Bear Hands, Dum Dum Girls, Happy Birthday, Bloodsugars, Bear in Heaven, Beast & more in This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
It's another jam-packed week of shows. In addition to Taken By Trees, El Perro Del Mar and The Soundtrack of our Lives, here's some of the ones I'm excited about.
tonight (2/16): New Cantora Records signees Bear Hands play The Studio at Webster Hall. You can download the band's percussion-heavy new single "What a Drag" for free from their website if you're willing to give them your email address. You can also watch the video at the bottom of this post.
Also tonight (2/16), Beast kick off what is now a run of three NYC shows. As we pointed out earlier today, "Beast are at the Living Room tonight. They play the Cameo tomorrow night late...and they've added an early set at the Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, where the show is with Fight Like Apes, Honor By August, Stationary Set and Tryptics."
This week is last of Savoir Adore's February Thursdays residency at Cake Shop and we've got a pair of tickets up for grabs. Just email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM and we'll pick a winner at random. In addition to Savoir Adore (have I mentioned their album made my Best of 2009 list?), it's another good group of openers. The Bloodsugars make '80s-inspired widescreen pop that at times sounds uncannily like Prefab Sprout -- and good Prefab Sprout, not "hot dog jumping frog Albequerque" Prefab Sprout. Which is to say these folks know their way around big pop hooks, and are kind of a perfect match with Savoir Adore. You can download "Light at the End of the Tunnel" from last year's underrated I Can't Go On, I'll Go On at the top of this post.
Also on Thursday (2/18), Dan Black is in town at Mercury Lounge. There's a new version of Dan's single "Symphonies" that features Kid Cudi, and you can watch the new video for it at the bottom of this post.
Bear in Heaven @ Mercury Lounge in January (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
A few more shows. Bear in Heaven, who were just great at Mercury Lounge a couple weeks back, play Glasslands on Friday night (2/19) with Secret Machines. What I like about them live is that you can tell they all really enjoying being in Bear in Heaven and playing these songs. They're just a lot of fun to watch, and they're pretty tight too with a drummer beats the shit out of his instrument.
Secret Machines are headlining, a band I haven't seen play in some time but have always liked. They've got a trippy, string-heavy new single, "Like I Can," that you can listen to on their website. Also playing what sounds like a full evening are electro rock quintet Mon Khmer, Noveller and Papa.
Saturday (2/20) marks the end of The Beets/Beach Fossils/Christmas Island tour where they'll play Music Hall of Williamsburg along with German Measels and headliners Crystal Stilts who I still haven't managed to catch since Frankie Rose left the drummer's chair.
Dum Dum Girls
Speaking of Frankie, she'll be pulling double duty Sunday night at Mercury Lounge where her own bandThe Outs will open for Dum Dum Girls (she's their drummer). DDG's debut album for Sub Pop is about six weeks away but you can download the album's first single, "Jail La La," at the top of this post. (It's out on 7" today with a nice cover of the Stones' "Play With Fire" on the flip.) I'm usually not one for re-recording songs that have already been released, but I actually think this recording is spruces things up just enough without unraveling their reverby gauze. After heading to London for a few shows, Dum Dum Girls will be back for SXSW and then will go on tour with Girls in April. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
Frankie & the Outs are really coming along as a band too, and thought they were fantastic at Monster Island this past weekend. The vocal harmonies in particular are the band's strong point, with a bit of soul in there too actually, kind of like some late-'60s girl rockers. I'd love to hear them cover The Kelly Affair/Carry Nation's "Sweet Talking Candy Man" from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. But maybe that's just me.
Also playing are Dum Dum Girls' Sub Pop labelmates Happy Birthday, whose super-catchy song "Girls FM" is downloadable at the top of this post. It's power pop, but kind of gritty/garagy and makes me anxious to hear more.
That's it for this week. Flyers, videos and tour dates after the jump...
Bear Hands - What a Drag
Bear Hands - 2010 Tour Dates
February 16, New York, NY, The Studio at Webster Hall (RECORD RELASE GALA)
February 17, Pittsburgh, PA, Brillobox
February 18, Newport, KY, Southgate House Parlor
February 19, St. Louis, MO, The Old Rock House
February 20, Oklahoma City, OK, Conservatory
February 21, Albuquerque, NM, Launchpad
February 23, Phoenix, AZ, Rhythm Room (w/ WWPJ)
February 24, La Jolla, CA, The Loft-UCSD (w/ WWPJ)
February 25, Los Angeles, CA, Spaceland
February 26, Los Angeles, CA, Troubadour (w/ WWPJ)
February 27, San Francisco, CA, Slim's (w/ WWPJ)
March 1, Vancouver, BC, Biltmore Cabaret (w/ WWPJ)
March 2, Seattle, WA, Neumo's Crystal Ball Reading (w/ WWPJ)
March 3, Portland, OR, Doug Fir Lounge (w/ WWPJ)
March 5, Salt Lake City, UT, Kilby Court (w/ WWPJ)
March 6, Denver, CO, Hi Dive (w/ WWPJ)
March 7, Lawrence, KS, Jackpot Saloon (w/ WWPJ)
March 8, Omaha, NE, The Waiting Room (w/ WWPJ)
March 9, Minneapolis, MN, Varsity Theatre (w/ WWPJ)
March 11, Chicago, IL, Lincoln Hall (w/ WWPJ)
March 12, Cleveland, OH, Grog Shop (w/ WWPJ)
March 13, Columbus, OH, The Summit (w/ WWPJ)
March 14, Indianapolis, IN, Radio Radio (w/ WWPJ)
March 15, St. Louis, MO, The Old Rock House (w/ WWPJ)
March 28, Niagra Falls, NY, Rapids Theatre (w/ Passion Pit)
March 30, Cleveland, OH, House of Blues (OH) (w/ Passion Pit)
March 31, Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall (w/ Passion Pit)
April 2, Chicago, IL, Congress Theatre (w/ Passion Pit)
April 3, Milwaukee, WI, Turner Hall (w/ Passion Pit)
April 4, Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue (w/ Passion Pit)
April 5, Kansas City, MO, Beaumont Club (w/ Passion Pit)
April 7, Denver, CO, Odgen Theatre (w/ Passion Pit)
April 8, Salt Lake City, UT, In the Venue (w/ Passion Pit)
April 10, Eugene, OR, McDonald Theatre (w/ Passion Pit)
April 11, Vancouver, BC, Commodore Ballroom (w/ Passion Pit)
April 12, Portland, OR, Roseland Theatre (w/ Passion Pit)
April 15, San Francisco, CA, Warfield Theatre (w/ Passion Pit)
Dan Black with Kid Cudi - Symphonies
Dum Dum Girls - 2010 Tour Dates
Feb 21 MERCURY LOUNGE w/ Frankie & The Outs, Happy Birthday, & Coasting New York, New York
Feb 24 OLD BLUE LAST London
Feb 25 BARDEN'S BOUDOIR London
Feb 26 WHITE HEAT @ LEXINGTON London
Feb 27 THE REST IS NOISE London
Mar 2 WHITE HEAT @ MADAME JO JO'S London
Mar 18 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 19 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 20 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 21 BRO FEST w/ Frankie Rose & The Outs, Woven Bones, The Soft Pack, et al....... Dallas, Texas
Mar 23 DESOTO LOUNGE w/ Male Bonding Asheville, North Carolina
Mar 24 LEGITIMATE BUSINESS w/ Male Bonding Greensburo, North Carolina
Mar 25 DC 9 w/ Male Bonding Washington DC
Mar 26 OLDE CLUB (SWARTHMORE COLLEGE) Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Mar 30 RECHER THEATRE w/ Girls Baltimore, Maryland
Apr 1 PARADISE ROCK CLUB w/ Girls Boston, Massachusetts
Apr 2 VOYEUR w/ Girls Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Apr 3 WEBSTER HALL w/ Girls New York, New York
Apr 4 SOUNDLAB Buffalo, New York
Apr 5 MR. SMALL'S THEATER w/ Girls Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Apr 6 WEXNER HALL w/ Girls Columbus, Ohio
Apr 7 DIONYSUS CLUB (OBERLIN COLLEGE) w/ Girls Oberlin, Ohio
Apr 9 PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE w/ Girls Toronto, Ontario
Apr 10 MAGIC STICK w/ Girls Detroit, Michigan
Apr 11 PABST THEATER w/ Girls Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apr 12 VAUDEVILLE MEWS Des Moines, Iowa
Apr 13 WAITING ROOM w/ Girls Omaha, Nebraska
Apr 14 FOX THEATRE w/ Girls Boulder, Colorado
Apr 18 ECHO CURIO Los Angeles, California