Greetings. Let’s start off by reveling in Run the Jewel’s performance on Colbert this week (with TV On the Radio as their backing band, no less). Good, now we can move on with our weekend plans. Because “American” football season has just started, I tried to catch some actual football too and saw NYCF vs Toronto last night. Sure, the quality in the MLS isn’t great, but at least they kick the ball with their feet. I would draw an analogy with Indian food here vs in the UK; it’s bearable if you’re desperate, but it’s probably below the average standard I would get back home. That’s a minor gripe however, because we’re here to talk shows, where the reverse is true. So enjoy the Indian summer and catch some live music.
5) Cold Beat, Big Eyes, Decorum at Union Pool
Sometimes a band’s name sums up what they sound like and San Francisco’s Cold Beat go some way to having a handy moniker in that regard. The band’s songs have an icey snap to them, the guitars jangle with aplomb while keyboards and vocal harmonies round off the sound rather splendidly. The band are in New York all weekend, playing at Union Pool on Friday night with Big Eyes and Decorum, you can also catch them at Shea Stadium on Saturday (with Home Blitz, MPHO and OCDPP) and Silent Barn on Sunday (with Heaven’s Gate and Honey).
4) The Pink Tiles, Quitty & The Don’ts, Electric Mess at The Gutter
Australian popsters The Pink Tiles formed in 2012 and have been bashing out sunny garage rock since, the band are clocking up some serious miles in a short space of time as they go from the West to the east coast inside of a week before hitting Gonerfest. I think The Gutter is an often overlooked venue for shows so enjoy an evening with good bands and decent beer. Support comes from 60s garage rock revivalists Quitty & the Don’ts and rockers The Electric Mess. Friday 8pm
3) Mikal Cronin, Calvin Love, Cairo Gang at Brooklyn Bowl
Still in support of his excellent third album (helpfully titled III), Mikal Cronin’s passionate live shows have always left me impressed (eg Bowery Ballroom show in May). Support acts are a little more on the electronic psych-pop side of things than Cronin’s garage rock, but so long as the noise isn’t bleeding from the crashing of bowling pins, Calvin Love and Cairo Gang should set a nice, trippy vibe for the headliner to pick up the spare. Saturday 7pm
2) Ultimate Painting, Pale Lights, WALL at Rough Trade
One of the most improved live bands of the last year has been Ultimate Painting, who seemed unsure in their performance during 2014’s CMJ, and transformed into a confident and dynamic Velvets-meets-Television act 6 months later when I saw them with Twerps (reviewed here). This time the band, featuring James Hoare of the excellent Veronica Falls, are back as headliners. Also on the bill are fellow jangle-pop group Pale Lights, who also played with them last time around (confession – I was a little harsh on the group, who I have enjoyed previously and still do), openers WALL will rock things up a little. Friday 8pm
1) James Chance & The Contortions, Ex-Models, Dreamcrusher at Trans-Pecos
Saxophonist James Chance‘s place in New York music history is well assured, particularly as James Chance and The Contortions, one of New York’s first “No Wave” bands, and a standard bearer of the now ubiquitous term “post-punk”. The group’s debut album Buy, had a deluxe re-issue recently (nice review here) and as far as I’m aware these are pretty rare shows for them to be playing. James Chance is also one of the curators at Trans Pecos these days so so it should have somewhat of a home game feel to it. It would be fair to guess that Ex-Models learned a trick or seven from the headliners, while Dreamcrusher‘s dense electronica might test those nursing hangovers to the limit! Photo by Kate Simon. Sunday 1pm