Entries tagged with: Yo La Tengo
photos by Winnie Cheung
YLT @ the Bell House - 5/10/11
"For their current U.S. tour, the band has embraced the indie-rock equivalent of "Wheel of Fortune," a large wheel divided into several categories, including songs beginning with the letter S or an entire instrumental film score written by the band. A spin by a guest lands on an imperative that sets the performance for the first set.Last night's first set, determined by the wheel, was "The Name Game" which meant all songs they played had a name in the title. You can see a picture of the list of names they played ("Griselda," etc), give or take a name, below.
That wheel [was] with them Tuesday when they [began] a sold-out, two-night stint at the Bell House in Brooklyn.
"The less information we give people about what's going to happen, the better," Kaplan, now 54 years old, said in a recent interview.
The concept revitalizes Yo La Tengo's back catalog by stepping outside the common practices fueling the music industry's nostalgia boom. But it's also a lot of work.
"It calls upon us to be familiar with a lot of songs that, until we did it, we weren't familiar with at all," Kaplan said. "A couple of songs we'd never played [live] before -- some songs we'd never played in years."
For Kaplan, the notion of touring behind one of the group's classic albums holds little interest. "That was one of the things," he said. "Do we put records on [the wheel]? But we didn't want to."
The second set features songs of the band's choosing, a safeguard for the crowd should the wheel stop at one of the more esoteric options, such as "Sitcom Theater," which requires the members of Yo La Tango to act out an episode of a sitcom of their choosing." [WSJ]
photos by Jason House
West Village record store Generation Records celebrated Record Store Day 2011 by releasing two new records (Off! and Bouncing Souls, both "Live At Generation Records"), and with a day full of in-store performances by Obits, I Hate Our Freedom, The Jay Vons, and Spa Castles. There were also DJ Sets from Yo La Tengo, Tom Scharpling (WFMU's Best Show), and Eric Davidson (and a special appearance by Fred Armisen who also played a secret set before Joan as Policewoman at Mercury Lounge two nights earlier) during the afternoon of 4/16. J Edward Keyes reports that, "Obits [turned] in a great all-covers Record Store Day set at Generation w. special guests: Ira & Georgia from Yo La Tengo!" You can see the action in the pictures from the whole day, above and below.
Obits play NYC again on Wednesday, and they'll play covers again, but this time at Union Pool as part of a tribute to Brendan of Orphan with Krallice, Mira Bilotte (of White Magic & Quix*o*tic), and Dope Body. Tickets are available at the door, and all proceeds go back to Brendan's family. Bands will be playing reworked material by Orphan, other Brendan material, and possibly some of their own material as well.
More pictures from Generation Records, below...
Yo La Tengo during Chanukah 2010 (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Yo La Tengo have scheduled a new round of dates, and they aren't Jewish holiday-themed benefit shows or to raise money for Japan, but they will, like the upcoming Elvis Costello shows, contain a special aspect. The band writes:
"For our ...[upcoming] tour dates, we've decided to take the advice of Blood, Sweat & Tears to "ride a painted pony/let the spinning wheel spin." And just in case that's not self-explanatory, read on..."The Brooklyn dates are May 10th & 11th at The Bell House. Tickets for both 5/10 and 5/11 go on sale Friday at noon (4/1), and can also be found at Other Music with no fee. More dates, and details on what these shows will entail, below...
Yo La Tengo, David Byrne, Fred Armisen (photo by antonieta molina)
"Yo La Tengo squeezed more than a drop of good will from a sugarcube last night at Maxwell's in Hoboken. The band performed a last-minute Japan Benefit Concert to a packed room of sweaty record store clerks--all the proceeds went to Peace Winds Japan, a Tokyo-based non-profit organization helping those displaced by the recent disaster. But in typical Yo La Tengo fashion, they weren't alone: SNL star Fred Armisen sat in on drums for the entire show, Glenn Mercer of The Feelies joined them for four songs, and legendary bike enthusiast David Byrne dropped by in grandfatherly overalls for a handful of tunes as well during the invigorating, nearly-three hour show" [Gothamist]Speaking of the Feelies, they have a new album and some shows coming up.
A picture of the Maxwell's setlist and a few videos below...
Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's on Hanukkah (more by Chris Gersbeck)
"This just in . . . we're going to play at Maxwell's on Wednesday, March 23. Tickets will be $50 and all proceeds will go to Peace Winds Japan. The show will start at 9 pm. No other bands, but we'll see if we can find something to put up our sleeves (please don't hold us to that). Due to the short notice, tickets will be available exclusively on line, starting at 10 am EDT Monday March 21, through Ticketfly, who have generously offered to donate all of the fees to Peace Winds Japan. To order click here." - Yo La Tengo
"Big Star's third album, Third/Sister Lovers, has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. Written and recorded when the legendary 70s band was primarily a studio project consisting of Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, the third album was never been performed in public with the original string and wind orchestrations. That changed in December 2010, when an all-star band unearthed the original scores, assembled an orchestra and performed Big Star's Third at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. Performers that night included Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Chris Stamey (the dB's) - the creative genesis they experienced prompted plans for a historic concert in New York City.BIG STAR THIRD is happening at Baruch Performing Arts Center (at Baruch College) in Mason Hall (17 Lexington) on Saturday, March 26, 2011. Tickets are on presale now (password: Alex), and going on general sale Thursday at noon. More details with the lineup listed out, below...
On March 26th, a mind-boggling array of indie rock all-stars will gather to perform Big Star's Third at Mason Hall. Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Tift Merritt, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Will Rigby (the dB's), Matthew Sweet, Chris Stamey (the dB's), Jody Stephens (Big Star) and M. Ward (She & Him) will be joined by The Lost in the Trees Orchestra with Jane Scarpantoni, Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony), Brett Harris, Sidney Dixon and Matt McMichaels to recreate the original scores and breathe life into a bittersweet album that has impacted generations of musicians. Some very special guests will be announced in the days to come. As the evening unfolds, Chilton and Stephen's musical ideas that were far ahead of their time 35 years ago will resonate in the hands of a collective of sympathetic, top-notch musicians. "We have been trying to create a concert piece that can have a life in years to come, trying to keep the spirit of the music and make it come across with the right emotions live," Stamey told Indy Week. "There's something about this record that connects with my generation, and apparently many generations."
The assemblage will perform Third/Sister Lovers in its entirety - fans can expect additional Big Star and Chris Bell songs as well. "It's easier as time passes to revisit that album because it came out of such a dark period," Big Star drummer Jody Stephens told the Raleigh News and Observer. "There were brilliant moments in the studio, especially Carl Marsh's string arrangements, which really take it to a whole other world. But it could be emotionally difficult to watch certain things happen. I was so close to it at the time that I could not see what it was.""
Greg Oblivian on stage with the Oblivians at Knit (more by Andrew Frisicano)
"OK, let's get back to the music! We've been hoping that Greg Cartwright might join us at Hanukkah for years now, whether with the Oblivians or Reigning Sound or solo -- the guy wears many hats. Turns out that all we needed to do to coax him north was share a record with him and his newest band, the Parting Gifts (which reminds me -- did I ever tell you that my mom was a contestant on Concentration?). Direct from recording a session for WFMU's Cherry Blossom Clinic, apparently the first time all six of them had ever played together, they sounded great -- who's writing better minor-chord songs than Greg Cartwright? No one. Add a couple of Coco Hames's more country-oriented numbers and their side of our split single, and night 2 was off to a roaring start." [Ira of Yo La Tengo]The covergence of The Ettes and Reigning Sound happened during three short dates on the East Coast last week (one with Yo La Tengo), as The Parting Gifts (featuring Greg Oblivian and Coco Hames of The Ettes) played Maxwell's on December 2nd and Union Hall on the 3rd. Video from Maxwell's is below. How was Union Hall?
If you missed them, unfortunately there are no dates laid out for The Parting Gifts in the near term, but Reigning Sound is playing the Bell House in Brooklyn on Feb 18th. Tickets are on sale for what appears to be their only scheduled show at the moment
Reigning Sound can be heard on that Nolan Strong tribute compilation called Daddy Rockin' Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & the Diablos that also features contributions from Mark Sultan, Dirtbombs, A-Bones (whose member played with Yo La Tengo this week), Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby (who both also played with Yo La Tengo this week), Gentleman Jesse & His Men, and others. Pick up a copy.
The Ettes played NYC two days before The Parting Gifts hit Maxwell's, supporting The Greenhornes at Bowery Ballroom on 11/30. The band currently has one upcoming show: January 16 at Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh, NC.
The Parting Gifts videos from Maxwell's and other recent vids of The Ettes and Reigning Sound are below...
If there's a Hanukkah equivalent of the Grinch, they're probably relieved that last night, Wednesday, December 8th, was the final night of Hanukkah and the final night of Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows. Those in attendance last night were treated to an opening set by a local band called The National and comedian Marc Maron. Frequent YLT collaborators Bruce Bennett (of the A-Bones) and Gil Divine were special guests during the encore, and Hamish Kilgour of the Clean sat in most of the night on guitar.
Here's the final tally:
12/1 - M. Ward, Todd Barry, Nash KatoYKT's 12/8 setlist is below...
12/2 - The Parting Gifts, Jim Gaffigan, members of The Feelies
12/3 - Jeff Tweedy, Eugene Mirman & Kid Congo Powers
12/4 - Syl Johnson, Jon Glaser, Peter Wolf & Ira's mom
12/5 - Mission of Burma & Wyatt Cenac
12/6 - Mofungo, Amy Rigby, Wreckless Eric, Mikael Jorgensen, Tara Key, Gil Divine & Eugene Mirman
12/7 - Bonnie Prince Billy, Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal & Nels Cline
12/8 - The National, Marc Maron, Hamish Kilgour, Bruce Bennett, Gil Divine
As hinted, posted and speculated, Bonnie Prince Billy (who plays Town Hall tonight), Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler and Nels Cline (who played LPR one night earlier) all joined Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on the 7th night of Hanukkah. Full setlist below...
words and photos by Chris Gersbeck
Last night was night six, and Yo La Tengo played their fifth night of Hanukkah shows on Sunday (12/5), with their eight night stay at Maxwell's quickly coming to an end. I can only imagine the amount of exhaustion that comes from planning and rehearsing these shows, though you'd never know it thanks to consistently great performances from Ira, James and Georgia.
The legendary Mission of Burma, who just may be the greatest long-running live act of all time, were tapped to open the night. Playing almost entirely new material, along with a slew of covers including the Buzzcocks' "I Don't Mind" and the Wipers' "Youth of America", Burma continue to prove that they're one of the few, if not only bands to reunite and still produce material as innovative as in their heyday. And maybe I just haven't seen them live in a while, but Roger Miller's new hairdo is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing them again in January.
Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac was the comedian guest of the night and his act was well received by the crowd. Cenac's stories were at times a bit convoluted, but the payoffs were definitely worth it. Apparently he and fellow correspondent John Oliver have a show coming in 2011 to follow the Colbert Report, which makes perfect sense.
It's kind of amusing that Yo La Tengo opened with the somber and mesmeric "Green Arrow", considering how intense their set would later become. Tearing through "The Room Got Heavy", Richard Hell's "I'm Your Man", and ending with "Mushroom Cloud of Hiss", Yo La's songs often collapsed into long, droning swells of feedback. Adding to the noise collage was Burma's tape-looper (and Shellac bassist) Bob Weston, who was sitting in with the band for the night, albeit from the soundboard. Manipulating YLT's vocals, guitars and percussion throughout, Weston added that unique quality that has become synonymous with Mission of Burma's sound.
All of this lent itself well to the encore, first with Roger Miller returning on organ to perform Jonathan Richman's "Astral Plane" with WFMU auction winner Jason Kaufman on vocals (who did a great job), then with MoB drummer Pete Prescott singing one of his and Weston's Volcano Suns songs (Weston came out to play bass on this one). Before long, Clint Conley also returned to the stage on guitar to perform as the supergroup I personally have dubbed "Yo La Burma". To say it was incredible to watch is an understatement. It's not too often you get to see things like this happen in such an intimate venue, so if you get the chance to check out any of the remaining shows, definitely do so.
More pictures from the fifth of eight crazy nights at Maxwell's are below.
"We regarded music as a form of socializing, and took a resolutely unprofessional approach. Only a few of us in the scene ever imagined becoming professional musicians. We were the stepchildren of the first generation of no wave bands (a term Chris Nelson coined in the New York Rocker, where I was a part-time photographer) like Mars, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, D.N.A. and the Contortions. We took pride in our facile and self-taught instrumental licks, and played music that was often hookless and even atonal. Our influences were broad, including jazz, African music, commercial jingles, and the English punk movement, especially the artier aspects. We avidly followed bands like the Fall (in its earliest incarnations), Wire, and X-Ray Spex, all of whom we were able to see at CBGB.As prophesized, Mofungo opened for Yo La Tengo on the sixth night of Hanukkah at Maxwell's in Hoboken. I have no idea when the last time the No Wave band (if ever) got back together, but according to the above-quoted article, they played their last show in June 1992 at CBGB. And Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric were in fact special guests, as were Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and Tara Key of Antietam, and Gil Divine. Eugene Mirman returned as comedy opener. Ira made the mix disc. And they do it again tonight. Last night's setlist below...
It was an era when the East Village was not the tourist trap it has become. There were few restaurants open in the evening, and nearly every hipster you saw on the street was carrying an instrument. Everyone was either in a band, or was a DJ or rock critic. Music was featured at loft parties, festivals, and impromtu neighborhood clubs. One regular Mofungo gig was on the roof of my building at 630 East 14th Street, where we threw a party every Fourth of July. We also formed an alliance with Chain Gang, a punk outfit from the Bronx, whose members made a living driving cabs and self-released a series of amazing singles."
[The inside story of Mofungo by Robert Sietsama]
As rumored, Mission of Burma stopped by Maxwell's this Hanukkah to be one of Yo La Tengo's eight openers. A full review and set of pictures from last night's show is coming soon, but meanwhile let's figure out what we've got so far:
12/1 - M. Ward, Todd Barry, Nash KatoSo who else will open and/or play with YLT on the final three nights?
12/2 - The Parting Gifts, Jim Gaffigan, members of The Feelies
12/3 - Jeff Tweedy, Eugene Mirman & Kid Congo Powers
12/4 - Syl Johnson, Jon Glaser, Peter Wolf & Ira's mom
12/5 - Mission of Burma & Wyatt Cenac
12/6 - ?
12/7 - ?? & Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal & ??
12/8 - ?
Well, "Anonymous | December 2, 2010 9:31 AM" says that Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric, who played Bowery Electric on November 12th, announced that they'd be at Monday's show "during their show near d.c." That comment was made four days ago. Since then Wreckless Eric made a surprise last minute appearance at Home Sweet Home Friday night. BUT, "Anonymous | December 6, 2010 11:10 AM" says "Tonight's opener is Mofongo, despite the apparent info that Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby would open. Perhaps Eric and Amy are the encore guests."
note that the proper spelling is: Mofungo
Last night's setlist is below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Peter Wolf & Ira
As someone promised, Syl Johnson was the opener for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on Saturday night (12/4). Syl was also in town to play Southpaw on Friday which was the night Jeff Tweedy opened for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's. Saturday night's comedian was 'Rabbi Attitude' aka Jon Glaser. The special guests were Peter Wolf and Ira's mom who made an appearance in 2008 as well. The mixtape was by Numero Group. Full setlist and more pictures from the fourth night of Hanukkah, below...
words and photos by Chris Gersbeck
Yo La Tengo played their third of eight Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's on Friday night (12/3), and this was probably the most anticipated due to strong rumors of Jeff Tweedy opening which turned out to be true.
Each Yo La Tengo Hanukkah show has an associated charity, and this night's was the Elsyian Charter School of Hoboken, so the show started with twenty or so children taking the stage to perform some Yo La classics. I almost felt bad laughing (as did everyone else) when they began singing "Stockholm Syndrome", but only because it was just so adorable. After performing "Sugarcube" and "Mr. Tough", the children parted the crowd to make their exit (they really did sound great by the way), and shortly after we were treated to an intimate and absolutely beautiful set from Jeff Tweedy.
Playing Wilco classics like "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart", and rotating through Uncle Tupelo songs and covers, Tweedy's voice sounded as great as ever. The crowd was clearly filled with his fans as well; many of them were singing along throughout. After closing with a stellar and, well I'll just say it, mind-blowing rendition of "A Shot in the Arm", Tweedy thanked the crowd and promised we would see him later. And that would definitely happen...
Eugene Mirman, who has always been one of my favorite standup comics, was the comedian guest of the night. The highlight of his set included revealing his fascination with the Tea Party, his subsequent registering on a Tea Party social networking site, and his printouts of legitimate Tea Party members profile pictures from that site. My favorite being simply a photo of a machine gun laying on a carpeted floor, the owner's toes only barely visible on the bottom of the photo. Wow. Eugene's reading of his favorite tweets, accompanied with a theremin, was also a great and hilarious way to end his set.
Eugene didn't join Yo La Tengo on the stage during the show like Tweedy would, but I'm not sure many people were expecting that anyway. Tweedy in fact performed nearly the entire initial set with Yo La, pleasing the crowd with a version of Wilco's "Jesus, Etc.", Bob Dylan's "One Of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" and quite a few of my favorite songs from Yo La Tengo's prolific catalogue such as "Can't Forget", "The Race Is On Again", and "I Should Have Known Better". For such a small room, they really get quite a big sound.
Yo La Tengo's encore was mostly a tribute to the late Alex Chilton, who has joined them on Hanukkah in the past. After Ira Kaplan stated that some of Chilton's most notable work was with legendary punk band the Cramps, he invited Cramps' guitarist Kid Congo Powers for a couple covers of his band. Ending the night on a particularly loud note, though I probably should stop standing right next to those gigantic speakers, Yo La Tengo said "we'll see you tomorrow!" and left the stage through the crowd.
Jeff Tweedy headlined Bowery Ballroom one night later, and Yo La Tengo continue playing Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's through 12/8 (the final night of Hanukkah). More pictures and some videos from the third night, below...
Jeff Tweedy & Eugene Mirman last night (via widder_twidder)
Jeff Tweedy was in fact the opener for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's last night (12/3). He also later joined the band as a guest. Stay tuned for a full set of pictures, but you can check out the setlist below. YLT & Jeff played Wilco songs. Who will open for Yo La Tengo tonight?
Jeff Tweedy continues his NYC-area run tonight at Bowery Ballroom with two of his Wilco bandmates, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, in the opening band. The Autumn Defense are also playing the Living Room on Sunday which is the night off from their short tour with Jeff.
Nels Cline arrives on Monday to help celebrate Yuka Honda's 50th birthday. Nels also plays a NYC show on January 8th as part of Winter Jazzfest, and he has many other shows scheduled all over the place.
All of Jeff's tour dates, now with Boulder, CO, and last night's YLT setlist below...
Two down. Six to go. As promised, The Parting Gifts opened Thursday night's Yo La Tengo show at Maxwell's. And as theorized, Jim Gaffigan was the comedian. Jim kicks off his run of SEVEN shows at Best Buy Theater tonight (12/3). You can catch the Parting Gifts tonight at Union Hall.
Yo La Tengo were also joined by special guests Glenn Mercer and Bill Million of the Feelies, and The Great Gaylord on vocals for a song. Night Two's mixtape was made by Damian from Fucked Up.
"Program a few (relatively) uptempo songs into the mix. This might sound counterintuitive, but you will want to vary the pace of your mix tape so as to avoid having it turn into a "saddest music in the world" contest with the songs canceling each other out. A showdown between Richard Buckner's "22" and The Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" is not what you want here. Yo La Tengo, Josh Rouse, and Ryan Adams are all excellent candidates for this job. RECOMMENDED: "Directions" by Josh Rouse; "To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)" by Ryan Adams; "The Lie and How We Told It" by Yo La Tengo.Was Thurston Moore's mixtape a sad mixtape or a happy mixtape?
Yo La Tengo continue their run of Hanukkah shows with mystery openers tonight (12/2). Richard Buckner appears in town for a one-off show at Mercury Lounge on Friday (12/3).
Don't be sad, but check out the video of Richard performing "22" in 1994, below..
Syl Johnson @ MHOW in 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)
Anonymous 1:57 AM left a potentially true tip that "SJ" are opening for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on Saturday. 2:30 quickly followed with a guess that SJ could in fact be Syl Johnson... who happens to be playing Southpaw Friday night (12/3).
Last time Syl Johnson was in town, he was backed by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound who won't be backing him again this time because they're playing DC Friday night, BUT they will be in NYC one night later to play Public Assembly (with The Above / Fred Thomas / Gospel Queens / Poor But Sexy).
Video of JC Brooks covering Wilco, below...
the 12/1 sign & mixtape
Thurston Moore made the mix tape. Nash Kato of Urge Overkill was a special guest, as was an Elvis impersonator named Gene Dinapoli. Anyone have the setlist?
One down, seven more nights of Chanukah at Maxwell's to go (note: Ted Leo actually also has December 5th off - one night before Terminal 5 - which I didn't notice when I first wrote the last post which is now updated).
Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's (Hanukkan 2008) (more by Natasha Ryan)
Thanksgiving is not even a week past, but Hanukkah is already here and that means eight Yo La Tengo shows at Maxwell's in Hoboken. One for each night, they shed a sweet fucking setlist and opener and comedians and special guests and charities and mixtapes and who knows what. You never really know what you're going to get until it happens, but we can try and figure it out. Who will open each show?
Well, we already know The Parting Gifts are scheduled to appear on night two.
12/1 -Who else seems likely?
12/2 - The Parting Gifts & ?
12/3 - ?
12/4 - ?
12/5 - ?
12/6 - ?
12/7 - ?
12/8 - ?
The Greenhornes played Bowery Ballroom last night (11/30) and have nowhere to be until December 5th. Ted Leo kicks of a tour on 12/2, so if he's a special guest, it has to be tonight (12/1) or 12/5 (his night off). He's back in town on 12/6 to play Terminal 5 with the New Pornographers, but there's no way he could do T5 and Maxwell's in one night (and he's back on tour right after). The New Pornographers (AC Newman and Neko Case included) on the other hand have almost every single other night of Hanukkah free (and AC Newman's show with John Wesley Harding isn't until December 17th) (John Wesley Harding is free all days except 12/5).
Kurt Vile plays Knitting Factory on December 3rd and has all other days of Hanukkah off. Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, and Pat Sansone are playing Bowery Ballroom on 12/4 and Tarrytown on 12/6, but are free on 12/3 and 12/5. Nels Cline is in NYC on 12/6, and is free 12/7 and 12/8 (but it doesn't look like he'll be around the same time as the other members of Wilco unfortunately).
The Feelies have no conflicts or upcoming dates at all. Mission of Burma play Maxwell's and the Bell House in January, but you never know, maybe they'll come down for this too. Stornoway seems like a longshot, but they are in town on December 2nd and free 12/1, 12/6 and 12/7. Warpaint play Manhattan on 12/1, Brooklyn on 12/2, Philly on 12/3 and DC on 12/4, and then are free after that.
Titus Andronicus, who by the way are opening for Passion Pit at Wellmont Theater on 12/30, have to be in Florida to play a show with Superchunk on 12/4, but are otherwise free. Superchunk have from the time they finish that Florida show until 12/9 to get to Toronto to open for Broken Social Scene. Superchunk are next scheduled to be in NYC in March to open for Bright Eyes who recently popped up as a guest at a NYC show. Screaming Females, who opened for Yo La at Brooklyn Bowl recently, are recently home from Europe and totally free.
Jim Gaffigan is not the most likely comedian to show, but it would be a good warmup for his seven shows at Best Buy Theater. More likely are some mix of Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry, David Cross, Jon Benjamin, John Oliver, John Mulaney, Kristen Schaal, Hannibal Buress, Michael Showalter, Leo Allen, Mike Birbiglia, etc...
All the Maxwell's shows are long sold out, but Craigslist is hopping. Leave tips and more ideas in the comments. Tour dates for most of the artists mentioned in this post, below...
"Their set started with a catchy track, "Keep on Walkin'," from their upcoming album. They sounded great, with Chuck Berry riffs and boogie-woogie piano and awesome, pounding drums provided by Poni of The Ettes. Their music isn't straightforward punk, but soulful, moody garage rock that seems to take inspiration from many decades of intense, heartfelt rock 'n' roll." [Nashville Scene]That "upcoming album" is called "Strychnine Dandelion", and is actually out now via In the Red and is streaming in full online.
Maybe you caught the Ettes Tuesday night at Bowery Ballroom. They opened for the Greenhornes. Catch the Parting Gifts Thursday (12/2) @ Maxwell's (if you have a ticket since it's the 2nd of eight sold out Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows), Friday (12/3) @ Union Hall with The Morgues (tickets), and Saturday (12/4) @ Sonar in Baltimore (thx anon).
Seven more YLT openers to figure out. All Ettes and Parting Gifts dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Crystal Stilts - "Shake The Shackles" (MP3)
"We are also playing tomorrow night with Crystal Stilts, German Measles and The Mad Scene (Hamish from the Clean, Girl from Yo La Tengo)..." - Street Chant
Crystal Stilts at Rock Shop (Pascale Gueracague)
Crystal Stilts played Rock Shop on Friday (10/29), days after the release of their new Shake The Shackles 7" via Slumberland Records. Download the title track above and stream both tracks from that release, below.
Crystal Stilts seem to open for half of the indie legends that pass through town (The Vaselines, Dean Wareham playing Galaxie 500, Henry's Dress/Aislers Set, Comet Gain), and/or play with every notable current indie-pop band who are on tour too. They're also part of indie supergroup Cinema Red & Blue which prominently features Comet Gain's David Feck, but also "employs the services of Amy Linton, Hamish Kilgour and Gary Olson." It's not a big surprise then that their recent Rock Shop show with German Measles, The Surprisers and The Mad Scene was equally indie-star studded, though it was the Mad Scene that consisted of regular member and New Zealander/Brooklynite Hamish Kilgour of The Clean along with Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo, Amy Linton of Aislers Set, and Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor. New Zealand band Street Chant, who were in for CMJ, also played some songs at the show.
If you missed Crystal Stilts over the weekend, you won't have long to wait to catch them again, and for FREE; the Brooklyn band will play a free show at Brooklyn Bowl on 11/14. It's part of the venue's "Local by Local" series of shows. 21+. 8pm show.
Meanwhile, Cinema Red & Blue released their debut LP last month on What's Your Rupture. Crystal Stilts have a new LP on the way as well and though very few details have been released, look for it in early 2011. Until then, tide yourself over by checking out the new 7" tracks streaming below.
Oh Land @ MHOW
Well it's that time of year again. CMJ. A week jam-packed with music, movies, free beer, sleep deprivation, and hoards of wide-eyed college radio kids.
Cursed with a day job, on Tuesday I only had time on my lunch break to quickly pick up my badge and power walk over to the Living Room to check out one act - the Danish group Alcoholic Faith Mission. Though it was kind of weird to hear the line "Sober up" sung repeatedly to a room of people clutching free beer (at 1:30pm no less), I tried to see past the irony. It was pretty funny, after all. Alcholic Faith Mission's pretty, melancholic music may be better suited for a late-night show, but they made it work and didn't let the odd time slot decrease their fervor. First show of CMJ, a success! Though the dimly lit room was begging me to stay, I had already stretched my 'hour' lunch break past its limit, so regretfully I took my leave. Pictures from the whole show (except 1 band) are HERE.
After work, I headed over to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to start my evening with another Danish artist - Oh Land. Wow. To give you an idea of what we're dealing with here, consider this telling snippet from Myspace. Growing up, singer Nanna Øland Fabricius had an "opera singer for a mother, a theater organist for a father and Björk's Homogenic on constant rotation." As you can probably imagine, this combination made for quite an eye and ear-catching show. She even brought props with her, including a large black board (think Lite Bright) with white bulbs that depicted various flowing patterns and a set of white balloons that each depicted fun (and sometimes creepy) projections. The show may have been somewhat gimmicky (she had light-up drum sticks, too), but Fabricius had the chops (and the look) to pull it off, and from what I can tell, her new EP (which just came out yesterday) will be worth a listen. Pictures from their Music Hall set are in this post. We also caught them Monday night at the Conflict of Interest Party. You can catch them next tonight at the Hype Machine party, and Friday night at Public Assembly.
Screaming Females @ Brooklyn Bowl Tuesday (more by Chris La Putt)
Though I was tempted to stick around Music Hall for the Miniature Tigers set, the timing wasn't right, so I headed over to Brooklyn Bowl for one of the larger shows of the week - MOG's free opening night party. Luckily, it was pretty early, so there was still plenty of space in the large venue. When I walked in, Screaming Females was already mid-set. The contrast between Oh Land's Fabricius and Screaming Females' singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster is striking to say the least. Though both women are fierce, they're also practically foils of one another. True to her band's namesake, Paternoster's presentation is aggressive, loud, and commanding, and the girl certainly isn't afraid to shred. Her austere, pilgrim-esque black dress was also quite a change from Fabricius' shimmering tights and sexy top. Catch them tonight/Thursday at MHOW.
Up next was the scuzzy garage rock act DOM. DOM is that kind of flannel-shirt-wearing, hair flying, ripped-jeans-wearing band who could belong to a number of different decades and sub genres, but I suppose their exact classification doesn't really matter. Like their predecessors of the evening, they rocked out pretty hard. They play #OFFLINE today/Thursday, and our day party Friday.
Initially, I thought DOM was kind of a weird opener... that is until Yo La Tengo started to play. They were much louder and dronier than I was expecting - especially the bass, which greatly obscured Ira Kaplan's vocals. But things did eventually lighten up when the group launched into "Mr. Tough," which features bass player James McNew on vocals. Suddenly, the room temporarily morphed into a twee dance party of sorts - quite a change from the mood cast by the previous four songs.
To account for the dramatic change of pace, Kaplan addressed the audience. "Apparently one of the thrills of bowling is hearing the sound of the ball hitting the pins - that solid crunch. So people have asked that we play a little quieter... so we have to bring it way down," he explained.
Though the grounds of the request were pretty ridiculous, it did seem to improve the sound quality. And the sudden noise downgrade certainly didn't stop the band from concluding the first part of their set with a LONG, rocking instrumental interlude that had Kaplan absolutely pouring with sweat. Though encores are somewhat rare during CMJ, I guess it should come as no surprise that in this case, there would be an exception. The band came back on stage for three more songs, finishing with "Yellow Sarong."
When Yo La Tengo had finished playing, I decided to head over to Glasslands to check out Dent May (you know, for a change of pace), but when I arrived and found that they were over an hour behind schedule, I decided to call it a night and set out for the unkind G train. It was just night one, after all. The week was just getting started.
More pictures from the Yo La Tengo show are HERE. More of Oh Land (with an older video) and the line outside Brooklyn Bowl before Yo La Tengo, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Screaming Females, Dom and Yo La Tengo helped kick off CMJ at Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday night. The Mog-sponsored free show was Yo La's only area show until Hanukkah, but just the first of a few for the two others. Screaming Females' next show is TONIGHT at MHOW (10/21). They also open for Corin Tucker at Maxwell's on Saturday, three days before Corin plays Bowery Ballroom. DOM has a bunch of CMJ shows including our Friday day party.
A full review of Brooklyn Bowl is coming. More pictures and a couple of videos from the show, below....
Yo La Tengo @ the Bell House in September (more by David Andrako)
All eight Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows are sold out, and frankly, even catching a free Yo La Tengo show during CMJ can't compensate for missing one of those shows, so I won't pretend this is good news for those that got shut out of Maxwell's, but this is good news nonetheless. Yo La Tengo will play a free Mog-sponsored CMJ opening night show at Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday, October 19th (M.I.A. style). And it gets better. Screaming Females, also from NJ, will open the free Brooklyn bowling alley show. It kicks off at 8pm (doors at 6).... and UPDATE: Dom is playing it too!
Don't want to wait in line to maybe catch Screaming Females for free when you can guarantee your way in the door to see the same band two nights later? Want to see them twice? Hate bowling alleys? Don't go out on Tuesdays? You're in luck, because as previously-mentioned, Screaming Females are also playing the official BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 21st with the stellar lineup of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Blow, Yuck, and Young Man. Some tickets are still available (and we'll be letting in a whole bunch of people with CMJ badges).
Yo La Tengo recently got back from Vegas where they helped Matador celebrate 21 years in legendary fashion, but before that they took part in a Brooklyn show that may be remembered as a legendary show for alternative NYC comedy (though not necessarily for nice reasons).
In November, City Slang is having a 20th birthday party in Berlin. Yo La Tengo are playing that anniversary celebration too. Full lineup, including The Notwist playing "Neon Golden" from start to finish, below...