Entries tagged with: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

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UMO at Glasslands in 2011 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
UMO

New Zealand psych pop project Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who were recently in NYC opening for Grizzly Bear, have announced the follow-up to their 2011 self titled debut. It's called II and it's due out on February 5 via Jagjaguwar, unlike their debut which came out on Fat Possum/True Panther. You can stream the album's single, "Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)," at the bottom of this post, where you'll also find the album's kind-of-NSFW cover art and tracklist.

The band have a few upcoming dates scheduled including the Hype Machine CMJ Party at Brooklyn Bowl on October 17 with The Virgins, The Neighbourhood, Indians, Sua, Jjamz, and DJ Goldroom. That party is free but RSVP is required.

In related news, UMO frontman Ruban Nielson's brother Kody (aka Opossom) and a number of other New Zealand bands will be here for CMJ too.

A list of all UMO dates, song stream, cover art, and tracklist are below.

Continue reading "Unknown Mortal Orchestra announce new album and shows, playing CMJ (dates & stream)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Andrew Sacher

Grizzly Bear at Radio City Music Hall, 9/24/2012
Grizzly Bear

"This is surreal," said Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste upon taking the stage the historic Radio City Music Hall last night (9/24) -- the band's largest headlining hometown gig to date -- "It makes me think back to our first show at Zebulon in 2004." It is pretty crazy to think that in eight years this "Brooklyn indie band" went from playing local clubs to one of the city's most famed and renowned concert halls, but needless to say, they've paid their dues. When the applause died down, Grizzly Bear went into "Speak in Rounds," one of the most tremendous tracks off the recently released Shields, their fourth in a line of brilliant studio albums and grandest statement yet. The song's explosive, speedy chorus lent to a technicolor light show with hues as layered as Grizzly Bear's sound. Though once "Speak in Rounds" fizzled out into psychedelic ambience, the stage went black, and dim lanterns slowly drifted to the ceiling behind the band. When they'd all risen, Daniel Rossen took over with the spiraling guitar riff of prog fantasy, "Sleeping Ute."

Throughout the set, those lanterns would crawl up and down the backdrop of the stage, creating a hallucinatory light show with the illusion that the stage itself was rising and falling. Mixed with the dreamlike scope of the band's songs, the audio/visual experience transported you out of Radio City, or any other fathomable place, to a world of Grizzly Bear's own. Song after song, the crowd was captivated and the setlist was arranged in such a way that it didn't ever matter what song came next. Of course there were standout moments (the booming "ahhs" and spectacular light show of "While You Wait for the Others" being a huge one), but overall each song contributed equally to the trip that is Grizzly Bear's live show. The minimalist "Shift" provided a moment of tranquility against the ferocious noise breakdown at the end of "Yet Again." "Sun In Your Eyes" (for which the band actually shined bright yellow lights at the audience) acted as a moment of awakening before the comedown of the pre-encore break, which ended with the "moment you've all been waiting for" feeling of "Knife." (That song saw some technical difficulties in the beginning but they were fixed about 45 seconds in.)

Grizzly Bear at Radio City Music Hall, 9/24/2012
Grizzly Bear

It's been mentioned a thousand times that Grizzly Bear plays in a row on stage, and that it helps to show the equality of the band members. So there's no real use repeating this for the sake of repeating it -- but it really is such a crucial part of their set. Especially on the songs off of the ultra-collaborative Shields, Christopher Bear's drums add as much to the melody as Daniel's guitar and piano, and Chris Taylor's backup vocals are as vital to the band's sound as Ed and Daniel's lead, and that's not even in reference to their four-part harmonies. For this tour, they've added a fifth member, Aaron Arntz (previously a member of Zappa Plays Zappa). Aaron is the one member who stays at the back of the stage, and though he's the most hidden, his contributions were noticeable and really fleshed out the complex studio arrangements that couldn't otherwise be replicated live by a four-piece band.

The show opened with a set from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who played mainly off their 2011 self titled LP, but also included a new song and a well-executed cover of Pink Floyd's "Lucifer Sam." UMO's album is very indebted to Beatles' Revolver, but live frontman Ruban Nielson rips fuzzed out guitar solos and feedback that are way more San Francisco than Liverpool (which was especially great on the distortion-drenched extended version of "Boy Witch"). Admittedly, Ruban is a bit more talented and fun to watch than his bandmates, but in their defense, Radio City is a pretty big stage for a relatively new band with a sound better suited for smaller clubs.

Grizzly Bear's tour with UMO continues in Toronto on Wednesday (9/26) and then at the end of the month, they'll kick off their final leg of the North American portion which Lower Dens supports. If you missed last night's show, did you stream it online? If you missed that too, you can watch an archive of the entire show (via the Fuse YouTube channel), along with more pictures and the setlist from the show, below.

Continue reading "Grizzly Bear played Radio City w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra (pics, review, setlist & video of the full set)"

Craft Spells

West Coast janglers Craft Spells are heading East next month to play Cincinatti's Midpoint Music Festival (September 27 - 29) which also features the likes of Grizzly Bear, The Walkmen, Dirty Projectors, Sleigh Bells and many more. Tickets for the fest are still available and the whole line-up is at the bottom of this post.

Before the festival, Craft Spells will be in NYC for a show at Glasslands on September 24 with new new romantics Ice Choir. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

You can stream Craft Spells' new-ish EP, Gallery, plus check out the whole Midpoint Music Fest line-up, below.

Continue reading "Craft Spells playing NYC before Midpoint Music Festival (2012 line-up)"

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: Opossom - "Blue Meanies" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Opossom - "Getaway Tonight" (MP3)

Opossom

The breakup of New Zealand's The Mint Chicks led to member Ruban Nielson forming Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who have been experiencing way more success in the US than Mint Chicks ever did. Now, Ruban's brother and fellow Mint Chicks bandmate Kody Nielson is also fronting a new project, under the name Opossom. Opossom's debut LP, Electric Hawaii, is out this week (8/7) via Fire Records and it's not too far removed from the psych pop that his brother is making in UMO. You can stream the entire album and watch some videos from it below. Two of its tracks, "Blue Meanies" and "Getaway Tonight," are also available to download above.

Opossom is currently playing some shows in support of it in Australia and he'll come over to North America in October for a tour which will bring him to NYC for CMJ. More info on that to come, but we know that after CMJ ends, he'll play another NYC show a few days later at Pianos on October 24. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Kody recorded the album on his own but live he'll be joined by veteran NZ artist Bic Runga (who he worked with on Bic's 2011 album, Belle) and fellow Mint Chick Michael Logie.

A list of all dates, videos and streams are below.

Continue reading "Opossom released LP, touring (dates, videos, streams & MP3s)"

words and photos by Fred Pessaro // BBG, more photos by James Richards IV and Chase Turner

Vampire Weekend/Ty Segall/Araabmuzik crowd - Pitchfork Fest 2012
Pitchfork Festival 2012
Pitchfork Festival 2012
AraabMuzik

Thank god for the Chicago Transit Authority. Several "cooling stations" (city buses) that provided respite from the onslaught of heat and humidity at the third day of Pitchfork 2012 in Chicago's Union Park (7/15), a weather pattern which replaced the previous days' periodic downpours. The heat, combined with squirt guns & bikini tops, helped create the perfect setting for performances from the sunny tennis-sweater rock of Vampire Weekend and dream pop of the oh-so-aptly named Beach House.

Random thoughts on the day: Personal highlights for me included a stretch of bands that were unfortunately all clustered across the three stages in the afternoon: Milk Music, Iceage, The Men, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and Chavez. From catching moments of Kendrick Lamar on the Blue Stage, it was proven to me that he's an excellent live performer, a sentiment clearly echoed by Lady Gaga (who looked on during his set). Onohtrix Point Never's material is compelling, but doesnt fit well on an outdoor festival stage. And it's confirmed, this reviewer still detests Vampire Weekend.

Vampire Weekend uber-fans
Pitchfork Festival 2012

Pictures from the third and final day of Pitchfork 2012 are below, including pictures of all bands mentioned above, as well as King Krule, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Araabmuzik, and The Field. If you didnt make it to Chicago, maybe you streamed it? If you haven't been keeping up with our coverage, make sure to check out pictures from day one (one set HERE, another HERE) and day two (HERE and HERE) along with video from the festival to complete your desktop Pitchfork Festival experience. Hopefully from an ice cold room.

Continue reading "Pitchfork Fest 2012 day 3 in pics (Vampire Weekend, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Beach House, Araabmuzik, & more)"

shittychandelier with a pitchfork
Pitchfork

If the many artists playing the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago this weekend, only a few will be part of the webcast on Pitchfork's Youtube Channel. Check out the schedule (in Chicago time I assume), and the stream itself, below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork Festival 2012 livestream webcast schedule"

photos by Chris Graham and Rae Graham

Metric/St. Vincent
Sasquatch Festival 2012 - Day 2
Sasquatch Festival 2012 - Day 2

7:32pm Metric wrapped up a touch early; partly because one new song ("Lost Kitten") was stopped 10 seconds into it and Emily decided to strike it from the set. Aside from that odd error, Metric played a fair set. They cited the show as their "public debut" of Synthetica and they did play mostly new material (7 out of 11 songs), most of which sounds promising. It's always hard to judge new material accurately as the audience doesn't know it so it always comes across slightly weak or stiff. Metric opened their set with newbie "Artificial Nocturne" (also the album's opener). It was one of the stronger new tracks. The other stand outs were "Youth Without Youth" (when played live it seemed to lose it's sluggishness of it's studio version) and "Nothing But Time", a synth/piano number that builds each verse until drums kick in and the song finishes with a flourish of Emily Haines' Pro-One synth. The band closed with an acoustic version "Gimme Sympathy" that had pretty much the entire amphitheater singing along. [The Province]
Here's more pictures from the super-stacked Saturday (5/26) line-up of the Sasquatch Music Festival which happened Memorial Day Weekend in Gorge, Washington -- including Metric, St. Vincent, The Shins, Dum Dum Girls, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Couer de Pirate, Sol, Com Truise and more. The first set from Saturday (5/26) are HERE and Friday (5/25) are HERE. More from Day 2 below and still more Sasquatch pics to come.

Continue reading "Sasquatch 2012 in pics - the rest of Day 2 (Metric, St. Vincent, Shins, Dum Dum Girls, Araabmuzik, and more)"

photos by Chris La Putt

The Great Googa Mooga 2012 - Prospect Park, Brooklyn
The Great Googa Mooga 2012 - Prospect Park, Brooklyn
The Great Googa Mooga 2012 - Prospect Park, Brooklyn

If you're going to GoogaMooga on Sunday, you might want to eat and drink before you get there. More pictures from Saturday below...

Continue reading "GoogaMooga day 1 in pics (Roots, UMO, Aziz, James Murphy, food, LONG LINES, Marc Maron, Holy Ghost! & more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Bear in Heaven - Sinful Nature (Anika With BestMate Remix) (MP3)

Bear in Heaven at Hotel Vegan party, Austin (more by Tim Griffin)
Bear in Heaven

Just a reminder that Bear in Heaven wrap up their North American tour this week with two hometown shows: tonight (5/8) at Bowery Ballroom and tomorrow (5/9) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Both shows are $15 with two solid openers: synthy Portlanders Blouse and Montreal's Doldrums. After these two shows, Bear in Heaven head to Europe for most of the summer -- all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

Bear in Heaven last played NYC back in early March at Union Pool where they were billed as "Adventure Hippies":

...watching them play last night with waves of roto-toms and giant synth pads washing over us, it struck me what that is: the Miami Vice soundtrack (Jan Hammer, Phil Collins, Yello, Glen Frey, etc) condensed into one band, albeit one that also loves Yes and late '80s/early '90s techno. Which is a really strange combination, but Bear in Heaven make it work, due in part to excellent musicianship and that they clearly love playing. All three members (singer Philpot, bassist/guitarist Adam Wills and drummer Joe Stickney) let the O Face slip when they're in the moment, which, in their case, is endearing.
If you haven't seen them live yet in their roto-tom-loving glory, Bear in Heaven did a set for Yours Truly during SXSW (they also played one of our Hotel Vegan parties) and you can watch that below. You can also download a remix of "Sinful Nature" by Anika and Bestmate at the top of this post. And if you haven't heard their new album I Love You It's Cool, you can stream it at Spotify.

Openers Doldrums will tour with Grimes in Europe after their stint with Bear in Heaven wraps up and then head back this way for a string of dates with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, including June 7 at Mercury Lounge and June 8 at Glasslands. Those dates are at the bottom of this post as well.

Continue reading "Bear in Heaven wrapping up tour with Blouse and Doldrums"

UMO at Glasslands in 2011 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
UMO

Psych poppers Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who were just announced on the lineup of the Great GoogaMooga, have also announced a short tour to take place this June in between their appearances at Sasquatch and NXNE. The tour is being supported by Doldrums and Vinyl Williams. It hits NYC on June 7 at Mercury Lounge and June 8 at Glasslands. Tickets for the Glasslands show are on sale now and tickets for the Mercury Lounge show go on sale Friday (4/27) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (4/25) at noon. UMO will also play Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this July.

Speaking of Doldrums (aka Alrick Woodhead), you can catch him in NYC even sooner when he and Blouse support Bear in Heaven on their upcoming tour which hits NYC on May 8 at Bowery Ballroom and May 9 at MHOW. Tickets for both of those shows are still available.

Check out UMO's relatively new video for "Nerve Damage" off their 2011 self titled debut and all dates below...

Continue reading "Unknown Mortal Orchesta & Doldrums announce tour dates"

GoogaMooga

"The Festival will feature two stages of music per day, both located in the Nethermead Meadow. More artists to be announced. Performances start at noon and end at 8:30 pm on Saturday. Performances start at noon and end at 7:30 pm on Sunday." Announced music lineup for the two day Prospect Park food and music festival, below...

Continue reading "GoogaMooga music lineup announced (and updated)"

Off! @ NXNE 2011 (more by Natasha Ryan)
NXNE

The most memorable thing that happened the year I visited Toronto for NXNE was Iggy Pop & The Stooges playing their big, outdoor, free, no-ticket-or-badge-required show downtown at Yonge-Dundas Square. Last year the Descendents did it. This year they've landed the Flaming Lips which should be an amazing spectacle. And:

NXNE Music has confirmed that Bad Religion, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah and Matthew Good will headline free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) throughout the seven-day festival. The NXNE Music line-up also includes performances at YDS and in the clubs by Of Montreal, No Use For A Name, Purity Ring, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Death Grips, The Men, Bleached, Good Riddance, METZ, Ceremony, Plants & Animals, The Death Set, The Sadies & Andre Williams, Oberhofer, Reigning Sound, Action Bronson, 2:54, Yamantaka/ /Sonic Titan, The Hundred in The Hands, Rival Schools, Killer Mike, Young Magic, Hayes Carll, Friends, Hollerado, Bran Van 3000, The Black Belles, Doldrums, Odonis Odonis, Mac DeMarco, Bass Drum of Death, Porcelain Raft, Exitmusic, Violens, Grass Widow, Eight and a Half, DZ Deathrays, Jonathan Toubin, Art vs. Science, B L A C K I E, The Nils and Ivan Julian (ex-Richard Hell & The Voidoids).
Jonathan Toubin!!

This year's fest takes place at multiple venues across Toronto from June 11-17, 2012. Tickets are on sale.

Last year BrooklynVegan co-hosted a boat party with M For Montreal and Bruise Cruise.

Sasquatch

"Following last year's 10th anniversary, which crushed previous attendance records and set a new mark for the speed with which tickets sold out, the Sasquatch! Music Festival unveils its 2012 lineup which once again features 4 days of music. The festival, hailed as "a model of well-paced programming...in a four-day schedule as efficient and natural feeling as an expertly built algorithm" by NPR Music while Wired notes, "leave the landscape out of it and Sasquatch! has a lineup to kill for," runs May 25-28 (Memorial Day Weekend) at The Gorge, the internationally acclaimed concert venue carved in the basalt cliffs high above the Columbia River Gorge in Quincy, WA."
The Sasquatch! Music Festival takes place, as usual, at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-28). And this year's lineup is:

Continue reading "Sasquatch! 2012 lineup announced (Bon Iver, Jack White, Beck, Tenacious D, Shins, Portlandia, Spiritualized & more) "

SnowBall

"The Snow Ball Music Festival [in 2011] was chill, in more ways than one. Besides the expected below freezing temperatures Avon gets in early March, the atmosphere of the festival and attitude of the attendees were very relaxed. The tents were set up on snow instead of concrete, and so dancing the first night was no small fete as everyone was slipping on the ice. By the end of the weekend, any movement at all was unpleasant as people were standing in puddles of water, beer, and probably some bodily fluids or stuck to the ground in thick mud. The crowd left their clubbing attire at home and sported their neon ski coats instead as they drifted through the clouds of cigarette and marijuana smoke. Despite the cold weather and the impossible dance floor, most importantly, the music was good." [cause=time]
The SnowBall Music Festival, for people not afraid to watch bands playing outside in freezing temperatures ("We recommend that you come prepared for snow and winter conditions. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 40° range during the day and in the teens at night. Please dress accordingly."), is returning to Vail Valley in Avon, CO from March 2 - 4, 2012. This year's lineup includes Big Boi, Big Freedia, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (who just announced a Bowery Ballroom show), Deer Tick, Gauntlet Hair, Major Lazer, TV on the Radio, Thundercat, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and others (listed below)

Early bird and holiday special passes are sold out but regular passes and tickets for the festival are on sale now. Don't forget your "Warm Jackets, hats, gloves, and snow boots."

Current lineup below...

Continue reading "Snowball Music Festival is outside in the Winter in Colorado (2012 lineup) "

photos by Chris La Putt

DOWNLOAD: Gauntlet Hair - Keep Time (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gauntlet Hair - Top Hair (MP3)

Gauntlet Hair @ BV-CMJ in NYC
Gauntlet Hair

Gauntlet Hair, who are just finishing up a tour with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, was one of a few bands to bless our BV day party at Public Assembly on 10/21 (along with names like J.Mascis, Chelsea Wolfe, A Place To Bury Strangers). They played as a 3-piece that day due to one of their members having to get back home before CMJ ended. Some pictures from their set are in this post.

The band will return to NYC for two shows as part of a developing winter tour. Those dates are12/1 at Glasslands with Parenthetical Girls, and a late show at Mercury Lounge on Friday, 12/2 with the Big Sleep and Dive. Tickets for Glasslands and for Mercury are on sale.

Gauntlet Hair recently posted a new video for "Keep Time" (which you can also download as an MP3 above). Check that out, with more pics and all dates, below...

Continue reading "Gauntlet Hair tour dates, live pics from CMJ, new video"

UMO @ the recent Vice party (more by Ryan Muir)
UMO

As just mentioned, both DOM & Unknown Mortal Orchestra will make appearances in the "SmartLounge" at Thompson Hotel in NYC during CMJ. Both artists also play a Pitchfork/Brooklyn Brewery-sponsored event at the Aloft hotel on Duffield Street in Brooklyn on Saturday, 10/22. Unknown Mortal Orchestra plays later that same night at Brooklyn Bowl with Givers, Free Energy and others.

In November DOM heads out on tour with Architecture in Helsinki.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra are still currently on your with Toro y Moi and will tour in Novmeber with Gauntlet Hair who are also coming for CMJ. All UMO dates below...

Continue reading "Speaking of DOM/Unknown Mortal Orchestra CMJ shows in hotels... "

photos by Tim Griffin

Dum Dum Girls @ the Mohawk
Dum Dum Girls

As previously mentioned, the Dum Dum Girls are touring with Crocodiles and playing shows that include October 21st at Bowery Ballroom and October 24th at Maxwell's.

The Bowery Ballroom show is part of CMJ, and Dum Dum Girls will also play at least three other shows while they're in NYC for the festival. We already mentioned their 10/20 KEXP Ace Hotel taping. They also play two other shows that day. They are the 1am special guest playing the Sub Pop showcase at Mercury Lounge that night, and before that they make an appearance at the Thompson Hotel as part of SmartLounge, a Wednesday/Thursday party that will also include sets by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, DOM, Small Black, Little Red, Araabmuzik, The Stepkids, Gotye and others. You need to download an app to get in. You'll also find more details at the link.

The pictures in this post are from a recent DDG show in Austin at the Mohawk (the one Mark Sultan also played). More of them, and all DDG dates, below...

Continue reading "Dum Dum Girls on tour, playing at least 4 CMJ shows (and Maxwell's), played the Mohawk in Austin (pics & dates)"

photos by Ryan Muir, words by Andrew Frisicano

Rick Ross / DFA1979
Rick Ross
DFA 1979

One Hanson Place, the cavernous ground-floor space of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, served as the venue for a free-if-you-could-get-in Vice-sponsored concert on Thursday. As expected, the Weeknd didn't appear (he canceled the week before). Instead, the main attractions were Rick Ross, Death From Above 1979, a half dozen other bands, free beer and liquor and the Art Deco interior itself. A second stage in the basement--located inside a room-sized vault, with giant metallic doors at its entrance--featured acts like Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Anamanaguchi, Hanni El Khatib, Total Slacker and the Men. A-Trak was supposed to play, but cancelled after the sudden passing of his friend DJ Mehdi.

Tanlines kicked off the upstairs with songs that were aided by the high-vaulted ceilings and the reverb-heavy acoustics. Death from Above 1979 didn't fare as well; their songs already sound blown out and distorted on record, and the live show sacrifices any remaining fidelity for raw power. That said, both Sebastien Grainger and Jesse Keeler--one in white, one in black--put on spirited performances, thrashing around, with Sebastien at one point crawling along the bank teller windows into the crowd.

Rick Ross took the stage around 1am, after a brief intro set from Maybach Music Group rapper Stalley. The boss's set of about 35 minutes sped through songs that included "John," "9 Piece," "Hustin", "BMF", "MC Hammer," DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" and "I'm On One," Waka's "O Let's Do It," and "Tupac Back" and "Ima Boss" (both Meek Mill's songs I think technically), at least for a chorus or two. Directly in front of the stage, where Ross' verses and exhortations were crystal clear, you could really get a sense of his imposing presence (DJ seemed genuinely afraid after starting one song too soon) and his ability to queue up any tune and make it totally his.

The amount of people upstairs was comfortable and not-overpacked; the downstairs, then, could be described as sadly under-attended. Unknown Mortal Orchestra had the benefit of playing before the main-stage acts started and sounded great. Hanni El Khatib, who played as a two-piece, shuffled out grungy, Americana-influenced rock, but to an audience of only about 50. One of the most pleasant surprise for me was Anamanaguchi, who I haven't seen in a few years. The quartet has molded themselves into an impressive instrumental outfit--with their NES as a less-dominant member--as they navigated their songs' post-rock-inspired swoops and climaxes with skill.

The Men closed the night with a post-2am set for the stragglers that hadn't yet succumbed to the hazards of the open bar. On my way downstairs I passed a handful of people doubled over, getting carried out by the EMTs. Downstairs wasn't much safer: at one point, a mic stand went flying into the crowd landing squarely on someone's head (hope you're alright dude).

More pictures from most of the night below...

Continue reading "pics from the Vice party in a bank (Death From Above 1979, Rick Ross, Anamanaguchi, Tanlines & more)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Hospitality - Friends of Friends (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dive - Sometime (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Heaven's Gate - Salome (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - How Can U Luv Me (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beat Connection - In the Water (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ski Lodge - I Would Die to Be (MP3)

Blouse
Blouse

After a couple weeks with not a whole lot going on, we're back to jam-packed week of shows (at least in the TWII-verse). So let's get into it.

Portland trio Blouse are in town for two shows: Thursday (9/15) at Glasslands and then Friday (9/16) at Shea Stadium. After singles on Sub Pop and Captured Tracks, the band's debut is due out in November. You can stream the song "Videotapes" from it at the bottom of this post. The track has a nice melty quality to it that if I was listening on cassette I might think it was time to buy a new Walkman. I've liked everything I've heard from Blouse so far, as it hits my '80s sweet spot: icy synths, moody basslines, big choruses. I'm anxious to hear the whole record, and looking forward to seeing them play.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
UMO

Both Blouse shows are appealing bills. The Glasslands show is headlined by Unknown Mortal Orchestra who are currently on tour with Toro Y Moi, a tour that hits NYC tonight (10/14) at Webster Hall. In addition to the Glasslands show tomorrow, UMO are also playing that Vice party tomorrow that is sure to be a scene. After that, UMO are basically on tour for the rest of the year with a pretty brutal schedule, daring America not to see them.

Also playing the Glasslands show are Hospitality (subbing for Woven Bones who had to bow out) who, you may have read, have signed with Merge. The label will be putting out their debut album in early 2012 and you can get an early taste at the top of this post -- the horn-filled "Friends of Friends." (The whole record is great.) I'm a big fan of this band and couldn't be more pleased to see them sign to a label I love.

Blouse is headlining the Shea Stadium show on Friday that is a pretty exciting lineup too, especially if you want to see a lot of new local bands. Dive is the new band from Beach Fossils guitarist/drummer Cole Smith (he was also in Darwin Deez) and the group's debut single, "Dive," is out soon on Captured Tracks and you can download it at the top of this post. It sounds a lot like Beach Fossils but it's catchy nonetheless.

Heaven's Gate
Heavens Gate

Also playing are Heaven's Gate which is the new band from a couple of the guys in the now defunct Sweet Bulbs. Like that band, Heaven's Gate are definitely on the shoegaze tip and also remind me a little of Bettie Serveert. Mind you, I've only heard two songs but both are quite good. (I was a big Sweet Bulbs fan too.) Download one of them, "Salome," at the top of this post.

Still more at Shea Stadium: Spacerock band Beige and Night Manager whose new 7" is pretty darn good.

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Sloan are in town. Did anyone go see them last night at The Bell House? They play Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (9/15) and Maxwell's on Friday (9/16). I've probably written enough about Sloan this year already, but needless to say these shows are highly recommended. And if you haven't grabbed the free Select Singles - 1992 - 2011 compilation yet, the download widget is at the bottom of this post.

Beat Connection
Beat Connection

STRFKR (not to be confused with SBTRKT) are rolling though town this week, playing Knitting Factory on Friday (9/16). Despite the whole name-changing debacle (Starfucker --> Pyramid --> Starfucker --> STRFKR), the band's new album, Reptillians, isn't bad at all in a Flaming Lips/MGMT sort of way.

I'm a bigger fan of the opening act Beat Connection. This duo is from Seattle though listening to their debut, Surf Noir, from last year you might think they were Swedish -- Lo Fi FNK and, especially, Studio come to mind when you hear the Baeleric Beat influence that's all over the record. You can download single "In the Water" at the top of this post. I caught them at SXSW and thought they were pretty good though they could use a couple auxiliary members live.

Ski Lodge
Ski Lodge

Friday night (9/16) at Cake Shop is Ski Lodge which is the new band from Andrew Marr who used to be in the Clementines. There's an EP coming out on Dovecote Records and you can download a track from it, "I Would Die to Be," at the top of this post. There's a Beach Fossils approach to the arrangement of this song, but melodically it's more from the Smiths lineage of indiepop. The whole EP is good. I've never seen them live, but maybe Friday.

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And finally, classic postpunk band The Raincoats play Friday (9/16) at Warsaw with San Francisco's Grass Widow. More about that HERE.

A few more picks not mentioned above, by day, below...

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Japandroids are at Mercury Lounge tonight, road testing new material for their second album. Bass Drum of Death open. Sold out, but we're giving away a pair of tickets.

Grave Babies play with K Holes and Pop. 1280 at Cake Shop.

continued below...

Continue reading "Blouse, UMO, Hospitality, Dive, Heaven's Gate, STRFKR, Beat Connection, Ski Lodge & more in This Week in Indie"

CMJ

CMJ takes over NYC venues from October 18-22, and they just announced another round of bands that are playing. They are:

J Mascis, Shonen Knife, Gang Gang Dance, Boy & Bear, Cloud Nothings, Free Energy, T. Mills, Kendrick Lamar, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Casiokids, Oberhofer, Smif-N-Wessun, Pujol, Zomby, Joker, Painted Palms, Flatliners, Robbers on High Street, Bag Raiders, Young Buffalo, Skeletonwitch, Gary Clark, Jr. and 1, 2, 3.
if you click the links above, you'll see where some of those shows are happening. The previous CMJ announcement is HERE, though collectively that's still not a lot of bands announced by CMJ yet (many more have been announced by venues). Badge info here, but remember if all you want to do is go to shows, you can also just buy tickets to those shows.

Zomby is also playing Glasslands even sooner.

DFA1979 fans @ Lollapalooza 2011 (more by Grant MacAllister)
Party

The Weeknd was playing and then not playing and now it's this:

Following years of hard work, arm wrestling over domain names, and a little bit of high-tech stuff that we can't even begin to understand, we're proud to announce that VICE.COM is here. We've combined VBS.TV and Viceland.com to create super content one-stop-shop for all the videos and words you've come to expect from VICE.

Being that we're VICE, we decided to throw a party to celebrate our new URL with our best friends, like you and Rick Ross. RSVP is now open, details and flier below. Space will be limited.

Full Frontal VICE | The Official Launch of VICE.COM | Presented by boinc

Thursday, September 15th | 9:00PM - 3:00AM
Skylight One Hanson | One Hanson Place, Brooklyn

Performances by:
Rick Ross | A Trak | Death From Above 1979

And More Bands
Tanlines
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The Men
Hanni El Khatib
Anamanaguchi
Total Slacker

And DJs
Nick Zinner
Black Lips
The New York Night Train
Lemonade
True Panther
Greenie

Complimentary Svedka and Grolsch | Invitation is non-transferable. 21+ and Photo ID required

RSVP is open.

by Andrew Sacher

Toro y Moi at Pitchfork Fest (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi is releasing the Freaking Out EP on Tuesday (9/13) via Carpark. The EP is the followup to his full length, Underneath the Pine, which came out earlier this year on the same label. You can grab two tracks, "All Alone" and "Saturday Love" (an Alexander O'Neal & Cherelle cover), in exchange for your email address below. Though both will remind you of the disco-y pop of Underneath the Pine, the introductory synth frills on "All Alone" tell you right away that Freaking Out isn't an EP of leftover album tracks.

Toro y Moi's previously announced tour begins this week and hits Webster Hall on September 14 with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Ava Luna. Tickets are still available. All dates are listed below.

We're also giving away a signed vinyl copy of Underneath the Pine and a pair of tickets to the Webster Hall show. Details on how to win, along with MP3 widgets, album art, tracklist and updated tour dates below...

Continue reading "Toro y Moi kicking off tour, releasing EP -- 2 MP3s, updated dates & a chance to win tix to Webster Hall & a signed album"

The Weeknd

Toronto R&B singer The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) is set to make his US live debut in NYC on September 15 at Skylight One Hanson. The performance is part of Vice's Upfront Extravaganza party in honor of the launch of their new URL Vice.com. The party also includes live and DJ sets by A-Trak, Tanlines, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Nick Zinner (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and Black Lips. Stay tuned for more details. All we could confirm so far is that this is happening. We can only assume that some sort of RSVP will pop up at some point.

The Weeknd has released two mixtapes this year, House of Balloons and Thursday, and expects to release a third, Echoes of Silence, this fall. Some tracks off both of those mixtapes are below...

Continue reading "The Weeknd making US live debut at Vice.com event in NYC (next week!)"

Wild Flag at Williamsburg Waterfront (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Wild Flag

The first round of CMJ 2011 artists have been announced. The initial list includes Neon Indian (Webster Hall with Purity Ring), CSS (Webster Hall with EMA and MEN), Zola Jesus (KF and LPR), Wild Flag (Bowery Ballroom with Eleanor Friedberger and Hospitality), Metronomy (MHOW), Portugal. The Man (T5 with Givers and Alberta Cross), Viva Brother, Wombats, The Good Natured), Kvelertak, Handsome Furs, Memoryhouse, Pharoahe Monch, and more.

The Viva Brother show is on October 19 at Bowery Ballroom with 1,2,3 and Kitten. Tickets are on sale now (or you can try to get in with your CMJ badge). All dates below.

The Wombats show is on October 19 at Webster Hall with The Postelles and The Good Natured. Tickets are on sale now (or you can try to get in with your CMJ badge). All dates below.

Other bands scheduled to play that aren't part of CMJ's initial announce include Still Corners, Shonen Knife at Public Assembly, PS I Love You, and Revolver. Full list below...

Continue reading "CMJ 2011 initial lineup (Handsome Furs, Viva Brother, Wombats, Memoryhouse, Kvelertak, Pharoahe Monch, more)"

by Bill Pearis

Blouse

Portland's dreamy trio Blouse are playing their first NYC show at Glasslands on September 15, opening for Unkown Mortal Orchestra. (Woven Bones and Man/Miracle also play.) It's their only NYC show too, though others may be added?

Blouse currently have singles out on Sub Pop and Captured Tracks. The latter will be putting out their debut album this fall and like a lot of C/T bands, Blouse channel the John Hughes '80s: icy synths, moody basslines, delay-pedal guitars and big catchy choruses. You can stream a few songs at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading "check out Blouse --- song streams, tour dates, a NYC show"