Metronomy, American Royalty, Twin Sister, Sonny & the Sunsets, Night Beats, Craft Spells, Avi Buffalo & more in This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Twin Sister - "Bad Street" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Your Youth - What Smarts (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Metronomy - "The Bay" (Clock Opera Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Class Actress - Keep You (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sonny and the Sunsets - I Wanna Do It (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sonny and the Sandwitches - Throw My Ashes from This Pier When I Die (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Night Beats - Puppet on a String (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Craft Spells - After The Moment (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Craft Spells - Party Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gardens & Villa - Star Fire Power (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gardens & Villa - Star Fire Power (MP3)
Oh man it's another crazy week. Let's get into it. Tonight's free SummerScreen in McCarren Park tonight is pretty hard to pass up. Not only are they showing the John Hughes classic Ferris Beuller's Day Off (which is 25 years old this year!) but they got Twin Sister to play before it. In addition to performing lots of songs from their forthcoming album on Domino Records, Twin Sister will also be debuting the music video for their single, "Bad Street." You can download the MP3 of that at the top of this post.
Speaking of MP3s, we've also got one up there from Your Youth who are also playing SummerScreen tonight (6:45PM) and couldn't be more different from Twin Sister. "What Smarts" is a new track from the local duo who are kind of proto-grunge punk. Catchy stuff.
It would be really cool if, say, Your Youth covered "Beat City" by The Flowerpot Men and Twin Sister maybe did Dream Academy's "The Edge of Forever". (Why has Ferris Bueller never gotten a posthumous soundtrack release?) Probably won't happen but one can hope. In addition to the movie and the bands, there's loads of giveaways and such.
The show I am absolutely most excited about this week, without a doubt, is Metronomy who play Hudson River Rocks on Pier 54 on Thursday. Metronomy's third album, The English Riviera, just got nominated for the Mercury Prize (sure to lose to James Blake) and got its stateside release yesterday. As I wrote previously:
The new record retains Metronomy's slightly askew, claustrophobic sound while broadening its scope. There's glammy funk ("We Broke Free," the Roxy-ish "She Wants"), a guitar pop ("Everything Goes My Way," a duet with Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls), waltz-time ballads ("Trouble"), and more typical Metronomy-style twitchy disco ("The Bay," "Corrine."). It's also got one of the 2011's best singles, "The Look."
It's definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. (Their last album, Nights Out, was my favorite album of 2008.) The vinyl version comes with the CD which is a trend I would like to see all labels doing. Highly recommended. Watching a few live performance clips , I'm glad to see they're still wearing stick-it-and-click-it lights on their shirts that was a highlight of their old stage show -- even though they're a proper band now (they didn't used to have a drummer).
Also playing the Pier 54 show is American Royalty and Class Actress whose debut album Rapproacher is out October 11 on Carpark. You can snag "Keep You" at the top of this post. Do get there early for openers American Royalty who came out from L.A. just for this show. I caught them at SXSW this year and they kept me entertained on Saturday evening when I was basically burned out on seeing live music. You can check out their hodgepodge electro sound via their Bandcamp page. And if you want to see them again, American Royalty play Lit on Saturday (7/30).
If you want to keep the party going on Thursday after Metronomy, head over to Glasslands for all your sissy bounce italodisco soulclap free booze needs. New Orleans Vockah Redu is like Big Freedia but with more choreography and a subscription to Vogue. (Check out the video at the bottom of this post.) They also play the PS1 warm-up on Saturday. Also playing is Portland's Miracles Club, who played PS1 last weekend. Jonathan Tobin is DJing, it's My Open Bar's 5th anniversary, it's a party.
What else is going on this week? Sonny & the Sunsets are backfor the first time since October, playing Mercury Lounge on Friday (7/29) and Glasslands on Saturday (7/30). Have you checked out Sonny's new album, Hit After Hit? As I wrote previously:
Unlike last year's laid back and folky Too Young to Burn, the new album is more of a party --inspired by '60s pop and garage. Opening track "She Plays Yo-Yo with My Mind" cribs liberally from The Standells' "Dirty Water."
At least a couple of the songs on Hit After Hit (including "I Wanna Do It") are reworked versions of songs written for Smith's 100 Records project which you might have caught at the late Cinders Gallery last summer. Embued with Smith's (and fellow Sunset Kelley Stoltz) encyclopedic knowledge of pop and his wry sense of humor, Hit After Hit's a great little record.
Tourmates for this go-round are fellow Bay Area residents The Sandwitches who were described by Sunsets drummer/producer Kelley Stoltz thusly: "Imagine a 60's Girl-group is on tour and their van breaks down near a gothic castle high on the hill, Dario Argento invites them in to perform a concert for his tweaked actors in a big dark red room inside and, if the dream is right, it's the Sandwiches - they'd fit right in with those misfits and speak the same language. I'd like to be there to dance."
Sonny Smith put out a record with The Sandwitches last year, so I'd expect to hear those tracks at these shows. Check out one of them, the twangy, mournful "Throw My Ashes from This Pier When I Die" at the top of this post. I caught Sonny last year when he toured with Kelley Stoltz and it was a great show. Sonny doesn't get enough attention i don't think, so do try and make it to one of these shows.
The Night Beats
Seattle trio The Night Beats are currently on tour with The Black Lips opening for sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (7/29) and Maxwell's on Saturday (7/30). But if you wanna catch them in a non-sold-out enviroment, free of the Black Lips, they play Sunday night (7/31) at Shea Stadium with Sweet Bulbs, Dinowalrus, Liquor Store, and Yvette.
The Night Beats' stomping debut is out now on Trouble in Mind. I caught the band at the label's party during SXSW:
I got there as Seattle trio Night Beats were just starting. Never heard them before, but really dug their psych-garage sounds, and they definitely looked the part. They ended their set with a cover of The Count Five's classic "Psychotic Reaction," giving their version a little swing which made it their own.
Check out "Puppet on a String" from their TiM debut at the top of this post. The Shea Stadium show is solid, I like all the bands on the bill.
Speaking of Seattle, Craft Spells are back in town, playing Mercury Lounge on Saturday (7/30) -- their first area show since playing here back in April. Live, they eschew the keyboards that are so abundant on their Captured Tracks album in favor of a guitar-oriented line-up which works just fine. (It's very Orange Juice.) They are young and enthusiastic and the songs are ridiculously catchy.
The band are on tour with Santa Barbara, CA's Gardens & Villa who are dreamy and synthy and danceable (kinda like Tony Castles). Their debut album just came out via Secretly Canadian and you can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. Also playing are local synthpop act Selebrities whose free downloadable EP evokes favorable comparisons to all sorts of '80s groups. You can download a free EP from Selebrities here.
And finally, don't forget about this Sunday's Beach Party at Beekman Beer Garden with Raveonettes and Eternal Summers. The Raveonettes new album, Raven in the Grave, is a slow burn compared to 2009's poppy In and Out of Control but no less enticing and I've always enjoyed them live. And Eternal Summers can do no wrong for me right now. This will be a very fun show, and likely the first where they might have to turn people away because of capacity so come early. Free!
Ok, that's the main stuff I'm highlighting this week but there are quite a few more recommended shows listed day-by-day below.
The Psychic Paramount @ Union Pool -- 7/26
Disappears @ Union Pool -- 7/26
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27
I had my mind blown twice at Union Pool last night: first by the smoke-machine fueled power of The Psychic Paramount (modern instrumental acid rock? Incredible!) and then by Disappears whose new material written with Steve Shelley is groovier, a little slower than their pedal-to-the-metal first albums but equally awesome. (More Neu!, less Stooges.) They play tonight at Cake Shop. Get up close and watch Disappear's bassist lay it down track after track.
There are so many shows tonight! But if you want to see three of the best bands in NYC right now, head to Mercury Lounge for North Highlands, ARMS and Hospitality. All three groups are holding onto new albums that I am dying to hear. Hospitality were incredible when they played my final Sound Bites show down at Fulton Stall Market two weeks ago.
Avi Buffalo test out new material for their second Sub Pop album at the Rock Shop tonight. With Nic Frietas.
The Barr Brothers, who I really liked at M for Montreal last year, play Rockwood Music Hall tonight. They recently signed to Secret City, home of Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms, Plants and Animals, Miracle Fortress, Basia Bulat and more.
THURSDAY, JULY 28
Just go see Metronomy, ok?
FRIDAY, JULY 29
Fucked Up, Cro-Mags, Screaming Females, and Pissed Jeans are at House of VANS which will surely be insane. Free with RSVP now. We have one pair of VIP tickets for someone who emails BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Cromags). Include your first and last name.
ZAZA and Hopewell are at St. Vitus Bar. Don't forget you can get ZAZA's teriffic album Sacred Geometry from their website.
'm not one to plug cover bands, but I'll make an exception for The Wisconsin Dells who play The Gutter tonight. The band features Austin McCutchen (whose birthday is tonight), half of Spacecamp and some other talented Brooklyn musicians. They do incredible Laurel Canyon-era covers and other '70s songs, pretty great. Also playing: The Pendulum Swings (Jason Trachtenberg's band) and Tiny Victories. The show is free and will be a whole lot of fun.
SATURDAY, JULY 30
My favorite local band I have yet to see live, McDonalds, play Bruar Falls tonight with Bells, Gordon Withers, and Moonmen On The Moon, Man. Maybe I will make this one.
Ill Fits (members of Amazing Baby & MGMT... could be interesting), Rewards, and Sundelles play Cameo Gallery.
SUNDAY, JULY 31
Ok that's gonna do it. Tour dates, flyers and videos are below.
Metronomy - The Bay (Guardian session)
Metronomy - The Look (live on Jools Holland)
Metronomy - A Thing for Me
Metronomy - 2011 Tour Dates
28th July - New York, Pier 54 (USA)
30th July - LA, Echoplex (USA)
5th August - Salzburg, STUCK! @ Rockhouse (AT)
26th August - Reading,Reading Festival, (UK)
27th August - Leeds, Leeds Festival (UK)
30th August - Buenos Aires , Nicet (AR)
31st August - Sao Paolo, Beco SP (BR)
1st September - Porte Alegre, Beco (BR)
2nd September - Rio De Janeiro, Circo Voador (BR)
3rd September - Santiago, Industria Cultural (CL)
10th September - Isle of Wight, Newport Bestival (UK)
20th September - Southampton, Talking Heads (UK) -
21st September - Leeds, Cockpit (UK) -
22nd September - Sheffield, Leadmill (UK) -
23rd September - Glasgow, Oran Mor (UK) -
24th September - Liverpool, Kazimier (UK) -
26th September - Manchester, Academy 2 (UK) -
27th September - Birmingham, HMV Institute (UK) -
28th September - Bristol, Trinity (UK) -
3rd October - The Royal Albert Hall, London (UK) -
10th November - Paris Olympia, Paris (FR) -
Vockah Redu live
Vockah Redu - 2011 Tour Dates
07.28.11 Thu Brooklyn, New York. Glasslands Gallery
07.29.11 Fri Washington, DC. Comet Ping Pong
07.30.11 Sat Brooklyn, New York. PS1: Warm Up
w/ Das Racist, Prince Language, Holy Other, XXXY
09.08.11 Thu Portland, Oregon. The Works Time Based Arts Festival
Sonny & the Sunsets - Reflections of Youth
Sonny & the Sunsets - 2011 Tour Dates
July 27, 2011 North Star Bar Philadelphia, PA
July 28, 2011 DC9 Washington, DC
July 29, 2011 Mercury Lounge New York, NY
July 30, 2011 Tix Glasslands Gallery Brooklyn, NY
August 5, 2011 Pickathon Roots Musicfest Happy Valley, OR *
Night Beats - 2011 Tour Dates
JUL 27 2011 - NEIGHBORHOOD THEATER W/ BLACK LIPS - CHARLOTTE, NC
JUL 28 2011 - OTTOBAR W/ BLACK LIPS - BALTIMORE, MD
JUL 29 2011 - BOWERY BALLROOM W/ BLACK LIPS - NY, NY- SOLD OUT! COME SEE US IN BROOKLYN!
JUL 30 2011 - MAXWELL'S W/ BLACK LIPS - HOBOKEN, NJ SOLD OUT! COME SEE US IN BROOKLYN!
JUL 31 2011 - SHEA STADIUM - BROOKLYN, NY
AUG 1 2011 - MR. SMALLS THEATER W/ BLACK LIPS - PITTSBURGH, PA
AUG 2 2011 - BUSTER'S BILLIARD W/ BLACK LIPS - LEXINGTON, KY
AUG 3 2011 - EXIT/IN W/ BLACK LIPS - NASHVILLE, TN
AUG 4 2011 - THE FIREBIRD W/ BLACK LIPS - ST. LOUIS, MO
AUG 5 2011 - LOLLAPALOOZA AFTERPARTY W/ BLACK LIPS @EMPTY BOTTLE - CHICAGO, IL
AUG 12 2011 - THE MOHAWK W/ UFO CLUB, DUM DUM GIRLS, MARK SULTAN - AUSTIN, TX
AUG 14 2011 - GOOD RECORDS INSTORE (4PM) - DALLAS, TX (FREE!)
AUG 15 2011 - M'S LIPS LOUNGE - EL PASO, TX
AUG 17 2011 - FREE SHOW AT BURGER RECORDS
AUG 18 2011 - FREE SHOW W/ WOODEN SHJIPS AT BOTTOM OF THE HILL - S.F., CA
AUG 19 2011 - FREE SHOW W/ WOODEN SHJIPS AT THE ECHO - LOS ANGELES, CA
AUG 20 2011 - PERMANENT RECORDS INSTORE - (3PM) - LOS ANGELES, CA (FREE!)
AUG 20 2011 - FREE SHOW W/ WOODEN SHJIPS AT THE CASBAH - SAN DIEGO, CA
AUG 26 2011 - FREE SHOW W/ WOODEN SHJIPS AT DOUG FIR - PORTLAND, OR
AUG 27 2011 - FREE SHOW W/ WOODEN SHJIPS AT THE CROCODILE - SEATTLE, WA
Craft Spells - 2011 Tour Dates
Jul 25 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, MN
Jul 26 Empty Bottle Chicago, IL
Jul 27 Happy Dog Cleveland, OH
Jul 28 Black Cat Washington, DC
Jul 29 Voyeur Philadelphia, PA
Jul 30 Mercury Lounge New York, NY
Jul 31 Great Scott Boston, MA
Aug 01 Casa Del Popolo Montreal, Canada
Aug 02 Opera House Toronto, Canada
Aug 03 Crofoot Ballroom Pontiac, MI
Aug 04 The Historic Southgate House Newport, KY
Aug 04 The Southgate House Newport, KY
Aug 05 Off Broadway St Louis, MO
Aug 07 Hi Dive Denver, CO
Aug 08 Kilby Court Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 12 Olympic Sculpture Park Seattle, WA
Aug 19 The Waldorf Hotel Vancouver, Canada
Aug 25 Pop Scene San Francisco, CA
Aug 25 Rickshaw Stop San Francisco, CA
Aug 28 The Echo Los Angeles, CA
Sep 03 Seattle Center Seattle, WA
Oct 11 Lexington London, United Kingdom
Oct 13 Captains Rest Glasgow, United Kingdom
Oct 14 Salford Islington Mill Salford, United Kingdom
Gardens & Villa
Gardens & Villa - 2011 Tour Dates
Jul 27 Cleveland OH - Happy Dog #
Jul 28 Washington DC - Black Cat Backstage #
Jul 29 Philadelphia PA - Voyeur Nightclub #
Jul 30 New York NY - Mercury Lounge #
Jul 31 Allston MA - Great Scott *#
Aug 01 Montreal QC - Casa del Popolo *#
Aug 02 Toronto ON - The Drake#
Aug 03 Pontiac MI - Vernors Room at the Crofoot#
Aug 05 St. Louis MO - The Gramophone
Aug 06 Kansas City KS - Kansas Speedway
Aug 08 Wichita KS - Rock Island Live
Aug 09 Fort Worth TX - Lola's Saloon Sixth
Aug 10 Austin TX - The Mohawk
Aug 30 Costa Mesa CA - MESA
* w/ Generationals
# w/ Craft Spells
Avi Buffalo - 2011 Tour Dates
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - Rock Stop , Brooklyn NY
Thursday, July 28, 2011 - Red Palace, Washington DC
Friday, July 29, 2011 - Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia PA
Sunday, July 31, 2011 - Local 506, Chapel Hill NC
Monday, August 1, 2011 - The Earl, Atlanta GA
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - Bottle Tree, Birmingham AL
Thursday, August 4, 2011 - One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans LA
Friday, August 5, 2011 - Club Dada, Dallas TX
Saturday, August 6, 2011 - Stubb's Waller Creek, Austin TX
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - Casbah, San Diego CA
Saturday, September 3, 2011 - F Yeah Fest, Los Angeles CA
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco CA
Thursday, September 8, 2011 - Venue (BC), Vancouver Canada
Friday, September 9, 2011 - Neptune Theatre, Seattle WA
Saturday, September 10, 2011 - Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR
Monday, September 12, 2011 - Fulton 55, Fresno CA
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - UTOPIAfest, Utopia TX