Entries tagged with: free shows

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by Concetta Smith

Phyllis Chen and her instrument of choice (photo by Carrie Schneider)
phyllis chen toy piano uncaged festival

When I first visited Phyllis Chen's Queens apartment it slightly resembled the lab of a mad scientist, if you were to replace the bubbling beakers with toppling toy pianos. At times several of the instruments are strewn about, some no larger than a lunch box, and some accompanied by music boxes. Chen doesn't hesitate as she flips from one to the other. She can play them all with ease.

She began playing piano at five. It wasn't until training to be a classical pianist that she fell in love with the pinging, unrefined sounds of the toy piano, when she first came across the instrument being used as a set piece at a puppet theater.

"I touched it and fell in love with the way it sounded...and suddenly felt so much untapped musical potential for it," She remembers fondly.

Before it was considered a serious instrument, the toy piano was primarily used as a learning tool for young musicians. It took on a life of its own in 1948 when composer and pianist John Cage's Suite for Toy Piano catapulted the miniature muse into the spotlight, transforming it from a toy into a central ensemble piece.

Like many players Chen was influenced by Cage throughout her work. It didn't take long for the classically trained composer to make the toy piano a standard part of her repertoire, releasing five albums including the Strange Powers theatrical score written by The Magnetic Field's Stephin Merritt, a collaboration with Cuddle Magic and three solo albums. She's also received numerous grants and awards and is a found member of ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Chen fell in love with the instrument so much that she founded NYC's UnCaged Festival in 2007, shining a spotlight on the world's miniature music scene. The biennial toy piano festival attracts experimental musicians from all over the globe, which will soon happen again over four shows all of which are in Astoria, Queens: a free RSD Black Friday (11/27) event at Hi-Fi Records; December 4 at Museum of the Moving Image (tickets) and then a free afterparty at Uke Hut; and a family-friendly event at QED on December 5 (tickets). Details are below.

Much of Chen's time is spent preparing for the festival by curating musicians and finding new compositions for the tiny instruments, so far collecting 300 submissions to date. It started out as a contest to encourage composers to write for the toy piano and is now a jamboree of sorts, uniting unexpected performers from new musicians to seasoned veterans.

"I discovered other musicians who are doing really beautiful and wonderful things with the toy piano and want the festival to showcase these unique artists who work with the toy piano," Chen explains.

Margaret Leng Tan (courtesy UnCaged archives)
Margaret Leng Tan

New York's tiny, but dedicated music scene is steadily gaining popularity through the festival. Margaret Leng Tan, New York's award-winning toy piano pioneer, who was the first woman to release an album on toy piano, is a regular judge at the UnCaged Festival. Tan appreciates the broad appeal of the celebration,"...it is cutting edge yet fun, and you don't have to be highly versed in music to partake..."

The festival also draws new talent and highly experimental musicians. Brooklyn-based Ranjit Bhatnagar, known for making his own instruments from various found objects and electronics, has performed several times at previous festivals. One of his most recent inventions is a toy piano robot made from salvaged pieces of a broken Piano Lodeon, a self playing toy piano that reads music from paper scrolls.

Bhantnagar explains, "My Piano Lodeon arrived all smashed to pieces by UPS, so I wanted to try to recover something from it, and the toy piano robot was born."

There will be no shortage of toys and live experimental entertainment at this year's festival. Bhantnagar and Chen will be pressing plastic records on an old vintage Fisher-Price record player music box and premiering them at the Hi-Fi opening night.


Brooklyn musician Angélica Negrón, who has curated concerts for El Museo del Barrio is also regular performer and judge at the festival. With her band, Acopladitos, she will be serenading festival-goers with her ever expanding repertoire, inviting children to participate in the whimsical world of toy instruments with sing-a-longs and games.

Chen's passion for discovering new sounds is slowly seeping into New York's art and music scene, making a fantasy world of make-believers come alive.

"I think the process of discovery is what I enjoy most in making music. There's really no telling where I'll end up, but I love finding new sounds and directions...I think the sound of an instrument, such as a toy piano, or another unique timbre, is enough for me to envision a picture or story."

Not all concert-goers know what to expect. When one attendee asked where the miniature musician was, Chen had to explain that she was full-sized woman who played small instruments. Still, Chen thrives off the unpredictability and doesn't mind surprising people.

During a performance she can be found crouched on a pillow with toy pianos, steel mixing bowls and music boxes surrounding her. Fear and awe converge as the audience watches her produce music from each toy and unlikely object in her tiny orchestra, transporting you into her musical dream-land.

"As kids, miniature things are symbols or examples of the 'real' world.  Miniature things seem to be the great metaphor for life," Chen describes of her love for tiny things.

This year the UnCaged Festival focuses primarily on introducing artists, rather than competition. The miniature music scene explodes into a three day extravaganza hosted by the Museum of Moving Image.  Featuring works for various toy instruments, including video, and sing-alongs, the pieces will range from playful to mysterious. 

Full details of the UnCaged Festival's events are below...

Continue reading "Astoria's UnCaged Festival shines a spotlight on the toy piano"

Collapsing Scenery

You may remember that Don De Vore (Sick Feeling, Lilys) has another project, the multidisciplinary art collective Collapsing Scenery who released their funky first single, "Metaphysical Cops," back in April. They've already made one video for that but now here's another, featuring footage from an art show in Los Angeles. You can watch that below.

Having just wrapped up work on their debut album, Collapsing Scenery will play their "first true live performance" at Rivington Design House (52 Kenmare St.) tonight, 11/13. RVNG's Matt Werth is DJing and the show is free. 10 PM and flyer is below.

Continue reading "Don De Vore's new project Collapsing Scenery shares new video, making their live debut tonight at free NYC show"

photo: Nellie McKay at Feinstein's in 2011 (more by Chris La Putt)
Nellie McKay

Earlier this year, Nellie McKay released My Weekly Reader, an album of covers of '60s songs by the Small Faces, Country Joe McDonald, Moby Grape, The Beatles and more. During the sessions for that album, she also recorded a cover of Gene McDaniels' "Compared to What" which didn't make the cut. We've got the premiere of that non-album track in this post, and you can listen below.

Nellie is about to begin a tour this weekend, which hits NYC on Sunday (11/8) at The Cutting Room. Tickets are available, and proceeds benefit the Wild Bird Fund.

Nellie will also be one of the guests at The New Standards' show on December 11 at Lincoln Center. (Update: This post initially listed the incorrect lineup. Full lineup TBA.) All dates are listed below.

The above photo of Nellie was taken at her Feinstein's residency in 2011 by our dear friend and former BV photo editor, Chris La Putt, who sadly passed away from cancer this year. Nellie told us that was one of her favorite pictures that Chris ever took of her, and she wrote the following for him:

Why do the good die young? Because Jesus wants them in heaven to frolic with the lambs.
Also Chris was fun to drink with & you know how Jesus is...
It shoulda been me - this guy was too nice to die.
What a tragedy...we miss you Chris.
Thanks for the kind words Nellie.

Listen to the new song and browse her tour dates below...

Continue reading "Nellie McKay covered Gene McDaniels, wrote a tribute to Chris La Putt, touring (2 NYC shows)"

Soldiers of Fortune

Speaking of Kid Millions, one of his other projects, the long-gestating NYC supergroup Soldiers of Fortune, release their new album Early Risers this Friday (11/6). The band also currently includes Brad Truax (Home, Interpol), Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf), Jesper Eklow of Endless Boogie, Oneida's Barry London and guitarist/producer/gadabout Mike Bones, and the album features guest appearances by Stephen Malkmus, Cass McCombs, Dan Melchoir and more. You can stream both Malkmus' and McCombs contributions -- as well as a Soliders of Fortune themed edition of the psych rock DOODCAST podcast -- below.

Soldiers of Fortune will be celebrating Early Risers at NYC's Max Fish on Wednesday (11/4), playing sets at 8:30 PM and 10 PM. Those shows are FREE. Are any of the album's special guests in town? Flyer for the Max Fish shows below...

Continue reading "Soldiers of Fortune share Stephen Malkmus & Cass McCombs collaborations; free LP release shows in NYC this week"

by Bill Pearis

Keep Shelly in Athens 2015

Greek band Keep Shelly in Athens released their new album Now I'm Ready earlier this month via Friends of Friends that further refines their ethereal brand of synthpop. This week they put out the video for the title track. You can watch that and stream the whole album below.

KSIA will play NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on November 5 with Different Sleep and LAVACHILD which is a late show (doors 9:30 PM). Tickets are still available. Earlier in the same evening as LPR, the band will play a free all-ages show at Rough Trade which starts at 7 PM.

UPDATE: The free Rough Trade show was canceled. Sorry!

The NYC shows are just one stop on a full North American tour. All dates are listed, along with the album stream and video, below.

Continue reading "Keep Shelly in Athens streaming 'Now I'm Ready' and new video ++ updated tour dates"

Hamilton Leithauser at City Winery - 10/19/15 (photo via Edward Blake)
Hamilton Leithauser

The Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser just played a hometown NYC show earlier this week for KEXP at City Winery with Kevin Devine, Joseph Arthur and Soren Juul (anyone catch it?), and he's got more coming up.

One is a free in-store at Rough Trade on November 18. It's an all ages show on the earlier side (6:30 PM doors, 7 PM start) and no wristband or anything is required. More info here. The other is a not-free show on December 11 at Baby's All Right. Tickets for that one are on sale now. No other dates announced at the moment.

Hamilton recently contributed a cover of "To Susan On The West Coast Waiting" to the new Donovan tribute album. Listen below.

Speaking of Kevin Devine, his BV-presented split 7" release shows with Tigers Jaw, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Owen, Meredith Graves (Perfect Pussy) and Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) happen in Brooklyn, Philly and Cambridge this December.

Continue reading "Hamilton Leithauser played City Winery, playing more shows"

photo: The Orwells in Chicago, 2014 (more by James Richards IV)
The Orwells in Chicago

Chicago's The Orwells are going on an eight-date tour sponsored by Converse Rubber Tracks that kicks off at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg on Halloween. Shark? open the show, just like they did at the BV-presented show at Shea Stadium, and the show is free. You do have to claim tickets, however, can they become available at 5 PM today.

UPDATE: The Orwells' Chicago pals Twin Peaks have been added to the bill.

All dates on the tour feature openers selected by The Orwells, picked from emerging artists who have previously recorded at a Converse Rubber Tracks pop-up studio. All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The Orwells going on free Converse Rubber Tracks tour; MHOW show on Halloween with Twin Peaks & Shark?"

Marnie doing a little proofing
Marnie the Dog I'm a Book

Marnie the Dog has come a long way from making random appearances at BrooklynVegan SXSW parties and hosting a Red Bull Sound Select show, and is coming out with a photo book, titled Marnie the Dog: I'm a Book, which will be published October 27 via Grand Central Press. She'll be going on a book tour, too, including a couple events in NYC. On Monday (10/26) at Baby's All Right, there's a book release party that doubles as Marnie's 13th birthday party. There will be DJ sets from Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos), Josh Burgess (Yumi Zouma), Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift), as well as a live performance by Kitty Pryde collaborator Hot Sugar. That is free though there is a suggested donation of $5 to Marnie's Old Pals at ASPCA fund.

The next day Marnie and owner Shirley Braha will be at The Strand's Rare Book Room (10/27) to talk with Buzzfeed editor Katie Notopoulos. You'll need to buy a copy of the book or a $15 gift card to attend. Marnie also has appearances in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. All dates are listed below.

In other news, Marnie also has an iPhone app that will allow the user to insert Marnie into any picture.

Continue reading "Marnie the Dog released an iPhone app & book, celebrating at Baby's w/ DJ Frankie Cosmos & more ++ other events"


Grimes, who finally announced a new album yesterday, has expanded her tour. In addition to the sold-out NYC show on November 16 at Terminal 5, she and tourmate/signee Nicole Dollanganger will play the much smaller Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 18. Not only is it smaller, but the Steve Madden-presented show is also totally FREE. You do need a ticket though, and those become available Friday (10/23) at noon.

Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Grimes expands tour, adds FREE MHOW show (dates)"


We knew Flipper would be playing some shows this year, with The Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid's David Yow taking over for Bruce Loose on lead vocals. They already played a San Francisco show earlier this month, which you can watch a video of below, and they have a few more October shows coming up.

One is in NYC on Halloween at House of Vans and it's totally FREE. Support comes from Big Business, Shannon Cornett (of LA's fulltimepunx), and Zane Landreth (of Mount Analog) are on DJ duty, and there will be Visual Conjuring by Dennis McNett. With his visuals, "the venue will embody a world of fantasy and spectacle, brought to life by ethereal visual art concepts, exploits from mythological creatures and wild musical performances." Plus there will be a costume contest with prizes from Fender, Vans, Death Traitors, Greenpoint Tattoo and Deluxe. And surprise guests are promised too.

RSVP is open, but entry is on a first come, first served basis.

That recent live video, and Flipper's list of upcoming dates, below...

Continue reading "Flipper with David Yow on tour, add free NYC Halloween show at House of Vans (dates & recent live video)"

The Album Leaf at today's BV CMJ party @ Baby's All Right

The Album Leaf (aka Jimmy LaValle) will release the follow-up to 2010's A Chorus of Storytellers in early 2016. To give you a taste of this still-untitled new album, you can check out new single "A New Soul" which adds a vocal presence -- and full band -- to LaValle's ethereal sonic webwork. You can stream it below.

The Album Leaf, just minutes ago, played BrooklynVegan's free Friday day party at Baby's All Right, which has sets from Ezra Furman, Car Seat Headrest, Yung, Superheaven, Makthaverskan and Porches still to come. Hustle over to Baby's and join us -- it' free! Additionally, The Album Leaf have three other CMJ shows to come:

October 16, 2015 @ Cake Shop (4:30 PM) - Terrorbird CMJ Day Party (FREE)
October 17, 2015 @ South Street (3 PM) - Seaport Music Fest showcase (FREE)
October 17, 2015 @ The Knitting Factory (11 PM) - Flower Booking Showcase
The Album Leaf have a few West Coast shows in November before heading to the UK and Ireland. All dates are listed below.

Continue reading "The Album Leaf released new single, just played BV day party ++ three more CMJ shows to come"

by Bill Pearis

Kirin J Callinan

Aussie wildcard Kirin J Callinan will release his second album sometime in 2016 via Terrible. The first single is "The Teacher" and features frequent cohort Connan Mockasin. Where his debut, Embracism, was all guttural growls and distorted electronics, this songs is an '80s-style torch song with slippery, fretless bass that has more in common with Kirin's work in Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders. You can stream it below.

Kirin spends a fair ammount of time in NYC and is here this week playing a few shows, including two today (10/16):

Friday 10/16 (4 PM) @ Elvis Guesthouse: Graceland Party w/ Whitney, Mild High Club, Jimmy Whispers, Sean Nicholas Savage, Joy Again, Murals (FREE)

Friday 10/16 @ Cameo Gallery (midnight): Terrible Records CMJ Party w/ LE1F, Empress Of, Porches, Deradoorian, Okay Kaya, Jimmy Whispers, Kaya, Stolen Jars (more info)

Saturday 10/17 @ The Delancey (2 PM): Aussie BBQ w/ Methyl Ethel, Surf Rock is Dead, Lord Fascinator, The Harpoons and 33 (!) more (FREE)

Speaking of the Dreamlanders, they'll be playing more North American shows in December.

Continue reading "Kirin J Callinan shares new single "The Teacher" featuring Connan Mockasin, playing CMJ shows"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

CMJ 2015 Day 2 Day Shows

Shopping is The Best Band. They're also The Most British Band, sounding at times like the Slits, Wire, X-Ray Spex, or Gang of Four. Each instrument is played in a manner both elegant and sparse, which makes for nuanced, collaged melodies designed to get stuck in your head. These are three phenomenally talented people: They balance disparate and at times atonal instrumentation with beautiful, crisp vocal lines, and they can all sing. Few bands strike me as being in the same league as Pleasure Leftists, and in fact, Shopping might be the first. - [Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves in The Village Voice]
UK trio Shopping, who draw from such post punk influences as The Slits, Delta 5 and Au Pairs, are in the middle of their own CMJ music marathon, having played a few show already -- including Wednesday's Kanine party at Pianos with Car Seat Headrest, Mothers and more. I DJ'd in the main bar for a couple hours of that party and my shift ended just as Shopping started. They are not reinventing the wheel at all but they do it very well, and with a short showcase performance like this they add a welcome jolt of electricity. They're good.

As mentioned, Shopping are part of BrooklynVegan's all-day extravaganza at Baby's All Right on Saturday (10/17) which is free and also features sets from Lilys, Martin Courtney, Stealing Sheep, The Gotobeds, plus free samosas and Bell's Beer. Today (10/15), they just played the Rough Trade free day party and play tonight (9:45 PM) at Cake Shop with Weaves, Sweet Spirit, Diet Cig, Tricot, S (Jenn from Carissa's Wierd) and Robbing Millions; and then Friday (10/16) opening for Shannon and the Clams at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets).

All dates are listed, along with more pics of Shopping's Wednesday day set at Pianos, below...

Continue reading "Shopping are here, playing BV Saturday CMJ party and other shows ++ pics from Pianos"

photo: Lilys at Baby's last week (more by Greg Cristman)

photo: Martin Courtney with Real Estate at Radio City in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Martin Courtney

You already know the details for the free BV Friday day party at Baby's All Right. There's also an all-day BrooklynVegan Saturday party from 11:00 AM to midnight at Baby's.

Here's the lineup and set times:
SATURDAY, 10/17/2015 @ Baby's All Right

11:00 AM DOORS
11:30 Murals
12:15 Petal
1:00 Martin Courtney of Real Estate
1:45 Methyl Ethel
2:30 The Gotobeds
3:15 Shopping
4:00 Dilly Dally
4:45 Stealing Sheep
5:30 The So So Glos
6:15 Wildhoney
7:00 Frankie Cosmos
7:45 Jessica Lea Mayfield
8:30 Meat Wave
9:15 The Lemon Twigs
10:00 Mothers
10:45 Lilys
The day kicks off bright and early with Louisville's pastoral psych band Murals and free vegetarian southern Thai samosas off the new Baby's menu, a collaboration with Bangkok restaurant Soul Food Mahanakorn. American brunch will also be available for purchase.

Then it's Scranton, PA Tigers Jaw associates Petal. Following that is a 1 PM set from Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney, who's followed by Australia's Methyl Ethel, Pittsburgh smartass post-punks The Gotobeds, and more post-punk from UK band Shopping.

Things keep going with Toronto's roaring indie rockers Dilly Dally, the harmony-laden Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep, local punk staples The So So Glos, and Baltimore shoegazers Wildhoney. Then it's the twee-ish Frankie Cosmos, the ever-evolving Jessica Lea Mayfield, Chicago garage punks Meat Wave, the young but already very accomplished locals The Lemon Twigs, folky Athens indie rockers Mothers, and finally a very rare reunion set from '90s shoegazers Lilys (only their fourth of 2015) to wrap up the day.

Like on Friday, things kick off with a FREE KEG OF BELL'S BREWERY CRAFT BEER while it lasts. We'll also have three varieties of Bell's on tap all day and night.

photo: Frankie Cosmos at MoMA Nights in 2014 (more by Chris La Putt)
Frankie Cosmos

Again, all 12 hours of this show are totally FREE. No RSVP, no badge or anything required.

The show is one of five BrooklynVegan-presented shows in NYC this week. In addition to the Friday party, we're also presenting the two non-CMJ Front Bottoms shows at Irving Plaza.

Listen to the artists playing the Saturday party, below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan Saturday all-day show lineup (Lilys, Frankie Cosmos, Real Estate's Martin Courtney, Dilly Dally, Stealing Sheep, Jessica Lea Mayfield, free Bell's beer & more!)"

by Bill Pearis

Mothers at Pianos 10/14/2015
CMJ 2015 Day 2 Day Shows

Athens, GA band Mothers began in 2013 as the solo project of visual artist Kristine Leschper and became a full band in 2014. Naming a variety of disparate influences, Mothers' music can go from delicate folk-pop to math-ier sounds that recall Dirty Projectors. Leschper's emotive voices binds it all together. The band will release their debut album in 2016 but you can stream a few songs -- including singles "It Hurts Until it Doesn't" and "There's No Crying in Baseball" -- below.

Mothers are here for CMJ and played their second of many shows on Wednesday at the Kanine/Dr. Martens party at Pianos (with Car Seat Headrest and more) and the upstairs room was packed (reportedly with a lot of various label folk) for their 1:45 PM set. Pictures are in this post. You've still got a bunch of chances to see Mothers this week, including BrooklynVegan's free all-day party on Saturday (10/17) at Baby's All Right with Lilys, Martin Courtney, Stealing Sheep, The Gotobeds, free Bell's Beer, and more. Full lineup, set times, etc will be revealed any minute. Stay tuned. HERE. Meanwhile here's Mothers' remaining CMJ schedule:

Thurs. Oct. 15 - 4:10pm @ Cake Shop (NYC Taper Presents)
Thurs. Oct. 15 - 7:15pm @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 (UTA Presents)
Fri. Oct. 16 - 4:10pm @ Berlin (ROSQUATCH- an official hairy ~ sweaty CMJ Showcase)
Fri. Oct. 16 - 9pm @ Rough Trade (Aquarium Drunkard Presents)
Sat. Oct. 17 - 2pm @ South Street Seaport
Sat. Oct. 17 - 7pm @ Pianos (BirDog Promo Party)
Sat. Oct. 17 - 10pm @ Baby's All Right (BrooklynVegan Party)
Song streams and more pics of Mothers' Pianos show, below...

Continue reading "Athens, GA band Mothers are here for CMJ, played Pianos (pics), playing free BV Saturday party & other CMJ shows"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Car Seat Headrest @ Pianos 10/14/2015
Car Seat Headrest

Seattle's Car Seat Headrest are on a lot of people's must-see list for CMJ 2015, and if you go to more than a couple shows this week, especially day parties, they're on your probably-will-see list as they play a bazillion shows this week. CSH's personal music marathon began Wednesday (10/14) with an early afternoon set at the Kanine/Dr Martens day party at Pianos. Main man Will Toledo sheepishly joked to the packed Pianos main showspace crowd about the number of shows they were doing. Pictures from that show are in this post.

You've got two chances to see Car Seat Headrest today (10/15) and both are free: Cake Shop at 6:15 PM, and then Elvis Guesthouse at 11 PM which is the Beggars Group party. They're also playing BrooklynVegan's free day party on Friday (10/16) at Baby's All Right (2:45 PM), with Porches, The Album Leaf, Superheaven, Makthaverskan, Ezra Furman, free Bell's beer and more.

Meanwhile, get to know Car Seat Headrest's Matador debut, Teens of Style, as the album (not out till 10/30) can be listened to in full, via NPR, below...

Continue reading "Car Seat Headrest streaming Matador debut, began eight-show CMJ run at Pianos (pics)"


As you may know, the FADER Fort returns to NYC this CMJ weekend on Friday (10/16) and Saturday (10/17) at Converse Rubber Tracks. Just a few artists were announced at first, but the entire multi-genre lineup is now here.

Friday has Aquilo, Martin Courtney (of Real Estate), Modern Baseball, Conner Youngblood, Whitney, Boogie, Kehlani and a special guest headliner.

Saturday has Bosco, Oscar, Allan Kingdom, Porches, Dilly Dally, Kranium, YG, Baauer and also a special guest (but not headliner).

Both are totally free, but RSVP is required.

photos by Greg Cristman, words by Bill Pearis

Lilys @ Baby's All Right 10/11/2015

Kurt Heasley brought his band Lilys back for shows over the weekend, including Philadelphia and two at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right. Pictures and a show report follow, but if you missed the Baby's shows -- or want to see them again -- this lineup of Lilys will play Baby's All Right on Saturday (10/17), a 10:30pm set that's part of an entire day of BrooklynVegan-presented free CMJ fun. It starts at noon and goes till midnight.

We'll announce the full Saturday lineup soon UPDATE: FULL LINEUP HERE., and it also includes daytime sets from Martin Courtney (1 PM), Stealing Sheep and lots more. Meanwhile, check out who we have at Baby's on Friday (and tonight/Wednesday)


As for this past weekend's shows: Don Devore, who spent time in the Lilys, The Icarus Line, and Ink & Dagger (and is now Sick Feeling), assembled a seven-piece Lilys that, counting Heasley, featured five guitarists, and included members of MGMT, Ducktails, Acrylics and more. The focus of these shows was on Lilys first five years when they made noisy dreampop on records like Eccsame the Photon Band and A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns. Not knowing what to expect when the band took the stage late Friday night/Saturday morning (1:15 AM-ish?), I'm happy to report Lilys were awesome.

With five guitarists (one being pedal steel), they were a wall of sound and heavy as hell at times. (I had just come from seeing A Place to Bury Strangers at Saint Vitus, so my ears took a beating Friday.) It was a hit-filled setlist, including "Ginger" (which was used in a Cadillac commerical almost 10 years ago), "The Hermit Crab" and a dozen or so others. I went to both shows, setlists were at least similar if not identical (in selection, maybe not order). Light Heat opened the shows and on Sunday, frontman Quentin Stoltzfus (who used to be in Mazarin) joined Lilys for a song. Pictures and setlist for Friday's Lilys show, and video of them playing "Ginger" on Sunday, is below.

Lighting came entirely from projections, which was the sort of vibe you want from a show like this (unless you're a photographer). They were selling the limited-edition splatter vinyl edition of Eccsame the Photon Band reissue on Friday, but it was sold-out by Sunday's show.

More pics and stuff below...

Continue reading "Lilys reunited for two shows at Baby's All Right, playing FREE BV CMJ party on Saturday night (pics / setlist / video)"

FREE, THIS FRIDAY, noon-7pm at Baby's All Right....

BrooklynVegan CMJ 2015

In addition to the BV + Collect Records CMJ showcase at Baby's All Right on Wednesday, BrooklynVegan is throwing free shows there on Friday (10/16) and Saturday (10/17). The Saturday show is an all-day party, going from noon to midnight. Friday goes from noon to 7 PM. Stay tuned for more details on Saturday. UPDATE: Saturday's lineup is HERE and here's the Friday lineup.

Friday, 10/16/2015 @ Baby's All Right

12:15 Long Beard
01:00 The Album Leaf
02:00 Ezra Furman
2:45 Car Seat Headrest
3:30 Yung
4:15 Superheaven
5:15 Makthaverskan
6:00 Porches
Playing last is NYC's own Porches, fresh off signing to Domino, Pennsylvania's grungy Superheaven, post-rock vets The Album Leaf, the eccentric genre defying Ezra Furman, Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, new Matador signee (and prolific bandcamp musician) Car Seat Headrest, new Fat Possum signees Yung who are here all the way from Denmark, and New Brunswick's Long Beard.

Like on Saturday, things kick off early at noon with a FREE KEG OF BELL'S BREWERY CRAFT BEER while it lasts.

Again, the show is totally FREE. No RSVP, no badge or anything required.

Set times above. Listen to the artists playing, below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan Friday day party lineup (Porches, The Album Leaf, Superheaven, Makthaverskan, Car Seat Headrest, Ezra Furman, free Bell's beer & more!)"

by Bill Pearis

photo: The Gotobeds @ Saint Vitus in August (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Gotobeds @ Saint Vitus

Pittsburgh smartass post-punks The Gotobeds will take a break from recording their first album for Sub Pop to be a part of the mayhem that is CMJ. They play four shows this week, including BrooklynVegan's all-day party on Saturday (10/17) at Baby's All Right with Stealing Sheep, and more to be announced any minute. We'll have bands from noon - midnight. UPDATE: HERE's the whole lineup. Here's The Gotobeds' CMJ schedule:

10/15 - Knitting Factory (8pm): Sub Pop / Hardly Art showcase with Protomartyr, S, Mass Gothic, Strange Wilds & H. John Benjamin.
10/16 - Cakeshop (7 PM): Inland Empire Showcase 7pm with J Fernandez, Eaters, Turn To Crime, Tweens & Spray Paint
10/17 - Union Pool (2 PM): Unblinking Ear Showcase! with Big Quiet, Spray Paint and Snowmans of Love.
10/17 - Baby's All Right (Time TBA): BrooklynVegan all-day party
I cornered Gotobeds frontman Eli Kasan (via email) to tell us a little bit about their new album, what to expect from this week's CMJ shows, surviving festivals, touring with Protomartyr and more.


You guys are making your first album for Sub Pop -- can you share any details? How's it going?

Better than we expected, and I feel better from the last two sessions so I can breathe a little easier. When we signed we had maybe one new song written, so we were a bit confused as to what the fuck the LP would be. We do write really fast and discard a ton of shit so Tfp (our guitarist aka COOL-U) was the one who was the least worried. He has so many songs it's crazy.

It's got a really funny title that I can't spoil just yet. It was done in Pittsburgh in our friends house which is where we've done everything. We recorded like 4 old-as-fuck songs and aren't gunna use any of them. The record is mellower in parts. I love artists like Nick Lowe who wrote stuff that was like love letters to different genres/styles so his records bounced all over the place and we took inspiration from that vantage point, though maybe to most it just sounds like our last record. I feel really good about the lyrics.

Should be out like May/June 2016 which feels so far away. Pitchfork gave it a 8.7 :)

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Continue reading "The Gotobeds playing free BrooklynVegan party & other CMJ shows, talk new Sub Pop LP and more in BV Q&A"

Tokyo Police Club

Canadian band Tokyo Police Club are popping down to NYC this CMJ week to play a Pandora-presented Taco Bell "Feed The Beat" show at Rough Trade on Wednesday (10/14) with The Kickback. Free tickets are now available though Eventbrite (a ticket system we're guessing Pandora won't be using for much longer).

Tokyo Police Club's only other 2015 date is the San Antonio stop of Texas' traveling Untapped Festival on November 21 with Metric, GZA and more. TPC frontman Dave Monks put out a solo EP early this year.

by Bill Pearis

John Grant

John Grant released his third solo album, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, last week. Made with producer John Congleton, it continues in the electro-inflected sound, but still with that '70s glam vibe Grant does so well (not to mention his wry, telling lyrics and bravado vocals). It's another great album from Grant and you can stream it via Spotify, and check out the video for "Disappointing" (featuring Tracey Thorn), below.

As mentioned, John Grant is on tour with Villagers, including a CMJ show at Le Poisson Rouge on Saturday (10/17) and tickets are still available. Additionally, John Grant will play the Rough Trade Presents day show on Thursday (10/15) with Ezra Furman, Georgia, Shopping, and Hooton Tennis Club. That show is free and John's on at 5 PM.

All John Grant tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "John Grant released 'Grey Tickles, Black Pressure,' adds free CMJ show w/ Ezra Furman, Georgia & more "

by Bill Pearis

Cool Ghouls

San Francisco paisley throwbacks Cool Ghouls have a new single, "Creature That I Am," that's out next week (10/23) via Dizzybird. This one is especially Byrds-ian and you can stream it below. They've got a new Kelley Stoltz-produced album on the way as well.

Having just wrapped up a string of shows with Shannon & the Clams, Cool Ghouls will be in NYC this week for CMJ, playing three free shows: Alphaville on Wednesday (10/14, 11:15 PM) with Beverly, Warbly Jets, and Samson the Truest; Berlin on Thursday (10/15, 7:30 PM) with Mild High Club, Heaters, Chocolat, Murals, Worthless, and S (free with RSVP), and also Thursday at Palisades for the Burger Records showcase with Michael Rault, Dirty Ghosts, Slim Twig, Modern Vices, Howardian, and Unstoppable Death Machines (more info). They'll then continue their tour, sharing a few dates with Brooklyn's Las Rosas. All dates listed below.

Continue reading "Cool Ghouls releasing new single & LP, on tour now, playing free CMJ shows w/ Beverly, Mild High Club & more "

Cloud Castle Lake
Cloud Castle Lake

As mentioned, Ringo Deathstarr's CMJ schedule includes a show at Rough Trade on October 17 which turns out to be this year's Levitation Fest showcase. It's a pretty killer bill that also includes Shannon and the Clams, Drinks (aka Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley), Mild High Club, Whitney (ex-Smith Westerns), Cheatahs, Stealing Sheep, Louisville, KY's Murals, Irish trio Cloud Castle Lake, and California band Residuals. It's an early start (5:30 PM doors) and tickets go on sale Wednesday (9/30) at noon.

Cloud Castle Lake released the Dandelion EP in 2014 which drew comparisons to Sigur Ros and Radiohead and you can stream it, and this year's "Glacier" single, below. Their other CMJ shows include The Flat on October 14 (6:45 PM) with Her Royal Harness, Miya Folick and Avec Sands; and then a free show that same day (10/14) at The Delancey which is an all-Irish lineup with Fang Club, Sleep Thieves, Ham Sandwich and Le Galaxie.

Continue reading "Shannon & the Clams, Drinks, Mild High Club, Whitney, Cloud Castle Lake & more playing Levitation CMJ showcase"

Nap Eyes

Nap Eyes hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia and make frayed, somewhat shambolic indie rock that, at times, recalls bands like The Clean, The Modern Lovers or even '90s-era Halifax bands like The Inbreds or Jale. The band's 2014 album, Whine of the Mystic, was reissued by Paradise of Bachelors this summer and you can stream the whole thing via Spotify below.

The band are coming down to NYC this weekend for three shows: Sunday afternoon (9/27) at Brooklyn Flea (50 Kent) with Adult Mom and headliners Porches, which is a free show; then later Sunday night at Cake Shop with Tall Juan, and DFONTE; and then Monday (9/28) at Baby's All Right with Mega Bog and Happy You. Tickets for Cake Shop and Baby's are on sale now.

Continue reading "Halifax, NS' Nap Eyes released 'Whine of the Mystic' (stream it), playing 3 NYC shows this week (1 free w/ Porches)"