Entries tagged with: The Darkness
by Bill Pearis
Tongue-in-cheek hard rockers The Darkness are back with their fourth album, Last of Our Kind, which will be out June 1. Pre-orders are available and album art is below. It's the first to feature new drummer Emily Dolan Davies who replaced Ed Graham in the lineup. Says frontman Justin Hawkins (who's now sporting short[er] black hair and goatee):
Last of Our Kind is a collection of 10 magnificent songs that The Darkness are extremely proud of. It is the best rock album you will hear this year. It is the best rock album you will hear until next time The Darkness makes an album. I should know. I'm the singer.The first single is "Barbarian," a tale of Viking conquest sets against plunder-and-pillage-worthy riffage. You can watch the comic book style lyric video below.
The Darkness were last here in 2013. Let's hope a tour is coming too.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Banana split: The Darkness @ GoogaMooga 2013
While Brooklyn's music-food-beer fest Great GoogaMooga 2013 came to a soggy, earlier-than-expected end, Friday's kickoff show (5/17) couldn't have been more perfect, weather-wise. The day got off to an early start and a bang with Lowestoft, UK's finest cheeky rockers, The Darkness. An expert at crowd participation, frontman Justin Hawkins (who was hopefully wearing sunscreen with that catsuit) had the crowd showing him their thumbs as the band cranked out tunes that tread the fine line between clever and stupid.
Chairlift and N.A.S.A's Sam Speigel had DJ sets on either side of the Darkness' performance that was followed by The Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Darkness play Philly on Tuesday (5/21) before heading back to England. All dates are listed, along with more GoogaMooga pictures and video, below...
The Darkness in The Daylight @ GoogaMooga 2013 (via Ana Bollocks)
GoogaMooga 2013 is now officially underway. Flaming Lips on at 6:15pm, also in the light (followed by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
Saturday afternoon brings Sharon Van Etten, Father John Misty and more to Googa, and Sunday has De La Soul, James Murphy and Kool & the Gang but not Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.
If you're missing the Darkness today in Brooklyn, they also have shows coming up this month in Albany, Montreal and Philly. Check out their list of tour dates with a short Vine clip from GoogaMooga below...
Flaming Lips in Toronto (more by David Andrako)
The Flaming Lips were planning on landing in Simsbury, CT on July 15th, but Simsbury, CT has decided Wayne Coyne and crew will need to make other plans:
The town has decided against having The Flaming Lips play at the performing arts center at Simsbury Meadows this summer.Major bummer Simsbury.
First Selectwoman Mary Glassman said the concert was conditionally approved pending a permit but that after conversations with Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen officials decided against the concert.
Glassman said the issue came down to staffing, and that it would have been difficult to get the necessary police officers in place for the concert, especially since the previously approved Emmylou Harris concert is planned for the following night. [Hartford Courant]
Meanwhile, the Flaming Lips have arrived in the NYC-area for a three-night run that looks like this:
Flaming Lips are here:Tune into Fallon tonight, get your tickets for the NJ show, and make sure to get to Prospect Park on Friday by 6:15!! The Darkness, Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs all on one bill has the makings of an epic show. It's just too bad that the Lips go on so early, and it's even sadder that the Darkness play at 4:45!
May 15 - The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon
May 16 - Montclair, NJ The Wellmont Theater
May 17 - Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY - GoogaMooga
All tour dates and the band's newest (and very) NSFW video below...
GoogaMooga 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Brooklyn food, drink, and music festival The Great GoogaMooga, who we're sure have been working hard on figuring out to do things better the second time around, have announced the lineup for their second year which goes down from May 17 to 19 at Prospect Park. We just mentioned that the fest begins with a kickoff show on the Friday (5/17) with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Flaming Lips, and The Darkness. The rest of the lineup includes Matt & Kim, Father John Misty, Sharon Van Etten, Lee Fields & the Expressions, and more playing on Saturday; and Sharon Jones & the Dap-KIngs, De La Soul (who recently announced a tour with LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and Ice Cube), Cults, The Soul Rebels, Delicate Steve, and more playing on Sunday.
Tickets for the kickoff show and VIP Cocktail Experience tickets for Saturday and Sunday go on sale Thursday (3/28) at noon, and general admission tickets for Saturday and Sunday become available in an online ticket giveaway which runs from April 1 to 3. "Complimentary tickets will be awarded at random and recipients will be notified by email on or before Wednesday, April 10."
Full music food and drink lineup below...
The Great GoogaMooga is returning to Brooklyn from May 17 to 19 at Prospect Park this year, and the festival will begin with a kickoff show on the Friday (5/17) from 4 PM to 10 PM with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Flaming Lips, and The Darkness. Whoa! Tickets for the kickoff show go on sale Thursday (3/28) at noon. More info on the rest of the festival
coming very soon HERE.
Updated YYYs dates are listed, along with their new video for "Scarilege", below...
Why yes, we have posted a lot of stuff already today. Here's some more
Mythbuster? More like Myrthbuster. TV personality Jamie Hyneman apparently abandoned his first born. Luckily, NYC has a history of taking your poor, your tired, and your mustachioed; baby Hyneman has taken up residence at the New York Aquarium. (confused?).
Shades of Scott Tenorman: Radiohead Fan Sells Cheating Girlfriend's Tickets Online, Gets Invited to Hang Out with Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul.
Morrissey is in NYC right now and appeared on Colbert.
Is Spotify's business model broken? Anybody pay for Spotify Premium? (editor's note: I do)
For those who like free stuff: We are giving away two tickets to see Menomena at Bowery Ballroom on October 11 on the BV Facebook Page as well as tickets to Dark Dark Dark and Emily Wells at LPR on 10/13 and to The Darkness at Terminal 5 on 10/21.
Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" "received more performances on U.S. radio and television than any other song in the BMI repertoire during 2011."
The Rolling Stones "are pleased to announce the WORLD EXCLUSIVE first airplay of the brand new single from The Rolling Stones, 'Doom And Gloom' will take place on Thursday October 11th at 8:15am. The single can be downloaded on the same day from iTunes."
Toro Y Moi has announced that he'll release a new album called Anything In Return on January 21st via Carpark Records.
Hey arty types: design Richard Hawley's Guitar Skin!
I swear we're not making any of this stuff up.
More stuff below...
The Darkness at Stubb's in Austin, 5/27/2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Before heading to South America, The Darkness are playing two U.S. shows in October: Terminal 5 in NYC on 10/21 and Club Nokia in LA on 10/24. Tickets for the T5 show go on sale Friday, August 10 at noon with an AMEX/fan presale happening Wednesday (8/8/) at noon.
The Darkness have announced details of their third album, Hot Cakes, which will be out August 21 on Wind-Up Records. You can check out the cover art for the album below, which fits right in with the band's over-the-top style. In addition to "Everybody Have a Good Time" and "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us" which have already seen the light of day, Hot Cakes also includes a studio recording of The Darkness' take on Radiohead's "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" which has been a live favorite for years. You can stream it over at Pitchfork, and check out the full tracklist for the album below.
The Darkness were last in NYC back in May for a two-night stand at Irving Plaza. No new American Dates have been announced as of yet but the band are about to start a fairly massive European tour opening for Lady Gaga. All those dates are listed below.
Tenacious D at Sasquatch 2012 (more by Chris Graham)
today in NYC
* Lynx @ Pianos
* Veveritse @ Barbes
* The Unlearning @ The Stone
* The Jacksons @ The Apollo
* Glen Hansard @ Barnes & Noble
* Glen Hansard @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Yacht Rock Revue @ Canal Room
* Tenacious D @ Hammerstein Ballroom
* Percy Jones & The NJ-12 @ Barbes
* Lez Zeppelin @ Abron Arts Center
* Breakestra, Heylady @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Zeena and the Adorables @ The Stone
* Your 33 Black Angels, David Mosey @ Zebulon
* The Young, Purling Hiss @ Maxwell's
* EXITMUSIC, Stagnant Pools @ Mercury Lounge
* Conveyor, Spanish Prisoners @ Mercury Lounge
* The Subscribers, DJ Heffay @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Schism (Tool tribute) @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise
* Gangstagrass, The Defibulators @ Knitting Factory
* Japandroids, Cadence Weapon @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Sam Prekop & Archer Prewitt (of The Sea & Cake) @ BAM Cafe
* Sophia Knapp, Matteah Baim, Platnumb Hits @ Knitting Factory
* Chris Malinchak, Amtrac, Bufi, Analog Fire @ Santos Party House
* Karen and The Sorrows, Clare Burson, The Library @ The Rock Shop
* Memorial birthday bash for Steve Mach w/ Sic Fucks @ Parkside Lounge
* Rap Raw, LUSHES, Chat Logs, Guerilla Toss @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge
* Team Spirit, Bosco Delrey, EULA, Total Slacker (DJ Set) @ 929 XPO
* Shit Robot DJ set, Goldroom DJ set, Sean Glass @ Hudson Terrace Roof
* Lewis & Clarke, The Heaven's Jail Band, Judson Claiborne @ Union Pool
* Young Magic, Quilt, Woodsman, Crinkles @ Glasslands
* Single Mothers, She Rides, The Greek Favourites, Trenchfoot @ Death By Audio
* The Communion, Wake The Machines, Grudges, Radiation BlackBody @ Saint Vitus
* Youngman Grand, Elephant Wrecking Ball, A Locomotive, The Buffalo Jump @ Cameo
* Doubting Thomas Cruise Control, Dances, Stone Cold Fox, The Neighbors @ Cake Shop
* White Lung, Nude Beach, California X, Casanovas In Heat, The Narcs @ Tommys Tavern
* Joey Bada$$, Capital Steez, Chuck Strangers, CJ Fly, T'Nah Apex, Kirk Knight @ S.O.B.'s
* Life Size Maps, Mala Strana, Port St. Willow, Ben Seretan, Dinosaur Feathers @ Shea Stadium
* Running Late w/ Scott Rogowsky, Ted Alexandro, Myq Kaplan, Baratunde Thurston @ 92YTribeca
* Risk! w/ Kevin Allison, Simon Amstell, Tom Shillue, Mara Wilson, Jamie Lee, Lisa Kirchner @ The Pit
* Roadside Graves, Natureboy, She Keeps Bees, Cat Martino, Doug Keith, Sharon Van Etten DJ set @ Pianos
The Death Set were supposed to play XPO 929 tonight but they dropped out "due to personal reasons." The rest of the bands are stil playing.
It's supposed to hit 90° today -- maybe cool off in the McCarren Pool which opened today and is free.
Check out the new video for The Darkness's "Everybody Have A Good Time" below, alongside a recent video for White Lung's "Take The Mirror".
Tonight, Chuck Schuldiner and the legacy of his highly influential band Death will be celebrated as "Death to All". Gorguts support at the sold-out Irving Plaza show.
Mogwai at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
today in NYC
* Little Richard @ BB King's
* Kristen Schaal @ UCB East
* Mogwai, Balam Acab @ Webster Hall
* Kool Keith, Lushlife @ Brooklyn Bowl
* With Lions, Via Audio @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Oliver, Sean Glass @ Hudson Terrace Roof
* EPMD, DJ Scratch @ Herbert Von King Park
* KOORTWAH, Black Cloud (DJ set) @ La Sala
* Ramona Falls, The Darcys @ Mercury Lounge
* Theresa Andersson, Lucius @ The Bell House
* King Tuff, Natural Child, Habibi @ Maxwell's
* Lisa Hannigan, Joe Henry @ Highline Ballroom
* Langhorne Slim, Ha Ha Tonka @ Bowery Ballroom
* Philip Glass, Tristan Perich @ Issue Project Room
* Niki & The Dove, Selebrities, Beacon @ Glasslands
* Pontiak, White Hills, Rhyton, EULA @ 285 Kent Ave
* Cold Cave, White Ring, Burning Star Core @ Europa
* ARMS, Friend Roulette, Birdwire @ Pete's Candy Store
* Lisa Marie Presley, Angela McCluskey @ Gramercy Theatre
* Daughn Gibson, Bell, Motion Studies @ Cameo Gallery
* Widowspeak, Nude Beach, Ex Cops, The Everymen @ Union Pool
* Such Hounds, Wailin' Storms, Golden Bones @ The Charleston
* Dragged Into Sunlight, MAKE, The Year Is One @ Saint Vitus
* Ceremony, Citizens Arrest, Royal Headache, Magrudergrind @ Warsaw
* Laura Marling, Michael Kiwanuka, Willy Mason @ Prospect Park Bandshell
* Shaved Women, Degreaser, Family Curse, Parquet Courts @ Death By Audio
* Wild Child, Dipers, Goosebumps, Nuclear Spring, Sad Boys @ 538 Johnson
* Sectarian Violence, The Love Below, Poison Planet, Pharaoh @ The Acheron
* The Pass, Miracles of Modern Science, Port St. Willow, Beady @ Spike Hill
* Extra Life, The Dreebs, Epistasis, Mad Osztrosis @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge
* Fat Trel, Fat Tony, Mess Kid (DJ set), Farrington G (DJ set) @ Santos Party House
* Dinosaur Feathers, Sat Nite Duets, The Fatty Acids, Radical Dads @ Cake Shop
* GZA & Grupo Fantasma perform "Liquid Swords", Brownout @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* The Secret History, The Barettas, Graveyard Lovers, Your 33 Black Angels @ Trash Bar
* Shenandoah and the Night, Natureboy, Gunfight, Give To Light, Grow Up To Be Cowboys @ Pianos
* Class Actress, Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow, Beach Day, Zambri, Air Waves @ Knitting Factory
* A Wilhelm Scream, Raindance, Man The Change, When Thieves Are About, Thirsty! @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Chain and the Gang, Magik Markers, M.A.K.U. SoundSystem, Mucca Pazza, Dustin Wong, and Dope Body @ Public Assembly
Today is the first day of the Northside Festival. BrooklynVegan is proud to host THREE shows during the festival, the first of which is tonight at Saint Vitus with Dragged into Sunlight, Make and The Year is One. If you dont have a badge you can get one here, and tickets are still available. Friday (6/15) is a BrooklynVegan doubleheader, featuring Harkonen, The Atlas Moth, Fight Amp and Whores at Union Pool as part of a BV-BBG/Brutal Panda showcase (tickets) as well as the official BV showcase with Frankie Rose, Caveman, Hume and Fort Lean at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets).
There's lots of hip hop shows tonight and this weekend. The Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) show which would have happened at the Apollo tonight was rescheduled for October 28.
Beach Boys play Good Morning America tomorrow morning (6/15).
Pretty fruitful day for videos! Passion Pit have a new video for "Take a Walk" from their forthcoming LP Gossamer. Watch it below.
Best Coast has a new video for the title track from their new LP The Only Place. Catch them on tour, including in NYC. Watch the video below
You may have heard that Edvard Munch's The Scream was sold for a whopping $120 million dollars to an anonymous telephone bidder. Funny or Die got the scoop and it can now be revealed that The Darkness are the winners of that prized piece of art. See what happened after they purchased the painting below.
Radiohead at Coachella (more by David Andrako)
today in NYC
* Timbala @ Barbes
* Jose Conde @ Joe's Pub
* Sarah Aroeste @ Joe's Pub
* Questlove @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Lukas Ligeti @ The Stone
* Big Christmas @ Union Hall
* Apparat @ Gramercy Theatre
* Amanda Palmer Block Party @ 55 9th St.
* My Best Fiend, Zula @ Mercury Lounge
* Radiohead, Caribou @ Prudential Center
* Martin Philadelphy, Giant Dwarf @ The Stone
* The Sheepdogs, Young Rival @ Mercury Lounge
* Clydesdale Erotic, Craig Martinson @ Union Pool
* Las Ardillas, Geek Skull, Dead/Beat @ Cake Shop
* Joe Pug, David Wax Museum @ Bowery Ballroom
* Thurston Moore, Bill Nace, Joe McPhee @ Roulette
* Nashgul, Marrow, Skleptarsis, Old Lines @ Saint Vitus
* Flosstradamus, Baauer, Tony Quattro, Mess Kid @ Drom
* Work=Pleasure, Peter Fonda, Dead Roses @ Glasslands
* Son Step, Railbird, In One Wind @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge
* The Static Jacks, Team Spirit, JesusLesFilles @ 59 Canal St.
* Rooftop Films w/ Mutual Benefit @ Old American Can Factory
* Right On Dynamite, Clouder, Luff, Toy Sugar @ Cameo Gallery
* Brums and Drass, Blind Benny, Alex Goumas, Varick @ Pianos
* Them Jeans, Giraffage, XXYYXX, Selebrities @ Santos Party House
* The Soft Moon, Cosmetics, Black Marble @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Mark Verbos, Nihiti, Sycorax, Oneirogen, Lorna Dune @ 285 Kent Ave
* Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, The Defibulators @ Highline Ballroom
* Shy Hunters, Natureboy, House of Wolves, Heart of Hearts @ The Paper Box
* Darmstadt 2012: Pauline Oliveros 80th Birthday Celebration @ Issue Project Room
* Will Bernard Trio, Noah Plotkin, Teddy Kumpel, Brett Bass, Colin Brown @ Zebulon
* D. Charles Speer, The Heaven's Jail Band, Sam Marine and County @ Death By Audio
* Americana Pie, Grayson Capps, Daniel Wayne, The Grand Prospect @ The Rock Shop
* Wig Party, The Clox, Stately Ghosts, The Oogie Boogies, King Aswad @ Knitting Factory
* Psychobuildings, Murphy Maxwell, Hexawhorra, Bichon, Doggiesatnight @ Public Assembly
* Galactic, Corey Clover (of Living Colour), Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Masta Ace, Fresh Daily, Kyle Rapps, YC The Cynic, Prem Rock, Warren Britt @ Public Assembly
* Adam & Naive, Jane Jane Pollock, Many Mansions, Emily Reo, Cuddle Formation @ Shea Stadium
* Curren$y, Styles P, THE JETS, Smoke DZA, Fiend 4 Da Money, Corner Boy P, Trademark, Young Roddy @ Webster Hall
The Darkness just released a lyric-video for their cheeky new single "Every Inch of You" and you can watch it below.
The Cribs have a new VHS-y-looking video for "Glitters Like Gold" you can watch below as well.
photos by Chris La Putt, words by Bill Pearis
Last night (2/6), Irving Plaza was witness to call-and-response sing-a-longs with the audience, epic guitar solos played while riding a roadie through the crowd, and a trust fall into the congregation. And that was just one song. It could only be The Darkness.
This was the second of two nights at Irving, their first NYC shows in five years or so. (We have pictures from Saturday too.) It was also after that Superbowl ad thrust the band back into public conscious, but it didn't seem like anyone there had forgotten about them. This crowd -- which included Dee Snider -- was primed to rawk and frontman Justin Hawkins had them eating out of the palm of his hand. When he yelled "I wanna see some thumbs!" we instantly obliged.
The Darkness are masters of this kind of schtick (that also included costume changes and headstands), as rehearsed as every twin lead, but it's performed with feeling. More than a feeling, even. We got the exact same 23-song setlist as Saturday night (probably the whole tour), which included the entirety of their 2003 debut Permission to Land, two songs from its overblown follow-up, One Way Ticket to Hell(and Back), some choice b-sides (the great "Best of Me"), and a handful of songs from their just-finished third album, due out sometime this year.
Of the new material, new single "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" stood out, as did the Thin Lizzy-ish "She's Just a Girl, Eddy." I was actually hoping we'd get more of the second album than we did, as I think its problems aren't so much the songs as the production and mixing which accenuated The Darkness' excessive qualities. We got its title track and "Is it Just Me" but I really wanted the Celtic, Slade-style stomper "Hazel Eyes" which is my personal favorite from that album.
But it was the Permission to Land stuff that really killed, from set-and-album opener "Black Shuck" to singles "Growing on Me," and "Love is Only a Feeling" and shoulda-been single "Friday Night," masturbatory ballad "Holding My Own" (performed, ahem, solo acoustic), and their hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love."
The quarter of the crowd that left after that one missed the epic show-closer "Love on the Rocks (with No Ice)" which the band stretched to 15 minutes thanks to the insanity mentioned in the first paragraph. I'm happy to report that Hawkins' falsetto, so integral (like it or not) to the album, is still in fine form. The whole band was in fine form and benefit from the hardly-partying lifestyle they've adopted. As the band left the stage, Hawkins announced "See you in a few months" and it seems the world may actually be ready and willing for a return.
Click through for lots more photos from the show, including a few from openers Foxy Shazam and Crown Jewel Defense. The Darkness play Philadelphia tonight (2/7), and all upcoming dates are below as well.
by Ryan Barkan
The Darkness played a Superbowl commercial
Another Super Bowl, another year where the Cowboys didn't win, and another year of music-filled commercials. The Patriots entered the field to "Crazy Train" by English metal god Ozzy Osbourne (who is currently having a feud of his own with an old bandmate). The Giants entered to "Written in the Stars" by English rapper Tinie Tempah.
Did you catch that map of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the Samsung commercial for their Galaxy (with stylus!)? You know, the one that had a sweet use of The Darkness jam "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"? Yeah, it was there and showed a close up of Berry and N. 1st in Google Maps. Did I mention they also have a stylus? The Darkness are currently in NYC, played Irving Plaza on Superbowl eve and do so again tonight (2/6). Watch the ad which stars the band's Justin Hawkins, below.
My personal favorite music-based commercial of Super Bowl XLVI goes to the Mr. Sandman-induced dream sequence in a new Kia commercial that featured two great music choices.
The spot starts with the Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman" for the first few seconds of the commercial. That song makes way for something completely different, like Motley Crüe. The band actually shows up and plays inside the race track-themed dream of the alpha male hero. He drives the track to impress Adrianna Lima while the Crüe shred on "Kickstart My Heart". Watch "A Dream Car For Real Life" below.
In the "did I just hear Megafaun in a commercial" category, Megafaun wins one for the little guys and gets a song used in a new Toyota ad. The band's song "Hope You Know" sounds super good as the soundtrack to a story-esque spot for the Camry model. Watch it below.
Also of significant note was another brand-infused OK GO music video. The band collaborated with Chevrolet to make a commercial/music video for the song "Needing/Getting", off the 2010 album Of The Blue Colour Of the Sky. The band is filmed strapped inside a Chevy Sonic, singing and utilizing both the car and a strategically placed course sprinkled with over 1100 instruments that more or less sound like the studio version of the song. The set up is meticulous, as is the band's ability to show up in a paid advertisement in an easily-digestible, yet very memorable way.
My single most favorite lyric placed in a Super Bowl commercial goes to the lines I know it must be killing time / unknowingly mine. Audi tries to end the whole Vampire craze with its 2012 game day commercial featuring Echo & The Bunnymen's "Killing Moon." Watch below.
photos by Chris La Putt
"The Darkness at Irving. Hope to have as much fun doing anything ever as these guys have on stage." - Sloane Crosley
The Darkness, and opener Foxy Shazam, played their first of two shows at Irving Plaza in NYC on Saturday night (2/4), part of a tour that continues with another Irving Plaza show on Monday (tickets). We'll have a full report after Monday's show. For now here are some pictures from last night. They continue with the setlist below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Sleep - Valentine (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Sleep - Ace (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moonmen on the Moon, Man - Hey Look, a Sweat Baloon Artist (MP3)
Hospitality (photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Happy Groundhog Day folks. As you may have heard, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow so we're getting six more weeks of winter. If that means the kind of winter we've had so far, I'm okay with that. I'm much more likely to head out and go see shows when not faced with the dreaded wintry mix. And there's lots of good shows this weekend, so let's get out there.
First up, the Hospitality record release party at Glasslands this Friday (2/3) (tickets still available). Their album came out this week on Merge, and I think makes a great case for not rushing things. Hospitality started playing about three years ago and released a CDR EP in the spring of 2009 that got them some notice. Most bands would've had an album out by the end of the year, but Hospitality took their time, honed their craft and became a really great live band. And the album is terrific, not a bad song in the bunch; winsome but there's some muscle in there too. You can stream the whole shebang at Merge's website or with Spotify.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are The Darkness who are back for their first US tour in six years, playing Irving Plaza on Saturday (2/4, sold out) and Monday (2/6, still available). As stated before, I'm a huge fan of the Darkness' first album, 2003's near-perfect Permission to Land, which I picked as one of the best of the '00s. As a pop album. Justin Hawkins knows his way around a giant hook. After the overblown excesses of One Way Ticket to Hell (And Back) and Justin Hawkins' ill-advised Sunset Strip spandex group Hot Leg, the band seem to be back on track with new single "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" which is a little more in the "Growing on Me" vein.
The Darkness' show at Bowery Ballroom back in 2003 was one of the most fun shows I've been to in the last ten years, and from YouTube footage of recent shows it looks like they've still got it. They are a kick-ass live band -- it takes skill to play "I Believe in a Thing Called Love's" solo whilst riding on your roadie's shoulders through the audience. (I hope they're still doing that.) Tickets are still available for Monday's show.
The Big Sleep
Hospitality aren't the only ones with a record release party this week. The Big Sleep released The Nature Experiments this week, their first album in four years and their record release show is tonight (2/2) at Knitting Factory. It might be their most melodic record to date, with more songs that have caught my ear on first listen than I remember them doing before. You can download two of the album's best tracks at the top of this post and the listen to the entire album at Spotify. The Big Sleep are touring as well, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Moonmen on the Moon, Man
Still more record release party fun: Tomorrow night (2/3) at Cake Shop is a dual record release party for Moonmen on the Moon, Man and Glass Anchors who both have record coming out on the venue's subsidary Cape Shok label which finally seems to be in gear after a lot of promise but inactivity. MMotMM, which might feature members who work or even own Cake Shop, rock in an late-'80s/early-90s college radio kind of way. Their endearingly sloppy pop -- with a little punk and twang -- woulda been right at home on, say, Frontier Records, nestled in amongst Flop and Thin White Rope and Redd Kross. You can download a track from the EP at the top of this post.
Glass Anchors is the musical project of songwriter Annie Sicherman who I admit to not knowing much about but her Cape Shok EP is lovely, dusty folk pop. Says the press release:
Honing her songs in various bands over various years, soaring songstress Annie Sicherman brings us GLASS ANCHORS. The songs on her fledgling EP are plaintive, reflective, honest, and good. GLASS ANCHORS sounds best tearing up road (preferably dirt), the one to oblivion - right after you ended the longest relationship you ever had, the one you thought would last, the one with the proposal. That road can be in your head, but certainly GLASS ANCHORS has the ability to take you there every time... with Glass Anchors, we have the real Annie 3000%, no matter what road you're on.You can stream Glass Anchors' EP at the bottom of this post. The Cake Shop show also features Bright Lights, Overlord and Fergus & Geronimo.
That's the big stuff this week. A few more picks, day-by-day, are below of things not already covered here.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2
LA's Classixx play the Popshop party at Santos with Workout and The French Horn Rebellion. You may know Classix from their remixes, like the excelent one they did for Phoenix's "Lisztomania." The group's new single is out this summer on a new label that's a joint venture from the Kitsune Maison folks and, I'm not kidding, the Cobrasnake.
Spacecamp, Mon Khmer, Romans and Skaters are at Bowery Electric. Spacecamp's new EP is pretty good, especially if you like a little Police in your pop rocks.
The Death Set, who I haven't seen play since maybe SXSW 2008, are at the Delancey. Always fun live.
by Bill Pearis
The Darkness have just released their first new material in seven years, in the form of single "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" which is not, thankfully, a cover of the Starship song. It is however, and probably goes without saying, a rocker and reasonably restrained, at least compared to The Darkness' second album. And pretty good! You can download the single for free at the band's website and watch its cool, animated video at the bottom of this post.
The single is timed to coincide with the launch of The Darkness' North American tour that kicks off tonight in Toronto. While their show at Irving Plaza on Saturday night (2/4) is sold out, the band added a second Irving show on Monday (2/6) to which tickets are still available. All Darkness tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
The Darkness, who are planning a new album and tour for 2012, have added a second NYC date to their tour which already includes the sold out Irving Plaza show on February 4. The new show will be happening at the same venue two days later (2/6). Tickets are on sale now.
Updated dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Oh happy day! The Darkness are coming back to America in early 2012, including a February 4 stop at Irving Plaza. (No on-sale date yet.) A full list of North American tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
We haven't had The Darkness on these shores in at least five years around the time the band was promoting their overblown second album One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back. Due to rock n' roll problems, the band didn't last much longer. Bassist Frankie Poulain left in 2005, and frontman/songwriter Justin Hawkins quit the following year after a stint in rehab. The remaining members of The Darkness continued on as the Stone Gods and Hawkins formed the more latex glam Hot Leg who played SXSW in 2009. In March of this year, the original line-up of The Darkness reformed, started playing shows and announced they were working on a new album.
That album is part of the reason why they're touring. Hawkins tells Rolling Stone that the band are going to Nashville in January to record a few more songs. The tour in February will unleash a few of those new tracks, as well as the entirety of the band's fantastic 2003 debut Permission to Land, which this writer considers to be a genuine classic, one of my favorites of the '00s:
Clearly you don't wear spandex cat suits, sing in a Tiny Tim falsetto and write a love song to a genital wart ("Growing On Me") and not understand irony, but it was clear singer/guitarist/songwriter Justin Hawkins loves this stuff. Part Thin Lizzy riff rock boogie, part Queen flamboyance, Permission to Land is all hits, start to finish. (If you can get past Justin Hawkins' falsetto.) And some of the most inspired, melodically-driven guitar solos (some songs have three) on any album of the last 20 years. Plus "Friday Night" which could almost be a Pulp song. And hilariously insane videos (especially "Growing on Me".) It all went up Hawkins' nose on the overblown second album, but Permission to Land is brilliant.I still wear my Darkness t-shirt that I got free with purchase of the Permission to Land CD at Virgin Times Square and count their September 2003 show at Bowery Ballroom as one of the most fun of the last ten years.
Tour dates and some of their classic Permission to Land videos are below.
by Bill Pearis
I saw upwards of 50 bands during the four days of SXSW. These were the most memorable. I think.
1. Pete and the Pirates (Emo's Annex, 3.20.2009)
Easily the best band I saw at SxSW this year. Of course, as their album Little Death made my Best of 2008, I already had a predilection to like them but Pete and the Pirates so nailed their great songs live -- the harmonies, the guitar interplay, everything -- that I just had a big grin on my face the whole time. My only regret: not seeing them more than once.
photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
Hot Legs @ the SPIN party @ Stubb's in Austin - March 20, 2009
AUSTRALIA's THE AGE's SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST BREAKDOWNThe novelty act played two shows (that I know of) at SXSW this past week. There was the Friday afternoon SPIN party (pictured above), and the 11pm set at Emo's Annex the next night. I caught the latter which satisfied my need to see the leader of the Darkness's new band at least once. I doubt i would go see them again, or even really listen to more than maybe a single, but they were fun, and they shred on guitar.
Bizarre supergroup: Tinted Windows features members of Hanson, Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins and Fountains of Wayne playing catchy guitar-pop.
The pin-up: Sienna-lookalike Little Boots combines pre-recorded beats with synth and live drummer.
Commercial breakthrough: Cutesy New Yorkers Chairlift are already featured on an iPod ad.
Novelty act: Hot Leg is the new 1980s hair-metal project for Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins.
Critical darlings: UK act Mumford and Sons and their four-part harmonies.
Stadium potential: London goths White Lies attempt to merge U2 and the Killers. Playing Splendour in the Grass.
Crowd favourite: Boston act Passion Pit -- big on hand claps and synths.
Best new band name: Airborne Toxic Event have just signed to Universal and combine Bruce Springsteen and the Hold Steady.
More pictures Jacob took on Friday, below...
Meat Puppets @ ATP NY 2008 (more by Abbey Braden)
Stubb's in Austin is like Roseland Ballroom in NYC, except it's outdoors, it's conveniently located downtown near all the other venues, and you actually want to go see shows there (in my experience anyway). A lot of the "big" SXSW shows happen there. Last year Stubb's hosted R.E.M. and Motorhead. Metallica is still rumored to be playing there on the Friday night (which may or may not be the same show Jane's Addiction is or isn't playing). It's where the Decemberists will play their new album for the first time on that Wednesday, and it's where Andrew Bird is playing on the Thursday. PJ Harvey plays there that Saturday.
Each Stubb's bill has up to seven artists, and I think more than any other venue, they put together some... interesting combinations. Gomez is playing before Andrew Bird who is playing before Ben Harper. PJ Harvey and John Parrish are opening for... The Indigo Girls who are opening for... Third Eye Blind. AND, last but not least, The Meat Puppets are playing after... KATY PERRY. View the whole schedule, as it currently stands, at SXSW's site.
There are a couple of other big bands playing SXSW this year that I wanted to mention. The first is New York Dolls - they're playing Friday March 20th at 12:30 AM at Smokin' Music. The second is Echo and the Bunnymen - the UK band that recently headlined Radio City Music Hall have THREE official showcases scheduled in Austin, and they're scheduled to play the annual SPIN party at the 2500 (approx)-capacity Stubb's on Friday, March 20th, in the afternoon. Glasvegas, Passion Pit, Hot Leg (Justin Hawkins from the Darkness), Black Lips, and Cut Off Your Hands are also on SPIN's (invite only) bill.
FOC @ SXSW 2006 (CRED)
If you've been to SXSW, this documentary is hilarious. If you like Flight of the Conchords, this documentary is hilarious. If you haven't been to SXSW, this documentary is still hilarious, but also educational (in that it will give you some idea of what it's like to go). If you hate Flight of the Conchords, maybe don't watch...