Two big pieces of news from two fabulous bands:
You've probably heard this by now, but Tapes 'n Tapes garnered 2006 "Best New Music" from the machine that is Pitchfork. They gave the fabulous Loon a 8.3. And while I'll never understand Pitchfork's rating system, it's awesome that they took notice (even if The Loon came out in 2005). Congrats boys!
And secondly, if you read yesterday's plea to Birdmonster, you'll be happy to know that they posted a response back on their blog. Looks like we're pen pals now, and looks like they'll be coming our sweet way in the near future. Watch this space.
Oh, and do you live in Texas? Yes? Well then you'd be a silly rabbit if you didn't go to the Gorilla vs. Bear showcase, where BOTH of the aforementioned bands will be playing.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Two big pieces of news from two fabulous bands:
Posted by Rachael at 4:05 PM
Don't you ever wonder what I'm listening to at all hours of the day? Do you happen to see me on the subway or on the street rocking out and curious to what song it is that is pumping out of my earphones? Do you spend you days thinking what is blasting through my speakers in between my incessant posts?
Well anyways tonight you can find out. I will be DJing at Pianos (upstairs) at promptly 10 PM, where you will hear various underrated and overrated songs destined to make you dance, sing, and probably fall in love with me. Chances I'll play at least one Tom Vek song? 100%.
This will all be following a fantastic Cross Pollination show featuring my friends Seth Kallen and Paul Hammer. (It's FREE and starts at 7:30, by the way)
I asked Seth if he had any requests for tonight's set and this is a sample of what he asked for.
It's only a coincidence that two of the songs are about being young.
Anyways come to Pianos tonight and say hi!
Posted by Rachael at 1:46 PM
Bishop Allen are geniuses. I wish all my favorite bands would release an EP every month. It's always something to look forward to, and the products are not lacking whatsoever due to time. I'm pretty sure they've got the whole year done, anyway.
So we loved January, and now we've got February to digest. "Vain" is as lighthearted as "Corazon," but this time focusing on guitars, opposed to the piano. We definitely like it, but its actually "The News From Your Bed" that has won our hearts, with its playful lyrics and happy-go-lucky melodies. Plus it's got a banjo. Little known fact about me: I love the "b" instruments, banjos and bongos. In case you cared.
You can only hear "The News From Your Bed" if you buy the EP, so do so this second right here.
Bishop Allen is playing Galapagos on March 15 and Pianos on March 31 (buy tickets) While you are at it, be their friend on myspace.
Posted by Rachael at 12:13 PM
Up second at Friday's show is Brooklyn based Slowlands, a band that is gaining significant buzz for their Clap Your Hands meets Wolf Parade sound. But it's their live show that helps them stand out amongst the bunch, a crowded chaos of sounds and instruments from six talented musicians.
I'm super excited to have these guys play, and even more excited to have all of you see them. I went a little crazy the first time I saw them, having to apologize to my friend for my constant appraisal. So if you are standing next to me on Friday, I'll apologize in advance -- chances are I'll be saying how much I love them.
Friday's show is also a CD release for their first full-length record Never Was There a Town. I'm pumped to get my hands on it, myself. So come out on Friday, drink up at the open bar, buy merchandise and come say hi. It's going to be a good night.
RSVP for FREE admission before 11 here.
Posted by Rachael at 7:26 AM
Monday, February 27, 2006
How are you? Good. Us too. Well, actually, since you've asked...there's something that's been on our mind.
So this is our plea: please come to New York City. I know it’s on the other side of the country and it's colder than your San Francisco, but I promise it will be fun. I don't know how the kids are in shows over there, but if you get the right amount of alcohol in us here, we uncross our arms and actually move (tapping and head bobbing included). There are plenty of music venues, and a few that actually have decent sound. I bet you that a lot of people (including bloggers, they are people too) will come out and see you.
We've only heard three of your songs, but we're already hooked. We know that your new album will be available on April 11, but can be preordered on your website already. We know all this because we've become helplessly addicted to your music and blog...some may call it a cult.
We appreciate this awesome video you posted of an entire show, but it's somewhat of a tease. That tiny little quicktime video isn't close to what we imagine our show experience to be. But I suppose, in the meantime, it's a nice tease.
So Birdmonster, we beg of you -- please come to New York City soon.
Posted by Rachael at 3:02 PM
I fell in love last night. He's sweet, genuine, unique and insanely attractive. Sounds like the perfect man right? Too bad it's a song. Or maybe not.
Chris has been posting about Austin's Oh No! Oh My! for awhile now, and if you remember correctly, I enjoyed their track "I Love You All The Time". But it wasn't until I heard "Walk In The Park" that I fell utterly in love.
Fans of The Shins, listen up. You will love this song. And as Chris put it "Someone tell me, why isn't this song already in like, a Volkswagen or a Toyota commercial or something?" It's so commercially appealing in the post-Garden State world we live in, but that doesn't make it any less wonderful. The rest of the tracks by this interesting band are just that: interesting. Each one is just a bit different than the last forcing me to be constantly on the edge of my seat. I hear their debut album is top-notch. I can't wait to hear.
Buy the Oh No! Oh My! pre-release here for only$1.50. I just did.
Be their friend on myspace.
Posted by Rachael at 1:06 PM
Friday, I braved the cold to see one of my favorite New York acts The Undisputed Heavyweights play at Pianos. I brought along some Heavyweights-newbies, and tried my best to keep quiet about what makes this band so great. There's nothing better than seeing this band for the first time, and luckily I got to experience that all over again through some willing participants.
I wanted to tell them how crazy lead singer Casey Shea is on stage, and how he's hands down the most entertaining front man I've seen. I wanted to tell them how the music trumps the act, which makes their live show as enjoyable as just sitting at home listening to their tunes. I wanted to tell them about the sunglasses, the "amens," and the consistent picking on guitarist Jeff Jacobson during the final introductions. But I kept my mouth shut. Despite the short set and a bit of a noisy crowd, I knew from the looks on everyone's faces, that they understood what makes the Heavyweights stand out amongst all the New York bands.
Even though I gave away some of the charm that is The Undisputed Heavyweights, it's a far cry from seeing the show right there in front of you. Keep a close watch on their next show, because it could just be an Undisputed meets Underrated event.
Posted by Rachael at 11:21 AM
Each day this week, I'll profile one of the bands that is playing Friday's show. First up is Cordalene, our out of towners via Philly that are going to kick off the night with some catchy indie rock. But Friday will be more than just a chance to catch this fabulous band, it's a celebration -- Cordalene just got signed to Dalloway Records.
I've seen this band twice, and each time it's so fun I am grinning from ear to ear and dancing around like an idiot. Expect no less on Friday. Each song from their two EPs is its own. They try everything, without getting sloppy, and it comes across as genuine. So let's welcome these Phily boys in to NYC with some movement, because these are songs that you wont be able to stand still to.
Cordalene is up first on Friday at 9 PM. Be their friend on myspace.
RSVP for FREE admission for Friday night's show here.
Posted by Rachael at 7:29 AM
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
Friday March 3, 2006
Underrated Magazine Presents:
Plus: Holmes (of Morning Theft) and Rachael (editor, Underrated Mag) on decks!
Anyways, you know the deal. We're putting it on with New York Underbelly at Crash Mansion. Open bar from 9-10, free admission before 11 with RSVP.
See you next week!
Get MP3s of each artist here.
Posted by Rachael at 12:18 PM
I am trying to see as many films in the next week, in preparation for the Academy Awards. This is the first year that I had only seen two nominated films. I blame lack of funds, and time.
Last night, I finally watched Walk The Line. I'm sure everyone else has seen it already, and everyone knows the story so I'll just let you know that I thought it was fantastic. The acting was top-notch, and I was honestly stunned at the singing by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. I always loved Johnny Cash, and knew a good amount about his life. But this movie was effective in showing a real love story - both for music, and for John and June.
Basically if you haven't seen it yet, you should.
I can't go on living my life without admitting that I am hopelessly addicted to American Idol. It's nothing new. Every season I'm hooked. But this season I've found my new underdog to root for. I would be thrilled if he wins; I think he's brilliant. But he probably wont, and I probably prefer it that way. Anyways if you haven't seen the show, he is this gray haired blues singer that is hands down the cutest thing on two feet. He makes me giddy. He makes me smile. And yeah, he's got a great voice.
See you there.
Posted by Rachael at 7:43 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Before I continue with last night, I must thank Jax for letting me hump with her yesterday. I am privileged to be her first female hump buddy! Hot. Check it out.
So after A Brief Smile played and Joe and I got some drinks at Bowery, we headed on over to Fat Baby to check out Nora's new favorite band, Philly-based Liam & Me. Last night solidified two things: I hate Fat Baby, and Nora has good taste in music.
I could go on a rant and rave about how Fat Baby is now officially my least favorite venue in New York City, but we at Underrated don't like to be mean. Last time I went I stood behind a curtain. This time, Joe and I found ourselves sitting with our backs to the stage at one point, and then me standing on my tippy toes to catch any glimpse of the band. It's small and it's annoying, but fortunately the sound wasn't terrible last night. Okay, that was sort of a rant.
On to the good stuff, with this band Liam and Me. I knew nothing about them before last night, besides liking the two songs Nora sent me, and the fact that they were cute boys (note: two things that will always get me out to see a band play). I was quite surprised by how tight their set was and how many fans they had. Apparently they all came out from Philly, and have choreographed lighter displays down pact. It was amusing and pretty cool to see a whole bunch of people really getting into a band. They had to be from Philly then.
This four-piece band has got some killer vocals and damn catchy tunes. There really wasn't a low-point in the set, except for when it was all over. They were much more pop/punk than I expected, but still add in some 80's hooks to keep it hip. I immediately recognized "There's A Difference" when they played it last night. It's one of those songs you'll have stuck in your head with pleasure.
Hopefully they'll be back to NYC soon (at a better venue) but check out their myspace page for a bunch of tour dates up the east coast. While you are there, be their friend. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.
Their new album comes out this week, pre-order here.
Posted by Rachael at 12:18 PM
A Brief Smile played Bowery Ballroom last night to an enthusiastic crowd. Despite it being early on a Wednesday night, there was a good number of people that were there. I felt a bit nervous all day for them, which seems ridiculous. But I felt that same nervous feeling when The Upwelling played last year. Bowery is, in my opinion, the premiere venue in New York City. Great sound, great stage, great size. It's kind of a big deal.
They were off to a bit of a rocky start with "We Could Get In Trouble," but managed to find their way midway through their second song. Once they got it, they really had the audience hanging on every note. It was a bit odd watching them on this big stage with all these people in attendance. But as soon as they played "And So It Begins" (a song that is meant for a venue like Bowery) it all just clicked.
The band really benefited from the sound, something that's hard with a lot of young bands in New York. Most venues don't allow for the layered textures of sounds that A Brief Smile works with. I heard things last night that I never had heard before in their music. They had played a newer song "Vicious" the last couple times I had seen them, but it never was the most memorable. But last night, with DL's echoed vocals ringing through Bowery Ballroom, it hit the spot.
Unfortunately it didn't end as well as it should have, with some technical problems at the beginning of "Pretty Mess" but all in all, I was beyond thrilled with the short but sweet performance. They were much more comfortable on stage than a lot of bands I had seen, and with a mostly female crowd under the age of 21, these girls ate it up. Make sure you are in attendance at their Rothko show to see what all the fuss is about.
More pictures up on flickr.
Posted by Rachael at 8:01 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
It's only natural to react in a state of excitement when one of your favorite bands releases new material. For the bands I hold dear to my heart here in NYC, I basically go ape shit when they send me new songs. But they aren't exactly "new" since I've seen them all perform them at least once a month.
So what would happen if those bands locked themselves in a room (without me) for nine months. Out pops a baby, or er, a song that I've never heard before. I had no idea what happened in those nine months, I didn't get any clue or progress, and all I got was a song. Ape shit would be an understatement.
So that's what happened to me yesterday. No, a band did not give birth, although that would have been interesting. If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you'll know that The Hard Tomorrows are a band I've been following since last spring. I fell in love with their 5-Song EP, not only as a whole effort, but each song was like it's own little gem. I played them over and over and over again. Chris from Gorilla Vs. Bear was a fan way back when as well. And I even included "Put Yourself Out" on my Top 25 (er 28) Songs of 2005.
And then that was all. No new material for nine months. I kept in touch with the guys, trying to plan DC/NYC shows, so I could finally check them out, but nothing ended up working out.
So you can imagine my surprise/shock/joy/head explosion yesterday when I got two new songs AND two NYC dates. I almost fell of my chair, just with pure excitement. And then I heard the songs. I was a little put off at first, it seemed so different from my quiet melodic indie rock I loved from their EP. This is a lot more in your face, but with each listen, I understood the development. It makes sense. And it's quite fantastic.
The Hard Tomorrows upcoming shows:
Feb 23 2006 9:00P, DC9, Washington , DC
Feb 26 2006 9:00P, Bossa (Rob Acoustic), Washington, DC
Mar 27 2006 9:00P, Black Cat, Washington , DC
Mar 29 2006 9:00P, Arlene's Grocery, New York, NY
Apr 8 2006 8:00P, Rockwood Music Hall (Rob acoustic), New York, NY
Apr 15 2006 8:00P, Arlene's Grocery, New York, NY
Apr 22 2006 9:00P, DC9 Washington DC, DC
And now, the cause of my head explosion:
Their currently untitled full-length debut will be ready for us in May. Plus, you can check them out in the next issue of Underrated.
Posted by Rachael at 2:37 PM
Great songs from around the blogosphere, with my short(ish) take.
Battle - Tendency [via Take Your Medicine]
One of the 1902847192 British bands that will be gracing our presence in Austin. They had me at that opening guitar line. Luckily, they followed it through to the end of this tune. A bit more moody than the rest of the Brit rock we're getting these days, but don't fret...you can still dance to it. I swear.
I IMed Jerry while listening to this performance yesterday and told him that listening to Voxtrot makes me want to give them all a hug. Who knew there was such thing as huggable music? Check out this live performance of a song off their upcoming EP and you'll see why.
Irving - Situation [via Indie Don't Dance]
I've heard a lot about this band lately, mostly because they are opening for Voxtrot on their upcoming tour. Great song, very danceable in your indie-like fashion. Reminds me a bit of the Eels.
We Are Scientists - History Repeats [via MOKB]
You'll know this track if you have seen the band live. It's definitely a highlight for me. It's one of the B-sides their latest UK single. Did I mention WAS are on the cover of the next issue of Underrated? Oh. Well I just did.
The M's - Future Women [via Yeti]
Probably one of the most pleasing tracks I've heard recently. It's got this rocking quality to it that you can just sway to while it's playing in the background. But then, if you listen closely, you'll find something pretty marvelous.
Broken Social Scene - Puff The Magic Dragon [via Stereogum]
You can't go wrong with this song. Okay, maybe you can. But Broken Social Scene couldn't. I'd invite them all to my campfire just so they can sing this. Probably for some other reasons as well.
Sure Juror - The Drive Will Do You Good [via YANP]
I just got this CD in the mail yesterday, and dammit I'm hooked. Just listen to this song and you'll immediately know why. Expect a detailed post in the next couple days once I fully digest the album.
And then when you are done checking out the new stuff, head on over to I Guess I'm Floating for "When We Were Young" a collection of early 90's tracks that I have been rocking all week. Brings back a lot of memories, and dammit, a lot of great songs.
Posted by Rachael at 12:46 PM
Man In Gray is a local band that we at Underrated have kept our eyes on since we first met and interviewed them back for our fifth issue (golly we are getting old!). We were impressed by the innate energy they exploded in our faces the first time we caught them at Luna Lounge (RIP). With a full-length album in the works, and a snazzy new video/song, they are gonna explode on everyone in due time.
We remember seeing pictures from their video shoot for "Thirty-Six" way back when and remember thinking it looked pretty cool. There were colorful video screens and it went beyond the usual NYC band plays in a NYC venue shoot. We're lucky enough to have our original impressions verified when we finally watched the video this morning. It is pretty damn cool.
Man In Gray play Southpaw tomorrow with w/ Unsacred Hearts, DraculaZombieUSA, and Americans UK. You can buy MIG's No Day/No Night EP here, featuring their catchiest song to date, "Breaklights" and "Incommunicade," a top 10 single of the year, according to Village Voice.
Watch the video for "Thirty-Six" here.
Posted by Rachael at 11:51 AM
So yesterday I found myself in a doctor’s office after work, having spent most of the day limping through Manhattan. It seems as though I've done something to my left ankle, which had been bothering me since last week, but yesterday became quite unbearable. I was sitting in the office, chatting with Doc when he asked me if I had done anything that may have caused the pain and swelling. I began to think. Could it had been my drunken dancing at The Skinny last week on Valentines Day? Or how about the hour I spent walking around Brooklyn, lost en route to the Undisputed Heavyweights show, furiously typing away on my sidekick, and not watching where I was going? Or maybe it was my one of many slips and slides caused by the icy sidewalks?
I told him I couldn't think of anything.
I've been instructed to stay off my foot, take lots of advil, and wear comfortable shoes (I guess those heels in the back of my closet will have to continue to gather dust.) But I will not stay off my foot, because I have much more important things to be concerned with than my well being. A Brief Smile is playing Bowery tonight at 7:30 PM sharp. So if you are planning on going, make sure you get there on time. You do not want to miss their set.
I'll be the one in the front, limping/dancing.
And if anyone has any extra tickets to tonight's show, please let me know.
Posted by Rachael at 7:57 AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Bell Hollow is a local band from Brooklyn that recently sent me their demo CD a couple weeks ago. What I find most interesting about bands these days is how they draw on their influences and what inspires them as songwriters. I can't even begin to imagine the complexity of writing a song. I have enough trouble with just words. Adding in music is a whole other element.
So when everything is basically a mixture of things past, I find it most noble when a band wears their influences on their sleeves. Bell Hollow is clearly a product of the 80's nostalgic rock, paying homage to the likes of The Smiths, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc. It's the UK by way of Brooklyn in 2006, and with a demo CD to work from. It's nothing revolutionary, because it's all been done before, but it's quite interesting. Vocally, Nick Niles tells stories with crooning falsettos. While structurally, the songs are bigger than the stories. I'm definitely interested to see where this band goes next.
But for now, they play the Delancey tonight at 10 PM and then Galapagos on March 30. You can buy their Demo CD on their website and be their friend on myspace.
Posted by Rachael at 1:18 PM
I love Tapes 'n Tapes. It's not a secret. In fact, a lot of bloggers do. And guess what? They love the blogs too!
Go check out Garrison's interview with Josh of Tapes 'n Tapes here.
In other blogger band news, Voxtrot will be playing a live radio session and brief interview on WOXY.com at 3pm today. Don't forget!
Posted by Rachael at 12:05 PM
So Brandi Carlile was sick and couldn't perform at yesterday's WFUV live broadcast. It was a bit sad because by the afternoon yesterday, I was pretty excited to see her live. Oh well. Instead, Ben Taylor and his band took the full hour.
You may recognize Ben Taylor, and that is because he is the son of the great James Taylor (I think it's quite obvious). His set was low-key and quite enjoyable, I'd place him in some sort of Jack Johnson meets Cat Stevens category (he even covered Cat Stevens, which was the highlight of the set). His talented guitar player, David Saw opened up with a couple of his own songs, including one about an obsessed fan on myspace. I think I liked him better, and it wasn't just because he is British and easy on the eyes. Or maybe it was.
It was funny, sitting down at a show, and having to be quiet. Since this was a live broadcast on WFUV, I was very aware of every sound I made. I wasn't used to that. Without a drink, or the ability to express my opinions, I found myself figiting in my seat. Conor was yawning. So we bobbed our heads in the mass of a much older crowd. I'm ready to go back to loud Lower East Side clubs now, thank you very much.
Ben Taylor's second album, Another Run Around the Sun is currently available here. He will be down in Austin for SXSW as well.
SXSW Hotel Cafe show - Thursday Mar 16th at Copa
8:00pm Annie Stella
8:30pm Jenny Owen Youngs
9:00pm Kevin Devine
9:30pm Charlotte Martin
10:00pm Ben Taylor
10:30pm David Ford
11:00pm Chris Pierce
11:30pm Joe Purdy
12:00am Jim Bianco
12:30am Cary Brothers
plus a collaboration with KT Tunstall and members of Gomez.
Posted by Rachael at 11:40 AM
It's that time again.
Friday March 3, 2006
Underrated Magazine Presents:
Weird that all the band names are just one word, huh? We planned it, I swear.
Anyways, you know the deal. We're putting it on with New York Underbelly at Crash Mansion. Open bar from 9-10, free admission before 11. RSVP here.
You are going to want to know these wonderful bands:
Posted by Rachael at 7:09 AM
Monday, February 20, 2006
I took the weekend off music. I know, it sounds terrible, but it was sort of necessary. I spent most of my weekend catching up on a lot of the work I've been putting off, in-between episodes of Twin Peaks. My friend Conor told me I had to watch this shows, 14 years after it's premiere. If you dig Lost and the good parts of Desperate Housewives, you should check out this show. Both shows pay homage to this show, and might I say - it's quite addictive. Yet another guilty pleasure to add to my list.
That same friend has invited me to Fordham University today for a special performance by Brandi Carlile for WFUV. I head heard of Miss Carlile before, but have been brushing up this morning. She's got an interesting voice, and her songs are catchy and sweet. She's only 23, signed to Columbia, and her self-titled debut is available for purchase here. She doesn't sound her age, adding in a little Joplin and Cline to her spunk.
Rolling Stone named her one of their 10 Artists To Watch in 2005 and said: "Carlile's ethereal, melancholy ballads have a spare heartache that reflects her love for old-school country...but she loves new-school mopers like Radiohead and Jeff Buckley just as much." Her debut album was produced by John Goodmanson, who has worked with Sleater-Kinney and Blonde Redhead.
I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Free grub and booze are only part of the reason I'm traveling the distance to check her out.
Download her performance on KCRW's Sounds Eclectic here. (Real Player)
Posted by Rachael at 2:35 PM
We shall start off today with the theme of bands that haven't made it out to NYC but will be at SXSW. The California based band, Birdmonster have quickly become a favorite of mine. With only three songs off an EP, they have successfully whet my appetite and I am left wanting more. Good thing they are busy recording their first full-length and will be making their way through Texas for SXSW and hopefully coming out to NYC soon after.
Joe interviewed them for Underrated over the weekend and it sounded like a fun interview. The boys even blogged about it in their blog, providing us specific details on who they would eat first, if on a deserted island. Funny stuff.
See also: Note Books - Birdmonster on largeheartedboy. (For the record, I'm still convinced Harry Potter is a cult, and Zach agreed.)
Be their friend on myspace.
Posted by Rachael at 11:18 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2006
VOTE FOR THE UPWELLING!!!
They are super close to winning. Voting ends at noon tomorrow. It wont let me vote anymore, so please do so for me!
Posted by Rachael at 8:41 PM
I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with all the bands that are going to be at SXSW. Part of me wants to see all the bands I know and love, and the other part wants to find new bands to know and love. But it's only four days. It's going to be tricky.
One band that will be at SXSW that I have been listening to for about a year now is Colored Shadows. They are from LA, and have yet to make it to NYC, so SXSW will be my first chance to check them out live. We featured them in the last issue of Underrated and are super psyched to see if they are equally amazing live, as on record.
Both their self titled EP and their latest effort, Tiger Mask are fantastic. Think a little bit Secret Machines, Autolux, Air, and even David Bowie. Yeah it's that dream-esque rock that will soar through chord progressions and lyrical depth. It has vision. It has a melody. It has it.
You can buy both EPs on their website. You can also stream some more tracks on their myspace page.
This is one band I will definitely be seeing at SXSW. Speaking of, anyone have a place for me to stay? Yeah. Still looking. Let me know if you do!
Posted by Rachael at 3:21 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I meant to post this yesterday, but blogger decided to be a pain. Anyways, here are some new tunes from around the blogosphere to enjoy throughout the weekend:
I was iffy on this track at first; it almost sounded like something that should have gone to Gwen Stefani. And then when the song ended, I wanted to hear it again. And again. Now I listen to it and I want to dance down the streets and be Karen O for the rest of my life. I'm a little late on this (the song has been floating around) but if you haven't heard it yet, you must. Also check out the Diplo remix, it's pretty damn cool. But this original has officially won me over.
This little ditty showed the wold that Leslie Feist is one to watch. Her original is so incredibly sweet and beautiful, that having Mr. Oberst cover it could have been a complete disaster. Luckily it was not. He keeps it light and airy, and his vocals work pretty damn well. I wonder what it would sound like for them to sing together?
Susan sent me this song on Thursday and I found it quite incredible. So incredible, that I needed to share. Perhaps I've been out of the loop but I've never heard of Pinback. After some research, I found out that they've been around for a while. "Penelope" is off their 2001 album Blue Screen Life and it is equal parts beautiful and dark. There may be some handclaps, and some Death Cab like melodies, but I find this song, and band, a level above what we call indie-pop-rock.
I like Jens Lekman, and I like the fact that we haven't been overexposed to him, yet. Or at least I haven't. Each new song I hear of his I like more than the previous one. This one screams singalong, maybe around a campfire, or maybe even a music venue. I don't know, but I just really want to hear it live.
Like the Yeah Yeah Yeah's song (no pun intended) you probably already have this one if you are a constant reader of all the better blogs out there. But if not, here we go. Flaming Lips will never cease to amaze. I'm so captivated by their thought process that goes into a song like this. I wish I knew. But I'm ok just listening as well. So bizzare. So lovely.
Posted by Rachael at 9:34 AM
Friday, February 17, 2006
After a long and exhausting day, it was a treat to come home to find all this new music in my inbox. However, I must admit, I was looking for one thing: new tracks from A Brief Smile.
I've been hounding these guys to let me listen to these recordings that they have been working on since last summer. We've been given a taste of them through their live shows, showcasing their consistent evolution as one of my favorite bands. Since first receiving their EP Memory Loss about a year and a half ago, I was undoubtedly impressed. And lucky for you and me, things just keep getting better.
A Brief Smile will be playing Bowery Ballroom next Wednesday opening up for the Fray. I will be front and center, singing my little heart out. It's going to be amazing to see them play this venue. Unfortunately the show is sold out, but do not fret. They will be playing Crackers United One Year Anniversary party at Rothko on March 8 with The Head Set and Say Hi To Your Mom. Besides these wonderful bands, you'll have an added treat of watching me DJ. It'll be a sight to see, I'm sure.
The last time I saw A Brief Smile play, I declared "Kitchen Floor" to be my favorite. Now I get to listen to it over and over again, lucky me! We also get a new cut of an old favorite "Pretty Mess" which is still the highlight of their live show. This version better encapsulates the energy these guys exude on stage.
The band wanted me to let everyone know that these are rough cuts, and in no means finished. They haven't been properly mastered, and are an idea of what they've been working on in the last couple months.
Keep an eye out for A Brief Smile. With an April residency, a summer tour, and a new EP, this is only the beginning.
Be A Brief Smile's friend on myspace.
Posted by Rachael at 12:00 PM
Yesterday was the most emotionally draining day I think I've ever had. Fortunately, it all ended up working out ok. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I think I'm in need of a nice vacation. Austin can't come soon enough.
I've got lots of exciting things to post today, but first let's recap last night's shows. I got back to my apartment at around 8 PM and relaxed for my 3 minutes before leaving again for Southpaw. Without making myself look like a complete idiot, I must say that the bus system in Brooklyn is quite confusing. I know my apartment is not very far from Southpaw, but somehow I ended up somewhere completely different. Needless to say, it was 9:30 when I finally found a subway, and at that point I thought I might as well just head to Northsix. Sorry Undisputed Heavyweights. I'm taking the subway next time.
Luckily getting to Northsix early paid off. I caught Tim outside and he told me that Slowlands had yet to take the stage. Score. I've been meaning to see these guys live for some time now.
I know I'm taken by a band when I vocally announce it time and time again to whomever happens to be there with me. Susan was the victim to my love-at-first-sight explosion. It's so exciting seeing a band live for the first time. The conversation would go something like this:
R: I really like this band.
S: I know, you said that.
R: But I really like them.
S: I know.
(5 seconds later)
R: Wow. I really like this band.
And this was all without any alcohol.
There's six of them on stage, and the funny thing was, I was convinced that two of them went to my high school. They didn't, but looked like long lost twins. I think I described them as a Youth Group meets Wolf Parade with Clap Your Hands like vocals, but less annoying. I don't really like that description, but if it makes you listen, then fantastic. All you need to know is that this band is one of those quirky rock bands that you are going to love, and must see live.
Plus, they smile a lot on stage. That doesn't hurt.
Posted by Rachael at 7:43 AM
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Tonight, two of my favorite local bands are playing Brooklyn. After the day I'm going to have today, I'm going to need some familiar tunes. Good thing both these bands are pretty fantastic live too.
The Diggs are getting big time now, with a headlining show at Northsix. They go on at 11, after blogger favorites Slowlands. You can purchase tickets here. And you can check out a recent interview they did with Village Indian here.
But before heading to Northsix, I will be close to home at Southpaw seeing the omnipotent The Undisputed Heavyweights play at 9 PM. Check out the flyer for the show here. (Wes always makes them look so pretty). They are playing with C. Gibbs Review and The Jones Street Boys.
Posted by Rachael at 7:11 AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Top 5 worst days ever. For many reasons that you really don't need to know or probably care about. Music! Music helps these awful days just a tad bit better. So I listen to Kid A today and it has helped. Top 5 best albums, ever. That's for sure.
Don't ask me for the others because I have no idea.
Posted by Rachael at 3:00 PM
The Upwelling are no stranger to this blog. But they were a stranger to folks in the UK...until now.
The Upwelling have been opening up for The All-American Rejects for the past month, jetsetting from Ireland to Scotland and now England. Every time I talk to Josh, he's ecstatic with the response they've gotten. They sold out of all their EPs the first night. From my own experiences, music lovers in the UK are so much more open to discover new bands. Maybe it's just New York, but they don't have any preconceived notions when it comes to an opener. That's fantastic, because you shouldn't have any notions of The Upwelling. Every time I listen to them it's like the first time. I'm still completely blown away.
Lucky for us they are coming back to the US in just a couple days and have started to plan their trip to SXSW.
February 28 - Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
March 2 - Chestnut Room, Philadelphia, PA
March 4 - Alley Katz, Richmond, VA
March 5 - Jammin' Java, Washington DC
March 6 - The Cave, Chapel Hill, NC
More dates will be announced but start getting ready. I think 2006 is going to be their year.
Did I mention they are up for Spin.com Band of the Year? They are neck and neck with Demander but we can pull them ahead! If you dig The Upwelling and want to help out super nice guys....VOTE! Every day. Every minute. Unless it won't let you, which is why I am here telling you to.
Here are two of the first Upwelling songs I ever heard. Expect new recordings on the horizon.
Posted by Rachael at 11:18 AM
When I woke up this morning, I thought my head was going to explode. And it wasn't only from the pop rocks last night. It wasn't until I was out of the shower that I started to remember the bits and pieces of last night's anti-valentines day party at The Skinny. There was dancing, that I know. And ring pops. Cupcakes too. Then I remembered that I had to wake up my super at 3 this morning because I had lost my keys. He wasn't happy. Then I noticed both my school and work IDs were missing, and my camera was broken.
Then I crawled back into bed.
Before I drank too much and lost everything that I need in life, I did go to Pianos to check out a couple Midwestern boys, also known as New Sense. There was a very decent crowd for a Tuesday night at 8 PM, and especially because it was Valentines Day. I guess the word is out - these guys are ones to watch.
Without sounding like a complete hippie, the set can only be described in two words: groovy, and chill. They got people swaying, and even one guy in a front to complete rock out. I am glad I saw them live. The songs are much more memorable now. My only qualm was that they played "Rollerskate" too early in the set. After that, all the other songs melded into one another.
It wasn't the same experience as I had when I saw Voxtrot or Tapes 'n Tapes, but then again, they are much more subtle in their music (See my original post). I'd definitely go see them again, and lucky for me they are playing two more shows this week! Check them out tonight at Rothko or tomorrow at The Living Room. Hopefully I'll see you there.
I promise I'll write better posts when this advil kicks in. If anyone finds a pair of keys and two IDs with my name on it, please let me know.
Posted by Rachael at 9:24 AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I was late for class today because I was fiddling around on my iTunes picking songs that I'd like to listen to today, on this "holiday" of sorts. I came up with 118. I must admit that I have made six volumes of "The Greatest Love Songs" but have yet to make one in at least four years. I had a lot of time on my hands in my younger days, but then again...here I am.
Anyways, I narrowed it down to all the tracks I could find on emusic today (since the majority of my mix was on my iPod). There isn't really one outlook of the mix. It's neither for nor against (I try to always stay neutral), and some don't even have to do with love. But somehow, it all makes sense to me, I swear.
Tonight, come celebrate being anti-Valentines day at Nora's bash at The Skinny.
Valentines Day Mix 2006
Posted by Rachael at 2:17 PM
It's Valentines Day. I'll spare you from my ranting/raving/hopeless thoughts on this holiday. Expect a Valentines Day Mix later today that I am currently narrowing down from the 118 songs I put on my iPod today. I think my favorite (and perhaps the only) reason this holiday exists is to make great love mixes. At least I think so.
I was a huge Lisa Loeb fan when I was a young gal, and I now am rekindling my infatuation with the fantastic guilty pleasure show on VH1, also known as #1 Single. I don't think theres ever been a more charming person on a reality show before, and I think Miss Loeb is the only singer that could pull this type of set-up off. I watched the first episode when I was down in DC and I know Katie is a huge fan. I've DVRed all the episodes now. It's so good. (In spite of the thong incident)
You all know the song "Stay" and because this blog is a place where I can easily embarrass myself, I'll let you know that I used to play this song over and over again in my bedroom and pretend that I was Lisa Loeb. My sister still calls my glasses "Lisa Loeb frames." I had a whole music video planned out complete with my props of a telephone, a picture frame, and a radio. It was genius. Now, "Stay" is my #1 karaoke pick, and still a personal favorite song after all these years.
I hope Lisa Loeb finds love. It'll give hope to us all.
Posted by Rachael at 11:32 AM
Monday, February 13, 2006
Monday Mix, enjoy:
A perfect track to start off the week from my favorite indie chicks. This track is off their 2002 album If It Was You. There's not a day that goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that there is music like Tegan and Sara for the hopeless romantics to listen to...every...day.
This track is almost as strange as this bands name. I completely embrace that insanity. Who knew that you could mix an acoustic guitar with a dance beat, and have it work so effortlessly? I feel like I should be back in London listening to this song, dancing up a storm. Those UK kids are so much cooler.
My brother would kill me if he knew that I was posting this (I doubt he reads my blog anyway), but I found it this weekend and forgot how much I loved it! This is from one of his bands, a demo version of a song they recorded. He was always in bands while we were growing up, and I loved going to see him scream until his veins popped out. This was one of the less-intense songs that really let his voice shine (at least in my opinion). My brother has since sold out to Corporate America. Damn the man!
I still listen to the Youth Group album, Skeleton Jar all the time. It has the ability to completely calm me down. I love this song for the pure movement of it all. I want to take a road trip with the windows down and this album blasting. I need a car, so who's in?
This is a new version of the fabulous demo, off of the forthcoming EP, The Ecstatic. I still enjoy the rawness of the original demos that took over the blogosphere, but this one in particular I think benefited from a real recording. They are playing a big show this Wednesday at Hiro Ballroom with. Grand National (UK) and DJ Cam. Beat Radio goes on at 9:30. Get tickets here.
Thanks to Chris, we have another track from the always-oddly-fantastic band The Knife. This one hardly compares to the wonder that is "Heartbeats" but I still like it. A bit on the creepy side, but in a sugar-coated kind of way. Their new EP Silout Shout is Pitchfork approved (with an 8.6) and you can pre-order it here.
Yet another British band for you to buzz about, Guillemots is one of the most intreiging. I've been listening to them for months now, unsure of a solid opinion. Every song is so different. This one really throws me. But it's fantastical, hinting on some old-school Kinks. It's a wonderful thing where you find a band that can produce an eclectic range of songs and still keep your attention.
It's no secret I'm a huge Maximo Park fan. "Stay" was one of my favorite tracks off of their excellent debut album. Field Music has done a little bit of a remix and it's incredibly engaging. It has provided us with a completely new interpretation of the song, a little more swing-night, taking away the pounding drums, and instead, letting Paul Smith's vocals shine. The lyrics become front and center and all of a sudden you realize it wasn't the happy-go-lucky song you danced to. It's a bittersweet rendition, but I'm appreciative of anything this band puts forth.
Everything about the Doves is a quiet masterpiece. The band has crept along at a steady pace, entrancing those who have the chance to listen and fall in love. Their music itself is at times quiet and somber, but can attack you with just a note. This one is more of the attacking side, than the quiet side, and it's great to see this band attempt at letting loose. It's still incredibly beautiful like every other song on The Last Broadcast, their second album, and perhaps my favorite. Don't tell.
I get the strangest looks when I say I'm not the biggest Sufjan fan. I guess that doesn't fall into the indie-rock-blogger-type-persona. I don't think I really fit in that persona anyway. It's not that I don't think he's great, I just am not as obsessed as everyone else seems to be. But I keep listening, just because there has to be something behind all this hoopla. I enjoy, but again, don't fall off my chair. Don't hate me. I really like this song, ok?
Another British band that is bound to blow up, I've been hearing about Battle on and off for a little here and there. Expect a huge explosion soon. Not only do they have a sound that could be compared to 100 other bands, but they add in their own edge and personality bringing it back to a accessible level. Plus, they are playing the Tarts of Pleasure pre-SXSW show at Rothko on March 13, so they're basically golden now. Right on.
Posted by Rachael at 5:29 PM
I must admit I didn't really pay attention to mid-western bands, until the likes of The Changes and Tapes 'n Tapes came my way. It wasn't a completely conscious decision. It's just hard. There are a lot of bands in America.
Today we go to Milwaukee where a band named New Sense have quickly become a favorite. There must be something in the water because these bands are creating some of the most interesting indie-pop I've been longing to hear. There's no gimmick here, folks. There's something remarkable when a band can create catchy tunes on two different levels: is entirely joyous and intricately designed. They actually remind me a lot of The Changes, which isn't a terrible thing at all. If I had to pick a certain genre or type of music that is my farvorite (although I’m totally open to all), this is right up my alley.
New Sense have three shows this week in New York. (Kinda like when Tapes 'n Tapes played four). I'm definitely going to at least one of them.
2/14 NYC - Pianos - 7:30PM slot
2/15 NYC - Rothko - 9PM slot w/ Mercy The Contours [Astralwerks / ex-Inouk]
2/16 NYC - Living Room - 8PM slot
And then they join up with Voxtrot and yes, Tapes 'n Tapes in their neck of the woods.
2/26 Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club w/ Voxtrot
2/27 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry w/ Voxtrot, Tapes 'N Tapes
New Sense currently has two EPs out: Flowers Before Hours and New Sense. You can buy them here.
Posted by Rachael at 1:54 PM
One of the albums I listened to this weekend was the debut from LA via NYC-er, Supercreep
Yeah. The name threw me off too.
Who wants to listen to a super creep? Apparently me. I got past the name in about 10 seconds. "Mushroom Cloud" is the first official track on his debut album (after an odd introduction that we will just move on from). If there's some formula out there in order to generate a hit, Supercreep (aka Jody Delli Santi) hit every single one on the mark. It was stuck in my head as soon as I heard it, and could picture this song being blasted on a Friday night to some sweaty sweaty hipsters.
I'm not entirely convinced on the album as a whole. It's fun alright, I just don't know if I will be tempted to listen to it as much as I do with other albums. Lyrically, it's a bit one dimensional, and by the third of fourth song, everything seems a bit too regurgitated. But "The Kids" is my personal pick, implementing a bit more brit-rock, bringing down the tempo, and encompassing the clever songwriter I knew was behind the cheap tactics.
Be Supercreep's myspace friend and buy his debut album here.
Posted by Rachael at 12:59 PM
[pic via drudge report via wes]
I hate the snow.
So much for a plentiful weekend of live music. With the prospects of seeing four fantastic bands this weekend, I ended up with a big zero. On Friday I mourned the loss of one of the greatest American TV shows we'll ever see to date. Conor came over and we laughed, we cried, and then I got too drunk out of depression. I'm really going to miss the Bluths.
Saturday I woke up with a pounding headache and the realization that I can't sleep past 7 AM anymore. With the risk of snow on the way, I took a look at my to-do list for the weekend and doing laundry was #1. It was early enough to miss the crowds. By 11 AM, I was finished.
I bummed around Brooklyn for a while and heard the chit-chatter of the big blizzard on its way. I contemplated making the trek to the Lower East Side that night but feared my drunken trek back home in the snow. Instead, I made my friend Susan come out to keep me company. We watched half of season 1 of Lost to the backdrop of a snowy city view. It was pretty looking out the window.
The shuttle train stopped running that night. Both of us were stranded. We looked for ways to keep ourselves entertained. My singing wasn't enough.
Susan showed me the most absurd music video I have ever seen in my life. I guess when you've got David Hasselhoff attached to it, it's bound to be a mockery. Truly amazing.
David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling (your tube)
I managed to make a good dent in my stack of CDs to listen to this week, so expect some good posts this week. But somehow we were easily distracted by a bound-to-be-Oscar-winning film about the wonder that is MySpace.
That's right. Myspace: The Movie. I wish I was kidding. Watch here.
Work is canceled today. Apparently this was the worst snow storm in NYC's history. I'm glad I made good use of my time.
Posted by Rachael at 7:04 AM
Saturday, February 11, 2006
I should have put money on this. The unstoppable boys from Brooklyn, aka The Upwelling have made it through to round numero three. Awesome, is the word you are looking for.
They are now up against Demander, a fellow NY band, but in my humble opinion, no comparison. Vote Vote Vote for The Upwelling. They are currently in the UK tearing up a storm, so let's bring them home to some good news!
The remaining contenders:
Nine Black Alps vs. The Cribs
Imogen Heap vs. Feist
The Upwelling vs. Demander
Nightmare of You vs. Valencia
Voting resumes on Monday.
Posted by Rachael at 9:13 AM
Friday, February 10, 2006
This morning I opened my refigerator to grab the milk for my much needed cup of coffee, and my side shelf fell off, causing everything to smash onto the floor. Luckily, only one thing broke: a bottle of syrup. Now my apartment smells like sugar. As Blaire told me, it was a bit of a sticky situation.
Needless to say, it's been a long week.
This weekend is shaping up to be pretty good, with shows of bands I've yet to see live that I hear only ridiculously positive things about. Tonight Bishop Allen plays their geek-rock for their hometown folk at Pianos. If you haven't bought the January EP, you should. Cause it's now February and time is running out. Purchase here.
Tomorrow it's looking like The Sound Team and The Comas at Mercury, before heading over to Arlene's Grocery for The Gaskets at midnight. Why you ask? Because Jerry says so...in a skit.
I also intend to listen to every single CD I have sitting on my desk, transcribe the interviews I've been putting off, and figure out SXSW. Oh yeah, and do laundry.
Posted by Rachael at 3:47 PM
From my favorite online radio station, WOXY:
In case you missed today's programming announcement, the station is moving towards a listener-supported model because we have not been able to make enough money through advertising to cover the massive bandwidth bills and royalty fees that have to be paid every month. We have been very fortunate to have the initial funding from our angel investors, but now we are turning to our listeners for help to keep the future of rock and roll on the air.
The full details and information on how you can sign-up is all over on WOXY.COM, but the site is being hit hard this afternoon so it may be a little slow. Thanks to everybody for their continued love and support!
Posted by Rachael at 2:26 PM
I was just listening to Levy this morning. I hadn't listened to their impressive debut Rotten Love in about a month, but it's stood the test of time. Just today, they have released a new MP3 up for download, the hopelessly love striken track "Rector Street."
The single for "On The Dance Floor," released on February 13, will be available on CD & Limited Edition Grey 7". Plus, every copy will be signed by the band! So you can get this now, and say you knew them when. The band just got back from another tour in the UK and will be playing Knitting Factory main stage on February 21. And, if I have anything to do with it, they'll play another NYC date soon after.
Click here for the free download.
Posted by Rachael at 1:17 PM
Jerry has been singing Brit-based band Tunng's praises for weeks now. I listened and found them interesting. They covered "The Pioneers" by Bloc Party, which I found to be a unique take, but falling a little bit on the bland side. But I was on the subway last night, and "Tale From Black" came on. It had my undivided attention (which can be hard for me). I listened. I played it again. I played it again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
This song is so intricately developed song that sounds seamlessly simple. The acoustic guitar that opens will be stuck in your head for days. It pounds away, introducing an ultra-British vocalist that sings what could be mistaken for a folk song. Hinting at a strong drumbeat, it continues with that haunting guitar track. Until then, yes then, you find your head nodding away (as mine did last night) with this newly introduced beat. In comes a beautiful female vocalist with old-school piano samples. I actually had chills listening to it.
It's an incredible mix of so many genres, that I can honestly say that you can't put it one category. It's the same execution that Bloc Party uses, unafraid to take risks with their influences, and end up creating something quite beautiful.
Tunng's debut album This is Tunng: Mother's Daughter and Other Songs will be released on Ace Fu Records in the US on February 21st. But you can buy it now as DRM-free mp3 files from Bleep for $9.99 here. Jerry said "Believe me... don't wait. This is the first great album that I've heard this 2006."
I'm on it.
15th - End Of An Ear, 2209 South First Street, Austin TX 78704, USA [afternoon instore, with My Education and more tbc]
16th - The Velvet Spade, Austin TX, USA [Ace Fu showcase, with Pterodactyl, B
Posted by Rachael at 7:27 AM
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Finally, some good news this week. I found out last night that it's official -- they are letting me come to SXSW! I have no idea where I am staying or how I'm getting there, but I'll be there. I'll sleep in the venues if I have to.
I've never been to Texas, let alone to SXSW. I'm pumped.
Posted by Rachael at 7:28 AM
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
I hate this time of year. I decided that the only thing that is going to make me happy is this puppy. If you want to be my valentine, that little puppy would probably go over pretty well.
In the midst of a lot of ridiculous things going on my life right now, I've created a mix for you and for me to listen to, together, like one nice big happy blogger family. Yeah, I have no idea either.
Let's all just be nice to one another, ok?
Posted by Rachael at 2:54 PM
Seth and Katherine went to the Matt Pond PA show last night at Bowery Ballroom and said the show was great. Seth even sent me a text message while I was at Fat Baby that said: Matt Pond's a cool dude...he's just chillin at the bar. Got to talk to him and tell him that PA loves him.
Unfortunately, this world is a sucky place and bad things happen to good people. I just got the following email in my inbox. A lot of sketchy things are happening in Greenpoint these days, it seems.
Hello websites and bloggers!
I implore you to help Matt Pond PA! Last night following the first show of their tour in New York's Bowery Ballroom, all of the band's equipment was stolen from their trailer as it sat in Greenpoint, Brooklyn overnight.
Please post this list of items missing and a note about what happened on your site if you can. Maybe this can help the band recover some of their stuff. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.
Gibson 1968 ES335 guitar, sunburst
Gibson 2005 ES335 guitar, black
Guild Starfire guitar - natural finish
Guild Starfire guitar - red finish
Gibson Epiphone ES335 guitar - sunburst
Gibson Epiphone casino elitist guitar - natural finish - serial T403863
Gibson Epiphone Sheraton guitar - black
1994 Fender Jazzmaster guitar - sunburst
1992 Fender reissue 1957 Precision Bass
1973 Ludwig 5 piece drum set with Zildjian cymbals
Rivera Quiana studio 212 guitar amplifier -
2 Roland KC350 keyboard amplifiers
Nord Electro 2 61 key electric piano
Line 6 guitar delay effects pedal
Ernie Ball volume pedal
Boss tuner pedal
Boss tremolo pedal
Ibanez tube screamer pedal
If you have any information regarding this equipment, please contact their manager:
Andy Kipnes: (212) 924-2929, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Rachael at 12:47 PM
When my alarm went off at 6:45 this morning, getting out of my warm bed was the last thing I wanted to do. I contemplated playing hooky, but I decided that even though I am up the wazoo in debts, I must go to work. The more I work the closer I am to buying a plane ticket to some remote island. Just me, sunglasses, the beach, and an iPod. If anyone would like to contribute to Rachael's wellbeing fund, let me know.
Last night I successfully made it to every show I intended to. That doesn't always happen. I started the night out at Pianos where I met Soffia for some cheap eats. Seriously, if you are looking for some quality food and drinks on a budget, Pianos is the place to go. Before 7 PM they have a happy hour menu where drinks are $2 and a delic hamburger on an english muffin bun is only $5. Seriously worth it.
Conor and Abby joined us soon after, and Wes was gearing up for his weekly Cross Pollination show. I have been meaning to check this out numerous times before, so I was happy that I had the chance to last night. Eugene was quite wonderful, and perfect for the laxed setting. He reminded me of an early Ben Harper, less literal, more mood orientated. Alexandra Scott was equally as impressive. Katherine (who I will link soon enough, once she gets a blog) described her as a Joanna Newsom, when she actually sings words. The two artists played together at the end to an interested crowd. No sightings of any folk from
Love Monkey, sorry Seth.
Seth and Katherine wandered off to Bowery to catch Matt Pond PA while I met Joe to walk over to Rothko, where we caught the tail end of Up The Empire's set. I wasn't feeling the vocals immediately but by the end of the song, I started to get into it a little bit more. I would have to see a full set to really form an opinion. Matt was a fan. I ran into George and Jess of El Jezel who I haven't seen in forever. Always nice running into them.
The GoStation took their time getting on stage next, which I wasn't too happy about since I had another show to go to afterwards. I assume it wasn't to spite me. Once they got up on stage, I immediately was transferred into my "GoStation mood" which is a happy place to be. I've seen these guys numerous numerous times, and know those songs like the back of my hand. The new lineup is serving them well -- this is probably the best I've heard them play. All the pieces are in place now, I'm ready to see these guys shine like they deserve.
We quickly said our goodbyes and affirmations to the band, before running over to Fat Baby. If I had to make a list of my least favorite venues, Fat Baby is quickly rising to the top. I love the upstairs and the bar, but as soon as I walk down those steps I feel as though I'm walking into my hell. The place was packed for Men, Women, & Children. We opted to stay behind the curtain since there was only about a foot in front of us where we could stand.
I unfortunately wasn't as taken by Men, Women, & Children as I wish I had been. Maybe it was because I was staring at a black curtain instead of the band the entire time. The sound was off, but it looked like (from what I could make out) that the crowd was having a good time. I'd definitely check them out again, because I'm still digging those tracks.
Here's two more tracks from Men, Women, & Children that they played last night. Their album is out on March 14.
Posted by Rachael at 11:30 AM