NYC Popfest 2009: Liechtenstein + The Tartans | Mondo! @ Don Hill’s | 5.15.2009

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While Cats on Fire and The Radio Dept. were the main attractions at Friday night's show at Don Hill's, but really the whole bill was pop-solid. Swedish trio Liechtenstein, recent signees to Slumberland, played their first ever American show. Dressed alike in white tops and black skirts, Renée, Naemi and Elin kept banter to a minimum and ran through a set of their best songs so far, including "Apathy," "Roses in the Park," and their best song, "Everything's for Sale." (Which should really be amended to their Slumberland album, but it's not.) The obvious, and most common, comparision is with the Vivian Girls, but where VGs came to their sound somewhat accidentally, it's clear that Liechtenstein are fans of the Shop Assistants, Mo-Dettes, Would-Be Goods, Talulah Gosh, and other C-86 touchstones. They are also are better musicians, though Vivian Girls might have an edge in the tunes department. Melodies and stage presence are a bit chilly, but it's a cool blast nonetheless.

MP3: Liechtenstein – Everything's for Sale
MP3: Liechtenstein – Roses in the Park

Liechtenstein's debut album, Survival Strategies In A Modern World, is out June 9 on Slumberland.
 
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Los Angeles' Tartans, meanwhile, are warm as the California sun. They are cute, dance constantly (on stage and off) and are clearly huge fans/scholars of indiepop, from the glockenspiels and melodicas to their clothes to the great cover of early Go-Betweens single "People Say" they played. I do wish they had more songs that rival their great "Cats of Camerford" 7" but as they've only released two singles so far, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

MP3: The Tartans – The Cats of Camerford
 

Sound Bites Best of 2008: Gigs

"Seeing Jarvis Cocker makes you realize that almost all other bands are chumps. This is how it's done. This is a show. This is charisma. This is It. You can't take your eyes off him. My #1 show of 2007 was his show at Webster Hall (and I hate Webster Hall) and this one was better."

And also these…

"Featuring members of infamous garage rock collective CPC Gangbangs, this was Red Mass' first-ever live show and clearly they wanted to make a statement. As their name would suggest, Red Mass were about 10 strong and all-clad in red… apart from the one dude who wore only a Speedo and gold paint."

"The Muslims played an astounding 10 shows during CMJ, and this was the last… despite being obviously tired and guitarist Matty McLoughlin having his fingers wrapped in black electrical tape because he'd busted them open repeatedly over the week, with blood spattered all over his guitar, they played like it was their first show of the week."

Casiokids | Cake Shop | 10.25.2008

"…It was at this point that Ketil squeezed through their wall of keyboards, past the monitors and got face-to-face with the crowd, basically standing directly in front of me the whole time. My friend Erin said it looked like I was being serenaded."

Late of the Pier | Music Hall of Williamsburg | 10.22.2008

"These are youngsters but they rock like pros, pulling off the guitar heroics, the funky parts, everything. And we danced to it. Even more than the Klaxons, Late of the Pier seem to truly come from outer space. But they make it seem like the most natural thing on earth."

Women | Cake Shop | 10.21.2008

"Women are so much better live than on record. The album, while good, is a little too drenched in Animal Collective-style reverb, while onstage (or in Cake Shop's case, the floor) they hit pretty hard."

Kirsten Ketsjer | Lit Lounge | 10.16.2008

"This is the definition of power trio (not to compare them to Cream or anything, there's no bass), three as one — you know, very New Testament but in a rock sort of way… If you like Velvet Underground, Television, Bettie Serveert, the Greatful Dead, Marnie Stern, metal, indie rock, Denmark, spoken word, noodling, no-bass bands, twin-leads, or Nordic good looks… this might be the band for you."

This was a swoon-worthy night. The Bunnymen are 30 this year, hence this celebration of what they consider their crowning achievement with three shows: London, New York, and their hometown of Liverpool."The Killing Moon" is what a lot of people were there to hear, and many unbelievably left after that, but for me it was the album's more obscure gems that made my knees a bit weak. 

"Main Oh See John Dwyer is one of those mike eaters, it spending more time in his mouth than not, all the better to get that overdriven, distorted vocal sound. But I wouldn't want to be the band that used it after them. He's also a Give 100% performer, who slams his guitars around and whose eyes bug out a little when he sings. The rest of the band are no slouches either (they've got a whalloper of a drummer) and there was a nice interplay between Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees' other singer, Brigid Dawson. They played their hearts out."

BOAT | Cake Shop | 8.17.2008

"If BOAT lived here instead of Seattle I have a feeling they'd be my favorite local band.  All their songs are catchy, and funny without being jokes. The band also has good stage banter and a penchant for props — big signs, confetti and shakers made out of Solo cups."

Witch Hats | Santos Party House | 8.11.2008

"Witch Hats really benefit from clear sound; the sludge turns into organized noise, even if it's just as loud. (Super loud!) It still takes a minute or two for hooks to break through the chaos, but they are there. Witch Hats are wild but with purpose, a bit gothy without looking the part, and possess a wise-ass sense of humor."

Metronomy | Union Hall | 8.01.2008

"Metronomy are better live than you think they're going to be. It probably has something to do with the stick-it-and-clickit lights they had affixed to their chests. Aware that they are three dudes playing keyboards and guitars and bass (and occasionally saxaphone and melodica) with no drummer and a fair amount of pre-programmed music, they know you have to give the audience something more if you want them to actually pay attention to you."

"We are in the midst of a heatwave here in New York with temperatures in the upper '90s during the day and only dropping to around 80 at night. I have spent a lot of it in semi-legal performance spaces with zero air conditioning. There has been a lot of sweating but Sic Alps were the first band I've seen all week that made it feel like the heat was being generated from the stage."

P
ants Yell! | Pianos | 6.13.2008

"A tight cohesive trio with a beast of a drummer, Pants Yell! were on fire in the packed room. On their excellent third album from late last year, Alison Statton, they sound polite, but live it's more hyperkinetic. You could even say they rocked."

"I texted my friend Don before they started: "There are like 10 girls here. Five are bartenders, the rest are here against their will." I was excited to see Swervedriver's first NYC show in ten years, but all this, um, dudeness was freaking me out. But then Swervedriver came out and just killed it. Like the last ten years never happened. Jaw-droppingly, why-aren't-you-still-a-band-and-making-records good."

"I know this wasn't the coolest show of the night (Sigur Ros) or the coolest show of Love Is All's visit (Cake Shop or Market Hotel win over this) but what show! And band-for-band one of the best I've seen this year."

Violens + Savoir Adore + Amazing Baby | Union Pool | 5.10.2008
"It pleases me greatly to go into a show mostly blind and come out a fan of every band on the bill. That never happens anymore. Maybe I'm just going to the wrong shows."

"This was the first night of their American tour for Elbow's great, just-released fourth album, The Seldom-Seen Kid which is full of the heartfelt mini-epics the band are so good at. Joined on this tour by two violist/backup singers, Elbow were grander than usual, but it was Garvey's charm, humor, and smokey voice that makes people lifetime fans."

"Liela Moss is a pistol. As much as you wanted to check out the rest of the band, it was hard to take your eyes off her. She knows what she's got and she knows how to work it. There is no doubt Moss is beautiful, but she's got the pipes to match and, obviously, a stage presence to hold it all together. Moss held the crowd but certainly the rest of the band kept her up. A lot of crushes were made Wednesday night but The Duke Spirit are the total package."

Liars | Warsaw | 2.09.2008

At 6-foot-somethingorother, Liars front man Angus Andrew is a magnetic, kind of menacing presence. Even in a raspberry colored suit. While sitting down. As you may have heard, Andrew threw out his back shortly before Liars were to begin their current tour with No Age so he's being doing the shows from a chair. (The accompanying table is a nice touch.) For some bands this might have been a major setback but it didn't seem to affect Liars' ferocious performance at Warsaw one iota.

"Jeepers, how good are The 1900s? It's been almost two years since I saw them open for Midlake at Mercury Lounge and had kind of forgotten how good they are. And they've gotten better since. Watching last night's fantastic show at Union Hall makes me wonder why I left their album Cold & Kind off my Best of 2007 list." 

Soundbites Best of 2008 | Singles, Tracks + EPs

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So here's my list of best singles, album tracks, and EPs from 2008. Unlike my Best Albums List, songs that were from a 2007 album but were released as singles in 2008 are eligible. But single reissues are not. (Which is why "Time to Pretend," Friendly Fires and Pacific are absent from my list.) With the concept of the "album" diminishing in this world of digital downloads, singles are becoming more important. I'm not calling the death knell for the Album, but if groups whose music leans toward the poppy and immediate side of things wanted to just release singles or EPs every couple months instead of a full-length, I'd be okay with it. As I've said before singles are ephemeral in nature, and though I've hit my yearly limit on a few of the songs on this list, there was certainly a period of time in 2008 where all 50 of these were stuck on repeat.

1. Mystery Jets feat. Laura Marling – Young Love (MP3) (Video)
The most inventive, deceptively simple (but actually kind of crazy complex; listen to all the little flourishes), repeatedly-rewarding pop song of the year. Great video too.

2. Metronomy – Heartbreaker (MP3) (Video)
Fantastic bassline + creaky doors + whistling = my second favorite song of the year.

3. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Everything With You (MP3) (Video)
A great big hug wrapped in a fuzzy indie pop sweater.    

4. Violens – Violent Sensation Descends (MP3
Loud Quiet Loud as has never quite been done like this before. I can't wait for their full-length.

5. Dizzee Rascal w/ Calvin Harris – Dance Wiv Me (MP3) (Video)
I've never been much of a Dizzee fan, but add Calvin's '80s-style production and you've got a dancefloor killer.

6. Sam Sparro – Black and Gold (Video)
The rest of this album does nothing for me but "Black and Gold"'s glammy throb is irresistible.

7. TV on the Radio – Golden Age (Video)
2008 was the year of Change and TVotR made the perfect soundtrack. This is the sound of hope with a good beat.

8. Sexy Kids – Sisters Are Forever (MP3)
Just try not to bounce 'round the room while listening to this slice of Scottish pop perfection a la Altered Images.

9. Esser – Headlock (MP3) (Video)
Effervescent single, ridiculously catchy, like superballs set free inside a perpetual motion machine… yet loaded with downer lyrics like "I've got a problem, it's called living." Perfect.

10. Summer Cats – Lonely Planet (MP3) (Video)

Like the Rosebuds backed by Stereolab, Australia's Summer Cats put a sunny coat of paint on the krauty VU groove. 

11. Metronomy – A Thing for Me (MP3) (Video)
I could put almost all of Metronomy's Nights Out on this list, but restrained myself at two. Be sure to check out the video to this one.

12. David Byrne & Brian Eno – Strange Overtones (MP3
Too bad the rest of the Byrne/Eno album didn't deliver on the promise of this great single.

13. Sky Larkin – Fossil, I (Video)
Old school indie rock done with vim and vigor by this Leeds, UK trio. Vim and vigor? Really. Just listen to the song. It rocks. 

14. Lykke Li – Little Bit (Video)
Lykke Li's coquettish delivery slightly disguises just how hot this is.

15. Ida Maria – Queen of the World (MP3) (Video)
One of the most joyous songs ever about being smashed on whiskey.

16. MGMT – Kids (Video)
Hate their fashion, hate their friends, hate their rich hippie-ness, but MGMT have some great songs. The hooks are undeniable!

17. Girls – Lust for Life / Morning Light (MP3) (MP3) (Video)
There are too many "Girl" groups right now, but I've got room for San Francisco's shoegaze folk rock wunderkinds. Especially on this double A-side.

18. Animal Collective – Water Curses EP (MP3) (Video)
Animal Collective have finally started to get poppy enough for me to genuine like them. Bring on Merriweather Post Pavillion!

19. Late of the Pier – Heartbeat (MP3) (Video)
One of the many "this shouldn't work" songs on LotP's great debut Fantasy Black Channel. Yet it does, brilliantly.

20. Vivian Girls – Tell the World (MP3) (Video)
Every time these girls open their mouths to the press, it's a disaster, but give 'em instruments and hard
to hold it against them. So many things in that sentence could be construed the wrong way.

21. Casiokids – Grønt Lys I Alle Ledd / Togens Hule (MP3) (Video)
You don't need to speak Norwegian to dig this double A-side. I imagine it would help, though. But not that much.

22. The Last Shadow Puppets – Standing Next to Me (MP3) (Video)
Alex Turner and Miles Kane seem a little young to already be going through their Jacques Brel/Scott Walker period, but that's also probably why it's as good as it is.

23. The Wild Beasts – The Devil's Crayon (MP3) (Video)
Not since the days of the Associates and the Triffids has pop attempted to be so grandiose… and successful at it. I must say I can't really stomach the resto of them album, but but "The Devil's Crayon" is a bullseye.

24. Adele – Cold Shoulder (Video)
I'll take Adele over Duffy any day… "Cold Shoulder" perfectly-produced soulful pop. Ronson-produced, natch.

25. Amazing Baby – Infinite Fucking Cross EP (download EP) (Video + Video)
Hated by Brooklynvegan commenters, loved by me. Harder, more-rocking Roxy Music? About as close to a good description as you can get with there pigeonhole-adverse Williamsburg residents.

26 – 50 after the jump…

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Crystal Stilts | Le Poisson Rouge | 12.17.2008

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Though I thought they were great the first time I saw them, Crystal Stilts have gotten so much better over the last six months in which they've gigged almost constantly. I've seen them upwards of ten times since June (which is kind of crazy I know, I know) and it's been interesting to see them come out of their shell. Singer Brad Hargett not only smiled and talked to the audience Wednesday night at Le Poisson Rouge, but he even took the mike off the stand for a couple songs.

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Their album, Alight at Night, which will sit in my Top Five of '08 once I get around to finishing my post about it (soon), was apparently recorded four years ago, which is kind of amazing/shocking and also explains why they've got all these great songs that aren't on the record. I grabbed the setlist this time to see what the names of them are. One of them, which they've been playing for a while now, is a Bo Diddly type number, 2/4 time, that is called "Seeds" — though my friend Toby says it was called "Sycamore Tree" at the show he saw. I shot video of it which is at the bottom of this post. And another Diddly-esque new one, with a killer bassline, doesn't seem to have a real name yet as it was listed as "Poopface."

SETLIST: Through the Floor | Seeds | The Dazzled | Converging in the Quiet | Shattered Shine | Crippled Croon | "Poopface" | Love is a Wave

MP3: Crystal Stilts – Departure (buy Alight of Night)

Hopefully, we'll get a new album or EP with some of those sooner than later. The band are going on an extensive European tour in February, but New Yorkers will get at least a couple more opportunites. They play Saturday (12/21) at Knitting Factory as part of a three-floor extravaganza currated by Quasi that also includes the awesome Sic Alps, Marnie Stern, Jeffrey Lewis and more. Tickets are $20 but the line-up makes it entirely worth it if you ask me. Crystal Stilts also play Market Hotel on January 10 with Tyvek.

Here's that video of "Seeds/Sycamore Tree" that I shot:

Also, there's an official video for the Chills-esque "Prismatic Room":

Slumberland Goes to Glasgow for Sexy Kids and Bricolage

Slumberland Records knows how to make a comeback. One of the most influential indie labels of the '90s, they went dormant, for the most part, in 2001. But then last year, like the Wonka factory, things began to stir in Slumberland land, with the label being fully revitalized this year. We've gotten great full-lengths from The Lodger and Crystal Stilts, a swell caUSE co-MOTION compilation, the awesome Searching for the Now series of split 7" singles and the promise of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's excellent debut album due in February 2009.

Now add to that absolutely fantastic singles from two of Glasgow's best new bands.

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First is Sexy Kids' debut single "Sisters are Forever," which features half of the short-lived, dearly-missed The Royal We. Like that band, it still owes a lot to that city's '80s new wave scene, though this really sounds more like Altered Images than anything on Postcard. (More specifically, it sounds like The Wedding Present's cover of "Think That it Might.") It's pretty great:

MP3Sexy Kids – Sisters are Forever (buy it from Slumberland)


MP3The Wedding Present – Think That it Might

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Slumberland has also signed Bricolage who definitely evoke the Postcard sound. The band have been together for two years and have toured with Franz Ferdinand and punk legend Vic Godard (who Orange Juice covered). "Turn U Over," their fourth single, reeks of Orange Juice but yet it tastes fresh, not from concentrate, and the chorus is insanely infectious and bonkers good. I love it. 

MP3Bricolage – Turn U Over (buy from Slumberland; earlier releases on Emusic)

MP3Orange Juice – Satellite City

Bricolage's debut album, which "Turn U Over" is from, is due out in February on Slumberland.

Crystal Stilts + caUSE co-MOTION | Death by Audio | 10.04.2008

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Saturday night I saw two bands with standup female drummers. Before heading to Mercury Lounge see Glasvegas (standup drummer Caroline McKay), I went to Death by Audio to catch Crystals Stilts (standup drummer Frankie Rose) who were playing with their Slumberland label-mates caUSE co-MOTION. I really wasn't sure I was going to be able to see either of them. Death by Audio's set times would be loose if they actually posted them anywhere, and when I asked the two door persons what band was on next, they looked at each other before looking back at me and shrugging their shoulders. I had to leave DBA by 11:30 to catch Glasvegas… who knows when Crystal Stilts would go on.

To my surprise, Crystal Stilts went on before caUSE co-MOTION, taking the stage around 10:15. The room was packed (it's not that big, but everybody seemed to be there to see them) and almost pitch-black. The band seems to like to play in the dark. I've actually seen singer Brad Hargett unscrew lights before performances. I guess it suits their moody sound but they could learn a little from Glasvegas in this department, some strategically placed lights would do them a world of good.) 

Despite not being able to see them very well, you could certainly hear them and it was another good show by one of my favorite NYC bands. A band I've seen way too many times in the last six months, though to be fair, they've been hard to avoid, they play about twice a week here in NYC. Some might say it's too much gigging, but what it's really done is make Crystal Stilts really tight. There's little-to-no downtime between songs, even less stage banter (pretty much none), just good song after good song.

MP3Crystal Stilts – Shattered Shine (pre-order)

Crystal Stilts full-length debut, Alight of Night, is out October 28 and is one of the year's best albums. Great songs and production that is just high enough fidelity to do them justice. And they actually improve on the songs that were previously on their self-titled EP. That said, some of my current favorite Crystal Stilts songs have yet to be recorded.

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The annoyingly capitalized caUSE co-MOTION (seriously you try typing their name more than once) are always a good match to Crystal Stilts, as they also love echo and reverb but traffic in short (under two minutes), spiky, nasally, pop songs in the Pastels or Joseph K mode. Where Crystal Stilts are fairly motionless, caUSE co-MOTION spazz out on-stage, especially the bassist is prone to high jumps. Songs can be a little samey but they whole thing is over before you realize it. They're good. Check out their compilation of 7" singles, "It's Time!", which is also out October 28.

MP3: caUSE co-MOTION – Which Way is Up? (pre-order)

caUSE co-MOTION open for Franz Ferdinand this Wednesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, so get there early if you have tickets. If you don't, it's sold out but they'll be playing CMJ a bunch of times and then out on tour with Crystal Stilts where they'll finally make it out of the five boroughs…

Oct. 04 Brooklyn, NY Death By Audio
Oct. 23 New York, NY Pianos (Force Field PR CMJ Showcase)
Nov. 01 San Diego, CA Che Cafe
Nov. 02 Los Angeles, CA The Echo / Part Time Punks
Nov. 03 Oakland, CA House of Nostromo
Nov. 04 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Nov. 05 Sacramento, CA Luigi's Fun Garden
Nov. 06 Eugene, OR Samurai Duck
Nov. 07 Portland, OR Holocene
Nov. 08 Olympia, WA The Big Room
Nov. 09 Seattle, WA Chop Suey

Crystal Stilts, caUSE co-MOTION Playing Saturday in Brooklyn, Touring Together Later, Putting Out Records, etc etc etc

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Brooklynites Crystal Stilts and caUSE co-MOTION will be heading out on tour together in November right after the CMJ Music Marathon here in NYC. Nine dates, which, strangely, is also the number of times Crystal Stilts played in the NY area last week. I kid. But they play here a lot…and I went to most of the shows. They're also playing together this Saturday at Death by Audio for what will surely be a packed show.

Both bands have albums out on the newly-revitalized, newly hot Slumberland Records on October 28. Crystal Stilts will be releasing their much-anticipated debut album, Alight of Night, which I've listened to about 50 times, it's fantastic, and will be on my Best of 2008 list no doubt. With it's spooky, twangy, echo-out-the-wazoo vibe, it will also make the perfect acompanyment to that upcoming Halloween party. (Yet it reminds me of The Chills.) As for caUSE co-MOTION, "It's Time!", collects their five scratchy, blistering 7" singles, including the new "I Lie Awake" onto one CD. Not one of the songs on it reaches the two minute mark. Here's samples from both:

MP3: Crystal Stilts – Shattered Shine (pre-order)

MP3: caUSE co-MOTION – Which Way is Up? (pre-order)

Crystal Stilts/caUSE co-MOTION 2008 US Tour:

Oct. 04 Brooklyn, NY Death By Audio
Oct. 23 New York, NY Pianos (Force Field PR CMJ Showcase)
Nov. 01 San Diego, CA Che Cafe
Nov. 02 Los Angeles, CA The Echo / Part Time Punks
Nov. 03 Oakland, CA House of Nostromo
Nov. 04 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Nov. 05 Sacramento, CA Luigi's Fun Garden
Nov. 06 Eugene, OR Samurai Duck
Nov. 07 Portland, OR Holocene
Nov. 08 Olympia, WA The Big Room
Nov. 09 Seattle, WA Chop Suey

Everything Pains at Being Pure at Heart

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We’ve now got the deets on The Pains at Being Pure at Heart‘s debut album, which will be coming out on the newly reinvigorated Slumberland Records (and on Fortuna Pop in the UK), which is also releasing The Crystal Stilts’ debut this fall, and the new one from caUSE co-MOTION. Here’s the tracklist:

1. Contender
2. Come Saturday
3. Young Adult Friction
4. This Love is Fucking Right
5. The Tenure Itch
6. Stay Alive
7. Everything With You
8. A Teenager in Love
9. Hey Paul
10. Gentle Sons

Given their warm, fuzzy sound, it seems entirely appropriate that the album was mixed by Archie Moore of Velocity Girl and tres-influential Black Tambourine. (And Heartworms and The Saturday People for you completists out there.) We’re going to have to wait till early ’09 for the whole shebang, but it’s first single, “Everything with You,” will be out on 7″ this fall… and on MP3 right now:

MP3: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Everything with You

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Two more of the album’s tracks are available on the band’s MySpace: the lovely, jangling “Stay Alive” and a rerecording of “Come Saturday” which is the closest they’ve come to capturing the umph and volume of their live shows. (And does it remind anyone else of Teenage Fanclub’s “Starsign”?) Also on their MySpace: some curious TBD dates in Sweden — look out, Malmo?

Meanwhile, TPOBPAH are playing The Dead Herring House ( 141 S. 5th st. 1E) in Williamsburg this Friday with Baby Teardrops and the German Measels, whose singer is, according to TPOBPAH’s Kip Berman, “the guitarist from caUSE co-MOTION’s non-identical twin”… for what it’s worth.

Also, I caught the band’s show last month at Twee as Fuck’s first NYC party at Cake Shop and shot footage of them performing “The Tenure Itch.” It’s been on my YouTube page for a while but never posted it here, which I am now rectifying. Picture could be brighter but I think the sound is actually quite good:

I also reviewed their performance at NYC Popfest.

Crystal Stilts + The Duchess and the Duke | The Charleston | 7.13.2008

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Last time I saw a show at the Charleston it was in the back of the bar and the cranky old owner provided the lightshow by flipping the lightswitch on and off. The place has been under new management for a while now and is now booking shows in the Charleston’s dank, unfinished basement making it sort of the Cake Shop of Williamsburg I guess.

Crystal Stilts went on around Midnight which, after a full day of sun and beer at McCarren Pool and the aftershow at Music Hall of Williamsburg, it felt like 3AM. This was the third time I’ve seen them and with each show they’ve veered further and further away from the obvious Jesus & Mary Chain comparisons that were unavoidable when talking about their debut EP which is two years old but most people seem to have just discovered this year. (People including me.) The reverb is still there, but influences seem to be moving backwards to the dawn of rock n’ roll. Specifically you can hear Bo Diddley in that beat (courtesy standup, cymbal-less drummer Frankie Rose) and vibrato guitar. I’m anxious to hear their debut album, which is in the can and will be released on Slumberland later this year but in the meantime he’s one from the EP:

MP3: The Crystal Stilts – Converging on the Quiet
(buy)

Crystal Stilts are also playing Saturday night at Glasslands if you’ve still got energy after the Siren fest. (Or if you couldn’t be bothered to go to Siren.)

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Also on the bill were The Dutchess and the Duke who I’d seen open for Fleet Foxes earlier in the week at Union Hall. They sound a lot like their Hardly Art labelmates Arthur & Yu (also from Seattle), which is to say folky and bluesy in a late ’60s sort of way, complete with cool old hollow-body guitars and nice harmonies and a percussionist who kind of looks like Peter Tork or Denny Doherty. Their debut, She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke, came out last week and is a great lazy Sunday morning record. And they’re a pretty good late Sunday night kind of band too.

MP3: The Dutchess and the Duke – Reservoir Park 
(buy)