Mister Heavenly, Gruff Rhys, Fergus & Geronimo, Final Club, Tyvek, The Beets & more in This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Fergus & Geronimo - Powerful Lovin' (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Final Club - Tragic World (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Final Club - Hot Gaze (MEDIAFIRE LINK - ZIP)
DOWNLOAD: Tyvek - Underwater To (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tyvek - 4312 (MP3)
Welcome to the first This Week in Indie of 2011. We are 12 days into this year and I have yet to see a show. If you add in the time before Christmas...this might be the longest I've gone without seeing live music in a long time. That drought will end for me this week, maybe tonight, but certainly tomorrow (1/13) as Gruff Rhys plays Rockwood Music Hall. I was a little worried this snow was to cancel his flight today, but he is currently on route to NYC as I write this.
Still no word as to who'll be releasing his new solo album, Hotel Shampoo, in the US but it seems likely someone will. Hopefully we'll get to hear a lot it live. As anyone whose seen him before -- either with Super Furry Animals or solo -- know, Gruff is an entertaining guy, who always puts extra effort into his shows. Highly recommended. Eleanor Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces opens. Show starts early -- 7:30.
I also just watched Separado!, the musical travelogue documentary about Gruff's quest to track down distant relative (and '70s caped troubadour) Rene Griffiths in Patagonia. Like Rhys himself, the film is charming, scruffy, funny and full of good songs. Still not released in America but you can order the UK DVD (if you have a region-free player or watch on a computer) or, if you live in Williamsburg, rent it from Videology.
Fergus & Geronimo
Fergus & Geronimo release their debut album, Unlearn, on Hardly Art next week, and are playing three shows this weekend in celebration: Friday (1/14) at Death By Audio (official official release party) with Final Club, Easter Vomit (ex Beets), new Captured Tracks signees Widowspeak, and Philadelphia's premiere surf band Dry Feet; Saturday (1/15) at Columbia University hangout The Ding Dong Lounge with Final Club; and Sunday (1/16) at Mercury Lounge with Tyvek. Xray Eyeballs and The Gaming Commission.
While it suffers from a slight case of identity crisis (droney psych, garagey rave-ups, organ-fueled soul), track-by-track Unlearn is a pretty solid record. Fergus & Geronimo are good at all the styles they dabble in. Check out "Powerful Lovin'" at the top of this post -- that shows off their soulful side. And while I haven't seen them play live in a year and a half, they were good then so I can only imagine they've gotten better.
If your eyes didn't glaze over at the list of bands two paragraphs up, you may have noticed Final Club are playing with F&G twice this weekend. The two bands were Denton, TX neighbors before Fergus & Geronimo moved to Brooklyn late last summer. Final Club are here just for these shows. They are worth seeing in their own right: sneery, melodic indie rock with a tendency to lean on the tremolo bar which gives them a little Swervedriver vibe. Confident and loud.
You can check out "Tragic World" at the top of this post. And if you like that, you can download their Hot Gaze EP as well. Look out for their excellent debut album, Blank Entertainment, later this year. In addition to the two shows with Fergus & Geronimo, Final Club play a headlining gig at Death By Audio tomorrow night (1/13) with Bogan Dust, Clinical Trials and Laserdisc.
Tyvek @ BV-SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Also as mentioned above, Tyvek are in town this weekend. While many of their peers have moved on to mid-fi production, the Detroit band keep it live and murky on their new album, Nothing Fits. It also sounds as anxious, angry and alive as the rest of their material. In addition to the Mercury Lounge show on Sunday mentioned above, they play Saturday night (1/15) at Glasslands with The Beets, Eternal Summers, and Sweet Bulbs. That is a good show. Do note it starts early, 8PM for real, as the Soul Clap dance party starts at midnight. I'll be there.
I should mention that openers The Beets have a new album Stay Home that's just out on Captured Tracks. After last year's swell, cleanly produced "Locomotion" single, they too (like Tyvek) are back to the same intentionally shitty "production" of their first album. (Maybe slightly less shitty.) Which, again, doesn't hurt them at all. The Beets are good songwriters I think, and especially good lyricists. And maybe if they can ever get a drummer to stick around for more than a month they might go places. Or just stay home. There's also a new Beets single, "Time Brought Age," and both the LP and 7" feature the bands signature comic artwork courtesy Matt Volz.
What else? Oh yeah, Mister Heavenly play Bowery Ballroom on Sunday (1/16) with Sun Airway and Little Shalimar. This extra super group just signed to Sub Pop, and the label would like you to know the band features Nick Diamonds (Islands/Unicorns), Honus Honus (Man Man) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse). Of course most of the press so far has been about the group's sometimes bassist who you may know from his non-musical day job. I don't mean the banana stand.
Going to see a band because there's a famous actor in it is usually a dumb reason to go (see Dogstar, 30 Seconds to Mars , 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, etc)... plus Mr. Cera is not an "official" member of the band and he may or may not be playing with them on Sunday (note that both the label and the venue told us they don't think Michael will be there). Luckily the rest of the band is known in their own right, so mabye you should go for that reason. Unfortunately there's no recorded music to hear yet, but their few shows so far have been well-documented on YouTube.
That's the main stuff. Here's a few shows, day-by-day, not covered above.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12
Nashville-via-Ohio band Mona -- one of the BBC's picks for Sound of 2011 -- invade NYC this weekend, starting tonight at Rock Shop. They also play Mercury Lounge on Thursday (1/13) (with Devin Therriault) and Union Pool on Saturday (1/15).
Given the abbreviation of this column you're reading, I would be remiss not to mention that The Twees play The Studio @ Webster Hall, a record release show for their just-released EP. They actually don't sound twee at all. I would say Strokes-esque pop would get you closer to a description.
Quirky, occasionally proggy, pop band Steel Phantoms at Bruar Falls.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13
Dean Wareham does the Galaxie 500 thing at Maxwell's.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 14
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15
The Depreciation Guild play the Rock Shop... their last-ever show I think.
That's it for this week. More flyers, dates, some videos and stuff follow below.
Gruff Rhys - Shark Ridden Waters & Y Mynydd Hud
Fergus & Geronimo - Powerful Lovin' at SXSW 2010
Fergus & Geronimo
Street Date: Jan. 18, 2011
1. Girls With English Accents
2. Wanna Know What I Would Do?
3. Powerful Lovin'
4. Baby Boomer/Could You Deliver
5. Michael Kelly
6. Baby Don't You Cry
7. Where The Walls Are Made Of Grass
8. The World Never Stops
9. Forced Aloha
10. Could You Deliver
Final Club - Wizard Wells
Mister Heavenly live in Portland
Mister Heavenly - 2011 Tour Dates
Jan 14 Lincoln Hall (IL), Chicago, IL w/ Screaming Females
Jan 16 Bowery Ballroom, The, New York City, NY
Final Club Tour Dates
JAN 13 Death By Audio w/ LaserDics, Bogan Dust - Brooklyn, New York
JAN 14 Death By Audio w/ Fergus and Geronimo and Widows Peak - Brooklyn, New York
JAN 15 Ding Dong Lounge w/ Fergus and Geronimo - New York City, New York
Tyvek - 2011 Tour Dates
01/13/2011 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland OH
01/14/2011 Cha Cha Razzi Warehouse Philadelphia PA
01/15/2011 Glasslands Brooklyn NY
01/16/2011 Mercury Lounge New York NY
01/17/2011 Comet Ping Pong Washington DC
01/18/2011 The Milestone Charlotte NC
01/19/2011 E.A.R.L. Atlanta GA
01/20/2011 New World Brewery Tampa FL
01/21/2011 Crooked Bayou Orlando FL
01/22/2011 Churchhills Miami FL
01/23/2011 The Engine Room Tallahassee FL
01/24/2011 Alabama Music Box Mobile AL
01/26/2011 The Buccaneer Memphis TN
01/27/2011 Replay Lounge Lawrence, KS
01/28/2011 The Wherehouse Iowa City IA
01/29/2011 Franks Power Plant Milwaukee WI
01/30/2011 Empty Bottle Chicago IL