HEALTH Interview; Play Waterfront TODAY

Los Angeles based noise rockers, HEALTH, love New York crowds, so let’s show them what we’re made of at the Waterfront today. With their battle cry drums and synth charged vocals, this darker and more polished version of Brooklyn’s comparitive Aa just simply rocks. And in good faith, I’m going to suggest that the probable thunder and rain we might experience today will play as the perfect backdrop to their rumbling sound.
And although these guys love to rock, the slew of danceable remixes out there transform their technologically advanced thrash into a male enhancement answer to the likes of Chromatics and Glass Candy. In this sense, the band acts a bit like an interesting contradiction to itself– metal inspired riffs you can dance to? Sounds like the things I actually like about LA, not to mention the band’s Deep V merch shirts. Yummy.
Our very own Lisa Baldini caught up with frontman John Famiglietti about larger venues, playing songs from their September 8th release Get Color, and how Brooklyn crowds are the best. Check out the interview, along with a zoothorn heavy video of HEALTH, after the jump.
And remember, gates open on the Waterfront at 2pm. So get there early to catch the guys with Grupo Fantasma, The Black Lips, and Trail of Dead. I expect lots of dudes there.

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FREEwilliamsburg Showcase Q&A with Javelin

(left to right) Tom van Buskirk, George Langford
Today is our final band Q&A ahead of the Northside festival. We’re having a chat with Javelin, a pair of guys from Providence, RI. The duo make music steeped in the day-glo aesthetic of their hometown, but smooth the edges with summery samples and R&B groove basslines. On jams with self-explanatory titles like “Andean Ocean Tape,” you can practically see dolphins performing synchronized leaps. Javelin is going to be playing tonight at Death By Audio at the FREEwilliamsburg Showcase.
Q&A after the jump:

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FREEwilliamsburg Showcase Q&A with Organs

(left to right) Dan Baranello, Brian Chillemi, Ryan Heil
Next up in our slew of Northside showcase interviews is rockabilly garage trio Organs. Recently signed to self-distributing indie folks Puta! Records (releasing a single and cassette EP by the end of summer), these boys play the kind of songs that let your drunk head sway, or remind you why you were drinking that whiskey in the first place. Their regular appearances at neighborhood favorites Bar Matchless and Don Pedro’s always buzz eery with prohibition era vibes and memories of joyfully simple Rock ‘n Roll taboos.
An emotional drone of harmonica on tracks such as “Don’t Wanna See Me No More” or singer Brian Chillemi’s longing wails on “Need Your Love” present us with why people make music in the first place– to dance and feel and fight and, well, get you to want to take your pants off. If you’re a fan of any combination of those things, read the rest of the interview with Brian after the jump for a little insight on 20th century girls, the importance of good shoes, and Union Square drug dealers.
Get the Organs record here for FREE—->
Your myspace page says you guys sound like “If Hank Williams listened to the Stooges while fucking Little Richard”. How did you land on this style/sound? Or is it just a musical wetdream of yours to get all those dudes in one room?
The Stooges are the sickest rock n roll punk band ever, Hank Williams is the god father of country music and Little Richard is one of most primal performers in the history of rock n roll. We’re striving to integrate those three the best we can… and fucking isn’t a bad way to get people integrated.

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FreeWilliamsburg Showcase Q&A with Real Estate

Before you guys come to our showcase on friday, we thought it would be only fitting that you get to know the bands we love a little more personally. First up are our boys in Real Estate.
It’s difficult to believe that before September this band didn’t exist. They have since been signed to one of the best labels right now Woodsist, been all over Pitchfork and recently finished up a tour stint with Love is All.
FW: What’s your daily routine as a band?
Martin Courtney:
We don’t really have a daily routine as a band; we don’t like live together or anything. If we lived together, it would be in the suburbs, and we would do things like jam and eat mac and cheese.
Etienne Duguay:
chill then grip;
chill, jam, party, grip

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The Walkmen: The Interview


Last summer, The Walkmen delivered You & Me perfectly packaged to the masses, and quickly became one of my favorite albums of 2008. WIth a more solemn tone than their previous work, the lyrics managed to simultaneously break our hearts and fill them once again with hope, literally track by track. The often mentioned Roy Orbison-ness of singer Hamilton Leithauser’s voice takes front and center in these seemingly lonely tales of longing, accompanied on tour by, well, Craigslist horns.

We got a chance to catch up with Mr. Leithauser recently about Anderson Cooper, a CL musician who witnessed Otis Redding’s fatal death, and twitter.

Be sure to catch The Walkmen with Beach House and fellow FREEburg favorite Cymbals Eat Guitars TOMORROW night @ Webster Hall– this is your last chance to see them out in NY for a while as they kick off their tour with Kings of Leon two days later.

Check out the interview after the jump:

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Alaska In Winter Inter(re)view


Photos by Clarissa Roudabush

Now that it’s Friday, I feel like I can talk about my wanna-be weekend Wednesday at Glasslands. We’ve all been there before– when its past your bedtime, but all you really wanna do is dance. Although warmed up by the musical stylings of Neon Coyote and DJ Mike Dextro (and a few vodka sodas), all I wanted in my life was some Alaska in Winter. Before I could catch my fix, a pleasant surprise named Charlie! took the stage. In the fashion of more recognizable man duos such as Chromeo, these boys summoned their inner if-Kanye-was-a-Power-Ranger-that-had-to-sit-still. Listen, if you add a 2-step to NIN’s ‘Closer’, no matter how much I think I’m going to hate it, you’ve pretty much got me sold. It just really makes me miss the days when I lived with three dorky sound engineering boys.

Finally the one man band Alaska In Winter (aka Brandon Bethancourt) appeared, and the presence of the ladies in the male dominated room became apparent. But past the fact that Alaska’s frontman looks good in fur, his artful performances are exactly that– performance art. Details such as the removal of a tie in his video orchestra to Brandon’s real time clothing removal on stage showcase some crossdisciplinary skills. Put him in a glass box and this boy could make it at P.S. 1 any day.

We caught up with Bethancourt about tex mex, deep space, and crashing at Zach Condon’s place before the show. Check out the interview, as well as some AIW wardrobe changes, after the jump…

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Interview: Amadou & Mariam

At times, Amadou & Mariam seem a bit uncomfortable with questions about Mali. I suspect it is because they do not want to end up pidgeon-holed by an American audience used to associating African music with “world music,” a label that can scare potential listeners away from an act they fear they will never have the language or cultural background to enjoy. But Amadou & Mariam do make world music, and always have. From their early recordings that passed the sounds of traditional Malian music through a lens of Western jazz and blues, to their latest album, Welcome to Mali, which sounds profoundly influenced by decades of global touring, Amadou & Mariam’s world music sheds regional codes and dialects leaving pretty much pure pop in the most enjoyable (if Francophone) sense. We had the enviable opportunity to have a translator-assisted chat with the duo recently.

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The Pains of Being Peggy Wang


Peggy Wang on vox and keys

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are everywhere right now and honestly — although I’ve heard the name kicked around for awhile now — I didn’t listen to them until recently. They have a fuzzy, pop sensibility that recalls My Bloody Valentine, but puts me in a much nicer mood. I see visions of high school dances, sneaking Peach Schnapps under the bleachers. (OK that’s a scene from The Virgin Suicides). The music is pretty in a twee, Sofia Coppola-kinda way.

On vox and keys Peggy Wang adds an essential layer to this confectionery delight, and like so many New York dwellers doesn’t stop at just making music, she’s also an editor at BuzzFeed. Miss Wang was nice enough to answer our burning questions on skinny boys, making an album, the Internet and European dreams.

So first of all congrats on all your recent successes — especially your Pitchfork review. How does all this buzz feel?

It’s awesome! It is kind of crazy that one simple thing can open so many doors. No one had ever heard of us before the review, and now I have old high school and college friends contacting me and saying stuff like “Congrats!” and “I’m so proud of you!” It’s funny because I don’t think anyone has said “Congratulations” to me since the time I won the regional spelling bee in 5th grade. We self-released an EP and it was never reviewed on Pitchfork, and I think when we recorded the album, it didn’t even occur to us that it would even get reviewed. So yeah, it really surpassed any kind of expectations.

How important do you think the Internet is for bands these days? And why do you think you guys have had so much success on the ‘net?

The Internet has been incredibly instrumental for us. It used to be that you needed to be on a record label with distribution if you wanted to get your music out there. We were able to put out our first EP ourselves, and maybe it wasn’t available at Virgin Megastore or whatever, but we did put all our music up for download and people were able to hear us and get a bit of a buzz going. I think people lament over the old days, when you would make your friends mix tapes and tape your favorite college radio shows to find out about new music. But the way things are right now with the Internet, it’s just so much easier for indie bands.

Can you tell me a little bit about the formation of the band – when did you guys meet…that sorta thing?

Alex and Kip used to work together at Insound. Kip and I met through my friend Shirley. The three of us formed the band to play at my birthday party in March 2007. We all loved this band from Leeds called the Manhattan Love Suicides and also Titus Andronicus, both of whom played the party too. The party was in a giant warehouse on Wythe St. in Williamsburg and was by far the most epic birthday party I’ve ever had. It was so fun that we just wanted to keep doing it, and with the help of Cakeshop, we were able to book another show. We went for about 8 months playing with an ipod instead of a real drummer, until we met Kurt who came to a few of our shows and really liked the EP that we put out. Besides being a totally amazing drummer, Kurt also has amazing taste in music. I feel like we all have pretty good taste in music, so it makes for a good band situation, especially during long car rides while on tour.

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