Tag Archives: Jesus and Mary Chain


The Jesus and Mary Chain – Brooklyn Steel – May 14, 2017

May 15th, 2017

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com


LNZNDRF Are Otherworldly Yet Familiar at Mercury Lounge

March 7th, 2016

LNZNDRF – Mercury Lounge – March 5, 2016

The first thing you may have noticed as LNZNDRF assembled onstage at Mercury Lounge for the first of two sold-out shows on Saturday night was their matching tie-dyed long-sleeve coveralls. With the stage’s backdrop lit to resemble the cover of their self-titled debut album, a large planetary sphere, the band members resembled some sort of scrappy but very chill NASA technicians. The scene set the tone for the music, originally conceived through a whirlwind session of extended musical improvisations by Ben Lanz (of Beirut) and Scott and Bryan Devendorf (of the National).

The resulting album captures snippets of these jams and delves into darker, louder and even spacier territory than what you would likely expect from their other bands. Songs like “Kind Things” and “Future You” contained intricate moments of almost disorientating feedback alongside minimal guitar lines on Saturday night. And Bryan Devendorf’s powerful drumming soon punctuated the lulling, hypnotic quality with the ability to transform the material into catchy head-nodders.

At moments, LNZNDRF brought to mind the likes of New Order, the Jesus and Mary Chain and even Brian Eno (particularly during Lanz’s vocals on “Monument” and “Beneath the Black Sea”). But despite these comparisons, LNZNDRF also seem unconcerned with fitting into any particular sound or style, instead using their live show to channel the loose, experimental atmosphere of those initial jam sessions—an immersive experience, otherworldly yet familiar. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

(Beirut play the Capitol Theatre on 8/1 and Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell on 8/2)



The Jesus and Mary Chain Leave Them Jubilant at Terminal 5

September 25th, 2015

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Terminal 5 – September 24, 2015

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Terminal 5 – September 24, 2015
Psychocandy, the Jesus and Mary Chain’s transformative debut album came out in 1985, at a time when punk and dirty rebel rock as a manifestation of the angst of urban blight had slowed down as a movement, mirroring the societal and cultural shift that had taken place between the late ’70s and early ’80s. Discordant, fuzzed-out guitar music had given way to sentimental synth pop, and two brothers from East Kilbride, Scotland, decided to do something about it. The down and out, disaffected lot needed something to identify with again. Psychocandy was the response, and it became a benchmark for generations of music that represented young people in the throes of reality, not the cushiness of fantasy. Thirty years later, the brothers Jim Reid and William Reid have left the disharmony of their past behind and have reunited to perform the whole album in concert.

Terminal 5 was the setting for their reenactment last night. Age and a history of tumultuous performance experiences have taught the brothers the importance of taking things seriously onstage, to honor a piece of music so widely praised by playing it with conviction for the people it was meant to represent in the first place, people just like them. Back when Psychocandy was released, the apathy and immaturity of its creators made for a sloppy, hastened performance of its songs, drawing the ire of its fans. The brothers Reid had lamented that a good deal of the album was never even played live, and so this tour of reprise was meant to apply the same intent to its live show that was applied during its original recording. The result was the equivalent of a remastered album with the instrumentation of current band members, Phil KingBrian Young and Mark Crozer, so true that I felt like a witness to an enhanced playback of the studio mastery that spawned it.

William Reid’s guitar squalor reminded everyone just how influential the Jesus and Mary Chain’s sound was. And with a presence both poised and reserved, Jim Reid delivered his vocals as if no time had passed, convincingly harnessing the slack drone of his youth. The Jesus and Mary chain have come a long way from sneaking in, uninvited, to play opening sets amidst the grunge of ’80s Scotland. Thirty years later at Terminal 5 in New York City, the fans were left jubilant, some voicing that this was the best they’ve ever heard the band live. Making their purpose known right away with “Head On” and “Some Candy Talking,” the Jesus and Mary Chain killed it even before a flawless rendition of a legendary album in magnificent form. And 30 years later, the fans were left in jubilation. —Charles Steinberg

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

(The Jesus and Mary Chain play Terminal 5 again tonight.)


Two Chances to Catch the Jesus and Mary Chain at Terminal 5

September 23rd, 2015

Inspired by bands like the Sex Pistols, brothers Jim Reid (vocals) and William Reid (guitar and vocals) formed the Jesus and Mary Chain in their native Scotland more than 30 years ago. “By blending the Beach Boys’ sunny pop with the Velvet Underground’s black-leather cool,” the distortion-loving shoegaze pioneers—currently rounded out by Phil King (bass), Brian Young (drums) and Mark Crozer (guitar)—would go on to become one of the biggest alternative-rock acts in the world on the strength of six studio albums, smash hits, like “Head On” and “Just Like Honey,” and several international tours. But it wasn’t meant to last, and the Jesus and Mary Chain broke up in the late-’90s. Fortunately, that didn’t take either, and the band reunited in 2007, going on to make several appearances over the next few years. But to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their blistering landmark debut album, Psychocandy (stream it below), the Jesus and Mary Chain (above, performing “Just Like Honey”) are back out on the road, playing the album in its entirety. And you’ve got two chances to see them locally when they play Terminal 5 tomorrow and Friday.


Pins Headline the Early Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

July 1st, 2015

Faith Vern (vocals and guitar), Anna Donigan (bass), Lois Macdonald (guitar) and Sophie Galpin (drums) formed Pins in Manchester, England, four years ago—Kyoko Swan (synths and guitar) has since joined the band. Their noisy guitar pop and take-no-prisoners live shows immediately drew comparisons to acts like Hole, My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Pins’ debut full-length, Girls Like Us (stream it below), came out in 2013. According to Drowned in Sound, “What Pins do so well is to take disparate strands of rock and roll, punk, post-punk and grunge, twist them viciously together into a multicoloured and roughly hewn tassel, then dance around to their own particular beat…. In successfully capturing this energy and the visceral thrill of their live shows, Pins have produced one of the most striking guitar debuts of 2013.” And just a few weeks ago, the band (above, doing “Young Girls” for WFUV FM) returned with their follow-up LP, Wild Nights (stream it below). It’s safe to say the folks at Stereogum were impressed: “They’re just a very good rock band making very good rock music, taking a familiar stew of influences and just nailing the fuck out of them. They’re not the sort of band you need to know about, necessarily. But if you’re getting dressed up and having a drink before going out for the night, or if you’re going out and driving fast on a sunny day, or if you’re looking for some cool shit to play in the background while you’re getting some work done, they’re the sort of band you want to know about.” Or if you’re going to Mercury Lounge tonight, where Pins, winding down their American tour, play alongside, Beverly and Kyoko.


Close Out the Weekend with Crocodiles at Mercury Lounge

June 5th, 2015

After previous groups of theirs had broken up, childhood friends Brandon Welchez (vocals and guitar) and Charles Rowell (guitar) formed Crocodiles, a lo-fi, distortion-fueled noise-pop band based in San Diego, in 2008. The duo’s sound has been compared to Echo & the Bunnymen’s and that of a stripped-down version of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s. (Think sunny melodies and dirty feedback.) After putting out two albums, they decided to go with a bigger sound for the third, so the two added Robin Eisenberg (keys), Marco Gonzalez (bass) and Anna Schulte (drums). But Rowell and Welchez returned to their duo roots for their fourth full-length, the radio-ready Crimes of Passion (stream it below), out in 2013. AllMusic noted its “bubblegum snap of the production and the needle-sharp hooks of the songwriting. Crimes of Passion works on two levels then, both as an expression of the duo’s uneasy, uncompromising vision and as a catchy, easy-to-digest pop album.” Sticking with what works, Crocodiles (above, doing “Teardrop Guitar” in studio for KEXP FM) stuck to the two-man band for their latest release, the poppy Boys (stream it below), out last month. And again AllMusic rang in: “The entire album has the potential to reach new fans who like snappy, slightly scuffed-up pop songs, while still making those who need noise and dirt happy.” Wind down your weekend with Crocodiles at Mercury Lounge on Sunday night. Dirty Fences and Shark Week open the show.


Yuck Headline The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow Night

February 14th, 2014

Yuck are an international band: Singer-guitarist Max Bloom is a Londoner, bassist Mariko Doi hails from Hiroshima and drummer Jonny Rogoff is straight out of Jersey. (Guitarist Ed Hayes recently replaced original member David Blumberg, while Bloom took over Blumberg’s vocal duties.) Yuck (above, performing “Operation”) have put out a pair of albums, a self-titled affair (stream it below) in 2011—which “recalls the aesthetic of some of the forefathers of indie rock,” according to Consequence of Sound, which also glowingly makes comparisons to Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain—and
last year’s Glow & Behold (stream it below)—about which PopMatters says “it’s a real pleasure to hear their take on the past.” But in the very near future, you can see Yuck play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.


Good Things Don’t Always Have to Come to an End

September 18th, 2013

Pixies – The Bowery Ballroom – September 17, 2013

One of my life’s most pleasant surprises came to me back in 2009, when I was blessed with the chance to see a band I never thought I would see live, the Pixies. They were on a short reunion tour in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of Doolittle, playing a set of the entire album start to finish. While they had reunited just a few years earlier for some shows (including a big one at Coachella), I never had any expectations that a band that had broken up via a series of faxes would start playing enough shows again for me to see one. But life is funny like that, and now I have had the chance to see them twice.

Last night’s Pixies show at The Bowery Ballroom may well serve as the epilogue to this pleasant surprise, with this tour being my chance to see them play every great song they may have missed on that Doolittle tour. Sure, this time they are sadly without Kim Deal, but outside of that it’s the same ol’ Pixies. Look no further than Black Francis’ gritty squeals of “U-mass,” singing “IT’S ED-JOO-KAY-SHUN-AL!” so loud and distorted it’s amazing he didn’t end the song on his knees searching for chunks of his own bloody vocal chords he may have screamed out. It’s incredible that this song came early in their set, and Francis somehow still had the voice to sing through the rest of the night.

The show featured several interesting set-list choices, beginning with two covers, “Big New Prinz” by the Fall and “Head On” by the the Jesus and Mary Chain. Most in the audience seemed to be looking at one another thinking these must be the new Pixies songs, but with the first few chords of “Crackity Jones” and its subsequent spastic hoedown, the venue was losing it. The band played through a healthy blend of songs from their four studio albums, performing the likes of “Tame,” “Wave of Mutilation,” “Hey” and “I’ve Been Tired,” alongside some of their albums’ lesser-known fan favorites (mine being “Caribou”). “Vamos” went into a noisy jam fest that toward the end featured Joey Santiago unplugging his guitar, holding his chord to his head and running the distorted electronic screams through his effects pedal. Pixies followed that with the night’s last song, “Where Is My Mind.” And where was my mind during this? It was hoping to see them a third time, because good things don’t always have to come to an end. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

(Try to Grow a Pair of tickets to Friday’s sold-out Pixies show at The Bowery Ballroom.)


Get Your Weekend Started with the Raveonettes at Webster Hall

October 3rd, 2012

Sune Rose Wagner (vocals and guitar) and Sharin Foo (bass, guitar and vocals) formed the Raveonettes in Copenhagen more than a decade ago, earning some interesting comparisons in the process: the Everly Brothers because of their harmonies, the Jesus and Mary Chain because of their noisy guitars and the Velvet Underground because of their dark lyrics. Last month, the influential duo (above, performing “Railroad Tracks”) released their sixth album (stream it here), about which Rolling Stone says, “With its fuzzed-out haze settling over much of the record, Observator is filled with upbeat pop cuts.” In support of the stripped-down, more intimate new LP, the Raveonettes are working their way across the country. See them play Webster Hall on Friday night.


Crocodiles Play The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow Night

September 27th, 2012

After previous groups of theirs had broken up, childhood friends Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez formed Crocodiles, a lo-fi, distortion-fueled noise-pop band based in
San Diego, in 2008. The duo’s sound has been compared to Echo & the Bunnymen’s and that of a stripped-down version of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s. (Think sunny melodies and dirty feedback.) But after putting out two albums, they decided to go with a bigger sound for the third, so the two added Robin Eisenberg on keys, Marco Gonzalez on bass and
Anna Schulte on drums. That album, Endless Flowers—which Rolling Stone says, “is filled with hook-y, fuzz-bombed cuts”—came out this past June. Now out on the road in support of it, Crocodiles (above, doing “Stoned to Death” for KEXP FM) play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.