Entries tagged with: Wye Oak
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...
As previously warned, single day XX Merge festival tickets went on sale today, and like the five-day passes did before them, they sold right out. At the moment, there are only still tickets for the Sunday show with She & Him, American Music Club, and Wye Oak.
Speaking of Wye Oak, they have a new album coming out soon
Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack came together to make their sophomore record, The Knot, with a whole new set of challenges and expectations than they had when they made If Children. In the past, songs were written separately and they came together to work on arrangements. That method changed after the release of If Children. Jenn & Andy loaded up the mini-van and toured the US and Europe for nearly a solid year. When they returned to their shared house, the luxury of privacy was gone, but a new musical closeness was formed. "Musically, we were finishing each other's thoughts," says Jenn.The Knot will be released on June 21st (on Merge of course).
Andy says, "Having the chance to play these songs live for a year or so before going to record them gave us the chance to really explore them and tighten them up. On If Children, it felt like our default solution to any problem was to layer and layer more parts on top of one another. We made a conscious effort to temper that impulse this time around, also as a result of feeling more comfortable with our live duo setup. Of course, in certain songs, we couldn't help ourselves and just had to pile it on!"
Julian Koster says 'Go to XX Merge' (more from the Bell House by Tim Griffin)
Merge Records has updated the lineup for its 20th anniversary festival, XX Merge, taking place Wednesday, July 22 to Sunday, July 26 at North Carolina's Cat's Cradle and UNC's Memorial Hall. Five-day passes for the fest are sold out, but Merge will be releasing individual night tickets on Wednesday, May 13th at 10am.
Ticket info and XX Merge's updated lineup (with the Music Tapes and others) below...
by Bill Pearis
Winter Gloves, who got stuck at the border when they were supposed to play here last month, are coming back to the US for a short tour in May, including a May 13 stop at Mercury Lounge. Here's what I said last time:
I caught Winter Gloves last November at M for Montreal where they were already local favorites. Not dissimilar from Tokyo Police Club, we're talking keyboard-driven dance rock with a lot of participatory handclapping. "Let Me Drive," which you can download at the top of this post, is pretty typical of their debut album, About a Girl, which came out last year. They're great live and worth the $8 alone.In addition to "Let Me Drive," check out their cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" the band recorded recently in tribute to the 15th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death.
The Mercury Lounge show (tickets) is a great bill: BV-faves Wye Oak headline the show, and Cincinatti's fine Pomegranates also play, so that's three worthy bands. Wye Oak and Pomegrantes are on tour together and played the Bell House in Brooklyn with Croooked Finges the other night. Check out Pomegranates' "Corriander" above too.
Before heading across the border, Winter Gloves will be doing a series of opening dates for Thunderheist in Canada. All dates and the video below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - Warning (MP3)
Andy Stack of Wye Oak @ Pianos (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Baltimore duo Wye Oak (Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack) is set to play two NYC dates during its month-long tour, which kicks things off at the Bell House on Tuesday, April 14th (tix on sale). Crooked Fingers and Takka Takka are also on that Brooklyn bill. From there they hit the road with Ohio's Pomegranates which eventually has them back in NYC on Wednesday, May 13th for a show at the intimate Mercury Lounge with Winter Gloves (who recently had some trouble getting into our country) (tix on sale).
Since starting to actively tour in early 2008, Wye Oak has played NYC almost non-stop with '08 shows in January, February, April, June, July, September, four CMJ shows in October (including a BV day party at Pianos, 10/23/08, and Merge showcase at Mercury Lounge, 10/23/08)), and most recently a December 5th show with O'Death at Bowery Ballroom.
Live, Wye Oak doesn't let its diminutive lineup diminish the sound. The pair mix up arrangements with drastic dynamic shifts and sections that snowball from quiet melodies to shoegazy rock-outs. Still no word on a follow-up to 2008's If Children, understandable with all this touring.
Merge is currently offering the band's single "Prodigy," originally released on a Record Store Day 7-inch, as a free download.
All tour dates and a video below...
DOWNLOAD: Pale Young Gentleman - Paper Planes (M.I.A) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Deer Tick - Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cokemachineglow's Fantasy Covers 2008 (MP3)
"Perhaps one of the best Britrock records of 2008, a year which has seen releases from UK giants like Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Keane and Travis, comes to us special delivery from Madison, Wisconsin and the band Pale Young Gentlemen." [PopMatters]The M.I.A. cover was recorded for Cokemachineglow's Fantasy podcast which is also on the top of this post for download and includes other covers by Wye Oak (doing Grand Buffet), Mason Proper (doing LCD Soundsystem), Noah23 (doing Lil Wayne), Stars Like Fleas (doing Pussycat Dolls), and many others.
There's even a Rihanna cover on the podcast - not to be confused with the Rihanna cover I just posted by The Bird and The Bee.
Also on top of this post: a Paul Simon song done by Deer Tick who recently announced a whole ton of tour dates. Check it out.
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
DOWNLOAD: The Rosebuds - Life Like (MP3)
The Rosebuds @ the Merge CMJ showcase @ Mercury Lounge
The Rosebuds are coming back to NYC to headline Bowery Ballroom on January 16th. Tickets go on sale December 1st at noon. Last time they were here was exactly a month ago to play a couple of shows during CMJ including one for their record label Merge at Mercury Lounge (10/25). Their new album Life Like is out now on Merge.
No openers have been announced for the Bowery show yet. Maybe they'll grab The Ladybug Transistor to play with them again, like they did at Bowery before, and like they did at the show they played at the Bell House during CMJ. ABC News was at that Bell House show. Video features are posted at their site called "The Mix". One video is of Wye Oak who also played that show, and who played with The Rosebuds again at the Merge showcase.
We already talked about the Merge show a little - The Music Tapes part anyway, and I gushed a bit about Wye Oak from one of their other CMJ shows at Pianos, but the rest of the Merge pictures were unpublished, until now... All of them and all Rosebuds and Oakley Hall tour dates, below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
Thanks to everyone who played and attended the free BrooklynVegan party at Pianos yesterday (10/23). We're working as fast as possible (on no sleep) to get CMJ coverage up (while still attending as much of CMJ as possible), but before it's too late I wanted to highlight at least one band who played the show. That's Wye Oak. It was the Baltimore duo's first show of this CMJ and they were the surprise hit of the whole day. Friendly Fires may have had the biggest draw, but Wye Oak is probably the band on the bill that gained the most new fans (not to mention the band with the most gear, especially on the gear to member ratio) (they make good use of it though). They played the second stage upstairs (usually reserved for singer-songwriters) while Sebastien Grainger was rockin' downstairs on the main stage and, not that it's a competition, but I think Wye Oak ended their set with the bigger crowd.
Check them out if you can. They're playing three more CMJ shows including TONIGHT (Friday, October 24th) at the Bell House on a great bill that includes their Merge labelmates The Rosebuds and Ladybug Transistor, and the great NYC band Crystal Stilts AND (the recently added) DJ JENS LEKMAN (no "singing" this time though). Wye Oak are also playing the Merge Records showcase at Mercury Lounge (again with the Rosebuds) before leaving town. In November they're touring Europe with Dr. Dog. In December they're back in NYC to play the Bowery Ballroom with O'Death. More pictures and all dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Pretty & Nice - Tora Tora Tora (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eagle Seagull - Photograph (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Twi the Humble Feather - higher than the end (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: James Jackson Toth - Nothing Hides (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: James Jackson Toth - Doreen (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Muslims - Beside Myself (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Shad - I Get Down (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Japanese Motors - Spendin Days (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Japanese Motors - Single Fins & Safety Pins (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Peasant - Exposure (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sharon Van Etten - It's Not Like (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PWRFL POWER - It's Okay (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PWRFL POWER - Alma Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sebastien Grainger - American Names (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - Warning (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phosphorescent - A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Friendly Fires - Jump in the Pool (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Crystal Antlers - A Thousand Eyes (MP3)
ABOVE: You can download at least one MP3 from every artist playing the BrooklynVegan party at Pianos today (Oct 23, 2008). Which one do you like best?
Phosphorescent's video for "At Death, A Proclamation" below...
@ Pianos in NYC, full club, Thursday, October 23, 2008, FREEI already announced the downstairs stage. That's why the upstairs artists are bolded.
time (PM), band, stage12:00 Pretty & Nice (downstairs)
12:15 Twi the Humble Feather (upstairs)
12:45 Eagle Seagull (downstairs)
01:00 James Jackson Toth (upstairs)
01:30 The Muslims (downstairs)
01:45 Shad (upstairs)
02:15 Japanese Motors (downstairs)
02:30 Peasant (upstairs)
03:00 Friendly Fires (downstairs)
03:15 Sharon Van Etten (upstairs)
03:45 Crystal Antlers (downstairs)
04:00 Pwrfl POWER (upstairs)
04:30 Sebastien Grainger (downstairs)
04:45 Wye Oak (upstairs)
05:30 Phosphorescent (upstairs)
Check out James Jackson Toth's video for "Doreen", below...
In the short time Bill has been here, many bands have been featured in his Week In Indie column on BrooklynVegan. At least 19 of those bands are playing shows for, and during, CMJ in NYC this week. Each of those bands is listed below with links back to what Bill said about them...
DOWNLOAD: Sebastien Grainger - American Names (MP3)
CSS @ a BV Pianos during-CMJ show, Nov 1, 2006 (CRED)
BrooklynVegan is returning to Pianos on the Lower East Side of Manhattan this year for another free 2-floor day show during CMJ. The date is Thursday October 23rd. The times are noon to 5:30 PM. The initial lineup is Peasant (an encore BV Pianos performance), Pwrfl POWER, Merge Records' Wye Oak, the one and only Phosphorescent, The Muslims, Crystal Antlers, Friendly Fires, and as someone figured out, Sebastien Grainger (check out our interview with the ex-DFA1979er) (his official showcase is at Mercury Lounge). As always, this party is 100% free. Full lineup and schedule TBA very soon!
Also free: another BrooklynVegan day party. Announcement coming soon!
Check out Wye Oak's official video for "Please Concrete" below...
photos by Chris Graham
Superchunk @ Bumbershoot - Sept 1, 2008
Saturday 10/25/2008That's a great lineup for Mercury Lounge. No advanced tickets, approximately 150 tickets sold at the door, and another 100 go to CMJ badgeholders.
Merge Records CMJ Showcase @ Mercury Lounge, NYC w/
* The Music Tapes
* Wye Oak
* The Broken West
* The Rosebuds
* Oakley Hall
The Music Tapes (Julian Koster)'s new album is out on Merge this week. The Singing Saw At Christmastime (from whence the above Chrismas MP3 came) is out October 7th. He/they'll also be touring before CMJ as part of Elephant 6's Holiday Surprise Tour. One day Elephant 6, the next Merge - lots of sleeping around, kind of like...
The Rosebuds will be playing at least one more show during CMJ, probably with the Ladybug Transistor who aren't on the Merge showcase, but could be. The Rosebuds' new album Life Like is out October 7th and some of the new songs are streaming at MySpace.
The Broken West, in addition to October 25th, are also playing Mercury Lounge on September 21st. That earlier show has them opening for Bobby Bare Jr. Tickets are on sale. Their new album Now or Heaven is out this week. All tour dates below.
The Broken West will also bid a fond farewell to drummer, Rob McCorkindale. A new baby and other family commitments have made Rob's departure necessary, but everyone will miss him! Sean McDonald will take over the skins and join Dan, Brian, Ross and Jeff on the road this fall.Oakley Hall is playing Webster Hall on September 24th with Calexico.
And last but not least you'll notice that one of Mac (Mr. Merge himself)'s bands is on this Mercury Lounge CMJ bill too. Portastatic has a 2-CD compilation of singles (covers included) coming out this week. The entire "Some Small History" tracklist is below.... right under the rest of the pictures (and a rough setlist) from Superchunk's set at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle on Labor Day.....
When our band plays live, Jenn plays guitar and sings and Andy plays the drums and keyboard and sings. When we record, Andy and Jenn sing and play all the instruments, although each of us play some things better than others.After finishing a tour with Shearwater in Austin on September 4th, Baltimore's Wye Oak will play shows all over the country including one at Union Hall in Brooklyn on September 24th with The Lisps and El May. Tickets are on sale. All dates below...
Many people have said that our album sounds lush, layered and full, and that we do a pretty good job of capturing that sound on stage, although there are just two of us. We'd like to think that if a song is good enough, it'll stand on its own regardless of how much noise you pile on top. On the other hand, we do like noise.
by Bill Pearis
Just a couple considerations for what I'm sure is an already busy weekend.
for what I'm pretty sure is the first time are London five-piece The Crimea, who are really easy to write about, even without actually listening to their music, because there's lots of interesting factoids. John Peel loved them, and their 2002 independent single "Lottery Winners on Acid" got them signed to Warner Brothers who put out their 2005 debut Tragedy Rocks. A re-release of "Lottery Winners" scraped the UK Singles Charts and then they were then unceremoniously dropped by WB soon after. Pressing on, they released their second album, Secrets of the Witching Hour, forfree via their website last year (before Radiohead did it, mind you) and put out 16 remixes of the single "Loop a Loop" via 16 blogs (including Music Like Dirt and Nothing But Greenlights). Oh, and singer Davy Macmanus is brother of superstar BBC1 DJ Annie Mac.
While it might not scale the heights of Tragedy Rocks, Secrets of the Witching Hour is as good album, full of anthemic (but not too anthemic) songs, punctuated by the McManus' world-weary lyrics and vocals. Songs like "Loop a Loop" don't sound like much at first but then you sort of catch yourself digging it halfway through. A lot of their songs catch you off guard like that. Will they be any good live? Find out Saturday (7/12) at Cake Shop or Sunday (7/13) at Union Hall. There's also a 7/14 date for "McCarren Park" but what exactly that means I'm not sure. Full tourdates below.
Also visiting this weekend are New Zealand's Cut Off Your Hands who just wrapped up a short West Coast tour with We Are Scientists. You might have seen last year at BV's Pianos day party that happened during CMJ. I missed it so I'm going to try extra hard to make it to one of these shows this weekend -- either tonight (7/11) at Cake Shop (where they're playing with Elephant 6 legends Elf Power) or tomorrow (7/12) at Market Hotel. Weird venues for a band whose records are as polished as COYH's recent singles. I mean that in a good way, their music is as sparkling as it is frantic and catchy. The band's debut album, You & I, is in the can and should be out this fall sometime. I can only assume we'll get a preview this weekend.
A few more notable shows....
by Bill Pearis
Union Hall is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary this month with a number of special shows including this week's sold-out Fleet Foxes show, Mia Riddle on Friday and the highly-underrated Wye Oak on Saturday. (If you haven't checked out Wye Oak's If Children, it's one of my favorite records of the year so far. Not groundbreaking or even fashionable, just great songs.) Union hall also has a Muxtape with a nice selection of the month's musical highlights and is well worth checking out.
Not part of the Second Anniversary festivities per se, but if you're not worn out from celebrating America all weekend tonight (July 6) at Union Hall is Norwegian artist Sissy Wish who, despite the overly twee name, makes some really catchy electro-ish pop. Her 2007 album, Beauties Never Die, was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy and is not that far off from what Lykke Li does and can be found on eMusic if you have an account. I caught a bit of one of her SXSW performances and though it was a bit laptop-y, she was still pretty fun. Maybe for this short East Coast tour (including the Knitting Factory on Tuesday) she'll have more of a band? All dates are at the end of this post. Also on tonight's Union Hall bill are Toronto's The Coast who make anthemic vaguely anglo-inspired pop that doesn't easily fit in with any of their Canadian brethren at the moment (maybe Wolf Parade... a bit) -- which is a good thing if you ask me. Opening are Fresh Air Kids who are made up of former members of The Isles and Arbor Day.
* The Academy Awards
* W.A.S.P is playing Irving Plaza
* The Magnetic Fields are @ Town Hall
* Chrisette Michele is at Highline Ballroom
* Headlights & Evangelicals are @ Mercury Lounge
* Wye Oak, Pontiak & The Selmanaires are playing Cake Shop
* Super Furry Animals & Times New Viking are playing Bowery
* Dalek, Russian Circles, & Young Widows are playing Maxwell's
* Atlas Sound, White Rainbow & Valet @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Demetri Martin, Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis @ Radio City Music Hall
For a Sunday there are a lot of good shows going on, not to mention the Oscars. Given all the competition, I'm guessing the Cake Shop show featuring one of Merge Records' latest signings unfortunately won't be getting much attention. More Wye Oak tour dates below.
Sorry for taking a few days off of "What's going on" posts. What else?
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - Warning (MP3)
Merge Records will release the debut full-length, If Children, from Baltimore’s newly christened Wye Oak on April 8, 2008!They're playing Union Hall in Brooklyn tomorrow (Saturday January 5th). All tour dates, and a video, below....
Wye Oak (formerly known as Monarch) are Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. Jenn & Andy have been playing music together and apart in Baltimore, MD, and chose their name from the honorary state tree of Maryland.