Members of Brooklyn indie band The Yellow Dogs shot and killed by ex-bandmate

The Yellow Dogs

The Yellow Dogs

The Yellow Dogs, an acclaimed post-punk band from Iran, had been living in Brooklyn

Very tragic news reached us this morning.

Via Channel 4

A man who was kicked out of an indie band from Iran about a year ago went to the Brooklyn apartment building where his former bandmates lived early Monday and fatally shot three of them with an assault rifle before killing himself on the roof, law enforcement officials said.

A fourth member of the The Yellow Dogs, an acclaimed post-punk band from Tehran living in Brooklyn since about 2010, was shot twice in the arm but was taken to the hospital and is expected to live. Law enforcement officials said the surviving victim, who is 22, called 911 shortly after midnight and reported the shooting at the three-story apartment building on Maujer Street in East Williamsburg.

Responding officers found the three dead victims on the second and third floors of one apartment; a 35-year-old man and an unidentified man had been shot in the head, and a 27-year-old man had been shot in the chest.

Law enforcement officials said the gunman went from room to room, gunning down his victims; two were found in bedrooms and the third was killed in the living room.  The gunman was kicked out of the band after bandmates suspected he was selling their equipment behind their backs, law enforcement officials said.


The body of the gunman was found on the roof of the building. Law enforcement officials say he shot himself in the chin, and the .308-caliber assault rifle authorities believe he used to shoot his former bandmates was found next to his body.

The Yellow Dogs were featured in the documentary “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” which celebrated them as “fixtures in Tehran’s underground rock scene before Iran’s Ministry of Culture caught on to them,” according to the Huffington Post.

Shocked fans posted messages of horror and mourning on the group’s Facebook page after the shooting.

The victims’ families still live in Iran and police are working with officials from the U.S. Department of State to notify them, law enforcement officials said.

Watch their video for “this city”:

Published on Jun 6, 2012

Neverheard Inc presents, “this city” by The Yellow Dogs
Directed by Bill Stepanoski
Produced by Kerry Taylor
Carousel Productions – NY
DOP: Filipp Penson
Edited by Bill Stepanoski
Art Directon by Zoe Bailey + Rosie Turnball

About East Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

East Williamsburg in Brooklyn is known for being home to many underground bands.

I was in this neighborhood twice. If your band has arena sized dreams, then Shea Stadium may be a good place to start. The crowd will love and cheer for you as if you were winning the World Series. As for the team uniform, Shea Stadium was a plethora of plaid, unbrushed hair, and skinny jeans on a Saturday night.

This Shea Stadium isn’t in Queens and it’s definitely not in Manhattan. The vibe was free flowing complete with a beach ball in the air. Shea Stadium has the feel of a high school gymnasium and a suburban garage. The decor is makeshift with decade old couches and cartoon canvases. The stage even dons a wooden tidal wave border. It’s elementary and raw.

The bands I saw that night were a bit all over the place. One act played with their backs against the crowd. Another jumped so hard it looked like the stage was going to collapse. The music verged on alternative with a mix of rock influenced by the sounds of the 60’s. My favorite band of the night did not play on the stage but in the middle of the crowd and busted country. They played acoustic and it was refreshing to be able to understand them clearly. At times the bands at Shea Stadium sounded like a garbled mess. The instruments were louder than the mics, making it difficult to hear the artists sing. Shea Stadium is an experiential music venue, recording house, and open forum. It is part of the young Brooklyn scene and what goes on there is fluid.

Shea Stadium is in the middle of nowhere so keep the address handy because unless you are familiar with industrial warehouses and concealed music venues, you may have trouble finding the place. Cover is the price of a beer. Shea Stadium gets warm inside. For some cool air and a smoker’s break, one can sneak away to the balcony which stares right at the Empire State Building. There are surprising little gems like these in Brooklyn. Luckily, Shea Stadium is so underground that there are no velvet ropes or lines out the door. All you need to know is the address.

Kevin Shields of MBV upset over his band’s lack of nomination for the Mercury Prize – A Bias Against Indie Artists


Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine –

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Independently released ‘m b v’ didn’t meet nomination qualifications

My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields is awfully upset over his band’s lack of nomination for the Mercury Prize, the annual award for best British album. In an interview with the Guardian, the frontman aired his grievances after the group’s first album in 22 years, the Essential m b v, failed to get a nod thanks to what he claims is a bias against indie artists.

“Isn’t Mercury a phone company or something, anyway? What’s that got to do with music?” he said. “We’re banned by them, and do you know why? Because we’re not on Amazon or iTunes. That’s one of the qualifying criteria. You have to have major distribution or be on iTunes or Amazon.”

Either way, Shields is still rankled by the snub. “It’s interesting to learn that to be as independent as we are is … virtually illegal,” he said. “It’s not a real record. Our album’s not a real album because it’s independent. The corporate-ness has got to such a point where we’ve essentially been told that we don’t exist. So, technically, that album doesn’t exist.”

Perhaps the most conspicuous omission was My Bloody Valentine‘s much-lauded MBV. Whether you think it was an awesome comeback or not, it is the kind of record that normally at least gets nominated (see Bowie’s The Next Day). The reason it’s not, claims glide guitar maestro Kevin Shields tells The Guardian, is that the album is too independent:

“We’re banned by them, and do you know why? Because we’re not on Amazon or iTunes. That’s one of the qualifying criteria. You have to have major distribution or be on iTunes or Amazon.”Shields may be correct. According to the terms and conditions on the Mercury website, qualifying albums will have “a digital and physical distribution deal in place in the UK”.  My Bloody Valentine, who self-released their album, only sold the digital version of mbv through their own website. This may not be considered a “digital distribution deal”.

“We released our record, mbv, independently,” Shields said. My Bloody Valentine didn’t even rely on an indie label such as Domino or Alcopop! Records. “It’s interesting to learn that to be as independent as we are is … virtually illegal,” he said. “It’s not a real record. Our album’s not a real album because it’s independent. The corporate-ness has got to such a point where we’ve essentially been told that we don’t exist. So, technically, that album doesn’t exist. OK? It’s not allowed to exist according to the Mercury prize.” – [The Guardian]

Shields goes on to say he has no regrets about self-releasing the album. The CD of MBV is currently available to buy on Amazon (who allow third-party sellers), but not digitally. The Mercury Prize, which looks to be a race between Bowie and Arctic Monkeys, will be announced October 30 in London.

My Bloody Valentine, meanwhile, are set to hit the East Coast in November, including two shows at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale today (9/13) at 10 AM.

The short list for the Mercury Prize includes David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, Disclosure, Savages, and more. Shields said “god help” the eventual winner, saying that the award negatively impacts an artist’s career: “Seriously, there are sinister forces at work.”

Shame on the Music Industry!

Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2013 shortlist nominees: 

Arctic Monkeys, AM
David Bowie, The Next Day
Disclosure, Settle
Foals, Holy Fire
Jake Bugg, Jake Bugg
James Blake, Overgrown
Jon Hopkins, Immunity
Laura Marling, Once I Was an Eagle
Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon
Rudimental, Home
Savages, Silence Yourself
Villagers, Awayland

Listen to The National’s beautiful performance for KCRW

The National - Photo KCRW

The National – Photo KCRW

Following their performance at Outside Lands and last night’s appearance on Kimmel, The National stopped by KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic to play a special, stripped-down set. The band performed what they called “chilled out versions” of Trouble Will Find Me tracks like “I Should Live In Salt”, “This Is the Last Time”, and “Fireproof”, due to the absence of drummer Bryan Devendorf, who sat out the session in order to rest his injured back. Listen to the entire 45-minute program here.

The National may be a New York institution, but the band was in Hollywood last night as guests of Jimmy Kimmel Live!. As they continue to support their second straight CoS Top Star-earning record in Trouble Will Find Me, Matt Berninger and his brotherly bandmates performed “Graceless” and “This is the Last Time”. Watch the replay below.

In related news, The National are reportedly hard at work on a star-studded Grateful Dead tribute album with Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen, Kurt Vile & The Violators, and others. Can’t wait.

More about The National here

Grizzly Bear: World Tour 2012

Grizzly Bear is a Brooklyn-based Art rock / indie folk band, composed of Edward Droste (vocals, guitar, omnichord, keyboard), Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, banjo, keyboards), Chris Taylor (bass, backing vocals, various instruments, producer) and Christopher Bear (drums, backing vocals, glockenspiel). The band employs traditional and electronic instruments. Their sound has been categorized as psychedelic pop, folk rock, and experimental, and is dominated by the use of vocal harmonies. The band is one of the few non-electronic artists signed to Warp Records.

Daniel Rossen is also a member of the duo Department of Eagles.

Visit for ticket links.

16 Knoxville, TN @ Tennessee Theater
17 Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
18 Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
20 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
21 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
22 Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theater
23 Montreal, QC @ L’Olympia
24 New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
26 Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
28 Cincinnati, OH @ MidPoint Music Festival
29 Champaign, IL @ Pygmalion Music Festival
30 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre

01 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
04 Portland, OR @ Keller Auditorium
05 Seattle, Washington @ Paramount Theatre
06 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
09 Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
10 Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theater
17 Gateshead, UK @ The Sage Gateshead
18 Manchester, UK @ Academy
20 Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland Ballroom
21 Coventry, UK @ Warwick Arts Centre
22 London, UK @ Brixton Academy
26 Oslo, Norway @ Rockefeller
27 Stockholm, Sweden @ Berns Salonger
28 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Falconer Salen
30 Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefärlich
31 Berlin, Germany @ Astra

02 Köln, Germany @ Essigfabrik
03 Paris, France @ Pitchfork Festival
04 Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique
05 Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso
20 Wellington, New Zealand @ Opera House
21 Auckland, New Zealand @ Bruce Mason

Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear Band New Album ‘Shields’ – review (Warp)

The brains-trust end of the US indie spectrum … Grizzly Bear. Photograph: Tom Hines

Yes, you guessed right. Grizzly Bear is one of my favorite bands.
Three years after the release of Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear is set to launch Shields on September 18th under Warp Records.

Talking about the new album, band member Ed Droste says Shields is “very in-your-face — the drums and vocals are clearer and louder.” Don’t expect a Veckatimest: Part II, though. “All of our albums sound like us, but they’re definitely not the same.”

Grizzly Bear is set to begin a world tour on September 16th. Listen to the first single “Sleeping Ute” below, which was released back in June.


Anyone looking for a sobering contrast between the British and American rock scenes could alight on the differing career trajectories of indie bands. The firework band seems to have become the norm over here: we now expect artists to appear fully formed, then spend the rest of their careers struggling to appear as interesting as they did at first. Compare this to the fortunes of Grizzly Bear. They started life in 2004 – a year Britain was falling, at various angles, for Razorlight, the Others, the 22-20s and Goldie Lookin’ Chain – as the home-recording project of Edward Droste, the results meant only to be heard by friends. But the tape circulated and the band toured relentlessly: following the release of 2006’s Yellow House, they supported Radiohead, whose guitarist Jonny Greenwood acclaimed them as his favourite band. In 2009, they crashed into the US top 10 with their third album, Veckatimest.

An alt-rock band hitting it big in Britain after five years, with their third album, would be in itself a talking point, but it was compounded by the fact that Veckatimest was an improbable candidate for top 10 success. To hear Grizzly Bear talk about its accessibility, you would have thought Veckatimest was a brazen lunge for the mainstream jugular involving a guest appearance from Justin Bieber and production by Calvin Harris and Will.I.Am. In fact, it sounded more like their trickiest record to date, a rich, dense weave of sound that variously involved the composer Nico Muhly, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and a string quartet drawn from the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.

It was an impressively ambitious and complex album, but if you had to level a criticism at Veckatimest, you could argue it was easier to admire than adore. As with a lot of music from what you might call the brains-trust end of the US indie spectrum, it occasionally felt like a difficult scientific problem was being solved in front of you: every note and noise appeared to have been thought carefully through, with an inevitable effect. Under the circumstances, the news that the followup has taken three apparently quite agonising years to complete – with an entire album scrapped in the process – might not be entirely welcome.

There are certainly moments when Shields sounds exactly like you might expect something that’s been agonised over by a bunch of clever American indie musicians for three years to sound: What’s Wrong drifts beautifully along without connecting, its intricate mesh of woodwind, vocal harmonies, jazzy drum patterns and string interludes all good judgment and no gut-punch. But more often, it sounds as if Grizzly Bear have spent their time away digging out the emotions that sometimes get buried beneath the technical fireworks. Speak in Rounds builds to a climax that – to use a phrase not much associated with Grizzly Bear – rocks, and furthermore rocks in a viscerally thrilling manner. The opener, Sleeping Ute, is every bit as knotty as anything on Veckatimest, but its odd time signature and synthesiser arpeggios appear to be there for a purpose. The music sounds as if it’s tossing and turning: “If I could find peace … If I could lie still … But I can’t help myself.”

Some songs have caused a degree of controversy. When Yet Again leaked, a YouTube user compared it to Coldplay, thus answering at a stroke the question: “What’s the quickest way to send Grizzly Bear’s fans apoplectic with rage?” But he had a point, at least about where the music on Shields might conceivably end up. Making music that could fill arenas without first checking your brain into said arenas’ cloakroom facilities is clearly very difficult indeed: only Grizzly Bear’s old friends Radiohead seem able to continually pull in a mass audience without ever appearing to cravenly pander to the lowest common denominator. But Yet Again and A Simple Answer genuinely sound as if they could do the same. The arrangements and production are full of strange depths and unexpected touches – the former builds to a furious, distorted climax, the latter’s lovely harmonies are trailed by an unsettling, piercing distorted noise – but at heart these are beautiful, strident, undeniable tunes. So is Sun in Your Eyes, an epic clatter that surges from nothing to a piano ballad to a vast climax, underpinned by blaring, valedictory synths, then back to nothing again. It, too, has a weird time signature and tricky drumming, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine huge crowds punching the air to it.

It’s not clear if huge crowds punching the air is what Grizzly Bear want: they trailed the album with Sleeping Ute, not the actions of a band desperate to lure in the floating voter. Whatever happens, they’re certainly not having to struggle to appear as interesting as they did on arrival. If anything, they’re getting more intriguing as they go on: an object lesson in the value of allowing things to progress at their own pace.

First song off the new album + a world-wide tour. How’s that sound?


1. Sleeping Ute
2. Speak in Rounds
3. Adelma
4. Yet Again
5. The Hunt
6. A Simple Answer
7. What’s Wrong
8. gun-shy
9. Half Gate
10. Sun in Your Eyes

American Indie Metal Band Gaza’s New Album

Gaza is an experimental metal indie band from Salt Lake City, Utah that incorporates elements of grindcore, mathcore, and sludge metal into their music. Formed in 2004, they are currently signed to Black Market Activities and have released one EP and three full-length albums. They are known for their complex and heavy sound, as well as their outspoken anti-religious and political views.

Via Pitchfork
No Absolutes in Human Suffering
Black Market Activities; 2012

Artists: Gaza
Find it at: Insound Vinyl eMusic Amazon MP3 & CD

Gaza’s last album was called He Is Never Coming Back. The “He” in the title refers to God. Around the time of the record’s release in 2009, vocalist Jon Parkin was quoted as saying “He Is Never Coming Back is a knife pushed slowly through the temple and into humanity’s primitive religiousness. It is a call to utilize the same logic and reason applied in every other aspect of our lives in the assessment of theology.” And when I spoke to him about the record shortly after it came out, he told me, “We wanted this record to pick you up and death shake you like a dog would snap a rabbit’s neck. And to once in a while stop to lick the blood running from your nose.” The frontman, who is 6’7″, and wears his hair close-cropped, clearly isn’t afraid to use colorful language when making a point. The music’s just as intense and amped on No Absolutes in Human Suffering, the Salt Lake City, Utah, grindcore band’s third album– and best to date.

It works so well because they find a balance between melody and cacaphony. The 11-song collection was produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, who gives Gaza’s warped blend of grind, hardcore, and crust a dense, sturdy feel. On their Facebook, the band calls what they do “progressive crust” and “math piss.” The first works, but I might change the latter to “math pissed off.” Like Gaza’s past work, the music here is a dense and intense, a twisting, churning spin on noisy grind with a tendency toward rock’n’roll. The songs, with their constant warping mutations, feel like they’re melting. Outside the more mid-tempo title track, and the closing dirge, it’s unrelenting. Even when songs are longer– the six-minute “Not With All the Hope in the World”, which moves from a blur to a beautiful sludge anthem, to that surprisingly plaintive, doom closer “Routine and Then Death”– the pieces never stop throwing unexpected shifts at you. “The Vipers” melds hyper grind, a mid-tempo breakdown, indelible melody, and a noise-rock pep talk. It’s a dexterous showing: math rock made up of violent equations.

In a self-penned bio, the group refers to themselves as “failed emo musicians.” A joke, maybe, but there is plenty of emotion and emoting here. Parkin reminds me of a short story writer in some ways, or Converge’s Jacob Bannon writing for Harvey Milk. His lyrics are sketches and observations that move from the economy (“I understand we have invented ourselves out of a job”), playful anti-religiousness (“It sure was nice of Jesus to take time away from ignoring/ Ethnic cleansing genocide and famine-bloated children/ Or regrowing limbs for landmine victims/ To help you score that touchdown”), the generally political (“Know your children will know more of this earth than you ever will/ You should be embarrassed/ I can hear them laughing at their history books”), to tracks that remind me of punk zine Cometbus, or the poetic manifestos of the anarchist collective Crimethinc. In “Routine and Then Death”, for example, the only words we get are “It’s the same noise every day/ We walk back and forth.” Parkin finds a way out of that cycle in “Skull Trophy” via “a deer carcass someone had cleanly taken the head off of” that he passes in his car. As he puts it, in a way that I find fairly romantic, “I thought of you/ I knew you’d find it full of wonder/ Someone had desecrated a corpse for a sportless opportunistic skull trophy/ That alone is some hillbilly shit/ But the bigger picture is that we’ve lost feeling in our left arm.” Best pickup line of the year.

For all the challenging complexity, this is music that sticks in your head. No Absolutes opens with the wobbling post-rocking drone of “Mostly Hair and Bones Now”– the track ushers in a huge grind explosion after 50 seconds– and moves through the AmRep muscularity of the title track to the proggy soloing/post-rock slipperiness of “When They Beg” to the jazz breakdowns at the start of “Skull Trophy”. You get the point. Amid all this chaos, though, there’s calm. Amid the anger and bile, a discernable beauty. Gaza are a rare band in this way– an uncompromising group that should appeal to folks who don’t usually stock grindcore in their music collection, all without trying, in the least, to win them over.

Published on Sep 11, 2012 by TeenyBop Syndrome
Off of No Absolutes In Human Suffering.

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