The Bitters, Grass Widow, Tahiti 80, The Mary Onettes, Frankie Rose, The Invisible & more in This Week in Indie
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Grass Widow - To Where (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Frankie Rose - Thee Only One (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Puzzles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - Dare (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - You Can Listen You Can Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - Zhong Nan Hai (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PK-14 - Behind All Ruptures (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Xiao He - MTV (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Answering Machine - Another City, Another Sorry (MP3)
Frankie & the Outs - debut show @ The Woods on Halloween
I'm barely recovered from post-CMJ cold and we've got a week that is so packed with good shows it feels like another festival is in town.
Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible are playing their first U.S. shows this week, starting with a free one tonight at Brooklyn Bowl. Their lauded debut album doesn't fit into one easy category, which befits a band on Matthew Herbert's label. It's all fairly warm and soulful, but with forays into funk, sparse ballads, electro and Krautrock. There's a lot going on and I'll be curious to see how a three-piece can pull it off live. The Invisible also play Santos tomorrow (11/5) opening for Dragonette, and then on Friday at Pianos (11/6) where they'll be on the same bill as Freelance Whales.
The Mary Onettes, here from Sweden, play their first NYC show this year, tonight (11/4) at Union Hall where they'll play with Blacklist. As I said before, like a lot of the bands on Labrador, The Mary Onettes love the '80s and wear those influences on their black-clad sleeves. But their second album, Islands, wears them a little more subtly, though they are still writing reach-for-the-stars chorus -- now with strings. I like them a lot. They also play Friday (11/6) at Studio @ Webster Hall and then Sunday (11/8) at Mercury Lounge.
San Francisco's awesome Grass Widow are also in town this weekend for a string of dates, starting tomorrow (11/5) at The Woodser with Frankie & the Outs, Air Waves and Hot Box. (There was to be a second show tomorrow, late at Monster Island, but that has been cancelled.) There are more than a few all-girl trios out there playing vaguely C-86 style indie (including fellow San Franciscans Brilliant Colors), but Grass Widow write better songs than most, and I really like both 12" EPs they've released this year.
The Woodser show was to be notable as the live debut of Frankie & the Outs, but then they went and played Halloween night at similarly named Willliamsburg bar The Woods (picture above). Frankie's debut single, "Thee Only One," is out now and is worth picking up -- though I think more for the dreamy b-side "Hollow Life" than the A-side (good as it is, and downloadable above) which is a little more of what you'd expect from someone who spent time in Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. Frankie's got a way with harmonies, and the less that gets in the way of them, the better. There were a couple of songs The Outs did Saturday which were similarly laid back, and the best songs of the night.
Grass Widow also play Market Hotel on Friday night (11/6) along with Vivian Girls, The Bitters and Stupid Party. If you haven't heard The Bitters, the Toronto duo feature Ben Cook of Fucked Up (who play Thursday at Masonic Temple) and Aerin Fogel. They've got a single and an EP on Captured Tracks, the latter of which I dig (haven't heard the single yet). While definitely on the "low" end of the "fi" scale, Bitters are different from anything else on Captured Tracks with an early-'60s rock n' roll vibe (or early '80s West Coast punk), and Ben and Aerin's harmonies front-and-center.|
Grass Widow also play Saturday (11/7) afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum with Crystal Stilts and the Beets, a show which finally today was officially announced by the museum...
"Inspired by Gail's idea, and because we love Brooklyn photographers, on First Saturday we are inviting local photographers to come and shoot the bands that are playing and post their photos to the Brooklyn Museum's flickr group. Afterwards, Bob Gruen, a rock photography legend who is featured in the exhibition and has shot the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and The Clash, will look at the photos and blog about his favorites here!" [Brooklyn Museum]
Grass Window then play again at Market Hotel that night, for a show with Small Black, Pictureplane, Girls at Dawn and Cale Parks (formerly of Aloha). They're also going to play somewhere on Sunday (11/8)... venue TBA. Go see them if you can.
There's also the China Underground Invasion tour this weekend, with three of Beijing's best indie rock bands: Carsick Cars, PK-14 and Xiao He. In particular, I'm excited about Carsick Cars who I've actually heard of prior to this tour thanks to a friend who is living in Beijing and occasionally sends me music. They're definitely of the Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr school of noise n' drone. I only just got their new album, You Can Listen, You Can Talk, but have been listening to their 2008 debut a lot, and am told that its "Zhong Nan Hai" is like the Beijing indie anthem. The tour hits PowerHouse Arena tomorrow (11/5), Glasslands on Friday (11/6) and Santos on Saturday (11/7).
Tonight (11/4) is also the second week of The Answering Machine's three-week residency at Coco 66. The band has also added three more NYC dates while they're here: Nov. 9 at Pianos, Nov. 11 at Bruar Falls and Nov. 12 at Cake Shop.
And finally, Saturday night (11/7) French pop band Tahiti 80 play Mercury Lounge (tickets). When it comes to Franco-pop, Phoenix get the lion's share of the attention, but Tahiti 80 have been at it almost as long (if not just as long) and have made four danceable, hook-filled albums. The most recent of which, Activity Center, came out last year in France but is just now getting an American release. The band have retreated a bit from the full-on disco that was 2005's Fosbury, and gone back to the '60s sunshine of 2002's Wallpaper for the Soul which definitely suits them better. I haven't seen them play in ages, but they were always a good live band. Opening is Brookville, the other band from Ivy's Andy Chase -- who also produced Tahiti 80's first two albums.
Videos, tour dates and flyers are after the jump...
The Invisible - London Girl
The Invisible - 2009 Tour Dates
Oct 29 Ubu Club w/Micachu & The Shapes Renne
Oct 31 Novosonic Festival w/Micachu & The Shapes Dijon
Nov 1 Maroquinerie w/Micachu & The Shapes Paris
Nov 4 Brooklyn Bowl NYC
Nov 5 Santos NYC
Nov 6 Pianos NYC
Nov 15 Liver Pool Music Week Liverpool
Dec 4 Porto Portugal
Dec 5 Super Bock Em Stock Festival Lisbon
Dec 10 Hoxton Bar and Kitchen London
Dec 11 Coronet w/ Friendly Fires London
Dec 12 State X den Staag Holland
The Mary Onettes - Puzzles
The Mary Onettes - 2009 Tour Dates
Nov 3 TT The Bears Boston, Massachusetts
Nov 4 Union Hall W/BLACKLIST Brooklyn, New York
Nov 6 Webster Hall@The Studio New York, New York
Nov 7 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 8 Mercury Lounge New York, New York
Nov 12 Debaser Malmö, Skåne län
Nov 13 Debaser Medis Stockholm, Stockholms län
Nov 14 V-dala, Nation Uppsala
Nov 18 Bang Bang Club Berlin
Nov 19 Bunker Ulmenwall Bielefeld
Nov 20 Gloria @Sublime Regensburg
Nov 21 Silber@hit the north Hamburg
Grass Widow - Tattoo
Grass Widow - 2009 Tour Dates
OCT 1 @ THE EAGLE W/MANTLES AND YELLOW FEVER SF, CALIFORNIA
OCT 9 @ MEZZANINE W/THE RAINCOATS,SECTION 25,ETC... SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
OCT 18 @ HEMLOCK W/GAROTAS SUECAS (BRAZIL),LUMERIANS SAN FRANCISCO
NOV 5 @ THE WOODSER W/ FRANKIE AND THE OUTS, AIR WAVES , NEW YORK, NEW YORK
NOV 6 @ MARKET HOTEL W/VIVIAN GIRLS,BITTERS NEW YORK, NEW YORK
NOV 7 @ BROOKLYN MUSEUM -AFTERNOON-W/THE BEETS,CRYSTAL STILTS NEW YORK, NEW YORK
NOV 7 10 PM-171 LOMBARDY ST W/SPECIAL GUESTS BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
NOV 8 @ TBA NEW YORK, NEW YORK
NOV 11 @ HEMLOCK W/JAD FAIR SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
NOV 27 @ ART FAG FEST @SAN DIEGO WOMAN'S CLUB W/NO AGE, CROCODILES,DUM DUM GIRLS ETC... SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
NOV 28 @ TBA LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
DEC 5 HOUSE PARTY! SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
JAN 15 924 GILMAN BENEFIT FOR ANANDI! OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
China Underground Invasion Tour 2009
Thu 11.5 Brooklyn, NY powerHouse Arena
Fri 11.6 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands Gallery w/These Are Powers, Soft Circle
Sat 11.7 New York, NY Santos Party House w/Antimagic, BJ Rubin
Sun 11.8 New York, NY Columbia University (XIAO HE ONLY)
Tue 11.10 Chapel Hill, NC UNC Chapel Hill
Wed 11.11 Richmond, VA The Triple
Thu 11.12 Philadelphia, PA Starlight Ballroom
Fri 11.13 Washington, DC Velvet Lounge (PK14 & XIAO HE ONLY)
Fri 11.13 Amherst, MA Hampshire College Carsick Cars w/Twin Stumps, Pop 1280
Sat 11.14 Purchase, NY SUNY Purchase Carsick Cars w/Twin Stumps, Pop 1280
Sat 11.14 Washington, DC Govinda Gallery (XIAO HE ONLY)
Sun 11.15 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks w/Surfer Blood
Wed 11.18 Boston, MA TBA
Thu 11.19 Waterville, ME Colby College
Fri 11.20 New York, NY Ding Dong Lounge w/The Octagon
Sat 11.21 Brooklyn, NY Monster Island Basement w/Hot and Cold, TBA
The Answering Machine - "Obviously Cold"
The Answering Machine - 2009 Tour Dates
Nov 4 Coco66 New York
Nov 9 Pianos New York
Nov 10 Coco66 New York
Nov 11 Bruar Falls Brooklyn
Nov 12 Cake Shop New York
Nov 26 Manchester All Ages Show@Club Academy Manchester
Dec 6 British Anthems Shinkiba Studio Coast Tokyo, Japan
Tahiti 80 - 1000 Times
Tahiti 80 - "Chinatown"