Meet 4AD's Indians, Denmark's Bon Iver

I first came across Indians entirely by accident courtesy of a CMJ schedule screw-up. On the first night of the annual music marathon back in October, I had been bouncing from the Rockwood Music Hall to Pianos to Cake Shop when the list of bands I had hastily scrawled in a notebook led me to the Living Room on Ludlow for a cozy show with an Irish rock outfit I'd never heard of. I hightailed it to the venue and elbowed my way into the back room, only to look up and see that there was a man onstage accompanied by nothing more than his keyboard and a guitar--which hardly fit the physical description for the five-piece band of Dubliners I was expecting.

Indians, on tour with Other Lives, play the Bowery Ballroom tonight and at Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow.

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4AD, Indians

The Gay Bar, McDonald's, Taco Bell, the Gates of Hell, etc: These Are Electric Six's Places of Interest

Categories: Mercury Lounge

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Electric Six

Tonight, fun-loving party rockers Electric Six are bringing their unique brand of unrelenting dance-floors thrashers to Mercury Lounge for what's sure to be the most unstable good time in Manhattan this evening. Next year marks a full decade since the group smashed into our collective conscious with their breakthrough Fire album, and they've been making us rock out everywhere since.

While their live tours have limited their performances to the stages at clubs and festivals, their music has taken listeners through some of the most intriguing nooks and crannies that rock's ever seen. We at the Sound of the City decided to take a look back at some of the most memorable of Electric Six's Places of Interest

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The 10 Best Guesses To The Suddenly Pressing Question, "Who Are The Modern Weepers?"

Yesterday Brooklyn Vegan posted a query about about British act playing Mercury Lounge on May 27; the act goes by the name the Modern Weepers, and the Merc site claims that the Mancunian act is "well travelled and well known in their native England" and "thrill[s] audiences and critics alike with their electronic melodies and classic Mope Rock lyrics." But thanks to there being little info on the band on the web--there's the bio on the Merc site, the seemingly MS Paint-produced logo at left, and a brand-new, deliberately cryptic Twitter account that follows Okkervil River, Pitchfork, Weezer, and Mike Posner--BV's innocent query (tagged, provocatively, with "secret show") has resulted in 500-some-odd speculative comments, zero real answers as to who this band in disguise might be, and a sold-out show for something that could just be a big old fake-out. (I'm hoping for The Tears, myself--get the play on words??--although Brett Anderson might be tired after three shows in Dublin spotlighting old Suede catalog that week.) 10 answers from the name-eschewing BV crowd and their odds of being true, after the jump.

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Live: Stepkids Throw A Startling Psych-R&B Dance Party At Mercury Lounge

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Pics by Sophia Betz
The Stepkids
Mercury Lounge
Thursday, March 10

Better Than: Being dry. Maybe.

"I couldn't believe it, bro!

"My mouth was hanging open the whole time!"

Down in the basement dressing rooms of Mercury Lounge, a childhood friend of Connecticut band the Stepkids is trying to articulate his feelings about his pals' colorful performance. Like most of the audience, he was unprepared for the light show, the lean and deft psychedelic soul, the all-white outfits, and the graceful leaps from one decade's sound to another. He was not alone.

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Live: Titus Andronicus Get In Touch With Their Feminine Sides At Mercury Lounge

Amy Andronicus, lighter than air. Pics by Willie Davis, more below.
Titus Andronicus/Care Bears on Fire
Mercury Lounge
Thursday, February 10

Consider Amy Andronicus, née Klein, she of magnificent New Jersey punk-rockers Titus Andronicus, and an awfully cheering sight up there onstage, surrounded by all those severe bearded men screaming shit like "THE ENEMY IS EVERYWHERE!" and "YOUR LIFE IS OVER!" and "YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A LOSER!" and whatnot. She's screaming that stuff too, usually, but she just seems happier about it, bouncing around with a huge smile on her face even during the slow parts, switching from guitar to disarmingly poignant violin as events warrant, generally lighting up a room TA mastermind Patrick Stickles (a pretty cheerful presence himself, but that beard is just so severe) seems intent on shrouding in self-loathing darkness. It's all very sweet, or at least that's what you think until the band launches into a cover of X-Ray Spex' "Oh Bondage! Up Yours!" with Amy on lead vocals, and suddenly you are fearing for your life.

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Live: Joan Of Arc Noodle With Aplomb At Mercury Lounge

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Just ignore that weird burning smell. Pic by Jonah.
Joan of Arc
Mercury Lounge
Tuesday, February 1

Better Than: Cap'n Jazz, Owls, Owen, Friend/Enemy, Make Believe, Ghosts and Vodka, Tim Kinsella(s) . . . pretty much every JOA-affiliated band besides American Football.

Joan of Arc and Jean-Luc Godard have something in common (besides the recreation of scenes from Weekend in the artwork for the band's 1999 album, Live in Chicago). I've always suspected that people who maintain they like the difficult, esoteric later work of both the band and the filmmaker as much as their vibrant, pop-infused early creations are full of shit. JOA's How Memory Works and A Portable Model are Breathless, Contempt, Band of Outsiders. Everything after that is Ici et ailleurs or Notre Musique. I guess sometimes you have to see a band live to really get what they've been up to, though, because Tim Kinsella and company put on a solid, rocking performance at the Mercury Lounge on this nasty, freezing, wet night. Even the band's most annoyingly pretentious and meandering songs were rendered snappy and engaging.

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Music Venue With the Most Foursquare Check-Ins in 2010? Terminal 5. (Mercury Lounge's Third.)

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pic by Rob Harvilla
Florence, trying to unlock the Crunked badge with her mind at Terminal 5.

Somewhat interesting: the music venue with the most Foursquare check-ins for 2010 was NY-concert airplane hanger Terminal 5, announced on the Foursquare blog earlier this week. This is a global ranking too, though it's understandable why a New York hub with 10-15 shows a month at a 3000-person capacity would draw more Foursquare users than of a 17000-person arena like LA's Hollywood Bowl, which came in second. (East Coast is far deeper into the 4S game than West, according to this map of global check-ins.) But even more curious? A far smaller Bowery Presents venue, the 250-person Mercury Lounge, had the third most check-ins of the year, more than either Radio City Music Hall or Bowery Ballroom.

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Tonight's Yuck Show At Mercury Lounge Is Canceled

Alas, per above, classic indie-guitar-crunch revivalists Yuck have axed their Mercury Lounge show tonight due to VISA issues, though tomorrow's gig at Glasslands is still on as of now. In the interim, please spell yourself by watching their ridiculous sexy-dog-washing video, which is a real thing:

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Live: Snowden Bring Their Rousing Songs of Doom And Gloom To Mercury Lounge

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Jordan Jeffares, bringing back the better parts of the '80s. Pics by Chris.
Mercury Lounge
Friday, January 21

Better Than: Reading Catch-22 all alone at home.

Friday night's blizzard-like conditions only serve to remind us that everyone's favorite winter-themed, synth-happy, NYC-transplanted indie-rockers are playing yet another show. Snowden have only released one official LP in eight years (2006's Anti-Anti), but they've kept afloat via a constant string of EPs, excellent songwriting, and relentless touring, all helping the band amass a large and loyal following willing to follow them anywhere, weather calamity notwithstanding.

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Live: Toro Y Moi Stretch Out At Mercury Lounge

Chaz Bundick, no longer dancing with himself. Pic by Max.
Toro y Moi
Mercury Lounge
Wednesday, January 19

Better Than
: Being under 21, like headlining band Indian Rebound

Toro y Moi shows have changed a lot in the past 18 months. Back in late 2009, when he was opening for the likes of Jemina Pearl and Islands, it was just some synths, a laptop, and a kid named Chaz Bundick. He would spend entire sets staring at his occasionally dancing feet, mumbling his unpolished lyrics more than singing them, and generally hiding behind the house-y thuds, electro-funk loops, and synth-y sighs wafting up from his gear. By 2010, when he was opening for Caribou, he'd brought high school pals into the fold, touring as a trio that added oomph and coloring to the smeared, swooning songs on his debut album, Causers of This. Last night, after a lonely, inscrutable opening set Philip Seymour Hoffman (seriously), Toro y Moi had its soft launch as a quartet.

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