Behind a nondescript East Williamsburg tenement at 229 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY lies Woods‘ home, recording studio, creative refuge and beloved shithole–Rear House. But after 10 long years the band will say farewell to the former live-in practice space turned ramshackle recording studio, which has also housed bands like Real Estate, Ducktails, The Babies and other members of the Woodsist family. To mark the occasion, Woods are releasing a new single on July 9 featuring a cover of The Kinks’ tune “Gods’ Children,” along with a re-recorded version of “Be All Easy.” “God’s Children” comes from the soundtrack to the 1971 British film Percy, while “Be All Be Easy,” originally from 2011′s Sun and Shade, was re-recorded to capture the live form the song has taken since it’s original release. Both are the first to feature new drummer, Aaron Neveu, formerly of Mmoss.
Woods hits the road next month for a tour that includes stops with Parquet Courts and Alex Bleeker & the Freaks. Full dates below.
After the treacherous week that followed in the wake of hurricane Sandy, Woods returned to Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg to shed a bit of light on their old home place. Temporarily freeing the city from its apocalyptic embrace, Woods once again proved why they are Brooklyn’s preeminent psych folk band. Their new album, Bend Beyond—their seventh in six years—is another step forward for the band with what is surely their most accessible collection of songs yet. But on stage, Woods still embody the creep side of their looser early years with extended noise jams and transcendent improvisational journeys. Listen below to the 15 minute “I Was Gone” from Saturday’s show or download the entire recording from NYC Taper.
Purchase Bend Beyond via Woodsist.
Following the release of their highly impressive new album, Bend Beyond, Woods have dropped the B-side to the sun-soaked album single “Cali in a Cup.” While much of the new album offers a more accessible, brighter side of Woods, “Give Your Light Off” turns toward the dark with a spiritual hymn that recalls early Wailers, while coasting atop a haunting undercurrent of tape effects, heavy-handed acoustic guitar strums and Peter Tosh-style wah licks. Another impressive nugget from the prolific Brooklyn outfit.
Purchase Bend Beyond via Woodsist.
As summer turns to fall, Woods have graced us with the first video from their most-excellent forthcoming album Bend Beyond. Directed by Adarsha Benjamin, the video for “Cali In a Cup” was filmed on Super 8 at and around this year’s Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, CA. Check it out below and catch Woods on tour this fall.
Order Bend Beyond via Woodsist.
Watch Woods explore a lengthy “I Was Gone” from their performance at the Storm King Arts Center in New Windsor, NY on May 6.
Since their formation in 2005, Woods have continued to build on their unique brand of creepish campfire folk. What began as mostly as a bedroom project for lead singer Jeremy Earl to work on his songwriting has now evolved into a powerful force that helms much of the East Coast psych movement. And with each new release, Woods have, for lack of a better way of putting it, gotten better.
2009′s Songs of Shame brought the group out of Earl’s bedroom and into the light with stellar songwriting on songs like “Rain On” and extended jam cuts like “September with Pete.” Then in 2010 came the impressive At Echo Lake followed by last year’s Sun & Shade (featured on our list of top albums from 2011), which showcased Woods’ best collection of songs to date. That progression has now continued with the release of a new split LP with noisesmiths Amps for Christ, which comes out May 1 on vinyl and April 17 on CD via Shrimper. Two tracks from that collaborative LP have now been made available, and are streaming below. The first, “Wind Was the Wine” falls in line with the campfire creepishness side of the band, while “From Oatmeal to Buttermilk”—a collaborative track with Amps for Christ—showcases the group’s experimental side.
Mp3: “Wind Was the Wine”
It’s that time of year when Holiday music is nearly inescapable. But it seems it’s been a long time since one of our favorite artists did a spin on one of these holiday classics. This year, Woods would like to wish you a Merry Christmas with this creepy take on Vince Guaraldi’s classic “Christmas Time Is Here” off the timeless A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. Enjoy, and happy holidays.
Just days after Crosby and Nash performed a set of unamplified acoustic tunes at Occupy Wall Street, I thought it fitting to revisit a cover of one of the tunes the legendary duo performed. Woods’ cover of “Military Madness,” the opening cut from Graham Nash’s often overlooked 1971 solo debut Songs for Beginners, is an example of a band breathing new life into an otherwise forgotten song, making it relevant and meaningful to a whole new generation. While the cover stays mostly true to the original, lead singer Jeremy Earl’s haunting falsetto croon brings new life to the song’s words with Woods’ trademark eeriness lurking in the shadows. Woods’ cover of “Military Madness” comes off their 2009 release Songs of Shame, which you can purchase via Woodsist.
Woods have just announced a series of December tour dates. Kicking off in Burlington on December 7, the band will be on the road for the better part of the month joined for parts of the tour by label mates Jovontaes as well as Wooden Wand and MMOS. Check out the full list of dates below.
WOODS DECEMBER TOUR
Wed-Dec-07 Burlington, VT TBD
Thu-Dec-08 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
Sat-Dec-10 Chicago, IL Subterranean
Sun-Dec-11 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlie’s
Mon-Dec-12 Nashville, TN The End
Tue-Dec-13 Birmingham, AL Bottletree
Wed-Dec-14 Athens, GA 40 Watt
Thu-Dec-15 North Carolina Kings Barcade
Fri-Dec-16 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
Sat-Dec-17 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
Sun-Dec-18 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
12/11 – 12/14 with Jovontaes
12/11 also with Wooden Wand
12/15 – 12/18 with MMOSS
[Photo by John Ruscher]
In the spring of 1968, when Bill Graham’s Fillmore East opened its doors in the East Village of Manhattan, a man named Joshua White was chosen as one of the resident visual artists to conduct liquid light shows behind the venue’s musical acts. White and his team became known as the Joshua Light Show, going on to collaborate with artists such as Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix. Since then, they have continued to operate, only after the closing of the Fillmore and a shift from the ’60s counterculture, their focus turned more toward television, museum and classical exhibits.
But in recent years, psychedelic visual effects have seemingly found their way back to the musical stage. Video projection artists are now commonplace at DIY venues, and, for many bands, light shows and visual effects are an integral part of their performance.
So it’s not surprising that Mr. White and his team have also found their way back into certain corners of the musical world, even if these are extremely seldom occurrences. In 2009, the Joshua Light Show resurfaced for a rare collaborative performance with indie legends Yo La Tengo at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, and then in 2010 declared a four night residency at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side with different artists each night (one early and one late show. Fillmore style).
On the second of these nights, Brooklyn psych folk outfit Woods performed the late set with the Light Show’s swirling meld of color behind them. NYC taper was on hand to capture an excellent recording of the show, which has since become one of the more sought after tapes in the Woods live catalog. Fueled by the energy of the light show, the band stretched out their songs even further on this night, offering good reason as to why they had been chosen for this rare show by the legendary Joshua Light Show. Below, listen to two of the songs from the show or head to NYC Taper’s site to download the full performance.
Download Link: Woods 2010-05-13 Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY
[Art by Jeremy Earl]
[GIF Art by Max Capacity]
This month’s hour-long psych-rock playlist curated by your humble narrator…
1. Tokyo Kid Brothers – Peace ~ Dadada
2. The Soft Machine – Joy of a Toy
3. Woodsman – Insect
4. The War on Drugs – Your Love Is Calling My Name > The Animator
5. Ducktails – Hamilton Road
6. Felt – My Darkest Light Will Shine
7. Justin O’Brien and Jake – Time Will Tell
8. Sun Araw – Lute and Lyre
9. Woods – Find Them Empty
10. Allah-Las – Long Journey
11. Jeffertitti’s Nile – Mountain Jam
12. Silver Pines – Timefather
13. Cloudland Canyon – Mothlight (pt II)
14. Moon Duo – Ripples
A few weeks ago, we shared a 15 minute Woods jam from their August 13 performance at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Today, we have three videos from that show for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of Ian Perlman. This was one of the more powerful performances I have seen this year, and, for those who were unable to attend (which I assume is most of you), these videos help to capture the energy that Woods brought to the stage that night.
For the past week, Woods and Kurt Vile have been on tour together in Europe. At each of these shows, a limited Woodsist 7″ is being sold containing a new song from both Mr. Vile and Woods. Over at Pitchfork, you can listen to a song off Woods’ half of that 7″ called “Skull,” which is also the name of singer/guitarist Jeremy Earl’s art book. Click here to listen to “Skull.” Also, check out a song off Vile’s half of the EP called “In/Out Blues” via Disco Naivete.
For the past week, Woods and Kurt Vile have been on tour together in Europe. At each of these shows, a limited Woodsist 7″ is being sold containing a new song from both Mr. Vile and Woods. Over at Pitchfork, you can listen to a song off Woods’ half of that 7″ called “Skull,” which is also the name of singer/guitarist Jeremy Earl’s art book.
Click here to listen to “Skull.”
Also, check out a song off Vile’s half of the EP called “In/Out Blues” via Disco Naivete.
[Photo by Marianne Ventrice]
A couple weeks back, Woods made their way across the bridge for a Woodsist family gathering at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom. The highlight of the night came during a 15 minute jam tucked into the dark psych drones of “Bend Beyond” with Matt Mondanile (Real Estate/Ducktails) sitting in on drums. Here’s the recording, captured by NYC Taper.
MP3: “Bend Beyond”
Head over to NYC Taper to download the entire show.
Just months after dropping what is arguably the album of the year, Brooklyn psych rock quartet Woods will release a new 7″ on July 19 via Sacred Bones. I’ve been sitting on one of the two tracks, “Find Them Empty,” for a week or so and I’m sorry for not sharing it sooner. The heady mix of jangley lo fi fuzz and cool sun bleached harmonies are the signature sounds we’ve come to know and love from this band. You can check out the song below, and if you haven’t already I suggest you pick up their new LP Sun & Shade.
Earlier today, the folks at Pitchfork shared a new song off of Woods’ upcoming LP Sun & Shade. The highly anticipated new album from the Brooklyn psych rockers comes out June 14 on their very own Woodsist label. You can stream “Out of the Eye” over at Pfork, and also check out another song off the LP below. If “Out of the Eye” doesn’t remind you of Neu’s “Hallogallo,” then I don’t know what will.
Also, check out my recent interview with Alex Bleeker of Real Estate where he discusses his new theatrical collaboration with G. Lucas Crane of Woods.