Entries tagged with: The Invisible

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The Fly is the "UK's most popular new music magazine," but if you haven't heard of it, its because it's a free monthly that doesn't really get international distribution. You can however read it online. The mag just released it's year-end issue and topping their Best Albums of 2012 is Sharon Van Etten's Tramp (which was just released in a Deluxe edition, a fine Xmas gift don't you know). Sharon narrowly beat out Grimes, whose Visions came in at #2. The whole list, in ascending order, is below and you can read what The Fly said about each album here.

By the way you can still get tickets for the December 15 show at Cameo that Sharon curated with She Keeps Bees and Speck Mountain and "Special Guest."

A list of the Fly's Top 50 Albums of 2012 is below.

Continue reading "'The Fly' magazine's Top 50 LPs of 2012 (Sharon Van Etten #1)"

Alt JAlt J

It's that time of year already I guess. NME quizzed a whole bunch of artists about their favorite album of the year. Bat For Lashes chose Alt-J who recently won the Mercury Prize and who chose Polica as their favorite. That and more, if you can understand what they're saying, in the video, below....

Continue reading "WATCH: Artists tell their favorite 2012 albums (Bat for Lashes pick Alt-J who pick Polica, etc)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Grass Widow - To Where (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose - Thee Only One (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Puzzles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Dare (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - You Can Listen You Can Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - Zhong Nan Hai (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PK-14 - Behind All Ruptures (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Xiao He - MTV (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Answering Machine - Another City, Another Sorry (MP3)

Frankie & the Outs - debut show @ The Woods on Halloween
Frankie and the Outs

I'm barely recovered from post-CMJ cold and we've got a week that is so packed with good shows it feels like another festival is in town.

The InvisibleMercury Prize nominees The Invisible are playing their first U.S. shows this week, starting with a free one tonight at Brooklyn Bowl. Their lauded debut album doesn't fit into one easy category, which befits a band on Matthew Herbert's label. It's all fairly warm and soulful, but with forays into funk, sparse ballads, electro and Krautrock. There's a lot going on and I'll be curious to see how a three-piece can pull it off live. The Invisible also play Santos tomorrow (11/5) opening for Dragonette, and then on Friday at Pianos (11/6) where they'll be on the same bill as Freelance Whales.

The Mary OnettesThe Mary Onettes, here from Sweden, play their first NYC show this year, tonight (11/4) at Union Hall where they'll play with Blacklist. As I said before, like a lot of the bands on Labrador, The Mary Onettes love the '80s and wear those influences on their black-clad sleeves. But their second album, Islands, wears them a little more subtly, though they are still writing reach-for-the-stars chorus -- now with strings. I like them a lot. They also play Friday (11/6) at Studio @ Webster Hall and then Sunday (11/8) at Mercury Lounge.

Grass Widow
Grass Widow

San Francisco's awesome Grass Widow are also in town this weekend for a string of dates, starting tomorrow (11/5) at The Woodser with Frankie & the Outs, Air Waves and Hot Box. (There was to be a second show tomorrow, late at Monster Island, but that has been cancelled.) There are more than a few all-girl trios out there playing vaguely C-86 style indie (including fellow San Franciscans Brilliant Colors), but Grass Widow write better songs than most, and I really like both 12" EPs they've released this year.

The Woodser show was to be notable as the live debut of Frankie & the Outs, but then they went and played Halloween night at similarly named Willliamsburg bar The Woods (picture above). Frankie's debut single, "Thee Only One," is out now and is worth picking up -- though I think more for the dreamy b-side "Hollow Life" than the A-side (good as it is, and downloadable above) which is a little more of what you'd expect from someone who spent time in Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. Frankie's got a way with harmonies, and the less that gets in the way of them, the better. There were a couple of songs The Outs did Saturday which were similarly laid back, and the best songs of the night.

The Bitters
The Bitters

Grass Widow also play Market Hotel on Friday night (11/6) along with Vivian Girls, The Bitters and Stupid Party. If you haven't heard The Bitters, the Toronto duo feature Ben Cook of Fucked Up (who play Thursday at Masonic Temple) and Aerin Fogel. They've got a single and an EP on Captured Tracks, the latter of which I dig (haven't heard the single yet). While definitely on the "low" end of the "fi" scale, Bitters are different from anything else on Captured Tracks with an early-'60s rock n' roll vibe (or early '80s West Coast punk), and Ben and Aerin's harmonies front-and-center.|

Grass Widow also play Saturday (11/7) afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum with Crystal Stilts and the Beets, a show which finally today was officially announced by the museum...

"Inspired by Gail's idea, and because we love Brooklyn photographers, on First Saturday we are inviting local photographers to come and shoot the bands that are playing and post their photos to the Brooklyn Museum's flickr group. Afterwards, Bob Gruen, a rock photography legend who is featured in the exhibition and has shot the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and The Clash, will look at the photos and blog about his favorites here!" [Brooklyn Museum]
Grass Window then play again at Market Hotel that night, for a show with Small Black, Pictureplane, Girls at Dawn and Cale Parks (formerly of Aloha). They're also going to play somewhere on Sunday (11/8)... venue TBA. Go see them if you can.

Carsick Cars
Carsick Cars

There's also the China Underground Invasion tour this weekend, with three of Beijing's best indie rock bands: Carsick Cars, PK-14 and Xiao He. In particular, I'm excited about Carsick Cars who I've actually heard of prior to this tour thanks to a friend who is living in Beijing and occasionally sends me music. They're definitely of the Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr school of noise n' drone. I only just got their new album, You Can Listen, You Can Talk, but have been listening to their 2008 debut a lot, and am told that its "Zhong Nan Hai" is like the Beijing indie anthem. The tour hits PowerHouse Arena tomorrow (11/5), Glasslands on Friday (11/6) and Santos on Saturday (11/7).

Tonight (11/4) is also the second week of The Answering Machine's three-week residency at Coco 66. The band has also added three more NYC dates while they're here: Nov. 9 at Pianos, Nov. 11 at Bruar Falls and Nov. 12 at Cake Shop.

Tahiti 80
Tahiti 80

And finally, Saturday night (11/7) French pop band Tahiti 80 play Mercury Lounge (tickets). When it comes to Franco-pop, Phoenix get the lion's share of the attention, but Tahiti 80 have been at it almost as long (if not just as long) and have made four danceable, hook-filled albums. The most recent of which, Activity Center, came out last year in France but is just now getting an American release. The band have retreated a bit from the full-on disco that was 2005's Fosbury, and gone back to the '60s sunshine of 2002's Wallpaper for the Soul which definitely suits them better. I haven't seen them play in ages, but they were always a good live band. Opening is Brookville, the other band from Ivy's Andy Chase -- who also produced Tahiti 80's first two albums.

Videos, tour dates and flyers are after the jump...

Continue reading "The Bitters, Grass Widow, Tahiti 80, The Mary Onettes, Frankie Rose, The Invisible & more in This Week in Indie "

photos by Bryan Bruchman

DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Ghosting (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Freelance Whales - Generator 2nd Floor (MP3)

Freelance Whales

Queens' Freelance Whales were one of the stand-out acts at this year's CMJ. The still-unsigned band played a number of shows, including the BV Pianos day party on Thursday, October 22nd, where they played a very applause-worthy, acoustic set of feel-good indie pop in the venue's upstairs to a large crowd for 1pm on a weekday. Among the many instruments they had with them: a watering can. Picture above. Another picture and some videos below.

The NY Times caught their Wednesday, October 21st set at Santos...

Freelance Whales sang anthems for the utterly diffident: "We could be friends/We have several interests in common." Quavery high lead vocals, banjo picking, march beats and the inevitable glockenspiel were elevated by crescendos that were no less effective for being so methodical, each verse thickening with countermelodies from synthesizer and guitars. Sure, Freelance Whales -- really, it's not too late for a band name change -- is glancing over its shoulder at Arcade Fire, but in song after song, twerpiness discovered its own dignity.
The band, whose self-released debut, Weathervanes, came out in September (tracks from it are above), are doing well for themselves without a label (though that probably won't be their status for long). They're set to head out on a six-week tour with Fanfarlo that starts Nov. 9th in Chicago. The tour finishes with a show at Webster Hall on December 18th. Tickets are on sale.

Before they leave, Freelance Whales will play a pre-tour, kick off show at Pianos on Friday, November 6th with Radical Sons and The Invisible (who are also playing two other NYC shows while they are here from the UK). Tickets are on sale.

The band also writes that they're going to be featured on this week's seaon finale of Bored to Death, in which "jason schwartzmann and zak galafianakis (sp?) get colonics and dodge strollers in brooklyn, as they themselves deal with their oral and anal fixations, as adult infants." Sounds interesting!

Videos from their acoustic set at Pianos, and all tour dates, are below...

Continue reading "Freelance Whales played CMJ (pics & video), playing Pianos (again) & touring w/ Fanfarlo (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

The Invisible

While this year's Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle canceled her CMJ appearances last week due to Visa issues, one of her fellow Mercury nominees, The Invisible, have managed to get their ducks in order and will be playing three NYC shows next week: a free show at Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday (11/4), Santos on Thursday (11/5) opening for Dragonette, and Friday (11/6) at Pianos.

The Invisible were named part of Drowned in Sound's "DiS Class of 2009":

As far as new band recommendations go, if avant-garde electro-whizz Matthew Herbert's into it, rest assured you're looking at something interesting. The Invisible, then, are set to release their eponymous debut album via his Accidental label this March and as calling cards go, it's shaping up to be one of 2009's finest. Dave Okumu, Leo Taylor and Tom Herbert (no relation) began playing together as 2006 drew to a close, with a joint pedigree taking in the likes of Zongamin, Gramme and Jade Fox. It's no surprise, therefore, that what was initially intended a project to showcase the rich, soulful vocals of Okumu soon flourished, blossoming into a collaborative effort every bit as exciting as you might imagine. Choppy guitars, a glossy studio sheen and sparingly dropped samples cosy up with aforementioned vocals, predictably seeing the term "British TV On The Radio" excitably bandied around - and as unimaginative a journalistic ascription that may be, it's one that really does make sense in this instance.
The Guardian adds this:
The Invisible also make connections between types of music previously considered irreconcilable - we can hear elements of space-prog in some of their freakier moments, and of Brit-funk on their forthcoming single - but they do so in a more focused way; that single has enough pop appeal and fabulous funk-tionality to be a hit. They also tend not to do what BLK JKS do, which is to offer a hazy maze of different genres often within a single track; instead, the London trio have a sort of one-style-per-song (or, at most, two-style clash per song) policy, so that, for example, Sinister Cat sounds like you always imagined mid-period Can would, Monster's Waltz suggests AR Kane jamming with Parliament while London Girl - the single of the year so far, folks, accompanied by a terrific arty shape-shifting black-and-white video worthy of Godley & Creme - reminds us of nothing so much as the capital's underrated, long-forgotten early-1980s Britfunk crews such as I Level or Light of the World circa their signature tune London Town. We've even heard it compared it to Ian Dury & the Blockheads; there's a similar warmth and easy-going charm to their brainiac forays. Is that a clavinet we hear before us? We sincerely hope so.
The video for "London Girl" and all Invisible 2009 tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Invisible (Mercury-nominated) are coming from the UK - 2009 Tour Dates & a video "

Bat for Lashes

Mercury Prize 2009 shortlist

Florence and the Machine - Lungs
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
La Roux - La Roux
Glasvegas - Glasvegas
Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy
Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
The Horrors - Primary Colours
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew
The Invisible - The Invisible
Led Bib - Sensible Shoes
Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Twice Born Men
The prize, which is voted on by UK critics and members of the music industry, comes with a £20,000 award. To be eligible an album must have been released between July 2008 and July 2009 by an act from the UK or Ireland. The winner will be announced on September 8th.

Of those listed above, Bat For Lashes, Friedly Fires, La Roux, and The Horrors have NYC-area shows coming up (do any of the others?).

Last year's prize, amid a strong field of contenders, was won by Elbow for their album The Seldom Seen Kid. That band's performance and award acceptance from the 2008 ceremony, below...

Continue reading "Mercury Prize 2009 shortlist announced "