My first post was about bands in NYC on their way to SxSW, this one is about ones on their way back from Austin. People who actually went to Austin might be gigged out, but for the rest of us it’s a wealth of options.
March 17 | Cut Copy + El Guincho+ The Fashion @ Mercury Lounge
Potentially the best lineup of a very, very busy night. Australia’s Cut Copy make great, New Order-y dance pop but the last time through (2005?) they relied way too much on backing tracks. But hopefully their live setup has changed since then. Also on the bill: Spain’s El Guincho, who received the "Best New Music" tag a while back and comparisons to Panda Bear and Os Mutantes is not undeserved; and Denmark’s The Fashion sound a little like The Rapture on their single "Like Knives," though other songs are more varied. Apparently they started as a joke but people took them seriously and they couldn’t back out. Typical. Brooklyn’s Holy Ghost are on the bill as well.
MP3: The Fashion – Like Knives
March 17 | The Wombats @ The Annex
I reviewed The Wombats only previous NYC show back in August and I thought they were a lot of fun. The same applies to their "official" debut, A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation. (As opposed to their Japan only debut from a year earlier, which made my Best of 2006 list.) I even like them when their lyrics make me cringe, like when they use the word "romcom" or "Joy Division" in the chorus of a song. Big hooks. They’re finally getting some push here in the States, if the four copies of their US debut EP that are littering my home are any indication. I think this show might be sold out but don’t quote me on that. There are plenty of options this night.
March 17 | Duffy @ Hiro Ballroom
Jeff at Heart on a Stick chided me for even mentioning this before — she’s a Welsh Pop Idol winner — but I’m a sucker for stuff that’s Dusty Springfield-esque, or even Lulu-esque. And much of Duffy‘s debut was co-written and produced by former Suede axeman Bernard Butler, so I think there’s a modicum of credibility in there somewhere. That said, I didn’t really even consider attending this show.
March 17 | Ed Harcourt @ Union Hall (tix)
Ed Harcourt is one of those artists I’ve always liked but never put much stock in, though I was a big fan of his first album, Here Be Monsters. There have always been a few songs on every record, though, that I’ve liked, and he’s always good live. The chance to see him in small venues is a real treat. In addition to the Union Hall show, he’s also playing Mercury Lounge the next day.
MP3: Ed Harcourt – Born in the ’70s
March 17 | Ash @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (tix)
It’s amazing to think that Ash have been around for 16 years and main man Tim Wheeler is only 31. And, for the most part, Ash have released good albums their whole career, including last year’s Twilight of the Innocents which the band have said will be their last full-length — it’s singles only for this new digital world. It’s too bad Charlotte Hatherley is no longer with them but I’ve seen them with and without her, and shows are always quality.
March 17 | The Parisians @ Pianos
Don’t know much about The Parisians beyond they’re actually from Paris. But It’s an option for the night if you really have to see some music and you can’t get in Cut Copy, Wombats, Ed Harcourt, or Duffy.
March 19 | The Ting Tings + The Brunettes (tix)
Though Manchester’s the Ting Tings are a relatively new band, members Katie White and Jules de Martino have been in the music biz for a while, each with their share of horror stories I’m sure. And the bitterness comes though a bit in their lyrics, which actually is a nice counterpoint to the sunny dance pop they make. I avoided listening to them for some time, maybe because of their name, but I have to admit that singles "Fruit Machine" and "That’s Not My Name" are hard to dislike. The Union Hall show is with Kiwis the Brunettes and locals Kaiser Cartel (who are actually friends of mine) so all the more reason to go and go early. The Ting Tings also play the uber-trendy Le Royale on March 21… doesn’t that sound horrible?
MP3: The Ting Tings – Great DJ
March 20 | Jim Noir @ The Living Room
Jim Noir was supposed to headline Bowery Ballroom back in December 2006 but the show never happened, much like all the other times he was supposed to play here so I’m taking this scheduled date with a grain of salt. Much has changed for Jim since then, mainly through two commercials: an Addias ad that used "Eanie Meanie" thatvran continuously through the last World Cup tv coverages, and "My Patch which got re-written for a Target Christmas spot. That said, though a lot of people might know th music, they probably don’t know who sings the songs. And his new material is less Kinks-y and more electronic. The NYC show is part of The Living Room’s 10th Anniversary extravaganza, and he’s on the bill with about six other acts and there are no advance tickets. Which sounds like a hassle, but I have to say I’m curious what he’s like live.
March 23 | The Ruby Suns @ Mercury Lounge (tix)
New Zealand doesn’t seem to get as much attention as it did during the heyday of Flying Nun records (late ’80s / early ’90s) but they’re still producing lots of good music, and not just of the comedy folk variety. I’m not exactly sure what to make of The Ruby Suns, who seem to be equally influenced by indie pop and Aboriginal music, apart from that I like it. The Merc show has them opening for DC’s hyped Le Loup, and the Silent League are also on the bill. They also play Union Hall the very next night.