Entries tagged with: The New Lines
by Bill Pearis
Christines is the new band from Andrew Burr, who moved to NYC when his old band Woven Bones were sputtering out. Where that band was fuzzed-out 8mm garage, Christines are most definitely widescreen. Their new single "Almost Nil" sounds like a NASA launch, Burr and Matt Yu's guitars burning in slo-mo to the stratosphere. Fans of early '90s Creation Records (Swervedriver gets you in the right solar system) take note. We've got the premiere of "Almost Nil" in this post and you can stream or download it, and the chugging b-side "Maria Zoe Christo," below.
Christines have a few NYC shows coming up. They play Baby's All Right on Friday (6/27) with Honey and headliners Crystal Stilts. Tickets are still available. They also play Cake Shop on July 12 with TV Ghost and EZTV (featuring members of Widowspeak); then Glasslands on July 23 opening for The Fresh & Onlys (tickets); and Death by Audio on July 24 with Crocodiles and The New Lines.
photos by Aehee Kang Asano; words by Bill Pearis
My Favorite / Martha / Spearmint @ NYC Popfest 2014
The 2014 edition of NYC Popfest happened last weekend with five shows across four days and over 30 bands from around the world. I made it to every show except the Saturday (5/31) afternoon show at Spike Hill and saw a lot of great stuff. Pictures from all four evening shows are in this post. Highlights:
UK band Martha (Cake Shop, 5/29) who traded vocals between three members, played their hearts out and delivered scrappy pop hit after pop hit; a one-off reunion of NYC high-drama act My Favorite (Knitting Factory, 5/30); Spearmint (Cameo, 5/31), playing their first-ever US show and working the crowd like a piece of pastry dough and playing every song I wanted to hear; followed immediatly by a full-band Rocketship (Cameo) who seemed quite together for being apart for many years.
The Spook School @ Littlefield (photo by Bill)
Sunday's show (6/1) at Littlefield was probably the best day, delivering five great sets in a row: Brooklyn's The New Lines, who would've sounded equally at home at Austin Psych Fest; Atlanta's Gold-Bears who fall somewhere between '90s college radio and '90s emo; Los Angeles band Heathers who came out in tight dresses (they were guys), threw lollipops into the crowd and covered The Wedding Present; London band Colour Me Wednesday who were about as classically indiepop as it gets and do it very well; and Glasgow's The Spook School whose set started both a pit and a stage invasion, both Popfest firsts.
Colour Me Wednesday and The Spook School were also both distinguished by very funny drummers. CMW's was more the witty friend who reacts off others, where Spook School's seemed ready with (good) material, pulling down the microphone the second a song ended and consistently kept the crowd in hysterics. Somebody get that guy his own show!
Both The Spook School and Heathers play NYC again tonight (6/6) at Matchless in Greenpoint, with Light Therapy and Lost Gloves on the bill as well. Or, you could go catch Martha at Death by Audio tonight as well, with Delay, Shellshag, and Giant Peach. Either would be a great choice. Seeing that Martha are on the DbA bill early, you could theoretically make it to see all three Popfest leftovers.
More pics from NYC Popfest below...
by Bill Pearis
Colour Me Wednesday
For the last few years now, the final day of NYC Popfest has been an all-day show at Littlefield in Gowanus. This year is no exception though things seem to be starting a little later than usual. This Sunday (6/1) features nine bands from all over the world including some of the most exciting (I think) of the whole fest.
Headlining are UK group The Popguns, who started amongst the C-86 scene. I wrote previously:
The Popguns' initial run lasted from 1986 - 1996 during which time they released four albums and nearly a dozen singles. They weren't on the original C86 cassette but their sound -- breathless janglepop, big choruses, catchy melodies, -- was definitely within that orbit. (Also their original drummer Shaun Charman was in The Wedding Present.) Their biggest song was probably their 1989 single, "Waiting for the Winter." The band got back together in 2012 and have been playing since.Stream a few tracks below.
There are also a couple exciting new UK bands on the bill too. In addition to The Spook School (who we just posted about), there is also London's Colour Me Wednesday who cite early-'90s indie rock as an influence though they dabble in ska a bit too. The band's debut album, I Thought It Was Morning, came out last summer. It's a charmer and you can stream it below. If you can't make this show, they're playing Death by Audio on Saturday (5/31) with tourmates Spoonboy.
Also on the bill: Los Angeles trio Heathers who make buzzsaw jangle guitar pop. The band recently released an EP of Wedding Present covers which may give you an instant idea of where they're coming from, sonically, but their own songs are catchy too. Stream their most recent 7" and those Weddoes covers below.
In a similar vein are Georgia's Gold-Bears whose terrific new album, Dalliance (another Wedding Present reference perhaps), can currently be streamed at Pitchfork. They're a bundle of energy onstage and are currently on tour too (including another NYC show at Shea Stadium on 6/3).
Still more: Brooklyn band The New Lines whose crystalline sound recalls Broadcast, Stereolab and '60s cult band The United States of America. They can pull off that sound live too. Stream a few tracks from last year's Fall in Line below.
Get to Littlefield early and you'll catch Pam Berry (Black Tambourine, Glo-Worm) and Australia's Bart Cummings performing the songs they recorded together as The Shapiros, plus they'll do songs from Bart's former band The Cat's Miaow. Pam's doing a solo show earlier in the day at Trans-Pecos with Mark Monnone, Rocketship and Beverly.
Even earlier: the soaring pop of San Francisco's Marine Life, and the day kicks off with Lost Tapes from Spain whose ringing guitars and hushed vocals make for a nice combo. Stream their most recent EP below.
by Bill Pearis
The Flatmates back in the day...
NYC Popfest returns for its eighth year from May 29 - June 1 across venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The line-up was just announced and, as usual, it's a mix of new and classic bands. Of the established bands, this year's line-up includes Canadians The Hidden Cameras, '80s-era UK bands The Flatmates and The Haywains, '90s/'00s band Spearmint, '90s Slumberland band Rocketship, a reunion for NYC indiepop vets My Favorite, and The Besties. New groups on the scene include Sweden's The Garlands and Don't Cry Shopgirl, UK acts Spook School and Martha, Spanish band Lost Tapes, Australian quartet The Zebras, NYC's The New Lines and more. If you're unfamiliar with some of these groups, the Popfest folks made a Spotify playlist featuring this year's line-up.
Four-day passes are on sale now. in the meantime, the full 2014 NYC Popfest lineup is listed, along with videos and streams of some of this year's acts, below...
photos by P Squared Photography; words by Bill Pearis
Dum Dum Girls @ Mercury Lounge, 1/30/2014
"This has been a chaotic show," Dee Dee confessed near the end of Dum Dum Girls' set at Mercury Lounge last night (1/30). "Which fits the chaotic nature of this album." The band had taped The Late Show with David Letterman earlier in the day (and had flown in from LA right before that), and didn't get a soundcheck. So there was more fiddling with gear and mike checks and some visible nerves, but close your eyes and Dum Dum Girls sounded confident and clear.
This was the record release show for DDG's third album, Too True, which came out this week on Sub Pop. It's their biggest sounding record yet and the band drafted a third guitarist -- the Girls' first "boy" since the ad-hoc version of the band at the Woodist/Captured Tracks fest -- to help fill out the sound. Songs such as the dreamlike "Lost Boys and Girls Club" really benefit from this, much heavier and louder than the recorded version. And on tracks like new LP standout "In the Wake of You" and "Lord Knows" (from their End of Daze EP) the new guy allowed Dee Dee to be more of a frontperson.
My only real complaint with last night's show was, with three albums and a couple EPs under their belt, Dum Dum Girls are now at the point where you may not get to hear all the songs you wanted. "I Will Be" was on the written setlist but I don't recall them playing it, and I would have really liked to have heard Too True's closing track, "Trouble is My Name." But we did get their cover of Pale Saints' "Sight of You" which has gotten bigger and louder since the last time they swung through town. Luckily, Dum Dum Girls will be back when their tour with Blouse hits NYC for two shows in March (tickets are still available). Pictures from Mercury Lounge, as well as setlist and their "Rimbaud Eyes" performance on Letterman, are in this post.
The other two bands on the bill last night were good too. Sapphire Mansions, the newish project from onetime Golden Triangle member Jay Hough, have come along since the last time I saw them. The band, named after a Felt song and definitely cribbing from that '80s era of UK indiepop, now includes Love Is All's James Ausfahrt on bass and My Teenage Stride's Jed Smith on drums, and have started to go beyond their early touchstones. (Their debut LP is pretty good.) Matt Yu filled out the band's sound alternating between arpeggiated guitar parts and combo organ, and The Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson played trumpet on a couple songs too. I thought they sounded great.
I hadn't seen openers The New Lines since they played with Blouse at 285 Kent a couple years ago. That was not their best night, but I'm pleased to say I thought they were pretty good last night. Theirs is not an easy sound to pull off live -- fragile, baroque/kraut psych not unlike Broadcast or The United States of America -- but with good sound and a solid rhythm section, The New Lines found their groove. If you haven't checked out last year's Fall in Line, you can stream a couple tracks here. And they play Freddy's Bar in Park Slope tonight (1/31).
More pics of all three bands at Mercury Lounge, plus video of DDGs on Letterman, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Lorelei - Hammer Meet Tongs (MP3)
As you may have read on this very site, '90s era DC dream poppers Lorelei will release a new album, Enterprising Sidewalks, next month on Slumberland Records, the same label that put out their 1995 debut. You can download the first single from the album, "Hammer Meet Tongs," at the top of this post. It doesn't tip it's shoegaze hat till the very end, and sounds like they never left the scene.
Lorelei play Glasslands tonight (7/19), with Brooklyn baroque noisemakers The New Lines and goth-leaning locals Mansions and Junipers, making for a solid bill of music for the etherial guitar pedal enthusiasts out there. (Hoping Lorelei pull out their cover of Pale Saints' "Sight of You," too.) Tickets for tonight's show are still available. Upcoming Lorelei tour dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Lorelei at Slumberland 20 (more by Tim Griffin)
'90s era DC shoegazers Lorelei came out of retirement a in 2006 years ago, having notably played the Slumberland 20th Anniversary at Bell House in 2009 and the Chickfactor anniversary in Arlington, VA this spring. But the band are doing more than just playing a few shows, and will release a new album, Enterprising Sidewalks, on Slumberland Records this fall. You can stream their 2003 EP, Informed by the Future, at the bottom of this post.
Lorelei has a few shows scheduled this summer including one in NYC at Glasslands on July 19 with openers The New Lines. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
A list of all dates and that EP stream below...
by Bill Pearis
Artwork to Violens' True
Violens release their second album, True, this week and the band will also play a record release party this Wednesday (5/16) at Le Poisson Rouge with openers Kuroma and The New Lines. Violens have a few other shows lined up, including a couple on the West Coast, all of which are listed below.
Last year, Violens stayed busy with a monthly series digital singles project (compiled here) and a few of those have turned up, polished up a bit, on the new album -- their first for Slumberland. With a fine sense of dynamics, True recalls the glory days of 4AD, be it the loud-soft sonics of the Pixies, the textural guitar wash of The Cocteau Twins or the melodic skills of the Pale Saints. Jorge Elbrecht, Iddo Arad and the rest of the band have tweaked and condensed Violens' sound into a distinct palette all their own, with True sporting the band's best songs to date.
You can stream a few songs off True below and check out strobe-heavy video for "All Night Low" and the flyer for the LPR show...
La Sera at the Bell House in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Vivian Girl Kickball Katy Goodman released her second album as La Sera, Sees the Light, earlier this year via Hardly Art. The album continues in the vein of the catchy indie pop of her 2011 self titled debut. You can grab two tracks from the new album, "Please By My Third Eye" and "Break My Heart" above or stream them below.
Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone's band The Babies plays Glasslands on June 6 with Nude Beach.
All La Sera dates and streams below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Bill Pearis
Blouse @ 285 Kent
Captured Tracks took over 285 Kent Tuesday night, featuring three bands from their roster, as well as one that they merely liked a whole lot. I'm not sure if it sold out, but it was a full house by the end of the evening and a pretty fun night all-around.
Last time Blouse were in town, the band were a five-piece with a lead guitarist who really had that early U2/Chameleons sound down, which took the band into more "rock" territory than what you hear on their synth-heavy debut. Last night, Blouse were a quartet with the keyboards back in the forefront. Charline Hilton is charismatic front person who is no slouch, on guitar and the whole band are pretty tight in general. Blouse are best when they break out of the dreamy midtempo sound that makes up so much of their album: the driving "Time Travel" is probably their best song, but it's the cinematic "They Always Fly Away," that really impresses. In 285's airplane hangar acoustics, the song goes widescreen.
Cosmetics probably were the most successful group of the night at least as far as marriage of sound to space. The Montreal duo's icy, desolate beat -- made by vintage synths and sequencers cranked really loud -- sounded great bouncing off the metal ceiling and concrete walls, and fit the overall bombed-out Berlin warehouse vibe of the place. (The duo, all popped collar leather jackets and model-pretty, looked the part too.) From the bathroom they sounded like a munitions factory...in a good way.
Not that successful were The New Lines, the one non-Captured Tracks band on the bill, who haven't quite figured it out live. Their album, one of my 2012 favorites, is chilly baroque pop densely layered with harpsichord and all manner of analogue synths. It would be hard to pull off even under the best of conditions, something 285 Kent doesn't exactly afford, but even harder when you're only three members strong and your very good drummer can't hear the backing tracks. While they don't necessarily need the sonic precision their studio recordings have, a live bassist laying down the record's grooves would help immeasurably towards filling things out sonically. They did, however, have really cool psychedelic projections.
I got to 285 just a hair late to catch opener Heavenly Beat, the solo project of Beach Fossils bassist John Pena whose second single "Faithless" is like a lost 7" from some early-00's Swedish indiepop band. I think both sides are terrific. From what I was told, Heavenly Beat live is currently just Pena onstage with a laptop/ipod backing and not doing a whole lot, so maybe I didn't miss much. He plays this Saturday (2/4) at Cake Shop with fellow C/T band DIVE, plus Caged Animals and Fabric which is a pretty good bill overall.
More pictures from all the bands, including a shot of Blouse's setlist, below.
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
Brooklyn label Captured Tracks is presenting a show at 285 Kent on January 31 with Blouse, Cosmetics, The New Lines, Beige, and Mosaics. More details on this show are below.
Blouse, who we said to check out when they made their NYC debut this past September, released their excellent self-titled debut LP this past November on Captured Tracks (you can buy it on eMusic). The 285 Kent show is Blouse's last North American show before heading out on a European tour in February. All dates are listed below.
In other Captured Tracks news, they launched The Shoegaze Archives in late November, a new series where the label will reissue some of the more obscure releases of the '90s shoegaze era. So far, they've reissued releases by Should, deardarkhead, and Grabbel and The Final Cut. Reissues by Medicine and Half String are on the way. All of these releases are/will be available at the Captured Tracks webstore.
In more Captured Tracks news, last week, they announced their most recent signing; Mac DeMarco, who previously recorded under the moniker Makeout Videotapes. He'll release his debut EP under his own name for the label, Rock and Roll Night Club, on March 20. Mac's guitar has a real '60s garage rock feel to it but he sings with a seductive baritone that recalls '80s new romanticism as much as it does a '50s rockabilly croon. Grab the track, "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans," from the EP above, and stream two more tracks at bandcamp. You can also stream the track below.
All dates, 285 Kent show details and song stream below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Limiñanas - Down Underground (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Gytters - Divebombers (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wrong Words - Summer's Gone (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Figurines "New Colors" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The War On Drugs - "Baby Missiles" (MP3)
Band of the week is most certainly The Limiñanas (mainly because they haven't played here before) who are from France and play Death By Audio tonight (8/17) and Cake Shop tomorrow (8/18). I'll quote myself (from my Favorite Francophone Albums of 2011 list) again:
Evoking swinging Parisian scene of the mid-'60s (Gainsbourg, Dutronc, Ye-Ye, et al), The Limiñanas dance their way through 12 hits of groovy garage: fuzz leads, killer basslines, combo organ, smoky vocals. Perfect for your next Love-In.The band, signed to great Chicago label Trouble in Mind, are normally a trio but are joining forces on this trip with fellow Frenchies Gaz Gaz (who also play their own set) to make a seven-piece motorik garage superpower. Friends who saw them in Chicago last week were knocked out. (There's video from that show at the bottom of this post.) I implore you to make it out to one of these shows.
Both shows have their benefits. The Death by Audio also has The Gytters, a newish group fronted by Scott Rosenthal who plays keyboards in Class Actress and has spent time as one of The Beets ever-rotating list of drummers (he also produced their records). The duo make a slightly twangy brand of indie -- check out "Divebombers" at the top of this post. I was impressed when I saw them at Bruar Falls a few weeks ago. Also on the bill are great locals Diehard who are putting the finishing touches on their debut album.
The Cake Shop show on Thursday, meanwhile, features yet another Trouble in Mind band, San Francisco's The Wrong Words, who have more of a crunchy, late-'70s powerpop vibe to them. (And maybe just a little Thin Lizzy in there too.) Their self-titled debut is a boppin' good time -- you can download a track from it at the top of this post. If you can't make this one, The Wrong Words also play Bruar Fall on Saturday (8/20). Locals The Judy Blooms open the show.
The Wave Pictures
The Wave Pictures are visiting from the UK, their first time here since playing Sunday night of the 2010 Northside Festival. Dates have changed a bit since wefirst announced them. The band are now playing three shows in NYC: tonight (8/17) at Mercury Lounge, tomorrow (8/18) at Public Assembly and then next Thursday (8/25) at The Rock Shop. We at BrooklynVegan are big Wave Pictures fans, which I think most people who see them become. Here's what I wrote when they played our Pre-SXSW show in 2010:
Next up were the Wave Pictures who I'm pretty sure charmed everyone in the room. Singer David Tattersal, in addition to being a hell of a songwriter and pretty fierce guitarist, is a very funny guy. His between-song stories were just as entertaining and the music. At one point he accidentally unplugged his guitar mid-solo, but he hilariously covered the gaff made for one of the more memorable moments of the evening.The band have a new album out, Beer in the Breakers, and is another fine example of Tattersal's tongue-twisting prose and snaky solos. But I still don't think any record has quite captured the experience of seeing them live. So I do hope you do so. You won't be sorry.
Emmy the Great
Speaking of artists that pretty much the entire BV staff loves, Emmy the Great is also here, playing the Studio @ Webster Hall on Thursday (8/18). She's an extremely charming songwriter and performer (and person in general) who can find humor in even the bleakest of situations without cheapening the emotions. Case in point her new album Virtue which deals with some major heartbreak. (She can also be just straight-up funny too.) And like The Wave Pictures, she's much better experienced in person than on record (though the new record is quite good).
I'm not sure if she's here solo or with her band or maybe just collaborator Euan Hinshelwood who has accompanied her before. He's got his own band, Younghusband, whose new single on Too Pure is teriffic (and nothing like Emmy's music).
Now we move to Denmark. Figurines were supposed to be here in June but the dates got pushed back to this week. They play tonight (8/17) at Knitting Factory and then an early show tomorrow (8/18) at Mercury Lounge.
The band's fourth album, which came out in Denmark last year, just got a belated but welcome American release. For those who found 2007's The Deer Wore Blue a bit wilfully obscure, the new self-titled album marks a return to the hook-filled indie rock of their 2005's Skeleton. You can download "New Colors" at the top of this post.
I haven't seen Figurines play since CMJ 2006 when they opened for Girl Talk. I thought they were fantastic then, I mix of various '90s influences (Built to Spill, The 3D's, Unrest) but processed through that eccentric Denmark filter than makes everything just a little off kilter. The one thing I really remember about that show was how tight they were. Figurines can really play.
The New Lines
And finally I'd like to highlight a local band I like a lot, The New Lines who play this Thursday (8/18) at Bar4 in Park Slope. Steeped in late '60s/early '70s baroque psychedelia and soundtrack music, it's all groovy rhythms and basslines, icy harmonies, analogue keyboards and vibrato. The band just released a split 7" with Still Corners which is a perfect match. You can download a couple songs for free via a Bandcamp widget at the bottom of this post.
I just love this kind of stuff -- I made a whole mix of it last week over at Sound Bites -- and The New Lines do it very, very well. No idea what they're like live, but I'm looking forward to finding out.
This is a really good week for music. Do go see some. In addition to the above highlights, there are even more shows I recommend which are listed below on a day-by-day basis.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17
While I'm seeing The Limiñanas, I think the rest of the BV staff will be going to Chelsea Wolfe, Cult of Youth, and Planning For Burial at St. Vitus Bar. I am the black sheep.