Entries tagged with: Wye Oak
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...
The Decemberists at Radio City (more by Tim Griffin)
January 25th is sold out and the 26th is getting there (tickets), but The Decemberists have now added a third show at the Beacon Theater on January 24th (also with Wye Oak). Tickets go on sale Fri 12/10 at 11AM - no AMEX presale information is currently available, but the show is currently on fan pre-sale.
The tour is in celebration of the new LP The King Is Dead, available for preorder in various incarnations including a super deluxe boxset with the vinyl, CDs, a DVD on the making of the record, a book, and much more.
"The Decemberists have partnered with The Impossible Project and photographer Autumn de Wilde to create a DELUXE BOX EDITION of The King Is Dead, their forthcoming Capitol Records album which will be released on January 18, 2011. Rough Trade Records will be releasing The King Is Dead in the UK and Europe on January 17. The preorder of the set has launched today exclusively at Decemberists.com.Order the new record now.
Each of the 2,500 limited edition box sets will be unique, with every one containing a one-of-a-kind original Polaroid photo by de Wilde. The linen-wrapped clamshell box will have a foil-stamped cover, and will also include the CD, 180-gram white vinyl with an exclusive cover design, the DVD Pendarvia (a 30-minute short film by Aaron Rose documenting the making of the album), a 72-page hardcover book featuring over 250 photos by de Wilde and illustrations by Carson Ellis, and a signed Giclée print of an exclusive illustration by Ellis. A sample of the DELUXE BOX EDITION can be viewed at Decemberists.com.
The project was made possible by Impossible, who provided de Wilde with the vintage Type 100 "peel-apart" Polaroid film necessary to capture the 2,500 individual photos that were taken during the album's recording sessions at Pendarvis Farm outside of Portland, Oregon, and in de Wilde's hometown of Los Angeles, California."
Updated dates, and some videos of the band performing new songs, below...
Did you get tickets for the January 25th Decemberists show at Beacon Theatre which just sold out in 15 minutes? If not, hurry up and grab some for the January 26th show that was just added (at the same venue and also with Wye Oak opening).
Check out the cover of their new album, The King is Dead, above.
The Decemberists at Radio City Music Hall (more by Tim Griffin)
One week after The Decemberists welcome their new LP The King is Dead into this world (due 1/18/11) via Capitol Records, the band will hit the road for a string of US dates followed by European dates that will take them into middle March. The tour includes an NYC stop at Beacon Theater on January 25th. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday November 17th at 10am, and then general sale Friday November 19th at 11am. All seats are $39.50.
Wye Oak will open the first part of their US tour, including in NYC. The duo released their EP My Neighbor, My Creator earlier this year via Merge Records. Mountain Man, who just got done touring with Jonsi (they opened the NYC show at Hammerstein Ballroom) will take over as openers for the Decemberists in Milwaukee.
Mountain Man won't be on board for the NYC date of the Decemberists tour, but they will play 92Y Tribeca on 12/11 with John Shade, their only current US headlining date (the band will head to Australia in the new year). Tickets are on sale.
All tour dates and a video is below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Blood Red Shoes @ MHOW
After Chris left the BV Loft Party all the way back on Friday, October 22nd, he headed over to Music Hall of Williamsburg for the Blue Flowers-presented CMJ showcase for a lineup of mostly UK bands including Chapel Club, Everything Everything, and Blood Red Shoes (who toured North America with Sky Larkin in October). Pictures from that show are in this post.
The occasion (to post these belated pics)? SXSW has already announced an initial lineup of bands playing in Austin from March 16-20, 2011, and Chapel Club is on that list (and I wouldn't be surprised of the other 2 mentioned bands end up coming too). Also on the list: Lia Ices, Braids, Asobi Seksu, Wye Oak, Suuns, Sun Airway, A Place to Bury Strangers and more. Full list under the rest of the MHOW pictures, below...
Lou Barlow on stage with Dinsaur Jr at Bowery (more by Vincent Cornelli)
The previously mentioned Lou Barlow & The Missingmen/Wye Oak tour hits Mercury Lounge TONIGHT (9/1, tickets), one of two NYC-area dates for tour-mates. On Saturday (9/4), the pair will play an early show at Maxwell's (tickets) before the venue hosts The Greenhornes/The Black Hollies later that night (tickets). The Greenhornes play a show at Mercury Lounge while they're here too, and it's free (Greenhornes also play ATP NY over the weekend).
Meanwhile Lou Barlow and the great Dinosaur Jr will play support for a pretty incredible ATP show overseas. The event, which will see them perform Bug in its entirety, will also see Deerhoof play all of Milk Man as support for...
On the 1st July 2011 The Flaming Lips will perform their seminal classic The Soft Bulletin as part of ATP Concerts Don't Look Back season. On the album's release in 1999 it was hailed by critics as 'The Pet Sounds of the 90s', receiving adulation from fans and writers alike, topping many year end charts and spawning two classic singles ('Waiting For A Superman', 'Race For The Prize') and going on to influence countless bands. In 2003 Pitchfork placed the album as the third best album of the 1990s alongside Radiohead's OK Computer and My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.I knew it was just a matter of time before it happened. For those of you willing to hop the pond, tickets are on sale Friday 9/3 at 10AM.
Speaking of ATP, the countdown to ATP NY is on its last legs, and the festival (that Flaming Lips, Deerhoof and Dinosaur Jr. all played last year or the year before) has announced set times. Raekwon direct support? Sleep headlining OVER Iggy Pop? Discuss/love/hate and check out times below.
Stillwell Stage photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
"To close out the night, fans had the option of checking out Matt and Kim at the main stage or Holy Fuck at the alternate stage. The choice was clear, I went with the latter, and they easily turned out to be my favorite performance of the night. Their weird, intellectualized sound came to the forefront for the masses to witness firsthand and it's quite the process. With film reels rolling and making glorious sounds, lead singer Brian Borcherdt sporadically took the mic, shoved it between his teeth, and danced just as hard as any of the onlookers. It was clearly the most-lively show of the night. Holy Fuck as a satisfying headliner for the bill was a question on many people's minds, so the band had some expectations to live up to, but they totally thrived on those exact expectations and exceeded them tenfold. Even though the event was fully sponsored/curated, Holy Fuck performed in all aspects with the heart of any DIY performer." [Neon Musical Insight]Our first set of Siren Festival pictures had a bit from both stages. Then came the main stage with some bonus shots of Matt & Kim in the ocean. We conclude with all the bands from the Stillwell Stage, with some more of Ted Leo from the main stage, and one more bonus shot of Matt & friends in the ocean, below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Molly Siegel (with a mysterious bulge) & Screaming Marissa Paternoster
"it was very hot out. i was covers in sand and sweat, it was not too nice. but it was fun just to go to coney island and to people watch..im a bit fan of that. also siri of ringo, have a banana has a boyfriend alex who is in the pains of being pure at heart, who played the show. i got to see her, we ran into each other while getting pinkberry from the booth they had set up. we were supposed to meet up after alex's band played and packed up, but my friend started feeling sick, and we were very uncomfortable and in desperate need of ice cold showers so we left a bit early."The heat was the story of the day, well after Molly's bulge anyway, at the 10th annual Siren Music Festival in Coney Island on Saturday. A set of pictures that contains the first seven bands that played, and a few videos including some of the energetic Matt & Kim crowd, and one where a girl almost hits the pavement while crowd surfing during Ponytail (bonus points if you spot Darren Mabee in the video) (some of you now know him as "Beans"), below...
[it girl, rag doll]
The schedule (above). The pre-party flyer... (below)
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Lou Barlow + the missingmen - Losercore (MP3)
Lou Barlow + the missingmen (guitarist Tom Watson and drummer Raul Morales - Lou's touring band who do great things with Mike Watt too) have released a new EP = Sentridoh III, out now digitally through Merge (physical copies will be at shows). About the record, the label writes:
Described by the band as "an almost live representation of the Lou Barlow + the missingmen live show", = Sentridoh III is another step forward for Lou Barlow, and his first release with new backing band the missingmen. With new cuts, rocking reworks of songs from Lou's latest solo record Goodnight Unknown, and a hauntingly beautiful cover of Skip James's "I'm So Glad", = Sentridoh III is sure to please fans new and old alike.You can get a track from it above, or stream the EP in full at Merge.
Lou will be touring the Western US with the missingmen this June. They go on tour with Wye Oak in August and September. That tour visits NYC for a Mercury Lounge show on Wednesday, September 1st. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon. General sale starts Friday at noon.
Before that Wye Oak will be at Siren Fest and 50% of the band, Andy Stack, plays with Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater at the Whitney on June 25th.
Tracklist for the EP (the cover is above) and all tour dates are below...
the Night Marchers @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009 (more)
The Village Voice, the nation's largest alternative weekly newspaper, is excited to announce the addition of THE NIGHT MARCHERS, CYMBALS EAT GUITARS, EARL GREYHOUND, SCREAMING FEMALES and WYE OAK to the line-up for the 10th Annual SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL at Coney Island, NYC on Saturday, July 17, 2010 from 12:00 noon - 9:00 p.m. These artists join scheduled performers MATT AND KIM, TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS, THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, SURFER BLOOD and HARLEM with more to be announced.So that was the July show Wye Oak were talking about.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in historic Coney Island, SIREN has solidified its status as a leading New York City outdoor music festival, drawing over 100,000 music fans each year. With over 120 bands making their mark at SIREN over the last decade, this year will recognize SIREN's roots with the first ever return of past performers. MATT AND KIM and TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS will be heading back to the SIREN stage to celebrate. This free, all ages, all day festival is not to be missed.
DOWNLOAD: Shearwater - Castaways (MP3)
Jonathan Meiburg @ All Points West 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Wye Oak's Andy Stack @ Pianos - BV CMJ 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
"...Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater joined Jenn and Andy [of Wye Oak] on stage for their final song, a cover song, and then he came back about 20 minutes later with his own band. Jordan Geiger from Hospital Ships was on the stage for the set, and Andy Stack joined them for a couple songs, so there were upwards of 6 performers on stage, bringing Shearwater's beautifully dramatic songs to life. They played a long set, probably 70 to 80 minutes I'd guess, and played almost every song I'd ever heard of in their catalog... [Vague Space]The tour was one of a few examples of recent collaborations between Shearwater and Wye Oak. Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg recently joined Wye Oak to cover the Kinks' song "Strangers" at as part of A.V. Club's Undercover series (25 bands covering 25 different songs). Video of the performance is posted below.
Next up, Wye Oak's Andy Stack will join Meiburg for a performance at the Whitney Museum on Friday, June 25th at 7pm...
Charles Burchfield reveled in the sounds, sights, and sensations of nature. He often wrote about his experiences in his journals, and his close study of nature is apparent in his paintings. Join us for a reading of excerpts from Burchfield's journals by Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature, paired with a performance of songs by Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater who will be joined by Andy Stack of Wye Oak. Rosen and Meiburg both share Burchfield's enthusiasm for nature, particularly birds. Tonight discover the wonders in paying attention to the backyard bird.Speaking of the Whitney, the museum is currently open 24 hours a day as part of its Biennial exhibit. The open-24-hours-ness stops May 28th at midnight. The Biennial runs through May 30th. When that closes, the hazy, somewhat-psychedelic-tinged watercolors of Charles Burchfield will run at the museum from June 24-October 17 (as noted above, the concert is June 25th).
This event is free with Museum admission, which is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays from 6-9 pm; no special tickets or reservations are required.
Shearwater don't have any other dates coming up. Wye Oak, who are releasing an EP, My Neighbor/My Creator, June 8th on Merge, do have some. You may have noticed them (Philly and DC) in Deer Tick's tour dates. No NYC date announced for Wye Oak, but when we contacted Andy with some questions about the Whitney show, he hinted that there was "one really fun" show coming in July (Siren?) (answer = yes). Those questions and answers, with a bunch of videos and other stuff below...
Will Sheff & Roky Erickson
"Welcome to Montreal -- how do you like the Weather?" - Martin Cesar, Think About Life.
After three lovely days of sunny, mild weather, the skies went grey and cold for the last day of SXSW, Saturday, March 20th, with temperatures dropping to around 45 degrees. Almost no one seemed prepared for it, judging by the throngs of under-dressed shivering all over town. With a lot of the Austin venues being outdoor, it especially hurt. Our final party of a very busy week of parties was a free badge-less official SXSW event that we did with the M for Montreal folks, at the two-stage Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room & Bourbon Rocks). The main stage was outside -- under a tent, which helped just a little -- and while temperatures were low, spirits were high and it was maybe the most fun I had all week.
My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singer Martin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. That they didn't do "Johanna" is my only complaint. NYers can see them on April 27 when Think About Life play Mercury Lounge. It's part of a fairly extensive U.S. tour, do go see them.
I was also super-pumped to see The Besnard Lakes whose new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is pretty fantastic. Specifically, I wanted to hear its epic opener, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," and have it knock me back. Like a lot of Montreal bands, The Besnard Lakes' line-up ebbs and flows. Theirs does so around the core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. I've seen them seven strong before, but here they were a lean mean quartet and did not disappoint. They're on tour in May, including a 5/28 show at Bowery Ballroom.
Another set I knew would be fun was Montreal's Duchess Says who played one of our CMJ day parties last year. While their more aggressive take on Devo-style protopunk is fun, it's all about singer Annie Claude who looks very cute and innocent... until the music starts. She shrieks, jumps in the audience, tackles people, pulls them to the floor, and causes general mayhem. It's more mischief than menace though. There are lots of other singers who do similar things, but never anything quite like her. After you've seen them once, part of the fun is watching other people experience them for the first time. The inside room was packed to the gills (it was warmer there). My favorite part of the show had her sitting down in the middle of the audience, methodically pulling people down with her, draping their arms over her into a giant pile of people. There's video at the bottom of this post.
The other major highlight for me was Roky Erickson with Okkervill River. I'd never seen him before and this was certainly a great live introduction to someone whose music I've loved for a long time. Will Sheff produced Roky's new album (first in 14 years) and Okkervill was his backing band on it, so the set was tight, rocking and just sounded fantastic. Roky was in great form too, and we got a few 13th Floor Elevators nuggets in there, as well as "Starry Eyes," one of my favorites of his solo material. They tour in May including a show at Webster Hall.
And there was lots more: the great Wye Oak kicked off the party with a lovely set despite cold fingers; Jason Collett was a class act with superbly-crafted country-pop (see video of his set below); Crystal Antlers filled in for BEAST who couldn't make it; Andrew WK was in full Meatloaf mode with a set of piano ballads; Plants and Animals were lush and harmony-laden; metal legends Voivod showed they've still got it; and a percussion-heavy set from L.A.'s Local Natives was probably the biggest draw of the day -- they were excellent.
Somehow I entirely missed sets by Holy Fuck (who I heard were great) and Suckers (who I've seen before many times here in NYC). A last minute addition, Nardwuar was there too, providing funny, heavily-researched band introductions as only he can. It was a great, if cold, day. Stay tuned for his video interview of Will and Roky.
Thanks to everyone who helped put this all together, and to our sponsors. More pictures and videos from the whole day below...
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - I Hope You Die (MP3)
Wye Oak @ Galaxy Room (BV/M For Montreal SXSW 2010 day party)
"If Wye Oak performed in D.C. once a week for a year, I'd go at least 20 times. So why go see the band at SXSW, when dozens of bands I don't already love are playing? What if one of them is amazing? Because that would mean missing Wye Oak, that's why." [NPR]Wye Oak have a new EP entitled My Neighbor / My Creator - it's out digitally, or you can wait until June 5th when Merge Records releases the CD. Now on tour with Shearwater, you can catch both bands at Bowery Ballroom in NYC tonight (3/27). Tickets are still available, and I have a pair to giveaway. Details at the end of the post (under all the tour dates).
Last Saturday, 3/20, they were the first band of the day to play our party at Galaxy Room, outdoors and in the uncharacteristic-of-Austin freezing cold. To quote myself, their noon set "was a great way to wake up". Their short set (which was just a couple of hours before they played Stereogum's shindig) consisted of at least two songs off their five-song EP. "I Hope You Die" elicited a chuckle from the crowd when they introduced it. Grab a free MP3 of that song above. The other new one I know they played was "My Neighbor". Proof is in the video below which you can watch along with a video from their set at the official Merge showcase. The full EP tracklist & cover art, another picture and other stuff is down there too...
I've been announcing individual bands on this party before now. Finally we have the full exciting lineup!
You know M For Montreal as the Canadian festival we've visited for two years in a row. Their yearly festival showcases bands from their home city in their home city, and they take that show on the road each year to both CMJ in NYC and SXSW in Austin (we already announced their official 2010 night showcase).
Being that we are such huge fans of so many Montreal bands, I thought it would be a great idea see if they wanted do a party together... and here we are. The lineup mixes some of our favorite Montreal bands with some or our other favorite Canadian (like Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene) and non-Canadian bands (like Andrew WK).
We have 13 bands total, a DJ set by another band, free ice cream from the Ice Cream Man (some of which is vegan), free vegan food courtesy of Austin's own Daily Juice and other surprises (drink specials on this particular party are pending). We're also proud to announce that KEXP is the official radio sponsor of all BV day parties this year. You'll find them, video cameras in hand, at many of our day parties throughout the week including this one. Those in attendance at this show will also have a chance to check out and win a pair of Nudie Jeans (another one of our kind sponsors).
Also unlike any other BV day party, this one is officially part of SXSW. That does NOT mean you need a badge. NO BADGES REQUIRED for this free show, but you will find the party listed on SXSW.com (and you can add it to your schedule on there). Full lineup with set times below...
DOWNLOAD: Sweet Apple - Do You Remember (MP3)
Thurston w/ Sonic Youth @ MHOW in November (more by Lori Baily)
Society's Ills: In 1994 Society's Ills (Moore, Cadena, Watt, Markey) made their world premier with the now coveted "Skins, Brains, and Guts" release - a slab that managed to cram (9) 7 seconds covers onto one 7". In 2010, the band is back and once again fronted by Thurston but he brings with him a new crue of slayers to launch the hardcore fury:Society's Ills play in addition to Thurston Moore solo, Talk Normal, The Entrance Band, Violent Soho, the Slits' Viv Albertine, Awesome Color, Jemina Pearl and more at the Ecstatic Peace SXSW Showcase happening Friday, March 19th at Red 7 in Austin. Curious about Society's Ills? Their version of 7 Seconds' "I Hate Sports" is below.
Thurston Moore: Vocals
J Mascis: Guitar
Don Fleming: Guitar [SY producer & Velvet Monkeys/Gumball frontman]
Andrew W.K.: Bass
Awesome Allison: Drums [from Awesome Color]
This set is their first, but don't worry if you miss it cause I'm sure we can put this together again in another 15 years! [Ecstatic Peace]
J Mascis will also be playing at SXSW with Sweet Apple, who are playing Mercury Lounge on April 20th. One of their SXSW sets will be at the showcase for TeePee Records, who are putting out the Sweet Apple debut, Love & Desperation, a track from which is above. That show is Thursday, March 18th at Habana Calle 6, and also on the bill are Priestess, Iron Age, Nebula, Naam, Imaad Wasif and more. Full details and a poster are below. Tee Pee Records has also teamed up with BrooklynVegan and Chronic Youth for another day party taking place on Saturday, March 20th in Austin. This is the first we've mentioned it. Stay tuned for more info.
Lou Barlow will also be at SXSW (backed again by The Missingmen) - one of his shows will be the Merge Records showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard on March 18th also featuring Let's Wrestle, She & Him, and others. Full lineup below. For She & Him it's one of two official SXSW shows. They also play Saturday night (March 20th) at Auditorium Shores (with Justin Townes Earle & TBA). Cheap Trick play the same slot at Auditorium Shores one night earlier.
Merge's showcase mentions that one slot will be filled by "Special Guest". We don't know who that is, but we'd have to guess Superchunk is a strong possibility since Mac & Laura have a speaking engagement (in a bookstore) on March 17th, and another one (official SXSW) at the convention center on March 19th (with Michael Azerrad), and the band is on the bill of the Village Voice day party happening at La Zona Rosa the afternoon of March 19th (with the xx, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Surfer Blood). It's definitely not Spoon who play the NPR show at Stubb's on March 17th with Deerhunter (their tour-mates) and The Walkmen.
Kim and Thurston are playing with the Plastic Ono Band in their two-night Brooklyn Academy of Music run. They were at the dress rehearsal (aka the first night) last night (2/16). BV photographer Greg Cristman was in the audience and told us, "One definite highlight was Thurston and Kim played with Yoko as a trio and did a killer version of Mulberry from Unfinished Music No. 2 while the film Fly was projected on a huge screen behind them!" - a (poor quality) video clip of one of the other songs is below.
Full lineups for the showcases and videos are below...
DOWNLOAD: Shearwater - Castaways (MP3)
Shearwater @ All Points West '09 (more by Chris La Putt)
Matador will be releasing the new album by Shearwater, The Golden Archipelago, on February 23rd. You can preorder that in a variety of packages, including The Golden Dossier version which comes as a loose file of ephemera and goodies. More info on both the album and its special edition are below. A song off the record, "Castaways," is posted above.
They'll be in Europe this February and early March before touring North America in March and April with Wye Oak and Hospital Ships (openers vary by date). One of those dates is a Bowery Ballroom show on Saturday, March 27th (with both of those openers). Tickets are now on AmEx presale. General sale starts Friday at noon.
As NPR pointed out, Hospital Ships "founder and sole member Jordan Geiger has a long, varied indie-rock resume, with stints as the trumpeter in Shearwater and the chief songwriter of Minus Story."
Shearwater drummer Thor Harris will also be keeping busy this year as a member of Swans.
More Shearwater album info and all tour dates are below...
Field Music didn't make it, but there was a special reunion set by Pulsars, followed by the super duper Wye Oak who played before special guest Rumours last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn (12/3).
As advertised (at the last minute anyway), Rumours was a Fleetwood Mac cover band. Cover song experts Loser's Lounge made up the band and a rotating cast of singers came to the stage to play individual tunes. Those vocalists included Dave Hill dueting with Erika from Au Revoir Simone, Will Sheff dueting with Beth Wawerna, Matthew Caws, Britta, Sharon Van Etten, Wye Oak, and many more. The show was in honor of Bell House booker Skippy. Well, it was his birthday party, and he even came out to help perform "I Don't Wanna Know" with Mia Riddle. The full setlist (which did not include AC Newman or Eugene Mirman - both must be out of town) with a couple of videos below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Big Pink - Velvet (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Big Pink - Dominoes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: JEFF the Brotherhood - Bone Jam (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: JEFF the Brotherhood - Heavy Damage (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Accolades (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sisters - Street Cars (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Coin Under Tongue - Junksmith (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dinowalrus - Electric Car, Gas Guitar (MP3)
Slow week my ass! The next four or five days are positively packed with shows, at least from a TWII standpoint. No time for small talk, let's get into it.
Tonight/Thursday's the big birthday celebration for Skippy who books The Bell House and Union Hall. I wish I could throw a party for myself and get bands like
Field Music (one of two American Performances in 2009) and Wye Oak to play it, not to mention a rare appearance by the mostly defunct '90s electropop band The Pulsars. Also, a band (or someone) called "Rumours" is on after Field Music play. Skippy has been tight-lipped about what this is, but my money is on some sort of all-star Fleetwood Mac cover band. (And if that's the case I'd bet you $20 it involves Carl Newman.) You're invited, too, to this "Improbable Birthday Concert" as tickets ($12, cheap!) are still available.
I've had the new Field Music album, Field Music (Measure), on repeat for the last couple days and it's another knockout from the Brewis brothers, 20 tracks that further refine their distinctive mix of baroque pop, nervy new wave, prog, krautrock and whatever else they're into at the time. It's a Field Music album, no doubt about it, but it's less buttoned up, more rhythm heavy ("Let's Write a Book" shows that one of them's been listening to Can) and willing to give anything a try. If you've never seen Field Music live before, you should definitely come out, the Brewises are shit-hot musicians as well (David is an especially impressive drummer). There used to be a lot of switching instruments when they were a trio, but now as a four-piece I wonder if that'll still happen.
We'll see tonight
Long-running Upstate New York power pop band The Figgs are are in town for two shows (or three if you count Saturday night in Staten Island): tonight/Thursday (12/3) at Bruar Falls with the Nouvellas and Friday (12/4) at Cake Shop. Both shows are with Detroit's The Sights who open for The Queers at Maxwell's on Saturday (The Queers play Southpaw tonight).
The Figgs are a band who I've always liked but never closely followed. Luckily, my friend Steve, who writes a genuine photocopied fanzine The Reynolds Report (now also available in convenient blog form) is arguably the foremost Figgs authority (and you'd be a fool to argue with him on this subject), so I asked him to write a little guest paragraph for this week's TWII:
The Figgs have been creating great power pop for two decades now, with no signs of stopping any time soon. Steeped in the tradition of The Replacements, Cheap Trick and Elvis Costello, their annual Christmas shows are always a great time to catch them as the coming of winter seems to kick the trio's playing up just a notch. Look for them to break out songs from their upcoming album (due out in April), a choice Christmas cover or two, a wide selection from their nine albums and their brand new 45 "Casino Hayes." I'm pretty sure it's the best song about a gambling-addicted drummer (um, their own) ever.The Figgs rock, so go see them! All dates below.
There's a competition for the power pop dollar this weekend. If you're not going to the Figgs on Friday (12/4), it's probably because you're going to see Sloan at the Bell House. That's where I'll be. My love of these Canadians is no secret, and even when they've made a less-than-totally-awesome album they're always worth seeing in concert, one of my favorite live bands of the '00s. (I'm pretty sure I've seen them at least once a year since 2001.) They've got a new five-song digital-only EP, Hit & Run, which is pretty darn good. Chris Murphy contributes two tracks, including the excellent "Take it Upon Yourself," and the rest of the band each gets one. Tickets ($17.50) are still available. They play with fellow Torontonians, the lovely and talented trio Magneta Lane, and locals Deleted Scenes.
And wait there's more on Friday! Speaking of Canadian, maybe you happened across one of the 37 reports I recently filed from this year's M for Montreal festival. One of that city's more exciting underground bands, Red Mass, make their American debut at Live With Animals Gallery in Williamsburg (same address as Monster Island). Their brand-new EP on Montreal label Semprini is a nice chunk of psych-garage and they definitely put on a good show. The big question is how big a Mass will they be? I've seen them twice -- once there was 10 of them, the second time only four. Safe bet would be somewhere in between. (Canadians love a good excuse to come party in NYC.) If I wasn't already spoken for, I'd definitely being going to see them. Golden Triangle are also on the bill. Singer Choyce told me their might be a house party gig on Saturday too, so look out for that.
The Big Pink
Oh crap, there's still more. The Big Pink, who are making a stink in the UK, are on their first major tour of the U.S., stopping at Bowery Ballroom tonight (12/3) and Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow (12/4). Haven't seen them live, but their album A Brief History Of Love is a nice slice of electro-shoegaze that reminds a lot of 30-somethings of early-'90s band Chapterhouse. The anthemic, fist-pumper "Dominos" might not stand the test of time but as an of-the-moment signifier, it's one of 2009's more memorable indie singles. You can download it at the top of this post. I hope they use lots and lots of dry ice and strobes. Crystal Antlers and Von Haze open both shows.
Pants Yell! @ The Bell House on 11/14 (more by Tim Griffin)
If you missed them when they played the Slumberland 20 party at the Bell House a few weeks back, you can download the audio from that show, and you can catch Boston's Pants Yell! at Bruar Falls on Saturday night which might be the last time they ever play the NYC area as they've vowed to break up next year. They'd be going out on a good note if that holds true, as their new album on Slumberland, Received Pronunciation, is another charming slice of deceptively gentle guitar pop. Pants Yell! rock more live than you might expect, they're drummer in particular is kind of a beast on the kit. They also know their indie rock history, from the Pastels and Felt to the Aislers Set, Unrest and beyond. The cover art, complete with a faux Japanese Obi strip, was done by Unrest/Teenbeat/Air Miami/Flin Flon/Cotton Candy maestro Mark Robinson.
JEFF the Brotherhood @ Glenn Danzig's House in Nashville (more by Paul Birman)
BV faves JEFF the Brotherhood, who've had a pretty good 2009, are back in town for the zillionth time this year (seems like they're here as much as Nashville) but that's okay, you don't really tire of their awesome power. Have you heard their album, Heavy Days? It's great. I know I tend to like the cardigan pop, but riffs and grooves this intense can not be denied. And they are just the best live. The vinyl of Heavy Days just got a second pressing with a new back cover, and there's also a new single, "Heavy Damage," which you can pick up at the merch table. The play Saturday (12/5) at Bowery Ballroom opening for Ted Leo (sold out), and then again on Monday (12/7) at Mercury Lounge for what they say is their last show of '09.
The Monday show is solid as a rawk. (Did I just write that? I'm doing this super late at night.) Also on the bill are Death by Audio's Sisters (noise pop backed by a foreboding amp monolith) and Coin Under Tongue (old school riff-heavy hard rock), plus Dinowalrus (kitchen sink psych not unlike early Flaming Lips). Sure it's a Monday, you're tired, but this bill is like aura caffeine. Show's eight bucks and tickets are still available. It's a bit weird to have JEFF in town and not playing Death By Audio, but if they can tear up Pianos on a Thursday afternoon (as they did at the BV day party during CMJ), they can destroy Mercury on a Monday night.
Dinowalrus, fronted by Titus Andronicus guitarist Pete Feigenbaum, are also at Union Pool tonight (12/3) with Dan Friel and others.. The MP3 on top of this post is from their debut album "%" which comes out on Kanine in January.
And finally, Brooklyn indiepop mainstays The Besties are calling it quits. I know, it's sad. Here it is in their words, straight from MySpace:
The Besties are officially done. As happens with many awesome relationships, stuff happens and things get hard, and so you end it and remain friends and all that junk. It's like that. We guess? Well, Kelly moved to Asheville, and Frank renewed his vows with the city of Boston. And other stuff. So there's that.Those two shows are Friday (12/4) at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ and then their last-ever performance will be Sunday (12/6) at Bruar Falls, which is made extra special because Bunnygrunt are coming in from St. Louis just to play this farewell show.
Here's the good news! We are playing two last shows around NYC in December, and we plan on going out with a serious bang. So sell some CDs (keep the Lemonheads ones), bodily fluids or organs for plane ticket money, start hitchhiking, do whatever you need to do - let's party!
Like the Besties, I must now say goodbye. But just for this week. Flyers and applicable tour dates follow...
by Bill Pearis
Sunderland, UK's indie-prog-pop band Field Music are back from a two-year hiatus, with a new line-up and a new LP, Field Music (Measure), due out in February. Before that, Field Music will play The Bell House on December 3 -- their first NYC show since March 2007. Tickets are still on sale. Still anchored around brothers Peter and David Brewis, Field Music are now a quartet, with two new members replacing keyboardist Andrew Moore who is training to be a professional chef.
During their hibernation, both Brewis had high concept solo projects: David recorded under the name School of Language, an almost clinical exploration of phonetics; and Peter made the excellent The Week That Was, a concept album about the news media that was equally influenced by Paul Auster and '80s Trevor Horn production style. David played drums with The Week That was, so it's not like the Brewis brothers had that much time apart. And judging from the new two tracks they've offered up as a free download (after giving them your email address), Peter and David are still doing their own thing, just now under one roof. David's "Each Time is a New Time" starts off with a almost Southern-fried boogie rock riff before being worked into a more familiar baroque/prog vibe, and Peter's string-laden "Measure" at least sonically sounds like a Week That Was track.
The Bell House show is one of two U.S. dates Field Music are playing (the other being Dec. 5 in Chicago), and is actually a birthday party for Skippy who books the club (and Union Hall). The whole night is kind of awesome. In addition to Field Music, he talked '90s synth pop act Pulsars into reforming just for this show. The Pulsars (brothers Dave and Harry Trumfio) were kind of a big deal for a hot moment in the mid-'90s, one of the first bands signed to Herb Albert and Jerry Moss' Almo Sounds label who released their debut album in 1997. The band got sidelined when Dave Trumfio's production work became sought-after, leaving the Pulsars' second album sitting on the shelf, near-finished. The Trumfios are still talking about finishing it, and are also now recording under a new name, Our Future.
Also playing are Baltimore's terrific Wye Oak who are one of my favorite live bands of the last few years. Their second album, The Knot, was a bit of a grower, replacing some of their more obvious poppier moments with a warm hypnotic drone. It's a lovely record. The Brooklyn show is one of four December dates for them. They're all listed below.
There's a fourth act on the Bell House bill, cryptically listed as "Rumours." I've heard no, uh, rumors, as to who it might be but given Skippy's soft rock proclivities I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a Fleetwood Mac cover band or something. But that is 100% speculation.
The Bell House is pretty rockin' all December longer. In addition to Skippy's birthday bash, Sloan play the very next night (December 4), and That Petrol Emotion their first NYC show in 15 years on December 12. There's also the fourth annual Blip Festival which happens December 17 - 19.
Videos and applicable tour dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer (MP3)
Blitzen Trapper @ the 2009 Sasquatch Festival (5/25) (more by Chris Graham)
Blitzen Trapper is releasing a new EP called Black River Killer on August 25th and it features the song "Black River Killer" from their full length Furr as well as 6 more songs that have been, up to now, only available as a CDR that they've been selling at their live performances for the past year or so. Get it and make sure to check out the Black River Killer video by Daniel Elkayam that came out earlier this year. [Sub Pop]Check out that song in video (below) and MP3 (above) form. Full EP tracklist and art are below
Blitzen Trapper tours Europe through the end of September. Shortly afterward, the band kicks off a fall tour starting in their hometown of Portland, OR. Accompanying Blitzen on nearly all of its dates will be Baltimore's Wye Oak. That includes the band's Sunday, October 11th show at the Bowery Ballroom. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday, August 12th at noon; general sale starts Friday at noon.
Wye Oak was just at XX Merge on July 26th. They have their own European jaunt planned for September, but before that, Wye Oak will play the Bowery Ballroom on August 12th with Starlight Mints and JP Inc (formerly Pleaseeasaur). Tickets are still on sale.
All tour dates, and the above-mentioned video and EP info are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Mac and Britt embrace (Triangle Music)
The much anticipated XX Merge Festival took place last week in North Carolina with a five-day (July 22-July 26), Wednesday to Sunday run of shows. Last night (Sunday)'s show with She & Him, American Music Club and Wye Oak was the only fully announced lineup. The other four nights (and one day) were a grab bag of any number of Merge bands past and present. Did you go? What were the highlights?
Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, who recently played a pair of big NY shows, headlined the fest's first night (which also included Magnetic Fields). Superchunk, which features Merge founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, topped the bill of the second night. The third night included the reformed/reunited lineups of Spent, Polvo and Pipe.
Mac McCaughan came out on stage before [Pipe] instead of the night's emcee and announced that there was a lone protester outside. He invited him up on stage and it was Jon Wurster decked out in Phillies gear as Philly Boy Roy. He was holding a sign that said "Boycot MERGE." He complained that Merge didn't have any Philly bands on their roster and Mac said that they have bands from Jersey, which is close to Philly. You never compare Jersey to Philly in front of Philly Boy Roy. It was hilarious.You can see the partial setlist from Spoon, who headlined that night, below.
All of this led to the introduction of New Jersey punks Pipe. As soon as they kicked into their first song, beer cans and plastic bottles started flying. Frontman Ron Liberti ate it up and even put himself in the line of fire, headbutting some of the cans while kicking some back into the crowd. Liberti bounded around the stage, essentially taunting the crowd. The crowd loved the band's antics as did I (but that may have been different if I hadn't managed to stay dry). [triangle music]
In addition to the Cat's Cradle shows (the venue for 4/5 of the night shows), Saturday featured a day show that included Julian Koster solo as Music Tapes and Mac McCaughan with violin accompaniment as Portastatic. A few videos from that set, below.
M. Ward, who's playing the Central Park Summerstage this Saturday (August 1st), played at the fest's Saturday night showcase. Zooey Deschanel joined him for a cover of the Beatles' "Birthday." Not too big of a surprise considering She & Him headlined the Sunday night show.
Other XX Merge artists who recently stopped in NYC include The Clientele and Richard Buckner (they played Music Hall of Williamsburg last Sunday), Versus and Superchunk (they played South Street Seaport last Friday), and Spent (they played Coco 66). Spoon didn't play a NYC show, but they were spotted in the audience of Paul McCartney's third of three shows at Citi Field in Queens. Destroyer is on his way up. He plays Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Mark Eitzel (as American Music Club) played Le Poisson Rouge and Maxwell's before XX Merge, and now he's on his way back for a show at The Bell House.
Lineups for each night of XX Merge, with videos, and a bunch of setlists, below...