Entries tagged with: Wye Oak
AMC series 'The Walking Dead' is finally getting a 2nd season starting October 16th, and the zombie-filled trailer is awesomely soundtracked with Wye Oak. You can watch it below...
The Hold Steady at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010 (more)
Last month, we announced that Truck America is returning to the Catskills in September (the 9th through the 11th) and will be headlined by The Hold Steady and Okkervil River. The only other confirmed bands at the time were Ra Ra Riot and Wye Oak. The lineup has since been updated to include Fruit Bats, Vetiver, The Felice Brothers, CItay, Gary Higgins, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Takka Takka, Hospitality, The Low Anthem and others. Check out the full list below. Early bird tickets are still on sale.
For The Low Anthem, it's one of many dates they just announced including one at Terminal 5 with Iron & Wine.
Speaking of The Hold Steady, frontman Craig Finn posted to his Tumblr that he's making a solo album:
"I'm in Austin TX for a few weeks. Making a record. Staying in a friend's guest house. Got here yesterday. So far so good. I'll be tracking the progress here."He has also been tracking his progress on the Tumblr.
Check out the full Truck America lineup update below...
today in NYC
* D12 @ BB King's
* Paleface @ Maxwell's
* Gyan Riley @ The Stone
* Marc Cohn @ City Winery
* Twat's Up @ Creek & Cave
* Slavic Soul Party @ Barbes
* Jeffrey Roden @ The Stone
* Tom Ze @ Lincoln Center
* Tell All Your Friends @ Lolita Bar
* The Beets @ Gantry Plaza State Park
* Rihanna, Cee Lo @ Nassau Coliseum
* Kool Moe Dee, Marley Marl @ Queensbridge Park
* Sunlover, The New Jerk Times, Shilpa Ray @ Zebulon
* Toots and The Maytals, Lukas Nelson @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra @ City Winery outside (free)
* Little Victory, Nucular Aminals, Household @ Cake Shop
* The School Of Rock All Stars @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Ben Williams & Sound Effect, Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra @ 92YTribeca
* Nervous Breakdowns, Lust2Love, Crazy Pills, HolidayHoliday @ Bruar Falls
* Wet & Reckless, Foley Stewart, Phone Home, Exitmusic, Papertwin @ Pianos
* Our Hit Parade w/ Bridget Everett, Kenny Mellman, Neal Medlyn @ Highline Ballroom
* Little Tybee, Gunfight!, Miracles of Modern Science, Marra Barr @ Knitting Factory
* William Elliott Whitmore, Christopher Paul Stelling, Dayna Kurtz, Yoni Gordon @ Mercury Lounge
* The Lifted Crew, Spree Wilson, The Little Death, DJ Wayne Williams, Wish, Craig Myers @ Le Poisson Rouge
Washed Out have a video for "Eyes Be Closed." Watch it below.
Wye Oak played Fallon last night. Check out the video below...
The British music festival Truck Festival is returning to America again this year and back in the Catskills at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY from September 9-11. This year's Truck America will be headlined by The Hold Steady and Okkervil River. Other confirmed bands include Ra Ra Riot and Wye Oak, and an announcement with over 30 other bands is coming soon. Early Bird tickets are on sale now. The first 200 people who pre-order their passes will receive the special $99 rate for the entire weekend (kids can get in even cheaper).
Last year was the fest's first year in the US. Read more about it HERE.
The National at Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
The National and Yo La Tengo are both on tour this summer, mostly separately, but will play a few dates together with Wye Oak in September including two at Academy of Music in Philly. None of those bands have any NYC shows scheduled at the moment, but Yo La Tengo will come even closer than The City Of Brotherly Love. They play Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ on September 24. Ticket information TBA.
You can also catch 2/3 of YLT at the Danny Amis benefit happening at Maxwell's on June 29. Tickets for the benefit are still on sale.
The National's Bryce Dessner will also be in NYC this Sunday (6/19), in spirit anyway, when his O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind composition is performed by the Bang on a Can All Stars as part of the Bang On a Can Marathon.
Bryce recently spoke to Unfold about his and Aaron's multimedia project The Long Count which premiered at BAM and is currently being performed overseas. The project is based on Mayan mythology and features visuals by Matthew Ritchie and a 12-piece orchestra that features Colin Stetson and vocals by Kim and Kelley Deal, Shara Worden and Matt Berninger. The project has only been presented live thus far, but Bryce says:
"We don't want to release a performance DVD or anything like that. I think you really need to see this show in person to understand the visual elements. But I think the songs will stand up on record, so we're looking to release an album in early 2012. Once The National tour dates calm down, we can concentrate on recording it more fully."In other National-related news, Aaron Dessner is on board to produce Sharon Van Etten's next album. According to a January interview with Done Waiting, the collaboration is going/went well:
"I [Sharon] always express ideas, but honestly my arrangement abilities are pretty limited because I have never really had access to anything other than a guitar and vocal. I always have harmonies in mind, and working with musicians that have a vision with my music too is really helpful to learn how to do it better. I am working on new stuff now with Aaron (Dessner, of the National) and I say, "maybe strings on this," and he says, "we'll do a bunch of arrangements and you tell us what you like." People who are really motivated to help me see my visions. Being able to go to a studio that has more at my fingertips is opening me up to new ideas too. I am still learning every day. I am constantly exploring, mostly work with my bass player and my drummer and learning how to have a band and write together and then moving on from there. Still exploring these new songs; and they are opening up every day."Sharon Van Etten opens for Beirut in the hopefully dry McCarren Park tonight (6/17).
Before heading out with The National and Yo La Tengo, Wye Oak will play Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT with Marissa Nadler on July 15. Tickets are on sale now. After the National/Yo La Tengo dates, Wye Oak will support Explosions in the Sky on part of their previously announced tour. That tour hits Wellmont Theatre on October 3, but Wye Oak do not open that date. The Antlers do. Tickets for the Wellmont show are still available.
Marissa Nadler, whose self titled LP was released this week and is streaming on NPR, also has shows coming up on her tour with Faces on Film. That tour hits Mercury Lounge on July 27 (tickets) and Littlefield on July 30 (tickets). Marissa
plays CT again on July 31 at Rudy's in New Haven (New Haven show cancelled).
All tour dates for everyone below...
photos by Josh Darr
"Wolf Parade's bombastic performance on day two of the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival was a bittersweet one: After finishing a tour last year in support of its third album, Expo 86, the band announced that it would be going on indefinite hiatus after a small number of shows in 2011. Its set at Sasquatch was its penultimate performance, and it played with the force of a band that knows it will soon be playing its ragged, world-weary songs for the last time." [listen to it @ NPR]If you're just joining us, the pictures start HERE. The rest of Day Two below...
EITS @ The Backyard in Austin, TX (more by Tim Griffin)
Texas instrumental group Explosions in the Sky released "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care" in April and have been keeping busy since. Their last tour included a headlining show at Radio City, and more recently some Texas shows with Arcade Fire (as pictured above). Between now and the fall they'll play various European dates and North American festivals, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza included. And in the fall, they'll head out on a newly-announced North American tour. All dates are listed below, .
Wye Oak, who took part in the 'Our Band Could Be Your Life' show at Bowery on Sunday, open part of the tour. The Baltimore duo will not however be opening the NJ show happening at Wellmont Theatre on October 3 (one day after ATP happens in NJ). Explosions are not playing ATP this year (they played last year), and they don't have a another NYC date scheduled at the moment either (Montclair is pretty close though).
A fan club pre-sale for all dates begins Wednesday (5/25). General public sales beging Friday (5/27). All tour dates, and some cool video from their recent shows at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, below...
The Outside Lands Festival, which runs from 8/12 - 8/14 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, released their 2011 lineup in April (and now it's May, so consider this a catch up post). Tickets are on sale.
This year's fest will appearances from The Shins, Muse, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Phish (two sets), !!!, Erykah Badu, Big Audio Dynamite (who played Coachella and are also playing Lollapalooza), Girl Talk and many more. The full lineup is below.
Flock of Dimes - 5/7/2011
To quote our own post previewing the show,
When Jenn Wasner isn't busy with her band Wye Oak, she makes music as Flock of Dimes. She makes her NYC debut under this name on Saturday night (5/7) at Glasslands with fellow Baltimorians White Life and Other Colors.And it was in fact a Baltimore family affair at the Brooklyn venue on Saturday night with Jenn even joining White Life during their poppy and energetic set. To add to the family atmosphere, Jon and Emily Ehrens of White Life are siblings and their mother was rocking out in the audience.
Flock of Dimes was usuprisingly great despite throat problems Jenn was having (and the "herbal throat slime" she was forced to drink on stage). Her set included a soulful number she wrote with Aaliyah in mind (appropriately they played Aaliyah and TLC between sets at the club). A video one of one song from Jenn's set and more pictures from the Saturday night show, are below...
by Bill Pearis
When Jenn Wasner isn't busy with her band Wye Oak (whose new album Civilian is amazing), she makes music as Flock of Dimes. She makes her NYC debut under this name on Saturday night (5/7) at Glasslands with fellow Baltimorians White Life and Other Colors. How did Flock of Dimes come to be? Bmore Musically Informed got the scoop:
I was in-between tours, and feeling crazy and maybe a bit overambitious. I decided that the only way I would follow through with making as much new music as I could while at home would be to set a deadline. That morning my friend Ben asked me to play a show at his house. I impulsively agreed. The 5 songs I wrote and recorded in the two weeks preceding the show became Flock of Dimes.You can check out a stream of Flock of Dimes' "Prison Bride" at the bottom of this post.
As for Jenn's other band, Wye Oak play the music of Dinosaur Jr as part of the Our Band Could Be Your Life 10th Anniversary show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22 (sold out) that also features Dirty Projectors (playing Black Flag), Delicate Steve (playing Minutemen), Ted Leo (playing Minor Threat), Titus Andronicus (The Replacements) Tune-Yards (Sonic Youth), Dan Deacon (Butthole Surfers), St. Vincent (Big Black), and Buke & Gass (Fugazi). Wye Oak then head off on a European tour before coming back to the U.S. for various festivals (Lollapalooza, Outside Lands). All dates below...
Lollapalooza last year (more by Josh Darr)
Lollapalooza celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with some huge names on its just-announced lineup. See it in full below.
The festival has obviously changed over the years. What started out as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction with a 'touring festival' lineup that included the Rollins Band, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, and Souxsie & The Banshees, has turned into a one-weekend Chicago festival that Lady Gaga co-headlined last year. As leaked a while ago, Foo Fighters, Muse and Eminem all play this year, as will Coldplay, Cee Lo Green, and My Morning Jacket along with the reunited Cars and the continuing-to-be-reunited Big Audio Dynamite and Death From Above 1979, and a bunch of other bands which may or may not be worth the ticket price depending on how you feel about the headliners and generally seeing bands in big, hot, outdoor crowded parks (Lollapalooza happens in Chicago's Grant Park from August 5th - 7th).
Full 2011 Lineup and a couple of videos (one from 1991, one from 2010), below...
Kaki King (more by Amanda Hatfield)
today in NYC
* Kaki King @ City Winery
* John Zorn @ The Stone
* Tom Shillue @ PS122
* Erik Friedlander @ Barbes
* Willy Porter @ Joe's Pub
* Nomadic Massive @ 92YTribeca
* Mike Birbiglia @ Barrow St Theatre
* Marta Topferova & Trova @ Barbes
* The Drums, iO Echo @ Mercury Lounge
* Toad the Wet Sprocket @ Irving Plaza
* Apollo Run, This Blue Heaven @ Union Hall
* Generifus, Soft Black, MANNERS @ Silent Barn
* Peter Evans Quartet and Quintet @ Littlefield
* MEN, Romy, No Bra @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Esther Venrooy, Pygmy Jerboa @ Issue Project Room
* Morning Teleportation, Nicos Gun @ Mercury Lounge
* Glass Ghost, Friend Roulette, Travis Laplante @ Union Pool
* Asobi Seksu, Consortium Musicum, Zaza @ Bowery Ballroom
* Bare Wires, Heavy Cream, The Psyched @ Public Assembly
* Rebirth Brass Band, Outer Borough Brass Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
* The Secret History, Morton Valence, Overlord @ The Rock Shop
* Porcelain Raft, Oupa, Young Magic, Computer Magic @ Glasslands
* Videogum's 3rd Birthday Comedy Show Celebration @ the Bell House
* Mother Feather, Translations, Chappo, Living Days @ Cameo Gallery
* Walk the Moon, Savoir Adore, ANR, Lightwaves (DJ set) @ Tammany Hall
* Joe Jack Talcum, Samuel Locke Ward, Xaddax, Toby Goodshank @ Cake Shop
* Madensuyu, Zoos of Berlin, The Silent League, Pacific Theater, Machu Picchu @ Pianos
* New York 69 (mems of Talibam!), Nick Millevoi, Colin Fisher, Suite Unraveling @ Death By Audio
* Henryk Gorecki, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Deaf Center (Unsound Festival) @ Judson Memorial Church
* Atom TM, Morton Subotnick (Unsound Festival with visuals by Lillevan) @ Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium
Wye Oak cover Danzig (!)... in the video below...
by Bill Pearis
Wounded Lion @ Shangri La
After Wednedsay and Thursday... I spent most of Friday afternoon -- the hottest day of the fest, well into the '80s --at Sailor Jerry-sponsored East Side dive Shangri La where Chicago label Trouble in Mind was throwing a party in the back yard. Their party at Scoot Inn the year before was one of my favorites of SXSW2010 and I'd have to say the same the same of 2011. The label, run by husband and wife Bill & Lisa Roe (who are also in CoCoComa), is mostly a 7" label, releasing great singles from some of the best garage-pop artists around. Many of whom were there at Shangri La.
I got there as Seattle trio Night Beats were just starting. Never heard them before, but really dug their psych-garage sounds, and they definitely looked the part. They ended their set with a cover of The Count Five's classic "Psychotic Reaction," giving their version a little swing which made it their own. Look for Night Beats debut LP out on Trouble in Mind this summer.
While Cheap Time were playing, I noticed Lars Finberg milling about the yard...what was he doing here? The Intelligence were definitely not here, was his side-project Puberty playing and I didn't know it? No, he told me he was playing drums for L.A.'s Wounded Lion for their Austin shows. I was already looking forward to seeing WL, now even moreso.
I was getting a little antsy and decided to walk around the East Side a bit, stopping by Cheer Up Charlies where I caught a few songs by Norway's Tôg (who are in NYC as we speak) before heading back to the Trouble in Mind party to catch Nashville's The Paperhead. Looking a bit like Red Kross, the band -- all about 19 I think -- are trippier than anyone else on the bill. Their debut just came out on TiM.
Next up Wounded Lion, whose self-titled debut was one of last year's more underrated records. I think seeing them live would change naysayers opinion, they were one of the rockin'est, most fun shows of the week. Two singers: main man Brad Eberhard does the heavy lifting and guitar playing, while singer/percussionist Raffi Kalenderian is more in the Bob Nastanovich of the band, going apeshit with the tambourine and generally keeping things entertaining. There is much switching of instruments. They also let Lars Finberg take lead vocals for the Intelligence's "Turned to Puke." I really thought they'd do "Pony People," a Wounded Lion song that The Intelligence covered on Fake Surfers, but no. Great, great set.
I then Sprinted over to the BrooklynVegan party at Swan Dive for John Grant. Friday was hot and Swan Dive didn't seem to have AC or even ceiling fans and it was an oven in there, but it didn't matter. Another of my favorite shows of the week. I'd seen him play solo at Mercury Lounge, but this show was with Midlake, his backing band on last year's amazing Queen of Denmark. With the band, Grant's late-'70s leaning epics came to lush life. The drums sounded gigantic. So did Grant's voice. All that was missing was sequined clothing and glasses that made points of light look like starbursts. Highlights for me: power-ballad "Mars" and "Chicken Bones" which is some kind of sonic collision of Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Nilsson.
John Grant @ Swan Dive
Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black FlagNo, that's not a list of what happened in a weird dream last night. That is the LINEUP of a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22nd in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Azerrad's "classic history of the '80s indie underground", Our Band Could Be Your Life (a book everyone reading this site should probably own!)
Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
St. Vincent plays Big Black
Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
Buke & Gass plays Fugazi
To quote show co-presenter Tiger Mountain Presents, "some of the best bands in contemporary indie music will play songs by each of the 13 bands in the book."
"For years, all kinds of people -- musicians, people who run labels, concert promoters, journalists, whatever -- have told me that they've been very inspired by Our Band Could Be Your Life and the bands it profiles, which is incredibly gratifying and totally unexpected," says Azerrad. "The tenth anniversary of the book was a great occasion for the current generation of bands to celebrate these pioneers."More bands & guest hosts TBA. Tickets are $25 & go on sale Friday, 3/11 at noon.
Meanwhile the book will also be the topic of a panel discussion at SXSW that Merrill Garbus aka tUnE-yArDs (who is also playing the festival) will speak on.
Delicate Steve and Wye Oak are going to SXSW too. Wye Oak can be found at the BV/KF/Partisan day party at Swan Dive on Friday, 3/18. Wye Oak will also play Bowery Ballroom as part of a tour in April.
St. Vincent plays Big Black. I just felt like saying it again!
DOWNLOAD: J Mascis - Not Enough (MP3)
The first BrooklynVegan Swan Dive/Barbarella Austin Day Party lineup announcement is here! (this is the first of three BV day parties happening at these connecting venues, but just one of nine total BV events.)
This one happens Friday, March 18th from noon-6pm, is co-presented by KF Records (Knitting Factory) and Partisan Records, and features an exclusive Austin day party set by Middle Brother (aka Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, John McCauley of Deer Tick, and Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit). If you want to catch them though, you better get there early because the entire lineup is ridiculous and 100% free, and it looks like this.....
STAGE 1 (SWAN DIVE)I'm already exhausted (and we have three more similar lineups still TBA).
12:00 PM JBM
12:30 PM BOBBY
01:15 PM Holy Sons
02:00 PM Dolorean
03:00 PM John Grant featuring Midlake
04:00 PM Wye Oak
05:00 PM J Mascis
STAGE 2 (Barbarella Patio)
12:00 PM David Wax Museum
01:00 PM Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
02:00 PM Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
03:00 PM Deer Tick featuring Jonny Corndawg
04:00 PM Old 97's
05:00 PM Middle Brother
STAGE 3 (Barbarella Inside)
12:15 PM AgesandAges
01:00 PM Paleo
01:45 PM Warm Ghost
02:30 PM Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers
03:15 PM Vetiver
04:00 PM Oberhofer
05:00 PM The Dodos
Note: We have Dolorean who is not to be confused with Delorean, yes that is Midlake up there backing the amazing John Grant, Jason Isbell will stick around to play with Middle Brother (like he did on their record), and yes Jonny Corndawg will be in the house.
I'm also happy to point out that, though everyone will sound great already, they are going to sound even better thanks to our official microphone sponsor Line 6, not to mention due to the help of the Korg keyboards, and Vox & Blackstar amps that we'll have on hand - all generous and much-appreciated BrooklynVegan show sponsors.
- FREE Blublocker sunglasses to first 50 people in the door!
- there will be FREE vegan Izzoz breakfast tacos while supplies last!
- we'll have loads of FREE snacks courtesy of Sensible Portions!
- we'll keep you hydrated with FREE Honest Tea!
- you can keep your energy levels high with FREE Raw Revolution bars!
- FREE Tierras organic tequila cocktails while supplies last!
- more FREE food & DRINK details TBA!
- and there will be awesome giveaways from Partisan & KF Records
throughout the day!
As announced back around Christmas, White Rabbits are about to embark on a short east coast tour. Their 2/26 Bowery Ballroom show with Arms is sold out, but you can still grab tickets to 2/23 at Maxwell's. Opening the NJ show, and the NYC show, and two of the other five dates are Caveman who, as previously pointed out "is the new project from Matty Pickles of The Subjects."
Listen to two streaming Caveman songs, and watch some videos, with all tour dates, below...
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - "Civilian" (MP3)
Wye Oak @ Rock Shop on 1/27 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Wye Oak have announced more dates, and as predicted, they will return to NYC to headline Bowery Ballroom in April. The NYC date is April 14th, and with their tour-mates Callers. Look for tickets to go on sale this week.
Wye Oak are currently out on the road with Cold War Kids in Europe, and will kick off their next fun of North American dates a few days after they release Civilian on Merge Records (home of Grammy superstars Arcade Fire).
All tour dates are listed below...
Big names and regulars aside, there are a few bands I want to highlight on the just-announced Sasquatch lineup: Wolf Parade ("indefinite hiatus" rumors be damned), The Flaming Lips (performing "The Soft Bulletin"), Death From Above 1979 (now three reunion shows total), Guided By Voices (they're not done yet), and... Archers of Loaf (!). The full lineup of the fest that goes down in Gorge, Washington in May (Memorial Day Weekend), is below...
After Wye Oak played Beacon Theatre ONE, TWO, THREE nights in a row with the Decemberists, they ended their NYC-stay with a private headlining show at the intimate Rock Shop in Brooklyn on 1/27 (right after the Dylan LeBlanc show that happened in the same venue on the same night).
Now Wye Oak are our on tour with the Decemberists. On 2/9 they kick off a European tour with Cold War Kids (who have No Age opening for them in NYC). In March they get back on the North American road with Lower Dens (who have their own show scheduled at MHOW) and then Callers through April 6th. On April 15th they return to our area for a single show at Johnny Brenda's in Philly, so if I had to guess... I'd say their next NYC might happen around then (maybe at Bowery Ballroom?). Stay tuned.
More pictures and three videos from the Rock Shop show (full NYC Taper recording coming soon), with all tour dates, below...
the marquee on Night Two (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Shara Worden made a surprise appearance at last night's Decemberists show, the last of three Beacon Theatre shows for the Portland band who are currently #1 on the Billboard chart (as Colin Meloy acknowledged briefly at the show). Meloy also...
"...said that, because of the snow outside, they would be playing a "wintery mx" of songs, book-ended by two songs about summer. In between there were tracks from albums The Crane Wife, The Hazards of Love and the afore-mentioned best-selling The King is Dead. Each song was accompanied by a change in colour of the stage backdrop, which is also the cover of their latest album. They also roped in musicians from "The Decemberists Family " like Shara Worden (who guests on The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid) and Sara Watkins - such captivating singers that I want to hear more of." [Miss N-Tertaiment]You can hear more of Sharon Worden at Lincoln Center tonight (1/27), part of the American Songbook Series. You can hear more of Decemberists opener Wye Oak tonight at Rock Shop (if you have a way in) before they continue on the road with the Decemberists. Last night's Decemberists setlist and videos from the show are below...
Playing before The Decemberists is no easy task, but Merge duo Wye Oak was up for the challenge.
"Good evening. We're a couple of kids from Baltimore, Maryland... hot dog!" declared vocalist/guitarist Jenn Wasner with cool excitement. In light of Wasner's endearing banter and sweet demeanor, the duo's rocking sound is a nice contrast. This is not the stuff of wispy, sugar-coated singer-songwriters. Wasner's voice is surprisingly full bodied, and for two people, there's a lot going on musically. Andy Stack's ability to manage both the keyboard and the drums simultaneously is no small feat.
Wye Oak showcased some new material, including a selection of songs from their upcoming album, which drops on 3/8. "I wrote this song in a sweaty attic in Baltimore," Jenn said at one point. "Now I get to play it in a Broadway theatre. Life is strange."
Following Wye Oak's brief set (and nearly the entirety of a Mumford and Sons album courtesy of the sound guy), the lights dimmed, and a mysterious but congenial disembodied voice boomed through the darkness. "Good evening. Welcome to the show." No, it wasn't The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. It was a scripted pre-recorded intro of sorts, allegedly from Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland. Robo-Adams led the crowd in introductions and then began to set the scene for what promised to be a picturesque evening. "I'd like you to imagine you're standing on a windswept coastal rainforest somewhere in the deep Pacific northwest.'" Cue the chirping birds and flowing water.
"OK here we go," said Meloy as the band readied to play. "Night number two." Befitting the strange introduction, the backdrop of the stage was decorated with the silhouettes of pine trees against the sky - much like the artwork on the cover of the band's latest album which just hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
For Monday night's show (night 1 or 3), the band had kicked off their set with a number of new songs, but at last night's show, they began with a ten-plus minute song from deep within their discography: "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade."
It's hard to believe that nearly 9 years have passed since The Decemberists released Castaways and Cutouts. After the direction the band assumed for their last two albums, I was eager to hear what their latest would be like, and I didn't have to wait long.
"We have a new record out called The King is Dead, and we're going to play some songs off of that... among other things," Meloy stated after the chords of the first song had died out. "We have a long night together." What followed was a cascade of new songs, interrupted only briefly for the crowd-pleasing ballad "Red Right Ankle."
With The King is Dead, The Decemberists seem to have exchanged the slowly unfolding and meandering prog rock featured on their recent few albums, and turned back to tight songwriting in the more conventional 3-5 minute format. The new material is less frenzied and overblown than say, nearly anything on Hazards of Love. Absent are long-winded instrumental interludes and evidence of roll playing, strange characters, and period pieces. The King is Dead is far more immediate, which is good, considering just how much of the band's set was lifted from the album (only two of the new songs went unplayed). Much of the material may have been new, but it also felt somehow familiar - like a throwback to some of the band's earlier work. Fiddle player and vocalist Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek) was a pleasant addition to the mix - especially as the widow in "The Chimbley Sweep."
Of course, we still got a taste of that gothic storybook rock. "Alright, we're going to go down the rabbit hole here a little," Meloy said by way of introducing the Crane Wife suite.
Spirits were high throughout the evening. Meloy and the band succeeded in engaging the audience with their dramatic antics and candid banter. At one point, Meloy turned the mic on the audience and pitted the orchestra against the balcony for what turned into an impressively compliant and enthusiastic sing-a-long for the 'la-di-da's' of "16 Military Wives."
The Decemberists followed up their regular set with quite an energetic and theatrical first encore. "The Chimbley Sweep" devolved into a play-off - Colin Meloy vs. Chris Funk. Then as the song continued, both men handed off their guitars to a random audience member, and Meloy proceeded to take a walk around the room, climbing over chairs and steadying himself by reaching out and grasping shoulders and heads as he made his way through the crowd. For the accordion-laden shanty "The Mariner's Revenge Song," the audience assumed an important role. At Funk's hand signal (no more prop whale), the whole room broke out in screams and laments as if being swallowed by a whale. Back onstage, the band fell to the ground and began to writhe around the floor. From their new position, they played with increased fervor until the song eventually spun out of control and ended.
Succumbing to the ravenous applause, The Decemberists concluded the evening with a brief second encore, this time favoring a song from their new album, "June Hymn."
After comparing the setlists from the last two nights, it definitely looks like the band is attempting to mix things up. I only wonder what they'll play to cap off their three-night run in the city tonight (1/26).
More pictures from last night (though none of Wye Oak unfortunately), the setlist and all of their upcoming tour dates 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 Dominick Mastrangelo
"It was pure geek chic last night at the Beacon Theatre, where The Decemberists played the first of a three-night engagement.To quote Dominick, "Wye Oak flat-out killed" last night at NYC's Beacon Theater, so get there early if you're going tonight (night two) or Wednesday (night three). Wye Oak go on at 8pm, but note: both remaining shows are sold out. More pictures and the Decemberists setlist from night one, below...
This indie folk-rock quintet from Portland, Ore., look like extras from "Revenge of the Nerds," but don't be fooled -- like their name, The Decemberists' music is wrapped and cool.
Live, the band's acoustic side blossoms, so they often sound like close kin to American music icons such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and R.E.M.
Yet their brand of Americana has a youthful contemporary angst that is essential to their hipster appeal. During this two-hour show, the set spanned the band's 10-year career, but wisely leaned heaviest on the just-released CD, "The King is Dead." Songs from that record made the best case for why the group should be superstars." [NY Post]
Wye Oak @ Siren Fest 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
One day after they open for the Decemberists for three nights in a row at Beacon Theater, Wye Oak will play a private record release show at the intimate Rock Shop in Brooklyn. You can't buy tickets to the show, but I have four pairs that four lucky winners can win. Details on winning your way into the 1/27 show are below.
Wye Oak stay on the road with the Decemberists through February 4th (then Mountain Man take over as opener for Colin Meloy and gang). Wye Oak then get back on the road in March for four nights with Lower Dens whose only other announced show at the moment is February 25th gig at Music Hall of Williamsburg which goes on sale Friday at noon.
After playing with Lower Dens, Wye Oak will go out on tour with Callers who can also be found at Union Pool in Brooklyn on January 29th with Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors and Teen. Callers released an album called "Life of Love" via Western Vinyl in 2010.
Wye Oak's new album, Civilian, will be released by Merge Records on March 8th. You can pre-order it now. Lower Dens, who released their full length Twin-Hand Movement back in July, released a new single called "Batman" this week. You can listen to that song, with all tour dates for all bands and contest details below...