Entries tagged with: We Are Country Mice
photos by Andrew St. Clair
DOWNLOAD: ARMS - Heat And Hot Water (Birds and Batteries remix) (MP3)
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - Facelove (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - 2012 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Warpaint - Undertow (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Never Swallow Fruit Dub (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Never Follow Suit (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Heaven's On Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Luyas - All New Tiny Head (MP3)
The Radio Dept
After a long weekend of overeating and couchdwelling and Kanye overload, I hope you are all nice and rested up for what is a pretty great week of shows. Here's a bunch of stuff I recommend.
Sweden's The Radio Dept are playing two NYC shows ahead of their first-ever real tour of the U.S. and Canada this week. All dates are listed below, but the NYC shows happen at Knitting Factory Tuesday night (11/30) and Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday (12/01). Both are sold out. This will be the band's first visit to our area since the 2009 NYC Popfest.
It's been a busy year for the somewhat unprolific Scandinavian trio. In addition to their fantastic third album, Clinging to a Scheme, which came out back in April, The Radio Dept. just released a new EP, Never Follow Suit, which takes the dub-heavy album title cut (also on the album) and makes it even dubbier (download both versions above), plus adds three new blissed out tracks.
The band are also finally gathering up all their non-LP singles, b-sides and EPs for a double-disc compilation, Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 which comes out early next year. A lot of their great early EPs are out of print (like 2003's Pulling Our Weight) and it'll be nice to have them all in one place. Double vinyl too for those with turntables. With music spanning from their first single through tracks off Clinging to a Scheme, it makes for a nice overview of the band...but still holds together really well. Little has changed in The Radio Dept.'s sound over the last eight years, but they are one of the best examples of "don't fix what ain't broke."
Abd if you're going to one of the two Radio Dept. shows, be sure to get there early to catch Montreal's Braids, who I just saw play in their hometown.
PS I Love You @ Pop Montreal (more)
While on the Subject of Bands I Saw Play in Canada Recently, one of biggest hits of this year's M for Montreal festival were PS I Love You:
Most everyone seemed in agreement that PS I Love You were the best band of the night. The duo from Kingston, Ontario are an indie Mutt and Jeff, kind of like the Pixies with a new wave back-end. Yelper-guitarist Paul Salnier actually pulls triple duty live, playing bass parts too via a Moog bass pedal setup which is pretty cool. Drummer Ben Nelson plays heavy on the high hat a la New Order's Stephen Morris which gives their songs danceability. Their record, Meet Me at the Muster Station, is good but, live, PS I Love You are a force.Maybe you saw PS I Love You at one of their many CMJ shows. They're back, playing The Rock Shop on Friday (12/03) and Pianos on Saturday (12/04) and both shows are with Florida's Holiday Shores. You should definitely catch them this time around. Two tracks from their debut album are at the top of this post. They're also giving away single "Starfield" over at their label's website through 12/02, so go get it (you gotta give them your info in return). All PS I Love You tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Also visiting us this weekend are Los Angeles foursome Warpaint, who play The Studio @ Webster Hall on Wednesday (12/01) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday (12/02). Their debut for Rough Trade, The Fool, has gotten mostly good reviews. It's a record that has really grown on me in the last month, hitting that sweet spot between dustbowl new age goth and early-'80s post punk. Not that those are mutually exclusive terms. Spindly guitars, groovy basslines, complex percussion, dreamlike vocals... it's somewhere betweeen Haena-era Banshees and Bat For Lashes with just a smidge of Stevie Nicks. Which is a good thing if you ask me. If Warpaint aren't on the next Twilight soundtrack somebody's not doing their job.
The band are good live too, with an especially nimble rhythm section. And if you didn't like the album the first time you heard it, I urge you go give it another chance to sink in. Check out "Undertow" above, and there are a couple live performance videos further down this post along with all upcoming Warpaint tour dates.
Badly Drawn Boy
Like a lot of people, I loved the first Badly Drawn Boy album The Hour of The Bewilderbeast, which rightly won the 2000 Mercury Music Prize (at least given its competition). Damon Gough then went to Los Angeles and lost his way almost immediately after. Good songs here and there, yes, but none of his subsequent albums have been anywhere near as solid or as sonically interesting as Bewilderbeast. Yet I always give the new album a chance.
I'm happy to report that the vibe of BDB's new album -- the mouthful of a title It's What I'm Thinking Pt. 1: Photographing Snowflakes -- returns some of his debut's homespun charm. It's his first since parting ways with EMI and starting his own label and you can sense the freedom this has brought across its 10 tracks. (Parts 2 and 3 are due at some point in the future.) There may not be anything as immediately catchy as "Everybody's Stalking", but you can tell this is music Gough wanted to make, not music he thought someone else wanted to hear. It's a nice album. Give up your email address and you can download a few new songs at BDB's website.
Badly Drawn Boy plays Le Poisson Rouge this Friday (12/03) and Saturday (12/04). Badly Drawn Boy shows have always been a bit of a crapshoot. Shows are notoriously long, ramshackle affairs with extended noodling, rambling stage banter and other digressions. Gough is the only Mercury Prize winner I have ever seen to actually take audience requests, including other people's songs he has never played. (Think twice before you yell "Freebird!" at a BDB show, you may end up regretting it). But there are always moments of brilliance in there too that make you glad you went, which is I guess Gough in a nutshell.
That's the main stuff this week. A few more shows of note, day-by-day, of things not covered above follows:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1
Garagey soul band Fergus & Geronimo, who recently relocated here from Texas, headline a great night of music at Glasslands, that also features another bunch of recent transplants, former Arizonans The Young Friends. Also on the bill: Little Gold and We Are Country Mice.
Denver duo Tennis play Mercury Lounge, their first shows since a wave of hype packed Glasslands and Cake Shop back in August. Nice folks, but take away all that reverb that coats their recordings (as they do live) and the songs aren't quite as magical. The night's line-up is pretty good overall, with Family Portrait, Miracles of Modern Science and La Big Vic. Tennis also open for The Walkmen (and a slimmed-down School of Seven Bells) at Terminal 5 the next night.
by Bill Pearis
a day by day Week in Indie-like guide to this week's Northside Festival...
Northside HQ (freedubya)
When I was looking at the full Friday Northside Festival schedule, I was a bit overwhelmed by the embarrassment of riches available to indie rock fans tonight. I felt like writing "Basically just go anywhere tonight and you're going to run into a good show." Which is mostly true. If you have a badge, you can flit between venues and make up your own killer bill.
Some of these shows are going to be crowded though. Like I bet Glasslands will be packed out the wazoo for Tame Impala, so if that's one you're interested in you might just want to plant yourself there early (advanced tickets are sold out). Do they have air conditioning at Glasslands yet? It might get so hot in there you'll start seeing things, which would go well with those Aussies' rhythm-heavy psych rock.
You could also go to Death By Audio (which does have A/C, and now two working bathrooms) for a rock-solid bill of guitar-centric bands brought to us by Less Artists More Condos. The lineup includes voluminous duo Sisters and their giant stack of amps; the under-appreciated and poppy Darlings; skilled noise merchants Grooms; and art punks Regal Degal who I definitely think are a "band to watch."
Moon Duo @ the Big Sur Woodsist Fest on June 12 (more by Rachel Carr)
Moving away from the corner of S. 1st and Kent, the Woodsist Showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg is kind of a no-brainer. That said, headliners Woods and Real Estate play all the time here. I say go early for the San Francisco triple threat of Moon Duo, Sic Alps and The Fresh & Onlys, then skip off to something else.
Moon Duo, an offshoot of Wooden Shjips, play two chord (at most) psych-drone not unlike Spacemen 3 or Loop. I saw them the last night of SXSW when I was cold and tired, not the state of mind I'd recommend experiencing them. Not that the cold part will be an issue in this weather. There's not a lot to watch, so maybe locate a seat upstairs and bliss out.
Sic Alps are back to a duo after a short stint with Ty Segall on drums. They haven't released anything in a year -- a long time for what was a pretty prolific band -- but that shouldn't hamper their live show, usually powered by a Jenga-like monolith stack of amps in the center of the stage. Their sound is thick and sludgy, but carefully prepared. It feels like a bog in July -- in a good way.
And I'm really looking forward to hearing The Fresh & Onlys with MHoW's sound system. While many of their many recordings have been decidedly lo-fi, these guys can really play and I think it's time they shake loose the "garage rock" tag that never really fit them in the first place. This is pop music. They are really a case of the whole adding up to more than their parts -- the whole band is great -- but if you go tonight, be sure to watch lead guitarist Wymond Miles. The guy is a genius and has a rack of pedals that would impress Kevin Shields. The sounds he gets deserve high fidelity. As do their great songs. I'm a huge fan, is it obvious?
Down the street from MHoW, at Cameo Gallery: Kanine Records, Wao Wao Records & Insound are presenting another great lineup under the venue's psychedelic Snuffelupagus. There's a bunch of really good locals (Dream Diary, Grooms, We Are Country Mice) but you might want to swing by to catch Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers who really impressed me when I saw them at Glasslands a couple months ago. Also: If you like the Pastels, Field Mice and all things indiepop, Dream Diary are your new favorite band if they haven't attained that already.
Madison of Dream Diary is pulling double duty tonight, as she is half of Coasting who'll play at Matchless as part of a bill curated by Georgia of blog Microphone Memory Emotion. Coasting's debut 7" is worth picking up, and if you're lucky you'll get a copy printed on lavender vinyl. Also playing are Family Portrait, Fluffy Lumbers and Bermuda Bonnie.
Over at Coco 66, there's a benefit for 826NYC (badges are accepted despite it being a benefit) with Sondre Lerche and Oberhoffer, plus a reading from author Shalom Auslander. Sondre usually plays MHoW or Bowery Ballroom these days, so to see him in such a small venue will be a treat. Anyone who's seen him before knows what a charmer -- and tunesmith -- he is. Plus, there's up-and-comers Oberhoffer who I wouldn't be surprised if they're playing much bigger venues very soon. Also there's an open vodka bar at 8PM.
Meanwhile at Union Pool, there's an early show (doors at 7PM) that features my new favorite band on Captured Tracks, MINKS. They've only got a single out so far, the Cure-esque "Funeral Song," which doesn't really represent what they do live. The six piece performing MINKS do have some Cure/New Order tendencies, but I'd say Felt is probably just as strong an influence, with clean jangly guitars and jazzy arrangements. Both times I've seen them live, my only complaint has been they didn't play long enough. Not sure of set time for MINKS, but there's not a lot else going on then, you can hang in the backyard of Union Pool and get some tacos from the El Diablo truck to recharge for the night ahead.
That seems like plenty for one night. A video from one of Tame Impala's sets at Pianos last night, below...
"Like last year, everything will be taking place in Williamsburg and Greenpoint because walking long distances is a drag when there are bands to see and beer to drink, we mean seriously. Us here at The L Magazine will be booking a share of shows on our own, but, for a large chunk of the festival, we've once again handed over curatorial control to some of the most tasteful, talented and dedicated folks in New York's independent music scene -- record labels, bloggers, promoters and more -- allowing them to showcase the bands they think you need to hear. The Williamsburg Gallery Association is again on board to highlight special exhibitions and other events at over 25 art galleries in the neighborhood. And to celebrate Northside's second year, we've invited a few of the city's biggest aficionados of independent film to curate four nights of New York-made movies at Brooklyn's new, as-yet-unopened film house-music club-restaurant-bar, indieScreen."That message from L Magazine refers to the second annual Northside Festival, taking place in Brooklyn from June 24th through the 27th.
Music, art and movies will be happening at "30+ venues" and "dozens of galleries" over the course of four days in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Like SXSW & CMJ, you can buy tickets to individual events, or you can get a badge which gets you in to everything that isn't already at badge-capacity. $50 badges are now on sale to those 21 and over. If you buy a badge, "Arrive to venues early - badgeholders are admitted on a first-come, first-served, one-out, one-in basis."
If you buy a badge you can take your chances at getting into one of the four Northside shows happening at Music Hall of Williamsburg (BrooklynVegan showcase included), Fiery Furnaces at Brooklyn Bowl, and WAVVES & Cloud Nothings at Knitting Factory. TONS more shows TBA, but the initial list of bands that will be playing has been announced (I'm especially excited to see The Wave Pictures, Fucked Up, Liars, Parenthetical Girls and Les Savy Fav on there in addition to what we've previously talked about) (and yes Titus Andronicus is on there). Check it out below...
by Bill Pearis
White Wires @ SXSW
I think the single best SXSW 2010 performance by a band I hadn't seen before had to have been Canadians The White Wires, who I caught at the Trouble in Mind party at the Longbranch Inn (my vote for Worst Bathroom at SXSW 2010). The Ottawa trio ripped it up with a short, sharp set of hook-laden rock n' roll that reminded me a lot of late '70s new wave -- think the Nerves, Rezillos or even Tom Petty. Despite being mid-afternoon, they had the crowd dancing and left me wanting more. Seriously awesome.
This week, there's finally more. On their way down to this year's Atlanta Mess-Around (April 23-25), The White Wires are stopping at Cake Shop on Thursday (4/22) where they'll play alongside Alabama's also-good Thomas Function and locals We Are Country Mice. The show is put on by Daed Pizza which is a new label/party night from the Cake Shop/Bruar Falls folks. It's White Wires' only NYC performance, so don't miss it.
There are three White Wires MP3 to download above: "Ha Ha Holiday" from their debut LP which came out last year on Douchemaster Records; "Pretty Girl," the killer A-side to their single on 7"-only label Trouble in Mind; and "Did You Forget My Name" from their upcoming album on Dirtnap Records.
Thomas Function also play on Friday (4/23) at Monster Island with Harlem and Girls at Dawn -- that's a good show too. All tour dates for White Wires and Thomas Function, the full Mess-Around linep, plus some videos, below...
Hot Hot Heat (are still a band and) will be releasing Future Breeds, their their fourth record and first in three years, on June 8th on Dangerbird Records. They'll be playing all four Wednesdays in May at the relatively small Brooklyn's Public Assembly with The Willowz; other openers include Grooms, The Stationary Set and We Are Country Mice.
Tickets, which are linked below, come with a free t-shirt while supplies last... Besides a show in Calgary on April 15th, the Public Assembly gigs are the band's only scheduled upcoming shows. Videos of songs from the new album, ticket links & openers, and more are below...
The Drums - new band picture
The Drums went from playing a lot of shows a few month ago, to disappearing for a while. That hiatus ends next year when they return to headline Bowery Ballroom on January 13th. Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon. Maybe the band is currently on vacation in their previous home state of Florida because they're also scheduled to play a show tonight (12/4) at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami. Their only other show between now and NYC is on New Years Eve in Chicago (the city with all the best New Years Eve shows this year).
Opening the Bowery show will be Surfer Blood who were most recently in town to open for Art Brut at Brooklyn Bowl. Surfer Blood also have a New Years Eve show scheduled, but theirs is in NYC at Cameo Gallery with Frankie (Rose) and The Outs, Beach Fossils, and We Are Country Mice. It only costs $10 which is a bargain for that night, though the venue is kind of small. Set times and other details about that show below.
A list of the the other New Years options in NYC (and elsewhere) is HERE. All SB & Drums dates below...