs from their brand new A Coliseum Complex Museum (it was the release show), hitting album highlights "Golden Lion," "Tungsten 4: A Refugee," and "The Plain Moon." The band's widescreen sound -- roaring guitars, spiraling solos, gorgeous harmonies, expert use of loud-quiet-loud dynamics -- make nearly every song seem like what another band might save for their finale. The Besnard Lakes are all peaks and crescendos, and it's a credit to their skill that it all works. It was a terrific show.

Hopefully The Besnard Lakes will announce a proper North American tour soon. More pictures from the snowy Rough Trade in-store, as well as their setlist, below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes braved Winter Storm Jonas to play Rough Trade (pics, setlist)"

by Bill Pearis

A Coliseum Complex Museum

Montreal vets The Besnard Lakes will release their fifth album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, next week (1/22) via Jagjaguwar. Core members Jace Lacek and Olga Goreas had the Besnard Lakes sound honed by the release of 2007's The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse -- widescreen rock with stratospheric harmonies, a massive wall of afterburner guitars, and a mastery of dynamics -- and have continued to refine it since. The new record is another feather in their cap: you know what to expect at this point but that doesn't make it any less welcome. It's the kind of record that demands listening to loud until the neighbors complain. If that's a problem where you live, A Coliseum Complex Museum is also an excellent headphone album. You can stream the whole thing a week early via NPR, below.

As mentioned, The Besnard Lakes will travel to NYC for a one-off record release show at Rough Trade on Saturday, January 23. That's a free matinee show -- no album purchase or ticket required. (Doors at 1:30 PM, show at 2 PM.) They'll also be signing copies of the album purchased in the store afterwards. The Besnard Lakes are one of my favorite live bands -- don't miss this chance to see them for free.

Continue reading "stream The Besnard Lakes' 'A Coliseum Complex Museum'"

by Bill Pearis

photo: The Besnard Lakes @ Rough Trade, 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
besnard lakes at rough trade

The Besnard Lakes' terrific new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, is out in two weeks (1/22) and the Montreal band have just released a video for current single "The Plain Moon." The video, a montage of psychedelic imagery and band footage, was directed by Joseph Yarmush, and the band's Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas helped shoot it. Watch it below.

As mentioned, The Besnard Lakes will be in NYC for a free matinee in-store performance at Rough Trade on January 23.

Continue reading "Besnard Lakes share video for "The Plain Moon""

by Bill Pearis

The Besnard Lakes @ Pop Montreal 9/18/2015
Pop Montreal 2015

I try not to throw the word "epic" around much as a person who writes about music but that pretty much describes The Besnard Lakes' Pop Montreal performance Friday night at Rialto Hall. A special event, years in the dreaming, the Montreal quintet expanded performed "The Besnard Lakes are the 17-piece Band -- a one-time-only Pop show, featuring string and horn sections, backup singers, two drummers, a vibraphone player and three guitarsts (who, for one song were all playing with E-Bows). Besnard Lakes' sound is already widescreen, this was Cinemascope.

Despite word that they would play their forthcoming album in full, it was a career-spanning, nearly two-hour set hit most of their albums' highlights ("Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent" was the only thing they didn't play that I really wanted to hear). It was very hot in Rialto Hall, with sweat pouring down frontman Jace Lacek's face as he noted it took a lot of sweat to make it happen, too, but "right now this is fucking fun." The whole show was recorded and shot with plans for release "if we don't fuck it up," joked Lacek. They didn't. Setlist is below. The Besnard Lakes will open a few shows for Ride this week, including their Tuesday (9/122) show at Irving Plaza (tickets).

It was a busy Friday night at Pop, with other options including Viet Cong, whose show was widely rumored at the fest to be the last time they'd use that name, as well as Godflesh, Motorhead, and Giorgio Moroder. (Downstairs at Rialto Hall lobby, Owen Pallett was guest-chef at Pop's pop-up restaurant, and his menu included Monte Cristo sandwiches, Scotch eggs, veggie burgers and more. I didn't try anything.) I stuck to smaller bands, catching Ruth Garbus (sister of tUnE-yArDs' Merrill) at Casa Del Poplo. Her music is more winsome, charming folk whose jazzy chords reminded me just a little of sunshine pop band The Free Design. While there I also caught a few songs by quirky and slightly obtuse singer Jib Kidder, and then went across the street to La Sala Rossa to catch soulful young band Un Blonde. After The Besnard Lakes I managed to catch the tail-end of Toronto's doomy Crosss who were closing out the night at Club Lambi. I finished my night watching a bit of Grease 2 (dubbed in French) on my hotel while downing my sixth (seventh?) Montreal bagel of the week, before crashing out.

Saturday at Pop Montreal: a record fair, some unofficial day parties and at night: Built to Spill, Babes in Toyland, Stars of the Lid, The Cribs, Nick Diamonds, Absolutely Free and lots, lots more. A few more iPhone pics from Friday night, below.

Continue reading "Pop Montreal Day 3: 'The Besnard Lakes are the 17-piece band', Ruth Garbus, Crosss, Jib Kidder & more"

Arcade Fire The Reflektor Tapes

The 2015 edition of Pop Montreal is coming up in less than a month (September 16 - 20) and festival organizers have recently made a few additions to the already robust lineup. Perhaps most interesting is that Pop's film fest will have the world premiere of director Kahlil Joseph' Arcade Fire documentary The Reflektor Tapes which promises:

The film recontextualizes the album experience, transporting the viewer into a kaleidoscopic sonic and visual landscape. It charts the band's creative journey as they lay foundations for the album in Jamaica, record in Montreal and play an impromptu gig at a Haitian hotel on the first night of Carnival, before bringing their breathtaking live show to packed arenas in Los Angeles and London. The Reflektor Tapes blends never-before-seen personal interviews and moments captured by the band to dazzling effect, and features 15 minutes of exclusive unseen footage, filmed only for cinema audiences.
That is just ahead of the film's North American September 23 release date. It will be playing in NYC at Sunshine Cinema, BowTie Cinema Chelsea 9, East 86th St Cinema 4 in Manhattan and Williamsburg Cinema in Brooklyn. and tickets are on sale now for many of those screenings. You can watch the trailer for that below.

The full music lineup has been finalized and new additions include Seattle garage rock legends The Sonics, Doldrums, UK band All We Are, Prison Garde (the latest moniker of electronic musician Vaughn Robert Squire aka Sixtoo) and more. Other artists playing this year's Pop Montreal include Built to Spill, Giorgio Moroder, The Cribs, Mikal Cronin, Godflesh, Will Butler, Babes in Toyland, Thurston Moore, Stars of the Lid, Cannibal Ox, Besnard Lakes (performing as a 17-piece "orchestra"), Viet Cont, The Orb, and more.

There are also lots of panel discussions and lectures happening via the Pop Symposium, including one with Canadian songwriter Andy Kim (the man behind The Archies' "Sugar Sugar" and other bubblegum hits),

Festival passes and day passes are still available. Full Pop Montreal music and film lineups are listed below.

Continue reading "Arcade Fire doc 'The Reflektor Tapes' premiering at 2015 Pop Montreal before North American release ++ fest's full lineup"

by Bill Pearis

photo: The Besnard Lakes @ Rough Trade (more by Greg Cristman)
Besnard Lakes

Montreal's The Besnard Lakes have been tapped to open for part of Ride's fall tour, starting with two NYC-area shows: September 22 at Irving Plaza (tickets) and September 23 at Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ (tickets). They will not open for Ride at the 9/21 Irving Plaza show.

Right before that, The Besnard Lakes will play their hometown during the 2015 Pop Montreal festival, and it's a very special show which is being billed as "The Besnard Lakes Are the 17-Piece Band":

One thing we've always wanted to do is to perform live for you an entirely faithful rendition of our songs as they exist on the albums. This means all the strings, horns, keys, guitars, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals, etc. you know and love will be performed as they were recorded. Featuring friends from all over the Montreal music scene. Come freak out with us.
That sounds pretty awesome. Besnard Lakes Pop Montreal show happens September 18 at Rialto Hall, so if you're heading to the fest that's one show you won't want to miss. I should say, the current five-piece lineup of Besnard Lakes already sound pretty enormous -- their Rough Trade show back in January was fantastic.

When they played the Rough Trade show, frontman Jace Lacek said they were hoping to have something new out by the end of 2015. Stay tuned. All tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes playing as a 17-piece band at Pop Montreal, then touring with Ride (dates)"

photo: Viet Cong @ London Field Day Fest 2015 (more by Rachel Juarez-Carr)
Viet Cong at Field Day 2015

Pop Montreal has just announced its second round of artists added to the festival's 2015 lineup. That includes Viet Cong, The Orb, Micachu & the Shapes, The Besnard Lakes, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Lee Ranaldo, Albert Hammond Jr, Empress Of and more. They join such previously announced artists as Built to Spill, Giorgio Moroder, The Cribs, Mikal Cronin, Godflesh, and Will Butler. All new additions to Pop Montreal's lineup are listed below.

The 2015 Pop Montreal Festival happens September 16-20 at venues all over the Quebec city. Discounted festival passes and day passes are currently available.

Continue reading "Pop Montreal announces second round of 2015 artists; early bird passes on sale now"

photos by Greg Cristman; words by Bill Pearis

Besnard Lakes

"I heard New York got a little snow last last night...you fucking pussies!" Jace Lacek, leader of The Besnard Lakes, was joking with the Rough Trade crowd about the inch or so accumulation on the ground Saturday (1/24). "It was, like, negative 31 centigrade when we left Montreal, that's about where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet." I reason to leave freezing Montreal is as good an excuse to tour as any. The band don't have a new album -- though they said they're working on it now for an end-of-2015 release -- but seemed energized on Saturday, maybe the best I've ever seen them.

Few bands do this sort of widescreen rock so well, with so little pretense or cheese. Their 2010 album was titled The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night which is a fitting descriptor. "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," which opens that album, remains the best example of what it is they do so well: giant waves of guitar, soaring leads and vocals, all crashing over you. This was a new lineup of the band, with longtime guitarist Richard White retiring from touring and The High Dials' Robbie MacArthur in his place, plus new keyboardist Sheenah Ko augmenting Lacek, bassist singer Olga Goreas and drummer Kevin Laing. They genuinely sounded fantastic, with a simple but effective LED lite-brite-type light show. They don't really need much.

Opening on this tour is fellow Montreal band USA out of Vietnam whose frontman Son Of Fogman has toured as a member of Besnard Lakes in the past. The band mix post-rock, metal, shoegaze and other styles reductively called "loud" with string sections and other grand elements. Their debut, Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes, came out last summer and you can stream it below. They made for a good lead-in on Saturday night.

More pictures from the whole show, and Besnard Lakes' setlist, below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes played Rough Trade with USA Out of Vietnam (pics, setlist)"


We're coming up on two years since Montreal's The Besnard Lakes released the last album, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, and while they haven't announced a new record, there is movement in the works. The band are currently touring Canada and in the new year, they'll drop into the U.S for a short Northeast tour that'll hit NYC on January 24 at Rough Trade. Tickets for that show go on sale at noon today (11/21).

All tour dates, plus a few videos, below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes going on Northeast tour in January (dates)"

Chelsea Light Moving @ Maxwell's (more by PSquared Photography)

today in NYC
* Baby Soda @ Barbes
* Howard Fishman @ Barbes
* Matt Shipp Trio @ The Stone
* Hulk Hogan @ Beacon Theatre
* The Black Crowes @ Terminal 5
* Memoryy, Lazyeyes @ Glasslands
* Jessie Ware, MS MR @ Webster Hall
* Alicia Keys, Miguel @ Barclays Center
Hard Mix, Princely DJs @ Glasslands
Phoenix @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Stranger Wanted with Shannon O' Neill @ UCB
* The Greyboy Allstars, DJ Logic @Brooklyn Bowl
* Lucius, You Won't, Backwords @ Knitting Factory
* GRIZ, Manic Focus, Alex English @ Webster Hall
* Glass Ghost, Magmana, Katie Mullins @ 92YTribeca
* Family Of The Year, The Mowgli's @ Mercury Lounge
* Summer People, Porches, Family Curse @ Union Pool
* Bright Light Bright Light My Midnight Heart @ Joe's Pub
* Todd Barry, Keith Robinson, Jay Oakerson @ The Stand
* Manic Sheep, Space Meow, Kollagemontage @ XPO 929
* FORMA, Hex Breaker, Phil Cote, Pam Finch @ Silent Barn
* Mike Simonetti (DJ Set), Gavin Russon (DJ Set) @ Le Bain
* Frankie Knuckles, Chris Love & AB Logic @ Cameo Gallery
* Mykki Blanco, Kool A.D. (of Das Racist) @ Whitney Museum
* Very Rare, Tetsuo, Advaeta, Spock Doctorman @ Big Snow
* Grandchildren, Conveyor, Sky White Tiger @ Cameo Gallery
Teepee, Herzog Rising, LODRO, Slow Warm Death @ Cake Shop
* The Virgins, Har Mar Superstar, Luke Rathborne @ Maxwell's
* Hani Zahra, Apollo Run, Steel Phantoms @ The Bowery Electric
* Lloydski (DJ Set), CHERYL, DJ Nick @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Butter The Children, Lost Boy?, Haybaby, Ceramics @ Muchmore's
* BLOWOFF (Bob Mould & Richard Morel DJ Set) @ Highline Ballroom
* Ferns, What Model Citizens, Video Daughters, Mark Normand @ Union Hall
* Big Quiet, Galapagos Now!, Warmth, Wildhawk, Joe Cocozello @ Don Pedro
* Suffocation, Exhumed, Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn, ADIMIRON @ Saint Vitus
* Rocket Launcher, Highway Gimps, Braille, Spirit of Danger @ Death By Audio
* Talk Fine, Jangula, Wild International, DJ Norm, The Fancy Cats @ Shea Stadium
* Wanda and Wonder, Stephen Bartolomei, Golden West Service @ Pete's Candy Store
* Julie Klausner, Ted Leo, Siggy Flicker, Max Silvestri, Chef Pigot Ong @ The Bell House
* Smokey Robotic, Blind Benny, Sofa Club, Stephen Babcock, Wolff & Tuba @ Pianos
* Chelsea Light Moving (w/ Thurston Moore), Prana-Bindu, Marco Fusinato @ Bowery Ballroom
* Merel (first show since 1993), Life Eaters (formerly of Rye Coalition), Entartete @ The Grand Victory

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Cat Power made a video for "Manhattan" from her latest album.Sun. As you might expect from the title, it's got some nice shots of the city. Watch it below.

Nardwuar's latest interview target is Kitty (Pride) and you can watch the Vancouver DJ bestow her with gifts and get her to tell stories about getting drunk on Mike's Hard Lemonade in the video below.

Besnard Lakes, who will be here in a few weeks, made a trippy new video for "People of the Sticks" from their new album Until in Excesss, Imperceptible UFO and you can watch that below. You can stream the whole album at Pitchfork.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Friday?"

by Bill Pearis


Montreal's The Besnard Lakes return with their new album Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO on April 2 via Jagjaguwar. The album, the band's fourth, was produced by main members Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas in their Breakglass studios. You can check out the first released track from the album, "People of the Sticks," below and it's a good reminder that few do this sort of widescreen guitar rock better than The Besnard Lakes.

The band will be hitting the road this spring as well for a North American tour, including a show in New York at Bowery Ballroom on May 3. Tickets go on AmEx presale today (1/30) at noon with the regular on-sale happening on Friday (2/1) at noon. All tour dates are listed below. Some of the dates (not NYC) will be with fellow Montreal band SUUNS. All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes releasing new album this spring, touring (dates, stream)"

Frightened Rabbit @ T5, Nov. 2010 (more by Lionel Bergeron)
Frightened Rabbit

SXSW has just announced another round of bands for the 2013 edition of the annual music festival that will happen March 12 - 17. This brings the total current number of acts to around 1300. Someome of the highlights include Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit, The Thermals, Black Lips, Camera Obscura, Merchandise, Bleached, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Eagles of Death Metal, Parenthetical Girls, Indians, Night Beds, IO Echo, KEN Mode, Prince Paul, Pure Bathing Culture, Sepalcure, UK motorik post-punks TOY, Finnish instrumentalists K-X-P, Toronto's Moon King, UK indie rockers Splashh (not Brooklyn Splash with one "h") and loads more. Head to BV Austin for the whole Round 3 list.

by Andrew Sacher


This month's issue of UK music magazine MOJO features a free CD titled Rumours Revisted, a tribute to Fleetwood Mac's landmark 1977 album, Rumours. (Not the first time a Fleetwood Mac tribute album came out this year.) The compilation features covers by Yeasayer, Liars, Julia Holter, Pure Bathing Culture, The Besnard Lakes, Dylan LeBlanc, and more. You can stream Yeasayer's take on "Second Hand News" and Liars' reworking of "The Chain" below, and to hear the rest of the album, you might have to get your hands on a copy of the new issue of MOJO or scour the internet for a download. (Side note: I've always wanted to hear 2007-era Yeasayer cover "The Chain" but I guess some things will have to remain up to the imagination...)

Over the summer, Fleetwood Mac revealed plans to tour in 2013. Details for that have still not been announced but the band continue to show signs that the tour is on the way. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Lindsey Buckingham revealed that he'd also like to record with Fleetwood Mac again:

"Absolutely, absolutely I would," he says of creating a new album. "In fact, about six, seven months ago, John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] were over here and we actually cut some tracks, and we did enough for maybe half an album. But you gotta get Stevie [Nicks] on board with that, and at the time, she was really quite caught up in what she was doing . . . but I would love to do that because John and Mick were playing their asses off."
The band last released Say You Will in 2003.

Streams and tracklist are below.

Continue reading "Yeasayer, Liars & more on new Fleetwood Mac tribute (streams); Lindsey Buckingham up for new FM album"


Let's start by quoting what Bill wrote in May:

Like a lot of folks, Malajube made a big impression on me in 2006 with their record Trompe-L'Oeil and, even more, their string of fantastic CMJ performances that year. The tunes were catchy, they were great live, the language barrier didn't matter so much. I must admit 2009's Labarinthes didn't make much of an impression but I've really been enjoying the band's brand new album La Cavern. The album is out now in Canada and will be available in the U.S. sometime soon on MB3 Records.

The new album walks the line between guitar pop and space rock and I keep imagining them performing songs like the vaguely disco "Le Blizzard" on the Muppet Show. There's a general soft filter '70s vibe to the whole of La Cavern that feels very comforting.

We now know that La Caverne is out physically in the US on September 27th, AND Malajube are back in NYC for two shows. They play tonight (September 16) at Mercury Lounge with Brian Bonz, and Saturday (September 17) at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn with Les Sans Culottes and Jonny Chan & The New Dynasty 6.

The two shows are the start of a US invasion that is spread out between now and October 8th when they play Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT as part of a run of dates with fellow Canadians The Besnard Lakes. All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Malajube are here, touring the U.S. (dates)"

words by Bill Pearis & (most of the) photos by Tim Griffin

Will Sheff & Roky Erickson
Roky Ericson with Okkervil River

"Welcome to Montreal -- how do you like the Weather?" - Martin Cesar, Think About Life.

After three lovely days of sunny, mild weather, the skies went grey and cold for the last day of SXSW, Saturday, March 20th, with temperatures dropping to around 45 degrees. Almost no one seemed prepared for it, judging by the throngs of under-dressed shivering all over town. With a lot of the Austin venues being outdoor, it especially hurt.  Our final party of a very busy week of parties was a free badge-less official SXSW event that we did with the M for Montreal folks, at the two-stage Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room & Bourbon Rocks). The main stage was outside -- under a tent, which helped just a little -- and while temperatures were low, spirits were high and it was maybe the most fun I had all week.

My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singer Martin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. That they didn't do "Johanna" is my only complaint. NYers can see them on April 27 when Think About Life play Mercury Lounge. It's part of a fairly extensive U.S. tour, do go see them.

I was also super-pumped to see The Besnard Lakes whose new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is pretty fantastic. Specifically, I wanted to hear its epic opener, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," and have it knock me back. Like a lot of Montreal bands, The Besnard Lakes' line-up ebbs and flows. Theirs does so around the core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. I've seen them seven strong before, but here they were a lean mean quartet and did not disappoint. They're on tour in May, including a 5/28 show at Bowery Ballroom.

Duchess Says
Duchess Says

Another set I knew would be fun was Montreal's Duchess Says who played one of our CMJ day parties last year. While their more aggressive take on Devo-style protopunk is fun, it's all about singer Annie Claude who looks very cute and innocent... until the music starts. She shrieks, jumps in the audience, tackles people, pulls them to the floor,  and causes general mayhem. It's more mischief than menace though. There are lots of other singers who do similar things, but never anything quite like her. After you've seen them once, part of the fun is watching other people experience them for the first time. The inside room was packed to the gills (it was warmer there). My favorite part of the show had her sitting down in the middle of the audience, methodically pulling people down with her, draping their arms over her into a giant pile of people. There's video at the bottom of this post.

The other major highlight for me was Roky Erickson with Okkervill River. I'd never seen him before and this was certainly a great live introduction to someone whose music I've loved for a long time. Will Sheff produced Roky's new album (first in 14 years) and Okkervill was his backing band on it, so the set was tight, rocking and just sounded fantastic. Roky was in great form too, and we got a few 13th Floor Elevators nuggets in there, as well as "Starry Eyes," one of my favorites of his solo material. They tour in May including a show at Webster Hall.

And there was lots more: the great Wye Oak kicked off the party with a lovely set despite cold fingers; Jason Collett was a class act with superbly-crafted country-pop (see video of his set below); Crystal Antlers filled in for BEAST who couldn't make it; Andrew WK was in full Meatloaf mode with a set of piano ballads; Plants and Animals were lush and harmony-laden; metal legends Voivod showed they've still got it; and a percussion-heavy set from L.A.'s Local Natives was probably the biggest draw of the day -- they were excellent.

Local Natives
Local Natives

Somehow I entirely missed sets by Holy Fuck (who I heard were great) and Suckers (who I've seen before many times here in NYC). A last minute addition, Nardwuar was there too, providing funny, heavily-researched band introductions as only he can. It was a great, if cold, day. Stay tuned for his video interview of Will and Roky.

Thanks to everyone who helped put this all together, and to our sponsors. More pictures and videos from the whole day below...

Continue reading "Roky Erickson/Okkervil River, Local Natives, Think About Life, Duchess Says, others @ Galaxy Room (BV/MfM day party) - pics"

photos by Tim Griffin

DOWNLOAD: The Besnard Lakes - Albatross (MP3)

Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes' new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night was released earlier this month by Jagjaguwar. Grab an MP3 from that album above.

As previously mentioned, the Canadian band is headlining Bowery Ballroom on May 28th, a show that fellow Canadians Land of Talk will be opening (tickets are on sale). The show is one date of a much larger tour (which Land of Talk is opening just part of). All dates, and some pictures from our BV/M For Montreal day party at SXSW, below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes - new album out now (MP3), 2010 Tour Dates w/ Land of Talk, pics from Galaxy Room"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Higher Than the Stars (Others in Conversation Mix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Besnard Lakes - And You Lied to Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Cinnamon Band - Buena Vista (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - Calypso Gold (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - Sadie and Andy (feat. Meredith Metcalf (MP3)

The Besnard Lakes
Besnard Lakes

(This Week in Indie Pt 1, in case you missed it.)

North of the border, Pop Montreal 2009 is going on as we speak, yet one of the Canadian city's best bands, The Besnard Lakes, are here in NYC playing a show on Saturday (10/3) at Mercury Lounge. I think they must feel an affinity for New York -- Brooklyn too, as their excellent 2007 album Are The Dark Horse (one of my faves from that year) has a song called "On Bedford and Grand," a tongue-in-cheek ode to Williamsburg. As good as that album is, Besnard Lakes are even better live, though it probably depends on their ever-fluctuating line-up. In addition to scoring actor Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, the band are working on Dark Horse's follow-up, so it will be good to hear some new material. The show also features Philadelphia duo The Cinnamon Band (2/3s of defunct Jagjaguwar band The Union of a Man and a Woman) and Acrylics who I think are one of the city's best new bands.

We've got a pair of tickets to give away for this 21+ show. If you're interested, send an email with your first and last name to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Besnard Lakes" and we'll pick a winner at random.

Pains of Being Pure at HeartSaturday is a busy night. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (9pm), who just released a great new EP called Higher Than the Stars, headline Webster Hall (tickets), the penultimate date on their current tour with Cymbals Eat Guitars (7pm) and The Depreciation Guild (8pm). You can download a brand new remix of Higher Than the Stars title track, which strips off the original's sparkly sheen and gives it a rougher, darker coat of paint. The Webster Hall show has an early start with 6pm doors, which will have you out of there by 10pm, in time for a second show of the night if so desired. The band play Philadelphia on Sunday (10/4), then are taking six weeks off before Europe in mid-November. They are also conspicuously absent from either of the upcoming Slumberland Records Anniversary shows.

The Dø
the do

Also also Saturday (that's 10/3 if you forgot), Finland's The Dø wrap up their first-ever American tour with a NYC stop at Hiro Ballroom (tickets). One night earlier (tonight), they play a show at Pop Montreal. Their 2008 album A Mouthful is a schizophrenic mix of indie rock, dreamy folk, tribal rhythms, and even (less successful) forays into hip hop. One woulda thought the band would have been here a year ago, as A Mouthful's hype hit its pinnacle about a year and a half ago, though it still hasn't gotten a proper U.S. release. (You can get it via iTunes or Emusic, though.) The Dø's show in L.A. as part of the Oohlala Festival didn't go so well, apparently, but their show at Chicago's Empty Bottle was a hit according to Popmatters critic (and ace photographer) Kirstie Shanley:

Creating a live performance full of win, French-Finnish duo The Dø could have easily entertained an audience of thousands. Olivia Merilahti was electricity personified. Flipping her long lustrous hair, coming up to the tip on the stage and leaning into the audience were two of her frequent rock moves. Dan Levy chose to engage the audience with his sudden floor kneeling. But despite the sense of developed chemistry between he and Merilahti, it was she who truly stole the show. [Popmatters]
250You've got another chance to catch L.A. band Princeton, who play with Chicago's Maps & Atlases at the new Knitting Factory in Williamsburg on Sunday. Both bands are just now wrapping up a tour supporting Ra Ra Riot. Their debut, Cocoon of Love, is out now and is pretty hard not to like, full of well-dressed scholarly pop not unlike Belle & Sebastian or the Magnetic Fields (or, loathe as I am to admit it, Vampire Weekend, minus the Afrobeat influences). Princeton were to be one the unavoidable bands at this year's CMJ Festival but canceled after being offered an opening slot on Art Brut's upcoming U.S. tour, so this may be the last chance to see them for a while (well, unless you choose the Art Brut show at Maxwell's which is one of the shows they're opening).

And finally, UK legend Frank Sidebottom is visiting NYC again, here ostensibly for the Coney Island Film Festival where he'll debut his film Frank Sidebottom Saves Coney Island. I caught Frank (and his sidekick Little Frank) back in March where he played to confused locals at the 169 Bar, where he first got heckled but eventually won the crowd over with his bizarre, hilarious covers of The Fall, The Smiths, Queen and The Beatles, which includes multiple costume changes. He's playing a bunch of shows throughout the weekend, including two on Sunday (10/4) at Cake Shop and Otto's Shrunken Head. If you're even slightly curious (there are videos below) I recommend you go see him -- there's really nobody else like him.

Videos and tour dates follow...

Continue reading "The Do, Besnard Lakes, Princeton, Pains of Being Pure at Heart & more in This Week in Indie (part 2) "

Besnard Lakes

Montreal orchestral indie rockers The Besnard Lakes have been tapped to score Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, "Sympathy For Delicious" which already finished shooting earlier this year and stars Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis [who is playing Central Park Summerstage on August 10th], Ruffalo, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich and John Carroll Lynch (Marge's husband in Norm in "Fargo").

The film is, according to a Variety from last year, is about a paralyzed DJ (real-life paraplegic actor Christopher Thornton) struggling to survive in his wheelchair on the streets of L.A. He turns to faith-healing and mysteriously acquires the ability to cure the sick -- although not himself. Ruffalo plays a Jesuit priest who tries to help him come to terms with the limits of his gift, and [Orlando Bloom] a rock singer in a band that exploits the suddenly famous healer." James Franco was originally set to play the rocker, but evidently either his education at NYU or another project got in the way and Bloom replaced him...

..A music licensing pal in Montreal tell us that while two or three licensed other tracks will appear in the film (bands not confirmed as of yet), the the rest of the music will be an original score by the Besnard Lakes (though the music will be specifically written by the two founding members). Ruffalo turned out to be a fan and the music supes put the music into the right hands. The rest is history. [The Playlist]

It's been a while since we've heard from Canada's The Besnard Lakes. The last time the group played NYC was on their 2007 tour with Peter Bjorn & John (though PB & J weren't on the bill for that particular gig). They return on October 3rd 2009 for a show at Mercury Lounge. They also play a show at TT the Bear's in Cambridge one day earlier. No ticket info yet. More dates may be announced.

A video refresher on the Besnard Lakes below...

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes scoring Mark Ruffalo film, playing shows"

Miracle Fortress @ the 2007 Polaris Awards (CRED)
Miracle Fortress

Miracle Fortress, Sunset Rubdown, Basia Bulat, Handsome Furs, The Acorn, The Besnard Lakes, Tokyo Police Club, Patrick Watson, The Weakerthans, Land of Talk and Neil Young are among the list of 33 hot Canadian bands this year. In related news, Jessie from Miracle Fortress recently left a message about their recent problem at the border....

Continue reading "2007's "Hottest Canadian Bands""

Besnard LakesTickets go on sale today for a show by the Besnard Lakes at Bowery Ballroom on December 5th (one of Kevin Drew's favorite new bands). It's the only upcoming show that The Besnard Lakes are not playing with Peter Bjorn and John. Peter's solo show is coming up too. All tour dates below....

Continue reading "The Besnard Lakes & Peter Bjorn & John - 2007 Tour Dates"

DOWNLOAD: Patrick Watson - Giver (MP3)

Patrick WatsonPatrick Watson (from Montreal) is playing Joe's Pub on September 4th. Fellow Canadians The Besnard Lakes are playing NYC this weekend.

Final Fantasy won the 2006 Polaris Music Prize - a prize given out to Canadian musicians. Check out who is nominated this year....

Continue reading "PATRICK WATSON playing Joe's Pub ++ the 2007 POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE nominees"

Keira Knightley

I couldn't find any good, real videos, so instead here's one that's actually just a homemade ode to actress Keira Knightley....

Continue reading "VIDEO: The Besnard Lakes - 'Disaster' (w/ keira knightley)"

DOWNLOAD: Les Savy Fav - The Sweat Descends (MP3)

Les Savy Fav

I'm excited to finally get to announce the kick-ass FREE show I've been working on for months with the fine people at Solar One. Thanks also to everyone who got in touch and volunteered their band and/or time for this cause.

I told you to save the date, and here's why:

Brooklyn Vegan & Solar One present Citysol....
A FREE SHOW on SATURDAY JULY 14 (1pm-10pm) in NYC w/
* Land Of Talk (previously announced)
* O'Death (yeah)
* The Besnard Lakes (previously announced)
* These Are Powers (ex-Liars)
* The Budos Band (funky)
* Frankpollis (starring Jackson)
* plus a very special performance from OCDJ (Dance Party until the solar goes out!)

@ Solar One at Stuyvesant Cove Park - located along the East River between 18th and 23rd Streets. Solar One sits in the north end of the park, near the 23rd Street entrance and the Gulf Gas station.

We're also co-sponsoring the free Menomena/Beat the Devil show at the Seaport the day before, and hosting an opening night party the night before that with DRAGONS OF ZYNTH, DJ Mistakes (bicycle-powered turntablism), and Brightside.

Some interesting facts about the show on the 14th:

  • It is the same weekend as the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago - more reason to stay home.
  • It is outside (please don't rain, please don't rain).
  • It is one day before the free 'Ponderosa Stomp' show at McCarren Pool in Brooklyn
  • The bands will be performing on a solar + biodiesel powered stage.
  • It is one week before the free Siren Festival in Coney Island
  • There will be art installations to look at, and a "green product marketplace" for you to buy stuff at.
  • It will rock.

All festival details below.......

Continue reading "LES SAVY FAV to headline FREE Citysol show ++ all 4-DAY NYC FESTIVAL DETAILS"

DOWNLOAD: The Besnard Lakes - And You Lied to Me (MP3)

Besnard Lakes

I'm not sure why, but I've mostly been silent up until now about The Besnard Lakes' great new CD Are The Dark Horse. Not only has the CD been in regular rotation, many of the songs regularly make their way on to my mixtapes, and on to my Sirius radio show. Like Grizzly Bear and Panda Bear, the BEsnARd lakes have the word "bear" in their name, and are heavily influenced by the Beach Boys. And like those bears, the BEsnARd lakes come highly recommended by Pitchfork and other critics alike.

Jace from the Besnard Lakes (also a studio guy) doesn't have much to recommend himself, but can say that the new Sunset Rubdown album that he "made" is "amazing" and "really, really good". It was also just announced that the Sunset Rubdown record he's talking about will in fact be coming out on the very same label he released his Besnard Lakes' album on:

Jagjaguwar to Release SUNSET RUBDOWN's "Random Spirit Lover" in October

"Random Spirit Lover" is the new full-length record following their critically acclaimed 2006 album, "Shut Up I Am Dreaming", that was released on Absolutely Kosher. Plans are in the works for a 3 to 4 week North American tour in October, in support of "Random Spirit Lover". The album will be physically released in both the CD and vinyl formats.

Back to Besnard Lakes...

I am happy to, not only announce some Bensard Lakes tour dates, but also to announce that the Montreal band will be playing a free NYC show that I sort of set up.

Besnard Lakes, NYC, 2007
07/13 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (tix on sale Wed)
07/14 - New York, NY - Citysol (free, day - stay tuned for more details SAVE THE DATE)

See them once, see them twice, or don't see them at all (like stupid me at SXSW this year). All tour dates below....

Continue reading "THE BESNARD LAKES - 2007 Tour Dates (Citysol, Mercury Lounge) ++ new SUNSET RUBDOWN album"