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.

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