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.
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September 27, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
Whoa, this is one of those weeks where we’ll need to carefully balance our stimulants and disco naps in order to show-hop without crashing till Sunday night. I have a feeling that some of our writers will be trying to see The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at Webster Hall, while others will be headed to WFMU Fest, but these are the shows that I want to check out most:
WEDS, SEPT. 30
Thomas Function, Yussef Jerusalem, Liquor Store, Pink Reason
10:00 PM, ALL AGES
Ever since I got “Belly Of The Beast” stuck in my head for like a month sometime in 2008, I’ve wanted to see these bouncy southern guys, Thomas Function, live. They’re playing a few shows this week with Yussuf Jerusalem of France, who I’m equally excited about, but I dig mid-week shows, and I think that the one at Silent Barn will have a lot of energy, especially with Pink Reason and Liquor Store as openers. (Lord knows Liquor Store likes to rock out.)
THURS, OCT. 1
Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx…and more!
(le) poisson rouge
11:00 PM, $15a/$18d, 21+
Jay Reatard is a wild sweaty performer, but really, if you listen to his music it’s hard to imagine how he couldn’t be. So this would be a cool show no matter what, but the openers this time are exciting too. In case you haven’t heard of Nobunny, he performs catchy punk very much inspired by 50s rock ‘n roll. But that’s really not the interesting part. He also wears this gnarled up, gross bunny mask and likes to strip down to his underwear. Well alright!
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September 25, 2009
ART OF SONG
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
“Higher Than The Stars (Saint Etienne Visits Lord Spank Remix)”
Higher Than The Stars EP (Remix 12″)
2009 | Slumberland/Fortuna Pop
Typically, I associate remixes with dancing. Throw the right backing beat on pretty much anything, and it’s guaranteed to make your booty drop, right? Shows what little I know about stuff, dance music in particular, but I’m glad there’s always someone to show me the error of my ways. Today it was Saint Etienne.
In this remix, not so much concerned with packing the dancefloor (if you want a great rock remix to do that, however, I always recommend Tommie Sunshine’s Y-Control remix). Saint Etienne are more concerned with the listener taking a dreamy nighttime journey, one that is sleepy and just-so-slightly disengaged.
It opens vaguely danceable. Over an almost Latin-sounding drum beat, the “tsk tsk slow clap” starts up with some floaty synth. Once the trading of male/female vocals starts, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart eventually let us know that they are “higher than the stars” and personally, I believe them. They are also apparently “in the back of her mother’s car,” so while that may make for a slightly awkward drive home, my guess is that they’re too fucked up to notice. If you, gentle reader, ever find yourself in this situation, my recommendation is that you put on this song and pretend you’re being magically propelled along and not being driven by someone’s mother. You can handle that conversation the next morning, when you’re good and sober hungover.
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July 6, 2009
Brooklyn-based band The Depreciation Guild have brought back two late 80s artifacts: reverberating synth-pop and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Using guitars and a Famicon (the 8-bit sound chip from the NES), they create innovative, energetic dreamscapes, a novel combination of shoegaze and chip-tune music.
The band’s first incarnation was in 2005, when members Kurt Feldman and Akira Hashizume started experimenting with the Famicon as the source for their lush synth sounds and intricate, heavy drum beats. They released their first EP, entitled Nautilus, in 2006 on chip-tune label, 8-Bit Peoples. The next year, the band’s lineup and instrumentation changed considerably: Hashizume left, and twin brothers Anton and Christoph Hochheim joined and brought live drums and guitar with them, respectively.
More on The Depreciation Guild
Rock World Laments Passing of John Weller [Times of London]
New Museum Getting in on the Music Scene [Brooklyn Vegan]
Department of Homeland Security Dissuades Border Crossing…By Releasing an EP? [Idolator]
The L Magazine Announces 8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear [The L Magazine]
Little Guys Are Suffering, But Major Music Events Still Getting Sponsored [Reuters]
Old Phones Get You Free Downloads [NME]
The Wilco Album, Wilco (The Album) [Prefix]
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Embrace Beverly Cleary [The Tripwire]
Iggy Pop’s Endorsement of Switcover.com Causes Controversy [Prefix]
compiled by Elana Jacobs