We made it to Spring! It is also time to reflect on the death of someone that brought happiness to millions of people, RIP Phife Dawg. Rather than waste time with any nonsensical myths this weekend, get out there and enjoy yourself with some great shows, I have some fine recommendations for you.
5) Yung, B Boys, The Yin Yangs, Telegram at Shea Stadium
I saw Danish band Yung a couple of times during the last CMJ and enjoyed their hard-shoegaze sets, although perhaps some of the subtlety in their recorded music was lost. There are more airmiles involved in this show with London’s Telegram also sharing the stage, although that doesn’t say much about their sound as frontman Matt Saunders is Welsh and has enough of his accent coming through to keep things different and there is just something immediately satisfying about their songs that I can’t shake off. The rest of the lineup is strictly local, and this is B Boys’ record release show for No Worry No Mind, which is being released by Captured Tracks, while fellow Brooklynites The Yin Yangs complete the bill.
4) Summer Twins, Cut Worms, Goldy at Babycastles
Now the clocks have changed it’s about time we start looking forward to warmer times, and you can certainly get a jolt of sunshine with Summer Twins this weekend. Sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown are from California and signed to Burger Records, if that wasn’t descriptive enough then let me reassure you that the music is delightful and effortlessly upbeat. Cut Worms just released a stack of demos and that ooze of 60s-tinged folk, while fellow Californians Goldy swing more to the glam side of rock and roll. Summer Twins also play at The Gateway on Saturday with High Waisted and Thick, the Babycastles show is on Sunday at 7pm.
3) Field Music, The Effects, Imaginary People at Rough Trade
Sunderland in the North East of England is, for want of a better word, dour, but just as a rose can grow through a crack in the pavement, Field Music have released their first album in 4 years (Commontime), which might just be their best. There is no stopping the XTC influence in their sound which is absolutely fine by me as arty-indie-pop seems to be in short supply these days. Check out the video for Disappointed below, which just came out 2 days ago. DC trio The Effects will rock things up a bit but also have enough twists in their sound to be well placed on the bill, and you could argue that Imaginary People really are the closest thing that New York has to Field Music themselves. Saturday 8pm
2)Slothrust, Yung, Diet Cig at Baby’s All Right
I saw Slothrust supporting Nada Surf towards the end of last year and was suitably impressed with their mix of slack-grunge, their 2013 album, Of Course You Can, hits all the right 90s buttons. Having headlined Shea Stadium the night before, Yung hang around in Brooklyn another night for this show, and Diet Cig will add some necessary lightness and jangle (with more than a healthy dose of fuzz when they want). Saturday 8pm
1) Gaz Coombes at Rockwood Music Hall
Supergrass were one of those bands that everyone loved and yet still felt underrated. For me, they might just be one of the best “singles” bands of all time; hit after hit of classic pop over a near 20-year career until they broke up in 2010. Now a solo artist, Coombes released his second album, Matador, in 2015, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize. The album is a low-key triumph, with acoustic guitars and keyboards the order of the day. Rockwood should prove an intimate setting for the show, I can’t help but feeling he could be playing a larger venue like Bowery Ballroom, but you have two chances with shows on Thursday and Friday.