UPDATE: Brooklyn Vegan is reporting that tonight’s show has been cancelled.
Tonight marks the last show at Northsix, before the space is closed for renovations and becomes the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The loss of an independent music venue is always a bummer, but I’m not taking this one too hard. For one thing, the space will remain a live music venue instead of becoming condos or a Starbucks. The folks taking it over, the Bowery Presents, seem to treat the bands they work with pretty well, and run the excellent Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom (as well as the abysmal Webster Hall, but as long as the don’t ship the goons who work there over here, we should be OK). Hopefully, the renovations will get rid of the huge pillars and spare the bleachers, and the new owners will make an effort to make sure shows start remotely close to on time. Finally, anything that results in fewer late night J train rides is fine with me.
Radio 4, the Big Sleep, and Free Blood play the final show. Tickets are $15, and it theoretically starts at 9pm. If you can’t make the show, please enjoy the above Radio 4 video, shot mostly in Williamsburg.
And speaking of bummer closings, I’m pouring a PBR on the curb for the excellent Rocks in Your Head Records on Roebling, which mysteriously disappeared over the weekend.
[hat tip HuffPost]
Ooh, I smell the next Arcade Fire. And I’m a lazy critic for saying that. But seriously, when this came on my iPod, I just assumed it was Win Butler and company before I looked at the screen. Cloud Cult does the orchestral wall of sound thing pretty well, and their lyrics are puzzling and infused with a slight air of tragedy. The record was born out a horrible trauma; in 2002, founder and front man Craig Minowa’s two-year-old son unexpectedly passed away. Many of the songs address the loss directly, from the harrowing ‚”Your 8th Birthday” to the questioning ‚”Purpose.” There are also a plethora of references to the meaning of the number in eight in different mythologies and religious traditions; it’s slightly pretentious, but at least it’s different. Try to ignore all the wanking about environmentally friendly touring and the like, and focus on the fact that the band, after 12 years of flying under the radar, are about to break out big time.
The CD won’t be in stores until April 10, but can be purchased online at http://www.cloudcult.com/.
Mp3s at: http://www.myspace.com/cloudcult and Stereogum.
UK threesome the Early Years recently ended a three-night stand in New York with a show at Union Pool, and judging from the size of the crowd, the hype was heavy. Unfortunately, the band couldn’t really deliver on any promises other than being a decent Spiritualized cover band; most of their songs were long, droning, fuzzy walls of sound, with occasional, unintelligible vocals. Their self-titled CD, which is out on Beggars Banquet, shows off a slightly poppier side of the band, and is far superior to the live show.
The band also lacked any charisma onstage, so I was forced to watch the crowd, which resulted in one notable observation: hipster girls are now wearing sanitation worker jumpsuits. Yes, hipsters are dressing like garbage men. While the wealthy art-student obsession with the working class is well documented (see hats, trucker), the trash hauler jumpsuit as fashion item just bumps it up another notch. What’s next, migrant farm worker chic?
Early Years mp3s at: http://www.theearlyyears.org.uk/index.php?s=downloads
Wired News: Other Music has been a strong presence in New York’s East Village for years, but the thing that always amazed me was that you guys set up shop right across the street from a massive Tower Records store. Talk about cojones. Were you guys happy when you found out Tower was shutting down? Did Other Music “win”?
Josh Madell: Funny, a friend of mine said that to me last night, how it gave him hope for the little guy with our triumph over Tower. Sadly, I think Tower’s passing is more accurately a sign of how tough record retailing has become. It was always a difficult business, but all stores are suffering these days, and while Tower had definitely fallen off in quality over the past several years, they were once a really good store, a good chain overall, and I don’t take any hope from their going bankrupt. There will be a lot more closings to follow, I’m certain.
WN: Why is Other Music launching a digital music store next month?
Madell: We are trying to stay current, and to continue our “mission” of spreading great music. I personally prefer vinyl to CDs and CDs to MP3s, but in the end I’m just glad people are listening to music, and the convenience factor of MP3s is undeniable. Our weekly e-mail update, where we review the week’s interesting new releases, has been one of the most popular aspects of the store. Our new site will be an extension of that, with recommendations and reviews of great music and a simple click-to-buy option.
MP3: Charlie Louvin [ft. Jeff Tweedy]: “The Great Atomic Power” [From Pitchfork]
We’ve got another track featuring Will Oldham here.
We felt like posting this, well, just because it makes us happy. enjoy
Apologies for going NME-style, but I simply can’t think of any other way to say it: the Fugue is totally the next Jesus Lizard (although front man Joe Somar wisely refrains from the sweaty naked David Yow hugs). Like the increasingly-imitated nineties-era Touch and Go band, the Fugue are heavy on the distortion and theatrics; a show a few years back even found them setting off indoor fireworks. You’re lucky if you can understand a single word of the screeched lyrics, and the bass is so heavy it might cause intestinal bleeding. Despite, or perhaps because of, all this, the Fugue is a mind-blowing live act, whose distressing, cacophonous noise will make you question your definition of ‚”music.” The recently released a split 7″ with the equally eardrum-shattering AIDS Wolf, and are playing a few local shows before heading out on a West Coast tour later this spring.
See them live:
Friday, January 26, Uncle Paulie’s, 8pm, $8, with An Albatross, These Are Powers, and Best Fwends. Directions at http://www.toddpnyc.com
Monday, January 30, Northsix Basement, 9pm, $8, with People, Capillary Action, and Hi Red Center.
Mp3s are at http://www.myspace.com/diefugueusa.