Entries tagged with: Tokyo Police Club
Big names and regulars aside, there are a few bands I want to highlight on the just-announced Sasquatch lineup: Wolf Parade ("indefinite hiatus" rumors be damned), The Flaming Lips (performing "The Soft Bulletin"), Death From Above 1979 (now three reunion shows total), Guided By Voices (they're not done yet), and... Archers of Loaf (!). The full lineup of the fest that goes down in Gorge, Washington in May (Memorial Day Weekend), is below...
"Tokyo Police Club at Terminal 5. These men do indie rock well" - Luke McCormick
In the awkward land of co-headlining shows there's always one band that you think should be the headliner. Personally, going in, I knew all along that Tokyo Police Club would be that band when they and Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club performed at Terminal 5 on Friday. Having been thwarted in three previous attempts to see them live (the most notable being an unfortunate corresponding time slot opposite My Bloody Valentine at All Points West in 2009) I was still hoping the band that drew me way in with their excellent Lesson In Crime EP and followed it up with two hook-laden full-lengths would be the same one taking the stage as part of "The Last.fm Festival".
But going on after Two Door Cinema Club and their highly polished electro-pop anthems, complete with blinding light show, Tokyo Police Club seemed to spend most of their set trying to match TDCC in both sound and arena rock grandeur, when their songs, as brash and catchy as they are, beg for slightly more nuance. Or perhaps restraint. I was a tad let down, but more on that later
Two Door Cinema Club's set, for long periods, sounded like the same song over and over - did they just play "Undercover Martyn" or "Something Good Can Work"? - with the same high hat-led dance beat as well as recorded backing track and even canned horns on set opener "Cigarettes in the Theater". "What You Know" was a highlight as Alex Trimble crunched out a solitary guitar riff and then sang without accompaniment before the rest of the band launched in to support him. Yet, even then, the catchy guitar pluck so noticeable on record was lost, such the volume of the backing track.
Bloc Party instantly comes to mind but for all the pulsing lights and clear, bigger venue ambition TDCC have a long way to go and are still short on variety before they can match that kind of live performance. But the sold-out crowd was very much into the set and prior to the sing-along of set closer "I Can Talk" (also a highlight) Trimble pulled extra applause when he mentioned how great their CMJ performance at Webster Hall was last October but that "tonight was even better."
Happy Birthday Dave Monks
That Tokyo Police Club entered to the dying strains of Bill Conti's "Theme from Rocky" (their 2010 release was, after all, called Champ), underscored how much of an underdog they may consider themselves. For a band that was set to call it a day before the Pop Montreal performance that ultimately led to them signing their first record deal, their first full-length Elephant Shell was unjustly considered a let-down on the heels of the Lesson EP (though it was featured quite a bit on Friday.)
"We're Tokyo Police Club and we're fucking excited to be here," said birthday boy and lead singer David Monks one song into their set. And you could tell how excited they were - Monks and guitarist Josh Hook pressed heads during "Nature Of The Experiment" and then Monks scurried over and pressed his head into keyboardist Graham Wright's back and then he was coaching the crowd in how to clap during "Tessellate".
But as Monks' vocals continued in a hollowed echo - like he was in a hangar instead of a terminal, it pulled more and more away from the rest of the band's sound. Monks is not shy on packing loads of lyrics into the band's sub-three-minute songs and it was frustrating to have them lost in the mix at times.
Though on songs like "End Of A Spark" which featured Passion Pit's Ian Hultquist on acoustic guitar, and the slow build of Champ's lead track, "Favourite Food" - songs that weren't straight forward postpunk - "Breakneck Speed" was another, everything fell into place and they showed why they deserve to be tops in the pecking order with their tour mates.
After they finished their set with "Wait Up", complete with audience participation on the "woo oooh ooohs" and "Your English Is Good" both Tokyo Police Club and Two Door Cinema Club came out for the encore. "We're going back to 2001," said Monks (who was 14 then), before the ensemble launched into The Strokes' "Last NIght". It was fun, wonderfully timed and the crowd ate it up. It was hands down the highlight of the evening as Monks and Trimble took turns on vocals and everyone else ended up on the drum riser playing to TPC drummer Greg Alsop.
Lost in the fray were Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin who opened the night with a straightforward set of easy, indie-pop numbers. Including those from last year's subtly underrated, Chris Walla-produced, Let It Sway.
Andrew St. Clair was on hand for TPC's soundcheck and caught all three bands including the TPC birthday cake moment. More pictures from all of it, and the setlists below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
yes, that's Matisyahu & Tokyo Police Club...
Tokyo Police Club and We Barbarians played an invite-only show at the Wired Store on 12/15, much like Ra Ra Riot did a week earlier. It was the Foundations Artist Management Holiday Party and was marked by a surprise appearance from Matisyahu who joined TPC for a cover of his own "Miracle (The Hanukkah Song)". Ayad and Michael from Passion Pit didn't play the party, but they did introduce TPC after jokingly introducing themselves at Foundations interns.
After the Wired Store show, Andrew St. Clair joined TPC at Nancy Whiskey in TriBeCa where they played We Barbarians in a gentlemanly game of shuffleboard.
Matisyahu played a string of Hannukah related shows, including four NYC shows recently, and has a show coming up at Mercury Lounge. TPC have a tour coming up with Two Door Cinema Club which will hit Terminal 5. Passion Pit are playing Wellmont Theater on 12/30 and 12/31.
More pictures below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Ra Ra Riot played the pop-up Wired Store (at 692 Broadway in NYC) on 12/8 as part of a series of private events at the store. Their friends Tokyo Police Club, whose next public show in NYC is at Terminal 5, play the same place tonight (12/15)
The night before their appearance at Wired, Ra Ra Riot played "Boy" from their recent LP The Orchard on Letterman. Video of that and more pictures/setlist from the Wired Store are below...
Tokyo Police Club @ Governors Island over the summer (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Canada's Tokyo Police Club and the UK's Two Door Cinema Club will head out on tour together in January for a trip that includes a co-headlining show at NYC's Terminal 5. Tickets for the whole tour are now on a band presale. Tickets for the NYC show also go on AmEx presale today at 11am. The general sale starts Friday at noon.
Two Door Cinema Club were last in town for CMJ when they played a sold out show at Webster Hall. Tokyo Police Club were last here as part of their tour with Passion Pit, but they also headlined Webster Hall before - all the way back in February 2009.
Tokyo Police Club recently recorded and released a Daytrotter session which you can grab now, new song included. All tour dates, and some videos from TDCC's Webster show, below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
The music is/was great, but part of the reason I trekked out to see Passion Pit, Tokyo Police Club, We Were Promised Jetpacks & Suckers on Governors Island on Wednesday night (June 30th), especially after having just seen 3/4 of the bill one night earlier in Prospect Park, was to check out Colonel's Row, the area where the show was actually being held.
Unlike "The Beach" where most of the Governors Island concerts are held, there was no sand - just lots of beautiful trees and grass and old buildings on either side. It was a lot like a college campus. The sound was great, the weather was great, and despite the approx-7000 capacity, it wasn't too crowded at all (though the lines for the ATMs were super long). The sides were lined with food vendors (mostly gross-looking food) and there were lots of bars set up all over. I wish they would do more shows there actually (Passion Pit is unfortunately the only one happening in the space this summer).
Colonel's Row, during Tokyo Police Club (via my phone)
Another reason I was really motivated to take the ferry was to see We Were Promised Jetpacks who didn't play Prospect Park the night before. The Scottish band did a great job warming up the crowd with their wailing vocals, wall of guitar sounds, and tension-building rock songs. Many in the young audience cheered along, though the excitement that the three openers experienced didn't come close to what I saw two nights in a row for Passion Pit who had thousands of people cheering, dancing and just generally going crazy to their falsetto-fronted dance songs.
I unfortunately had to leave Passion Pit early this time to catch Delta Spirit at Bowery Ballroom, but photographer Andrew St. Clair not only stayed for the whole show, he stuck around afterward for the backstage karaoke afterparty (the show was the final stop on TPC & PP's tour together). Andrew's pictures from the whole night, below...
Before the show started, the crowd in front of the bandshell sat and chatted leisurely to pass time, but when they saw Suckers walk on stage, they immediately jumped to their feet, cheering. In their cool shades and neon-colored clothing, Suckers had definitely embraced the outdoor park setting. "We're from Brooklyn. Celebrate!" shouted Suckers singer Quinn Walker early in the show. Drummer Brian Aiken thrashed around with such intensity that before long, his face was nearly the color of his fuchsia shirt. They only played seven songs, but the group harmonies, well-placed trumpet cameos, and over-the-top facial expressions from the drummer made for a pretty entertaining show, and the Brooklyn band's music proved to be a good introduction to the evening. Many of their songs had slower starts, but they definitely filled out by the time the choruses hit.
Tokyo Police Club's music was more immediate. Instead of building up their sound gradually, they seemed to put it out there up front, and their sound was a bit more raucous overall. Like Suckers, Tokyo Police Club really seemed to be enjoying the picturesque setting. It had been another hot day in Brooklyn, but it cooled off just enough to be pleasant for the show. "I hope you enjoyed the beautiful day in the park," said singer Dave Monks. "You guys should really check out these trees when you get a chance. The trees are killing it." And he was right. The trees lining the back side of the bandshell were waving gently in the wind as if swaying to the music.
Tokyo Police Club showcased a number of songs from their recent album, Champ. After their set had ended, the eager crowd tried a few different methods to get Passion Pit out on stage, but neither the chanting nor the slow clap did the trick. Shortly after 9:00, the tech guy gave a signal with his flashlight and yellow lights started flickering madly on stage as the band walked out. The production value definitely went up with each band's performance. For Passion Pit, each song seemed to have its own color scheme for lights: reds, oranges, purples, blues, and greens all made an appearance as the evening progressed. By the third song, a colorful banner (resembling the cover art of the Manners re-issue) fell against the backdrop to the delight of the audience.
For the most part, the sound throughout the evening was pretty good for an outdoor show. But the vocals did seem to be a little low in the mix - especially for Passion Pit. I'm not sure if it was just where I was standing or if there was a technical oversight, but there were times when I'd see Passion Pit singer Michael Angelakos open his mouth as if to sing but no sound came out. Of course, it didn't help that he had a tendency of holding the mic a bit too far away. (Were the officials trying to thwart the non-paying park goers from hearing the show outside of the official venue space?)
Regardless of the levels, the crowd seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Throughout the show, they sang along, clapped to the beat, jumped up and down, and danced. There was also more than one attempt at crowd surfing as the evening progressed and the excitement mounted. The band was clearly thrilled to be performing in front of such a large, enthusiastic audience. Angelakos paced and danced around the stage with glee and kept effusively thanking everyone in between songs, eventually saying, "People make fun of me for always thanking everybody, but we're just in awe of everything that's just happened in the past year. This show sold out in like ten minutes. We're from Boston, but this city made us. Thank you so much! This is the biggest show we've ever played."
For their encore, Passion Pit played a delightful cover of the hit 1994 song "Dreams" by The Cranberries before closing with their own hit - "Sleepyhead." Though the crowd left behind a wasteland of bottles and cups, the tinkling of the aluminum Bud cans as they rolled over the cement surface made for an oddly melodic exit.
They do it again, at an even bigger venue with the same lineup (and the addition of We Were Promised Jetpacks) tonight (6/30) at Colonel's Row on Governors Island. More pictures from last night, some videos and Passion Pit's setlist, below...
DOWNLOAD: Tokyo Police Club - Wait Up (Boots Of Danger) (Dom Remix) (MP3)
Tokyo Police Club are in town as part of their tour with Passion Pit to play two sold out shows starting tonight, June 29th at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Wanna go? I have a pair of tickets to give away. Details below.
In fact, I also have a pair of tickets to give away to the show Wednesday at Governors Island. Details also below.
Last night, TPC appeared on Letterman (again). They played "Wait Up" which is the song Dom remixed. Download the Dom remix above. Check out the Letterman video (with contest details and other stuff) below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Tokyo Police Club, now on tour with Passion Pit and DOM (who played Brooklyn Bowl last night), played a sort of private show at the Studio @ Webster Hall in NYC last night (6/1). That was followed by a beer pong after-party with Mark Knight and others in attendance. Pictures from the whole night, and TPC's setlist, below...
Outside Lands 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival 2010 takes place in Golden Gate Park from August 14th-15th. Headlining acts for the fest include Kings of Leon, Furthur featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, Phoenix, Social Distortion, Levon Helm and Al Green. Other acts include Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, The Budos Band, Dawes, Gogol Bordello, Cat Power Janelle Monáe and Tokyo Police Club. The full lineup (which will be added to) is below.
Two-day passes go on sale Tuesday, June 2nd at 1pm EST. Single day tickets go on sale Sunday, June 6th.
A video trailer for this year's fest and the lineup is below...
Tokyo Police Club kick off their tour with Passion Pit in Baltimore on Wednesday (June 2nd). They'll be in Virginia on June 8th which is the day their new album Champ (cover art above) is released, and they won't be back in NYC until the end of the month when they open for Passion Pit in Prospect Park and on Governors Island. To remedy that situation a bit, they're playing their own headlining show at the Studio at Webster Hall tonight (June 1st) (flyer above). Members of the press and other friends were invited to the gig. And I have five pairs of tickets to giveaway too. Details on winning them, the band's new new video, all dates & stuff, below...
photos by Rachel Carr
"An aggregate 225,000 people bought tickets to see a [Coachella] roster headlined by Jay-Z, Muse and Gorillaz during the April 16-18 event at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio.The 2010 edition of Coachella actually began excactly one week ago today, and we already posted full picture sets from: DAY ONE, DAY TWO and DAY THREE. Now here is one last group that contains unposted outtakes from all three...
The previous attendance record was set in 2007, when the headliners included a reunited Rage Against the Machine. Final figures are still being tallied, but AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips said the gross will exceed $20 million.
Phillips said the future looked bleak for AEG Live's nascent All Points West festival, which took place in 2008 and 2009 across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J.
"We're probably going to kill it," said Phillips. "As beautiful as (the site) is, it's very hard to get New Yorkers to cross that river. All Points West is an experiment that just didn't work." [Reuters]
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...
Passion Pit @ Terminal 5 on January 10th (more by Samantha Marble)
Passion Pit and Tokyo Police Club are already setup for a Tuesday, June 29th show at Prospect Park Bandshell. Tickets for that are gone. They'll follow up the show with a June 30th show at Colonels' Row @ Governors Island. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 19th at noon (presale info TBA).
Members of Passion Pit will be DJing down at SXSW this year. You can catch them Friday during the day at the BV/DailyMotion party at Club DeVille, and then Saturday during the day at a Pianos day party. Yes, the same Pianos they DJ'd at on New Years Eve.
Also on Governors' Island this summer: a 12-hour theatrical performance of Dostoyevsky's "The Demons," put on by Lincoln Center.
All Passion Pit tour dates are below...
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...
Passion Pit @ Terminal 5 on January 10th (more by Samantha Marble)
On the heels of their three-night Terminal 5 run (Jan. 8-10), Passion Pit have announced that they'll be playing one of this year's Celebrate Brooklyn 'benefits' at Prospect Park Bandshell on Tuesday, June 29th. The night also includes "very special guest" Tokyo Police Club. Tickets go on sale Saturday, January 30th at noon. More tour dates to be announced?
Both bands are also on the lineup for this year's Coachella, which is happening April 16th-18th. Passion Pit's other tour plans (Australia, Japan, the UK and, in March/April North America) are outlined HERE.
Tokyo Police Club are working on a new album to be released in 2010 on mom+pop Records. They've been blogging about their progress on the album, titled (they say) Masterworks In The Key Of Mastery, Feat. Baron von Fantastic and the Even More Simon Express. The band writes "Hopefully we'll be finished everything in the middle of February, and then we'll start mixing."
Videos of Passion Pit interviewed and at T5 are 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....
Local Natives @ BV loft - CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Frenchkiss Records is celebrating its 10th year in existence. Started by Les Savy Fav's Syd Butler in 1999 as a way for his band to release their second album, the label has grown to include over 25 bands with over 40 releases. Most recently they've found success with The Dodos, The Antlers, and of course, Passion Pit who are definitely now pretty "huge". Though still on Frenchkiss, Passion Pit are also shared with Columbia Records (home of Mew, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, and... Slayer).
And it continues. Frenchkiss announced this week that they signed not one, but two CMJ 2009 buzz bands - both with fine new albums and impressive live shows to match. The NYC label will release California band Local Natives' Gorilla Manor (already out in Europe) on February 26, 2010. They also just signed NYC's Freelance Whales, though like with Passion Pit, that deal is shared with someone else - Mom+Pop Records to be exact, aka. the label that also just snagged Tokyo Police Club (who share a manager with Passion Pit).
The Antlers headline Bowery Ballroom on December 15th. Get tickets before they sell out. Uninhabitable Mansions and Sharon Van Etten (who is sure to sing with the headliners too) open the show. Their only other scheduled show at the moment is March 3rd at Union Chapel in London.
Local Natives are still on tour with Fool's Gold and Edward Sharpe. They visited NYC in November which wasn't long after CMJ when the band played two BV parties - one at Pianos and the one in a loft. Updated dates below.
Tim Harrington, when not belting out rock songs and climbing over the crowd on a ladder in his underwear as the frontman of Les Savy Fav, makes a "line of patterned products" called Deadly Squire. This Sunday (TODAY), December 6th, Deadly Squire is having a huge sale at Bird in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). Flyer below.
Slayer is going on tour with Megadeth and Testament in January. A "Raining Blood" video with all the other stuff below...
The face of Arms...
Arms (Todd Goldstein, guitar player of the defunct Harlem Shakes) will be playing a NYC CD release show at Pianos on Thursday, November 12th for his full-length debut, Kids Aflame, which is out now on Gigantic Music. Two songs from the record are posted above, with a video and info below. Goldstein debuted his three-piece band that fills out his bedroom-recorded album at CMJ this year.
Strange Glue: Have you been to CMJ before and what are your thoughts about playing such a vibrant festival?Tickets for the Pianos show are on sale.
Todd: I've played several CMJs, now - although I have to say i've never been to a CMJ show other than my own. I never have time.
SG: Is it just you performing the Arms set or are you joined by any other talented musicians?
Todd: It'll be me, a drummer, and a bassist/singer. The harmonies alone are worth the price of admission.
Also at the gig will be an acoustic set by Dave Monks, frontman of Tokyo Police Club. Monks will be playing some songs off Tokyo Police Club's forthcoming, second record, due in early 2010 on mom+pop.
mom+pop was formed in 2008 by Cliff Burnstein, Peter Mensch and Michael Goldstone. Burnstein and Mensch are the owners of Qprime, one of music's most respected management firms, with a roster featuring the likes of Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Muse, Silversun Pickups, and The Mars Volta, among others. Goldstone is a veteran A&R exec whose most recent tenure at Sire saw him sign Regina Spektor and Tegan and Sara. In August 2008, he inked Joshua Radin as the first artist on the mom+pop label. Radin's album, Simple Times, released 21 days later on September 9, has since sold over 100,000 units and 400, 000 tracks. Other mom+pop artists include An Horse, signed to the label by Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara. mom+pop is a fully staffed label distributed independently by RED.Radical Dads, another group that shares members (Robbie and Chris are in Uninhabitable Mansions, and Robbie, again, plays with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), are also playing, with Sherlock's Daughter (who have a residency at the club) opening.
Dave Monks recently posted a cover he did of Harlem Shakes' "Strictly Game," as well as a new TPC song. Those and more Arms below...
mud, Tool & Ice T
During his Friday night set at the All Points West festival in Jersey City, Jay-Z took a moment to salute trail-blazing gangsta-rapper Ice-T, who, Jay-Z said, was "in the house." And Saturday afternoon, Ice-T took the stage to perform as a backing rapper during Kool Keith's second-stage performance.Though it didn't rain on Saturday (8/1), it was still super muddy. There were dry spots, but you literally could not walk from one place to another without going through some mud. Other highlights of the second day of All Points West included comedy by Tim & Eric in the tent (aka the third stage), back-to-back sets by St. Vincent and Neko Case on the 2nd stage, and the Arctic Monkeys and Gogol Bordello on the main stage. But nothing topped the end of the day. Now fully dark out and perfect weather, My Bloody Valentine, with the Statue of Liberty to their right and the Manhattan skyline straight ahead of them, delivered the power. The hour they played was, for me, the perfect festival experience.
"Sometimes it's just cool to stand on the side of the stage and be a hype man," said Ice-T.
He did, though, perform parts of his own raps, "Hardcore" and "God Forgive Me," a cappella.
With his confident, casually commanding flow, he made a strong impression in his few brief moments in the spotlight.
In addition to Jay-Z and Kool Keith, hip-hop acts like Q-Tip, the Knux and the Cool Kids have performed at All Points West. Hip-hop, though, will not figure prominently in the third and final day of the festival, Sunday. [NJ.com]
My Bloody Valentine
It helped that My Bloody Valentine, as they are known for being, were LOUD. Maybe they didn't seem as loud as they did inside a club, but they were loud enough that even those in the bleachers were putting on their earplugs if they had them. After their set I ran all the way back to the dance tent (pretty much the farthest distance you would have to ever go at this festival) to catch Crystal Castles. The tent was packed with the largest concentration of youth I'd seen in Liberty State Park up until that point. Everyone was dancing and cheering. Before CC were finished I ran back to the main stage to watch Tool.
During My Bloody Valentine I thought, "well, there are plenty of people here, but I guess they could fit a lot more". Ends up, all of those people that could fit, they showed up for Tool! Did they all just get there? Were they hiding in other areas? Either way, it totally hit me by surprise when I got back to the stage. I was also surprised, but happy, that Tool hadn't gone on yet. They don't play a super long set, so maybe they delayed to make the show go until curfew.
Once they did start, the amount of fist pumping (much bro fist pumping included) going on almost matched the amount of people in the park. I wouldn't consider myself a Tool fan, but there was no denying the awesomeness of their show.
"On a bill loaded with indie rock, Tool seemed initially distinguished by their popularity. They were the only band on Saturday's bill to have a platinum record, and the only performers to have won Grammys, and the only ones with enough starpower to sell out arenas on their own. And yet despite their high profile, Tool hardly behave like a mainstream band. Saturday's set was an exercise in atmosphere -- a dark, riveting performance that minimized the members of band while foregrounding their stranger sensibilities.I took the light rail to the park, but then the ferry home. Props to APW for making the ferry experience a much, much better one this year (no line at all, huge boats, very quick trip home, and I didn't even leave until Tool was finished).
Visually, the show was stunning. Tool perform to a series of bleak films mostly created by the artist Adam Jones, and beamed out giant-size across Liberty State Park they seemed more imposing and unnerving than ever. Opening with the sinister, twisting "Jambi," the group slowly worked its way through a set that spanned its small catalog. Part of what makes Tool concerts such visceral experiences is the band's peerless sense of control and release. Songs start with icicle drip guitars and rolling, tribal percussion, steadily building to perfectly timed explosions of sound. When paired with Jones' frightening films, it became more like a theater experience than a concert. At times it was remarkably easy to forget there was a band onstage at all." [Rolling Stone]
Pictures from APW day one HERE. More from day two below...
Crystal Castles DJ the official All Points West afterparty on Friday. They play All Points West on Saturday. Tokyo Police Club also play All Points West on Saturday, and they DJ the APW afterparty happening that night (sponsored by Toyota, free with RSVP). Flyer below...
Following last year's inaugural event, festival producers began work immediately on resolving concerns expressed by fans in attendance. They have worked closely with their partners at NJ Transit to improve light-rail service and capacity. As an added value for 2009, festival goers who choose to travel to the site utilizing the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line can ride for free throughout the weekend with their ALL POINTS WEST festival ticket. Additionally, based on the popularity of the ferry as a mode of transportation from lower Manhattan to Liberty State Park, the frequency and size of the ferryboats will increase at a reduced price for festival attendees.... The producers have also worked with their partners at Liberty State Park to improve the fan experience in the beer gardens. This year's areas will be larger, have shorter lines, and feature shade tents, views of the stages and food concessions...The second annual ALL POINTS WEST MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL returns to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey Friday, July 31, Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2. Like last year, bands will play on three stages, except "the Queen of the Valley stage has been changed to a Coachella-like tent creating an environment that will showcase comedy, DJs, electronic acts and bands."
More details on the items above will be posted at the apwfestival.com. The entire lineup (it's good!) and ticket info, below...
photos by Natasha Ryan
"One of the highlights was the score of new tracks like "Breakneck Speed" and "Favorite Color". The most memorable moment was without a doubt the encore as the band stepped back onstage calling the Born Ruffians back out to play a new song, "Spark" which they recently wrote together. The track is really interesting with the merger of TPC's Dave Monks unique vocal sound pairing up with Born Ruffians singer Luke LaLonde. They closed it out in style inviting the Harlem Shakes out onto the already crowded stage for a classic rendition of the Clash's "Train In Vain"." [Chewy Donuts & Evil Bunnies]Tokyo Police Club headlined Webster Hall on Wednesday night (2/25). Harlem Shakes opened and are currently on the road with the Canadian band. Tickets go on sale today at noon for an upcoming Harlem Shakes show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Born Ruffians also opened the Webster Hall show. Watch a UK commercial featuring the Canadian band's music HERE. Watch videos from the NYC show (Clash cover and new songs included), and see more pictures, below...
DOWNLOAD: Harlem Shakes - Strictly Game (MP3)
photos by Jonny Leather
Now officially a fan of the Harlem Shakes since listening to the new record, it was great to see them live back on Valentine's Day at Southpaw right after the rockin' set by Shilpa Ray (who is also a HS fan..)...
My pals the Harlem Shakes are gonna take the stage and they haven't played live in New York in two years! I'm so wired to see them again! I recently heard a track off their new record and so surprised with how much their sound evolved from their first EP. Though both styles are great, I have so much admiration for artists who constantly take risks and disregard formulas on how to be an artist. Shakes, if you're reading this your new sound is crazy awesome and I can't wait to see you guys live! It's been too long. [Shilpa Ray]Overall a great, crowded, fun, and late night. As Shilpa pointed out, it was the first show Harlem Shakes had played in NYC in a while. The size of the crowd (it was very sold out), and the amount of cheering and dancing made me realize how many people were waiting for their return - and the new record isn't even out until March 24th (they apologized at one point for playing songs people may not have known).
Tonight at Webster Hall (2/25) they are the opener. Ends up they go on at 8pm, followed by Born Ruffians at 9, and then Tokyo Police Club at 10. Then they are opener again on the previously announced March 14th Bell XI show at Highline Ballroom. Then it's headliner again... Tickets go on sale Friday at noon for a March 26th show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The last one is in honor of their album that comes out two days before that.
Some more pictures from Southpaw, and all tour dates, below...
DOWNLOAD: Harlem Shakes - Strictly Game (MP3)
"Technicolor Health was made after and during some tough times (involving serious sickness) for the [Harlem Shakes]. The record captures the weary, hopeful, and sometimes triumphal vibe of that period in their lives. Above all, the album is about surviving abject shittiness. But it's also about what new-wave bands and new-wave revival bands call, "modern life," as lived by five thoughtful men in their early and mid-twenties during a weird, sometimes miserable, mostly thrilling historical moment. Harlem Shakes have been obsessed by pop music their whole lives, and after all the reiterations, they still have great faith in its power to make you and them feel a little better about things, and to say something vital, and God willing, maybe even enduring."Technicolor Health is a really good album. Gigantic Music doesn't release it until March 24th, but you can (legally) download one of the tracks from the album above. It's the same song they're currently streaming at their MySpace.
On February 24th Harlem Shakes leave on tour with Tokyo Police Club. February 25th, one day later, is the NYC show at Webster Hall that Born Ruffians are also playing. Tickets are still on sale. You don't have to wait that long to see HS though. They're also playing this Saturday night, February 14th, Valentine's Day, at Southpaw with Shilpa Ray and Phil and the Osophers. It's a late show. You can go to dinner and be done with Valentine's Day before doors even open at 10PM. The early show in the same venue is the one Jennifer O'Connor is playing with Mascott. And like tonight's Motel Motel / Holly Miranda show at the same venue, it's part of the Sounds Like Brooklyn festival (as is the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Chairlift show tonight at BAM).
Harlem Shakes are also playing a few shows with Bell XI in March. Tickets are on sale for a March 14th show at Highline Ballroom. All dates below...