chickfactor #1 was given out for free at a heavenly gig at maxwell’s in hoboken (sept 1992).
chickfactor #2 was given out for free at gail’s manhattan penthouse in late january 1993.
chickfactor #3 was given out for free at gail’s manhattan penthouse in june 1993.
chickfactor #4: september 9, 1993: first chickfactor gig was at under acme and featured lovefish (douglas wolk’s band—they did a tune called “bridget cross”), purple ivy shadows, the mad scene, lois, glo-worm, tree fort angst, lilys, heavenly, containe (first performance ever, though they were billed as versus), honeybunch, and small factory. there was a surprise performance by franklin bruno, who covered joe jackson’s “different for girls” while small factory were setting up. this party was pure fucking magic and the night would have been perfect except that alex small factory was mad at me for the review of their debut album in the new issue. they played an all-dave-songs set and nothing off the i do not love you (“because it’s so poor”). I was in heaven. alex made me cry while heavenly were playing while dave auchenbach and erin smith were joining them onstage.
chickfactor #5: february 9, 1994: this was the second chickfactor gig, also at under acme. three of the nine scheduled acts couldn’t make it on account of the blizzard (three feet of snow). I was home all day answering the phone (“of course the party’s still on, this is new york fucking city”). the party was remarkably well attended and again had that special magic. who played? containe, barbara manning, cobalt, mary timony from helium played just with joan wasser from dambuilders on violin, and the magnetic fields (who performed “san diego zoo” with barbara for the first time), and the ropers who win the indie spirit prize for driving to and from washington, d.c., in the blizzard in the same day. I was crushed for a while because you know who brought a hideous date and it nearly ruined my evening. it was the first time I met stephin and he wasn’t particularly sweet, but that’s no surprise. I also met ilsa who used to star in TMF videos.
chickfactor #6: june 18, 1994: god we were prolific in those days. this show, also at under acme, had the most bands ever (13) and was on the most godawfully hot day ever but it was a damn fine show: ivy, musical chairs, nik-l-nip (featuring mark pipas), juicy (featuring kendall mascott), salmon skin, tree fort angst’s terry banks, belmondo (featuring pam berry), glo-worm (ditto), blast off country style, yo la tengo (quiet and sans james), air miami (billed as “bridget & friends”), honeybunch, and andrew egg solo (did a most amazing cover of momus’ classic “bishonen”—wow). ivy, air miami were making their live debuts tonight. air miami were drunk and sloppy as hell. salmon skin set off fireworks (natch) and set the (borrowed from a stranger) drum kit on fire—they also cleared the room. I was sick as a dog with a cold but drinking margaritas in spite of it all. another really good show.
chickfactor cmj show: september 22, 1994: at under acme. this was our first cmj show and I had to fight like hell to get our own pure lineup, which I had been promised from the beginning, but the cmj marathon people kept trying to add bands such as milk and blonde redhead to our bill. ha! they hated me, but I stood firm, even to the point where I was ready to go have a guerrilla show down at the delancey bar. who played? the shapiros (featuring pam), the mad scene, the lois, dump (with georgia and ira as backing band), barbara manning, the magnetic fields, and eggs. what a show! it was the most full-of-good-karma and people cmj event I have ever attended. liz clayton, carrie mclaren, and all our other zine nerd pals were there. it was such a long day that began with a cmj panel on zines (organized by byron coley and featuring yours truly), followed by live performances by versus, stereolab, giant sand, and 18th dye in the hilton hotel. our show started late because eggs (bringing the one and only drum kit from d.c.) were late.
chickfactor #7: october 8, 1994: this was a fun show. also at under acme, it featured unlimited lou from d.c. (featuring my friend joanna virello with dana and nick and adam), godco duo, musical chairs, rachael and chris from sleepyhead (quiet), mary lou lord, romania (d.c. new wavers who stole the show), fire in the kitchen, and versus (with guests bob bannister and gerard cosloy, with whom they did an envelope song). “this is such a coup!” said stephin merritt about romania.
enchanté records/containe record release party: october 20, 1994: this was supposed to be a black tie affair but not all complied. it also sucked that sebadoh happened to be playing across town with versus opening but it didn’t really hurt our show that much. the lineup was first ever u.s. shows from australian pop gods nice and ashtray boy, along with kicking giant, team dresch (with complete self-defense demo beforehand), and of course containe performed. containe were awesome; so were team dresch. nice were amazing and randall from ashtray boy performed wearing a (my) dress because it was chickfactor. next night we had ashtray boy, nice, and the magnetic fields at mercury lounge as well. susannah from nice bellydanced and dragged some indie kids onstage to learn how as well.
random show: october 25, 1994: this was a chickfactor/slumberland records thing at under acme, featuring ivy, musical chairs, the ropers, and boyracer, who were fantastic despite horrific sound issues. this was the first show that fm cornog came to and he loved it. very laidback.
chickfactor tour: december 2, 1994: our first out of town cf event was in providence, r.i., at the last call, and featured romania, belmondo (who cancelled), gerard playing solo, containe, the magnetic fields, and helium. awesome. maybe the best containe show yet, and I have yet to miss one. all our providence pals came, it was ace.
chickfactor #8: april 1, 1995: no shows for a while because I was out of commission with surgery during february. we actually had chickfactor 8s since late february but we handed them out at this shindig anyway featuring stephin merritt reading his own poetry for 10 minutes (high comedy), the mad scene, tree fort angst’s terry b, glo-worm, the nonpareils, nord express, heartworms, kickstand, and the lois. it was a great show even though this asshole soundman tried to make our lives hell. this was the last ever chickfactor party at under acme.
chickfactor on tour: april 22, 1994: this was our second out of town gig at the khyber pass in philly. it was oddly divided into two shows: the first was all ages upstairs (with nik-l-nip, versus, andrew egg solo, and romania); the second was not (the mad scene, kickstand, and the magnetic fields). the bands were all great but it sucked that the khyber pass ripped us off bad. never again.
can you recall something memorable that you’ve witnessed at a chickfactor party?
stephin the magnetic fields: james mcnew (dump) playing “sunshine, lollipops and rainbows” right after september 11. everyone was sobbing.
daniel handler: I remember my slowly realizing that lois was lois, but I think I kept pretty cool about it.
bridget st john: being completely ignorant of the aislers set’s music and briefly exchanging words backstage with a seemingly reticent linton – and then watching their set and being much affected and surprised by her powerful presence and energy – I love this band!
gaylord cf/wfmu: at the most recent chickfactor party in new york, I saw more people of color than ever in the audience.
janice cf: adrian tomine showing up for the softies set!
michael white: the aluminum group, at the 10th-anniversary soiree in new york, not so much playing a gig as performing a tag-team sit-down comedy set that happened to be broken up with some of the best love songs of the past 20 years.
clarissa cf: I once accidentally walked in on [redacted] making out with [redacted]. it was cute.
rachel blumberg: seeing both small factory and aisler’s set reunite. never imagined either might happen. both were amazing. more than memorable. I can think of something very personally memorable to me, which was when a certain person and i got love potion dumped all over us or something during the first night of the shows at the bell house. ahem.
gordon the fan modine: stephin merritt debuting a dozen or so of the 69 love songs at under acme on a uke way before the record came out. you booked that right? (yes. —editor)
jennifer o’connor: lots of things. 3 favorites include: seeing dump doing his solo looping pedals thing for the first time, aislers set at the 10th anniversary show at fez, gail singing “fuck and run” during the cover girls set.
fran cannane: chickfactor parties are always in the wrong hemisphere but my memory is appalling so I would not recall anyway…
corin tucker: have I been to one? that one at fez? I remember mary timony on stage in braids?
dawn cf: mary timony/joan wasser (later to be policewoman) duo performance.
james dump/yo la tengo: I saw the cannanes beat and rob an audience member at a 1995 CF show at acme.
kendall mascott: I loved seeing brilliantine at the blue cabaret.
gail cf: more euphoria than anyone should be allowed to have. I have a record of them that I will someday publish. along with some footage!
tim dagger: sigh…have never been to one.
chickfactor 17 is out this fall on paper!
chickfactor shows happening this autumn!
easy ticket links here.
starring stevie jackson (from belle & sebastian) + LILYS + the legendary jim ruiz group + kim baxter (from all girl summer fun band)
starring THE SOFTIES + stevie jackson (from belle & sebastian) + LILYS + allen clapp + kim baxter (from all girl summer fun band)
november 16 in london: films & pop quiz (TBC/TBA)
starring the pastels + the aislers set + amor de días + would-be-goods + mc gaylord fields + chickfactor djs
november 18 chickfactor + hangover lounge all dayer at the lexington in london! 2pm to 11pm
starring pipas + tender trap + bridget st john + the real tuesday weld + the legendary jim ruiz group + harvey williams and josh gennet + the starfolk + gaylord fields fake beatles + chickfactor & hangover lounge DJs
(please note there are no other official ticket sellers apart from wegottickets.com for the london shows)
chickfactor fanzine continues its all-year-long 20th-anniversary celebration with a series of concerts around the U.S. and UK. cf heads to Los Angeles on Sept 20 for an amazing show, followed by San Francisco on Sept 22 for another! And then there is our beloved London Nov 16, 17, 18. Here is the lineup below — get your pop plane ticket now and come on over!
Film screening and pop quiz (venue TBC)
November 17 at Bush Hall
The Pastels! The Aislers Set! Amor De Dias! Would-Be-Goods!
(Doors 6:30, super-early showtime 7pm) Tickets are here!
The Pastels and chickfactor go way back. the inventive Glasgow pop group has a new record coming out early 2013 on Domino, recorded Glasgow, mixed Chicago with John McEntire. It will be their first record since the 2009 collaboration with Tenniscoats, Two Sunsets. The group is currently Stephen McRobbie, Katrina Mitchell, Gerard Love, Tom Crossley, Alison Mitchell, John Hogarty.
The Aislers Set
The wonderful Bay Area pop group led by Linton reformed for chickfactor 2012: for the love of pop! brooklyn earlier this year and blew the roof off the place. These days we have to fly them in from the East Coast, West Coast, Sweden and Germany — shows with them all are rare indeed so do not miss!
Amor De Dias
We at chickfactor cannot get enough of The Clientele and Pipas, so when members of those bands — Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Nuñez-Fernández — formed Amor De Dias (means Love of Days), we were stoked. They are finishing up their second album this summer, and we can’t wait to see their delicate set tonight.
Fronted by Jessica Griffin and featuring seasoned pop stars Peter Momtchiloff, Debbie Green and Andy Warren, the elegant London group has been around since Jessica released her first record on él Records in 1987. Like most of the artists here, they have played many a chickfactor show including the 10-year anniversary parties in NY, DC and London.
November 18 at the Lexington
chickfactor / Hangover Lounge All Dayer (2–10:30pm) Ticket link here!
The Real Tuesday Weld!
Bridget St John!
The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group!
MC & DJ Gaylord Fields!
Fantastic London pop group fronted by former Talulah Gosh / Heavenly singer Amelia Fletcher, we are very excited to be seeing them! Their latest release, Ten Songs About Girls, is out now on Fortuna Pop! records.
The super-charming Brooklyn-London electropop duo of Mark Powell and Lupe Nuñez-Fernández have performed rarely in recent years, but did reunite in April 2012 for chickfactor’s Brooklyn show. Do not miss this show!
Bridget St John
The stellar British singer-songwriter who John Peel started Dandelion Records for back in the day moved to New York years ago and occasionally returns to the UK, often for chickfactor parties. She performed at our chickfactor 2012: brooklyn show along with our 2004 party at Bush Hall called “Mon Gala Papillons,” which inspired her to write a song.
The Real Tuesday Weld
The ace TRTW is led by the talented Mr Stephen Coates, once inspired by the actress Tuesday Weld and the 1930s crooner Al Bowlly to make crackly vintage swoon-worthy pop tunes. His group’s 2011 release, Songs for the Last Werewolf, was a soundtrack to a book, and they have been known to put music to film as well.
Legendary Jim Ruiz Group
A rare show from the sparkly Minneapolis jazz-pop combo led by the Legendary Jim, who recently completed the long-awaited third LP with help from California pop dude Allen Clapp, titled Ambassador Jim – 1965. Also fresh from the stage of chickfactor’s recent anniversary parties in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, the LJRG lineup tonight will be Jim, Emily on drums, and Allison and Brian from The Starfolk. “I’m leaning strongly toward taking a 1964 le beat group approach,” says the Legendary one himself.
Harvey Williams and Josh Gennet
Fluffy-haired Harvey is well known to the pop kids as a former member of Field Mice and Another Sunny Day and an excellent if not prolific solo artist of a gentle nature; tonight he will play with former Holiday frontman Josh Gennet for what will certainly be some serious pop stuff.
Fun Minneapolis orch-pop trio The Starfolk is fronted by Brian Tighe (The Hang Ups, The Owls) vocals and guitar along with Allison LaBonne (The Owls, Typsy Panthre, Legendary Jim Ruiz Group) on bass, Stephen Ittner (The Hang Ups, The Owls) on drums and Jacqueline Ultan (Jelloslave, Saltee, Anti Gravity) on cello, though tonight Allison and Brian will be backed by Jim and Emily. The Starfolk is currently finishing up their debut full length, the mixing will be completed in September.
Gaylord Fields Fake Beatles Talk
The inimitable Gaylord Fields is a DJ on the prestigious New Jersey radio station WFMU, along with a chickfactor contributor and MC for these two nights! He will do a special presentation on Fake Beatles starting at 3pm.
Tae Won Yu made a poster for the event!
chickfactor beermats: designed, typeset and printed by hand on a letterpress by Tim Hopkins at the Half Pint Press
The magic starts in just a few weeks and we can hardly wait. Just look at these lineups! And the audience will be pretty special too.
Fri April 6 at Artisphere, Arlington, VA: The Pines + Dot Dash + Honey Bunch + Stevie Jackson + Frankie Rose! Tickets
Sat April 7 at Artisphere, Arlington, VA: Black Tambourine + Lilys + Fan Modine + Lorelei + Special Guest Tickets
Sun April 8: CF editor will be on WFMU with the awesome Gaylord Fields from 5-7pm EST, ticket giveaways may occur!
Mon April 9 at Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ: Black Tambourine + Fan Modine + Rose Melberg + Special Guest Tickets here, also at Other Music & Tunes Hoboken
Tues April 10 at Bell House, Brooklyn, NY: Black Tambourine + Small Factory + Versus + The Lois Plus + Some special guests (Sold out but keep an eye here for people selling)
Wed April 11 at Bell House, Brooklyn, NY: The Aislers Set + Pipas + The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group + Bridget St John + Special guests (Sold out online but Other Music had 17 left as of yesterday)
Wed May 30 at Bunk Bar, Portland, OR: Joe Pernice + The Softies + Lois + Selector Dub Narcotic Tickets here
We are planning to have a party like it’s 1992: we challenge you to put your cell phones away for the entire night!