PICTURES: Sloan @ the Bowery Ballroom, June 29th, 2011


Our favorite indie rockers, Sloan, did double duty in New York a few week ago and we were there to catch all of the action at their Bowery Ballroom show. Check out the photos below and stay tuned for an exclusive Modern Mystery interview with Jay Ferguson!

Check out MORE PHOTOS HERE and HERE!

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The Cool Kids Set to Release Album

Chicago duo The Cool Kids are set to release their highly anticipated full-length album on July 12th!  Called When Fish Ride Bicycles, the album features 11 brand new songs and finds the duo working with Asher Roth, Travis Barker, and many more guests.  The Cool Kids started working on their album in December 2010 with Pharrell Williams at the helm.  Here is the track listing:

1.  Rush Hour Traffic
2.  GMC
3.  Boomin’ (featuring Tennille)
4.  Sour Apples (featuring Travis Barker)
5.  Penny Hardaway (featuring Ghostface Killah)
6.  Bundle Up
7.  Gas Station (featuring Bun B)
8.  Get Right
9.  Swimsuits (featuring Mayer Hawthorne)
10. Roll Call (featuring Asher Roth, Chip Tha Ripper, Boldy James)
11.Summer Jam (featuring Maxine Ashley), Produced by Pharrell Williams

 

Interview: of Montreal vs. Yip Deceiver


Interviewer: Bella Questions: Melissa Nastasi / Bella Photos: Cienna Willis

Last weekend at Webster Hall we had the chance of sitting down with members of an old favorite and a new favorite. Davey Pierce and Nick Dobbratz from of Montreal and Yip Deceiver. The guys gave us a whole new insight on what it takes to put on an oM show, and just what exactly a Yip Deceiver is. Give it a read. It’s a good one!

So how has the tour been treating you so far?


Davey: It’s been really good actually.

Nick: Yeah, it’s been lots of fun.

Davey, you worked on some props for the False Priest tour. Was that something new? Do you plan on doing it in the future?

Davey: I probably will do it in the future. It’s kind of something that fell into my lap. We needed somebody to make these props and I like doing stuff like that. I kind of just took it over.

Everything is different since you joined during Hissing Fauna, how do you keep up with all of the change?

Davey: It’s pretty easy actually. I mean because it’s kind of a natural progression you just sit back and watch it happen basically. You get so caught up in playing the shows and everything and you don’t even realize that everything’s changing so much.

Recently you can tell that the actual band members have been a lot more involved in the theatrics than usual. Is that something you guys plan on doing? Or is that something you enjoy doing?

Davey: I love it personally. I mean like it adds this whole kind of sense that it’s not just two different things going on on stage. Which in the past it has been. It’s been a bunch of people set up playing music while something else is going on in front of them. Whereas now it’s more like the performance lines and the music lines have blurred so much that it’s actually just one big thing.

Nick: I feel like it was a concious decision on this tour ahead of time to do exactly what Davey’s saying. As opposed to having two different things. I enjoy it, I like it. It’s changing every night right now.

When it comes to theatrics is it just David Barnes right now or do you all have a say in it?

Davey: He takes ideas from everybody. It is like Dobby(Nick) was saying. It’s a big evolving kind of thing. If you have an idea you can be like “Hey, what if we did this?”. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And David’s very open to suggestions like if I walk up to him an I go “I really hated this one thing” He’ll be like “Okay, let’s see if we can make it better” It is his thing but he’s definately open to critism which is given.

Nick: And he likes to work with people’s personalities too. Whatever someones comfortable with.

You recently went on tour as Yip Deciever with Sugar & Gold. How was that tour?


Davey: It was great, it was really fucking fun.

Nick: Yeah.

Where did the name Yip Deceiver come from?

Davey: It’s actually, um, it was Clayton. We were actually drunk at a bar at like noon and we were trying to come up with a name for it. And we started making anagrams of my name. Yip Deceiver is what we came up with but we left an ‘A’ out and put an extra ‘I’. It’s a failed anagram of Davey Pierce basically.

How did you two come to working together on this project?

Nick: I joined of Montreal almost a year ago and during the time on the first tour I already heard Davey’s stuff. We kinda just started talking and we shared a lot of the same interests and influences. It inspired each other to keep working on stuff so it just happened.


Speaking of influences, you can tell that Yip Deceiver is very different from Inkwell. What influences do you have in this project that are different from Inkwell?

Davey: It’s pretty much all over. I’ve been listening to a lot of old 80’s and 90’s R&B, actually Dobby’s kind of the one that got me back into it. It does kind of come through in a way. The sounds that they use speak to me so much to me. The Inkwell stuff was kind of worn out of necessity. It was like we own guitars and a drum set and so that’s what we had to work with. And it was also like blatant punk rock, all the crap I used to listen to when I was 12. Getting the rest of that out of there so I can move on.

Yip Deceiver gained a lot of attention, which was mainly positive, for the Coquete Coquette remix. How did to feel to that feedback and that attention?

Davey: I mean obviously I was cool with it but I found just as much negative attention as positive attention. As you will with any remix. “This sucks compared to the orginial” Well it’s like thank you I guess, it’s not suppose to be the fucking orginial. But whatever, it was fun to do. I love the song. It was basically just me in my apartment with a bottle of wine and a drumset. I’d do it again, well, I probably will do it again. But I also did a remix of Sugar & Gold’s “It’s All Over You.” It’s on their new EP, it’s fantastic. Not the remix, but the EP.

Nick: The remix is fantastic. Which actually now that I think about it is one of the moments where we realized that we should be working together. It was kind of something that I written and Davey reproduced it; and it kind of the first thing we worked on together.

Davey: Actually the first thing we worked on we never actually finished. We’ve just been working on it for like a year now.

Davey, you had prior expierience playing two sets in a row with Jamey’s project, James Husband- and then again with Yip Deceiver, who had opened up for of Montreal for a few shows. Do you find playing sets in a row exhausting?

Davey: In some ways. It can be really physically exhausting but at the same time it’s like this is what we do. It’s kind of like we’ve been training our entire lives to do this. It’s so rewarding that it doesn’t really matter how exhausted you are because you can have such a great time doing both things. Especially if they’re so different. Playing with James Husband and playing with of Montreal are two totally different animals. I was on two totally different insturments and it was always fun.

Nick: For me it has a time limit. It got to a certain point on the last tour where I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. But for the most part it’s not like you have a slightly different role so you make due.

What do you find most rewarding about it?

Davey: For me it’s just like, it is the thing we’ve been working towards. To be on stage with all these people that are my best friends. There are all these kinds of personal jokes that you don’t want to say during the set. I look over at Dobby and fucking crack up. There’s one thing that he does that makes me laugh or it’s Clayton or Thayer or Dottie. It’s rewarding because every night I get to do the thing that I’ve always wanted to do.

Nick: That’s true, I forget that sometimes.

Davey: It is actually really easy to forget that sometimes. Like when you wake up and you’re just like “I just wanna get a job and wear a tie”

You have those moments?

Davey: Every once in a while. The grass is always greener sometimes. Where it’s just like I wouldn’t mind being home. We haven’t really been home for more than two weeks in the past seven months now?

Nick: Yeah.

Davey: So I wouldn’t mind being home for a year but at the same time if I’m home for more than week I get really tired of being home.

What’s in the future for Yip Deceiver?


Davey: We’re working on a full length right now actually. Hopefully it’ll come out October-ish?

Nick: That’s what we’re shooting for, yeah.

Davey: We’re doing a video for a song called Get Strict starting in May. There’s gonna be all sorts of nice little surprise guest stars. It’ll be a big dance video.

Dance video? Will you guys be dancing?


Davey: There will probably be a little bit of us dancing in it, yeah.

Nick: There will be a lot of other people dancing in it too.

Davey: Mostly other people dancing in it.

New York has always been a great crowd for you guys. But, truthfully, what is your favorite city to play in?

Davey: Surprisingly, Mobile Alabama has very recently taken that spot. Just blew everyone outside of the water. They’re insane down there, they’re amazing. The crowds are so into it. They’re having so much, they’re just so nice. It’s incredible actually.

False Priest did great on both the CMJ and Billboard charts. How did it feel as a band to do that great?


Davey: It felt really good. Where were we when we got the CMJ thing? Was that Stockholm?

Nick: Yeah, I think so.

Davey: I’m pretty sure it was Stockholm. It was like “We’re number one on the CMJ charts!” And it was kind of this weird feeling. It was like, well we’re not even really home and no one knows what CMJ is over where. But it feels really cool to know that you’re doing something that people really want to hear. I guess that’s kind of the ultimate goal, is to have an audience that’ll listen to your insane ramblings for the most part.

One last question, is it blackmail domination or black male domination?

Davey: Blackmail.

Nick: What do you want it to be?

Davey: Yeah, that’s a good point too.

Davey: There are teams now. It is a very polarizing issue.

Nick: Blackmail or black male?

Davey: Yeah.

Nick: -chuckles-

Davey: I’m on Team Blackmail. But at the same time he(Nick) has a point, it’s whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t really matter too much.


See more interview photos HERE!

My Coachella 2011 Experience

Wow.  Where do I possibly begin to describe Coachella 2011?  Well, I can sit here and complain about the heat and the itchy bracelets (or “shackles” as my friend Kim called them) – but why bother when the positives outweigh the negatives? 

First of all, I have to state that Goldenvoice did an amazing job this year with crowd control.  There were the aforementioned bracelets that may have itched slightly but man, they ensured who was getting in and out of the enormous field.  You couldn’t even get within proximity of the Empire Polo Fields without the magic bracelet.  Check points for cars, walkers, bicyclists, etc. were all over Indio.  Well played, Goldenvoice – no gatecrashers this year!  Hence, no overcrowding. That brings me to the physical size of the venue.  Several football fields long, it was even bigger than last year and made room for yet another tent (ok, it was being called a dome, whatever).  The combined effect of the scanned bracelets and bigger venue size made for a fantastic weekend where overcrowding didn’t feel like an issue.  Amazing!

The fashion was, well, wacky again to say the least.  I really wanted to ask the people with fake fur scarves (and even fake fur gloves!?) what they were thinking. I mean, people, come ON – it was 98 degrees on Saturday!  Very, very hot.  I wore a simple tank top and shorts and roasted with the best of them in the shade of the beer garden each afternoon.  The food was a bit expensive as it usually is (same with the alcoholic drinks) but it was pretty darn good again.  Spicy Pie for the win!

ANYWAY – onto the music.  I tried not to drive myself crazy with the numerous conflicts in set times and just went with the flow.  I started off Friday by seeing The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.  They were having a blast up there; you could see it written all over their faces. Their near-shoegazing sounds made for a nice afternoon chillout zone and the crowd swayed along with their tunes.  Lead singer Kip Berman chatted warmly with the audience about which acts he was excited to see and highly encouraged the masses to see Suede tomorrow night (more on that later!). 

Next up was chilling out in the beer garden by the large Coachella Stage to see if Lauryn Hill would actually show up.  We figured hey, let’s hydrate and see what happens.  (Little did I know that Cee-Lo Green had shown up suuuuuuper late for his set and then had a hissy fit when he was told he had to end his set early.  Dude, show up on time and then you get to sing all your songs!)  So I’m looking at my blackberry and wondering how late she’s going to be, or whether she’s going to show up at all and lo and behold, a mere 15 minutes late, there she is!  She sounded a bit hoarse and was drowned out a bit by her incredible band and backup singers but the minute she got into Fugees music, you could just feel her win over the growing crowd.  Nicely done, Ms. Lauryn Hill!

After being surprised and then dancing for a bit, we stayed put to listen to Interpol start their set.  Moody and intense – yes.  Solid songs – definitely.  The super large screens on each side of the Coachella Stage added to the dark quality of their songs by flashing red lights throughout their set.

Next up – the Black Keys.  The crowd swelled for these guys and boy, you could see why within 5 notes of the first song.  Watching the chemistry between Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach is just incredible.  Patrick keeps a steady beat while watching Dan rip into his guitar solos.  Absolutely amazing duo and it was impressive to see what songs they chose from their latest album and what gems they chose from the past albums.  Well played, boys!

Then came Kings of Leon which was my biggest worry of the weekend.  Why was I worrying?  Well, the public has turned on them recently since “Use Somebody” has been played on soft rock stations.  And once-rabid fans are just super annoyed over their last two albums, declaring them “too soft” and wishing them to return to their rockin’ roots of their earlier albums.  I was nervously reading the Coachella message board and I’d say roughly 80% of the comments were anti-KoL and I was starting to wonder if they would even draw much of a crowd.  Well, I’ve been a fan of them for a long time and I’m pleased to announce they had a large crowd and the Followills appeared to have listened to their fanbase and played a large number of older songs!  Excellent.  Very good call!  The crowd seemed receptive and not throwing out boos or catcalls like I had feared. Phew.

Next up was the traditional “rave” spot of the weekend being performed by the amazing duo The Chemical Brothers.  Starting a few minutes late was forgiven quickly as they put on a stunning show of visuals and beats.  Glow sticks were rampant as expected and the duo closed out a fantastic first day.

Next day after some lovely time poolside (yes, you can be jealous), we headed right for the beer garden for some Erykah Badu.  There were some technical glitches during her performance but it didn’t seem to get the crowd or herself down.  “On and On” was met with usual chilled out, blissful sway-type dancing and provided a great start to our Saturday.

After feeling nice and chilled out, we went for more of the same – the Mancurians known as Elbow.  Singer Guy Garvey seemed to be immediately overwhelmed by the oppressive heat within the Mojave tent but didn’t let it ruin his band’s performance.  The second song into the set was “Grounds for Divorce” and the crowd fed into it right away.  The entire set left everyone feeling peaceful and easygoing and was quite a nice way to celebrate the sunset (and decreasing temperatures) on the second day of Coachella.

We decided to hop onto the ferris wheel and kill some time rather than join a band’s set midway through.  The wait was worth it when we reentered the Mojave tent for The Swell Season.  Glen Hansard came out for a few minutes to tune with the band (imagine that, a performer wanting to be part of the setup process!) and the growing crowd screamed approval.  Once the entire band took stage, it was just mindblowing how incredible their performance was.  The crowd sang along to the songs from the movie Once in approval and overall, it was another feelgood and heartfelt performance for the day.

Right after The Swell Season left the stage, I pulled my friend Kim forward as far as we could go (which turned out to be pretty damn close) and waited for Suede (that’s The London Suede to us Americans).  She had never heard one song by them and I was just dying to see how they would be.  Well – they were nothing short of incredible.  I’m going to call them the act of the weekend. Seriously, that good!  Lead singer Brett Anderson never uttered a word to the audience as he immediately laid out his signature sexy moves by swaying his hips, jumping up and down, demanding the crowd sing along and wrapping the mic around his body several times.  The band ripped into their hits without a hitch, sometimes just starting a song on the final note of the previous song.  I am still absolutely mesmerized by their performance and can only hope they’ll come back to the states for another show.  My friend turned to me with a huge grin on her face and said “that was UNBELIEVABLE” and a guy to our right stated “that was better than sex.”  Yes people, it was THAT good of a performance.

We rushed over to catch Arcade Fire as soon as Suede finished up and to our delight, they were only 2 songs in.  Phew!  Arcade Fire was solid as always, playing a great mix of songs from their Grammy-winning album and frontman Win Butler seeming to be in disbelief that they were playing to such an impressively huge crowd.  While I personally was still on a Suede high, I will say that Arcade Fire was great and the surprise of the balls being dropped at the end was a great way to cap Saturday night.

And then, the last day.  Booooo.  😦  Once again, we headed right for the beer garden and listened to Nas and Damian Marley.  The crowd within the beer garden was highly enthusiastic when Nas did his biggest hits and then broke out in cheers and applause for their rendition of Bob Marley’s “Could This Be Love.”  Very nice!

We raced over to catch some of Best Coast, who did their dreamy super short songs to a large crowd.  Their hit song “Boyfriend” got the biggest reception but they also threw in some brand new songs into the mix. 

After grabbing a burger and shake, we ran over to catch Foster the People.  They came on a bit late for the massive crowd in the Gobi tent and we only caught a few songs, but the band seemed to be having a blast playing for a crowd that was spilling out of the tent. 

We zipped over to catch the majority of Duran Duran’s set.  The 80s rockers blended a nice mix of songs from their latest Mark Ronson-produced album and biggest hits from the 80s.  Seeing people randomly dance around for “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” was a great sight.

The it was time for The Strokes.  Julian Casablancas made his usually witty comments in-between songs and the band gave the crowd exactly what they wanted – rock songs delivered with gusto.  Playing all their past hits, you could tell the band was truly enjoying themselves on stage.

And then it was time for the most highly anticipated performance of the whole weekend – Kanye West.  Everyone was wondering how he would cap an amazing weekend of music and boy, he did NOT let us down. Appearing on a moving elevated crane above the audience with a stage full of writhing dancers, one got the feeling they were in for the performance of a lifetime. Sure enough, Kanye delivered and dedicated it to his beloved mother, ending the night with a heartfelt “Hey Mama.” 

I fully admit to still having the post-Coachella blues (and total exhaustion from taking the redeye back to NYC last night) but all I have to do is look at my pictures from the weekend and relive the memories.  I can’t wait until Coachella 2012 🙂

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin/Two Door Cinema Club/Tokyo Police Club @ Terminal 5, NYC – January 21st, 2011


Our Modern Mystery favorites, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin took the stage on Friday night at Terminal 5 which was their first time being an opening band in a long time. They knew they had something to prove and they did it well. Starting with Phil Dickey on vocals for the night, the band blew the crowd away and really got the show started. Performing tracks off their new album Let It Sway their catchy indie pop hooks filled the room and had everyone in good spirits. This is a major tour for the boys and we’re proud of them!
-MM

It’s going to sound highly smug of me to say but it has to be said: I was the first person to say Two Door Cinema Club and Tokyo Police Club should tour together. In all honesty I’m not. After seeing Tokyo perform past summer with Passion Pit I (drunkenly) cornered their guitarist/keyboardist Graham Wright and demanded that they toured with Two Door Cinema Club to which he replied “Fuck! You’re the 8th person who’s told me that today!”

Fast forward to January 21st and what would you know? It actually has happened! The two acts are going on a lengthy co-headlining tour around the US and selling out shows effortlessly. To celebrate they even released a mash up of two of their tracks which can be downloaded here

The venue was packed! People of all ages and varieties. A grand highlight of the night was being in the photographers pit and looking at all the young faces. When I was younger I remember music was something you’d use as an escape and the fact these kids would call Two Door Cinema Club an escape was quite something. I personally love Northern Irish music and seeing this band do so well here in the states hit a chord with me (no pun intended). Everyone danced the night away and the band received the most cheer when they played their latest single “What You Know”

For a whole gallery of photos from the entire show be sure to go here

The Morning Benders @ Webster Hall, NYC – November 18, 2010


The Morning Benders are a band I first encountered at The Market Place Hotel (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn supporting Surfer Blood (also that evening playing alongside bands such as Grooms, Turbo Fruits, and Beach Fossils) and I’ll admit at first I wasn’t impressed, but there was a certain charm their stage presence put out that has stuck with me. The band not only seemed incredibly young but ripe for the journey most aspiring musicians cannot even comprehend, fast forward to where we are today, the bands sophomore record Big Echo is destined to make many top 10 list, they have already supported Ra Ra Riot, White Rabbits, MGMT, Yeasayer, and The Black Keys, and after all of that the band have set out on their first headlining tour. Not bad for the four little guys who played Market Hotel earlier this year.

The bands performance really surprised me. Its unbelievable how much a band can change in the span of a year but The Morning Benders make it a feat to show that they’ve been doing nothing but learning. Chris Chu fronts the band with a relaxed talent but isn’t afraid to get into his tunes, while his brother Jon Chu backs him up with a rhythm guitar which could be named precision. After the third track Chris Chu proclaimed “Earlier this year we released an album called Big Echo! We’re going to play a lot of tracks from it to thank all of you for the year we had!” I was lucky enough to capture their show at Webster Hall (along with photos of opening act Twin Sister).

Photos from the show can be viewed here.