November 3, 2009
Upon meeting Josh McIntyre, creator and frontman of Toronto’s Little Girls, I was surprised to find that the man behind all that ominous noise was so friendly and accommodating. But I was even more surprised to watch him jerking and thrashing onstage, stirring up a wild live show at Chris Taylor’s Terrible Records Showcase at CMJ. No mean feat for someone whose band started as a solo, bedroom-recording side project. We caught up with Josh to talk about the Little Girls blog explosion, his new album, Concepts, and the well-warranted love he’s been shown in New York City.
JM.com: You have sort of a blog-era fairy tale. I read about it, but I want to hear from you.
Josh: Basically what happened was I was in another band called Pirate Rock. In my spare time or whatever, I’d go to my bedroom, had my equipment and I’d start recording these songs just on my own. Some of the songs I didn’t even know if it was possible to play live. Just for my own personal music collection I guess. So I made a little Myspace, called it Little Girls, whatever, I didn’t post any photos of myself or anything, just wanted to keep it like a weird little project. Then I used to go to this blog, Gorilla vs. Bear, and just for fun, I was reading something completely irrelevant, and just on the comment section I wrote the little Myspace URL for the band. And you know, at that point, the Myspace had like thirteen plays. Then I went to work and came home and went to check it and it had like a thousand and I was like, “What happened?” So then a couple hours went by and I checked that website and I saw that they posted a little article and then after that every other blog started writing about my stuff and it just went on. And then all of a sudden two labels had offered me records. Paper Bag were like, “We want to hear some more – we’re putting some stuff out.” And it just kind of snowballed.
More on Little Girls
October 29, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Pianos
October 23, 2009 | Terrible Records CMJ Showcase
Brooklyn band Arms opened Saturday night’s Terrible Records CMJ Showcase with a breezy, blissed-out pop set, their casual tone clashing distinctly with frontman Todd Goldstein’s jagged movements and nervous between-song banter. Though clearly uncomfortable under the spotlight, his guitar playing was effortless; unfortunately, like the rest of the set, it was also somewhat passionless. The band seemed to be in a hurry to finish, neglecting to put emotion into the music – there was a lukewarm smiliness that persisted even through a song that was, according to Goldstein, “about the end of everything,” and while the lyrics were crisp and audible on the venue’s excellent sound system, they were delivered in a nasal monotone. The music was pleasant enough – barring an irritating excess of ooohs and aaahs in the backing vocals, sung in stock harmonies that wobbled off-tune occasionally to turn the dreamy pop into the stuff of nightmare – but quite bland, and easily forgettable.
The next set was all too brief. Toronto act Little Girls wasted no time in creating a stormy atmosphere, sending whorls of dark noise over ominously simple minor chord progressions that teetered on the edge of control. Frontman Josh McIntyre’s vocals wove skillfully in and out of the noise, shouting and singing with equal effect. The thrashing guitars piling up over the main chords threatened to descend into total anarchy at any moment but never did, drummer Anthony Gerace’s speedy yet metronomic percussion keeping them in line. Even when McIntyre started flailing around the stage, savaging the keyboard and then jumping into the audience, no one missed a beat, merely speeding up to match his convulsive dancing. The legendarily-jaded CMJ audience was surprised, to say the least, when this energetic tornado with his weird brillo-pad haircut landed in their midst, and he helicoptered around shouting his way through the last song all too briefly before crashing to an end and taking the set with him.
October 18, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
It’s time for CMJ again, which means the same New York bands you can see all the time in will be playing alongside some touring bands – who would’ve all come to New York at some point anyway – in marathon-length shows full of semi-interested badge-holders and grumpy photographers who get angry when you accidentally bump into them while rocking out in the front row. (Except our photographers, who are very cool and friendly.) We tend to complain about CMJ, but since it’s here, we might as well embrace it. It IS really fun to see ten of your favorite bands in one night, and, exhausting as it may be, it’s fun to do that five nights in a row! As usual, these are my totally subjective and incomplete recommendations for the coming week. You can flesh this out by telling us who you’re going to see… Send us some photos if you go. Or boycott CMJ; that’s totally respectable too. As for us, we’re just excited for a reason to shirk our other responsibilities for a week and rock out in the name of journalism.
TUES, OCT. 20
PANACHE/NEW YORK NIGHT TRAIN CMJ SHOWCASE
Upstairs: Heavy Trash, Golden Triangle, Lovvers, Harlem, Surfer Blood, K-Holes
Downstairs: The Stalkers, Unnatural Helpers, Flexions Dinowalrus, Julianna Barwick, SCREENS
Santos Party House
7:00 PM, $10/$12, 18+
It seems that every other show I get excited about is somehow connected to Panache Booking or New York Night Train (or both), and Tuesday night’s bigass blowout is no exception – just check out the lineup!!! I just need to figure out how to be upstairs and downstairs at the same time. I’ve yet to see Heavy Trash, though I’ve heard good things about their show, but Stalkers deserve some props too. They don’t seem to get much press, but they’re one of my favorite live bands: their songs are totally fun and anthemic, and besides, I’ve seen them throw cymbals, get naked, dribble vomit, and last time I caught their show, lead singer Andy Animal was tossing firecrackers into the crowd with a menacing glee. Alright!
More on This Week In Shows: CMJ EDITION!
SEE IT LIVE
JezebelMusic.com @ Cameo Gallery
July 10, 2009 | Japandroids, Little Girls, Dinowalrus
[All images copyright 2009 Rachel Oakes]