Entries tagged with: US Girls
by Bill Pearis
Meg Remy will release her new album as U.S. Girls, Half Free, on September 25 and she's just shared the video for new single "Window Shades." The song is maybe the most striking on the LP (which, loaded with great songs, is one of 2015's best) and a stunner of a breakup anthem with Remy vowing, "I won't think about you every time I hear that tune." You don't even need to know the lyrics to get what's going on, heartbreak runs electric through her powerhouse vocal performance. With equally sweeping production, built around a sample of Gloria Ann Taylor's disco cut "Love is a Hurting Thing," it comes off kind off like The Crystals being produced by Massive Attack. The video, which drops her into some 1930s musicals, is pretty great too. Watch it below.
Having played the River Rocks finale in NYC a couple weeks ago, U.S. Girls' fall tour with Ian Svenonius' Escape-Ism winds its way back to NYC for two shows: Alphaville on November 13 (tickets) and Mercury Lounge on November 14 (tickets). Updated dates are listed below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
U.S. Girls / Yuck / EZTV
River Rocks wrapped up its 2015 season on a very lovely Thursday evening with U.S. Girls, UK indie rockers Yuck, and local boys EZTV as the sunset painted the manhattan skyline in hues of pink and lavender. Pictures from the evening are in this post.
Even though they were the middle band, Yuck were clearly the draw of this show, and played a nice, rocking set of favorites from their two albums and a few from the band's third which is, as singer Max Bloom awkwardly/hilariously put it "coming in your face in 2016." It was a fun set. Unfortunately a good chunk of the crowd left after their set, making things a bit sparse for U.S. Girls performance. (As good as U.S. Girls new 4AD-released album, Half Free, is [and it is]... it's not out yet. Not sure why they were on last.) Meg Remy, who basically is U.S. Girls, didn't seem to pay it any mind, though, and with the help of two back up singers belted out songs like the great "Damn That Valley." She's got pipes and charisma.
EZTV, who were only added to the bill the night before, opened the evening with a selection from their Captured Tracks debut. Their brand of janglepop is a lot like the kind that popped up in the late '70s and early '80s in the wake of Big Star, and they do it well. Speaking of the '80s: the band now includes second guitarist Will Cole whose father is Lloyd Cole.
More pics from the final 2015 River Rocks, below...
US Girls (the project of Meg Remy) will play Hudson River Rocks on Thursday (8/6) at Pier 84 with Yuck. As mentioned, that show is free and all-ages. With the new album Half Free due out next month via 4AD, US Girls have announced a lot more tour dates. They'll open for both of The Kills' sold-out shows at Brooklyn's Warsaw in September, and in October they'll be out with Peaches for a few shows.
Then in November they'll be out with Ian Svenonius' new project Escape-Ism and will play two NYC shows: Alphaville on November 13 and Mercury Lounge on November 14. Tickets for Alphaville are on sale now; tickets for Mercury Lounge go on sale Friday (8/7) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wedensday (8/5) at noon.
As for Escape-Ism, here's a description of what to expect:
ESCAPE-ISM is a found-sound dream drama. It uses a lot of sound effects records to create a kind of fractured dream narrative, and it's actually inspired by radio programming like sportscasting. Like listening to basketball games, play-by-play radio. It's just inspired by AM radio. Escape-ism is best if you just close your eyes.All tour dates are listed, along with streams of "Damn That Valley" and "Woman's Work" from the new album, below...
by Bill Pearis
Meg Remy has announced details of U.S. Girls' first album for 4AD, titled Half Free and out September 25. She made the album with frequent collaborator Onakabazien and it features contributions from Slim Twig, Ben Cook (Fucked Up, Young Guv), Amanda Crist (Ice Cream) and Tony Price. Following "Damn That Valley," the album's second single is "Woman's Work," an icy dance track warmed by Remy's impassioned vocals. You can check out the video for the song, which Remy directed, below.
U.S. Girls will open for Peaches on West Coast dates this fall. Before that, U.S. Girls will open for Yuck at Hudson River Rocks on August 6. All tour dates are listed below.
photo: Atlas Sound @ Osheaga 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
NXNE has added a lot more artists to its 2015 edition which happens June 17 - 21 at venues all over Toronto, ON. Additions include Atlas Sound who will play a BrooklynVegan-presented show at Lee's Palace on 6/19 with Foxes in Fiction, Holydrug Couple, Fresh Snow and more TBA. That show is $20 at the door or free with NXNE wristband or badge.
Other artists recently added to this year's NXNE include Warpaint, Mission of Burma, Girl Band, Nick Waterhouse, Casey Veggies, Grooms, Lucius, US Girls, Moon King, Chastity Belt. They join such previously announced artists as The New Pornographers, Angel Olsen, Zola Jesus, Om, Rae Sremmurd, Deafheaven, Best Coast, Blonde Redhead, Iceage, Real Estate, Sannhet, and Lower Dens. All announced 2015 NXNE showcasing artists are listed below...
photo: Waxahatchee at MHOW earlier this month (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The annual free Hudson River Rocks concert series on Pier 84 returns this summer with three shows. On July 9 it's Waxahatchee (who was here earlier this month) and special guests; on July 23 it's Scotland's We Were Promised Jetpacks with Boston's Krill; and on August 6 it's '90s-indie lovers Yuck with new 4AD signee U.S. Girls.
The pier is accessible at West 44th St or West 43 St at 12th Ave, and each show opens at 6 PM with the music starting at 7. Pier 84 is also the location of the (not free) 4Knots Music Festival this year.
by Bill Pearis
US Girls, aka Meg Remy, has signed with 4AD who will release her new album later this year. With the signing announcement comes "Damn the Valley," US Girls' first track for the label, an excellent, dubby collaboration with producer Onakabazien that gets its inspiration and title from Sebastien Junger's War memoir. (It reminds me a little of an old 4AD act who also mixed electronics, dub and girl group elements: Colourbox.) You can check out the official video, which Remy shot in Washington DC, below.
You can catch US Girls live next month, and the short tour wraps up in NYC at Elvis Guesthouse on May 20. That show also features a DJ set from Meg's friend/collaborator Slim Twig and Kris DFA. Tickets are on sale. All dates are listed below...
by Bill Pearis
If the DFA Winter Workout isn't enough DFA for you in January, you can catch new signee Slim Twig as well, who will be playing two NYC shows this month as part of a short North American tour, playing Palisades on January 17 and Cake Shop on January 18. In October, DFA reissued his 2012 album, A Hound at the Hem, which is definitely not a typical pick for the label, more avant-garde orchestral pop than four-on-the-floor disco action. (But if you love Bowie's Berlin period, definitely give it a spin.) You can stream the album via Rdio and check out the video for "Hover on a Sliver," below.
Both NYC shows are with U.S. Girls and the 1/17 Palisades date is also with Irish trio Girl Band (one of a few NYC shows they're playing), and Bottoms. Tickets are still available (no advance for Cake Shop).
All Slim Twig dates are listed, along with album / video streams and flyer for the Palisades shows, below...
UPDATE: Girl Band have had to cancel their shows due to problems with U.S. immigration.
Dublin Ireland quartet Girl Band (all-guys, for the record) have been making a racket since 2011 and have released a handful of 7" singles so far, most recently "De Bom Bom" which came out back in September. That song, like a lot of what they do, hits hard with noisy, loud guitars and shouted vocals in the fine punk tradition of McLusky or The Fall. (Or, the shouty punks of your choosing.) Girl Band have just signed with Rough Trade and the fruits of that should bear out in 2015.Bill wrote the above about Girl Band recently, and since then they were announced for this year's Burgerama. Now they've added more US dates happening sooner than that -- a run of three NYC shows in January. The first happens January 14 at Baby's All Right with Big Ups, which is a very cool pairing. Then they play January 15 at Elvis Guesthouse (a new space?) and January 17 at Palisades with Slim Twig, his past tourmate U.S. Girls, and Bottoms. Tickets for Baby's are on sale now. More info on the other two shows TBA.
All Girl Band dates are listed, with a stream of a recent single, below...
Boris @ LPR (more by PSquared)
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
Boris, The Atlas Moth, SubRosa @ Bowery Ballroom
Japanese shapeshifters Boris are makers of sludge metal, J Pop, and several other things that exist in that giant spectrum. Their newest album, Noise, is appropriately named and full of rippers. The Atlas Moth continue to find new ways to keep atmospheric sludge interesting, and SubRosa are makers of quality traditional doom.
Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy, Ty Dolla $ign, Rich Homie Quan, Mack Wilds, DJ Drama @ PNC Bank Arts Center
Wiz Khalifa is doing his 'Under the Influence of Music' tour again this year, and tonight's the second of two NYC-area dates. He's got 2000s dirty south star Jeezy with him, and the rest of the lineup is made up of young, rising rappers, a few of whom seem like they'll be much bigger this time next year.
Viking Moses, Spenking @ Cake Shop
Viking Moses has been making pretty good contemporary folk for about a decade now, most recently on 2012's The Conquest Night.
U.S. Girls, Ice Cream, Gold Dime @ Glasslands
Meg Remy -- who is U.S. Girls -- makes music that sounds like a '60s radio broadcast that has been beamed into space and refracted upon reentry. It's a rare full-band show, featuring Slim Twig on guitar.
7 Seconds, Iron Chic, The Copyrights, Up For Nothing @ Knitting Factory
7 Seconds are veterans of melodic punk and their live shows are still nuts today. Iron Chic (though with some roots in slightly older oners) are a newer band and they carry the punk torch very well.
Mimicking Birds @ Mercury Lounge
While on tour with Modest Mouse, Portland's Mimicking birds bring their widescreen sound this headlining club show.
Roses, Grand Resort, Chimes, Bueno @ Silent Barn
While veteran actor Abe Vigoda is still with us, the LA group named after him is no more, quietly dissolving a while back. Guitarist Juan Velazquez has formed Roses, a trio who will release their debut EP via Group Tightner on August 5. Roses aren't miles away from what Abe Vigoda did, making dark, danceable post-punk-influenced pop. (They could use a drummer, though.)
Zero Boys, Born Loose @ The Grand Victory
Indianapolis hardcore survivors Zero Boys released a new album this year, Monkey, which simmers with the same heat as Zero Boys' blistering full-length debut, 1981's Vicious Circle, but it comes by way of a different delivery. Where hardcore once raged, the band now play around with a garage-y stomp.
Gingerlys, Chalk and Numbers, pow wow!, The Jeanies @ Union Pool
Indiepop fans will want to hit Union Pool for a night of quality local bands. Gingerlys add a dash of shoegaze; Chalk & Numbers go for a mod'60s sound; and pow wow! jangle like cult icons Felt.
Sundays on The Roof with Daniele Baldelli, Metro Area (DJ Set), Cem G @ Output
It's the second of two outdoor daytime NYC shows this weekend for Italian Cosmic Disco pioneer Daniele Baldelli.
Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
Big league comedy talent (Chris Rock, Louis CK, etc) show up regularly (and unannounced) for Hannibal's very popular free comedy show at Knitting Factory's front bar. Having had his own Comedy Central special and a featured performer on Broad City, Hannibal himself is getting pretty big league. Get there early.
Classic Album Sundays presents The Grateful Dead 'Workingman's Dead' @ Baby's All Right
Ride the train (high on something, your choice) over to Baby's this afternoon for a Classic Album Sundays edition that features the Dead's folk rock classic, Workingman's Dead.
The Baseball Project @ Asbury Lanes
The high-concept rock band formed by Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows/REM) and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) released their third album, titled 3rd, back in March. The record, which also features R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Mike Mills plus drummer Linda Pitmon, hits on more stories from America's Pastime, including songs about Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron,Lenny Dykstra, and acid-tripping pitcher Dock Ellis.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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Though the 2013 Sled Island Festival got flooded out, it returns to Calgary, AB this year from June 18 - 22. The full line-up will be announced on April 29, but artists appearing include St. Vincent, Spiritualized, Neko Case, Rocket from the Crypt (who play NYC tonight), Rhye, Touche Amore, Bob Mould, Mission of Burma, The Julie Ruin, Killer Mike, White Lung, and more. Festival passes are on sale now, with tickets to individual shows going on sale April 11.
Full initial line-up of Sled Island 2014 artists, and a teaser video, below...
by Bill Pearis
Having broken up Sic Alps, Mike Donovan released his first solo album, Wot, which took his typical sludgy blues style and wiped a bit of the mud off it. As he was the only constant member of the band, it's not that different than the last Sic Alps record. Mike just made a video for Wot's opening track, "New Fieldhand Bop," which takes a close look at our dependence on mobile devices. You can check that out below.
Mike also gave us a 2013 Top 10, which is more a chance to shout out inspirational people in his life than a list of records he digs, though some of the folks are indeed musicians -- all in his quintessential type-speak. That is below as well. No word on any North American tour dates -- he was here back in October -- but we're keeping our eyes out.
Video and Top 10 below...
Swearin' at Bowery Ballroom in September (more by PSquared)
The Brooklyn Night Bazaar is up and running in its new permanent Greenpoint location, offering shopping, food, fun, and free music every Friday and Saturday. There's a few previously discussed upcoming shows, including SISU on Friday (12/20), two Psychic TV shows later in the month, and the Panache weekend (1/10 & 1/11) that includes Mac DeMarco, Imperial Teen, Dot Wiggin Band and more. And since we last spoke, more shows have been announced.
Swearin' co-headline with Cymbals Eat Guitars with strong local support from Low Fat Getting High on January 3, a one-off before their 2014 tour which includes NYC shows at Cake Shop (3/6) and Rough Trade (3/7) (tix).
Macaulay Culkin's pizza-themed Velvet Undergound tribute band The Pizza Underground is there on January 24 opening for French Horn Rebellion (maybe they'll have more than eight minutes of material by then), along with Seasick Mama and Heavenly Beat. And the day after that, the highly entertaining Har Mar Superstar (1/25), who just played Bowery Ballroom (12/17) will headline.
Brooklyn's dark, reverby Crystal Stilts will take over on February 8.
And atmospheric post-rockers Caspian, who recently headlined Bowery Ballroom, will make things a little more epic at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on March 1.
Other additions were announced too, and you can check out the full current schedule (along with full lineups for each date, if available), below...
APTBS @ Orion Fest 2012 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
The Brooklyn Night Bazaar opens in its new permanent Greenpoint location this weekend, with free music performances from Spank Rock and Dope Body on Friday (11/1) and Frankie Rose, Mahogany, Monogold, and Heavenly Beat on Saturday. As mentioned before, it's now open every Friday and Saturday and will be year round.
Since we last posted, the Bazaar has added a few more shows, including The Low Anthem (11/8), Ski Lodge (11/9), A Place to Bury Strangers (11/29, the artisanal earplug vendor will do great business that night), and SISU (12/20).
That's in addition to such already announced performers like Kitty Pryde (11/23), Small Black (12/13) and, what will surely make for a bizarre bazaar, Psychic TV on both 12/27 and 12/28. Full schedule as it stands now is listed below...
by Bill Pearis
Meg Remy is back with a new U.S. Girls EP titled Free Advice Column, which is out Tuesday (9/24). For this one, she collaborated with Canadian hip hop producer Onakabazien to gently twist her warped girl groups sounds into new territory. Mind you the three tracks still sound like a '60s radio broadcast that have been beamed into space and refracted upon reentry, but a more beat-driven focus makes this pretty compelling. The EP also features a Onakabazien track, "Disco 2012," that features Meg's vocal's. You can stream the whole EP which makes its premiere in this post.
U.S. Girls also has shows coming up, including NYC next week at Death by Audio on September 27 with Onakabazien in tow, as well as Spacin' and DJ sets from frequent tourmate Slim Twig and Pete Swanson. Look for her during CMJ too, playing Panache's CMJ showcase at Knitting Factory on October 16 (tickets) with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Jacco Gardner, Saint Rich, ARP, and Slim Twig; and October 17 at Silent Barn with Slim Twig, Home Comfort, Zacht Automaat, and Gem Trails.
All dates are listed, along with the EP stream and the video for its "28 Days," below...
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan in Austin in 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
As you may know, the CMJ 2013 initial lineup was just released (check out pictures from the announcement party), and following that announcement, Panache Booking has revealed the lineup for its official showcase. The showcase happens on Wednesday, October 16 at Knitting Factory with Canadian multi-genre psych freaks Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, '60s-style psychedelic pop revivalist Jacco Gardner, Delicate Steve offshoot Saint Rich, experimentalist U.S. Girls (aka Meghan Remy), her frequent collaborator Slim Twig, and electronic musician turned glam rocker Arp.
Tickets for the showcase are on sale now.
Saint Rich just made a video for their track "Officer," which you can watch below. They'll be in NYC even sooner than CMJ for their previously discussed Bowery Ballroom show with WIld Belle.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are releasing their new album, UZU, on October 29 via Suicide Squeeze and they recently posted the first single, "One," which you can stream below.
Screaming Females at 92YTribeca in 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Ladyfest, which has taken place in various cities over the past few years, is returning to Philly for the first time since 2003 from June 7 - 9 at the Rotunda and other locations in West Philadelphia. The festival's mission statement reads:
Ladyfest Philadelphia is a grassroots event dedicated to the artistic, organizational, and political work of women, trans, genderqueer, intersex, and queer people, and their allies. Ladyfest combats substantive, cultural, and structural inequalities by building upon the existing Philadelphia community of artists, musicians, and activists. It aims to foster a more inclusive and safe environment through performances, workshops, panels, opportunities for collaboration, and more.This year's lineup includes sets from Screaming Females (who play Maxwell's soon), Potty Mouth, US Girls, Aye Nako (who play with Speedy Ortiz soon), Priests, Black Wine (who play Death by Audio soon), Trophy Wife, Kate Ferencz, Mindtroll, Whore Paint, Shady Hawkins, Parasol, Void Vision, and others. Ticket info is TBA but all proceeds will go to Women in Transition and SAFE Home
Full lineup and list of workshops below...
Meghan Remy is U.S. Girls whose music is odd and dischordant in a David Lynch kind of way, but rooted in '60s girl group sounds. A warped copy of The Ronettes played on a battery operated turntable? Kinda. You can stream U.S. Girls most recent LP, Gem, and watch the NSFW video for album track "Work from Home" below.
Remy is taking U.S. Girls on the road, bringing along collaborator Slim Twig, for a North American tour, including an NYC stop at Death by Audio on February 16 with Amen Dunes playing as well. $7 at the door. All U.S. Girls tour dates are below.
Thurston Moore has been responsible for choosing the lineups at The Stone since April 16th. Upcoming Thurston-curated shows include U.S. Girls (tonight, 4/21), "Kim Gordon with Guest" on 4/23 which is right before a Talk Normal performance on the same day, and Nancy Garcia on 4/29. Thurston's reign ends on 4/30. Check the Stone's site for the whole calendar.
Thurston, who recently played a Japan benefit, has his own shows coming up at Music Hall of Williamsburg, in Northampton, at the Pitchfork Festival, and as part of his White Out project on a bill with Metal Mountains and Bardo Pond at Le Poisson Rouge on June 18th.
For more Sonic Youth, Steve Shelley also has shows coming up, both as part of Disappears and Spectre Folk.
One day after they play the Stone, Talk Normal share a bill with Grass Widow (like they did when they opened for Sonic Youth in Prospect Park), Broken Water and Tara Jane O'Neil at Death By Audio.
Noveller @ Irving Plaza in 2009 (more by Lori Baily)
Brooklyn based guitarist Sarah Lipstate, better known as Noveller, is performing a "special solo set + birthday celebration" at The Stone tonight, Wednesday, 3/16. In June, she's going on tour with U.S. Girls, including a show at Bruar Falls on June 26. All dates and a video below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Strapping Fieldhands - Boo Hoo Hoo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Strapping Fieldhands - Copper Rings (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Strapping Fieldhands - Aeroplane Ticket (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Strapping Fieldhands - The Author in Her Ear (MP3)
We've been waiting for this reissue for 16 years. In fact, we briefly entertained the idea of trying to release it ourselves. It's a record we have been obsessed with since it came out in 1994, a super limited self released lp, a record we taped for everyone we knew, played for everyone we knew, the kind of record that inspired that sort of undying dedication, a totally unsung, indie pop gem from the early nineties, that attained a degree of infamy with a handful of weirdo music obsessives, but remained well removed from the spotlight it so richly deserved. Spin magazine even declared it one of the "Ten Best Records You've Never Heard", which probably sadly still applies, 15+ years later, but maybe not for long. Not if we have anything to say about it.Philadelphia's low fi legends Strapping Fieldhands reissued their lost '90s classic Discus last year, the first time ever on CD and digital (What, no vinyl?). Since then, the band reactivated with the promise of new music soon. You can check out a few MP3s from throughout the bands career at the top of this post.
...all the kids who have been digging the new wave of home brewed retro lo-fi garage pop are gonna be in for a shock when they realize their favorite bands are basically doing what the Fieldhands were doing 15 years ago, and if anything Discus is WAY weirder, WAY poppier, and WAY BETTER! [Aquarius Records]
Strapping Fieldhands launched a short East Coast tour Saturday night in their hometown, and they play Bruar Falls tonight (Sunday, 9/12), along with The Mad Scene, and a couple of Siltbreeze recording artists The Doozer from the UK, as well as U.S. Girls. (The latter two are on tour together, all dates are at the bottom of this post.) If you can't go tonight, NYers have a couple more chances to catch them. They play Secret Robot Project on Friday (9/17, also with The Doozer and U.S. Girls) and Cake Shop on October 9. The band will also be at this year's Gonerfest (Sept 22 - 26)
All Strapping Fieldhands dates are below, along with video from a recent session they did for the Shaking Through series, plus those Doozer/U.S. Girls dates as well...
Xeno and Oaklander @ WBAR-B-Q 2009 (more by Zach Dilgard)
The 17th annual WBAR-B-Q (the outdoor show put on by Barnard College's resident radio station) will be happening this year on Sunday, April 25th. The free show lineup includes Think About Life (as previously reported), Cold Cave, Blues Control, Liturgy, Burning Star Core, Prince Rama Of Ayodhya Jana Hunter
Twin Stumps and U.S. Girls. The full list is below.
While in town, Montreal's Think About Life will also be playing Mercury Lounge on April 27th. Tickets are still on sale. Even sooner you can catch Think About Life on tour and at SXSW where they'll be playing a BrooklynVegan party (again).
Liturgy play a show this Saturday (3/6) at Glasslands with Naam.
More info on the fest and set order is below...
photos by Lori Baily
Here's a second set of pictures from night one of Sonic Youth at Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 24th (part of their three recent NYC shows). Unlike the first set though, this post also has shots of that night's opener Talk Normal (including some impromptu behind-the-scene portraits with the headliner). Talk Normal play NYC next on Saturday, December 5th at Secret Project Robot with Air Waves, US Girls and Total Slackers.
SY member Lee Ranaldo sat down with WFNX (the broadcast cousin of The Boston Phoenix) before their show there to discuss his favorite albums, SY and otherwise, of the decade...
WFNX: But you, Lee, what's the album from Sonic Youth you think is pivotal to this decade?Lee goes on to name his top three of the decade, listed chronologically as Bob Dylan - Love and Theft (released 9/11), Cat Power - You Are Free (I can get behind these choices) and Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (one of my favorites of 2009 too). The full video interview and more pictures and tour dates, below...
Lee:I would say for this decade, it's The Eternal, the most recent one. Because in a way I think it really - it's so cool at the end of this decade when we've been playing together for so long to be really energized about the most recent music you've made. The aughts started for us with Murray Street, made in New York City in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and all that. Sonic Nurse we made with Jim O'Rourke, and then we made another record, Rather Ripped, on our own, and then we hooked up with Mark, Mark Ibold on bass, and made this one, and it bodes well for the future that we're having a lot of fun with this one.
The weekly "Sessions at Santas" series continues at Santos (Santas) Party House tonight (6/30) and next week (7/7). Tonight looks something like this:
Tuesday, June 30, 10PMNext week features a "special improv set" by Gang Gang Dance, and tickets are on sale. All GGD dates below...
Sessions at Santa's curated by Billy Jones
with Gary War, Demonlover, Coconuts, U.S. Girls and DJ Dutch E Germ
words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
(It was this photograper's first Todd P show in NYC, I guess I'm quite late getting on the bandwagon, but oh well.)
I checked the address a couple times before opening the door of the unmarked building across from an auto salvage, somewhere in the back of my head asking 'what would Liz Lemmon do in this situation'.
An hour after doors was apparently still a couple hours early to get there. The three bands on the bill from Philly (all except Gary War) were delayed by the crummy spring rain storms that befell the region. Todd P paced around, making eclectic selections on his iPod and announcing to the small crowd distributed on the couches that there was a rain delay. It was cold and damp, wind blew in through the open and broken windows and a resident orange tabby climbed in and out making its way over to a Fender amp to use its grill as a scratching pad. Spirits picked up for Todd and his crew when the pizza guy arrived.
Expecting unhinged DIY bacchanalia, the vibe turned out to be subdued and mellow. The opening band, Birds of Maya, was the last to arrive. There were reports they had gotten lost in the no-man's-land of outer Bushwick/Ridgewood. They set up quickly and played a short set, hard rock riffs with impressive 'dee-da-lee dee-da-lee waaaaah' guitar solos. Next was U.S. Girls consisting of Megan Remy and a red suitcase containing a cassette recorder and a couple pedals. Her voice and reminded me of Cindy Lauper even through the distortion and chant-like structures of her songs. Gary War was third with a three-piece outfit playing fast-paced punk stuff with some kind of underwater/Aquaman sounding effect on the vocals.
Now to Kurt Vile - I liked this guy. Underneath the codification of his music as psych, lo-fi, bedroom music, etc. is a very good singer/ guitarist/songwriter. Kurt played acoustic guitar, run through a bit of effect and echo, and sang. He started and ended solo, and had two additional guitar players with him, one of whom also played a mean harmonica on one song. Led by the guitar and the lyric, the music was much more direct than anything I had heard of on his recordings. Some of the songs did have a cyclical, drone structure but there was movement within it, and the lyrics and delivery pulled me in like Lou Reed singing a Leonard Cohen recording with the Band in the basement of Big Pink. The guitar work owed a lot to John Fahey (and I mean that as a compliment) with the finger picking, echo effect and alternate tunings. I hate to throw such big names around, but there is something special to Vile's songs and music and I hope the music world will see it all come together soon.
More pictures from the show below...