Friday, February 26, 2010

Black Joe Lewis And The Honeybears Played Bowery Ballroom - Pictures And Review

When we saw Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears at Austin City Limits in October, my friend described Lewis as a dude who looks like Allen Iverson and sounds like James Brown. That's not entirely wrong, but it leaves out the fact that he also rocks out pretty hard on his guitar (which BTW is covered with pictures of scantily-clad ladies.)

One of the Honeybears told me that someone recently called them a "jam band", but they won't be confused with String Cheese Incident anytime soon. Sure, there's plenty of jamming - they don't write down their set list and never play a song the same way twice - but this is straight up funk and old school blues.
Last night at Bowery Ballroom they hit many of the high points on their debut LP Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! (produced by none other than Spoon drummer Jim Eno!) including “Sugarfoot,” “I’m Broke,” and “Bobby Booshay” plus the hilariously titled “Big Black Snake. ”

They brought out their tour mates, likeable Mississippi bluesmen Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, for a few songs in the middle of the set and finished their encore with crowd favorite “Bitch, I Love You.” It was a tough New York audience, grumpy from days of snow and slush, but it was hard not to be won over by these guys. Definitely worth catching them whenever they’re in town.

Words and Pictures by Chris Goldberg
More pictures at the HAD Archive

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Broken Bells: Album Release, MHOW In March, Tickets On Sale Friday

If you've been paying attention to the internets, you may have noted that Shins frontman James Mercer took a trick from Damon Albarn's book and sat down with noted DJ/producer Danger Mouse to create a record under the guise of Broken Bells. As one might expect, the project is highly influenced by Mercer's distinctive vocals, accompanied by the electronic-acoustic fusion of Danger Mouse's beats.

That being said, in this case "what one might expect" is not necessarily a bad thing. Mercer sounds in top form, and the tunes that we've heard seem to allow for some of the magic that graced The Shins' first two records. Given that, the record (which drops on March 9th) has the potential to be Mercer's best in quite a while.

On the off chance that you were concerned the project might just be a studio whim, have no fear. The duo is touring in its support, and that includes a show at Music Hall Of Williamsburg on March 10th, the day after the records release. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon, and in the mean time you can entertain yourself with the debut single "The High Road" (below), accompanied by its video.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Music: Lana Mir

Here at HAD, we're more than comfortable admitting that we're suckers for stripped down covers of brit-rock classics. Even more so when the artist in question is a beautiful woman with all the cool of a modern day Astrud Gilberto.

Case in point: Lana Mir's recent debut EP, with it's chilled-out cover of The Stone Roses "I Wanna Be Adored". Sure, it's sort of exactly what you'd expect after the description we just gave you, but that's definitely not a bad thing. Check the video above.

Girls Studio Session From Last Year's Noise Pop

If you've dug around in the HAD Archive, you may recall seeing some photos around this time last year of Girls doing a studio session in San Francisco. Well, the video from that session is now online, courtesy of Yours Truly, and we have to say that it's quite tasty. It finds the band delivering a wonderfully jangly version of "Substance", a non-album track from the sessions for their debut Album. Check out the vid above, and enjoy.

Spoon Covers The Damned

Spoon at Mercury Lounge, from the HAD Archive

Just in case Transference wasn't delivering you quite enough new Spoon tunage in 2010, here's a little bit more to leave you sated: The band recorded a cover of The Damned's tune "Love Song" for a Starbucks (ugh, we know) compilation, and the result is quite tasty. Much like Transference it's built upon a solid foundation of minimalism, but Britt Daniel's voice is a fair bit sweeter, and laden with reverb that recalls "The Ghost Of You Lingers". Check it out below.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vampire Weekend Drop Video For "Giving Up The Gun"

Sure, it's the most hyped record of the year, and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. That doesn't make Vampire Weekend's latest, Contra, any less enjoyable or full of pop goodness. Case in point: the new celebrity-laden-super-future-tennis-match-video for "Giving Up The Gun", above. Fun, no?

Julian Casablancas Adds Irving Plaza Date

If the two night double-decker at Terminal 5 wasn't enough for you, you're in luck: Julian Casablancas has added another New York date to his tour in support of Phrazes For The Young. On March 24th, JC will grace the stage at Irving Plaza (Fillmore east? What?) for one more night with his hometown crowd before he heads out to cross the country on his way to Coachella. Given that Irving Plaza is notably smaller and more intimate than Terminal 5, we're guessing this'll be a good one.

The show is 16+, and tickets go on sale Friday.

New Music: Jác

Last night we stopped in at the venerable Ace Hotel in Manhattan, and as we sat there drinking out coffee from the good folks at Stumptown, we were fortunate enough to catch a set from New Jersey natives Jác.

The band manages to grab ahold of a truly unique sound, and with enough technical aplomb that it caught our ear immediately. Their sound ricochets between pop and folk, quiet and loud, subtle and brazen. They do so with a solid dose of multi-instrumentalism, featuring (among other things) a trumpet, mandolin, and accordion.

Jác has a number of upcoming shows, and we encourage you to check one out. These folks know what they're doing, and they do it right.

Jác Upcoming Dates
Feb 27 ALPHABET LOUNGE New York City, New York
Mar 5 COUSIN LARRY’S CAFE Danbury, Connecticut
Mar 27 THE MILLHILL SALOON Trenton, New Jersey
Mar 31 HARVEST MOON New Brunswick, New Jersey

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Broken Social Scene Deliver Record Preview

This morning the kind folks over at Arts and Crafts informed us that Broken Social Scene has decided to make this a wonderful weekend for everyone here at HAD, by delivering tasty new details about their forthcoming record.

Forgiveness Rock Record is set to drop on May 4th, and as previously mentioned, was recorded in Chicago at Soma Studios. In addition to the album title, the band has also delivered the cover art (above), and a sparkling new track from the record.

"World Sick", which you can download below, is classic Broken Social Scene. Which, is to say: anthemic, messy, fuzzy, intricate, percussive, and melodic all at the same time. What's more, it's interesting to hear the band returning to their "full band" sound, after their two more curated feeling "Broken Social Scene Presents" records. If the track is any indication, then it is clear that the ever-expanding Broken Social Scene family has not lost its spark. And that, is very good indeed.

Broken Social scene is on tour this spring, and playing Webster Hall on May 7th.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kurt Vile Is In Brooklyn At Europa Tomorrow Night

Kurt Vile at Amnesia, from the HAD Archive

We don't like telling you how to live your life, but sometimes you really just need to sit down, shut up, and pay attention. Case in point: Kurt Vile is playing at Europa in Brooklyn tomorrow night along with Fucked Up, and we highly encourage you to turn out. Not only is Vile one of our fave songwriters around this part, but he delivers a killer live show that underscores just how awesome his records truly are. On top of that, you get to hang out with all the cool kids in Greenpoint, and we know you've been looking for an excuse. See you there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flaming Lips Coming To Central Park, Conquering Dark Side Of The Moon

Flaming Lips at Treasure Island Festival, from the HAD Archive. Photo by Brian Fong.

After the already-monumentous news that Pavement will be there at the end of the season, it is with great anticipation and glee that we came upon the news that none other than the Flaming Lips will be gracing this year's Central Park Summerstage. Backed by the awesomeness of their latest record Embryonic, there is frankly nowhere we would rather see Oklahoma City's favorite sons than under the stars on a beautiful summer evening.

On top of that, the band has taken their iTunes-only version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon live, with a New Year's Eve performance last month, and now the announcement of a similar gig at this year's Bonnaroo. While there's no news yet as to whether the Central Park gig will be Floyd-homage or otherwise, we can pretty much guarantee you it'll be an awesome show, and that you'd be a fool to miss it.

Animal Collective To Deliver Site-Specific Work At The Guggenheim

Animal Collective at The Fillmore, from the HAD Archive

To say this should be interesting would be, well, an understatement: on March 4th, Animal Collective will be delivering a "site specific" work at the Guggenheim, in collaboration with Danny Perez that will render the museum into a "kinetic, psychedelic environment". No, we don't have any idea what that means either, but we're guessing that it'll be pretty damn unique, and entirely worth your time. Given the AC's popularity as of late, it probably would behoove you to snag your admission credentials sooner rather than later. You have been warned.

New Plants And Animals On Tap For April, Spring Tour Hits Canada and SXSW

Plants and Animals have been one of our faves here at HAD ever since we laid ears on their killer record Parc Avenue. Given that, we were more than a little excited to hear that their new full length, La La Land (cover above), will make its way into our eager little hands on the fine date of April 20th, 2010. As a group that's unquestionably staking out their own sound, Plants and Animals have continued to be a go-to band for us - put differently, their record ages extremely well.

The first track to emerge from the record is entitled "Tom Cruz" (below), and continues perfectly where the last record left off. It's a killer rock tune, an epic sprawling masterpiece, and more than anything, a solid lesson in the fine art of arrangement and production. The percussion and melody are expertly interspersed to a point where the risky transitions and innovative composition manage to reveal their complexity and sound completely natural at the same time.

Plants and Animals at The Rickshaw Stop, from the HAD Archive

In addition to the new record, the band will also be taking their fantastic live show on the road, with a spring tour that traverses much of their native Canada. As for US dates, thus far only South By Southwest has found a place on the band's calendar, although we have to guess that will change as the record's release grows near. Frankly, the only thing that has us more excited than the new record is the prospect of hearing new tunes live, so all in all this is very, very exciting.

Plants and Animals Spring 2010 Dates
Mar 12 Lee’s Palace (CMW Billion’s Showcase) Toronto, Ontario
Mar 13 CMW Indie Awards at the Royal York Hotel Toronto, Ontario
Mar 17 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 19 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 20 SXSW Austin, Texas
Mar 21 2SXSW Austin, Texas
Apr 21 Theatre le Petit Champlain Quebec City, Quebec
Apr 22 La Tulipe Montreal, Quebec
Apr 23 Babylon Ottawa, Ontario
Apr 24 The Red Dog Peterborough, Ontario
Apr 28 West End Cultural Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba
Apr 29 Amigo’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Apr 30 Starlite Room Edmonton, Alberta
May 1 The Legion Calgary, Alberta
May 2 Habitat Kelowna, British Columbia
May 4 Sugar Nightclub Victoria, British Columbia
May 5 The Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, British Columbia

Monday, February 15, 2010

Grand Lake Played Cafe Du Nord - Pictures, Review

On Friday night, Grand Lake took to the stage at Cafe Du Nord, and we were psyched to be in attendance. Not only did the band manage to have the biggest turnout of the night, but they also unquestionably brought their A-game.

Fresh from the studio working on their new record, the band delivered a show that clearly demonstrated their enthusiasm for the new material. Not only that, but the new three piece lineup continued to impress us with its ability to create a truly big sound despite the small number of musicians on stage.

With the Bay Area harboring a music scene that has been consistently expanding over the past few years, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. That being said, Grand Lake continues to deliver performances that not only expand on their already established sound, but also bring an unabashed love of rock and roll to the room. It is not to be missed.

While we have yet to hear word on when the band will next appear live, we have gotten a listen to their forthcoming record, and we can tell you this: it's all good things ahead. Cheers, indeed.

More pictures at the HAD Archive

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beck's Record Club Is Cooler Than Yours

The last time we checked in with Beck's Record Club, he was hard at work re-recording the Velvet Underground's debut, to amazing results. Since then, he's continued the hard work, and this time he's managed to enlist most of Wilco to help him with the results.

Continuing the late 60's trend, the latest iteration of "record club" has spent their time collaborating on covers of the Skip Spence recor OAR. The results, dare we say, are nothing short of fabulous. The group offers up synthed-out loopy takes on the original record, which is far more earthy in its original form.

We've embedded one of our faves from the sessions above: "Dixie Peach Promenade" finds Beck delivering bubbly synth lines, while Jeff Tweedy on vocals, and Glenn Kotche collaborating with Tweedy's son on percussion. The rest of the session (including an appearance by Feist) can be had over at Beck's Record Club. (And, once you get done with OAR, you can move on to The Songs Of Leonard Cohen, which Beck also managed to cover in the interim.!)

Spoon Hit ABC News

If you needed further evidence of Spoon's continued takeover of the airwaves, look no further. After a stunning #4 debut on the Billboard charts, the band appeared on ABC News last week and gave quite the entertaining interview. Among other things, Britt Daniel sticks up for The Bee Gees, talks about his days as a substitute teacher, why Transference is a "weird record", and how cash is not the driving force for making music. And for those wondering about the important stuff, the secret is revealed: Britt's fancy new leather jacket cost a whopping $70!

Check it all about above.

Walkmen At Work On New Record And Bell House In April, Presale Today

The Walkmen at Summerstage, from the HAD Archive

After the near-universal fan and critical praise for You & Me, The Walkmen would be silly to mess with the formula they have going: and they know it. The band just signed to Fat Possum records to release another record with You & Me producer Chris Zane, and they're in the studio now. But - that's not all!

Never ones to shy away from the road while recording, the band has also lined up a handful of spring dates where (hopefully) we'll get to hear some of that new material. This includes a benefit show at MoMA on March 3rd, a show with Spoon (!) at Stubb's BBQ in Austin on St. Patrick's Day, and a show at the Bell House in Brooklyn on April 1st.

The Brooklyn show is probably the most accessible for most New Yorkers, and as such the band has done everyone the favor of setting up a presale that starts at 10 today. Just head over here, the password is "eatinpuppies2" (yeah, we don't get it either).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Update: Frightened Rabbit Announce Spring Tour

Frightened Rabbit at Bottom Of The Hill, from the HAD Archive

While yesterday's announcement circled around a single Webster Hall date, we were pleased to learn this morning that Frightened Rabbit has in fact lined up an entire spring tour! After stopping in at Coachella, the band will make it's way around most of the remainder of North America over the course of two months. These guys really nail it live, and will presumably be touring with some freshly recorded tunes under their belt. Frankly, you have no excuse not to get out there.

Frightened Rabbit Spring 2010 Dates
March 17 Austin, Texas SXSW
March 18 Austin, Texas SXSW
March 19 Austin, Texas SXSW
March 20 Austin, Texas SXSW
April 17 Indio, Calif. Coachella
April 19 Tempe, Ariz. The Clubhouse
April 21 Houston, Texas Walters
April 22 Dallas, Texas Loft @ Palladium Ballroom
April 23 Little Rock, Ark. Revolution
April 24 Atlanta, Ga. The Masquerade
April 25 Carrboro, N.C. Cat’s Cradle
April 27 Washington, D.C. Black Cat
April 28 New York, N.Y. Webster Hall
April 29 Boston, Mass. Paradise
April 30 Philadelphia, Pa. First Unitarian Church
May 3 Montreal, QC Petit Campus
May 4 Toronto, ONT Opera House
May 6 Newport, Ky. Southgate House
May 7 St. Louis, Mo. The Old Rock House
May 8 Chicago, Ill. Metro
May 9 Milwaukee, Wisc. Pabst Theatre
May 10 Minneapolis, Minn. Varsity Theater
May 12 Denver, Colo. Bluebird Theatre
May 13 Salt Lake City, Utah Urban Lounge
May 15 Vancouver, B.C. Biltmore Cabaret
May 16 Seattle, Wash. Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room
May 17 Portland, Ore. Berbati’s Pan
May 19 San Francisco, Calif. The Fillmore
May 22 San Diego, Calif. Casbah

Atlas Sound Played NYU - Pictures, Review

Last night at NYU, Bradford Cox brought his other musical project, Atlas Sound, out to play. Surprisingly, given the complexity of some of the Atlas Sound recorded material, Cox appeared solo, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and a massive board of guitar pedals.

Those pedals are what would largely define the show: Cox used them with expert precision, and through the use of effects, delays, and samplers managed to create a sound that was layered, diverse, and intricate. The effects also served to differentiate the songs sonically, and allow Cox to present a set that was diverse beyond the simple acoustic singer/songwriter model.

In addition to the music, Cox was talkative and upbeat. He waxed philosophical to the largely-student crowd about his own GED, and subsequent technical college experience is video editing. Acknowledging that the experience wasn't exactly his top choice, Cox claimed that he had "forgotten all of it, but still went to college!". Indeed.

While the show was enjoyable, an unquestionable representation of Cox's performance magic, and wonderfully intimate, it was still lacking. Much like on record, Atlas Sound's material is more uniform and abstract than Deerhunter's, and the result is that watching a performance can be quick to lull one into submission. Despite the completely solid performance, and lovely tunage, we do have to say there's a piece of us that's looking forward to catching Deerhunter en masse when they open for Spoon this spring.

More pictures at the
HAD Archive.

Spoon Deliver Video For "Written In Reverse"

In what is largely a live take on the song, Spoon have delivered the video for the first single from Transference, "Written In Reverse". The video is in black and white, and filmed in front of a room-size mirror. A pretty simple motif, playing on the song's "reverse" motif. For us, it's somewhat reminiscent of the band's own video for "Jonathan Fisk", along with a bit of Blur's "Tender" for good measure. Check it out above.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Frightened Rabbit Coming To Webster Hall In April

Frightened Rabbit at Bottom Of The Hill, from the HAD Archive.

While they don't yet have a full US tour up for notice, we were more than a little pleased to see that Frightened Rabbit will be stopping in at Webster Hall on April 28th on their way west to Coachella. The band has been recording a new record in the past few months, and as far as we can tell this is your best chance to catch up with their new material.

Either way, we (being huge fans of the band, both on record and live) highly recommend that you get yourself off your couch and our to Webster Hall, where they're sure to give a killer dose of their unquestionably awesome genre bending tunes. We will be there beside you, being very, very excited, and very, very, happy.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at noon.

Grand Lake To Open For Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) At Du Nord Next Week

Grand Lake at The Uptown in Oakland, from the HAD Archive. Photo by Rick Audet.

Alec Ounsworth (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah fame) is out on the road in support of his new solo record. As such, we couldn't have been more excited to discover that one of our favorite San Francisco bands, Grand Lake, was picked to support the man in this endeavor when he stops by the Bay.

The musical gifts of both parties will be on display for your enjoyment next Friday, February 12th, at San Francisco's own Cafe Du Nord. It's a tiny room, and while we're not quite sure it can hold that much rock awesomeness, we must say that it'll be worth your while to go and find out.

Tickets are on sale now.

Broken Social Scene: New Record and Mini Tour On Tap For May

Broken Social Scene at Outside Lands, from the HAD Archive

Let us start by saying that the number of records dropping in 2010 that we are inordinately excited about is ridiculously high. Case in point: Broken Social Scene's first full band effort since 2005 is dropping on May 4th, and we couldn't be more excited. What's more the record was recorded in Chicago at Soma Studios with the awesome John McEntire. Translation: lots and lots and lots of awesomeness in store.

On top of the excitement of a new record, the band has also planned a mini-tour to coincide with the record's release. The tour will make a mere three US stops, with one in San Francisco (at the Fillmore) and one at Webster Hall in New York. The third date is at the Henry Fonda in LA. Needless to say, BSS' live show is as good (if not better) than their records, and there's every reason for you to get your ass out there and make sure you don't miss this.

While we haven't heard any of the new material yet, we're every bit as excited as you are, and can't wait to wrap our ears around it. Meanwhile, we've been occupying ourselves with the spare BSS tracks from the soundtrack to The Tracey Fragments. It's not a new record, but it's something!

Broken Social Scene Spring 2010 Dates
05/01/10 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
05/03/10 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theatre
05/07/10 New York, NY Webster Hall
05/13/10 London, UK Brixton Academy (w/ Pavement)
05/14/10 Minehead, UK All Tomorrow’s Parties
05/15/10 Brighton, UK The Great Escape
05/17/10 London, UK Heaven
05/18/10 Amsterdam, NE Melkweg
05/19/10 Cologne, GR Burgerhaus Stollwerck
05/21/10 Paris, FR La Maroquinerie
05/23/10 Linz, AU LinzFest
06/19/10 Toronto, ON Toronto Island (w/ Pavement, Band of Horses)