Entries tagged with: The Muslims
photos by Tim Griffin
Plenty of bands opt for unprintable names -- last year was a great one for **** Buttons, ****** Jeans and ****** ** -- but what about an untenable one? Really, how far could a group calling itself the Muslims get in this day and age?For The Soft Pack, Saturday night (1/17) at Union Pool was their 2nd NYC show in a row. For Those Darlins, it was the third. Pictures and setlists from both sets below...
"It's just a band name," the guitarist Matty McLoughlin told an interviewer early last year. "It isn't meant to describe us or associate us with anything." But by the end of the year, the band had switched to the Soft Pack. "We were sick of it," he later said. "Sick of questions, jihad comments, basically everything about it. It became a total nuisance."
It did its job, though, helping this Los Angeles-via-San Diego mope-punk outfit break through to wider attention last year. At the Mercury Lounge on Friday night, some fans still shouted "Muslims!" as the band took the stage. And the band wasn't above teasing a bit, twiddling through a few bars of "Lawyers, Guns and Money," by Warren Zevon, who passed away in 2003, before the singer Matt Lamkin deadpanned, "We were better before we died." [NY Times]
by Bill Pearis
Enigmatic Brit artist Max Tundra has been releasing music for 10 years but only just released his third album, Parallax Error Beheads You, back in October -- his first in six years. One of the reasons for being such a slowpoke probably has something to do with the way he makes them:
The main technology behind this and all of my albums has been the Commodore Amiga 500 - bestselling home computer at the time - running a $1 public domain software tracker program. The sounds don't emerge from the Amiga itself however; the machine is used to control various synths, samplers and the like. I look at columns of numbers all day on the screen of a black and white television; these digits relate to pitches, durations and tones. A lot of the noises on my record are real; the cello, bass guitar, drums, piano, trumpet and others are all rehearsed and played by me, but sometimes I will use realistic fake versions of these noises. Each song is recorded in a different way; drumkits are recorded on mono cassette recorders twice, then stuck together on the left and right of a mix; string arrangements are planned and then layered up; each note of an electric guitar is sampled so that it can be sequenced in ways too complicated for my fat fingers to play at full speed. And then I have a cup of tea and sing my heart out.Seems like a painstaking and annoying way to make a record to me, but there's no denying the results: his albums don't sound like anybody else's. (Well, maybe just a little like Scritti Politti.) Max is making his NYC live debut this week, opening for The Rosebuds at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (1/16, tickets) and a headlining FIXED show at Le Poisson Rouge on Saturday (1/17, tickets). I'm curious to see how he'll pull it off his music in a live setting as well as how much equipment he'll have. What concert reviews of his I've read have been favorable (like this one from December).
A few more options for you this week. Australian singer-songwriter Darren Hanlon has two NYC shows this week: tonight (1/13) at Googies (above The Living Room), and tomorrow (1/14) at the Bell House where he'll be trading off songs with Graham Smith of Kleenex Girl Wonder in the venue's front lounge. It's a free show. Hanlon's shows are as well known for his witty between-song stories and banter as he is his lovely folk-pop, so if you are fans of Billy Bragg, Robyn Hitchcock or fellow Aussies The Lucksmiths (with whom Hanlon spent a brief stint in the late '90s). He's a charmer.
As I mentioned a while back, Ida Maria is in town this week playing Mercury Lounge on Thursday (1/15) and Union Hall on Friday (1/16) and I am super-psyched for this. Both shows are sold out, but Union Hall usually has a few tickets available night of show if you get there right as doors open (which is 8PM, but Ida's not on till 10).
Also this week: The Muslims make their first New York appearances since switching their name to The Soft Pack. Their EP, which made my Best of 2008 list and has already sold out two vinyl pressings, is getting re-pressed in February under the new moniker with an additional three songs. Maybe they'll have those with them at the merch table for these shows? They play Mercury Lounge on Friday (1/16) and Union Pool on Saturday (1/17). Both shows also feature their 1928 Recordings label-mates the Browns.
Speaking of name changes, SpaceKamp, who I've written about before, now spell their name as SpaceCamp. Same great sound, now with more C. In addition to working with Adam Green, Spacecamp are helping Dev Hynes with the new Lightspeed Champion record as well. (Video of Dev and Spacecamp in the studio below.) They play Zebulon on Friday (1/16) and maybe you can quiz them on the new spelling if you go.
Videos and such after the jump...
photos by Tim Griffin, words By Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Iran - "Buddy" (MP3)
Iran @ CMJ 2008
Iran (WITH Kyp Malone) will play a show at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, TONIGHT (12/18). Also on the bill: Fakers and Lone Wolf and Cub (Ryan Sawyer of Tall Firs and Stars Like Fleas - not the metal band). Presumably, Iran will, uh, run... through tracks from their upcoming record Dissolver, due on Feb 3, 2009 via Narnack.
Back to CMJ for a second....before 2 Live Crew played, a Kyp-less-and-still-named-after-a-'rogue-nation', Iran, played a renamed-The Soft Pack-less (they cancelled) and Lee "Scratch" Perry-less (he cancelled) Narnack Showcase this year, at Santos Party House, with the Sundelles, Vaz and Restavrant. Check out the overdue pics from that show above and below, and note - that's Doug Anson that sat in for Kyp. That probably won't happen again though, as we're told that Kyp plans on playing many more shows with the band, including as part of a 2009 tour out of NYC.
In related news, Kyp Malone's other band TV On The Radio, is garnering accolades-a-plenty including album of the year from The Onion AV Club, and from everyone's favorite weirdo Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. The Onion AV Club also cornered Santos Party House co-owner Andrew WK about his favorite record of the year.... Lee "Scratch" Perry's Repentance. Hmm... didn't he have something to do with that record?
In more related-to-Glasslands-tonight news, Tall Firs have teamed up with Awesome Color to play the Knitting Factory on Dec 19th (tickets here). Ryan Sawyer's other band, Stars Like Fleas, are recording a new record and have scheduled a show at Le Poisson Rouge on January 24th with Au (tickets here).
A whole bunch of pictures from the Narnack CMJ showcase, and tonight's Glasslands flyer, below...
VICE: Why did you change the name?The Soft Pack's latest tour dates are HERE. Decide if they are pussies in the video below...
Matty Soft Pack: It had started to seem like a burden. All the shit people say, people were being dicks, saying all this shit about jihad. We all felt pretty shitty about it. It became something that we had to live with every day.
Did you ever actually get threatened about the name?
No, why would we? We got a band together and we liked the sound of the name but we didn't think it was a big deal, and then people got excited about it. We didn't really like it in the first place. It didn't even occur to us that it might be controversial, it's just a good word.
Hmmm, not sure I believe that. Do you think the name got you more attention than you'd have got otherwise?
Yeah, if I'm honest I think it probably did.
So do you think some people might think you're pussies for changing the name once you've already got the attention? Like now you're ready to be successful, you'll get a normal one?
Yeah, I can see why people would see it like that, but it's not like that. We're fucked. People thought we were dicks when we had the name, now they think we're dicks cause we don't.
But officially you're not pussies?
No, I don't think the music we make is pussy.
The band formerly known as the Muslims just announced some more tour dates including a show at Mercury Lounge and one at Union Pool. All dates below...
photos by Leia Jospe
WE HAVE CHANGED THE NAME OF OUR GROUP TO "THE SOFT PACK". Working on new material and firing on all four cylinders, we feel strongly about this one. It's a new chapter in our lives and hopefully yours. Stay tuned to The Soft Pack page (www.myspace.com/thesoftpack), as we will be posting new videos, music, and junk in the coming weeks. We are pumped. Have a great Thanksgiving and keep it loose. Your buddies, The Soft Pack. [The Muslims]When they played the BV day party at Pianos on October 23rd, they were still The Muslums, so... Soft Pack tour dates, and more Muslims pics, below...
Photos by Zach Dilgard
"I have an upcoming full-length "Little Hells" which is a significant record for me in many ways." [Marissa Nadler]TK Webb, Marissa Nadler, The Muslims and Dungen were scheduled to play the Kemado Records showase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night before midnight (10/24). Children and Cheeseburger were going on after. Zach was going to stay to see Dungen (he had somewhere else to be late), but they were running late so he only caught the first three bands. It was the only show Marissa played during CMJ (I was sad to miss it) and it was one of many for the Muslims (though they cancelled at least one - the Narnack showcase at Santos that was the next night). More pictures from Music Hall below...
DOWNLOAD: Pretty & Nice - Tora Tora Tora (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eagle Seagull - Photograph (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Twi the Humble Feather - higher than the end (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: James Jackson Toth - Nothing Hides (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: James Jackson Toth - Doreen (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Muslims - Beside Myself (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shad - I Get Down (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Japanese Motors - Spendin Days (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Japanese Motors - Single Fins & Safety Pins (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Peasant - Exposure (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sharon Van Etten - It's Not Like (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PWRFL POWER - It's Okay (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PWRFL POWER - Alma Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sebastien Grainger - American Names (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - Warning (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phosphorescent - A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Friendly Fires - Jump in the Pool (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Crystal Antlers - A Thousand Eyes (MP3)
ABOVE: You can download at least one MP3 from every artist playing the BrooklynVegan party at Pianos today (Oct 23, 2008). Which one do you like best?
Phosphorescent's video for "At Death, A Proclamation" below...
by Bill Pearis
Even if you don't have a badge, CMJ (Oct 21-25 in NYC) can be overwhelming... especially these days with the proliferation of day parties, unofficial showcases and afterparties. Running around like a crazy person trying to catch everyone you want to see can be fun, but sometimes it's not such a bad idea just to pick one place and stay there. With that in mind, I've picked one day party and one evening showcase for each of the five days, as well as late night parties where applicable. The guide to Wednesday (10/22) is below...
In the short time Bill has been here, many bands have been featured in his Week In Indie column on BrooklynVegan. At least 19 of those bands are playing shows for, and during, CMJ in NYC this week. Each of those bands is listed below with links back to what Bill said about them...
DOWNLOAD: Friendly Fires - Jump in the Pool (MP3)
@ Pianos in NYC, Main stage, Thursday, October 23, 2008, FREE
time (PM), bandThere is also a 2nd stage upstairs running concurrently (and slightly later) with eight more bands, also free. That lineup will be announced shortly, but you already know it contains Wye Oak, Phosphorescent, Peasant, and Pwrfl POWER (lots of p's). (21+)
12:00 Pretty & Nice (Hardly Art)
12:45 Eagle Seagull
01:30 The Muslims
02:15 Japanese Motors
03:00 Friendly Fires
03:45 Crystal Antlers
04:30 Sebastien Grainger
Friendly Fires play their first of two NYC shows with Lykke Li tonight (Oct 20)
Check out a video of Crystal Antlers playing a show at The Yard below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Kirsten Ketsjer - The Brigde (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Kirsten Ketsjer - Ernie and the Sand (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Kirsten Ketsjer - Foot and Foot
DOWNLOAD: Women - Black Rice (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Elk City - Los Cruzados (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Elk City - Cherries in the Snow (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Amazing Baby - Infinite Fucking Cross EP (Zip file)
DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything with You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday (MP3)
Kristen Ketsjer & friends
With all the quality shows between now and tuesday you'd think CMJ had already started and it's making it very hard to keep to my vow to take it easy before next week's onslaught. Here are a few that are making it especially difficult.
I only caught two songs by Danish trio Kirsten Ketsjer at this year's SXSW, purely by accident, but I was taken by their VU-meets-Television style guitar rock that can be both delicately beautiful and monsterously loud. But mostly beautiful. Drummer Anja Jacobsen sings while guitarists Andreas Führer and Anders Lauge Meldgaard spin webs around each other. Not sure why they haven't gotten more attention than they have -- last year's FFFFOO K TSSCCH! is a pretty magical album -- that may change after next week. They're playing at least once a day during CMJ and there are two shows this week (Thursday [10/16] at Lit, and Friday [10/17] at Dead Herring) if you want to catch them early. Do check them out.
Elk City are playing a special show this Saturday (10/18) at Union Hall. The band, who've added former Luna guitarist Sean Eden to their lineup, agreed to be the entertainment at a friend's wedding which meant they had to learn a whole slew of cover songs and the Union Hall show is a dress rehearsal of sorts for the big day. Expect more along the lines of Bowie, Nina Simone, and Carol King than "The Chicken Dance," "The Electric Slide" or the dreaded "Butterfly Kisses." The show will be interspersed with Elk City material too, including some of the songs in contention for their new album. Opening are Boy Genius who put on a nice show Tuesday opening for Bearsuit.
If you're willing to go out on a Sunday (10/19) you can see a lot of CMJ buzz bands before the fest actually starts. And actually, at Mercury Lounge are Austin's White Denim (tickets), who are skipping CMJ entirely in favor of a European tour. Their U.S. debut, Exposion, is out November 11 and is a slightly different version of their acclaimed UK release, Workout Holiday, which was released earlier this year. It defies easy description: there's some noodling guitars a la the Minutemen; bluesy passages like some other White bands; shouty indie rock and blissful psychedelia. I dig it. White Denim also play Union Hall the next night (10/20) (tickets).
Playing with them at Mercury Lounge are Amazing Baby who I've written about more than once both here and over at my own blog. They've been playing pretty regularly over the summer and are a pretty tight machine these days, so they should be ready for CMJ and their upcoming tour with MGMT and Violens. If you haven't heard them yet, you can download their Infinite Fucking Cross EP for free.
Meanwhile, around the corner at Cake Shop, Friction NYC have put together a pretty unmissable lineup as well: The noise-drenched pure pop of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart who are fresh off a tour of Sweden; reverb-loving Canadians, Women;, who are certainly one of CMJ's most buzzed-about bands; Jackson Heights' only garage rock band*, The Beets (*fact completely uncomfirmed by me); and the organ styling of another Canadian, Katie Stelmanis.
Current # of CMJ-related shows Women have coming up: 9
Current # of CMJ-related shows The Muslims have coming up: 9
Both Women and The Muslims are playing BrooklynVegan parties during CMJ. The Muslims are on the Thursday October 23rd one. Women are on the unannounced Saturday October 25th one. If you count the pre-CMJ Cake Shop show, that raises Women's total NYC show count to 10. Don't be surprised if more NYC shows pop up on both of their schedules.
All tour dates and videos for all bands in this post, below...
DOWNLOAD: Sebastien Grainger - American Names (MP3)
CSS @ a BV Pianos during-CMJ show, Nov 1, 2006 (CRED)
BrooklynVegan is returning to Pianos on the Lower East Side of Manhattan this year for another free 2-floor day show during CMJ. The date is Thursday October 23rd. The times are noon to 5:30 PM. The initial lineup is Peasant (an encore BV Pianos performance), Pwrfl POWER, Merge Records' Wye Oak, the one and only Phosphorescent, The Muslims, Crystal Antlers, Friendly Fires, and as someone figured out, Sebastien Grainger (check out our interview with the ex-DFA1979er) (his official showcase is at Mercury Lounge). As always, this party is 100% free. Full lineup and schedule TBA very soon!
Also free: another BrooklynVegan day party. Announcement coming soon!
Check out Wye Oak's official video for "Please Concrete" below...
by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Lee "Scratch" Perry - "Pum Pum" (MP3)
Perry, scratching his chin. Photo by Andrew WK
For a 72-year-old man, he sure gets around. Lee "Scratch" Perry is playing that Oct 25th CMJ show at Santos Party House with Restavrant, Iran, Vaz, The Muslims, and The Sundelles as part of a Narnack Records CMJ showcase.
AND the (mad) man has lined up a second date the night before (Oct 24th) at Gramercy Theater. Tickets are on sale. Just to be clear, that's two NYC shows in two CMJ days for Lee "Scratch" Perry.
Perry recently released his latest album, Repentance, on Narnack in August with a lead single (download it above) and video entitled... ahem... "Pum Pum". The album is produced by Andrew WK (part owner of Santos Party House where the CMJ party is) and features Moby, Don Fleming, Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt) and.... Sasha Grey? Is that where the "Pum Pum" comes from?
More tour dates TBA soon. Videos below...
NY Press: How did you guys end up spending so much time on the bus?The awkward Fox News segment aired yesterday morning (Aug 18, 2008) - the same day The Walkmen played their first of two shows at Bowery Ballroom in NYC in support of their new album that is streaming at AOL (thx Eric).
The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser: I live in Manhattan, Pete and Walt live in Brooklyn, and Matt and Paul live in Philadelphia. We were doing the trip two days a week and they were coming up once or twice as well-- sometimes neither camp wanted to make the trip. It was actually probably a good thing for writing, because it put a certain pressure on the times the five of us were together. Our practice space in Chelsea was an on-again-off-again illegal nightclub, so some Mondays we'd come in and the place would be absolutely disgusting--poorly cleaned up vomit on the stage and bottles everywhere. The toilets, which were on the second floor, leaked and dripped down through the ceiling, so occasionally it would hit you on the head. In Philadelphia, we rented a space from our friends for $75 a month...If it's moderately cold outside, it's 20 degrees colder inside, and vice versa if it's hot.
I missed the Howlies last time they were in NYC. How were they? I'd like to believe the comments on this one, but all they really tell me is that Atlanta bands do not all get along. 'The Atlanta Rock Blog' has nice things to say though...
"The Howlies might just be my new favourite Atlanta band. Fun doesn't even begin to describe their set on the side stage. And whoever decided to put them on the side stage should have his head examined. The band is full of raw powerpop potential and energy. And might I add that if you are going to cover a song, especially at a festival showcase such as this, you had better make it count. That's exactly what The Howlies did with their cover of R. Kelly's "Not Guilty". The swarm of people crowding around the side stage who saw it will be talking about it for weeks to come. Their original songs were even better though. Before I give you the link to their MySpace page, I must warn you that the demos you will hear on there do this band absolutely no justice whatsoever, and you should pay no attention to them."The Howlies play Mercury Lounge in NYC tonight (August 18th). The Muslims, a San Diego band with a similar 'garage' feel, play Bowery Ballroom before The Walkmen tonight. Howlies AND The Muslims both play Union Pool in Williamsburg on Wednesday. Album info:
Howlies formed in August 2007, after a group camping trip where all four members were attacked by wolves, creating an infectious, unexpected sound that is equal parts '60's garage, ATL crunk, and doo-wop. Based upon basement recordings only, the band quickly secured the praise and producing duties of legendary producer Kim Fowley (The Runaways, The Modern Lovers, The Germs) for their debut album, "Trippin' with Howlies". The album is scheduled for a Fall 2008 release on OverUnder Records (New York, NY), with the single/EP, "Sea Level", releasing in August 12, 2008.All Howlies tour dates below...
photos by Ryan Muir
San Diego's The Muslims are returning to the East Coast in August to play four more NYC shows. Last time they were here they played seven, one of which was at Santos Party House with the Vivian Girls. The Muslims pics from that show are in this post.
The NYC shows: The Muslims will open both upcoming Walkmen shows at Bowery Ballroom, play at Union Pool the following night (8/20) with Atlanta's The Howlies (great site guys), and then again at the clothing store Dunderdon on the 21st. All dates and more pics below...
by Bill Pearis
editor's note: Metal, comedy and 'dance' all have their own semi-regular BV feature writers. Those topics are getting a level of focus that I wished I could give to "indie rock" (that somewhat meaningless term, but it helps sometimes to categorize). That's why I contacted Bill...
Bill says: BV approached me about writing an indie rock column because I "repeatedly go to see The Young Knives and are excited about Versus reuniting." Which is to say I like unpopular bands and am, like, James Murphy old. This will likely take on more shape as the weeks go on, but for now here's a bunch of notable shows happening over the next five days.
editor's note part two: Bill forgot to mention the part where I said he is just as excited about the old (knowledgeable) as he is about the new (not jaded). OK, here we go....
Amazing Baby (tour dates at the end)
Firstly are the two Swervedriver reunion shows - tonight at Bowery Ballroom and tomorrow at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The '90s shoegaze scene has had a bit of a resurgence, with a slew of new bands inspired by its hazy, voluminous sound, including Dirty on Purpose (who open for them tonight), Deerhunter, Silversun Pickups, and every other band from Sweden. Obviously the big story this year are the upcoming My Bloody Valentine shows, but Swervedriver's shows are no less relevant or justified.
They may never have released anything as universally-praised and influential as Loveless, or as catchy as Ride's Going Blank Again, but Swervedriver rocked the hardest of any of the shoegaze bands and probably had the most consistent body of work. Unfortunately, of their four great albums, only 1995's Ejector Seat Reservation remains in print - though the good, if expensive, import Juggernaut Rides is a good introduction to the band. I've also got a few mp3's over at Sound Bites if you're interested, and Swervedriver's site has live MP3s for every song from every album, free to download.
Swervedriver were never the type to jump around the stage or make rock star poses (the shoegaze scene, after all, got its name because the bands tended to pay more attention to their many effects pedals than to "putting on a show") and frontman Adam Franklin isn't much for stage banter, but they were always a seriously good live band and reports from earlier dates on this tour (The Finest Kiss has a nice writeup and photos from the Seattle stop) show this, thankfully, hasn't changed.
Tickets for tonights' Bowery show are still available (June 11, 2008).
Local support for both nights are well chosen. Dirty on Purpose are obviously big fans - their newish EP for RCRD LBL is really good. Longwave open at Music Hall of Williamsburg. After getting the heave-ho from RCA, the band are currently working on a new album, and a few of the tracks are up on their MySpace and sound promising. Opening both shows are Glasgow's Terra Diablo who are actually managed by Swervedriver drummer, Jez.
The other big event this week is the NYC Popfest, now in its second year. The four-day event, at a handful of clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, is a must for lovers of chickfactor magazine, Sarah records, twee, jangle, and the generally lighter side of indie. (Also known as indiepop.) They've brought in bands from all over, including Massachusetts (Pants Yell!, Hands and Knees), the UK (The Hermit Crabs, The Foxgloves), two from Sweden (Love is All, Oh! Custer), plenty from here in NYC (Pains of Being Pure of Heart, My Teenage Stride, Ladybug Transistor, The Besties) and elsewhere.
The lineup also includes three legends of the indiepop scene. Glasgow's The Orchids (pictured), whose single "I've Got a Habit" was the second-ever release on the legendary Sarah records; Australia's The Cannanes (aka "the world's most 'indie' band) who've been making music since 1984; and Seattle's Tullycraft who were part of the US scene in the '90s.
The two bands I'm most excited to see are Scotland's The Hermit Crabs, who bear more than a passing resemblance to fellow Glaswegians Camera Obscura; and Finland's Cats on Fire whose album, The Province Complains, is one of the better indiepop albums of the last couple years. Plus, they're from Finland - a country that doesn't send a lot of bands our way.
Of course, the hot ticket for Popfest is Love is All's appearance Thursday night at Cake Shop. I'm not sure why the organizers put the weekend's biggest draw in a place the size of a closet, but I'm sure for those 20 people in the first three rows will really enjoy it. For everyone else, you'll be able to say "they sounded great!" The show is sold out... if you've got tickets get there early and enjoy the other bands (including fellow Swedes Oh! Custer and NYC's The Secret History).