Christmas Island

It's a good week in New York for lovers of no-muss-no-fuss garage rock -- there's a lot of it in town. Austin trio Harlem are playing a trio of shows, the first of which is tonight (2/10) at Mercury Lounge with Girls at Dawn. They then play Friday (2/12) with Frankie & the Outs and The Siberians at Monster Island, and then hit Union Pool on Saturday (2/13) with Jemina Pearl. The band's second album (and first for Matador), Hippies, is out in April and doesn't stray too far from the greasy lo-fi of their debut, but with a bit more, um, finesse. They haven't polished the furniture, just tidied up a bit and the songs don't substitute reverb and distortion, for songwriting chops and attitude. It's a good record.

I'm going to see them tonight Mercury Lounge, but if I had to recommend one of the three shows, Monster Island on Friday seems like the right place to see them with the best and most economical ($7) of the overall line-ups. The Siberians make the kind of garage you would've heard at Cavestomp ten years ago before the genre became cool again -- more Lyres-style organ, less scuzz. Stupid Party are molasses-thick with extra sludge.

The night starts with Blacksburg, VA's Wild Nothing whose dreamy new single, "Summer Holiday," was just released on Captured Tracks. Think a slightly less wimpy Trembling Blue Stars and you're in the general sonic ballpark. Maybe you've already heardhis cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting" that made its way around the internet last year.  I'm pretty sure on record it's just one guy, so what guise Wild Nothing will take live is anybody's guess. And Frankie & the Outs have really come along as a band over the last five months and are coming into their own -- and apparently they've just wrapped up recording their debut album. Hopefully that will be out sooner than later.

Wild Nothing
Wild Nothing

Both Wild Nothing and the Outs will play Monster Island again the next night (2/13) for another great show, this time with Blank Dogs (who haven't played in a while), Sisters and Ireland's So Cow. This will be the first NYC appearance from So Cow since his assault on the U.S. last summer where he charmed nearly everyone who went to see him play.  His new album, Meaningless Friendly, is supposedly out this month though there's no mention of it on the Tic Tac Totally website. Ask him what the hell's up with that at the merch table, won't you? If you can't make it Saturday night, So Cow plays again on Sunday (2/14) at Cake Shop with Vivian Girls/Woods side project The Babies, the Nick Cave-y Preacher and the Knife (who are also playing a fashion show on Friday) and retro doowop stylings of White Blue Yellow and Clouds.  So Cow will be in here for nearly six weeks (including SXSW), playing just about everywhere in North America so do go see him if you can.

Christmas Island
Christmas Island

Monday night at Cake Shop was the kickoff show for Christmas Island Beets Beach Fossils tour which will take them down and up the East Coast over the next ten days. If you missed that show, all three play again on Saturday (2/13) at Death by Audio and then will close the tour on 2/20 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Crystal Stilts and German Measles (tickets are still on sale for the latter). Matt Volz, who does all the The Beets' artwork, designed a great poster for the tour which you can actually buy via Captured Tracks website and at the merch table on this tour (and is given a CT release number a la Factory Records). You can see a big version of it here.

I've written plenty about Beach Fossils and The Beets before and both bands play here often, they live here, so the real draw here is San Diego's Christmas Island. Their album from last year, Blackout Summer, didn't get much attention but is well worth checking out. You can download a track from it at the top of this post. Not unlike fellow Californians Nodzzz, Christmas Island make somewhat surfy, definitely nasally/nerdy indie rock that at times reminds me of the Dead Milkmen (when Joe Jack Talcum sang).  They were good when I saw them at SXSW last year and look forward to seeing them again on Friday. All tour dates are at the bottom of this post.

North Highlands
North Highlands

Tomorrow (2/11) is the  second of Savoir Adore's three Thursdays in February residency at Cake Shop and I've got another pair of tickets to give away. Just email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with "Savoir Adore" in the subject and I'll pick a winner at random. Openers this week are really good. Both CYHSY/Savoir Adore side project Uninhabitable Mansions and We Are Country Mice have been written about by me before, but I'll like to highlight Brooklyn band North Highlands who make rather lovely piano-driven orch pop. Singer Brenda Malvani has one of those airy but strong voices that seems to have dictated the sound of the band, it all just goes down so well together. They're good live too. You can download title track from their Sugar Lips EP at the top of this post. In between bands this week, Pat from Pop Tarts Suck Toasted (a victim of this week's nasty "Music Blogocide 2K10") will spin tunes. Should be a great night.

A couple more. The Obits anniversary shows are at Cake Shop Friday and Saturday night. Sure to be awesome.

And finally don't forget about Diamond Nights and Cheeseburger (with guest vocalists) this Saturday (2/13) at Brooklyn Bowl. If ever there were two bands to see at a bowling alley, it's these two. The Coco66 show Diamond Nights were originally booked to play on Friday isn't happening so this may be your only chance ever to see them rock it again, as the band has been defunct for over two years. They definitely went before their time. Really looking forward to this one.

That's it for this week. Flyers and tour dates below.


Harlem - 2010 Tour Dates
Feb 6 beerland for texas matador expo austin
Feb 10 Mercury Lounge New York, New York
Feb 12 monster island with frankie and the outs & the siberians brooklyn new york
Feb 13 union pool with jemina pearl brooklyn new york
Feb 18 trunk space phoenix
Feb 19 l'keg gallery with audacity los angeles
Feb 20 spaceland los angeles
Feb 21 casbah with thee make out party san diego
Feb 23 the blank club with hnx and hs pnktts and shannon and the clams san jose
Feb 24 cafe du nord with the sandwitches san francisco
Feb 26 dantes portland
Feb 27 the funhouse seattle
Mar 3 the crepe place with the groggs santa cruz
Mar 4 detroit bar costa mesa
Mar 5 club congress tucson

Frankie & the Outs - 2010 Tour Dates
Feb 12 Monster island with HARLEM Brooklyn, New York
Feb 13 Monster island W/ SO COW and BLANK DOGS Brooklyn
Feb 19 Europa with KURT VILE and FUCKED UP Brooklyn, New York
Feb 21 Mercury Lounge with DUM DUM GIRLS Manhattan, New York
Mar 19 THE MOHAWK Slumberland SHOWCASE w/ The Pains of Being Pure of Heart. Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010 5:00P Spiderland NEW YORK NIGHT TRAIN sxsw all day BBQ Austin, Texas
Mar 21 Bro Fest W/ DUM DUM GIRLS and WOVEN BONES Dallas, Texas
May 8 The bell house with THE PRIMITIVES Brooklyn, New York


The Beets (Christmas Island, Beach Fossils) 2010 Tour Dates
Feb 11 The Cottage w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS + MAINE COONS + THE NEEDY VISIONS Dorchester, Massachusetts
Feb 12 Bard College w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS + FAMILY FRIENDS Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Feb 13 Death By Audio w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS + NUDE BEACH Brooklyn, New York
Feb 15 2010 EARLY SHOW @ The Terrordome w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS +READING RAINBOW Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Feb 16 Velvet Lounge w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS Washington, Washington DC
Feb 17 Blue Nile w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS +SALAD DAYS Harrisonburg, Virginia
Feb 18 The Terrace Club @ Princeton University w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS Princeton, New Jersey
Feb 19 Corner Cafe w/ CHRISTMAS ISLAND + BEACH FOSSILS Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Feb 20 Music Hall of Williamsburg w/ CRYSTAL STILTS + GERMAN MEASLES + BEACH FOSSILS + CHRISTMAS ISLAND Brooklyn, New York
Mar 11 TBA w/ ETERNAL SUMMERS + BEACH FOSSILS Harrisonburg, Virginia
Mar 12 Al's Bar w/ BEACH FOSSILS Lexington, Kentucky
Mar 13 Glenn Danzig's House Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 14 315 S. Schiller St. House Show w/ READING RAINBOW + BEACH FOSSILS + TOTAL SLACKER + ETERNAL SUMMERS Little Rock, Arkansas
Mar 15 House by House Fest @ Mable Peabodys w/ ETERNAL SUMMERS + READING RAINBOW + GIRLS AT DAWN + MORE Denton, Texas
Mar 17 Impose Magazine Show @ Longbranch Austin, Texas
Mar 19 ACID MARSHMALLOW / MODERN COUNTRY / POP JEW texas party @ Broken Neck Austin, Texas
Mar 20 SXSW Austin, Texas


So Cow - 2010 Tour Dates
Feb 11 Asbury Lanes Asbury Park, New Jersey
Feb 12 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Feb 13 Monster Island Basement Brooklyn, New York
Feb 14 Cake Shop Manhattan, New York
Feb 17 O'Brien's Boston, Massachusetts
Feb 19 AS220 Providence, Rhode Island
Feb 20 Casa Del Popolo Montreal, Quebec
Feb 21 Rancho Relaxo Toronto, Ontario
Feb 22 The Casbah Lounge W Hamilton, Ontario
Feb 23 The Bug Jar Rochester, New York
Feb 24 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, Ohio
Feb 25 Cafe Bourbon Street Columbus, Ohio
Feb 26 Lager House Detroit, Michigan
Feb 28 Eagle's Nest Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mar 1 7th St. Entry (first-avenue) Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 3 Badlander Missoula, Montana
Mar 4 Empyrean Spokane, Washington
Mar 5 East End Portland, Oregon
Mar 6 Comet Tavern Seattle, Washington
Mar 8 Mama Buzz Cafe Oakland, California
Mar 8 Mama Buzz Cafe Oakland, California
Mar 9 The Crepe Place Santa Cruz, California
Mar 10 The Hemlock Tavern San Francisco, California
Mar 11 The Smell Los Angeles, California
Mar 12 Bar Pink Elephant San Diego, California
Mar 13 Trunk Space w/ Nobunny Phoenix, Arizona
Mar 14 Black Market El Paso, Texas
Mar 16 The Mohawk Austin, Texas
Mar 17 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 18 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 19 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 20 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 22 The Conservatory Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mar 23 Record Bar Kansas City, Missouri
Mar 25 Hi-Tone Cafe Memphis, Tennessee
Mar 26 The Belafonte Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Mar 27 529 w/ Sisters Atlanta, North Carolina
Mar 30 Snug Harbor Charlotte, North Carolina
Mar 31 2702 Lawndale w/ Sisters Durham, North Carolina
Apr 1 Black Cat w/ Smith Westerns Washington, Washington DC
Apr 2 Ruintown Baltimore, Maryland
Apr 3 Terrace Club w/ Garotas Suecas Princeton, New Jersey
Apr 18 Sonic City Festival curated by DEERHOOF Kortrijk
Apr 24 Sex Is Disgusting (w/ MAZES) Brighton, South
Apr 25 Home Under Ground (w/ MAZES) London, London and South East
Apr 26 TBC (w/ MAZES) TBC
Apr 28 Now Wave (w/ MAZES) Manchester, Northwest
Apr 29 Weirdo Guise (w/ MAZES) Leeds
Apr 30 Three Cheers (w/ Mazes) Nottingham

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