TAS In Session Flashback 2012: Part One
Over the past year, The Alternate Side staff — Russ Borris, Alisa Ali, Eric Holland and Kara Manning — has relished the chance to interview dozens of bands, hailing from all over the world, from Stockholm, Sweden (Niki & The Dove) to Ballarat, Australia (Gold Fields) to Omaha, Nebraska (Icky Blossoms).
We loved all of the interviews we did — passion for a particular band often defined each of our interviews — and over the next two weeks, we'll look back at some of the sessions — and live performance videos — that were most meaningful to us in 2012. We'll also report on what's next for those bands and artists in 2013.
A big thanks to WFUV/The Alternate Side's outstanding and indefatigable engineering and video teams, all Fordham University alumni, undergraduates or graduate students, led by WFUV's George Evans, Jim O'Hara and Joe Grimaldi: Daniel Hodd, Jeremy Rainer, Andrew Arnie, Claire Donovan, Alex Erker, Colin Fitzgerald, Zack Garnett, Dylan Hasson, Donald Lee Hayden, Claire Lorenzo, Fenizia Maffucci, Rafael Moure-Punnett, Diego Siler-Gonzales and Erica Talbott.
We'll revisit TAS in Session with Django Django on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, December 28, at 11 a.m., also streaming online.
TAS in Session 2012, Part 1:
Brooklyn's Yeasayer had a very busy year, touring to support Fragrant World and greeting a new member of the Yeasayer family — multi-instrumentalist Anand Wilder and his wife Jo had a baby daughter. The trio returned from a European tour this month and then boarded the S.S. Coachella for the Bahamas and Jamaica with Pulp, Sleigh Bells, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty and many more. Yeasayer won't be off the road (or sea) for long; on January 26, the group commences a three week tour of Singapore, Australia and Japan. They also recently covered Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News" for Rumours Revisited, a collection curated by Mojo magazine. Listen to Yeasayer woozily channeling Lindsey Buckingham here; the collection is available with the purchase of the January 2013 issue.
Just after their session with The Alternate Side, Bombay Bicycle Club played in London's Hyde Park with Blur, New Order and the Specials, part of the festivities marking the closing of the 2012 London Olympics. That stop in Britain was one of the few times that Bombay Bicycle Club has been home all year; the quartet has been tirelessly touring in support of its third album, A Different Kind of Fix. They'll kick off 2013 in Australia — a tour there begins December 29 at the Falls Festival — but this past weekend Bombay Bicycle Club returned to London to play a sold-out gig at Koko. A fourth album is underway and the band has hinted at more dance-influenced songs.
Sweden's Niki & The Dove made frequent visits to the States throughout 2012, opening for Twin Shadow and Miike Snow, and they'll be back next month, playing 16 cities in North America. That headlining tour launches January 10 in Philadelphia and will arrive at New York's Bowery Ballroom on January 12.
Well, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, certainly didn't fear any fun this year, despite the title of his critically-praised album. The man behind Fear Fun just spent a handful of days this month sailing around the Bahamas and Jamaica with Pulp, Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells and Yeasayer, above, as part of the S.S. Coachella floating festival. By week's end, he'll launch another North American tour in Los Angeles, playing New York's Webster Hall on January 14 with Magic Trick.
Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic spent 2012 touring behind the band's third album, the lushly-crafted, NIgel Godrich-produced A Different Ship. Luke Temple and his bandmates cobbled together some of their strongest live performances for a special digital tour EP, available now for a mere $8 pledge. They'll start off the new year with a hometown show at New York's Le Poisson Rouge on January 17.
Few debut albums this year gathered as many bouquets of praise, from both music critics and ordinary fans, as Django Django's self-titled release. The London-based quartet released a new video for "Life's A Beach" this month, collected a Mercury Prize nomination — losing to Alt-J — in November, and released a remix album, available now digitally and early next year on vinyl. They're also on a tireless live schedule, headlining the NME tour in the UK in February and planning a return to North America in March, kicking off the tour at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg for a two-night stand, March 6-7.
North Carolina orchestral folk pop band Lost in the Trees followed up their startling debut, All Alone In An Empty House, with the equally exquisite A Church That Fits Our Needs. The profoundly emotional nature of frontman Ari Picker's songs resonates powerfully in the band's live performances. While no full North American dates are announced quite yet for 2013, Lost in the Trees has scheduled a notable one-off at New York's Lincoln Center on February 28 as part of the American Songbook series.
The very blond John O'Regan, better known by his band, Diamond Rings, released Free Dimensional in October and has been touring the States this fall, supported by another TAS in Session alumnus, Gold Fields. O'Regan had high-profile appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Late Show with David Letterman." Look for 2013 tour dates to be announced soon.
When Friends traveled from Brooklyn to the The Alternate Side's Studio A for a session last winter, it was before the band had released its debut album. That record, Manifest!, was finally unleashed in late spring and Friends spent a good amount of 2012 touring, most recently with Two Door Cinema Club this past fall. Singer and songwriter Samantha Urbani's flirtateous declarations gyrated coyly against her bandmates' juicy basslines, synth flourishes and clattering Burundi beats. Unfortunately, two of those bandmates have departed since the autumn — bassist Leslie Hann (now with Royal Baths) and percussionist Matthew Molnar. Friends now has a new lineup, but no 2013 tour dates have been announced yet.
Metric's Synthetica, the Canadian band's fifth album, was just re-released in November in a deluxe edition that includes five acoustic tracks, including a cover of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan's "Strange Weather." On the tour front, Metric not only played more than 65 shows, but made its headlining debut at Radio City Music Hall — which included two songs with Lou Reed, Metric's own "The Wanderlust" and the Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes." They played the "VH1 Divas" show earlier this month, covering Blondie's "Heart of Glass." No tour dates announced thus far for 2013.
As the first Australian band signed to Sub Pop, Husky spent plenty of time in the States over the last year, supporting its debut album, Forever So. The folk rockers wrapped their first North American headlining tour in November and will be playing a few Australian festivals over the next couple of months, including the sold-out Falls Festival in Lorne, Victoria on December 28.