Entries tagged with: Tune-Yards
photos by Amanda Hatfield
St. Vincent / Nelly Furtado, tUnE-yArDs, Dev Hynes / finale
In "Contemporary Color," a copresentation of Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Byrne has organized collaborations among 10 elite color guard teams and recording artists, including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado and Devonté Hynes. Between acts, the showcase, performed on Saturday at Barclays Center, included video clips making it clear that for many students, color guard is a way to find like-minded souls in what can be the most harrowing of American experiences: high school.After two shows last week in Toronto, David Byrne brought his music-meets-color-guard "Contemporary Color" extravaganza to Barclays Center on Saturday (6/27) and Sunday (6/28), pairing performers such as St. Vincent, How to Dress Well, Dev Hynes, Ad Rock & Money Mark, tUnE-yArDs, Nelly Furtado and Zola Jesus (performing songs written just for this production) with high school color guard teams. Pictures from Saturday's performance, plus video of St. Vincent and David Byrne's performances from Sunday, continue below...
The idea to pair color guard with live music is an intriguing one, but the results don't entirely click. One exception was the pairing of Somerville High School in New Jersey with Money Mark and Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys whose music, not unlike that of a marching band, grew in power. But too much of the music was on the slow side, suffocating the routines and making it apparent that the earnestness of the performers clashed with the musicians who had difficulty shedding their personas. They may have been in bands in high school, but it didn't feel as if they had ever been band geeks. - [NY Times]
photo: Flaming Lips at Levitation 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Earlier this month, part of the lineup leaked for this year's series free concerts at Montauk's restaurant/hotel/vacation spot The Surf Lodge, and we've now got the full schedule. Some highlights include Mac DeMarco (5/22), Flaming Lips (6/7), Alvvays (6/14), Benjamin Booker (6/20), The Allah-las (6/27), Jon & Josiah of The Head and the Heart (6/28), Sylvan Esso (7/26), Delta Spirit (8/8), tUnE-yArDs (8/9), The Joy Formidable (9/4), and more.
As usual, the annual series hosts these free shows each weekend from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. It's not too far from NYC, and the bands make for a pretty good reason to get away to Montauk for a weekend.
Check out the full 2015 Surf Lodge concert series schedule below...
photos: Celebrate Brooklyn last year (more by David Andrako)
We've known about Celebrate Brooklyn!'s summer slate of 2015 ticketed benefit shows at Prospect Park -- including Modest Mouse, Interpol and Willie Nelson -- for a while and now they've announced their free show schedule. In addition to the already-announced New Pornographers show on 7/11 (which now also includes Thao & the Get Down Stay Down) and the Chaka Khan season kickoff show on 6/3, this summer's free highlights include:
Lucius | Luke Temple | Pavo Pavo on Saturday, June 13Full Celebrate Brooklyn! schedule below...
Eighth Blackbird With Special Guest Will Oldham | Bill Frisell & Sam Amidon on Thursday, June 18
Lucinda Williams | Jason Walker on Thursday, June 25
Punch Brothers | Sarah Jarosz on Thursday, July 9
Vieux Farka Touré | Tamikrest | Dj Dakar on Thursday, July 16
Jason Isbell | Dawn Landes on Friday, July 24.
Sylvan Esso | Porches on Saturday, July 25
Big K.R.I.T. | Angel Haze | The D.R.E.A.M. Ring: Flexn on Friday, July 31
Tune-Yards | Shabazz Palaces on Saturday, August 8
Ad Rock, Money Mark & Somerville High School Color Guard
David Byrne's high-concept Contemporary Colors shows, which pair pop musicians with high school marching band color guard troupes, are coming up, happening June 22 & 23 in Toronto (tickets) and June 27 & 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (tickets).
More details have been announced since we posted, including the composer and team pairings which are as follows:
David Byrne and Les EclipsesFor a better idea of what to expect, you can check out a couple Contemporary Colors videos below. The first, directed by Bill and Turner Ross and edited by Steven Lippman, follows Ad Rock and Money Mark to Somerville High School in NJ for their first meeting. It makes its premiere in this post. The other is more of an overview of the event and a look at what color guard is, featuring Byrne and some of the students. Watch those below.
Nelly Furtado and Ventures
How To Dress Well and Mechanicsburg High School
Devonté Hynes and Black Watch
Kelis and Brigadiers
Lucius and Shenendehowa High School
Money Mark + Ad-Rock and Somerville High School
Nico Muhly + Ira Glass and Alter Ego
St. Vincent and Field of View
tUnE-yArDs and Emanon
photo: Michael Gira in Chicago last month (more by James Richards IV)
The upcoming Big Ears Festival happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN, has been expanded once again. Like in past years, the festival will include a film portion, and a selection of that has been curated by filmmaker/musician Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, whose respective bands SQURL and Swans were already on the lineup. Like they just did In NYC, Jarmusch's band SQURL will perform scores to Man Ray's silent films. Here's more:
SQÜRL, film director Jim Jarmusch's band with drummer Carter Logan, will perform music that they wrote for several silent films from the 1930s by the legendary surrealist Man Ray. This project was premiered in late February in New York as part of WNYC's Silent Films, Live Scores program. SQÜRL, joined by lute virtuoso Jozef Van Wissem, also performed the score for Jarmusch's most recent film, Only Lovers Left Alive.There will be a Bill Morrison retrospective too, during which jazz guitarist Bill Frisell's quartet performing Frisell's live score to Morrison's The Great Flood (like he did at MoMA last year).
The occult electronic duo Demdike Stare will perform their re-scoring of 1922 silent Swedish/Danish documentary / horror classic, HÄXAN, Witchcraft Through the Ages. Technically filmed as a documentary about how superstition and the misunderstanding of disease and mental illness could lead to witch hunts, its dramatized sequences push it into the realm of horror films. It was originally banned in the United States.
Rounding out the Big Ears film programs for 2015, indie director Jim Jarmusch and Swans founder and leader Michael Gira have collaborated with the Criterion Film Collection in curating a program of select films, which will be screened on Sunday at Regal Entertainment Group's downtown Riviera Cineplex. Jarmusch's program is "Three in Black and White," an international triptych featuring Satayajit Ray's The Music Room, Aki Kaurismäki's La Vie de Bohéme, and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Gira has selected a single film: the cult classic Eraserhead, David Lynch's groundbreaking feature film debut.
These additions join Swans, tUnE-yArDs, Silver Apples, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Ben Frost and more. Festival passes are still available.
Updated lineup below...
The lineup has been expanded for the 2015 Big Ears Festival, happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN. New additions include psych pioneers Silver Apples, former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton (performing HIVE), Syrian pop singer Omar Souleyman, folk singer Ryley Walker, guitar wiz William Tyler, modern classical collective Bing & Ruth, electronic/ambient musician Loscil, cabaret singer Little Annie, and Chinese composer Wu Man.
They join previously announced artists such as Laurie Anderson, tUnE-yArDs, Swans, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Sam Amidon, Max Richter, Ben Frost and more. Tickets are still available.
Updated lineup below...
The 2015 Primavera Sound Festival goes down in Barcelona, Spain from May 28 - 30. We knew The Strokes and recently reunited shoegazers Ride were playing and now the line-up is being announced via the festival's mobile app, which is a not-so fun 8-bit game you have to play to reveal names. The whole lineup is in the poster above and includes The Replacements, James Blake, Sleater-Kinney (who apparently are playing festivals after all) Patti Smith performing Horses, Spiritualized, Interpol, Antony & the Johnsons, OMD, Mineral, Brand New, Panda Bear, Run the Jewels, Sleaford Mods, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, The Black Keys, New Pornographers, Jose Gonzalez, Shabazz Palaces, Kevin Morby, Ought, Disappears, Pharmakon, Baxter Dury, Death From Above 1979, Spiritualized, tUnE-yArDs, Twin Shadow, Swans, Iceage, the Juan MacLean, Dan Deacon, Viet Cong, Sun Kil Moon, Antony, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fucked Up, Kelela, Ariel Pink, Voivod, Electric Wizard, Mikal Cronin, alt-J, Sunn O))), the Thurston Moore Band, Underworld (performing dubnobasswithmyheadman), Pallbearer, Tobias Jesso Jr., American Football, Jon Hopkins, DIIV, Caribou, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, My Brightest Diamond, HEALTH, Babes in Toyland, Thee Oh Sees, Single Mothers, Ex Hex, Shellac and Twerps. Full line-up is below.
With the most recent run of David Byrne's Here Lies Love now in the past, David Byrne has just announced his next high-concept project which is on an even bigger scale. It's called Contemporary Color which happens at Barclays Center on June 27 & 28. A co-production with BAM (part of their 2015 Winter/Spring Season), it's a mix of live music and color guard (the synchronized flags will be familiar to anyone who's watched a high school or college marching band). The live music portion feature performances from Byrne, Nelly Furtado, How to Dress Well, Devonté Hynes, Kelis, Nico Muhly + Ira Glass, St. Vincent, and tUnE-yArDs, plus 10 color guard teams from the US and Canada.
Tickets are on artist presale now (password: DBCOLOR). Tickets are also on sale today (1/21) for Friends of BAM, with an AmEx presale starting Friday (1/23) at 10 AM. Tickets go on sale to the general public January 28 at 10 AM.
Here are more details from Byrne:
Some years ago, a Colorguard team wanted to use some music I'd written (from a theater piece I did with Robert Wilson, called The Forest) for one of their routines. I said, "Fine, no charge... you are a high school team after all." But I asked that they send me documentation out of curiosity and for my archives. I eventually got a DVD of the whole World Championship competition. I watched, and was amazed and delighted to find myself in a new world that I didn't know existed.You can watch a video trailer about Contemporary Color below and learn more at its website. The extravaganza will make its world premiere the week before (June 22 & 23) at Toronto's Luminato Festival.
What I was viewing is more properly referred to in that world as winterguard--as it takes place in the winter and spring--after fall football season, when the colorguard teams are more closely associated with drum lines and marching bands. Off season they do their own thing--still employing flags, rifles and sabers--but their routines are less about formation than about themes, emotion, concepts and visual spectacle. Over recent decades, the teams have evolved into something strange and wonderful; they've created a vibrant, innovative and original vernacular artform that is wildly popular across the whole North American continent, but is all but unknown in many of the big urban centers--like New York, where I live. Contemporary Color aims to remedy that situation.
I was stunned at what I was seeing, and being a musician I naturally wondered to myself, "What if these performances had live music? Really great live music! Wouldn't that be amazing? And wouldn't that lift it to another level?" (Besides being fun for the musicians too!). The competitions these teams engage in already fill arenas with their fans and supporters, so I thought to myself, "Let's take it from there!"
photo: Shakey Graves in Prospect Park in 2014 (more by Chris La Putt)
Austin folk singer Shakey Graves will be doing some extensive touring this year, hitting multiple festivals including Bonnaroo and Mountain Jam. The tour begins with a show in his hometown on January 31 with an amazing lineup of Jenny Lewis and tUnE-yArDs, and includes a run with South Carolina country singer Nikki Lane that hits NYC on March 26 at Irving Plaza. TIckets for that show go on sale at 10 AM today (1/16). All dates are listed below.
Shakey Graves also confirmed that he'll make one of the final musical guest appearances on Letterman, on February 13. Hist most recent album, And The War Came, came out last year on Dualtone Records, and he put out the video for its song "Dearly Departed" (dir. CJ Vinson) earlier this month. Watch that, with a stream of the record, and the list of dates, below...
SPIN returned with their Top Albums of 2014 list today. It's got a lot of the indie albums that usually show up on these lists (Caribou, Future Islands, FKA twigs, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings, How to Dress Well, Swans, St. Vincent, Real Estate, etc), a handful of rap albums (YG, Young Thug, Shabazz Palaces, Run the Jewels, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, etc), metal (Pallbearer), punk (Against Me!, Joyce Manor), mainstream pop (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert), and a couple headscratchers (Betty Who at #11?). You-know-who scores the #1 slot once again here. Check it out for yourself below.
photos by Greg Cristman
tUnE-yArDs / Cibo Matto with Sean Lennon
Last week, tUnE-yArDs kicked off a tour with Cibo Matto that began in NYC with a four-night run at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Beep!. That run wrapped up last night (12/7), and this Wednesday they'll continue (without Beep!) on the West Coast. We caught Saturday's show (12/6) which was also Cibo Matto member Yuka Honda's birthday. In celebration of that, main tUnE-yArDs member Merril Garbus and Cibo Matto's pal Sean Lennon came out during their set to bring a cake and sing happy birthday. Merrill left after that, but Sean stuck around and joined Cibo Matto on guitar.
More pictures of the show, with TY's setlist and a video of the birthday cake, below...
Jeff Rosenstock w/ BTMI at NYU Strawberry Fest 2012 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Jeff Rosenstock, formerly frontman of the recently-broken up Bomb the Music Industry and the been-broken up Arrogant Sons of Bitches, currently a solo artist and one half of Antarctigo Vespucci with Chris Farren of Fake Problems, has given us a list of his favorite albums of 2014. It includes Chumped, whose LP release show in Brooklyn he plays on 12/13, as well as Hard Girls, who he joined at their BV-presented NYC debut (Chumped played that one too). It's a cool list all around. Check it out, including commentary, below.
In addition to his full-band set the Chumped release show (which also includes Cayetana, Chris Gethard and Adult Dude), Jeff plays full-band in Ithaca with Perfect Pussy this Saturday (12/6) and solo in Providence later in the month. His full tour schedule, with his year-end list, below...
We're just over a month away from 2015 and those UK year-end lists keep pouring in. Now British music mag Uncut has posted their 75 Best Albums of 2014. Looks like their winner is becoming a popular choice for #1, and the rest of their top 10 is split between real-deal veterans (Leonard Cohen [falling just a tad from his 2012 #1 spot], Robert Plant) and rising newcomers (FKA twigs). Elsewhere the list has a lot of the indie-related albums that keep popping up, a good deal of folk/country, more veteran appearances, and a certain opinionated UK duo who have appeared on every UK list we've seen so far and make their US debut this week.
Check out the full list below...
Big Ears Festival will return to various Knoxville, TN venues in 2015 from March 27-29, and the initial lineup was just announced. Kronos Quartet will be the artists in residence for the weekend and perform at several concerts. Others performing include Laurie Anderson, tUnE-yArDs, Swans, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Sam Amidon, Max Richter, Ben Frost, Bryce Dessner, Bill Frisell, Jamie xx, Clark, Demdike Stare, SQURL, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Nosaj Thing, Steve Gunn, Nels Cline, Amen Dunes, Jozef Van Wissem, Holly Herndon, Terry Riley & Ryan Riley, Harold Budd & Keith Lowe, The Bad Plus, Rhiannon Giddens, Tanya Tagaq and Hildur Guonadottir. Stay tuned for more lineup additions.
The shows will take place at the Tennessee and Bijou Theatres, the intimate Square Room, the Knoxville Museum of Art and more. Weekend passes go on sale Friday (11/14) at noon EST. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Knoxville music and arts education programs Joy of Music School and Community School of the Arts.
Belle & Sebastian at Pitchfork Chicago 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Pitchfork Paris begins this Thursday (10/30) and continues through Saturday (11/1), but if you won't be in Paris for it you can still stream many of its sets from the comfort of your own home. (Buy some croissants and it will be just like you were there!) You can watch sets from Belle and Sebastian, St. Vincent, Mogwai, Four Tet, Future Islands, tUnE-yArDs, Foxygen, the Notwist, Ought, Son Lux, Perfect Pussy, Jungle, D.D Dumbo, Kwamie Liv and possibly more TBA, in the video player below.
Stay tuned for Thursday, meanwhile check out the fest's schedule and a teaser video below...
Eminem / tUnE-yArDs / fans
...but then crowd density reared its ugly head again with the battle of the headliners: EDM master Skrillex and established rapper Eminem. From the midway point of the festival grounds, dozens of teens were spotted running full tilt in the direction of Skrillex from Major Lazer's set, while older generations seemed to migrate toward Eminem. Skrillex kicked off his bass-heavy dubstep right on time, dousing the electric crowd with lasers. In the meantime, Slim Shady got a slower start, getting underway nearly 10 minutes late and with a video intro that was lost on tens of thousands who just weren't close enough to hear. Including this one, who instead threw in the towel and headed for home. [Sound Spike]The first weekend of 2014's Austin City Limits Festival is now over, with the city gearing back up for a second round this weekend. Although the festival's second day was marred by some intermittent showers, killer sets were still plentiful from Eminem, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, Interpol, Broken Bells, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Polica, My Brightest Diamond, The Rosebuds and plenty more. Pictures from those sets and more are in this post.
still from "The Real Thing" video
tUnE-yArDs is still getting out singles from her 2014 album Nikki Nack, having just released a video for "The Real Thing" (dir. Tom Jobbins), which works conceptually with the song's title and lyrics. Here's what Merrill said about it:
I believe Real Thing was the one song I didn't want to make a video for. It has too many images of its own in the lyrics, and could mean so many different things for different listeners...I love leaving room for audiences to paint their own mental pictures. What changed my mind is wanting so much for this particular song to be heard by more people.Check it out below.
We chose Tom Jobbins' idea because it framed the sometimes heavy lyrics in a Charlie Chaplin-like, humorous idea of me being a box of body parts in a factory. A simple and light-hearted backdrop for some complex and weighty ideas.
tUnE-yArDs have also scheduled some December dates with the very-active-again Cibo Matto, including a four-night run at Music Hall of Williamsburg from December 4-7 which Beep! is also on. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (10/10) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (10/8) at noon. A limited presale for the whole tour begins at tUnE-yArDs' site on Tuesday (10/7).
All dates are listed, with the new video, below...
Matt Nelson, who you may know as one of the saxophonists from tUnE-yArDs' w h o k i l l album and tour, is releasing his debut solo album called Lower Bottoms on October 21 via Tubapede Records (pre-order physical and digital). Its new single "To Believe In What" is an experimental sax workout and that premieres in this post. Listen below.
Matt has some solo shows coming up including two in NYC. First, he plays a trio set at The Stone this Saturday (10/4) at 8 PM with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ches Smith. Then he plays a Lower Bottoms release show on November 16 at Snugs (61 Bergen St) in Brooklyn. Additionally, Matt plays as a member of Battle Trance (who have a new album out on NNA Tapes), and they also have dates coming up including an opening slot at the MHOW (10/10) stop of the Buke & Gase tour. Palm are on that show too and tickets are still available.
All Matt Nelson solo dates and Battle Trance dates are listed, with the new song, below...
Swans @ Lincoln Hall (more by Brigid Gallagher)
From the Very Interesting Press Release Department:
Le Guess Who? Festival (The Netherlands) is extremely proud to announce two special projects for 2014: a 3-day program curated by Swans/Michael Gira, and the world premiere of 24-Hour Dronefest. Le Guess Who? 2014 takes place November 20-23 in Utrecht, NL. Previously announced acts include Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Selda feat. Boom Pam, St. Vincent and Einstürzende Neubauten.24 non stop hours of drone. We can't wait!!
Michael Gira, the main force behind the mighty Swans, will curate a three-day program for the project Mouth To Mouth. This is the second installment of Mouth To Mouth, and the first spanning multiple days and venues. The curated line-up includes Swans, legendary UK post-punk band Wire, New York psychedelic/electronic pioneers Silver Apples, Dominick Fernow's Prurient, Carla Bozulich (Evangelista), Xiu Xiu, Baby Dee, Jenny Hval and noise tyrant Ben Frost.
The Mouth To Mouth-project will also feature a special performance of the London based post-punk group Savages, together with Japanese avant-rock band Bo Ningen, entitled 'Words To The Blind'. Inspired by the surrealist, early DADA concept of simultaneous poetry, the group experiments with improvisation and noise. Le Guess Who? will be the first time this performance of all new material will be seen and heard outside of London.
This year, Le Guess Who? will host the world premiere of 24-Hour Drone Fest, initiated together with New York's Basilica Hudson. Beginning at midnight on Saturday, November 22, this project will cover the entire spectrum of drone during 24 non-stop hours of live performances and installations. First acts confirmed for this project are avant-gardistic producer/composer William Basinski (amongst others known for his four-part The Disintegration Loops), guitarist/producer/composer Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O)))), Tim Hecker, London-based duo Raime, and Steve Hauschildt (formerly of Emeralds). More acts for 24-Hour Dronefest will be added soon.
As the release says, the 24 hours of drone thing is a collaboration with New York's own Basilica Hudson where Swans and Tim Hecker are also playing as part of Basilica SoundScape in September. As previously mentioned, that NY fest will also play the Scott Walker / Sunn O))) album that comes out ten days later, every hour from 2-9 PM on Saturday of the fest at Future Past Studio, which is located near Basilica.
Catch Bo Ningen back in the USA when they tour with Kasabian this fall.
The Europe festival won't be the first time Bo Ningen and Savages have collaborated.
Unlike Savages, Swans appear on the recently released "Best Albums of the Decade So Far" list from Pitchfork.
The full line-up for Mouth To Mouth, curated by Swans/Michael Gira, is listed with more Netherlands fest info below.
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can check out the full list below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Zach Pollack and Milos Markicevic
Neutral Milk Hotel / St. Vincent / Danny Brown @ P4K Fest 7/19/2014
Day 2 of the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival featured a headlining set by Neutral Milk Hotel, plus sets from St. Vincent, Wild Beasts, Danny Brown, FKA Twigs, tUnE-yArDs and more. Pictures and field report from Saturday's goings-on are in this post. Here we go...
Day 2 began with an early afternoon set from locals Twin Peaks. Although guitarist/main vocalist Cadien Lake James was confined to a wheelchair due to a recent leg injury, the band still managed to put on the kind of appropriately rowdy performance that they've become known for. James and co. got things started with the Sunken standout "Stand in the Sand," and they also played their great, newish single "Flavor" off of their forthcoming LP Wild Onion. James traded lead vocals with fellow guitarist Clay Frankel and bassist Jack Dolan throughout the set. Before playing their final tune, James seemed to be feeling reflective -- he offered, "This is definitely our high point so far in our... whatever the fuck this is." -ZP
After Twin Peaks, I moved over to the nearby red stage to catch the Chicago debut of Brooklyn-based rapper Ka. Ka was able to hold a sizable crowd with his down-tempo beats and methodical delivery. His slow-moving tunes contain rich lyrical content and are undeniably impactful. Before playing the somber cut "Summer," he spoke about how the season in his Brownsville neighborhood isn't full of bikinis and BBQs, but rather an increased level of violence -- he also acknowledged that we've got a very similar summer landscape here in Chicago. Memorable numbers from his performance include "Our Father" and "Jungle." -ZP
Saturday's P4K-goers were treated not to one, but two Elephant Six Collective bands, both of whom have been touring together. Circulatory System was the first of the two, (the other being the day's headliner Neutral Milk Hotel) playing a solid set of '60s-influenced indie rock under the cool shade of the Blue Stage. Each of the band's members played multiple instruments, casually adding everything from a clarinet to a xylophone, with frontman Will Cullen Hart even contributing some additional drumming. One highlight was an excellent instrumental interlude, a duet between the band's violinist and cellist. The band played some new songs off their most recent release, Mosaics within Mosaics, which was released earlier last month. Fans of Yo La Tengo had a lot to enjoy here. - MM
Back over at the Red Stage, Merrill Garbus and the rest of tUnE-yArDs were a few songs into their set and playing "Hey Life" off of their 2014 LP Nikki Nack. In addition to bassist Nate Brenner, two backup vocalists and a percussionist rounded out the band. This allowed for expanded versions of Whokill favorites "Gangsta" and "Bizness." The additional members took a breather during "Powa," providing the room for Garbus and Brenner to experiment a bit. Though the project is now more pop-forward, tUnE-yArDs' funky and jammy backbone was still able to peek through. -ZP
Danny Brown intended to throw a party during his Pitchfork Fest set. The Detroit rapper sprinted back and forth across the stage while performing fan favorites like "Break It (Go)," "Smokin' and Drinkin'," "I Will," "Bruiser Brigade," and "Kush Coma." It was without a doubt the funnest set of the day, and Brown appeared to be having just as much fun as the massive crowd watching him perform. -ZP
Swedish techno minimalist The Field played a largely ambient set to a crowd that was eager to get out of the sun and recharge before the day's headliners played. The set started slow but progressively built up to include a live drummer. Generously borrowing stylistic cues from early Warp Record signees like Aphex Twin, The Field kept things simple and steady, opting for a more IDM approach. The set might have been better suited for a venue with less light, but listeners, myself included, were entranced throughout. - MM
St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) brought her now-choreographed performance to Pitchfork Festival for an evening set on the red stage. The choreography only enhances and doesn't hinder her guitar heroics and pitch perfect vocals. Clark and her band began their set by playing "Rattlesnake" into "Digital Witness" into "Cruel." For "Cheerleader," she mounted her podium-like setup and the song was played slower than usual, reminding me of "We Are The Champions." During "Birth in Reverse" the band left room for a freak-out section, and Clark ended up kneeling on the stage to headbutt her drummer's bass drum. Clark has consistently reinvented what St. Vincent is from album to album, and has now honed the live chops to be able to play to whichever attribute she'd like. -ZP
Headliners for the night were storied indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel whose two '90s album have become massively influential since main man Jeff Mangum dropped out the music world shortly after making 1998's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That has turned the band into a huge draw for their current reunion tour and his songs still hold power. The fests big projection TV screens were turned off for the performance that showcased favorites from the band's two albums. (Setlist is below.) NYC can expect the same when Neutral Milk Hotel play Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park on Tuesday (7/22) and Wednesday (7/23). Tickets are still available for Tuesday's show.
Pictures from Day 1 of Pitchfork Fest are HERE and HERE and a second set from Day 2 (including FKA Twigs) are HERE and Day 3 are HERE. More of Day 2, including sets from Pusha T, Empress Of, and Wild Beasts, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Outkast @ Firefly Fest 2014
We went to the music festival that happened in Delaware over the weekend, and not surprisingly, Outkast was one of the headliners. Pictures from their set are in this post.
Yesterday, Las Vegas music festival Life is Beautiful announced their October 2014 lineup, and not surprisingly, Outkast are one of the headliners.
Check out the full Las Vegas lineup along with more details pictures from Firefly Fest, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
tUnE-yArDs / Sylvan Esso @ Webster Hall - 6/22/14
After celebrating her new album Nikki Nack at Rough Trade NYC in May, tUnE-yArDs kicked off a full tour with Sylvan Esso that hit NYC for its first of two sold-out Webster Hall shows last night (6/22). Like at the Rough Trade show, main member Merrill Garbus was joined by longtime collaborator Nate Brenner, as well as three backing vocalists, though this time they were also joined during one song by vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth who Merrill has played with before. Also like that show, the set was mostly the new album but did include some fan favorites from w h o k i l l ("Bizness," "Gangsta," "Powa") and this time she included some from the first album too.
Sylvan Esso opened with a set of their danceable pop and the crowd was definitely loving them. They then headed to Baby's All Right in Brooklyn to DJ the afterparty at midnight. Anyone go to that?
Pictures of both tUnE-yArDs and Sylvan Esso from last night are in this post. They do it again at Webster Hall tonight (6/23), which is also sold out. More night 1 pics and TY's setlist below...
Mac DeMarco w/ Walter TV @ Northside 2014 (via @stevensedition)
The annual NXNE fest is currently underway in Toronto, ON with the music portion really happening Wednesday - Saturday (June 18 - 21) at venues all over the Canadian city. For those heading that way, here are a dozen notable events and shows.
1) BrooklynVegan has Partnered with M for Montreal and Panache once again for the Bruise Cruise which happens aboard the Queens Quay on Saturday (6/21). Mac DeMarco will host the floating festivities, with his other band, Walter TV (who just played Northside as did Mac), as well as Calvin Love, PS I Love You and The Posterz. It's free with a NXNE badge or wristband, $10 without. It boards at noon and leaves the dock at 1:15 PM, don't be late! Check out the flyer below.
2) Mio is turning a Toronto streetcar into the "Mio Squirtcar" (um, that name), a moving festival venue showcasing artists like Shannon and the Clams, Frankie Cosmos, araabMUZIK, Reggie Watts and more.
3) Vice & Vans have teamed up to create "Vice Island," a free, day-long Toronto Islands adventure on Thursday (6/19) featuring performances by big hitters like Pusha T, Future Islands, Omar Souleyman and many more.
4) If you'd rather hoof it, walking to and from shows will be even more interesting this year, thanks to NXNE commissioning street artists to transform city alleyways with new murals.
5) Red Bull brings their Sound Select series to Tattoo this week, featuring some secret headliners as well as acts like Future Islands, A$AP Ferg, Autre Ne Veut, Evian Christ and more.
6) For the young among us, NXNE is providing some free all-ages outdoor daytime shows by the lake, showcasing some up-and-comers including Jenny Omnichord, Unicorn Patrol, Lyric Dubee and more.
7) The Horseshoe Tavern has been rechristened The Budweiser Music House for NXNE with loaded bills featuring the likes of Low, Lee Harvey Osmond, Perfect Pussy, Speedy Ortiz, Swearin', The Felice Brothers and more, with a secret late night headliner on Friday (6/20) for good measure.
8) Sennheiser teams up with NXNE to present some huge shows at Massey Hall from tUnE-yArDs, Ryley Walker, Spiritualized, Rhye and more.
9) The biggest shows of the week happen outdoors at the free and naturally all-ages Yonge-Dundas Square, with sets from Danny Brown, Sleigh Bells, Swans, St. Vincent, Mac DeMarco, Spoon, Run the Jewels, Juicy J and more.
10) On Sunday (6/22), The Edward Day Gallery will play host to the all-ages DIY Label and Art Fair, were you can buy and swap records and talk to local DIY bloggers, all while eating good food and listening to sets from Greys, Young Mother, White Poppy and many more.
11) Another free option: Beach Day, Joywave and Craft Spells are playing a free all-ages GAP-sponsored show at the corner of Queen & Peter on Saturday afternoon(6/21).
12) NXNE's series of showcases at Adelaide Hall will have your dancing needs covered with sets from Fuck Buttons, Young Magic, Mas Ysa, Ryan Hemsworth, Run the Jewels and many more.
Browse NXNE's site for more.
Bruise Cruise NXNE flyer below...
photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Sacher
tUnE-yArDs released her third album, Nikki Nack, this week via 4AD and though she's got a full tour with Sylvan Esso coming up that includes two nights in NYC at Webster Hall, she celebrated with some smaller release week shows including Rough Trade NYC last night (5/7).
The show focused almost only on the new album, playing most of its songs and only saving room for three cuts off its predecessor w h o k i l l, "Gangsta," "Powa," and "Bizness" (nothing from the first album). Admittedly, the new album wasn't hitting me like w h o k i l l did, but any doubts I had were gone once she played them live last night. Merrill is now joined by a pretty different band (besides longtime bassist Nate Brenner) that includes three backing vocalists, and it's really a different show than the w h o k i l l tour. Still, it's strangely complex and strangely accessible in that way tUnE-yArDs always manages to be.
She consistently has a way of pulling from several genres at once, and with her new backing vocal section, I kept getting a warped Motown vibe from the new songs that I didn't notice on the album. The new stuff made for some real standout moments too. "Rocking Chair" was a hell of an opener, and first single "Water Fountain" clearly had the crowd excited, smiling, and singing along maybe even more so than when she played her earlier material.
The show was opened by Olga Bell, who just over a week ago played her new Russian song cycle, Krai, with a full ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge, but this time was in solo mode and singing in English. (She did play a quick excerpt from Krai though.) Her set also included a cover of Weezer's "Buddy Holly" that, besides the vocals, bared little resemblance to the original but totally worked. Pictures of both Olga and tUnE-yArDs (including one of their setlist) are in this post.
tUnE-yArDs' tour with Sylvan Esso includes NYC shows on June 22 & 23 at Webster Hall. Night 1 is sold out but you can still get tickets to night 2. Sylvan Esso also play a Governors Ball pre-party in NYC at The Westway tonight (5/8). That's sold out.
More pictures from Rough Trade below...