1/3 Au Revoir Simone + Slow Club = Really Big Band | “The Killing Moon”

I originally had this as part of my Moshi Moshi party report but it seemed too good to bury at the bottom of a post. In between band sets, Annie Hart and Erika Forster of Au Revoir Simone did some fine iPod DJing. A cover of Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" caught my ear in particular so I went up to Annie and asked who it was. She smiled really big, saying it was her and Slow Club and that they'd recorded it earlier in the day using Garageband and the internal microphone on her laptop! They're dubbed themselves The Really Big Band, though I suggested The Slow Harts. (That's actually a good name for a band I think.) Annie was nice enough to send it to me and let me share it here.

MP3: Annie Hart and Slow Club – The Killing Moon

She wanted me to stress the part about recording it in an afternoon and with the laptop microphone as if to dissuade any criticism of sonic quality but I think it's quite good even if the ending, like the Killing Moon itself, comes too soon. (I don't know why the last 30 seconds of the mp3 are silent either.)

While we're on the subject of Au Revoir Simone, their new record, Still Night Still Light, is in the can and will be out in May. It was produced by Thom Monahan of Pernice Brothers fame. (And Monsterland before that if you listened to indie rock in the '90s, they were good. Check out "Peanut Butter Karma" on their MySpace memorial.) He produced the new Vetiver album as well. Au Revoir Simone play three shows at SXSW and then are off to France. Lucky girls.

Mar 19  2:00p Brooklyn Vegan/Agency Group Party Austin, Texas
Mar 19  4:45P Music for Listeners/Moshi Moshi Records Party @ The Red House Pizzeria Austin, Texas
Mar 20 11:45P Maggie Mae’s Rooftop – Friday night at one a.m. Austin, Texas
Apr 18  8:00P Alhambra Theatre – Les Femmes S’en Melent Festival Paris
Apr 19 8:00P Grand Mix – Les Femmes S’en Melent Festival Tourcoing
Apr 21 8:00P L’epicerie Moderne – Les Femmes S’en Melent Festival Paris

Also check out this crazy, double-speed version of "The Killing Moon" from 1983 that sounds more like the Echo of Crocodiles instead of Ocean Rain. Kinda cool:

Mosho Moshi Presents: Casiokids + Slow Club + Mumford & Sons | Cameo | 3.15.2009



The weekend before the South by Southwest music festival, New York get's its own mini-version of it, with bands from Australia, UK, Europe and Canada all making pit-stops here before heading down to Austin. The folks from London indie label Moshi Moshi threw a party last night that actually felt like you were already at the fest. The crowd was littered with other bands (Bjorn Yttling of PBJ, Dev "Lightspeed Champion" Hines, members of Post War Years and The Promised Us Jetpacks) and you had to walk through a restaurant to get to the "venue." It was a fun night.

Mumford and Sons can really sing and hearing their four-part harmonies, which they hit you with immediately upon taking stage, knocks you back a bit. It's a bit like Fleet Foxes in that way, though there's more depth to M&S's voices. Musically, though, these Londoners are nothing like those Sub Pop folkies, with a soulful bluegrass/celtic bent and some really nice songs from frontman Marcus Johnstone. There was a lot of instrument switching and tuning of banjos and mandolins, which made for some downtime in between songs, and they joked about this: "This is New York," intoned banjo player Winston, imitating some record label type. "Don't fuck it up." Though harmonies are key, Marcus' voice in particular is very strong, and the Nick Drake comparisons he's probably sick of are fairly appropriate. He is also a hell of a drummer, which he used to do in Laura Marling's band, and did so here for Mumford and Sons final number of the night.

MP3: Mumford and Sons – Sister

Mumford and Sons play Mercury Lounge tonight at 9:30. Definitely worth checking out, especially with the club's nice sound system. Their debut album, Notes from the Treehouse, is out in April in the UK.

Slow Club were next and pretty much charmed the pants off everyone. It will take much restraint to write about them and not repeatedly type the words "charming" "cute." But they are sooo cute. And their songs are sooo charming. The boy/girl dynamic here is just about perfect with Rebecca on vocal/drums and Charles on vocals/guitar and have more than are done in he-said-she-said style. There's also a melancholy streak (not unlike Emmy the Great) that keeps things from being, you know, cute overload. I'm not sure they've quite captured their charm on record (maybe their holiday single "Christmas TV" which they performed sans amplification) but you just smile the whole time while watching them. 

MP3: Slow Club – Christmas TV

Slow Club play the Delancey tonight and its a free show with fellow Brits Post War Years and We Have Band, who I also saw this weekend and are worth checking out. And if you have proof of unemployment there's a free shot of tequila waiting for you. 

The band I was most looking forward to seeing was Norway's Casiokids who played my single favorite performance during CMJ 2008. But this was not Casiokids finest hour. A new club, Cameo was having some sound problems and frontman Ketil was clearly distracted by it. But the short set gained steam as it went and by the time they played both sides of their great new Moshi Moshi single "Verdens Storste Land" and "Fot I Hose" the crowd was dancing. Casiokids play tonight at the Bell House, which has a great soundsystem, so that shouldn't be a problem. They also play tomorrow at the Annex. Go see them if you can.

MP3: Casiokids – Verdens Storste Land (Buy from Moshi Moshi)

Cameo is located in the back of the Lovin' Cup Cafe (which used to be Anytime) and is a nice little space that maybe holds about 100 people. It was a little too dark for my tastes, and there was a discoball that was only used for about ten minutes. But it's new and they'll figure it out. It's a welcome addition to the neighborhood.