Entries tagged with: Widowspeak
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.
Vivian Girls at Emo's (more by Tim Griffin)
Vivian Girls recently completed a round of dates with Black Lips, which included stops at Webster Hall and Emo's, and are now out on the West Coast with No Joy. At the end of the road, Vivian Girls will cap things off with a homecoming show at 285 Kent on May 17th with Widowspeak and Colleen Green. $10 gets you into the 8PM all-ages Brooklyn show. All dates are listed below.
Then Kickball Katy will head back to her new home in time for her La Sera project to open the first of three dates she's doing with Jenny and Johnny (listed below).
Right around the same time, Cassie Ramone will play a few shows with her band The Babies on a very short run with Times New Viking including May 27th at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Less than a month later The Babies open for Guided by Voices in McCarren Park. All tour dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Coachella may be happening on the other coast but it's a lovely day here in NYC and I don't feel like I'm missing anything this weekend staying here. For one thing it's Record Store Day which also falls the same weekend and Tax Day which may be good or bad depending how you did this year. And there's lots of other stuff worth seeing too, so let's get into it.
McDonalds are one of these local groups whose name I'd seen around for a while and given the bands they often played with -- German Measles, Home Blitz, Tyvek -- I had it in my mind they sounded one way when, in fact, they don't. Well, that's not exactly true. They are kind of shambly indie. But their great new single "Good Parts" is like some lost obscure 7" from 1990 Manchester, that era when C-86 melted into the baggy scene. You can check it out -- in video form -- at the bottom of this post in a fun green-screened clip starring a lot of people you might recognize if you hang out at Bruars Falls or Cake Shop with any regularity.
McDonalds have three shows coming up in the next week: tonight (4/14) at Union Pool with Lyonnais and Helado Negro, then Saturday (4/16) as part of Cake Shop's Record Store Day extravaganza (more on that in a minute), and then next Wednesday (4/20) with former Swell Maps/Television Personalities dude Jowe Head & The Extremities.
As mentioned above, also playing the Union Pool show tonight are Atlanta four-piece Lyonnais whose dark, ethereal sound will likely draw comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive... or even mid-'80s goth like Xmal Deutchland or Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Their debut album is still being shopped around, but you can stream "Transitive Properties of Youth" at the bottom of this post, and a few more at their MySpace.
In addition to tonight's show, Lyonnais play tomorrow (4/15) at Glasslands and I imagine playing under the venue's stormcloud installation will be pretty apropos. I hope they are really loud too.
That Glasslands bill also features Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers who have a new EP titled Prisoner out on Kanine/Forrest Family next week. The title track -- downloadable above -- is one of my favorite Eternal Summers songs yet and the whole EP is pretty excellent overall. The band, at least the last time I saw them, have expanded to a trio for live shows which fills out their sound nicely.
The Glasslands show, in addition to Eternal Summers and Lyonnais, features Toronto's Golden Dogs and locals Dream Diary who don't play together so much anymore now that guitarist Madison moved to Memphis. Brad Oberhofer will DJ in-between bands. That's a good night of music.
Eternal Summers also play Cake Shop on Saturday (4/16) which is the venue's Record Store Day extravaganza, featuring a slew of great -- mostly local -- bands. The downstairs will be a record mart during the day (noon - 6PM). Bands during the evening include the previously-mentioned McDonalds, Natural Child, Widowspeak, Overlord, Hands & Knees, Night Collectors and Twitchers. Eternal Summers head out on tour next month with the Beets and all those tour dates are at the bottom of the post.
Also, for the real record nerds, Cake Shop is running a fun little contest. They've made 77 versions of the Record Store Day flyer, each with different backgrounds taken from album covers. Take a look, name the artist and album of as many as you can and email your answers to email@example.com. The entry with the most correct answers (or first entry in case of a tie) wins either a $77 bar tab at Cake Shop or $77 credit for the Cape Shok record mart during that day. Winner's choice. I got about 55 for sure, with another 15 I could figure out with a little time.
And finally, Spectrum (aka Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember who also co-fronted Spacemen 3) are in town this weekend playing two shows with Crystal Stilts: Saturday (4/16) at Le Poisson Rouge and Sunday (4/17) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Kember is one of the forefathers of drone pop and in the past few years has become known for his work behind the boards, having produced MGMT's underrated/misunderstood Congratulations album, and he mixed the new Panda Bear. There's a new Spectrum album duo sometime soon too. Kember's influence seems more relevant than ever. Glad to see he's staying busy.
Crystal Stilts owe more than a little to Kember's many records. The band just released their second LP, In Love with Oblivion and I think it's pretty great, pretty easily besting their 2008 debut (which was one of my favorite albums of that year.) The production's better, the songs are better, and the artwork's really nice as well. It's hard to listen to the new album without thinking of Frankie Rose whose relentless drumming style, I feel, probably had a lot to do with the way standout songs like "Sycamore Tree" and "Death is What We Live For" were formed. Both of those Kraut-heavy tracks made their debut in late 2008. As much as I like Rose's solo work, I miss her being in this band.
But the new new songs show that it's still guitarist JB Townsend and singer Brad Hargett writing great songs. The biggest improvement over the first album is probably the influence of keyboardist Kyle Forrester, whose parts add a bright color to Crystal Stilts' sound, especially on "Silver Sun" and single "Shake the Shackles." The record got a deserved 7.9 in Pitchfork today. You can download "Through the Floor" at the top of this post and watch the video below. Crystal Stilts are on tour starting next week and all dates are below.
That's it for this edition. Some daily picks and more after the jump.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Dirty Beaches - Lord Knows Best (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Widowspeak - Harsh Realm (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Esben & the Witch - Warpath (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wise Blood - B.I.G. E.G.O. (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mr. Dream - Crime (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Duzheknew - Came Out the Other Side (MP3)
We're 1700 miles and two weeks away from the eye of the storm, but you can feel the SXSW hurricane forming from here. People have begun talking about breakfast tacos and the clubs are filling with bands from Canada, Scandinavia and the UK. Even moreso than normal. There is too much going on. Decisions, decisions. Let's get into it.
Dirty Beaches play two shows this week: a headlining slot at Glasslands on Thursday (3/3) and then opening for Dum Dum Girls at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/4). The pseudonym of Montreal artist Alex Zhang Hungtai, Dirty Beaches sound like a band invented by David Lynch (or maybe Jim Jarmusch), like a half-remembered dream infected by an oldies station playing on a vintage transistor radio. It also kind of sounds like Suicide. Dirty Beaches' forthcoming album, Badlands (out March 29 and pictured above), is at times pretty, twangy and vaguely sinister. He's definitely got a vision to what he's doing. Check out "Lord Knows Best" at the top of this post for a sample.
The Glasslands show also has Austinites (and TWII faves) YellowFever on the bill, as are Widowspeak whose new single is out now on Captured Tracks (the a-side is downloadable above), and Ela Orleans. Plus, Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls is DJing. This should be a good night.
As should Dum Dum Girls' show on Friday. Their new EP, He Gets Me High, came out on Sub Pop this week and you can download the title track at the top of this post. I loved DDGs' debut, but I think these new tracks are a definite improvement: a little tougher, the production's better and the songs are solid. And I dig the Smiths cover as well.
Former Dum Dum Girls drummer Frankie Rose is also on the bill, and she has dropped The Outs from her name... and the band. This show will mark the debut of her new group and perhaps a new sound? We shall see. Frankie is promising mostly new songs for this one and I'm curious as to what Frankie Rose Mark 2 will be like.
Rounding out the Bowery line-up are MINKS. Tickets are still available.
Esben and the Witch
Also here this week are UK neogoths Esben & the Witch who play The Bell House on Friday (3/4) and then Mercury Lounge on Saturday (3/5). While I'm not crazy about their debut album, Violet Cries, which meanders a bit and generally takes too long to get going, I do recommend going to see them live. Guitarist Daniel Copeman rivals The Edge or Kevin Shields for the Most Effects Pedals award and the sounds he creates with them is genuinely mesmerising. He is also a whirlwind onstage. They are so much more compelling live, and worth giving a shot even if the record does nothing for you.
Opening the Mercury Lounge show is Wise Blood who has gotten a lot of love from Pitchfork, Altered Zones, GvB, etc. The alter-ego of Chris Laufman, Wise Blood is firmly in the low fi sample-based collage world. Some of it is pretty interesting for sure -- check out a track at the top of this post -- but I'm always a bit dubious about seeing this kind of stuff live. Maybe he'll pull it off. Maybe he'll be the next How to Dress Well. How was he last night at Glasslands with Young Magic? Wise Blood will also be at SXSW.
Representing Canada this week are Duzheknew and Cousins who play Bruar Falls on Sunday (3/6) and Death by Audio on Monday (3/7). Both bands hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia -- a town that hasn't had much of a scene (from what I can tell) since its '90s heyday of Sloan, Eric's Trip, Jale and Thrush Hermit. Duzheknew, from the tracks I've heard (like the one at the top of this post), sound somewhere between Wolf Parade (vocally), early Talking Heads and their hometown indie elder statesman. Cousins are a little more straight-up garage rock. Both sound pretty good.
And now onto some local action. Mr. Dream's debut album, Trash Hit, was released this week and will certainly appeal to those with a fondness for early '90s indie rock, be it Nirvana, The Pixies, Jesus Lizard, etc. Which is to say it's loud, it rocks, there is some yelling and snarling... but it's also got hooks, no shortage of tunes, and badass flinty basslines all over the place. You don't have to remember the early days of Late Night with Conan O'Brien to dig Mr. Dream. As far as I'm concerned this kind of stuff is timeless. You can download "Crimes" at the top of this post and stream the entire album via a widget below.
Mr Dream celebrate Trash Hit's release this Friday (3/4) at Glasslands, with Sleepies and Fort Lean (making their debut) along for the ride. I also hear Derek from Sleigh Bells will be performing as well, but not sure exactly in what capacity. Mr. Dream will tour with Sleigh Bells in April.
Another Record Release show is happening Friday night, this time at Cake Shop where Shark? celebrate the birth of their new 7" single "Kreegah." It's too bad Shark? and Mr. Dream couldn't have coordinated their parties together as Shark?'s straight-up, super-catchy indie rock would have made a great opening act. You can stream both sides of the single below. Personally, I'm partial to the b-side, "You Don't Love Me (Anymore)." Both songs will be on the band's debut album, True Waste, which was produced by Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone and should be out sometime soon?
Shark? hit the road next week, touring with the Sundelles on their way down to SXSW. Sundelles also have a show coming up at Glasslands with Cloud Nothing and Craft Spells. All tour dates are below.
And that is basically it for this week. Expect an equally-lengthy TWII next week. A few more day-by-day picks below:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
Tennis, La Sera, and Holiday Shores team up for their first of two NYC shows together, tonight at Bowery Ballroom. They then play The Bell House on Thursday (3/3).
Norway's Heroes & Zeroes play Pianos tonight before heading to Alaska to play a string of gigs in Alaska, believe it or not. Tonight's show is an eclectic bill to say the least, with with French psycho noiserockers Headwar and Koonda Holaa adding to the strangeness.
photos by Jessica Amaya
Crystal Stilts are welcoming their new LP In Love with Oblivion on 4/12 via Slumberland (it comes out in the UK one day earlier), and the band played their last local show until that release at 285 Kent Ave on Feb 18th with Beach Fossils, Widowspeak, and La Femme. Pictures from that gig are in this post.
The next time Crystal Stilts play in the neighborhood is to support Spectrum who is going on tour in April (all dates below). Crystal Stilts aren't on the whole tour, but they do open both NYC shows - the previously mentioned one at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 4/17 (tickets), and the show one day earlier at Le Poisson Rouge on 4/16 (tickets)
All Spectrum & CS tour dates, Crystal Stilts' new cover art, and more pictures from 285 Kent, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Yuck - Rubber (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Yuck - Georgia (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Darlings - Big Girl (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon - Tiny Spiders (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Soft Moon - Breath the Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Generationals - Trust (MP3s)
Darlings @ the Shank for CMJ 2010 (more by Andrew St Clair)
Dang it! Yuck are still having trouble getting into our country, cancelling tonight's show at Mercury Lounge. But tomorrow's show (1/26) at Glasslands is still on, and I'm gonna write this with fingers crossed. You can still get tickets to tomorrow's show.
Yuck's self-titled debut is due out February 15 and is full of the kind of warm and fuzzy indie rock that will remind certain 30-somethings of their college years listening to Sebadoh, Teenage Fanclub and Bettie Serveert. (They also remind me of underrated mid-aughts band The Comas.) You can check out two songs above. I am super-psyched to see them.
The Glasslands show tomorrow is especially enticing. Darlings don't get enough attention, as they're one of the more tuneful bands we have in this town, and they're always good live. Above you can check out the A-side to their "Big Girl" 7" which was released late last year on Famous Class. They've got a new EP, Warmer, due out any minute. Fergus & Geronimo and Total Slacker too. Solid line-up.
Yuck, if they make it into the country, tour with Smith Westerns and then will back in March for SXSW. All Yuck dates are below. With the trouble they have, maybe they just shouldn't leave.
Also making their NYC debut this week are San Francisco's The Soft Moon who play the Wierd Party at Home Sweet Home tomorrow night (1/26) and at Monster Island on Friday (1/28) as part of an all-Captured Tracks line-up that includes Blank Dogs, Widowspeak and Further Reductions.
You can check out two tracks from The Soft Moon's debut LP which is pretty much in "classic goth" territory: relentless beats, watery bass, whispered vocals. It's all very Clan of Xymox which is a good thing if you ask me. As to what they're like live...we'll see. From footage I've seen on YouTube, they don't seem to have a drummer which is too bad, but otherwise seem to play most everything else live. I really dig the album, looking forward to this one.
Unless you don't have to get up at a normal hour on Thursday (bands don't play till 1am at Wierd), Monster Island is probably the way to go. Plus it's more klang for your buck. I caught Widowspeak last week and thought they were pretty good, not dissimilar to YellowFever (who have a show coming up with Wild Flag by the way). Blank Dogs have finally figured out a workable live line-up, and I'm curious about Further Reductions (side project of Led Er Est) whose 7" on Captured Tracks is superior minimal synth.
There is really too much going on this week. Did you manage to get tickets to one of the two Peter Bjorn & John shows? (Thursday 1/27 at Santos, Friday 1/28 at The Rock Shop) These should be fun.
I think the surprise success of "Young Folks" was a blessing and a curse for PB&J. Here's a group that made cute, very good guitar indiepop and who probably would still be playing small clubs if it wasn't for that mega-smash that sounded like nothing the band had done before? In their case, they made an all-instrumental album (2008's Seaside Rock) and then 2009's ambitious Living Thing that was pretty good, but sounded more like a demo reel for Bjorn Yttling's production resume than something they thought about how they were going to play live.
Working with an outside producer for the first time (Per Sunding who some of you may know from excellent '90s indiepop Swedes Eggstone), Gimmie Some is the return of Peter Bjorn & John sounding like themselves again. It also sounds like three guys playing live, which bodes well for these shows, and is their best collection of songs, hands down, since Writers Block. In addition to adrenalyzed first taste "Breaker Breaker" (video below), there are three or four more crazy-catchy potential singles on the record, including the cowbell-fueled "Second Chance," and funky-ish "Dig A Little Deeper." It's a really good album.
Look for a full-fledged tour around the album's release in March.
Wye Oak @ Beacon Theater - 1/24/2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The Decemberists played their first of three NYC shows last night. If you're going to tonight or tomorrow's sold-out shows at the Beacon, do get there early to see openers Wye Oak, one of the best bands around these days. They are chill-inducingly good live. The duo's new album, Civilian, is due out March 8 on Merge and is a real stand-up-and-take-notice stunner. It is crazy good. I don't know what the first single is going to be but if I was picking it would be the soaring "Holy Holy" that they better damn well play this week. There's video of them performing it last week in Berlin at the bottom of this post.
In addition to those shows with The Decemberists, Wye Oak are also playing a private show at The Rock Shop on Thursday that we're giving away four pairs of tickets to. To win, e-mail BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Wye Oak). Include your first and last name in the email. A winner will chosen at random and contacted with more details. Good luck!
Wye Oak head out on tour with Lower Dens then Callers -- none of those shows are in NYC unfortunately but hopefully they'll be back soon.
That's the big stuff this week. Here are a few more picks, day-by-day:
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25
Yuck aren't playing tonight, but Generationals and Country Mice (who seem to have dropped the "We Are" from their name) are still doing their early show (7pm) at Mercury Lounge tonight. Generationals' Trust EP from last year was really good, you can download its title track at the top of this post.
Suuns are at the Rock Shop tonight, the first of three shows this week. They also play Shea Stadium tomorrow (1/26) and Mercury Lounge on Thursday (1/27). I've written about these Montrealers loads of times, they're great, go see 'em.
photos by Jessica Amaya
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Captured Tracks was releasing some lost tapes by a band called Minks from 1985 or so. By The Hedge sounds alternately dated and fresh at the same time. The singles released last year as a tease are included here as the New Order-ness is in full effect "Funeral Song," and "Ophelia,". While those tracks were impressive and really whet my appetite for the album, the greatest triumphs are new to By The Hedge" [The Big Takeover]As This week In Indie pointed out, MINKS' debut album, By the Hedge, just came out" on Captured Tracks and the band celebrated on Friday, 1/21, at Glasslands with Big Troubles, Family Portrait and Widowspeak. Pictures and videos from that show are in this post. MINKS' next show is with Abe Vigoda and Wild Nothing at Bowery Ballroom in February.
And to quote Bill again, "if you haven't heard Big Troubles' debut, which came out early this year on Olde English Spelling Bee, I recommend you remedy that, especially if you have a fondness for early-'90s shoegaze. Big Troubles know their stuff, have digested it all and come up with their own appealing version." Big Troubles' next currently-advertised show is at Shea Stadium w/ Andrew Cedermark, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, and White Laces on March 5th.
Jessica Amaya stopped by the show, mostly to check out new Captured Tracks signees Widowspeak, and she mentioned they "were pretty damn good". Her pictures and videos from the whole show, continue below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Powerful Lovin' (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Final Club - Tragic World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Final Club - Hot Gaze (MEDIAFIRE LINK - ZIP)
DOWNLOAD: Tyvek - Underwater To (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tyvek - 4312 (MP3)
Welcome to the first This Week in Indie of 2011. We are 12 days into this year and I have yet to see a show. If you add in the time before Christmas...this might be the longest I've gone without seeing live music in a long time. That drought will end for me this week, maybe tonight, but certainly tomorrow (1/13) as Gruff Rhys plays Rockwood Music Hall. I was a little worried this snow was to cancel his flight today, but he is currently on route to NYC as I write this.
Still no word as to who'll be releasing his new solo album, Hotel Shampoo, in the US but it seems likely someone will. Hopefully we'll get to hear a lot it live. As anyone whose seen him before -- either with Super Furry Animals or solo -- know, Gruff is an entertaining guy, who always puts extra effort into his shows. Highly recommended. Eleanor Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces opens. Show starts early -- 7:30.
I also just watched Separado!, the musical travelogue documentary about Gruff's quest to track down distant relative (and '70s caped troubadour) Rene Griffiths in Patagonia. Like Rhys himself, the film is charming, scruffy, funny and full of good songs. Still not released in America but you can order the UK DVD (if you have a region-free player or watch on a computer) or, if you live in Williamsburg, rent it from Videology.
Fergus & Geronimo
Fergus & Geronimo release their debut album, Unlearn, on Hardly Art next week, and are playing three shows this weekend in celebration: Friday (1/14) at Death By Audio (official official release party) with Final Club, Easter Vomit (ex Beets), new Captured Tracks signees Widowspeak, and Philadelphia's premiere surf band Dry Feet; Saturday (1/15) at Columbia University hangout The Ding Dong Lounge with Final Club; and Sunday (1/16) at Mercury Lounge with Tyvek. Xray Eyeballs and The Gaming Commission.
While it suffers from a slight case of identity crisis (droney psych, garagey rave-ups, organ-fueled soul), track-by-track Unlearn is a pretty solid record. Fergus & Geronimo are good at all the styles they dabble in. Check out "Powerful Lovin'" at the top of this post -- that shows off their soulful side. And while I haven't seen them play live in a year and a half, they were good then so I can only imagine they've gotten better.
If your eyes didn't glaze over at the list of bands two paragraphs up, you may have noticed Final Club are playing with F&G twice this weekend. The two bands were Denton, TX neighbors before Fergus & Geronimo moved to Brooklyn late last summer. Final Club are here just for these shows. They are worth seeing in their own right: sneery, melodic indie rock with a tendency to lean on the tremolo bar which gives them a little Swervedriver vibe. Confident and loud.
You can check out "Tragic World" at the top of this post. And if you like that, you can download their Hot Gaze EP as well. Look out for their excellent debut album, Blank Entertainment, later this year. In addition to the two shows with Fergus & Geronimo, Final Club play a headlining gig at Death By Audio tomorrow night (1/13) with Bogan Dust, Clinical Trials and Laserdisc.
Tyvek @ BV-SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Also as mentioned above, Tyvek are in town this weekend. While many of their peers have moved on to mid-fi production, the Detroit band keep it live and murky on their new album, Nothing Fits. It also sounds as anxious, angry and alive as the rest of their material. In addition to the Mercury Lounge show on Sunday mentioned above, they play Saturday night (1/15) at Glasslands with The Beets, Eternal Summers, and Sweet Bulbs. That is a good show. Do note it starts early, 8PM for real, as the Soul Clap dance party starts at midnight. I'll be there.
I should mention that openers The Beets have a new album Stay Home that's just out on Captured Tracks. After last year's swell, cleanly produced "Locomotion" single, they too (like Tyvek) are back to the same intentionally shitty "production" of their first album. (Maybe slightly less shitty.) Which, again, doesn't hurt them at all. The Beets are good songwriters I think, and especially good lyricists. And maybe if they can ever get a drummer to stick around for more than a month they might go places. Or just stay home. There's also a new Beets single, "Time Brought Age," and both the LP and 7" feature the bands signature comic artwork courtesy Matt Volz.
What else? Oh yeah, Mister Heavenly play Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (1/16) with Sun Airway and Little Shalimar. This extra super group just signed to Sub Pop, and the label would like you to know the band features Nick Diamonds (Islands/Unicorns), Honus Honus (Man Man) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse). Of course most of the press so far has been about the group's sometimes bassist who you may know from his non-musical day job. I don't mean the banana stand.
Going to see a band because there's a famous actor in it is usually a dumb reason to go (see Dogstar, 30 Seconds to Mars , 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, etc)... plus Mr. Cera is not an "official" member of the band and he may or may not be playing with them on Sunday (note that both the label and the venue told us they don't think Michael will be there). Luckily the rest of the band is known in their own right, so mabye you should go for that reason. Unfortunately there's no recorded music to hear yet, but their few shows so far have been well-documented on YouTube.
That's the main stuff. Here's a few shows, day-by-day, not covered above.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12
Nashville-via-Ohio band Mona -- one of the BBC's picks for Sound of 2011 -- invade NYC this weekend, starting tonight at Rock Shop. They also play Mercury Lounge on Thursday (1/13) (with Devin Therriault) and Union Pool on Saturday (1/15).
Given the abbreviation of this column you're reading, I would be remiss not to mention that The Twees play The Studio @ Webster Hall, a record release show for their just-released EP. They actually don't sound twee at all. I would say Strokes-esque pop would get you closer to a description.
Quirky, occasionally proggy, pop band Steel Phantoms at Bruar Falls.