Entries tagged with: The Monochrome Set
by Bill Pearis
Math & Physics Club
NYC Popfest 2013 is in full swing, with a host of Friday (5/31) goings-on. This afternoon at 5 PM at Williamsburg bar/videostore/screening room Videology, there is a free showing of K Records documentary The Shield Around the K with a post-screening Q&A with director Heather Rose Dominic.
After that, a few blocks away at Knitting Factory will be tonight's showcase featuring headliners The Monochrome Set who are playing their first NYC shows in 30 years this week. Truly one of most underrated bands of the postpunk era, their legacy can be felt in Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand and more. The band, which features original members Bid and Lester Square as well as longtime bassist Andy Warren (who was an original member of Adam & the Ants), sounded great on Monday at Bowery Electric and they're promising to mix up the setlist too. Not to be missed. Tickets are still available.
The rest of the line-up at Knit is strong too. Seattle's bookish Math & Physics Club haven't played here in ages and their 2010 LP, I Shouldn't Look as Good as I Do, is a great example of the group's gentle, acoustic-y jangle. You can stream it at Spotify. Their singer was suffering from a bout of laryngitis last night, apparently, so hopefully he's spending today sleeping and drinking Throat Coat tea.
There's also Florida's Cassolette who make breathless, buzzy pop (stream some songs below); and Boise, Idaho's The Very Most who bring a welcome touch of glitchiness (and minor chords) to the proceedings.
After the Knitting Factory show, you can head over to The Loft above Public Assembly (70 N. 6th St) at midnight for an afterparty featuring the folks behind Los Angeles' Hungry Beat indiepop party. The School, who played last night, will DJ too. That goes from midnight to 4 AM and is free and open to the public.
Flyer for the afterparty, set times for Knitting Factory and videos/stream, below...
photos by PSquared Photography, words by Bill Pearis
The Monochrome Set @ Bowery Electric, 5/27/2013
Arch, erudite post punks The Monochrome Set played their first NYC show in over 30 years on Memorial Day (5/27) at Bowery Electric with the pounding drums of their titular theme song leading the charge. Their opening trifecta hit with some of their best-known songs, "The Lighter Side of Dating" and "The Jet Set Junta." Featuring original members Bid (vocals, guitar) and lead guitarist Lester Square, plus longtime bassist Andy Warren and a fez-wearing drummer, the band and their music -- a melange of Spaghetti Western twang, gypsy carnival music and pre-Smiths jangle -- have aged gracefully.
Over for NYC Popfest and a few other shows, The Monochrome Set are also plugging a new album, Platinum Coils, which details Bid's 2010 brush with death via a brain aneurysm, albiet in the band's typical jaunty, witty style. Songs from the record were sprinkled throughout their set and fit nicely alongside classics like "B-I-D Spells Bid," "Jacob's Ladder" and "Eine Symphonie Des Grauens." After their initial 17-song set, they returned for two encores, playing "Goodbye Joe," signature single "He's Frank," another new song and finally the cowboy-themed "Cast a Long Shadow."
Though I would've liked at least one of their many great instrumentals ("405 Lines" or "The Etcetera Stroll"), it was a pretty satisfying setlist which you can check out below. Plus, Bid promised to mix things up across their three NYC-area shows, the second of which is tonight (5/29) at Maxwell's (tickets). Their Popfest appearance is Friday (5/31) at Knitting Factory with Math & Physics Club, Cassolette and The Very Most. Tickets are still available for that one too.
Also on the bill were Dot Dash who are made up of mostly DC indie pop vets and will open for The Monochrome Set tonight too. Last year's Winter Garden Light is quite good and you can stream a track from that below.
Psychedelic locals Your 33 Black Angels were on the bill too. More pictures from Monday's show below...
James Murphy aboard SS Coachella 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Staying in NYC this weekend? There's actually no shortage of things to do here, even though the weather forecast is less than ideal. Head below for our top 10 list of events going on this Memorial Day Weekend.
by Bill Pearis
Close Lobsters / The School
We already knew that The Monochrome Set would be performing at this year's NYC Popfest (May 30 - June 2) but now the rest of the line-up has been announced and it's pretty great with appearances from New Zealand Flying Nun legends The Bats, two bands who featured on NME's legendary C-86 cassette (Scotland's Close Lobsters [!] and London's The Wolfhounds), and long-running California band The Orange Peels; plus newer bands like Wales' The School, UK group Flowers, Hobbes Fanclub and Tigercats, Sweden's Alpaca Sport and Azur Blue, Norway's Making Marks, and Spain's Zipper; and American groups Ringo Deathstarr, Math & Physics Club, Literature, Ski Lodge and more.
I'm particularly excited for Close Lobsters whose debut album Foxheads Stalk This Land is a big favorite of mine. (You can stream it below.) I don't think they've played here in 25 years. Also exciting is the return of The Bats who haven't played NYC since 2006. The band, which features The Clean's Robert Scott, have an amazing cannon of work, including classic albums like Daddy's Highway, 1989's The Law of Things and, most recently, 2011's Free All Monsters.
Alpaca Sports, Azure Blue, Flowers, French Films, Hobbes Fanclub, Tigercats, and Zipper are all making their first U.S. visits for Popfest. NYC Popfest has created a Spotify playlist with all the bands playing this year and made a downloadable mix which you can grab at the top of this post.
Festival passes are on sale now and tickets to individual shows will be on sale later this week. Venues and individual line-ups stil to come, but full band list, flyer and a few videos are below.
by Bill Pearis
The Monochrome Set back in the day
In the late '70s and early '80s, British post punk legends The Monochrome Set made a kind of effete, tongue-in-cheek pop that skewered social mores with a twangy, jangly sound which would influence The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand and others. And despite singer Bid's flip witicisms, they were exceedingly good at instrumentals too. No one else was quite like them and you can stream some classic tracks below.
The band called it quits in the '90s but reformed here and there for the occasional gig. In 2011, Bid, guitarist Lester Square and bassist Andy Warren got The Monochrome Set back together for real and last year released Platinum Coils, their 10th album and first in 17 years. You can stream that below too.
Bid played Knitting Factory in the mid-'00s with a pick-up band (including members of My Teenage Stride) but The Monochrome Set are coming over for real this spring, playing the 2013 NYC Popfest, which happens May 30 - June 2 at various venues around the city. (Sometimes wishes do come true.) Before Popfest, The Monochrome Set will play Bowery Electric on May 27 and Maxwell's in Hoboken on May 29 and tickets for the latter are on sale now.
The entire NYC Popfest line-up will be announced the first week of March, so stay tuned. Looks like The Monochrome will be playing some non-NYC shows while they're here (no firm dates as of this posting) but there are European dates which are listed below.
"Thank you, Brisbane!" - Obits Instagram
Like we've done with a lot of bands this year, we asked Brooklyn's Obits for a list of their favorite albums of 2012. Guitarist Sohrab Habibion wrote back saying, "It usually takes some time to figure out if a record is really going to stick with me, so even though I liked what I heard from Beak, Disappears, Oneida, Pontiak, Royal Baths and Zomes, I'll submit my best of 2012 in a few years," and instead said, "since Obits is working on a new record, here are the Top 10 songs we will do our best not to directly rip off." You can check out that list, complete with YouTube clips for each one, below. Drummer (and onetime Girls Against Boys member) Alexis Fleisig also submitted "Top Ten Things I Completely Took For Granted This Year" which is below as well.
Sohrab, who also reformed his old band Edsel for a couple shows this year, also gave a rundown of Obits 2012 activity and what's in store for 2013:
Despite not putting out a full LP, we kept pretty busy. We released two 7"s - one on Sub Pop with 2 covers and another on a Spanish label called La Castanya with 2 originals on it.Sorhab and Alexis' Top 10 lists are below...
And along with some east coast shows, Austin and Denver (a new US city for us), we went to Europe twice this year, getting to play in Greece, Portugal, Italy and Sweden for the first time. We also went to Australia, which was truly as cool as every band that goes there says it is.
On the horizon ... a couple NYC shows.
1. January 18 = Obits at Rock Shop with Browns & Wrong Dots (tickets).
3. Finishing our next album. We have bunches and bunches of song fragments in various stages. The next few months we will be deciding what's worth keeping or working on or tossing in the trash.
4. Going back to Europe in June. It'll be a combination of places we've been and haven't been, including Poland and Ukraine, which we're looking forward to.
Also, this year there were some Hot Snakes shows and an Edsel reunion & re-issues (http://www.comedyminusone.com/023.php), which was kind of unexpected. Next year there might be a handful more Hot Snakes shows, maybe an Edsel appearance or two (along with additional re-issues and tunes from the vault), as well as some Girls Against Boys activity.
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Allo Darlin' at NYC Popfest 2012
Save the dates, May 30 -- June 2, 2013. That's the weekend for the seventh annual NYC Popfest which will happen across multiple venues in NYC. No other details have been announced but expect a mix of old and new, American and foriegn, and a few "la la las" and "bah bah bahs." Personally, I'd love for them to get This Many Boyfriends (check out a video below) and The Monochrome Set. (Go Kart Mozart too, though that seems like a real longshot.) What about you?
The 2012 Popfest happened May 17 - 20, concluding with a big, all-day show at Littlefield with Allo Darlin', The Ladybug Transistor, The Wave Pictures and more. In this post is a set of pictures from that Sunday show we never posted. There's more below, along with the This Many Boyfriends video, an old Monochrome Set clip and UK dates for The Wave Pictures.