Sunday, April 15, 2012

Album: Dinowalrus - Best Behavior

Dinowalrus (Best Behavior)
Album: Best Behavior
Old Flame
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Rating: ****** (6/10)

Outside the UK, there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground when it comes to the Second Summer of Love—either you’d give your favorite limb for a time machine set to the glory days of the Ha├žienda, or you have no idea what this sentence is referring to. >> Read the full review at

Album: Mirrorring - Foreign Body

Foreign Body (Mirrorring)
Album: Mirrorring
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Rating: ******** (8/10)

If there was an award for saddest-slowest-quietest abstract songwriter of the last five years, Jesy Fortino (better known as Tiny Vipers) and Liz Harris (better known as Grouper) would have to duke it out. But there is no such prize. Instead, Fortino and Harris have formed some sort of sad-slow-quiet abstract Dream Team, named it Mirrorring, and put out a record. >> Read the full review at

Friday, March 16, 2012

Album: Bowerbirds - The Clearing

The Clearing (Bowerbirds)
Album: The Clearing
Dead Oceans
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Rating: ******* (7/10)

Folk outfit Bowerbirds' third album flirts with jazz and rock without clouding the rustic simplicity that first put the band on the map. >> Read the full review at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Album: Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror

Reign of Terror (Sleigh Bells)
Album: Reign of Terror
Mom & Pop
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Rating: ******* (7/10)

Personally, I think you’d have been foolish to harbor high hopes for Sleigh Bells’ follow-up to their 2010 debut, Treats. Sure, Treats was, hands down, the best album of 2010. But remember, 2010 wasn’t exactly 1991. The reason Treats was such a treat is that it was one of the only albums that sounded like 2010. >> Read the full review at

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Album: A Place To Bury Strangers - Onwards to the Wall [EP]

Onward to the Wall (A Place to Bury Strangers)
Album: Onward to the Wall
Dead Oceans
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Rating: ******* (7/10)

It's no secret that A Place to Bury Strangers is a one-trick pony, but it's a damn good trick. Guitarist and singer Oliver Ackermann makes his own custom guitar pedals and uses them to annihilate his songs in a peeling monolith of distortion and feedback. A driving beat and heavily reverbed tenor vocals emerge from the murk and shape the wash of noize into irresistible bite-sized songs.

The band's new E.P., Onwards to the Wall, is in many ways a more interesting release than the band’s last full-length album, 2009’s Exploding Head. >> Read the full review at

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Upcoming Shows: Walt Mink, Screaming Females + more!

Tonight!! Thursday, July 28

Walt Mink @ Bell House * Gowanus, Brooklyn * $12
Walt Mink were a band in the 90's who were good at making music but had bad luck with record labels so nobody has ever heard of them. It's kind of like Husker Du (who shared their alma mater) or Smashing Pumpkins or Archers of Loaf - basically, fast-paced 90's alternative/indie rock but towards the pop punk end of the spectrum. ::details::

Controlled Bleeding, David Grubbs, Ryan Sawyer (Stars Like Fleas)+C Spencer Yeh+Nate Wooley @ Death By Audio * Williamsburg, Brooklyn * $7
This is an amazing line-up of experimental musicians. David Grubbs was in Squirrel Bait, Gastr Del Sol and Red Krayola so he basically rules 80's and 90's experimental rock. Controlled Bleeding are perhaps a little more straightforwardly punky and the trio of Ryan Sawyer, C Spencer Yeh and Nate Wooley is an avant-garde supergroup. [controlled video] [grubbs video] [rs+csy+nw video] ::details::

Shilpa Ray (solo) @ Shea Stadium * Bushwick, Brooklyn
Shilpa Ray is one badass lady. She sings like a very drunk Janis Joplin and dances like an overly excited four year old and hates everyone but most of all, herself (or so her lyrics and stage banter would have you believe). [video] ::details::

Tomorrow!! Friday, July 29

Fucked Up, Cro-Mags, Screaming Females, Pissed Jeans @ House of Vans * Greenpoint, Brooklyn * Free with RSVP, currently at capacity!
How can I possibly explain how good this line-up is? Even major music festivals rarely boast four bands of this caliber. Fucked Up are a band of punk superheros who have reinvented the entire genre of hardcore. Cro-Mags are old school. Screaming Females may be the best rock and roll band on earth right now, with legendary guitar hero and screaming female Marissa Paternoster at the helm. Pissed Jeans are a vitrolic, self-destructive punk/noise band. Their frontman is one of the better, and more captivating, self-debasing performer (in the vein of Iggy Pop) to emerge in recent years. [fucked up video] [cro-video] [screaming video] [pissed video] ::details::

Other Shows
Black Lips @ Bowery Ballroom (sold out!) [deets]
Dez Cadena (Black Flag, Misfits) @ South Paw (West Memphis Three benefit!) [deets]
Eels @ Music Hall of Williamsburg ($30) [deets]

Saturday, July 30

Gang Gang Dance @ South Street Seaport * Financial District, Manhattan * Free!
Gang Gang Dance's experimental dub, pan-ethnic tribal trance music is amazing. Yeah, that description maybe sounds a little horrible, but they've got club dance smarts and mystique and their "world music" elements are genuine and tasteful and never about co-opting shit. [video] ::details::

Bells @ Bruar Falls * Williamsburg, Brooklyn * $10
Bells are a post-rock/math-rock sort of instrumental band who know how to be loud and aggressive but also sometimes ecstatic. They are ex-Jawbox and ex-Oxford Collapse and they are as good as that sort of family tree would have you believe. ::details::

Other Shows
Gary War @ Cake Shop ($8) [deets]
Ill Fits (mems Amazing Baby, MGMT), Sundelles @ Cameo Gallery ($10) [deets]
So So Glos @ Knitting Factory ($10) [deets]
Eels @ Music Hall of Williamsburg ($30) [deets]

Sunday, July 31

Jeff the Brotherhood @ Rockaway Beach * Rockaway, Queens * Free!
You gotta go to Rockaway for this (the farthestest reaches of New York, out past JFK) but it's JEFF for FREE. Jeff are bringing rock and roll back. [video] ::details::

Yvette, Liquor Store, Dinowalrus, So So Glos (DJ Set) @ Shea Stadium * Bushwick, Brooklyn
Yvette are a heavy band I heard some time ago, kind of experimental and screaming and lots of rhythm-led stuff, if I recall correctly. Liquor Store are a blue color punk/rock band who kind of look like they're on meth (but they play too well for that to be true, probably) and put on a goddamn show. They're most like the proto-punk garage rockers (e.g. MC5) but a little lighter on their feet. Dinowalrus play experimental, psychedelic, baggy rock that you can dance to. They will make you want to do drugs, but in a fun way. [yvideo] [liquor video] [dinovideo] ::details::

Tuesday, August 2

Sugarhill Gang @ Tappan Park * Staten Island * Free!
Even Sugarhill Gang are not worth the trek to Staten Island. Sugarhill Gang are rap's first real breakthrough act, one of the first rap acts to be put on vinyl and receive proper, national distribution. They stole a bunch of shit from legit MCs and got credit because no one else had recorded it yet. But for all they're plagiarizing wannabes, you can't deny their importance in the history of contemporary pop. ::details::

Other Shows
Ettes, Heavy Cream @ Mercury Lounge ($10) [deets]
Sufjan Stevens @ Prospect Park (sold out!) [deets]
Death Cab for Cutie, Frightened Rabbit @ Williamsburg Waterfront (sold out!) [deets]
C Spencer Yeh @ The Stone [deets]

Wednesday, August 3

Big Audio Dynamite (Mick Jones of the Clash), HR (Bad Brains), Andy Rourke (The Smiths) (DJ set) @ Brooklyn Bowl * Williamsburg, Brooklyn * Sold out!
It's the dude from the Clash, the dude from Bad Brains and the dude from the Smiths. If you don't know who those bands are, you are beyond my help. [bad video] [hr video] ::details::

Other Shows
Ettes, Heavy Cream @ Knitting Factory ($10) [deets]
Sufjan Stevens @ Prospect Park ($45) [deets]
Andrew W.K. @ Santos Party House ($13/$15) [deets]
Frightened Rabbit @ Music Hall of Williamsburg ($25) [deets]

The long view...

Pygmy Shrews, So So Glos @ Shea Stadium
Anni Rossi, Dinowalrus @ Bruar Falls ($7)

Vaz @ Death By Audio ($7)

Cold Cave @ Bowery Ballroom
Crystal Antlers @ Glasslands ($10)
Total Slacker, Darlings, Beets @ Shea Stadium

Mission of Burma @ South Street Seaport (free!)
Friendly Fires, Cults @ Central Park (free!)

The Kills, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, A Place to Bury Strangers @ Terminal 5

The Kills, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, A Place to Bury Strangers @ Terminal 5

Memory Tapes, Bell @ Glasslands ($12)
MV+EE @ Shea Stadium
Nas, Damian Marley @ Central Park ($45)

Sonic Youth, Wild Flag (ex-Sleater-Kinney), Kurt Vile @ Williamsburg Waterfront ($40)

Rakim, EPMD @ Central Park (free!)
Jeff the Brotherhood (not headlining) @ Le Poisson Rouge ($18)

Deerhunter, Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces) @ Webster Hall

Deerhunter, Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces) @ Webster Hall

Cold Crush Brothers @ East River Park (free!)

Wavves @ East River Park (free!)

Male Bonding @ Glasslands ($10/$12)
John Zorn @ The Stone

Male Bonding @ Mercury Lounge

Weekend, Talk Normal, Brown Recluse @ Glasslands ($10/$12)

Les Savy Fav @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

TV on the Radio @ Williamsburg Waterfront ($48)

Blondie @ Highline Ballroom

Blondie @ Highline Ballroom
Peter Hook (Joy Division) @ Irving Plaza

Deerhoof, White Suns @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Descendents @ Roseland Ballroom

Swans @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Marnie Stern, No Joy @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Ty Segall, The Babies @ Bowery Ballroom

X @ Irving Plaza

X @ Irving Plaza

Shellac @ Bell House ($17/$19)

The Horrors @ Webster Hall

Wild Flag (ex-Sleater-Kinney) @ Bell House

Wild Flag (ex-Sleater-Kinney) @ Bowery Ballroom

Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles @ Bowery Ballroom
Jonathan Richmond (Modern Lovers) @ Bell House ($15)

The Damned @ Irving Plaza
CSS, The Men @ Webster Hall
Jonathan Richmond (Modern Lovers) @ Bell House ($15)

Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) @ Town Hall (sold out!)