Lots of great bands give birth to the odd side project or two. And yet rarely are these ventures of much consequence. Of course, if the great band happens to be Grizzly Bear, and the side project, Department of Eagles, all bets are off. See, the Eagles aren’t technically a side project at all. The duo—composed of Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen—released their debut way back in 2003 after years of playing together as NYU roommates. Rossen didn’t team up with Ed Droste to release Grizzly Bear’s debut, Horn of Plenty—a record that’s largely considered a Droste solo effort, anyway—until the following year.
Point being, while there’s no doubt about his continued commitment to The Griz, the Eagles are no flash in the pan. The band’s latest effort, In Ear Park—which Rossen dedicated to his recently deceased father—certainly brings to mind Grizzly Bear’s beloved Yellow House, but the arrangements are tighter (without being fussy) and the mood lighter (without being peppy). And of course, with Rossen and his guitar at the helm, the musicianship is among the best you’ll find in Brooklyn indie rock. The Eagles play the Bowery Ballroom on January 19. [Tickets went on sale yesterday at noon]
And speaking of local indie bands (though, when aren’t we), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart head to the Mercury Lounge on February 7. While their music may be as precious as their name, the quartet brings an irresistible early-90’s nostalgia to their upcoming self-titled debut, due out in February. On “Everything With You” and “Young Adult Friction,” the Pains mix Brit shoegaze acts like Chapterhouse and Pale Saints with the Lemonheads at their catchiest to blissful effect. [Tickets on sale: Friday, December 5 at noon]
Mulling over whether to see Neil Young or Oasis at the Garden later this month? Mull no longer… We’re not saying tickets will definitely sell out, but ’tis the season to act fast, folks. Plus, the Gallagher brothers are bringing along Ryan Adams—who, it will surprise no one to learn, is already hard at work on his next record just over a month after he and his Cardinals released Cardinology. [Tickets on sale now]
If you haven’t seen Wet Hot American Summer, see it now. If you haven’t seen the MTV sketch comedy show, The State, rent the DVDs today. And if you haven’t seen Stella, the three-man comedy troupe featuring Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain—the guys behind Wet Hot, The State, and copious other hilarity—buy tickets now. They’re performing at the Nokia Theatre on December 8 and 9. [Tickets on sale now]