Entries tagged with: The Megaphonic Thrift
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Endless Summer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Don't Fall in Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Still Corners - Eyes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Still Dawn (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Withered Hand - Religious Songs (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - Bootprints (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: King Creosote - My Favourite Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bloodgroup - My Arms (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Megaphonic Thrift - Candy Sin (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Lines - El Matador (MP3)
I get it, I get it. Many of you do not want to hear about SXSW. It's like other people's dreams, if you're not in it (or at it) you don't care. But New York is lucky in that we reap the rewards of so many bands flying into the U.S. And this week is filthy with foreign bands on their way to Austin for SXSW. As I write this through a flu-induced haze, my eyes glaze over at the sheer number of quality entertainments happening now through Tuesday (3/15). So let's get into it.
I'm sure Poland has a lot of bands, but you don't hear about many of them in America. They don't tend to play here. Tonight (3/11) at Knitting Factory you can check out one of them. Bajzel is a one man band whom Polish Newsweek (I know) said "is our Beck. Only better." I don't know about that, but his music -- all made on loop pedals apparently -- is pretty cool.
For this tour he's cherry-picked some of his more English-friendly songs from his many Polish releases as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp. You can stream it at the bottom of this post. It ranges from rock to Eastern European folk to hip-hop influence dancepop. If you can't go Friday, Bajzel will also play Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday (3/15) with someone called That 1 Guy.
Also playing the Knitting Factory show are Vancouver's Mother Mother who headline and make melodramatic (bordering on histrionic) pop, and Elijah Bonfire, the new band from Kevin Calaba who used to front Stars of Track & Field. Bajzel will be back after SXSW, playing The Gutter on March 25 (it's like his bowling alley tour) with Plushies and Desert Stars.
Saturday (3/12) is the American debut of UK band Still Corners, who are now, like Memoryhouse and Niki and The Dove (both other recent announcements), officially part of the Sub Pop family. You can download both of their singles to date at the top of this post. The songs typify the band's dreamy, haunting sound. I'm super excited to see these folks. If you're going to Austin and have a SXSW badge, they're also playing the Dot Com Day Stage on Thursday (3/17) with Frankie & the Heartstrings and Erland & the Carnival, a line-up I curated. After Austin, the band are going on tour with labelmates Papercuts and all dates are below.
We now move to Scotland. Withered Hand is the music project of visual artist Dan Willson, who counts Jarvis Cocker and Frightened Rabbit as fans and is touring in support of his debut LP, Good News, which will be receiving a belated North American release on March 15 via Absolutely Kosher. Says The List of Good News:
Willson is a curious pop disciple: a deadpan bard eternally vexed by the doctrines of God, the inconsequence of life, and the transparent nature of modern swimwear. Good News, his gorgeous debut album, delivers a compendium of warped-rock sermons that variously reference Seventh-day Adventism ('Cornflake'); lyrical post-rationalisation ('For the Maudlin'); and knocking one out on your paramour's couch ('Religious Songs', his signature anthem).Check out two tracks at the top of this post (I especially like "Religious Songs."). Withered Hand plays
Despite his dedication to a DIY cause that's seen Withered Hand galvanise Edinburgh's live terrain and perform with Jeffrey Lewis and Calvin Johnson, Willson's quavering vocals and acoustic eulogies elicit heavy-hitters Bright Eyes (on woebegone porch-swing opener 'Providence') - and even Neil Young at times.
UPDATE: Due to visa issues, Withered Hand's Brooklyn show is cancelled, and the other shows might not happen either.
The Rockwood show is of special note as Withered Hand will be performing with (like at the same time) Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too. Monday will be Anderson's first-ever U.S. performance.
Speaking of first-evers, Thrawn, came out on Domino last month, his first U.S. release, and it's a good introduction to what he's about, though it doesn't include "Not One Bit Ashamed" one of Anderson's most moving songs. It's still a good first listen. You can download two tracks from it above. Anderson also runs Fence Records, part label, part collective that has James Yorkston, FOUND and Withered Hand on their roster. Kenny's got a new album, Diamond Mine, due out in May on Domino. The LP is a collaboration with Jon Hopkins that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can catch King Creosote at SXSW and in California too, and those dates are at the bottom of this ever-growing post.
The last of our Scotland artists is by no means the least. Edwyn Collins is playing his first American shows in eight years this weekend: Sunday night (3/13) at The Rock Shop (sold out) and Monday night (3/14) at Bowery Ballroom. His great new album Losing Sleep comes out in the U.S. on March 22 and you can download the title track at the top of this post. As I wrote before:
Edwyn Collins' new album, Losing Sleep, is one of the year's best. His first made since two brain haemorrhages nearly took his life in 2005 and left him at first without the ability to walk or talk, let alone write songs. That it exists at all is a miracle, that it's as great as it is a testament to his spirit. Helping him out on the album are a cavalcade of talent -- Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, The Drums, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand, The Magic Numbers -- but always in the service of getting Collins' songs on record.Edwyn actually left a comment on that post (not about hummus), as to whether his band still features former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook was still in the band: "Yep, Paul and I are still playing together and we'll be with you soon." I wonder if there will be some special guests at one of these shows? I'm not counting on it, and you don't need any extra reason to go.
Opening both of Edwyn's shows are The Kinbeats, a London quartet made up of three brothers and their cousin who have been protegés of Collins' since his recovery from his two strokes in 2005. Their debut, produced by Collins, is due out sometime this year. The big Bs (Beach Boys, Beatles) are a clear influence on the band and kind of remind me of early-'00s band Cosmic Rough Riders. They won't be heading to Austin, so do get there early and check them out.
While we're in Scotland, don't forget Trashcan Sinatras are at Joe's Pub on Sunday (3/13).
The Megaphonic Thrift
Up next: Nordic bands. Norway's loud and awesome Megaphonic Thrift, who played in NYC last March on their way to SXSW as their new album, Decay Destroy, had just come out in their home country of Norway. It's taken a year for the album to get an American release -- out next month on Sonic Union -- but it's probably good timing as their sound fits in well with the '90s indie rock resurgence we're experiencing right now.
Check out the "Candy Sin" -- part Sonic Youth, part Swervedriver -- at the top of this post. I've seen them a couple times. If you dig loud, shoegazy rock The Megaphonic Thrift do it very well. They play Saturday Night (3/13) at Mercury Lounge with Endless Boogie and Arboretum. And then they play Monday night (3/14) at The Rock Shop as part of our second-annual BrooklynVegan SXSW Kickoff Party that also features Iceland's Bloodgroup and UK rock combo The Lines. Tickets are only $8, do come out if you can.
Moving South to Denmark we have WhoMadeWho who are playing both Santos Party House ands Mercury Lounge before they head to Texas.
The big news is, I guess, James Blake's first U.S. show on Monday at Music Hall of Williamsburg which is way sold out so if you couldn't get in there, there's no shortage of other stuff going on, as this finally-ending column just showed you. I'd love to see you come out to The Rock Shop, but it's hard to choose no doubt. Go see something, though.
Ok that's it. I'll be in Austin next week so no column but there's lots of post SXSW action in NYC coming up so stay tuned for that. Below are a few more good show options, day-by-day.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11
Toronto's Small Sins play the Rock Shop which I wrote about earlier this week.
Robyn Hitchcock and Joe Boyd are at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (3/11), which I wrote about earlier today.
by Bill Pearis
The Megaphonic Thrift
This year's SXSW festival is a month away and some of you may be sick of hearing about it already. Especially if you're not going. One nice thing about New York is a lot of the international acts play here either on their way to or from Austin, and usually doing longer sets than you'd get at the fest.
In that spirit, like last year, we're gonna bring a little of the SXSW spirit to Brooklyn -- minus the inability to find a cab at midnight. The BrooklynVegan & Tiger Mountain pre-SXSW Party will be at The Rock Shop on Monday, March 14 with Bloodgroup, The Megaphonic Thrift and The Lines. Tickets are only $8 and on sale now.
Iceland synth pop collective Bloodgroup headline the night. Maybe you saw them at CMJ last year. The band's 2009 LP, the slinky, seductive Dry Land, drew favorable comparisons to The Knife. KEXP's blog wrote of their 2010 CMJ performance, "Bloodgroup could be this year's The xx, if enough people take the time to stop and listen." Stop and listen to Bloodgroup's single "My Arms" at the top of this post.
The Megaphonic Thrift (who share members with Casiokids and The Low Frequency in Stereo) played in NYC last March on their way to SXSW as their new album, Decay Destroy, had just come out in their home country of Norway. It's taken a year for the album to get an American release -- out next month on Sonic Union -- but it's probably good timing as their sound fits in well with the '90s indie rock resurgence we're experiencing right now.
Check out the "Candy Sin" -- part Sonic Youth, part Swervedriver -- at the top of this post. I've seen them a couple times. If you dig loud, shoegazy rock The Megaphonic Thrift do it very well. If you can't make the Rock Shop show, the band plays the night before (3/13) at Mercury Lounge where they'll play with Endless Boogie and Arboretum.
Openers are The Lines who hail from Wolverhampton, UK (home of Slade, Goldie and Ned's Atomic Dustbin) and, like Bloodgroup, were here last in October for CMJ. Check out their single "El Matador" at the top of this post which should appeal to fans of Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party, and other danceable UK indie.
Should be a fun night, especially because we're giving away Strongbow Cider to those who get there early (while it lasts). Videos and all tour dates for all three bands, below...
by Bill Pearis
By now you hopefully you know that Norway's awesome Casiokids are playing our Brooklyn Vegan Pre-SXSW party, alongside Let's Wrestle, The Wave Pictures, Banjo or Freakout and WhoMadeWho. There's now also free PBR for an hour or two (exact details on that soon). And I'll be DJing in between sets. It's all very exciting, isn't it? There are still some tickets available -- only $8.
In that previous post about Casiokids, we mentioned a compilation of the band's 2009 singles called Topp stemning på lokal bar that was, as of that writing, only coming out in Norway. The band have since announced that they've signed to Polyvinyl in the U.S. who will release the album, complete with bonus disc of remixes just like in Norway.
The Knitting Factory show is actually one of three that Casiokids will be playing in NYC before they head to Austin for SXSW. They will also play Pianos this Saturday (3/13) along with Banjo or Freakout, Denmark's synth-rock quintet Spleen United and our Italian friends A Classic Education. Casiokids also play Littlefield on Sunday (3/14) afternoon for an all-Scandinavian party that again features Spleen United, plus Denmark's only surf/flamenco band, The Good The Bad, and The Megaphonic Thrift.
The Megaphonic Thrift are made up of members of Casiokids and The Low Frequency in Stereo and are definitely of the '90s indie rock variety (in this case think GBV or Dinosaur Jr.) that seems to be coming back into style lately. You can download their single "Acid Blues" at the top of this post. Their debut, Decay Destroy, just came out in Norway and is available here through your favorite digital store. I haven't seen them play yet, but BV caught them at by:Larm and said they were pretty good. Pictures from their February 18th show at Oslo club Sub Scene are below.
In addition to the Littlefield show, Megaphonic Thrift are playing Sunday night (3/14) at Bowery Electric and then on Monday night at Santos Party House for a Oya Fest / Oh My Rockness party with fellow Norwegians Pirate Love (High energy, Hives-ish garage) and Hanne Hukkelberg (orchestrated pop), plus The Depreciation Guild. Mind you this is the same night as our Knitting Factory show, so Megaphonic Thrift will play Santos then certain members will race across the Williamsburg Bridge to join their Casiokids bandmates in time for that set. It's all going to work out fine.
Pirate Love will be back after SXSW for a couple shows with UK garage act Thee Vicars. Catch them at Cameo Gallery on March 26 and Lit Lounge on March 27.
Spleen United @ CMJ 2009
The aforementioned Spleen United are also playing this Wednesday (3/10) at Union Hall with fellow Danes Choir of Young Believers. I caught Spleen United at CMJ back in October and they reminded me of the kind of band that 20 years ago would've been on Wax! Trax! or Play it Again Sam records -- the poppier side of goth/industrial. They've had #1 albums in Denmark I've since learned. With multiple percussionists, they put on a pretty good live show too.
Choir of Young Believers were also here at CMJ. Their debut, This is for the White in Your Eyes, is elegiac folk that gets the band compared to Fleet Foxes quite a bit but CoYB are a bit more instrumentally varied and grandiose than Robin Pecknold and co. It really is a lovely record. The Union Hall show also features The Loom (who played that BV loft show during CMJ 2009) and Spain's The Right Ons. Choir of Young Believers also play Pianos on Thursday (3/11) with Brooklyn's ARMS who are worth checking out in their own right.
Choir of Young Believers
That's more than enough for one post. Below are videos, flyers and tour dates for some of the bands mentioned here...