Led by Long Island-bred songwriter Mike Savino, Tall Tall Trees competently executes a sound influenced by traditional American roots
music, incorporating elements of folk and country. Largely built
around meandering banjo lines, the songs of Tall Tall Trees are often
upbeat and always melodic; “Bubble Gum” is an especially poppy gem
featuring appropriately sweet vocal harmonies. While “The Ballad of
Sallie Mae” may be, lyrically, a ham-handed attempt at
tongue-in-cheekiness, its intricate song structure and the integration
of fiddle and backcountry percussion make it an interesting and
representative track. The band only stumbles when overproduction
becomes an issue; the crisp, bright guitar and drum sounds of “I Got
You” hit a little too close to contemporary pop-country radio territory
for comfort. Ultimately, however, Tall Tall Trees successfully
captures the rural feeling Savino’s tunes are designed to evoke, which
is a laudable feat for a big-city East Coast band to accomplish. The
band has a busy December live schedule with shows at Pete's Candy's
Store (12.03) Hank's Saloon (12.11) and Union Pool (12.18).
Talk Normal is a NYC band that is gathering more and more recognition. Here at the Deli we have are fascinated by noise and tense atmospheres... enjoy this video, and don't miss their live show at the Music Hall of Wburg on November 24 with Sonic Youth!
Bed-Stuy-based Kagero’s newest record “Japanese Gypsy Rock,” due out November 19, 2009, is appropriately titled for the band’s striking fusion of sounds from around the world. Taking lead on violin, J.W. masters Eastern-inspired fiddle glissandos and double-stops, while bassist/vocalist Rob Simpson adds a salsa swing and klezmer kick. Kaz Fujimoto, defines “Japanese Gypsy Rock:” hailing from Japan, entertaining in a lounge-meets-Bohemian vocal style, and accessorizing each track with flamenco guitar and select Spanish phrases on standout tracks “My Little Bonita,” “1 + 2 Is Almost 5,” “Red and Black,” and “Grappa. Guest musicians, Georgie Markov (drums), Yoed (cello), Wynn Yamami (chindon, aka Japanese drum), and Emilio (trumpet) ably enhance “JGR” in these notable selections. Rooted in uplifting elements from eclectic origins, "Japanese Gypsy Rock" unites Kagero’s musical influences and talents into a cross-culture dance party. – Meijin Bruttomesso
Ivana XL’s music sounds like it’d perfectly complement a Tim Burton landscape, as it conjures shadowy forests, stretching fog fingers and creaking attics in Antebellum mansions. Her breathy, beautiful voice floats atop the complex arrangements like a chilly breeze sneaking into the room through a drafty window. The sparse, almost haunted songs sound like something Joanna Newsom might produce if she spent an entire winter in the house from "The Shining" taking Xanax and staring into the snow-blanketed landscape. Though IvanaXL is essentially just one woman with an acoustic guitar, her music brilliantly defies the tones and tropes so often associated with that set-up. The term "singer-songwriter" couldn't be more misleading than in the case of this promising young Brooklynite. - Read David Schneider interview with Ivana here, and see Ivana live at The Outpost (Clinton Hill) on 11.21.
Although Dead Leaf Echo began as an “art experiment” in Morningside Heights, this band is far from amateur or unpleasantly bizarre. Dead Lead Echo has worked with a cadre of professional mixers such as John Fryer and Ulrich Schnauss to perfect its dreamy post-punk. The band creates a blossoming world where Cocteau Twins and My Blood Valentine influences swirl and mix with Vladimir Nabokov and Ernest Hemingway love letters. Dead Leaf Echo entices listeners with its shimmering guitar work and closes the deal with crashing waves of hypnotic harmonies. If the wait is unbearable for a full-length record, Dead Leaf Echo will be releasing a 7-inch featuring “Half-Truth” and a previously unreleased b-side “Babyeyes” this fall. - read Nancy Chow's interview with the band here.
Dragon Turtle released their debut album "Almanac" last week, and Fader mag liked it so much that they decided to premiere the video of their single "Broken Glass" - see it here. There is also a free mp3 available - which we actually prefer - here. It sounds a little like an ambient version of Dinosaur Jr.!
To promote the release of their upcoming album, "The Shake Go Crazy," the New York foursome has launched a 1-week campaign allowing users to download the single, "Got No Soul," for free. The CD was the result of an entire summer of work with producer Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr, Milo and The Fuzz). See the band live at Crash Mansion on 11.19. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Black Gold’s debut release, "Rush," plays to a variety of ears. Besides being pleasantly pop, Brooklynites Eric Ronick (vocals, keyboards) and Than Luu (drums, guitar, percussion, vocals), backed by guitarist Alistair Paxton and bass player Siggy, bring a spectrum of other personal influences and industry experience (each member has toured with well-known pop/rock artists in the past) to the composition table. A richly symphonic “Plans and Reveries” and heavily electronic “Detroit” were selected as “Rush’s” singles. They highlight Ronick’s lounge-meets-lyrical voice which melds with Luu’s falsetto back-vocals, Classical string and piano arrangements, synth sequences, and unchained guitars. Black Gold fall into their best groove on the funky “Breakdown” and alluring “The Comedown,” while glowing harmonies on “Shine,” “Run’s” bright melodies, dreamy air of “Idols,” and Southern sway on “Canyon” sustain “Rush’s” appeal with ever-changing styles. Overall, Black Gold’s “Rush” is mellow but playful, providing both tunes for dancing and songs for decompressing. Don't miss Black Gold's show at Hammertstein Ballroom on 11.22 - Meijin Bruttomesso
Brooklyn welcomes Charlene Kaye, a new artist fresh from Ann Arbor, Michigan! Born in Hawaii and raised in Arizona, Charlene Kaye is a classically trained pianist turned pop songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who gathers all the essential elements of classical and pop to create a lush sonic palette blurring the lines of both worlds. Her independently released debut album, Things I Will Need in the Past, was self-produced and recorded with songwriter, engineer and local legend Jim Roll (Chris Bathgate, Frontier Ruckus, Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful). The album is a deftly orchestrated work whose varied nature offers the magnitude of a symphony and the modesty of a haiku, any one song just as likely to be adorned by pizzicato strings and gritty guitars as it is by twinkling bells and castanets. Charlene plays her first show with her new band at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint on Tuesday, November 17th with fellow Ann Arbor bands The Dirty Birds and My Dear Disco. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Enfolded in fuzz and strident, distorted guitar, Heavy Birds’ music on “Sounds of the American Underground” also has delicate elements of soft vocals, weeping cello and acoustic guitar that create a dark, intimate atmosphere. The instruments and noise take different forms in songs, as layers build cacophonous complexity or breezy, blissed-out sweetness. Evoking musical similarities alternatively reminiscent of Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones, the band still claims its own musical territory with varied song structures and charismatic attitude. Check out Heavy Birds live at Spike Hill in Wburg on 11.20. - Nancy Chow
Class Actress began in Elizabeth Harper's bedroom along with producer/psychoanalyst
Mark Richardson and some choice vintage synths (and some mild bondage,
we suspect - see picture). The songs quickly grew legs, strutted out of
the Greenpoint apartment and now can be seen lighting up all over dark
stages. The band pulls from a variety of styles, ranging from the 80's
synth pop of Depeche Mode and New Order, the vivaciousness and
sexuality of early Madonna, and the bubbly heartbreak of Mazzy Star.
Class Actress' debut EP, entitled Journal of Ardency, comes out
February 9 on Terrible Records (Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear's new
label with Ethan Silverman), available digitally and on 10" vinyl. It
also features songs produced by Scott Rosenthal and Jorge Elbrecht of
Lansing-Drieden fame. Elizabeth Harper was recently interviewed by
Pitchfork Media here - and not so recently by The Deli, here (that was about 2 years ago... yes, Pitchfork dudes: you are LATE!!!)
We were quite surprised yesterday to see Brooklyn band Bear in Heaven jump ahead of Real Estate in our self generated chart of NYC Psych Rock artists with the most "Web Buzz" (Top 300 here, for the Top 20 scroll down in this page, left column). They actually rehed #2 of the overall most buzzed NYC bands of the moment (orange chart on the top left). The band recently got some blog-love (or just "blove" maybe?) from many influencial sites including Stereogum, Prefix Mag and Brooklyn Vegan. Bear in Heaven has a show scheduled at tiny Zebulon in Willimsburg on 11.20 - that will be surely a packed night, so get there early if you are interested in checking out these guys' psychedelic wall of sound.
Once upon a time in the fluorescent wilderness of New York City, four musically talented work-a-holics got together and formed the rock band known as Finding Fiction. With a DIY style and steadfast work ethic, the group has spent most the past year zig-zagging across the U.S. to perform in over 100 shows (including SXSW and NXNE). Finding Fiction also released their first full length CD, “Idaho by the Sea,” this past summer, a heartfelt follow up to their “Plastic & Change” EP. The album is chock full of evocative lyrics set to lonesome vocals, fluttering backbeats, and billowing chord progressions. The result is an emotional storm of melodies, from the distorted rumbles of tracks like “I’ll Buy” and “Imitating You Imitating Me,” to the unbroken pouring of melancholy in ballads such as “Cheap Shot Advice” and “Big Blue Sky.” Don’t miss Finding Fiction when they perform at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn on Nov. 14. – Cecilia Martinez
Exuberant female duo Zambri (comprised by sisters Jessica and Cristi Jo and is The Deli NYC new Artist of the Month thanks to an... exuberant last day of voting yesterday, that allowed them to jump in front of North Highlands. Keep an eye out for their picture on top of our NYC page starting monday, and in the meantime enjoy this video.
The tune “Rio” on the Vanguard’s MySpace page isn’t a Duran Duran cover, but it’s not unthinkable that this melting pot (two Eastern Europeans, a Virginian, and an Argentinean) of a pop band would try such a thing. That’s not to say the Queens-based quartet makes straight-up synth-pop. In fact, with their chiming guitar leads and emotive vocals, most of their songs play like lost “Joshua Tree” singles. Still, highlights “Slow Down” and “Both Sides,” which features a subtle New Order keyboard riff, are danceable in an ‘80s sort of way.
On “Burg,” drummer Luciano Rovner’s tribal thumping offsets the blatant U2 worship of singer Aaron Lloyd Barr and guitarist David Zawadzki, and for a splendid 3:46, you’d swear Bono and the Edge had decamped to South America and made a record about their travels.
— Kenneth Partridge
Glass Ghost’s music is like a raging party for the ears. The catchy, unique tunes are derived from a good mix of influences such as Pit Er Pat, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and J Dilla. Featuring Eliot Krimsky and Mike Johnson of the experimental pop band Flying, Glass Ghost inherited pop hooks from its musical lineage while adding fresh hip hop beats to create a captivating blend of genres. Perhaps Glass Ghost’s wide appeal can be attributed to the members’ experiences performing at atypical venues such as clothing stores, community centers and weddings.
On “Idol Omens,” the duo invited some of New York’s finest to round out the album, including Sharon Van Etten, Luke Temple and Joan Wasser. The record showcases the band’s flexibility in writing a delectable variety of tempos and styles. In “The Same,” a song about the monotony of routine, the band creates a massive aural feast complete with key-mashing, dramatic organ, horns, funky beats, handclaps, samples, vocal harmonies and Krimsky’s peculiar falsetto conducting the opus. Even when the music is stripped down and pulled back, there are still charming nuances that entice the pickiest of ears. - Read Nancy Chow's interview with the band here.
Butt-shaking and heartbreaking at once, Hank and Cupcakes’ distinctively beat-driven electro-pop bursts with fresh bass hook lines, sexy grooves and remarkably multifaceted vocals. The duo’s new album, “Pleasure Town” has hit potential built around their immediate and straight-forward sound and offers an amazing mix of emotive power and freethinker attitudes, exploding into stirring electro fantasies. Their very own signature can be found in their version of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control”, one of the best covers I’ve heard in a long time. Résumé: Go buy this baby! - Read Susi Muhr interview with the band here.
Tonight at The Living Room, folkster Will Knox is celebrating the release of his debut album, The Matador & The Acrobat, and kicking off a two week tour backed by a four piece band, (banjo, violin, upright bass & drums) trucking it as far west as Chicago and far south as Nashville. Knox has supported Art Garfunkel, SleeperStar, Tyrone Wells and Pete Francias (Dispatch) and graced the stages at SummerFest and CMJ festivals. He was also a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition with original music heard on MTV reality.
Brooklyn-based Your 33 Black Angels’ newest release "Pagan Princess,” follow-up to their musical saga, “Tales of My Pop-Rock Love Life,” is set for debut on December 3, 2009. Y33BA plan to celebrate their third album with a show at Mercury Lounge on the release date. Your 33 Black Angels blend a litany of influences; simultaneously bubbly, dissonant, and melodious, these qualities mesh well with the frantic non-conforming distortion that fashions the band’s experimental and edgy take on pop-rock. www.Y33ba.com –Meijin Bruttomesso
The debut album from Hurricane Bells, Tonight Is The Ghost, is out digitally now via Vagrant Records. The band - a new project from Steve Schiltz of Longwave - is also confirmed to headline The Living Room in New York, NY, on December 2nd. The show will be with friends and fellow Brooklyn bands Falcon, Scout, and The Library, with members of all bands guesting in one another's sets throughout the night. This is the video from their first single, "This Year"
He doesn't have a mustache. He doesn't pose for pictures with three other white dudes his age wearing flannel and boots. He doesn't even play guitar. Who is he? - Well, he's Joe Raciti. This is the official music video for "Memories" off of Joe Raciti's album "Romantic Shark Attack". In an oddly-related story, the entire album is available via email, free of charge, to any expecting parent. The reasoning behind this, according to Joe, is to brainwash impressionable young minds with his music. The mad scientist is at it again. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Monogold's new CD "We Animals" showcases the band's evolution from a rather
traditional shoegaze sound into something more ambient and "avant". The
serene rhythmic percussions, Keith Kelly’s whispering vocals, and the
music's mystical qualities have therapeutic powers. The band's new
sound also resonates with a certain hippiedom reminiscent of bands like
Animal Collective and The Shins; they master the art of creating
5-minute single beat percussion spacey tunes, with interwoven vocals
and instruments that vary and evolve through the song. "Dead See
Minerals" is a personal favorite from this CD, with its light
electronic undertones along with Monogold’s overall woodland creature
vibe. This CD is gorgeous, and you can hear it all at their CD release
party at Public Assembly on Friday the 13th. - Chloe Schildhause
To highlight the release of their band new debut album HERE IN FILTH, Brooklyn rock outfit ULTRA VIOLENT LIGHTS have launched new music videos for two of the album’s tracks—“In Lieu Of Pay” and “Here In Filth” - here's the latter. The band's entire album is now streaming at the band’s website for a limited time. The band has a series of upcoming show in NJ - see their myspace profile for dates.
Acrylics will perform this evening 11/9 at Bowery Ballroom with Cass McCombs and the Bad Girlfriends. Acrylics was formed by Jason Klauber and Molly Shea in 2008 and involves a rotating cast of performers. The band recently released their debut EP, "All of the Fire" on Terrible Records, the newly formed label from Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear and Ethan Silverman. Acrylics is the label's second release after the launch of its 7-inch series featuring a new solo effort from Taylor. All of the Fire was produced by Taylor at his church-studio in Brooklyn, Terrible Studios.
For most, the transition from Texas yokel to New York City slicker would be a tad daunting. But not for chanteuse Aerial East. The singer/songwriter has taken big, juicy chomps out of The Big Apple since moving here in 2007, building alliances with fellow musicians and expanding her musical horizons beyond southern lines. East flirts with a blend of folk and indie to generate music that’s soft and innocent. While still budding in her career, East has yet to release any albums but offers several tracks on her MySpace page for curious listeners. With songs such as “Apple Pie” and “I’ll Be Your Friend,” East provides childlike vocals with a sound so saccharin that Pixy Stix dust seems to float from her tongue with each playful lyric. In “Road to Trouble,” East harmonizes with fellow musician Luke Temple to produce a candy cane swirl of melodious flavor that’s just as sweet as it is heartening. Accompany East’s vocals with tender guitar strumming and effortless instrumentals, and you get melodies that are music box worthy. Twirling ballerina not included. – Cecilia Martinez
Deadbeat Darling‘s “Weight of Wandering” mesmerizes listeners with gentle reggae waves, sprinkles of exotic modulation, a dab of Dub, and tinges of electronica, inventively produced by Joseph King (lead vocals/guitar), Mohit Bhansali (guitar/back vocals), Sanjay Jain (bass), and Alex Wong (drums on album). Fusing an enchanting instrumentation with King’s soaring, soothing, and shining vocals that attend to every nuance and touch every emotion, the Brooklyn quartet creates a “zen-rock” experience on their ten-track album. DD, demonstrating that they are hardly deadbeats, bestow upon fans an uplifting but yearning “All These Beautiful Days (Are Wasted on Me),” a sultry and hypnotizing “Pretty Faces,” an ethereal and romantic “St. Christophor Candles,” a melodious and orchestral “Without a Trace,” an angst-ridden and airy “This Paranoia Won’t Subside,” and a poignant and peaceful “Picture Perfect World,” all tracks that highlight the band’s idyllic harmonies. “Weight of Wandering” is heavy with poeticism that is matched by substantial musicality. – Meijin Bruttomesso
Because of increasing traffic we recently switched FTP hosts. This has proved to be an extremely challenging experience, primarily because the new server seems to have a problem with many of our website custom applications (poll, live show listings, charts etc.).
Hopefully we'll manage to fix things soon, we are working on solving these issues asap.
In the meantime, thanks for your patience and sorry for the inconvenience.
On Thursday, November 12, Pianos will host a release show in honor of Kids Aflame, the full length debut from ARMS. The band is the side project of Todd Goldstein, guitarist for Harlem Shakes, but Goldstein has been plugging away at ARMS since 2004. A listen to the peppy indie pop of the Shakes is not going to clue you in on Goldstein’s solo sound, and this just may be a great thing: a little Beirut, a little Bon Iver, with a dash of M83, ARMS’ unorthodox mixture of sounds (including ukelele!) can recall many an influence, but is really all its own. As ARMS, Goldstein brings his lo-fi, DIY little gem out of the bedroom and onto the stage. Come check him out at Pianos, 11/12, doors at 8 PM.
- Loren DiBlasi
In recent years, indie rock has seen a resurgence of the psychedelic sound, and lately the term "psych" is referenced to musical artists just as often as "indie" and "folk". However, sOUSALVES manage to create psychedelic atmospheres that don't belong to any current NYC trend, as they reference instead the genre's original sources directly. A few notes from their new album "eMerGin.See" are enough to throw you into a time warp: these trippy, psyched-out sounds are as raw and rough as MC5 and as intense and energetic as circa 1967 Jim Morrison. Frontman and creator Paul Alves dips into so many genres and influences that it’s impossible to keep track of all of them. What’s most important, though, is that he keeps things emotional, honest, and fresh. - See sOUSALVES live at Local 269 on 11.22. - Loren Diblasi (photo by Ninth Circle Photography)
Jones Street Station will be at The Mercury Lounge this Friday, Nov 6th @ 9pm. They\'ll play old favorites and a bunch of brand new tunes. PLUS with a paid door cover you'll receive a FREE copy of their sophomore record, In Verses. There\'ll be an afterparty in the neighborhood too, so make a night of it... AND you can enter to win free tickets to the show with this giveaway from Earfarm.
Tuesday, November 10th get ready to enjoy that after-work cold one at Rockwood Music Hall with Argyle Johansen (and his fancy band). The set begins at 6pm, and Rockwood is located at 196 Allen St. (between Houston and Stanton),NYC. For the unfamiliar multitudes, Argyle Johansen is a four (occasionally, five) - piece musical outfit based out of Bushwick, Brooklyn. Their debut self-titled (and self-released) album came out in September 2009 and they\'ve been barnstorming in Brooklyn and Manhattan in support since. You may know their song \"Sunny Day in Hell\" (download for free above) from season one of the Showtime series \"Californication.\" Fresh off their first CMJ performance this will be their first time at Rockwood, so come out for some happy hour Argyle Johansen style. More music is available to stream here. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Engaged in various jobs in the film industry to learn about film composition, Emanuel’s work on a project at FOX inspired him to form an orchestra-style band. Emanuel and the Fear, avid fans of The Dessner Brothers, performed first in January 2008 with their band of guitars, drums, bass, violins, flute, cello, trombone, trumpet, piano, and a synthesizer. Now scheduling some small tours around the US, the band credits their wonderful European booking agent and publicists who are designing a tour for early spring when they will release their debut LP in the states. - Read Gina Alioto's interview with Emanuel here.
After releasing early EP's on Australian labels and touring with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Melbourne outfit The Morning After Girls have relocated to NYC to release and tour behind their new record “Alone.” With a digital-only release behind their new album, the band has been playing shows at The Mercury Lounge and The Living Room to warm up for their new tour. Following their earlier releases, The Morning After Girls’ first full length flexes alternative and psychedelic muscles in unison, creating big sonic soundscapes that resonate through an 11-track stomp. A tour to follow will take them across the US with over a month of full dates culminating in California. - read Simon Heggie's interview with the band here.
While the NYC music scene is packed with talented musicians with great ideas, cool hairstyles and tons of attitude - gifted songwriters with truly crazy hair are still (and always will be) extremely rare stuff. There's only one thing you need to know about Darwin Deez: he can write a song that will keep most listeners entertained and glued to the speakers, keeping your hands away from the iPod "forward" button. Plus there’s this bonus: the guy can sing! "Constellation" is a little gem that recalls early Strokes on a diet rich in electronic handclaps and drum machines and short in distortion pedals. Sampled drum sounds are a recurring signature in Darwin's repertoire; the inventive simplicity of his lo-fi electronic pop allows his songwriting to truly shine. His unusually contradictory spectrum of influences (ranging from local little known artists to Michael Jackson and Coldplay) brings a fresh vein of inspiration to Darwin's output, confirming our temptation to define his music as "mainstream pop for selected masses". - See Darwin Deez live at The Bell House on November 21.
Wild Wild Yaks are releaseing their debut CD today on Ernest Jenning Records. The band plays some kind of choral blues punk, which is interesting because the bluesy part of their music gives depth and gravity to the the punky side. The latter on the other hand of course brings the fun element to the equation, while doubling the intoxication level. See Wild Yaks on Nov 13th Starr Space - Bushwick, NY, Nov 20th Shea Stadium - Queens, NY, Nov 28th Hex Fest at The Living Room - Brooklyn, NY. - PDG
Recorded almost entirely in the band members' LES "cozy" bedrooms with the help of a high profile team of audio pros, the thirteen songs on Star Fucking Hipsters' new album "Never Rest In Peace" entartain us with screams and riffs about rebellion and punk and ska revolution! The new songs sound more fierce and mature, and benefit from cameos from Dick Lucas (Subhumans U.K., Citizen Fish, Culture Shock), Jasper Pattison (Citizen Fish, Culture Shock), and Bryan Kienlen (Bouncing Souls). It includes art by famed DIY artists Fly (“PEOPs,” Dog Dayz) and Paul Barron. SFH, after touring the U.S. and U.K., and are kicking off a West Coast Tour this week with Citizen Fish (dubbed "Cracktoberfest") including a performance at the Alternative Tentacles 30th Anniversary Festival.
The Diggs - if we remember correctly - played one of our very first Deli shows at Asterisk Art Space ages ago (4 years?). It's great to see that they are still at it, and admittedly we haven't covered them in awhile. Their sound seems to have evolved considerably in the last few years. We remeber an aggressive, post-punky power trio; we find now a more mature group whose fast songs show more attention for melody and structure, and benefit from arrangments that - like all the best rock classics - progressively build in layers and intensity. Check out these guys live at Glasslands on 11.03.
Bottle Up and Go is a Brooklyn based duo of rock n’ roll screamers who combine honky tonk fiddling, and horn accompaniments that will whisk you away to a seedy bar full of guys spitting tobacco into silver buckets. Their screeching harmony of guitars, horn toots and tambourine talents have created sonic gems such as “Ain’t Going Down,” a ballad well suited for a rock version of the Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. You’ll know you're not in Kansas anymore when you hear their song ‘Wayward Son,” a lament of depression and drinking that features a chaotic sax growling for dear life. Enjoy Bottle Up and Go with a bottle of whiskey and sing a long, “I love my baby/but her body is cold/Seems like my liquor/is the only thing.” - Chloe Schildhause
The beauty of The Barrens' music lies in the little details: the piano accents that hit throughout “12 Petals,” propping up the tune’s winding lead guitar riff; the unexpected, disorienting chord wedged in the middle of the “Ezekiel Saw a Shape” chorus; and the way singer Colin Fitzgerald screams toward the end of “The Green Room,” right before guitarist Mike Koene takes a solo and the already-epic tune spirals further into Doors-esque psychedelic bar-band territory. “Worming,” a bruising track reminiscent of the Who’s “Quadrophenia” gem “I’ve Had Enough,” is the best tune on the band’s MySpace page. Its mean fuzz and memorable hook—“I keep worming/ your love is in the dirt”—combine to form the type of weirdly accessible pop song that is the Barrens’ specialty. The band recently released a new single called “Scoliosis”, another sonic attack that somehow manages to blend punky guitars a la’ Ramones and frozen melodies reminiscent of Clinic with vocal harmonies that would make Kim Deal proud, and “philosophical” melodic openings a la’ early Pink Floyd. Yes, that’s a crazy ride indeed! Don't miss their show at Arlene's Grocery on 11.07. — Kenneth Partridge
Glass Ghost's "Idol Omen" is The Deli's September CD of the Month (see review here, right column). The band is obviously getting some love from the music blogs as yesterday they jumped first to position #12 and then to #5 in our "Web Buzz" NYC rankings (orange charts on the left, click on "Popularity" scroll down menu and click on "Web Buzz".)
Yeasayer - winners of The Deli's Best Emerging Artist of 2007 poll - will re-emerge in early November with "Ambling Alp," the first single off their sophomore record ODD BLOOD (due February 2010 on Secretly Canadian). The single will be released digitally and on a limited 12" vinyl packaged in a space age colored metallic sleeve that will also feature remixes by Memory Tapes and DJ /rupture.
You can already downlad "Ambling Alp" FREE at the band's website.
Yesterday, I was in Williamsburg thrift shopping for my Lydia Deetz costume for Halloween. As I gave up on finding frumpy black clothing and a hat with a wide brim, I stumbled upon an in-store performance by Cymbals Eat Guitars at the new SoundFix store. They were one of the many bands I had planned to cover for CMJ but never got around to attending one of their numerous shows. I had seen them earlier in October when they had had opened for the Pains of Being Pure at Heart at Webster Hall. That performance was awe-inspiring. Dripping with sweat (a pool of it had formed around him), frontman Joseph D’Agostino pulled as much as he could out of his guitar; his hands blurred in front of me as his band mates relentlessly attacked their instruments. Although they took a completely different stage for Thursday night’s performance, the raw energy emanated throughout the crowded store. They began with the anthemic “And the Hazy Sea” and followed it up with “Some Trees (Merritt Moon).” The cathartic screams beautifully wove through the solid instrumental skills displayed during their 30-minute set. Exhausted and possibly gravely sick, D’Agostino asked the crowd if they would like one or two more songs. Of course, fans yelled back two, and they happily complied. With their meteoric rise to indie fame, SoundFix may be the last small venue they’ll ever play in New York City. Cymbal Eats Guitar, together with Mistery Roar and Teletextile, will be performing live on 10.31 at a Halloween Party on 14 Steuben Street, Brooklyn (map). - Nancy Chow
Tick tick tick, pop pop pop, snap snap snap. That’s the essential staccato loving formula used by Brooklyn band Polite Sleeper - featuring band members of Mountain Goats and Mercury Rev. Every song is set to a rapid metronome of sound, infusing two beloved music genres - folk and punk. Blending these two contradictory styles is not a novel idea - they say that's what anti-folk is all about - but Polite Sleeper pull it off in addictive songs featuring acoustic guitars, minimal drums, disgruntled lyrics and also the occasional analog synth bassline. Jason’s singing can be theatrical and aggressive (in the calssic not-so-polite anti-folk fashion) but also atmoshperic and contemplative, bringing to mind Michael Stipe's tone and phrasing. The band's new album "Lake Effect" is out on Sabotage Records now. If you’re hanging out in Haverford, Pennsylvania you can catch their next show the eve of Halloween at Lunt Basement. - Chloe Schildhause
Taking definite inspiration from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is the electronic band of splendor, Clinical Trials. So fixated I am on the similarities I can almost hear them singing “Karen O.” in their song ‘Disco Headphones.’ But beyond the similarities, they do strike out in their own unique sound using a surplus of synth, with a blend of other influences such as a tendency to sing with Le Tigre like passion and Janis Joplin edginess. Listening to them is like hearing your good friends in a comfy garage, but friends who are actually talented and whom you don’t have to politely white lie to when they ask how you enjoyed their music. Catch their next show at Lot 73, November 7th. - Chloe Schildhause
The Long Count, part of BAM's 2009 Next Wave Festival, is a song-filled myth about the beginning of time created by three inexhaustibly original artists - brothers Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner of The National and visual art phenomenon Matthew Ritchie. It also features as guest vocalists the legendary Breeders' sisters Kim and Kelley Deal, Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond, and Matt Berninger also of The National. Expect a feast of images, instrumentals, and songs thick with primordial mystery, recreated by a twelve-piece orchestra and the Dessners' gothic mix of electric and orchestral sounds. Don't miss this show, there are only 3 dates (October 28, 30 and 31). Tickets can be purchased here.
No Eye Contact's eclectic influences are evident in their creative and memorable songs. Drawing inspiration in equal parts from Neutral Milk Hotel and old Appalachia, the band's sound resides in the strange space where up and down, happy and sad overlap. 'You and Me and Other Fables', their debut LP, was hailed by NPR's Robin Hilton as "stunning and utterly surprising." Recently named to Spin Magazine's Top 25 Must Hear Artists of CMJ. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Music critics were quick to applaud and praise the harmonious dual vocals of Ryan Dowd and Brian Grosz on the stoner-metal debut of Brooklyn's DOGS OF WINTER, "From Soil To Shale" (Lapdance Academy) - so it comes as little surprise that they've decided to re-invent one of their songs as a dreamy, if dreary, acoustic ballad. While the original recording of "Beneath The Fold" was a churning, thunderous maelstrom of psychedelia, Dogs of Winter have stripped the composition down to acoustic guitars, a string section and the sound of traffic passing by the studio in which they recorded. "Beneath The Fold" is here to remind us: just because a song is heavy, doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
An appetizing order opened CMJ 2009 at Arlene’s Grocery last week, with sampling of New York’s finest produce. Mixing seven diverse flavors into a memorable musical meal, the ShWAG BAG Showcase provided CMJ-goers a five-star taste test of NYC’s music scene. Decibel set the pace with their mysterious mélange of melody and megaphone, proving the duo powerful performers and a tough act to follow. Laura Ault, who recently adopted a full band, charmed with her lively lounge lilt. A rowdy riot TAB the Band (in the picture) invigorated the crowd with its kooky demeanor, preparing Arlenes' for Black Taxi who brought the night's excitement to a boil with their contagious hooks and sultry, saucy swank. Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears entertained to the nth degree with their outstanding presence, outrageous energy, and outlandish outfits. The evening's second duo, Peephole, stocked the Grocery with synthesizer blips and bleeps which eventually united the audience for an on stage groove, while Mon Khmer topped off the event with their peaceful flow and exotic savory rock. - Meijin Bruttomesso
Brooklyn-based band Pearl and the Beard have established themselves as a rambunctious presence in the NYC scene. They're now set to conquer new territories with the national release of their debut album "God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson", a 15 Day East Coast Tour, a live appearance on WNYC's prestigious Soundcheck, a cheeky new video for their Will Smith Cover Medley, and an AOL Spinner New Releases feature. Don't miss their CD release party at Joe's Pub tonight 10.27.
HONKY TONK ANGELS’ residency at Hill Country Barbeque (30 W. 26th Street, New York) continues with a great lineup of neo-traditional country music singer songwriters on Thursday 10.28. Country-rock ingénue William's Daughters kick off the event, with banjo queen Hilary Hawke Trio (in the picture), honky tonk maverick Jamie Lyn & The Red Tail Hawk Band, and The Rosy Nolan Band serving up a night of raucous original American music. HONKY TONK ANGELS provides a stomping ground for women who write cutting edge songs across a variety of sub-genres – classic country, country-rock, alt-country, Americana, bluegrass, western swing, and country-folk. The show curates artists who pay homage to the raw and eclectic soul of American roots music cultivated in the heart of New York City. The monthly songwriter series was chosen as a recommended event on NYCountry.com in August 2009, a December 2008 Voice Choice, A TimeOut Recommended Event, and was named the BrooklynCountry.com “Event of the Month” in June 2008, September 2008, and February 2009. More info here. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Beautiful Small Machines may be based in NYC but they certainly come from outer space. This electro pop duo is composed by the delicious Bree Sharp and her songwriter partner, Don Dilego. The EP Robot in Love offers retro rock while experimenting with a futuristic electronic sound. Bree’s flawless voice ties together the record’s various elements and atmospheres. The band mixes futurism, fantasy, alien, fun and darkness. Sometimes surprisingly soft and vaporous, songs as So long 2 you, are reminiscent of The Postal Service, while the energetic SuperConductor can’t help bringing to mind the punchy touch of The Ting Tings. The adventurous electronic exploration of Servo Manuel 1 on Whiskey is nothing less than an interstellar detour into the depth of space. The somber and hovering Simple Joy (inspired by Bladerunner and featuring... OMG! Simon LeBon from Duran Duran!!!) is the desperate scream of a broken heart. Check out this band, they’ll take you for a walk with robots in outer space.
The spiritual detective in me often tries to unearth the symbolic meaning behind even the most trivial of matters. Call it boredom if you must. So, imagine the ferocious uprising of the analytical receptors in my mind when I heard the band name Midnight Masses. “What is the deal with this band?” I thought. Midnight, with its shadow ridden atmospheres and lonesome feel, conjures thoughts of pain and detachment, while religious masses signify spiritual rebirth and hope. Well, sometimes my mind runs away with me. Sometimes. But certainly not in this case.
After the death of his father, front man Autry Fulbright channeled his anguish into the writings and instrumental work that would eventually result in the formation of the Brooklyn collective known as Midnight Masses. With the help of band mates Jason Reece (who is also the guitarist for Trail of Dead), Eric Rodgers, Destiny Montague, Miyuki Furtado and Daniel Wood, the psychedelic rock group has completed their debut EP, “Rapture Ready, I Gazed at the Body,” which is due out on Nov. 10. In the album, washy guitar notes and Fulbright’s wailing vocals drizzle down on haunting lyrics (“It was night, it was day/Demons took my body away/I said, ‘Hold on, I used to be a preacher’s son” from the Preacher’s Son single), soaking each track in melodic darkness. However, musical shades of hope flicker periodically within the EP as upbeat drum rolls and cymbal work, tranquil backup harmonies and enduring verses prove that there’s always light beyond the darkness of life’s tragedies. – Cecilia Martinez
CMJ has finally come to a close. The end of CMJ feels like the last day of camp;
the final hurrah, coated with a bit of sadness, before next year’s festivities.
I have met some great people, made amazing memories and have been looking
forward to an abundance of sleep. Now, it’s time to get back to what is deemed
a “normal life.” I spent my last day attending The Deli’s showcases at The
Delancey and The Studio at Webster Hall with a brief stop at Fontana’s. I
couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the best five days I’ve had this
Less than 12 hours later, I was back at The Delancey for The
Deli’s afternoon showcase for Traveling Circle. The trio was one of three bands
that won the contest to perform at The Deli’s showcase. The heavy psych rock
band projected an impressive sound in the basement. With clear influences from
the psychedelic bands of yesteryear, Traveling Circle added calculated touches
that appeal to a more modern audience.
Delancey’s covered rooftop, Sara Kermanshahi of Natureboy was setting up for her
performance. With the abundance of flora planted around the venue, her music
resonated well with the soothing atmosphere. Kermanshahi’s compelling vocals
shone through the lulling tones of her acoustic guitar. Through her wonderfully
crafted songs, she wove a pleasant poignant mood that was difficult to extricate
Back downstairs, Le Rug, who has a penchant for naming its songs after U.S. presidents, stormed
through aggressive, short post-punk songs. Recently signed to Chief Records,
the trio is not short of material for a full-length, as they squeezed in the
most songs into their set out of all of the bands that played the showcase. The
band leapt through a variety of styles and tempos, sparing only a few seconds
between songs to announce titles.
Following Emanuel and the
Fear, Annie and the Beekeepers performed their charming, heartfelt folk on the
rooftop. Vocalist and guitarist Annie Lynch was joined by Ken Woodward on bass
and Alexandra Spalding on cello in this intimate setting. Audience members
leaned in closer to get swept up in the emotional thrust of the songs laden with
An acquaintance raved
about North Highlands earlier in the week, so I listened to the quintet’s
MySpace prior to the show, and I was floored. I had to go see the band’s
performance at Fontana’s. North Highlands’ music sounds like a cross between
Most Serene Republic and Sufjan Stevens, but that comparison doesn’t even do the
group justice. The sweet, moving folk chamber pop songs are the musical
equivalent to comfort food, something that is desired excessively for its
consoling nature. The band’s gorgeous swell of instrumentation seemed to clear
the dark overcast and rain that raged outside for the 30-minute set. North
Highlands recently finished recording its debut EP, “Sugar Lips,” which will be
released in the near future. But for now, several tracks are on its MySpace for
your listening pleasure.
other great Deli finds, The Protomen, epic rock opera straight out of Nashville,
and Rumspringa, a soulful duo from Los Angeles, Mon Khmer brought its entrancing
rock to the stage at The Studio. The band has recently won our band of the month
poll with its intellectual compositions; the subtle details really make Mon
Khmer explosive. For example, the band cleverly utilizes pedal steel, an
instrument usually reserved for the country realm, to support its melancholy
tone without a hint of a country inflection.
Savoir Adore roughly
translates “to know love” in French. This band has been receiving a lot of love
since the L Magazine listed this Savoir Adore as one of “8 NYC Bands You Need to
Hear” for its catchy pop tunes. Although Deli showcase was actually the group’s
third show of the day, the musicians didn’t hold back an ounce of energy.
Audience members responded back to this commitment by singing back the lyrics
with fervor and moving with such enthusiasm.
Ever since a friend
in the chiptune scene called Anamanaguchi “innovators,” I’ve wanted to see them
live. Faced with the limitations of 8-bit hardware, the band has produced
expansive pop gems full of blips and beeps. They layer bass, guitars and drums
over the synthesized sounds of the Nintendo and Game Boy to create their unique,
modern songs. The high-energy show was fueled by the audience members dancing to
the glitchy, bubbly tunes.
Lindsey called me
the next afternoon to check if I was still alive. We both survived – to some
extent. We chatted about our respective days and wished that CMJ could extend
into next week, even though most of Sunday was spent in our beds to recover from
the chaos. Thanks to Lindsey, The Deli, all the bands that played, fans and New
York City venues for making this CMJ so much fun!
The final day of the 2009 CMJ Music marathon has finally arrived at a
time when I'm both half relieved and also very sad because tomorrow I
will have to go back to my day job. I was up and about before my
alarm ever went off and was eager to head into the city and absorb as
much as I could before things ran out. Since my scheduled showcase
at Death By Audio had been cancelled (Ahhh Eden!!) I wanted to catch
up to Nancy at the Deli's indie party in the morning that featured the
winners of a contest that we held a few weeks ago.
The indie party was in full swing when I arrived to a massive crowd could have very well been Zagat rated best CMJ party to cop a field! Showgoers
filtered between the party upstairs and the fully packet, dimly lit basement that featured an extremely diverse and talented group of up and coming artists presented by The Deli Magazine. When coverage switched to my duty I was happy to rise to the occasion. Cale Parks delighted us with a glorious hybrid of Depeche Mode-esque gothed out synthesizes and surrealistic, daydreamy vocal falsettos. Originally formed by lead vocalist/drummer/programmer guru known as Cale. The Parks were enchanting to witness as a passionate Cale twirled his sticks and pounded off an eruption of rattling drums brushed along a solid palette of preprogrammed glitches and samples blown in between. When their keyboardist brought fourth a real bass it added a very raw and groovy Gang of Four vibe. The highly processed guitars served a darker, ethereal purpose blending into the background and even mimicking the keyboards at times. What a rush it was to see this kind of band this early in the day. I'm already blown away!
Next up was a crowded but intimate performance by the Freelance Whales with which whom I anticipate to gain a great deal of notoriety when their
upcoming US/Canadian tour kicks off November 9th. Fans of Saddle
Creek recording artists such as Bright Eyes will flip for the multi-diverse instrumental glows of xylophones, banjos, guitars and other unidentified noise boxes. The Whales' complicated, well orchestrated toy jingles compliment the soft sing alongs that include all five members of the band. I was excited to learn that this band has built a lot of their reputation by means of word of mouth following as a few lovely lovely ladies explained to me after the show how they became huge fans after stumbling on the band at a Brooklyn loft party. My only qualm was the live aspect was that I wanted the voices to be louder! Freelance Whales diverse and experimental sound puts them on the brink of our burgeoning local scene and hopefully I will have the opportunity to see this band again before they become so well known that even I can’t get tickets.
As the evening wore on I found myself already having reviewed almost all of the bands that were being presented. I was sent in to review 26 shows and actually come out on top with nearly 30. I decided that today I was going to take a step back and let Nancy shine in her moment at the Deli showcase. I instead attended a Todd P show and am covered in bruises to prove it! CMJ has been a wild ride for everyone involved and I look forward to the day off so I can see what all of the other bloggers have been going on about. I know for sure that Pitchfork media has already gotten over the hangover and is ready to get back to ripping on bands that they wish they could be in themselves. Most artists have already shrugged off the harsh reviews and biased opinions of those who do live in the daily grind of our sweet little New York music scene and envy us for doing so. I had already written about all of the local bands playing today so I will not spend too much time reiterating how awesome Sisters and The Screaming Females were last night. For now I need a bit of rest before I can come back soon with a full wrap up of the entire event. Rawwwwk!
My first three days were filled with my primary loves of
shoegaze and pop with a dash of Americana, but Friday was what my friend called
the “get your dance on” night. On my agenda were some of the most rocking
electronic dance acts that I have learned to love for the past year and a half.
I put on my dancing shoes and hoped I didn’t collapse on my fourth CMJ night,
but little did I know, later in the night, I should have worn my running shoes.
After viewing Boy Crisis’ music video for “Fountain of
Youth,” I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to go down at the show. Was there a
dress code of tribal-esque garb? Were we going to be forced to eat hot dogs? I
didn’t want to indulge in either, but I was willing to take the risk to see them
perform their ridiculously catchy, funky electropop. Ironically, they started
with “Fountain of Youth” at Santos Party House, and the only atypical thing that
occurred was the majority of the crowd was dancing! Lyrics were forgotten here
and there, but it was great to hear their songs take a different form in a
limited live setting. They introduced their closer, “Dressed to Digress,” as a
song about exercise, and then Victor Vazquez proceeded to jump into the crowd to
do jumping jacks and crunches.
Since the Boy Crisis show let out earlier than I expected, I
was able to catch two great non-New York bands VEGA and We are Enfant Terrible
at the AM Only showcase at The Studio in Webster Hall. By the time Red Wire
Black Wire was setting up, the venue had filled out pretty well. Happy to be
home after a brief tour, band members were shaking with excitement as their
start time drew near. Red Wire Black Wire’s electropop has a pervading sense of
melancholy, but the music still gets your body moving. With retro Thriller-esque
synths and smooth bass lines, it’s easy to let the heavy lyrical content slide
and just dance.
I cut the dance fest short at Webster Hall to get to Pianos
for the Acrylics. But when I arrived to the concert room, there was a sheet of
paper taped to the entrance that said guest list only and no more badges were
being accepted. Crushed but still hopeful, I ran back to Bowery Electric to see
Bear Hands. A group of people outside the venue told me, “You don’t want to go
in there,” because it was uncomfortably packed. That warning didn’t deter me,
but the static line outside did, so I decided to head over to the Mercury Lounge
to see Blip Blip Beep (picture above), only to find out that it was sold out. I racked my brain
to think if I could remember any other shows that I could attend that night, and
then I remembered that Real Estate was scheduled to play some time at The
Delancey, so I walked as quickly as I could over there.
Relieved I wasn’t shut out of the TwoSyllable showcase, I
placed myself to the side of the stage to see a duo setting up for their
performance. The band turned out to be NewVillager, who has completely flew
under my radar, and I can safely say that it is my favorite discovery of CMJ so
far. The retro electropop inspired me to dance, even though my legs were praying
to be out of commission. The frontman glided in and out of falsetto with such
ease and the beats were immensely catchy. A weird contraption made of stitched
together colorful cloths draped on poles stood behind Ben Bromley and Ross
Simonini, which is actually a good visual representation of its sound. These
guys piece together a hodgepodge of influences to construct well-conceived dance
music. NewVillager sounds like if Yeasayer had a huge dance makeover with its
distinctive beats and atmospheric synths. Definitely check the duo out.
Up next were two bears. Literally, two guys in bear suits –
furry heads, the whole shebang – who called themselves Claymation Velociraptor.
It was getting a bit late, and I thought I had officially lost it when they
started dancing to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” between sets. The duo reminded me of
a not so innocent version of Flight of the Conchords working through an ‘80s
phase. Midway through the set, the jig was up, and they removed their costumes
while singing “Bad Boys” a cappella. Their songs about partying and summer got
the crowd moving, and their banter kept the fans entertained.
Like the Los Angeles band Local Natives, Real Estate is
playing enough shows during the festival to have any one that really wants to
see them an opportunity to experience their dreamy, lo-fi pop live. Although I
did not plan to catch Real Estate this time around, it was a happy accident that
I did. By the time they took the stage, it was almost 3 a.m., but neither the
enthusiastic fans nor the band showed signs of fatigue. The warm guitars
enveloped the small venue and placed the audience in a swaying trance. It was
the perfect show to end the hectic evening. After the last note dissolved around
3:30 a.m., I went home to dream about beaches and sun.
While CMJ continues into the weekend, the cold air has returned and the competition
becomes even more fierce. Shows seem to be running smoother towards the later
of the marathon as bands become more adjusted to the daily CMJ grind and are ready
to cut the crap and get down to business. Part of the marathon rules required
that Nancy and I had to each spend at least one full day covering shows in Brooklyn.
So as the circus in the LES plays on and the bridge and tunnel crowd invade for
a weekend of tirade, I was relieved to get to hang out at Bruar Falls where the
beer is cheap and home is just a short walk away. Coming to you live from Williamsburg
on a Friday night (well kinda) are some of my personal favorite artists that I
have had the privilege of reviewing for this years festivities.
First up on the lineup was the three piece Moonmen on the Moon, Man. Still fairly
new to the scene, the group started the evening out on a much appreciated loud
note for me. The band consists of a male and female guitarist who share in the
vocal responsibility as well as one hard hitting drummer. Their blend of fast
driven Ramones inspired riffs, catchy hooks and uber loud backing vocals blanketed
the room with a net of intensity as everyone began to drink their first beers
of the evening. They didn’t seem to play for very long so hopefully next
time they will have more songs to rock out to. Stay tuned as Moonmen on the
Moon, Man are a great band in the making!
Second up was Knight School who bring to mind a few glorious bands of the nineties
such as Dinosaur Jr and Sugar. I have been hearing about this band for awhile
now and was pleasantly surprised at how much better they were live as opposed
to the recordings that I’ve been listening to. Knight Schools’ sound
relies heavily on their incoherent, fuzzy guitars that take a backseat while the
bass takes center stage leading the songs in melody. Their drummer resembled
one of the Blues Brothers and his upbeat snare made everything cohesive. The
room had filled to capacity by the middle of the shoegazey set and though local
darlings The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are playing no CMJ shows of their
own, their members were on hand to support their friends. Knight School, check
Finally after patiently waiting all night was the act that I was most excited
to see for the evening. Beach Fossils combine the influence of some of my favorite artists and I could hardly keep my composure as the bass lines melted into
the blend of fuzzy and super jangily guitars. The vocals are wonderfully nasal
and they remind me very much of one of my favorite bands ever, The Clean. The band
writes songs about subjects that are easy to identify with such as escapism and
wishful thinking. The stand up drummer completed the mix that came across like
a good old Flying Nun recording with a bright red Manchester cherry on top.
Beach Fossils blasted through their set and were undeterred as the guitarist broke
two strings during the last song. This show was definitely a high note of my CMJ marathon.
The last band for me at the (mostly local) Bruar Falls showcase was yet another
band from Brooklyn who go by the name Air Waves. The trio, led by founder Nicole
and accompanied by any rotating cast of musicians, bring forth well structured
pop gems and crunchy guitars. Nicole’s vocals are fairly unfeminine (in a good way) and her singing style at times brings to mind Black Francis from the Pixies. The room
was fully packed and people crowded the small stage to embellish in the blissful,
piercing rhythms. Air Waves paint pictures in my head, tell fragmented, power
punk stories and will undoubtedly be sticking around for the long haul.
Though I was sad to go, I promptly left as Air Waves finished to make my way out
into the rain and over to the nearby Charleston to see Sisters make up for the
cancelled show that I was supposed to be seeing the next afternoon. The two
piece Sisters, neither of which are girls, consist of Aaron Pfannebecker who
sings and plays guitar and drummer Matt Conboy. Dubbed one of the “Death
By Audio” house bands, Sisters music embrace a collage of noise and garage
rock. The musty basement at the Charleston was filled with the sounds of distorted,
tunneling guitars and drums that cracked like lightning. Aaron switches back
and fourth between high pitched screeches and boyish screams with the uncertainty
of Steven Malkamus. Drummer Matt put down the sticks in the middle of the set
to play a series of melodic keyboard patterns while a synthesized beat grounded
the song before he continued his mayhem behind the kit. Sisters were one of
the better bands I have seen in the course this entire event. So glad I could
make up for the initial lost opportunity!
After a few more beers at a house party in Williamsburg I was ready to head
out and get things in order for tomorrow’s big Deli NYC party. It’s
been a wild night in Brooklyn and I hope to see everyone out tomorrow for the
very last day of the marathon!!!
On the 3rd day of my musical CMJ Odyssey I decided to try to change up my approach for my afternoon and night
in Brooklyn. I thought that by staking out one venue I would save up some
energy, but after doing so I am possibly more exhausted just by standing around. It’s as if my
muscles were yelling at me for being lazy. Lesson learned, muscles. Lesson
learned. The marathon continues…
Bruar Falls was faced with the impossible task of squeezing
large bands on a small stage for NYCTaper’s afternoon showcase. First up was the
monolith of bands: Emanuel and the Fear. Tapped as one of the L Magazine’s “8
NYC Bands You Need to Hear” earlier this year, the group features a spectrum of
instruments – from standard rock staples to a string section. They obviously did
not fit on the stage, which led to a two-tiered setup that still left some
members desiring more space. The 11-piece band filled the small venue with an
array of dulcet tones of smart pop tunes with well thought out arrangements..
Emanuel Ayvas revealed that they had just finished recording their full-length,
so keep an eye out for it!
A more appropriately sized band, Motel Motel took the stage
next. With jittery frontman Eric Engel, the quintet still took advantage of the
space in front of the stage as Engel moved to the audience floor for a song..
Their garage Americana is a cross between the alt-country of Ryan Adams and
brash, bluesy nature of the Cold War Kids. The show was phenomenal; the band was
tight, and the vocals were perfection. Do yourself a favor for future you and
see them perform on Friday at the Bell House to earn your bragging rights.
Kittens Ablaze wielded a small string section for their
passionate chamber folk rock. The sextet has a flair for drama with their
complex structure of sound that can be likened to the Arcade Fire and Ra Ra
Riot. Full of energy and fire, they tore through their set with such ferocity;
it was impossible not to be drawn into their whirlwind of music and excitement.
Catch them on Saturday at Shea Stadium or The Delancey.
I needed a break from Bruar Falls, so I paid a sick friend a
visit with a bottle of NyQuil in my hand. It was nice to finally stretch out my
locked-up legs. By the time I returned to Bruar Falls, I was ready to see the
Spanish Prisoners. The band stored the remnants of summer, which made a brief
appearance in the unseasonably warm weather experienced in the afternoon, and
lit up the dark room with its sunny, dreamy pop rock. The members displayed
their solid musicianship with waves of guitar riffs and great female and male
vocal dynamic. ï¿½
After I took a food and caffeine fueling break, I migrated to
the Charleston to see GunFight! Frontman Drew Mintz howled through a raucous set
of punk-tinged country songs filled with hefty guitar riffs. Think Kings of Leon
before the hair massacre and sped and turned way up. The show was a good time
had by all, as the band members expelled raw, unbridled energy, which sometimes
left the Bill Dvorak’s guitar unplugged for a few quick seconds.. After seeing
GunFight! I was revived with a second wind, but at that point, I knew I was a
bit delirious and headed home to go straight to bed.
By my third day I had already seen so many bands that it took a lot of discipline
to keep myself on track at times. I had to keep a very tight schedule and found
myself resisting the urge to get caught up schmoozing with old friends, instead
focused on finding quiet spots where I could write in peace. Many times I had
to politely pass up the loads of free booze going around. After all, someone has
to remember what went on at the end of the day. Writing everything down immediately
is how this has all come together.. When reviewing a band or artist I want to
be able to show my thoughts and emotions as they occurred to me during a live
show. With that being said I bring you Thursday, day three of the CMJ Music Marathon.
It would have been easy for me to slip into the early evening blues as there
was very little sun out to photosynthesize my energy levels today. It was quite
overcast out when my first band of the day started their set at The Rockwood
Music Hall. The Shake didn't seem to care either way, they were ready to rock!
Fans of the Australian band Jet can appreciate The Shake's garagey, AC/DC inspired
sound as they brought back the guitar solo on numerous occasions while the guitarist
and bassist harmonized on the vocals. Singer Jon Merkin resembles a young Paul
Westerberg and entertained us with charismatic chatter in between songs. The
bands catchy hooks, metal shredding climaxes and funky inspired bass lines made
it feel like a Friday night! Dare I say they threw in a funky Bee Gee's cover?
Then I was off again and had some time to kill so I dipped into the Brooklyn
Vegan party upstairs at Pianos. I was pleasantly
surprised that I happened upon New York native Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson who was playing to such a completely packed house that I had to be snobby and
push my way up front to catch the action. The drums were shockingly loud and
Miles was accompanied by two keyboardists playing synthesized organs with a
full backing band as well. Robinson is a multi-instrumentalist and boy wonder
with a million different projects under his belt. His musical style spans so
many different types of genres that it was really cool to watch those influences
switch back and forth. MBAR is scheduled to play Friday at Le Poisson Rouge
for the Self Titled Mag Showcase but you better get there early, he’s
on at 9:15!
By the time I made it down to Webster Hall for the Musebox Showcase I was ready
to see some familiar faces in the crowd as I have many friends who rave about
the opener tonight. As I arrived the entire mood of the room changed for those
who had just watched the opening hip hop oriented act. The Tony Castles are
a three piece from (yet again) Brooklyn who blend quirky, heavily reverberated
vocals dressed atop an arsenal of stoner jam-like loops and sampling. The band
likes to double-size on the feedback creating a more grizzly, echoed dance effect
with beats as catchy as fellow New Yorkers the Rapture. The peace pipe was passed
as the crowd relished in the alternate tuning styles that occurred more than
a few times in each song. The band mutated their own samples creating a new
form of atmosphere and after starting out their set very upbeat, ended on a
more subdued note.
Next up on the bill was Bottle Up And Go who could have fooled me if they had
said they were from Detroit. The spirit of Motor City was alive and well as
they dove into bluesy, crunchy tones, pulsating beats and the bands signature
slide guitar sound. The afro-headed singer plays alongside an intense saxophone
player instead of a bassist and I want to mention that the drummer for this
band was quite incredible to watch. He would get so caught up in it that he
had to fight the urge to stand up altogether and by the end of some songs he
actually was. The three piece roared through an adrenaline packed set that ended
with the shirtless, shoeless singer jumping into the crowd and still managing
to keep his white pants clean! Classically done boys.
In the nature of keeping this coverage more underground I ending up accidentally
missing the Das Racist set to visit Lana Del Ray who was performing on the opposite
end of town at the Canal Room. All eyes were glued on the blonde bombshell as
she set foot onstage, and I do mean foot as she was the second singer in a row
to perform barefoot. Lana’s music is a maddening eruption of spooky surf
rock glued together with a rockabilly vibe. Homemade videos, many of which featured
Lana herself, served as a backdrop to Lana and her band during the show and
I would love to hear her music set to the tune of a David Lynch flick. Her lyrics
come across as sad and tortured at times even though her voice is consistently
sugar coated. As I reflect back I am really happy that was able to make this
show even though I missed another one. Can’t win them all!
It was a mad dash back to Webster Studio and I could barely believe I made
it back in time to find Suckers still early on in their set. Stoner space hippies
united to the sounds of whistles and double drums. The song structures build
and then change completely just as they are about to peak. Suckers had me feeling
like I was riding on a magic carpet and everything was going great until some
jerk flew out of the crowd and onto the stage and went after Suckers singer
Quinn trying to punch him. He embarrassingly missed hitting the mic instead
which DID hit Quinn in the face. The moron then made a brash stage dive knocking
into a ton of people before he was put in a head lock and drag outside where
I lost sight of the chaos. Suckers continued the song unfazed and the whole
crowd sang along to “It Gets Your Body Movin” like it was the national
anthem. I highly recommend seeing this band live since hey, they are from Brooklyn
and play here regularly, AND... The Deli has been pushing them since 2006!!! Is there anyone know who the hell that crazy dude was?
Suckers would like a word with him!
Following Suckers was Gordon Voidwell and since I had only heard of the
shenanigans before I had no idea how far out of control things were about
to get. When they first started I was wondering why people danced like THAT!
Even the bands own dancers were terrible... It was then that in my jaded state
of sobriety I realized that bad dancing and cheesy eighties cliches were the
whole point here. Gordon Voidwell, who appeared accompanied by his backing band ‘The
Bucktown Toasters’, was recently dubbed a “Prince fronted Passion
Pit.” This is more than a mere gimmic as Voidwell is a trained vocalist
and multi-instrumentalist that started out as a choir singer and now indulges
in cheesy rap. What came across to me was some sort of contaminated form of David Byrne, mixing
up vocal styles and toying with analog synthesizers and samples. The groups cover of “Heart
of Glass” was a smashing success and I felt completely transported back
in time by twenty years in just one instant. What an awesome way to wind down
the night... sore feet from dancing!
Today’s wrap up comes to you at a time when I'm missing out on some really
rad parties, so everyone have another drink for me and I’ll see you in
the afternoon! Can’t wait for Friday!
We continue our short interview series with promoters who book some of the best venues in town with Bree Roberts, who currently books the back room at Don Pedro in Bushwick What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood? The part of Bushwick in which we are located (some people incorrectly refer to as 'East Williamsburg') is such a diverse neighbourhood, and Don Pedro really reflects that. In the daytime Don Pedro operates as an Ecuadorian restaurant, and come night transforms into a dive bar music venue showcasing some of the best up and coming local and touring rock, garage, punk and psych bands around.
Don Pedro holds dear the spirit of old school NYC venues, where it is genuinely all about the music and giving musicians a chance to be heard whilst having a shit ton of fun. What we lack in polish we make up for in spirit!
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands? I try to book bands that play good music and don't have big attitudes.
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during CMJ
local bands? Impose Magazine booked the entire CMJ week at Don Pedro and are throwing some amazing parties. Particularly looking forward to Thursday Oct 22nd with The Beets (11pm), Xray Eyeballs (10pm), and Girls At Dawn (9pm, in the picture). Also loving the line-up for Saturday 24th with the official Jelly NYC afterparty featuring Wild Yaks, K-Holes, Golden Triangle, and Crystal Antlers starting at 9pm.
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in
interest towards live music. Have you noticed this trend at your venue? I think a lot of people are really getting more into independent music and the whole DIY spirit. With the economy the way it is people can't neccessarily afford to shell out a lot of money for a night out. Our shows are incredibly cheap (sometimes free!) and our drinks aren't pricey. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a good night out.
Day two of the marathon really felt more like a relay race. Instead of passing
a baton, Lindsey and I hugged to pass off our Deli showcase coverage. It’s
heartwarming, I know, but teamwork and our love for music are the two essentials
that are going to get us through this marathon alive.
Brit and the Calvary kicked off The Deli’s Emerging Women of New York
City showcase at The Delancey. Fans of Jenny Lewis should check out Brit Boras’
spellbinding alt-country infused with psychedelic swirls. A small horn section
supported Boras, as she commanded the crowd with her robust vocals and guitar
and violin skills.
By the time I arrived at the Cake Shop for Kanine Records’ showcase,
there were crushed aluminum trash cans and lids strewn across the stage. Although
I was extremely curious to know what happened there, I was excited to see The
Depreciation Guild, a band comprised of Kurt Feldman of The Pains of Being Pure
at Heart and twins Anton and Christoph Hochheim. Every time I see them play
live, I get lost in the cascading melodies and textured guitars. Their ornate,
layered dream pop is enhanced by the Famicom, an overseas version of the beloved
Nintendo, giving the songs a sweet, nostalgic edge. The majority of the set
was filled with new material off their upcoming album that was recorded over
the summer. Definitely keep an ear out for these guys.
On record, ZAZA has this well produced, moody dream pop sound. It’s amazing
how their lush sound isn’t lost in a live setting, but a lot of work goes
into producing their stellar, detailed shows. Vocals are looped, boards are
stuffed with pedals, instruments are swiftly changed and coordination is key.
The trio pulled it off and wooed the audience with their intoxicating blend
of swaying guitar, beatific bass, carefully utilized effects and heavy drums.
Be sure to catch them at our magazine launch party on Saturday.
I headed back to The Delancey to catch Hesta Prynn, who also performs with
Spero and Sprout in Northern State. She performed her solo material, which is
a collage of electronic pop, indie rock and hip hop. Her new endeavor sounds
like a cross between WHY? Goldfrapp and Peaches. Prynn’s experiments with
harsh and soft elements kept the crowd on edge, and her energy was infectious
as fans nodded along to the great beats.
I ran back to the Cake Shop to see We Are Country Mice, who already won over
the crowd by the time I arrived. I had to duck under and evade flailing limbs
and gyrating bodies to secure a position to take a few photos. I didn’t
get the chance to listen to their music beforehand, but I was pleasantly surprised
to hear their rugged alt-country tamed by great vocal harmonies. Although their
Kansas and Wisconsin roots are evident with their smooth, gentle song “The
Ballad of John,” their approach to alt-country in other songs are a lot
more noisy and heavy than the genre typically signifies. Don’t miss them
at The Deli’s showcase Saturday afternoon.
With hardly a few hours sleep under my belt, my day took off running on pure adrenaline
as I headed down to the lower east side for my first intimate performance of the
The scene at Rockwood Music Hall was a warm and comfortable one as people
sipped bloody Mary's and drank late afternoon beers. The stage was softly lit
and the sun shined bright through from outside into the room. The Madison Square
Gardeners must have looked like they were playing inside a fishbowl to the passing
tourists, who waved to the crowd inside as they went by in their double decker
buses. The volume levels seemed loud for such a small room but no one seemed phased
as the band was clearly the focal point of the room, not the bar. The sound could
not have been more perfect as the Gardeners were accompanied by a grand piano
player as well as a slide guitarist. Led by frontman and local favorite Aaron
Lee Tasjan, who also has a really great solo record, the Gardeners flew through
a series of catchy alt-country inspired ditties! Tasjan’s charismatic ways
bring to mind a young Bruce Springsteen and you will undoubtedly hear much more
from the Madison Square Gardeners in the near future - they currently lead The
Deli Magazine's ”Artist of the Month” poll!
After the MSG set I drifted around the LES a bit diving into some of the many
venues that have turned our local playground into a circus of streets flooded
with tour vans and sidewalks littered with bands loading their instruments to
and fro. Shortly after testing the waters I was again off to Brooklyn to where
Nouvellas were playing a gig at The (new) Knitting Factory. The five piece started
out on a strong note led by two high energy, bluesy front-women. Imagine for a
moment Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks getting together with Bo Diddley and members
of Lynard Skynard. I may have been in Brooklyn but the mood was very much set
to the tune of the deep South. Nouvellas ran into some technical difficulties
early into their second song but quickly put the pieces back together and entertained
me with a solid stage presence, choppy guitars and groovy bass lines that would
have made even The Jackson Five proud.
I hardly had a still moment to catch my breath as duty called back to the L
train to catch up to my CMJ partner in crime and switch off coverage of our
very own Deli NYC Women's Showcase being held at The Delancey. I arrived just
in the nick of time as the lovely Ivana XL took the stage solo armed with nothing
more than her voice and an incredibly beautiful vintage hollow body guitar.
As she began to play an image of a smokey Jessica Rabbit enters my mind and
I envision XL in a floor length evening gown draped over a piano in a dark lounge
while people sip expensive cocktails. Many of Ivanas songs struck a chord buried
deep and connected to my heart. She seemed quite demure as she switched between
hushed to loud sounds in a bat of the eye and thanked the crowd immediately
after every song. Do hold your breath for what lies in the future to this rising
It wasn't very long after a break that the evening began to pick up steam
with the eclectic duo Buke and Gass taking the stage with a stammering performance
that included a divulgence of stomps, claps and slaps. What began as an experimentation
has become Buke and Gass' signature sound. They have evolved their traditional
instruments into a hybrid of mutated mechanisms such as the Buke, which is a
combination of both a bass and also a ukulele. There is no other band quite
like them nationally, much less here in NYC. Singer Arone Dyer’s vocal
style is as powerful and high pitched as that of Karen O's while her dynamics
transcend and reach far beyond any common structural pattern.
Up next was a new group to me, Hank and the Cupcakes. You could immediately
FEEL when the duo hit the stage when front-woman/stand up drummer known as “cupcakes”
began to violently play from behind a defenseless drum kit. The singer seemed
to summon the soul of PJ Harvey as their funky processed beats and gyrating
bass commanded the attention of everyone in the room. A highlight of the Cupcakes’
set was their cover of the Joy Divisions “She’s Lost Control”
in which the flickering of lights and absence of a live guitarist added a certain
chemistry. At the end of their performance I must admit I had to take a step
back. Watch out, she's Rick James bitch!
Finally The Narrative took the stage and concluded my coverage of this evenings
Deli showcase just before eleven o' clock. The four piece lead by vocalist/keyboardist
Suzie Zeldin played for a packed and seemingly rowdy crowd that now filled the
basement of the Delancey to capacity. The Narrative struck me as being very
radio friendly with an emphasis on twinkling guitars and catchy pop structures.
Just as I began to long for my bed and a nice hot shower, reality set in and
I realized that I had set myself up to catch one more show of the evening. By
this hour I had to crawl over to the Mercury Lounge to see New Jersey local
favorites, the Screaming Females. The Females are well known for the intensity
of their live performance and the trio came on strong from the opening chord.
The room was still pretty packed despite the late night hour and the fast, punk
based rhythms served to knock me back into things as The Screaming Females lived
up well to their reputation. All in all it was an exhausting but intense day.
I have already seen so many talented artists it’s hard to imagine that
things are still just warming up. On to a good night's rest!
The Studio at Webster Hall has just turned one - it was laucnhed during last year's CMJ Marathon. We had a chat about this new space with booker Trevor Silmser.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood?
The Studio is within Webster Hall so the building has tons of history. Elvis recorded Hound Dog when it was the RCA Victor Studio in late 50’s and check this out... it’s the first place Bob Dylan recorded harmonica on record. Crazy right!!?? The Studio has a separate recording studio attached to it and our buddy Kirk Yano does all the recordings. Kirk is an old school rock and roll guy but he also worked on all the Public Enemy records. As far as the neighborhood goes, it’s the East Village you know? Freaks and Geeks.
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands?
First and foremost it’s quality. Both national touring and local bands. We also have to be looking for bands that draw well. I have found recently that bands do not hustle their own promo in the same way they once did. I think a large majority of bands think a facebook/twitter/myspace post will do it but I honestly believe some hand to hand flyers will never go out of style.
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during CMJ week featuring
local bands? (Please specify date and time.)
Honestly, I am excited about every single night, I reached out to companies that I think are doing cool stuff and fortunately they were all down to do shows. Each company curated their own nights. 10/20 we have Stereogum showcase, 10/21 The Syndicate, 10/22 /Musebox and SPIN, 10/23 AM Only, 10/24 is The Deli showcase. See full line ups on our website.
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in interest towards live music. Have you noticed this trend at
Absolutely. That’s why we are recording some of our shows. It’s to give the bands an opportunity to get there music out in a new way that will help them create a little revenue. We offer 50/50 split and artist owns the master. Depending on the artist, some recordings make it into Best Buys.
After receiving the opportunity to be a Deli runner, I was ecstatic! In high school,
I read about the well-curated showcases journalist would attend at CMJ, and ever
since then, I couldn’t wait to be in New York to experience CMJ. I’m
not going to lie; putting together a schedule for CMJ might just be the most grueling
part of the process, but Lindsey and Paolo helped alleviate my concerns. The night
started later than I anticipated, but all the shows were running behind schedule,
so it actually worked out well in the end.
My first stop was at SoundFix, where I saw an in-store performance by Olga
Bell. In this intimate setting, fans were sprawled on the floor, while others
leaned against displays to listen to the petite singer-songwriter. Two percussionists
(Jason Nazary and Gunnar Olsen) and handclaps were recruited to recreate the
quirky, exuberant beat-driven electropop. With vocals that conjure up comparisons
to Bjork, it’s no wonder Stereogum asked Bell to cover “It’s
Oh So Quiet” for its “Enjoyed: A Tribute to Bjork’s ‘Post’”
compilation. I became a fan after listening to her EP, but I was absolutely
smitten when she brought out a keytar and rocked it for a few tunes.
I hightailed out of SoundFix to see Swimclub at The Rose. The band, comprised of Greg Adams, Kevin Bryant and brothers Gene
and Jim Davenport, has sunny pop sensibilities similar to Teenage Fanclub and
Julie Ocean with a coat of ‘60s pop rock. Crammed on a small stage, Jim
Davenport said he “couldn’t rock hard enough” due to the restricted
space, but they did manage to shatter a glass in time with one of their songs.
The sweet vocal harmonies and the melodies of Swimclub’s songs stayed
with me as I ran out to catch the JMZ to the Lower East Side.
At Fontana’s, I arrived just in time for Cruel
Black Dove and its mesmerizing brand of industrial rock. Singer Anastasia
Dimou admitted they had not played live in about three months, but they maneuvered
the stage like it was their stomping grounds. The saturated stage lights drenched
the band in color, while members dedicatedly played their respective instruments
to create a dark and alluring mood that arrested the crowd.
Leaf Echo followed with a nice transition into shoegaze bliss. Lit only
by a screen projector, the shadowed musicians produced a beautiful, intricate
atmosphere that echoes 4AD bands. I regret not being able to see the band’s
full set as I immensely enjoy their swooning, gorgeously engineered songs.
My last stop for the night was at Googie’s Lounge to see Erin
and Her Cello. Erin Hall has this charming ability to take the banal (i.e.,
a fleeting subway crush and the need for clean towels) and make a great song
with a touch of humor. Backed by a six-piece band, she plucked her cello pizzicato,
giving her music a jazzier, cabaret-like sound, as she glided in and out of
singing in English and French. The comedic, entertaining show was a great way
to unwind after a day of running.
Okay everyone. So this is the real deal.
CMJ is one of the most widespread and recognized musical events that
takes over nearly every bar and venue across our great city for five days
in late October. A great deal of hard work and planning (shot out to
Nancy Chow and Charlie Brown!) went into narrowing this event down to the
artists that we, the Deli, thought to be the most promising among our ever
evolving local scene. I am extra excited about this year's lineup and
wasted no time picking up my CMJ badge and heading off to see my first
showcase of the afternoon.
Thankfully the badge thing went pretty
smoothly and it was no time before I hopped on the orange line and headed
down to the Poptarts Suck Toasted party at Cakeshop to catch Grooms, whose Saturday Death By
Audio showcase I originally planned to see has now been cancelled. The three piece Brooklyn
natives took the stage wildly, and immediately set the bar high for
those to follow. Despite complications with an unruly cymbal,
Grooms’ blend of crunchy smashing guitars, melodic bass lines and
utter sonic breakdowns sounded like total bliss to me. It was after
all, hardly four o’ clock!
After Grooms had finished tearing shit up
I hurried upstairs to catch Will Strattons’ acoustic set
that was maybe the one peaceful part of my day. Stratton’s well
crafted harmonies felt like sunshine across my face on a chilly
day. He hardly seemed a bit peeved as people buzzed threw the room
chatting, the reverberations from the show below rattling threw the
floor. Stratton was thrilled when a friend delivered a “G” string so
he could play his last song on his beautiful twelve string. Okay now I’m
ready to rock again!
Next up on the agenda was the Club NME
showcase being held at BLVD. However, and now thankfully, this show
was running over an hour behind and I stole the opportunity to head over
to the nearby Bowery Ballroom to see for myself what this Care Bears On Fire fuss was all
about. Barely in their early high school years the band was actually
founded when the girls were fifth graders. They have since spent a
few years honing their sound and are now a tight trio reminiscent of the
Runaways jazzed up with a bit of a Dolls aesthetic. The girls played
like seasoned rock veterans with sweet sugar coated vocals and gnarly
guitars. They are to be taken seriously!
Just as the Care Bears On Fire were done
ruling over the Bowery Ballroom it was time to make my way back to BLVD
where I caught the last few songs by three piece Brooklynites, Ultra Violent Lights. This
bands fuzzy bass and bouncy soundscapes were a combination of punk and
thrash metal that they crowd seemed to be digging.
Up next was the band
that I was really excited to finally see. Your Nature are four young dudes
from Brooklyn and even though there has been a budding hype
about this band, they are still fairly unknown. As Your Nature took
the stage it seemed like an entire sea of people had come out of the
woodwork (where did you all come from?). Your Nature well exceeded all of
my expectations as they played among blue shadows and delivered an intense
set of songs that consistently built on top of another. Rarely
slowing down, their melodies become increasingly complicated as they
summon the depth of early Black Sabbath and the movement and textures of
Pink Floyd. There is also a heavy shoegaze and even a dance
influence in this band's music. I can hardly wait to see what they’ll do
Just as fast as I had gotten comfortable it
was time to make a dash to the Panache Booking showcase at Santos Party
House to see the hyper tense sounds of Dinowalrus. The Brooklyn
based three-some produce meticulously crafted sonic ruptures that can best
be linked to the kinds of sounds you would encounter if you were abducted
by an alien space craft. The sound quality for this show was one of
the best for the day and Dinowalrus left the crowd completely stunned as
they ended their set by smashing a tom and hurling it into the crowd. Now
I was entertained!
Due to shows not running as expected I was
able to backtrack to BLVD to see the second half of the five piece Zambri. I’m going to coin a
term and call them electro-BRASH as Zambri is fronted by two dark yet
eloquent women with enormous voices. The front-women vocal style had striking
similarities to the ones of Chairlift and I say that as a
huge compliment. A swell of tension was created as they harmonized
vocally and keyboards have an important and dramatic role in their music. Zambri played to a packed house and
clearly won over many new fans as they closed to a cheering crowd.
By now I had become a veteran of zipping through
the Lower East Side and I made my way back to the aforementioned party at
Santos to see yet another buzz band. Golden Triangle were a high energy
six piece led by two ladies who both looked like Siouxie Sioux and played
ferocious tambourines. It was certainly the most colorful crowd of the
evening. At one point a male fan donning a set of halloween
rollerblades jumped onstage and broke it down dirty style with members of
the band. The crowd was completely out of control by the end of the
set and beers were being sprayed about. Mission acheived!
Finally just after midnight I was ready to
head downstairs to see the Stalkers who would bring closure
to my fun-filled first day. By the time I pushed downstairs the room
was super packed and everyone crammed up to the front to rock out.
The entire room burst into a frenzy of mismatched hipsters and rockabilly
punks as the Stalkers blended old school punk with the gritty sounds of
the seventies. The guitar solos went on for miles and the crowd
hardly caught their breath in between songs as the Stalkers frontman (also known
as “Animal”) tramped around like an ape. The set ended with most of
the band members out in the crowd or on the floor.
My first day of CMJ surely ended on a high note. For
now, I need sleep! - Lindsey Lawless
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood? We feel we've created a very un-New York City, unique, and warm and welcoming space for bands without being gimmicky and in a neighborhood that is completely new and to be discovered. Gowanus is filled with artists and is like a nicer version of Williamsburg circa 1992.
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands? Bands that are youthful, exciting, and most importantly, can bring hundreds of friends and fans.
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during CMJ week featuring
local bands? The Ground Control Touring night (Wednesday) with Pete & The Pirates is going to be awesome as well as the Gothamist (Thursday) & Polyvinyl Records (Friday) showcases...
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in
the amount of live music available. Have you noticed this trend at
your venue? Not really. It still costs a lot of money to tour and spring and fall are always the busiest seasons. Nothing's changed too dramatically in the last 20 years I don't think, just that bands are becoming better at knowing the live show is an important part of their bottom line.
We had a chat with Josh and Nic from the new Williamsburg live music spot Cameo Gallery.
Can you start by giving a little background on the opening of the
venue? What was the original mission of the space? The goal of Cameo Gallery remains the same as it has been since Day 1, to combine different forms of art to create a unique experience and entertainment.
It seems like a lot of NYC concert lore is based on spaces like the
Filmore East in the late '60s, especially CBGB in the '70s and '80s
and the Lower East Side in the early 2000s. What do you think is the
new legacy of the city's live music scene?
The music scene had developed a whole lot into many different sub cultures/ genres and sub sub cultures/ genres. One main reason is because of the technological developments in the music industry. The Williamsburg scene seems to have a home at lovin cup/cameo similar to those mentioned. We have a style, sound and recording studio all in one room to show it.
CMJ brings a lot of outsiders to the city. What do you think their
impression of your space would be? Do visitors tend to explore the more
obscure venues or is there a bias toward Lower Manhattan?
We are in Williamsburg, which is a destination spot for music lovers. When visitors come to NY they often expect innovation and edginess, especially in arts and entertainment. We expect them to be highly satisfied after visiting Cameo. Also, New Yorkers are the hardest people to surprise and please. Cameo Gallery has consistently succeeded at doing this, therefore we believe visitors are in for surprising treat.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood? Williamsburg is a friendlier and more neigbourhood-like version of Manhattan. You see more familiar faces and recognize people more often. People here tend to naturally be cool without the sense of pretentiousness of people in Manhattan.
Cameo has become a destination spot and the ultimate melting pot of Artists and arts lovers. The environment stimulates all types of people to hang out in the same room and yet feel comfortable and wanting to be friendly to others.
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands? We book bands from all genres, which is a tough thing to do as a venue. Quality and creative integrity is the most important thing for us.
What shows are you looking forward to during CMJ week featuring
local bands? Will be working every night at Cameo, this is exciting because many bands I care to see will be here. To name a few:
Mon Khmer (9pm) and Darwin Deez (1am) on Oct 20th, Hecuba (TBD) on Oct 22nd, Trouble and Bass DJ party starting Midnight on Oct 23rd, Toro Y Moi (TBD) on Oct 24th.
Year during CMJ two courageous Deli writers run what we call the "Deli
CMJ Marathon". This "race" implies watching and reviewing in
this blog 26 shows by NYC based artists during the 5 CMJ days (26 is the number
of miles in a marathon).
This is Nancy's marathon schedule for the week. In bold the artists she will
try to cover, in regular font the backup gigs.
Every Year during CMJ
two courageous Deli writers run what we call the "Deli CMJ Marathon".
This "race" implies watching and reviewing in this blog 26 shows by NYC based artists during the 5
CMJ days (26 is the number of miles in a marathon).
This is Lindsey's marathon schedule for the week. In bold (with link) the artists she will try to cover, in regular font (without link) the backup shows.
Here's a Q&A with Jennifer, who books The Living Room on 154 Ludlow Street.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood? The Living Room has been in this neighborhood for over 11 years and
continues to be one of the best places to hear great original music!
The neighborhood does get a little zoo-ish on the weekends - but we tend
to have a more laid back local crowd. Plus, with our upstairs lounge,
Googie's Lounge, we see a nice rotation of new up and comers.
Instead of me babbling about my own club, in terms of being special,
here's something from a band (The Click Clack Boom - in the picture) that recently played:
First of all, let me thank you so very much for having us at The Living
Room! We all had such a great time, and everyone inside the club,
including the staff, was as sweet as could be! It was honestly the first
time that I'd ever played in the city and felt like I wasn't playing in a
city at all. The people in the room were there for the music, and not to
talk to their friends, because they genuinely loved the music. That's a
really hard thing to find in NYC. You've accomplished one hell of a feat
in getting that many cool and like-minded people in the same room!"
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands? Booking a club sort of comes down to personal taste. While it's
important to fill the room so we can pay our crazy Ludlow St. rent, the
music always comes first. If I don't think I could sit through a 45min
set of your music, then it doesn't matter HOW many people you can bring.
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during
CMJ week featuring local bands? We
are having 4 early evening Paste magazine parties with 4 performances
each afternoon it's are going to be great!!!!
Check out local acts: the Fieros 10/20 @ 10pm, Sydney Wayser (pictured) 10/21 @
8pm, Marcellus Hall 10/22 @ 11pm, Hungry Hungry Ghost 10/23 @ 9pm,
Skidmore Fountain 10/24 @ 11pm.
True stalwart of the NYC indie scene, one man show (although often accompanied by trusted friends Higgins) John Biz has alternatively rocked and mellowed us in the past few years, with his extremely multifaceted material. The man has a busy CMJ schedule next week with a full band show @ Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday 20, and another one at Bruar's Fall in Williamsburg the following day.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood?
There's something about being on the cusp of Tribeca, Chinatown, Soho and Little Italy that creates a microcosmic culture clash. much like new york city in general. it's that mix of cultures that we try to encapsulate in the club.
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands?
I guess I look for bands that push a little outside their own comfort zones. That's always where the truly incredible music is made. Whether that's rorschach or washed out.
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during CMJ week featuring
Locally, I'm looking forward to Dinowalrus @ the Panache Showcase (10/20 - 9.30pm) & Real Estate (in the picture) @ the Oh My Rockness showcase (10/21 - 10pm). Less locally - Aeroplane (10/21), Yes Giantess & Local Natives at the Neon Gold / Chess Club / Greenshoelace.com party (10/23, 8pm and 9pm respectively). It's the night before CMJ but I can't wait to see Washed Out. I'm obssessed by that record. Other bands I want to get out and see are The XX, Drink Up Buttercup, Surfer Blood, Cold Cave & Cale Parks.
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in
interest towards live music. Have you noticed this trend at
I think the live industry is actually shrinking a little. everyone chased after money when the record sales dried up and over-saturated the market. It feels like the last 6 months have seen the industry re-adjust and become more realistic about how much money people actually have and what they're willing to spend it on. It's constantly changing but I think at the moment everybody in the industry, from bands to booking agents to venues are working together to make the right decisions and make every night out worthwhile for the concert goer.
After lending her talents to several tribute albums for bands such as The Cure and The Pixies, artist Julie Peel has stepped out on her own with the release of her first full length album of original work, “Near the Sun.” The self taught musician plays the part of vocalist, guitarist, recorder, mixer and producer for her indie pop musical creation - a cozy collection of unprocessed nostalgic noise that tugs on the emotions. The artist’s personal influences to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Cat Power echo within her harmonies. But Peel adds a feathery touch that’s all her own. Anchored by a low fi hiss, the ballads layer aching vocals with consoling guitar notes for music that’s like balm for a torn heart. The use of the harmonica, ukulele, banjo, glockenspiel and kazoo adds to the “no place like home” ambiance of Peel’s melodies. Her music in a word: velvety.- Experience Peel’s soothing sound at Bar 4 in Brooklyn on Nov. 11. - Cecilia Martinez
Enter the whimsical realm of The Freelance Whales, where sweet harmonies and gentle instrumentals travel through time and trigger memories of pure childhood innocence. A little over six months in the making, the band has established a signature sound that is musically magical. The five member group from New York utilizes a collection of rustic instruments - guitars, banjo, harmonium, several synths, cello, glockenspiel, drums and bass - to create light, sugar coated melodies. The Freelance Whales prove that uncomplicated note arrangements can sound deeply complex when played in harmonic unison. In their debut record, “Weathervanes,” lighthearted, repetitive instrumental notes lay the foundation of each track. Tambourines and xylophones accentuate the melodies, creating a sound best described as eclectic simplicity. An arrangement of gentle voices melt within playful lyrics, creating lyrical lullabies that soothe the soul. The Freelance Whales will take you on a musical journey of wonderment, full of choral cheer and mellow highs and lows. Enjoy the trip. - See them live at The Dleancey on 10.24 (CMJ-ers should RSVP here) - Cecilia Martinez
Anyone up for a second helping of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie?” That’s not exactly what Social Hero serves up, mind you—this is no ironic hair-metal pose—but insofar as the quintet mixes fat riffs with libidinous lyrics, its music recalls the simple pleasures of rock’s pre-grunge era. On “Evening Gown,” the best of the group’s MySpace offerings, singer David Lloyd dreams of tearing through the titular garment, while “Mosquito Attack,” a nod to ‘80s Aerosmith, finds the front man poised to spend a night nibbling on his special lady’s face. Lest anyone think the band is only inspired by schlock, “Keep Telling Yourself” reveals an affinity for Queen and ‘70s power pop—influences always deserving of the revivalist treatment.
See Social Hero live at the Village Underground (130 W 3rd St, NY) — Kenneth Partridge
We continue our series focused on NYC venues with The Bowery Electric, a recent addiction to Manhattan's East Village.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood?
Obviously having our doors just a half block from the now closed but
legendary CBGB's keeps NY rock'n roll alive on the Bowery, where it all kind
of began. We see the Bowery Electric's music venue as the continuation of
the live rock'n roll music scene downtown. Our place is fairly new and the
decor really comfortable. Our venue is intimate and great for
singer/songwriters and yet it's a great room for real rock bands. The
neighborhood still maintains the undercurrents of a rock'n roll attitude in
and around the cracks and seams of the sidewalks and buildings and fences,
even under it's semi-posh sheath.
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands?
Great musicans with great songs. We recently had Wolfmother, Leah Siegel,
Heavy Trash, and Zee Avi perform. Spectacular artists!
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during CMJ
Shayne Rae's Electric
Truckstop (a great monthly night she does here) with the Madison Square
Gardeners (in the picture), Submarine Bells, The Apple Brothers and others. This will be
unique (starts at 6pm) as well as the incredible day of U.K. bands and DJ's
we have booked on Saturday Oct. 24th beginning at 2pm and running through
to 4am. We also have some secret unannnounced parties schedule here that
we'd like to tell you about, but can't just yet! Go to our website or Myspace page for the
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in
interest towards live music. Have you noticed this trend at your venue?
Live music will always survive because it brings people together who
share a common interest in music and song. As long as there are artists
creating great songs and performances, there will be people coming out to
see them, if prices are kept affordable! We are charging $3.00 per person
the entire week of CMJ unless you have a badge... that's a steal for the
number of great rock bands one can see in a night here. And our drink prices
are reasonable and happy hour prices under $5.
Echostream arrives in New York via London, where founders Ryoko and Tony met in the late ‘90s while attending the Royal Academy of Music. The duo has since added three sidemen, released two albums, and cultivated a deceptively delicate ambient sound — one that’s alternately paper-crane thin and steel-crane sturdy. Whereas the tunes “Dragon” and “One Last Cigarette” benefit from spaciousness, their minimal electronic blips and ice-pick instrumentation blowing a chilly breeze behind Ryoko’s ghostly vocals, “Way Forward” and “What Are You?” flip the quiet-loud lever back in the other direction. On those tracks, distorted guitars break the calm, relieving the tension so central to this quintet’s appeal. - Echostream has built a loyal fanbase in the electronic NYC circuit, check them out at The Studio (Webster Hall) on Monday October 19. — Kenneth Partridge
Cavalier Rose’s music could be the missing link between
The Cowboy Junkies and Portishead. Dark country elements - led by Heather Christian’
edgy soprano (full of southern vibe) marries the slow tempos and the sparse
spaces drawn by the band’s rhythm section. Guitar, electric pianos and
the occasional conga create intriguingly soft textural arrangements. We had
a quick conversation with the founders of this promising new project. - read Susi Muhr Q&A with the band here.
Leah Siegel can definitely be filed under "Raw Talent." Her voice alone would be enough to raise eyebrows, but Siegel has worked hard on her music from all angles: unique fretwork, alternate tunings, thoughtful lyrics, well-crafted recordings and live dynamic performances have all helped her drum up a local following over the past several years. While many Buckley/Radiohead-influenced singer/songwriters tend to place histrionics over craft, Siegel weaves melodic runs that are carefully constructed and ultimately moving. When she isn’t lamenting, she’s also got a sense of humor compositions like “Pin Down” (an old lover is equated with a squashed spider) showcase a Tin Pan Alley level of sophistication that illicit laughter or sadness time and time again. - read Ben Krieger's interview with Leah here.
This is an opportunity from The Deli to get to know you better and to get some coverage in our website.
again, during the CMJ week The Deli will unleash 2 Deli Marathon
Runners on the streets of NYC, armed with the mission to report about
all the most exciting emerging local artists and bands playing during
the CMJ fest.
This year Nancy and Lindsey have offered to take this Herculean
task on their shoulders. Their sole purpose in life - for those 5 days
- will be to attend 26 shows each (the number of miles in a
marathon) by NYC artists, and report about them on this blog.
Some of these
shows will be selected from the list of bands and artists that will contact them
from now until October 16.
Therefore any NYC band or solo artist
playing an official or unofficial CMJ show interested in being covered should contact ONE (and only one) of our marathon
runners to try and persuade her to go to see their live show.
so please leave a message using the comment feature under their
profiles posted under here. Nancy and Lindsey will
choose which artists they will try to see perform live
(we say try because anything can happen during CMJ because of delays, sold out shows and cancellations).
Don't forget to specify your website or myspace
address in the comment! Nancy and Lindsey will compile the list of their marathon
itinerary a few days before the CMJ Festival.
My name is Nancy and I love music that is influenced by color, art and design. I enjoy seeing bands that are able to take those influences and artfully direct them in a live setting. In terms of genres, I like listening to shoegaze, twee pop, dance rock, post-punk, dream pop, folk pop, alt-country and electropop.. I am a sucker for catchy pop songs loaded with memorable hooks, especially if handclaps and strings are involved.
I had trouble writing the rest of this entry, so I asked a friend what she thought I listened to. She answered, “Emo boys with tight pants and bangs and guitar!” Make whatever you want out of that, but you should probably take it with a grain of salt.
If you want me to attend to your live show please leave a comment in the comment section of this entry (green link) with a link to your music + date, time and location of your band's CMJ performance. I'll let you know if I can make it soon.
Howdy y’all! My name is Lindsey and first off I’d like to say I like it LOUD! No really really loud! I want to hear records that take me on a journey of emotional highs and lows... I’m interested in music that makes me feel something. My favorite genres consist of garagey rock sounds, sweet sixties soul, two step honky tonk, poppin’ POST punk, jammin’ psych stoner stuff and shit that makes people dance dirty. I dig bands with more than one drummer, the continuity of albums produced by Roy Thomas Baker and musicians who prefer Death By Audio pedals. I think The Clean are the most under-rated group and I have a soft spot for ballsy female singers. My favorite song with a xylophone is "Under my Thumb" by the Stones. I would like to see more psych rock and shoegaze groups and also bands who have a strong stage presence. I wanna be entertained damn it! You must also know the answer to the following question... Who would win in a fight between Lemmy and God?
If you want me to attend to your live show please leave a comment in the comment section of this entry (green link) with a link to your music + date, time and location of your band's CMJ performance. I'll let you know if I can make it soon!
Hey there, we just got back from Winnipeg where we filmed this video! Long long time no talk.... We are a NYC band called Flying Machines , and we have a debut album out on M17/EMI, tell me what you think of the video, and CLICK the HEAR MORE link to listen to the entire new album free ! Keep OCTOBER 22nd free for our big CMJ DEBUT detailed here - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
Can you start by giving a little background on the opening of the venue? What was the original mission of the space? Two idealistic classical musicians decided they wanted to open up a venue that is more than just four walls and a sound system. A place where the lines between "popular" and "high" art forms are blurred. We don't like to refer to ourselves as a music venue, we're so much more: literary readings, burlesque and cabaret shows, a fully functioning fine art gallery and of course we host performances in genres as varied as classical, jazz, world, indie rock, dance and everything in between. In short: we're a multi-disciplinary cultural center that knows how to throw a damn good party as well.
It seems like a lot of NYC concert lore is based on spaces like the Filmore East in the late '60s, especially CBGB in the '70s and '80s and the Lower East Side in the early 2000s. What do you think is the new legacy of the city's live music scene? There has always been so much segregation with the diverse musical styles of the past. Punk Clubs, Jazz Clubs, Indie Rock Clubs, etc. I feel like these worlds are coming together in a way that has never happened before. People seem to be searching for a space that reflects the diversity of their own breadth of musical taste. I believe our venue and other establishments that embrace that will be where the scene is.
CMJ brings a lot of outsiders to the city. What do you think their impression of your space would be? Do visitors tend to explore the more obscure venues or is there a bias toward Lower Manhattan? We have an amazing sound system - designed by John Storyk, who's first project was Electric Lady studios for Jimi Hendrix - which truly enhances the concert-going experience. Because CMJ tends to favor downtown venues, Lower Manhattan does get the bulk of visitors. Our historical significance can't be underplayed here, though. We're right in the middle of historic Greenwich Village one of the main spots where live music continually reinvents itself with the scene.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood? History. We're occupying the old village gate space. Check this out, go to 3'45". Allen Ginsburg, Andy Warhol, listening to the Velvet Undgerground in our space, need I say more? What do you look for when it comes to booking bands? Diversity and artistry.
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in the amount of live music available. Have you noticed this trend at your venue? We've only been around for a little over a year. I'd say that there's plenty of competition for good acts, but that's good for the scene. Le Poisson Rouge will host CMJ performances by Violens, Ninjasonic, Warpaint, Twi the Humble Feather, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Holly Miranda among others. See the full calendar here.
This new video by Orba Squara was made from combining thousands of photos from a 10-day bus run from NYC through Nashville, Austin, AZ, Vegas, Northern Cailifornia, ending in Portland, OR. It could be an ad for The Deli's US branches! The band will perform at 2 free CMJ shows: 10.23
at The Knitting Factory (Williamsburg) at (2pm), and
The Living Room (154 Ludlow St).
Set time 10pm.
Among Americana bands, there’s a tendency to cartoon it up and play the whole hard-livin’, whiskey-and-heartache thing for maximum tragicomic effect. The Felice Brothers, god bless ‘em, do this better than anyone, and their wacked-out tales of double-crossing crooks and murderers are as entertaining as they are contrived. Sometimes, though, those of us who fancy flannel and twang demand something a little subtler, and that’s where a band like Bel Air comes in.
The Brooklyn quintet is not without its aw-shucks affectations, but such tunes as “Into the Sea” and “This City pt. 2,” both featured on the group’s MySpace page, ring with a certain muted authenticity. With its rolling acoustic guitars, mournful pedal steel, hobo harmonica, and unsettling organs, the group offers a modern take on classic influences. The songs tend to be more Counting Crows than Old Crow Medicine Show, but the pendulum swings between those poles.
Especially good are those tunes sung by Allie Langerak, whose Natalie Merchant-like wail gives standout “Sometimes” its emotional heft. Check out their CMJ live showcase at
the Alphabet Lounge on 10.21 — Kenneth Partridge
Today we start a series of short Q&As with NYC promoters, linked to the feature you can all find in our 20th print issue, which just hit the streets of NYC. First venue on our list is The Cake Shop - here are the thoughts of co-owner/promoter Andy Bodor.
What do you see as special about your venue and neighborhood?
I see us an indie oasis in a sea of overpriced shoes & bottle service-reliant 'other people'. Though its drastically changed in even the 4 years we’ve been here, I still believe lower east side is vital and alive with ideas. If anything, being in this environment can only make you stronger mentally and constantly inspired, somehow. At this point, since a majority of our clientele lives in Williamsburg, I enjoy curating a place for them to field trip to as well, so in a way that makes us pretty iconoclast, save for a few likeminded neighbors, to other businesses in our four block radius…
What do you look for when it comes to booking bands?
Equal parts quality in the music and their live show. They have to mean it. They just have to be something worthwhile, not looking for retread or copycat bands, I just ask for something awesome to watch live, worth looking at and drinking a beer to.
What shows (hosted by your venue) are you looking forward to during CMJ week featuringlocal bands?
Not local, but my excitement has waned a bit this week after hearing two of the bands I really love and work with right now were supposed to come to CMJ this year and had to cancel sorta last minute due to recession, Dog Day from Halifax and Kirsten Ketsjer from Denmark. But I like lots and lots of stuff. The Kanine showcase looks great and the Chouette Terrorbird day shows are always a riot all filled with great locals we love. It’ll be cool to see Antlers (3pm, pop tarts suck toasted showcase Tuesday 10/20) here post blow up, they’ve played here for three people. Dum Dum girls will be local in a month and are gonna tear it up this year. (friday 10/23 afterparty)
As the record industry is struggling, there seems to be a surge in interest towards live music. Have you noticed this trend at your venue?
Absolutely, but also not really, that could be some industry panic talk. I’ve always tried to book good live bands to prove that point before it became a reality, which it kinda seems like it is. A good live band is much better than a dead piece of plastic shoved into a harddrive. Live music and then buying the vinyl almost as a souvenir is the way I like to do it.
Recent college grad Will Stratton knows a thing or two about pulling at heart- strings. It took him three years to complete his second album, No Wonder, which is being released on November 3rd, but the result is something that was worth the wait: a meaningful records. Each song is delicate and radiates sincerity and familiarity while exploring Stratton’s intimate songwriting and minimal arrangements. The album is nostalgic and thought provoking, and ultimately is like a memory that you want to make your own. Be sure to check him out at the Pop Tarts Suck Toasted CMJ party at Cake Shop on October 20th. - Jannifer Pearce
The name of New York sextet, Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears, is a suitable sobriquet for the band’s sound, fashioned from frighteningly fast-tempos, shredding guitars, and tearful, yet amped-up, vocals. “Mad Valentines,” the group’s recent EP, possesses the qualities of a rock opera on fast forward. Such glam, power-pop style borders on frantic, exemplified by “Andromeda’s Eyes” with its non-stop pounding piano and pressing pace. “(It’s A) Gambler’s Wind” takes the EP down a notch, but not by much, to a smooth, dramatic disco with a lively lilt. Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears then jump back into intense theatricality on the playful, British invasion-inspired “The Gardener Eleanor” and ragtime-meets-pop “Maria St. Claire.” Winding up a finale, the whimsical “Bye Bye Babylon” and epic, guitar-ridden “The Red Umbrella” pack the final punches into “Mad Valentines.” Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears’ urgently upbeat vitality is bound to lift listeners’ spirits and bring them to their feet for an ovation. Don't miss the band's CD release party at 92YTribeca on 10.10 – Meijin Bruttomesso
State Capital Records is having a record release party at Bruar Falls this Saturday for "Field Recordings" w/ performances starting at 8 by Dinosaur Feathers, pow wow!, Reina Del Camino, Lame Drivers (in the picture) + Clean Equations. "Field Recordings" is an LP only release with new exclusive tracks from the Vivian Girls, A Place To Bury Strangers, The Beets, pow wow!, Dinosaur Feathers, Knight School + more. 16 tracks in all. The record will be released officially on October 12 on statecapitalrecords.com, and will be available at record stores throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan soon after. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).
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From the frosty tipped mountains of Upstate New York to the bustling brownstones of Brooklyn, songstress Annie Crane is a country gal at heart with an inner city attitude. Calling upon her experiences in both worlds, the Brooklyn bumpkin’s melodies provide musical nourishment for the soul - a warm blend of rustic folk that’s peppered with modern sensibilities. Both a singer and a songwriter, Crane creates a snapshot in time with the poetic words she scribes. As Crane lures the listener into a scene from one of her distant memories, the folk darling’s enchanting voice acts as the tour guide for the tuneful journey. Crane also provides instrumental backup for her harmonies. The tender strumming of simple notes on her acoustic guitar provides light and airy accents to thought provoking lyrics. With two releases under her white d-ring belt, a self titled EP in 2007 and “Through the Farmlands & the Cities” in 2009, Crane has gained a modest following and has been compared to such artists as Neko Case and Lucinda Williams. Currently on tour throughout the United States, Crane will return to the Big Apple on Nov. 3 to bring her modern folk stylings to The Sidewalk Café. - Cecilia Martinez
On October 2, 2009, as part of the M.E.A.N.Y Fest 2009 showdown, New York duo, decibel., did a doozy on The Delancey. Although only a pair, Josh Weinstein (vocals/guitar/effects) and Woody Moseley (drums) produced the resonance of five. Weinstein’s standout vocals and darkly melodic acoustic guitar channeled the soulful and gritty sides of blues and grunge while Moseley’s elaborate and shifting rhythms kept listeners on their toes and sustained decibel.’s transfixing unpredictability. Adept at inventive multi-tasking, Weinstein alternated between microphone and megaphone, while singing and beat-boxing, mixed in loops and distortion via foot pedals, and added percussion on a --floor tom (A sweatshirt slung over the drum served as a mute.) for the aggressive “F*ck Off,” ominous “Be My Husband” (by Nina Simone), folky “She Talks About Love,” turbulent “(Bring On the White Noise),” and enigmatic “Rats.” Decibel.'s delivery of raw emotion through an authentic but atypical style will surely place the duet in the noteworthy when the band performs at CMJ and beyond. - Meijin Bruttomesso
In Kittens Ablaze's exuberant musical hodgepodge you will be likely to find The Clash's punk attitude, Pavement's impossible melodies, Syd Barret's mad songwriting plus an awful amount of other unexpected elements, ranging from string sections to electronic blips. The band - whose high energy live shows are getting some buzz in town - is going to have a busy month, with 4 CMJ shows already scheduled and a performance at the Bowery Ballroom on October 7.
Lo fi indie pop collective Beat Radio recently completed their second LP and made it available as a free download here. The album is also available as a limited addition cd for $10. The band will celebrate the CD release party on October 10 at Glasslands for with Sean Bones, ECHOecho, Right On Dynamite, and Speech Debelle. (photo by Bryan Bruchman)
The lazy music journalist moniker “psychedelic”
has stuck to Amazing Baby since the band put posted two songs on MySpace in
early 2008. Amazing Baby is much more than the druggie hippie stereotype that
has been painted on them. This being said, I did play their music to a group
of stoned kids who really enjoyed it. What started as a flippant recording project between Will Roan, guitarist Simon
O’Connor and drummer Will Berman (who now plays for MGMT) quickly became
a legitimate musical endeavor and MySpace phenomenon. Roan and O’Connor,
the core founders of Amazing Baby, picked up friends and friends of friends
to join them, and Amazing Baby became what it is today. Joining O’Connor
and Roan is Matt Abeysekera, Don Devore and Doc Laaxo. Their four song EP, “Infinite Fucking Cross,” was just a light Costco
free-sample of what was to come. The band’s latest album, “Rewild”
is a satisfactory compilation of heavy rock, addictive narwhal dreamscapes,
and majestic tunes destined to be anthems of the year. - readChloe Schildhause's interview with the band here.
Lowry does not look for acceptance into any clique. The Brooklyn-based
quintet has yet to play any of the major music marathons, and you probably won't
find them at next week's Pitchfork party. Their songs are too long for Top 40,
and their hooks are too catchy to be considered experimental. Instead, you will
likely find them on the road, building their audience fan by fan in clubs and
theaters around the country, performing at festivals such as last summer’s
All Points West, and playing the unofficial parties surrounding CMJ and SXSW.
For Lowry, it is about the journey. Theirs is the music of experience. The band
has grown intimate with both sides of the broken heart, and has learned to articulate
the beauty in loss, the power of solitude, and the struggle for optimism. The
resulting melodies seem familiar, like a feeling that has always been there.
As the band prepares to record its next album, I spoke with frontman Alex Lowry
about dead ends, curves, and roadkill. - See Lowry at Spike Hill on 10.16 at Spike Hill - Read Debra D’Agostino's interview with Lowry here.
The man who gave birth
to one of the most original NYC indie bands of the last 20 years - Soul
Coughing - is back with a new album released on ATO Records. Mike Doughty admits
that "Sad Man Happy Man" is a reaction to his fans’ reaction and that
he’s giving the people what they want. “The songs on Sad Man are more
arcane and convoluted songwriting-wise, though they’re sparer in terms
of instrumentation. Mike Dought plays in NYC on 10.31 at Les Poisson
Tomorrow on October 6th, Ernest Jenning Record Co. will release Softly Towards The Light, the third full-length album from New Jersey quartet The Black Hollies. To celebrate the group have planned a record release party at Glasslands in Brooklyn, NY on 10/10, and are offering up a free download of the song "Gloomy Monday Morning". After an appearance at CMJ 2009, The Black Hollies will hit the road in November for an East Coast tour with Brian Scary & The Shredding Tears.
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