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Monday, October 27, 2008

Atlas Sound Free Halloween Dances Download

Bradford Cox, (Deerhunter and Lotus Plaza) released two new tunes as Atlas Sound. Ignite your Halloween spirit with the two ethereal Halloween dance gems, "Danse Infernale" and "Danse Macabre," which are available for the taking here. There is also an October Micromix and a track called "Coffin Trick," as free downloads on the blog too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CMJ Day 5 - Final Night

Well, everything that we set out to accomplish was accomplished. CMJ final night was certainly the encore.

It began with the oddness that is The Music Tapes. Banjos, musical saws, and singing television sets were the weirdest of the weird. But somehow the spectacle was enjoyable. The band had a live show that couldn't be denied as completely original. From a metronome that was taller than the singer to a song that was played with ball bounced on a snare drum (front man Julian Koster claimed it “was hard”)-there is no band quite like the Music Tapes.

The duo that is Wye Oak followed and poured passion into their set. There performance was certainly a highlight of the evening. Singer Jenn Wasner told heartfelt stories in which you can easily connect-from family struggles to anticipation of the end of one’s youth. The band plays their hooky folk songs that build to become rocking versions of themselves with drummer Andy Stack also playing a keyboard. This in itself was worth the show, but there was so much more. If you’re a guitar player, you wish guy could play half as good as the talented Wasner. Her vocals entranced. For many this performance may have earned Wye Oak a spot on the best of 2008. The band sounded even better than their recordings live and since it was a brief set, it left many wanting more.

After Wye Oak I made my to the Bowery ballroom where a band called All the Saints played as one of the tightest bands of the week. They were an undoubtedly talented trio, however, there was nothing to really draw you in the way that Wye Oak or other bands had throughout the week.

Many were excited to welcome, Marnie Stern-the modern day Lita Ford. But much cooler. Her finger tapping on the guitar, a la Eddie Van Halen was a style that amazed many. And the woman could sing. Her stage presence was immense. She earned some new fans at the conclusion of her set.

Next up was Vivian Girls and damn were they good. The distortion that the three-piece packed into their brief set was intense. All No Age comparisons were dropped…this was an original band that writes catchy but fuzzy and thunderous songs. They rocked through the brief ditties from an album that will be on many top ten lists at the end of the year and they set the stage for Crystal Antlers.

Now, just know I went to the Bowery for Vivian Girls but left a big Crystal Antlers fan. Mr. Kevchino compared the band to Mars Volta and yeah, I could see that. But they were better. The set was backed with energy that never seemed to dive. One track after the next had the audience moving almost uncontrollably. Crystal Antlers sort of felt like a jam band with a purpose. They were much funkier than Mars Volta and one of the best performances of the whole of CMJ.

Finally, A Place to Bury Strangers closed the evening with the loudest songs of the night. The stage was set with dimmed lights as the band played appropriately distorted and dark music. The loud, fuzzed out guitars drowned out the vocals but the band show was immediately powerful. The performance brought to mind a less dreamy My Bloody Valentine or a dreamier …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The band concluded by adding a little destruction to the stage as they distorted there sound even more as they heaved their guitars aside. Ears were buzzing as the crowd dispersed from an amazing night.

All in all the final night was the best night. Until next year CMJ. Thanks a lot!

~ Nick Greto

CMJ Day 5 - Ha Ha Tonka, Cordero

Indie rock quartet Ha Ha Tonka hail from the middle of the country - Springfield, Missouri to be precise.   But, before you start cracking jokes about cows and country bumpkins, you might want to take a second to check out the band's tunes.  Granted, Springfield may not have the music cache of other hot beds of rock like NYC or L.A. but what it does have is a cross-section of music genres that allow musically clever bands like Ha Ha Tonka to mix, match and ultimately, cherry pick the best of the batch.

In Ha Ha Tonka's rich musical palette, you'll find delta blues licks mixed in with Ozark folk melodies and the sass of Southern rock.   The band played a high energy set to a packed room at Union Pool in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.  In case you missed it, just take a listen to their stand out song "Caney Mountain" from their 2007 disc Buckle in the Bible Belt (Bloodshot Records) and then be prepared to stand up and swear that the coasts have nothing on mid-western rock!

Cordero, the Tuscon, AZ band that now calls Brooklyn home, was formed as a bilingual outfit by singer Ani Cordero in 1999. The band began to gain some headway after a 2000 move to New York City where they released three albums and hit the road in support of bands like Los Lobos, The Indigo Girls and Calexico. In 2006, the band signed with Bloodshot Records which released their latest album De Donde Eres on August 26th of this year.  

The band stopped by Union Pool on Saturday afternoon to play their official CMJ gig. Playing a mix of haunting Latin ballads and bouncy numbers that had couples teaming up for some sultry partner dancing, the band instantly won over the room.

You can catch Cordero in the Brooklyn area again on November 7th @ Bam Cafe Live.  

~ Amy Wagner

Friday, October 24, 2008

CMJ Day 4 - No Singing DJ, Wye Oak

We hit Brooklyn's newest venue The Bell House (Conceived and created by the friends behind Union Hall and Floyd's) in hopes to see Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson and Jens Lekman DJ a set. We arrived at the beautiful venue which boasts twenty five foot wooden arched ceilings, a 450 square foot stage, with *unobstructed views from any part of the room. *Take note Terminal 5. Friendly staff & security! Grade A+

No Jens Lekman was to be found DJ-ing unless he was in another room we missed but Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson took the stage to a crowd of ten and played a small set. I had heard some hype about this band but was not to impressed. Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio appear as guests on their album but were not their to stimulate this live show.

Next up was a Baltimore duo (not Beach House) called Wye Oak as people filed in filling up the large venue. Wye Oak consists of singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner and drummer/keyboardist/background vocals Andy Stack. Jenn sang with a strong yet dreamy voice similar to Cat Power, Mazzy Star and picked her Reverend guitar with PJ Harvey-esque tones as Andy crashed in with a keyboard bass line, complimentary drums and nice backing vocals. The crowd was won over after their first song and was the highlight of our short but sweet night. They put out an album out on Merge Records entitled If Children earlier this year.

~ Kevchino

Warning - Wye Oak

CMJ Day 3 - Jay Reatard

Nick & I headed out to Hoboken, New Jersey to catch Jay Reatard's second show of the night at Maxwells. They played earlier in the evening at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The band stormed in the club set up and rocked out. There was not a second of dead air space were between each song. Not even twenty minutes in the set had gone by and they whipped through ten tunes. I think they covered all thirteen tracks of the Matador Singles '08 including gems like "See/Saw," "Screaming Hand," "Always Wanting More," and "You Mean Nothing To Me." The trio rocked with intensity and stormed back off stage almost as quick as they got on.

~ Kevchino

CMJ Day 3 - Zack and Miri Make a Porno

We caught director Kevin Smith's (Clerks, Mallrats) new film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Staring Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up) and Elizabeth Banks as Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri who try and solve their cash-flow problems by making an adult film together.

After the movie director Kevin Smith did a Q & A with the audience and spoke of how he got the film's R-Rating, getting around permissions for Star Wars with George Lucas and some horrendous poo stories including how he wipes his butt.

~ Kevchino

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CMJ Day 2 - Friendly Fires, Stones Throw

The first night of CMJ (for me) was filled with pleasant surprises and not so pleasant surprises.

First, if the idea of standing in line with 200 people for a show that you RSVP’d for, only to be turned away after 45 minutes, than the Stones Throw party at the Gallery Bar on Orchard St. was for you.

It wasn't for me, so Mr. Kevchino and I rambled quickly to the Annex that was just a few feet away.

When we arrived we were greeted with a band called Dirty Fuzz -a straight up rock band fronted by a Macy Gray look alike (Elida Zulu), with a soulful voice to match.

We caught about 4 tunes that all brought to mind classic rock of old. They ended with a track that packed the room. Whether it was filling for the song "Whore" or for the band that was to follow was uncertain.

The next act did, however, became the highlight of our brief evening.

Friendly Fires had a nice buzz surrounding them due to a Brooklyn Vegan endorsement. Within moments of taking the stage it was obvious why BV was a fan. The front man Ed Macfarlane was there to put on a show. That was the first thing that was noted. He slithered and jerked on and off the stage as electronic beats met organic ones and jangly guitars meshed with his quirky Devo like vocals.

Pleasant as the Devo comparison may be, the bands influence seemed to range from U2, Klaxons, Tom Vek, Oingo Boingo and The Cure.

The band won over the crowd quickly with its stage presence. They were undoubtedly on stage to perform. They ended with a percussion filled ditty called "Paris" that all but solidified them as the first CMJ break out. Everyone at this show will be talking about it tomorrow.

Check out Friendly Fires Jump In the Pool.mp3

~ Nick Greto

CMJ Day 2 - The Brothers Bloom

I've been to CMJ many years and always have tried to catch some of the film screenings of the event and I am either to tired to attend or there are scheduling conflicts with bands to check out. This year I saw the second film by one of my favorite directors Rian Johnson on the CMJ Guide and made some concrete plans to attend. Rian Johnson directed Brick back in 2005 which is a mashup of a modern day detective - teen drug drama and a thirties noir film.

In 2008 Johnson is back with The Brothers Bloom a modern day romantic con artist film which plays out is if Wes Anderson did an adaptation of Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon. Stephen Bloom played by Mark Ruffalo sets up poignant cons using more symbolism than Russian authors. While his brother played by Adrien Brody wants to live a more unscripted life. Rinko Kikuchi plays Bang Bang the duo's trusty third partner in crime and delivers constant laughs while Rachel Weisz plays the eccentric, millionaire epileptic photographer Penelope Stamp who joins the team on their last con.

This film a completely new direction for director Rian Johnson leaving behind the noir colors of Brick for a more vivid colorful adventure teaching us that all lives are scripted.

His cousin and film composer Nathan Johnson & Director of Photography (Steve Yedlin?) were both there for a brief Q & A.
They mentioned Rian is already writing his third movie a sc-fi film entitled Looper. The film is scheduled to hit theatres this December.

~ Kevchino

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CMJ Day 1 - Magnetic Morning, Springhouse & Life And Times

I woke up this morning headed straight to the doctor and got my flu shot preparing myself for the musical orgy known as CMJ to began.

I picked up my CMJ badge and photo pass at Judson Memorial Church. Every year I get terribly sick from the event so I thought I'd play it safe and stay in to be in good shape for the days to come but . . . I noticed a show at Southpaw a few blocks from my casa which sounded intriguing enough to contradict myself.

I walked in and caught the tail end of the set by Kansas City, Missouri's Life And Times. The band was amazing complete with angelic guitar chimes and a powerful drums and bass rivoting the sounds into bliss. A band I will keep on my radar.

Next up was Jack Rabid of The BigTakeover's band Spring House. They had a fill in bass player for Larry Heinemann. Singer Mitch Friedland armed with his delay ladled nylon string guitar, spit out some college radio inspired jams with drummer Jack Rabid keeping it all in time.

Next up was Magnetic Morning formerly the The Setting Suns. The band fronted by Adam Franklin of Swervedriver and backed by and all star ensemble featuring Interpol's drummer Sam Fog, Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf on keys, Frederic Alexandre Blasco of Interpol &The Secret Machines and Josh Stoddard.

As Adam crooned with his lovely voice he and the other guitarist F A Blasco pulled out some amazing guitar sounds with their amassment of guitar pedals that covered the stage floor. If the band were to retire anytime soon they could pull up in thier van in front of any NYC guitar boutique and give them a run for thier money.

The band shimmered and sparkled with Jimmy LaValle's keyboard loops and knob twists and rock and jammed with the all star line up. Apparently yesterday they released a full length entitled Magnetic Morning A.M on Friend Or Faux Records.

I found a track called "At a Crossroads, Passive" off their new LP you can test drive below.

At A Crossroads, Passive - Magnetic Morning

~ Kevchino

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stones Throw CMJ Party

This is where we'll be on Wednesday make sure to RSVP to get in.

Department of Eagles Daytrotter Sessions

Check out the free Daytrotter Department of Eagles downloads here . Be sure to download new songs "1997" and "What is Your Deal?" + three tracks of their new LP In Ear Park. You can read our review of the LP here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Menahan Street Band CD Release show Review

Menahan Street Band

The Phenomenal Handclap Band

Tonight Southpaw played host to Daptone Records own Menahan Street band with The Phenominal Hanclap Band opening and playing their third show together. Dressing in white with 11 musicians on stage most of the time, The Phenominal Handclap Band also brought out a horn section for a few songs, looking more like a cult then a band. But when they started playing, I think most people in the audience were as blown away as I was. Blending disco, chanting, electro, droning, and Afrobeat just to name a few, the band had at least four different singers and their myspace page names off 28 musicians including Aurellio Valle of Calla and Jon Spencer as having some sort of involvement though it looks like Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand are the ringleaders here.

The brainchild of Dap Kings, Budos, and Menahan guitarist Tommy Brenneck, Menahan Street Band feature several key members of the Dap Kings. Daptone Records, a label made up of a collective of artists and bands (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, and Budos Band) who are known for working together and creating some of the most authentic 1960s raw soul and funk around, spared no expensive in creating one amazing show. A no-vocalist act, labelmate Charles Bradley came up on stage at one point to provide some vocals on two songs, with one being the amazing “The World (Is Going up in Flames).”

Dressed in a white suit, the man sung his heart out making the crowd whoop and holler. As a group, Menahan Street Band are like the James Brown soul review back in the 60s mixed with Ethiopian jazz musician Mulatu Astatke, playing very precise parts without the cheese. As a label, Daptone consistently puts out raw and gritty soul and funk making anything they touch sound top notch, and the Menahan Band, playing songs off their new album “Make the Road by Walking” got everyone moving, making their tour something to look forward to.

Words by DaVe Lipp
Pix by Kevchino

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Menahan Street Band CD Release at Brooklyn's Southpaw

Come check out this amazing band featuring members of Sharon Jones & The Dapkings, El Michels Affair, Antibalas and Budos Band live this Friday at Brooklyn's South Paw in Park Slope. Read's review of the Menahan Street Band's debut LP Make the Road by Walking here. Free Heineken beer from 8-9pm! Get tickets here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crystal Stilts, Violens and Viva at 92YTribeca

Saturday night we went out to check out what 92YTribeca was all about. This free event was their soft launch of the new space and they had 3 local NYC/Brooklyn bands on the bill Crystal Stilts, Violens and Chairlift. We arrived and check out artworks by Matthew Thurber, Lauren Weinstein and Tom Hart and then went inside the music room to check out the Crystal Stilts. The standing drummer girl was a nice touch in contrast to the rest of the bands more laxidasical presence. But either the new venue hadn't dialed in the mixing or the bands vocalist wasn't able to project on top of their music.

After the first band we found were the real fun was in the theatre room were they were projecting Anna Biller's 2007 film Viva. Which was a beautifully done tribute to sexploitation films from the 1960s and 1970s. The film showed naked men and women entangled in orgies with comic one liners that had the whole audience up in laughter.

We returned to check out Violens set. The dimly lit stage didn't showcase the band to well as they bounced between rocking licks and dreamy and atmospheric jams. But once again either the new venue hadn't dialed in the mixing or the bands vocalist wasn't able to project on top of their music. I really love their recordings i've heard on the bands Myspace page but in this live setting a little of the dreamy ambience was lost. Both bands oddly had kind of a Smith's/Morrissey thread going on. We went back and checked out some more of the film Viva and took off into the night missing Chairlifts set.

The people running 92YTribeca were great. No meathead security guards. The bartenders were very nice and the drinks affordable. Overall the bands were fun to check out but the Viva film was the highlight of the evening. Be on the look out for more shows to come including the screening of Lou Reed's Berlin Live at St Ann's Warehouse and of course the opening night with John Vanderslice Live in Concert, with Michael Showalter on October 18th.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Animal Collective Drops in January 2009

Animal Collective is set to release Merriweather Post Pavilion, their 9th full-length album, January 20th, 2009 on Domino Records. The album was recorded in early 2008 at Sweet Tea Recording Studio in Oxford, Mississippi with the engineering expertise of Ben Allen. The album will be available on CD, 2xLP and digital formats.

Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion Tracklist:
1. In The Flowers
2. My Girls
3. Also Frightened
4. Summertime Clothes
5. Daily Routine
6. Bluish
7. Guys Eyes
8. Taste
9. Lion In A Coma
10. No More Runnin
11. Brothersport

Friday, October 10, 2008

Vampire Weekend Fundraiser in NYC this Sunday

Vampire Weekend will perform at a Fundraiser in New York City with David Crosby & Graham Nash and Dan Reed.

Sunday, October 12
4:30p.m. VIP and Sponsor Reception
5:00p.m. Main Event
Panel Discussion to Follow

St. Raphael's Cathedral
502 W. 41st Street btw 10th & 11th
New York City

A Limited number of $50 general admission tickets available!
Click here to buy tickets now.

Admission $100
VIP Donor $500
Sponsor level $1,000

The night will kick off with an exclusive reception for sponsors and VIP donors, followed by intimate, short acoustic sets by the artists for all Music for Democracy supporters. The launch will also feature a panel discussion with Q&A on music and political activism hosted by Air America’s David Bender, and featuring Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean.
All proceeds go to Music for Democracy’s Be the Change Get Out The Vote campaign.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Coachella Dates Announced

Goldenvoice has confirmed the dates for this year’s COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL- Friday, April 17, Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19--to be followed a weekend later by STAGECOACH: California’s Country Music Festival, set for Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26. The two critically acclaimed events will again take place at the breathtakingly beautiful Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA, the same grounds where the COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL debuted in 1999.

Revenge of The Book Eaters NYC 2008

This year 826nyc brings us a great line up with Revenge of The Book Eaters. A story from IRA GLASS. New songs by DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES (members of Grizzly Bear who just played their debut show yesterday). Talking from DAVE EGGERS and KYP MALONE (TV On The Radio). A new play by JONATHAN FRANZEN*, read by BOBBY CANNAVALE, PATRICIA CLARKSON, PARKER POSEY, TUNDE ADEBIMPE, and the author. A duet with THAO NGUYEN and ZACH ROGUE (of Rogue Wave). Jokes by host (and Daily Show correspondent) JOHN OLIVER. And a very special appearance by PAUL SIMON. Tonight's event resides at Town Hall. Get Tickets Here

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Echo & The Bunnymen- Ocean Rain - Radio City Music Hall NYC

The band came out and hammered out some hits opening with "Lips Like Sugar" and ended with "The Cutter." Ian McCulloch chatted a lot between songs. I could barely make anything out except he asked if the smoking ban was lifted. I sounded like he came off the set of Snatch.

Radio City Music Hall NYC - Set List:
Lips Like Sugar
Bring on the Dancing Horses
New Song off forthcoming LP The Fountain
The Disease
All That Jazz
The Back Of Love
People Are Strange (The Doors)
Nothing Lasts Forever/Walk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed)/Wait Till The Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)
The Cutter

They band stepped off stage then returned with an orchestra and performed Ocean Rain.

Nocturnal Me
Crystal Days
The Yo Yo Man
Thorn of Crowns
The Killing Moon
Seven Seas
My Kingdom
Ocean Rain