Entries tagged with: think about life
by Bill Pearis
Next up was Mozart's Sister, the solo project from Caila Thompson-Hannant of Think About Life (and Shapes and Sizes before that) which brings and electro twist to R&B style pop. Anyone who has seen her other bands live before knows she has an amazing set of pipes and a magnetic stage presence to match, which is more than enough to carry the minimal live show which included a guy on bass and a second singer (last night was the debut of this configuration). It was also enough to make up for the sound issues that were clearly frustrating the hell out of Thompson-Hannant, who cracked jokes through her annoyance. - [BV @ M for Montreal 2012]Caila released Hello, her second EP as Mozart's Sister, last month. Synthpop and R&B are filtered through Thompson-Hannant's idiosyncratic style and you can stream the whole EP below. She's also putting the finishing touches on her debut album but will bring Mozart's Sister to NYC at the end of the month for two shows: April 26 at Cake Shop and April 27 at Cameo with Joywave and Cascading Slopes (Jacob from The Drums' other project). Dates are below too.
words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The Notman House had the grill up and running and the speakers loud enough I could clearly hear the first band of the day, Edmonton's The Whitsundays, in my room at the Opus Hotel across the street. People lined up for free pulled pork and/or lentil sandwiches, sipped beer, listened to the Edmonton quartet's opening set (a solid, catchy blend of garage rock/pop) or milled about the house. It was an eclectic mix of people with little kids running around with their faces painted and even greeting people as they made their way up the Notman House front steps. It felt like a party which the weather managed to kill off on Thursday and Friday.
Stuck around for a really entertaining set by another Edmonton band, Hot Panda, before catching the bus (free bus pass was a godsend) to catch Think About Life and Diamond Rings at Divan Orange. I walked up to see people hanging out and then caught a glimpse of the sheet of paper stuck to the door. "Sold Out," it read. Or, since it was a free day party 'at capacity' was more apt. So, I hung around in hopes of getting in, not nearly as disappointed as some of those around me who were clearly crushed by that white sheet of paper.
Think About Life played before Diamond Rings, and it cleared out a bit after their set. Diamond Rings is the solo project of John O'Regan of the D'Urbervilles, and he shows a lot of promise. Synths, guitar and processed beats via laptop made for some simple, yet agreeable, dance numbers. Though his own dance moves were cringe-inducing.
The evening part of the program looked to be a long one with Deerhoof announced via Twitter as the 2am Loft Party headliner at Espace Reunion. It started off at Cabaret Mile End and the news that Doveman, who was slotted in between Mary Margaret O'Hara and Little Scream, was unable to make it out of New York and canceled. Instead, Little Scream's short but enchanting opening set complete with string accompaniment gave way to replacement act Becky Foon + Howl which was Little Scream, Becky Foon on cello Jess Robertson on violin and other members. But I opted to dash up Parc to another Cabaret, Playhouse, to see what was happening there. The official Pop Schedule said I was supposed to be catching Secretary City, but instead I found a seven-piece collective, Olenka and The Autumn Lovers, who were supposed to play Thursday but their van broke down on the way in from London, Ontario. The pleasant surprises to this point were few and far between but Olenka and Co. were the biggest. A solid dose of folk, chamber pop and Americana (can you call it that if they're Canadian?) wrapped in Eastern European themes (there's certainly a bit of Beirut in their sound) through Olenka Krakus's memories of Communist Poland.
Mary Margaret O'Hara
Then it was back to Mile End for Mary Margaret O'Hara. In the past 10 years you could probably count her number of public performances on two hands, with fingers left over. Whirling in with her band 20 minutes before they took the stage, everything was left to chance; even the setlist, which was drawn from a hat by O'Hara and audience members. Clearly uncomfortable on stage, O'Hara flittered about, cracked jokes, forgot lyrics and made others up as she went. Her voice was clear and powerful, and despite only releasing one proper record in the late eighties (Miss America), she is still roundly adored. Hers was one of the highlights of the festival, including a beautiful remembrance of Vic Chesnutt that led into "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." (vid below) It was emotional stuff and when Little Scream came out right after to do a free improv piece, she was wiping away tears. "I don't think I can sing," she said, "I'm crying too much."
Reluctantly, I left to make my way up to Espace Reunion and caught the last couple of songs by Buke & Gass and worked my way to the front for Deerhoof who despite going on at 2am were up for it and so was the audience. During the rowdier numbers, and between drummer Greg Saunier's awkward attempts to banter in French, the crowd surfed and repeatedly tumbled on to the stage with even a few people deciding to just sit on the stage in front of the band. When I left at 3am (after devouring some incredibly good tacos) they were still going, but with one day remaining the only thing I could think about was my hotel bed.
More pictures from the whole day, and a few videos, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Steven: Thanks for taking time out of the grueling tour schedule to answer a few questions for us. I saw you perform Friday night (a few back) and was curious if you find it disappointing when venues aren't at capacity. You guys are tons of fun, so it's strange that people pass on tons of fun for a little bit of fun. Does it affect your performances?.Think About Life played to a less-than-capacity crowd at Santos Party House in NYC on Friday night (the show that was originally supposed to be on a boat). They were supported by Tayisha Busay and Phonetag, and more pictures from the show are below...
Think About Life: Thanks for the kind words. Glad you had "tons of fun"...we sure did! The size of a crowd can't really affect our performance. We have so much fun playing the songs, and just as much fun writing the songs. It's just exciting getting to travel around playing songs we're proud of and that make us happy, to new people every night. I think usually that's obvious to a crowd, no matter what size and we get lots of reciprocated energy. Couldn't ask for more.
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Wild Nothing - Golden Haze (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cosmetics - Sleepwalking (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Magic Bullets - Lying Around (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Stereo Total - Baby Ouh (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unnatural Helpers - Sunshine/Pretty Girls (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Unnatural Helpers - Girl in the Window (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bare Wires - Seeking Love (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sundelles - Gold (MP3)
It's another Double Issue sized column this week with a lot of exciting stuff this week. We'll start with a contest. Wild Nothing headline an all-Captured Tracks bill at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night (8/28) with Cosmetics, MINKS, and Blank Dogs...and we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Wild Nothing" and we'll pick a winner at random.
There's a lot going on in Wild Nothing's world. The band, who hail from Blacksburg, VA, are packing their bags and moving Brooklyn. Not really surprising, except that it took this long. They also have a new EP, Golden Haze, coming out on Captured Tracks sometime in the near future. Apart from the title cut (which you can download above), tracklistings on the CD, 12" and digital versions will vary, which reminds me of the way they used to release multiple versions of UK CD singles in the '90s to get a higher chart position. Fun with formats, or milking the fans? I guess if all the songs are worth hearing it won't matter.
No matter which one you buy, "Golden Haze" is another sparkler from these guys who have been playing a lot of new songs at their shows. And if you haven't picked up their debut Gemini yet, I think it's one of the year's best. And with a permanent line-up (and a new, really solid drummer), Wild Nothing have been a really good live band too.
P.S. Captured Tracks will be giving out free mixtapes at the Bowery Ballroom merch table
Also on that Bowery bill are Vancouver synthpop duo Cosmetics who are playing a string of NYC shows in this week: tonight (8/25) at the Wierd party at Home Sweet Home, then the Bowery show on Saturday, and finally at Glasslands for Pendu Disco on Tuesday (8/31) with Cult of Youth and Seattle's King Dude. Cosmetics only have two singles out at the moment, though both are pretty good shavings of retro-futuristic minimal disco. (Not too far off from what Glass Candy does.) You can download the A-side of their current single, "Sleepwalking," at the top of this post.
If you want more minimal beats but with an angular, more arty bent, Stereo Total are playing tonight (8/25) at Le Poisson Rouge. The veteran French-German duo have been supercolliding styles for nearly 20 years. Krautrock, chanson, new wave, punk, garage...Stereo Total make it their own. They were the first band I ever saw at Bowery Ballroom, sometime in 1998, and I still remember a medley they did that featured covers of Salt n' Peppa's "Push it" and Hot Butter's "Popcorn." That's sort of Stereo Total in a nutshell. Their eighth album, Baby Ouh!, is a lot of fun. Check out the album's title track at the top of this post. The band are just getting started on their North American tour, and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
If you're going to see Tennis at Glasslands on Thursday, make sure you get there in time to see San Francisco's Magic Bullets. The band's debut album, just out on Mon Amie Records, recalls the early '80s days of Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Haircut 100 and The Style Council, with a little C-86 in there as well. (That's basically the formula to get me to come see your band. Well, one of them.) In addition to drawing from a bunch of influences dear to me, they write some fantastically catchy songs. Download one of them, "Lying Around," at the top of this post.
If you can't make the Glasslands show, Magic Bullets are also doing an in-store at Permanent Records in Greenpoint on Friday (8/27) afternoon and then play Pianos Saturday night with Blood Orange (aka Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion) and Staunton, VA's Cinnamon Band.
Still more! Seattle's Unnatural Helpers released one of my favorite songs of Summer 2010, the addiction-loving "Sunshine/Pretty Girls," which can be found on the band's Hardly Art debut, Cracked Love and Other Drugs. It can also be found at the top of this post in MP3 form. Download it right now. If there's nothing else quite as glorious on the rest of the album, that makes the rest of it merely very good. Frontman Dean Whitmore plays drums in The Intelligence (whose forthcoming new album is pretty fab) but where that band is making cerebral garage, Unnatural Helpers punkish driving force is man's other frontal lobe. If you know what I'm saying.
Unnatural Helpers are in the area for four shows. They play
Bruar Falls Dead Herring (it moved from Bruar Falls) on Saturday (8/28) with Bare Wires (more on them in just a sec), Shea Stadium on Monday (8/30) with the Babies, Maxwell's on Wednesday, September 1st, and then Cake Shop on Thursday, September 2. The band are then going on tour with Mudhoney, and those dates are at the bottom of this post.
As mentioned above, the Saturday show at
Bruar Falls Dead Herring is with Bare Wires whose new album (their second) just came out on John Dwyer's Castle Face Records, a label that only seems to spring to life when the Ohsees frontman finds a band he likes. (Previous Castle Face releases include debuts from Ty Segall and the Fresh & Onlys.) Though the two previous sentences might lead you to believe Bare Wires to be blown-out low-fi garage. They are in fact a really great power pop band in the tradition of The Nerves or even The Sweet, and the album, Seeking Love, is decidedly mid-fi. Don't believe me? There's an MP3 of the album's title track up there amongst all the others. These guys know their way around a hook.
In addition to the Bruar Falls show on Sunday (a kind of don't miss in my book if you can tear yourself away from Mad Men and True Blood), Bare Wires also play Friday (8/27) at Monster Island Basement with Xray Eyeballs and Liquor Store.
And finally, Montreal's incredible Think About Life were supposed to play two shows/cruises on The Boat on Friday (8/27) but the concerts struck a metaphorical iceberg and sunk. (It got canceled.) Luckily, Think About Life abandoned ship and are now playing Santos Party House instead. I've said it a zillion times in the last year, TAL are one of my favorite live bands of the moment and they'll be one of yours too if you go see them. No matter how bad a mood you're in, you'll leave smiling. Don't be dumb...go to this show!
And a few more recommended shows not covered above.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
Florida's awesome Jacuzzi Boys are playing Knitting Factory tonight for another of those Scion Garage shows, this time with Nobunny headlining. Free with RSVP. I'm not sure what it is about their sound -- the singer's voice, the more garagey Feelies-esque jangle -- but I just love them. Nobunny is fun too, of course, but I kind of wish he'd spring for a new bunny mask. It's getting really, really creepy.
Austin's TV Torso play Death By Audio tonight. Their new EP, Status Quo Vadis, is darkly romantic, atmospheric, and rockin'. It's also a free download via their bandcamp site. I dig it. Also playing: Juston Stens & Get the Real Gang, and Slow Animal.
Tennis play the first of their NYC shows at Cake Shop.
Think About Life @ BV-SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
The Think About Life show on the boat, scheduled for this Friday (8/27), was moved indoors. Tayisha Busay and Phonetag will now open the show that is happening at Santos Party House. All dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Pattern is Movement @ Brooklyn Bowl (more by Tim Grifin)
There's a new indie rock party cruise in New York this summer: The BOAT. The maiden voyage is July 16 with Pattern is Movement and Glass Ghost, and then on August 27 it's BV faves Think About Life. Giving this more of a true cruise ship vibe, there'll be two performances a night for each date, 7PM (6:30 board) and 10PM (9:30 board). Shows are $15 for general admission or $30 for an open beer bar option. The BOAT sets sail from Pier 40 on the Hudson (Houston and West Side Highway).
We're giving away a pair of tickets to the July 16 show. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "Boat Show" and we'll pick a winner at random. NOTE: These cruises are 21+.
This looks to be Pattern is Movement's only date on their schedule right now. Glass Ghost are also playing Brooklyn Bowl next Sunday (6/27) with Keepaway, The Babies and Hooray for Earth as part of the Northside Festival.
Think About Life also seem to be taking it easy this summer, playing a few Canadian festivals. After their cruise shows, they'll head to England to play the Bestival on Sept 13, and are scheduled to appear at this year's Iceland Airwaves on October 13. All Think About Life dates are below...
by Andrew Frisciano
DOWNLOAD: Light Pollution - Good Feelings (MP3)
Think About Life made a tour stop at Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, April 27th. A few days before that they played an early set at WBAR-B-Q (they had to make a show in Philly later that night), which I missed, so I can't speak to the quality of their performance. But at Mercury Lounge, they were just as amazing as at at the BrooklynVegan/M For Montreal SXSW day party the month before (and at CMJ before that). The disco-inspired jams on last year's Family are catchy and iPod-worthy, but the band is a sumpremely energetic spectacle live. The songs also take a different sheen with new members (since the record) Caila Thompson-Hannant on bass and vocals and drummer Greg Napier, who adds a human touch to the 404-heavy beats. They did a new song, and frontman Martin Cesar dedicated one tune to all the pretty girls of Manhattan.
Light Pollution, from Chicago, opened with effects-driven, shoegazey rock. Their barefoot guitar player tapped away at an array of pedals that swirled under frontman James Cicero's emotive vocals. "Good Feelings" is a good starting point, but not totally representative of their sound, which changes a bit with every song. The onstage banter too was endearingly awkward. They have NYC shows Friday and Saturday too.
More pictures are below...
Charlotte Gainsbourg @ Coachella 2010 (more by Rachel Carr)
tonight in NYC
* Ceu @ Highline Ballroom
* Justin Bond @ Joe's Pub
* WBAR-B-Q @ Barnard College
* Green Day (sort of) @ Bowery Electric
* Aabaraki, Fro, Ladycop @ Union Pool
* Charlotte Gainsbourg & AM @ Webster Hall
* Amon Amarth, Holy Grail @ Irving Plaza
* Dragonette, Class Actress @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Mark Trecka, Callers, Tahiti Boy @ Zebulon
* Real Estate, Apollo Sunshine (Kidrockers) @ Bowery Ballroom
* The Luyas, Buke and Gass, Parlovr, Melati Malay @ Glasslands
* Me You Us Them, Appomattox, Monogold @ Studio at Webster Hall
* Dead Meadow, Imaad Wasif, Endless Boogie (late) @ Bowery Ballroom
* The Red Chord, Premonitions Of War, Tiger Flowers, Descender @ Public Assembly
* Shellshag, Noun (Marissa Paternoster), Full Of Fancy, Black Wine, Pregnant @ Mercury Lounge
The WBAR-B-Q brings Cold Cave, Blues Control, Liturgy, Burning Star Core, Jana Hunter, Twin Stumps, U.S. Girls, Think About Life, Prince Rama of Ayodhya and Old Men to Barnard College. NOTE: "Because the weather reports have indicated a 70% chance of showers on Sunday, we have moved the event to our rain location, which is LeFrak Gym (Barnard Campus, in Barnard Hall - just through the gates on 117th and Broadway!) Everything else is the same!"
12pm -PRINCE RAMA of AYODHYA (http://www.myspace.com/princeramaofayodhya)Think About Life also has a show coming up at Mercury Lounge. Cold Cave also has a show coming up at Le Poisson Rouge (and they played yesterday at Solar One).
1pm - U.S. GIRLS (http://www.myspace.com/usgirlsss)
2pm - THINK ABOUT LIFE (http://www.myspace.com/thinkaboutlife)
3pm - LOWER DENS (Jana Hunter) (http://www.myspace.com/lowerdens)
4pm - BURNING STAR CORE (http://www.myspace.com/cspenceryeh)
5pm - BLUES CONTROL (http://www.myspace.com/bluescontrol)
6pm - COLD CAVE (http://www.myspace.com/coldcave)
SIDE STAGE ATTACK:
7pm - TWIN STUMPS (http://www.myspace.com/twinstumps)
8pm - LITURGY (http://www.myspace.com/liturgynybm)
Doveman's live sountrack to The Conformist and Footloose tonight at (Le) Poisson Rouge is postponed/canceled.
La Strada's new album New Home is still streaming. Check it out.
AM opens for Charlotte Gainsbourg at Webster Hall tonight. Check out his/their video for "Self Preservation" below...
Great show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. And it was awesome that so many people showed up to see the The Luyas at 9pm. If you missed them all week, your last chance is tonight at Glasslands along with fellow Montreal band Parlovr.
Montreal band Think About Life's video (featuring their old lineup) for "Sweet Sixteen" below...
by Bill Pearis
It's a mostly Canadian edition of This Week in Indie, so grab a bag of pickle flavor potato chips and let's dig in. Jason Collett, who is a sometimes member of Broken Social Scene, is here playing tonight (Friday, 4/23) at Mercury Lounge and Saturday (4/24) at Union Hall (tix). Of all the satellite performers of BSS, I think Collett is kind of the unsung hero, making terrific album after terrific album in his understated West Coast country-rock style while Stars and Metric get all the attention. Not undeservedly, necessarily, but Collett's a class act, ace tunesmith, and great performer who deserves a lot more recognition. That includes his new album, Rat a Tat.
As you may have read, Collett is touring with Zeus who used to be his backing band (and will be here) and are really good in their own right. Their new album, Say Us, has a sort of '60s Brit feel, with little moments that make me think of the Kinks, Zombies and late period Beatles. This tour, called the Bonfire Ball, will feature collaborations with Collett and Zeus and, at the Union Hall show, fellow Toronto act Bahamas. (Bahamas aren't playing Mercury Lounge for some reason.) Sounds like a tuneful, convivial evening.
Parlovr @ M For Montreal 2009 (more)
We've written at length about The Luyas being in town for their first-ever NYC shows. I'm kicking myself a little that I didn't go to their secret Loft show on Wednesday (a video is below), but there are plenty of opportunities to see them before they leave. They're playing the teeny tiny Sycamore tonight (4/23), and if you're already going to see The Morning Benders Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, which is/was sold out (tickets back on sale at the moment), do show up early to catch them.
But your easiest opportunity is probably Sunday night (4/25) at Glasslands. As an added bonus, they're playing with their Montreal neighbors Parlovr who I think are pretty awesome and would be worth going to this show just to see them. Here's what I wrote when I saw them at M for Montreal last November:
The band's self-titled, self-released 2008 album does not do them justice, making them sound like a Wolf Parade Jr. Live, Parlovr are way more energetic, fun and melodic -- though it may have also had something to do with a fair amount of new material in their set. Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too.This is Parlovr's only NYC show, they just finished up a tour with We Are Wolves and decided to join the Luyas for this last show. It's only $7. Well worth checking out.
Think About Life @ CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
You could do a Montreal triple play (I guess hat trick would be the more apropos sports metaphor) on Sunday if you go early to the WBAR-B-Q and catch Think About Life who are one of my favorite live bands. You have to try really hard to have a bad time at one of their shows. When they played our official SXSW day party this year, I wrote this:
My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singerMartin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. They were the only band that made me forget how cold it was that day.If you can't drag yourself out of bed in time to make the WBAR-B-Q (gonna guess they're on before 2pm), which is free, Think About Life are back in the city on Tuesday (4/27) playing at Mercury Lounge playing with Chicago's Light Pollution. There's no LOST this week (not that that should ever stop you from seeing this band)...what else you got to do?
Inlets in a loft (more by Chris La Putt)
One non-Canadian weekend pick before I leave you. Inlets' debut, Inter Arbiter, was released this week and tonight (4/23) is the official release party at Union Hall (with Sparrow House). You can listen to the whole thing over at Spinner. It's a lovely listen, baroque pop with amazing harmonies. I've personally never seen them live and am curious to see how much of this they can reproduce live. I'd imagine that at the record release party there might even be special guests. I am not privy to any inside info, but Zach Condon [editor's note: whose arm was in a sling at the April 12th John Shade show at Mercury Lounge] and Angel Deradoorian do play on the record (and Sufjan Stevens was there to see them at our CMJ loft party).
And don't forget about Saturday night's (4/24) Bruar Falls One Year Anniversary Party with Micachu & the Shapes, Holiday Shores, Beach Fossils and... balloons! It's free and I have a feeling will be crazy packed (and probably quite debauched) so get there early.
That's it for this week. Some videos and flyers are below...
Will Sheff & Roky Erickson
"Welcome to Montreal -- how do you like the Weather?" - Martin Cesar, Think About Life.
After three lovely days of sunny, mild weather, the skies went grey and cold for the last day of SXSW, Saturday, March 20th, with temperatures dropping to around 45 degrees. Almost no one seemed prepared for it, judging by the throngs of under-dressed shivering all over town. With a lot of the Austin venues being outdoor, it especially hurt. Our final party of a very busy week of parties was a free badge-less official SXSW event that we did with the M for Montreal folks, at the two-stage Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room & Bourbon Rocks). The main stage was outside -- under a tent, which helped just a little -- and while temperatures were low, spirits were high and it was maybe the most fun I had all week.
My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singer Martin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. That they didn't do "Johanna" is my only complaint. NYers can see them on April 27 when Think About Life play Mercury Lounge. It's part of a fairly extensive U.S. tour, do go see them.
I was also super-pumped to see The Besnard Lakes whose new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is pretty fantastic. Specifically, I wanted to hear its epic opener, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," and have it knock me back. Like a lot of Montreal bands, The Besnard Lakes' line-up ebbs and flows. Theirs does so around the core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. I've seen them seven strong before, but here they were a lean mean quartet and did not disappoint. They're on tour in May, including a 5/28 show at Bowery Ballroom.
Another set I knew would be fun was Montreal's Duchess Says who played one of our CMJ day parties last year. While their more aggressive take on Devo-style protopunk is fun, it's all about singer Annie Claude who looks very cute and innocent... until the music starts. She shrieks, jumps in the audience, tackles people, pulls them to the floor, and causes general mayhem. It's more mischief than menace though. There are lots of other singers who do similar things, but never anything quite like her. After you've seen them once, part of the fun is watching other people experience them for the first time. The inside room was packed to the gills (it was warmer there). My favorite part of the show had her sitting down in the middle of the audience, methodically pulling people down with her, draping their arms over her into a giant pile of people. There's video at the bottom of this post.
The other major highlight for me was Roky Erickson with Okkervill River. I'd never seen him before and this was certainly a great live introduction to someone whose music I've loved for a long time. Will Sheff produced Roky's new album (first in 14 years) and Okkervill was his backing band on it, so the set was tight, rocking and just sounded fantastic. Roky was in great form too, and we got a few 13th Floor Elevators nuggets in there, as well as "Starry Eyes," one of my favorites of his solo material. They tour in May including a show at Webster Hall.
And there was lots more: the great Wye Oak kicked off the party with a lovely set despite cold fingers; Jason Collett was a class act with superbly-crafted country-pop (see video of his set below); Crystal Antlers filled in for BEAST who couldn't make it; Andrew WK was in full Meatloaf mode with a set of piano ballads; Plants and Animals were lush and harmony-laden; metal legends Voivod showed they've still got it; and a percussion-heavy set from L.A.'s Local Natives was probably the biggest draw of the day -- they were excellent.
Somehow I entirely missed sets by Holy Fuck (who I heard were great) and Suckers (who I've seen before many times here in NYC). A last minute addition, Nardwuar was there too, providing funny, heavily-researched band introductions as only he can. It was a great, if cold, day. Stay tuned for his video interview of Will and Roky.
Thanks to everyone who helped put this all together, and to our sponsors. More pictures and videos from the whole day below...
Xeno and Oaklander @ WBAR-B-Q 2009 (more by Zach Dilgard)
The 17th annual WBAR-B-Q (the outdoor show put on by Barnard College's resident radio station) will be happening this year on Sunday, April 25th. The free show lineup includes Think About Life (as previously reported), Cold Cave, Blues Control, Liturgy, Burning Star Core, Prince Rama Of Ayodhya Jana Hunter
Twin Stumps and U.S. Girls. The full list is below.
While in town, Montreal's Think About Life will also be playing Mercury Lounge on April 27th. Tickets are still on sale. Even sooner you can catch Think About Life on tour and at SXSW where they'll be playing a BrooklynVegan party (again).
Liturgy play a show this Saturday (3/6) at Glasslands with Naam.
More info on the fest and set order is below...
I've been announcing individual bands on this party before now. Finally we have the full exciting lineup!
You know M For Montreal as the Canadian festival we've visited for two years in a row. Their yearly festival showcases bands from their home city in their home city, and they take that show on the road each year to both CMJ in NYC and SXSW in Austin (we already announced their official 2010 night showcase).
Being that we are such huge fans of so many Montreal bands, I thought it would be a great idea see if they wanted do a party together... and here we are. The lineup mixes some of our favorite Montreal bands with some or our other favorite Canadian (like Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene) and non-Canadian bands (like Andrew WK).
We have 13 bands total, a DJ set by another band, free ice cream from the Ice Cream Man (some of which is vegan), free vegan food courtesy of Austin's own Daily Juice and other surprises (drink specials on this particular party are pending). We're also proud to announce that KEXP is the official radio sponsor of all BV day parties this year. You'll find them, video cameras in hand, at many of our day parties throughout the week including this one. Those in attendance at this show will also have a chance to check out and win a pair of Nudie Jeans (another one of our kind sponsors).
Also unlike any other BV day party, this one is officially part of SXSW. That does NOT mean you need a badge. NO BADGES REQUIRED for this free show, but you will find the party listed on SXSW.com (and you can add it to your schedule on there). Full lineup with set times below...
Think About Life @ Arlene's CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Speaking of Canada, Montreal's Think About Life just finished up a run of February shows in Europe. Stateside, they have plenty of shows coming up, including SXSW in Austin where you can catch them at the official M For Montreal showcase at Paradise on Thursday, March 18th. The full lineup for that show:
La Patère Rose @ 8:00 p.m.M For Montreal's nighttime showase is not to be confused with the M For Montreal & BrooklynVegan daytime showcase that is happening at Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room) on Saturday, March 20th featuring Roky Erickson backed by Okkervil River, Andrew WK, and more (Montreal and non-Canadian) bands TBA.
The Lovely Feathers @ 9:00 p.m.
Parlovr @ 10:00 p.m.
Beast @ 11:00 p.m.
Think About Life @ 12:00 a.m.
We Are Wolves @ 1:00 a.m.
In total Think About Life will be on the North American Road from March 12th through April 30th, making two NYC stops along the way. They play Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, April 27th. Tickets are on sale now. Two days earlier they will be one of the band's at this year's WBAR-B-Q on Sunday, April 25th at Barnard College. Last year's WBAR-B-Q was played by Gang Gang Dance, Free Blood and more.
The two tracks above from their 2009 record Family. All tour dates and the video for their future-disco epic "Sweet Sixteen" are below...
by Bill Pearis
M for Montreal is an interesting festival, at times more like a conference or summer camp or one of those all-inclusive resorts -- but with better music. There are about 40 "international delegates" (of which I am one) who basically spend the whole weekend together, going to panel discussions, cocktail hours, dinners and, of course the nightly shows. It's not like SXSW or CMJ where there are 30 shows happening at the same time - we delegates see every band at M for Montreal.
Take opening night's (11.19) Selection Officielle at Juste Pour Rire. The venue is used mainly as a comedy club, but they have shows there too with a great soundsystem and, as You Say Party! We Say Die! singer Krista Leowen noted, "fancy lights" which have made it possible for me to take at least one non-embarrassing picture of each band with my crappy point-and-shoot. (Again, apologies to BV's many awesome real photographers.) Juste Pour Rire has two rooms -- the Bowery-sized Cabaret and the slightly smaller Studio, and while one band was playing in one space, the next band sets up, so there's little or no downtime between bands, apart from the time it takes to herd the audience from one place to the other.
While being industry-oriented, M for Montreal is open to the public and tickets to individual events are cheap. ($12.75 for individual nights.) And the public does come -- the place was packed and going bananas for Think About Life's headlining set. Having seen TAL a bunch of times in New York (including at the BV official CMJ showcase this year), even shows like the fairly off-the-hook one at Arlene's Grocery during CMJ last month -- it just doesn't compare to watching them with a hometown crowd. This line-up is still pretty new. Drummer and founding member Matt Shane left the band in October to go back to school, with Greg Napier taking over. More significantly, the band added a second singer, Caila Thompson-Hannant of Shapes and Sizes, to the fold, and she and Martin Cesar have great chemistry.
The band played almost all of their great new album, Family, which is slowly starting to catch on down here in America. Pitchfork may be going gaga for "Having My Baby", but the Montreal crowd knew there are even better songs on the album. "Johanna," "Young Hearts" and "Set You on Fire" all had the crowd bouncing off the walls, some of which the band trotted out a horn section for, but it was Family's "Sweet Sixteen" that sent them over the edge. Though maybe that had something to do with special guest vocalist Cadence Weapon who clearly knew all the words. Think About Life may or may not make you think about life, but they will make you forget your troubles while they're playing.
I said it a few time throughout CMJ week this year: Montreal just tries harder. I'm not saying the city's artists make better albums than everyone else, but as far as giving their all on stage, band-for-band, Montreal groups are much more likely to entertain you than one from another city. Maybe that's just the one's they're sending us, but there was plenty of evidence to support this theory during CMJ 2009, and no place more concentrated than at the M for Montreal showcase at Arlene's Grocery on Wednesday (10/21) where there were six of the city's bands on display.
The night started early with a sampling on Montreal's most famous drunk food, poutine, and a set by up-and comers Parlovr (pronounced "parlour," if you're wondering) who made an impressive, shouty racket. The manic trio feature two guitarists (one of whom also plays keyboards) who take turns on vocals and flipping their hair around, while their bearded drummer walloped away.
Silly Kissers had most NYers in the audience looking around uncomfortably -- we're not used to synthpop bands who wear mime make-up -- and maybe here's a MTL band trying a bit too hard in that department but their songs were kinda catchy and a group of girls in front of me were dancing nonstop and singing along.
Then came BEAST who took most of the crowd by surprise, and won most of them over by the end of their set. As I said before, singer Betti Bonafassi is a magnetic performer, and when she sings off-mike for the opening of "Ashtray," the power of her voice becomes instantly apparent. The rest of the band are no slouches either. Drummer and co-songwriter Jean-Phi Goncalves occasionally picks up a megaphone and starts rapping in French, guitarist Serge Pelletier lays down Morricone-like leads, and it's hard to miss Jonathan Dauphinais' instrument -- a bass/keyboard combo that looks to have been fused together MacGuyver-style. (BEAST also played a great early set three days later at our Saturday day party at Pianos.)
By the time Think About Life took the stage, Arlene's Grocery was packed and the crowd was ready for fun. As good as they were playing a very, very early opening set at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg the night before, the band clearly is fueled by the audience and the crowd was eating it up. It was easily one of the top five sets I saw at CMJ this year. It doesn't hurt that their new album, Family, is awesome -- loaded with stick-in-your-head jams, including "Sweet Sixteen" and "Young Hearts." Also, adding singer Caila Thompson-Hannant (of Shapes & Sizes) gives frontman Martin Cesar someone to play off of, which just makes them all the more fun.
At this point I had to exit, but there was also We Are Wolves and Malajube, followed by the awesome mayhem that is Duchess Says, who also played our Thursday day party at Pianos. By the looks of these photos, and from reading people's Twitter feeds, Duchess Says' show at Arlene's was wild (when people wrote they "destroyed" Arlene's, it was more literal than most "killed it" CMJ tweets). The band clearly won over the Pianos crowd too (NY Times included) and anyone who has been within 20 feet of singer Annie-Claude in performance mode will never forget it.
Video of Parlovr, Think About Life and Duchess Says, plus lots more pictures from the M for Montreal showcase (and one set from Pianos), after the jump...
photos by Tim Griffin
The showcase started shortly after 7pm, when spunky Montreal quartet Think About Life kicked off a set of gangly, effusive sampler-enriched funk rock before a crowd of maybe 30 onlookers--a third of whom were photographers. For the most part, the bill ran like clockwork: The Walter Schreifels Band quickly recovered from a momentary technical glitch to deliver a loose set of well-crafted, rootsy rockers, ending with a darkly bluesy cover of "Summertime" from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel, a Denver group newly signed to the Rounder label, conjured the ghosts of Nick Drake and Gram Parsons with spare, moody folk-rock wrapped in grainy arrangements anchored by a fantastic bassist, Julie Davis.It's true. For the second time in a row, Think About Life played to a small crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg (10/20). It filled up nicely by the time Walter went on, and then even more people were there for Nathaniel and then it was a completely packed house for Laura Marling and The Antlers (and a slightly less packed house for late-night show-closer Fanfarlo).
Think About Life are awesome for doing the early set, especially since its not the type of crowd they're used to back home. And those that did get to see them, seemed to love them. And I heard Arlene's was more at capacity for their only other CMJ show which happened at Arlene's Grocery last night (10/21).
More pictures from MHOW, below...
by Bill Pearis
We already mentioned that Montreal's Think About Life will be in town this week playing Tuesday night's BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg and the M for Montreal night at Arlene's Grocery on Wednesday (10/21). Also playing the M4M show are electro-punks Duchess Says, whose only other show this week will be the BrooklynVegan day party on Thursday (10/22) at Pianos. Full line-up for that show will be announced soon.
Duchess Says were probably the wildest band I saw at last year's M for Montreal festival, due almost entirely to spitfire singer Annie-Claude. She is a woman possessed onstage, wild-eyed and not afraid to leap into the crowd... or drag the crowd onstage. They are loved in their hometown -- the show I saw, the crowd was going completely mental -- but they haven't toured that much in America so it's a real treat to have them here this week, and to have them at our day party.
If you want to get a good cross-section of the Montreal scene, and aren't scared of seeing some bands who sing in French, you should definitely hit up Arlene's Grocery Wednesday night which has an excellent line-up. In addition to Think About Life and Duchess Says, the M for Montreal showcase features: "trip rock" duo BEAST, whose singer Betty Bonifassi provided the vocals for Triplets of Belleville. As I wrote after seeing them, she's got one of Those Voices (Shirley Bassey comes to mind) - smoky, world-wear, yet powerful, enough to cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand at attention. BEAST are playing four shows during CMJ, and all dates are below.
Also playing: Up-and-comers Parlovr play shouty, anthemic indie rock not entirely unlike Wolf Parade and they apparently wowed audiences at this year's Pop Montreal; Malajube who did very well for themselves when they played CMJ in 2006; MTL scene veterans We Are Wolves; and the electropop sounds of Silly Kissers.
The High Dials
Not playing that night but also from Montreal and also playing CMJ are The High Dials whose most recent album, Moon Country, made my Best Albums of 2008 list. If you're unfamiliar, they make country-tinged '60s-ish psych-rock, with great harmonies and occasional doses of druggy drone. The High Dials are playing two NYC shows this week, both on Saturday (10/24). First at Lit (10:15) and then at Arlene's Grocery (12:30). They are fantastic live, you should definitely clear some space for these guys. They're also playing a few East Coast coast while down in America, too, and those dates are below.
And while I'm talking about Canada and Arlene's Grocery, Thursday (10/22) is this year's Canadian Blast which has hard rockers Priestess, the anthemic alt-rock of Jets Overhead, funk-soul mashup Grand Analog, hip hop act Classified and youngsters Spiral Beach.
Tour dates, flyers and videos after the jump...
photos by Ryan Muir
Some things' strengths rest in the laurels of relative secrecy, allowing them to develop without the burden of public scrutiny or following. The opposite of the former statement applies to Think About Life, who Saturday night - or should I say, Sunday morning [at Pop Montreal] - proved yet again that they have the sharpest, most energetic, intensely electrifying, incredibly infectious live show this side of Parc Avenue during their late night spectacle at Pop Montreal's Espace Reunion. Toss in the fact that it was Martin Cesar's birthday, some unexpected (albeit extremely low-budget) pyrotechnics, and a strange character with his hand up a plastic owl's behind into the grand scheme of things, and you've got yourself an indomitable, impenetrable, unadulterated party on hand. Ripping through a raucous set that included old standbys such as "Cyanide," "Paul Cries," and "What The Future Might Be," as well as new fan favourites "Sofa-bed," "Havin' My Baby," and "Sweet Sixteen," alongside some exceptional samples courtesy of the likes of Lil Wayne and Biz Markie, the band (who were flanked by all its former members) stirred the crowd into an impassioned frenzy. Knocking knees, rubbing elbows, the mass below danced, bounced, even crowdsurfed through the impelling set, all the while glazed in a thick layer of perspiration. I could numerically gauge my enjoyment of Think About Life's performance by counting all of the bruises on my ankles and then dividing them over ten, but that would just be gratuitous." [the neighbours]Think About Life's awesome new album Family got a US release last week (10/13) on Alien8 Recordings (the label put the disc out in Canada way back in May). Two vidoes off the new record are below ("Sweet Sixteen" and "Wizzzard") while a pair of MP3s (the first two of the album in fact) are posted above. More pictures from the above-described Pop Montreal set (from earlier this month), also below.
TAL will be in NYC for CMJ, but as usual their scheduled visit was short and random, and very easy to miss. To attempt to remedy that situation, I asked them to join the bill of the BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday night. They accepted! They go on at 7pm sharp, before the Walter Schreifels set which is before the Wheel which is before Laura Marling which is before The Antlers which is before Fanfarlo (who SPIN says you should hear). Tickets are still on sale. Get there early!
Music Hall of Williamsburg is also where Think About Life played last time they came to town (with Ponytail and Real Estate).
Think About Life's only other, and previously scheduled, 2009 CMJ show is Wednesday, October 21st at Arlene's Grocery. That's the awesome M for Montreal showcase (flyer below) with fellow Canucks Duchess Says, Malajube, We are Wolves and Beast. More about this lineup later, along with a more-official announcement about Duchess Says being added to the free BrooklynVegan party happening at Pianos on Thursday (10/22) (not to be confused with the Dutchess and the Duke who are playing a BV CMJ show too).
And that's actually the second Canadian showcase at Arlene's in two days. The next night (10/22) the LES venue hosts "Canadian Blast!" with Priestess, Jets Overhead, Classified, Grand Analog and Spiral Beach.
After CMJ, Think About Life has a November Canadian tour with You Say Party We Say Die, but not until after TAL member Graham Van Pelt's band Miracle Fortress goes on a short tour with Liam Finn That trip includes a Bell House show on November 4th. Tickets are still on sale.
Think About Life played more than one show at Pop Montreal. In addition to the above-described showcase, they did a private taping for Canadian TV (to be broadcast Nov 4). Like he was for Tune Yards' La Blogoteque Take Away Show session, Ryan Muir was in attendance. Those pictures also below.
All of those pictures from Pop Montreal, more new album details, some videos, and all tour dates, below...
photos by Ryan Muir
"The band on everyone's lips [at Pop Montreal] was local solo artist tUnE-YaRdS, a.k.a. Merill Garbus, whose looped ukulele electronica captured many people's attention at the festival. (Her track "Sunlight" was also the de facto Plateau coffee shop jam.) Though attendees planned to give it up for Faust, and sang the praises of local heroes like The Luyas, you couldn't escape the giddy enthusiasm they had for Think About Life. Dancing in a packed room with everyone I'd met that week, I finally understood just how small the Anglo music scene really was. And I kinda liked it that way." [Eye Weekly]Merill Garbus performed at least three times last week in Montreal. One emotional show was her last with her band Sister Suvi (RIP). One (pictured above) was in a museum...
"Tune-Yards blew me away this time when she played at the Museum of Contemporary Arts.And finally there was a private performance that was being filmed by Vincent Moon for a new La Blogoteque Take-Away show. It's her second Take-Away show as tUnE-YaRdS. The first was made at SXSW. You can watch the older one below.
This time she had a backing band and sounded alot better than her being just one musician.
There was also visuals during the show.
Totally packed the small theatre." [MW Music Review Blog]
Last night (10/6), tUnE-YaRdS shared a bill with Dragons of Zynth at Union Hall in Brooklyn. In November she's touring with Dirty Projectors (with four more NYC shows on that schedule). Ryan Muir, who spent a bunch of time with Vincent at Pop Montreal, was at all three of Merill's performances. More more pictures of both of the tUnE-YaRdS ones, below...
photos by Fresh Bread
DOWNLOAD: Think About Life - Paul Cries (old MP3)
I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but I'll stand by my statement that without Marnie Stern, the "Ponytail / Think About Life show at Music Hall of Williamsburg" is/was "still exciting, but slightly less interesting". Real Estate were good, but pretty much any bill will become less interesting when Marnie Stern drops off it.
That said, the highlight of Saturday night's show for me was Think About Life. As the Montreal three-piece (drums, vocals, and Graham Van Pelt on guitar/keyboard/sound effects) pointed out from the stage, it was [almost] three years since the last time they played NYC. I hope they don't stay away so long again.
It was unfortunate that Think About Life played first, but everyone who got there in time to see their 9:30 pm set seemed to be having a good time. And TAL frontman Martin Cesar (aka Dishwasher) was ESPECIALLY having a good time. He let everyone know it, more than once, and it rubbed off. He would occasionaly come into the crowd, and people were actually, even dancing.
Think About Life's set featured a lot more of Martin actually singing than I remember from their sets in the past. It's not that he didn't sing before, but I remember it being heavier with more speaking/screaming than singing. I liked the band a lot before, but this was even better than I remembered. Can't wait to hear their new album, Family (and see them again soon. hopefully).
Ponytail, who TAL are currently still on tour with (updated dates below), also "killed it" (as usual). More pictures from the show below...
Ponytail @ NYU in November (more by Leia Jospe)
tonight in NYC
* Tribeca Film Festival
* Katie Stelmanis @ Sycamore
* John Zorn Improv Night @ The Stone
* The Dead @ Madison Square Garden
* Fischerspooner @ The Performing Garage
* FIXED w/ Michael Mayer @ Studio B
* Julie Doiron, Pursesnatchers @ Union Hall
* Travis, The Republic Tigers @ Webster Hall
* Oneida, Pterodactyl @ Secret Project Robot
* Handsome Family, Marissa Nadler @ Highline Ballroom
* Blank Dogs, Jeremy Jay, Wizzard Sleeve @ Silent Barn
* Lemonade, C.L.A.W.S., Tanlines, Bronze @ Bruar Falls
* Kittens Ablaze, Ravens & Chimes, JBM @ Mercury Lounge
* Greg Ashley, Box Elders, Liquor Store, Medicine Man @ Cake Shop
* Ponytail, Real Estate, Think About Life @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Tony Conrad, Keiji Haino, C. Spencer Yeh @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* The Moondoggies, Spanish Prisoners, Hiss Golden Messenger @ Crash Mansion
* Crystal Stilts, Wavves, These Are Powers, Grooms, Crash Diet Crew @ The Shank
* The Child Ballads, Tiger Saw, The Wailing Wall, Emilyn Brodsky @ Public Assembly
* 108, Blacklisted , Cold World , Title Fight , Soul Control and I Rise @ Santos Party House
As posted in the new "EVILLIVE" section of "The Week in Metal", The Austerity Program, Wetnurse, and Tournament play Union Pool tomorrow.
Think About Life video below....
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Ponytail - Celebrate The Body Electric (It Came From An Angel) (MP3)
Ponytail @ Bell House (more by Jonny Leather)
Ponytails are no longer the surrender flag waved by the fashion maladroit, the new mom, the soccer mom, the hungover mom, the shirking celebrity, the gym enthusiast or the roots-showing victim of a bad hair day.Baltimore's Ponytail will be working this summer, with plenty of dates in the US and Canada, and the previously announced April 25th show at Music Hall of Williamsbug will feature Marnie Stern and Think About Life as openers! Tickets are still on sale.
The ponytail is a nod to our more tousled and casual American roots (think of Marilyn Monroe in ''The Misfits'' or Ali McGraw in ''Love Story''), an impromptu style born not of beauty anxieties, but of industry. Why do you pull your hair into a hasty ponytail? Because you're about to do something. The hair must be out of the way so you can pore over that international torts tome. You are tousled because you have better things to do than detousle yourself: you are working.-[NY Times]
Think About Life @ SXSW 2008
The Brooklyn show will bring Montreal's Think About Life back to NYC - possibly for the first time since 2006, though in 2008 they did visit Austin for SXSW and Graham Van Pelt's other band Miracle Fortress were here in September. Their upcoming tour includes multiple dates with Ponytail and some with Ratatat. All dates below.
Think About Life has a new album, Family, coming out in Canada on Alien8 on May 26th. Check the video for new track "Wizzzard", and the full tracklist, below.
Marnie Stern played NYU earlier this month, and is playing at least two dates with Ponytail and Think About Life.
All tour dates, and everything else mentioned above, below...
yes, it's Robyn, Perez, and Pharrell @ SXSW - March 15, 2008 (this pic via Perez)
I spent all day Saturday - the last day of SXSW - watching bands and comedians. It was nonstop from noon to 10pm - mostly all at the awesome 3-stage Mess With Texas festival at Waterloo Park which ended with the Breeders and NOFX playing on stages very close to each other at the same time. I watched about half of each of them, but more about that later. With only four official hours left of SXSW, and maybe another 2-3 unofficial ones after that, I started to get depressed and wasn't sure what to do next. 10-11 ended up being spent in the hotel relaxing and figuring things out, and then at 11:00 it was off to Beauty Bar to see a Montreal band I hadn't seen in a long while - Think About Life. That decision was partly motivated by my love for them, partly due to BrooklynVegan Mike's influence, and partly because I knew a friend would be there.
Think About Life were, unlike me at that point, full of energy and they put on a pretty good show, though I thought the sound was a little too muddled. So many New Yorkers are in Austin for SXSW, you basically run into more people you know or recognize while you're at SXSW than you would on any other week back home. This show was no exception, and one easily recognizable member of the crowd was Bronques from Last Night's Party who also seemed to know some people who were with the band...... probably related to his former life as a Canadian musician, and probably what got him to this somewhat random rock show.
Anyway, I was happy to see TAL, but then once again I wasn't sure what to do next. I originally wanted to see The Tough Alliance at the same club at 1am, but someone told me they were pretty horrible live earlier in the week, so I changed my mind. I knew I was going to eventually end up at the late-night VICE party that started at midnight, but that prospect wasn't totally exciting me either because the lineup was Jay Reatard, Fucked Up, and Dark Meat - all of whom I had already seen either that day or the day before. That's when my friend said he was off to the Perez Hilton party.
"REALLY?", I thought....Yes, they were serious, and they said they could get me in even though I didn't RSVP or have a laminate. They also reminded me that Robyn AND N.E.R.D. were both playing - two artists I wanted to see more than most of my other options at that point. That, mixed with the potential hilarity of it all kind of brightened my mood. It was also just a short walk away at a place called the Palm Door, I knew I could leave whenever I wanted, and I could still end up at the VICE party which was running really late. And so we went.
And yes it mostly sucked, but N.E.R.D. were awesome and made it all worth it. It basically went like this....
- We got right in without a hassle as promised. The crowd looked more like the Austin equivalent of our "bridge and tunnel" crowd than it did your typical laid back and hip SXSW audience. Bronques from Last Night's Party was also there - which made more sense than when I saw him earlier in the evening at Think About Life.
- The venue was about the size of Bowery Ballroom (maybe it fit 500 people?) with free rum, free massages, free gum, and a place to play Guitar Hero. NYC's own Larry Tee was the DJ.
- BAD NEWS: We missed Robyn. I hadn't seen the full lineup or set times, and it ends up she played at 10pm. damn.
- GOOD NEWS: N.E.R.D. was going on at 1:00 - the wait wouldn't be super long and then maybe I would even stay to see Riskay sing 'Smell Yo Dick' (the ultimate experience to tell the grandkids about) before heading over to VICE to catch Jay Reatard again.
- BAD NEWS: Every band that played before N.E.R.D. (that I was there for) was HORRIBLE
- Even worse: Joe Simpson, father of Ashley and Jessica, was there.
- Something I learned that night: Who Cisco Adler is, and why NOT to Google Image search him. (note: his new group Shwayze was scheduled to play between N.E.R.D. and Riskay. Cisco seemed to know Joe Simpson, and Cisco had a model girlfriend that was all over him most of the night. That's all the gossip I have for you.)
- Perez introduced every band and said how awesome they were and then would watch them from the side of the stage. It actually seemed pretty sincere except for that fact that it was impossible to believe that he or anyone could possibly like those bands (that coincidentally were all signed to majors) as much as he claimed.
- MORE BAD NEWS: Other people I knew showed up at the Perez party (which was actually good news, but...) and they informed me that VICE wasn't that great and that Jay Reatard had already played. damn.
- RELATED FUN FACT: Those same friends went to the Rachael Ray party earlier that day, officially making them the coolest SXSW-goers this year.
- Realization: The Perez party was running super late. The longer the night went on, the more guilty and ashamed I felt for being at Perez's and for missing whatever else was going on like Black Moth Super Rainbow who played an official showcase at 1am that night too (one of my original plans).
- Long story short: N.E.R.D. didn't go on until after 3:00 AM.
- GOOD NEWS: It was intimate. It was loud. It rocked. They were awesome. Great way to end SXSW.
- BAD NEWS: I definitely lost some hearing at the show.
Think About Life @ Beauty Bar, Austin, TX (SXSW) - March 15, 2008
* Speak Up at St Ann's
* Adele is at Joe's Pub again
* Fu Manchu at Bowery Ballroom
* El Guincho is playing Union Pool
* Ed Harcourt is playing Mercury Lounge
* The Mountain Goats are at Webster Hall
* Ting Tings are playing Mercury Lounge
* The Hold Steady are playing Hard Rock Cafe
* Dean Warehem is reading and playing at Union Hall
by BrooklynVegan Mike
Think About Life is back! After being on the back burner while the guys pursued other projects (notably Graham's Polaris-nominated outfit Miracle Fortress, and Martin's project Dishwasher, the band played their first show of what should be an active '08 at La Sala Rossa in Montreal on Friday night (Jan 25, 2008) to benefit Distroboto