Five college friends formed Gardens & Villa in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2008. At first it was just Chris Lynch (vocals and guitar), Adam Rasmussen (synths), Shane McKillop (bass) and Levi Hayden (drums), but they soon added Dustin Ineman (keys) for their live appearances. The band headed up to Oregon to record their first album, the upbeat but chill Gardens & Villa (stream it below), with Richard Swift, camping out in his backyard: “No shower, no kitchen, but all the magic you could ask for.” The A.V. Club said the group “belongs to the tradition of scruffy California rock bands that make music as big, breezy, weird and subtly sinister as their home state,” before comparing Gardens & Villa (above, performing “Minnesota” in studio for KJEE FM) to Beck, Ariel Pink and Grandaddy. Earlier this month, the quintet’s follow-up effort, the introspective yet danceable Dunes (stream it below), arrived on Secretly Canadian. Paste weighed in, saying the album “is an enticing amalgamation of contemporary dance-music sensibilities laid over familiar, primal roots. The pointed, salient synths of Adam Rasmussen mesh fluidly with the soft melodies of lead singer Chris Lynch’s bansuri flutes and falsetto cries. Innumerable intricacies layered into the background make for an encompassing wall of notes that pulls you into a unusual dance.” Dance along in person when Gardens & Villa play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. (Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming’s Diane Coffee opens.)
Tag Archives: Yeasayer
Steven Reker and Luke Fasano already had pretty good gigs—Reker was a dancer and guitarist touring with David Byrne, and Fasano was Yeasayer’s drummer—before they decided to form People Get Ready. The New York Times says the band “is an experience beyond hearing music in a club or viewing a dance; it is a moving meditation that suggests dreams,” because their songs are often paired with a choreographed live dance performance. Of course, it helps that last year’s self-titled debut is filled with easy harmonies, addictive melodies and steady beats. And not only did NPR Music’s Bob Boilen name People Get Ready (above, doing “Windy Cindy” for WFUV FM) his No. 1 concert of the 462 he saw last year, but tonight at Mercury Lounge, they play one of their last shows of the foreseeable future. So do yourself a favor and get involved.
Yeasayer – Rumsey Playfield – September 12, 2012
Central Park! Yeasayer! Beautiful September weather! Babies! Put all these things together (OK, well, except for the babies) and you’ve got the essential ingredients for a perfect show to usher out the summer outdoor-concert season. Wednesday night was the final stop of Yeasayer’s tour promoting the release of their latest album, Fragrant World . Their tour is being cut short thanks to the birth of Yeasayer mult-instrumentalist Anand Wilder’s new baby daughter, who was born on Saturday. The guys in the band welcomed the good news like the baby was all of theirs. Chris Keating joked several times throughout the set that they were returning to their hometown, New York City, to raise the newborn as a group.
When it comes to all the bands that have come out of the mid-aughts, Yeasayser’s a bit of an outlier. In many ways, their songs sound like a grab-bag collection of familiar sounds that have come into vogue as of late. Tunes both new and old dabble in the psychedelic, hypnotic grooves from the school of Animal Collective. Songs like their latest single, “Henrietta,” seamlessly morph from MGMT-style electro dance grooves to M83-style synth sentimentalism. With three of the four band members swapping vocal responsibilities, sometimes they all sang together like in the breakout from their debut, “2080,” building up an epic wall of harmonies reminiscent of the Fleet Foxes.
Individually these things aren’t necessarily unique, but throw them all together and you’ve got one of the most original and strangest sounding bands to emerge from the new millennium’s indie renaissance. And then of course there is “Ambling Alp,” the show ender and clear crowd favorite. Sung in unison, the lyrics from the song felt like some perfect and timely advice for someone new to this world. What an appropriate way to conclude a tour cut short by the birth of child. —Dan Rickershauser
Photos courtesy of Alexis Maindrault | rockinpix.com
Tags: All Hour Cymbals, Anand Wilder, Animal Collective, Central Park, Chris Keating, Fleet Foxes, Fragrant World, Ira Wolf Tuton, M83, MGMT, Photos, Review, Rumsey Playfield, Yeasayer
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Yeasayer (core members: Chris Keating on keys and vocals, Anand Wilder on guitars, keys and vocals, and Ira Wolf Tuton on bass and backing vocals) formed in 2006 and began to gain attention the following year with the release of All Hour Cymbals. But things really began to blow up for the Brooklyn experimental rockers when their second album, Odd Blood, came out in 2010. Sometimes it’s difficult to follow up such a successful album with another one, but that’s just what Yeasayer (above, playing “Longevity”) have done with this year’s Fragrant World (stream “Henrietta,” below). The Los Angeles Times calls it “their most synthetic record yet, and while it’s impossible to tell how much was played live, prerecorded or somewhere in between, the fact that Yeasayer obscured its mechanics while remaining an absolute party band is a major accomplishment.” Last month they celebrated its release with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg that streamed live on The Bowery Presents Live. (Watch nine songs from that show.) See them, with Tanlines and Daedelus, tomorrow night at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous late-summer night.
Tags: All Hour Cymbals, Anand Wilder, Central Park, Chris Keating, Daedelus, Fragrant World, Ira Wolf Tuton, Odd Blood, Preview, Rumsey Playfield, Tanlines, The Bowery Presents Live, Video, Yeasayer
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Last Wednesday Brooklyn trio Yeasayer put on a fantastic hometown show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, which was broadcast worldwide in full HD, on The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube. The performance included several cuts off the band’s brand new third album, Fragrant World, out today on Secretly Canadian—including “Longevity,” above.
Watch another eight songs from Yeasayer’s terrific show: http://tbp.im/RNxijn. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to stay up to date on stripped-down performances and intimate interviews, plus all the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows with Bon Iver and Two Door Cinema Club.
Tags: Bon Iver, Fragrant World, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Rumsey Playfield, Secretly Canadian, The Bowery Presents Live, Two Door Cinema Club, Video, Yeasayer
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We know what you’re thinking: How can I relive my own prom and help a good cause at the same time? That’s easy. Just break out your formal duds and head directly to Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night to celebrate 826NYC’s The Prom You Were Promised, featuring DJ sets by Yeasayer, BAIO (Vampire Weekend), Neon Indian and CANT. The night won’t be just about dancing because the host, Jason Sudeikis, is sure to have you laughing. All proceeds benefit 826 NYC, which is dedicated to supporting students, ages six to 18, with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. The nonprofit organization runs workshops, tutors students, sends volunteers into schools and publishes students’ work.
Yeasayer – Terminal 5 – June 18, 2011
Even though outdoor festivals become a main focus for concertgoers this time of year, local boys Yeasayer did their best to have big fun indoors on Saturday night at Terminal 5, and they succeeded. By the end of their set, the sweaty, cheering dance party they sparked could have easily been at home in one of the music tents at Bonnaroo.
Enveloped in fog that changed with the pulsing colors of their lights onstage, Yeasayer followed lively sets from Hush Hush and Smith Westerns with an expert one of their own. Throughout the show, singer Chris Keating was humble (“We should be playing the Cake Shop”), funny (“Thanks for coming to North Hells Kitchen”) and grateful that the home crowd was out in full force for the last show of the Odd Blood tour.
Keating was also adaptable: After one of his keyboards failed (and then went missing, presumably offstage to be fixed), he literally threw away the set list—and into the crowd, his hand forced by having to rely more heavily on guitarist-vocalist Anand Wilder to provide most of the band’s melodies. To keep up the tempo, Yeasayer switched to older material, like “Wait for the Summer” and “Sunrise,” a decision the loudly cheered by the crowd. “We’ve played, like, 200 shows this year and we’ve beat the shit out of our stuff,” Keating said with a laugh as he set down his cup. “Now I have a place for my drink to go.” —Sean O’Kane
Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com
Technically, summer doesn’t start for almost three more weeks, but we’re already past Memorial Day, which means the summer season has begun. And there’s no better way to while away your warm-weather time than on the beach. You’re already pretty close to a beach—actually The Beach at Governors Island. Starting tonight, with Michael Franti & Spearhead, Trombone Shorty and One eskimO, get ready to spend those summer nights outside, your feet in the sand, taking in great music with lower Manhattan as the backdrop. We’ll be bringing you a full roster of fantastic live music (plenty of free shows too, starting with Yeasayer, Keepaway and Delicate Steve this Saturday) all summer long. For ferry information and answers to other questions, go here.
Yeasayer – Webster Hall – May 4, 2010
Warm weather is steadily settling upon the city. As the humidity rises and the days lengthen, a change in moods and minds is present on the faces of those around. Whether you gauge it from sunglasses or smiles, energy bounds from the upcoming season. And, for Yeasayer, a band that reflects this infectious spirit, a Tuesday night in early May was the perfect time to return home.
Nearly three months since their last show at The Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn’s own Yeasayer continues to tour on the heels of their second studio album, Odd Blood. This time at Webster Hall, Seagulls and the up-and-coming duo Sleigh Bells opened. The combination of these two bands drew an impressive crowd, packing the venue early in the night. Sleigh Bells played the majority of their blog-lauded headbangers. As Chris Keating of Yeasayer pointed out, industry types attended to scout out the duo, and to their end, Sleigh Bells delivered on the blown-out beats of “Tell ’Em” and “Crown on the Ground.”
Though it is admittedly difficult to follow an act like Sleigh Bells, Yeasayer’s headlining set was expertly designed and executed. The core members—Keating on keyboard and vocals, Anand Wilder on guitars, keyboards and vocals and Ira Wolf Tuton on bass guitar and backing vocals—performed center stage with the help of two percussionists. Among such new songs as “The Children” and “I Remember,” the group also mixed in “2080” and “Sunrise,” singles from their previous album, All Hours Cymbals. Later, Webster Hall’s hanging disco ball spun along with Odd Blood’s danciest track, “O.N.E.” The lights shimmered over an appreciative crowd, mirroring the glow of Yeasayer’s joyous music. No longer must we “Wait for the Summer.” —Jared Levy
Yeasayer – The Bowery Ballroom – February 8, 2010
Brooklyn’s Yeasayer exists somewhere between an indeterminate futurism and the completely recognizable past. Like a laser-charged Krautrock band playing in British Mandate-era Palestine or like Depeche Mode performing in postcolonial Delhi, the band is undeniably synthesized, tribal and born back into the future. At a sold-out Bowery Ballroom, the reference game would prove useful as they took the stage amidst sea-sick colors and flashing lights.
Yeasayer opened with the unsettling and familiar first track from their latest record, Odd Blood, “The Children.” With vocals set in an artificially low register and pulsing, almost breathing industrial soundscapes, “The Children” was the edgy, creepy start to a set that would only equal one of the previous two descriptors. Relying heavily on material from the new album, out today, the group powered through “Love Me Girl,” “Madder Red” and “Remember,” although not necessarily in that order. There was an air of science to the exoticism, like Yeasayer had shown up to mediate sound, rather than actually produce it. Far more the medium for the cacophony than its creator, it was almost like they were the dimmer for the lights pulsing around them.
Yeasayer, the guys who used to practice in their apartment on Prospect Avenue in South Park Slope, closed their main set with “Ambling Alp” and “O.N.E,” the two singles off Odd Blood. The words of the middle of their set—from “Remember”—were still echoing around in the top recesses of The Bowery Ballroom: “You’re stuck in my mind/ All the time.” People wouldn’t forget this. And then loops peeled off into nowhere, and the band shuffled around between here and some indefinite never forever. —Geoff Nelson