May 13, 2010
At Echo Lake
2010 | Woodsist
It’s been a little over a year since Woods released their last album, 2009’s well-received Songs of Shame, a record of lo-fi folk that garnered the group some pretty significant attention and made them standouts among the rest of the fuzz-heavy Woodsist family (e.g. Wavves, Vivian Girls, et al.). Still, Woods has wasted no time following up Songs of Shame. Their fifth record, At Echo Lake, bears many similarities to the group’s previous releases (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing), but also finds them toying with their rustic-Brooklyn sound.
“Blood Dries Darker” kicks off the record with a sunny guitar lick and a distant tom-and-snare beat that’s right out of 1960’s San Francisco, before floating into an acoustic melody that would make Crosby, Stills, & Nash jealous. “Suffering Season,” one of the record’s highlights, sways effortlessly and cheerily, balancing James Earl’s fuzzed-out vocals and an overdriven electric guitar with steady acoustic strumming and crisp background chimes. “Who knows what tomorrow might bring?” Earl sings, his Neil Young-like falsetto still strong under the heavy bedroom production.
It’s songs like these that show Woods undoubtedly growing as musicians and songwriters. The melodies on At Echo Lake are infectious and never hard to distinguish amidst the wide range of instruments and noises that fade in and out of every song throughout the album. “Time Fading Lines” is, for the most part, hauntingly clean and open, but sporadically the song swells with clatter —“As the hours let go / Time fading lines creep into control” sings Earl, his voice stoic, as the drums grow and a wail of feedback crawls out of nowhere.
October 11, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
WEDS, OCT. 14
No Age, Woods, Silk Flowers
(le) poisson rouge
10:00 PM, $15, 18+
I am pretty jealous of our photographer, who’s headed to see No Age at (le) poisson rouge this Wednesday. They’ll be in town all week, but why not hit a mid-week show with solid openers, in a smallish venue? Maybe you will remember, or realize, how much you love No Age, and you’ll go catch them again when they perform The Bear at the New Museum on Friday.
Tayisha Busay and Guests
8:00 PM, $3/$5, 21+
From what I can tell, there’s always a lot of Spandex and a lot of dancing at Tayisha Busay shows. In fact, there tends to be a decent amount of dancing and Spandex at Glasslands, period. Then of course you have a guest performance from Cherie Lily, aerobics-musician (and Andrew W.K.’s wife), and you’re looking at a shiny, stretchy, sparkly (?), sweaty good time. It’s called the “Nasty Ass” dance party, but you could probably also name it the “Cheap Ass” dance party: $3 before 10:00 PM, open bar from 8:00 – 9:00.
More on This Week In Shows
Bob Dylan Picked Up By Police While Wandering Into A Jersey Front Yard, Mistaken For Vagrant; ABC Makes Unreported Conjecture That Dylan May Have Been Looking For The House Where Springsteen Wrote Born To Run [ABC News]
Brooklyn’s Dirty Projectors Announce Temecula Sunrise EP With Two Unreleased Songs; Released September 28 [Domino]
Memphis Session Musician Legend Jim Dickinson Passes Away [Pitchfork]
L.A. Noise Band HEALTH Announces Most Awesome Contest Ever…Seriously, Buy Their Album – You Can Win A Bag of Their Cat’s Hair, Or Conference Prank Call A Prominent Indie Rocker [Prefix]
compiled by Max Sebela
July 30, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Whitney Museum of American Art
July 24, 2009 | Woods, Yellow Fever
The Friday night summer concert series at The Whitney is one of those delightful, impossibly free perks of our burgeoning metropolis not to be missed. The rare occasion of strolling past The Carlyle and Christian Louboutin boutique on your way to a show is reason alone to check it out. Entering from Madison Avenue at dusk, one is immediately enveloped in Marcel Breuer’s beveled stone architecture, whose acoustics prove to be, unsurprisingly, ideal. The playing area is on the ground floor, haphazardly set between the cafe and street, awash in fluorescents. The audience peers from above, sits Indian-style in the round, dances, or remains aloof, smoking in the outdoor cafe behind the gargantuan bay windows. It’s a chance for underage Pitchfork nerds to mingle with the undying dregs of Warhol’s Factory. For the band members, being “on stage” means crowding into a theater-in-the-round, which is essentially where the treasure chest would be in the bottom of a fish bowl. And for a band like Woods, where the sources of their sound are just as fascinating as is the sound itself, the visual performance, the space, and the audience were as integral as the bass guitar. Accompanied by Yellow Fever, from Austin, TX, Woods played as part of Dan Graham’s Beyond exhibit, ongoing through October 11th.
Woods is sweet, raw, and trippy. Utilizing retro microphones, pedals, and the constant diligent fussing of a mixing board, the sound morphs between underwater muppet babies (in a giddy, positive way), and acid induced psych-rock. The seamless meeting of a male soprano, distorted dissonant lead guitar, and untarnished loose snare is utterly fascinating. The songs work in three layers: country ballad melodies, Syd Barrett-era sheen, and the fun-loving rhythm of Os Mutantes. Most importantly, Woods operates on your subconscious in a way only the best beach psychedelia can; upon listening, you are transported inward, either to a place in your own memory or one of collective American nostalgia. They are so consistent in feel, so acute in diffusion that, duh, they landed a tour with Dungen. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably want to buy Woods’ latest album, Songs of Shame, and listen to it on a long train ride.
by Drew Citron
July 23, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Cake Shop
July 16, 2009 | Lovvers
Maybe you don’t like to tell strangers all the dirty details about your nighttime adventures, but I sure do! So I’m gonna really spill guts about my first time with Lovvers last week. They were fast and rough right from the get-go, and they made me feel real good – giddy, even! Then they got a little sloppier, no more special than plenty of other punk rockers I’ve spent the night with, and I started thinking, “Man, maybe I got too excited about this…” But right as I began to flag, they paused for a kiss – seriously – and got back to sockin’ it to me so hard that when it was all over I was like, “Hell yeah, lets do it again!” But I guess they were too tired or something. So we parted ways and they split town to sock it to some other lucky little chickies all over the coast – which, to be honest, made me want ‘em even more!
That’s right, kittens: UK punk band Lovvers gave it up to New York City for the first time last Thursday at Cake Shop. And word on the street is that they’re coming back for more.
More on Lovvers @ Cake Shop | 7.16.09
Chinese Democracy Leaker Sentenced to Probation and House Arrest…Axl Rose Remains Unscathed For the Crime That Was Chinese Democracy [Billboard]
Free Music Listening Service/Music Genome Project, Pandora, Avoids Bankruptcy [The Tripwire]
Polyphonic Spree Does Shows For Southern Comfort; Dinosaur Jr. Makes Videos For Playboy (Man, I Wish That Was Exactly What It Sounds Like) [Brooklyn Vegan]
Bruce Springsteen Extends His US Tour; Two More New York Dates Added [Spin]
TMZ (Read: Unreliable) Reports That LAPD Is Treating Michael Jackson’s Death As Homicide [NME]
Where Do The Babies Come From? You See Son, When An All Male Lo-Fi Brooklyn Band (Woods) Loves An All-Female Lo-Fi Brooklyn Band (Vivian Girls)… [Pitchfork]
D.C.’s Shudder To Think Announce Live Album, Live From Home; Released September 15 [The Tripwire]
compiled by Max Sebela
Paul McCartney Scoring Soundtrack to Film Based on Children’s Book [NME]
New Air Album in October, Single Drops in July [SPIN]
Beck to Cover Classic Albums with “Record Club” [Rolling Stone]
New Concert Series at the Guggenheim featuring Grizzly Bear, High Places, The Walkmen [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch New These Are Powers Video, “Easy Answers” [Stereogum]
Book About Merge Records to be Released September 15 [Tiny Mix Tapes]
Record Store Day Presents First Ever “Vinyl Saturday” this Weekend [Record Store Day]
Os Mutantes To Release First Album in 35 Years [NME]
Klaxons Album Now Due Next Decade [Prefix]
Woods To Tour With Dungen [Pitchfork]
compiled by Erin Sheehy