Bruar Falls venue closing in November

Bruar Falls venue closing in November

Numerous Brooklyn DIY venues have been dropping like flies, such as the closing and burglary of Silent Barn, and Monster Island soon to join them this month. Now news has spread that Bruar Falls, the Williamsburg counterpart to the Lower East Side’s Cake Shop, will be shutting their doors for good in November. Interestingly, Bruar Falls’ story is a bit different than those of the DIY scene, as the two-year-old host for free music was an actual legitimate venue.

Co-owner Andy Bodes explained in an official statement:

We opened with nothing but optimism and excitement, after designing and building our ideal combination of a local jukebox bar with a stage to showcase all the great bands coming out of Brooklyn. It was soon apparent to us, however, that people in Williamsburg have lots of other options to see bands. We love and are inspired by these places, but really, between loft/warehouse parties and D.I.Y spots, where you can bring in your own cheap beer, smoke inside and hit on the same people…we totally understand why it’s hard to spend money at your local legit small club. It is difficult not to be a bit jealous of their freedom, but we have always worked hard to be in for the long haul. Our closure is not a victim of Whole Foods’ bulldozers, nor did we get our sound equipment stolen by thieving assholes. Actually, we wish it was something that dramatic and awful.

So while we were scraping up funds to help these illegal party places, we let a legitimate hang-out expire entirely. Lesson learned. Bodes hints, however, at the possibility of saving “the name for another location” so it can “start anew.”

Some of the venue’s final performances will include sets by Shooting Spires, Forest Fire, and Yvette.

• Bruar Falls:

Ruins dude’s Ruins Alone album released on SKiN GRAFT; you’re never alone with Ruins Alone

Scientists strongly suspect that Ruins drummer/vocalist/founder Yoshida Tatsuya may be Earth’s first known man/tornado hybrid. The renowned Japanese noise rock innovator is an unstoppable force, constantly releasing solo albums, collaborating with the likes of ultra-prolific guitar/multi-instrumentalist Keiji Haino and prominent English avant-garde dude Derek Bailey, and — of course — releasing Ruins albums and doing the solo Ruins tour thing under the moniker Ruins Alone. Guitar player doesn’t show up to first practice? STOP HAVING GUITARS IN YOUR BAND. Picturesque, rickety barn in your path? SMASH IT. Bassist Sasaki Hisashi leaves the band? GO ON “BASSIST WANTED” TOUR AND PLAY WITH DIFFERENT BASSIST IN EACH CITY. Those are just the type of things that Yoshida Tatsuya does. Every day. Don’t even try to mess with him.

And now he’s back with the debut Ruins Alone recording on SKiN GRAFT, due November 21. The self-titled debut is Yoshida’s first release since his 2009 Yawiquo album under the Sax Ruins moniker, and before that plain ol’ Ruins released the song “Gwodhunqa” as a split 7-inch/comic with High on Fire on SKiN GRAFT in 2005. Ruins Alone is the 100th release for the no wave/noise lovin’ label, and like any good special release, this one comes on colored vinyl (oooh!!!) or on CD with special bonus tracks… ya know, in case the first 20 weren’t enough Ruins Alone for you.

Ruins Alone tracklisting:


* CD-only bonus tracks (available as a free download with LP)

• Ruins Alone:

Wooden Shjips tour North America, but they’re not sailing anywhere

While I’m not entirely sure how Wooden Shjips want their name pronounced — is the “j” silent? — it always makes me think of pirates. Not Johhny Depp-type pirates, but trippy cartoon pirates floating past the stars somewhere between Jupiter and Saturn, an image I’d formulated before I listened to a few tracks off West, the San Francisco foursome’s Thrill Jockey debut. With jolts of nebulous neon TV static visuals, the Black Dice video for “Lazy Bones” captures the psychedelic garage vibe of Wooden Shjips pretty damn well.

Wooden Shjips just returned from a European tour, but they’ve already announced a string of East Coast dates in November. I doubt they’ll be sailing to any of these cities, but does it really matter?


11.05.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle*
11.06.11 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge*
11.07.11 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern*
11.08.11 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa*
11.09.11 - Cambridge, MA - TT The Bear’s*
11.10.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
11.11.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie*
11.12.11 - Raleigh, NC - Kings Barcade*

* Birds of Avalon

• Wooden Shjips:
• Thrill Jockey:

Omar Souleyman to release formerly cassette-only Syrian wedding jams this November

Ain’t no party like an Omar Souleyman Party ‘cuz an Omar Souleyman Party don’t stop. Literally! Cult Syrian musician Souleyman is a star in the Middle East, thanks to the fascinating melodies and wild grooves he’s been laying down in both Arabic and Kurdish since 1994. This is a man with over FIVE HUNDRED recordings. Damn. And you thought Miles Davis was prolific. Now, about 80% of these releases are live recordings made at the weddings where Souleyman performs, which are then given to the happy couple. These recordings are later copied and sold at local kiosks in the area. So, if you’re gonna be an Omar Souleyman completist, it’s probably pretty likely that you also live with like 3,000 cats.

The wonderful Sublime Frequencies label introduced Souleyman’s music to Western audiences in 2007 with the release of Highway to Hassake: Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria. Since then Souleyman has released three more records on the label — 2009’s Dabke 2020, 2010’s Jazeera Nights, and this year’s Haflat Gharbia (The Western Concerts) — and appeared in enviable slots at Glastonbury and Austin’s Chaos en Tejas. Caribou invited him to perform at ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas festival this winter in England, and Björk asked him to do some remixes of her upcoming Biophilia. So he’s a busy man.

And now Sublime Frequencies’ friend/collaborator Mark Gergis’ vinyl-only label Sham Palaces is releasing Souleyman’s legendary Leh Jani on November 22. Back in 1998, Leh Jani was released as a cassette in Syria as a 30-minute track with two additional tracks. It was recorded by producer Zuhir Maksi to emphasize the feeling of his live wedding performances à la the hundreds of releases mentioned above. “Leh Jani” appeared in shorter form on Souleyman’s Highway release in 2007, and will soon be available for the first time in the US in its original full-length Syrian cassette version, thanks to Sham Palace.

• Omar Souleyman:

Would you rather Bill Callahan tour Europe some more or cover Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff”?

Aaaaaaand we’re back. Welcome once again, viewers, to the Bill Callahan Unassumingly Shuffles Around World channel. When last we left our lilting, shrugging, soft-spoken troubadour, he was wandering around Europe and the United States, spreading his message of apocalyptic love by performing entire set-length folk guitar covers of Sublime’s “Waitin’ For My Ruca” from 40 oz. to Freedom. We still don’t know how he juiced an hour and ten minutes out of that one song, or how he managed to not come across like a total misogynist prick while singing it, but hey!

But, awesome as that last round of dates was, it’s got absolutely nothing on this new batch of fall European shows that we just uncovered that highlight Callahan’s true range as a quippy action hero and suave romantic lead. Watch as Bill battles windmills, tangles with giants living high in the clouds, deftly escapes from witches who live in gingerbread houses, and more! And if we’re lucky, he might even mumble some words of wisdom along the way, like “a dream is a wish your heart makes” or “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” Or, I don’t know. Something like that! Whatever keeps you watching. Maybe a Shrek dance number?


11.07.11 - Düsseldorf, Germany - Zakk
11.08.11 - Heidelberg, Germany - Enjoy Jazz Festival @ Karlstorbahnhof
11.09.11 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Romandie
11.10.11 - Schorndorf, Germany - Manufaktur
11.12.11 - Chorzow, Poland - Rozrywki Theatre
11.13.11 - Dresden, Germany - Kleine Reithalle
11.14.11 - Bremen, Germany - Schlachthof
11.16.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
11.17.11 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Stora Teatern
11.18.11 - Oslo, Norway - Kulturkirken Jakob
11.20.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Kägelbanan
11.21.11 - Malmo, Sweden - Palladium
11.22.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - VoxHall
11.24.11 - Brussels, Belgium - Cirque Royal/Autumn Falls Festival
11.25.11 - Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli/Le Guess Who Festival
11.26.11 - Paris, France - La Gaîté Lyrique

• Bill Callahan:
• Drag City:

Radiohead played Occupy Wall Street — JUST KIDDING! Occupy Wall Street admits they were had

You may or may not have heard the rumors of Radiohead giving a special show-of-sorts around downtown Manhattan, in cahoots with the Occupy Wall Street protest. But according to, by about 1 PM, Radiohead’s management denied any plans of a performance, but the rumor persisted throughout the afternoon, bolstered by both fans of the band and of social justice. Tweets did indeed abound, and based on the dozen Facebook postings that I saw from friends around New York, Thom Yorke was supposed to show that mug of his (somewhere) at 4 PM.

Well, if you weren’t in the city, you didn’t miss out. There was no show, no riots that ensued, no King of Limbs fanatics (who, sure, uh, care about the cause) stampeding protesters (who, sure, like Radiohead too) in Zuccotti Park. As Occupy Wall Street sheepishly tweeted shortly after the purported starting time of the show:

Radiohead is not coming, we were hoaxed. Please accept our apologies.

A little embarrassing, right? But hey, national publicity without police brutality — always a good thing!

• Radiohead:

[Photo: PaulS]


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