Entries tagged with: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Lightning Bolt at 285 Kent Ave on 4/27, photo by Kathy Zikas
"Lightning Bolt pummeled the crowed at Le Poisson Rouge [Thursday] night with their standard blitzkrieg attack of sound. For over an hour the noise duo blasted away through classics from their excellent discography sending the crowd into a near frenzy. Brian Chippendale did his best impersonation of a jackhammer playing the drums and Brian Gibson stood by, ever so effortlessly, as he turned his amps up to 11 and ripped through distorted blasts of thundering bass. Despite the breaks between songs, the non stop bombardment of escalated sound sent shock waves through the crowd that more then likely split a few ear drums. The relentless assault proved that these two men are masters of their craft as they powered aware with such force and precision that kept the crowd screaming for an encore. When the band answered the call they came back to the stage and began to tear through the epic track "Ride the Skies" which nearly sent everyone over the edge after an already incredible performance of hurricane like forces of sound crushing the crowd." [omgnyc]Lightning Bolt played Le Poisson Rouge Thursday night. It was one of two NYC dates the band played last week (they also played 285 Kent on 4/27, Wed), and the Providence duo will be back this week. NYU will host its annual Strawberry Festival (volunteer here) on Laguardia between West 3rd & 4th street on Friday May 6th with a special appearance from Lightning Bolt, as well as Pterodactyl, Ducktails, and The So So Glos. The fest goes down from 1PM until 5PM, and features food, drink, prizes, and even a DJ battle "with DJ Juan Farrakhan (BX) and DJ Jules Verne (BK, mem. FIASCO)." Unlike in years recent past, this year's event is advertised as "open to the public." More details are below.
In related news, soon after we posted about the May 5th Thermals show at Le Poisson Rouge, it was revealed that the show is actually an NYU show which would explain why advanced tickets were not easy to get. Note that "Advance tickets are only available for NYU. Non-nyu tickets available day of at doors." If you can get a ticket though, the show is a bargain: $7 for students, $10 for non-nyu, and both Twin Shadow and Tyvek were added to the very impressive Cinco de Mayo bill. Though:
IMPORTANT NOTE: those event times are NOT A MISPRINT. The doors for LPR will be open at 6, the first act goes on around 7, and this show WILL BE OVER AROUND 10. GET THERE EARLY.NYU students can get tix at Ticket Central.
Twin Shadow meanwhile is out on tour with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and will in fact open the May 6th show at Webster Hall. Tickets are still on sale. All TS dates are listed below.
The Thermals played Maxwell's with Dinowalrus last night (5/1), and in addition to the Le Poisson Rouge show, they're playing NYC at the Bell House in July after their tour with Matt & Kim. Tickets are still on sale.
Strawberry Festival details and Twin Shadow tour dates below...
Lollapalooza last year (more by Josh Darr)
Lollapalooza celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with some huge names on its just-announced lineup. See it in full below.
The festival has obviously changed over the years. What started out as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction with a 'touring festival' lineup that included the Rollins Band, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, and Souxsie & The Banshees, has turned into a one-weekend Chicago festival that Lady Gaga co-headlined last year. As leaked a while ago, Foo Fighters, Muse and Eminem all play this year, as will Coldplay, Cee Lo Green, and My Morning Jacket along with the reunited Cars and the continuing-to-be-reunited Big Audio Dynamite and Death From Above 1979, and a bunch of other bands which may or may not be worth the ticket price depending on how you feel about the headliners and generally seeing bands in big, hot, outdoor crowded parks (Lollapalooza happens in Chicago's Grant Park from August 5th - 7th).
Full 2011 Lineup and a couple of videos (one from 1991, one from 2010), below...
photos by David Andrako
Here are a few things that happened on Coachella Day 1:
- it was hot.
- lots of celebrities, like Coachella regular Danny Devito, were walking around
- The Black Keys, Kings of Leon and the Chemical Brothers were the big headlining acts of the day (all on the main Coachella Stage)
- people wore funny outfits, and sometimes NSFW outfits.
- people sinned.
- Lauryn Hill started late, but not too late (aka she still got to play).
- Cee Lo showed up very late, apologized, but acted mad he had to play a short set. He used that anger to give his set-closing hit "Fuck You" context.
- Odd Future predictably drew a huge crowd, and were joined by Pharell.
- Odd Future's set resulted in a possible broken nose (again)
- There were 20 arrests
- Paul McCartney was there, and along with Usher, stood on stage during Afrojack's set.
- YACHT played
- Many other people played, and lots of other stuff happened too, as you can see in the pictures below...
What were your highlights of Coachella Day One? Are you there or watching the stream?
Photographer David Andrako managed to catch 18 acts and other random stuff in between on Friday. His pictures from the whole day continue below...
by Bill Pearis
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are soon to be back with their second album, Belong, which is out in March. The band have left behind the reverb-heavy sound of their debut into sonic clarity thanks to producer Flood (Smashing Pumpkins' Melon Collie..., Depeche Mode's Violator, U2's Achtung Baby) and mixing talents of shoegaze impresario Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Blonde Redhead). It still sounds like The Pains, just beefed up a little, which is more in line with what they're like live these days.
The album's first single, "Heart in Your Heartbreak," was released last month on Slumberland and you can stream both sides of the 7" at the bottom of this post. Shortly after Belong's release, TPOBPAH will head out on tour with opener Twin Shadow, including a May 6 show at Webster Hall. (On-sale date TBA.) It also seems likely there'll be an NYC record release show before this tour starts, but no word yet.
All TPOBPAH / Twin Shadow 2011 tour dates are below.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ MHOW
"Young Man played a solid, occasionally Dirty Projector-ish 30 minute set; every Suuns song should feature loud wailing from a random dude playing the saxophone; Screaming Females continue to blow away everyone who has seen them this week at CMJ; and the Blow, well, the Blow is a one-woman band with a pre-recorded backing track. Think Lady Gaga, circa 2007, before she had any money. I'm not saying the Blow is as good as Gaga, but it's the same kind of performance art." [Encore]After leaving the Extra Lens show at Mercury Lounge, I headed over to the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to check out the last two artists on the bill on Thursday night (I missed Young Man, Suuns and Screaming Females). I know you're not really supposed to spend time seeing artists you've seen numerous times before, but I couldn't help myself. I needed some familiar tunes.
I walked in right when The Blow was starting. I must confess I was somewhat worried about how people would react to her set - especially since she was playing in the wake of Screaming Females, but the crowd (though perhaps a bit perplexed at first) definitely warmed up to her one-woman show. Khaela Maricich charmed the audience with her unabashed dance moves, confessional lyrics, and humorous asides. Like a stand-up comedian, she may recycle much of her stage banter (which is much more involved than your typical fare), but the stories she tells - whether fictional or factual - are engrossing.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart concluded the showcase with their blissful, fuzzed out pop songs. Unlike The Blow, POBPAH may not have said much between songs, but they still had the kids bobbing their heads in appreciation. A Brooklyn staple for some time, these guys certainly deserve the fanfare. They concluded their set with their eponymous song, which concludes perhaps the best anthem for CMJ: "We are so sure, we will never die, no no we will never die."
We already posted one set of pictures from this show. Here is a second, and it continues below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
the Blow's Khaela Maricich
"Sometimes I feel like when I do the moves," the Blow's Khaela Maricich says toward the end of the night, dancing in front of a rapt audience at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, "certain members of the audience look at me like they could have me." She pauses a beat. "Could they have me? No." It's the most subtly bold audience confrontation I've ever seen someone attempt at CMJ, and it comes directly after the Screaming Females's Marissa Paternoster has just pretty much lit the stage on fire at the same venue, and there were probably people wondering about having her too. Now, hopefully, they're not. These are the acts that CMJ needs far more than they need CMJ, that we need far more than they need us. It restores your faith in this process, watching people do it right.Thanks to all the ticket and badge holders who stopped by the sold out BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and to the bands: Young Man, Suuns, Screaming Females (who should be headlining Webster Hall, not playing third on a bill at MHOW though I am very happy they did), The Blow, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
Both Young Man and Suuns were a treat for those that got there early. I felt bad for the Blow a little, playing her one-woman show after the assault that was the Screaming Females, but naturally Khaela was not phased and did her thing on stage to the lovers, the haters and the confused alike. The Pains ended the night right with their sweet and shoegazey indie pop, two new songs included.
More pictures from the night, below...
BV CMJ showcase, October 21st, 2010 @ MHOWIn honor of the BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase kicking off in a couple of hours at Music Hall of Williamsburg (advanced tickets now sold out - get there early with your badge, or try your luck as people leave early and more are let in), we present the premiere of an alternate version of the video for "Say No To Love". Check that out, with all of their tour dates, below...
08:00PM Young Man
09:30PM Screaming Females
10:30PM The Blow
11:30PM The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Freddie Gibbs will rhyme all over Glasslands on Friday (10/22) when he hits the Yours Tru.ly showcase alongside Sun Airway, Cults, Kisses, Laurel Halo, Candy Claws, Young Man, Oberhofer, Guards, and James Vincent McMorrow. The show is the day before he hits the #OFFLINE Pitchfork party at Brooklyn Bowl (10/23) which will also feature Cults. Tour dates are below.
Dent May is prepping to play the Chocolate Bobka day party at Pianos as we speak (10/20, set is at 6PM), and will be joined by Woodsman, Sultan, and many others on it's two floors. Git on down there! Or if you can't make it today, then catch Dent May at the #OFFLINE party at Brooklyn Bowl Thursday, or the Forest Family/Gorilla Vs Bear party later that day (doors at 6) at The Pyramids (32D South 1st Street) with Marnie Stern, Eternal Summers, La Cera, Family Trees, Luke Rathbone, Young Prisms, Slow Animal, and... Surfer Blood.
Small Black is hitting the road with Class Actress for a string of US dates, and will follow those up with some in the EU. But before that, the band has a CMJ showcase (and the non-CMJ #OFFLINE show) to headline at Pianos on 10/21, stocked with bands like Sun Airway, La Ices, S.Carey, and Suuns who also plays the BrooklynVegan showcase the same night.
Speaking of the BrooklynVegan showcase and #OFFLINE, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are now playing both. They've always been our Thursday night headliner (tickets are getting close to sold out) and Pitchfork just added them to their Saturday show. They added Titus Andronicus to that day too, and released the set times for all three days. The Fool's Gold 3rd Anniversary Party portion happens late Saturday night (starts at midnight). All the set times are below.
You can spend all day at Public Assembly on Saturday, and still get to Brooklyn Bowl in time to see Ty Segall, Pains, Matthew Dear, Freddie Gibbs, Titus for a 2nd time, and all of the Fool's Gold stuff.
Highlife plays the Chouette show at Bruar Falls today at 4PM (10/20) with Sharon Van Etten and Lower Dens (who play the BV Day Party on Fri), but also will play the Invisible Children/Blogotheque Showcase on 10/22 as well as the #OFFLINE party at Brooklyn Bowl the next day (10/23). The Blogtheque showcase will go down at SPiN NYC (48 East 23rd St) and will also feature Traffique and Yellow Ostrich.
How to Dress Well will do double duty TONIGHT (10/20), playing the Ramiken Crucible with Salem and then the Lefse/I Guess I'm Floating CMJ showcase at The Delancey later on with A Classic Education and many others. In addition to playing the #OFFLINE party at Brooklyn Bowl on 10/22, he'll also DJ the Altered Zones after-party at Glasslands with John Maus, Prince Rama, Greatest Hits, Teen Inc, Hippos in Tanks DJs, and more. The next day, you can catch HTDW at the Fader Fort with OFF!, Teen Inc, Wack Flocka Flame, Royal Bangs, Tanlines, Glasser and others. RSVP here.
Exhausted yet? Our full guide to tonight/Wednesday is HERE. Dates for artists mentioned above, set times and stuff below...
TPOBPAH @ the 2010 Siren Festival (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were destined to eventually play a BrooklynVegan show. I had them on the lineup of a SXSW day party in 2009, but they showed up late and never got to play their set. I tried to have them on a lineup of a SXSW day party in 2010, but they had to drop off before I even announced it (which is way better than cancelling after I announce it). Take three... I'm very happy to announce most of the lineup of the fourth annual official BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase (the first was at Bowery Ballroom, then Music Hall, then Music Hall again). It takes place at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday, October 21st, 2010 (7pm doors).
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will headline the show (or "play last" as I like to call it on these showcases). Also on the bill: The Blow, Yuck, a special guest I can't announce yet, and as previously mentioned, Young Man! I'm really excited for this one and partially because of the special guest who I've also been trying to get to do a BV show for a while (that's about the only clue I can give until I can announce it - not that it's a good clue). Set times TBA.
UPDATE 1: Screaming Females are the special guest.
UPDATE 2: Yuck cancelled and were replaced by Suuns.
Tickets go on AmMEhx presale on Wednesday, 8/18, at noon. General sale starts the following Friday at noon. You can also get in with your CMJ badge (first come, first served).
For the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Yuck it will be one of three shows the two bands will play together (the others are Philly and Boston). All dates below...
The schedule (above). The pre-party flyer... (below)
the Night Marchers @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009 (more)
The Village Voice, the nation's largest alternative weekly newspaper, is excited to announce the addition of THE NIGHT MARCHERS, CYMBALS EAT GUITARS, EARL GREYHOUND, SCREAMING FEMALES and WYE OAK to the line-up for the 10th Annual SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL at Coney Island, NYC on Saturday, July 17, 2010 from 12:00 noon - 9:00 p.m. These artists join scheduled performers MATT AND KIM, TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS, THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, SURFER BLOOD and HARLEM with more to be announced.So that was the July show Wye Oak were talking about.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in historic Coney Island, SIREN has solidified its status as a leading New York City outdoor music festival, drawing over 100,000 music fans each year. With over 120 bands making their mark at SIREN over the last decade, this year will recognize SIREN's roots with the first ever return of past performers. MATT AND KIM and TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS will be heading back to the SIREN stage to celebrate. This free, all ages, all day festival is not to be missed.
"This year, we proudly celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Siren Festival. In the history of the our free Coney Island corndog bonanza, no band has ever played Siren twice. This was a conscious decision on behalf of our fearless festival founder and organizer, who long ago decided that if this crazy all-ages, free show thing ever reached ten years, Siren would rehost some of its best performers." [Village Voice]And the initial lineup is....
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Surfer Blood - Swim (MP3)
Surfer Blood @ Market Hotel in February (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will be at Other Music for Record Store Day. It's their only NYC date at the moment. Their tour with Surfer Blood and Hooray for Earth doesn't start til June (and doesn't have an NYC date yet). All of those dates are below.
For Record Store Day, Surfer Blood will be dropping a split single with Holiday Shores. One side is Surfer Blood's "Take It Easy (live)" featuring Marnie Stern, and the other is Holiday Shores' "Your Motion Says," an Arthur Russell cover. Russell's disco-burner original is below along with video of Marnie performing with Surfer Blood at Cameo on New Years Eve.
Surfer Blood was recently featured on the web show Dirty Laundry. Video of that show and all tour dates (plus details on Hooray for Earth's Cinco de Mayo show at LPR) are below...
Record Store Day is fast approaching and we're looking to make this year the best one yet. If you're in NYC on Saturday, April 17, swing by Other Music where we'll be offering lots of special and exclusive Record Store Day releases in the shop, with a great line-up of guest DJs spinning their favorite tunes throughout the day (including Scott from the National and Liquid Liquid's Sal Principato), plus live performances from the Drums and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. We'll be announcing more details here and on our website in the coming week. And no matter what town you're in, save the date and please support your local independent record stores on Saturday, April 17.It's the only scheduled US date for the Drums, who go to Europe this May and June. For The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the in-store their only NYC date currently (their upcoming tour with Surfer Blood and Holiday Shores in June doesn't have one yet).
One of the DJs at Other Music will be the National's Scott Devendorf. Brassland Records (co-started by the National) reports that the store will be one of two (Soundfix being the other) to carry the National's second album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, on vinyl for the "1st time in 7 years.!"
The National's new LP, High Violet, is out May 11th on 4AD, and they've been steadily offering up songs from it. The new "Afraid of Everyone," which features Sufjan on backup vox, is available above as is the previously leaked "Bloodbuzz Ohio."
More Record Store Day coverage is on the way today. On a non-RSD note, Phosphorescent has an in-store at Other Music on May 10th.
Videos of two more new National songs, done live at Big Ears 2010, are posted below with (UPDATE: the Other Music schedule)...
SXSW Day Three started over at the free Dickies Sounds Day Party. Free silk-screened posters with all the bands playing that day (including She & Him and Surfer Blood at the official showcase that night) were printed up and handed out on the spot. People played ping pong next to the house while around the corner Greg Laswell played a few new songs, several old ones, as well as his incredibly depressing take on Cyndi Lauper's "Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun". After a quick dash over to the convention center it was back to Dickies, where there was suddenly a long line, to catch the all-girl quartet, Warpaint, who were fantastic. Then Rogue Wave closed out the day portion. I still can't get excited about their new record, but live Zach Rogue and his newly configured lineup have it down and the crowd we're into it from the start. The highlight being "Lake Michigan" and a slow-building, two-minute intro.
For the evening I set up camp at the Mohawk for the Slumberland/Cake Shop Showcase. Sheffield's indiepop trio Standard Fare opened inside and their performance was great. A better batch of indie pop songs you'll be hard-pressed to find this year. Philadelphia drum-guitar duo Reading Rainbow were next and another indie pop band, the excellent Summer Cats (from Australia), followed. Frankie Rose and the Outs were up next with their hazy, lo-fi rock. I skipped out after that to nip over to the Galaxy Backyard to catch The Antlers (completely forgetting I would see them the following afternoon at another Party.) Their third show of the festival and they just nailed it. People around me who had not heard of them were won over after just one song (the increasingly uptempo "Sylvia".) By the end, one girl put her hands up in the shape of a heart right in front of Peter Silberman, eliciting a smile from the frontman mid-verse. From there it was a quick dash back up Red River to the Mohawk where both inside and outside were at capacity with Miike Snow about to go on outside (followed by Mayer Hawthorne, neither of who I caught) and Pains of Being Pure at Heart inside. "Welcome to the Cake Shop," said Kip Berman at the start of the New York indie pop band's set, pointing at the Cake Shop banner on the wall behind them.
photos by Joseph Xu
Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material.
More pictures from the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Young Adult Friction (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything with You (MP3)
It's not entirely uncommon, especially these days, for a band to go from playing Cake Shop to headlining Webster Hall in little over a year, but one of the amazing surprises of 2009 is that it happened to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Made entirely of genuine indie obsessives who, when not on tour are at other people's shows, the Pains moved beyond the cardigan crowd to what you could almost call... mainstream success? It doesn't hurt that their self-titled debut was chock-full of irresistible pop songs, three of which were actual singles (all downloadable at the top of this post), and the rest could've been. The band rest up until February when they tour Japan, Australia and New Zealand -- tour dates are at the bottom of this post. Singer Kip Berman answered our year-end in questionnaire...
Starting December 17th, Insound, the online indie super-store, known for its impeccable selection of vinyl and well designed music merch and gifts, will open a unique holiday pop-up gallery at 303 Grand St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The gallery will be selling the best designed music gifts from Insound's inventory, including silk-screened, limited edition posters, t-shirts, deluxe LP box sets, art books about music, turntables and unusual audio gear and music gifts.DJing the first night (tonight, 12/17) will be Brooklyn's own Small Black. The full schedule and a flyer are below...
In a neighborhood filled with great small record stores, Insound will not be selling standard LPs or CDs at the pop up gallery. Instead, the company's staff has curated the space with the intention of showcasing products that express the very best product design and quality applied to a love of music.
Additionally, every night from 7-10pm, in conjunction with The Fader, the gallery will host special live music events featuring surprise guest DJs and complimentary cocktails.
Influential indie label Slumberland Records turned 20 in 2009 and celebrated this landmark with two big birthday shows -- one in Washington DC (where it got its start) and one in Brooklyn (where much of Slumberland's current roster reside). The Bell House show was a cardigan-clad indie marathon, with a nice mix of Slumberland bands (and fans) old and new. It really did feel like a party. There were favors for the guests (a Slumberland rarities compilation CD) and even a few surprises. Slumberland head honcho Mike Schulman joined Philadelphia's Brown Recluse on stage for some well-played tambourine, and Amy Linton, conspicuously absent from the listed proceedings, turned up for an unannounced, too-brief (and crazy loud) set of Henry's Dress and Aislers Set songs with help from Crystal Stilts. There might've even been a cake. With the label going strong, another 20 years doesn't seem entirely out of the question.
Videos (including the entire Henry's Dress/Aislers Set set), plus pictures of all the bands from the whole long, fun night are after the jump....
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Cribs - We Were Aborted (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Prince of Tacoma (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Lately (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - I'm a Donkey for Your Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BOAT - Last Cans of Paint (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose - Thee Only One (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Night Train (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Contour and Context (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Ropers - Revolver (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Nord Express - The Natural (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lorelei - Stale Houses (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Max Tundra - Which Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Deastro - Reaction To Substance M (MP3)
Tonight (11/11) and tomorrow are the last two shows of The Answering Machine's extended NYC visit, playing Bruar Falls tonight (with Dinnosaur Feathers and Zambri) and Cake Shop tomorrow (11/12, with Sholi). As I've said before, this Manchester band make superior Brit Indie and like their debut album, Another City, Another Sorry, quite a bit. You can get the whole thing at their bandcamp.com page.
Speaking of superior Brit Indie, The Cribs fourth album, Ignore the Ignorant, was released this week, just in time for their shows at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (11/12, still tickets available) and Friday (11/13, sold out). As you may know, The Cribs are now a four-piece, having added Johnny Marr to their otherwise all-Jarman lineup for the writing and recording of the new album which actually does sound like what you might expect it to. You've still got the big choruses and raw energy The Cribs are known for, but now with the flourishes and panache the onetime Smith is known for. I'd even say Ignore the Ignorant finds Johnny Marr sounding like Johhny Marr for the first time since his days in The The. It's a really strong record. But The Cribs are almost always better live than on record. I will be curious to see how Marr will affect the usual antics of Gary, Ryan, Ross. Will brothers still act like brothers when there's a legend nearly twice their age on stage?
The shows I'm most looking forward to this weekend are from Seattle's BOAT, a truly fun live band whose new album, Setting the Paces, is just terrific, loaded with irresistible indie pop, as much as you can fit on tangerine-colored vinyl. We're talking giant hooks, lyrics that are funny without being novelty (and have just enough of the crying-on-the-inside clown thing going on too), and production that is neither slick nor low fi. This is how it's done, and I've no doubt this will find its way into my Best of 2009 list.
BOAT play Union Hall on Friday (11/13) and Bruar Falls on Saturday (11/14) and you really should do yourself a favor and go see one of these shows. They don't make it East very often. Their live shows are fairly interactive -- they pass out bags of confetti and homemade shakers, and often work with signs and props -- but it never feels forced. They just want you to have a good time. The Union Hall show on Friday is with How I Became the Bomb; Saturday's Bruar Falls show is with Miniboone and Shark?
I feel a little bad that BOAT's show on Saturday is competing with the Slumberland 20th Anniversary show at The Bell House for the indie pop consumer's dollar. As someone who spent his college years going on road trips to Washington DC to see shows and go record shopping, Slumberland is intertwined with my musical upbringing, be it thumbing through Velocity Girl, Henry's Dress and Aislers Set 7"s at Arlington's Go Records, or hearing Stereolab's Switched On for the first time at Smash on M Street.
It's kind of amazing that, after a few years of dormancy, Slumberland has come back stronger than ever in the last year with records that have achieved a national level of attention that seemed impossible in the '90s. I'm still stunned at how popular Pains of Being Pure at Heart have gotten. It's a label that continues to be a labor of love for owner Mike Schulman. Maybe the listening public (now with the wide-reaching abilities of the internet) has come around to his way of thinking.
Anyway, Saturday's eight-band spectacular is a hard-t0-pass-up bill for any indie fan, featuring label heavy hitters The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (previously unannounced) and Crystal Stilts. There's also Boston's Pants Yell!, whose new album Received Pronunciation was just released and is what I'd call a textbook "grower," one whose many pleasures don't reveal themselves till maybe the third listen. The band are also swearing it's their last, and plan to break up next year (Check out an MP3 of "Cold Hands" above). Additionally, the show has Philadelphia's baroque-ish Brown Recluse from the label's current roster, and what is likely to be most people's first time seeing Frankie & the Outs, who were really good opening for Grass Widow at the Woodser a week ago.
There's also sets from three bands from Slumberland's dreamy '90s era: Lorelei, who have been back together since 2003, and The Ropers, and Nord Express who I'm pretty sure are playing their first shows since disbanding. While I know some Slumberland fanatics were hoping, wishing, crossing their fingers Schulman and Bell House booker Skippy might pull a rabbit out of their hat with more classic Slumberland bands (The Aislers Set, Black Tambourine, Velocity Girl or Rocketship), it's hard to argue with this lineup. It's gonna be a great night.
While on the subject of '90s indie rock, Versus are playing at Knitting Factory on Friday (11/13). Now augmented with a violinist (at least at their fantastic Seaport set this summer), they're sounding as good as they did in the '90s. Maybe even better. I'm told there's a new Versus album in the can and they're just trying to work out the whens and wheres of its release. The whole line-up at the Knit is TeenBeat related actually, with label head (and former Unrest frontman) Mark Robinson's new band Cotton Candy; Plus Minus which features Versus' James Balyut and ex-member Patrick Ramos and who are equally popular in their own right; The Solitary Cyclist which includes John Lindaman of True Love Always, Plus Minus drummer Chris Deaner, and food blogger (and friend of mine) Ganda Suthivarakom who has also performed with Miho Hatori, as well as in David Byrne's Imelda Marcos opera, Here Lies Love. Which leads us to the other band on the bill: Filipino indiepop band Ciudad. They've been playing shows here for the last month or so but this looks to be the final one before they head back to the Philippines.
A couple other quick shows of interest. If you ever wondered what became of Einar, the other vocalist in the Sugarcubes (the one who shouted things like "I really don't like lobster!"), his current gig is GhostDigital which matches weird electronics to his particular style of vocals. They play tonight (11/11) at Monkeytown with fellow homemade diode musician Caspar Electronics.
An evening-length concert of original scores and newly commissioned compositions for the intonarumori, or "noise-intoners" As part of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of Italian Futurism, the Performa 09 biennial, in collaboration with the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and SFMOMA, has invited Luciano Chessa to direct a reconstruction project to produce accurate replicas the legendary instruments (8 noise families of 1-3 instruments each, in various registers) that Russolo built in Milan in the summer of 1913. As the first instruments capable of creating and manipulating noises through entirely mechanical processes, the intonarumori can be considered to be the original analog synthesizer, and the ancestors to the latest electronic synthesizers used today.The night also features Blixa Bargeld, John Butcher, Luciano Chessa, Joan La Barbara, Nick Hallett, Pauline Oliveros, Mike Patton, Anat Pick, Elliott Sharp, Ulrich Krieger, Jennifer Walshe with Tony Conrad, Ghostigital with Skuli Sverrison, Finboggi Petursson, and Casper Electronics.
Sounds pretty cool. Aside: I used to fantasize that Einar formed a band with Fred Schneider. The most annoying band ever created.
OK that's it for this week. Videos and tour dates follow....
I recently noticed that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were revealed as the headliner of the Slumberland Records 20th Anniversary Festival happening at the Bell House in Brooklyn on November 14th. Tickets are still on sale. Pains will also be making an appearance five days earlier at the same venue to celebrate the same record label, except on November 9th the band will be the DJ for "Monday Night Vinyl Club #13". It's free. More details and all tour dates below...
photos by Jake Forney
Cymbals Eat Guitars / Pains of Being Pure at Heart
"Pains went on at 9:15 and Webster Hall was packed. I wonder if it sold out? They played a great set, and I finally got to see them play the song that made me a fan of theirs, "A Teenager in Love." But for me, my two favorite songs are "Come Saturday" and "Everything With You." Matt told me that he knows that those are the two songs I like because that's the only time he'll ever see me move. Yeah, at shows I'm pretty dis-affectionate. It seems that Pains get better every time I see them. And on a personal level, it is true that with new music, I really don't like a good 98% of what's out there, but I love Pains and they'll receive my full support. And I'm no one special, but I am blatantly honest. They write such beautiful, sincere, and catchy music, and the members are some of the nicest people I've ever met, and both Kip and Peggy gave me a hug when I ran into them at the show. Aww, you guys are awesome. And interestingly enough, when I got home from the show I had a last.fm friend request from Kip. (we have "very high" compatibility according to last.fm's taste-meter)" [Alex Caprio]Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Depreciation Guild, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played one of the last shows on their tour together in their hometown of NYC, at Webster Hall on Saturday night (10/3). More pictures from the show below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Higher Than the Stars (Others in Conversation Mix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Besnard Lakes - And You Lied to Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Cinnamon Band - Buena Vista (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - Calypso Gold (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Princeton - Sadie and Andy (feat. Meredith Metcalf (MP3)
The Besnard Lakes
(This Week in Indie Pt 1, in case you missed it.)
North of the border, Pop Montreal 2009 is going on as we speak, yet one of the Canadian city's best bands, The Besnard Lakes, are here in NYC playing a show on Saturday (10/3) at Mercury Lounge. I think they must feel an affinity for New York -- Brooklyn too, as their excellent 2007 album Are The Dark Horse (one of my faves from that year) has a song called "On Bedford and Grand," a tongue-in-cheek ode to Williamsburg. As good as that album is, Besnard Lakes are even better live, though it probably depends on their ever-fluctuating line-up. In addition to scoring actor Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, the band are working on Dark Horse's follow-up, so it will be good to hear some new material. The show also features Philadelphia duo The Cinnamon Band (2/3s of defunct Jagjaguwar band The Union of a Man and a Woman) and Acrylics who I think are one of the city's best new bands.
We've got a pair of tickets to give away for this 21+ show. If you're interested, send an email with your first and last name to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Besnard Lakes" and we'll pick a winner at random.
Saturday is a busy night. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (9pm), who just released a great new EP called Higher Than the Stars, headline Webster Hall (tickets), the penultimate date on their current tour with Cymbals Eat Guitars (7pm) and The Depreciation Guild (8pm). You can download a brand new remix of Higher Than the Stars title track, which strips off the original's sparkly sheen and gives it a rougher, darker coat of paint. The Webster Hall show has an early start with 6pm doors, which will have you out of there by 10pm, in time for a second show of the night if so desired. The band play Philadelphia on Sunday (10/4), then are taking six weeks off before Europe in mid-November. They are also conspicuously absent from either of the upcoming Slumberland Records Anniversary shows.
Also also Saturday (that's 10/3 if you forgot), Finland's The Dø wrap up their first-ever American tour with a NYC stop at Hiro Ballroom (tickets). One night earlier (tonight), they play a show at Pop Montreal. Their 2008 album A Mouthful is a schizophrenic mix of indie rock, dreamy folk, tribal rhythms, and even (less successful) forays into hip hop. One woulda thought the band would have been here a year ago, as A Mouthful's hype hit its pinnacle about a year and a half ago, though it still hasn't gotten a proper U.S. release. (You can get it via iTunes or Emusic, though.) The Dø's show in L.A. as part of the Oohlala Festival didn't go so well, apparently, but their show at Chicago's Empty Bottle was a hit according to Popmatters critic (and ace photographer) Kirstie Shanley:
Creating a live performance full of win, French-Finnish duo The Dø could have easily entertained an audience of thousands. Olivia Merilahti was electricity personified. Flipping her long lustrous hair, coming up to the tip on the stage and leaning into the audience were two of her frequent rock moves. Dan Levy chose to engage the audience with his sudden floor kneeling. But despite the sense of developed chemistry between he and Merilahti, it was she who truly stole the show. [Popmatters]You've got another chance to catch L.A. band Princeton, who play with Chicago's Maps & Atlases at the new Knitting Factory in Williamsburg on Sunday. Both bands are just now wrapping up a tour supporting Ra Ra Riot. Their debut, Cocoon of Love, is out now and is pretty hard not to like, full of well-dressed scholarly pop not unlike Belle & Sebastian or the Magnetic Fields (or, loathe as I am to admit it, Vampire Weekend, minus the Afrobeat influences). Princeton were to be one the unavoidable bands at this year's CMJ Festival but canceled after being offered an opening slot on Art Brut's upcoming U.S. tour, so this may be the last chance to see them for a while (well, unless you choose the Art Brut show at Maxwell's which is one of the shows they're opening).
And finally, UK legend Frank Sidebottom is visiting NYC again, here ostensibly for the Coney Island Film Festival where he'll debut his film Frank Sidebottom Saves Coney Island. I caught Frank (and his sidekick Little Frank) back in March where he played to confused locals at the 169 Bar, where he first got heckled but eventually won the crowd over with his bizarre, hilarious covers of The Fall, The Smiths, Queen and The Beatles, which includes multiple costume changes. He's playing a bunch of shows throughout the weekend, including two on Sunday (10/4) at Cake Shop and Otto's Shrunken Head. If you're even slightly curious (there are videos below) I recommend you go see him -- there's really nobody else like him.
Videos and tour dates follow...
photos by Lori Baily
Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Brooklyn Bowl
New York's [Pains of Being Pure at Heart] secured their position as indie-pop darlings earlier this year via their superb self-titled debut album, and are already trekking out in support of another release, the "Higher than the Stars" EP. Manifesting as a quintet (adding another guitar to their usual guitar, keys, bass and drums arrangement), they delivered pensive, breezy, melodious anthems of romantic anxiety such as "This Love Is (expletive) Right," and "Everything With You" with much free-spirited bopping and swaying.That review is from the Cymbals Eat Guitars/POBPAH/Depreciation Guild tour kick off show in Boston on September 5th. Those bands come to NYC's Webster Hall for a show on October 3rd. Tickets are still on sale.
Banter was limited but charming. Pains frontman Kip Berman, himself a former Cambridge resident, made it known that he sympathized with anyone forced to leave early to catch the last train. Attired in what appeared to be an olive colored robe, singer/ keyboardist Peggy Wang announced that her friend was celebrating his bachelor party at the Middle East Downstairs that evening.
Fellow New Yorkers the Depreciation Guild and Cymbals Eat Guitars opened. Performing in front of a video of rapidly flashing, alternating sides of a Rubik's Cube, the Depreciation Guild employed duel guitars and gentle, trebly vocals for hypnotic results. Their shoegazey pop makes for excellent pre-nap-time ambience, which explains why they looked to be on the verge of nodding off.
Cymbals Eat Guitars performed passionately, but always seemed to be cramming four song concepts into one. They could learn a thing or two about the beauty of simplicity from the Pains. [Boston Herald]
A little more than a week before the Boston show, CEG played Insound's 10 anniversary party at Brooklyn Bowl. Another set of pics from that show, along with info on that new Pains EP, and all tour dates, below...