Entries tagged with: tUnE-yArDs

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photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Neko Case
Pitchfork Festival

Bob Pollard of Guided By Voices
Pitchfork Festival

James Blake
Pitchfork Festival

The 2011 Pitchfork Festival continues through Sunday at Union Park in Chicago. Some of it is streaming online. A set of pictures from Friday continues below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork Fest 2011 ---- Day One in pics (part 1) "

photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Sacher

"Fireworks at the pier!!!! Wtf!!! And a full moon. Amazing!!!" - Austra


Hudson River Rocks kicked off their 2011 season in a big way last night (7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra. Due to long lines down the West Side Highway, organizers, who tell us last night's crowd reached 4600 people, delayed the start of the free show so as many people as possible could get inside before Austra started.

Austra's rhythm section started the night with some eerie atmospheres. They were soon joined by Katie Stelmanis and backup singers Sari and Romy Lightman and conjured up album opener "Darken Her Horse." Katie is a huge presence on stage, and with such powerful vocals, she had no trouble projecting this presence across the pier's extensive length. The set felt too short, but it was no less enjoyable. They took on Feel It Break single "Lose It" early on in the set and though it seems like one of the album's more straightforward tracks, it actually showed the band at one of their highest points. The vocal interplay between Katie and the Lightman twins adventured into realms visited by few other synth pop groups. Sari and Romy were as charismatic as Katie but in a more subtle way that suited the performance perfectly. Austra's dark dancey songs sounded amazing outside on the Hudson River, but I couldn't help to think how great they would fit a small poorly lit club like Bowery Ballroom, where you can catch them on August 6 as part of their tour with Cold Cave.

After a short break, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus came on stage by herself and introduced her set by looping howls and shrieks. Like Katie Stelmanis, Merrill had absolutely no problem letting her presence be known throughout the entire Pier 54. She was soon joined by a bassist and two sax players to tear apart the recently released LP w h o k i l l and put the entire thing back together right in front of the audience. Merrill continued to loop her vocals, which ranged from bird chirps to bear growls and included everything in between. She added layered percussion which could recall polyrhythmic afrobeat, Latin clave rhythms, or hip hop beats at any given moment. As the songs would start to take on a bit of structure, Merrill would throw in these whacked-out chord progressions on her ukulele. She was accompanied by strong basslines and avant-sax lines that channelled the likes of Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman. The fact that they were able to pull all of this off and somehow still sound really accessible is just beyond comprehension. And the crowd definitely reciprocated. It was probably the best crowd that I've seen at a show this summer and Merrill was obviously grateful for that. She expressed how amazed she was at the number of people who showed up and recalled an early experience playing NYC at Pianos where five people came to see her previous band Sister Suvi. She also pointed out the (almost) full moon which, in a weird way, was kinda fascinating to see while listening to tUnE-yArDs.


After the incredible set ended and the crowd was thanked multiple times, Merrill and co. exited the stage to return shortly for a one-song encore. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of encores, this one was pretty hard to deny. They played the awesome album closer "Killa" and with about 45 seconds left in the song, fireworks erupted over the Hudson River behind the stage.

More pictures and videos from the show below...

Continue reading "tUnE-yArDs, Austra, fireworks & a lot of people on Pier 54 (pics & video)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Wild Beasts - "Loop the Loop" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Wooden Birds - Two Matchsticks (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rayon Beach - Wave Pool Ether (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: John Wesley Coleman - Ooh Basketball (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Urge Overkill - Effigy (MP3)

Tom Vek
Tom Vek

This week is kind of nuts. I know you're all probably just going to be spending it reading A Dance with Dragons or going to see Harry Potter, but here's your TWII action... let's get into it.

Tom Vek is here for two shows, his first U.S. shows since 2005: an early show tonight (7/12) at Mercury Lounge and tomorrow (7/13) at Union Pool. I don't think either are sold out. His second album Leisure Seizure -- six years in the making -- has remained in constant rotation on my stereo since getting a copy in May and I'm pretty excited for these shows.

The new record still sounds like Tom Vek -- the staccato drum beats, sparse arrangements, his laid-back vocal style -- and maybe it's the absence but it still sounds fresh. It's a great record and a welcome return. I have no idea who is in his band these days, but he was fantastic live back when he toured for We Have Sound in 2005. I have a feeling he's still got it.

Wild Beasts
Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts are over for four East Coast shows, including two nights at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday (7/13) and Thursday (7/14). (They're also playing Philly and D.C.) These will be the first the band have done since releasing their third album, Smother, back in May. As I've said before, this is subtler album than Two Dancers that shows the influence of Talk Talk and The Blue Nile in particular. It's a grower, as they say, and a worthy successor to 2009's best album. Check out "Loop the Loop" at the top of this post.

Live, Wild Beasts are truly something to behold,  transcending their records every time (at least every time I've seen them). Sky Larkin's Katie Harkin is playing keyboards with the band on this Stateside jaunt which is an added bonus for some of us. The rest of North America will get a chance to see Wild Beasts in September when they come back for a proper tour.  All 2011 dates are at the bottom of this post.

Urge Overkill
Urge Overkill

Shifting gears wildly, we've got Chicago rock gods Urge Overkill in town for two shows this week. They play the Rocks Off cruise on Wednesday (7/13) and then the Rock Shop on Saturday (7/16) as part of the venue's big One Year Anniversary which is happening all this week.

Urge Overkill were odd men out in the '90s, doing suave, heavily postured cock rock in an era dominated by slacker indie and stoner sludge. 1993's Saturation is one of the decade's classics, all big riffs and attitude that has only gotten finer with age. The same can't be said for 1995's Exit the Dragon, which found the band succumbed to the rock n' roll excesses the band exemplified. (There were even rumors the band were too fucked up to even play on its recordings, having most parts subbed by session musicians.)

There were various comeback gigs in the '00s but I don't think anybody expected them to make a new album. Which made this year's Rock'n'Roll Submarine (great title) a double shock: it exists and, more importantly, it's pretty awesome. Kato and Roeser keep the same flame alive: badass riffs, supercatchy choruses, and that unfakeable rock n' roll spirit. (No Blackie Onassis, but some chemistry is just too volatile apparently.) There's also a world-weariness that keeps it all real. They aren't trying to pretend they haven't been through some serious shit. But to paraphrase "Effigy" (downloadable at the top of this post), they've always taken the loud way.

The Wooden Birds
The Wooden Birds

Lovely Austin band The Wooden Birds play two shows this week as well: Thursday (7/14) at Mercury Lounge and Friday (7/15) at The Rock Shop. As you may know at this point, this is Andrew Kenny's post-American Analog Set band, which still has his drony motorik style but in a much more acoustic setting. The Wooden Birds' sophomore album, Two Matchsticks, is (in my opinion) much better than their debut: the arrangements are more dynamic and the addition of Matt Pond (both on guitar and vocally) adds a lot. (Matt Pond PA's Chris Hansen is a touring member as well.) You can check out the title track to the new album at the top of this post.

Tune-Yards @ MHOW (more by Amanda Hatfield)

What else? Hudson River Rocks starts this week (Thursday 7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra which is a pretty hard-to-pass-up free show. While I don't reach for her album much, there's no denying Merril Garbus is a magnetic performer who can win over crowds easily. While Austra's Katie Stelmanis doesn't quite have that charm, there is no denying her stage presence either and I'm a big fan of Austra's debut album which came out earlier this year. Thursday is supposed to be beautiful and this show seems like a no-brainer.

Rayon Beach
Rayon Beach

Austin's Rayon Beach play three shows this week: Thursday (7/14) at Don Pedro, then Friday (7/15) at Bruar Falls and Saturday (7/16) at Death by Audio. I wrote this a year ago and I think it still holds true:

Like a lot of the bands on Hozac Records (or bands from Austin for that matter), this trio fit under the psych/garage umbrella but there's a decided Brit bent to their music. Baroque garage, is that a thing? Think Syd-era Pink Floyd or The Pretty Things more than Woven Bones. Make no mistake -- Rayon Beach can and do get plenty loud. It's just sometimes with pinkies extended.
Rayon Beach are on tour with fellow Austinite John Wesley Coleman III who is awesome in his own right. Last year's Bad Lady Goes to Jail, on Goner, incorporates country, soul and R&B into his sound (not to mention a unique worldview). He definitely stands out amongst the garage pack. If you feel like you've heard enough of this stuff, do give JWCIII a shot.


Anglophiles might already know that Scottish indiefolk cult legend King Creosote is in town this week, playing a late show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday (7/14) and then at the Rock Shop on Sunday (7/17). Both shows are with the equally talented Jon Hopkins. I wrote about King Creosote back in March:

Scottish indie folk royalty Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. Anderson (whose brother Gordon was a founding member of The Beta Band and now fronts The Aliens) has been cranking out album after album of melancholic, wry songwriting since the late '90s. (Seriously, check out his discography.) Many of these have been self-released, but he's had records on Warner Brothers and Domino too.
Anderson teamed with Hopkins for his new album Diamond Mine that revisits and reworks gems from Anderson's 40-plus releases. You can check out the video for "Bubble" at the bottom of this post.

The Radio Dept
The Radio Dept

And now another weekend of Seaport-related shows. Friday (7/15)  is the final night of this year's abbreviated Seaport Music Festival, with The Radio Dept. The band are in the U.S. for this and the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago and that's it -- so we should count ourselves lucky. If you wanted to see them somewhere small, you're out of luck. (Unless you maybe found yourself at a shop that rocked on, say, Thursday night. Maybe.) Last year's Clinging to a Scheme was one of 2010's best albums (according to me) and though I do wish they'd get a drummer to play with them at shows, they still sound pretty great live.

I'm hoping the merch table has the new 180 gram vinyl reissues of the band's three albums. In particular I want to pick up their classic debut Lesser Matters, one of the best albums of the '00s. Opening are Asobi Seksu which is a pretty perfect pairing. The weather's supposed to be gorgeous, the show is free...this'll be sweet.

Saturday is the Village Voice 4 Knots Festival which is going out of its way to let us know it's not trying to be the Siren Festival. It's a nice line-up of bands, though, scaled to fit the Seaport. Apart from Eleanor Friedberger and Oberhofer, it is a pretty rock line-up what with headliners Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Davilla 666 and Mr. Dream. If you like to dance, they've got an indoor lounge over at 210 Front Street with an all DJ lineup that includes Yeasayer, Dan Deacon, Brahms and the Finger on the Pulse dudes (also DJing as Punches) spinning tunes. Things kick off at 1PM.


Then Sunday (7/17) is the last show of my Sound Bites Series down at the Fulton Stall Market and I'm super pleased to have Hospitality on cleanup. When I found out we were going to be doing the series again, Hospitality were the first band I thought of. If you haven't heard them, you can download their 2009 EP for free from their Bandcamp site. It's quite lovely. The band have gotten less precious since then, though no less charming, and recently the band expanded to a four-piece with drummer Nathan Michel moving to guitar making them decidedly more skronky now.

I am quite enamored with this band and you should definitely come down and see them. They are seriously good. If you come to only one Sound Bites Show this summer... this is your last chance. Hospitality are on at 3PM sharp and I'll be spinning tunes from around 1:30 or so. It's free!

And right after Hospitality finish, you can head across South Street to the Beekman Beer Garden for this week's Beach Party show with Frankie Rose and Xray Eyeballs. Both bands feature on that free downloadable mix you can get over at Insound. The Frankie Rose track is one I hadn't heard before, a cover of Slapp Happy's "Blue Flower" which you may know from covers either by Mazzy Star or Pale Saints.

Last week (Cheeseburger and Hard Nips) was fun and pretty fairly low-key. The spot -- formerly Water Taxi Beach -- is a pretty popular spot on its own, so expect a mixed crowd of those there for the show and those there just for the view/vibe. Bands start at 4PM. It's free.

And that's about it for this week. A few more daily picks are below.


It's a heatwave today but Cold Cave will have the A/C cranked for their show Knitting Factory tonight. I do really like their new album Cherish the Light Years which kind of reminds me of '80s band Lords of the New Church. The show is with gothy sea chanty singers Cult of Youth, and Zambri who are newly signed to Kanine Records (and who were impressive at Knitting Factory during the Northside fest). The show is part of a tour that ends at Bowery Ballroom with Austra.

The newly reunited Cibo Matto are at Brooklyn Bowl. Though advance tickets sold out, there will be limited availability at the door. Go early. The show is one date of a tour that also hits Bowery Ballroom.

continued below....

Continue reading "Tom Vek, Wild Beasts, Urge Overkill, Wooden Birds, Rayon Beach, King Creosote, Radio Dept & more in This Week In Indie"

Secret Chiefs 3 at Terminal 5 (more by Zach Dilgard)
Secret Chiefs 3

Instrumental band Secret Chiefs 3 kicked off a European tour last month with DJ FAT32. The tour comes to North America in September. So far it only includes East Coast and Midwest shows, but West Coast dates are "being planned." Look for SC3 and FAT32 to play NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on September 13th. Tickets are on sale. All dates for the Trey Spruance-led band are listed below.

In October Secret Chiefs 3 play the Iceland Airwaves Festival with Bjork (she was just announced and will be doing a Biophilia performance), Austra, Beach House, Liturgy, SBTRKT, Suuns, Olof Arnalds, Tune-yards, John Grant, and many others. Full lineup at their site. The festival runs from October 12-16 and takes place in downtown Reykjavík. Bjork will also play five more shows in Reykjavík in October. All of those dates are listed below.

All SC3 tour dates and some videos below too...

Continue reading "Secret Chiefs 3 tour dates, Iceland Airwaves 2011 lineup"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Frisicano

Our Band
Our Band

The "Our Band Could Be Your Life" tribute Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom ran more than four hours with 14 bands playing the music of 13 bands (plus a special encore act that covered Nirvana). Set changes were kept short, and bands generally played about 10-15 minutes (between one and four songs). Unannounced guests included Tim Harrington and Lee Ranaldo singing the Minutemen, Craig Finn playing the role of Minneapolis cop, and Dan Deacon's multimedia barrage and three-piece band. More highlights, lots of pictures, and a bunch of videos (UPDATE: NPR has audio of the show) are below...

Continue reading "'Our Band Could Be Your Life' in pics, video & review (Dirty Projectors, St Vincent, Dan Deacon, Ted Leo, Wye Oak & more)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield


Garbus, who records under the name Tune-Yards (or, as she prefers, tUnE-yArDs), was joined on stage by a bassist and a two-person saxophone section, but the most critical interaction was the one between her right foot and the pedals clustered around her microphone stand.

Beating time on her hip with a drumstick, she acted as the conductor of her own personal orchestra, using the pedals to record snatches of song and stray drum hits that magically coalesced in perfect unison.

On "Gangsta," from her second album, w h o k i l l, she began by mimicking the sound of a police siren, adding the distorted thump of a bass drum and the off-beat click of a drumstick on her microphone stand. Her voice took on the gravelly patois of a Jamaican rude boy as she sang, "What's a girl to do if she'll never be a Rasta?"

On "Bizness," Garbus played a staccato melody on a ukulele, evoking the clipped sound of a West African thumb piano. She was steeped in the region's music during years spent in Kenya, and has acknowledged the influence - "Any African music it sounds like I'm stealing, I'm stealing," she told one interviewer - but her one-woman approach shields her from any risk of copying her source material too closely. On "Hatari," she sang in Swahili, but the song's hectic overreach seemed to emanate from a country wholly her own.

Garbus' tourmates Buke and Gass, who joined her for the herky-jerk of "Es-So," share her handmade approach. [Philadelphia Enquirer]

Buke and Gass and tUnE-yArDs played a tour-ending show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night, one night before both artists took part in the 'Our Band Could Be Your Life' show at Bowery Ballroom (more on that in a bit). Garbus killed it as usual. Pictures from that show are in this post.

Back on 5/18, tUnE-yArDs appeared on WNYC (listen below). As pointed out in "What's Going on Monday", Merrill will again perform for WNYC but this time live in their Greene Space. The short performance is sold out, but it will be streaming live on thegreenespace.org at 7pm tonight (5/23).

tUnE-yArDs' next proper NYC show is a big free one on Pier 54 this summer. Since the initial announcement, Austra was also added as opener for that July 14th outdoor show (which makes it extra awesome). Meanwhile you can catch Austra at Mercury Lounge TONIGHT (5/23), if you have a ticket (it's sold out). Austra also returns in August as part of a tour with Cold Cave.

More Music Hall pictures, and last week's WNYC appearance stream, below...

Continue reading "tUnE-yArDs played MHOW w/ Buke & Gass (pics), playing Green Space (stream) & Pier 54 w/ Austra (who is here now)"

Talib Kweli @ SXSW 2011 (more by BBG)
Talib Kweli

today in NYC
* MV Carbon @ The Stone
* Questlove @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Radical Dads @ the Delancey
* Snoop Dogg @ Wellmont Theatre
* The Pietasters @ the Stone Pony
* Bill Frisell @ Village Vanguard
* Ty Segall @ KcDc Skate Shop
* Dudu Maia, Douglas Lora @ Barbes
* Talib Kweli, Jean Grae @ SOB's
* Down, Danava, Haarp @ Best Buy Theater
* Talib Kweli @ Other Music (signing)
* Scala & Kolacny Brothers @ Webster Hall
* Scott Kettner's Forro Brass Band @ Barbes
* Wolfgang Gartner, Harvard Bass @ Irving Plaza
* Frank Turner, Franz Nicolay @ Knitting Factory
* Lightning Bolt, Pterodactyl @ Le Poisson Rouge
* The Lemonheads, The Canon Logic @ Maxwell's
* White Wires, GAMES, Baby Shakes @ Bruar Falls
* Sophie Hunger, Matteah Baim @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Woods, White Fence, Spectre Folk @ 285 Kent Ave
* ps xo, Faith Reason, Quitzow, Wojcik @ Shea Stadium
* Heaven, Invisible Days, Dead Leaf Echo @ Death By Audio
* Apollo Run, Ravens & Chimes, Katie Costello @ Union Hall
* In Tall Buildings, She Keeps Bees, The Long Eye @ Union Pool
* Lin Culbertson, Marina Rosenfeld, Andrea Parkins @ The Stone
* Two Fresh, Mux Mool (Eye Candy for Strangers) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Buffalo Tom, Madison Square Gardeners, Mean Creek @ Bowery Ballroom
* Soft Black, Crazy and The Brains, Waking Lights, Caged Animals @ Cake Shop
* Lord Huron, North Highlands, The Wilderness of Manitoba @ Mercury Lounge
* Entrance Band, Amazing Baby acoustic, Winter Family, DJ Non Format @ Glasslands
* Modern Skirts, Sea of Bees, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, The Hsu-nami @ Pianos
* The Appleseed Cast, A Great Big Pile Of Leaves, Two Lights @ Highline Ballroom
* The Toys and Tiny Instruments, Jessie Kilguss, Measure, Nick Ogawa @ Matchless
* Phonetag, Porches, Beggars in a New Land, Space Lions, Rival Tribes @ Silent Barn
* Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone, Mantra Percussion, Pretty Monsters @ Littlefield
* Cults, Oberhofer, Puro Instinct @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Check the BrooklynVegan Facebook for some more giveaways today.

Check out This Week in Indie.

tUnE-yArDs, Metronomy & Deer Tick are playing free Hudson River Rocks shows @ NYC's Pier 54 this summer.

If you haven't heard the new Tune-Yards album yet, the 'Bizness' video below is a reminder to check it out.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Thursday?"

Pier 54 @ a 2010 concert (more by Chris La Putt)
Hudson River Rocks

One of New York City's quintessential free outdoor concert series, Hudson River Park's RiverRocks marks its 13th season this summer by presenting headlining performances by the sonically-nuanced experimental group tUnE-yArDs, the dance/art crossover phenoms Metronomy, and the alt-country/folk rockers Deer Tick.

Staged on Hudson River Park's Pier 54, the RiverRocks schedule is as follows:

Thursday, July 14 -- tUnE-yArDs
Thursday, July 28 -- Metronomy
Thursday, August 11 -- Deer Tick

Opening acts for the three-date series will be announced in the coming weeks.

Located adjacent to New York City's Meatpacking District (at 14th Street), the Pier 54 gates open at 6 p.m. for all RiverRocks shows, with opening performances scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile tUnE-yArDs is out touring in support of her awesome new album, and Deer Tick will play as Deervana at Brooklyn Bowl during the Northside Festival.

In other free show news, Wavves is playing in East River Park this summer, Brooklyn Bridge Park released their schedule of free movies, The Radio Dept and other bands are playing South Street Seaport in 2011, and the initial lineup was announced for this year's Bang on a Can Festival.

Buke and Gass

NYC's Abrons Arts Center is hosting two Japan benefits on April 8th...

More than a dozen innovative artists at the intersection of indie rock, contemporary jazz, and avant-garde performance will come together at Abrons to present a benefit concert to support recovery efforts in Japan. "The tragedy and devastation is really overwhelming," says John Zorn, who has organized and will host the evening. "I've always felt a strong personal connection to Japan, and I'm just glad to be able to do my part to help. It should be an amazing night."

The lineup includes feature performances by Grammy award winning Norah Jones, Jesse Harris, and the influential Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth). An early and late show will feature two different sets by Ikue Mori and John Zorn, Vinicius Cantuaria, Masada String Trio, Buke and Gass, and many more.

Both the performers and the theater are donating their services, ensuring that 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit near Sendai on March 11. Funds will be donated to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.

Thurston Moore is listed on the lineup of the early show. Buke & Gass is listed on the lineup of the late show w/ Norah. Tickets at those links - full linueps also listed below.

And in case there was any doubt, Buke & Gass will in fact be opening for tUnE-yArDs on her upcoming tour that hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 21st, one day before Buke & Gass take part in the sold out "Our Band Could Be Your Concert" at Bowery Ballroom. All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Buke & Gass touring w/ tUnE-yArDS, but first benefit shows w/ Thurston Moore, John Zorn, Norah Jones & more"

words by Rachel Kowal, photos by Ryan Barkan

The Antlers @ The Parish
The Antlers

One of the highlights of my day on Thursday at SXSW was the NPR showcase at The Parish. Though I didn't arrive in time to see Colin Stetson or tUnE-yArDs (I saw the latter the following day), I stuck around for the rest of the line-up, including the grand finale: The Antlers, who, as advertised, played their unreleased upcoming album (Burst Apart) in its entirety for the first time in public. But more on that later.

I arrived to the sounds of Malian singer Khaira Arby, who Jon Pareles of the New York Times later confessed to me was his go-to recommendation for the festival. I don't typically see much world music, but there's no denying Arby's effortless ability to captivate the audience with her rich vocals and rhythmic percussion.

The Joy Formidable @ the Parish
Joy Formidable

Up next were The Joy Formidable/ I confess it was hard to get past singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan's wild stare, but if anything, the sheer intensity of her gaze was well suited to the tough indie rock strains of the London-based trio.

The energy level in the room continued to climb as Wild Flag took the stage. Not only does singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein have a dedicated fan base thanks to her past band - Sleater-Kinney, she also received quite a warm welcome from NPR Music's Stephen Thompson due largely to the time she spent blogging and contributing to the site. This familiarity imbibed an otherwise strictly rock performance with a genuine warmth that made for a compelling combination on stage. Though their current musical project is young, these veteran lady rockers put on a triumphant and confident performance. Of course, it helps that the remaining three band members (Mary Timony, Rebecca Cole, and Janet Weiss) each have quite an impressive musical ability (and resume), themselves.

Wild Flag @ The Parish
Wild Flag

Next came the part of the showcase that I was most anticipating - the preview of Burst Apart. After the Antlers' 2009 release, the cinematic and harrowing concept album Hospice, I was eager to hear what course they would take in their follow-up. Apparently, one of the biggest challenges the band faced leading up to the show was figuring out how to effectively translate all of the layers and effects found in the studio recording into a live setting. Being unfamiliar with the material, it's hard to tell if they achieved this goal.

I enjoyed the chance to hear the new material without having read any spoilers online, but at first listen, it seems that Burst Apart does not boast the same kind of sparse, sweeping intensity and catharsis that distinguished Hospice... but maybe that's a good thing.

In an interview with Pitchfork a few months ago, chief singer/songwriter Pete Silberman confessed:

For a while, I thought the next logical step from Hospice was to make some very sad, post-Hospice concept record. But thinking in those terms started to feel really manipulative and gimmicky. So I just let go of that idea and, from that point on, I was much happier. In a lot of ways, this album is an easier record to listen to than Hospice; you can put it on and not feel like it has to be a severe emotional experience. It might be. But it could also be on in the background.
Like Hospice, portions of the new album seem to project a dark kind of resignation to pain, sickness, and heartbreak. But in addition to the darker songs, it ended in a surprisingly hopeful, (albeit Gothic) vein as Silberman sang, "I'm not going to die alone. I stitched the stuff up so to close up the hole" in a particularly Hospice-like song.

You can check out the whole show for yourself (or whichever portion most interests you) over at NPR Music. All of their performances were archived and are now stream-able online (Antlers HERE).


Burst Apart will be releaesd by Frenchkiss Records on May 10th. The Antlers will head out on tour a week later with stops at both Music Hall of Williamsburg (May 19th) and Bowery Ballroom (May 20th). Both shows and much of the tour is with Little Scream who meanwhile is on tour with Sharon Van Etten. Tickets for both NYC shows go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon, and then general sale Friday at the same time.

All tour dates and more pictures from the NPR show at the Parish, below...

Continue reading "The Antlers performed 'Burst Apart' @ SXSW w/ Wild Flag & more (pics & NPR stream), touring w/ Little Scream (dates)"

Out Band Could Be Your Life

Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black Flag
Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
St. Vincent plays Big Black
Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
Buke & Gass plays Fugazi
No, that's not a list of what happened in a weird dream last night. That is the LINEUP of a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22nd in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Azerrad's "classic history of the '80s indie underground", Our Band Could Be Your Life (a book everyone reading this site should probably own!)

To quote show co-presenter Tiger Mountain Presents, "some of the best bands in contemporary indie music will play songs by each of the 13 bands in the book."

"For years, all kinds of people -- musicians, people who run labels, concert promoters, journalists, whatever -- have told me that they've been very inspired by Our Band Could Be Your Life and the bands it profiles, which is incredibly gratifying and totally unexpected," says Azerrad. "The tenth anniversary of the book was a great occasion for the current generation of bands to celebrate these pioneers."
More bands & guest hosts TBA. Tickets are $25 & go on sale Friday, 3/11 at noon.

Meanwhile the book will also be the topic of a panel discussion at SXSW that Merrill Garbus aka tUnE-yArDs (who is also playing the festival) will speak on.

Ted Leo is headed to Austin too, an appearance at the BrooklynVegan official SXSW showcase included.

Delicate Steve and Wye Oak are going to SXSW too. Wye Oak can be found at the BV/KF/Partisan day party at Swan Dive on Friday, 3/18. Wye Oak will also play Bowery Ballroom as part of a tour in April.

St. Vincent plays Big Black. I just felt like saying it again!

Continue reading "'Our Band Could Be Your Life' 10th anniversary show lineup (Big Black, Black Flag & Fugazi songs will be played)"

DOWNLOAD: Thao & Mirah - "Eleven" featuring tUnE-yArDs (MP3)

Mirah & Thao Nguyen at MHoW (photos by Amanda Hatfield)
Marah & Thao

Mirroring the sentiment that was out in force this past weekend, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down will headline a Planned Parenthood benefit at Bowery Ballroom on April 4th with The Bloodsugars. Tickets go on sale Thursday 3/3 at noon. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down are also scheduled to play SXSW and the sold-out Coachella festival next month. All dates are below.

In related news, Thao's collaborative efforts and tours with Mirah last year have borne fruit, as the pair are preparing to release an LP entitled "Thao & Mirah" via Kill Rock Stars on April 26th. Check out the album's first track, "Eleven", which features and was produced by tUnE-yArDs. MP3 above and stream below. The LP's tracklisting/art and a live video of a second track "How Dare You", with all dates, also below...

Continue reading "Thao Nguyen playing Planned Parenthood benefit in NYC, releasing an album w/ Mirah (listen to a song w/ tUnE-yArDs)"

photos by David Andrako

William Brittelle and Merrill Garbus
Roomful Of Teeth & Tuneyards

Roomful of Teeth (Esteli Gomez, Martha Cluver, Caroline Shaw, Virginia Warnken, Eric Dudley, Jonathan Woody, Dashon Burton, Cameron Beauchamp & director/founder Brad Wells) were the constant Saturday evening at Merkin Concert Hall. The show, entitled "Roomful of Teeth & tUnE-yArDs: The Music of William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans & Merrill Garbus" was part of the Ecstatic Music Festival which continues hosting unique performances through the end of March.

Roomful of Teeth were joined by Merrill (aka tUnE-yArDs) and Caleb Burhans on older tUnE-yArDs song "Hatari", and the women of Roomful of Teeth and Merrill performed "Doorstep" from her forthcoming album. Caleb also joined the group for his piece "why must you leave...".

tUnE-yArDs kicks off a proper tour, of all her music, in April. More pictures, two videos and the full setlist from the Merkin show are below...

Continue reading "Roomful of Teeth, tUnE-yArDs, William Brittelle & Caleb Burhans got 'Ecstatic' @ Merkin Hall (pics, video, setlist)"

Tune Yards

April 19th marks the release of the second album from Merrill Garbus' tUnE-yArDs. Entitled w h o k i l l, the album was recorded shortly after Garbus transplanted herself from Montreal to sunny Oakland, California having extensively toured debut album BiRd-BrAiNs through 2009 and 2010.
...and there will be a tour that kicks off in San Francisco in April and ends at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on May 21st with Buke & Gass (who just opened for Mission of Burma). Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday at noon.

MEANWHILE, Tune-Yards plays Merkin Concert Hall as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival in NYC on 2/19, and the 4AD-signed artist will be at SXSW too.

All tour dates below...

Continue reading "tUnE-yArDs announces new album & 2011 tour"


As previously announced, the 2011 Ecstatic Music Festival, presented by New York City's Merkin Concert Hall in association with New Amsterdam Records, is a showcase of imaginative collaborations between more than 150 genre-pushing composers, songwriters and performers who represent a new generation of artists combining diverse influences and techniques to explore the intersection of classical and pop music. All concerts will include premieres. The festival opens with a free seven-hour marathon on January 17, 2011, and continues with 13 additional concerts until March 28, 2011. All concerts will take place at Merkin Concert Hall.
The Ecstatic Music Festival 2011 is almost here. Subscriptions and single show tickets are on sale. The full updated schedule (tUnE-yArDs, So Percussion, Dan Deacon, Craig Wedren, ACME, Nadia Sirota, Buke & Gass, Doveman, Owen Pallett, Bang On A Can All-Stars, and more included), and a trailer, below...

Continue reading "Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on 1/16, runs through 3/28 (updated schedule w/ tUnE-yArDs, Dan Deacon, Owen Pallett)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

Pat Jordache

The Rock Shop may have been open for a couple of months now, but last night's show marked the official party to celebrate the new Park Slope venue (the first show happened a month earlier). The Rock Shop is kind of like a smaller version of the Mercury Lounge (minus the door between the bar and the show space). There's a bar lining the wall as you walk in, and the concert space is in the back. There are even benches lining both walls like at the Mercury Lounge. But the Rock Shop benefits by having additional space upstairs with large open windows that look onto 4th Ave.

For such a small room (max capacity 120) the bill was pretty solid thanks in part to the venue's booker, Skippy McFadden, who formerly booked artists at both the Bell House and Union Hall. Just Sunday night, the 'surprise' headliner, tUnE-yArDs, opened for St. Vincent in Central Park.

But first up was a short set by a last-minute addition, Pat Jordache. Jordache and his two-man backing band (including the drummer of The Acorn) are apparently friends with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus, who danced a bit in the crowd during their set. With a full line-up of women scheduled for the evening, it was nice to get a little testosterone in the mix, too.

I expected the two main openers to put on a good show, but I hadn't heard a thing about Lady Lamb & the Beekeeper. Given the clunky and cutesy name, I was somewhat skeptical going into the set, but singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro quickly won me over with her beautiful lyrics, husky voice, guitar playing skills, and earnest little kid-like eyes. Unlike the other artists on the bill, Aly powered through her set alone. There were no bells and whistles, just a girl and a couple of guitars, and the result was stunning. Ally's voice is deep and raw. During the dramatic parts of her songs she rocks out on her electric guitar and nearly sings herself hoarse. Then without warning her voice becomes soft and sweet.

Up next was the Brooklyn transplant, Sharon Van Etten, who masterfully crafts heartbreaking (but ultimately triumphant) songs. Sharon began her first song solo, but was soon joined by her backing band, which included birthday girl Cat Martino on backing vox. Her new record, Epic, is slated to drop until October, but she had copies available for sale and showcased a number of songs during her set. The crowd responded fondly to the new material, prompting Sharon to comment, "I've never ever seen people bob their heads to my music before." She encouraged the warm, familial mood in the room by sweetly dedicating a song to her mother, who was present at the show.


Upon the conclusion of Sharon's set, the mood in the room became more frenetic in anticipation of tUnE-yArDs, the main act. After setting up the beat to her first song, "Hatari," Merrill Garbus offered a brief word of introduction. As the beat continued to pulse through the speakers, she inquired, "Can you dance to it?" before continuing, "Not that New Yorkers dance. I know you don't dance. Only in your bathrooms after you've pooped... Oh, New Yorkers don't poop." And with a knowing laugh from the crowd, she began to sing.

It's hard to know what to say about Merrill Garbus' dramatic musical project tUnE-yArDs that hasn't already been said. Either you're down with the tribal-like beats, fierce delivery, and zany presentation or you're talking at the back of the bar. Either way, seeing Merrill perform is an experience. When the stage allows for it, she takes advantage of the space and surrounds herself with a host of musical collaborators, but there was no room for a drum circle on the Rock Shop's small stage. Instead, Merrill handled the percussion herself, looping together upwards of 7 or 8 tracks at a time to create a rich, full-bodied sound. Merrill was also accompanied by Nate Brenner on bass and, for a few songs, a trio of brass players.

Though there were brief technical issues when Merrill began to play "Safety" on the ukulele, the audience didn't seem to mind the lull in the set. "Take your time!" "Just figure it out!" they shouted encouragingly as Merrill tried to rectify the situation. But eventually, she just had to give up. "Sorry. I just can't hear it at all. It just won't work [...] But I'll still play a good song. " And with that, she launched into the whimsical song "News."

Since she currently only has one album under her belt, Merrill has been playing many of the same songs at her shows, and the audience was fairly familiar with her material. When Merrill began to shout the question, "Do you want to live?" she was met by a resounding "YES!" before she had a chance to offer an explanation or a prompt. Fans of tUnE-yArDs will be glad to hear that new music is on the horizon. "This is the last time I will be playing this song ["Hatari"] in New York City before I finish a new album... so there," Merrill declared near the beginning of her set.

Following up her impressively strange debut BiRd-BrAiNs will be a difficult feat, but something tells me Merrill Garbus is up for the challenge.

More pictures from the show with Sharon and Merrill's setlists, below...

Continue reading "tUnE-yArDs, Sharon Van Etten, Lady Lamb & the Beekeeper & Pat Jordache played The Rock Shop (pics & setlists)"

photos by Chris La Putt

Still shaking from the @basiabulat @tuneyards and @st_vincent show at #summerstage. Definitely one of the defining concerts of the summer! -Laura Rubin

St. Vincent

St. Vincent at first seemed nervous due to a lot of technical difficulties with her band, but she quickly came into her element- perhaps focusing on Actor too much, Annie did not settle for just performing her songs, but reinventing them. She was absolutely exceptional, performing a sort of dance when she played guitar that was both a dance of rage and a parody of modern guitar solos at the same time as this spindly siren carries a pretty serious, Chuck Berry-esque guitar up to the front of the stage. She seemed lost in the world of her songs, a morose fairytale land of abstract orange hues and jagged shapes, but she brought something new out in her music with her reinterpretations- 'Your Lips Are Red' suddenly seemed almost like a Browning poem with its powerful jealousy and murderous themes.

The real highlight however, of this really quite exceptional set, may have been Black Rainbow- her impressive selection of band members (whom she recalled every name of, bless her) had starred and shone through several of her other hits. But with Black Rainbow the song just trickled into a dark, powerful musical marsh. You became weighed and yet uplifted by the powerful musical breaks, and it was... It was really something to watch. For all her nerves and sometimes awkward demeanour, St Vincent really performed today- but did so with a more rocky, almost Joplin edge to her music than she does on her albums. It was.... Divine. [Deliciously Apart]

St. Vincent headlined a free Central Park SummerStge show on Sunday, August 1st. She played with a full band with horns, as did opener Tune-Yards (who's playing the Rock Shop tonight)...
"The second Tune-Yards album can't come quickly enough. The existing recordings are very good, but don't do enough to showcase exactly how jaw-dropping Merrill Garbus has become as a live performer. I would go so far to say that she may be one of the greatest singers in the world today." [Fluxblog]
Canada's Basia Bulat was the first act of the day - she'll be back in NYC for two shows with the Acorn in September. The first is at Mercury Lounge on September 23rd. Tickets are on sale now. The second is one day later at Littlefield. Tickets are also on sale. All Basia dates are below.

More pictures & videos from the Central Park show, with two of the setlists, below too...

Continue reading "St. Vincent, Tune-Yards & Basia Bulat played Central Park Summerstage (pics, video, setlists, more dates)"

Tune-Yards @ Summerstage - Aug 1, 2010 (JoeYTeacups)
Tune Yards

Brooklyn Vegan & The Rock Shop proudly present:
The Rock Shop's Grand Opening Party with secret headliner
Sharon Van Etten, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper
The Rock Shop
Mon, August 2, 2010
Doors: 8:00 PM / Show: 8:00 PM
Now that she's played her set at Summerstage, it's safe to say, if you haven't figured it out already, that tUnE-YarDs will be Monday night's secret headliner. See you there.

Merrill's only other currently scheduled dates are in Europe. They are listed below...

Continue reading "and Monday night's secret Rock Shop guest is..."

DOWNLOAD: tUnE-YarDs - I Really Taught Me To Watusi (KATW cover) (MP3)

tUnE-YarDs @ Bowery Ballroom (more)
Tune Yards
Katrina and the Waves

"Every spring, as the sun starts to shine, DJs reach for the song "Walking on Sunshine." And since its release 25 years ago this week, just about everyone associated with the song has lived quite well off its success. It was recorded by Katrina Leskanich, and when people used to ask her what she did for a living, she'd say, "I'm a singer in Katrina and the Waves. Oh, never heard of it? You know, 'Walking on Sunshine'?"" [NPR]
When I first heard "I Really Taught Me To Watusi" by Katrina & the Waves....

I Really Taught Me To Watusi by Katrina & the Waves (the original)

... while picking songs for this BrooklynVegan Katrina & the Waves covers EP project, I immediately thought of tUnE-YarDs, and when tUnE-YarDs heard the song she immediately said yes to participating. Check out her somewhat lo-fi take on the track for free above. It's track #4 on the above-pictured, currently-5-song EP.

This means so far we have:

1. Sam Amidon - Walking on Sunshine
2. Deer Tick - Sun Street
3. ????
4. tUnE-YarDs - I Really Taught Me To Watusi
5. ????
Stay tuned for the rest soon! tUnE-YarDs dates below...

Continue reading "tUnE-YarDs is track #4 on the BV KATW EP (free MP3!)"

St Vincent @ Lincoln Center's Allen Room (more by Chris La Putt)
St Vincent

St. Vincent (4AD), Tune-Yards (4AD) & Basia Bulat (Rough Trade) will share a Beggars family bill at Central Park Summerstage in NYC this summer. The free show will take place Sunday, August 1st at 3pm, one week before The xx (XL) and Jack Penate (XL) play the same stage (and about a month after XL's Gil-Scott Heron plays there).

St. Vincent, Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat are all female-fronted acts. Four days later a similar phenomenon takes place, also for free, in Prospect Park when Metric, Holly Miranda and Joan as Policewoman share a bill.

The Central Park gig is one of three shows St. Vincent is currently advertising. Pitchfork Music Festival and Calgary Folk Festival are the other two. Tune-Yards on the other hand has a bunch of stuff before August including Sasquatch, the Roots Picnic, Glastonbury and a June 27th show at Hollywood Bowl with Goldfrapp, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club and Omara Portuondo.

All dates below...

Continue reading "St Vincent playing Summerstage (w/ tUnE yArDs & Basia Bulat), Calgary Folk Fest & Pitchfork (and other dates) "

photos by Lori Baily

Xiu Xiu

"The night was started by Twin Sister, a quintet with only one raspy voiced female. I certainly hope she's got a twin somewhere!...

...Next up was Zola Jesus, moniker for Nika Roza Danilova. Last year, she collaborated with Freddy Ruppert and Jaime Stewart for the Former Ghosts project, via the The Bull and the Ram. At that point, I had no idea who she was, but that song sounded pretty much like a nightmareish synth pop tune sung by Kate Bush, then after grabbing a couple of mp3s off her debut album The Spoils, it became clear that was her preferred line of work. She recently released a new EP called Stridulum that still goes down that same line of being the second coming of Kate Bush in an even more refined manner...

...Tune-Yards is another one-lady band, in this case her real name is Merrill Garbus....she proceeds to create her musical and vocal loops right in front of you. I have no idea how she does it, but it's incredibly fascinating to watch and makes her set electrifying...

...Xiu Xiu went through yet another line-up change, now it's only a duo with new member Angela Seo...About half the set consisted of songs from the new album Dear God, I Hate Myself. I've been listening a lot more to the album and it's currently on the rise with me. At first it struck me as a bit too 8-bit, but once you really give it a listen the sheer melodic genius of it all starts to shine through. Guess it won't really appeal much to the people who complained about Women As Lovers not being noisy enough, it probably is the most pop album. [pecusita]

Xiu Xiu and Tune-Yards' setlists and more pictures from the Friday night show at Bowery Ballroom (4/9), below...

Continue reading "Xiu Xiu, Tune-Yards, Zola Jesus & Twin Sister @ Bowery Ballroom in NYC - pics & setlists"

The Roots Picnic 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
The Roots

As Pitchfork reported, The Roots Picnic will be happening again this year at Philadelphia's Festival Pier on Penn's Landing, on Saturday, June 5th. ?uestlove announced part of the lineup via a Twitvideo (which you can see below), and it includes of Mayer Hawthorne, Clipse, the Very Best, Neka, Tune-Yards (a recent Questlove favorite), Das Racist, Bajah & the Dry Eye Crew, Pattern Is Movement, headliner Vampire Weekend and The Roots (with two side-projects, Black Thought's Money Making Jam Boys and ?uestlove with DJ Jazzy Jeff). He also says that the fest will be reuniting a certain black hat/gold chain (and it could be assumed, Adidas)-wearing hip-hop crew.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 5th at 10am.

Mayer Hawthorne headlines Webster Hall Thursday night (3/4).

Picture sets from last year's Picnic are here. Pictures from a 2009 show at Brooklyn Bowl that featured more than a few of the members of this year's lineup are here. See ?uestlove's video for yourself (where he also announces that it's the Roots' one year anniversary on Fallon - congrats!) below...

Continue reading "The Roots Picnic - 2010 date & initial lineup (Vampire Weekend, Clipse, The Very Best, Tune-Yards, Run DMC?)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Zola Jesus - Night (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zola Jesus - Clay Bodies (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Zola Jesus - Smireye (MP3)

Zola Jesus

LA Record: How would you describe your music to a child?

Nika Roza: I tried to do this with my cousin. She's an aspiring goth. I am trying to turn her into a weirdo. 'It's like pop music but it's really noisy and there's opera.' I would probably say, 'This sounds like Hannah Montana' and let their minds adjust. 'This is what Hannah Montana can also sound like.' There's got to be a Nickelodeon Black. If you turn on TV you see people yelling things and vomiting colors. But when I was growing up seeing cartoons they would have a lot of snot and bodily fluids and weird things. What is going to happen to this new generation? But I would tell the 7-year-old child it was the Apocalypse. You know what, fuck that. There's nudity and language--let them see it! If not, they will turn into bigger creeps. You have to expose children to stuff like that. You gotta be ready.

Madison, Wisconsin's enigmatic Zola Jesus (real name Nika Roza) is playing a one-off show at Cake Shop on Saturday (2/20). Posessed with a haunting wail, comparisons to Diamanda Galas, Siouxsie and Karin Andersson are not inappropriate. Check out the MP3s at the top of this post, especially "Night" which is from her new 12", Stridulum, which is out March 9 on Sacred Bones. I really dig the pulsing, slow-build arrangement and the production cuts way back on the reverb -- her voice doesn't need it. The Saturday line-up at Cake Shop is well chosen, Blacklist, Cult of Youth and White Ring.

If you can't make Saturday's show, she'll be back again on April 9 opening for Xiu Xiu and Tune-Yards at Bowery Ballroom Tickets are still on sale. She'll also be at SXSW. All dates, along with a video for "Clay Bodies" and a flyer for the Cake Shop show...

Continue reading "Zola Jesus MP3s, video & 2010 tour dates (Cake Shop Saturday, SXSW, Bowery w/ Xiu Xiu, Purchase & more) "


We'll get a more complete press release in the morning (and confirm what is listed below is 100% correct), but in the meantime below is a picture of the 2010 Sasquatch poster (that someone Tweeted) and the lineup as read by Bradford Cox at tonight's Atlas Sound show in Seattle (and being listed all over the Internet)....

Continue reading "Sasquatch announces 2010 lineup (includes Massive Attack & My Morning Jacket) (and many more) "