On the occasion of the Voice staff awarding Frenchkiss Records Best New York-Based Record Label in this year's Best Of New York bonanza, I decided to give Syd Butlerthe founder of the label and bassist for art-rock group Les Savy Fava call and see if he'd be willing to chat with me about his favorite New York locales. He not only said yes, he invited us to the Frenchkiss office, where we conducted the above interview. Please ignore my Butt-Head laugh, and yes, I did ask him to wear that shirt. (He was more than happy to oblige, though!) A list of his favorites below.
In this week's Voice, we looked at the history of Archers Of Loaf, the storied North Carolina indie outfit that recently got back together for a run of shows and reissues. Below, some quotes from Archers frontman Eric Bachmann that couldn't fit into the Voice's print edition; members of Band of Horses, Les Savy Fav and the Hold Steady help restore the white trash heroes' proper place in indie rock's annals, too.
Les Savy Fav have not evolved, you will be happy to learn. They are still the same four laser-focused musicians and one giant hairy bald art-punk jester who tongue-kisses strangers and strips down to his underpants. And so a night committed to letting these guys--most noticeably prop comic/expert crowd conductor Tim Harrington--be your primary source of entertainment is always a good decision. At the very best, Les Savy Fav live are the most fun you've had standing upright all month; at the very least, Les Savy Fav are a damn fine primer to Odd Future's Jimmy Fallon debut, even if this strain of performance-art punk comes from "the old people in the back," the side of the bell curve Hodgy Beats finds so reprehensible. Both Tyler and Tim wear kneesocks, so.
The year in music, circa 2010, started at the Cake Shop, with a shred-down to the New Year courtesy of Siren Festival MVP-to-be Marissa Paternoster and her band Screaming Females. After a tour through the NYE fetes of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, that night ended amidst a marathon show at Bushwick's Shea Stadium, right around the time the Blastoids' drummer poured paint on his kit and started splattering away.
L Magazine's four-day Northside Fest had something for everyone, including those of you with a vested interest in seeing Les Savy Fav frontman Tim Harrington's genitals. Georgia Kral's travels are here; now, let's move on to a summary of our own Rebecca Smeyne's travels. Briefly NSFW, but only if you squint, heh.
First Shepard Fairey gets up at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to the sweet, sweet strains of Band of Horses, Fugazi, and Metallica; now, it seems, Brooklyn vets Faile and their mysterious buddy Bast are getting in on the random street art-indie rock crossover act. The collective plus one have commissioned Les Savy Fav guitarist Seth Jabour to do the music at Deluxx Fluxx, a functional video arcade "programmed with games using Faile and Bast imagery," according to Gothamist, located at 158 Allen Street. It opens tomorrow, and will stay that way Tuesday through Sunday from 3-11pm until May 27th. Then after that Raymond Pettibon might clear his throat and deign to remind everyone he and Greg Ginn still run this particular niche, and will till the end of time.
--Legendary cult UK folk singer Vashti Bunyan will appear at 92Y Tribeca with director Kieran Evans for a live performance and screening of the documentary Vashti Bunyan: From Here To Before on October 16th and 17th. The New York Press once called Bunyan the "Godmother of Freak Folk." She released her first album, Just Another Diamond Day in 1970, but soon disappeared from the industry. The event's press release describes the documentary as a "lyrical, modern day road movie that retraces Vashti's extraordinary journey from London to the island of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides of northern Scotland and sets it against the backdrop of her first high profile London concert." Tickets are on sale now.
--The Knitting Factory's new Williamsburg location has an opening date: September 9th. The new spot is 361 Metropolitan Ave., the old location of the Luna Lounge. Native Brooklynites Les Savy Fav will play the inaugural performance. If you're counting, this is the long-running rock club's third location. It first opened in 1987 on E. Houston Street. It moved to Tribeca in 1994, well before the neighborhood's Robert DeNiro-inspired gentrification. Among the features of the new Knitting Factory: soundproof windows, a restored 1930s bar from West Virginia and flooring from a South Carolina woolen mill. Tickets for Les Savy Fav's gig are on sale now.
Les Savy Fav Beardo had a 20-second cameo on last night's Super Jail that's also online here. So if you happened to be in Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern in Williamsburg around midnight, you would've noticed a bald, bearded dude with an orange-and-pink striped sweater, hanging out with Christy Karacas from Cheeseburger (who as it turns out, is one of the creators of the show, for which Cheeseburger wrote and recorded the theme), and cheering wildly when that very same bearded dude appeared on television and woke up in the gutter. Or maybe that too, was all a dream?
Sound of the City roots for the home team and so does Impose Magazine's Jeremy Krinsley.
Parts & Labor's "Fractured Skies": the real star of this fixed-gear porn video "Empire"
While I will make no attempt to encapsulate the massive invasion of time, space, and taste that is CMJ, I would like to direct you to a few of the "best of CMJ" posts for your own amusement and perusal. If I were to make a scoreboard, meticulously calculating the bands who everyone decided were the most important and exciting to grace the Lower East Side and/or Williamsburg, I would be forced to note that Crystal Stilts have apparently shown up on more radars than anyone else. I would have preferred people to get excited about Women, but that's just me.
Parts & Labor quietly slipped out of town on the heels of the release of Receivers—their latest, smoothest, and many people's favorite of their three Jagjaguwar albums. Before leaving Brooklyn for greener touring pastures, they played the Not-CMJ Impose show-as-record-release-party, showed off their dirty toilets and fat-reducing machines on this lil blog, and were given a round of warm, fuzzy critical thumbs ups. Upon leaving for tour, they've also updated their website (it now includes a full stream of the new album) and created a toll free number (888 317 5596) where you can "leave sound" that they'll incorporate into their live show.