Entries tagged with: This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
Hope you all survived Record Store Day. I didn't find most of what I was looking for (most of which was UK only) but I did get that great Lee Hazlewood comp on Light in the Attic. Hope you found what you wanted the most. Lots of good stuff this week, so let's get into it.
The most TWII show of the week happens tonight (4/24) at Mercury Lounge: Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures. It's the start of the two bands' tour together that will wrap up on Sunday, May 20 for the last day of the NYC Popfest which is happening at Littlefield (w/ Ladybug Transistor, White Town and about six more that day). All Allo Darlin'/Wave Pictures tour dates at the bottom of this post.
Allo Darlin's second LP, Europe, came out last week to pretty much across-the-board acclaim. It's a little more melancholy than the band's debut, with a lot less ukulele this time out. Maybe that seems like a good thing, but I must say I miss the exuberance of Allo Darlin's debut. The more subdued nature of the songs and production make it sound like a Camera Obscura album much of the time, a comparison I would've never made before. But Elizabeth Morris' songwriting and voice are still in fine form, it's all just a little more "mature."
You can stream Allo Darlin's Europe at the bottom of this post. I'm sure one thing that hasn't changed is Allo Darlin's ability to charm in the live setting.
The Wave Pictures
The same goes for The Wave Pictures who I will always go see live even if I'm not so crazy about the album they're touring to support. Not that they change so much from record to record. Their new album, Long Black Cars, is pretty good (listen at Spotify) I think but much like the rest: Dave Tattersall spins fascinating, funny stories with a singsong delivery. Most of their albums sound like they were recorded live, but it always comes off a million times more compelling when you actually see them play. Tattersall is also one of the funniest between-song banterers of our age. Also funny: the Darren Hayman-directed video for their song "Spaghetti" which you can watch below.
Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic will release their third album, A Different Ship, in a couple weeks (May 8 specifically) and soon head out on a short UK tour before covering most of North America with Hospitality. (All dates are below.) Before that, HWGM play this Friday (4/26) at Knitting Factory with Glass Ghost.
The new album has an interesting birth. Stuck playing a pre-noon set at Glastonbury 2010, the groggy band were playing to a groggy crowd, none of whom seemed to be having any fun. Except for two guys dancing right up front, who turned out to be Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich. The band met Yorke and Godrich after their set and Godrich turned up at more European shows... and ended up producing Different Ships. This is the bands first album that didn't start with Luke Temple doing demos on his own, and with the band incorporated from the beginning (and working in Godrich's studio). While still boyant and dreamy, Different Ships feels a little bigger, a little more fully formed than the previous two. You can stream "Make Up Your Mind" at the bottom of this post as well stream new single "How Do I Know?" at Secretly Canadian's SoundCloud page.
The Feelies at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Tamara Porras)
And finally, while Feelies shows have become less rare since the band actually made a new album, but any chance to see one of the most influential NYC-area bands of the last 30 years is one you shouldn't pass up. And you have that chance on Friday (4/27) at the Bell House. While bands from Luna (who had the Feelies' Stanley Demeski on drums at the beginnning) to The Strokes have taken from them, there's no substitute for that Bill Million/Glen Mercer guitar interplay that still sounds like magic.
You can listen to the Feelies' terrific album from last year, Here Before, as well as some of their classic ones, at Spotify. The Feelies also play Saturday (4/28) at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY if you're up that way and a few more scheduled dates throughout the summer which are further down this post.
That's the big stuff this week. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above, are below.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Diehard are at Union Hall tonight with Everest, Benjamin Cartel (of Kaiser Cartel) and Resistor. Diehard just released a video for their theme songwhich you can watch below. It's from last year's The Times We Didn't Have Fun which you can download for free from Bandcamp. Diehard also play Saturday (4/28) at the Rock Bar in the west, West Village.
Colorado's Gauntlet Hair are in town at GLasslands tonight with dream poppers Field Mouse and Baby Alpaca.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25
One of the coolest cats around, Nick Lowe is at at Town Hall with nearly 40 years worth of amazing songs in his arsenal. Last year's The Old Magic was another winner from the Basher and you can stream it at Spotify and watch the comedy star-studded video for "Sensitive Man" below.
by Bill Pearis
There is so much going on between now and Tuesday (2/13), I'm breaking This Week in Indie into two parts. Today you get Thursday, Friday and some of Saturday, then tomorrow will be Pt 2 with more Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. For those of you who aren't going to Austin next week (and I know most people aren't even if it seems otherwise sometimes reading the internet) you get a chance to sample some of the international action with bands from all over the world in town before (and after) the fest. I should warn you there are a lot of bands who spell their names with all-caps in the post. I am not shouting at you.
First thing, we're giving away a pair of tickets to Django Django's sold-out U.S. debut at Glasslands Saturday night which BrooklynVegan is presenting with Popgun Booking. For your chance to win, just send an email with your name and the subject DJANGO DJANGO to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM and we'll pick a winner at random tomorrow. Remember, it's a late show (doors at 11:30PM) and you must be 21+.
I'm pretty psyched for this show. Their debut album is out now digitally (and on Spotify) in the U.S. and is one of my favorites of 2012: danceable, melodic, trippy and organic, owing more than a little to fellow Scots The Beta Band. (Go figure: main Django Dave Maclean's older brother John was in the Betas and The Aliens.) Says The Guardian:
Those worried that British guitar music has lost its ability to refresh old forms should pay heed to Django Django, whose debut album posits an updated psychedelia that beguiles and delights. Their foundations are a rickety, minimal take on the music of the immediate pre-psychedelic era - Hail Bop employs heavily tremeloed surf guitar; Default takes Bo Diddley's shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits beat and bolts on a jerky R&B guitar line - over which are laid skittering electronics and bleached, vibratoless harmonies, as if Django Django's four members were supplicants worshipping the desert sunrise. Yet it's also an exercise in clever restraint: drummer and band mastermind David Maclean often eschews everything bar his kick drum, floor tom, cymbals and tambourines, creating an amniotic throb.Also playing the Glasslands show will be D. Gookin, a last-minute sub for Kwes who had some visa issues. (I'll be DJing between bands.) If you can't make it Saturday night, Django Django play again on Monday at Santos (we're also presenting this show too with Neon Gold and Popgun) with the very au courant Charli XCX and Clock Opera (who play a now-sold out show at Knitting Factory too). Or go to both! More Charli XCX tomorrow.
Playing Glasslands earlier in the night on Saturday (a separate show) is another UK act, Daughter, who also play an early show the night before (3/9) at Mercury Lounge and our Friday day party at Hotel Vegas at SXSW. Originally a solo project for UK singer-songwriter Elena Tonra, Daughter is now a proper band with electric guitarist (and Tonra's boyfriend) Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. The band just signed to Glassnote who released Daughter's new EP, His Young Heart, which is streamable at the bottom of this post. (You can also download the EP's closing track at the top of this post.) Fans of Sharon Van Etten, Mountain Man and other spooky folk acts should not miss them.
METZ at M for Montreal 2010
Backing up a bit to tonight (3/8) and shifting gears entirely, Toronto trio METZ make their NYC debut at Cake Shop. These guys make blazing, spazzy noise rock, reminiscent of Brainiac, the roster of Amphetamine Reptile, or McLusky. They're pretty excellent in their din, with enough form and hooks to grab hold of too. The band only have a few singles under their belt (all of which you can stream/download for free at their Bandcamp) but their debut album is in the can waiting for some lucky label to release it.
METZ are down visiting our city with their neighbors Teenanger whose debut album, Frights, is a 9-song, 20-minute kick in the head that may remind some of The Hives or The Intelligence. There's a lot of snarl and sneer, and the production is great -- clear but not slick. The whole of Frights is streaming over at Canadian website Exclaim!. You can also download a track above and watch a couple videos (both are pretty cool) at the bottom of this post.
Tonight's Cake Shop show, METZ and Teenanger are the first two bands on the bill so you might get out of there by 11 if you've got somewhere else to go. Tomorrow night (3/9), they both play Death By Audio with Pop. 1280 making for a very appealing, angsty bill.
More Canadians in town, this time on the electronic tip: TRUST and Doldrums who play a late show tonight (3/8) at Mercury Lounge and an early show at Glasslands tomorrow (3/9). After that it's off to Austin (where TRUST is also on the bill of our Friday day party at Hotel Vegas), and then some West Coast dates, a few of which are with Blood Orange. All dates, including many SXSW-week appearances, are at the bottom of this post.
TRUST, a duo consisting of is Austra drummer Maya Postepski and vocalist Robert Alfons, make vaguely gothy/sleazy synth pop that you could imagine being danced to in warehouses in 1987. The sleaze is apparent with song titles like "Candy Walls," "Gloryhole" and "This Willing Flesh." Musically, I dig TRUST but Alfons sounds more than a little like Bill Hader's Vincent Price impression which makes the whole thing borderline novelty. Their debut, TRST, is out now on Arts & Crafts and you can stream it on Spotify. I bet it sounds great in a club, though, and will say the vocals are less egregious live, and will say I thought TRUST was good last year when I saw them open for Austra.
Doldrums is Toronto resident Alrick Woodhead who guests on Grimes' Visions and will soon be touring with Bear in Heaven. I've seen him perform a few times, like at M for Montreal where I wrote:
(Doldrums) was wonderfully ADD, twiddling knobs, hammering sample triggers and pacing around the stage. Too many ideas crammed into one 20-minute set? Maybe, but it was exciting seeing talent that is only just now beginning to show its potential.I thought he was even better when I caught him at Glasslands back in December. You're going to be hearing a lot more about this one in 2012.
The Glasslands show on Friday is also with Black Marble, a new musical venture from a couple of the Team Robspierre dudes that definitely falls in the minimal wave pigeonhole. Their Weight Against the Door EP came out last month on Hardly Art last month
Later that night at Glasslands its a separate show, with UK electro rockers TEETH. TEETH's debut album, Whatever, came out last year on Moshi Moshi and garnered favorable reviews and comparisons to Crystal Castles and Ponytail. It's loud. It's squelchy. It sounds like being off your face which is probably the optimal way to listen to them. You can stream Whatever on Spotify. The show (doors 11:30) also has Extreme Animals, Nike7Up, and a DJ set from True Womanhood so be ready to go all night.
Okay that's the big stuff for TWII Pt. 1. Tomorrow we'll talk Charli XCX, 2:54, Razika, New Build and more. Below are few more day-by-day show picks for things not covered above.
THURSDAY, MARCH 8
It's a fun night of dancey electronic music when those Kitsune folks (they of the many Maison compilations) bring Gigamesh, Plastic Plates, Computer Magic, Perseus, and JDH to Santos.
Street Gnar, BITCHES, Radical Dads, and Newport Reds are at Shea Stadium
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: TOPS - Turn Your Love Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (For Real For Sure For You) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Young Prisms - Floating in Blue (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Boy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle (MP3)
It begins. Bands from all over the world -- England! Canada! Sweden! New Zealand! Virginia! -- descend on New York as they beat a path to Austin for this year's SXSW. Which is good for those who aren't going, as well as folks who are but want to see bands play longer than 25 minutes and aren't strung out on a four-day diet of free breakfast tacos, Vitamin Water and Amstel Light. There's lots more going on than what is covered below, but it's what I'm interested in over the next few days.
New Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco is in town from Vancouver to play a couple shows. He plays an all-C/T bill tonight (3/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DIVE, Hoop Dreams and headliners Beach Fossils (sold out), and then Glasslands tomorrow (3/3) with headliners Widowspeak and Quilt.
Demarco, who used to record under the name Makeout Videotapes, has a smoky baritone that is part Chris Isaak and part Tindersticks. His music owes a little to Isaak as well, with an early '60s vibe (Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent) by way of '80s neon, all on a four-track budget. You can check debut "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans" from his debut, Rock n' Roll Hotel (out 3/20) at the top of this post, which is indicative of what Demarco is all about. You can also watch the video for "Only You" which is kind of NSFW. Dude's a provocateur.
Tonight's MHoW show is the first NYC show we've had from Blacksburg, VA's Hoop Dreams in a long while. They were good when I saw them at Glasslands last year and have the potential to be breakouts for the label if they ever get around to releasing another record (only a single so far). Live, they're more in the Arcade Fire/Editors anthemic style than the single might suggest. It will also be a good opportunity to hear new music from Beach Fossils who are busy at work on their second LP.
And of course, DIVE, who are probably one of the more exciting live bands in Brooklyn right now and are a definite SXSW must-see if you don't live here and have the opportunity to catch them twice a week like we currently do. (They're also touring with Frankie Rose in April.) The show is sold out tonight, but I'd be shocked if there weren't tickets at the door at least when the box office opens.
Montreal band TOPS are playing 285 Kent tomorrow night as part of a killer bill that includes Blood Orange, Phone Tag and Caged Animals. The four-piece is comprised of most (if not all) of MTL's Silly Kissers who played here a few times over the last few years and were a little on the precious side (they sometimes wore mime makeup). TOPS, however, are more in the Ariel Pink/Puro Instict brand of minimal keyboard pop. Their debut, Tender Opposites, came out this week on Artibus Records, which is also home to Grimes (in Canada). You can download "Turn Your Love Around" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing (and watch the further down.
As you may have read, 285 headliners Caged Animals will open the Official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on March 14 at Bar 69 which also includes Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young and one more TBA. If you haven't heard their tuneful, charming debut Eat Their Own yet, it's still streamable at their BandCamp. And they're terrific live.
So is Blood Orange, despite it just being Dev Hynes, his guitar and a laptop. I saw him last weekend at Glasslands where he spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. I do wish he'd get a band, but the one-man Blood Orange is a lot of fun. I haven't seen Phone Tag in a while, but I dig their brand of '80s synthpop.
Sunday night (3/4) at Bowery Ballroom is the NYC debut of Swedish duo Korallreven, one half of which is The Radio Dept.'s Daniel Tjäder. I like their debut album a lot, all lush, synth-driven dream pop but, like a lot of music like this, I wonder how they're going to make it an interesting concert experience. I envision two guys behind laptops and keyboards bobbing their heads and singing, with some projections and hopefully smoke machines. Maybe they could move the downstairs couches to the main room? Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. I'm sure it will sound great in any case. If you haven't heard them yet, you can download "Sa Sa Samoa" in regular and remixed form at the top of this post and watch the video at the bottom of this post. Also playing: Lemonade and Young Magic.
Also playing Sunday night, at Cameo, is Bachelorette -- aka New Zealander Annabel Alpers who I think lives here now. Buoyed by Alpers delicate, breathy voice, Bachelorette make ethereal synthpop not miles away from The Magnetic Fields, with whom she's going on tour for seven shows. (All dates at the bottom of this post.) I liked it better when she had a band, but the loop pedal incarnation is pretty lovely too. You can check out a couple videos below or stream her most recent album on Spotify.
Young Prisms at the Comet, Seattle (photo by Finest Kiss)
And looking into early next week, San Francisco's Young Prisms and Austin's Boy Friend are at Glasslands on Monday (3/5). Young Prisms new album, In Between, is out March 27 on Kanine and is a real step forward for the band. Their still mining first-wave shoegaze, but the songs are much stronger this time out with a couple that go for jangly Velocity Girl style pop. They will be very loud I guarantee you. Boy Friend will make a nice opener, with their hazy, 4-AD miasma vibe. You can download MP3s from both bands at the top of this post. Also playing, seemingly from another show, are Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and Tanks Amigo.
That's the big stuff for the next four days. But wait, there's more. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above:
The Young Empires at M for Montreal 2011
FRIDAY, MARCH 2
Like Friendly Fires and Foals? Check out Toronto's Young Empires are at Glasslands, with Saint Motel, Fan-Tan, and Transmission NYC (DJ set).
Expect a wild evening at Death by Audio with "original line-up" Tyvek, plus Habibi, Feelings and the Numerators. Stick-in-the-muds, go see something else!
Boston's pop veterans The Figgs play Littlefield. The band's new double album, The Day Gravity Stopped, is out sometime soon.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Sophia Knapp - Close to Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sophia Knapp - Into the Waves (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cardinal - Love Like Rain (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cardinal - Carbolic Smoke Ball (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Dreamers (Golden Pony remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Dreamers (MP3)
Del Fuegos in the '80s
Things are beginning to heat up, show-wise, as SXSW gets closer so if you're going to Austin you might do the smart thing and stay home and rest. But if you're dumb like me, there's lots of good music this weekend. To wit:
Dan Zanes these days is best known for his highly successful career as a maker of children's music, but in the '80s he fronted Boston's Del Fuegos, whose brand of no-nonsense roots rock was a college radio staple in the Reagan years. Dan and his brother Warren, plus other original members Tom Lloyd and Woody Giessmann have gotten the old band back together so 40-somethings can call the sitter and go hear him sing songs for grown ups. They play Bowery Ballroom tonight (2/23) and The Bell House on March 3.
In addition to records like 1984's The Longest Day and 1985's Boston, Mass, The Del Fuegos were one of the first "cool" bands to be accused of selling out, appearing in a
Budweiser Miller commercial (which you can watch at the bottom of this post) that, if nothing else, inspired the classic Young Fresh Fellows song "Beer Money." Seems kind of silly today, and I'm sure Del Fuegos singles like "Don't Run Wild" and "I Still Want You" have held up pretty well.
The band have recorded a new EP, Silver Star, and you can stream one of its songs at the bottom of this post, where you'll find all Del Fuegos 2012 tour dates.
Another option tonight, over at Union Pool, is Sophia Knapp who you may know from Lights or Cliffie Swan but will release her solo debut on Drag City next week. The press release for Into the Waves offers up "melodic psych pop of the 60's, Tropicalia ballads, chilly '80s New York dance records, and the seduction of Stevie Nicks or Françoise Hardy" as influences but I think it sounds uncannily like the soft-focus pop of late-'70s Olivia Newton John.
You can download two tracks from her album at the top of this post and watch the video for "Nothing to Lose" further down. In addition to tonight's show at Union Pool, Sophia plays a free record release show at Sway on Wednesday, Feb 29 (leap day), and opens for Nite Jewel at Bowery Ballroom on April 24.
Cardinal (Richard Davies on the right)
There are a lot of good shows Friday night (2/24) and we'll start with Richard Davies at Cake Shop. The Australian-born singer fronted cult band The Moles in the late '80s, and whose 1994 album with Eric Matthews, Cardinal, is a baroque pop classic. Improbably, Davies and Matthews made a second Cardinal album, Hymns, that came out last month and basically picks up where the first one left off. It's a little more indie rock and a little less harpsichord and trumpets, but it's recognizably Cardinal. You can download two tracks from Hymns at the top of this post.
Davies will also be playing SXSW next month. He can be hit-or-miss live, but is a legend and worth going to see. Also playing are What Next?, the new band from onetime Cause Co-Motion dude David Klein that also features members of The Beets and Beachniks, so expect some scratchy shambolic (maybe charming) indiepop. Check out one song at their Bandcamp page. Also playing: The Pharmacy and Intuitions.
Montreal's Pat Jordache play Glasslands Friday night (2/24). Pat was in Sister Suvi with Merrill Garbus and though his music is a little more trad-indie than tUnE-yArDs, it's still rather weird. When I saw them at CMJ, they reminded me of '80s goth but their album that dark side isn't quite as pronounced. Maybe it was the two drummer thing. Anyway, Pat Jordache make a cool racket and know how to play to a crowd. They're opening for Javellin which I realize is why most people are going to go to this show, but do get there early for Pat.
Over at Cameo on Friday, Savoir Adore are having a record release party for their Dreamers EP. The single "Dreamers" came out on Neon Gold late last year and expands on their heartfelt, big pop sound. The EP expands that 7" with a bunch of remixes, one of which you can download at the top of this post. The band are going out with fellow Neon Gold acts The Knocks and St. Lucia, touring their way to SXSW and all dates are at the bottom of this post. Savoir Adore are putting the finishing touches on their new album, Our Nature, which will be out later this year.
And finally, Spanish Prisoners are playing Knitting Factory Friday (2/24) with fellow locals Clouder. Spanish Prisoners album from last year, Gold Fools, is still a pay-what-you-want download from their Bandcamp page and is a terrific album if you haven't heard it yet. The band just released a video for "Know No Violence" which you can watch at the bottom of this post. Like pretty much every band in America, they're going on tour next month, stopping in Austin for SXSW, and all tour dates are below.
And that's the main stuff for this week's TWII. A few more day-by-day picks for shows not mentioned already are below
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23
We haven't heard from Acrylics in a while. See what they're up to at Cameo, with Kuroma, Tezeo, and Bright Moments.
Get trippy at Glasslands with Prince Rama, Gary War, Future Shuttle, ^w0rm b1n^, plus a DJ set from Gang Gang Dance.
Snowmine wrap up their Pianos residency tonight, playing with Tiny Victories, Decades, and Awning.
by Bill Pearis
There are so many good shows happening tomorrow (2/16) this column could be renamed This Thursday in Indie. But I won't because that would be dumb. What about next week? And the week after? Thursday might be totally dead those weeks and then look what I'm stuck with.
But I digress. Basically everything covered below (apart from the daily picks section) is happening tomorrow. Such as Australia's Woollen Kits who are wrapping up a North American tour, pulling into Brooklyn for a show at Death By Audio. Not unlike fellow countrymen The Twerps (who play Mercury Lounge on 3/30), Woollen Kits play the kind of stripped down guitar rock that can be traced back through Flying Nun and K Recs, Jonathan Richman and the Velvet Underground. When guitarist Thomas Hardisty sings baritone, the band veers towards Beat Happening; when drummer Tom Ridgewell takes the mike, Woollen Kits are more Clean-like. The band just released their debut album on R.I.P Society records and it's quite good.
You can stream the single "Out of Whack" at the bottom of this post and watch its video. The DBA show is with Home Blitz, Harpoon Fever and Parquet Courts. The band have a few more shows before heading home to where it's currently warm, and all Woollen Kits dates are at the bottom of this post.
Also on Thursday (2/17) is the return of Slow Club who play The Bell House. It's their first show in NYC since September when the duo's second album, Paradise, was released. The record expands greatly upon the folk-pop of their debut, Yeah, So, giving them a much bigger sound, perhaps due in part to producer Luke Smith (who was in short-lived but great mid-'00s band Clor). It still sounds like Slow Club, mind you: winsome, charming, joyous. You can stream the whole thing via Spotify if you haven't heard it yet. The band are even more charming and joyous live.
The undercard for the Bell House show is pretty strong as well: Air Waves, who are back in Brooklyn where they belong after a stint in Austin, and Chalk & Numbers who I don't think have played live since last year's NYC Popfest.
Eleven Pond (in the '80s)
If the thought of something winsome, charming and joyous makes you want to puke, you might do better at Glasslands which is hosting the first show in 23 years by Eleven Pond. The Rochester, NY band's sole album, 1986's Bas Relief, is considered a lost classic by darkwave aficionados and was reissued a couple years ago by Dark Entries records. (You can stream it here.) Showing respect to their elders will be two bands from Wierd's roster: Frank (Just Frank) and Plastic Flowers. Expect Glasslands' smoke machine to be turned to the Peter Murphy setting for this show.
And finally, Palomar, who recently opened for Nada Surf at Bowery Ballroom, are having the record release party for their new album, Sense & Antisense, at Littlefield Thursday night. These three ladies and one dude have been together for over ten years, outlasting all sorts of other more hyped Brooklyn bands and scenes, putting out quality indie rock LP after quality indie rock LP. Their sticktoitiveness is as strong as their ability to write catchy tunes and harmonize. Sense & Antisense, the band's fifth, is a keeper.
You can stream the LP on Spotify and purchase it directly from the band, either at their website or at tomorrow's show. Also playing are Jaabs (feat. Roman of the Oranges Band) and Art Con. The Wrens' Charles Bissell is also performing Palomar covers, so I'm told.
OK, that's the main stuff for me this week. There are some good non-Thursday shows this week and my other picks are listed day-by-day below.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
It's a night of quality local bands at Pianos, with High Highs, Phonetag, Ski Lodge, and Field Mouse. That's a good show! (and if you miss it, High Highs also play Pianos on 2/29).
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Didn't I give you enough Thursday options above?
by Bill Pearis
"Found Love in a Graveyard" made my Favorite Tracks of 2009 list and have been waiting a full-length ever since. The band does not disappoint. There's not a dud in Veronica Falls' 36 minute running time. New songs are equals to early singles which appear here in newly recorded versions that might actually improve on the originals. This is haunted pop, a brisk October breeze that calls for a nice cardigan.Veronica Falls just released a new track, "My Heart Beats," to coincide with their North American tour and you can stream it at the bottom of this post. The song is sunnier than what they normally do but still fits within their sound. Sounds like a single to me. The band are touring with Slumberland labelmates Brilliant Colors (in from San Francisco) and local noisemakers Grooms are also on the bill. Tickets are still available. Veronica Falls look timid in their press photos, but they whip up a storm live. Go see 'em.
Bleached at BV CMJ 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
After the MHoW show, Bleached will also be part of the Veronica Falls/Brilliant Colors tour. (Dates at the bottom of this post.) The band are currently on the road with The Black Belles, a tour that rolls into town onSaturday (2/11) at Knitting Factory that also has Bleeding Rainbow (formerly Reading Rainbow) and Habibi on the bill. I caught Bleached at the BrooklynVegan day party during CMJ last year and thought they were a lot of fun in a Runaways kind of way. Good snarly attitude and big hooks. Maybe you caught them last week opening for Smith Westerns at Webster Hall?
It's worth showing up early for Habibi, whose debut single (streamable below) is a cool, understated take on '60s girl group sounds. You can stream it below.
Cate Le Bon
As excited as I am to see Veronica Falls on Thursday (2/9) , I might be slightly more pumped to catch Cate Le Bon's early set at Mercury Lounge that same night. (She also plays Maxwell's on Friday [2/10] as part of her tour) I've been pretty enamoured with the Welsh singer's new album, Cyrk, that came out a few weeks ago. The spare, detached vibe is a little like the Velvet Underground or Electrelane or Stereolab, but there's a hint of pastoral psychedelia in there too. (Shades of Welsh indie royalty Gorky's Zygotic Mynci). The record is loaded with wonderful little touches that reveal themselves with repeated listens. It's a fantastic album.
You can download single "Puts Me to Work" at the top of this post and stream Cyrk at Spotify. Cate has played New York a few times, usually solo, but for this tour she's got her band with her which should be pretty special. Both shows are with local band Pigeons.
Ed Vallance - 'Volcano'
What else is going on? London born, Brooklyn-based singer Ed Vallance released his second album, Volcano, this week and plays a record release show tonight (2/8) at Pianos. The record is dramatic turn from the indie folk of his debut. I bet he still writes his songs on acoustic guitar, but the approach to the arrangements and production are definitely have definitely taken a pop approach this time. While this sort of stuff isn't in vogue so much these days (it's got a distinct early '00s post-Radiohead vibe) it's quite lovely nonetheless. You can download the single "Crystaline" at the top of this post and stream the album at Spotify.
In addition to tonight's show at Pianos, an early show with Pursesnatchersopening, Ed's doing a month-long residency at the Ace Hotel, playing every Sunday in February.
And finally, K Records artist Jeremy Jay is in town this week, playing Glasslands tonight (2/8) and Cake Shop tomorrow (2/9). Jeremy's most recent album is Dream Diary, which came out about a year ago. Like most of his work, it's minimal folk rock with a strong '80s influence. He's an engaging live performer, and tonight's Glasslands show is a stacked bill with Boston psych-folk band Quilt, quality locals Slowdance and Backwords. The Cake Shop show is with Sapphire Mansions and a couple TBDs. (Cake Shop's website isn't especially updated these days.) Jeremy lives in London these days, so go see him while he's here -- all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
That's the big stuff this week. Some more day by day picks, of things not already covered, are below.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Sleep - Valentine (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Sleep - Ace (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moonmen on the Moon, Man - Hey Look, a Sweat Baloon Artist (MP3)
Hospitality (photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Happy Groundhog Day folks. As you may have heard, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow so we're getting six more weeks of winter. If that means the kind of winter we've had so far, I'm okay with that. I'm much more likely to head out and go see shows when not faced with the dreaded wintry mix. And there's lots of good shows this weekend, so let's get out there.
First up, the Hospitality record release party at Glasslands this Friday (2/3) (tickets still available). Their album came out this week on Merge, and I think makes a great case for not rushing things. Hospitality started playing about three years ago and released a CDR EP in the spring of 2009 that got them some notice. Most bands would've had an album out by the end of the year, but Hospitality took their time, honed their craft and became a really great live band. And the album is terrific, not a bad song in the bunch; winsome but there's some muscle in there too. You can stream the whole shebang at Merge's website or with Spotify.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are The Darkness who are back for their first US tour in six years, playing Irving Plaza on Saturday (2/4, sold out) and Monday (2/6, still available). As stated before, I'm a huge fan of the Darkness' first album, 2003's near-perfect Permission to Land, which I picked as one of the best of the '00s. As a pop album. Justin Hawkins knows his way around a giant hook. After the overblown excesses of One Way Ticket to Hell (And Back) and Justin Hawkins' ill-advised Sunset Strip spandex group Hot Leg, the band seem to be back on track with new single "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" which is a little more in the "Growing on Me" vein.
The Darkness' show at Bowery Ballroom back in 2003 was one of the most fun shows I've been to in the last ten years, and from YouTube footage of recent shows it looks like they've still got it. They are a kick-ass live band -- it takes skill to play "I Believe in a Thing Called Love's" solo whilst riding on your roadie's shoulders through the audience. (I hope they're still doing that.) Tickets are still available for Monday's show.
The Big Sleep
Hospitality aren't the only ones with a record release party this week. The Big Sleep released The Nature Experiments this week, their first album in four years and their record release show is tonight (2/2) at Knitting Factory. It might be their most melodic record to date, with more songs that have caught my ear on first listen than I remember them doing before. You can download two of the album's best tracks at the top of this post and the listen to the entire album at Spotify. The Big Sleep are touring as well, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Moonmen on the Moon, Man
Still more record release party fun: Tomorrow night (2/3) at Cake Shop is a dual record release party for Moonmen on the Moon, Man and Glass Anchors who both have record coming out on the venue's subsidary Cape Shok label which finally seems to be in gear after a lot of promise but inactivity. MMotMM, which might feature members who work or even own Cake Shop, rock in an late-'80s/early-90s college radio kind of way. Their endearingly sloppy pop -- with a little punk and twang -- woulda been right at home on, say, Frontier Records, nestled in amongst Flop and Thin White Rope and Redd Kross. You can download a track from the EP at the top of this post.
Glass Anchors is the musical project of songwriter Annie Sicherman who I admit to not knowing much about but her Cape Shok EP is lovely, dusty folk pop. Says the press release:
Honing her songs in various bands over various years, soaring songstress Annie Sicherman brings us GLASS ANCHORS. The songs on her fledgling EP are plaintive, reflective, honest, and good. GLASS ANCHORS sounds best tearing up road (preferably dirt), the one to oblivion - right after you ended the longest relationship you ever had, the one you thought would last, the one with the proposal. That road can be in your head, but certainly GLASS ANCHORS has the ability to take you there every time... with Glass Anchors, we have the real Annie 3000%, no matter what road you're on.You can stream Glass Anchors' EP at the bottom of this post. The Cake Shop show also features Bright Lights, Overlord and Fergus & Geronimo.
That's the big stuff this week. A few more picks, day-by-day, are below of things not already covered here.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2
LA's Classixx play the Popshop party at Santos with Workout and The French Horn Rebellion. You may know Classix from their remixes, like the excelent one they did for Phoenix's "Lisztomania." The group's new single is out this summer on a new label that's a joint venture from the Kitsune Maison folks and, I'm not kidding, the Cobrasnake.
Spacecamp, Mon Khmer, Romans and Skaters are at Bowery Electric. Spacecamp's new EP is pretty good, especially if you like a little Police in your pop rocks.
The Death Set, who I haven't seen play since maybe SXSW 2008, are at the Delancey. Always fun live.
by Bill Pearis
The column comes early as it's a busy week and there are lots of shows to talk about. First up, venerable NYC trio Nada Surf's new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is out today and the band play Bowery Ballroom this evening to celebrate. Tonight's show is sold out but Nada Surf will be streaming the show live via their YouTube channel starting at 10PM. The band then head out for a good two months of touring and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
The band's seventh album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, is another fine record in Nada Surf's catalog of positive-vibe guitar pop, bolstered this time out by Doug Gillard who provides a lot of great lead work. This kind of music may not be in fashion right now, but it also never really goes out of style. And they do it really well You can stream or download the ebullient first single "Waiting for Something" at the bottom of this post and Spotify users can listen to the album here.
Cloud Nothings - 'Attack on Memory'
Also out today: Cloud Nothings' Attack on Memory which, as Andrew noted a couple weeks ago, is much more sophisticated and agressive than the tuneful pop-punk the band have released in the past. They're still writing catchy songs -- check out "Stay Useless at the top of this post -- but the shift is fairly radical, so much so that main man Dylan Baldi briefly considered changing the name of the band. (It's not that radical.) It's a very good album, and you can listen to it on Spotify and watch the brand-new video for "No Future/No Past" at the bottom of this post.
The album, you may have seen, got Best New Music on the 'Fork yesterday, and despite this there are still tickets to be had for Cloud Nothings' show this Thursday (1/26) at The Studio @ Webster Hall though I imagine not for long. Knowing how good the band are live (what a drummer!) I'm really anxious to hear these songs live. It's a one-off show, but the band will tour starting mid-February including, need I say it, time in Austin for SXSW. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
The Hundred in the Hands - Bowery Ballroom Feb. 2011 (more)
The Hundred in the Hands are playing their first show in a long time this Friday (1/27) at Glasslands, which will give us the first taste of the duo's second album which will be out on Warp at some point this year. While they haven't released any tracks from it yet, they are still updating the THITH Zine, the band's culture zine that most recently interview artist Zander Blom. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the archives that's worth checking out.
My Best Fiend
A lot of people will be at Glasslands on Friday just to check out THITH's Warp labelmates My Best Fiend whose album In Ghostlike Fading is out February 21. My Best Fiend are not your typical Warp act, closer to the space blues of Spiritualized or My Morning Jacket (or Neil Young) than the electronic music that fills most of the label's roster. The band have been plugging away in the Brooklyn scene for upwards of seven years and its good to see it pay off for them. You can download album-opener "Higher Palms" at the top of this post and you can stream "Cracking Eggs" (which features Light Asylum's Shannon Fuchness) further down.
The Glasslands show also features duo Bikini who make unapologetic four-on-the-floor dancefloor fodder, and Bear in Heaven will be DJing between sets, hopefully not playing all the records at 400,000% slower than normal.
And finally we have Florida's Guy Harvey, which is a band and not a solo artist and should not to be confused with Elbow frontman Guy Garvey which I did for half a second. The band are on tour with Gainsville residents Averkiou and hit NYC this weekend for two shows: Friday (1/27) at Cake Shop and Saturday (1/28) at Death by Audio. All GH/Averkiou dates are at the bottom of this post.
You may recognize Guy Harvey frontman Adam Perry from his moonlighting gig as an auxiliary member of Surfer Blood. There's not a lot of Guy Harvey music out there to listen to, but both sides of a 2010 7" (streamable below) are ace, with a strong Flying Nun influence. If you liked the Twerps album from last year, give Guy Harvey a listen. Averkiou, meanwhile, make fuzzy, shoegazy pop not too far from early Teenage Fanclub. Check out a few streaming tracks at the bottom of this post.
Friday's Cake Shop show is with Byrdsy locals Slow Country whose new album is a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp and is quite nice. Saturday's show at Death by Audio also has underrated Brooklyn bands I'm Turning Into and Bright Lights. Either show is worth checking out. Or go to both!
That's the main stuff for this week. Below are a few more picks, day-by-day, of shows not covered otherwise.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
There's a TWII-approved line-up at East Village mainstay Lit Lounge -- that is now booking bands I've heard of again -- with The Hairs (new single out next month), Pigeons, and Gross Relations.
By Bill Pearis
I'm heading to the M for Montreal festival tomorrow which will keep me busy and entertained, but here's what I'll be missing this week while I'm there.
Like last night, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are playing tonight (11/15) at the Beacon Theater and there are still (pricey) tickets available for the show. He'll then head to California for a few shows, and will be back in America in March (no NYC date yet). All Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
As someone who gave up on Oasis about two songs into Be Here Now, I was a bit surprised by how much I like Noel Gallagher's new album, which debuted at #1 on the UK album charts. While nothing strays very far from his wheelhouse, it sounds like he might have been saving up his best songs for himself. "Aka...What a Life!" is a dancefloor stomper that works surprisingly well, and the songs that revel in pomp and strings sound great loud. It's a good album. There are videos for "Aka...What a Life!" (featuring, um, Russell Brand) and "If I Had a Gun" at the bottom of this post and Spotify users can listen to the whole album.
Unlike Beady Eye, Noel has no problem playing Oasis songs (he did write them after all) so you're probably gonna get "Don't Look Back in Anger" and "Wonderwall" (and probably some deep cuts) along with the entirety of his new album. Actually, you can look at last night's setlist, and pictures too, HERE.
Los Campesinos! release their new album Hello Sadness today and are here for two shows: tomorrow (11/16) at Bowery Ballroom and then Thursday (11/17) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Their first album made since (amicably) losing vocalist/keyboardist Aleksandra, Hello Sadness finds LC! "maturing" a bit: code for being less manic and shouty than previous albums. Which is fine, you can't do that forever, and it suits the tone of lyrics. (It's a massive breakup album.) There's a fair amount of wallowing going on, but you also get some terrific singles too, like "By Your Hand" which has a giant, stick-in-your-head chorus and is downloadable at the top of this post.
Chicago's Heavy Times and Brain Idea are here this week, playing Shea Stadium on 11/17 and Party Expo on 11/18. Both are worth checking out. Heavy Times just released Jacker on Hozac Records and you can check out "Future City" at the top of this post. As I said previously, it's one big snarl of an album and if you dig Obits and "I Wanna Live" era Ramones (or the HoZac label in general), this is right up your bowling alley.
Brain Idea, meanwhile, make the kind of jangly guitar pop that was inescapable on college radio in the '80s. (Flying Nun and the paisley underground scene come to mind.) An MP3 for "Oh I'm Free" from this year's Mexican Summer-released Cosmos Factory EP is at the top of this post.
Cover to new Total Control/Oh Sees split 12"
The band I'm most bummed about missing this week is Australia's Total Control, whose album Henge Beat is one of my favorites of the year. They're here for three shows: tomorrow night (11/16) at St Vitus, and then opening for tourmates Thee Oh Sees on Thursday (11/ 17) at 285 Kent and Friday (11/ 18) at Le Poisson Rouge. All Oh Sees/Total Control dates are at the bottom of this post.
I'm just gonna quote myself here:
Although their web presence is minimal and enigmatic, Total Control's lineage is not: Daniel Young is in Straightjacket Nation, and Mikey Young spends time in Eddy Current Suppression Ring and both are also in UV Race. (Fellow UV Racer Alistair Montfort, plus Zephyr Pavey and James Vinciguerra round out the live line-up.) After a string of 7"s the band released Henge Beat back in August, a real corker of a debut album. It divides its time between motorik synth workouts, jittery post-punk and more Eddy Current style stormers, with a nice layer of repetition repetition repetition coating the whole shebang.You can stream one of the album tracks at the bottom of this post. If you go to one of the shows, be sure to pick up the split Total Control/Oh Sees tour 12" too.
The Strange Boys
And finally, Austin's Strange Boys are here this weekend, playing Friday (11/18) at Mercury Lounge, Saturday (11/19) at Glasslands and then a free in-store at Generation Records on Sunday afternoon (11/20, 4PM).
The band's first album for Rough Trade, Live Music, came out last month and knocks a lot of the dust off the band's grubby, in-the-red twangy R&B but I don't think it's necessarily to their detriment. There is grub to spare, and if you like dive bar rock n' roll and can't get enough of things that sound vaguely like early-'70s Rolling Stones you'll probably dig. Check out an MP3 of "Me and You" at the top of this post. None of their records have really captured what they're like live, anyway, which is the best way to experience them for sure. So go check out a show this weekend.
That'll do it for this week. Some day-by-day picks follow for shows not mentioned above.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15
Hopefully you got tickets to Youth Lagoon's sold out show at Mercury Lounge tonight. Or did you go last night?
Not sold out and actually free is múm's Kría Brekkan who performs tonight at Church of the Advent Hope along with Julianna Barwick and Aaron Roche, with artwork by EyeBodega.
by Bill Pearis
It's a good week in New York for lovers of no-muss-no-fuss garage rock -- there's a lot of it in town. Austin trio Harlem are playing a trio of shows, the first of which is tonight (2/10) at Mercury Lounge with Girls at Dawn. They then play Friday (2/12) with Frankie & the Outs and The Siberians at Monster Island, and then hit Union Pool on Saturday (2/13) with Jemina Pearl. The band's second album (and first for Matador), Hippies, is out in April and doesn't stray too far from the greasy lo-fi of their debut, but with a bit more, um, finesse. They haven't polished the furniture, just tidied up a bit and the songs don't substitute reverb and distortion, for songwriting chops and attitude. It's a good record.
I'm going to see them tonight Mercury Lounge, but if I had to recommend one of the three shows, Monster Island on Friday seems like the right place to see them with the best and most economical ($7) of the overall line-ups. The Siberians make the kind of garage you would've heard at Cavestomp ten years ago before the genre became cool again -- more Lyres-style organ, less scuzz. Stupid Party are molasses-thick with extra sludge.
The night starts with Blacksburg, VA's Wild Nothing whose dreamy new single, "Summer Holiday," was just released on Captured Tracks. Think a slightly less wimpy Trembling Blue Stars and you're in the general sonic ballpark. Maybe you've already heardhis cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting" that made its way around the internet last year. I'm pretty sure on record it's just one guy, so what guise Wild Nothing will take live is anybody's guess. And Frankie & the Outs have really come along as a band over the last five months and are coming into their own -- and apparently they've just wrapped up recording their debut album. Hopefully that will be out sooner than later.
Both Wild Nothing and the Outs will play Monster Island again the next night (2/13) for another great show, this time with Blank Dogs (who haven't played in a while), Sisters and Ireland's So Cow. This will be the first NYC appearance from So Cow since his assault on the U.S. last summer where he charmed nearly everyone who went to see him play. His new album, Meaningless Friendly, is supposedly out this month though there's no mention of it on the Tic Tac Totally website. Ask him what the hell's up with that at the merch table, won't you? If you can't make it Saturday night, So Cow plays again on Sunday (2/14) at Cake Shop with Vivian Girls/Woods side project The Babies, the Nick Cave-y Preacher and the Knife (who are also playing a fashion show on Friday) and retro doowop stylings of White Blue Yellow and Clouds. So Cow will be in here for nearly six weeks (including SXSW), playing just about everywhere in North America so do go see him if you can.
Monday night at Cake Shop was the kickoff show for Christmas Island / Beets / Beach Fossils tour which will take them down and up the East Coast over the next ten days. If you missed that show, all three play again on Saturday (2/13) at Death by Audio and then will close the tour on 2/20 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Crystal Stilts and German Measles (tickets are still on sale for the latter). Matt Volz, who does all the The Beets' artwork, designed a great poster for the tour which you can actually buy via Captured Tracks website and at the merch table on this tour (and is given a CT release number a la Factory Records). You can see a big version of it here.
I've written plenty about Beach Fossils and The Beets before and both bands play here often, they live here, so the real draw here is San Diego's Christmas Island. Their album from last year, Blackout Summer, didn't get much attention but is well worth checking out. You can download a track from it at the top of this post. Not unlike fellow Californians Nodzzz, Christmas Island make somewhat surfy, definitely nasally/nerdy indie rock that at times reminds me of the Dead Milkmen (when Joe Jack Talcum sang). They were good when I saw them at SXSW last year and look forward to seeing them again on Friday. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Tomorrow (2/11) is the second of Savoir Adore's three Thursdays in February residency at Cake Shop and I've got another pair of tickets to give away. Just email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "Savoir Adore" in the subject and I'll pick a winner at random. Openers this week are really good. Both CYHSY/Savoir Adore side project Uninhabitable Mansions and We Are Country Mice have been written about by me before, but I'll like to highlight Brooklyn band North Highlands who make rather lovely piano-driven orch pop. Singer Brenda Malvani has one of those airy but strong voices that seems to have dictated the sound of the band, it all just goes down so well together. They're good live too. You can download title track from their Sugar Lips EP at the top of this post. In between bands this week, Pat from Pop Tarts Suck Toasted (a victim of this week's nasty "Music Blogocide 2K10") will spin tunes. Should be a great night.
A couple more. The Obits anniversary shows are at Cake Shop Friday and Saturday night. Sure to be awesome.
And finally don't forget about Diamond Nights and Cheeseburger (with guest vocalists) this Saturday (2/13) at Brooklyn Bowl. If ever there were two bands to see at a bowling alley, it's these two. The Coco66 show Diamond Nights were originally booked to play on Friday isn't happening so this may be your only chance ever to see them rock it again, as the band has been defunct for over two years. They definitely went before their time. Really looking forward to this one.
That's it for this week. Flyers and tour dates below.