Entries tagged with: Widowspeak
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Mac DeMarco - "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: TOPS - Turn Your Love Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (For Real For Sure For You) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Young Prisms - Floating in Blue (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Boy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle (MP3)
It begins. Bands from all over the world -- England! Canada! Sweden! New Zealand! Virginia! -- descend on New York as they beat a path to Austin for this year's SXSW. Which is good for those who aren't going, as well as folks who are but want to see bands play longer than 25 minutes and aren't strung out on a four-day diet of free breakfast tacos, Vitamin Water and Amstel Light. There's lots more going on than what is covered below, but it's what I'm interested in over the next few days.
New Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco is in town from Vancouver to play a couple shows. He plays an all-C/T bill tonight (3/2) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with DIVE, Hoop Dreams and headliners Beach Fossils (sold out), and then Glasslands tomorrow (3/3) with headliners Widowspeak and Quilt.
Demarco, who used to record under the name Makeout Videotapes, has a smoky baritone that is part Chris Isaak and part Tindersticks. His music owes a little to Isaak as well, with an early '60s vibe (Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent) by way of '80s neon, all on a four-track budget. You can check debut "Baby's Wearin Blue Jeans" from his debut, Rock n' Roll Hotel (out 3/20) at the top of this post, which is indicative of what Demarco is all about. You can also watch the video for "Only You" which is kind of NSFW. Dude's a provocateur.
Tonight's MHoW show is the first NYC show we've had from Blacksburg, VA's Hoop Dreams in a long while. They were good when I saw them at Glasslands last year and have the potential to be breakouts for the label if they ever get around to releasing another record (only a single so far). Live, they're more in the Arcade Fire/Editors anthemic style than the single might suggest. It will also be a good opportunity to hear new music from Beach Fossils who are busy at work on their second LP.
And of course, DIVE, who are probably one of the more exciting live bands in Brooklyn right now and are a definite SXSW must-see if you don't live here and have the opportunity to catch them twice a week like we currently do. (They're also touring with Frankie Rose in April.) The show is sold out tonight, but I'd be shocked if there weren't tickets at the door at least when the box office opens.
Montreal band TOPS are playing 285 Kent tomorrow night as part of a killer bill that includes Blood Orange, Phone Tag and Caged Animals. The four-piece is comprised of most (if not all) of MTL's Silly Kissers who played here a few times over the last few years and were a little on the precious side (they sometimes wore mime makeup). TOPS, however, are more in the Ariel Pink/Puro Instict brand of minimal keyboard pop. Their debut, Tender Opposites, came out this week on Artibus Records, which is also home to Grimes (in Canada). You can download "Turn Your Love Around" at the top of this post and stream the whole thing (and watch the further down.
As you may have read, 285 headliners Caged Animals will open the Official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on March 14 at Bar 69 which also includes Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, 2:54, The Young and one more TBA. If you haven't heard their tuneful, charming debut Eat Their Own yet, it's still streamable at their BandCamp. And they're terrific live.
So is Blood Orange, despite it just being Dev Hynes, his guitar and a laptop. I saw him last weekend at Glasslands where he spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. I do wish he'd get a band, but the one-man Blood Orange is a lot of fun. I haven't seen Phone Tag in a while, but I dig their brand of '80s synthpop.
Sunday night (3/4) at Bowery Ballroom is the NYC debut of Swedish duo Korallreven, one half of which is The Radio Dept.'s Daniel Tjäder. I like their debut album a lot, all lush, synth-driven dream pop but, like a lot of music like this, I wonder how they're going to make it an interesting concert experience. I envision two guys behind laptops and keyboards bobbing their heads and singing, with some projections and hopefully smoke machines. Maybe they could move the downstairs couches to the main room? Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. I'm sure it will sound great in any case. If you haven't heard them yet, you can download "Sa Sa Samoa" in regular and remixed form at the top of this post and watch the video at the bottom of this post. Also playing: Lemonade and Young Magic.
Also playing Sunday night, at Cameo, is Bachelorette -- aka New Zealander Annabel Alpers who I think lives here now. Buoyed by Alpers delicate, breathy voice, Bachelorette make ethereal synthpop not miles away from The Magnetic Fields, with whom she's going on tour for seven shows. (All dates at the bottom of this post.) I liked it better when she had a band, but the loop pedal incarnation is pretty lovely too. You can check out a couple videos below or stream her most recent album on Spotify.
Young Prisms at the Comet, Seattle (photo by Finest Kiss)
And looking into early next week, San Francisco's Young Prisms and Austin's Boy Friend are at Glasslands on Monday (3/5). Young Prisms new album, In Between, is out March 27 on Kanine and is a real step forward for the band. Their still mining first-wave shoegaze, but the songs are much stronger this time out with a couple that go for jangly Velocity Girl style pop. They will be very loud I guarantee you. Boy Friend will make a nice opener, with their hazy, 4-AD miasma vibe. You can download MP3s from both bands at the top of this post. Also playing, seemingly from another show, are Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and Tanks Amigo.
That's the big stuff for the next four days. But wait, there's more. Day-by-day picks of things not covered above:
The Young Empires at M for Montreal 2011
FRIDAY, MARCH 2
Like Friendly Fires and Foals? Check out Toronto's Young Empires are at Glasslands, with Saint Motel, Fan-Tan, and Transmission NYC (DJ set).
Expect a wild evening at Death by Audio with "original line-up" Tyvek, plus Habibi, Feelings and the Numerators. Stick-in-the-muds, go see something else!
Boston's pop veterans The Figgs play Littlefield. The band's new double album, The Day Gravity Stopped, is out sometime soon.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Dum Dum Girls @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
After playing a secret show at Cake Shop one night earlier Widowspeak, The Babies, and Punks on Mars played a much larger and public show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday (2/7), but this time Dum Dum Girls were dressed all in white!! Proof is in this post.
More pictures from MHOW, including a shot of the headliner's setlist, below...
DOWNLOAD: Beach Fossils - "Shallow" (MP3)
Captured Tracks signee Mac DeMarco, who has an upcoming Brooklyn show opening for labelmates Beach Fossils at MHOW on 3/2, just scheduled his own show, which will happen one day later at Glasslands (3/3). Tickets for that show are on sale now, and UPDATE: Widowspeak and Quilt are now listed as playing the show too. You can stream a Mac DeMarco track below.
Speaking of Beach Fossils, they're set to release the "Shallow" 7" b/w "Lessons" on February 21 via Captured Tracks. You can stream that track below and download it above.
Songs and dates, including the lineup of the Captured Tracks SXSW showcase, below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Dum Dum Girls @ Cake Shop - 2/6/12
As hinted earlier and then 100% confirmed before showtime, Dum Dum Girls & Widowspeak layed Cake Shop last night (2/6) with The Babies, and Punks on Mars. It looked like both Widowspeak and Dum Dum Girls were sporting new bass players. Here are some pictures.
Three of the four bands (sans The Babies) will play again at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (2/7, tickets) and at Maxwell's on 2/11 (tickets). Both NYC-area shows are part of a larger tour for Dum Dum Girls/Widowspeak. All DDG dates, including the recently-announced Sasquatch, and more pictures from Cake Shop, below...
In other news, Widowspeak kicks off a short tour with Dum Dum Girls at Music Hall of Williamsburg Tuesday night (2/7). Punks on Mars (aka Ryan Howe) open the Brooklyn show too, and tickets are still on sale.
Dum Dum Girls at Mohawk (more by Tim Griffin)
As discussed, Dum Dum Girls spent the first portion of 2012 in Australia, counting down the new year at the No Years Festival in Brisbane. Now they're set to go on a short US tour that includes dates with Widowspeak and Veronica Falls (who will be on their own bigger tour). That DDG tour hits the NYC-area twice with shows happening on February 7 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and February 11 at Maxwell's. Both NYC-area shows are with Widowspeak. Tickets for the Maxwell's show are on sale now. The MHOW show is on AmEx presale and goes on general sale at noon (1/13).
Dum Dum Girls will also play 35 Denton in Denton, TX this March before heading out on a European tour. All dates and some videos below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Twin Sister @ Bowery Ballroom
You saw one set of pictures from this BrooklynVegan Holiday Party. Here's a second. More shots of Twin Sister, Widowspeak & Ava Luna @ Bowery Ballroom, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
"Thank you The Bowery Presents, Brooklyn Vegan , Twin Sister, WIDOWSPEAK for an amazing night full of holiday cheer and Mexican beer. NYC is the best town in the whole land" - Ava Luna
"So, so happy to see Widowspeak tonight. They are a real dream." - Jaime Chu
Twin Sister @ Bowery Ballroom
"The five-piece specializes in a mellow style of spaced-out disco, the likes of which might be at home on an easy-listening station--on Mars. Equal parts soothing, chilling, ethereal and danceable, the music contains a unique otherworldly quality, largely due to singer Andrea Estella's singular voice, which ranges from smooth and velvety to a high-pitched coo." [House List]Twin Sister headlined our third holiday party in a week, at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (12/17) with Widowspeak and Ava Luna. The sold out Saturday night show was night after we hosted Fucked Up and others at Brooklyn Bazaar and four days after the Anna Calvi show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Like at Music Hall, we hosted a charity raffle for Toys for Tots. Congrats to all the winners, and thanks to all who donated!
"Soooo good! The both fo them! I only heard about Widowspeak when I heard they were playing with Twin Sister, but I have been listening to them non stop ever since. And they are from Brooklyn, so even better! Twin Sister was amazing as always, Andrea even gave a little birthday shout out to me :)"Happy Birthday Emily! More pictures and videos from the whole show HERE, and below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Widowspeak @ BV-Holiday party @ Bowery Ballroom
285 Kent is throwing a holiday party tonight (12/20) with live sets from The Babies, DIVE, and Widowspeak and DJ sets by Matt Mondanlie (Real Estate, Ducktails) and Todd P. Doors are at 8 PM and entry is only $4, and:
Hot spiced cider will be available ++ xmas tunez ++ Ric Leichtung & John "Rambo" & Todd P all in Santa suits!More info on the show below.
get in free if you work for Todd P or Ric/Rambo or JM/R or 285 KENT AVE or Market Hotel or SHOWPAPER or Shea Stadium or Big Snow or Death By Audio or Glasslands.
And it's the second holiday party in NYC during the past week for Widowspeak who just played a dreamy set at the BV Holiday Party at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday with Twin Sister and Ava Luna. To keep in the holiday spirit, Widowspeak did a cover of The Wailers' "She's Coming Home" during their set. Maybe you can hear that again tonight. Some pictures from from Bowery are in this post.
Speaking of The Babies and Real Estate, they're going on an east coast tour together in January. That tour doesn't include any NYC dates yet, but it kicks off the day after Real Estate plays Terminal 5 with Girls and King Krule (1/14). Tickets for that show are still available.
All dates, pictures and show info below...
By Bill Pearis
Parlovr at M for Montreal 2011
It's that time of year again, so let's sing it up real pretty. Are we all in the spirit? Better be, because there's a zillion holiday parties going on this weekend, including two thrown by this very blog you are currently reading. How these parties differ from the shows we go to the rest of the year? Only a Scrooge would ask such a question. But to answer it: there's maybe more strand lights. And some Christmas songs thrown in sparsely by DJs or as covers by the bands playing. And some snowflakey sweaters. Whatever you call it, there's lot of great music to go see this weekend. Here's some of it.
Montreal's Parlovr are visiting, playing two shows. Tonight (12/15) they play the Popgun Holiday Party at Glasslands and then tomorrow (12/16) at Mercury Lounge with Shout Out Louds offshoot thing Serenades.
I'm on record as being a fan of this trio who I most recently saw at this year's M for Montreal. I'm not sure any of their records have quite captured the band's live energy, which is why you should go see them. But the recorded version of my favorite song, "Hell/Heaven," comes pretty close. You can download it above. Live, there's lots of flying hair (via singer/guitarists Alex and Jeremy) and flying limbs (lanky drummer Louis) that fits well with Parlovr's spiky indie rock. The band have recorded a holiday track called "Spike the Eggnog" which judging from the video (you can watch below) the spiking involves something much stronger than whiskey.
The Popgun Holiday Party tonight looks to be a good time, with Bell and TWII-faves North Highlands playing as well. There's also a "+ Special Guest" listed as well, no idea who that might be but the Popgun folks usually don't throw around that phrase too lightly.
Tomorrow's show is with Serenades which is a Swedish super-duo consisting of Adam Olenius from Shout Out Louds and Markus Krunegård of Laakso. Their album Criminal Heaven is out next year in the U.S. and is chock-full of sparkling pop that seems aimed directly at the charts. It's slicker than Shout Out Louds (Laakso were pretty shiny, though they sang in Swedish) but still maintains that sharp melodic sense and shaggy, sad-eyed lyrical bent. You can download a track at the top of this post. Serenades also play tonight (12/15) at Knitting Factory.
There's also the Brooklyn Night Bazaar which runs tonight through Saturday. The enormous space (40,000 square feet!), the layout of which was based on the set of Lars Von Triers' Dogville (!!!), is a holiday shopping, eating, drinking and live music extravaganza as you have probably already heard. Tonight (12/15) is James Murphy DJing, along with Poolside, the Crystal Ark Party Machine and Midnight Magic. Saturday night (12/17) is The Hold Steady, Titus Andronicus and Wakey! Wakey!
Friday (12/16) is the BrooklynVegan Presents night with a SPIN Album of 2011 winners Fucked Up, plus Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, and Radical Dads. Frankie Rose and myself will be spinning tunes before the bands start and between sets. And only $10, so that's only two bucks a band. What a bargain! Tickets will be available at the door too. I am DJing starting at 5PM, Frankie will be there from 6PM and bands start at 7PM, with Radical Dads up first. (Then Caged Animals, Big Troubles, Dom, and Fucked Up.) If you're coming, do make an effort to get there in time for them, they're awesome. As are all the bands on the bill I think. Shop, eat, rock out, eat and shop some more, rinse repeat. Say hi.
In addition to DJing our party tomorrow, Frankie Rose is also playing an acoustic set at Glasslands on Saturday (12/17) as part of a Jonathan Toubin benefit that also features Xray Eyeballs, K-Holes and The Stalkers. Frankie Rose's new album, Interstellar, is out in February and I think will surprise a lot of people. She is definitely out of the garage on this one, ditching the reverb and embracing synthesizers, jangly guitars and her inner pop star. Like a lot of folks this year, The Wake seems to be an influence. Fans of Craft Spells are gonna like it.
And to wrap up BV holiday party related items, Saturday's fest with Twin Sister, Widowspeak and Ava Luna is sold out! Hope you got tickets! If you're going, we're raffling off a load of cool prizes -- like every Domino release of 2011 -- with all proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots.
And last but not least we've got Atlas Sound here for two shows this weekend:The Bell House on Saturday (12/17, tickets still available) and Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (12/18, sold out). Andrew Sacher wrote about Atlas Sound's new album Paralax a few weeks ago which I'm gonna quote:
The flow of the album subtly works in the slower, more ambient cuts to space out the relatively high amount (for an Atlas Sound record) of pop standouts. Like many pop experimentalists before him, Bradford Cox has mastered the art of leaving his own weird touch on even the simplest tune. This comes across most strongly on "Mona Lisa," a re-recording of a track that appeared on his Bedroom Databank collection. The song is carried by the sort of upbeat acoustic guitar rock that Bowie experimented with on Hunky Dory, and Bradford sings with a fragile falsetto that brings to mind Lennon's "#9 Dream."I'll add that Parallax has a post-2AM vibe to it and some of Cox's best songs yet. It also reminds me, a bit, of Spoon too.
That's the big stuff. Some more picks, day-by-day, follow.
by Andrew Sacher
Twin Sister at Mercury Lounge in September (more by Jessica Amaya)
Four days after our BV Holiday Party with Anna Calvi at MHOW (12/13) (tickets) we'll be presenting a second Holiday Party at Bowery Ballroom (12/17) with Twin Sister, Widowspeak, and Ava Luna. Tickets for the show are on sale now. And note that both BV Holiday shows are only $8! More details TBA.
The 12/17 show is currently the last show of 2011 for Twin Sister and Ava Luna before they kick off a tour together in January. All dates for this tour are listed below.
Balam Acab, who made his NYC debut at LPR last night (11/17), recently remixed Twin Sister's "Kimmi in a Rice Field," off their debut LP In Heaven. Balam does a great job of alienating Andrea Estella's vocals and creating ghostly atmospheres with his deep ambient beats. Balam also recently gave a similar treatment to Lana Del Rey's "Video Games," like Jamie Woon did just before him. You can stream both of these remixes below, along with the video for the original version of Twin Sister's "Kimmi in a Rice Field."
All dates, song streams and video below...
photos by Tamara Porras, words by Klaus Kinski
Kurt Vile @ Webster Hall
Last Friday was a pretty important day on three fronts. First and foremost, it was Veteran's Day. I won't bother going into one of my usual tangents and pontificate on the importance of honoring America's servicemen and servicewomen past, present, and future and how they have the scariest fucking job on the planet. Nope. Not gonna do it. Instead, I will jump to the second "important" aspect of last Friday. I put important in quotes because the element I speak of is actually not very important at all. In fact, it's quite trivial and lame and I pity the infantile adult mind who actually expended any energy in reveling in the fact that last Friday was 11/11/11. "OMG ALL THE NUMBERS OF THE DATE ARE THE SAME TODAY EVEN THOUGH THE FIRST TWO NUMBERS OF THE YEAR ARE ACTUALLY 2 AND 0 droollllllll." Yawn.
More importantly, Friday November 11th was important on a third front; it was the day that I finally got to see the great Kurt Vile and the Violators at Webster Hall. I know what you're saying; "But Klaus, you idiot! Kurt's played NYC like A THOUSAND TIMES! Kill yourself already!" And you're right, he has. And I am. And I won't... You see, Kurt is one of those dudes I have literally been unable to see for one reason or another any time he's played NYC. And I don't mean "literally" in the completely non-literal sense people use that word nowadays; i.e. "That joke was so funny I literally shit my pants" or "Yo momma's so fat when she fell into the Grand Canyon she literally got stuck". I mean I have literally been unable to see him. Ever.
Apparently the show wasn't sold out but the place seemed totally packed. And I am pretty sure Webster Hall broke the world record for having the most fog and hair in one place at one time that night. Holy smoke ring for my halo, Batman. Upon entering, I was handed a free commemorative Kurt Vile 11/11/11 45 RPM record which I will never play because I don't have a record player, but which I thought was a super cool thing to give out. I entered the live room about 5 minutes before Kurt went on so I missed the openers. How were they? Kurt and the Violators were absolutely incredible. They played about 16 songs, including one encore, and the crowd was just eating it up.
In the early part of the show, highlights included "Jesus Fever," "Runner Ups," and "Ghost Town." Kurt kicked it up a notch around the halfway mark with a pounding rendition of "Freak Train," which kicked off a fantastic second-half. After solo performances of "Pepping Tomboy" and "My Best Friends," The Violators closed out the main set with two more Halo songs "Puppet to the Man" and "Society is My Friend." After a brief encore break, Vile came out with drummer Mike Zanghi for a beautiful performance of "Baby's Arms." The full band then closed out a great 90-minute set with two songs from the So Outta Reach EP, "Laughing Stock" and a cover of Springsteen's "Downbound Train." -[The Swollen Fox @ the Philly show]Kurt has a very monotone voice that doesn't divert very far from its point A, but when you add it to such massive, and plodding melodies the experience is intense. The room was super dark and, as I mentioned, very foggy, with very little in terms of stage design and lighting. It made for a very dark and profound experience. I have a very limited musical scope these days, but Kurt and his Violators really hit me in a way that very few bands do. It has all these elements of grunge, 70s rock, jamminess, hairiness, moodiness, and darkness and they're all blended together and served as one unbelievable and unique musical experience. Fuck yes I will try to see him literally every time he hits NYC.
The NYC show fell the day befre Philly and three days before the release of Kurt's new So Outta Reach EP.
Support at Webster Hall came from from Widowspeak and The Young who also played Maxwell's with the Sonics the next day. Pictures from Webster Hall adorn this post.
If you missed Widowspeak (like Klaus did!), make sure to catch them at the BrooklynVegan Holiday Party on 12/17 at Bowery Ballroom with Twin Sister and Ava Luna. Tickets are on sale, and for a paltry $8! (stay tuned for more details).
More pictures from Webster Hall and Kurt Vile's setlist, below...
by BBG, Bill Pearis & friends
Austin reverb-drenched, garage punk four-piece The Young are in town this weekend and have managed to get themselves opening slots on some notable bills: Tonight (11/11) they open for Kurt Vile and Widowspeak at Webster Hall (tickets still on sale); then tomorrow afternoon (11/12, 3PM) they play with Pacific Northwest punk legends The Sonics at Maxwells (sold out); and then again Saturday night they're at Union Pool with Endless Boogie AND Call of The Wild (ex-Awesome Color). They also play Philadelphia on Sunday (10/13). All dates are at the bottom of this post.
The band has a single and an album on Mexican Summer under their belt and have recently signed with Matador Records. You can check out a couple MP3s above from their Mexican Summer output which have more than a whiff of sneery, late '70s power pop/new wave/punk to them. Their Matador debut is due out early 2012.
All tour dates, the tour flyer, a live video and another song too, below...
photos by Diana Wong
Weekend @ Stratosphere Sound
Like last year, a bunch of bands were invited to Stratosphere Sound studios during CMJ to record a couple of songs with recording engineer Geoff Sanoff. The songs are going to be released via Insound for free soon (look out for one to premiere on BV as well). Bands included Caveman (who played like 10 CMJ shows and the BV Hold Steady show a month before CMJ), WATERS, Weekend (who played the BV official showcase and in a Puma store), Gauntlet Hair (who played a BV day party too), Widowspeak (ditto), 1,2,3 (that's the name of a band), and Tall Ships. Here are some pictures from the day (Friday, 10/21). They continue below...
STAGE 1 (front room)Stay tuned for the missing set times and full lineup, but you can see most of the bands on the flyer above! Also stay tuned for the linuep of our Saturday party happening in the same venue at the same times.
12:00 Races (new Frenchkiss signing)
12:45 Bleached (ex Mika Miko)
02:15 Young Magic
03:15 A Place To Bury Strangers
04:15 Chelsea Wolfe
05:00 J Mascis (solo)
STAGE 2 (back room)
12:30 Cold Specks (1st-ever US show)
01:15 Lord Huron
02:00 Emmy the Great
02:45 Silver Swans
03:30 Xeno & Oaklander
05:15 Gauntlet Hair
In addition to free music, here are some more reason to stop by Friday. We will have FREE SNACKS courtesy of popchips and Raw Revolution and FREE DRINKS courtesy of Sailor Jerry and our official CMJ wine partner HobNob Wines. Check out HobNob's Facebook page for free music downloads and go to Sailor Jerry's website to read more about all of their CMJ events.
We'll also have FREE BrooklynVegan t-shirts for the first 25 people in the door (not many of these exist - we sold them for charity at CMJ last year).
As mentioned in our Thursday Day Party announcement, we've also partnered with Spotify who are offering 48 hour free Premium trials (playlist for this party coming soon) and Sony Bloggie (stay tuned for our post-CMJ video series) for all BV CMJ/not-CMJ events including this one.
Thanks to Zach Jaeger (Tonally Dude) for the flyer you see above.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Dreamers (MP3)
It's been two years since Savoir Adore released their debut album In the Wooded Forrest. While they're busy finishing the follow-up, the band just released a new single on Neon Gold Records and you can download the track at the top of this post. "Dreamers" is high-fi, reaching-for-the-stars widescreen pop. You can dance to it too. Cover art below.
Meanwhile, Savoir Adore have four CMJ shows lined up: Thursday afternoon at Cake shop (10/20, 5PM FREE) for the NYC Taper party; Friday Night at Santos (10/21, 10:30PM, $10 w/o a badge) as part of the Neon Gold Showcase; Saturday afternoon at Bowery Electric (10/22, 5PM FREE w/ RSVP) and then Saturday night at Pianos upstairs (10:10PM, FREE). Flyers and lineups below.
The band also did a session for BlipTV, performing a new song "Loveliest Creature" which you can watch here.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Vivian Girls / Widowspeak @ Knitting Factory
"Here's a shocker: Widowspeak live sound pretty much exactly like their record. Meaning: awesome. And if you didn't already know they'd covered Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" as a B-side, their dropping of that track in mid-set was a deal-sealer. [The Phoenix]Ladies represented hard on Tuedsay night at Knitting Factory where Amy Klein (of Titus Andronicus) and the Blue Star Band opened for tourmates Widowspeak and Vivian Girls. Amanda also said Widowspeak were a major highlight of the Brooklyn show. Here are some pictures. They continue below...
photos and video by Jessica Amaya
Widowspeak @ Glasslands
Widowspeak played their record release show at Glasslands on August 2 with Hoop Dreams, who just signed to Captured Tracks and were making their NYC live debut. Ex-Cops, and Crinkles were also on the bill. According to Pop Gun, who booked the show:
Captured Tracks label mates and Virginia natives Hoop Dreams played direct support with a packed stage (they have 6 members!) which included a few rotations like a little double teaming tambourine and even some violin action over the sentimental post-punk jams.Widowspeak's self titled debut came out on Captured Tracks this past Tuesday (8/9). You can purchase the album as LP/CD at the Captured Tracks webstore.
Widowspeak totally ruled the night. The band didn't say more than a few 'thank yous' when they took the stage, but they proceeded to play such a gorgeous set. Everything sounded really tight even though some of the material was really new, they even debuted a live performance of one of the album tracks!
As mentioned, Widowspeak are supporting Vivian Girls on a September tour which culminates in a show at Knitting Factory on September 20. Tickets are still available. They also open for Woods at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (8/13). Tickets for that show are still available too.
Updated dates, more pictures, and video of Widowspeak from the show below...
by Bill Pearis
After last week's crazy abundance of sonic riches, this week is nicely slim on choices (at least for thing's that interest me.) But even a fallow week has plenty to do.
Tonight (8/2) at Glasslands is the record release party for Widowspeak's self-titled debut, which is out on Captured Tracks. This local trio gets compared to Mazzy Star a lot -- and I am as guilty as anybody -- which is to say singer Molly Hamilton has the same smoky vocal quality as Hope Sandoval. And the band make vaguely '60s-ish pop, dreamy and twangy with lots of vibrato.
I pulled out She Hangs Brightly last night and, really... Widowspeak doesn't really sound all that much like Mazzy Star. Hamilton's voice is more breathy and effervescent than Sandoval's (and an undeniably powerful weapon live, a subtle knife), and their music isn't nearly as drowsy or patchouli-soaked. Beyond that, the band are good songwriters and performers -- the album is quite good. Though I still say their cover of "Wicked Game" is a little too on-the-nose.
The Glasslands show also is NYC live debut of new Captured Tracks signing Hoop Dreams. The six-piece are from Blacksburg, VA, same as fellow C/T band Wild Nothing. (The label has a stronghold on Southwest Virginia talent it seems.) The A-side to their Captured Tracks single, all two minutes of it, is hook-filled in a Spencer Krug kind of way, and you can download it at the top of this post. (The b-side is a little more dour.) It doesn't sound like six people made it, so I'm curious to see them play tonight.
Big Audio Dynamite @ Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
The newly reformed Big Audio Dynamite, who last played a somewhat prohibitively expensive (but awesome) show at Roseland back in April, are back in town to play Brooklyn Bowl tomorrow night (8/3). Tickets, a more reasonable $35, are sold out but there will be "limited admission" at the door, which will open at 6PM. Here's some of what I wrote about the Roseland show:
Getting nearly every single the band released plus some choice album cuts, the NYC show was a pretty perfect showcase for what made B.A.D. so great: killer dance songs ("C'mon Every Beatbox," "E=MC²," "Just Play Music"), hip hop and reggae-influenced jams ("Sightsee MC," "BAD"), the band's love of film ("Medicine Show"), and genuinely affecting pop ("The Other 99," "V. Thirteen"). We also got "Beyond the Pale," one of the best songs Jones has ever written, dedicated last night to Joe Strummer (who cowrote much of No. 10 Upping St.).Also playing is Bad Brains frontman HR, and onetime Smiths bassist Andy Rourke will DJ in between sets.
Apart from the tip of the hat to Strummer, Jones didn't do a whole lot of "remember when" talk and kept things mostly free of drippy nostalgia. He was, however, jovial and chatty, joking with the audience between songs or when things went askew, like a false start to encore number "E=MC²."
Band co-founder Don Letts is just one of the coolest dudes on the planet, and B.A.D. really came alive on any song that featured him, of which there was a fair amount: foreign war critique "A Party," the hard-hitting London travelogue that is "Sightsee MC!" and the band's theme tune, "BAD." (Also the reggae hoedown "Battle of All Saints Road," though I would've prefered No. 10 Upping St.'s "Ticket.") Letts, who's inching towards 60, jumped around the stage, dreads hitting the ground, like it was 25 years ago.
And that's the big stuff for this week in the TWIIverse. (Told you it was a quiet week.) As usual, some more daily picks, starting at Wednesday, are below.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3
Though it's been a while since they've been in the spotlight, Fountains of Wayne continue to write winning powerpop about everday minutae. That includes their just-released Sky Full of Holes. Hear songs from that -- as well as probably "Stacy's Mom" and "Radiation Vibe" -- tonight at Bowery Ballroom with Nicole Atkins opening. It's sold out, as is their acoustic show on Friday (8/5) at City Winery.
This week's Summerscreen in McCarren Park is '90s classic Clueless, with the sultry and danceable Zambri opening the show.
Sufjan at Bowery Ballroom in 2009 (more by Vincent Cornelli)
today in NYC
* Chris Cochrane @ Barbes
* Yellow Tears @ The Stone
* The Moon Show @ Union Pool
* Slavic Soul Party @ Barbes
* Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra
* The Sugarhill Gang @ Tappen Park
* Morning After Girls @ Pete's Candy Store
* Don Dietrich, C. Spencer Yeh @ The Stone
* Tell Your Friends w/ Sean Bones @ Lolita Bar
* Aphonia, Kids At Risk, Cassette Kids, Honduras @ Pianos
* Typhoon, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper @ Mercury Lounge
* The Ettes, Heavy Cream, Hans Condor @ Mercury Lounge
* Tinie Tempah, Action Bronson, Hezekiah, STS, Los @ S.O.B.'s
* Widowspeak, Hoop Dreams, Crinkles, Ex Cops @ Glasslands
* Intuitions, Ohnomoon, The Fear and Trembling @ Bruar Falls
* Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond @ Prospect Park Bandshell
* Todd Barry, Brent Weinbach, and more at Sweet @ Ella Lounge
* The Atomic Bitchwax, Cycle of Pain, Rob Cantrell @ The Delancey
* Death Cab For Cutie, Frightened Rabbit @ Williamsburg Waterfront
* Alison Krauss & Union Station, Jerry Douglas, Dawes @ Beacon Theatre
* Hannis Brown, Spectre Folk, Sands, Sleeping Bag @ Cameo Gallery
* McCoy Tyner Quintet featuring Ravi Coltrane & Gary Bartz @ Blue Note
* The CCB Reggae All-Stars (Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival) @ City Winery
* Matana Roberts, Ryan Sawyer, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Ramble Tamble @ Zebulon
* Bird Call, Johanna &The Dusty Floor, Former Belle, HolidayHoliday @ Knitting Factory
* Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Jessie & the Toy Boys, and Nervo @ Nassau Coliseum
* Weingarten/Bieber Duo, Run-On Sunshine, Moonmen On The Moon, Man, Dave Neff @ Cake Shop
* The Sway Machinery, Awesome Tapes from Africa, Flight Simulation with John Bollinger @ 92YTribeca
* Co La, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Reo, Birthdays, Radiator Girls, Bananas Symphony @ Shea Stadium
The Sway Machinery, who have an album out on the now defunct JDub Records and who play 92YTribeca tonight, have a fan in Henry Rollins via Ian Mackaye. Check out Henry playing The Sway Machinery on his radio show on KCRW below.
My Morning Jacket have a new video for "Holdin on to Black Metal." Check it out below
The McCoy Tyner Quintet play their first of three nights at the Blue Note tonight. They play two sets each night at 8 PM and 10:30 PM.
Widowspeak play their record release show at Glasslands tonight for their self titled debut, which comes out next week on Captured Tracks.
Mostly Mozart Festival begins tonight and continues through August 27. The festival features the music of Mozart (believe it or not).
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and Typhoon, who play Mercury tonight, also play Littlefield tomorow (8/3) with Diamond Doves.
Sufjan Stevens plays his first of two Celebrate Brooklyn shows tonight in Prospect Park. My Brightest Diamond opens the show tonight and Diamond Rings will do so tomorrow. These are the last two shows on his neon infested Age of Adz tour, so don't forget to bring your neon. Watch the concert trailer for the Prospect Park shows below.
Vivian Girls at Emo's in Austin in April (more by Tim Griffin)
Vivian Girls are going on tour this September with fellow Brooklyn band Widowspeak. The tour culminates in Brooklyn on September 20 at Knitting Factory. Tickets are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Vivian Girls also have a new video for "Take It As It Comes" off the cleaner-sounding Share the Joy, which came out earlier this year. You can watch it below.
Widowspeak, who Bill points out are hard to talk about without mentioning Mazzy Star, will release their self titled debut on August 9 via Captured Tracks. Check out the album track "Gun Shy" below. They play a record release show for the album on August 2 at Glasslands with Hoop Dreams, Crinkles and Ex-Cops. Tickets are on sale now and a flier for the show is below. They're also on the bill for the Woods 8/13 show at Bowery Ballroom with Ducktails and White Fence. Tickets are still on sale for that too.
All dates, videos, streams, flier and album art below...
Twin Sister at ACL Live (more by Tim Griffin)
As some of you may know, in addition to screening free movies, the L Magazine-presented Summerscreen series in McCarren Park also features a live performance by a band each night before the film plays. On July 27, before Ferris Bueller's Day Off is screened, Twin Sister and Your Youth will play free sets at the outdoor Brooklyn venue. The Wednesday night shows happen in the Ballfields (Bedford and North 12th) from around 6pm-10pm.
Other bands playing at Summerscreen this summer include Widowspeak, Zambri, Milagres, and Yellow Dogs. The Wayne's World screening, originally scheduled for July 13, was rained out and is rescheduled for August 17 with Yellow Dogs.
Twin Sister meanwhile are in Chicago this weekend to play the Pitchfork Festival, and have upcoming dates scheduled with Explosions in the Sky, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Purity Ring, and others.
Updated schedule and dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Holiday weekends generally mean less bands of note playing in NYC which seems to be the case this year for the Fourth of July, but there is some great stuff happening nonetheless. First and formost for me are Canadian rock icons Sloan, who play Bowery Ballroom tonight (6/29) and Knitting Factory tomorrow (6/30). If you missed it, I interviewed guitarist Jay Ferguson earlier this week which was a lot of fun. Here's him talking about playing Sloan's new fantastic album, The Double Cross, live:
It's fun, especially the first three songs on the record which are kind of a little mini suite that flow into each other. We play those right at the beginning, flowing together so it's a fun exercise to pull off. It's always fun to play the new songs. Maybe more fun for us than the audience. We've been around for 20 years and hopefully the audience is interested the new material but you hope you're not boring them. When Mick Jagger says, "Here's another new one from Bridges to Babylon," everyone goes to get a drink. Hopefully people will patiently listen until we play one of our huge hits from 1998.Sloan was one of the first things (second, specifically) I ever wrote about for this site and am pretty much a superfan. I've seen them play countless times and are one of my favorite live bands ever. If you've never seen them, do yourself a favor and go to one of these shows, it's pretty much a guaranteed good time. Also, check out Sloan's rockin' version of Gary Numan's classic "Cars" that the band did for AV Club series Undercover. The video is below.
It is Independence Day weekend which means The Feelies at Maxwell's. These are now becoming the summertime equivalent of Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah shows and there are three this year: Friday(7/1) and Saturday (7/2) which are both sold out and Sunday (7/3) which still has tickets.
In addition to the band's classic catalog -- and host of covers -- The Feelies have a new album this time out as you may know. Here Before is the band's first album in 20 years and finds Glen Mercer, Bill Million and the rest of the band picking up basically where they left off. But really, what else would you expect. It's a lovely album, probably most reminiscent of 1985's The Good Earth with the prevelance of acoustic guitars. That magic interplay between Mercer and Million is still there. This is an album for early evening Sunday back yard barbeques. And anyone who's seen The Feelies live since they got back together knows they've still got it.
And if you can't make the Maxwell's shows, The Feelies play Celebrate Brooklyn on July 23.
If you want to let it all hang out, maybe go see Nobunny who plays Knitting Factory on Friday (7/1) and a late show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday (7/2). He will certainly be hanging out, most of him at least, as it's a rare show where he doesn't strip down to his tightie whities. The sleazoid schtick remains fun because Nobunny's songs are pretty undeniably catchy in a Ramones-y pop-punk meets Happy Days kind of way. As can be heard on last year's First Blood. Live shows remain unhinged. If you're in a Nobunny state of mind, it's a good time.
I do wonder about that mask, though. He does wash it occasionally, right? If you can wash it.
And if you're in an electronic pop kind of mood, Memory Tapes play a late show on Friday night (7/1) at Mercury Lounge. Main Memory man Dayve Hawk has crafted a lovely thing with his second album Player Piano which comes out next week. Using mostly live drums this time out gives it a real human beating heart, I think, and bodes well for the live shows this time around. (I was a little underwhelmed when I saw them at the Pool Parties last summer but that wasn't an ideal venue for what MT do.) I dig the record's songwriting and production, both of which are pretty teriffic. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. And do check out the very cool video for "Yes I Know" at the bottom of this post.
And that's mostly it for this holiday weekend. Happy America! A few more picks -- and shameless plugging -- below.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29
John Maus and Puro Instinct are at Mercury Lounge. I caught both last night at Glasslands. Maus' show, which shouldn't work, does thanks to his dedication and intensity. A little goes a long way, though. (I really like the new album, I should say.) Puro Instict can really sing and play... better songs will come with time. They're young.
by Rachel Kowal
The weather may have been a bit brisk, but the long lines stretching around the New Design High School last night signaled a strong start to the fifteenth year of Rooftop Films.
Though there are a number of summer movie festivals, Rooftop Films is a bit different from the rest due to its extensive schedule (45+ events from now through August 20), diverse and lofty locales (15 spread out over 4 boroughs), and unique material (emerging talents, recent productions). Oh yeah... and nearly all the screenings also feature live music and free booze after the show.
After a brief introduction from the festival's founder, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Friday night's show began with a solid performance by Dustin Wong. Grabbing a chatty audience's attention can be a difficult task - especially when that audience is 600 people strong and perhaps more interested in the movie programming than in the pre-show. But for a one-man, one-guitar affair, Wong put on a surprisingly compelling show. With help from an army of pedals, he looped together layer after layer, beginning with the rhythm line and methodically adding quick-fingered guitar melodies and chords until he had crafted a lush, cinematic sound.
Wong's thirty-minute performance ebbed and flowed in intensity over the course of his set, but he didn't pause once for even a beat of silence. Then suddenly, after about thirty minutes of continual play and a few late vocal additions, Wong put down his guitar, bowed slightly, and sheepishly muttered a quick "thank you" before Rosenberg came back to introduce the next segment of the evening.
Typically, the events hinge on a full-length film, but Friday night's program featured nine shorts, each one tied to the theme of storytelling. They ranged from random (Chris Beckman's montage of Youtube videos in Oops), to zany (Matthew Silver's street corner prophet in Heartpocalypse), to unsettling (Carter Smith's taken on high school sex life in Yearbook), and just plain disturbing (David O'Reilly's sadistic and suicidal cartoon creations in The External World).
Stand-outs for me included Olivier Treiner's short The Piano Tuner, which begins as a comedy and ends on a rather surprising and suspenseful note, and David Lowery's heartwarming piece The Pioneer, which features Will Oldham (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) spinning a bedtime tall tale to an adorable little boy.
Sure, they may not be screening any cult classics but Rooftop Films offers a nice alternative to the typical summer offerings. Other featured musicians yet-to-come include: Widowspeak, Secret Mountains, and Snowmine.
Meanwhile you can catch Widowspeak tonight (5/17) at 285 Kent with Vivian Girls.
The next Rooftop Film is Thursday (5/19) and features the film The Sound of Noise ("A clever and maniacally entertaining Swedish comedy about a group of "musical terrorists" who break into hospitals, banks, and other public places to play compositions using the surroundings as their instruments") with live music from Swedish band Prylf AND "Special LIVE Heavyweight Drum Battle between the Drummers and the Filmmakers!" Movie trailer below.
Dustin Wong plays another NYC show Wednesday night (5/18) at Silent Barn with hear hums, emily reo, dark sea of awareness, and philip seymour hoffman. Dustin's band
Ponytail released a new album in April. A video of Dustin in action can be watched below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Generationals - Trust (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - No Lines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gross Relations - Blame the Record (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Down Low (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shark? - Shark? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Savoir Adore - Sparrow (MP3)
I take you away from trying to figure out the identity of The Modern Weepers (my favorite comment guess: Hard-Fi) to talk about shows happening this weekend. As always, this being New York City, there's lots of great options.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are in town this week with Generationals and the two bands play tonight (5/11) at Mercury Lounge (sold out!) and tomorrow (5/12) at The Rock Shop (not sold out!). Dale Jr Jr also play Kidrockers on Sunday [5/14] at the Rock Shop with Pearl and the Beard.
I feel like there's been enough talk about Dale, whose dreamy brand of synth rock can be heard on their pretty good upcoming album It's a Corporate World which is out June 7. So I'm here to talk about Generationals who are surely one of the few indiepop bands in New Orleans. Unlike Big Freedia, they haven't appeared yet on an episode of Treme but their new album Actor-Caster is loaded with clever, tunefull pop. What they do isn't particularly cool at this second in time, but I think stuff like this is never really out of style. You can download the title track to last year's great Trust EP at the top of this post and there's a widget below that will get you two tracks from Actor-Caster for the price of your email.
Also here this week for a couple shows are Montreal's Malajube , playing The Rock Shop tonight (5/11) and will be at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/13) with the epic and amazing Besnard Lakes (and Nova Scotia's Wintersleep). If you were in Austin for SXSW this year, you may have seen Malajube at our SXSW day party this year we co-presented with M for Montreal who we are co-presenting a show with this Friday in Brighton (if anyone is headed to the Great Escape).
Like a lot of folks, Malajube made a big impression on me in 2006 with their record Trompe-L'Oeil and, even more, their string of fantastic CMJ performances that year. The tunes were catchy, they were great live, the language barrier didn't matter so much. I must admit 2009's Labarinthes didn't make much of an impression but I've really been enjoying the band's brand new album La Cavern. The album is out now in Canada and will be available in the U.S. sometime soon on MB3 Records. Maybe they'll have it at the merch tables this week.
The new album walks the line between guitar pop and space rock and I keep imagining them performing songs like the vaguely disco "Le Blizzard" on the Muppet Show. There's a general soft filter '70s vibe to the whole of La Cavern that feels very comforting. You can listen to the whole thing via a streaming widget doohickey at the bottom of this post.
Echo & the Bunnymen are at Irving Plaza on Friday (5/13) and Saturday (5/15) playing their first two albums -- 1979's Crocodiles and 1980's Heaven Up Here -- back to back, in their entirety. This may not be quite as exciting as seeing them at Radio City doing Ocean Rain with a full orchestra, but it's still pretty awesome.
Especially because the albums are post-punk classics. Crocodiles is all scratchy nervous energy and contains no mediocre songs whatsover. I could list them all if you wanted, each one amazing. The whole thing still sounds fantastic. Heaven Up Here is considerably darker, more paranoid but no less definitive. "Over the Wall" is one of their best-ever songs. These two records are also a great showcase for Will Seargent's guitar-playing that still sounds innovative today. I'm a little sceptical of Mac's ability to belt out these songs -- it's gonna be a workout on his pipes -- but the chance to hear deep cuts like "All That Jazz," "It Was a Pleasure," "Happy Death Men," and "With a Hip" is exciting.
Opening for both shows is Bunnymen megafan Kelley Stoltz, who has covered Crocodiles in its entirety, both on record and as an infrequent but incredible tribute act that also featured Spiral Stairs of Pavement and Shayde Sartin who's now in The Fresh & Onlys. (They played CMJ 2003 at Arlene's Grocery, it was awesome.) Anyway, Stoltz is now an established artist in his own right, putting out terrific records on Sub Pop when not playing drums in Sonny & the Sunsets. So if you're going to this show, do go early.
We now enter the local band portion of This Week in Indie. Let's start with L Magazine 8 Bands runners-up Gross Relations who are playing three times this week: tonight (5/11) at Don Pedro with Raccoon Fighter and The Horehounds, then tomorrow (5/12) at Bruar Falls with deVries and Hunktronic, and on Friday (5/13) at Cake Shop with The Bynars, Field Mouse and Infinity Hotel.
The band have been releasing a series of digital singles via their bandcamp page, all of which exemplify their brand of supercatchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock. You can download the A-sides of the last two at the top of this post. "Blame the Records" is especially good. As I said previously, those keyboard lead lines make for easy comparisons to the Rentals which I'm gonna guess is probably what they were going for. Which is fine -- the hooks are undeniable.
Radical Dads, meanwhile, were actually picked by the L Mag as one of those 8 Bands You Need To Hear and I certainly agree. And hear them you can Thursday at Cake Shop. The band's debut album, Mega Rama, is out next month and it's pretty damn good. I hear a lot of '90s DC here -- more Simple Machines and DeSoto than Teenbeat -- whether that was intentional or not. Which means, basically, strident, melodic indie rock. The record is also a contender for my favorite album art of the year, done by Michael Deforge, which you can see below. Also below is yet another widget, this one will allow you to stream or download Mega Rama track "New Age Dinosaur." Oh, and they are quite good live.
Also playing that Cake Shop show tomorrow are Shark? whose debut album True Waste comes out May 24. The band worked with former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone on the record and what I've heard sounds really good. You can download two tracks from the album up top, and Shark?'s Pixies-ish theme song is pretty fun.
And lastly, I'd like to write a little about Vacation who are opening for Oberhofer at Coco 66 on Saturday night (5/14). The band are pretty new. What started as a solo project for Paul Greenfield Daly, formed into a band during one of the blizzards this year. Vacation have only played out a couple of times (Brad Oberhofer was in the live incarnation briefly.) But I really, really like the songs available as free downloads on Vacation's Bandcamp site. While I wouldn't call it synthpop, Vacation are definitely danceable, kind of groovy and motorik. The track "Jean" in particular sounds like a hit to me, definitely check that one out.
That Coco 66 show also has the lately ubiquitous Widowspeak, and with Oberhofer that makes for a pretty good Saturday night. If you can't make it this weekend, Vacation are playing Pianos on May 22 with Dinner at the Thompsons.
OK that's the big stuff this week. Here are a few more picks, day-by-day:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11
It's a night of well-dressed pop at Glasslands with Princeton and the High Highs. I keep meaning to catch High Highs again, I was impressed when they played with Radio Department last year.
We haven't heard from locals Gray Goods since last year's Northside Fest. They emerge from their cocoon, sonically reborn, tonight at Union Pool, with Zachary Cale and D. Charles Speer and the Helix.