December 13, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
MON, DEC. 14
Keren Ann, Clare and the Reasons
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
8:00 PM, $15, ALL AGES
Funny, compared to 2009’s wave of bedroom pop with a melancholy undertow, artists like Keren Ann and Clare and the Reasons sound like such sparkling romantics. But let’s not forget that we need these, too – songs you can imagine slowdancing to, like Clare and the Reasons’ weepy “Pluton,” or classic pieces of seduction like Keren Ann’s “It Ain’t No Crime.” Maybe Monday at the Knitting Factory won’t push the limits of pop music to any new ground, but it should be a good showcase of tight bands with serious vocal talent.
TUES, DEC. 15
Cold Cave, Small Black
Music Hall of Williamsburg
10:00 PM, FREE, 21+
Go 18 Dummy at the FREE VBS.tv holiday party this Tuesday. Talk about a good end-of-the-aughts set; Cold Cave and Small Black have had a persistent presence in both the blog world and the real live world of shows this year, and they’ve really proved their meddle. Small Black’s more like the other sandy lo-fi bedroom stuff that the internet’s been hemorraghing lately, and Cold Cave is more of a crispy ’80s throwback, but they both exude a foggy longing that we can’t get enough of. The show’s sponsored by 1800 Tequila, which isn’t important really, but you should check out this cool special edition bottle Vice produced for the party. RSVP REQUIRED! If you wanna go, click here.
More on This Week In Shows
December 8, 2009
IN THE TUBE
All of us must change. Every second. It’s a scientific fact: time, in its essence, is change. And as time passes each of us try to hold on to the tangible and intangible things that we feel are important, even if this means making sacrifices of anachronism. You can see this in your dad’s collection of 1980’s Pantera records, your older brother’s porkchop sideburns, and your Aunt Katherine’s insistence on wearing her old poncho. We all have those aging members of our family who carry elements of the past defiantly into the present, and those relatives who inspire (and sometimes embarrass) us with their devotion to bygone eras.
For Small Black’s Josh Kolenik, that family member seems to be his Uncle Matt. In the video for the Brooklyn duo’s song, “Despicable Dogs,” director Yoonha Park creates a portrait of Kolenik’s uncle, and it is a soft, glowing, tender portrait, filled with trips to the beach, surfboard waxing, weightlifting in the attic, and clips of Waterworld on TV. It’s a portrait of a man whose heart still rests on a beach in 1979, and one who has worked hard to maintain a connection to that time and place for many years. There’s a sweetness and a sadness to the video – each slow motion sequence is wrapped with the kind of longing that usually coincides with nostalgia – that feeling of experiencing something after it is already gone, but knowing it is somehow still important.
Fittingly, Small Black’s song is filled with a sense of things falling away; of images lingering and slipping through one’s reminiscence. The electric drums and lo-fi production create a liquid fuzz that fits perfectly with the use of water in the video – crashing against a beach in the background or splashing against the camera lens while our surfer dude washes his van. Everything around him is fading, but he makes sure his surfboard and van still glisten, as they are essential vehicles in his maintenance of the past. “Do this without me/ do this when I’m gone” – the song is calling out to the future, letting it know that we understand the sacrifices it’s asking for. But in an era when time seems to be changing things faster than ever before, our relationship with the past feels increasingly more important and more difficult to maintain. Our surfer dude stands as a tragic and noble figure in the effort to piece together the pieces of our personal history and live honestly – to hold onto what’s important while time washes over the rest.
More on Small Black | “Despicable Dogs”
British Electronica Duo Goldfrapp Announce New Album, Head First, Released March 23; I Finally Ask the Question: What the Hell Kind of a Last Name is Goldfrapp? Was Your Father a Particularly Luxurious Starbucks? [NME]
Super Hip Blog Gorilla vs. Bear Releases Super Hip List of the Super-est, Hippest Albums to Come Out in 2009; Raekwon’s Fantastic Only Built For Cuban Linx Pt. II Claims the Number One Spot, White Denim Claims Number Two; Elsewhere, GvsB, Seriously? Still Sticking With Polaroids AND Still Repping White Denim? You Are Swiftly Becoming the First Aging Hipster Blog…At Least You Can Keep Your Ray-Bans On as You Go Old and Blind [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Watch the Video for “¡Happy Birthday, Guadalupe!” A Christmas Song From the Killers, Who Will Be Donating All Profits to (RED), An AIDS Relief Fund; From the Mariachi Instrumentation to Brandon Flowers Shouting “My Mexican Angel!” Everything About this Song is Baffling [Spin]
Liam Gallagher May Continue Recording Under Name Oasis, Even With the Departure of Principle Oasis Songwriter Noel Gallagher…My Question: Why in the Hell Would You Want to Continue Being Associated With the Trainwreck that Has Been the Last Fourteen Years of Oasis? [NME]
Stream New Song From Owen Pallett, AKA Final Fantasy, “Lewis Takes Action;” Meanwhile, Lewis’s Idea of Taking Acting Must Be Angularly (And, Admittedly Pleasantly) Noodling For Three Minutes; Heartland Released January 12 [Pitchfork]
I’m Self-Conscious of My Smell, But Still Want to Prove I Really REALLY Like Thriller; I Know, I’ll Get a Scent Modeled After the DNA of Michael Jackson, That’ll Really Draw in the Err…Ladies; Elsewhere, Who Else is Surprised That Any of Michael Jackson’s DNA was Found in a Piece of His Hair? That Man Was Ostensibly a Stretch Armstrong [Idolator]
Watch Video For Small Black’s “Despicable Dogs,” Which Makes Predominant Use of the Aging Surfer Motif Present in Movies Like Lords of Dogtown, or, for the Tween Crowd, Johnny Tsunami; Hey, Why Not Read About the Filming of the Video In Our Interview With Josh Kolenik [Prefix]
compiled by Max Sebela
And in Competition for Best Video of The Day, Watch The Muppets do “Bohemian Rhapsody.” [Idolator]
compiled by Erin Sheehy
Gibson Guitars Under Investigation by U.S. Police for Using “Illegal Wood” to Manufacture their Instruments; Remains Unclear Whether or Not this “Illegal Wood” Was Norwegian in Source (In Other News, Stream that Version of “Norwegian Wood,” It’s All in Pan Flute) [NME]
Brooklyn’s Small Black to Release Two Singles Over the Next Couple Months; I Use Small News Story to Plug My Review of Small Black’s Debut EP, Our Recent Interview With Small Black, and to Take One More Moment to Say Small Black is a Really Awesome Band [Pitchfork]
Formerly Elusive MC DOOM up to Old Tricks, Never Showing Up to a Concert in L.A., and Having a Doppleganger Fill on a Laptop…Watch the Depressing Footage Here. Depressed? Well, Check Out Doom’s Madvilliany 2 Snippets, and Remember that Most Hip-Hop Sucks Live, Anyway [Prefix]
Stream New Track, “Press Corps” From Canadian Garage Duo/2009 Blog Darlings Japandroids, Which Sounds Lifted from You’re Living All Over Me, and Merits (Most of) they Hype This Band Has Gotten [The Tripwire]
Watch Video for Indie Rock Legends Polvo’s “Right the Relation,” off their Recent Reunion Album In Prism — I’m Fairly Sure This Entire Creepy, Montage Video Is All an Enormous Reference to the Made For TV Adaptation of Stephen King’s It…Don’t Ask Me Why [Pitchfork]
The Roots and David Byrne Joined Dirty Projectors on Stage during their Fourth NYC Show on Sunday Night; Brooklyn Vegan Posts Great Pictures of it Here – Did ?uestlove and David Byrne Get Along Amicably? (Yes, Probably, Both are Pretty Good Guys, and Nothing Brings Dudes Together Like a Mutual Love of Funk) [Brooklyn Vegan]
U2 Set to Headline England’s 2010 Glastonbury Festival, the Biggest Music Festival in the World; I Make Early Prediction: 2010 Glastonbury Festival Will Be Boring, In Light of U2’s Music Being Performed [NME]
Stream Track From Cameron Stallones’ (of L.A. Noisemakers Pocahaunted) Sideproject PLATOON, Which Sounds Like The Doors Covering the N.W.O.’s Entrance Music (Obscure Wrestling Reference; Get Down With It) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
compiled by Max Sebela
November 8, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
TUES, NOV. 10
Free Energy, Diehard, Small Black
The Bell House
7:30 PM, $8, 18+
I don’t know how I feel when, on their self-titled track, the lead singer of Free Energy says that he’s “making out with the wind,” but they’ve got a great, if sometimes corny, teenage ’70s power-pop feel, especially on the glammy “Dream City.” But the reason I first got excited about this show is that I somehow managed to miss Small Black during CMJ, and after reading our writer Tricia Patterson’s interview, I got all amped up to go see them this time round. (Shameless plug, yes, but also totally true.)
THURS, NOV. 12
Home Video, Dead Heart Bloom, Heads Up Display
9:00 PM, $8, 21+
Yes, it’s the JezebelMusic.com Monthly Feature Show. It’s also a great chance to check out the gorgeous haunt of Home Video’s electro rock. Their song “Every Love That Ever Was” always makes me picture a montage sequence of some film where a couple has broken up but is still in love; maybe someone shuts a door, then slides down it in tears. Or a Tuesday night when you’re home alone, and you feel alone, and you realize tomorrow will be the same. Not to say this band is oversteeped in depression – their beats tread too swiftly and the keyboards soar too high to wallow – but Home Video has a way of cutting deep, to something structural, a basic human longing.
More on This Week In Shows
November 4, 2009
photo by Katie Ford
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
Josh Kolenik and Ryan Heyner grew up on Long Island, playing in separate musical projects, from a hardcore band to a country music dalliance. Now they’ve teamed up and struck a chord with glow-fi bedroom pop experiment Small Black. Their song “Despicable Dogs” recently garnered a spot on Pitchfork’s Best New Music, and they just wrapped up a busy week at CMJ. We were psyched to find out that the guys will release a full length LP in the spring and that they really love Josh’s weight-liftin’, surf-board makin’ uncle. JM.com’s Tricia Patterson met up with Josh to talk song writing, DIY production and space heaters.
JM.com: Ok, so I was reading that you [and Ryan] grew up on Long Island. Do you still live there?
Josh: No, I live in Greenpoint and Ryan lives off the Dekalb stop now. We recorded the whole album like a block from here. We mixed it here and recorded it on Long Island. It was sort of a long process so we recorded it a bunch of places but the main crux of the recording we did at my uncle Matt’s place in Long Island.
JM.com: Does he have recording equipment or a studio up there?
Josh: No, we just wanted to be somewhere where we didn’t have our friends around. No distractions. It’s crazy. It’s kind of like this workout facility with free weights and contraptions that my uncle built. I think we set up the microphone on his weight bench at one point, and the ceiling was really low so we were hunched over and there was no heat. It was pretty fun.
JM.com: No heat even in the winter?
Josh: Well we had a space heater up there, so when Ryan was working on something and I didn’t have anything to do I would just sort of scrounge for heat right up next to it.
More on Small Black
Stream New Small Black, “King of Animals,” Which Is So Good That It Makes Up For the Fact that the Rest of My News Write Up Will Be Meaningless, Full of Fluff; Read My Review of the EP, Consider Them As Contenders For Best Debut of the Year [Stereogum]
Singer Songwriter Dean Johnson Takes Lyrics George Harrison Wrote About Not Getting Along With John Lennon and Turns It Into His Own Song, Possibly Unaware That He is Not a Former Beatle, and Has No Perspective on What Song Might Mean; Listen to It! [NME]
Chris Brown’s New Album Cover Is Some Awful Amalgamation Between the Poster For Resident Evil Apocalypse and Eek! The Cat; Meanwhile, News Day Slow – Let the Obscure Pop Culture References Begin [Idolator]
The Pixies to Play Conan – If Read 15 Years Ago, One Could Mistake That For an Episode of Conan The Barbarian, Where Pixies Are Up To Usual Trickery, General Wackiness [Prefix]
Black Sabbath Guitarist Tony Iommi Is Recovering Well After Having Stem-Cell Treatment in His Joints; Elsewhere (Specifically, In the Future), a Fully Cyborg Version of Iommi Begins the Robotic Takeover [NME]
compiled by Max Sebela