Tom D’Agustino (vocals and guitar), Zach Slater (bass) and Andrew Wolfson (guitar and vocals) formed the band Active Bird Community while still in middle school, back in 2005. They’ve since added Quinn McGovern (drums), and the Brooklyn garage-pop outfit’s become known for creating “freshness out of classic sounds,” according to Stereogum. Their second full-length, Stick Around (stream it below), came out in March. New Noise Magazine compares Active Bird Community (above, doing “Home” for Sofar Sounds) to Pavement and Ra Ra Riot, adding “While there’s post-punk underpinnings and plenty of melodic discord, the album is rooted in a strong garage-pop feel, where the apprehension of post-college life comes through the turbulent but tense harmony.” But don’t take their word—or ours—decide for yourself when Active Bird Community play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Gold Connections and Soccer Mommy open the show.
Tag Archives: Pavement
After doing time in other bands, Susil Sharma (vocals, guitar and synths) recorded the noisy, melodic demos that would become the original basis for the Montreal rock trio Heat, eventually joined by Matthew Fiorentino (guitar and synths) and Raphaël Bussières (bass). Their debut EP, Rooms (stream it below), arrived in 2014 and was rereleased the following year, earning the band comparisons to Pavement and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Taking a sonic leap forward, Heat (above, a video for “Lush”) returned with their debut full-length, Overnight (stream it below)—“heavy on melody and hooks, but with brash, shadowy undertones,” according to AllMusic—in January. And they play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. NYC pop quintet Navy Gangs open the show.
Tags: Heat, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Live Music, Lower East Side, Matthew Fiorentino, Mercury Lounge, Music, Navy Gangs, New York City, Overnight, Pavement, Preview, Raphaël Bussières, Rooms, Susil Sharma, Video
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More than three decades ago, Dave Pirner (vocals and guitar) formed Soul Asylum in Minneapolis. The band found modest success with their first five albums before blowing up big time and becoming alt-rock darlings with the release of 1992’s triple-platinum Grave Dancers Union (stream it below)—and its huge sing-along hits, “Runaway Train,” “Somebody to Shove” and “Black Gold.” Since then, although the lineup, still anchored by Pirner, has changed, Soul Asylum (above, performing “Black Gold” for Minnesota Public Radio 89.3 FM) have remained active, touring and recording. Their 10th full-length album, the well-received Delayed Reaction (stream it below), came out in 2012. Per the A.V. Club, “With Delayed Reaction, whatever lingering bewilderment and bitterness Pirner felt about success seems to have vanished. In its place is a classic Soul Asylum record: scrappy, aching and only a little worse for the wear.”
That the Meat Puppets are still around is something of a miracle. Brothers Curt (vocals and guitar) and Cris Kirkwood (bass) and Co. have been making their own brand of psychedelic- and roots-influenced punk for more than 35 years—with the occasional hiatus, breakup or prison stint getting in the way—inspiring and influencing the likes of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pavement. Like their current tour mates, Soul Asylum, the Meat Puppets (below, doing “Plateau” live in the Bing Lounge) have also remained relevant by continuing to release new music, including their 14th LP, Rat Farm, out in 2013. “It’s dizzying psychedelic country in finest Meat Puppets tradition,” according to the Independent, “full of slightly off-centre harmonies in Grateful Dead manner, and plenty of Kirkwood’s swirling, trippy guitar.” Catch both bands tomorrow night at Brooklyn Bowl and on Monday at The Bowery Ballroom.
Tags: Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Bowl, Cris Kirkwood, Curt Kirkwood, Dave Pirner, Delayed Reaction, Grateful Dead, Grave Dancers Union, Live Music, Meat Puppets, Music, Nirvana, Pavement, Preview, Rat Farm, Soul Asylum, Soundgarden, Video
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They’re one of the founding fathers of indie rock in New Zealand, and despite being an influential post-punk band worldwide (winning over fans like Stephen Malkmus of Pavement and getting a fair amount of play in the ’80s on American college radio), the Clean—David Kilgour (guitar and vocals), Hamish Kilgour (drums) and Robert Scott (bass)—are still most well known in their native country. They formed in 1978, mashing together punk and psychedelic rock into their own cool, unique sound. And while they’ve spent a fair amount of time apart—Hamish moved to New York City in the ’90s and formed the Mad Scene—essentially coming back together to perform and make new music when it pleases them, the Clean (above, performing “Draw(in)g to a W(h)ole”) have still managed to release five studio albums, five live albums, three compilations, three singles and a pair of EPs. (Pitchfork calls them “the Halley’s Comet of indie rock, appearing after prolonged absences in a flash of brilliance, only to disappear just as quickly.”) Their most recent full-length, Mister Pop (stream it below), “a mixture of wide-eyed pastoral pop and playful experimentation,” came out in 2009. And according to PopMatters, “The Clean are growing older with grace and humor on this humane, smart and unpretentious record.” See them play Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night.
Sebadoh – Baby’s All Right – February 25, 2014
For any out-of-towners now living in Brooklyn, have you ever felt embarrassed to tell people you live there? Sebadoh’s Jason Loewenstein occasionally does, something he confessed last night at Baby’s All Right, on the final stop of the band’s tour promoting their latest release, Defend Yourself. It’s the band’s first release since 1999. They’ve never actually broken up, it’s just that Lou Barlow likes to put out albums when he feels like he can write one and it’s the right time to do so. The group’s output has cemented their role in the close circle of indie-rock royalty, although you’d never know that just based off the humble way they carry themselves. Barlow still sits at the merch table to sell records—or cassettes, which he says sell better in Brooklyn than anywhere else, go figure—while Loewenstein can be seen near the front row rocking out to opening act Octagrape.
Sebadoh play their music with a degree of nonchalance common among other great ’90s indie acts (think: Pavement or Dinosaur Jr., a band Barlow plays bass in), although their lyrics tend to be much more candid and confessional. The songs on their latest album cover topics as wide-ranging as Barlow’s recent divorce to dropping off his daughter at school to feeling inadequate while looking at the muscular calves of other Los Angeles dads (“State of Mine”). The band also has an uncanny ability to rock off the rails with technically challenging yet loosely held together jams.
Sebadoh let the main riff from “Careful” run absolutely wild, almost seeming like they had little control over the squealing guitars and bass thumps emanating from their instruments, as if they were casually trying to domesticate the noise. Barlow and Loewenstein switched instruments and lead-singer duties several times throughout the night. They ended their set with the hard-hitting song “The Freed Pig” followed by the more down-tempo and sentimental “Willing to Wait.” Two different sides of the same coin, both Sebadoh songs right down to the core. —Dan Rickershauser