McDonalds, Lyonnais, Eternal Summers, Record Store Day @ Cake Shop, Spectrum, Crystal Stilts, Zaza, Rebecca Gates & more in This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
Coachella may be happening on the other coast but it's a lovely day here in NYC and I don't feel like I'm missing anything this weekend staying here. For one thing it's Record Store Day which also falls the same weekend and Tax Day which may be good or bad depending how you did this year. And there's lots of other stuff worth seeing too, so let's get into it.
McDonalds are one of these local groups whose name I'd seen around for a while and given the bands they often played with -- German Measles, Home Blitz, Tyvek -- I had it in my mind they sounded one way when, in fact, they don't. Well, that's not exactly true. They are kind of shambly indie. But their great new single "Good Parts" is like some lost obscure 7" from 1990 Manchester, that era when C-86 melted into the baggy scene. You can check it out -- in video form -- at the bottom of this post in a fun green-screened clip starring a lot of people you might recognize if you hang out at Bruars Falls or Cake Shop with any regularity.
McDonalds have three shows coming up in the next week: tonight (4/14) at Union Pool with Lyonnais and Helado Negro, then Saturday (4/16) as part of Cake Shop's Record Store Day extravaganza (more on that in a minute), and then next Wednesday (4/20) with former Swell Maps/Television Personalities dude Jowe Head & The Extremities.
As mentioned above, also playing the Union Pool show tonight are Atlanta four-piece Lyonnais whose dark, ethereal sound will likely draw comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive... or even mid-'80s goth like Xmal Deutchland or Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Their debut album is still being shopped around, but you can stream "Transitive Properties of Youth" at the bottom of this post, and a few more at their MySpace.
In addition to tonight's show, Lyonnais play tomorrow (4/15) at Glasslands and I imagine playing under the venue's stormcloud installation will be pretty apropos. I hope they are really loud too.
That Glasslands bill also features Roanoke, VA's Eternal Summers who have a new EP titled Prisoner out on Kanine/Forrest Family next week. The title track -- downloadable above -- is one of my favorite Eternal Summers songs yet and the whole EP is pretty excellent overall. The band, at least the last time I saw them, have expanded to a trio for live shows which fills out their sound nicely.
The Glasslands show, in addition to Eternal Summers and Lyonnais, features Toronto's Golden Dogs and locals Dream Diary who don't play together so much anymore now that guitarist Madison moved to Memphis. Brad Oberhofer will DJ in-between bands. That's a good night of music.
Eternal Summers also play Cake Shop on Saturday (4/16) which is the venue's Record Store Day extravaganza, featuring a slew of great -- mostly local -- bands. The downstairs will be a record mart during the day (noon - 6PM). Bands during the evening include the previously-mentioned McDonalds, Natural Child, Widowspeak, Overlord, Hands & Knees, Night Collectors and Twitchers. Eternal Summers head out on tour next month with the Beets and all those tour dates are at the bottom of the post.
Also, for the real record nerds, Cake Shop is running a fun little contest. They've made 77 versions of the Record Store Day flyer, each with different backgrounds taken from album covers. Take a look, name the artist and album of as many as you can and email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. The entry with the most correct answers (or first entry in case of a tie) wins either a $77 bar tab at Cake Shop or $77 credit for the Cape Shok record mart during that day. Winner's choice. I got about 55 for sure, with another 15 I could figure out with a little time.
And finally, Spectrum (aka Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember who also co-fronted Spacemen 3) are in town this weekend playing two shows with Crystal Stilts: Saturday (4/16) at Le Poisson Rouge and Sunday (4/17) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Kember is one of the forefathers of drone pop and in the past few years has become known for his work behind the boards, having produced MGMT's underrated/misunderstood Congratulations album, and he mixed the new Panda Bear. There's a new Spectrum album duo sometime soon too. Kember's influence seems more relevant than ever. Glad to see he's staying busy.
Crystal Stilts owe more than a little to Kember's many records. The band just released their second LP, In Love with Oblivion and I think it's pretty great, pretty easily besting their 2008 debut (which was one of my favorite albums of that year.) The production's better, the songs are better, and the artwork's really nice as well. It's hard to listen to the new album without thinking of Frankie Rose whose relentless drumming style, I feel, probably had a lot to do with the way standout songs like "Sycamore Tree" and "Death is What We Live For" were formed. Both of those Kraut-heavy tracks made their debut in late 2008. As much as I like Rose's solo work, I miss her being in this band.
But the new new songs show that it's still guitarist JB Townsend and singer Brad Hargett writing great songs. The biggest improvement over the first album is probably the influence of keyboardist Kyle Forrester, whose parts add a bright color to Crystal Stilts' sound, especially on "Silver Sun" and single "Shake the Shackles." The record got a deserved 7.9 in Pitchfork today. You can download "Through the Floor" at the top of this post and watch the video below. Crystal Stilts are on tour starting next week and all dates are below.
That's it for this edition. Some daily picks and more after the jump.
Art punks and TWII faves Regal Deagal are at Cake Shop tonight. Look for their debut release in the very near future.
Rebecca Gates, she of fabulous '90s duo The Spinnanes, is at at Rock Shop tonight with her band the Consortium. She's got a new album due out sometime soon this year.
Torquil from Stars' other band, Memphis, is at Mercury Lounge tonight. Memphis' new album Here Comes a City is quite good. Also playing: fellow Canadians The Barr Brothers (who I liked at M for Montreal last year).
Or maybe you're going to Wye Oak's sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom. If so...lucky.
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
ZAZA play Santos tonight. Thier long-awaited (by me at least) debut album is in the can and will hopefully be out soon. You can download new track "Distance Creator" at the top of this post. Also playing are Dearling Physique and Kordan.
SATURDAY, APRIL 16
It's Record Store Day. Go support local stores, would ya? Generation Records has Obits, The Jay Vons, I Hate Our Freedom, Spa Castles, Yo La Tengo (DJ Set) so that sounds like a good place to visit to me.
Remember pow wow!? After taking a year off to figure some stuff out, the band are back and sounding a little more interesting to these ears. They play Bruar Falls tonight with EULA, Shark? and Ghost Bunny.
SUNDAY, April 17
Might I suggest heading to Death by Audio to catch the lovely folk-pop sounds of Family Trees? Also Drew Swinburne and Which Birds.
Flyers, tour dates and videos and streams are below. See ya next week.
McDonalds single cover
McDonalds - Good Parts
Eternal Summers - 2011 Tour Dates
4/10 - Ottobar - Baltimore, MD *
4/11 - DC9 - Washington, DC *
4/15 - Record Release Party @ Glasslands - Brooklyn, NY %
4/16 - Cake Shop - New York, NY
5/18 - Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH $
5/19 - Magic Stick Lounge - Detroit, MI $
5/20 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL $
5/21 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN $
5/22 - Aquarium - Fargo, ND $
5/24 - The Badlander - Missoula, MT $
5/25 - CRAFT House - Moscow, ID $
5/26 - Media Club - Vancouver, BC $
5/27 - Healthy Times Fun Club - Seattle, WA $
5/28 - East End - Portland, OR $
5/29 - San Francisco Popfest @ Hemlock - San Francisco, CA $
5/31 - Free Instore @ Origami (5pm) - Los Angeles, CA $
5/31 - Echo - Los Angeles, CA $
6/1 - Casbah - San Diego, CA $
6/4 - Chaos in Tejas - Austin, TX $
6/5 - Free Press Summer Fest - Houston, TX $
6/6 - The Saint - New Orleans, LA $
6/7 - The Nick - Birmingham, AL $
6/8 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA $
6/9 - The Milestone - Charlotte, NC $
* w/ Cloud Nothings
% w/ Dream Diary, Golden Dogs, and Lyonnais
$ w/ The Beets
Spectrum - 2011 Tour Dates
Thur 14th April - Sonar - Baltimore (with Asteroid Number 4)
Fri 15th April - North Star Bar - Philadelphia (with Asteroid Number 4)
Sat 16th April - Le Poission Rouge, Manhattan (with Crystal Stilts)
Sun 17th April - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (with Crystal Stilts)
Tue 19th April - The Church, Boston
Wed 20th April - The Bottom Lounge, Chicago
Thurs 21st April - Chop Suey, Seattle
Sat 23rd April - The Hemlock, San Francisco
Sun 24th April - The New Parish, Oakland (with Sleepy Sun)
Mon 25th April - The Blank Club, San Jose
Wed 27th April - Soda Bar - San Diego
Thurs 28th April - The Troubadour, Los Angeles
Fri 29th April - Sons of Herman Hall, Dallas
Sat 30th April - Austin Psych Fest, Austin
Crystal Stilts - Through the Floor
Crystal Stilts - 2011 Tour Dates
4/16 - New York, NY - (Le) Poisson Rouge
4/17 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/22 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Backstage
4/23 - Raleigh, NC - Kings Barcade
4/25 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree Cafe
4/26 - New Orleans, LA - Circle Bar
4/28 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's
4/29 - Austin, TX - Psych Fest 4 (East Side Drive-In)
4/30 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
5/3 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
5/4 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
5/5 - Santa Barbara, CA - Casbah
5/6 - Los Angeles, CA - Natural History Museum
5/7 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
5/8 - Sacramento, CA - The Hub
5/10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
5/11 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
5/12 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Biltmore
5/13 - Kennewick, WA - The Red Room
5/14 - Boise, ID - Colorcube
5/15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
5/16 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
5/18 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
5/19 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
5/20 - Chicago IL - Empty Bottle
5/21 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
5/22 - Toronto ON - Sneaky Dee's
6/2 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
6/4 - Münster, Germany - Gleis 22
6/6 - München, Germany - Atomic Café
6/7 - Wien, Vienna, Austria - B72
6/8 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - Palace
6/9 - Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland - Salzhaus
7/28 - Emmaboda, Sweden - Emmabodafestivalen (Rasslebygd)