Tag Archives: Joy Division

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Factory Floor Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Tomorrow Night

April 22nd, 2014

Not too long after forming the post-industrial electronic-rock group Factory Floor in London nearly a decade ago, Dominic Butler (keys, bass and vocals), Gabriel Gurnsey (drums and vocals) and Mark Harris (guitar and percussion)—although Harris was later replaced by Nic Colk (vocals, guitar and samples)—began getting compared to the likes of Joy Division and New Order, thanks to a slew of singles, a pair of EPs and numerous energetic live performances. But since signing with DFA Records in 2011, Factory Floor (above, their video for “How You Say”) have streamlined their music, making it more danceable and winning praise along the way. The trio’s self-titled debut full-length (stream it below) arrived last fall to some considerable acclaim. NME says they “have evolved from steel-splintered noise into demented and minimalist techno. Undoubtedly there’ll be a handful of haters who’ll say something’s been lost from their early years, but they’re wrong.” The magazine adds: “No flash, no fripperies, no fucking about: just three like-minded souls making a nasty racket. Good place to start? It’s hard to think of many better.” Of course, with Factory Floor heading our way, one better place just might be Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night.

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INVSN Play the Early Show Tomorrow at Mercury Lounge

March 26th, 2014

Dennis Lyxzen might best be known for fronting the Swedish hardcore bands Refused and the (International) Noise Conspiracy, but about 15 years ago he began a folkish (yet still punkish) project called INVSN (pronounced Invasion), channeling the sounds of Echo & the Bunnymen and Joy Division. Well, initially the name was the Lost Patrol Band, but a name change eventually ensued, and what had begun as a one-man band blossomed into a five-piece with a much fuller sound. Last year they released INVSN (stream it below), about which PopMatters, in noting the album’s “passion and beautiful noise,” says, “The big beats and reverb-drenched guitar leads aren’t gimmicks—they’re actually great vehicles for the smart melodies and surprisingly sweet vocals.” See INVSN (above, performing “The Promise”) play the early show at Mercury Lounge tomorrow night.

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Peter Hook and the Light Channel New Order Tomorrow at Webster Hall

September 12th, 2013

Former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook formed Peter Hook and the Light three years ago—along with his son Jack Bates (bass), Paul Kehoe (drums) and Andy Poole (keys), and eventually David Potts (guitar)—originally under the auspices of performing both Joy Division albums, Unknown Pleasures and Closer, live in their entirety. But things clicked, and in 2011, the group put out an EP, 1102/2011 (stream it below), shortly thereafter followed by Unknown Pleasures Live in Australia (stream it below). And now Peter Hook and the Light (above, performing “Ceremony” and “Digital”) are back out on the road, this time playing New Order’s first two albums, Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. And you can see them take the stage tomorrow night at Webster Hall.

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The Soft Moon Play the Late Show Tomorrow at Mercury Lounge

January 7th, 2013

Making experimental-guitar pop punk, the Soft Moon began as Luis Vasquez’s side project more than three years ago. It started with a couple of singles and then a self-titled LP and an EP, earning heady comparisons to the likes of Joy Division. Pitchfork said the music draws “from the coldest, most metallic zeniths of post-punk and industrial rock.” The material is the product of Vasquez—“I’m Cuban, so I grew up with a lot of Afro-Cuban funk”—and his surroundings—“There are no straight lines in San Francisco.” But while
it’s a one-man band when it comes to recorded material, live, the Soft Moon (above, doing “We Are We”) are a four-piece, with bassist Justin Anastasi, drummer Keven Tecon and synth player Damon Way joining frontman Vasquez, plus Ron Robinson working the visuals. See for yourself live and in person just how well the band balances what you see and what you hear when on the strength of their newest, Zeros (stream it below), they play the late show at Mercury Lounge tomorrow night.

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The Soft Moon Celebrate New Album at The Bowery Ballroom

October 29th, 2012

Making experimental-guitar pop punk, the Soft Moon began as Luis Vasquez’s side project three years ago. It started with a couple of singles and then a self-titled LP and an EP, earning heady comparisons to the likes of Joy Division. Pitchfork said the music draws “from the coldest, most metallic zeniths of post-punk and industrial rock.” The material is the product of Vasquez—“I’m Cuban, so I grew up with a lot of Afro-Cuban funk”—and his surroundings—“There are no straight lines in San Francisco.” But while it’s a one-man band when it comes to recorded material, live, the Soft Moon (above, doing “Tiny Spiders”) are a four-piece, with bassist Justin Anastasi, drummer Keven Tecon and synth player Damon Way joining frontman Vasquez, plus Ron Robinson working the visuals. See for yourself how well the band balances what you see and what you hear when they celebrate the release of their newest, Zeros, with a record-release show tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.

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The Killers Look Forward and Back

July 24th, 2012

The Killers – Webster Hall – July 23, 2012


To watch the Killers in 2012 is an act of disjointed historical remembrance. This sort of anachronism isn’t simply a product of the band’s ability to resurrect the musical genres of everyone from Joy Division to Springsteen. Because these days, the Killers turn backward twice, using old influences with a wink and trying to escape and revive the songs that made them stupidly famous in 2004. It was then that the opening five songs of their debut LP, Hot Fuss, were as ambitious and outstanding as any popular rock album of the previous decade not made by the Strokes. This is and was the past, before the band nearly broke up, before the litany of solo records that take us up to present day. This sold-out crowd in the East Village would serve as the rough approximation of now, or the scene of where we might figure out the dimensions of the word. The Killers, four guys who wanted to lionize and transcend Las Vegas, the most anachronistic place on the planet, arrived at Webster Hall with a new single, “Runaways,” and a forthcoming new album, Battle Born, rich with the interstitial tension over whether to dig up or completely bury the past.

Appropriate to this dichotomy, the band opened with “Runaways” followed by their first American radio single, “Somebody Told Me.” The packed crowd was in full throat on the night’s third song, “Smile Like You Mean It,” before lead singer Brandon Flowers asked, “Are you guys in or are you out?” perhaps unaware that these fans had either passed up or taken advantage of the huge scalping price on the secondary market. For those who passed on the urgent, big offers in the line outside, they were, most definitely, in by the time Flowers climbed his stage monitor to shout the lyrics of “Spaceman.” It only served to raise the stakes, as the band oscillated from older material, like “This Is Your Life,” and new-album cuts, like “Miss Atomic Bomb,” full of future tense fatalism—Flowers soaring on the lyric “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

The main set concluded with the Hot Fuss long-form anthem, “All These Things That I’ve Done,” arriving at this denouement by way of “Reasons Unknown,” “Bling (Confessions of a King),” “Human” and the band’s first UK single from 2003, “Mr. Brightside.” But it was the present perfect tense of “All These Things That I’ve Done” that suitably served as the ending for a band standing on the very fulcrum of itself. Those in the crowd screamed the meaningless and perfect bridge, “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier,” along with Flowers, a slice of 2004 in 2012, these things we’ve done acting as a beacon for whatever it is that comes next. —Geoff Nelson

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Cold Cave Channels the Cure

February 5th, 2010

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Cold Cave – Mercury Lounge – February 4, 2010

It’s hard to even imagine what it would have been like to see the Cure perform in a club the size of Mercury Lounge in the early ’80s. You can’t just chalk it up to pure nostalgia—there’s definitely a reason their sound still resonates through any number of music subsets today. Cold Cave, a band whose name actually describes it perfectly, is one of the direct descendants of that sound. Legend has it the band formed when Wesley Eisold left a successful Boston punk band and started messing around with thrift-store Casio keyboards alongside friends Caralee McElroy, of Xiu Xiu, and Dominick Fernow, of experimental noise band Prurient. Their first 7″ single, “Painted Nails,” was released on Fernow’s Hospital Productions label and has brought about something of a resurgence of Cold Wave minimalist synth that traces its roots directly back to Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle and, of course, the original post-punks, Joy Division.

An emaciated Eisold barely moved behind a massive Moog voyager, but he worked up a sweat singing in his slight crooning baritone, with an ingrained punk burst of nihilistic vocals, hands clasped behind his back, looking scarily close to Mr. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” himself. Eisold barely mumbled “thanks” before going into the next pounding inhuman beat from Cold Cave’s debut, Love Comes Close. McElroy played off Eisold’s darkness with her own heavily echoed melodic delivery on songs like “Life Magazine” and providing a back-and-forth harmony on “The Tree’s Grew Emotions and Died,” sort of like an industrial Goth version of the Human League.

The three members of Cold Cave, all dressed in black, use their impressive display of technology, minus the nostalgia, thanks to Fernow, whose sheer massive solo catalog of sound manipulation takes each arrangement to a place other New Wave throwback acts just can’t follow. (Simply playing with every piece of an analog synth keyboard is no substitution for knowing which sounds you want to hear and actually willing them out of the circuits.) The music stays perpetually focused on the icy, emotionless sound, straddling a line between undanceable and undeniably catchy. And all of it comes from three keyboards, just like on Trans-Europe Express. The entire New Wave ’80s wished they sounded this good. —Jason Dean