Entries tagged with: The Soft Moon
by Bill Pearis
The Soft Moon have a new video for "Wasting" from their album Deeper which came out a couple weeks ago on Captured Tracks. Directed by Y2K, Soft Moon main man Luis Vasquez is the subject of some psycho-pharmacutical experiment in which he may or may not be a willing participant. Overseeing it all is veteran character actor Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, Mulholland Drive) who brings a sense of menace to the clip. You can watch it below.
The Soft Moon's tour starts tonight in Philadelphia and hits NYC on Saturday (4/11) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Noveller, Tempers, and a DJ set from Nikola Baytala. Tickets are still available. Updated tour dates are listed below.
The 2015 Primavera Sound Festival goes down in Barcelona, Spain from May 28 - 30. We knew The Strokes and recently reunited shoegazers Ride were playing and now the line-up is being announced via the festival's mobile app, which is a not-so fun 8-bit game you have to play to reveal names. The whole lineup is in the poster above and includes The Replacements, James Blake, Sleater-Kinney (who apparently are playing festivals after all) Patti Smith performing Horses, Spiritualized, Interpol, Antony & the Johnsons, OMD, Mineral, Brand New, Panda Bear, Run the Jewels, Sleaford Mods, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, The Black Keys, New Pornographers, Jose Gonzalez, Shabazz Palaces, Kevin Morby, Ought, Disappears, Pharmakon, Baxter Dury, Death From Above 1979, Spiritualized, tUnE-yArDs, Twin Shadow, Swans, Iceage, the Juan MacLean, Dan Deacon, Viet Cong, Sun Kil Moon, Antony, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fucked Up, Kelela, Ariel Pink, Voivod, Electric Wizard, Mikal Cronin, alt-J, Sunn O))), the Thurston Moore Band, Underworld (performing dubnobasswithmyheadman), Pallbearer, Tobias Jesso Jr., American Football, Jon Hopkins, DIIV, Caribou, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, My Brightest Diamond, HEALTH, Babes in Toyland, Thee Oh Sees, Single Mothers, Ex Hex, Shellac and Twerps. Full line-up is below.
by Bill Pearis
The Soft Moon's new album, Deeper, is out at the end of March and if you haven't checked out first single, "Black," you can stream it below. Main man Luis Vasquez handed the track over to Trentemøller who stripped away everything but the vocals and a few noises, and rebuilt the song from the ground up. There's more groove and less clank in Trentemøller's version, and you can stream the remix (via Fader) below.
Shortly after the album's release, The Soft Moon will be on tour, playing NYC on April 11 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale today (1/14) at noon with the public on-sale starting Friday (1/16) at noon. All dates are listed below.
Austin Psych Fest 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
The annual Austin Psych Fest, which they've renamed "Austin Psych Fest presents Levitation" (more on that below), happens this year from May 8-10 at the Carson Creek Ranch. The initial lineup was just revealed and it's looking pretty crazy. There's The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, The Jesus and Mary Chain (performing Psychocandy), Spiritualized, Primal Scream, The Black Angels, Thee Oh Sees, Mac DeMarco, Melody's Echo Chamber, Lightning Bolt, The Sword, Earth, A Place to Bury Strangers, Fuzz, The Soft Moon, Metz, White Fence, Fat White Family, Nothing and still plenty more. Weekend passes are on sale now and check out the full initial lineup below.
As for the name change of the fest to Levitation:
Over the years, countless other "psych fest" events have popped up around the globe - music communities all over the world are gathering together and celebrating music and art together. This is an amazing thing and we are proud to be a part of it.The APF folks have been doing a sister festival in France called "Levitation" since 2013.
In 2015 we are redefining what we're doing with a renewed focus on the music we love, and to mark that change the festival is taking on a new name: LEVITATION. The title comes from one of our favorite tracks from Austin legends The 13th Floor Elevators, who have provided us with endless inspiration. Their music and message transcended genre - they were true innovators.
Lineup, poster and announcement video for Austin Psych Fest presents Levitation, below...
by Bill Pearis
Luis Vasquez is back with his third album as The Soft Moon. Titled Deeper, Vasquez made the record in Italy with producer Maurizio Baggio and marks a bit of a course-correction from the driving, motoroik synthrock of The Soft Moon's first two LPs. Says Vasquez:
I've never worked so closely with someone before. Working with Maurizio felt right and I completely opened up to him during the entire process. I finally felt the urge to express myself more verbally with this record and I was able to focus more on songwriting rather than just experimenting with soundscapes.The first single "Black" retains Vasquez' bleak outlook but heads in new, more industrial directions. You can stream it and watch its very strobe-y, very minimal video, below.
The Soft Moon's Deeper will be out March 31 via Captured Tracks. Album art, tracklist and new song stream/video, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Pop. 1280 at Public Assembly in 2012 (more by Erez Avissar)
NYC post-punks Pop. 1280 have announced that they will release the followup to 2012's The Horror with a new album, Imps of Perversion, on August 6 via Sacred Bones. On the first single, "Lights Out," they've got way thicker production than on the last album, and it only benefits their sound, which is dark and angry as ever. Stream that track, along with the album artwork and tracklist, below.
Pop. 1280 will be playing a hometown show as part of the Northside Festival, opening for like-minded band The Soft Moon at their previously announced 285 Kent show on Sunday (6/16). Another local band, Grooms, who also play a Exploding In Sound/Gimme Tinnitus show today (6/14), are on the bill too. Tickets for the 285 Kent show are still available.
That new song stream, album art, and tracklist, below...
Caveman @ BVCMJ 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Yo La Tengo @ Prospect Park, 2012 (more by Jessica Amaya)
today in NYC
* AraabMUZIK @ Output
* Rodriguez @ Town Hall
* Holly Near @ Joe's Pub
* Jon Madof @ The Stone
* Yo La Tengo @ The Kitchen
* ABSU, Krallice @ Saint Vitus
* Austra (DJ Set) @ Le Baron
* John Hodgman @ Union Hall
* Sky White Tiger @ Manhattan Inn
* Pyyramids, MisterWives @ Mercury Lounge
* Xray Eyeballs, Lodro, Valleys @ Union Pool
* Beardyman, Alex English @ Highline Ballroom
* Camera2, Fan-Tan, Teenage Kick @ Bowery Electric
* John Medeski, Lakecia Benjamin @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Houndmouth, The Ballroom Thieves @ Mercury Lounge
* Caveman, Lucius, Pure Bathing Culture @ Webster Hall
* Young Man, Emil & Friends, Friend Roulette @ Glasslands
* Squid and Toad, The Dang-It Bobby's @ Pete's Candy Store
* Joe Boyd's Way To Blue: A Tribute to Nick Drake @ Joe's Pub
* The Black Angels, Allah-Las, Elephant Stone @ The Bell House
* Tenement, Big Ups, Lame Drivers, Big French @ Shea Stadium
* Blu, TiRon & Ayomari, Stoop Kids, Adrian Lau @ Public Assembly
* Lianna La Havas, Jamie N Commons @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Little Gold, Todd Killings, Radical Dads, Trepanning @ Death By Audio
* Taj Mahal Trio, London Souls, Eric Krasno (of Soulive) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Love 666, Autodrone, The Charles Warren Orchestra @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Norwegian Arms, Night Panther, Black Light Dinner Party, Night Shining @ Pianos
* Morning, I am the Heat, M.R. Smith, Resse Van Viper, Dad Brother, Invisible Lines @ Spike Hill
* Big Terrific w/ Greg Barris, Jenny Slate, Jermaine Fowler, Leo Allen, Kevin Barnett @ Cameo Gallery
* Body Dreamz, Ben Kronberg, David Agyekum, Kate Berlant, Gazebo Flax, Bridley Elliot, Malwina, Sharkee Katz @ Silent Barn
* Killa Kyleon, Doughbeezy, The League of Extraordinary GÕz, Worldwide, Lyric Michelle, Young B, Grit Boys, Kydd @ Santos Party House
Araabmuzik finally let everyone in on where his mystery show tonight is happening: Williamsburg megaclub Output.
Grizzly Bear are currently touring their way to Coachella (set times just announced) and are in Austin tonight to tape an episode of Austin City Limits. They also played Austin two nights ago. Check out the pictures.
Follow BrooklynVegan on instagram.
The Soft Moon made a video for "Want," which is on their Zeroes album from last year. The somewhat NSFW clip pairs well with the paranoid, claustrophobic vibe of the song. You can watch it below.
As mentioned, White Fence's new album, Cyclops Reap, is out this week on John Dwyer's Castle Face label. Tim Presley doesn't seem to be running out of songs and this is another quality batch of paisley-scented psychedelia. You can stream "To The Boy I Jumped In The Hemlock Alley" below and hear the whole record over at Pitchfork.
White Fence will be in Brooklyn for the Northside Festival in June, playing two shows: the Panache showcase at Brooklyn Bowl on June 13 and then a late show at Knitting Factory on June 14. Tickets to the Knitting Factory show are on sale now; no word on Brooklyn Bowl tickets just yet.
The whole Panache showcase line-up is still forthcoming but we do know its being headlined by Mac DeMarco and we have updated dates for him below as well.
These are just a couple of the additions to the 2013 Northside line-up that includes that free Walkmen show in McCarren Park. Other new additions, Kylesa, Torche, Sonny & the Sunsets, Nü Sensae, Kisses, The Luyas and more. Northside line-up as it stands now is below.
Tamaryn is DJing at New York's Museum of Modern Art on Sunday evening (4/7) as part of a PopRally event called "Abstract Currents." Against projections of one-minute videos submitted by the public, Tamryn will provide a "hypnotic soundtrack to the collectively built abstract videoscape." It's in conjunction with MoMA's Abstraction, 1910-1925 and Abstract Generation: Now in Print exhibition and tickets are still available.
Later this month, Tamaryn will be in Texas' state capital for Austin Psych Fest (Apr. 26 - 28), which features a pretty amazing line-up that runs the gammut of "psychedelic," including Deerhunter, Spectrum, Black Mountain, OS Mutantes, The Moving Sidewalks, Clinic, Besnard Lakes, Elephant Stone, Roky Erickson, Sweden's GOAT and a bunch more. The fest just announced the day-by-day line-ups which are listed below.
As mentioned, Still Corners' new album, Strange Pleasures, is out next month (5/4) on Sub Pop. Reduced to a duo of core members Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray, the band embrace synthesizers which gives their sound an Air-y feel. The band are playing Toronto's NXNE Festival in June and will stop in NYC on their way there, playing Glasslands on June 12. Tickets to that show go on sale Friday (4/5) at noon.
Still Corners are one of many new additions to 2013 of NXNE which happens at various Toronto venues from June 10 - 16. All Still Corners dates are listed, along with the updated NXNE lineup, below...
by Bill Pearis
The Soft Moon have just released a new video for "Insides" from last year's Zeros. The surreal black-and-white clip, directed by Jacqueline Castel, is a little Dali-esque. No melting clocks, but some doors are definitely in a fluid state. Trip out below.
The Soft Moon launch a major North American tour this week that finds them -- suprise! -- in Austin during SXSW and, later, Austin Psych Fest. They'll also be back in NYC for the 2013 Northside Festival on June 16 at 285 Kent. No word on other bands on the bill or tickets just yet, but all tour dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
The Soft Moon's tour rolls into NYC tonight (1/8) for a show at Mercury Lounge with Montreal's Majical Cloudz. It's a late show (doors 9:30 PM) and tickets are still available. I caught Soft Moon at Glasslands last summer and the intesity of their records (like 2012's clausterphobic, nervy Zeros) is matched with the live show where main man Luis Vasquez spends much of the time bent over his guitar, pummeling it.
You can see a bit of that in action in The Soft Moon's new video for Zeros track "Die Life" which you can watch below. Also below: a Spotify stream of Zeros and a list of remaining tour dates. If you can't go tonight, you can still catch Majical Cloudz again in NYC when they play Death by Audio on 1/23.
Majical Cloudz (the project of Canadian musicians Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto) released their solid Turns Turns Turns EP via Arbutus late last year, and you may also know them from collaborating and touring with Grimes. The duo was recently added to the previously discussed The Soft Moon tour, which kicks off in NYC at Mercury Lounge on Tuesday (1/8). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
After the tour wraps up, you'll get another chance to catch Majical Cloudz in NYC when they play Death by Audio on January 23. No other acts have been announced for that show yet. Admission is $7 at the door.
A list of all dates and a song stream below...
As mentioned, goth rockers The Soft Moon had to cancel much of their east coast/midwest tour due to Hurricane Sandy, including the NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on 10/30. (They did play Glasslands on 9/20 before Sandy hit though.) The band mentioned that they would be rescheduling those cancelled dates for for 2013, and the new shows have been announced. NYC gets theirs at the smaller-than-Bowery-Ballroom venue Mercury Lounge on January 8. Pop. 1280 was scheduled to open the Bowery Ballroom show, but no opener has been announced for this one at the moment. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (11/23) at noon. It doesn't say anything at the moment about whether or not Bowery tickets will be honored.
Sasquatch! 2012 (more by Chris Graham and Rae Graham)
Quincy, WA music festival Sasquatch! has announced that it will return for its 12th installment to The Gorge over Memorial Day Weekend (5/24 - 5/27) in 2013. A limited number of discounted four-day festival passes will go on sale Friday (11/23) at 9 AM PST at the Sasquatch! website. The lineup will be announced in February.
In other US festival news, as recently mentioned on BV Austin, Austin Psych Fest will go down in Carson Creek Ranch from April 26 to 28 with Deerhunter, The Black Angels, Boris, Spectrum, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Clinic, Warpaint, DIIV, and many more. More info HERE.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Cold Showers - Violent Cries (MP3)
Los Angeles' Cold Showers are currently on tour, playing Glasslands tonight (9/20) with The Soft Moon and ERAAS on their way to the Pop Montreal which started last night and runs through the weekend. Tickets are still available.
After Pop Montreal, Cold Showers will head back across the Canadian border, playing the Midwest before heading back to NYC to play WIERD night at Home Sweet Home on October 2. It will be a release party for Cold Showers' debut album, Love and Regret, which comes out 10/9 on Mexican Summer. Recalling late-'80s bands like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Sisters of Mercy, it's dark and brooding but with ample hooks and melody, perfect for the fall weather ahead. The group just released a new track from the album, "Violent Cries," which you can download above or stream below along with previously-released "BC."
Meanwhile, ERAAS' self-titled debut will be out October 2 and is on the shadowier side of the street, relying on heavy atmosphere, tribal rhythms and plaintive vocals to pull the listener into their world. You can stream a couple tracks from their album below. ERAAS will also open for San Francisco post punks Weekend at Cameo on Tuesday (9/25) (rescheduled from August) and tickets to that show are still available.
And headliners The Soft Moon release their second album, Zeros, on October 30. Like their debut, it owes more than a little to mid-'80s 4AD and WaxTrax! discographies and is maybe even more creepy/claustrophobic than their first, loaded with driving, watery basslines and deep-freeze synths. Check out recently-released track "Insides" from the album below. If you can't make it to the show tonight, The Soft Moon will be back to play Bowery Ballroom on October 30 with Pop. 1280 and Group Rhoda. Tickets are still available.
Xeno & Oaklander at BV-CMJ 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
NYC synth goth vets Ike Yard played a NYC show earlier this year with contempory NYC synth goths Xeno & Oaklander, and now the two will team up again, this time bringing along another group of goth newcomers, Led Er Est. The three groups will play a late show at 285 Kent on September 7, which starts at midnight (so technically Saturday, September 8). No advance tickets for this one at the moment ($9 at the door), and more details on the show are below.
Xeno & Oaklander have a few other upcoming NYC appearances as well. They'll give a lecture at Public Assembly on September 16 called 'Analog as the New Folk,' where they'll discuss the analog synthesizer as the new folk instrument. The lecture is free and all ages. As mentioned, Xeno & Oaklander will also open the first of two Silver Apples shows in NYC. They support the band at their Public Assembly show (10/4) with Man Forever and La Big Vic (tickets), which happens one day before Silver Apples plays 92YTribeca (10/5) with CFCF and Win Win (tickets).
Meanwhile, Led Er Est member Shawn Devin O'Sullivan will play Death by Audio's Modular Synth Winter Solstice on September 22 (though we're pretty sure that's actually the fall solstice). This event follow's DbA's Modular Synth Summer Solstice, which went down this past June. Joining Shawn Devin O'Sullivan on the lineup will be DeTrop (Ryan Martin of Dais Records), Retribution Body, Matthew Regula (of Telecult Powers), and Nathan Cearley (of Long Distance Poison).
In related news, Led Er Est's Sacred Bones labelmates Pop. 1280 will be going on a short tour this September. The tour kicks off on September 1 at Death by Audio with METZ and Herzog Rising, and culminates in their appearance at Hopscotch Music Fest. After that tour, Pop. 1280 will support The Soft Moon at their previously discussed Bowery Ballroom show (10/30). That show is also with Group Rhoda and tickets are still available. The Soft Moon also play Glasslands on September 20 with Cold Showers and ERAAS (tickets).
A list of all dates, plus videos, are below.
Simeon of Silver Apples
Psychedelic electronic music pioneers Silver Apples (aka Simeon, who has performed under the name solo since the death of bandmate Danny Taylor) has a number of European dates coming up and after that he'll head over to the US where he'll play a NYC show on October 4 at Public Assembly with a pretty solid lineup of local (and much younger) openers, Xeno & Oaklander, Man Forever, and La Big Vic. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/17) at noon. It's his only announced US show at the moment.
UPDATE: Silver Apples also play 92YTribeca on October 5 with CFCF and Win Win.
Speaking of Xeno and Oaklander, they've been revealed as one of the artists to be featured on the new John Foxx & The Maths album, Evidence, which is due out on September 10 via his own Metamatic Records. John sang on the first three Ultravox albums, after which he had a lengthy solo career, including early minimal synth classic "Underpass." Evidence will be his third album with The Maths, a project he started in 2009. [Seek out 2011's 'Interplay,' it's great. - Bill] The other artists appearing on the new album, like Xeno & Oaklander, are indebted to John Foxx's music in one way or another. Those artists include The Soft Moon, whose contribution you can listen to HERE, Matthew Dear, and Gazelle Twin. The album also features a cover of Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar" and a remix of the track with Matthew Dear by Tara Busch. The cover art and tracklist is below.
Matthew Dear will be touring soon too. That tour includes the previously discussed Webster Hall show (11/17) (tickets), and since we last spoke more dates have been announced, most of which (including Webster Hall) will be opened by Light Asylum. The updated list of dates is below.
All lists of dates and the John Foxx album info are below.
Clearly, this is a band photo of The Soft Moon
As discussed, The Soft Moon will hit Glasslands on September 20 (tickets), the first of a leg of mostly-East Coast dates before heading out for something more extensive in late October to coincide with the release of the new LP Zeros which is out October 30 on Captured Tracks. Just in time for Halloween. Those dates include another NYC show which happens on the date of the album's release, October 30 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/17) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (8/15) at noon. Stream the new track "Die Life" below.
If you're heading to Glasslands, or even if you aren't, make sure and peep the new track by Cold Showers first: "BC." The song, streaming below, comes from Cold Showers' new LP Love and Regret due via Dais Records on October 9.
ERAAS are also on board to support Soft Moon/Cold Showers at Glasslands on 9/20, and they too have a new LP on the way. The ex-members of Apse are preparing the self-titled LP for release on October 2 via Brooklyn label Felte Records. Stream some new material below. If you can't catch ERAAS on 9/20, catch them at Cameo on 8/28 when they support Weekend with Woodsman. Tickets are still available.
All streams and the updated Soft Moon dates are listed below.
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon Vs. John Foxx & the Maths - Evidence (MP3)
Cold Showers are teaming up with fellow gloomy synth-loving Californians The Soft Moon for a September tour that includes a NYC stop at Glasslands on 9/20. Tickets to that show are on sale now. Right after that show, both bands will head north across the Canadian border for Pop Montreal. Tour dates for both bands are listed below.
Meanwhile, The Soft Moon recently released a collaborative, one-sided 7" with onetime Ultravox singer John Foxx which you can download at the top of this post. The band have finished recording their second album for Captured Tracks the release date for which is TBD.
The Glasslands show also features APSE side project ERAAS, who just played a show at Glasslands with Telepathe and Feathers.
The 2012 edition of MusicFestNW takes place in September 5 - 9 at 18 venues in Portland, OR and will feature performances from over 150 bands, including Passion Pit, Hot Snakes, Girl Talk, Danny Brown, Beirut Silversun Pickups, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, many more.
In addition to those previously announced artists, MFNW has just added The Hives, Flying Lotus, Wild Nothing, DIIV, Quasi, Moon Duo, My Goodness, DZ Deathrays, and Strand Of Oaks to the already impressive line-up. Wristbands, available various levels and packages, and tickets to individual shows are on sale now. Check out the complete MFNW lineup below.
POP Montreal is returning to Montreal this year from September 19 - 23. The initial lineup was revealed and it includes Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, David Byrne, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter, I Break Horses, Hot Snakes, Dirty Three, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Cate Le Bon, Bertrand Burgulat (!), and more. The full initial lineup is listed below and many more announcements to come. Early Bird tickets are on sale until June 30, when regular sale begins.
Meanwhile, Montreal will be getting the Ohsheaga Festival even sooner.
Initial POP Montreal lineup below...
The Soft Moon at 285 Kent in 2011 (more by Erez Avissar)
The Soft Moon (aka the main project of Luis Vasquez) posted the following to his facebook last week: "New album nearing completion!!! I'll announce a release date soon!!!" The album will presumably be out on Captured Tracks, who released his self titled debut LP and the Total Decay EP.
Hopefully the album will see a release before The Soft Moon's just-announced Brooklyn show, which takes place on May 31 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/30) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (3/28) at noon.
The only other North American date we're currently aware of is when The Soft Moon opens for Mogwai in Boston on 6/16 as part of Mogwai's upcoming tour.
UPDATE: Despite what the Live Nation show listing says, we found out The Soft Moon are not opening for Mogwai in Boston or anywhere.
That tour hits NYC right before the Boston show at Webster Hall on June 14 and 15 but no openers for those shows have been announced yet. Tickets for both are still available.
All dates and The Soft Moon's video for "Total Decay" below...
photos by Erez Avissar
Luis Vasquez (better know as Captured Tracks' Soft Moon) played a pair of NYC shows this past week due to the cancellation of their dates with Mogwai. Saturday night saw Soft Moon perform at 285 Kent Ave with White Ring and Beige, while Wednesday (10/5) they hit Home Sweet Home. The shows were a primer for Soft Moon's forthcoming Total Decay EP due on Halloween. One of the songs was recently blessed with Pitchfork's "Best New Track". How were the NYC shows?
Here are some pictures from 285 Kent. More of them below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Yang Yang (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Anika - Terry (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon - "Total Decay" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon - Breath the Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mikal Cronin - Get Along (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mikal Cronin - Apathy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Howler - I Told You Once (MP3)
Hello and welcome to the ATP Runoff edition of This Week in Indie. (Aka ATPTWII.) Yes the big news is the Portishead-curated All Tomorrow's Parties which is happening this year in Asbury Park, NJ which looks to be super cool. (I would like to see The Pop Group.) There are still tickets available for most of it -- it gets a little confusing what with "Three Day Jeff Magnum" passes and other variations but this column will not get into that. We're talking bands/artists who are also playing NYC shows while here. And some other stuff too.
First and foremost, for me, is Anika who is making her North American live debut tonight (9/27) at Le Poisson Rouge and tickets still seem to be available. Her debut album snuck in late last year but made my Best of 2011 with it's mix of post-punk and dub, and I've been waiting to see her live ever since. As I wrote before:
Recorded in 12 days, live with no overdubs, it sounds like the missing link between The Slits and Lilliput. Portishead's Geoff Barrow -- his other band BEAK> is the backing band here -- gets the claustrophobic vibe just right. A lot of people have tried and failed to recreate that Martin Hannett Sound... Barrow nails it. And the material -- a mix of girl group covers and politically-charged originals -- suits Anika's Nico-esque delivery perfectly.You can download two tracks at the top of this post, cover's of Yoko Ono's "Yang Yang" and obscure British girl group singer Twinkle's "Terry." Anika is here on a limited North American tour and all her dates are at the bottom of this post. Anika's live band is a 5-piece that includes two of the three members of BEAK> (Geoff Barrow is the one who doesn't play with her live).
Opening for Anika is local act Slowdance who you may remember made L Magazine's "8 Bands You Need to Hear" list and whose debut EP, Light & Color, was just released last week. It's a "name your price" download at their Bandcamp site. The whole thing is pretty good but I especially dig the opening track "Cake" which is kind of like early B-52's minus Fred Schneider but in French.
I mentioned BEAK> who, in addition to sharing members with Anika, will also be performing their own set at ATP and have also just released a split EP with Toronto's proggy, mathy DD/MM/YYYY who are playing Friday night at Cameo with like-minded noisemakers Yvette and Bambara. DD/MM/YY are on short East Coast tour while here for ATP and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
If you like DD/MM/YY or have been curious about seeing them live, you should go to this show... because they're breaking up at the end of October and the Cameo show is their last NYC show before doing so. I last saw them at M for Montreal two years ago, where I wrote:
Also impressive live are Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY who have clearly gotten much tighter than the last time I saw them (Don Pedro's, like three years ago). It's proggy-mathy, but bordering on chaos too. I'm not that crazy about their records -- a little too much going on at one time for my poppier tastes -- but I'd go see them again, no question.Don't get too sad about them calling it quits, as four of the five are regrouping under the name Absolutely Free and will make their live debut at M for Montreal this year.
More ATPTWII action: London trio Factory Floor play two NYC shows this week: tomorrow (9/28) at Knitting Factory with Apache Beat and FAN-TAN, and then Thursday (9/29) at Mercury Lounge with fellow Londoners Walls.
Factory Floor get a lot of Joy Division comparisons and JD/New Order drummer Stephen Morris is a fan, remixing last year's "Wooden Box" single. But apart from looking sad in their press shots, Factory Floor are more in the minimal wave camp with drone and repetition being their weapons of choice. Their new single "(R E A L L O V E)" is basically a goth/industrial/techno/Krautrock ode to Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder's "I Feel Love" and is pretty awesome.
The band's next release will be on DFA in November. Judging from live clips on YouTube (like them performing "(R E A L L O V E)" at Rough Trade which you can watch below), Factory Floor are intense live and you might want to rearrange your show schedule to see them.
The Soft Moon
And rounding out the ATP-related shows are San Francisco's The Soft Moon who were supposed to be opening for Mogwai (who had to cancel) but will now play 285 Kent on Saturday (10/1) with White Ring and Beige (video flyer below), and the Wierd Party next Wednesday (10/5). Their new EP, Total Decay, is out on Halloween via Captured Tracks and you can download a track from it (and one from their debut album) at the top of this post. If you like '80s 4AD goth (Clan of Xymox, Xmal Deutchland) you're probably already going.
Speaking of goth, in a totally different way we've got Veronica Falls in town for two shows: tonight (9/27) at Glasslands and tomorrow (9/28) at Pianos. Their debut, out last week on Slumberland, is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I wrote about it over at Sound Bites which I will quote here:
The band get the C-86 tag a lot but, apart from The Velvet Underground (which has inspired 95% of all indiepop), New Zealand seems to be a bigger influence anyway. "Misery" and current single "Bad Feeling" could both be Bats songs. (The Verlaines are a clear influence too, and I bet someone in the band loves The Chills' "Pink Frost.") But this is not a band you really sit around playing "spot the influence" to, as you're too busy swooning to the gorgeous melodies and Roxanne Clifford's truly lovely voice.When I said "goth" above, I mean more in an old school romance kind of way. Love and death, often intertwined. If you're on Spotify you can listen to the album here. They're great live, do go see them. Tonight's Glasslands show is with German Measles, Tanks Amigo and Darlings; the Pianos show is entirely TWII-endorsed, with McDonalds, Heaven's Gate and The Hairs.
There's not a dud in Veronica Falls' 36 minute running time. New songs ("Misery," "Bad Feeling," the effervescent "The Box") are equals to early singles "Found Love in a Graveyard" and "Beachy Head" which appear here in newly recorded versions that might actually improve on the original versions.
Ty Segall plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (9/29) and we've given him a lot of love over the last few years. He's awesome. If you're going, do get there early and see opener Mikal Cronin who plays in Ty's band and used to front Charlie & the Moonhearts. I liked the Moonhearts just fine, but playing with Ty seems to have done wonders. Mikal's self-titled LP on Trouble in Mind (produced by Ty) is far and away the best thing he's ever done, is one of my albums of the year, and I like it more than Segall's Goodbye Bread to be honest.
The album has great song after great song, killer hooks and harmonies -- SoCal garagey surf-pop at it's finest. You can download two tracks from the album at the top of this post.
Friday is the last night of Monster Island Basement and the DIY venue is going out a big show featuring Regal Degal, Total Slacker, La Big Vic, Hume and Royal Baths. It's the record release party for Total Slacker's debut album, Thrashin', which got a 6.7 on Pitchfork today:
Total Slacker's sense of humor is the album's driving force, and it's both overt and weirdly specific. The lyrics, for the most part, are a goofy celebration of the slacker caricature. Between the references to weed and various snack foods, and the record's languid pace, Rountree perpetuates the archetypal slacker character with his nasal whine. The track "Thyme Traveling High School Dropout", for example, is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style branding for a guy who goes back to the 18th century because marijuana isn't illegal then. And the title "Stealing From Salvation Army" says it all-- he plans on doing just that after he wakes up in the afternoon. That's pretty much the whole album. Thrashin' largely depends on buying into that character and thinking it's funny, or at least interesting, for 40 minutes.With Total Slacker's propensity for instrument-destroying, this last night at Monster Island could be a doozy.
And finally, Minneapolis band Howler are playing their first NYC shows this week: Thursday (9/29) at Glasslands and Friday opening for Tapes n' Tapes at Bowery Ballroom. The band just signed with Rough Trade who put out their EP, This One's Different, not too long ago. They're getting more UK press than here in the States. NME gave the EP 8/10 saying:
Howler are musical pizza. They're not a band you define yourself by. They're a band you dance to. Which is not to say that Howler are stupid, or people who like Howler are stupid. They just don't feel the need to prove that they're clever.Everybody likes Pizza, right? The review goes on to make a Razorlight comparison, so this pie must have extra cheese. You can download a Howler track at the top of this post.
The title of this first EP by Rough Trade's most recent signings is both misleading and spot on. There's nothing much different about these Minneapolis boys at all, with their sexy bedhead hair, skinny limbs and small-child-romping-at-a-family-wedding goofy energy. Their bratty guitar pop is as familiar as skin, but also as warm and lovable. But then, how many flat, formulaic takes on this same sound are also-running around out there? Howler are different because they make commonplace components fly with a brilliant nonchalance.
And that's the big stuff for this week. Slightly smaller stuff is below, day-by day:
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Portland duo Viva Voce are at Mercury Lounge tonight. They don't get enough attention -- apart from just being two of them there's no "angle" per se, besides good songs and great musicianship -- and their new album The Future Will Destroy You is pretty good.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Somebody is playing Roseland tonight, can't remember who.