Five from Five is our recurring feature wherein TVD’s Mike Newman—he of Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records—shares with you all of the New York-centric things that he’s digging these days, from upcoming shows, to killer albums, to much more.
1. TONIGHT! Get thee to Rough Trade NYC for the magnificent Jacco Gardner! This Dutch pop-psych maestro and his band are amazing live…and will certainly will be playing great tunes from the brand-new Hypnophobia album.
I was just telling you about the Follakzoid show I went to a couple of weeks ago in this 5 from 5 post, and now I’ve got a copy of their latest album, III, to give away to one of you lucky TVDers…thanks to Sacred Bones Records!
“Föllakzoid began seven years ago as a trance experience between childhood friends. Their style comes deeply rooted in something much more substantial, meaningful and culturally significant, with grooves that are heavily informed by the heritage of the ancient music of South America’s Andes Mountains.
After breaking into our realm with II the group toured more than ever, playing across the world and taking in festivals such as Primavera, ATP, Lollapalooza, and SXSW. This time spent playing and experimenting solidified a deep-set musical bond that would ultimately act as the foundations for III.
Yo, hello. I’m starting this new Five From Five feature so I can share with you all of the New York-centric things that I’m digging these days, from upcoming shows to killer albums and much much more.
OK, not really “much much more,” because how much more do you need in life between live shows and pre-recorded jams? Not much, I would argue. And the great thing about it is we can tune out all that other bullshit people are talking about and listening to…and just concentrate on MY TASTE! (Disclaimer: other people listen to and talk about wonderful things.)
Anyway, I’ll knock it off and share with you the first Five from Five.
1. Dig this killer mind-fuck jammer, “Dutch Master,” from Brooklyn’s own Friend Roulette. Their new album I See You. Your Eyes Are Red comes out on June 2. Grab of it!
2. Annique Monet is brilliant. She’s from Florida, lives in Brooklyn, and made every sound on this album. Phantom Letters just came out last week on cassette/digi on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records. Sit back and enjoy the “Relapse” song/vid and stream the rest of the album here.
PHOTOS: MATTHEW TAPLINGER | I’m a dad now. I don’t have time to go to all kinds of music festivals every year. And actually I never was that big a festival-goer anyway, even before my daughter came along two years ago. But I’ve been to “the Bonnaroo” back when it wasn’t quite so corporate, and I went to All Tomorrow’s Parties the two years that they were held in upstate New York at the magical Kutshers Country Club in Monticello. Man, those two fests are about as good as it gets.
Well, I don’t fuck around much with many other festivals now…besides Austin Psych Fest. Or “LEVITATION,” to which it was simplified this year. I’ve “Levitated” there for the past four years in a row. What I think attracts me so much to this fest is how it strikes quite a perfect vibe balance between circa 2007 Bonnaroo and 2009-2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties at Kutshers.
My first Austin Psych Fest was in 2012, the last year that it was held indoors, this time at Emo’s East and the adjoining Beauty Ballroom. It was certainly memorable enough that I’ve returned every year since, and ever since Austin Psych Fest or LEVITATION has been held at the Carson Creek Ranch, a sprawling, idyllic landscape on the Colorado River.
PHOTOS: JAMIE LANGLEY | Diiv does the same thing for me that the Neu! jam “Hallogallo” does; it just never gets old and propels me with momentum through busy city streets like living inside Sega.
I heard Diiv for the first time from a backyard behind the stage at a Mexican restaurant turned venue for the week at SXSW 2013. Some friends had just played, and we were taking refuge from the chaos back there. The moment I heard the 2 guitars passing their delicious hooks back and forth and looping around one another, I went back in to have a proper listen. I watched their set from behind and was really taken by them.
The music has a lightness and delicacy mirrored in the men themselves, quite petite and drowning in giant T-shirts, but they come across strong, purposeful with intention, and I just love all those guitar hooks and melodies which take up plenty of space that I never question the minimal vocals.
Alex, of course, already knew all about them and might have even known Cole from Beach Fossils, I forget, but regardless the vinyl was a staple of 2013 in our home. “Druun” and “Air Conditioning” off their debut full length Oshin still come up on my iPhone shuffle, and I never skip them.
PHOTOS: JAMIE LANGLEY | If you had asked me at any point over the past decade or so whether I know of Trans Am, I would have answered: YES. LOVE.
Thus when I saw they were playing Baby’s All Right last Thursday, I made a deliberate note on the calendar and insisted we go even though Alex and I were also playing a show that night. We threw our gear in the car, ditched it at our practice space, and hustled over to Baby’s to catch Zombi half way through their set.
I am embarrassed to admit, at first glance I assumed Zombi was Trans Am. There were not so many people on stage and the drummer was solid, which is what I mainly remember about Trans Am, and they had that electronic-rock vibe. But they took a more expansive drone toward the end, which clued me in, and also when Alex laughed at me. His relationship with Trans Am runs deeper than mine. Back in 2004, Alex and his roommate spent a two-week period watching Wimbledon on mute while listening to Trans Am. Good times.
In the year 2015, it sometimes seems difficult to locate real and true rock and roll that’s new and isn’t just a regurgitation of rock and roll from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. This difficulty can be accounted for by any number of elements—auto tuning, the decreasing influence of record companies in the world of musical artistry, and MTV.
A while back Portlandia put forth a brilliant take on what had happened to MTV by placing a pre-teen girl in its leadership position as explanation of its ideological demise. The difficulty in question is just that however, a difficulty—not an impossibility. This past Saturday night at Webster Hall in New York City serves as exhibits A through infinity to attest to this latter fact.
Blackberry Smoke, having released four studio albums since its start in 2000, is most often described as a “southern rock” band, which it is—but this categorization seeks to minimize the band when it should be maximized and subsequently lauded. Blackberry Smoke is a straight-up rock and roll group. The band’s sound is derived from lead singer and guitarist’s Charlie Starr’s spot-on command of each song performed, along with support from fellow guitarist Paul Jackson, bassist Richard Turner, keyboard player Brandon Still, and drummer Brit Turner.
Holding All the Roses is the group’s latest release, and a number of tracks were showcased at the Webster Hall gig, including “Let Me Help You (Find the Door),” “Rock and Roll Again,” and “Living in the Song.” A terrifyingly gorgeous rendition of the group’s emotionally melodic work-of-art-track, “The Whippoorwill” would have stolen the show—if surprise guest Robert Randolph hadn’t stepped out to contribute to “Ain’t Got the Blues.”
Yo friends, we’ve got some killer brand-new vinyl to giveaway to one lucky winner. Today’s platter is a psychedelic slow-burner from Tucson’s psych-drone shamans, The Myrrors. It comes out on March 24th and the band plays this year’s Austin Psych Fest presents Levitation festival in May. I’ll let Ryan Muldoon of Revolt of the Apes fill you in on the band and this record…
“There’s more than a hint of mystery surrounding The Myrrors, the impossible-to-define sonic-shaman hailing from the Tucson, Arizona. The mystery, however, feels far from manufactured—it would appear to exist naturally within the band’s collective DNA, a double-helix of third-eye vision that informs their every note. Certainly, there’s something mysterious about the band’s first album, Burning Circles in the Sky, given that it was recorded “sometime in 2008” (as stated by The Myrrors themselves), but only saw release late in 2013.
And there’s something mysterious about the constant hum of activity that has defined the band in the months since Burning Circles was released—a hum that includes adding two more releases to their fast-growing catalog, along with an invitation to appear at “Levitation,” the 2015 incarnation of Austin Psych Fest.
Austin Psych Fest has a new name for its annual flagship musical gathering in Austin this year: Levitation. And let me tell you, I’ve been to the last three phenomenal outings, and this one in May is looking like their biggest doozy yet, especially with the recent announcement of the 50-year reunion of pysch forefathers, the 13th Floor Elevators.
APF has always done a fantastic job at curating a mind-blowing mix of psychedelic newcomers, tried-and-trues, and classic psych acts, and this year is no different—maybe other than the fact that APF has decided to drop the “psych” tag and simply call the fest Levitation, perhaps a way to shake the shackles of feeling confined to present everyone’s definition of “psychedelic.”
Over the last few years, as psychedelic music has become more popular via the successes of such acts as Tame Impala, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, and The Black Angels, many music fans who have much more rigid ideas of what’s classified as “psychedelic” have been at odds with trying to pinpoint “true” psychedelic acts and write-off others who fall outside of their definition.
But APF has always remained aloof to those types and go out of their way to present the best and most diverse festival experience for the open-minded music fan. I think no matter where you stand, whether you’re more of a shoegazer, a pop-psycher, garage-rocker, or a far-out experimental music fan, you are gonna get what you need at APF’s Levitation. And you’ll certainly get turned on to something new.
Brooklyn based recording artist Xander Duell will be performing music from his highly anticipated second solo record, Wade Laiste, which will be released by the Swedish artist collective known as Ingrid (helmed by Lykke Li, Miike Snow, and other luminaries) internationally in March 2015. The record’s first single, “Earth on its Axis,” is available on iTunes. Xander’s wild previous effort, Experimental Tape No.2 Vol.1, was released by Mexican Summer in 2011.
The experimental nature of Duell’s music rears its head in style and content atop songwriting that touches the emotional core without hesitation or regret. There is joy and sadness here, electronics and guitars, grandeur alongside the neon-lit sleaze. Calibrate your expectations appropriately on this one, but be prepared to have them shattered by this outsider work, in the spirit of Scott Walker’s numbered albums and the prime cut of ’70s soft rock.
Carrie Ashley Hill hails from Texas and also calls Brooklyn home but wrote her first song from a much different place, literally stranded in Trinidad, Colorado. “Hill’s love-weary voice recalls breathy country legends like Emmylou Harris and the resolve of Stevie Nicks,” noted the Village Voice.