Entries tagged with: The xx
photos by Rachel Carr, words by Daiana Feuer
"Wow. The Sahara is past capacity at Coachella for Die Antwoord. No midget. Waiting for the trainwreck but people dig it." - The Scenestar
"Seeing a shirtless Danny DeVito run across the stage while Faith No More played pretty much made my #coachella weekend." - stovn
Die Antwoord, Faith No More
Flopping phalluses are in this year according to Major Lazer and Die Antwoord. Each presented the intersection of beats, party-hyping, gross humor, and dancing in your underwear. Day 2 of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival had an overall far-out theme. Some with sexually explicit lunacy, others with psychedelic music. South Africa's Die Antwoord introduced zef-rap to the festival, South Africa's version of white trash hip hop-a bold, fearless expression of crazy stick a finger up your bum entertainment.
Before arriving at these culminating moments, the day progressed through a series of psychedelic and/or raunchy expressions. John Waters kicked things off with thoughts on crawling through pig poo, taking poppers, the pleasures of sploshing, and strange things he wants to do before he dies. Gossip's Beth Ditto hoped he was watching her blazing disco soul performance but was afraid to look backstage and see him smiling and waving at her. Gossip put on a set that inspired revelations on reality in the most self-empowering ways.
John Waters & Beth Ditto @ Coachella (this pics via Jermey Scott)
The day's best covers include Faith No More doing "Reunited" (they also covered Michael Jackson's "Ben"), Portugal, The Man's jamming Bowie's "Moonlight Daydream," and Girls' flawless "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers. The last was a most appropriate choice for the band with an Ariel Pink sensibility towards '50s ballads. MGMT brought the futuristic 1960s with songs from its new album. Many pointed out that the band didn't play "Kids", but that seems to miss the point that MGMT put on a pretty sophisticated, experimental live performance of the band's signature Indian headdress on Phil Spector Fraggle Rock sound.
The Raveonettes played as a duo and sans drum machine, adorably sharing a mic sometimes. The rest of the band remains trapped under lava in Iceland, figuratively speaking. Camera Obscura also shouted out bands stuck in the UK, dedicating "Let's Get Out Of This Country" to those who could not make it.
It seems almost every DJ this weekend has sampled Major Lazer's "Pon De Floor" except Flying Lotus, who took the stage all on his own (no Thom Yorke cameo included). After warming up the crowd with some first grade experimental hip hop, FlyLo brought out the big guns, sounds combined in layers and pitches that act like quaaludes on the light speed continuum. The Dirty Projectors girls evoked cool electronic birds and the Dezurik Sisters with their harmonizing powers. Beach House cooed the audience romantically as 50% of the band, Alex Scally, rubbed his slide up and down the frets.
Did that sound sexy? It's time to talk about sexy. The xx provided the mellow arousal Blonde Redhead and Portishead have given Coachella the last two years. People like The xx because they want sex that fits this soundtrack. They also want sex as excitingly goofy gross as Die Antwoord and to fall in love with a gal like Sia, all at the same time. Sia's beautiful voice closed the night in the Gobi tent, and though her accent rendered her side comments completely incomprehensible, everyone laughed and agreed with anything she said. On the other hand, as great and sexy as the Dead Weather sounded, I don't know if I want to bed someone who demands I treat her like my mother. Old Crow Medicine Show suggested letting a woman rule your mind leads to troubles during "Minglewood Blues." Instead, let her win your heart with country-fried dinner.
Faith No More's twelve-song set included a cameo by a semi-streaker who happened to be Coachella regular Danny Devito. You can see that happen in one of the videos below. Faith No More's whole setlist is down there too.
Porcupine Tree, Tokyo Police Club, Hot Chip, The Almighty Defenders, Les Claypool, Devo, and Muse were also on the bill Saturday. Our review, pictures and videos from Friday are HERE. Saturday continues below...
"The 2010 Lollapalooza line-up is official: Soundgarden, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and Phoenix will headline, joined by Social Distortion, MGMT, Jimmy Cliff, Hot Chip, and The Black Keys. With 130 bands on this year's bill, its sure to be a weekend long feast for the ears.After extremely accurate early leaks and then much teasing, Lollapalooza oficially announces this year's lineup. Check it out below...
It's a monumental year for Lollapalooza, filled with homecomings, reunions, and first-times. Soundgarden, 1992 and 1996 Lollapalooza alumni, return to the Lollapalooza stage for their first performance since 1997. Green Day will rock Grant Park sixteen years after their first Lollapalooza appearance. While Lady Gaga will headline the festival only three short years after playing the BMI stage at Lollapalooza 2007.
Arcade Fire returns to Grant Park, having played the reincarnated Lollapalooza in 2005. This is the first Lollapalooza for The Strokes - and also their first show in four years. And making their Lollapalooza debut: Phoenix." - Lollapalooza
photos by Bao Nguyen
"They started their set behind a huge white curtain glorified with epic lighting that showed all three members as huge silhouettes dramatically playing "Intro". They played all of the songs on their debut album, including a cover of a Kyla song called "Do You Mind". Going into the show I was worried about how the xx would put the songs together live while keeping the crowd involved and interested. They had no problem. They gave songs like Basic Space and Night Time a new life live, engaging the crowd with extra bass and dance inspired electronics. Romy Croft and Oliver Sim's voices were top notch live delivering all of their lyrics with the same passionate consignment that made their debut so excellent." [We All Want Some]The above review is from the xx/jj/Nosaj Thing show that happened Wednesday, March 31st at Webster Hall. Those three bands (who played in the same lineup at Big Ears) continue on tour for the next few weeks.
The xx didn't play a show on Tuesday night (that we know of... maybe they played an Auto Show party like She & Him did for Audi last night), but jj used her off night to headline Knitting Factory and Nosaj Thing opened for Kode9 and Flying Lotus at Le Poisson Rouge on that evening (which was the show right after Tanlines and Micachu and the Shapes). Reviews of jj's live show haven't been very positive which used to be the same problem The xx had, but now more and more people are starting to say really nice things about the headliner's live show.
After this tour, the xx team up with Hot Chip for shows that include an April 22nd sold out gig at Terminal 5.
Jamie xx (who's working on a remix of Gil Scott-Heron's I'm New Here) DJed after their Webster Hall show at Santos as part of Fixed. Check out his remix of Jack Penate's "Pull My Heart Away" at WNYC. Jamie didn't remix it, but it should be noted that The Notorious xx, a mashup of Notorious B.I.G. and the xx, has been making rounds online.
More pictures and set list from Webster Hall are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
this post concludes our Big Ears 2010 Festival coverage. links to the first two posts are also below...
"When people ask what my favorite place to play is, I tell them about this place. It's like playing inside an Easter egg," quipped My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, gazing at the deep-sea blue dome overhead at Knoxville's Tennessee Theater. The psychedelic cavern, a mish-mash of decorative styles and colors, served as the home to the Big Ears festival's largest shows, and its final act on Sunday night, with headliner the National.
The National's presence was felt long before they took the stage - in the hand of guitarist Bryce Dessner, who co-curated the fest, in the National members' supporting gigs, playing behind Doveman, Clogs and others, and in the abundance of friends and fellow Brooklyn-ites in the Big Ears lineup. Of course, those are all connected. One look at the stage during the first song of the National's encore - "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" off their forthcoming High Violet - revealed a selection of Big Ears' top acts - Nico Muhly, St. Vincent, Shara Worden and sometimes-National members Padma Newsome and Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan came out for a song, but not during the encore), all of whom performed earlier in the weekend on their own. (Read here about days one and two)
Attendees also had the chance to opt for music outside of that circle. At Big Ears Annex, Tim Hecker and Ben Frost collaborated for a set of fragile, icy noise (they both played on their own earlier too - Hecker opened for Bang on a Can All-Stars' performance of Music For Aiports and the Books at the TN Theater). Trio Konk Pack took the same stage later for improvised noises, pops and whirs - like the soundtrack to an invisible film. The night before, one could choose between Liturgy and Gang Gang Dance - two bands at the top of their respective genres - while Terry Riley's In C filled the Tennessee Theater to its elliptical rafters.
Around the corner from the Annex at the Pilot Light, KnoEars, an unaffiliated, somewhat anti-Big Ears DIY Fest, hosted an all-day lineup that included homemade noise, Replacements-style punk and more emanating into Sunday's rainy street.
Terry Riley, selected to be this year's resident guide, performed four times over the three days - all in different settings. Other repeat acts like Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), who played with Sam Amidon, the fest's first act (interviewed here), and The National, its last, were frequent Knoxville fixtures for the three-day fest, running to their own gigs or enjoying others'.
"Mr. Riley also enjoyed a fair number of other people's shows, especially the art-song band Clogs. ("They were the hit for me," he said, beaming over breakfast on Monday morning. "Great performers, great writing. I'm going to buy their CD when I get home.")" [NY Times]Doveman and Nico Muhly both played earlier Sunday in a set that included material from their recent Peter Pears project, the Footloose soundtrack, and their 802 tour partner Sam Amidon (who had to catch a flight to Germany). That show's headliner, St. Vincent, provided a counterpoint to their pianos with a set of songs steeped in squealing noise and leveling distortion.
More pictures and videos from the fest are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Sam Amidon, accompanied by Thomas Bartlett, ushered in the first show of the 2010 Big Ears Festival at the Knoxville Museum of Art on Friday (3/26) with "Wild Bill Jones," his own version of the Appalachian folk song, punctuated with a piercing scream half-way through. "These are all folk songs, some from around here," said Sam, which was the right thing to say at the KMA, an institution whose collection and staff brims with East Tennessee pride. After a welcome by festival organizer Ashley Capps (whose AC Entertainment also organizes Bonnaroo) and co-curator Bryce Dessner, Calder Quartet and violinist Iva Bittova led the audience through the folk-inspired world of Bartok, Janacek and guitarist/composer Fred Frith.
A little after 7pm at the gorgeous Bijou Theatre (est. 1909), Terry Riley and his quartet - consisting of his son Gyan on classical guitar, Tracy Silverman on electric violin and Ches Smith on drums and marimba - played a series of extended ragas and genre-morphing songs. By midnight, an ecstatic crowd of all ages filled the hall for the xx. Just a few hours before, University of Tennessee basketball advanced to the NCAA Elite 8, and the partly collegiate crowd carried the celebratory mood to the gig. Some danced in front of their seats or in the aisles, and cheered in anticipation - in one opera box, an exhibitionist couple shared a drunken embrace dangerously close to the railing. Clandestine cigarettes were smoked as the xx performed their moody rock alongside minutely choreographed stage lights.
The earlier jj were even more laid back than the xx, with a sole singer, Elin Kastlander, standing before video projections that included an Italian soccer game, romps on the beach by Elin and co-member Joakim Benon, and whales and other nature scenes. We also got to see Elin roll a big blunt on screen, which might speak to her onstage ambivalence and generally lackluster approach. She did pick up an acoustic guitar once, as did her blond gentleman collaborator, Joakim, for a few numbers. With the music on autopilot, everything else - from the canned "native" beats to the narcissistic video - seemed to follow suit.
The first act had much better luck: Nosaj Thing's post-apocalyptic electronica, riddled with blippy bullets and ghostly echoes, destroyed the darkened theater. The xx gig was one of of the fest's sold out gigs (the others are currently Vampire Weekend and Joanna Newsom) but those with all-access Inner Ear passes ($250 now, but cheaper if you bought earlier) had no trouble finding front-row first-come, first-served seats if they showed at least 15 minutes before doors. The passes are pricey, but a good deal even if you make it to only 1/3rd of the 30-some shows at the fest.
A few blocks away, Andrew WK and the Calder Quartet finished their set with a cover of John Cage's 4'33" - or as Andrew put it "Johnny Cage! Fatality! Mortal Kombat!" The room was divided between those trying to rebel ("Play music!"), those trying to explain the piece ("It's supposed to be people talking"), those shushing, and those just enjoying the spectacle. Andrew returned for an encore of "Party Hard" (piano, voice and crowd participation) and brought out Calder's Eric Byers for a Bach cello piece, accompanied by an interpretive dance by Andrew WK (think "an impressionistic karate kid") dedicated to the late Merce Cunningham.
The compact nature of the participating venues in downtown Knoxville (one mid- and one large-size theater and a handful of smaller club-like spaces) gives Big Ears an intimate feel, and the festival's musicians - most recognizably, Sufjan Stevens, though his only performance is in a supporting role with Clogs (The BQE is being screened too) - can be seen hopping from venue to venue along with the fans.
The difficult decisions of Big Ears day one - Dutch post-punks the Ex against newcomers the xx - only intensify as the festival progresses, with the headliners like Joanna Newsom, Vampire Weekend and composer in residence Terry Riley all going head to head on Saturday.
More pictures and video from Big Ears day one are below...
DOWNLOAD: Gil Scott-Heron - Me and the Devil (MP3)
Gil Scott-Heron recording his album at NYC's Clinton Studios...
Gil Scott-Heron's latest album, I'm New Here, is to be remixed by Jamie Smith of the xx. The London trio's beat-maker, bass-rumbler and synth-player has been commissioned to rebuild the poet's celebrated LP, using just Scott-Heron's vocal track rather than the original music.The gig they're referencing was at Bowery Ballroom in NYC in November.
Although billed as a remix by the xx, singer/guitarist Romy Madley Croft wanted to "set the record straight" in an interview this week with BBC 6 Music. "The remixing side of things is very much Jamie," she said. "He's known as Jamie xx so people just write the xx, but I can't take credit for all the work that he does. But I have heard some of [the I'm New Here remix], and it sounds brilliant."
[Gil Scott-Heron] appeared at an xx gig with the idea of performing "an impromptu song in the middle of our set", Smith said. "It never happened for various reasons, but still it was really good to meet him."..."They just gave me the parts and let me do whatever I want, so I've been doing it on my laptop on tour," Smith said. "I'm am only using [Gil's] vocals, I'm not using any of the original music from it, which is very freeing." [Guardian UK]
Gil Scott-Heron played two nights at the Blue Note in NYC ealier this month. His next NYC show will be at Littlefield on Friday, March 26th where he'll be performing along with Talib Kweli and saxophone player Gary Bartz in conjunction with the Tenth National Black Writers Conference at CUNY's Medgar Evers College the same week. Tickets are on sale.
His other upcoming shows include San Francisco tonight (3/17) and Coachella, where the xx are also playing. All dates, a Blue Note review, info on the above-mentioned conference, a show flyer and video from a February Gil Scott-Heron show are below...
"The xx regret to announce the cancellation of the rest of their European tour after Romy Madley Croft's father sadly died today." Cancelled dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Sweet Apple - Do You Remember (MP3)
Thurston w/ Sonic Youth @ MHOW in November (more by Lori Baily)
Society's Ills: In 1994 Society's Ills (Moore, Cadena, Watt, Markey) made their world premier with the now coveted "Skins, Brains, and Guts" release - a slab that managed to cram (9) 7 seconds covers onto one 7". In 2010, the band is back and once again fronted by Thurston but he brings with him a new crue of slayers to launch the hardcore fury:Society's Ills play in addition to Thurston Moore solo, Talk Normal, The Entrance Band, Violent Soho, the Slits' Viv Albertine, Awesome Color, Jemina Pearl and more at the Ecstatic Peace SXSW Showcase happening Friday, March 19th at Red 7 in Austin. Curious about Society's Ills? Their version of 7 Seconds' "I Hate Sports" is below.
Thurston Moore: Vocals
J Mascis: Guitar
Don Fleming: Guitar [SY producer & Velvet Monkeys/Gumball frontman]
Andrew W.K.: Bass
Awesome Allison: Drums [from Awesome Color]
This set is their first, but don't worry if you miss it cause I'm sure we can put this together again in another 15 years! [Ecstatic Peace]
J Mascis will also be playing at SXSW with Sweet Apple, who are playing Mercury Lounge on April 20th. One of their SXSW sets will be at the showcase for TeePee Records, who are putting out the Sweet Apple debut, Love & Desperation, a track from which is above. That show is Thursday, March 18th at Habana Calle 6, and also on the bill are Priestess, Iron Age, Nebula, Naam, Imaad Wasif and more. Full details and a poster are below. Tee Pee Records has also teamed up with BrooklynVegan and Chronic Youth for another day party taking place on Saturday, March 20th in Austin. This is the first we've mentioned it. Stay tuned for more info.
Lou Barlow will also be at SXSW (backed again by The Missingmen) - one of his shows will be the Merge Records showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard on March 18th also featuring Let's Wrestle, She & Him, and others. Full lineup below. For She & Him it's one of two official SXSW shows. They also play Saturday night (March 20th) at Auditorium Shores (with Justin Townes Earle & TBA). Cheap Trick play the same slot at Auditorium Shores one night earlier.
Merge's showcase mentions that one slot will be filled by "Special Guest". We don't know who that is, but we'd have to guess Superchunk is a strong possibility since Mac & Laura have a speaking engagement (in a bookstore) on March 17th, and another one (official SXSW) at the convention center on March 19th (with Michael Azerrad), and the band is on the bill of the Village Voice day party happening at La Zona Rosa the afternoon of March 19th (with the xx, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Surfer Blood). It's definitely not Spoon who play the NPR show at Stubb's on March 17th with Deerhunter (their tour-mates) and The Walkmen.
Kim and Thurston are playing with the Plastic Ono Band in their two-night Brooklyn Academy of Music run. They were at the dress rehearsal (aka the first night) last night (2/16). BV photographer Greg Cristman was in the audience and told us, "One definite highlight was Thurston and Kim played with Yoko as a trio and did a killer version of Mulberry from Unfinished Music No. 2 while the film Fly was projected on a huge screen behind them!" - a (poor quality) video clip of one of the other songs is below.
Full lineups for the showcases and videos are below...
We'll get a more complete press release in the morning (and confirm what is listed below is 100% correct), but in the meantime below is a picture of the 2010 Sasquatch poster (that someone Tweeted) and the lineup as read by Bradford Cox at tonight's Atlas Sound show in Seattle (and being listed all over the Internet)....
After a hectic day of updating the constantly updating Bonnaroo lineup page, the entire thing has been announced. Gwar, Norah Jones, and the rest of the lineup below...
Wow...Public Image Ltd, The Specials, Grizzly Bear, Passion Pit, Echo and the Bunnymen, Grace Jones, Fever Ray, Devo, Hot Chip, Phoenix, Orbital, Spoon, Sly and the Family Stone, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sunny Day Real Estate, Yo La Tengo, Mew, Camera Obscura, Gil Scott-Heron, The xx, John Waters, Dillinger Escape Plan, Deer Tick, Gary Numan... Full Coachella 2010 lineup below....
"As Daedelus I tend to give into all my crazy thoughts, the twists and turns in productions will go this way and that way pretty much as it will. I almost feel like I have little say in the matter. Whilst the Long Lost for instance is two on all decisions (Laura Darlington, my wife and co-conspirator for the Long Lost, is quite good at the recording desk or behind a mic playing instruments or singing), that keeps the crazy much more domesticated. That, and we are interested at this time in songwriting that isn't altogether traditional, but has more elements people can access, I believe." [Daedelus]Daedelus will be going on tour with Jogger and Nosaj Thing across North America this February. They play NYC's (Le) Poisson Rouge on Saturday, February 20th. Tickets are on sale now.
Daedelus's new label, Magical Properties, who's putting on the tour, released Jogger's debut, This Great Pressure, last October. Album info is below and a remix of their song "Napping Captain" is a free download above.
Nosaj Thing is L.A. producer Jason Chung (whose website also lists "01.15.10 NYC? - New York, New York" a possible gig?). His remix of The xx's "Islands" is above. A 2010 Charlotte Gainsbourg remix is also on his resume.
Flyer and tour dates are below...
Joanna Newsom is one of the announced acts for this year's Big Ears Fest in Knoxville, TN, March 26th-28th. Others on the initial lineup include Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, the Calder Quartet, Andrew WK, The Ex, Gang Gang Dance, Clogs, 802 Tour (Nico Muhly / Doveman / Sam Amidon with Nadia Sirota), The xx, Javelin, DJ/Rupture (solo), DJ/Rupture and Andy Moor, My Brightest Diamond, Gyan Riley, and jj. The fest's artist in residence is composer Terry Riley and a number of his works will be performed (including 'In C'). Bryce Dessner of the National is also one of the curators. Weekend tickets are on sale now. Tickets to invididual shows will be announced later this month, along with the schedule (shows are at different venues around town).
Romy Madley Croft @ Le Poisson Rouge - Jan 2, 2010
Saturday night The xx's female vocalist Romy Madley Croft spun records for her headlining 2AM DJ set at the West Village's Le Poisson Rouge. Finger on the Pulse and VHS or Beta packed the dance floor with their pounding DJ sets before handing the decks off to Romy.The xx will headline Webster Hall in NYC on March 31st, part of their tour with jj. Tickets go on American Express presale Wednesday at noon, and then general sale Friday the same time (thx Phil).
Quite different from what you'd expect to hear on an album by The xx, Romy's solo set consisted of hip hop and pop classics from the likes of Aaliyah, Adina Howard and beyond. It was a great way to kick off the first Saturday of 2010. [Tastes Like Caramel]
DOWNLOAD: jj - Ecstacy (MP3)
Sweden's jj put out a debut single and album in 2009, jj n° 1 and jj n° 2, respectively. The albums got them lots of attention including a spot on Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2009. Their second full-length, jj nº 3, will be released by Secretly Canadian, in conjunction with Scandinavian label Sincerely Yours, on March 9th in the US (UK TBA). The Lil Wayne-sampling "Ecstacy," off their first full-length, is posted above.
Though it says "they," the exact lineup of the live group is unknown. A video below indicates that they've played before as a twosome, with a backing track and live vocals and tambourine. We'll see what happens when the group joins the xx for the previously announced set of shows across North America (their first ever here) in March and April.
The two double letter bands start out together in the South on March 22nd and get to NYC by the end of that month. The NYC shows, which were previously unannounced, are on 3/30 and 3/31, but there's a bit of a mystery at the moment about exactly who is on each bill. jj definitely play both dates including the March 30th show at Knitting Factory which is only $10 and already on sale (no xx listed there, and probably too cheap of a ticket price for them to be added).
The next show is March 31st at Webster Hall
(a venue big enough for the xx). The xx currently have a hole in their tour schedule for both days, so it seems likely they'll play at least the show at Webster Hall (stay tuned for more info)... which is definitely with the xx. Tickets go on American Express presale Wednesday at noon, and then general sale Friday the same time
All jj tour dates and a pair of videos are below...
photos by Paul Birman
"In a recent interview, the xx talked about expanding their sound. So much has happened to them in the short space of time since they recorded this debut that their next record can't fail to be infused with this experience. All the more reason to cherish this album, then. For this was more than just the sound of 2009, it was a distinctive musical statement of the like we may never get to hear again." [The Guardian]The xx finished a tour with Friendly Fires at Webster Hall in NYC on December 5th. We already did a post about that show, but then the very talented Paul Birman mentioned he had a set of pictures that could use a home. Those are the pictures in this post.
Five days after the NYC show, The xx made their network television debut on the Carson Daly show. Video from appearance is below.
And I'm not sure what brings them back, but The xx must be hanging around a bit because they have another NYC appearance scheduled for January 2nd.. It's not a live show though, they are just DJing at Le Poisson Rouge at a late night party with VHS or Beta Dee Jays and Finger On The Pulse. Tickets are $5+fee if you buy them in advance or slightly more if you wait for the door.
Tickets are also still on sale for the show that The xx is playing with Hot Chip at Terminal 5 on April 22nd.
All dates with the rest of those pictures and the video below...
Animal Collective @ ATP NY (more by Ryan Muir)
So how the hell did Merriweather Post Pavilion-- an album closer in spirit to the sub-aquatic psychedelia of 2005's Feels and Panda Bear's 2007 solo Person Pitch than its predecessor-- wind up in the Billboard Top 20 and outsell both the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand's most recent albums in North America? That mystery is ultimately the most wonderful thing about the album. Unlike so many indie-rock crossover artists before them, Animal Collective did not breach the mainstream by cleaning up their act, or adopting classic-rock conventions, or scoring a strategic soundtrack or iPod-commercial placement. And, above all, they did little to formalize their defining mercurial quality. [Pitchfork]Pitchfork posted their Top 50 Albums of 2009.
Animal Collective is DJing the Museum of Natural History in January.
"Not that happy w/ the XX's (too short) set tonight. But Friendly Fires blew me away. wow." - TheGreyestGhost
"Lots of cute frat boys at the Friendly Fires concert. Which was surprising. Yum anyway!" - HereAndNow3
photos by Chris La Putt
Friendly Fires @ Webster Hall
"It makes us giddy with delight to announce that New York's finest, Holy Ghost, are going to join the line-up [of our December 11th show at London's Coronet Theatre]. As if their addition weren't early christmas present enough, we're also going to be revealing an exclusive and highly limited 12" at the show. We've recorded an entirely new reworking of 'on board', showcasing the lung capacity of our brass section. On the other side of 'On Board'(pig bag version) is a fun loving remix by the boisterous Joakim. So as not to rub in the face of the ticketless too much, the 12" is also going to be available in a very limited number of record shops as well. Perfect stocking filler for any nan on the scene. [Friendly Fires]"Friendly Fires completed their tour with The xx Saturday night at Webster Hall in NYC (12/5). Pictures from that show are in this post.
The xx start up again in March with US dates running almost to the end of April (aka look for them to appear at both SXSW and Coachella this year). The xx's next NYC show is April 22nd at Terminal 5 with Hot Chip (tickets still on sale). Hot Chip are DJing the above-mentioned UK Friendly Fires show - the show where people will get a first shot at picking up the hot new Joakim remix on vinyl. You can listen to the song now though - thanks to someone ripping it from Annie Mac's BBC show and posting the clip to YouTube.
That video, all dates, and more pictures from Webster Hall, below...
Hot Chip have announced the existense of their fourth studio album. "One Life Stand" will be released by Astralwerks on February 9, 2010. "Fans will have the chance to pre-buy the album on amazon.com starting this week." Track list below.
In other exciting news, the band will return to the United States to play a handful of shows in April with The xx. The NYC date is April 22nd at Terminal 5. All dates below.
In related news, Hot Chip member Al Doyle just got a new tattoo to remember his friend Jerry Fuchs.
Someone uploaded the new song "Take It In" to YouTube. Listen to that with all the other stuff, below...
When I got to the xx show at Bowery Ballroom last night (11/11), I was told by someone reliable that Gil Scott-Heron was planning on joining the headlining UK band on stage for some songs - both with them and on his own for a few. At first I thought that was completely random. Then I realized that the xx's label XL Recordings recently announced that they signed Gil. They'll be releasing "I'm New Here", his first album since 1994's "Spirits", on Jan. 11, 2010. And according to jamespenycate, "The XX are remixing the entire Gil Scott Heron album". You can listen to four song clips, and watch video of Gil in the studio, at imnewhere.net.
Ends up Gil didn't join The xx on stage, though I saw him there after the show and apparently he did sound check with them (it's unclear why the change of plan). Ends up Baria Quresh didn't join The xx on stage either. The band performed as a trio and XL confirms that Baria's hiatus is permanent.
Fellow UK musician Jon Hopkins opened the show with a set of solo electro that had him pushing all kinds of buttons on stage to the delight of those that bothered to check him out. "Hopkins's third album, Insides, was released by Just Music in conjunction with Domino Records on May 5, 2009."
I'm in love the xx album, so seeing them live can't be that bad, which it wasn't, but it's nowhere near as good as the album. The young band will hopefully improve their show over time. The annoying crowd (people were talking through the performance on every side of me... and there was at least one person who answered her cell phone) generally appreciated it though - there was lots of clapping especially for favorites like "Basic Space". The band said it was good to be back in NYC which they said was like their second home. It's true. They played a bunch of shows here before CMJ and then a bunch more during CMJ, and they'll be back again in December with Friendly Fires. Tickets are still on sale for that Webster Hall show.
The video for "Basic Space" and some Gil Scott-Heron clips, below...
Baria Quereshi @ the NBC Experience Store (more by Tim Griffin)
Rumours were rife that The xx guitarist Baria Quereshi had left the group after she decided not to play at their gig at the Village Underground in Shoreditch last night.The xx were just in NYC over the weekend and played a bunch of CMJ-related shows, including one in an NBC store (pictured above), and a Saturday late night set at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Videos from the latter below...
The band declared they were "devastated" at her absence.
The Quietus favourites took to the stage without Baria, prompting bassist and singer Oliver Sim to tell the crowd: "Obviously this has been a really tough few days for us. This is the first time we've played as a three piece...
...He added that although the band had been forced to cancel their European tour dates, they planned to discuss their future after the weekend, and described Baria's absence as a temporary break rather than anything more permanent.
The statement said: "Baria didn't perform last night after feeling exhausted from The xx's recent touring commitments. As a result, the band performed as a 3 piece in London last night and have postponed some European shows which they are hoping to reschedule. They are next due to play in Frankfurt on 3rd November." [The Quietus]
photos by Vincent Cornelli
School of Seven Bells
Friday night's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg had its share of problems. First it was moved from Webster Hall to Music Hall of Williamsburg (presumably for less-than-expected ticket sales). Then one of its openers, First Aid Kit, couldn't get into the country. They were replaced by the Depreciation Guild. Then the other opener, Warpaint, mysteriously disappeared off the bill and was replaced by Phantogram. Finally, to add insult to injury, School of Seven Bells were supposed to be the headliner, but not surprisingly, some of the crowd cleared out after the much hyped xx played third of fourth on the bill at the sold out show.
"Their stage setup was really xxxxxxxxxx-core, with two large X podiums from the left to the right with the band members dressed up in dark colours. The band's stage presence was very striking; this only complemented their minimalist dream pop sequence.More pictures from the show below....
The XX do not have the energetic stage presence that most bands at CMJ have. They just hammered out each song without any variation. It was as if their hearts did not skip a beat.
If the XX come to your town, expect a good show but not one that's too jumpy. You can shout out the lyrics from the audience but the XX will remain stoic, just to deliver and concentrate on putting on a live show." [B Sides]
photos by Tim Griffin
Next up for Javelin will be opening shows for The Very Best, touring with Lucky Dragons, and playing a couple of dates with the Phenomenal Handclap Band including that December 11th show at Bowery Ballroom (tickets). The Thrill Jockey-signed Brooklyn (via Providence) duo also have a show coming up at Monster Island even sooner. All dates and more pictures from Mercury Lounge below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"Two highly touted bands -- the XX from England and Cold Cave from Philadelphia -- are dedicated, and largely derivative, throwbacks to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when punk met synthesizers. The XX was decidedly understated, matching its austere, quietly morose songs, while Cold Cave deadpanned its way through glum songs with a dissonant wallop, singing, "I've seen the future and it's no place for me." But the Montreal band Duchess Says, whose songs also rode big drumbeats and repetitive synthesizer riffs -- fat ones from a Moog -- was a lot more fun [at the BrooklynVegan day show at Pianos on Thursday]. Its singer, Annie-Claude, had herky-jerk stage moves that she carried into the audience, even climbing onto a fan or two." [NY Times]The xx played a bunch of shows this CMJ including one at the NBC Experience Store on Friday at 2PM.
...What the "venue" lacked in ambiance (they set up & played next to the frozen yogurt counter upstairs), it made up for in lack of crowd noise: dead silent during and between these quiet songs. I don't imagine that will be the case at the Tribeca Grand tonight, but the band was so good that I may give it a shot anyway... [Anonymous]More pictures below...
photos by Tim Griffin
DOWNLOAD: The xx - Basic Space (MP3)
The xx has turned out to be one of the bands everyone wants to see at CMJ this year. Their was a line around the block for their Wednesday night show at Mercury Lounge. It couldn't have been much easier to get into their equally small shows last night at the Apple Store and The Delancey.
"Arriving early [to the Apple Store] was key and grabbing a seat right in third row center, I was shocked to get a full 50 minute set, when I was just anticipating 3-4 songs. The xx walked on stage as if they just shopped down the block at Topshop / Topman and seemed a bit scared to play to us few hundred in attendance. The xx, whose sound is a cross between Glasvegas meets Mono, are an interesting band to witness and listen to. They are not the type of band you want to be standing when you see them, they can certainly make you relax and unwind, but in no way is their music dull and boring. In fact it is the opposite, its very intricate and involved. With two singers, a programmer and a backing guitarist / synth op set a nice mood in a non traditional venue. The Apple store's sound was very good and the show was being recorded for iTunes." [Sal]There are two more chances to see them tonight (10/23) - first at Music Hall of Williamsburg where they open for School of Seven Bells and then late night at Tribeca Grand. Jamie is DJing the Pitchfork party at Market Hotel on Saturday (and Cold Cave was just added to that bill). More pictures from Mercury Lounge below...