December 29, 2014

Guest List 2014

One more post of lists before the year is out. As I've said before, music is often best when shared with friends. Here are some guest year-end contributions and one final list of my own. Thanks so much for reading!

December 19, 2014

Albums of 2014

For many, 2014 seemed to be a little disappointing for new music. We had no blockbuster albums from major artists aside from Taylor Swift, so there was much more work involved for obtaining new music. Only two bands on this list have been featured in my previous top-tens, three albums are debuts, and two are from artists that have been making music for decades and are now hitting their stride. Thanks for reading this year and I hope you find something new to enjoy!

December 17, 2014

Songs of 2014

In keeping with tradition, here is my list of song choices for 2014. Not necessarily the best of the year, but the ones that I enjoyed the most.

December 15, 2014

Panda Bear - "Boys Latin"

On January 13, Panda Bear will release the fantastic Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, one of the most anticipated albums of 2015. Today he shared the video for album highlight "Boys Latin".

December 10, 2014

Jonny Greenwood - "Spooks"

In 2006, Radiohead began playing a song called "Spooks" on tour. That song didn't make it onto 2007's In Rainbows or 2011's The King of Limbs. It did, however, make it onto the soundtrack to Inherent Vice.

December 2, 2014

Sleater-Kinney - "Surface Envy"

Riot Grrrl pioneers, and general badasses, Sleater-Kinney are set to return this January with their first new album since 2005's The Woods. Two songs in and they're proving that they're just as great as ever!

November 25, 2014

Death to Death by Audio

Over the past few weeks, eulogies have been pouring out over the closing of famed Williamsburg DIY venue Death by Audio. Since 2007, the space has been the leading example and part of the epicenter for the Brooklyn indie scene. On November 22 it closed for good. It will be missed.

November 20, 2014

Run the Jewels - "Blockbuster Night Part 1"

Killer Mike and El-P are back with their follow-up to last year's great Run the Jewels. The sequel seems to go against all odds and takes things to a whole new level.

November 15, 2014

Caribou played Webster Hall

Upon releasing his best album under the moniker Caribou, Dan Snaith brought his stunning live show to Webster Hall for a downright explosive and captivating performance.

November 12, 2014

Speedy Ortiz played Death by Audio

When famed Williamsburg venue Death by Audio announced their final shows, there was a huge outpouring of love and nostalgia across the North Brooklyn music scene. The final shows will feature an equal amount of dialogue discussing the venue as much as the bands that play before the doors shutter for good.

November 10, 2014

Keep Shelly in Athens - "Fractals"

When we last heard from the Grecian pop act Keep Shelly in Athens, they shared their final song with their original singer, Sarah P. Today, they're back with "Fractals", a new track featuring their new singer Myrtha.

October 29, 2014

FKA twigs - "Video Girl"

FKA twigs is having an all-star year. She followed-up her great EPs with her phenomenal debut record LP1, made her live NYC debut, and despite already dropping the dazzling video for song of the year contender "Two Weeks", she's back with the nightmarish, haunting, and downright astonishing video for "Video Girl".

October 26, 2014

Slowdive played Terminal 5

For many, shoegaze will always be defined by My Bloody Valentine's magnum opus, Loveless. However, their peers in Slowdive took things in more of a dream-pop direction favoring the grandeur magnitude of powerful psychedelics. Their classic record Souvlaki, a landmark in its own right, captured the force of My Bloody Valentine and added the paisley swirls of dream-pop for a stellar sound that was both underground and arena ready all at once.

October 21, 2014

Ought - "New Calm, Pt. 2"

Despite just releasing their great debut album, More Than Any Other Day, this past spring, Montreal's Ought are already releasing a follow-up EP before the end of the month. Once More With Feeling, is a 24 minute four track EP and you can check the video for "New Calm, Pt. 2" below.

October 17, 2014

Leon Bridges - "Coming Home"

Not much is known about Fort Worth, TX artist Leon Bridges, but as recently pointed out by Gorilla vs Bear, he's making some beautiful country-soul music.

October 14, 2014

Iceage played The Acheron

Since making their breakthrough only a few years ago with their great debut New Brigade, few bands have progressed along the same scale as Denmark's Iceage. Now, with their great new album, Plowing Into the Field of Love, the quintet are stepping out into the light and making themselves a band to be reckoned with.

October 12, 2014

American Football played Webster Hall

Emo music without a doubt draws some kind of connotation, these days usually for the worst, but American Football didn't make emo music in the traditional sense. Drawing from mathy, post-rock guitar lines and jazzy drums fills, the band made a signature sound the encapsulated so many different genres and really sparked new ideas leading into the new millennium.

October 9, 2014

Nothing - "July The Fourth"

Philadelphia shoegazers Nothing released their debut album, Guilty of Everything, this past winter. Today they've shared a new track "July The Fourth" which is off a new split 12" with Whirr(!).

October 6, 2014

Screaming Females - "Wishing Well"

New Jersey power trio Screaming Females have shared a new single, "Wishing Well", that is available for immediate download at their label Don Giovanni. While the song still features the band's killer guitar sound, it's a bit more subdued then one might expect. Lead singer Marissa Paternoster shared the following statement:

September 22, 2014

Andy Stott - "Violence"

Andy Stott, UK dubstep/electronics wizard, is set to release the follow-up to 2012's fantastic Luxury Problems on November 18th. The new album is called Faith in Strangers and today he has shared a new track called "Violence". It's as dark and sinister as you'd expect. Stream it after the jump.

September 15, 2014

Deafheaven played Music Hall of Williamsburg

Last year, Deafheaven released my favorite guitar driven album of the year. Still riding high on the critically acclaimed Sunbather, the San Francisco metal group stopped by Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg to unleash their brutally intense show to a crowd of highly adorning fans.

September 9, 2014

Death from Above 1979 played Rough Trade

It's been nine years and eleven months since Canada's Death from Above 1979 released their first (and until now only) record, the heavy I'm a Woman, You're a Machine, but the long wait is finally over. The super-charged duo rolled into Brooklyn's Rough Trade locked and loaded as they delivered their monstrous riffs and blasted drums beats into one of the band's more intimate shows in quite some time.

September 6, 2014

Mineral played Bowery Ballroom

Bands come and bands go, but these days it seems that bands do come back again. Add another chapter the reunion book because Austin's Mineral are back in full force. For the first time in 17 years, the quartet are bringing their razor sharp hooks back to a devoted crowd.

September 4, 2014

Iceage - "Forever"

Back in July, Iceage released their cow-punk of a new single, "The Lord's Favorite". Today, the band has announced that single will be on their new album Plowing Into the Field of Love

August 27, 2014

Lewis - Love Ain't No Mystery

Earlier this year, a mysterious artist named Lewis caused quite the stir amongst online music nerds when Light in the Attic re-issued his debut album, L'Amour. Nothing about the man was known. His existence was pure enigma. Who was this man? Was he alive? Who was that super model girlfriend? Was he still making music? A few months later, second record seemed to emerge from the ether. This one,  Romantic Times, followed the same shimmering synth folk-pop of it's predecessor and only heightened the quest for the elusive Lewis. Where could he have disappeared to in that stunning white suite, sports car and airplane? Luckily, we live in the age of the internet and mysteries of this scale don't last too long. Lewis was found alive and well in Canada (real name Randall Wulff), without much care in the world for his new found audiophile fame.

August 23, 2014

Arcade Fire played Barclays Center

Watching a band rise to fame is a pretty extraordinary thing to witness. In the case of Arcade Fire, they have risen from the orchestral-indie band pulling from lo-fi aesthetics to their ability to be grand through delicate and moving melodies.

August 22, 2014

The Clean played Rough Trade

These days, the state of band reunions seems to be more of a "when" not "if" question. New Zealand's The Clean, however, have been hitting the reunion circuit since the late 1980s. In fact, their debut album, the brilliant Vehicle, came out in 1990, over a decade after they first formed and had already taken some time apart to focus on other projects. However, unlike many other bands riding high on the nostalgia reunion train, it's hard to lump the Clean into the same category.

August 18, 2014

Death from Above 1979 - "Government Trash"

On September 9, dance-punks Death from Above 1979 will finally release their long-awaited sophomore album, The Physical World.

August 15, 2014

Pharmakon - "Body Betrays Itself"

On October 14, Margaret Chardiet (better known as Pharmakon) will release her new album, Bestial Burden, on Sacred Bones.

August 12, 2014

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - "Faust"

Back in 2006, Austin's I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness released their lone album Fear Is On Our Side. Things have been pretty quiet ever since. Today, the band reemerged with not only details of their sophomore album, entitled Dust, but the lead single as well.

August 6, 2014

Mr Twin Sister - "Blush"

Long Island's Twin Sister has been relatively quiet as of late, but all of that is about to change. First, they're now Mr. Twin Sister and second, they have announced the follow-up to 2011's In Heaven. The new record will be out on September 22 and you can check out the lead single "Blush" right now.

July 30, 2014

FKA twigs - "Pendulum"

On August 12th, FKA twigs will release her fantastic debut record, LP1. Previously, she has shared the phenomenal "Two Weeks" and now she has followed it up with what she claims is "one of my favourite songs on my record". "Pendulum", blends pure R&B with atmospheric dubstep rhythms, showing that Tahlilah Barnet is capable of pulling out all the stops. It's a track (and album) that marries the hollowed space of the xx's debut with traditional IDM and lays divine vocals on top for an all out interstellar trip.

July 27, 2014

A Sunny Day in Glasgow played Baby's All Right

Riding the wave of success from their recent release, A Sunny Day in Glasgow packed Baby's All Right for a killer show full of shimmery guitars and heavy synths on the eve of their last night on this tour. 

July 18, 2014

Darlings - "Centuries of Light"

Brooklyn garage-pop act Darlings are readying the release of their new record. Despite lacking a title, the band has gone ahead and shared a single from the forth-coming album and it's called "Centuries of Light". It's a got a surfy jangle-guitar vibe and is a perfect jam for a breezy summer afternoon.

June 23, 2014

Shabazz Palaces - "#CAKE"

Ever since his days breaking boundaries with Digable Planets, Palaceer Lazaro (then Ishmael "Butterfly" Buttler) has been releasing some of the most forward thinking, mind-bending, psychedelic hip-hop to grace any speakers. That trend will continue this year when Shabazz Palaces releases their new record, Lese Majesty, on July 29. Today, they've shared the latest track from the record, "#CAKE". After the jump, turn down the lights, trip out to the visuals below, and read the group's statement about the album.

June 18, 2014

Earth - "From the Zodiacal Light"

Earth have been wielding their particular brand of sinister drone-doom post-rock for over twenty years and this September they'll keep things going with the release of their new record Primitive and Deadly. Today, they've shared the first track, "From the Zodiacal Light" from the new album and you'll quickly notice that in addition to the steady riffs and drums fills that have come to give Earth their sound, they've added vocals(!) to the mix this time around thanks to Rabia Shaheen Qazi of Seattle's Rose Windows. Check it out via Pitchfork.

June 10, 2014

Governors Ball | 2014

Music festivals have had a weird history with New York City, mostly because they have not had the best results in the past. All Points West called it quits after only two years and last year's Electric Zoo saw two drug related deaths. Somehow, Governors Ball is making it work.

May 24, 2014

Kanye West - "God Level"

While Kanye may be tying the knot this weekend, that hasn't stopped this new track from surfacing. Featured in a new Adidas commercial, titled "The Dream", the song is called "God Level". You can stream it below or watch the commercial above.

April 25, 2014

An Interview with Jackpot, Tiger

Brooklyn four-piece Jackpot, Tiger are set to release their sophomore self-titled record on May 13th. I sat down with the band to hear about the past two years spent in the studio, what it means to play music with friends, and what lies ahead in the next five years.

April 20, 2014

Mazzy Star - "I'm Less Here"

For this year's Record Store Day, dream-pop luminaries Mazzy Star released a limited 7" of their song "I'm Less Here". The song has been a part of the band's live set for years, but yesterday saw it's first official release. In addition, the band has also shared a video for the song which you can watch below.

April 17, 2014

FKA twigs played Glasslands

In 2013, FKA twigs made her mark with two well-crafted EPs that helped build a mystique around the young British artist. For her first U.S. tour, she has assembled a band that is so astonishingly tight and able to carry her complex rhythms into a live setting in such a manner that it seems as if they have been doing this for years. She contorted and captivated with every beat, warping her figure around the pulse of each track. Her voice was on par with the angels of another planet. Equally intergalactic and comforting; disorienting and magnetic. It was nothing like you'd ever heard before, but still delivered on all your expectations. Her unique blend of 90s slow-jam R&B combined with classic trip-hop made for such an authentic and original performance, it was hard to believe that this was her first live show in New York. On occasion she would bashfully thank the crowd for their admiration and attendance, but otherwise she was focused and determined. Standouts "Water Me" and "Papi Pacify" received the largest woos of the night, the crowd swaying and throbbing, never ready for the unexpected curve along the way. Her music is so forward thinking and mature, foreign to the boundaries of a particular sonic template. The talent required to pull off a set with the confidence and charism displayed by FKA twigs is not something attained over night. The out of touch dynamics of the songs are difficult to attain with the assistance of a studio, but the skill required to captivate a crowd with such little live exposure is remarkable. If people care enough to water this lady with full attention, the payoff could be tremendous.

April 11, 2014

Todd Terje - "Delorean Dynamite"

Earlier this week, Norwegian disco wizard Todd Terje dropped his long awaited debut album. It's called It's Album Time. Among past favorites such as "Inspector Norse" and "Strandbar", he drops the fantastic "Delorean Dynamite", a knock-out dance track full of slinky guitar lines and white-hot synths. It's hard to hear the song and not instantly feel the summer's blazing sun fall upon you. Get up and dance because it's (almost) summer time.