December 30, 2011

omg-nyc's guest list of 2011

To conclude my year end countdown of 2011, I've asked some of my closest audiophiles for their favorites from the past 12 months. Thank you all for the continuous support and here is to a fantastic 2012.

St. Lucia at Tameney Hall
The Strokes at Madison Square Garden
TV on the Radio at Williamsburg Waterfront
!!! at 285 Kent
Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Terminal 5

01 M83 | Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
02 Jay-Z & Kanye West | Watch the Throne
03 Weekend | Sports
04 The Rapture | In the Grace of Your Love
05 Radiohead | King of Limbs

01 Holy Ghost | "Some Children"
02 Tyler, the Creator | "Yonkers"
03 TV on the Radio | "Repetition"
04 Metronomy | "The Look"
05 Battles | "Ice Cream"

A perfect wake-up jam must be neither too fast nor too slow. This is why it's generally best to go epic. Pop-music affords that quite easily. When getting up in the morning, a favorite strategy of mine is to pretend I'm in a music video (Britney Spears' Lucky is the VERY BEST for this but this ain't an All Time list so). Start off lip syncing and end dancing. Trust me you won't miss whatever lame default beep you were using.

10. Drake | Headlines"
Sometimes it's nice to remind yourself first thing in the morning that it's compliments you may be too strung out on.

09. Jay-Z & Kanye West | "No Church in the Wild"

08. The Book of Mormon Soundtrack | "I Believe"
This. Shit. Is. FUNNY.

07. Taylor Swift | "Better Than Revenge"

06. Fleet Foxes | Battery Kinzie"
Every once in a while Marc can convince me to appreciate a song that wasn't entirely made up by robots. Thanks Marc!

05. Britney Spears | "How I Roll"
Best song off of Femme Fatale which is difficult. Have all your fantasies about a conversation with Miss Spears 9000 come true!

04. The Strokes | "Under the Cover of Darkness"

03. Rihanna | "You Da One"
Dis bish does it again. I only chose this over We Found Love because it's easier to do tha dougie to.

02. Katy Perry | "E. T."

01. Beyonce | "Countdown"
Choosing a favorite song off of Four is damn near impossible. Best Thing I Never Had, Party, I Was Here and of course Love on Top are all flaw-free. But I had to ultimately go with Countdown because that first verse is just DAMNtastic. Also you know who this song is about, which makes it almost TOO awesome. Get outta bed girl! Go find yourself a Hov before the world ends!

Alex Turner | "Piledriver Waltz"
The songs he did for the film Submarine are my favorites from him since the first Arctic Monkeys album.
James Blake | "The Wilhelm Scream"
I don't think he's that consistent, but everything he's put out has some brilliant moments.
Panda Bear | "Last Night at the Jetty"
Can't decide whether this, "You Can Count On Me", or "Surfer's Hymn" is my favorite from Tomboy.

Real Estate | "Green Aisles"
Favorite song of the year.

The-Dream | "Nothing But Love (Demo)"
He gave this song to Beyonce, but I really like Dream singing it with that new jack drum machine. 

Tyler, the Creator | "Yonkers"
Watching him blow up instantly when this hit YouTube was really cool.

The Weeknd | "The Morning"
Great hangover music.

Wilco | "One Sunday Morning"
One of Wilco's best songs in the last ten years. Jeff Tweedy at his best can just bowl you over.

Yuck | "Get Away"
I really don't care if these guys ever evolve as a band. I need this kind of rock and roll in my life.

Zomby | "Natalia's Song"
Helped tide me over while waiting for Burial to put out more stuff.

Bon Iver | Bon Iver
I bet a shitload of high school kids lost their virginity to this.

Panda Bear | Tomboy
Somehow underrated.

Real Estate | Days
Instant slack classic.

Shabazz Palaces | Black Up
Sounds like it's from a different fresh.

Yuck | Yuck
The 1990s.

The Dismemberment Plan at Paradise Rock Club (1/28)
I could not believe how tight and energetic these guys were. Best crowd energy I've ever seen at the Paradise...and it was for a reunion show. People rushing the stage for "Ice of Boston" was rad.

The Olivia Tremor Control at Brighton Music Hall (9/19)
Their attention to re-creating all the sounds their songs was incredible. A few of them were playing 3-4 instruments on certain songs.

TV on the Radio at Pitchfork Music Festival (7/17)
So soulful. Perfect end to a long day in the sun.

The National at Bank of America Pavilion (9/9)
Got to see one of my favorite bands (and a hell of a live band) on the waterfront on my birthday...can't ask for more than that.

OFWGKTA at Paradise Rock Club (5/12)
Their energy was off the charts. Rap shows generally are pretty predictable but OF keeps you on your toes.

Ben Dorenfeld:
Byrds of Paradise | Teenage Symphonies
P.S. Eliot | Sadie
The Men | Leave Home
Big Eyes | Hard Life
The Creamers | Slow Burn
Julianna Barwick | The Magic Place
Heavy Times | Jacker
Night Manager | Ghost
Scapegoat | S/T
Tycho | Dive

Kenny Vennard:
I should preface this by saying that I love pop music and electronic music. I also love good music. These are some of my favorite collections of music from this past year. Hopefully you'll find something you've never heard of. Or maybe you'll give another listen to something you have heard before, or at least heard of. Or don't! It's whatever!

10 Icona Pop | Nights Like This
For those of us already pining for the follow-up to Robyn's amazing Body Talk albums, Icona Pop is here to whet our appetites with some of the finest Swedish pop tracks released this year. Patrick Berger (the man behind Robyn's massive "Dancing On My own") produces "Manners", the breakout single. The tracks are brash and pulsating, and vocally the girls evoke the anthemic tones of fellow female duo Tegan & Sara, but you'll swear that they brought Karin Andersson in to sing back-up here and there. I'm eager for a proper LP from them.

09. Labyrinth Ear | Oak
Labyrinth Ear is a London-based duo making atmospheric, sparkly, sinister synthpop. If this sounds like your thing, download the Oak EP for free on their website and give it a whirl. All of the songs are great, but I have a personal affinity towards "Snow White", a warbling and haunting take on the title character's song “I’m Wishing” in the classic Disney film. It's not nearly as corny as it sounds, I promise.

08. Sky Ferreira | As If!
This EP is all over the place, but so is Sky Ferreira. She's a 19 year old Calvin Klein model that has producers like Bloodshy & Avant and Greg Kurstin churning out amazing pop music for her. Bloodshy & Avant, said to be responsible for her discovery on MySpace a few years back, are a tough production duo to beat. However, it's Kurstin who produces the stand-out track here with "99 Tears", which is easily one of my favorite songs of the year.

07. Austra | Feel It Break
I don't want to compare Austra to the myriad of other artists that I consider sonically similar because it would undermine the creativity in this album, which is distinctly different from those other efforts. Katie Stelmanis perches her operatic voice in the front and center of each track, which allows the nuances of the crisp and understated electronic production behind her to really expand without becoming too brooding. This album is masterfully done and wonderfully evocative.

06. The Weeknd | House Of Balloon
You've heard it by now, so I won't go into detail about it, but this is just a great debut effort. I will say that Abel Tesfaye has, to me, one of the most iconic new voices this side of the aughts, and his brutally honest depiction of a lifestyle that isn't always as glamorous as it seems has an undeniably sharp edge, yet remains refreshingly heartfelt. I felt like a total bad-ass The first time I heard the transition from the title track into the menacing "Glass Table Girls", and I am definitely not a total bad-ass. So. There’s that.

05. Twin Sister | In Heaven
There is something really magical to me about the charm and warmth that these tracks possess. The production is fun and intricate, while the compositions are nostalgic and earnest.  I love that this group was brave enough (not to mention patient enough) to take the time to make the music they wanted to make instead of riding the "buzz wave". The result is divine.

04. GusGus | Arabian Horse
If you like GusGus already, you know that this is their best album in a long time, if not ever. If you don't like GusGus already, or if you don't know them, this is a great introduction. Imagine what a spooky, emotive dance album that was recorded in a cottage in Iceland might sound like. Got it? This is that album, and it is amazing. Was that an accordion? Is that an accordion tugging at my heart strings in a house song right now? Yes, it is. And it is amazing. AMAZING.

03. Will Young | Echoes
This is one of the most straight-forward, cohesive, dreamy adult pop albums since Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite was released last year. Minogue’s collection was the dance party, whereas Echoes is the lonely drive home afterwards. Richard X reigns in his visionary production skills to create a subtle and sophisticated synthesized soundscape for Will to croon and belt over. This is easily Will's most focused and personal album, and therefore his best.

02. Britney Spears | Femme Fatale
I love Britney Spears. There, I said it. But I'm not putting this year's Femme Fatale on my list for that reason alone. I also love Björk, but this year's Biophilia is not on this list (bu that's another story for another time). On her newest effort, Britney and her team show a real hunger to push the boundaries of mainstream pop music yet again (Spears did it once before back in 2007 when the critically praised but poorly promoted electropop masterpiece Blackout changed the entire landscape of the genre), and most of the time they succeed.

The big difference between this project and Blackout is the cohesion you'll find here, which can be credited to the the involvement of hit makers Dr. Luke and Max Martin. Of course, it wouldn’t be a (good) Britney album without a Bloodshy & Avant appearance ("Toxic", "Radar"). The result of their efforts on this go-around is the groundbreaking “How I Roll”, which was recently named Rolling Stone's favorite song of the year.

I can't say yet whether I think this album will age as well as the aforementioned Blackout has, but time will tell (and I do think that it will at least come very close). Is Britney a particularly good singer (or dancer [anymore], at that)? When the music is this good, it really doesn't matter.

01. Azari & III | Azari & III
Okay guys, this is an important record. I think what I like most about this album is that it reminds me of what it was like to discover electronic music in the first place. It revisits a time when techno and house music were just emerging from the underground to find their place in the mainstream world, but also finds moments to infuse updated and innovative production into the mix. Sonically the group travels from spaced-out synth instrumentals reminiscent of some of the earliest electronic music, to eclectic echoes and growls over house beats that call to mind the white label records of the early 1990s, and even into a modern big beat frenzy on the wonderful "Undecided". The album sprawls out like a map of Electronica, and these guys have evidently seen every corner of it. But don't call it retro. This music has modern ideas for the modern music listener. 

Vocalists Starving Yet Full and Fritz Helder share duties wailing, warbling, crooning and sassing their way around Dinamo Azari and Alexander III's productions, which are so masterful that I would not be surprised if we see them start churning out tracks for the likes of Britney and Rihanna in a few years. For now, though, we are lucky enough to be treated to a lush and expansive homage to the music they love, which in the process has yielded new music that I love.

Some of electronic music’s opponents have argued for decades now that it universally lacks a human element. A soul, even. And yes, listening to the ongoing bastardization of electronic music by way of major labels and the general masses’ relentlessly bad taste in "popular" music, one might be lead to believe that any soul the genre may have had has since been zapped out of it. But Azari & III have successfully enforced an organic approach to making music that is, by definition, manufactured. Perhaps the most important aspect of this record for me, then, is that it proves not only that electronic music has had soul all along, but also that it is not going anywhere.

December 23, 2011

omg-nyc's albums of 2011

Continuing with my end of the year lists, here are my favorite albums of 2011. I'll finish things up next week with guest lists, but in the mean time Happy Holidays!

10. The Weeknd | House of Balloons
Almost over night, The Weeknd became 2011's big name in post-dubstep R&B. Spitting stylized rhymes over warped Beach House samples and embodying the essence of elusive and ever so smooth textures, the Toronto crew set forth an enigma that filed the black and white shadows and smoke filled beats of this self release mix-tape with uncanny ambition and strokes of genius that left the biggest names in the game wishing they could reach the level of this soulful conundrum. Silky smooth vocals over boisterous bass lines have become signature moves and although a lesser follow-up emerged later in the year (Echoes of Silence withstanding), the sultry swagger put forth is still grabbing attention.

09. Girls | Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Christopher Owens will be the first to admit that Girls is the ultimate nostalgia ridden rock band in recent years. Rollicking riffs recalling the 1950s underline the duo's expansive follow-up to their impressive debut and displays the group reaching to new heights as showcased in the scorching "Die" and the shuffling "Alex" and "Love Like a River". Yet it's the classic crooning in "Vomit" that really displays the tremendous growth the band has made in such a short amount of time. While old school vices are certainly a prominent presence in the band's day to day life style which are clearly hinted at numerous times in Owens' lyrics, the bouncy and youthful flow of each track ads to the ambiance and mystery of any great rock and roll band.

08. WU LYF | Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
Early comparisons to Wolf Parade and Explosions in the Sky almost neglect the true originality of these Manchester natives who are daring enough to name themselves for Lucifer and greet listeners with a mighty howl worthy of any basement and far from the rungs of Radio City where the later comparison played a milestone performance earlier this year. Towering guitars are battered amongst vocals sifted through gravel as leader Ellery Roberts bellows over marching drums that come together at all the right moments before falling apart into intimate grooves all of which scream for camraderie and cult like tendencies that sit quite well with the trends of 2011.

07. James Blake | James Blake
Anyone who spent the year listening to this record through earbuds or laptop speakers has done themselves an incredible disservice. The majesty of Blake's songwriting skills might have actually been the biggest surprise on this record as his bombastic bass, warped beats, and suspended angelic vocals allowed for so much open space that his lyrics were able to fill an incredible void. The haunting crevices of emptiness, vacuum sucked emotions and brought frenzied distilled warbled production to the forefront and showcased that not only is Blake able to carry the weight of comparisons to the legendary electronic acts of Burial and Aphex Twin, but also prove that covering Joni Mitchell and Feist is right up his alley as well.

06. tUnE-yArDs | W H O K I L L
Through intricate loops of horn blasts, punching percussion, sqwaks, and steely guitar, Merrill Garbus produced a cacophony of tribal beats and worldly jams for one of the most infectious records of the years that simply screams 'party' with more enthusiasm than any other record this year. Her unique ability to create monumental moments that seem to climax into euphoria just before crumbling back into non-sequitar jams draws easy comparisons to Dirty Projects' 2009 classic Bitte Orca. However, the tribal tendencies exhuded by Garbus seem to end those comparisons in an immediate fashion. While Dirty Projectors exhibit a more invitation only sound, tUnE-yArDs live by the more the merrier attitude. Garnished in face paint and eccentric outfits (which many audience members replicate), Garbus has invited everyone to the party and serves as a great reminder that there is plenty worth gathering about and making some serious commotion along the way.

05. Real Estate | Days
On their sophomore record, Brooklyn-via-New Jersey upstarts Real Estate put some polish on their lackadaisical rhythms and set their guitars on cruise control for countless wasted miles. Sun-soaked intertwining guitars and simple melodies evoke soft spoken 70s rock and quintessential indie rock while hopelessly embracing the nostalgia of endless suburban settings. Tranquil and flowing vocals spill over effortlessly cool guitar licks that somehow never seem to grow repetitive and offer some of the most breezy songs of the year fit for all of your aimless drives.

04. Iceage | New Brigade
With slashing guitars that echo Wire and Gang of Four, these Danish teens broke onto the scene in 2011 before anyone even knew what they looked like or could figure out that the band name was actually just one word. Known for their abbrasive, loud, short (hell, the album doesn't even crack 25 minutes), and often bloody live performances, the hardcore quartet made quite the name for themselves and even landed a spot opening for Fucked Up on one of their first U.S. shows. Without giving anyone a second to breathe, they reinvigorated gloomy post-punk with a fresh D.I.Y. twist and in a year in which there was plenty to rebel against, helped give punk rock a refreshing face-lift.

03. Panda Bear | Tomboy
By now it should come to no surprise that Noah Lennox (better known as Animal Collective's Panda Bear) is a true master of sonic texture and layering sample over sample to create some of the most hymnal and sharp drones in indie music. Ditching the sprawl of Person Pitch's epic track lengths in favor for some more traditional times, Panda Bear was able to achieve some of the most mutilating sonic compositions of the year. Reverb soaked guitar drenched skewed sampled and still allowed for Panda Bear to be as questioning and charismatic as ever before, while still sailing forth into uncharted territory. More accessible pop opportunities that exist on his previous releases (both solo and as part of the collective) are not as apparent as one might have expected, this album is truly for the patient listener, however if you think you can guess what Lennox is going to do next, you have a lot to learn.

02. M83 | Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Anthony Gonzalez did not do himself any favors when he described his new album as "very, very, very epic" months before it was officially released. However, when lead single "Midnight City" hit the internet this summer, he seemed to turn any doubters into believers and when the double album dropped this fall, anyone still on the fence seemed to leap over in excitement. Combining soaring shoegaze guitars reminiscent from his early (and also phenomenal) work and the recent styles that reflected John Hughes' film soundtracks, Gonzalez and company complied over twenty intergalactic jams that launch listeners into the cosmos without retreading on a single note from the past. Upon first listen, a friend said to me "I wouldn't be surprised if this launches them to the next level" and that is exactly what this album has done.

01. Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues
"I'll have so much to tell you about" only begins to describe the journey Fleet Foxes set out to embark upon this year with the release of their second record. The liner notes describe ring leader Robin Pecknold as a 'prophet' and after joining the band's celestial voyage through the lens of a wide-eyed walker wandering towards the dawn, it is difficult to argue this statement. Even with a band as profound as Fleet Foxes, the gang is still full of wonder and uncertainty that fulfills the listener with incredible amounts of hope and aspiration that the wonders of an illustrious rock band seem to be the furthest thing from their minds. Dreams of working til you're sore and soon owning the store are not those typically associated with the most promising musical group in recent time, however that seems to be where Fleet Foxes separate themselves from the rest of the pack. These woodsman are still longing for a person as bewildered by the world and as full of imagination as they are and they present their joyous ambitions through golden autumnal melodies and voices as pristine as the lights hung in the night sky.

December 16, 2011

omgnyc's songs of 2011

I'm kicking off my end of the year countdowns with my favorite songs of 2011. My favorite albums and guest lists will come in the following weeks. Thank you so much for reading this year!

December 8, 2011

Keep Shelly in Athens - "Struggle With Yourself"

Check out the track "Struggle With Yourself" from Grecian duo Keep Shelly in Athens. The song comes from the band's recent release, Campus Martius E.P., which dropped earlier this week via Planet Mu.

Keep Shelly in Athens - Struggle With Yourself by Keep Shelly in Athens

December 2, 2011

Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror

Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror from Mom+Pop on Vimeo.

Sleigh Bells have announced the follow up to one of my favorite albums last year. Watch the teaser for their sophomore record, Reign of Terror, via Stereogum.

November 23, 2011

m83 played Webster Hall

After dropping by Jimmy Fallon to unload an exhilarating performance of "Midnight City", m83 stormed Webster Hall for the first of two NYC area shows. Comprised mostly of gems from the recent Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, Anthony Gonzalez and company launched through a palpitating set complete with dizzying lights and waves of sound that drenched the crowd. Morgan Kibby provided stunning vocals that matched Anthony's intensity and sent the crowd into pure bliss as layers of sonic textures pummeled over washed out dreamy harmonies. A spectacular rendition of "Teen Angst" came shortly after the expected "Intro" to kick start the evening, and other favorites such as "Kim & Jessie" and "We Own the Sky" sent tingles down spines. Just as the band seemed to be firing on all cylinders, an out of this world saxophone solo rocked through song of the year contender "Midnight City", which sent the audience into an absolute euphoric state. Aural landscapes are part of what makes m83's music so mind blowing, however seeing these monstrous tunes performed live it truly out of this world. Shortly following the fantastic "A Guitar and a Heart", the band returned for a brief encore that rocketed the crowd into the outer cosmos shattering any expectations and solidifying a triumphant moment in the band's career.


01 Intro
02 Teen Angst
03 Kim & Jessie
04 Reunion
05 Year One, One UFO
06 We Own the Sky
07 Steve McQueen
08 Wait
09 This Bright Flash
10 Claudia Lewis
11 Midnight City
12 A Guitar and a Heart
13 Skin of the Night
14 Couleurs

November 16, 2011

Fucked Up and Titus Andronicus played Warsaw

Less than twenty-four hours after the eviction of Zuccotti Park, rising punk acts Fucked Up and Titus Andronicus stormed Warsaw in Greenpoint, bringing their triple guitar fury to the people of Brooklyn. Before launching into the opening of their excellent debut, Patrick Stickles had a few words for last nights events and set a theme for the evening full of angst, power, and hope. The (almost) beardless leader of the New Jersey powerhouse preached his thoughts to an audience full of eager listeners who seemed to share similar sentiment regarding the recent incidents in Manhattan, as songs from the band's third album were explained before exploding live onstage. While the new tunes certainly were intriguing and leave much promise for what the band does next, cuts from The Monitor really struck with the heart of the crowd as the passion overpowered Sickles and at times even replaced his vocals. While the band's politically charged anthems seemed more than appropriate for the evening, the night truly belonged to Fucked Up. Despite recent rumors of the band's end, Pink Eye took to the stage with his child on his shoulders before ripping through the recent opus David Comes to Life in its entirety. The energy comprised by this band is nearly unmatched by most other acts today. Aggressive vocals, lightning drumming, and shredding guitar blasts make up the concept masterpiece that unfolded live before the crowd tonight and just like sitting down to listen to this record (although I doubt many people remain sitting while this thing plays), the idea can be daunting. However, Fucked Up play with such precision and comradory that the monumental album seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Aside from telling the audience to "give a thumbs up to anyone partaking in the protests", the onstage banter was kept to a minimal, allowing the brilliance of the band to shine through and through.

November 6, 2011

Jay-Z + Kanye West played the Izod Center

The reigning titans of Hip Hop are in the midst of their first joint tour in support of their recent classic Watch the Throne and dropped by the Meadowlands Saturday night for the first of four NYC-area shows. With no opening act, the lights went down at 9:00 before the two stars rose on two towering platforms on opposite ends of the arena and launched into "H.A.M.", the first taste from the Watch the Throne project. For this effort, the duo are keeping things minimal. The backing band is shrouded in darkness, Mr. West and Jay stick to their all black everything attire, and simple spotlights shown over minimal beams of light keeping all the attention on the hosts of the evening. For over two hours the two traded classics after classics in a non-stop attack of the biggest hip hop songs from the past decade. Such a presence and command over an audience was delivered in a way in which only these fellas are capable. Towards the middle of the evening, the champs broke things down and took a rest in the middle of the stage and swapped stories from the past while Hova weaved in a stellar "Hard Knock Life" into "Izzo". The two stuck to the classics, delivering what will soon be known as a legendary show as the audience seemed to only be more enthralled after each song. While Kanye kept thing fresh with recent favorites "Power", "Monster", and an ever impressive "Runaway", Jigga went old school with "Big Pimpin", "Nigga What, Nigga Who" and the epic stadium shaking "99 Problems". It was an evening of two friends trading tricks and showing off their skill with nothing but ease; this is them in the most simple of settings and natural talent running wild. The ultimate example of "less is more", these men are kings of the game, but on stage they keep it to best friends.

01 H.A.M.
02 Who Gon Stop Me
03 Otis
04 Welcome To The Jungle
05 Gotta Have It
06 Where I'm From
07 Nigga What, Nigga Who
08 Can't Tell Me Nothing
09 Jesus Walks
10 Diamonds From Sierra Leone
11 Public Service Announcement
12 U Don't Know
13 Run This Town
14 Monster
15 Power
16 Murder To Excellence
17 New Day
18 Hard Knock Life
19 Izzo
20 Good Life
21 Empire State of Mind
22 Runaway
23 Heartless
24 Stronger
25 On To The Next One
26 Dirt off Your Shoulder
27 Touch The Sky
28 All of the Lights
29 Big Pimpin'
30 Gold Digger
31 99 Problems
32 No Church in The Wild
33 Lift Off
34 Niggas In Paris
35 Encore
36 Made In America
37 Why I Love You

[photo via The New York Times]

November 4, 2011

Real Estate - "It's Real"

Real Estate's new album, Days, is officially out and much like recent releases from Crystal Castles and Titus Andronicus, makes their first album almost obsolete. The warm and breezy guitars outshines their debut record in almost every way and fully captures their effortlessly cool mindset. Check out the video for "It's Real" above [via Pitchfork].

October 24, 2011

Mazzy Star - "Common Burn"

Mazzy Star will release their first single in 15 years next week. Naturally, the internet has beat them to the punch. "Common Burn" was apparently leaked on Spotify (check here) earlier today and someone ripped a stellar copy. The single, backed with "Lay Myself Down", officially drops 10/31 and will be followed by a vinyl release on 11/8.

Mazzy Star - Common Burn by weallwantsome1

[via stereogum]

October 18, 2011

From a Mess to the Masses

Phoenix - From A Mess To The Masses from Freak! mag on Vimeo.

"Phoenix are the subject of a new documentary, From a Mess to the Masses, about their 2009-2010 tour in support of their breakout album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It was directed by Antoine Wagner, who also directed the video for their 2009 single "Lisztomania", and Francisco Soriano."

[via Pitchfork]

October 12, 2011

Tennis - "She's Not There" (Zombies Cover)

Tell Her No by tennisinc

Retro-pop duo Tennis drop this excellent cover of the classic Zombies track "Tell Her No".

We’ve spent the last several months writing and preparing for what we hope will keep us busy all winter. We will be announcing a Forest Family release in the next couple of weeks as well as tour dates to make up for the Vaccines tour cancellations. Also, we are excited to announce the existence of our next album (produced by our new friend Patrick Carney) coming out early next year. In the meantime, we made this cover of the Zombies “Tell Her No.” It’s been a long time favorite of ours and is the best use of a lone-clap we’ve ever heard.” 

[via. GorillavsBear]

October 3, 2011

ATP presents: I'll Be Your Mirror Asbury Park

By now, you must have heard that the American rendition of I'll Be Your Mirror invaded Asbury Park, NJ this past weekend. For 3 days the decaying Convention Hall and accompanying Paramount Theatre and Asbury Lanes played host to a rare appearance by Jeff Mangum and the East Coast return of Portishead with tons of other great acts spread out over the course of the weekend. Shellac took to the stage Friday evening for a pummeling performance of heavy jarring guitar and witty banter. Saturday saw Battles rock through heavy hitting tunes mostly from their latest effort Gloss Drop playing with such precision and ease and sneaking in trimmed renditions of "Atlas" and "Tonto" to accompany newer favorites "Ice Cream" and "My Machines". Deerhoof blasted through noise-pop tracks early on Sunday and Public Enemy gave a weekend highlight performance ripping though Fear of a Black Planet and other greatest hits before Portishead closed out the Convention Hall Sunday evening.

While there were numerous fantastic shows throughout the festival, the weekend sincerely belonged to the headliners. As the lights descended on the declining Paramount Theatre a shadow moved across the stage and a hush fell over the crowd. An orange glow illuminated the legend in the flesh, Jeff Mangum, as he sat center stage, surrounded by four guitars, and gently dove into what would be a magical evening. As nearly every number from the infamous Aeroplane Over the Sea and several tracks from the also excellent On Avery Island rang out over the crowd, the audience watched along silently still in supreme wonder that this event was actually taking place. Mangum hardly spoke as he delivered stunning renditions of such highly regarded songs many thought would never be heard again. As main set closer "Holland, 1945" came to a close, Jeff quickly set down his guitar and exited off stage. He shortly returned for a request of "Naomi" and final number "Engine" and the left again into darkness leaving a crowd of people in utter bliss.

English gloom and doom trip-hop pioneers Portishead, took to the stage Saturday night to a glowing P projected behind the group before they ripped through an unbelievable performance the Eastern seaboard had been anxiously awaiting since the late '90s. After two tracks from 2008's remarkable Third, Dummy opener "Mysterons" sent the crowd into a frenzy as the band went on to unleash stunning renditions of classic numbers "Sour Times" "Glory Box" and a breathtaking intimate version of "Wandering Star" all of which were fit between Third sensations "Magic Doors" and "The Rip". Perhaps it was initial reaction to actually seeing Portishead, but Saturday's out of this world set could not be matched on Sunday despite the inclusion of recent highlight "Chase the Tear" and a ridiculous "Machine Gun" featuring the one and only Chuck D of Public Enemy spitting verses from "Black Steal in the Hour of Chaos". After years of staying out of the spotlight and earning a reputation of being a reserved performer, Beth Gibbons capped off Saturday's spectacle by diving into a crowd of adoring fans.

Jeff Mangum Set List (Friday):
01 "Oh Comely"
02 "Two-Headed Boy, Pt. 2"
03 "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea"
04 "Song Against Sex"
05 "Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone"
06 "Ghost"
07 "True Love Will Find You In The End" (Daniel Johnston Cover)
08 "Two-Headed Boy"
09 "Baby For Pree"
10 "The King Of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1"
11 "The King Of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2 & 3"
12 "Holland, 1945"
13 "Naomi"
14 "Engine"

Portishead Set List (Saturday):
01 "Silence"
02 "Hunter"
03 "Mysterons"
04 "The Rip"
05 "Sour Times"
06 "Magic Doors"
07 "Wandering Star"
08 "Machine Gun"
09 "Over"
10 "Glory Box"
11 "Cowboys"
12 "Threads"
13 "Roads"
14 "We Carry On"

Portishead Set List (Sunday):
01 "Silence"
02 "Nylon Smile"
03 "Mysterons"
04 "The Rip"
05 "Sour Times"
06 "Magic Doors"
07 "Wandering Star"
08 "Machine Gun" (feat. Chuck D)
09 "Over"
10 "Glory Box"
11 "Chase the Tear"
12 "Cowboys"
13 "Roads"
14 "Threads"
15 "We Carry On"

(via Pitchfork)

September 27, 2011

tUnE-yArDs - "Gangsta"

New video for the sensational tUnE-yArDs track "Gangsta" off the exuberant w h o k i l l.

September 25, 2011

Fleet Foxes played the Williamsburg Waterfront

After witnessing the best way to see the Walkmen (gorgeous orange-lit skies over Manhattan and golden glows back-lighting the band), according to Robin Pecknold, Fleet Foxes gathered on stage to begin a triumphant set that covered nearly every song in the band's catalog. The evening kicked off with "The Plans / Bitter Dancer" before a well received "Mykonos" in which the band displayed their epic vocal powers and supreme melodies. The band left nothing behind as they churned out fantastic displays from both their notable self-titled debut and the likely to be album of the year, Helplessness Blues. With true grace, the band delivered majestic vocals and autumnal lighting added extra warmth to their beautiful tunes. The marching rhythm of "Battery Kinzie" and mesmerizing vocals of the 1-2 punch "White Winter Hymnal" -> "Ragged Wood" segue delighted the crowed allowing for massive vocal response that was no match for the elegance of Fleet Foxes. Witty banter rose between songs, J. Tillman really likes brunch it turns out, and showed a less serious side of the band which transitioned to serious concentration for each flawless song of the evening. The band ended the main set in the same fashion of their brilliant sophomore display, stunning vocals ended the evening in the true spirit of the band. While many contemporary bands are trying to make vocal harmonies in spirit of the Beach Boys, this band has invented a whole new approach making them classics in their own write. Robin graced the stage for a solo track to kick off the encore before finishing the evening with a rousing rendition of "Helplessness Blues". The band was in stunning form last evening bringing summer to an end and ushering in autumn in the most appropriate way.

Set List:
1. The Plans / Bitter Dancer
2. Mykonos
3. English House
4. Battery Kinzie
5. Bedouin Dress
6. Sim Sala Bim
7. Your Protector
8. White Winter Hymnal
9. Ragged Wood
10. Montezuma
11. Lorelai
12. He Doesn't Know Why
13. The Shrine / An Argument
14. Blue Spotted Tail
15. Grown Ocean
16. I Let You
17. Sun Also Rises
18. Blue Ridge Mountains
19. Helplessness Blues

September 23, 2011

Big Troubles played Glasslands

Big Troubles - Sad Girls from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

Big Troubles came out swinging tonight, laying down jam after jam in support of their sophomore effort, Romantic Comedy, which is out next week via Sumberland. The band's progression on the newest record came through in full force during the performance, highlighting not only the cleaner production value, but also the maturity of the songwriting which seems to have risen to tremendous new heights. All, notably, without compromising the band's unique sound. The Brooklyn-via-New Jersey quintet delighted the hometown crowd consisting of members of Real Estate, Woods, and soon to be tourmates the Pains of Being Pure at Heart as they combined lo-fi/shoegaze jams and upbeat pop tempos recalling 80s and 90s dream-pop anthems. New tracks "Misery" and "Sad Girls" were epic crowd pleasers and definite highlights of the show as both tracks showcased the band's talent of combing 60s pop bliss and fuzzy rock hooks and should not surprise anyone if they ended up on many year-end lists.

September 21, 2011

Widowspeak played Knitting Factory

Roughly a month and a half after releasing their self-titled debut album, Dream-Pop trio Widowspeak finished up their run with Vivian Girls last night with a hometown show in Brooklyn. Molly Hamilton delivered sultry vocals, which have gained plenty of Mazzy Star comparisons, that shone through dueling guitar work and displayed nods to both Phil Spector inspired pop reincarnations, much like Tennis, and the oozing and graceful guitar strokes of Beach House. Up tempo numbers such their debut single as "Gun Shy" got the audience to move and a mid set cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" got plenty cheers. The band continued to thank their friends for the support and remarked on how excited they were to be back in home. The group's simplistic approach to their particular style of celestial pop still left plenty of room for letting loose on stage and the band was able to give everything an extra push, highlighting anything that could have been lost on the record.

September 17, 2011

Atlas Sound - "Te Amo"

New track "Te Amo" from Atlas Sound's forthcoming album Parallax (cover art above) out November 8th.

Atlas Sound - Te Amo by Pretty Much Amazing

September 8, 2011

TV on the Radio | Broken Social Scene played the Williamsburg Waterfront

It is not every day that Broken Social Scene kicks off an evening. The indie rock veterans are worthy headliners, but they took the opening slot tonight in Williamsburg to "warm things up and fight off the rain." The band was in full force as five men stood at the edge of the stage, guitars blazing, as they kicked off an extended "Cause = Time" which was just one of many well received jams. Classic tunes were carried out with extra ambition as it would be the last time Broken Social Scene would play New York for quite some time. Instruments were passed back and forth between each track and horns blasted for "7/4 (Shoreline)" but it was the cover of Modest Mouse's "World at Large" that really got things exciting. Prime cuts "Fire Eye'd Boy" "Shampoo Suicide"and newby "Texico Bitches" were pieced together through smooth transitions and closer "KC Accidental" assured Kevin Drew that the band would not be forgotten.

A hometown welcome ushered in the men of TV on the Radio and they responded with a career defining set of songs. "Halfway Home" heated things up reinforcing the excellence of Dear Science, and the hits kept coming as newer numbers "Caffeinated Consciousness" and "Will Do" were dispersed among long time favorites "The Wrong Way" "Province" and "Blues from Down Here". Tunde dedicated an empowering performance of "Young Liars" to the late Gerald Anthony Smith, taking the already brilliant song to new heights. The sky was of slate and the white sparkles of the Manhattan skyline provided a serene setting for the long time Brooklynites. The band ripped through "Repetition" and launched into a howling rendition of the band's epic "Wolf Like Me". Many thanks were said to Brooklyn and the neighborhood for the years of support and a stunning execution of "Satellite" brought the night to a close.

August 29, 2011

OMG!NYC - 5 Years Later

Celebrating the first 5 years of OMG!NYC, I take a look back at the things that shaped the way I listen to music and how my taste and interests have changed over the past five years.


When I began writing this blog five years ago, the goal was to update people on life in New York and the primary focus was going to be on concerts I attended. Over the course of time, the focus has shifted from general events mostly surrounding music to a full functioning music journal. I'll begin this retrospective with a list of five shows I saw here in New York that had a profound impact on me. All of these performances were truly unique to New York and my time spent here over the past five years.

01. Arcade Fire | Judson Memorial Church | February 14, 2007

A little less than a month before Arcade Fire released their highly anticipated sophomore release Neon Bible, the Canadian baroque-pop outfit set out on a week long stand of shows at the intimate Judson Memorial Church on the southern tip of Washington Square Park. For five consecutive nights, the rising stars powered through hits from their already classic debut Funeral and previewed material from their forth-coming record. Since then, I've caught the band twice and at much larger settings (Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden) and while the band has been just as impressive at all locations, no performance will ever be as special and as cherished as this one. Only feet from the stage, it was the opportunity of a life time to see these now titans perform in a space of which others could only dream.

02. My Bloody Valentine | Roseland Ballroom | September 22, 2008

The shoegaze juggernauts returned to the U.S. for their first non-festival performance in nearly fifteen years and I still have no words. The sheer volume unleashed by the quintet was legendary when they split in the nineties and the memories held up. For over an hour the noise pioneers shredded through cuts from their classic debut Isn't Anything and their groundbreaking masterpiece Loveless. Without hesitating, the band's opening chords ripped through the suggested ear plugs and the intensity never let up eventually culminating in the now monumental live rendition of "You Made Me Realise" which to this day leaves me wondering if my ears will ever be the same again.

03. Fever Ray | Webster Hall | September 28, 2009

I cannot remember another show that went off as flawlessly as when I saw Fever Ray. Making her solo U.S. debut, I had some doubts about the show merely due to the fact that it would occur in my least favorite venue in the entire city. However, when I have that thought now I am simply embarrassed. Fever Ray arrived amongst a haze of fog and donning an elaborate headdress that would make Bjork jealous. Her incredible voice melted the crowed and showed a true stage presence to which I have never seen matched. Her power on stage was unlike anything I have ever experienced and her ability to wield attention proved that even as a solo artist, her performances will leave people begging for a chance to see her live for years to come.

04. Phoenix (feat. Daft Punk) | Madison Square Garden | October 20, 2010

I do not know if there is anything left to be said about this show. After a near perfect set which set Phoenix atop the highest pedestal, it seemed as if the Frenchmen could not get any bigger here in the U.S. And then they invited Daft Punk to join them for an encore. Part of me still cannot believe they pulled off the surprise; suddenly the arena went dark... and then Daft Punk rose from the beyond. Part of me still cannot believe that I was actually there to see it happen in all of the glory. This was a truly special moment that in and of itself could be the sole post devoted to the past five years of this blog. It was as special of a moment as there could have been for me personally and I'm not sure if anything will ever be able to top it.

05. LCD Soundsystem | Terminal 5 | March 31, 2011

At the beginning of 2011, James Murphy threw in the towel for his short-lived but utterly fantastic band. For the final outing, his bandmates joined him for four consecutive nights of over the top (and over three hours!) renditions of practically every song one could hope the band to play. The final event was a spectacle at Madison Square Garden, but I caught his last 'smaller' performance at Terminal 5. The set was broken down into three sets (encore not included) which included everything from b-sides, 45:33 in it's entirety, and almost every other amazing LCD song. It was an emotional night as many of us would never hear these songs played live again (some had tickets to the final MSG performance) but in more ways it was a ceremony celebrating an amazing catalog of songs played with more heart than ever before.


The following songs left big impressions on me when they first came out for one reason or another and I still enjoy it when they come on the playlist. None of them were my favorite songs the year they were released and I believe all of them still fall just short, but they each still resonate with the same freshness as the first time they blasted through my speakers.

01. The Rapture | "Whoo! Alright, Yeah... Uh Huh"

I saw the Rapture perform a free show at the Apple Store in SoHo during my first month in New York. At the show, I was invited to be in the band's video for their new single "Whoo! Alright, Yeah... Uh Huh". For obvious reasons, I will always think fondly of this song and play at whatever party I can. Five years later, it still gets people on the dance floor and it still makes me think that New York is full of awesome surprises and the chance to be in a music video is right around the corner.

02. Crystal Castles vs. HEALTH | "Crimewave"

This song came at the height of mash-ups, but it was unlike anything else at the time.It was elctro, punk, noise, and dance all at once. Just like the Rapture, this song still gets people on the floor, but it is still as innovative as it was in 2007. Crystal Castles have since gained a higher fame and HEALTH (unfortunately as they have many other solid jams) might still be best known for this collaboration. Indie rock has not seen a meeting quite like this since the song's release and it does not seem likely that something of this nature will rise to this height any time soon.

03. Portishead | "Machine Gun"

Perhaps living in London when Portishead released their stunning Third is the reason I love that album so much, but more likely it is because of brilliant songs like "Machine Gun". Loud music had been in my collection since middle school, but it wasn't until this song that I realized music could be loud and aggressive without being hardcore. After this song blew my mind, I went back and listened to Liars, No Age, and Deerhunter and really began to digest noise music. Not only did this solidify Portishead as one of my favorite acts, but it opened my ears more so than anything else in the past five years.

04. Dirty Projectors | "Stillness is the Move"

I saw Dirty Projectors in 2008 and just did not understand what was happening on stage. A year later I heard this song and everything clicked. Well... everything clicked in the sense that everyone on this track sounds like they were playing a different song, but that was just it. It was so different (and still is) from almost anything else being released it had it's own place in time. I still have not heard a song that echos any part of this jam because it is so forward thinking that people are still trying to break it down enough to make their own imitations.

05. Deerhunter | "Helicopter"

There have been few artists as productive as Bradford Cox in recent years and none have reinvented themselves in so many ways. The studio masterpiece that is Halcyon Digest is another example of the ways that Bradford is a true audiophile taking each album to a new creative level. Perhaps the best part about the gorgeous guitar sweeps on "Helicopter" is how out of place it would sound on any other Deerhunter record, yet it is the backbone of their latest album. It is delicate, grandiose, and accessible and it still sounds like Deerhunter. Their song writing capabilities are so unique that every album is in another direction and still sounds like no one else.


I would like to thank anyone who takes the time to read this blog whenever I post. It really means a lot to me. I've been unbelievably fortunate to be featured on some of my favorite sites and have accomplished more than I ever thought possible with a simple blog. I hope to keep posting my favorite new music, reviewing amazing performances, and contributing to year end lists. Here is to another five years of OMGNYC and many more after that.

Keep it scene in the city.

August 22, 2011

IceAge played Secret Project Robot

Torrential downpour could not keep the punks away from IceAge's second of three shows in New York this weekend. After making their U.S. debut roughly two months ago and scoring critical acclaim for their self-titled debut album, the danish quartet blasted through their headlining set this evening with sheer power and attitude one would expect from a veteran act, not one where all members are under the age of twenty-three. The power and fury displayed by these youngsters fit aptly with the DIY setting and certainly met all expectations given their recent rise in popularity. Considering their album does not even clock it at thirty minutes, the band kept the set short and sweet and pounded through song after song barely giving anyone a second to breath. In a scene that is still not widely accepted or given a listen, the fact that these young men have gained such attention in a relatively short period demonstrates that given the right mood and setting, punk can certainly be something more attainable then most would care to admit. These brash songs rifled through the crowd and sent captive listeners into a mere frenzy. Then just like the album it was over before you knew what had hit you. As people filed out and back into the streets, it was apparent that no one could really comprehend what had happened. Some were in awe and some could not believe it was so quick. But no matter what the reaction was, people knew something big had just occurred and something even bigger could be on the horizon.

August 16, 2011

Feist - "Femme Fatale"

Feist ft. Nigel Godrich, Colin Greenwood, Hot Rats) Femme Fatale (Velvet Underground Cover) by

Feist and friends (Colin Greenwood, Nigel Godrich, Nicolas Godin and others) gathered in Paris recently to honor the legendary Velvet Underground during the Days Off Festival in Paris. Pitchfork has posted a glowing cover of "Femme Fatale" originally sung by Nico and featured on the band's landmark debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. The indie-pop star will release her highly anticipated new album, Metals (cover art above), on October 4th in North America.

August 11, 2011

Sigur Rós - Inni

Icelandic post-rock titans Sigur Rós posted a new video on their website today, simply titled Inni. No information has been given at the moment but one can only hope that a follow-up of some kind (live album? DVD? anything?) to their last album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (which I named one of my favorite records of 2008) is on the way. In any case, enjoy the clip above and wait patiently.

August 8, 2011

Girls - "Vomit"

The new video for "Vomit" off Girls sophomore album Father, Son, Holy Ghost. The album drops September 13th.

July 23, 2011

Death from Above 1979 played the Williamsburg Waterfront

For anyone who braved the blistering heat yesterday, Death from Above 1979 made one of their few non-festival appearances on their "reunion tour" (the bands term, not mine) well worth the risk of heat stroke. The Canadian noise/dance-punk duo returned with just as much prowess as one could have hoped as they delivered ear wrenching blasts of power heavy tracks that made so many hope for their return in the first place. The two picked up right where they left off, foot stomping rock and roll with heavy bass and screeching vocals that pack quite the punch. With no new material to work with, it was all the hits the fans wanted and then some. The duo drew heavily from their much loved debut full length, but added key tracks from their EPs for all the die hard fans who have been waiting the past six years to hear these songs live again. The motorcycle growl of Jesse Keller's bass mixed with his MSTRKRFT style electronics are matched by Sebastian Grainger's dismantling attack on drums that seem to make noise rock as accessible as possible as they bring radio friendly metal riffs, hard punk vocals, and double kick-drum to the fore front of their sound. Each track has as much groove as it does noise and anarchy yet somehow the band is really able to capture real sound and emotion. As the set began to come to a close (when a band only has one full length a show can only go for so long) more and more calls for "one more record" made it even more apparent that fans are not done with these guys. Favorites "Blood on your Hands" and an extended "Romantic Rights" sealed the deal and proved these guys can still rock really hard and could keep this going for quite some time before actually needing to record new material. But if they do go down that path, there are plenty of people ready and willing to listen.


01. Turn it Out
02. Dead Womb
03. Going Steady
04. Too Much Love
05. Cold War
06. Black History Month
07. Go Home, Get Down
08. Girl U R Lovely
09. Little Girl
10. You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
11. Blood on Our Hands
12. Pull Out
13. We Don't Sleep at Night
14. Romantic Rights
15. Do It
16. Losing Friends
17. If We Don't Make It, We'll Fake It

July 20, 2011

M83 - "Midnight City"

Anthony Gonzalez and Co. will return October 18th with a daring double album entitled Hurry Up, I'm Dreaming. The first single, "Midnight City", is below.

Midnight City by M83

July 12, 2011

The Heat Stroke Mixtape Volume II

Last July, I dropped my first mixtape of summer jams. A year has passed and once again I am posting some songs to help cool things down. Just like last year, many of these songs have been blazing through my speakers and will probably make my year end list, but in the mean time they should help keep your mind off the sweltering heat here in the concrete jungle. So whether you're up on a roof, chilling pool side or melting away on the MTA, these tunes will help you stay fresh.

01. Battles | "Ice Cream (feat. Matias Aguayo)"
02. The Strokes | "Taken for a Fool"
03. Washed Out | "Amor Fati"
04. Robyn | "Call Your Girlfriend"
05. tUnE-yArDs | "Gangsta"
06. Panda Bear | "Alsatian Darn"
07. Wiz Khalifa | "Roll Up"
08. Tennis | "Cape Dory"
09. The Beach Boys | "Don't Worry Baby"
10. Toro y Moi | "Still Sound"
11. Beyoncé | "Party (feat. André 3000)"
12. Twin Sister | "Bad Street"
13. The Weeknd | "The Party & The After Party"
14. Bon Iver | "Calgary"
15. Cults | "Rave On"

Listen on Spotify.

July 4, 2011

No Age / HEALTH / Cults / Ceremony played Vans House Parties

Vans kicked off their free summer concert series here in Brooklyn last week with a jam packed line-up of noisey fun. California hardcore act Ceremony kicked off the evening with their energy infused set of classic punk inciting circle pits and flying fists among other things. The aggressive growls and yells were met with pounding drums and thundering bass.

Cults were the odd band on the bill as they definitely did not fit in with the noise factor of the rest of the acts, however they were still able to fully engage their crowd even though their hopes of a circle pit of their own, never came to fruition. The expanded line-up of Cults, Manson family hair and all, brushed through their sugary pop jams meant for summer parties. New tracks such as "Abducted" and "Yeah You Know What I Mean" sounded fantastic and old tunes "Go Outside" and "Oh My God" really got people moving. While Madeline's voice is utterly amazing, the mix did not allow for their great sound to really penetrate the crowd. Some key elements were lost along the way holding back the band from making a great performance amazing.

Trance/dance/noise/punk band HEALTH served as the bridge between the pop dance-ability of Cults and the hardcore grind of No Age. The great energy brought forth by the band was equally matched by enthusiastic fans as synth undertones were upstaged by frantic drumming and swirling guitar. The rich sound provided perpetual grooves as the band powered through jam after jam culminating in their epic "USA BOYS" which proved to be the ultimate moment of their set as the crowd totally let loose showing a true blend of crowd surfing, moshing, and dancing ensuring that these guys can really draw a diverse crowd and still are able to make the most out of their truly unique sound.

It has already felt like a long night by the time No Age took the stage, however as soon as these two plugged in a second wind filled the crowd. The hard hitting Dean Spunt tore up his drum kit as he belted away each song while Randy Randall shredded away just a few steps over. The raw energy of these two really showcased their ability to rip through their oldest jams "Everybody's Down" with the same intensity as new classic "Fever Dreaming" and showed that these two are not afraid to mix old and new tracks for a set list full of punk classics in the making. The ear splitting guitar of Randall and exuberant drumming of Spunt showed a duo in prime form on the verge of being as big as they ever could have thought. The two display such a presence onstage that is hard to find amongst their peers. They blur the line of their DIY punk roots with their Pitchfork adorned present and are still able to hold true to their sound making them one of few bands that have been making consistently better albums over time.

June 24, 2011

Dinosaur Jr. played Bug at Terminal 5

After a rather enthralling interview conducted by Henry Rollins, in which the band discussed their early influences, recordings, shows, and other general happenings in the late 1980s punk scene, Dinosaur Jr. retreated backstage before the lights dimmed. When they returned, J Mascis claimed it was a bit awkward to start the night with "Freak Scene" and instead ripped through "In a Jar" and the best non-Barlow track "The Wagon". From there on in, it was Bug from start to finish. Mascis and Co. tore away through each track as if the album was released yesterday, playing with such intensity lost among current bands let alone other actual dinosaurs of their age. Dwarfed by three Marshall stacks, J Mascis shredded away at his guitar rivaling sonic tendencies of Air Force jets. The soaring solos were balanced with thunderous rhythm as Murph punched away on the skins and Lou Barlow's mudded bass sent waves of fuzz through the room. Normally bands of Dinosaur Jr.'s nature (in the loud noisy sense as not too many bands actually match the musical level of these titans) face trouble in the box that is Terminal 5, however these guys blasted away without missing a beat. When the setlist is included in the headline of the show, there really leaves little room for guessing what's next or much banter for the band. Mascis only spoke once to say "this is the power ballad song on the album" before launching into "Pond Song". Towering guitar riffs were taken to dizzying heights for "Let it Ride" and "Pond Song" and due to strained vocals suffered performing the last track on the first night, a lucky fan was invited to nail the powerful screams of "Don't". The encore consisted of a killer "Feel the Pain" and guest vocals from Fucked Up frontman Pink Eyes (they crushed the opening set) during the final song of the evening, a cover of Last Rights' "Chunks".

01. In a Jar
02. The Wagon
03. Freak Scene
04. No Bones
05. They Always Come
06. Yeah We Know
07. Let it Ride
08. Budge
09. Pond Song
10. The Post
11. Don't
12. Out There
13. Feel the Pain
14. Chunks (Last Rights Cover)

June 21, 2011

Radiohead - "Staircase"

New Radiohead track performed live featuring Clive Deamer of Portishead.

"Here's a new track called Staircase, taken from our upcoming 'From The Basement' session:

And no, you're not seeing double. The doppelganger drummers are myself and Clive Deamer. Clive has long been one of my favourite drummers and so I was really excited when he agreed to perform with us. Hope you like what we've all done."

via Dead Air Space

June 16, 2011

Atlas Sound played St. Ceceilia's

Massive layers of sound rippled through the sanctuary as Atlas Sound helped kick off the 2011 Northside Festival. Droning guitars and warped vocals combusted releasing waves of sonic textures over the pews as haunting shadows lurked behind Bradford Cox. A handful of new songs were mixed in with recent favorites. The segue of "Walkabout" -> "Shelia" was a particular highlight as was the epic shoegaze guitar swirling finale of "Attic Lights" which brought the main set to a close. The cavernous halls of the church allowed for the sound to really grab hold, however the restricted views and stiff pews provided a far from comfortable vantage point and the humid summer heat of New York did not do any favors. Bradford apologized for the lack of old material which he simply could not remember, but instead kicked off the encore with an improvised jam followed by another new track. While his presence in Deerhunter is felt in each song, when Cox is alone on stage his true audiophile traits rise to the surface showcasing a real genius at work.

*Thanks to Emily for the photo and company!

June 9, 2011

Twin Sister - "Bad Street"

Long Island Dream-Pop quintet Twin Sister gained some attention last year with an excellent EP and one of my favorite songs of 2010. Pitchfork has announced that the band will release their debut album on September 27 via Domino. The record will be called In Heaven and the first single "Bad Street" can be streamed below. Head to Pitchfork for the tracklist and upcoming tour dates.

Twin Sister - Bad Street by DominoRecordCo