Bands get formed for all kinds of reasons, but those who started Surfer Blood did it to play music as much as possible—to record an album and tour nonstop. They made a name for themselves, locally at least, during CMJ Music Marathon 2009, and then even more so with the arrival of their well-received debut, Astro Coast (stream it below), in 2010. The band “has become a standard bearer of the wi-fi lo-fi era in short order,” proclaimed PopMatters. “The highest praise you can give an album like Astro Coast is that it sounds like something completely familiar that you haven’t heard before.” Surfer Blood (above, doing “Six Flags in F or G” for KEXP FM) have remained busy touring and recording ever since. And although group has dealt with death and lineup changes, they continue to persevere. Their fourth studio album, Snowdonia (stream it below), came out this past February. “There’s a clear sense of melancholy and yearning, but there’s also optimism spilling out from the edges,” according to the Line of Best Fit. “Grief and hardship have changed Surfer Blood, there’s no denying that. But they deserve praise for making a record that still has its own joie de vivre and doesn’t completely overhaul the alphabet that has made the band a success in the first place.” See them on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Brooklyn trio Lazyeyes open the show.
Tag Archives: Surfer Blood
For some people, the CMJ Music Marathon, which starts today and runs through Saturday, is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s lots of live music to go around, so you know The Bowery Presents will be involved. Mercury Lounge—with the likes of Harper Blynn, John Vanderslice, Nada Surf, and Gordon Gano (formerly of Violent Femmes) and the Ryans—has a deep, disparate lineup throughout the festival.
But it’s not like The Bowery Ballroom is slacking this week, with seven bands filling the room on Thursday, including the Jezabels, a coed quartet from Sydney making their U.S. debut. Friday brings Dean Wareham, Crocodiles and Wakey! Wakey! to the venue, and Saturday is just crazy with Surfer Blood, Neon Indian, DOM and eight other cool groups. Plus there will even be a free afternoon party on Saturday at Piano’s, with six bands upstairs and five downstairs.
Of course, all of that is in Manhattan. In Brooklyn, Music Hall of Williamsburg will be doing plenty of entertaining of its own, with Kevin Devine and the Goddamn band headlining tonight, Head Automatica taking the lead tomorrow and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart as part of the Brooklyn Vegan showcase on Thursday. Blue Flowers, which began as a night of stellar music in West London and has blossomed into much more, hosts Friday’s showcase, bringing two of the hottest acts coming out of the UK right now, Chapel Club and Everything Everything—above, playing “Tin (Man Hole)” for Little Noise Sessions—to our shores.
So you’ve got an abundance of options. If you find that overwhelming and don’t know what to see, Mercury Lounge talent buyer Jay Belin offered some suggestions to NBC New York.
Tags: Blue Flowers, Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Vegan, Chapel Club, CMJ Music Marathon, Crocodiles, Dean Wareham, Dom, Everything Everything, Gordon Gano and the Ryans, Harper Blynn, Head Automatica, John Vanderslice, Kevin Devine, Little Noise Sessions, Mercury Lounge, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Nada Surf, Neon Indian, Piano’s, Preview, Surfer Blood, the Jezabels, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Video, Wakey! Wakey!
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The Drums – The Bowery Ballroom – January 13, 2010
As some bands cemented their reputation with favorable reviews toward the end of 2009, others began to blossom in the New Year. One of those in the latter category is the Drums, a Brooklyn-based band (by way of Florida). Following their debut EP, Summetime!, the Drums have steadily generated buzz for their wonderfully catchy pop songs and energetic performances. Their plaudits even reach across the Atlantic with the BBC Sound of 2010 naming the group one of the 15 best rising music acts. With a recently recorded LP scheduled for release in the spring, the group is taking to the road. A lot.
Last night a capacity crowd greeted the Drums—and opening acts the Depreciation Guild and Surfer Blood—for their first show at The Bowery Ballroom. The Depreciation Guild transfixed the audience with their combination of fuzzed-out, shoegazing riffs and 8-bit sound accompaniment. Their live show is a fantastic visual and auditory experience, which I highly recommend. Surfer Blood, another group of Florida natives, followed with a solid set of classic-rock-inspired originals. While their stage presence needs some work, the breezy “Take It Easy” showed the band’s potential when they do just that.
Intermittent shouts sprung from the crowd as the Drums set up in darkness. “I love you, Jon,” yelled a number of women throughout the show. When the band took to the stage, it was easy to figure out the source of adoration. Jonathan Pierce, the frontman and vocalist, conducts himself like a budding rock star. His theatric prancing and confident swagger complement the other members’ stoicism (with the exception of guitarist Jacob Graham’s spastic tambourine playing on “Best Friend”). It is said that the Drums are this year’s the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, so it was fitting when the Pains’ Peggy Wang-East accompanied Pierce on “Don’t Be a Jerk, Johnny.” This show should go a long way toward proving the Drums as one of the most promising bands of 2010. —Jared Levy