Entries tagged with: Vice
Tim Harrington @ one of DBA's final shows (more by Alex Olsen)
Williamsburg DIY venue Death By Audio held its final show on November 22nd, and Glasslands -- a club located in the same building, closes after New Year's Eve (and 285 Kent, also in that building, closed earlier this year). Though nobody knows the FULL story, it's clear that Vice, who is turning 20 and celebrated in a big way in Brooklyn over the weekend, is moving its headquarters into the building. All tenants, including a circus school, need to be out.
Though the story was interesting/sad from day one (beloved venues closing, the irony of Vice being the ones moving in, etc), it grew to be a regular soap opera during Death By Audio's final month. The saga so far includes a Death By Audio co-founder posing with anti-Vice-co-founder art and that art allegedly then censored, musicians expressing anti-Vice sentiment, and Vice magazines being ripped up and thrown around the venue on its final night. The concept of 'Vice vs. DIY' in Williamsburg is officially a thing. Advertising Age even wrote about it.
That brings us to the latest chapter which is an interview Death By Audio booker Edan gave to Bedford and Bowery. Edan, who moved the Florida the day after DBA closed, discusses the possibility of opening a new venue and the challenges he'll face ("I feel like with Bushwick, it's already too late"), and says more about the Vice stuff. For instance, he clarifies that the Vice magazines ripped on the last night were actually his personal collection (that's one way to avoid having to move them!).
About the lease and stuff, Edan says:
Well, we didn't get bought out. At no point did money change between hands, we just waited for our lease to end.and then:
Our landlord had a meeting with us in September and we thought our lease was going until June, because we thought we'd signed a two-year lease. We've always been good friends with our landlord and we were never really good with the business side of things, and we thought we got a copy of our lease, and we just didn't. That's one of our bads, but we're just not business people.Meanwhile, Vice says they didn't kick anyone out and that DBA did take a "buyout". Here's what a Vice spokesperson told us:
So they produced our lease and said it was a year and five months, but we had no recourse at that point. We scoured for a copy of our lease, because we think [they showed us] a doctored lease. But we can't say for sure. It's one of those dumb-ass things we never thought would be a problem.
The only time Vice was in touch with us was that day when we had the meeting in September, and we agreed to leave at the end of November. No problem. We didn't want to make waves because we felt that if we gave any shit to Vice they would just squash us like a bug.
But they were like, "What's it going to take to get you out today?" And I was like, look, I've got two months of shows booked and these personal relationships mean a lot to me, and I want to make sure all the shows happen.
We've been quiet throughout the last few months, but facts are facts and they should be made clear. The reality here is that DBA took a buyout from the landlord. No one kicked anyone out.Hmm. Vice also directed us to the landlord's lawyer who told us this:
Thank you for reaching out to me and giving my client the opportunity to correct several falsehoods conveyed to you by Mr. Edan Wilber from Death By Audio ("DBA"). Here are the facts:Vice mentions a" buyout", but the lawyer talks about not having to pay back rent. Are these the same thing? I asked the Vice spokesperson to clarify:
DBA's fully executed lease was dated as of July 1, 2013. It had a term of one (1) year and five (5) months with an expiration date of November 30, 2014. The lease did not contain any right for DBA to extend or renew the term of the lease. The lease was never modified or amended. DBA stopped paying rent in July, 2014. At the time DBA vacated the premises at the end of November it owed my client in excess of Fifty-Five Thousand ($55,000) Dollars. This amount does not include (i) any late fees on any of the rents then due and owing, or (ii) the costs and expenses incurred in connection with repairing the substantial damage DBA did to the premises. In an effort to amicably part ways, DBA and my client entered into a legal agreement, pursuant to which my client agreed to waive all of the rent DBA owed in exchange for DBA agreeing not to hold over in the premises after their lease expired. Throughout the negotiation DBA was represented by a litigation partner from a well-respected law firm.
The fact is, Death by Audio took a significant sum of money from the landlord to be bought out of their lease, and then lied about it.I told you this was a soap opera!
We're reaching out to Edan and Matt to see what their reaction to Vice's reaction is, but meanwhile read Edan's entire interview over at Bedford and Bowery, and check out a show at Glasslands before it's too late.
Earlier this week we started to hear rumblings of a super secret, giant Vice party taking place Friday night (tonight, 12/5) somewhere in Brooklyn. Many big names were rumored to be playing. Like the event they just threw in Toronto, it would be to celebrate the now-mega-company's 20 years of existence. Then last night Nick Zinner tweeted the above "Vice Confidential" memo which has the Yeah Yeahs guitarist playing as part of a house band which will be fronted by Karen O and a ton of other exciting guests, if it all comes true. Pussy Riot is even on there, as are a bunch of Vice Records artists, as you can see above.
The show is invite only, but apparently they'll at least be filming it all (for the benefit of those not in attendance, and for those who make it in but partake a bit too much in the open bar), and they gave away a few tickets.
It goes without saying that the timing of this, though surely coincidental, is just a bit unfortunate for everyone since the last time we used "Brooklyn", "Vice" and "party" in the same sentence, was to discuss the final night of Death By Audio less than two weeks ago (Glasslands closes on New Year's Eve).
For what it's worth, I don't think there's any crossover between the Vice lineup and who played the final month at DbA, though Hisham Bharoocha used to be in Lightning Bolt who played DbA's final night.
So, who's on the list?
Edan and Josh of DbA on the final night (more by PSquared)
Chris Gethard wearing DbA tribute on his show this week (photo by Heidi Vanderlee)
Comedian Chris Gethard wore a homemade t-shirt, inspired by the one DbA booker Edan Wilber wore on the showspace's final night, at the taping of the most recent episode of The Chris Gethard Show which you can see above.
Bands felt like Death By Audio was a second home - indie phenoms Future Islands and wild Canadian rockers METZ both played their first ever New York shows at Death By Audio. It was the kind of place where a small fledgling band had a good chance of playing on the same bill as a much bigger, touring band. And one day, that fledgling band might just become a headliner.You tended to get just as much as you were willing to put in: if you attended or played shows there regularly, there was a good chance you'd get to know the staff there, as well as other regulars. Those were the people who made up the bulk of the crowd last Saturday night - some of them who since moved to other cities even flew across the country to be there. It's also why there were a lot of tears, hugs, and positive energy going around in the final hours.
Oliver Ackermann on stage (more by P Squared)
Impose gathered up tributes from a variety of artists, DbA employees and other people in the DIY scene, including manager/booker/soundguy Edan Wilber:
The value of what I have gotten from my experiences here are immeasurable, and leaps and bounds more valuable than any material wealth I could've gained doing something else. I have met people from all around the world just because they heard about this little room that some friend of their's said they just had to play in. It's a shame to lose something like that because it can't be manufactured. We have always run on the best of intentions and it propelled us so far for so long, none of us could've imagined it would've lasted as long as it did and stayed true to its beliefs from day one. I'm happy to go out on such a high note, the past few weeks have been mind-blowingly incredible and I have gotten to see many old friends make their pilgrimage here one last time and I look forward to a few more rad weeks before we are forced out of the only place in NYC thats ever felt like home to me.Impose also tracked down most of the DbA show flyers from their entire existence. There are also reports from the final night at The Observer, Gothamist, Stereogum, and The Village Voice.
Glasslands, which is right around the corner from DbA and will close at the end of December, offered up
tonight we bid farewell to our good friends and neighbors @DeathbyAudio, have a great last night homies! #ripdba
-- Glasslands (@glasslands) November 22, 2014
And this was Death by Audio's final word, via Twitter:
Thank you to everyone and anyone that played a show, attended a show, helped us out or supported us in any way
-- Death By Audio Shows (@DeathbyAudio) November 24, 2014
Death by Audio's final month of shows was pretty astounding, including performances by Lightning Bolt, METZ, Protomartyr, Future Islands,Thee Oh Sees (twice), Dan Deacon, Les Savy Fav, Ty Segall, A Place To Bury Strangers (twice) Future Punx/Priests, Deerhoof, Woods, Woolen Men, Screaming Females, Ted Leo, Speedy Ortiz, Dirty on Purpose, JEFF the Brotherhood (twice), White Mice, Burnt Skull, a reunited Dirty on Purpose, Pampers, Coasting, Guerrila Toss, not to mention the very cool Death by Art installation (which some people didn't like).
For those who'll be in Washington, DC next weekend, many of the in-house created, super-hard arcade games that you may have played in DbA's back room will be on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's courtyard on December 6 as part of an "indie arcade" curated by MAGFest and American University's Game Lab.
We've got all of Death by Audio's last month's shows listed, along with video from many of them, below...
Williamsburg DIY venue Death By Audio, which closes forever after 10 more shows, is currently hosting an art exhibition called 'Death By Art' to accompany the venue's demise. One of the pieces of art on display is/was a mural that read "Fuck You Shane". It probably isn't a coincidence that the masterpiece in question was up at Death By Audio who are losing their lease to Vice, and that Vice's CEO and co-founder is named Shane Smith.
Construction on the building in preparation for the new tenants has been ongoing. In fact, water came pouring through the venue's ceiling almost a month ago. Today, two workers (pictured above), entered and painted over the mural. "Censorship brought to you by ...rhymes with nice", wrote one in attendance. It's unclear who ordered the new paint job, but apparently the residents of Death By Audio were powerless to stop it.
Meanwhile, Death By Art continues with an even more meaningful display, and Dan Deacon headlines the 10th-to-last show tonight (11/13). Prince Rama performs an exorcism before he plays.
In news that is both very heavy and very late '80s, NYHC vets Sheer Terror are playing an NYC show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 27 with Boston hardcore legends Slapshot for a "30th Anniversary Bash." The show will also feature support from younger local hardcore crews Heavy Chains, Blind Justice and Vice. Sheer Terror, who are playing a few other shows in the coming months (including ones in NJ and Oneonta), released their first album in 18 years earlier this year, so one would expect plenty of material from that to be played, in addition to the career summation that "30th Anniversary" suggests. Tickets for the MHOW show will go on sale Friday (10/17) at noon.
All Sheer Terror dates are listed, along with live videos of Sheer Terror and Slapshot, below.
Ty Segall at DbA in 2011 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Today we learned that beloved, long-running Brooklyn DIY venue Death By Audio is closing. It felt inevitable but we sure hoped it wasn't going to be so soon. Though we didn't mention it earlier, our first thought was that it might be related to reports earlier this year that VICE, who just received another $500 million in funding (!), is expanding and taking over the 60,000 sq.ft. building at the corner of S2 and Kent (NYC gave them $6.5 million in tax credits not to move out of the city).
Gothamist wondered about DbA too -- Death By Audio had no comment on the situation, but it's hard to believe the two situations are not at all related. Right now it is pure speculation. We just hope Glasslands doesn't suffer the same fate (they're in the same building too).
Meanwhile, DbA is open for another two-and-a-half months and they're promising to "swing for the fences" as far as final shows. (Will Ty Segall squeeze in one more DbA show next week?) One show that's a guaranteed don't miss is JEFF the Brotherhood on 10/12. Tickets are still available.
Music magazines NME and UNCUT are owned by Time Inc who also own Time, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, LIFE, a whole bunch of magazines about hunting, and a ton of other titles too. Time Warner just spun off Time Inc into its own public company, while they're meanwhile rumored to be making a huge investment in Vice who also recently got a lot of money for 5% of the company from Rupert Murdoch (Fox).
What will the future bring for Time after Time? Only time will tell...
"Here's a Williamsburg real estate story to end all Williamburg real estate stories: Hip used clothing purveyor Beacon's Closet has been priced out of its North 11th Street storefront, where it has resided for eleven years.... The new inhabitant of the space won't be a Chase Bank or even an Urban Outfitters Lifestyle Center (Williamsburg deserves at least two, after all): It will be the expanded headquarters of Vice magazine, which flies in the face of everything we thought we knew about the media industry--can the publication really afford to pony up the $60 per-square-foot rent? With Rupert Murdoch, the sky's the limit." [Gothamist]
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Divine Fits at VICELAND at SXSW 2013
I'll spare you the boring details of my day's worth of delayed flights, but after finally landing in Austin at 10 PM last night (3/12), I darted over to The Jansport Bonfire Sessions @ VICELAND (which, for those of you in Austin, is located on 401 E Cesar Chavez, right across from the Austin Convention Center) and got there a few songs into Wavves' set. Wavves always bring a good time but this was more packed and wild than I'd seen them before. They used the show to preview a lot of their new album, Afraid of Heights, and if you thought King of the Beach had pop punk tendencies, on these new songs it's pretty much full blown 1995-1997 era skate punk. Your feelings on how that genre lives up in 2013 may alter your opinion on the new record, but Wavves do it well.
Up next were Japandroids, who picked up where Wavves left off and made things even wilder. After telling the security guards to leave the stage because they were "sucking the life out of the show," and repeated challenges aimed at the crowd that we weren't going hard enough, the energy level and spirit never stopped rising last night. Because it's SXSW, the set was short, but they included all the choice tracks -- "Fire's Highway," "Young Hearts Spark Fire," "The House That Heaven Built," etc. -- and for a band whose shows are always fun, last night may have been the best I've seen them.
Finally, Spoon/Wolf Parade related supergroup Divine Fits closed out the night. Granted it was almost 1 AM when they started, and their music is less ferocious than the two previous bands, but the crowd did calm down and began to filter out a bit. They did more of Britt Daniel's songs than Dan Boeckner's, and though I'm personally on Team Dan, it was still a solid set all things considered. For a "supergroup" the band have great chemistry on stage, and they're a lot more humble than they're allowed to be given their past projects (which is a good thing).
VICELAND continues tonight with IO Echo, Austra, Merchandise, Icona Pop, and The Joy Formidable. And Divine Fits, Japandroids, and Wavves all have more shows too (click the links for more info). One of Japandroids' next shows is tonight (3/13) with Iggy and the Stooges, The Specials, and Ghostface Killah.
More pictures of Divine Fits' set from last night and Wavves' new video for "Demon To Lean On" below...
Passion Pit @ BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Passion Pit, who just played Saturday Night Live, just announced they'll headline Madison Square Garden on February 8 with openers Matt & Kim. Tickets go on sale Friday (10/19) at noon. Pretty amazing they were playing Pianos just four years ago. Updated Passion Pit dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, some of you may have noticed Ayad Al Adhamy is no longer in Passion Pit, deciding instead to focus soley on his group Team Spirit. The band have signed to Vice & Warner Brothers and NYC will have a bunch of chances to see them this week during CMJ, including the Banners showcase at Pianos tonight (10/16); the NYC Taper day party at Pianos on Wednesday (10/17); the Noisey CMJ showcase at Santos later Wednesday night; and the Fuzz showcase at the Swat Bar on Saturday (10/19). They've also got a few dates with White Denim and Maps and Atlases and their full tour schedule is listed below, along with a stream of their EP from earlier in the year.
Action Bronson at Red Hook Park in June (more by Eric M. Townsend)
Queens rapper Action Bronson, who has a few great mixtapes under his belt and quickly escalated to playing large venues recently announced via twitter that he's signed with Warner Bros imprint VICE Records, making him labelmates with Black Lips, OFF!, and others. He tweeted, "Vice/Warner Bros.is the label. I promise to never make candy cane bullshit music as long as I live!!!!!!!"
As mentioned, Action Bronson will play a free Converse Rubber Tracks show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on August 23 with Meyhem Lauren, Flatbush Zombies, and Tanya Morgan. Admission is first come, first served, but we're also giving away a pair of VIP tickets which guarantee you entry and get you into the VIP balcony, plus a $250 Converse gift card. Details on how to enter and the flier for this show are below.
Before that show, Action Bronson will be heading to Chicago for their Mad Decent Block Party. He didn't play the NYC party but his associate Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire did. Bronson will also be at the Holmdel, NJ stop for Rock the Bells when it hits PNC Bank Arts Center from September 1-2. He plays on the Sunday (9/2) along with sets by Nas, Deltron 3030 Curren$y, Cheif Keef, DJ Quik, and many others. Tickets for Rock the Bells NJ are still available. Check out the full schedule HERE.
Action Bronson recently contributed his vocals to UK producer Metabeats for the song, "Hookers," off his upcoming album, Caviar Crackle. Stream that song and check out a list of all upcoming dates, and the contest details and flier for the MHOW show below.
A$AP Rocky @ Irving Plaza in February (more by Ryan Muir)
A$AP Mob ended their set at the annual Vice Kills Texas party late Saturday night by coming off the stage to confront a crowd-member who'd been throwing PBR tall boys at the group. Earlier in the show, with BV's Andrew Frisicano in attendance, they called out the audience for tossing objectsat them, at one point spitting on the crowd in the direction of the suspected thrower.
At times, A$AP Rocky seemed to be trying to diffuse the situation...until the group rushed off the stage to end the show (when they did, Rocky was in the midst of saying, "if one more person..."). Most of the crowd scattered away from the fray. The cops cleared the venue after that and at least one audience member left with a bag of ice on his head and blood all over his face and t-shirt.
Trash Talk played the show earlier in the night. Fidlar never got to play their 3am set.
The group has something of a history of ending shows with violence. They did something similar at last year's CMJ.
UPDATE: Video below...
Off! @ a Way Out West aftershow in Gothenburg in 2011
As we were just saying, Off! were putting the finishing touches on their new album. This new press release from Vice Records has even more info:
In a creative pace to match the breathless vehemence of their music, punk/hardcore luminaries OFF! have announced the follow up to their much heralded debut First Four EPs will arrive in the form of a self-titled full length May 8th, 2012 from Vice Records. Barrelling through sixteen high intensity tracks in as many minutes, the album demonstrates the LA quartet had still further to ratchet up their visceral sonic maelstrom, delivering a "dark party" soundtrack of unleashed exasperation and bitterness executed with a rigorous precision that more than lives up to the cavalcade of accolades heaped upon them so far by the likes of Pitchfork, NPR, LA Times, among many others. Full tracklist below.Tickets for the previously mentioned NYC show at Bowery Ballroom are on sale now. All tour dates are listed, along with the new album tracklist, and a set of pictures I took in Sweden last year, below...
In conjunction with the impending release the band have announced a string of live dates in support of the album including a trio of appearances at next month's SXSW Festival and select record release shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and San Diego. The Los Angeles show, which serves as the album's proper record release, is booked at the legendary Whiskey a Go Go, former host to many of the most important punk/hardcore bands of the early 80's including The Germs, The Ramones, The Misfits, and countless others.
Black Lips @ Bowery Ballroom in August (more by Diana Wong)
The Black Lips will be peforming live from NYC over the internet today, 10/27, at 2pm EST. The Chevy Sonic-presented performance can be watched in the video player embedded below.
And that's just one of two big events for the Black Lips in NYC today. The next happens at Union Pool tonight. There they'll DJ a party thrown by their label (Vice) which was curated by their labelmates The Raveonettes. Bands performing at the free vitamin water-sponsored show are Minks, The Rassle and Zaza. Raveonette Sune Rose Wagner, who was recently laid up, will be doing some DJing as well. RSVP is necessary and is now back open.
photos by Ryan Barkan
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, Justice shots by Bryan Derballa
As we were saying, the Creators Project takeover of DUMBO went down this past weekend. Here is a second set of pictures from Saturday, now with Justice, Florence & the Machine, and more. They continue below...
words & photos by BBG
Hopefully, there weren't masses that headed to DUMBO on Saturday (10/15) expecting a few Mozz-a-repa stands, a sausage & pepper cart, and a dealer selling his collection of "tobacco" pipes while looking for the live music. The Creators Project had much more to offer. It celebrated the different facets of creativity within art, music, and theater while showcasing live music alongside interactive sculpture to create a wholly different "festival" environment.
The musical portion was limited to two live stages and a third "DJ" stage which also housed a few exhibits. One live stage was located under an archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge. The other was in the "Tobacco Warehouse", a brick structure that has also hosted the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. The shows were free, though you needed to RSVP (and even then you needed a confirmation that you were accepted).
I kicked off my afternoon at the Tobacco Warehouse stage with Teen Daze whose laptop knob-twiddling didn't make for much of a live event. After a few songs I moved on to my first band of the day, Brooklyn's Chairlift. Caroline Polachek is the clear focus of the band's sound, with her vocals pushed to the front and the electronic-pop complementing her lilting voice. Their sunny and simple compositions were sugar-y, well executed and a good way to ease into the day, but not particularly memorable. The next performance would bring about an abrupt change.
No one outcrazys John Maus. After the crew cleared the stage of seemingly every piece of gear, the very unassuming Maus came on to plug his Roland SP-404 sampler into the DI and his microphone into an echo pedal. With the hit of his sampler, Maus kicked off his set by bouncing left and right and jumping around. Veins bulged in his neck and face as he began to scream, sing, whimper and all but cry into his microphone during his vocal parts. Even if I had no interest in his recorded material (which I do, and tons of it), I would, as I'm sure any passerby would, still find the maniacal John Maus live (almost freak) show absolutely enthralling. Catch him again this week at 285 Kent.
After 3+ songs from Clams Casino on the laptop which was about as exciting as it sounds (dramatic key-stroke!), A$AP Rocky opened his set by explaining that people are saying he is the "biggest thing to hip hop since the Wu-Tang Clan". I'd like to meet these people. Regardless of how over/correctly hyped A$AP is, he and his crew (which included an appearance from Spaceghostpurrp) were particularly high energy - stage-diving, inciting mosh-pits, and hopping around on stage. The crowd didn't move with the same enthusiasm though. Despite calls for more participation, the crew didn't ignite similar energy in the crowd.
After a visit to see Four Tet (another knob-twiddling set), I cruised over to see Bradford Cox do a one-man Atlas Sound. I prefer Atlas Sound in full band mode to Bradford solo, but his set was fresh change to the mostly electronic vibe of the day. Cox's voice coupled with the Bridge backdrop and the Manhattan skyline was particularly impressive.
It had been around 14 years since I saw Company Flow on tour with Organized Konfusion, the former celebrating their seminal Funcrusher Plus and the latter promoting what may be their final effort, The Equinox. That summer in 1997, Co-Flow sounded so alien to everything else in the era; primitive, noisy beats made with crude synths and harsh scratches were complemented by abstract and double-time rhymes. Lead by a white redhead-ed MC (a rarity in the era), Company Flow was truly unique in their time.
Company Flow were massive to me in that certain, early-backpacker Rawkus era, the blast-off point for El-P's noisy and dystopian blueprint at Definitive Jux. So it pains me to say that the primitive Company Flow sound hasn't aged so well live; El-P still has a good stage presence as always, but unfortunately the rawness of the tracks just now come across as simplistic in comparison to his sleeker production. It was good to see the crew though, and with Pharoahe Monch in tow, much like that night in DC in 1997.
After Co-Flow, I caught a bit of Florence & The Machine before calling it an evening meaning I also missed the abbreviated Justice DJ set. Though cops shut down Jusice early and a vocal minority of DUMBO residents complained about the takeover of their neighborhood streets, the complaints were minor leagues compared to the impressive spectacle that descended on art galleries, parks, storefronts, and even an archway underneath the Manhattan Bridge.
We're splitting this into multiple parts, so stay tuned for the rest. Meanwhile, more pictures of everything I saw, below...
The Creators Project will return to New York from October 15 - October 16 by transforming the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn into a colossal two-day arts and technology festival.Except for Karen O at St Ann's, it's all free with RSVP.
After spending the year traveling the world, VICE and Intel's The Creators Project lands back in New York with a marquee lineup of live performances and original Studio works by groundbreaking artists, musicians, designers and filmmakers.
This year's festival will take to the streets of DUMBO, Brooklyn, erecting 30-foot sculptures, showcasing works from over thirty leading international artists, and featuring dozens of live music performances. The event will also include the world premiere of Karen O's psycho-opera, Stop The Virgens, along with film screenings and panels.
Original artworks include Life on Mars Revisited, an immersive short film of David Bowie's classic space-rock anthem from legendary music photographer Mick Rock and filmmaker Barney Clay; 'A Physical Manifestation of Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space,' a cathedral-like physical manifestation of the song created by Spiritualized's J. Spaceman and acclaimed film director Jonathan Glazer; and Origin, a striking thirty by thirty foot audiovisual installation by UVA and composer Scanner, which will be the largest responsive work ever created by the UK based artists.
The festival runs:
Lineup, venue list, etc, below...
Rick Ross / DFA1979
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...
DFA1979 fans @ Lollapalooza 2011 (more by Grant MacAllister)
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.RSVP is open.
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
Rick Ross | A Trak | Death From Above 1979
And More Bands
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Hanni El Khatib
The New York Night Train
Complimentary Svedka and Grolsch | Invitation is non-transferable. 21+ and Photo ID required
The Weeknd is not making his US debut next week in NYC after all. VICE had this to say: "the Weeknd has cancelled their scheduled New York City performance. We're disappointed, but are here for him when he's ready. We're big fans." Stay tuned for more details on who is playing the Vice.com party (and how to get in) next week. We now resume our regularly scheduled programming.
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.
photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Frisicano
I'm pretty sure Davila 666, a six-piece rock outfit from Puerto Rico, don't have much stake in Mexican-American holidays. Regardless they obliged the attendees of Vice's Cinco de Mayo party/concert/open-bar on Thursday night, with a set of Spanish-language rock to the largely-inebriated-on-free-tequila crowd. The sound wasn't that great, and the guys do much better when not penned in by the ropes of a wrestling ring, but still, the band managed a set similar to their Cake Shop performance a few weeks back: all of the fast songs and very little filler. The live show doesn't sound much like their excellent new album, Tan Bajo, but that's ok, both are worth hearing.
After their gear got cleared away Silverio, a Mexican comedian/musician with a moptop and a shimmery suit, regaled the crowd with bawdy humor (also in Spanish), before introducing a pair of luchadores. The wrestlers grappled for a few minutes, drinks flying at them through the air, before spilling into the crowd to search for the culprits. Afterwards, they posed for pictures.
More pictures from the night, and some videos too, below...
words & photos by Andrew Frisicano
Twin Shadow @ Fader Fort
A crowded backyard tent filled with cigarette smoke, free open-faced tacos (pork, chicken, brisket or veggie), a man carting a dolly of Lone Star cases through the crowd, and a pair of middle-aged guys picking a fight with each other on a Wednesday afternoon. "Doesn't he know I'm a ticking time bomb?" the offended guy says, a bit like he's not joking. JEFF the Brotherhood is playing too, which is more or less the occasion for all of this, my first show of SXSW 2011. The JEFF brothers aren't really the focus though, since they'll be playing a dozen other times this week, and most of the people are concentrating on the tacos, their conversations or their inability to get away from the door of the totally (did I say?) packed room.
In spite of that, the band is tearing through songs from Heavy Days and their new LP We Are the Champions, and between songs tossing out free vinyl singles into the crowd: "Those are going to slice someone's neck open," says Jake before slinging a few more across the room. They go into "Bummer," a ballady, Dino Jr.-style headbanger, that's one of the standout new tunes.
Trash Talk @ BV/Feed the Beat Day Party (photo by Samantha Marble)
Ty Segall's entertaining and totally worthwhile band is up next, but the BrookylnVegan day show at Emo's is also currently happening, the highlight of which has to be the simulatneous staging of Cali punks Trash Talk (who went on before Kylesa) and Mister Heavenly (who went on before Surfer Blood). Mister Heavenly are a supergroup of-sorts you've heard about. On the inside, Trash Talk frontman Lee Spielman towers over everyone with the body of a scarecrow and a scary-as-hell perma-scowl; he smashes his forehead with the microphone a few times to draw blood. "Stick around for Surfer Blood," he says, before crawling into the crowd and standing on what I can only hope were someone's shoulders. People start edging toward the door. On the outside stage, Mr. Heavenly performs an appropriately lovely set, its two frontmen trading verses in their own styles.
After that, the Fader Fort brought Twin Shadow on stage, the bedroom-pop project of George Lewis Jr. that's become a wildly good live band. For an outdoor venue, the system sounded impressively balanced and clear - which would turn out to be a rarity at the festival. That was 'specially good for Yelawolf, whose songs sounded vital in a way that your iPod just can't do. With no crew to speak of, his solo athletics put in an early bid for best-of.
Yelawolf @ Fader Fort
Later that night at Stubb's, Yuck and James Blake played what would be the first of several for both. Both did well on the big stage, a portent of things to come, vibing out in their respective styles: fuzz rock and chilled-out pop. Check out both of their sets for yourself at NPR- Blake and Yuck.
The recently reunited Death from Above 1979 have posted rehearsal footage of "Little Girl" from their LP You're a Woman I'm a Machine. While that's fascinating enough, what's more fascinating is the way that video ends... an all black screen that reads "3/19/2011 1:00AM", a date and time that happens to fall right during SXSW. One question is whether they really mean 3/19 at 1am (Friday night) or actually mean 3/20 at 1am (Saturday night)? They probably mean Saturday night, especially since I doubt they're advertising the MSTRKRFT SXSW show that happens Friday night at the same time. Is DFA1979 cooking up a comeback show for Austin? No concrete answers.
Assuming it is Saturday night at SXSW, and that it is a show, then it's unfortunately at the same time that their old label Vice is having their annual late night party which this year will feature an awesome lineup of Odd Future, OFF!, and Thee Oh Sees. That is, unless it's happening at the Vice party, though nobody I asked at Vice seemed to know anything about it. Vice's party starts at 12 midnight and RSVP is currently open.
Vice's Official showcase goes down two days earlier (3/17) at Club Deville with Davila 666, OFF!, Black Lips, and a special guest headliner who I'm willing to bet is the Raveonettes (who will be in Texas and are signed to Vice). Vice is also involved in the noisey.com show featuring exclusive performances from Bun B and Ariel Pink that goes down in Austin one night later.
All DFA1979 dates, a Vice flyer and the mysterious video, below...