Entries tagged with: Toys and Tiny Instruments Band

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Whimsical NYC collective Toys & Tiny Instruments will release their long-percolating debut album, Thunder Clap Machine, on Friday (3/1). As their name implies it's serious pop music but made with kazoos, stylofones, ukulele's, slide whistles and other toys and tiny instruments. You can stream the whole thing below.

The band have a couple local shows on tap, including tonight (2/28) at The Rock Shop with Boy Girl Party and Late Cambrian (tickets). Then on March 21st they'll play Death by Audio as part of The Chris Gethard Show's "The Weirdest Bands We Know Vol. 3" with Bad Credit, No Credit, Disposable Rockets Band and Hand Job Academy. $7 at the door for that one.

Continue reading "Toys & Tiny Instruments released LP (stream it), playing shows"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADHowler - I Told You Once (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fujiya & Miyagi - Ecstatic Dancer (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dinowalrus - What Now (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pre War - Out There (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Royal Baths - Darling Divine (MP3)

Howler
Howler

Welcome to the Stop SOPA edition of TWII. Do you know how hard it would be to do this column without free knowledge via the internet? It would be riddled with factual errors. More so!

Minneapolis underage upstarts Howler are in town playing a whole bunch of shows. The onslaught began last night with an in-store at Other Music (their album came out yesterday), and continues with: an early show tonight (January 18) with Happy People andTiberius,  January 19 at Death By Audio with Grooms andClouderJanuary 20 at Cameo Gallery with St. Lucia, and January 21 at Pianos with Dear LionsCemeteries, and The Everymen.

As mentioned, Howler's debut album came out yesterday and is titled America Give Up which kind of feels like a "just try not to like us" dare. Their sound -- a little Strokes, a little Jesus and Mary Chain, a little West Coast garage -- is indeed easy to like, even if there isn't much "new" about it. But the band have no shortage of hooks and a good dose of hard-to-fake attitude. As previously mentioned, ou can stream the whole thing at NPR.

Most of the hype is coming from the UK press who are still enamored with the Vaccines (with whom Howler's toured). I like Howler better than them and am going to make an effort to catch one of their shows this week. You should too, surely you've got one night free this week?

Fujiya & Miyagi
Fujiya & Miyagi

Also in town this week are Fugiya & Miyagi, playing Glasslands on Thursday (1/19) and Mercury Lounge on Saturday (1/21, sold out). The band have a new single out, "Ecstatic Dancer," that you can download at the top of this post. It's the kind of slinky, glammy stomper you could imagine Goldfrapp doing but with David Best's whispery vocals. No album attached to it as far as I can tell so it seems the single supports the tour, not the other way around as usual.

The band are also on the Power, Corruption & Lies Covered CD that comes with the February issue of MOJO, where the entirety of cover stars New Order's second album is covered by the likes of Destroyer, S.C.U.M. and Errors. Fujiya & Miyagi contribute a fairly wrote version of Side Two opener "Your Silent Face." (Stream it below.) The band are a good time live and are equally adept at both Neu!-style motorik and funky Can rhythms as you may already know. My favorite song is still "Ankle Injuries" but I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.

Thursday's Glasslands show is with Zambri, who really impressed me at Glasslands last month, Rarechild and The Golden Filter on DJ duties. For Saturday's show at Merc, openers are Aimes, Jangulaand Dinowalrus.

Dinowalrus
Dinowalrus

Dinowalrus' second album, Best Behavior, is due out March 6 on Old Flame records. If you haven't seen them in a while, the band dropped the dissonance in favor of a sound under the influenced of late '80s Manchester. While that means some danceable tracks, it also means atmospheric rockers like "What Now" which veers closer to The Chameleons or The Sound. You can download it at the top of this post.

Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson

If you're looking for something a little more mellow, man, perhaps you should check out onetime Eisley bassist (different Jonathan Wilson!) Jonathan Wilson who is here for three shows this week. He's at Mercury Lounge tomorrow (1/19) for an early show and again  on Friday (1/20) for a late show with Quilt), and then hits the Rock Shop on Saturday (1/ 21).

Jonathan Wilson's Gentle Spirit made its way onto many Best of 2011 lists, coming in at #4 on MOJO's year end coverage. Pazz n' Jop notsomuch, only three votes, which landed it in a 21-way tie for #372. Mind you, Wilson's music -- which recalls the heyday of early '70s Laurel Canyon -- is prime fodder for a magazine like MOJO that has a Beatle on the cover at least once a year, but Gentle Spirit is a genuinely gorgeous album that exudes a West Coast vibe even in the coldest New York winter. Spotify users can listen to the album here.

This is the only picture on Pre War's Facebook
Pre War

And finally, for many in New York the phrase "pre war" is code for "not many electric outlets and no sink in the bathroom" but maybe that will change with Pre War the rock band who have dusted themselves off from the recently defunct Conversion Party. Like that band, Pre War traffic in catchy, big-chorused indie rock. Check out "Out There" at the top of this post and you can listen to more at the band's Tumblr.

You can catch Pre War live Thursday (1/19) at Cake Shop where they play with Grand Rapids, Plates of Cake, and Hunny.

That's the big stuff for this week. Day-by-day picks not covered above are below. Fight the power!

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18

Sharon Van Etten is at Mercury Lounge which if you don't have tickets, is sold out. She's got lots more shows coming up, though. Her new album, Tramp, is really good.

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Continue reading "Howler, Fujiya & Miyagi, Dinowalrus, Pre War, Jonathan Wilson, Royal Baths & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOADDive - Sometime (MP3)
DOWNLOADCaged Animals - Teflon Heart (MP3)
DOWNLOADCaged Animals - Girls on Medication (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Heaven's Gate - Weakness Worms (MP3)

Toys & Tiny Instruments
Toys

It's a fairly quiet post-ATP weekend, which is fine. And the big stuff (Jens Lekman, James Blake) is sold out. CMJ is coming up in less than two weeks, and I plan on taking it (fairly) easy until then. (More than anything else, I'm stoked for the Breaking Bad finale on Sunday!) But there is, as always, stuff going on that's worth your time and coin. So this week I'm just going to do an extended version of the day-by-day picks.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6

Anika at Glasslands.

Dive, the new band from Beach Fossils dude Cole Smith, is easily the hardest working group in Brooklyn right now. You can see them tonight at Death by Audio on a pretty stacked bill of locals. I've caught Dive a couple nights now and am really impressed with their energy -- dark and motorik (not totally unlike Captured Tracks labelmates Soft Moon) -- and Smith's ability to spin around and play in clothes six sizes too big for him.

Dive also plays tomorrow (10/7) at 285 Kent with Night Manager and ex-Sweetbulbs band Heaven's Gate (who have a new MP3 to download at the top of this post) and Friends.

The rest of the show is good too. Caged Animals is Vin of Soft Black's new band. There are MP3s above and you can read more about them here. The show is also a record release for Spanish Prisoners' new album, Gold Fools, which you can stream in its entirety at the bottom of this post.  It's been a while since I checked in with them... it's a really nice record, especialy the single "Rich Blood" which you can download for free from their Bandcamp. Also playing are Quiet Lights who might fill the void for lovely loud guitar pop left by Dirty on Purpose.

Over at Cake Shop are the Toys and Tiny Instruments Band who do not play live very often. It's exactly as it sounds, seven or eight folks playing songs on kazoos, melodicas, penny whistles, plastic guitars and other toys and tiny instruments. (Not unlike Pianosarus for those whose memories go back to '80s obscurities.) They are way better than you think they're going to be.

And at Public Assembly it's electronic psych rock pioneers Silver Apples who play with MNDR, Lemonade, Ital and Todd Pendu on DJ duty. Another worthy show.

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Continue reading "Dive, Caged Animals, Ladytron, Taste of the Seaport, Psychic Paramount & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Silly Kissers - Treat Me Like You Do (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grimes - Weregild (MP3)
DOWNLOADWolf Gang - Lions in Cages (MP3)
DOWNLOADWolf Gang - Pieces of You (MP3)

Grimes

It's the weekend before CMJ which is usually pretty quiet, but...not this year. Me, I'm probably staying in. But you might want to check out:

Montreal's cute synthpop band  Silly Kissers are visiting, playing three shows this weekend: tonight (10/14) at Cake Shop, then Friday (10/15) at Silent Barn and Sunday at Glasslands. The band were here for CMJ last year, playing the M for Montreal night at Arlene's Grocery where they wore mime makeup which was probably a mistake. They were better when I saw them in their hometown last November:

"Silly Kissers didn't wear mime makeup this time (like they did at CMJ) which is a definite plus, but I really don't think they are "export ready." Which is not a dis. Their low fi, cutesy (sometimes charming) version of '80s synthpop would be more at home at a house party rather than with the fancy lights at club Juste Pour Rire."
Which makes all three places Silly Kissers are playing pretty ideal settings for them. They are fun, and the songs -- sugary, '80s-inspired indie-dancepop -- are undeniably catchy. Check out "Treat Me Like You Do" at the top of this post.

All three shows are with fellow MTL-er Claire Boucher who performs under the name Grimes. Her new record, Halafaxa, is a "pay what you want" download from their label's website. Ethereal, occasionally dub-infected and danceable, Halafaxa should appeal to fans of Delorean and Sally Shapiro (or even old 4AD bands like Colourbox or Dif Juz). Definitely worth a click. You can download "Weregild" from it at the top of the this post to give you a taste. Like a lot of music like this, making it interesting to watch in a live setting is the big hurdle. Can she do it? Go see them live.

By the way, I'll talk more about this later, but as we just pointed out, M For Montreal's 2010 CMJ showcase will again be at Arlene's Grocery, but this time with Random Recipe, The Luyas, Uncle Bad Touch, PS I Love You, Radio Radio, and Red Mass.

WolfgangWolfgang

London's Wolf Gang play the second of their NYC shows tonight (10/14). I have a soft spot for this sort of melodramatic anthemicism, especially when you add a dancey element to it. Did anyone go see them last night at Santos? You can check out two tracks at the top of this post: "Lions in Cages" which is pretty typical of what Wolf Gang do, and "Pieces of You" which sounds a little more like Grizzly Bear or something.

The show also has Acrylics on the bill who I like a lot but have been pretty quiet for the last six months so I'm anxious to see what they've been up to. Like maybe they've been making their debut album? Let's hope. Also playing are Safe and Painted Faces who I know bubkis about.

Toys & Tiny Instruments
Toys and Tiny Instruments

And finally I'd like to highlight a pretty cool show at Bruar Falls on Friday (10/15). Headlining are Toys & Tiny Instruments who don't need a lot of explanation. You see their name, and you know what they do.  But they're much better than you might expect. They played Bruar Falls back in the Spring and while the night started with some eye-rolling -- oh boy what is this novelty thing about to happen? -- everyone there ended up kinda being wowed. They may buy their gear at Toys R' Us but that doesn't mean they don't write awesome songs, and that they can't play their instruments well. I liked them so much I had them play my lunchtime series at the Seaport over the summer and they were great there too. Friday is the first show they've played since then and it's a release party for their debut EP.

The rest of the bill is pretty notable and eclectic: Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen (he sang lead on "Punk Rock Girl"); home recording legend R. Stevie Moore; and Beth Sorrentino who some of you may remember from '90s indie pop band Suddenly, Tammy! whose song "Lamp" still makes it onto mixes around my house.

Sparky Deathcap
Sparky

And a few more DAILY PICKS NOT COVERED ABOVE

THURSDAY, OCT 14

Fans of Los Campesinos!, who play Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday and Saturday night, might be interested to know that Rob Taylor also performs solo under the name Sparky Deathcap and will be doing so tonight at the Rock Shop. It's a free show starts at 8pm sharp.

The Delancey may feel a bit like Silent Barn tonight what with a lineup that includes My Teenage Stride, Lame Drivers, Suprisers and Easter Vomit. You can download five new MTS songs, all of which are good, over at Free Music Archive.

And if you'd like to laugh, Coco 66 tonight hosts Supershow!, a free comedy variety show, that tonight hasThu Tran of IFC's Food Party, the Found Footage Festival guys, Gabe Delahaye of Videogum, and more.

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Continue reading "Silly Kissers, Grimes, Wolf Gang, Toys & Tiny Instruments, Turbo Fruits & more in This Week in Indie"

South Street Seaport (more by Chris La Putt)
South Street Seaport

Bill Pearis teamed up with the folks behind the South Street Seaport concerts to put together a "Lunchtime Series" of free shows at Pier 17 this summer...

"Go local! We're kicking off another season of the Fulton Stall Market with a series of lunchtime concerts every Wednesday in June. Grab a snack from one of the market's farmers and purveyors, then head over to the Seaport stage for a set from some of New York's freshest bands -- playing in more organic form than you may be used to hearing."
Now for at least 5 days, those who work around Wall St can spend their lunch hour checking out a band they might otherwise have to visit a venue in Williamsburg to see. It's every Wednesday in June, and this Sunday, May 30th. Bill will DJ from noon-1, and then the band plays from 1-2. This is similar to what happens at Metrotech in Brooklyn on Thursdays.

Bill will talk more about this week's show (North Highlands), and the rest of the schedule, in his weekly posts. For now, check out the full schedule below...

Continue reading "Sound Bites Lunchtime Series @ the Seaport (free shows from noon-two in May & June!)"