You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grizzly Bear? More like Fizzly Bear.

It's okay, Grizzly Bear. I didn't really want to see you anyway, and neither did the roughly 400 or so other eager young faces who came from all over the city to find the line already mincing along 5 city blocks, including down one side of N. 11th St. and up the other, and those who'd already been in line for an hour before being told the park was over capacity. And neither did the two girls behind me who accidentally got into the "VIP" line and after being told so, scratched their heads and asked -- "But I thought it was free!" And neither did the four Magic Hat summer beers I had folded so lovingly into my knitted cowichan sweater and stuffed into my tote bag, to be saved for at-home drinking. And neither did June and Laura with whom I went and bought some jumbo-sized styrofoam cups of "soda" from the Turkey's Nest in McCarren Park, watching a bunch of punks play softball. And neither did the sunset (which isn't really visible in the below photo but whatever). And neither did the guy naked except for a flesh-colored Speedo merrily greeting concertgoers on N. 7th. Actually he probably did.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This week's Chikpiks

Hate to break it to everybody but summer is (yes, I'm about to say it) almost (here it comes) over. (There. See that wasn't so bad.) As a wise friend of mine once said, summer means nothing more to him than unfulfilled promise. When certain people go on and on about their idyllic beachfront romances and wistful summer memories, I blink and go "Yeah. Am I supposed to have some of those?" To be honest really seem to recall about this particular summer at least right now, with my heat-melted brain, is taking a bath on a steel tub on the roof. And sticking a spoon into my fan blade to get a face full of dust. But the optimist in me says the shows coming up this week will do nothing less than fulfill the promises of all the summers past.

Tuesday, August 25

My Teenage Stride

Appropriate from a show curated by Brooklyn DIY up-and-comer PopJew, Jed Smith's My Teenage Stride are poppy and earnest and oh-so-much-fun. Their latest EP, Lesser Demons, though, is a little on the serious side. It's nice to know he also has feelings. Oh yeah, and I just noticed there's an upside-down guy in the photo above. Massive. With Bright Lights, Surfer Blood and I'm Turning Into.

Silent Barn
8 PM
All Ages


MP3 - My Teenage Stride - Theme from Teenage Suicide

Friday, August 28

Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt

It's easy to say "the picture says it all," but when it comes to this electronic dance-rock "band" (and even that term is used with the loosest possible definition) it kind of doesn't. These are a bunch of kids from SUNY-Purchase (holla!) with a single-minded goal -- to do everything within their power to get you to dance, even it means dressing up as a gigantic foam slice of pepperoni pizza. They apparently have songs, but who cares? It's the "New Saturday Night." New York Magazine said so. With True Womanhood, French Miami and Santino Santino.

Death By Audio
8 PM

All Ages

Price TBA

Saturday, August 29

Psychic Ills, Screaming Females, Sharon Van Etten (Impose Magazine Party with Tables)

Have I written about Sharon Van Etten yet? I haven't? That's...that's unbelievable. Okay, well, I guess it's okay because on Saturday you'll have a chance to go see her in person, which you absolutely should do because her songs are so beautiful I spent a clear 45 minutes one night in February, listening to her play in a liquid trance, falling in love with the guitar-playing boy sitting across from me at a table at Zebulon because her music entranced me into thinking I should. Later we left together and sat on his guitar case and kissed on a deserted north Williamsburg street. (I got my heart broken eventually, of course, but that has nothing to do with Sharon). If you like Vashti Bunyan, Ani DiFranco, or any chick singer who puts every ounce of herself into her music every time she plays, go and maybe her magic will happen for you, too. With Zs, Silver Summit, Future Islands, Air Waves, Boogie Boarder, plus local vendors and a performance by Julianna Barwick to projections of Joel Schlemowitz’ 1734 and Francis Thompson’s NY NY.

MP3 - Sharon Van Etten - For You

Brooklyn Yard
1 PM
All Ages

Sunday, August 30

Grizzly Bear, Beach House

Well, this is it: the last JellyNYC Pool Party and your last chance to seize the infinite but elusive promise of Summer 2009, before it's gone, gone forever and you can never get it back. These two summer-perfect bands offer a particularly lovely way to sit back and let the whole season slip from your grasp. Beach House's oceany vocals are beautifully self-explanatory, and GB delivered more of their unpindownable, idiosyncratic folkish music with this year's Veckatimest. Now hurry, start relaxing before it's too late!

Williamsburg Waterfront
2 PM
All Ages

MP3 - Grizzly Bear - Cheerleader

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beach Fossils and Fluffy Lumbers, Underwater Peoples showcase, Market Hotel, 8/22/09

No personal slight to the performances of the bands not pictured above; everyone who played last night contributed to the all around awesomeness of this show (and there were 12 of you, after all, and though I didn't catch everyone, I did witness Liam the Younger, Frat Dad and Andrew Cedermark, whose hard rock rasp of a voice I found particularly stunning). I just decided to shoot Beach Fossils and Fluffy Lumbers because I've previously covered them here (although Mp3 review for Fluffy Lumbers is still forthcoming).

Beach Fossils' Dustin Payseur is even littler in person than I might have expected, but like any celebrity (and he probably will be one someday) he looks bigger onstage. (As a side note, the Underwater Peoples lineup has to be the youngest I've seen for a local label, and if I didn't know they were bands, If I'd seen them all lined up probably would have mistaken them for most of the male members of the Hampshire College freshman class). He played with a bigger band than his records would indicate, farming out a lot of the heavy lifting; however the acoustics in Market Hotel served the bright, enormous guitar sound on "Vacation" well, it was quite thrilling.

Fluffy Lumbers, meanwhile, did NOT sound like Grandpa's ham radio (not that I ever said they did, but rather were several steps removed from it), and not only showcased Sam Franklin's classic songwriting skill, but provided the highlight of the night by playing "Dreams" by The Cranberries, as one of those blow-you-away choices for cover songs where everyone starts looking at each other, silently thinking "are they really playing this?" Then it starts to dawn on everybody that "Yeah, they're totally playing this." And then everyone goes nuts and is happy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

MP3 Review - Beach Fossils

I've been wanting to write about Dustin Payseur, for weeks now, but due to getting stuck in the kind of technological hell I won't drag you into, have been unable to, and now have likely missed the boat completely on him. For all I know, he's scheduled to be on "Last Call with Carson Daly" next week. But nevertheless, here we go! What's exciting about Payseur is his guitar playing -- both aesethetic and technique, both recalling the vintage jangle of 1960s folk rock, back when "folk rock" wasn't a laughable term -- one simple, tasty hook was all you needed to please, bumping up and down like a reconditioned merry-go-round horse. The vocals on "Vacation" aren't much more complicated, and boast a quavery, drowning-man quality, which recalls the lo-fi character of Wavves, but remains its own ingredient. Getting lost in this song, you might just think you forgot to turn off the AM radio.

For some reason I keep wanting to declare Payseur, who lives in Brooklyn, reclusive, although I may be just saying that because I haven't found myself standing next to him in line at the grocery store (yet). He's actually been playing a decent number of shows lately, one of which will take place tomorrow night at Market Hotel. It's a showcase for Underwater People (the label, not the people) and among a dozen or so up-and-coming bands, and, recluse or not, Payseur will undoubtedly be the best in his class.

MP3 - Beach Fossils - Vacation

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's the deal? Your very own weekly Publisher's Lunch deal snark

Publisher's Lunch says: Stegner Fellow and Stanford/UCSF creative writing professor Alice LaPlante's TURN OF MIND, pitched as having a Patricia Highsmith-esque mystery at its heart, in which the narrator, a brilliant surgeon with Alzheimer's-related dementia, is suspected of killing a neighbor who was her best friend and most worthy adversary, to Morgan Entrekin and Elisabeth Schmitz at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in Winter 2011, by Victoria Skurnick at the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world). Foreign rights to Goldmann in Germany and Orlando in Holland, in pre-empts.

Indichik says: I know virtually nothing about Alice LaPlante and I'm so totally sure she's a wonderful writer and an even better creative writing professor blah blah blah, but ANOTHER STEGNER FELLOW? This has to be the fourth or fifth one this year I've read about having sold a first novel. I daresay it's getting to the point where Tobias Wolff and a handful of his Stanford cronies are dictating the entire future of literary fiction in this country. Yes, This Boy's Life was a good read (and no one loves picturing young Leo DiCaprio's face more than me), but seriously.

There are writing programs all over the country with different faculty who embrace different styles and methods, some of whom charge their students an arm and a leg to attend. Maybe we could throw a few scraps their way? Huh? At the very least, you'd be getting gratitude.

As for LaPlante's book itself, it sounds like The Thirteenth Tale meets The Lovely Bones. Yawn.

This week's Chikpiks

Update: Due to some out-of-date information in my sources for Chikpiks, I just found out that Bert Jansch, due to an illness, is NOT playing at City Winery tonight; in fact he's had to cancel his North American tour. I for one wish him a quick recovery so that we all might get a chance to see him play here sometime soon.

Well, it's hot. Here are some shows:

Thursday, August 20

Bert Jansch *CANCELLED*

Like a lot of people my age (which is probably younger than you think) I'm not ashamed to admit that I hadn't heard of Bert Jansch before several of his songs were included on the soundtrack of the 2006 Noah Baumbach film The Squid and the Whale. (I am a little ashamed to admit that never would have heard of that film if it hadn't been for a certain Irish ex-boyfriend. But whatever, those were heady times). And aside all associations with high-minded New York-based film auteurs, "The Bright New Year," off his self-titled 1965 debut album, features Jansch's signature acoustic folk guitar work, always for me conjures up the sad pint-drinking mysticism of the British Isles (with a little help of memories of certain exes). His latest release, The Black Swan, came out in 2006 and is on par in every way with his earlier work.

His appearances on these shores are rare, and I would especially recommend him if you're a fan of Nick Drake. The two deserve to be mentioned in the same breath.With Alasdair Roberts.

City Winery
9 PM

Friday, August 21

The Antlers (Record release)

Not to be confused with The Crystal Antlers (or the Crystal Stilts, for that matter, and oh, dear, is that a long, slippery road), The Antlers are a Brooklyn trio fronted by Peter Silberman (center), who, according to his Web site, "draw[s] inspiration from the likes of Raymond Carver, Leonard Michaels and Sylvia Plath." Yes, that is as obnoxious as it sounds, but try to evaluate The Antlers based solely on their musical merits, which have the expansive scope of with some jangly, joyful guitarhooks thrown in, and Silberman's Bon Iver-reminiscent vocals. Plus Darby Cicci, the bassist (right) is totally worth doing. They play the Mercury Lounge on Friday to celebrate the release of their album Hospice on Frenchkiss. It kind of seems like it might be huge. With Murder Mystery, Twin Thousands and Brent Arnold.

Mercury Lounge
8 pm

Saturday, August 22

Talibam!, The Phenomenal Handclap Band

The Phenomenal Handclap Band, which I suppose can be best be described as a cross-borough coed eight-member funk/soul collective, headed by DJs/producers Daniel Collas and Sean Marquand, friended me on MySpace, then were promptly covered in Elle, of which I feel quite proud. (It doesn't really mean anything, except that none of their members are ugly, but still). They will be glamorous, they will be loud, their live show will get you dancing. Plus it's at P.S.1, in the afternoon (and possibly outdoors?) so you'll still have time to check out the museum, then head south and check out the show listed below, should you be so inclined.

P.S. 1 (Summer Warm Up)
2 PM
All Ages

Saturday, August 22

Real Estate, Air Waves, Ducktails, Beach Fossils, Fluffy Lumbers (Underwater Peoples Showcase)

Yeah, so does this show actually exist? It's not some kind of practical joke? Because this...this pretty much features every currently buzzed-about lo-fi band I can think of. It's fascinating if true. I hope to write more about the wonderful, Byrds-esque guitar work of Beach Fossils at some point later, so I'll just add that in the case of Fluffy Lumbers, I'm really not sure how much lo-er fi you can get before you're just one long string of continuous static, like your grandpa's old ham radio. But anyway, who's going to help me out? Ric? Anybody? With (take a deep breath) Family Portrait, Pill Wonder, Dana Jewell, Andrew Cedermark, Liam the Younger, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Frat Dad.

Market Hotel
5:30 PM
All Ages

Mp3 - The Old Triangle - Bert Jansch

Mp3 - Two - The Antlers

Mp3 - Youll Disappear - The Phenomenal Handclap Band

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Margaret Atwood on Twitter? It's true.

The interactive, worldwife tour for Margaret Atwood's new novel The Year of the Flood is to involve actors and music composed exclusively for the book, which needless say sounds supremely awesome. (I can't find a complete tour schedule as of this post, but rest assured I will stay on top of this). The book itself is a sequel, or rather companion book, to 2004's speculative novel Oryx and Crake).

In order to keep us up to date, she has not only set up a tour blog but also has begun tweeting on Twitter. (As of today, she already has over 4,000 followers. Oh, Peggy, why must you make it so hard for me to ever catch up?)

To be sure, I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be able to type @MargaretAtwood, and that her perpetual and regal genius would be as real as your average pr0nbot or marketing scammer, but it's a delightful prospect. Now would probably be a good time to note, for the benefit of full disclosure, that my love for Atwood's writing has been boundless ever since I read The Handmaid's Tale (voluntarily, not for class) my sophomore year of high school. You know that writer who you discover and immediately decide to read his or her entire oeuvre right then and there? Well, that's Atwood for me. Ultimately, The Blind Assassin came out at the top of the list. Neither I, nor my writing, was ever the same after that book. Please read it.

To tie-in with the release of The Year of the Flood, Virago has redesigned Atwood's back catalog. Here's what The Blind Assassin looks like, all turned out with its new cover:



Atwood's complete tour schedule for The Year of the Flood, featuring music composed by L.A.-based composer Orville Stoeber, can be found here. It's one hell of a trip, comprising the U.S., Canada and Europe, and kicks off August 23rd aboard none other than the Queen Mary 2.

The American leg of the tour is as follows:

Oct 4
Denver Tattered Cover Book Store,
1628 16th Street, 80202
Reading & Book Signing Details to come
Oct 6
San Francisco San Francisco City Arts & Lectures-Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue Literary performance with music followed by book signing 415-392-4400
or click here
Oct 7
Seattle Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Avenue, 98101 Reading & Book Signing in association with Elliott Bay Books Details to come
Oct 9
Los Angeles University of California, Royce Hall. 340 Royce Dr. 90095 Literary performance with music followed by book signing in association with UCLA Live! Series 310-825-2101
or click here
Oct 24
International Festival of Authors, Fleck Stage (formally the Premier Dance Theatre), Harbourfront Centre, 270 Queens Quay West Reading 416-973-4000
or click here
Oct 25
Cambridge First Parish Church, 3 Church St, 02138 Literary performance with music followed by book signing- in association with Harvard Book Store Details to come
Oct 27
New York Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street Literary performance with music followed by book signing Details to come
Oct 30
Washington George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street NW, 20052 Literary performance with music followed by book signing Details to come
Oct 31
Austin TBD Reading & Book Signing in association with Texas Book Festival Details to come
Nov 6
Chicago DePaul University, Merle Reskin Theater, 60 E. Balbo Drive Literary performance with music followed by book signing Details to come
Nov 8
Miami TBD Reading and Book Signing in association with Miami Book Fair Details to come

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Be the Dog? No thanks.

There's a play called "Be the Dog" premiering at the New York Fringe Festival later this month. According to the article on, it is "based on the short stories of Dave Eggers, Be the Dog celebrates and ridicules a world of complicated human relationships - through the eyes one simply exuberant dog...Written by Emily Kaye Liberis, it was produced as her senior thesis project at Boston University's School of Theatre in 2007. She developed it there with director Jason McDowell-Green."

So this...this pretty much exemplifies what is wrong with everything. That some poor, misguided theatre student couldn't find any better material to waste two years working on than a bunch of crappy experimental fiction by the most overexposed writer imaginable. Couldn't she at least have stretched a out a little bit? To Aimee Bender, maybe? Or even Amy Hempel? Or, you know, somebody new? Oh yeah, and if that weren't enough, we have to capitalize on the whole "Marley and Me" lovable dog trend, too.

"Be the Dog" premieres at the Robert Moss Theatre. Tickets are $15.
440 Studios is located at 440 Lafayette St. between Astor Place and East 4th St. directly across from The Public Theater. Elevator to the 3rd & 4th Floors. Here's the complete schedule:

Wednesday, August 26 @ 6.15pm
Wednesday, August 26 @ 9.45pm
Friday, August 28 @ 4.15pm
Saturday, August 29 @ 10.00pm
Sunday, August 30 @ 12.00pm


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's the deal? Your very own weekly Publisher's Lunch deal snark

This week's inaugural selection falls under the Fiction/Debut category. The Lunch Weekly-provided description reads as follows:

Rainbow Rowell's FLAGGED, a fresh take on the office comedy in which a shy but endearing I.T. guy whose job is to monitor the company email falls in love with a girl in his office whose emails are constantly flagged, to Erika Imranyi at Dutton, at auction, by Christopher Schelling at Ralph M. Vicinanza.

Indichik says: Okay. Two things: First, there's no possible way I will ever read a book, short of a memoir of a life spent in the adult-film industry, by anyone named Rainbow. Second, "fresh take on the office comedy"has been an oxymoron for at least past ten years or so, given that at least one story in every lit mag I've read has featured a story about some poor sap just out of college (a doppelganger for the author five years ago) fooling himself into thinking's he's cleverer than everyone else his age because, just like everyone else, he wants to share the witty barbs he came up with while working at some awful job.

Ha ha, it's funny because working in a cubical is dull! Ha ha, it's funny because my boss is a moron! Ha ha, it's funny because my co-workers are weird!

Then tack on a gimmicky po-mo plot involving modern technology, as a vehicle for a cliched romance, in which no doubt some gorgeous, non-threateningly quirky girl inexplicably falls for an ugly, socially-inept nerd, and there's literary gold.

This concludes the inaugural edition of What's the Deal?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sian Alice Group MP3 Review

I've been hearing this band's name floating around for what seems like forever, mostly because of my familiarity with their Social Registry labelmates Gang Gang Dance (at Beyond Race Magazine, I somehow overnight become the designated "GGD person"), but not until now, when I finally got around to listening to them, did it occur to me that they're actually British, Their album 59.59 is just out, and they'll be in New York for two nights in September (13th and 14th).

So. The "heaven" referred to in "Way Down to Heaven" is more like "heaven" as described by a death-metal band. The bassline is hyper-insistent and sneaks up on you, starting out slow and friendly like an al fresco lunch date, coupled by high repeated repeated harmonic choruses that recall the more hippy-spooky side of Fleetwood Mac. All of this is later ambushed by some feedback-heavy lead guitar laced over and under the vocals, which somehow gives way to a sound that psychedelic-ish, but not quite. It's too controlled to give the sense of out-and-out primitive chaos you get from Gang Gang Dance. So basically, it's GGD more suitable for the dentist's office, but...if you're dentist don't, you know, actually play it in your office.

mp3 - Way Down To Heaven - Sian Alice Group

Monday, August 10, 2009

PB&J are BRM Band of the Week

Who knew John Eriksson (right), the drummer for Swedish pop gods Peter Bjorn and John, made all those phat boutique beats on Living Thing just with his mouth?

The band is on tour this summer with Depeche Mode (they played MSG last Monday) and paused to talk to me.

Peter Bjorn and John are Beyond Race Mag's Band of the Week.

MP3 - Nothing To Worry About - Peter Bjorn And John

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This week's Chikpiks (with a rather generous definition of "week")

Vacation mania, my friends, vacation mania. This weeks' Chikpiks are all higgledy-piggledy, taking us through next Saturday, just so I don't miss anything. Then they'll be back again (hopefully) on Monday.

Thursday, August 6

Mark Kozelek

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Kozelek, lately of Sun Kil Moon and late of Red House Painters, is sort of the musical equivalent of Thomas Pynchon -- you don't see him that much, but you don't really have to in order to know that he's weird. Red House Painters, was the slowcore act of the '90s, taking disturbing angst and craft it into hauntingly beautiful refrains. If you like Mogwai, just wait'll you hear 1993's Red House Painters (I). Sun Kil Moon, by contrast, has been mainly underwhelming. They are/were both Kozelek, and so is this show -- except now he's by himself. See if you can handle it. With Mia Doi Todd.


Wednesday, August 12

Bat for Lashes
Webster Hall

Shameless drama queen Natasha Khan may stand at the forefront of the British freak-folk movement, but I still think she looks just like Posh Spice.

8 PM

Thursday, August 13

Yeasayer, Amazing Baby
Pier 54 (Hudson River Park)

This is more or less irrelevant, but I currently have, for going on several months now, Simon O'Connor's (far right, with Amazing Baby) phone number listed in my contacts for some reason. One of these days I'm going to call him, either for an interview or a date (I haven't decided which, yet.) I'm not sure which one his father would disapprove of more. (Well, okay, yeah I do).

All Ages

Friday, August 14

Animal Collective

Prospect Park Bandshell (Celebrate Brooklyn)

I kind of hate myself for mentioning this, but I know I would also kind of hate myself if I didn't. Come to think of it, is it sold out? It's probably sold out. But if it isn't and for some reason you're looking for another reason to go, I will say that at their last NYC show, spotted in the audience were the kid from The Sixth Sense and the chick from Slums of Beverly Hills. So, yeah. At this show, who knows? You might spot one of the guys from BASEketball. With Black Dice, Dam Funk.

5:30 PM
All Ages

School of Seven Bells

South St. Seaport

While you're hobnobbing with beautiful has-beens from 1998 in Prospect Park, I will most likely be here, seeing this dreamy trio, being lullabyed off to my lucid dreams bytwo girl identical twins and a guy, dreams in which I will be shopping somewhere other than Abercrombie & Fitch. With The xx and a guest DJ.

6 pm
All Ages

Saturday August 15

Kurt Vile
Silent Barn

Matador Records. Philly. Mean guitar. Prettiest hair in music. Next big thing. There, I said it. With Tommy Jay, Blues Control.

8 PM
All Ages

Carry Me Ohio - Mark Kozelek

Beach On The Moon (Recycled Lyrics) - Kurt Vile