Unamplified sing-along from last night; I was photographing for Brooklyn Vegan. They’re super young sisters from Sweden, and like all Swedes, they love Bright Eyes. When they first got noticed by doing you tube covers of Fleet Foxes, they were 18 and 15 respectively.
Download “Dancing Behind My Eyelids” from Mum’s website (requires email address)
So far as it can inferred from the sound of “Dancing Behind My Eyelids”, which you can trade for your email address on the band’s website, and “They Made Frogs Smoke Til They Exploded”, which now has an animated video, the new Mum is sounding cheerful. This, considering the album they gave us last, Summer Make Good, was not quite a summer album (if one were to make a quick, misguided guess from the title). Instead, it stretched with mournful longings, drawing pictures of dark clouds, icy water and a harsh, winter landscape. And as if the album’s dreary weather wasn’t obvious, song titles such as “Small Deaths are the Saddest” and “Weeping Rock, Rock” served as reassurances. But for now, from the upcoming Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy that comes out on September 24, something far brighter.
Mum is playing two Wordless Music Series dates in New York, on Nov 9 and 10th.
Download Petra Haden’s cover of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey (from Guilt by Association)
Engine Room Recordings hosted a contest to mark the upcoming release of a compilation featuring “15 acclaimed underground artists covering their favorite guilty pleasure pop tunes”. They are now showing winning videos and other entries at YouTube, film student Andy Cahill emerging victorious with his stop-motion piece for Devendra Banhart’s rendition of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis. This and other two other songs revealed by way of the videos – Petra Haden’s cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” and Will Oldham‘s cover of Mariah Carey‘s “Can‘t Take That Away” – surely hint at Guilt by Association being an interesting take on guilty pleasure pop tunes. Launch parties will be hosted in various cities, including two in New York: August 21 at Pianos and September 7th, “the big launch” following September 4 release, at Joe’s Pub.
Many Beirut shows have closed with a cover of Kocani Orkestar’s “Siki Siki Baba”. Here frontman Zach Condon performs a truly “ramshackle” version with the Orkestar itself. I was reminded of my favorite version – from Kocani’s album Alone at My Wedding – during a second viewing of Borat.
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After playing Irving Plaza summer dates, Australia’s Architecture in Helsinki will be “returning” to New York for two fall dates: October 11 at The Gramercy Theatre and October 12 at Studio B (most members seem to have settled down as Brooklyn residents anyway). La Blogotheque recently teamed up with the band for another accidental occupation of apartments in Paris, this time even borrowing electricity from one kitchen. On a previous occasion it was members of Holland’s Alamo Race Track performing from small balconies of a Parisian building. They, too, will be playing New York: this Thursday, August 2nd, as part of the showcase series hosted by NME at the Annex.
Download “Northern Territory” (from Black Cat John Brown)
One-take hand show for “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”
Practice it for this event:
08.09 – Daft Punk, The Rapture, Sebastian, Kavinsky / Keyspan Park (tix)
It’s taken me some time to get to Mirrored, the much talked-about album from Battles on Warp Records. Thankfully, I’ve also been oblivious to much of the hype (hate the hype, not the band, I say). The foursome will be playing Studio B on July 20, but I might miss that for Bishop Allen over at Seaport Music Festival, where Battles will be playing an August 31 date. Animal Collective, Danielson and XXX Change from Spank Rock are kicking the fest, which happens to be one of my favorites this summer, off today.
“My Oldest Memory”
Bowerbirds was a treat to watch at Bowery Ballroom, when they opened for Ladybug Transistor and The Rosebuds last night. The sound that is captured in their recordings is even more elegant live, and the performance reaffirmed the fine quality of Phil Moore’s and Beth Tacular’s voices. It was a soothing set faithful to the recordings, rarely interrupted by any talking. “In Our Talons,” with its energetic chorus, was beautifully rendered. Friend Mark Paulson was also present, switching between bass drum and violin (Beth switched between bass drum and accordian). For the last song they played “Dark Horse,” and two members of the Rosebuds came out to sing the exiting refrain. Almost half the space had filled up through their early set, but it shouldn’t be long till Bowerbirds plays to a devoted audience.
Next to its performance space, Union Hall has one of the most beautiful bathrooms. Stylish sinks against one wall and unisex stalls against another. These have full-length, wooden doors for privacy, with a sign that changes between “Vacant” and “Occupied.” Here, Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes claimed, was a pervert on the loose. He began the show by asking if anyone had seen him. He explained: a woman had opened a door that said “Vacant,” and the man inside had responded, “Oh, come in.” When the singer asked if the pervert was in the audience, several hands went up.
Alex Delivery video and other curious incidents after the jump.
“Reform the Countryside”
(My audio setting was a little off, ignore the distortion)