18 Concerts to See This Week: Björk, Patti Smith, David Lynch + More

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THURSDAY, MARCH 26

Following the release of her third album FROOT, British pop boss Marina and the Diamonds celebrates with an intimate performance at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom. If you weren’t lucky enough to snag a ticket, you can still check out our interview with the beloved musician to learn more about her new creation. 8pm, 6 Delancey Street, New York, NY.

Hit Vietnamese rapper Suboi makes her NYC debut tonight at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. 9pm, 146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY.

Singer/songwriter Tobias Jesso, Jr. is making waves with his new album Goon. Find out why tonight at NYC’s Mercury Lounge, or tomorrow at Baby’s All Right. 6:30pm, 217 E Houston St, New York, NY.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27

JEFF the Brotherhood may have gotten dropped from Warner just before the release of new album Wasted On The Dream, but it’s a mystery as to why anyone would pass up those riffs for days and some of the Nashville band’s catchiest material yet. The chill literal bros are on the road with fellow Music City residents Bully, and they play the Troubadour in LA tonight. 8pm, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA.

Swedish post-punk band Makthaverskan are on the road for their first North American tour, following the critical acclaim of last year’s Makthaverskan II. They’re in LA tonight at Jewels Catch One. 8pm, 4067 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.

Lo-fi rock darlings Teen Suicide and LVL UP get sensitive tonight at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. The latter released their acclaimed album Hoodwink’d last year on Exploding In Sound/Double Double Whammy. Amanda X, Crying, and Washer round out the free show’s bill. 7pm, 165 Banker Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Enjoy a special evening with the iconic Patti Smith at (Le) Poisson Rouge. 7pm, 158 Bleecker St, New York, NY.

SATURDAY, MARCH 28

Rock til you drop at the fourth annual Burgerama festival at the Observatory this weekend. The two day festival features acts including JEFF the Brotherhood, Palma Violets, Colleen Green, Happyness, Twin Peaks, and many, many more. 12pm, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA.

Following the release of Vulnicura, Bjork continues her string of NYC matinée shows. This afternoon, she’s at the City Center. 12pm, W 55th St, New York, NY.

Crunchy Scottish pop duo Honeyblood headlines the free show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar tonight. Their fuzzy vibes will be joined by Cassie Ramone, Mannequin Pussy, Aye Nako, and Fat Creeps. 8pm, 165 Banker St, Brooklyn, NY.

Art-rock staples Deerhoof are on the road with outspoken punks Perfect Pussy. Tonight, they’re at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room. 7:30pm, 125 E 11th St, New York, NY.

MONDAY, MARCH 30

British art-rock outfit Alt-J are still staking their claim on America. They headline Madison Square Garden tonight, with Phantogram on opening duties. 8pm, 4 Penn Plaza, New York, NY.

LA rocker Hanni El Khatib is back at it with new album Moonlight, released earlier this year on Innovative Leisure. See what the scuzzy-meets-slick artist is up to tonight at Bowery Ballroom. 8pm, 6 Delancey St, New York, NY.

TUESDAY, MARCH 31

Years & Years are already one of 2015’s top breakout acts. The British synth-pop trio’s second ever NYC performance, tonight at (Le) Poisson Rouge, is already sold out. 8pm, 158 Bleecker St, New York, NY.

Twin Shadow kicks off two nights in New York at Music Hall Of Williamsburg tonight. He’s supporting his new wave-inspired new album Eclipse, out now on Warner. 8pm, 66 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY.

Spanish quartet Hinds made major waves last week at SXSW. If you’re in New York, you still have a chance to check out why tonight at Mercury Lounge or tomorrow at Baby’s All Right. 9:30pm, 217 E Houston St, New York, NY.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1

Check out a special tribute to the music of David Lynch at the Theatre at Ace tonight. Featuring composer Angelo Badalamenti, the evening also includes appearances by Donovan, Duran Duran, Karen O, Twin Peaks, Sky Ferreira, and more. 8pm, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA.

British chanteuse Jessie Ware is still going strong after releasing her second album Tough Love last year. She heads to NYC’s Terminal 5 tonight. 8pm, 610 W. 56th Street, New York, NY.

Premiere: Strange Names Dance It Out On ‘Ricochet’

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Photo by Dan McMahon via Facebook

Break your winter hibernation streak with Strange Names‘ new video for “Ricochet” and get ready to go out and dance again. Formed in the thriving Minneapolis music scene, the synth-rock trio recently moved to New York after signing to Frenchkiss Records, and now they’re staking their claim on the city. The clip is a simple yet striking examination of movement, filmed at Brooklyn loft space Cheap Storage and directed by Justin Sirzzotti and Daniel Hollis.

“Ricochet” is taken from Strange Names’ debut LP Use Your Time Wisely, and it’s just one of many tracks that sound like future hits. The album’s loaded with lilting synths that will appeal to fans of CHVRCHES and Passion Pit, plus undeniably funky grooves that’ll bring in the Chromeo-loving crowd. It’s out May 19, and it’s sure to be your soundtrack from spring to summer. Watch “Ricochet” below and follow Strange Names on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about their numerous NYC shows next month.

From Stromae and Real Estate to Iceage and QT: A SXSW Set Photo Diary

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The past week at SXSW has been a wild ride, packed with tacos, jean shorts, and fresh music from around the world. We searched Austin far and wide to find a little something for everyone. Polished pop came courtesy of Marina and the Diamonds, Christine and the Queens, and Stromae; a compellingly unhinged set from rapper Heems showed the spontaneous side of SXSW.

Sunny, crunchy vibes from acts like Cobalt Cranes, and Palma Violets, complimented the Texas weather, and the relentless energy of Kero Kero Bonito, Diarrhea Planet, Spring King, and Iceage erased any concerns about festival fatigue. Emotionally piercing artists Mitski and Years & Years were devastating standouts in the midst of the weeklong battle of the bands, and it would be amiss to not mention the party-starting talents of Skylar Spence and Shamir, whose forthcoming material is now even more anticipated. Below, check out a series of photos from the week and listen to an accompanying Spotify playlist.

1courtneybarnettCourtney Barnett, Red 7, March 16.

2cymbalseatCymbals Eat Guitars, Red 7, March 16

3eastindiaEast India Youth, Red 7, March 16.

4realestateReal Estate, Red 7, March 16.

5colbaltCobalt Cranes, Hotel Vegas, March 17.

6goochThe Gooch Palms, Hotel Vegas, March 17.

7eta et aliae, Parish Underground, March 18.

8ker Kero Kero Bonito, Parish Underground, March 18.

9stom  Stromae, The FADER Fort, March 18.

11yumi Yumi Zouma, Parish Underground, March 18.

12queens Jamaican Queens, Spider House Ballroom, March 19.

13qt QT, The FADER Fort, March 19.

14shamir Shamir, The FADER Fort, March 19.

 16mit Mitski, The Main, March 20.

17chris Christine and the Queens, Empire Garage, March 21.

18dm Diarrhea Planet, Empire Garage, March 21.

20iceage Iceage, Red 7, March 21.

21marina

22marina Marina and the Diamonds, Empire Garage, March 21.

23yearsYears & Years, Empire Control Room, March 21.

 

 

M.I.A. Raving Under the Neon Glow of an NSA Drone

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The M.I.A. club banger “Double Bubble Trouble” just got the self-directed, DIY, deep focus digital video treatment. Check out her neon retrofitted NSA drones, plastic 3D-printed AKs, and a cast of international ne’er do well teens getting high with their day-glo fire arms. The video was initially geoblocked, forbidden to international fans of the artist who’s always repped for the “World Town.” As quick to respond as ever, M.I.A. responded with a hearty “smh.”

BlackBook Premiere: The Icypoles’ ‘My World Was Made For You’

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Are we due for a new indie pop revolution? The Icypoles seem to think so. Led by Isobel Knowles, formerly of Architecture In Helsinki, the Melbourne quartet serves up retro-flavored tunes in the vein of the Brunettes, Soko, and the Boy Least Likely To. The band’s named after the Australian term for popsicles, and their debut album My World Was Made For You is just as much of a sweet treat.

The record takes its title from a line out of “Round N Round,” an eerie update on vintage odes to codependence. The Icypoles cite their influences as the Shangri-Las and Twin Peaks–the album features a charming cover of “Just You” from the latter’s iconic soundtrack–though they lean more towards the 60s than the 90s. “Popular Boy” is a classic melodrama, while “Stayin’ Home” is less innocent than it initially lets on. When the quartet’s not injecting a sinister vibe into retro relationship roles, they’re giving some good advice.

“Gotta Stop It” kicks off with the perennially valuable line “Stop wasting time in love with boys with girlfriends.” Ahead of its release next week, you can stream My World Was Made For You below and check out some exclusive pictures of the Icypoles. While you’re listening, maybe you should text that special someone you want to get cute and creepy with.

The Icypoles’ My World Was Made For You is out May 6 on Highline Records. Follow them on Facebook for more.

icypoles03icypool

London Grammar Won’t Keep You Waiting

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London Grammar quickly became of 2013’s top success stories with their debut album If You Wait, a collection of melancholic pop songs that are as likely to uplift as get under your skin. Singer Hannah Reid plays the siren with a striking elegance, while guitarist Dan Rothman and multi-instrumentalist Dot Major experiment with space to create a sound that’s intimate and richly minimalist. Earlier this week, the trio released the video for new single “Sights,” a piano-led track that’s less quiet than it initially lets on.

London Grammar just wrapped up an extensive North American tour, but they’ll be back in LA next month for a show at the Wiltern, and they’ll also be appearing at Lollapalooza. While they were on American shores, I met them back at SXSW in Austin, TX to talk touring America and becoming one of Britain’s top exports.

You must feel quite familiar with the US at this point.

Dan Rothman: Getting there. I think it’s been interesting being in Texas, we’ve never been here before. It’s kind of different from the rest of the States, in a good way. It’s been very nice, especially the people.

What’s the biggest culture shock you’ve experienced so far?

DR: To be honest, I get weirded out by everything in America. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I do find it very different, culturally.

You don’t have “Please don’t bring your guns inside” signs.

DR: Yeah, stuff like that. The cowboy hats are interesting as well. But it’s nice, I like it all.

The real festival season is coming up. How does your music go over in the summer? It’s hard to imagine listening to it in the daytime outside.

DR: We rework some of it. We were recently in Australia, and we were doing daytime festivals, and it actually went down very well. Then again, it helps if [the crowd] knows the songs and the music, it can work.

I wanted to talk about the video for your “Nightcall” cover that you put out recently, that was so good. I might be a little bit biased, because my specialty is French music. It isn’t usually as widespread as, say, Swedish music, but there’s so much amazing stuff aesthetically.

Dot Major: There is a lot from Sweden. I would say French music is relatively influential, that Kavinsky record is really massively influential. Or like that Breakbot track that’s basically been completely stolen by Bruno Mars, that’s well-documented. It’s obviously having an influence in pop culture, anyways.

DR: The whole dance side, Daft Punk, of course, all those guys. We’ve spent a lot of time in France, we’re signed to a label there called Because. Most of the bands that we’ve met, they tend to speak in English.

Yeah, everyone wants to be Phoenix and M83. Similarly, it’s been much easier for British bands to come over in the US in the past few years.

Hannah Reid: Yeah, there’s been a lot of British music that’s become quite influential. Which is nice, it’s a good scene.

Being part of that, do you feel any particular pressure to represent your home country?

HR: I don’t think we feel any pressure, it doesn’t feel like we have crossed over here quite yet. We’ve still got so much hard work to do. I’d have to answer that question again at the end of this tour, but it’s nice that we’ve been well-received so far.

DM: It’s weird, I think the difference in the past few years is obviously British music growing here in the US. But there was Ed Sheeran and Mumford & Sons and Adele, who just became so big over here. Mumford & Sons, they just went off here. It’s crazy, that was a different way of breaking a new market, they just became one of the biggest bands in the country.

Maybe it started with Adele. Who are some other British bands that you’re really excited about right now?

DM: Chvrches, obviously.

DR: Chvrches are great. There are some new ones here, like Jungle. Bipolar Sunshine, who we were recently on tour with, they’re great. Until The Ribbon Breaks.

What’s your favorite place in the US that you’ve been to so far?

HR: I think here would be, here and Seattle. I love Seattle.

DM: Chicago’s cool.

HR: Chicago’s amazing, but the thing is, you never really get to spend long enough where you are to get a proper feel. Loads of my friends are like, “New York is the best city in the world, what are you talking about?” I judge where I like on what the shows are like, and places like New York and LA, as much as they’re amazing, the shows are a bit more intimidating to me. It feels like down South, people are a little more accepting and up for a really good time. Whereas in New York, I feel like I really have to impress people.

I lived in the South for a while, and when you’re here, you’re just grateful that people are touring where you live.

HR: People here are so friendly, I’ve been really struck by that.

Is that where you’d say you get the best reaction?

HR: All of our audiences are always amazing, we’ve had some great reactions in New York. We’ve had some shows that have been so fun.

DR: San Francisco, too.

How do you know when a show’s going really well?

HR: You never do, you have to come offstage and get told. Usually, I think they’ve all been really bad.

DR: I was talking yesterday with this guy, Banks’ producer, how sometimes you come offstage and you think, “Oh, that was rubbish” but it was actually a really good show. Sometimes you come off thinking it was a good show, but maybe it wasn’t translating as well as you thought.

DM: Our managers used to manage the Verve, and they told us how they once did the O2 Arena, which is a massive arena for 20,000 people in the UK, and they went backstage to the band’s room and were like, “That was amazing! It’s amazing!” and the band were just sitting there like, “That was terrible.” Sometimes when you’re just onstage, you can’t get that experience.

Everyone’s their own worst critic, right?

DR: Absolutely. It’s very hard to predict.

 

Concerts + Events to See This Week: The National, Moogfest + More

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From Moogfest in Asheville and The National in Austin to Timber Timbre  and  Matthew Dear in Brooklyn, here’s a look at the best concerts happening around the country this week.

MONDAY, APRIL 21.

  • The National and Warpaint kick off a three night stand at the Moody Theater for Austin City Limits. 310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd, Austin, TX.
  • Man Forever and So Percussion takes the stage with Tigre tonight at Le Poisson Rouge.  158 Bleecket Street, New York, NY.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23.

  • Abramovic aficionados Fear Of Men celebrate the release of their delicately devastating album Loom at Baby’s All Right. Catch the British indie rockers before they head out on tour with the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, though they’ll be back next month. 7:30 p.m., 146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Moogfest kicks off its annual celebration of electronic music in Asheville, N.C. The festival runs through April 27 and features artists like Giorgio Moroder, M.I.A., Darkstar, Audion, Factory Floor, and Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks.
  • Hellogoodbye hit Bowery Ballroom with Vacationer and Heavenly Beat. 7:30 p.m., 6 Delancey Street, New York, NY.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 25.

  • EMA goes into the void at Mercury Lounge. 10:30 p.m., 217 E. Houston Street, New York, NY.
  • Canadian gloom-folk act Timber Timbre unsettles at Music Hall Of Williamsburg. 8 p.m., 66 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY. 

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SATURDAY, APRIL 26.

  • Electro heavyweights Audion (aka Matthew Dear) and Tiga heat things up at Verboten. 54 N. 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Brooklyn’s Fort Lean have been pretty quiet since the release of 2012’s Change Your Name EP, but they’re headlining a hometown show at Radio Bushwick to give us an update on their melancholic melodies.
  • Fellow local loves post-punk quartet Honduras are opening up. It’s hard to remember the last time getting up to no good sounded so great. 8 p.m., 22 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

 

Premiere: VEDAS – Exhume EP

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Less than a year after their inception, VEDAS have arrived at the release of their debut EP, Exhume. Formed last summer in Washington, D.C., the duo of Alex Lee and Andrew Monborne makes music that’s atmospheric, Air-y, and gently uplifting. The classically-trained Lee uses his falsetto voice as an instrument of its own, complemented by swelling synths and compellingly textured percussion. I don’t know if VEDAS have ever performed in a church, but it’s something they should probably do at some point. The two create a space that’s both intimate and expansive, elegant either way.

The Exhume EP will be self-released tomorrow. Follow VEDAS on Facebook and Bandcamp for more.

Hi-Five: New Lana Del Rey Single, Waterstrider Covers Little Dragon, + More

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Lana Del Rey – West Coast

After performing the song yesterday at Coachella—which apparently went much better than her live performance on SNL—LDR released “West Coast” for everyone to hear.  This track is unlike the slow-mo disco heard in the recently leaked, “Meet Me in the Pale Moonlight,” and more characteristically atmospheric and fluid.  

Ki:Theory – Open Wound (ODESZA Remix)

Seattle duo ODESZA adds in intricately layered melodies and textures to give this track fresh electronic life in a hard-hitting way. 

Waterstrider – Twice (Little Dragon Cover)

This song’s sensuality is enhanced in this subtle and sexy cover, adding instrumentation that is reminiscent of The XX. 

Keys N Krates – I Just Can’t Deny

If you haven’t already gotten to know Toronto-Based “Keys N Krates,” now’s the time to do so. Comprised of Adam Tune, David Matisse and Jr. Flo, the trio up-and-coming trio turns it out in this electro-trap banger.

IYES – Til Infinity

British duo IYES contribute their own interpretation of today’s pop music with dominating tribal drums and stylish synths, avoiding monotony with a concoction of varying genres.