This Weeks Reviews on

This Weeks News on

Friday, December 11, 2009

Shadowbox Live Shows

Brooklyn's Bonnie Baxter exchanged her guitar for keyboards in her new project Shadowbox. Don't miss her captivating live set catch a show below.

Fri Dec 11th Coco66
Sat Dec 12th 282 North Henry Studios
Mon Dec 21st Mercury Lounge

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Portishead Song

Portishead just released a new song, entitled "Chase the Tear." It is released as a benefit for Amnesty International. Visit here to get a copy. Watch the video below.

Portishead - Chase The Tear from Mintonfilm on Vimeo.

Writers Top 13 Albums of 2009 - Kevin Serra

001 | Natureboy "Natureboy" Self Released Read Review

002 | Warpaint "Exquisite Corpse" Self Released Read Review

003 | Masterface "Freedom Tower" Self Released Read Review

004 | Real Estate "Real Estate" Woodist Read Review

005 | Cass McCombs "Catacombs" Domino Read Review

006 | The Antlers "Hospice" French Kiss Read Review

007 | Sharon Van Etten "Because I Was In Love" Language of Stone Read Review

008 | Beat The Devil "Idiot’s Guide" Self Released Read Review

009 | Grizzly Bear "Vecktimest" Warp Read Review

010 | Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers "A Fish Hook An Open Eye" Self Released Read Review

011 | The Pains of Being Pure at Heart "S/T" Slumberland Read Review

012 | Volcano Choir "Unmap" Jagjaguwar Read Review

013 | Wildbird & Peacedrums "The Snake" The Control Group Read Review

All other kevchino writers picks will run starting Monday December 14th.

Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins new solo EP

Rough Trade Records announces the immediate release of Elizabeth Fraser's "Moses" EP in the U.S. digitally via itunes, and on 12" vinyl January 26th, 2010.

Get a copy off iTunes here.

"Moses" is dedicated to celebrating the life of Jake Drake-Brockman, a close personal friend of both Elizabeth (one-half of the legendary Cocteau Twins) and her partner and musical collaborator, Damon Reece (Spiritualized, Massive Attack, Echo & The Bunnymen, BOM).

Jake was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in September. Elizabeth and Damon feel that the passing of such a wonderful man and great friend cannot go unmarked, and as such have created this EP with all proceeds going to Jake's family.

A pivotal member of Echo and The Bunnymen, BOM and The Hook ‘Em Boys and, latterly, a highly respected sound engineer for the BBC, Jake was a beautiful human being and adventurer who profoundly touched the lives of all who had the privilege to know him.

A talented musician, a technical genius/blagger, a jack-of-all-trades and master of many, Jake was a vibrant reminder to us all of what it is to be alive. His lust for life, keen intellect and Dunkirk spirit were a beacon of light in a world that is rapidly fading into mediocrity and convenience. As unique and individual as the classic motorcycles he loved so much, Jake was the last of the Mohicans. The Earth is a duller planet without him.

"Moses" was written and performed by Jake, Elizabeth and Damon and is b acked with two re-mixes: the first by Thighpaulsandra (Julian Cope, Spiritualized, Coil) and the second by Andy Jenks (previously of Alpha and presently of The Flies, Spaceland).

Elizabeth has done one (very illuminating where she opens up about her departure from Cocteau Twins her relationship with Jeff Buckley and much more. ) interview with regard to this release for The Guardian in the UK, you can read that here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Real Estate & J. Tillman at Mohawk in Austin TX!

This Thanksgiving holiday was my very first visit to the amazing city, Austin, Texas! I was lucky enough to catch New Jersey's Real Estate at Mohwak during the bands pass thru the giant state of Texas. The club is laid out in two sections a large outside venue with balconies and a intimate inside stage. We got our tickets to the inside show but were able to catch the last few songs of Seattle, Washington's, J. Tillman. Frontman J. Tillman was playing solo and had a powerful yet stark and haunting presence not unlike Jim James of My Morning Jacket but with a more of an Iron & Wine vibe. Tillman was then joined by his band mates who accompanied him on some powerful songs that came across like an Alt-Country Mogwai. I had never heard him before and was totally entrance from the end of his set. Apparently he plays drums and sings in the band Fleet Foxes.

Next up was NJ's Real Estate so we found a good spot up front in the inside part of the venue. I had gotten a hold of the bands debut and had been playing it on heavy rotation. The band opened with "Beach Comber" and from that second till the last song had the Austin audience completely captivated. These Jersey Boy's hypnotic guitar laden songs are infectious and catchy and fun to move around to live. The band have a calm hypnotic tone doused with dreamy reverb and at times they sound like if cross between Modest Mouse and The Beach Boys if both bands were hardcore junkies. Next up was Brackett & Co. featuring members of Okkervil River I was to excited about there set and left early.

Artist Brad Nack Returns to Brooklyn!

Artist Brad Nack Returns to Brooklyn for his largest NYC/Brooklyn show ever at Williamsburg's 303GRAND. Stop by for some complimentary beer & wine and snacks and the most reindeers ever to gather on the east coast. This Thursday December 3rd, 2009 from 7pm-10pm. Brad will also be raffling off a free reindeer painting!

TAKE A REINDEER HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS This year marks the 12th Annual Brad Nack 100% Reindeer Art Show. Nack is proud to announce his first national tour, “The 25 city 100% Brad Nack Reindeer Art Show Tour” stretching from California to the U.K. Collectors have arrived before the doors open. Followers have brought their own “red dots” so they can claim their piece without waiting for the gallery staff to assist them. Last year the entire show sold out in 7 minutes.

A SMALL IDEA THAT’S JUST QUIRKY ENOUGH TO GET SOME ATTENTION In 1993, Nack created one Reindeer painting — it ended up in a winter solstice art show, where it attracted over 25 purchase inquires. The gallery owner persuaded Nack to consider painting 50 Reindeer for the next year. “After 12 years, I have painted a lot of Reindeer, they always take a long time to paint, but have their own way of coming to life, which is usually a surprise and that’s what’s good about it.” Says Nack.

For more info visit

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beck releases Harry Partch song Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck release "Heaven Can Wait"

On Beck's wesite you can hear the "Harry Partch" single. Its a tribute to the composer and his desire to make the body and music unified into what he termed 'Corporeality.' The song employs Partch's 43 tone scale, which expands conventional tonality into a broader variation of frequencies and resonances.

Beck has spent most of the last year writing and producing an album for legendary French composer Serge Gainsbourg's daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg, which gets released internationally in December and domestically in January. We have the first video from the album for the single 'Heaven Can Wait', which was recorded in April of last year. The video was filmed over the summer during a particularly intense recording breaking 105º+ heatwave, as evidenced by the weary delirium of the imagery in the clip. Watch the vido below.

I love em both. What do you think?

Charlotte Gainsbourg "Heaven Can Wait" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kevchino Presents Sharon Van Etten, Natureboy and Rey Villalobos Union Pool 11/7/09

Sharon Van Etten Photo © NYC Taper 2009
Natureboy Photo © Dan Berkman 2009
Rey Villalobos Photos © NYC Taper 2009

Our first Presents went well beyond our expectations. The packed house was treated great sets by all three artists plus an amazing DJ Sets from Scott of the Sky Report and lobby art show by artist Brad Nack. The entire show was recorded by Dan of NYC Taper! Below are the links to the NYC Taper audio files, set lists with YouTUBE video links.

Rey Villalobos Set:
Honey Bee
Flat Tire
I Love Your Space
All of Me (Cover)
Follow Me*
Kiss Me Like It's The 50's*

* with backing band 100% Reindeer
Nate Birkey on Trumpet
Dave King of The Morgues on Drums
Kevin Serra of Cloud Seeding on Guitar

Download Mp3's of the entire Natureboy set here.
Natureboy Set List:
A Flame*
Curses Fired
Don't Worry*
Ode to Merry Maid* (Available on Esopus Magazine's 13th Issue)
Famous Sons
Heart to Fool
I'll Keep It With Mine (Cover of the Nico version of the Bob Dylan song)

*New Natureboy songs

Download Mp3's of the entire Sharon Van Etten set here.
Sharon Van Etten Set List:
01 Give Out
02 Call It A Joke
03 Much More Than That
04 You Didn't Really Do That
05 Consolation Prize
06 Heart in the Ground*
07 Oooh Love (Blaze Foley Cover)
08 Take Me
09 For You
10 Holding Out

*New Sharon song

Get ready for the next Presents show this winter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free download of Beach House "Norway" MP3

I love the intro to this debut song "Norway" off Beach House's upcoming LP Teen Dream. Download it here. I believe this is the bands third LP and from the sound of the debut song it sounds like it's nicely produced but still retains the duo's lo-fi signature sound. Sub Pop will release Teen Dream on January 26th 2010.

Gil Scott-Heron signs to XL Records

Gil Scott-Heron the spoken word soul performer who gave us "Home Is Where The Hatred Is" off the amazing LP Pieces of A Man in the seventies is now singed to XL Recordings in the year 2010. This is his first output in 13 years. Above is a new video for "Where Did The Night Go" off his forthcoming LP I'm New Here released on XL Recordings this February. Visit here to grab the MP3.

Natureboy's last show till 2010!

Natureboy's last show of the year at Esopus space! The art magazine entitled Esopus thirteenth issue comes with a CD compilation including one of the best Natureboy tunes ever called "Ode To Merry Maid" (not available on their debut)
. The band
 will be hibernating during the winter months to work on new material 
but not before they play their last show of the year at the Esopus Art 
Gallery space in Manhattan on Wednesday November 18th. If you need some music to keep you occupied while Natureboy is asleep for the winter check out Masterface which is Natureboy minus Sara as Rory and Cedar embrace more electronic toys on their amazing debut Freedom Tower.

The affordable $7 t
ickets can only be bought in advance so please purchase them here:.

The show will start at 8pm, doors at 7. Wine will be served. 
64 West 3rd Street, #210
New York, New York 10012
Check out the audio from there Presents Showcase here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cave In are back in town! is excited about some Massachusetts Metalcore this week from the recently reunited Cave In. The band will be doing a string of not-to-miss shows on the east coast. Here's hoping they play tons of stuff off 2000's Jupiter. I downloaded from iTunes, two new tunes "Retina Sees Rewind" and the six minute plus "Cayman’s Tongue" from their forthcoming EP Planets of Old released January 26, 2010 on Hydra Head Records. You can hear it here.

Nov 19 2009 Knitting Factory w/NARROWS, TRAP THEM New York, New York
Nov 20 2009 First Unitarian Church w/NARROWS, TRAP THEM Philly, Pennsylvania
Nov 21 2009 Club Hell w/NARROWS, TRAP THEM Providence, Rhode Island
Nov 22 2009 Middle East Downstairs w/NARROWS, TRAP THEM Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sunday, November 15, 2009

French Band Holden 4 more NYC shows!

I just read about this on the Brooklyn Vegan French band Holden is in town for five shows. There are four shows left to check out. Sounds promising, going to check them out in Ditmas Park tonight!

Nov 14 - Zebulon Cafe New York
Nov 15 - SYCAMORE Brooklyn
Nov 16 - MATCHLESS Brooklyn
Nov 17 - Session Radio David Garland New York
Nov 17 - BARBES CAFÉ Brooklyn
Nov 18 - PIANOS New York

Friday, November 13, 2009

Marissa Nadler NYC & Brooklyn Shows

Folk goddess Marissa Nadler, stops through our town (and her new town) for two intimate shows on her tour with Alela Diane.

Friday Nov 13 2009 - Le Poisson Rouge | Manhattan, New York
Saturday Nov 14 2009 - Union Hall | Brookyln, New York

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Magnetic Fields drop new LP called Realism + 2010 Tour!

The Magnetic Fields will release new LP entitled Realism on January 26 on Nonesuch Records.

01. You Must Be Out of Your Mind
02. Interlude
03. We Are Having a Hootenanny
04. I Don’t Know What to Say
05. The Dolls’ Tea Party
06. Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree
07. Walk a Lonely Road
08. Always Already Gone
09. Seduced and Abandoned
10. Better Things
11. Painted Flower
12. The Dada Polka
13. From a Sinking Boat

February 04 WASHINGTON, DC Lisner Auditorium @ George Washington University
February 06 MONTREAL, QC Corona Theatre
February 08 TORONTO, ON Queen Elizabeth Theatre
February 10 BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre
February 11 BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre
February 13 BROOKLYN, NY Howard Gilman Opera House @ BAM
February 21 PORTLAND, OR The Aladdin Theater
February 22 PORTLAND, OR The Aladdin Theater
February 23 SEATTLE, WA Town Hall Seattle
February 24 SEATTLE, WA Town Hall Seattle
February 27 OAKLAND, CA The Fox Theater
March 01 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Herbst Theatre
March 02 LOS ANGELES, CA Wilshire Ebell Theatre
March 04 MILWAUKEE, WI Pabst Theatre
March 05 BLOOMINGTON, IN Buskirk Chumley Theater
March 06 ST. LOUIS, MO The Pageant
March 07 CHICAGO, IL Harris Theater @ Millenium Park
March 10 NEW YORK, NY Town Hall
March 11 NEW YORK, NY Town Hall
March 22 LONDON UK Barbican Centre

Ludlow Lions hit the road!

Brooklyn's Ludlow Lions hit the road for an eight date tour.
You can download their new LP No Stories here.

15 November Pittsburgh, PA      Belvedere's
16 November Columbus, OH     Bernie's
17 November Louisville, KY       Skull Alley
18 November Bloomington, IN   house show
19 November Chicago, IL           Ronny's
20 November Kent, OH              The Vineyard
21 November Wilmington, DE    Mojo 13
22 Novemebr New York, NY       Mercury Lounge

Shilpa Ray still gets me excited even without her Happy Hookers!

Shilpa Ray still gets me excited even without her Happy Hookers! Last Friday Shilpa Ray played a solo set at Manhattan's City Winery opening for Joseph Arthur for a bunch of vino drinkers. She was stripped down with just her voice and her Harmonium on her songs. They sounded more mellow and jazzy with out the loud thunder the Happy Hookers add to the mix. She told the audience about her drunken night of trying to court a guy she liked, the evening before, where she supposedly made an ass of herself. She played material off her new LP A Fish Hook An Open Eye and threw in Beat The Devil's "Plea Bargain," she also tried out some great new songs, which I have some poor quality video and noisy audio of below. The next two dates she's joined by her Happy Hookers and the intensity will be back on. Nick Cave recently praised Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers as one of his favorite bands. You can't beat a Cave endorsement.

Thursday 11/12: Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio, with Soft Black
Thursday 12/19: New York, NY @ 92Y Tribeca, with Grant Hart

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Kevchino Showcase Flyer Sharon Van Etten, Natureboy & Rey Villalobos

James Van Arsdale at MYOPIA Design did an amazing job on our Presents Posters & flyers for the November 7th show at Union Pool with Sharon Van Etten, Natureboy, and Rey Villalobos. DJ Scot Bowman of The Sky Report & will be spinning between sets. Artist Brad Nack will be hosting a reindeer art show in the lobby during the show. Doors open at 9pm. 21+ $12 The day of the show or purchase $10 advance online tickets here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Free Yeasayer Download!

Yeasayer will reemerge with "Ambling Alp," the first single off their sophomore record Odd Blood (due February 2010 on Secretly Canadian). This will be the first recording since Yeasayer's contribution of "Tightrope" to the Dark Was The Night benefit compilation and their critically acclaimed debut LP All Hour Cymbals (Nov. 2007). The single will be released digitally and on a limited 12" vinyl packaged in a space age colored metallic sleeve that will also feature remixes by Memory Tapes and DJ /rupture.

Recorded & produced by Yeasayer - with engineer Steve Revitte and mixed by Britt Myers - it's immediately clear with "Ambling Alp" that the band have advanced drastically in their songwriting and studio abilities. With "Ambling Alp" they've crafted nothing short of a pop anthem.

A stand out from their recent live sets at Pitchfork Festival, Bonnaroo and supporting Bat For Lashes, Yeasayer will play "Ambling Alp" among other new tracks from ODD BLOOD on there upcoming set at Fun Fun Fun Fest as well as a small handful of north east dates before going underground until the albums release in 2010.

If you can't wait until November 3rd to get your copy, download "Ambling Alp" for FREE at on October 30th.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Warpaint & Migu CMJ at Le Poison Rouge

Tokyo's Experimental Mi-Gu (yuko araki) took the stage with guest Sean Lennon. Sean was on bass duties while rocking out with guitarist Shimmy and drummer singer front woman Yuko Araki. On the website it's listed as Yuko Araki playing with other musicians as Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band.
Next was our first time seeing Warpaint on the east coast. We saw them in Los Angeles last summer. The girls and their guy drummer took the stage and displayed their skills opening with an instrumental. They busted into some hits off their rereleased EP Exquisite Corpse, playing "Stars," "Elephants," "Beetles," and the new track off the rerelease entitled "Krimson." Unfortunately, they didn't play my favorite tune of theirs, "Billie Holiday." They had a new drummer this time around but bassist Theresa Wayman was able to lock in with him to provide the rhythm while her bandmates either took turns singing and playing guitar or sung together in harmony. Emily Kokal hung on stage right with her hair in her face busting out some intricate guitar work and Jenny Lee Lindberg was stage left singing and rocking her guitar, bantering with crowd. She even invited a group of Pandas on stage to dance with the band.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Sky Report's Amazing Unofficial CMJ Party

This year I decided not to do full-on CMJ. I usually end up being pretty exhausted by the third or fourth day, so this year I decided to pick a few shows I wanted to attend instead of the five to ten a day I would cover in the past.

The first of these shows was Scot Bowman of The Sky Report's Unofficial CMJ Party. I've been to many a CMJ show—usually the ones with all the buzz bands or bands I love and am excited to see live again. This eclectic show was off the beaten path – off the L-Train Jefferson stop in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Once you walk in the extremely beautiful venue Tandem—a one story building on a residential street which is easy to miss—you are teleported back in time.

I showed up a bit late in the evening, stepped into the back room and caught the one-woman eletronica act Shadowbox. Shadowbox is Brooklyn's lovely Bonnie Baxter who, at the time I walked in, was crawling on the floor armed with a musical box and keyboard on a sheet music stand, and a mic hooked up to delay and reverb pedals which she manipulated her voice with. She created very strong ambient dance tunes and even had a beautiful ballad. By the end, she’d won the crowd over and received an encore.

Next up was a three-piece Brooklyn band called Fan-Tan. The band instantly seduced the crowd with the swaying-in-a-pond hypnotic songs. The band’s singer, Ryan Lee Dunlap, had an unusual-but-nice voice, and played some very lush and dreamy guitar. The bassist, Sandee Kooks, kept Mike Walters’ unique and sporadic beats in time with her sticky grooves. Definitely check out their EP, Bars in Window, and their 7-inch record, On Your Wall/No Complaint.

I also caught a bit of MeKaniKdolls set. The band is made up of two ladies with a Kaoss Pad, keyboards, a tiny amp and lot's of knob twisty toys. One gal sang into a mic with tons of effects, while the other created music that sounded like a cross between Defender the video game and a speech synthesizer Speak & Spell. Added percussion spiced up the mix, and at one point one of the girls even came out into the audience with a tiny amp strapped to her waist and began handing out flyers.

All in all it was a great night full of nice people and great music. The only downside was that the Jefferson subway was not running on my way back home. Maybe it was a sign to have stayed at the show longer.

Marissa Nadler & Alela Diane on Tour

If you haven't fallen in love with Marissa Nadler's beautiful voice and folk songs yet, where have you been? She's touring again for her fourth LP, entitled Little Hells, in which Nadler was backed by a full band as she expanded her sound into more ambient folk/indie rock. Nevada's folkster Alela Diane co-headlines the bill in support of her new EP Alela & Alina, on which she was joined by Alina Hardin. Be sure to catch one of these not-to-be-missed shows as the girls (and a boy) gently dash around the US.

October 22nd - Doug Fir Lounge- Portland, Oregon w/ Alela Diane
October 23rd - Media Club - Vancouver BC, Canada -
October 24th- Sunset Tavern - Seattle, WA. w/ Alela Diane
October 27th - Rickshaw Stop - San Fransisco, CA. - w/ Alela Diane
October 29th- Echo- Los Angeles, CA. w/ Alela Diane
October 30th- The Loft - UC San Diego - w/ Alela Diane
November 1st - Rhythm Room- Phoenix, Arizona - w/ Alela Diane
November 3rd - Cactus Cafe- Austin, Texas
November 4th- The Fort Worth Modern Museum- Fort Worth, Texas - w/ Alela Diane
November 5th- Chelseas- Baton Rouge, LA - w/ Alela Diane
November 6th- Bottletree- Birmingham, AL. - w/ Alela Diane
November 7th- The Earl - Atlanta, Georgia - w/ Alela Diane
November 9th- Arts Center- Carrboro, North Carolina - w/ Alela Diane
November 10th - DC9 - Washington, DC - w/ Alela Diane
November 11th- World Cafe- Philadelphia, PA - w/ Alela Diane
November 13th- Le Poisson Rouge - NY, NY - w/ Alela Diane
November 14th - Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY - w/ Alela Diane
November 15th- La Sala Rossa - Montreal, Quebec - w/ Alela Diane
November 16th- Legendary Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto, Ontario
November 17th- Schubas Tavern - Chicago, IL. - w/ Alela Diane
November 18th- 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN- w/ Alela Diane
November 20th- Hi Dive - Denver, Colorado - w/ Alela Diane
November 21st- Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, Utah - w. Alela Diane

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Warpaint NYC Dates

L.A.'s finest export Warpaint has a string of shows in NYC this week for CMJ, starting with tonight at Mercury Lounge.

10.20 Mercury Lounge (6:30PM)
10.21 Cakeshop @ Terrorbird/'Sup Day Party (3:30PM)
10.21 K&M Bar - Brooklyn (private FADER event - 8:15PM) - must RSVP, free beer
10.22 Le Poisson Rouge (10:00PM)
10.22 Cameo Gallery - Brooklyn @ Manimal/Tightrope (1:00AM)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Psych Furs, Happy Mondays & Islands Roseland Ballroom

The Psychedelic Furs hadn't lost a beat since the last time I saw them live in the nineties. Richard Butler moved around like he was a spry twenty something with his pantomime stage presence. The band tightly spun out the classics like "President Gas," "Heartbreak Beat," "Love My Way," "Ghost In You," "Sister Europe," "Heaven" as well as their song director John Hugh's made a classic "Pretty in Pink."

The Happy Mondays, I couldn't decide if I should love them or throw rocks at them for bankrupting Factory Records. Shaun Ryder and crew got the Manchester (Madchester) grooves going and made you consider looking for sweaty people and buying an e-tab to really try and recreate the experience. Shaun was quite a bit larger in size and didn't quite have the stage presence and dance steps he one had. The new Monday line-up had a very timid and nervous Ryder standing completely still, and absence of his brother Paul and Bez. The Mondays only came to life with their front woman (name to come) who pranced around the stage commanding the songs and the audience. I have been to over a thousand shows in my life time but never had a show been so loud I needed earplugs (haven't seen My Bloody Valentine). My ears are still ringing.

Islands and crew got shafted pretty hard at the Roseland show on this tour. Their website and tickets to the show said teir set was at 8pm. Unfortunately they went on at 7:30pm and were off the stage at 8pm. Nick came onto the stage saying "Is this a High School Dance" to the empty Ballroom. There set was a little sluggish compared to the many show Nick and crew dominated a venue with great confidence and showmanship. The finally busted into the energetic "Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone," off their debut LP, which got the crowd going. Queens rapper Ses 5(?) came joined the band on stage and drove the song home. They ended their short set with "Vapours" off their new LP also entitled Vapours. My gal was outside and people were hanging out front of the theatre saying they were excited to see Islands while missing their set. A few people who were in attendance got a lite-taste of the Islands greatness and a few people came up to me and asked who they were. A few new fans ain't a bad thing. I love you guys and it's nice that Jamie's back on the kit but let me just state again how much the Chow brothers are missed form the stage.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Free MP3 by Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck

Visit here for a free download off Charlotte Gainsbourg new album, entitled IRM (French for MRI) Beck produced and wrote the music and even sings on an upcoming track off the LP. Charlotte is the daughter of legendary French singer-songwriter French singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Islands join Psychedelic Furs Happy Mondays

Islands will join The Psychedelic Furs, Happy Mondays at New York at Roseland Ballroom for an highly eclectic evening. The John Hughes pop tunes of the Psych Furs mixed with the drug induced songs of Shaun Ryder and crew who ended the legendary Factory Records and Montreal's Nicholas Thorburn, Jamie Thompson and crew's pop gems. Islands will be playing tunes off their new LP entitled "Vapors."

Islands play with Furs and Mondays at:
10-07 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
10-09 New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
10-10 Cambridge, MA - House of Blues
10-12 Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
10-13 Pontiac, MI - Clutch Cargo's

Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) Tour, New LP

Hope Sandoval is now working with Colm Ó Cíosóig (My Bloody Valentine's drummer) under the name Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions. September 29th marked the release date of their second LP together entitled Through The Devil Softly. Catch them on tour at:

Check out "Blanchard" (MP3) from the new LP.

Oct 7 - Toronto The Mod Club
Oct 8 - Montreal Le National
Oct 10 - Brooklyn The Music Hall Of Williamsburg
Oct 12 - New York The Bowery Ballroom
Oct 13 - Philadelphia First Unitarian Church
Oct 14 - Washington Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Oct 16 - Atlanta The Loft
Oct 18 - Austin Texas Union Theater
Oct 19 - Dallas Sons of Hermann Hall
Oct 22 - Los Angeles The Mayan Theatre

The Sky Report's Pre-CMJ Show

This is a great way to kick-off of the CMJ Music Marathon. Celebrate Bushwick style on Wednesday, October 21st with a pre-party at Tandem Bar. For more info please visit here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 presents Sharon Van Etten, Natureboy & Rey Villalobos is proud to present our first ever live music showcase on Saturday November 7th at Union Pool. The show will feature Brooklyn's Sharon Van Etten, Natureboy, and Portland's Rey Villalobos. DJ Scot Bowman of The Sky Report & will be spinning between sets. Artist Brad Nack will be hosting a reindeer art show in the lobby during the show. Doors open at 9pm. 21+ $12 The day of the show or purchase $10 advance online tickets here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MFNW (Music Fest North West) Portland, OR - Day 2

Pack AD / Scout Niblett
The Doug Fir

Explode Into Colors / The Prids
September 18th, 2009

The Doug Fir interior feels warm—like a bucolic fishing cabin. It’s the perfect venue for a cold winter’s night, tucking the audience down a long flight of stairs where the stage sits comfortably and Portland’s advanced indie illuminati gather to stand, side by side, drinking one of the city’s signature products: craft beer. The floors near the bar emit a bright yellow glow, complementing the roughly hewn lacquered reclaimed pine logs that comprise its siding.

Tonight the opening act is Scout Niblett, a thirty-something English singer-songwriter whose voice is something you can ease in and listen closely to. Named for the youthful character in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, she invites her audience inside. Her dark, wavy hair falls across her smooth, pale forehead into her eyes, causing her to periodically flick her head, a sexy defiance of gravity’s inevitability. Her slow, undulating songs fit the room, indelibly alternating between vocals over guitar and vocals over drums. The audience sways with her, gripping their organic IPAs a little harder as she accompanies her stories with percussion. At the end of her set, within minutes of waving and dropping her instrument, she camps out near the merchandise table, greeting fans who seem as humbled by her as she is by them. Quite a number of them stutter, bow their heads, and manage to say little more than “thank you.”

In an act that seems either like an expression of the festival’s eclectic nature or a clumsily misguided pairing, Vancouver, BC’s Pack AD take the stage, and suddenly the Fir’s warmth is clear-cut : an all-girl twosome, guitar and drums, featuring a robotic churning sound that is as isolating as Niblett was inclusive. We quickly escape, moving venues a few blocks across the neighborhood to Holocene, in time to catch the middle and crashing end of The Prids’ set. One of Portland’s best kept secrets (hopefully nationally exposed, hopefully) the bouncy gothic rock harkens back to some black-clad divinity: Joy Division, and to a lesser extent, exuding mythological moodiness like Bauhaus. In spite of their dour costume, the crowded modernist demonstration bounces the crowd, sending them into joyous ecstasy. It seems like everyone here is ready for the russet onset of autumn. There are scarves and coats, even though the day’s high temperature was close to eighty degrees.

The Prids set is, as usual, fantastic, and over far too soon, giving way to Explode Into Colors, a trio of local girls I’ve never taken the time to sit down and listen to before (check that, corrected). Theirs is a dynamic sound that doesn’t easily leave you, primal like The Slits, yet filled with a calculated, artistic remove à la Laurie Anderson. Their set relies on a strong array of sounds and effects, and although it’s technically scattered, forcing the lead singer to constantly banter back and forth, their energy carries them through, howling, pounding like escaped primitives into the night.

- Erick Mertz

MFNW (Music Fest North West) Portland, OR - Day 1

Girl Talk / Brother Reade / Guidance Counselor
Roseland Theater
Thursday, September 17th 2009

“Who robbed Martha Plimpton’s wardrobe?”
A voice shouts from somewhere on the stairwell leading up from the bottom floor of the Roseland Theater into the balcony bar. There is no drinking allowed downstairs, which in part explains why it’s so packed: the crowd tonight looks wet around the ears, at best. In fact, I comment to my wife as we sashay up to the bar that the last time I saw so many underage girls in tank tops, it was my junior year of high school at a basketball tournament. She laughs.
I was seventeen.

They’re here for the night’s headliner (and arguably the festival’s main draw), Girl Talk, but they first have to wait through Guidance Counselor, a manic, hard-driving four-piece force with a Joy Division-cum-Oingo Boingo shoegazing appeal. I’ve never heard of the band and have to ask someone next to me about them. In the end, Guidance Counselor, while far more sophisticated emotionally than the precocious crowd, end up feeling a little careless. The lead singer strips down to his underwear (dark silken boxers, it appears), dives into the crowd for the finale, and then quickly packs up his gear with the rest of his band, shivering and pale under the stage lights.

Between sets, I look around at the crowd and wonder how any teenage boy gets laid these days. These guys are skinny, odd amalgamations of too much and too little. There are some Dungeon Masters in the midst, I theorize, but masters of little else. Five hundred years ago, I ponder, these would have been considered warriors. They would have been sent out onto the plains to defend the village. Looking at some of these guys, I wonder whether or not they could defend the cat box.

Brother Reade is atrocious. We spend the set wondering what cartoons the visual installation rips off, whether or not we’ll understand even one of the bellicose rapper’s lyrics, and lastly, what will be the best position to stand in for Girl Talk. We decide to split up: I’ll wander down and take pictures, my wife dancing toward the back. When the stage is set and Girl Talk mans his “two laptops and a microphone” setup, the clean and sober crowd is spun into madness. Looking back at the throng feels almost presidential: people stretch, pump their fists, and chant. Girl Talk as the referential mix begins.

Girl Talk seems to know the criticism that watching his work is a little boring. He takes the stage with a crowd of fans, a video of his own performance going on in the background, and a cadre of toilet paper-streaming stagehands. It’s a little much (okay, it’s obnoxious), but excess is certainly his milieu What’s clear from the beginning is that anyone in the audience feeling for the clean beats and transitions from Feed The Animals will have to wait for the iPod or car stereo. Beats are constantly dropped, muffed, and missed, at one point leading the Mac-Master to stop altogether, get situated while imploring the crowd to hang in there and give him more, shouting for Portland to stand as one behind him. When the show gets flat (and it does, in spite of the endless frolic), he relies on the pathos of a Michael Jackson cut, one bar of the late King’s voice, to bring the crowd back to its frantic peak. But it feels like too, too much. Michael appears three or four times in seventy-five minutes, the last time, almost telegraphed.

Eventually, I emerge from the firing line—er, photographer’s pit—and find my wife, a tireless dancer and sometime hip-hop enthusiast. She’s sweaty and tired, but wants to leave (probably to avert the crowd), much to my surprise. When we compare notes, it doesn’t feel right to her either. On our walk onto the street, we all but wonder if Girl Talk isn’t your standard college DJ who caught lightning.

Dirty Three
Berbati’s Pan
Thursday, September 17th 2009

Just five blocks away is The Dirty Three at Berbati’s Pan (in the same block as the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts, for those interested in a NyQuil crueller).

It’s a five-block walk from Girl Talk, maybe seven minutes, and yet it feels like we’re a hundred miles away. The mood in the brick building is somber and thoughtful, the crowd more Merlot than high school math class. There is a wait outside, even for wristbanded attendees (most of the festival headliners are packing the crowds in).

Walking in fifteen minutes late on their set is interrupting something therapeutic. The three-piece plays with its back turned to the crowd, that introspective mood conveyed from on high. Between songs, violinist Warren Ellis flaunts the pensive, bookish mood. He seems tall—his head reaches near the rafters, feeling like Rasputin in his long, wavy hair and thick beard. He’s given to elaborate tale spinning, describing songs as descriptions of 48-hour comedowns from methamphetamines, or worse, cursed, hateful interactions with angry Chinese neighbors. Then he goes out and makes love to his instrument.

It’s clear that Ellis is intense while still capable of being playful, willing to tempt absurd interpretations of his band’s complexly structured, emotive songs. The crowd is unaffected, raising bottles of beer to their mouths with all of the excitement of stoned marionettes. What the centerpiece musician manages to pull off with the violin is, itself, performance art.

However dour, it’s a performance. When we walk out, we encounter some leftover crowd from Girl Talk. One of the girls was familiar as one from onstage. She’s exhausted, so sweaty that her bare arms are steaming in the cool September night. They want more but rue being shut out. Behind the Roseland, they speculate which car Girl Talk drove in or if he’s already gone. She may have been crying.

My wife and I smile at one another, ruing and relishing the flower of youth.

- Erick Mertz