Charli XCX, Clock Opera, 2:54, Big Deal, Razika, Automelodi, New Build, Elephant Stone, more in This Week in Indie part 2
By Bill Pearis
Welcome to Part 2 of this pre-SXSW edition of This Week in Indie (Part 1 HERE), which sees an insane amount of good show options over the next five days, even for New York which is never lacking for music options. Let's jump in, shall we?
Charli XCX and Clock Opera are two hotly-tipped UK acts who play a sold out show together Saturday night (3/10) at Knitting Factory, and a BV-presented (along with Neon Gold and Popgun Booking) show on Monday (3/12) at Santos that also features Django Django who play a sold out BV-Presented show Saturday night at Glasslands.
London's Charli XCX got a lot of attention last year for her singles "Stay Away" and "Nuclear Seasons" both of which mined '80s New Romantic synthpop. (You can watch the videos for both below.) She's currently recording her debut album, working with bigshot producers Patrik Berger (The Good Natured, Robyn) and Ariel Rechtshaid (Glasser, Theopolis London) while still attending London's Slade School of Fine Art (she's only 19). For those who wished Lykke Li's second album had more to dance to, Charli XCX may be your new favorite.
Clock Opera's debut album, Ways to Forget, is out April 9 on Moshi Moshi. You can watch the video for the new single "Once and Again" at the bottom of this post. There is definitely a little Coldplay in what they do, but Clock Opera also have a wide creative streak as can be heard in their fantastic, radical reworking of Metronomy's "The Bay" which is included on The English Riveria - The Unreleased Remixes.
2:54 at Pianos (more by Erik Erikson)
2:54 are back in town for the first time since November, playing Glasslands on Sunday (3/11) and Mercury Lounge on Monday (3/12). When I saw them at Pianos, they were a little rough around the edges (and suffering from unintended feedback) but you could tell they had a lot of potential. (That potential is already evident on their recordings, all massive-sounding gothy shoegaze. Which is to say a lot like '90s band Curve.) Let's hope they've spent the last four months playing live and returning to mean business.
Check out new single "You're Early" at the bottom of this post. 2:54 also play the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase, which happens March 14 at Bar 96, and a bunch of other shows in Austin. Catch 'em if you can.
Both 2:54 shows in NYC are with London duo Big Deal whose debut came out back in January on Mute. Here's what Andrew Sacher had to say at the time:
Big Deal (aka Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe) will release their debut LP, Lights Out, on January 24 via Mute. They don't seem to be using more than an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and their voices. They've got enough indie rock tendencies that it's bigger sounding than folk, but with the complete absence of drums, it's not nearly as large as their songwriting could lead it to be, and it ends up working to their advantage.
You can stream Lights Out via Spotify and watch one of their videos at the bottom of this post. The Glasslands show Sunday also has ZAZA on the bill, which makes it a very tempting night out indeed. You can also catch Big Deal at 'Hotel Vegan' Wedsnesday in Austin.
If you're not going to see Django Django, Charli XCX and Clock Opera at Santos, or 2:54 and Big Deal at Mercury Lounge, you might want to spend your Monday evening at Glasslands taking in the charming sounds of Norway's Razika who last played here in October and not enough people saw. (Including me.) I'm still listening to their debut, Program 91, which owes a little to 2-Tone Records and Lilliput/Kleenex, with a smidge of Camper Van Beethoven's balalaika ska in there too. There are a couple MP3s from Program 91 at the top of this post, do check them out, along with the video for "Vondt i hjertet" which Razika filmed here (you may recognize Pete's Candy Store) when they were over last October. Razika also play our Wednedsay day party in Austin.
Also on the bill: Belgium's Balthazar, and Brooklyn's We Can't Enjoy Ourselves and Landlady, plus DJs Tanlines. Razika play a bunch of dates next week in Austin, including one at our Hotel Vegan on Wednesday (3/14).
Tuesday (3/13) and Wednesday (3/14) mark the first two American shows from UK trio New Build that features Al Doyle and Felix Martin from Hot Chip. The band released their debut album Yesterday Was Lived and Lost this week on their own Lanark Recordings label. You can stream it at the bottom of this post. There is a strong Roxy Music/Talking Heads vibe going on here which includes Doyle's vocals. It's slinky. It's sexy. And danceable. If you don't listen to closely to the lyrics, you'll probably like it a lot. No surprise: both these shows are sold out. Check out live footage from Glasgow at the bottom of this post, they sound pretty good.
That's the big stuff. A few more show picks, day-by-day, are below for things I haven't already covered in this post.
METZ at Cake Shop last night (3/8)
FRIDAY, MARCH 9
As mentioned Thursday, Toronto bands METZ and Teenanger are in town and will play Death By Audio tonight with Vaz and Pop. 1280. I caught METZ and Teenanger last night at Cake shop and was duly impressed by both. METZ in particular made some kind of intense awesome racket. They are great this show is highly recommended tonight.
Montreal's Automelodi (aka Xavier Paradis) played their first NYC show in a long time at the Weird party at Home Sweet Home this past Wednesday which I didn't realize was happening until it was over. Luckily, Automelodi play again tonight at Pianos. I was a huge fan of his 2010 album, here's hoping he plays lots of new songs. The Pianos show is with Frenshkills who are celebrating a new album and who also play our Wednesday day party in Ausitn.
Elephant Stone at M for Montreal 2010
SATURDAY, MARCH 10
The sitar-fueled psych pop of Elephant Stone comes to Pianos for the first week of their March residency, with ZAZA, Friend Roulette, and Balthazar.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11
If you're going to see Gomez at Bowery Ballroom (I only ever liked one song) do go early to see talented Canadians Hey Rosetta! do their sweeping, anthemic thing.
Or you could go to Mercury Lounge see The Zambonis, the finest Replacements-esque, hockey-themed band America has ever produced.
MONDAY, MARCH 12
The Lemonheads are at Maxwell's performing It's A Shame About Ray in its entirety.
OK, that's it! That's a lot. Tour dates, flyers, videos, streams and such are below.
Clock Opera - "Once and For All"
Clock Opera - "Lesson No. 7"
Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons
Charli XCX - Stay Away
2:54 - 2012 TOUR DATES
3/11 Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands !
3/12 Manhattan, NY - Mercury Lounge !
3/14 Austin, TX - Bar96 (Brooklyn Vegan showcase)
3/15 Austin, TX - Roy's Austin (Stereogum showcase)
3/16 Austin, TX - Latitude 30 (NME Showcase)
3/16 Austin, TX - Fader Fort
3/20 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo !
3/22 San Francisco, CA - The Rickshaw Stop
! = w/ Big Deal
Big Deal - "Talk"
Razika - Vondt i hjertet
New Build @ Captain's Rest, Glasgow
Hey Rosetta! - 2012 Tour Dates
03 07 12 MILWAUKEE / PABST THEATER
03 08 12 DETROIT / ST. ANDREWS HALL
03 09 12 CHICAGO / VIC THEATRE
03 11 12 NEW YORK / BOWERY BALLROOM
03 12 12 WASHINGTON / 9:30 CLUB
03 14 12 PHILADELPHIA / THEATRE OF THE LIVING ARTS
03 15 12 CARRBORO / CAT'S CRADLE
03 16 12 CHARLOTTESVILLE / JEFFERSON THEATER
03 17 12 ASHEVILLE / THE ORANGE PEEL
03 19 12 BROOKLYN / BROOKLYN BOWL
03 20 12 BROOKLYN / BROOKLYN BOWL