December 31, 2015

Guest List 2015

Thanks so much for reading this year. I'm concluding 2015 with top choices from some really great people. See you all in 2016!

December 28, 2015

Albums of 2015

It's hard to reiterate just how much great music there was in 2015. From the smooth sounds of Miguel, to Kendrick's opus, pristine folk from Sufjan Steven and Joanna Newsom, supreme metal from Baroness, Sannhet, and Deafheaven, TWO Beach House records, a dreamy Deerhunter, and the stunning return of Sleater-Kinney, it really seems like there was something for everyone this year. I extended my list to forty albums this time around and still had difficulty narrowing things down in the end. These are my favorite albums of 2015.

December 23, 2015

Songs of 2015

I feel that I've made this statement before, but I truly believe 2015 has been the best year of music since I've been blogging and without a doubt, the best of this decade. In a year filled with militarized police brutality, terror across the globe, douche bag pharmecutical CEOs, and the Republican Party, it's been rather comforting to always have the music. This list could be a lot longer and featured multiple submissions from certain artists, but if I named everything, it would slightly defeat the purpose. Here are my favorite songs of 2015.

December 16, 2015

Sleater-Kinney played Music Hall of Williamsburg

Ten years after their last record, Sleater-Kinney came rushing back with a new record and subsequent tours. To wind down the year, they're playing a run of five sold out shows across the city.

December 12, 2015

Parquet Courts played Warsaw

Brooklyn's own Parquet Courts recently released the strange Monastic Living EP, an awkward step in their otherwise excellent output. Their recent tour wrapped up in Brooklyn for a triumphant home town throw down.

December 10, 2015

Deerhunter and Atlas Sound played Warsaw

Supporting their latest record, Fading Frontier, Deerhunter dropped by Greenpoint's Warsaw on their current U.S. tour. Frontman Bradford Cox pulled double duty as his Atlas Sound moniker was also the evening's opening act.

December 8, 2015

Joanna Newsom played Kings Theater

Joanna Newsom just released her first new record in five years, Divers. She made way to the exquisite Kings Theatre for her first New York City show in just as many years.

December 6, 2015

Dinosaur Jr played Bowery Ballroom

Dinosaur Jr are American indie rock icons. To celebrate thirty years of their music, the band is playing seven sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom.

December 1, 2015

Animal Collective - "FloriDada"

Animal Collective shared "FloriDada", the first single off their newest studio record, Painting With. It's out February 19 via Domino.

November 18, 2015

Shamir played Bowery Ballroom

Hailing from Vegas, Shamir Bailey grew up as the "weird kid", the sore thumb in a busted hand of a city. Now, following the critical claim of his debut full length record, he stopped by Bowery Ballroom for an intimate performance.

November 11, 2015

Casanovas In Heat - "Jaded"

Casanovas In Heat are readying their album Twisted Steel, Sex Appeal for a 2016 release on Katorga Works. Now, they've shared a new single "Jaded".

November 6, 2015

Deafheaven played Webster Hall

Deafheaven released their feverishly anticipated third record New Bermuda earlier in the fall. Their tour stopped by Webster Hall on Thursday for a night of pure mayhem.

November 4, 2015

Quilt - "Eliot St."

Quilt have announced Plaza, their third record which is to be released February 26 on Mexican Summer.

October 28, 2015

Hot Chip - "Dancing in the Dark"

Photo by Tonje Thilesen

Hot Chip have followed up this year's Why Make Sense? with a deluxe edition that features their amazing cover of Bruce Springsteen's epic track "Dancing in the Dark".

October 21, 2015

Leon Bridges played the Apollo

Harlem's Apollo Theatre is one of the city's most iconic venues and rising sensation Leon Bridges dropped by for a legend in-the-making performance.

October 19, 2015

Miguel - "Waves"

Miguel released his amazing new record Wildheart this past summer and today, he shared the video for highlight "Waves".

October 18, 2015

Ad Hoc Car Wash

Although it wasn't an official CMJ showcase, Ad Hoc through a fantastic day party during the festival bringing together tons of great talent in a great pop-up venue.

October 16, 2015

Besnard Lakes - "Golden Lion"

Canada's Besnard Lakes have announced their newest record, A Coliseum Complex Museum. It arrives January 22 via Jagjaguwar.

October 9, 2015

Television, Viet Cong and Lower Dens played House of Vans

House of Vans does a terrific job of curating free shows in Greenpoint. The lineup of Television, Viet Cong, and Lower Dens was one of their strongest to date.

October 7, 2015

Tame Impala played Radio City

Currents, the third album from Australia's Tame Impala, finds the band leaning more on heavy synths than extravagant guitar, and brought them to the legendary Radio City Music Hall to help usher in a definitive moment in the band's career.

October 2, 2015

Godspeed You! Black Emperor played Warsaw

Canadian collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor wrapped up a three night run in New York with a stellar performance at Warsaw.

September 29, 2015

Lower Dens played Bowery Ballroom

Baltimore's Lower Dens dropped by Bowery Ballroom in support of their third, and best, record Escape from Evil.

Lower Dens take pop melodies and strip them down into synth-noir, tingling tones of motorik drums, thudding bass, and rippled guitar. Their sound is neon in the dark. Covered in a soft glow, Jana Hunter led the band through a strong set that relied heavily on their latest material. Singles "To Die in L.A." and "Sucker's Shangri-La" struck high notes and accentuated the mood of the night while "I Am the Earth" oozed at the seams, allowing the band, in perfect syncopation, to lead the track in a solid march until finally breaking free in crashing harmony. "I Get Nervous" was a highly received throwback amongst the new gems and reinforced some of the dreamier vibes of the night. Their rhythms were locked tight, never once missing a single beat and Hunter's voice was booming, capturing the entire room and filling it with her presence. The band's previous dream-pop sound still rings true as cascading guitars still make their status known, but their turn towards neo-synth has taken a firmer grasp on their songs and has pushed the band in such a fantastic direction. However bashful she may have appeared between songs, Hunter faced the crowd with brilliant focus and determination. Alternating between guitar and owning the mic, her attitude was flawless and her charisma immaculate. As they closed their set, they asked for the lights to be dimmed and phones to be kept away, an uncommon thing in 2015. For one final moment, the band hunkered down and drilled into "Brains". It was a stunning ending to a great evening. One that highlighted a band that has paid their dues producing great albums and has now found a sound so pure and exciting that witnessing on stage is a true pleasure.

September 25, 2015

The Jesus and Mary Chain played Terminal 5

Jim and William Reid, better known as the core of the Jesus and Mary Chain, have hit the road to support the 30th anniversary of their landmark album Psychocandy.

Do bands really break-up or do they stop playing long enough to cash in on a reunion tour? Add it to the endless list of pop music's burning questions. Following their break up in 1999, the Jesus and Mary Chain reformed in 2007 and now, after touring off and on for almost a decade, they're finally playing Psychocandy in full. Taking cues from classic Phil Spector pop (the drum intro from "Be My Baby" can be found several times on the record) and mixing blinding guitar shrieks, the record helped launch the shoegaze movement and inspired generations of noise makers to come. The simplicity of the song writing fused with wailing guitar blasts gave way to massive walls of sound (another Spector nod) that pitted the snarl and gloom of post-punk with the glee of sunshine-pop. It's a record that shatters the standards of pop, filling the voids with layers of noise. Thirty years past their debut, the JAMC still cut like a knife. Opening their set with "April Skies" and "Head On" was a masterful way to kick off the evening and set the bar high. "'Some Candy Talking' wasn't on the UK release, so we're gonna play it early" murmured Reid and the track exploded with a prime response from the crowd. By the time "Just Like Honey" started, the crowd was in full sing-a-long mode, hands clapping along to the iconic drum, setting forth a pace for which the night would follow. On a whole, the masterpiece was delivered in stunning form. Little to no talking disrupted the set and the nostalgia gained for the music over the last thirty years has only done the band favors. Their erratic behavior never surfaced and their statuesque demeanor allowed for the music to speak for itself. Motionless on stage, the wrangled guitar took the focus off the band itself and rather on the experience of the sound. These days, classic records are played in full on a regular basis, but when the record in question is a stone cold classic, it's not something to be missed.

September 21, 2015

Joanna Newsom - "Leaving the City"

"Leaving the City" is the second single to be released by Joanna Newsom from her album Divers, her first new record in five years.

September 15, 2015

Deerhunter - "Breaker"

Fading Frontier, the new record from Deerhunter, drops on October 16th. "Breaker" is the latest single and finds Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt sharing lead vocals for the first time.

September 9, 2015

Helen - "Covered in Shade"

Almost two years to the day after releasing their first songs, dream-pop trio Helen has released their first full-length record, The Original Faces, via Kranky.

September 3, 2015

Oneohtrix Point Never - "I Bite Through It"

Daniel Lopatin, best known as ambient electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never, has announced his latest album. Garden of Delete is out November 13 on Warp.

August 27, 2015

August 22, 2015

Sannhet played St Vitus

Brooklyn's Sannhet has been making quite the name for themselves this year. After releasing the fantastic Revisionists this winter, the band has been a prominent feature in the borough's live scene.

August 21, 2015

Battles played St Vitus

Four years after their last record, Battles are back and ready to regain their focus as one of the tightest live bands in indie rock. "We've played a few shows, but this is our first real show back" they stated as they welcomed a home town crowd in Brooklyn.

August 19, 2015

Deafheaven - "Brought to the Water"

The almighty Deafheaven have returned with New Bermuda, the heavily anticipated follow-up to 2013's magnificent Sunbather, and they've shared the lead single "Brought to the Water".

August 17, 2015

Deerhunter - "Snakeskin"

The ever evolving Deerhunter have returned with a new album, Fading Frontier, their first new record since 2013's great Monomania.

August 14, 2015

FKA twigs - M3LL155X

Following her stunning debut, 2014's LP1, FKA twigs has surprised released her latest EP, M3LL155X.

August 10, 2015

Joanna Newsom - "Sapokanikan"

The almighty Joanna Newsom returns with a new album, Divers, on October 23 via Drag City.

August 7, 2015

Autre Ne Veut - "World War Pt 2"

Age of Transparency is the new album from Autre Ne Veut, part two of a trilogy (hence the similar artwork), and it's out on October 2nd.

August 6, 2015

Widowspeak - "Dead Love (So Still)"

On September 4th, Widowspeak will release their third record, All Yours. Their latest single, "Dead Love (So Still)" is an inviting tune from the start.

July 30, 2015

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "Ur Life One NIght"

Unknown Mortal Orchestra shared the video for "Ur Life One Night", the latest single from their excellent new record Multi-Love.

July 23, 2015

Kurt Vile - "Pretty Pimpin'"

Kurt Vile has announced his new album. It's called b'lieve i'm goin' down... and it's out September 25th.

July 17, 2015

Lower Dens - "Sucker's Shangri-La"

Lower Dens have shared the video for "Sucker's Shangri-La" off their recent album, Escape From Evil.

July 8, 2015

Ought - "Beautiful Blue Sky"

Ought have announced Sun Coming Down, the follow-up to their great debut More Than Any Other Day.

July 5, 2015


We're half way through another year and 2015 has been pretty great for new music. My favorites releases of the year (so-far) below:

July 2, 2015

Beach House - "Sparks"

Beach House are back with the spaced-out new single, "Sparks", a bleary twisted gem off their new record Depression Cherry.

June 30, 2015

Nicolas Jaar - Nymphs III

On June 29, Nicolas Jaar released Nymphs III, another new 12" comprised of the tracks "Swim" and "Misstress".

June 28, 2015

Morrissey and Blondie played Madison Square Garden

A double bill of Morrissey and Blondie imparted sentimental and wistful moments for a sold out night at the world's most famous arena. Two revered acts of the 70s and 80s still faired well in today's modern times.

June 23, 2015

Widowspeak - "Girls"

Widowspeak are set to release their third record, All Yours, this fall on Captured Tracks and have shared a new single called "Girls".

June 15, 2015

Run the Jewels played 50 Kent

Just as the rain began to fall, the illustrious Run the Jewels took to the stage for the final night of Williamsburg's Northside Festival.

June 8, 2015

Governor's Ball | 2015

For years, the American music festival landscape was dominated by three big players: Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. Recently, small upstart festivals have been giving the big three a run for their money in terms of line-up and accessibility. New York City's Governor's Ball has shaped up to be the northeast's premier summer festival.

June 5, 2015

Refused played Music Hall of Williamsburg

Refused are back with their second reunion tour and first new album in 17 years. They dropped in at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg for an epic night of chaos.

June 2, 2015

Ride played Music Hall of Williamsburg

Ride returned to New York City to resuscitate their dreamy, billowing rock for the first time in twenty years.

May 29, 2015

Todd Terje and Bryan Ferry - "Johnny and Mary"

One of the highlights from Todd Terje's debut full-length, It's Album Time, was the elegant cover of Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary" which featured Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry.