Saturday, April 28, 2012

Music Notes: Watch Jack White's Webster Hall Webcast and The Baseball Project's Met Show

If you couldn't be at Jack White's show at Webster Hall last night, or be near a computer to watch the webcast, you can watch the entire webcast here. The show begins with a few brief pre-recorded video segments, including one in which White greets director Gary Oldman by running up to him and tackling him. (The two wrestle on the floor briefly, before chatting as if nothing had happened.)

Jack White concert

If you'd like to see the proceedings in a setting that (somewhat) simulates being at the show, Brooklyn Bowl is showing the concert at what it's calling a "brunchcast" tomorrow. You can watch the Jack White Webster Hall show for free while you're having brunch. Doors open at 12 Noon, and the concert will be shown at 1 p.m. If you're into the communal experience or want to hang out with other Jack White fans, this might be for you.

There's another recent concert that you can view from your computer, the show that The Baseball Project performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks back. R.E.M. posted the full concert on its website earlier this week, and you can view it at the link (TBP features two members of R.E.M., Peter Buck and Mike Mills).

You can also view the Baseball Project set below, but you're better off viewing it on YouTube in a larger format. If you're a baseball fan, you can also view the panel discussion that preceded the concert, which features Jackie Robinson's daughter Sharon and others.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Concert Notes: Schedules for SummerStage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Other Free Concerts Are Out

Summer means lots of great free concerts in NYC, and several outdoor music festivals announced their line-ups for the season. These range from the sprawling SummerStage festival, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series, and the intimate, low-key Hudson Square shows sponsored by (and held in back of) City Winery.

SummerStage once again stretches its wings far beyond Central Park with music, dance, poetry, and film in city parks in all five boroughs, from June through September. Among some of the highlights in Central Park on the first month (see the schedule here):
 The outer boroughs feature some good shows, too, including Deer Tick with Jonny Corndog in Red Hook Park on June 21st.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors runs from July 25th to August 12th. The artists include: Nile Rodgers & The CHIC Organization on July 25th; a full day (and night) of Irish music and dancing on July 29th; events showcasing music around the world, from Central American to Finland.

There's also the popular Roots of American Music festival on August 11th and 12th, this year including:
  • a revue "Celebrating The Music of Laura Nyro" featuring Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, Desmond Child & Rouge, and other guests
  • Otis Clay & The Platinum Band
  • singer-songwriters Tom Paxton and Erin McKeown
  • an "An All-Star Gathering for Gil Scott-Heron" performed by Black Rock Coalition Orchestra & Guests
  • the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Stars Band

City Winery's Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival heads into its fourth year with early (5:30) Tuesday night performances that leave you plenty of time to go out afterwards. Some of the artists on this year's slate:
  • Portland Cello Project on June 26th
  • Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave) on July 17th
  • Ollabelle on Juy 31st
  • Marshall Crenshaw on August 14th
  • Poundcake (featuring Teddy Thompson, Jeff Hill, and Ethan Eubanks) on August 28th
There are other free outdoors concerts in New York (such as those in Madison Square Park, the Lower Hudson Blues Festival, and others), and I'll give information on these in forthcoming posts. For now, look through these listings and start marking your calendars!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from Lower Dens, Peter Gabriel, Ryan Adams, & More

Like last week, there is an abundance of good new indie and alternative albums on preview this week. And Jack White's solo debut, "Blunderbuss," is available for streaming this week on Spinner, after having its exclusive preview on iTunes last week. (Read a review of "Blunderbuss" by Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune here.)

White's bandmate from The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson, also has a new album streaming this week.

Also streaming this week is the "Nootropics," the new album by Baltimore's Lower Dens, the band featuring Jana Hunter, whose musical stylings tend toward folk or experimental, and who has been in a number of bands over the years. (See the video for "Brains," one of their new songs, above.)

Other notable albums including live albums from Peter Gabriel (in his orchestra-enhanced, "New Blood" configuration) and from Ryan Adams (the latest in the "iTunes Session" series). There are also new releases from Hey Rosetta!, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, the Dandy Warhols, Megan Reilly, Rufus Wainwright, and Santigold. And The Raveonettes have a new EP which I'm enjoying, though it's only four songs and has me wishing for more.

NPR First Listen:
"Nootropics" by Lower Dens
"Out of the Game" by Rufus Wainwright
"Master Of My Make-Believe" by Santigold
"Dr. Dee" by Damon Albarn's Listening Party:
"Blunderbuss" by Jack White
"This Machine" by Dandy Warhols
"Into the Night" EP by The Raveonettes
"iTunes Session" by Ryan Adams
"The Legendary Demos" by Carole King
"New Blood - Live in London" by Peter Gabriel
"We Could Be Arsonists" by Loquat
"Seeds" by Hey Rosetta!
"What Kind of World" by Brendan Benson
"Aloha Moon" by Magic Wands
"Creature Creature" by Aaron & the Sea
"The Well" by Megan Reilly
"The Body Wins" by Sarah Jaffe

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Secrets Don't Make Friends" by Rocky Loves Emily
"Year of the Lion" by Bury Me a Lion

Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 Record Store Day - NYC Events & Goodies!

 Saturday April 21st is Record Store Day for 2012, and that means plenty of live events at your local music shops as well as special vinyl releases. This year's RSD offerings include Bruce Springsteen "Rocky Ground," Iggy & the Stooges live at All Tomorrow's Parties, the David Bowie "Starman" picture disc, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals' "Live from the Legendary Sun Studios" CD & LP, and the Joey Ramone "Rock and Roll is the Answer" seven-inch.

And of course there's the much talked-about "Feistodon," a split seven-inch that features Feist covering a tune by metal band Mastodon on one side, and Mastodon covering Feist on the other. (Listen to Feist's Mastodon cover, "Black Tongue," here at Soundcloud.)

See the full Record Store Day release listing as a downloadable PDF or as a webpage.

Get ready for special vinyl releases galore at Record Store Day.

ScoutMob in New York lists its top five ways to celebrate Record Store Day in NYC. Among its choices (see websites for times, etc.):
  • Generation Records in Greenwich Village has live music by The Paul Collins Beat (of The Nerves), Supertouch, and Joyce Manor (pop punk), as well as DJ sets by WFMU's Tom Scharpling and Three Chord Monte.
  • Mates of State plays at Soundfix in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)
  • The Men perform at Other Music, where you'll also find Four Tet doing a DJ set
One of ScoutMob's choices deserves special attention, and that's J&R, NYC's huge (but still family owned) music/electronics complex. See the Record Store Day releases you'll find at J&R, and check out their live performances for Saturday, including:
  • 12 Noon: Everest
  • 1 p.m.: French musician Yann Tiersen
  • 2 p.m.: Mike Doughty
J&R says it will have hundreds of RSD titles (some available for pre-order), including ...
Also, J&R will have a listening party for Jack White's new album "Blunderbuss"at 11 a.m.

Over in Jersey, Princeton Record Exchange will feature a performance by They Might Be Giants (in front of the town's public library) from 6 to 6:45 p.m., with record signing back at the store from around 7 to 8.

Also, see Paste Magazine's "21 Albums You Should Buy on Record Store Day" and its article "101 Musicians Discuss their Favorite Record Stores." And NPR Music weighs in with its "13 Reasons to Visit Your Local Record Store," surveying releases including the Iggy/Stooges offering, a Deerhoof/Of Montreal split seven-inch, and the T. Rex "Electric Warrior" seven-inch box set.

What are you doing for Record Store Day? Where will you be, and what special releases are you looking forward to picking up?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Legendary Dick Clark Dies at 82

Dick Clark, the man who brought countless rock and pop bands into people's living rooms on "American Bandstand," died Wednesday of a massive heart attack at the age of 82 following a surgical procedure. He started the show in the mid 1950s in Philadelphia, then took it nationwide on ABC.

From Elvis Presley to Madonna, Chuck Berry to Talking Heads, all kinds of popular musical acts played on the "AB" stage, and in many cases the show gave them their first national exposure. Clark deserves a lot of credit for helping rock, pop, and soul gain legitimacy among the public. "American Bandstand" stayed on the air until 1989. Years before MTV or VH1, "AB" introduced us to many new acts and let us see the bands we had heard on the radio.

The death of Clark, who also hosted the annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and created the American Music Awards, is another sad moment in a one-year period that's seen the passing of the giant figures who brought popular music onto the young medium of television. Music producer and impresario Don Kirschner died in January of last year, and "Soul Train" creator and host Don Cornelius passed away on February 1st of this year.

(See reactions to the death of Dick Clark from celebrities ranging from to Smokey Robinson to Snoop Dogg here.)

Clark suffered a stroke in 2004, but returned to hosting "New Year's Rockin' Eve," though he had slurred speech and wasn't on the air during the show as much as before.

Rest in peace, Dick Clark. Thanks for making that little box in our living rooms rattle with the sounds of rock, pop, and soul for all those years.

P.S. And while we're remembering Dick Clark, let's keep in our thoughts the great Levon Helm of The Band, who recently announced that he's in his "last stages" of his battle with cancer. [Update, April 19th, 3 p.m.: Sad to hear that Levon Helm succumbed to cancer at around 1:30 this afternoon. He was 71 years old.]

Monday, April 16, 2012

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from Jack White, Dry the River, Norah Jones, & More

Jack White's debut solo album "Blunderbuss" is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla of the new and upcoming releases available for streaming now. It's available not through one of the usual streaming websites but through iTunes, which says only that you can preview it for a "limited time only." Since that could only be a few days, head to this link soon to preview Jack White's "Blunderbuss," which comes out April 24th. (Below see his recent "Saturday Night Live" performance of "Sixteen Saltines," which is on the new album.)

Also, Jack White will performing at Webster Hall on April 27th; tickets go on sale on Ticketmaster to American Express cardholders at 12 Noon tomorrow, April 17th, and to the public at 3 p.m. In addition, the show will be streamed live on Vevo (at, with Gary Oldman directing the webcast. [Update: Read a review of "Blunderbuss" by Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune here.]

What else is streaming this week? The latest album by Moonface (a.k.a. Spencer Krug, best known for his work in the bands Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown; see video below); new releases from indie bands the ArkellsMaps & Atlases, and Dry the River; Canadian alt-rockers Our Lady Peace, back with their first album in three years; And there's "The Pearl Sessions," a collection of music recorded by Janis Joplin during, as you'd no doubt guess, the sessions for her "Pearl" album.

"Little Broken Hearts" by Norah Jones
"Orangefarben" by Sea of Bees
"The Body Wins" by Sarah Jaffe

"Beware and Be Grateful" by Maps & Atlases
"Shallow Bed" by Dry the River
"Cynic's New Year" by Horse Feathers
"Michigan Left" by the Arkells
"Signs and Signifiers" by JD McPherson
"With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery" by Moonface
"The Pearl Sessions" by Janis Joplin
"Butterfly Boucher" by Butterfly Boucher
"Transmissions From the Grand Stand" by King of Prussia
"To Walk Beside That Ghost" by Racing Heart
"Rescue" by The Commuters

"Curve" by Our Lady Peace
"Poor Moon" by Hiss Golden Messenger
"Infinity" by Tatiana Kochkareva

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Live Music Notes: Watch Coachella Online, Springsteen Adds Tour Dates, More Baseball Project

Here's a roundup of recent concert and live music news, including great sets you can watch from your home and upcoming gigs you can see in the New York area:

* Sunday is the final today of Coachella's first weekend; you can watch three different channels live online at the Coachella YouTube channel. Over the last couple of nights you've been able to watch Radiohead, The Black Keys, Explosions in the Sky, and many more.

* As expected, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have added Fall stadium dates to their Wrecking Ball tour. They'll play three dates at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, Sept. 19, 21, and 22. Tickets for all dates go on sale at on Friday, April 20th. (See all added Wrecking Ball tour dates here.)

* There are plenty of live shows in New York City tonight, but I'll be checking out part of the lineup at Rockwood Music Hall. At 6 p.m. on Stage 1 I'll be seeing up-and-coming Canadian singer-songwriter Darrelle London, who writes catchy tunes and has been getting some much-deserved attention for her song "Fine" (video above). At 7 the bluegrass band NY City Slickers plays over at Rockwood's Stage 2. And if I still have any energy later on, I'll check out Brooklyn-based singer Misty Boyce at 10 p.m. I think all these sets are free, too.

* Perhaps keeping the old Ernie Banks "Let's play two!" motto in mind, The Baseball Project played a second NYC-area gig on Thursday night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "An Evening of Baseball History and Music," just two nights after their concert at Maxwell's. (See a few photos below.) They played after a panel discussion on baseball featuring Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, and they played another great set. It's too bad they don't play more often, but it's been a treat to see them twice in one week.

The Baseball Project, all dressed up to play at the Met.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Baseball Project Hits It Out of the Park at Maxwell's

The sports-themed supergroup The Baseball Project played one of its occasional concerts Tuesday at Maxwell's, and they threw strikes all night. (Sorry for the baseball puns, but any mention of sports just seems to demand cliches.)

If you're not familiar with this group, it's a side project made up of veteran musicians who love baseball and write and perform songs about the game, and who have recorded two albums to date. The leaders are Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3) and Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5), and the band currently includes R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Mike Mills and drummer Linda Pitmon (who plays in Wynn's Miracle 3).

Steve Wynn, Peter Buck, and Scott McCaughey at Maxwell's. (More photos at end of article.)

Baseball geeks will get a kick out of the lyrics, especially references to the game's bygone days and legends (such as Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, Ted Williams, Bill Buckner, and Curt Flood). But even non-fans will enjoy the music, which is straight-ahead rock and roll played by guys (and a gal) who have tons of experience and have a lot of fun playing these songs.

The Baseball Project's main set ran a generous one hour, 12 minutes, and then the band stayed on stage for a five-song encore. One of the highlights of the show was when Mike Mills took the mic to sing "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville"—it was great to see two R.E.M. members playing that song in Maxwell's, where I had seen the much-younger version of the band play in (I think) 1981.

The Baseball Project played songs from both of their albums, "Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails"and "Volume 2: High & Inside," and at one point Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo joined the band onstage to play a song.

Scott McCaughey.
The Baseball Project has another NYC area gig scheduled for tomorrow, April 13th; they'll be playing a set at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (yes, you heard that right) as part of "An Evening of Baseball History & Music." (Information and tickets here; tickets still available as of mid-day Thursday.) One fan I saw at the Maxwell's gig said that The Baseball Project would play a one-hour set on Friday, but the Met's description doesn't mention any kind of set length.

This band is a lot of fun to see live and it doesn't perform often, so if it sounds like something you'd be interested in, see them at the Met.

(Hear a live set The Baseball Project performed at WFMU the day of their Maxwell's show.)

Not R.E.M., but close: the band played "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville."
Opening for The Baseball Project at Maxwell's was the Birmingham, Alabama rock band Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires. I hadn't heard of them before, but they delivered a hot set that served as an ideal opener for TBP Their bio describes their music as "As much Wilson Pickett as Fugazi, as much the Stooges as the Allman Brothers," which is pretty apt. Yes, they play blues-influenced southern rock, but with a nice edge to it.

An interesting side note about the Maxwell's show: the appearance of the legends in The Baseball Project brought out a number of musical figures from Hoboken's past (and some present), including James Mastro of The Bongos; Kaplan and his fellow Yo La Tengo member, Georgia Hubley; and former Maxwell's owner Steve Fallon.

Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan joins in with some fuzzed-out guitar.

Mike Mills takes the mic.
Linda Pitmon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chickfactor 20th Anniversary Show Fills Maxwell's with "Love of Pop" (Photos)

The Chickfactor 20th anniversary tour pulled into Maxwell's last night, with four different acts filling the Hoboken club with bouncy tunes and oodles of hooks that exemplified the zine's motto, "For the love of pop."

(Note: the Chickfactor party moves to Bell House in Brooklyn starting tonight, April 10th, and continuing on the 11th and 12th. See the Chickfactor article about the shows for info on tickets and availability; although the shows may be sold out, individuals may be looking to sell tickets here and there.)

First up at Maxwell's last night was Musical Chairs, which began in the late 1980s as a one-man project of Ian Schlein, then became a band. The band last performed a decade ago and Schlein has since been working on a project called The Aspersions (he recently started a Facebook page for Musical Chairs/Aspersions news).

He admitted to being nervous at the idea of performing some of the songs for the first time in years (a common sentiment among the night's acts), and after a couple of missteps did a 35-minute set of pop tunes on solo electric guitar to start off the evening. For fans of Musical Chairs, he mentioned that a compilation featuring that group and The Aspersions would be forthcoming.

Musical Chairs (Ian Schlein).

Following Musical Chairs was Rose Melberg. While she also performed solo (also playing only electric guitar), she earned acclaim and much love from the indie-pop community as a member of such bands as The Softies, Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, and Brave Irene. Listening to her catchy tunes and heartfelt lyrics, it's easy to see why these bands became such favorites. Though I'm not familiar with all of these groups, it seems Melberg played tunes from most if not all of them, as well as a couple of covers.

One of the latter was a gorgeous version of "They Don't Know," the Kirsty MacColl tune that became a moderate U.S. hit for Tracey Ullman. Melberg dedicated the tune to Gail O'Hara, one of Chickfactor's co-founders.

Rose Melberg.

 As enjoyable as the first two acts were, good, catchy indie-pop is best served by a full band (to me ears, at least). So the night kicked into high gear with the North Carolina band Fan Modine, fronted by Gordon Zacharias. They rocked their way through a 40-minute set of songs including "Through the Valley" and Meet Me at the End of the Line," both from their latest album, "Gratitude for the Shipper."

Fan Modine.

The reunited Black Tambourine was the headline act of the night, and their set displayed the songs, musicianship, and fun that has made these gigs so anticipated. How much work went into bringing Black Tambourine together? As singer (and Chickfactor co-founder) Pam Berry said, she hates flying and lives "on a different continent" (in London, from what I've read), so that in itself was a big hurdle to overcome. She mentioned that a Kickstarter campaign had raised funds to make the financial aspect of the trip possible.

Black Tambourine, back at Maxwell's.
Besides Berry, the band features Slumberland Records head honcho Mike Schulman and Brian Nelson and Archie Moore, both of whom played in Velocity Girl. Although they collectively have tons of experience in these and other bands, Black Tambourine hadn't played together since 1991 before this past weekend's shows in Arlington, Virginia.

Despite that, they rattled off a 50-minute set beginning with "For Ex-Lovers Only," and they displayed plenty of energy and fine playing (see a photo of the setlist below). You certainly wouldn't have guessed that they hadn't played together for more than 20 years.

In addition to their own songs such as "Throw Aggi Off the Bridge," "We Can't Be Friends," "Can't Explain," and "Black Car," Black Tambourine also played covers including "Heartbeat" and the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." And Rose Melberg joined Berry in singing the last couple of songs, adding even more love of pop to the end of an evening of great, catchy tunes from the good old 1990s (and beyond).

If you're in the Brooklyn area and can find tickets (check here), by all means go. There will also be some vintage issues of Chickfactor on sale (including some no longer available at the zine's online store), each of which is packed with articles and news to take you back to the good old '90s. Seeing photos of the various musicians in their much-younger days is pretty much worth the price all by itself.

Pam Berry and Rose Melberg.

Black Tambourine setlist.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from Counting Crows, Spiritualized, Dinosaur Feathers, & More

The British space rock band Spiritualized, American roots rockers Counting Crows, and a number of indie artists lead this week's pack of musicians offering free streaming albums. Led by Jason Pierce (who often goes by the name J. Spaceman, and is the only constant member of the band from year to year), Spiritualized is back with its first album since 2008's "Songs in A&E," which came out after Pierce recovered from a near-death experience that had him hospitalized for some time.

Video for "Passenger" by Emily Wells. 

And Counting Crows are back with their covers album, which features Adam Duritz and band performing songs by everyone from Teenage Fanclub to The Faces, Pure Prairie League, and Fairport Convention, as well as contemporary bands Dawes and Travis.

Besides the Spiritualized and Counting Crows releases, you'll find new albums from classically trained singer-songwriter-producer Emily Wells (see video for "Passenger" above), singer-songwriter Lissy Trullie, Canadian indie-pop duo Imaginary Cities, and Portland, Oregon folk-indie outfit Horse Feathers (not to be confused with Dinosaur Feathers, Brooklyn's purveyors of catchy hook-laden pop, who also have a new album up for preview this week).

Also, you can get a second chance to preview the new albums by M. Ward and Alabama Shakes, which were streaming at NPR Music last week.

NPR First Listen:
"Sweet Heart Sweet Light" by Spiritualized
"Cynic's New Year" by Horse Feathers's Listening Party:
"A Wasteland Companion" by M. Ward
"Boys and Girls" by Alabama Shakes
"Lissy Trullie" by Lissy Trullie
"Whistle Tips" by Dinosaur Feathers
"Temporary Resident" by Imaginary Cities
"Mama" by Emily Wells
"Sweeten the Distance" by Neal Casal
"Salt" by Hoots & Hellmouth

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation) by Counting Crows
"Thick as Thieves" by Cavo
"Bloodlines" by Tallhart
"Fix This!!!" by Paul Barker

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Chickfactor Celebrates 20 Years with String of NYC/NJ Shows

Back in the '90s, before there were music blogs, news about all types of music were spread by fanzines (often just called zines). It so happens that 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Chickfactor, an indie-pop zine created to cover the East Coast scene, and its having a series of shows called "For the Love of Pop!" to celebrate the occasion. Two shows were held Easter weekend in the Washington, D.C. area, and the tour rolls into the New York area this week.)

Chickfactor was founded by Gail O'Hara and Pam Berry, who both worked at the Washington City Paper. Since the very first issue of Chickfactor was handed out at a show at Maxwell's in Hoboken in Sept. 1992 (according to zine's Facebook page), it's only fitting that the Washington Street club will host the first New York-area Chickfactor concert, on Monday night, April 9th. (As of this writing, tickets for the Maxwell's Chickfactor show are still available. If the online tickets are not available, there may still be tickets for sale at Other Music or Tunes in Hoboken.)

On the bill for the Maxwell's show are Black Tambourine (featuring Pam Berry, and Brian Nelson and Archie Moore, who also played in Velocity Girl); Fan Modine; and Rose Melberg, as well as a promised "special guest." (See a good Washington Post article on Black Tambourine here.) According to the article, because Black Tambourine was a side project for its members it never played a lot of gigs, and has a modest recorded output as well. So this week's Chickfactor shows will be a rare chance to see the group.

You can hear and download a set of four mixes of Black Tambourine songs here, and find a Washington Post review of Saturday's Chickfactor show (featuring Black Tambourine) here.

Many of the bands taking part in "For the Love of Pop!" haven't played out in years; Black Tambourine is said to be playing its first shows in 21 years.

The lineup for the Chickfactor New York shows, all at Bell House:
  • Tue., April 10: Black Tambourine, Small Factory, Versus, The Lois Plus, and special guests. (The show is sold out, but you might find people selling tickets on the show's Facebook page)
  • Wed., April 11: The Aislers Set, Pipas, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Bridget St. John, and special guests. (Sold out online, but Other Music may still have tickets.)
  • Thurs., April 12: Stevie Jackson (of Belle & Sebastian), Honey Bunch, The Softies, The Pines, and special guests
See videos of many of the Bell House performers at this article by Maura Johnston at the Village Voice.

Chickfactor will also have an anniversary show in Portland, Oregon on May 30th (ticket info).

Gail O'Hara appeared on WFMU radio Sunday; you can see the playlist and hear the show here. Songs by a number of groups playing Chickfactor's 20th anniversary concerts were featured.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Photos: Screaming Females Launch "Ugly" Tour at Maxwell's

Screaming Females launched the tour for their new album, "Ugly," with an album release party at Maxwell's Thursday night. The band played a one-hour set that emphasized the new record (which came out on Tuesday on Don Giovanni Records).

Screaming Females: King Mike, Jarrett Dougherty, and Marissa Paternoster (left to right). (Click photo to enlarge.)
Despite the critical acclaim and higher profile Screaming Females have gotten recently, the show wasn't sold out. The band did draw an enthusiastic, good-sized crowd, with a randomly appearing mosh pit that sometimes pushed people in the front row onto the stage.

No one seemed to get hurt in the moshing, although one guy briefly surfed the crowd—never a good idea in a club with a low ceiling—and his foot kicked a hanging light, which then turned around and focused on the crowd. A few minutes later a fan jumped up and tapped the light to direct it back toward the stage, and it happened to end up shining right on Marissa Paternoster. So things worked out OK after all.

You can stream "Ugly" here, and read Jim Kot's review of the album (he calls it the band's best yet).

Screaming Females upcoming tour dates:
April 6th: Bell House, Brooklyn
April 7th: Pi Lam (Human BBQ), Philadelphia
April 8th: The Black Cat, Washington, D.C.

A few photos from last night (click to enlarge):

Jarrett Dougherty, and Marissa Paternoster.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Stream New Screaming Females Album, "Ugly"; Watch New Garbage Video & Chat

The Screaming Females are back and screaming with their new album "Ugly," and you can stream it in its entirety at The album drops today, and the New Brunswick, New Jersey band is heading out on tour to support "Ugly."

Video for "It All Means Nothing," the first song on "Ugly."

It all starts with a record release show this Thursday at Maxwell's in Hoboken, a venue the band is quite familiar with. Tickets for the show are still available and are only $10 in advance/$12 day of show. Marvin Berry and The New Sound and Lost Weekend open the show. They play Bell House in Brooklyn the next night.

Garbage Releases "Blood for Poppies;" Chats with Fans: Shirley Manson and company put out the video for their first U.S. single today, and had a web chat with fans on Ustream. You can find both below.

"Not Your Kind of People," the first Garbage album in five years, will be released on May 15th.

Video streaming by Ustream

Monday, April 02, 2012

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from Robert Pollard, Alabama Shakes, Bonnie Raitt, & More

This week's free album streaming includes a number of hugely popular veteran artists (Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, Bonnie Raitt, and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson) as well as some acclaimed new performers, such as the debut album by the Alabama Shakes.

Also in this week's streaming in-box are two anthologies. One is of the '80s & '90s band fIREHOSE (featuring Mike Watt of The Minutemen), which is reuniting for some western U.S. shows beginning this week. The other collection features the solo work of David Sylvian, the British singer, songwriter, and musician who was frontman for the late-1970s/early 1980s band Japan.

Among the other notable releases are albums from several fine female singers: Chantal Claret, former singer of Morningwood; Canadian chanteuse Jill Barber; and the acclaimed and widely traveled Morley. And there's the folk-rock stylings of Colorado's The Lumineers, out with their debut album, and another Canadian act, the award-winning roots band Great Lake Swimmers.

NPR First Listen:
"Boys and Girls" by Alabama Shakes
"Slipstream" by Bonnie Raitt's Listening Party:
"Mouseman Cloud" by Robert Pollard
"Thick as a Brick 2" by Ian Anderson
"The Pleasure Seeker" EP by Chantal Claret
"Mischievous Moon" by Jill Barber
"New Wild Everywhere" by Great Lake Swimmers
"Holiday Life" by Ravens & Chimes
"Undivided" by Morley
"The Lumineers" by The Lumineers

AOL Music Listening Party:
"lowFLOWs: The Columbia Anthology" by fIREHOSE (Mike Watt webpage)
"Walls of the World" by Clarence Bucaro
"A Victim of Stars, 1982 - 2012" by David Sylvian
"Love Stories & Other Musings" by Candlebox
"Broke in New York" by Glory Days
"Black Coffee" by David & Rachel Diggs

Sunday, April 01, 2012

2012 Juno Winners: Feist, Dan Mangan, Sheepdogs are Multiple Winners

Feist continued to win awards as well as critical acclaim, taking home three honors at this weekend's 2012 Juno Awards. Other musicians to take home multiple awards were singer-songwriter Dan Mangan and rock band The Sheepdogs, both winning two Junos. (You can see a Junos backstage interview with Feist here.)

The Junos are Canada's equivalent of the Grammys, and are put on by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Feist won the awards for Artist, Adult Alternative Album (for "Metals"), and Music DVD of the year.  This year's Juno Awards were held in Ottawa Saturday and Sunday nights; some awards were handed out the first night at a gala dinner, with a televised awards ceremony (hosted by William Shatner) distributing the rest on Sunday. (You'll find the complete list of Juno Award winners here.)

In some of the other major categories:
  • The Arkells won for Best Group
  • Dan Mangan received New Artist and Alternative Album honors (for "Oh Fortune")
  • The Sheepdogs took honors for New Group and Rock Album for "Learn & Burn"
  • The Wailin' Jennys won the Roots and Traditional album for "Bright Morning Stars"
  • Malajube took home the Francophone Album award for "La Caverne"
  • Hedley's "Storms" won for Pop Album
  • Terri Clark snagged the honor for Country Album for "Roots and Wings"
A number of categories featured nominees with little in common except that they're Canadian; in the Artist of the Year competition Feist beat out rapper Drake, standards crooner Michael Bublé, rock band City and Colour, and house/electronic music producer Deadmau5. And although there were plenty of strong Canadian albums released, especially in rock, the Album of the Year competition featured nominees Avril Lavigne, Drake, Justin Bieber, Nickelback, and Michael Bublé. (Even stranger, the winner was Bublé, for his album of Christmas songs.)