Friday, March 31, 2006

April 7: Underrated Presents @ FONTANAS

Just a quick update. Next FRIDAY's show (April 7) has been moved to Fontana's. It's still very much on, and we still have our fabulous lineup. So come them all out next week!

April 7, 2006: Underrated Presents...

New Sense
The Undisputed Heavyweights
The Gaskets
Palomar

at Fontana's (105 Eldridge Street)

Times, Open Bar, and RSVP TBA.

MP3's

  • New Sense - Rollerskate
  • Undisputed Heavyweights - Money
  • The Gaskets - The Easy Life
  • Palomar - Knockout

  • Editors @ Webster Hall

    IMG_4536.JPG

    After seeing the Editors four times now, there's only one thing comparable with Interpol...

    ...those same damn lights that look great in concert, but make my pictures awful.

    I'm sick of everyone calling them Interpol knock-offs, or any aspect of that statement. I've told every single person that they need to see them live, and then all comparisons will be forgotten. I love Interpol and all, but when I am bored when I see them play live. It sounds great, but it's quite uninteresting. Editors succeed in sounding phenomenal (even in Webster, which I'm having few complaints about these days) and creating a unique intensity that is both alarming and comforting.

    The first time I saw Editors play (last summer in Ireland), I commented on the fact that Tom Smith looked as though he could rip the skin off of his face the minute he gets into a song. Eight months later, a platinum selling UK release, and a gig at Webster Hall, he's still doing the same thing. It's about time musicians show us on stage what goes through their head when writing a song. If you are going to create an art form and let it be public, please don't skim us on the experience.

    Somehow I always manage to get drunk at an Editors show, even when I don't intend to. Due to some ill-fated Sushi (found a hair, lost my appetite), I had one rather large glass of wine at the show and was pretty loopy. I was towards the back, and danced up quite the storm. The set hasn't changed from any of the other times I've seen them (except they played two new songs that were quite good), and the "Fingers in the Factories" closer was as solid as ever.

    I refuse to debate this anymore. Go see them live, and then we'll talk.

    Bye Bye Bye

    Last night at the Editors shows at Webster, Nora brought up a valid point: what ever happened to the Spin.com Band of the Year?

    Answer: Nothing.

    Given what's going on with the print version, I could feel sympathetic for the staff and understand that the contest may be delayed. But I'm not. There's been far too many borderline lazy aspects of both the magazine and the website in the last few years that they can't start something and not finish. Bands are waiting on this. Weird fans (like me) want to vote and have their favorite band win the unnecessary title.

    Don't start something you can't finish.

    Last we heard, these were the finals:

    ROUND THREE MATCH-UPS: REGIONAL FINALS
    Check back soon for Round 3 results!

    BRIT ROCK
    Nine Black Alps vs. The Cribs

    INDIE
    Imogen Heap vs. Feist

    UNDERGROUND
    The Upwelling vs. Demander

    ALL-AGES
    Nightmare of You vs. Valencia


    The "check back soon" has been up for over a month now. Don't even get me started on how it wouldn't let me vote 99% of the time. 2006 is going to be over before they proclaim 2005's Band of the Year.

    Nice knowing you, Spin.

    Thursday, March 30, 2006

    Last night was a continuation in the Rachael should stop going out and get some sleep mindset that has invaded my schedule. For sometime yesterday I toyed with the idea of a relaxing date with America's Next Top Model and Lost instead of my date with two out of town bands. But no, music trumps television. Thank god for DVR.

    IMG_4506.JPG

    So I started out at Mercury lounge (after watching Top Model, thank GOD that Gina is out PS). Jerry and I took in a set by Austin's What Made Milwaukee Famous (or MILF as Jerry calls them). After a huge recommendation from Nikki, I was expecting fireworks. There are a lot of elements that could have been the cause of my dissapointment, but overall it was good. Just not great. It's definitely an interesting sound, straight forward indie rock mixed with Ninentendo like sound effects and then a little bit of twang. For me, it just lacked a consistency. I wasn't sure exactly what they were doing. Half way through the set they played my favorite "Hellodrama" and it sounded superb (lead singer has a phenomenal voice, even in spite of his said larigintis). But then I was lost a little for the remainder. It could have been that I was just tired. I still found them pleasing enough that I'd check them out next time around.

    IMG_4517.JPG

    I put my yawns aside because I was so stoked to finally see the DC boys, The Hard Tomorrows play for the first time. It's been ages since they played in NYC, so I had to go show my support, since I've been a fan of their recordings for about a year now. So how did they fair out live? Beyond my expectations. And that's saying a lot.

    As soon as they played "Put Yourself Out" (second song, mind you) I was sold. And then it just kept getting better. The Hard Tomorrows have this sort of curse upon them (read about it in the next issue of the mag) so it seems as though something always goes wrong. Last night was no different, with strings breaking all over the place, but it still wound up well. "Glassy Eyed Sweetheart" was my favorite point at the night. The song is great on recording (I DJ it every week, so you can come dance on Tuesday) but hearing Rob screetch out those vocals brought it to a whole new level.

    Check out Rob performing next Saturday at Rockwood Music Hall. The Hard Tomorrow's will be back at Arlenes on April 15.

    (I then went home and instead of getting the much needed sleep, I watched Lost. I couldn't wait a whole day. Poor Henry Gale, the fake one of course. Even if he is an other, I still like him. And what was with that black light diagram? They are toying with us now. Stop it!)

    Decisions, Decisions

    Some business to get out of the way on this beautiful thursday morning.

    If anyone is looking for a ticket for tonight's Editors show at Webster, let me know. My friend has an extra ticket and is selling at face value. If you haven't seen the band, you totally should. They are awesome. Email me or IM me if you are interested.

    I need help!

    Two flyers. Need to pick one to print up and I can't decide. Which do you like better?



    or



    Leave your choice in the comments.

    Wednesday, March 29, 2006

    Stop and Shoot | The Hard Tomorrows

    I wish someone taught me time management. I have so much to report on lately, but never enough time. There are two huge stacks of CDs on my desk -- one of which I need to write about, and the other that I still need to listen to. We also have the next issue of the magazine that needs to be finished, the show next week that needs to be situation, plus I graduate in a month and will have to find a new job. One day at a time. One day.

    So for tonight, I got two shows and two bands on my mind - both of which I haven't seen before which is super exciting. I didn't get to see What made Milwaukee Famous last night because everything at Pianos was pushed later and I had my DJ duties to attend to, but lucky for me they are playing Mercury tonight. See yesterday's post for mp3s from the band.

    After that I will run over to Arlene's Grocery because my favorite DC band, The Hard Tomorrows have graced NYC with their presence. I've been waiting. Semi-patiently. And now they are here. Yay!



    I caught up with Rob in Austin and he gave me a sample of songs from their upcoming debut LP. Fantastic stuff. A nice continuation from the five-song demo that I got a year ago that made me fall in love with the band. If you are looking for some quality indie-rock-pop that will make you realize music can be both catchy and clever, then listen up. And come check them out tonight at Arlene's to see if they can (and will) live up to my expectations live.

    Rob is also back April 8 to play a solo show at the wonderful Rockwood Music Hall and then the band comes back again to Arlene's Grocery on April 15.

  • The Hard Tomorrows - Stop and Shoot
  • The Hard Tomorrows - Glossy Eyed Sweetheart (my favorite)
  • The Hard Tomorrows - Put Yourself Out (from 5 Song EP, buy here)

  • Hell Of A Day | Taylor Hicks


    Last night before heading over to Pianos, I stopped by Susan's apartment and I made her watch American Idol. I have to admit, I am obsessed with the gray-haired swooner, Taylor Hicks. Obsessed is not an understatement. I scour message boards and websites. I came across this a couple weeks ago:

    Taylor....
    If you are out there reading you MUST, if you haven't already, listen to Ray Lamontagne. If you do not know him, he has an amazing passion that I also see in you. You'd love him, I know it! His CD is "Trouble". Take a listen, I swear I would not let you down. If you do know of Ray then I hope you share the same love for him that I do. Good Luck!


    I whole heartedly agreed. Taylor has got the same execution and innate soul that Mr. Lamontagne has. And last night, I litterally screamed when Taylor performed "Trouble."

    It was wonderful. My favorite of the night. The rest of the contestants picked awful awful songs. It was contemporary night, which meant they could pick anything from the last six years. Kudos to Mr. Hicks for picking a song that wasn't a #1 hit and actually fit his vocal stylings.

    Even if he doesn't win (which I'm going to assume he wont -- it's going to Chris), he'll always be my American Idol.

    Now someone find me a clip or mp3 of last night's performance and you'll be my best friend forever.

    [UPDATE!!! Jerry is officially my new best friend. He has the mp3 AND video of last night's performance. He also provides a link to Taylor's blog Gray Charles. I LOVE IT!]

    But for now, enjoy some pre-Idol Hicks.

  • Taylor Hicks - Hell of a Day

  • Spaceman | Birdmonster

    Number of celebrities at last night's Get On Your Dancing Shoes = 3
    Number of times I played Tom Vek = 0

    Something doesn't seem quite right.

    Well we kicked it off, and we kicked it off right. There was dancing, sparked by the now infamous Jocelyn, who is now officially the Underrated dancing queen. Seriously. Come next week to see her moves. She was the talk of the night.

    Well, not completely. We had Mr. Tobia Funke in presence, aka the wonderfully awesome David Cross, as well as Mango himself, Chris Kattan, and Ryan Adam's ex, Parkey Posey. My goodness. They must have all heard about how cool Tuesday nights at Pianos are now. I'm sure.

    The new Birdmonster and Voxtrot songs went over quite well, perhaps infused my my giddiness playing them. I can't help it, they are so good. But it was definitely The Killers, and ahem, Kelly Clarkson, that got the crowd moving. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

    How did I forget to play my lover Tom Vek? Next week he gets two. It's only fair. Come next Tuesday and see what all the celebs are talking about. Before you know it, we'll be in US Weekly.

    Or not.

    NEW SONGS!

  • Birdmonster - Spaceman
  • Voxtrot - Soft and Warm

    Pre-order Birdmonster's No Midnight here.
    Pre-order Voxtrot's Mother, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP here

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    It's a leap of faith, Jack

    Now I know what it feels like to be in the hatch:


    Hellodrama | What Made Milwaukee Famous


    I heart weird bands name. What Made Milwaukee Famous is a great one. This band hails from Austin, yes Austin, and is in town this week playing a slew of shows.

    Due to a extremely positive recommendation from Nikki I will be peeping in to check them out tonight at Pianos before I head upstairs, and then checking out a full set tomorrow at Mercury Lounge. The mp3s alone are pretty damn enjoyable, and Nikki's email alone got me there:

    I don't know if you're planning on checking out What Made Milwaukee Famous this week, but I highly recommend that you do. I saw WMMF at Southpaw tonight, and I fell easily in love with the band. The show started out with a sparse crowd that quickly grew as people arrived throughout the set, and the stragglers came closer to the stage. I would say four songs in, WMMF had people dancing. The set was short but sweet and amazing. Poppy indie-ness that had catchy choruses, plus the band just looked like they were having a great time. I have a feeling that the crowds will swell as the week goes on.


    Speaking of emails, I just got this message from my future DJ partner (when she moves to NYC this summer) and I fell off my chair laughing.
    and i saw lance armstrong last night.
    we rode bikes, it was nice.
    he says hi and LIVESCHLONG.

    Oh boy. We are going to be quite the duo.

    I'll let you know how WMMF is tomorrow! But for now check out some awesomeness that are also known as mp3s from the band.
  • What Made Milwaukee Famous - Hellodrama
  • What Made Milwaukee Famous - Amost Always Never
  • What Made Milwaukee Famous - iDecide

  • Crystal Clear

    First off, I need to clarify a couple things.

  • April 7 showcase is not at Crash Mansion. Unfortunately due to things out of our hands, we have to move it somewhere else or change the date. If we change the date, the lineup will have to change. We are working really hard on finding a new place for the 7th because we LOVE our lineup, so we will keep you posted. (PS - that lineup does not include Human Television. Sorry! We got filled up, but will have them at another show!)

  • The Underrated Magazine website is under a HUGE reconstruction. We are working really really hard on it (and it looks great so far) so please be patient. That also means that I won't be able to update here nearly as often so don't get mad.

  • The next issue of the magazine WILL be out sometime next month. I know it's been a while, but we've all been super busy. You'll love it once it gets into your hands, I promise.

  • Congrats to Laura for winning the Editors contest! The band is playing tonight @ Warsaw and Thursday @ Webster. I'll be there on Thursday.

  • Underrated kicks off its weekly party TONIGHT!



    Be there every week for the best underrated and overrated tracks that you know you love. We'll keep you dancing all night long.

    TONIGHT: To kick it off, we have exclusive new tracks from BIRDMONSTER and VOXTROT!!

    COMING UP: VERY special guest DJs and afterparties galore.

    Wednesday mornings will never be the same.

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    Arctic Monkeys, Birdmonster, and more animals for your listening pleasure

    So I'm sitting here, about to strangle HTML in the face, but the only thing that is keeping me satisfied is the fact that I'm listening to the new Birdmonster album. If I used profanities in this blog, I'd use it now, cause wow. I'm impressed.

    I need to digest it a bit more (aka listen to it about 100 more times) but head on over to Chris's site for "Spaceman" or over to Robot Mark for "Balcony." Be warned, you are going to see a lot about these boys on the blogosphere. Especially this one.

    Preorder No Midnight here. Right now. Trust me.

    Speaking of bands on the blogs, I caught the now infamous Arctic Monkeys at Webster Hall on Saturday. It was a really fun show, although I'm convinced that teh audience had a lot more fun than the band did. They lacked a lot of emotion, but made up for it with a steller set. I was surprised how good the sound in Webster was, because it sounded god awful for openers Spinto Band (although I still love them). The crowd could have been a bit more interested, and less annoying (a girl behind us actually yelled "you guys are f*cking prolific," I cringed a bit). Sadly, I imagine this to be the first and last time I'll see them. Any bigger than Webster is a bit too much for me. We shall see.

    Arctic Monkeys @ Webster

    You know that song "Dancing Shoes?" Well some of the lyrics are going to be popping up here a lot now. Every tuesday, I'm DJing an Underrated Party at Pianos Upstairs Lounge. More details (aka flyer) tomorrow, but for now, clear your scheudles. You don't want to miss the kickoff.

    Underrated Presents...

    GET ON YOUR DANCING SHOES

    Every Tuesday night @ Pianos Upstairs Lounge

    DJ Rachael + Special Guests

    10 PM - Late

    21+, FREE!

    Under Construction

    Phew. I almost thought I lost the whole blog for a second there.


    Be patient. I'm currently in the process of moving EVERYTHING over to www.underratedmagazine.com.


    But you know me, I mess up a lot of things on the way.


    So hopefully by the end of the today everything will be up there. I'll try and get my Arctic Monkeys review in, but for now check out the other NYC blogs or my pictures on flickr.

    Love Is All @ Knitting Factory

    Love Is All @ Knitting Factory

    Thank you New York.

    Sometimes you need a late night show from a quirky Norwegian band to wake everyone up. It was near 1 AM when Love Is All took the stage. I felt myself fading, quickly, during the two openers. But as soon as they opened into "Talk Talk Talk" my eyes shot open.

    The packed crowd at Knitting Factory was one of the best crowds I have been part of. Love Is All was one of the best live bands I've seen. There was jumping, yelling, moshing, dancing -- the amount of energy in that tiny room was even a surprise to the band. The adorable Josephine Olausson kept on saying "Wow."

    When I left, that's all I could say too.

    Check out some more mp3s at Village Indian and Amrit's review on Stereogum.

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    A Brief Smile's Concert "Tips"

    Oh those boys of A Brief Smile. Not only will they be playing every Thursday in April, but that crazy drummer Louie has offered us his concert tips, as follows:

    Be Respectful – For as long as I can remember, respect has always been number 1 on every list I’ve ever seen, except Rolling Stone’s Top 500 songs of all time, but that list didn’t even include “Silent Lucidity” by Queensr(Y with the umlaut over it)che, so all cred lost.

    No Gum Chewin – A Brief Smile figures; you can’t be chewin gum in school, you can’t be chewin gum at sunday school, you can’t be chewin gum at summer camp, you can’t be chewin gum when you swim, you can’t be chewin gum when you’re eatin other food, you can’t be swallowin gum cause your stomach can’t be digestin it so don’t chew gum at our shows either, unless it’s nicorette because……

    NO SMOKING!!!!! That means no cigarettes, because 1 of the 5 members of A Brief Smile is allergic to cigarettes, at least that’s what I think the stinging down there is from.

    No Song requests – No need—everyone already knows you’re drunk, or maybe you just like making out with ugly people. Plus, A Brief Smile’s set lists were all made years in advance by Jared’s super computer. I know what you’re all thinking, and yes, we have set lists from the future with song titles we’ve yet to come up with, and yes, Jared’s super computer gets porn years in advance too—5 dollars at the door for every Tuesday “Porn From The Future” Night—chicks are welcome too:)

    Wear comfortable clothing – sweat pants, sweat shirts, sweat underwear, sweat shoes, sweat blazers (I know you hipsters were wondering) sweat socks, sweat hats and fog proof sweat glasses, cause our shows make ye sweat.

    Bring Proper Identification – We want you to “get in” but we don’t want to go to jail because you said you were 18 when we were in the bathroom but your mommy was waiting outside the club with the van parked and her arms folded with her “you’re grounded for life” face on, cause I’ve been to jail already and I’m not going back!

    Gentleman, bring a lady friend – the soulful crooonins of our lead singer Dl are an aural aphrodisiac— and your money back if you don’t get lucky later that night (if not right there on the dance floor). Just kidding… you’re not getting your money back.

    No Cussing – None of you disgusting, foul, potty, mouth should be washed out with soap mouths are welcome at our shows. You’re not welcome in our restaurants, our water fountains, our children’s playgrounds, our sections of the movie theaters, our bathrooms or the front of our buses either.

    Don’t come alone – Most cities in the USA are dangerous to peruse solo in the post-dwde (post Darkwing Duck era) and don’t count on Jack Bauer either because we all know what he’s doing for an hour every week; not saving your ass! The unexpected cancellation of “James Bond Jr.” didn’t help either so invite a friend who packs heat, owns some Kevlar, or sees green numbers everywhere he looks.

    No Secular Jews Allowed – Variation is a good thing, actually it’s a great thing. It’s the very thing that those Nazis tried to destroy with their failed erection of the Third Reich. Secular Judaism attacks the Jewish foundations that make the real Judaism interesting and different. Secular Judaism is a virus infiltrating our communities in a passive, “wolf in sheep’s clothing” way similar to globalization (I mean Americanization but shhh, don’t let my grandpa hear… cause he watches the O’Reilly Factor) is making every exotic city in the world look like... I don’t know, Cleveland, which by the way is a stupid place for the rock n roll hall of fame. Cleveland doesn’t rock, it Cleaves!… hehe, I said failed erection. [louie has an unavoidable bias in this field and in regards to this tip....i mean rule]

    Don’t try to make friends with us after the show – In a perfect world we would all love each other and remember each others names and birthdays and food allergies (so sorry Allison about those peanut butter cookies I gave you 3 weeks after your birthday, hope the hives are gone and your breathing is back to normal … it’s Allison right?). Besides, friends are just for losers who ain’t getting none, and a brief smile is getting some after the show—not making friends with you, loser.

    Leave your clown makeup at home – Recently A Brief Smile played a show at some club and a group of 12 or so clowns jumped out of a Bug and preceded to order drinks and have a good time. This is unacceptable and I’ll tell you why some other time.

    Try to be conscious of the people around you – I was at this show once, and this dude was… how do I say this without offending the Puritans… ummm, he was, ok… there was a girl and a guy….two people… they had fingers.. umm there might have been probing of some sort… standing up… lets just say they were… there was moaning involved…umm… it wasn’t a Phish show or some Jam orgy, and it wasn’t their bedroom. What I’m trying to say is God help you if I were to catch you doing that at one of our shows, because I’d take my sticks and give your ass a probing so hard it would make Richard Simmons blush.

    Have Fun! – Sober or not, A Brief Smile shows are fun. Here, I’ve made a “fun” list!
    A Brief Smile on…..

    Sober – 5.74 – excitement level is slightly elevated. One may become simultaneously appreciative and critical.
    Juice – 6.69 – Thank god this band is loud enough to drown out whatever the girl I came with is saying/who is that drummer and why am I so turned on right now?
    Treez – 7.78 – first half of the show you’re like, “hell yea, that’s like, a lot of sounds coming at me, I feel that” second half of the show, “dude, what if Phish came out right now, I am tooootally craving a sick Reba”.
    Whipits - 8.23– the first 5 seconds of “And so it begins” was RIDICULOUS!
    Cocaine – 3.34 – Nausea, numbness, gross taste in the back of your throat, feel chatty but the music is too loud to talk over, “what the hell was I thinking…. I need to go to the bathroom to…. Uh….. pee”.
    Ecstasy – 8.36 – totally in love with the music, like, you feel literally every possible vibration.
    L.S.D – 9.2 it’s just so strange how all 5 members of the band came into existence at such close times. Think about it, the world has been around for over 6 billion years and yet these 5 have come together all for this one night where they fuse their souls, I can see their souls fusing.
    Heroin – 10.0 Heroin is amazing, that’s why people are so messed up when they don’t have it and if I hear one more person say, “Heroin? Are you crazy? Haven’t you seen Requiem For A Dream???” I swear I’m going to explode.

    Now obey all those rules and come see them every week.

    What I'm Fighting For | Matisyahu

    I got a long awaited (and much needed) paycheck yesterday, which meant I got to buy new music. That = awesome. I decided to go the chill route, because for the next month or so I really need to start focuses (and stop dancing) so I can get my life in order. So my way of deciding to focus is to buy music that won't make me jump around like an idiot. Welcome to my reasoning, it's a fun place to be.


    I had been hearing a lot about this guy named Matisyahu in all the music press, but hadn't heard any of his music. When I was visiting some friends a couple weeks ago they had his CD, so I gave it a listen. I was honestly surprised by how raw and beautiful his voice was. Some songs are not the greatest and the album as a whole doesn't like up to all the hype that it is receiving, However, there are some real great moments. I think if you look beyond what has made him immediately popular, you will find that he is still incredibly talented. The best is yet to come, in my humble opinion.

  • Matisyahu - What I'm Fighting For

    Jose Gonzalez @ Fader Tent (SXSW)

    I finally got the wonderful and talented Jose Gonzalez debut and it's already a favorite. I had most of the songs downloaded from a lot of different blogs, but I'm glad to have the complete work that I can play over and over again. It has a quality of transportation that I can't quite get my finger on. Gonzalez is so quiet and reflective that it's almost as if he made this album for himself. It's absolutely stunning. I'll see him for the second time Monday at the free instore at Other Music.

  • Jose Gonzalez - Lovestain



    And you will be happy to know that I have decided to see Love Is All tonight at Knitting Factory. I just like their songs a little bit more. Especially this one. I must have listened to it about 600 times today. Can't wait to see them perform live.

  • Love Is All - Make Out Fall Out Make Up

  • Insistor | Tapes 'n Tapes

    Sick of SXSW recaps? Me too. Kinda.

    But this video cracked me up. Tapes 'n Tapes are big time now. And We Are Scientists are always funny and charming in that indie-rock-good-looking way.

    Forgive me, it's Friday and I am oh-so-tired.

    So just watch! [via stereogum]



    Have you heard of this band Tapes 'n Tapes? Just checking.

  • Tapes 'n Tapes - Insistor

  • MetaGirl | Second Dan

    Crickey!

    Last night's Aussie Assault was jam packed with good bands and even better accents. I secretly wanted each band to just stand up on stage and speak rather than play. I'm just a gal who's a sucker for the aussies. Jocelyn and I managed to get drunk by about 8:30, which made DJing the rest of the night quite interesting. I must say: Jocelyn has got the dance moves. Next time you see her out, just ask her to do her robot move. To Weezer. It's great.

    All of the bands were pretty good, and having not known a thing about them before last night, it was sorta what my SXSW should have been like. (But I think I had more fun anyway). But like Wes would say, none of them were very memorable.

    Of the five bands, Second Dan was my favorite, and that could be due to the fact that they were up first. The lead singer is the only aussie of the group (they are now based in NYC) so even though Jocelyn thinks that was false advertising, I'm okay with it.

    Here's a live version of one of their tracks. Listen to that accent and swoon with me.

  • Second Dan - MetaGirl (Live)

  • Thursday, March 23, 2006

    April 7: Underrated Presents...

    And we've got a lineup...

    Friday: April 7, 2006
    Underrated Presents
    at Crash Mansion (199 Bowery)
    Open Bar, Free Admission, you know the drill by now

    WITH:
    New Sense
    The Undisputed Heavyweights
    The Gaskets
    Palomar

    More details, mp3s, djs, flyers next week.

    Get ready!

    New York Aussie Assault



    I've always wanted to go to Australia. One day, I will. But until then, I'll just go see Aussie bands.

    Last night was part one of a two day "New York Aussie Assault". Part two is tonight at Crash Mansion where I will be DJing. Come check out the ones you (and I) missed at SXSW and dance with me inbetween acts. $10 gets you in plus an hour of open bar. Doors open at 7:30.

    The Lineup:

  • Second Dan - Running Out Of Feelings
  • Kiss Chasy
  • Shifter - The Game
  • Gyroscope
  • Function -Beloved, Lost to Begin With

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    Silent Sigh | Badly Drawn Boy

    Rachael: sigh
    Rachael: my blogger counter was reset
    Conor: sigh not
    Rachael: i'll sigh if i want to
    Conor: well im saying you shouldn't want to sigh
    Rachael: sigh
    Conor: sigh-gone?
    Rachael: clever
    Conor: sigh-low
    Conor: sigh-ite see
    Rachael: less clever
    Conor: Paul sigh-mon
    Rachael: better

  • Badly Drawn Boy - Silent Sigh

  • Used Goods | Love Is All

    VS.

    I'm having a very hard decision for Friday night. And no, unfortunately I do not have two rather attractive men waiting for me to make that said decision behind door #1 or door #2. Unfortunately, life is not like reality television.

    Sometimes it should.

    Then I could have maybe a nondescript host ask me what I am thinking and who I am going to give the rose to. Or maybe America could vote in. OR maybe, maybe there could be a competition and a walk off. Or! They could battle it out in the reverse tug of war.

    But then they’d just cut to commercial.

    Instead, I'm left deciding between Mystery Jets at Mercury or Love Is All at Knitting Factory. My gut is telling me to go to Knitting Factory. I heard mixed reviews from Mystery Jet showgoers at Austin Texas, but I'm digging both bands.

    Sigh. What's an indecisive blogger to do?

  • Love Is All - Used Goods
  • Mystery Jet - Zoo Time

  • EDITORS Contest!!

    Editors @ Diesel-U Party (SXSW)

    We at Underrated have seen Editors three times now. We sincerely love them. Their debut album came out yesterday in the US, and if you hadn't already snagged the import, go buy it now.

    SO! Since our favorite boys are coming back next week for two shows here in NYC, we thought it was due time to start up some contests. So welcome to the first Underrated contest where we will be giving away:

    A SIGNED 7 Inch with "Bullets" and "Time To Slow Down"

    PLUS

    The "Munich" Single with the awesome Stereolab cover, "French Disko" on it.


    All you have to do is answer one little question.

    QUESTION: What is lead singer Tom Smith's favorite album?

    All correct answers will be eligible and we will choose the winner at random. Email mail@underratedmagazine.com by FRIDAY (March 24) at 5 PM to be considered.

    Good luck!

    Your Eyes Are Liars | Sound Team



    I've traded in indie-rock for guilty pleasure TV. I spent last night watching American Idol and Nip/Tuck DVDs. I love Taylor Hicks. I want him to win.

    I'll be back on Friday, I swear.

    For now, enjoy this awesome track by blogger favorites SOUND Team. I missed them when they came to NYC last month and I missed them again in Austin. One day, I will see them.

    I swear.

  • The SOUND Team - Your Eyes Are Liars

  • Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    The Good Life

    One of our favorite and long time writers for Underrated has hit the big time now with an article on MTV.com about Matt Sharp's (from one of her favorite bands Weezer side project, The Rentals resurrection.

    Congrats Jocelyn! We couldn't be more proud of you.

    Just don't forget about the little people now that you've sold out all mainstream media style. We still know where you live.

    And stop stalking Kurt Loder.

    Part Of You | Nest


    We're going to continue the day with some more "chill" music because we're still exhausted from Austin. I meant to post about the LA based band Nest weeks ago, but completely spaced out. Better late than never, right?.

    Lead singer Ayana Haviv is the main component in this band with her sweet sultry voice that is equally calming as entrancing. The piano driven melodies are backed by the rest of the band but it's Haviv's voice that you'll remember. The band describes themselves as "Imogen Heap meets Portishead meets Fiona Apple" which isn't completely far off. It's a good mixture of a lot of indie elements, packaged together to be completely pop ready.

    Hear more tracks and buy their self-released EP off their website. Be their friend on myspace too.

  • Nest - Part Of You

  • I'll Always Be Your Loser, Honey | The Sharp Things


    It's been said that less is more. But it's also been said that the more the merrier. So which is it? Huh?

    For the case in New York City's own The Sharp Things, there is beauty in numbers. (I'm trying to see how many clich├ęs I can put in one review, so bear with me) What has been called a "mini orchestra", at least ten people took part in their latest effort Foxes & Hounds a clever little record that croons and swoons in the sweetest of ways.

    When I thought about what I liked about this album, the words "easy listening" came to mind. But when I think of easy listening I think of those horrid radio stations my mother made me listen to, or that are always playing at the dentist office. But if you break down the words, it just means music that is easy to listen to. And that's definitely The Sharp Things. I've found myself putting the album on repeat while at work and it makes the day pass by a little bit easier. I'll pass it along to my mom too, I think she'd dig it.

    The band’s debut record, Here Comes the Sharp Things was released in 2003 on their own Dive Records and was recorded in just two sessions. Foxes & Hounds was released by Bar/None Records in May of last year. Under The Radar said it is "... 14 songs of string, piano, and horn brilliance."

    The Sharp Things play The Living Room April 8.

  • The Sharp Things - I'll Always Be Your Loser, Honey
  • The Sharp Things - The Suicide Bombers
  • The Sharp Things - There Will Be Violins

  • Bohemian Rhapsody | The Flaming Lips

    So I tried not to be too bummed about everything I missed at SXSW this year. I did what I could, and had a great time. But I have to say, the one I was particularly bummed about was the "secret" Flaming Lips show.

    Now, thanks to Jordan, I can enjoy their opening number in video form.

    Holy crap, this looked AWESOME.

    Flaming Lips - Bohemian Rhapsody (Live @ SXSW BBC Showcase). [from kissatlanta.com]

    Venus In Cancer | Amusement Parks on Fire

    If I still wasn't so tired and backed up on work, I'd totally do a little show hopping tonight. Over at Northsix Matt Pond PA is playing with Youth Group. But that's all the way in Brooklyn. And clearly, the Crackers United kids have made Rothko the place to be.

    I've always wanted to see Amusement Parks on Fire. Their debut album is nothing short of noisy art rocking fantastic. This Nottingham band is playing with one of my favorite local bands, The Diggs who are now huge in Japan. Like I said, Rothko + tonight = the place to be.



  • Amusement Parks on Fire - Venus In Cancer
  • The Diggs - Trouble Everyday

  • Monday, March 20, 2006

    Recap: SXSW Day Four

    It got harder and harder to get up every day, but somehow I seemed to do it. We got up early (once again) to go to Chris and Garrison's Blogger Breakfast but unfortunately our cab driver had no idea where he was going and then it started to rain. Instead, Camille and I got breakfast at Iron Cactus (where else, seriously) and then headed over to the Blogger's Panel in the Convention Center. Besides two of the panelists I had to laugh at how ridiculous some of the comments were. I knew bloggers could be pretentious, but wow.

    From there we headed to the NY2LON party. Everyone who I had met in the past three days seemed to congregate and the bloggers themselves owned a whole corner of the room. First up were The Rakes who were totally awesome. I had a bunch of tracks, but it was nothing compared to hearing the live. They are catchy, clever and executed perfectly by a lead singer who is manic and charming at the same time. If I wasn't so completely drained I'd totally go see them at Bowery tomorrow.

    The Rakes:
    The Rakes @ NY2LON Party (SXSW)

    Then it was time. The buzz band of the weekend, the talk of the town, and my personal favorite discovery of 2005 took the stage. I had been waiting all weekend to see Tapes 'n Tapes and I witnessed a room that immediately became packed. We stood in the back of the room, on the couches and I had a grand ol' time singing along at the top of my lungs. I hope that the guy from the NY Times who was filming their set heard my wonderful voice. The set was short, but sweet, enough for me to make the boys promise they'd be back to NYC soon. They also informed me of a pretty hefty interview they were running off to that day. It's nothing compared to Underrated of course, but let's just say, it's a pretty big deal...

    Tapes 'n Tapes:
    Tapes 'n Tapes @ NY2LON Party (SXSW)

    Next up was Voxtrot. This was the third time in four days. Need I say more?

    Voxtrot:

    Voxtrot @ NY2LON Party (SXSW)


    One of my favorite albums of 2006 is What The Toll Tells by the fabulous Two Gallants. It was a treat to finally see this band live. It was dreamy, raw, and every kind of juxtaposition you could think of that makes no sense at all. And yet, it works. It's fantastically unique.

    Two Gallants @ NY2LON Party (SXSW)

    Wes was hungry so we decided to try somewhere else besides the Iron Cactus (gasp!) We ended up going to what we thought was a diner but turned out to be some local Austin seafood soiree where the table is your dish and utensils are non-existent. It was worth it just to see Wes squirm while trying to open a shrimp. He was pretty excited about his hammer though.

    I opted out of the Fader Tent because of the line, which I later heard was a-mazing. Instead Amrit and I headed over to Iron Cactus (yes, I know) for some drinks (yes, margaritas for me). We chatted a bit before heading over to some tent out the outskirts for iForward, Russia!. I had liked their stuff I had downloaded before, and because they canceled their NYC shows I figured they were worth checking out. We got there a tad early and had to sit through some weird three piece band than only salvaged themselves with a really talented drummer. Anyway, iForward, Russia! were definitely interesting, but wasn't the blown away experience I anticipated. They are a bit too manic for my liking with a front man who I thought was going to choke himself numerous times from twirling around his microphone. It had some highlights for sure, but overall left me a bit disappointed. Cool drummer though. She rocked it.

    iForward, Russia!:
    iForward, Russia! @ Fox & Hound (SXSW)

    My camera then ceased to live on but I checked out a bit of Battle before heading back to Sixth Street. They were pretty cool, with some catchy stuff. Worth a second viewing for sure. We walked back and caught a little bit of The Joggers too, but I wasn't feeling it. Perhaps by the end of the fourth day, I was a tad indie-rocked out. I met up with Wes who was checking out a Canadian hip-hop group. Although it's not really my specialty and I have nothing worthwhile to compare it with, it was definitely a lot of fun and the crowd totally loved it. It was a fun way to end my SXSW trip.

    I then slept for one hour and got on a plane. Needless to say I'm still trying to recuperate. Give me until Friday, and then I'll be back and ready to see some live music again. My ears will appreciate it.

    But wow, what a great experience. I will be much more efficient next year, but I had a lot of fun. It was great meeting everyone and seeing the wonderful city of Austin. I’ll be back next year without a doubt.

    Back to your regular scheduled postings tomorrow...

    Recap: SXSW Day Three

    The third day started bright and early after very little sleep. Why did we get up so early? Why it was the 1st official Blogger's Brunch! Yes, we bloggers do get out sometimes and let the world know that we are attached to a web address when we introduce ourselves to eachother. It was fun meeting everyone and enjoying the free food and drink. It totally cured my hangover to start drinking, again.

    Congrats to Chris aka Gorilla Vs. Bear for winning Blogger of the Year. Totally deserved!

    I got to finally meet Rob of my favorite DC band, The Hard Tomorrows who hand delivered me some more tracks off their new album (ahem, out in May). Can't wait to see them perform live (ahem, Arlene's Grocery March 29). Rob and his friend The Gray Kid gave Jax and I a ride over to her Hell Ya! Day Party. I got to DJ for a little bit while Jax ran around, which made me excited. DJing is my new addiction, in case you weren't aware.

    Off to a little bit of a late start, NYC's own Levy. I was with two New Yorkers who had never seen the band. Leave it for them to come all the way to Austin to finally see them. The band played one of their better sets of late, and the small crowd was really into it. James kept saying hi to Art Brut, who were not in attendance. I didn't get it. But anyway after they played I said my hello's to the band before jetsetting next door for some free drinks.

    Levy:
    Levy @ Hell Ya! Party (SXSW)

    Next door was the swanky Paste party where there was a much older crowd and an incredible buffet. I was still full from the brunch but Wes and Camille seemed to really enjoy it. We decided to stay for Jamie Cullum who I had never seen before, but instantly fell in love with. Have you seen this little boy perform? My goodness, he is adorable and has an incredible voice. It was really crazy the kind of stuff he did (jumping around the stage, banging on the piano, etc etc). He was definitely one of the pleasant surprise viewings of the festival for me.

    Jamie Cullum:
    Jamie Cullum @ Paste Party (SXSW)

    One of my old roommates from NYU drove in from San Antonio so I took a couple hours off to catch up and drink up at my old stomping ground, the Iron Cactus. I'm not kidding when I said I went to this place at least twice a day for the margaritas. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I brought her back over to the Hell Ya! party where the blog squad had again collected for another set by the awesome known as Birdmonster. No blood this time, but damn these boys know how to rock it out.

    Birdmonster:
    Birdmonster @ Hell Ya! Party (SXSW)

    I had to leave the set a bit early to walk over to the hotel that I was meeting Ramesh and Mitch from Voxtrot for the interview. It was short and sweet, and pretty typical. I think we were all pretty exhausted and excited about sitting down for a little bit. Even though I saw them three times in Austin, I'm already excited about them coming back to NYC. Not to mention their new EP out April 4.

    After the interview I walked back over to Sixth Street to the Jane Party where Wes was raving about Nada Surf, a band I always have meant to see but never have. I caught the set from behind the fence (line was far too long) and was really digging it. A very polished band who obviously know what they are doing, Nada Surf will be around for the long haul.

    Nada Surf:
    Nada Surf @ Jane Party (SXSW)

    Wes and I ventured back into the Iron Cactus where we ran into Amrit (truth is, we're stalking him) so I of course got another margarita. We then traveled the distance (10 minute walk) to the Stolen Transmission party. It was appropriately a very hip and swanky loft type space, complete with a backyard where I ended up watching some fireworks. Most of the time, I wasn't sure what city I was in, but this was not my expectation of Texas.

    I finally got to see Nightmare of You after many failed attempts of catching them in NYC. I've had their album for months now and know virtually every word to every song, so it was a fun little drunken sing along for me. We ran into the super sweet Kevin Devine who was there for the show as well.

    Nightmare of You:
    Nightmare of You @ Stolen Transmission Party (SXSW)

    We had to leave a bit early to walk back to Sixth Street where we went to Spiro's for some hometown support. I know you probably think I'm crazy for going to SXSW and seeing NYC bands, but I felt the need to support the ones I love. So yes, I probably missed the latest buzz band du jour or some crazy swedish/norwegian/punknewwave group that was probably playing some secret show. Sorry I wasn't there. The wonderful Jaymay was up first, and we walked in as she was playing my favorite track, "The One I Love." She showcased some new track off her latest EP too.

    Jaymay:
    Jaymay @ Spirros (SXSW)

    I had to support the Five O'Clock Heroes. They are my favs. I was a bit worried as the crowd was closer to the bar than the stage, but as soon as they started off with "White Girls" the crowd moved. And danced. I had never seen a crowd so into this band. You don't get that in NYC. So there! It was worth seeing them in Austin.

    Five O'Clock Heroes:
    Five O'Clock Heroes @ Spirros (SXSW)

    I said a quick hello to the boys and found out this was their first show outside of NYC in the US. What a good way to start it off. Also ran into Justin and Nghia of Crackers United fame as we shared stories of the past two days. I caught a little bit of Soft, another band from NYC but whom I'd never seen play before. I love their recordings and was happy to see a very enthusiastic crowd dig their set.

    Soft:
    Soft @ Spirros (SXSW)

    Wes and I headed over to Bourbon Rocks because I told him I had to see Brian Jonestown Massacre play in the flesh. I've been wanting to see the craziness that is Anton Newcomb actually perform rather than see him run around the Lower East Side. We got there a bit late and it was already packed. A few songs in the crowd dispersed and I got a better view. It was very cool to see Irina Yalkowsky from the band Soft Explosions play with the band. She's awesome. Anton was up to his usual nonsense, playing long extended jams and bantering with the audience. It's kind of sad to see that it's become a farce. The music is great (when it’s not over 7 minutes) and he is talented. I won't go into any long rant, but let's just say I saw them and I'm not sure I need to see them again. Although it was quite entertaining when the sound guy was trying to get them off stage and Anton went and started playing the drums.

    Brian Jonestown Massacre:
    Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Bourbon Rocks (SXSW)

    Excuse the purple lines from the last shots. The battery was dying, just like my energy. After BJM I called it a night, and passed out.

    Recap: SXSW Day Two

    Day Two was perhaps my favorite day. I had enough energy and wasn't up too early that I was able to rock out all day into the night. Once Wes arrived, we headed downtown to the Fader tent where Jose Gonzalez was starting his set. I was really excited to see him play live for the first time, but unfortunately the tent (along with the free boo's and lots of people) was not the best venue for him. His quiet melodies were drowned out by the crowd. Still, it was as beautiful as you can imagine, but now I feel like I have to see him in New York for the real experience.

    Jose Gonzalez:
    Jose Gonzalez @ Fader Tent (SXSW)

    After Jose was my most anticipated act of the weekend, the boys of Birdmonster. If you aren't aware, I'm itching to get these boys to NYC, but lucky for me I got to travel to Austin and catch them live...finally. I hype up everything far too much in my mind, but lucky for me (and them) they totally outdid any of my expectations. I mean, come on, there was blood! The sun was shining, the beer was flowing. I was in heaven. And then the bloggers came out of their hiding as I finally met Chris, Ashley, Mark, and Dodge. Also in attendance were the boys of Tapes 'n Tapes. According to Josh, we now go "way back." So when they are rich and famous and I'm still behind my computer blogging away, they better remember me.

    Birdmonster:
    Birdmonster @ Fader Tent (SXSW)

    After watching a bit of Eagles of Death Metal we decided to head out. I took the long trek to where the Diesel-U Party was being held. As aforementioned, Film School played a really short set (I'm seriously talking 10 minutes here). I was unsure of them before, and still unsure of them now. They didn't play long enough for me to form a real opinion.

    Film School:
    Film School @ Diesel-U Party (SXSW)

    Spinto Band was up next and the place had begun to fill up. Free boo's always helps too. The Spinto Boys are so young and cute and their music is as attractive as they are. I still am upset they didn't play "Oh Mandy" but the set was the best I've seen them play. They know how to have fun on a stage. It's infectious.

    Spinto Band:
    Spinto Band @ Diesel-U Party (SXSW)

    The blog squad made their way in by The Boy Least Likely To who were up next. I hadn't seen the band perform when they were in NYC last week, but had quite fond memories of when I caught them by accident in London this summer. In spite of some technical difficulties (the phrase of the weekend, I swear), they got the crowd dancing quickly. Jof Owens, the lead singer, is so funny with his hand motions but it's totally allowed in my book. Not many could get away with an act like this, but its the music (completely catchy and unique) that puts them as one of my favorites of the weekend.

    The Boy Least Likely To:
    The Boy Least Likely To @ Diesel-U Party (SXSW)

    What do you know? I saw Voxtrot play, again. I never get tired of this band. They brought up a great guest vocalist for half of the set and our little crew had a good time singing along. I got to introduce myself to Ramesh and Jared after the sets, in preparation of the next day's interview. Super nice guys.

    Voxtrot:
    Voxtrot @ Diesel-U Party (SXSW)

    Last but certainly not least was my boys Editors closing out the party. They always seem to play when I am highly intoxicated so that I can't remember a lot of the set but know for sure I have a really good time. I started up front with Amrit who was as blown away as I was with just how incredible this band is live. Then Wes and Camille showed up (post-Morrissey) so I headed to the back where I proceeded to dance, sing (and drink) my way through the end of the set. All I know was that it was fantastic.

    Editors:
    Editors @ Diesel-U Party (SXSW)

    We hung around a bit after the set, watching the DJs spin and drinking more of the free beer. Then Jared from Voxtrot was nice enough to let a bunch of us hop in the back of his truck and bring us back to Sixth Street (including the hysterical Aziz who I later gushed to while we waited on line at the ATM, and some, other cool cats). It was a crazy end to a fabulous day.

    Driving back to Sixth Street

    Recap: SXSW Day One

    This morning has been a bit rough. During French class I kept on having to say "repetez s'il vous plait" because I can't hear a god damn thing. This ringing, hopefully, will subside.

    So throughout the day I'll give you my account of those four days spent gallivanting through the city of Austin (or basically the area around sixth street). I'll try my best to remember it all, without getting too nostalgic that I use that voucher from Delta to go back.

    Day One was actually recounted below, but here are the pictures to prove it.

    Voxtrot: My first of three shows I caught by the Austin band. Each time was better than the last.
    Voxtrot @ Emo's (SXSW)

    Field Music: My new favorite British import
    Field Music @ Emo's (SXSW)

    Serena Maneesh: Not my favorite, but an interesting sight to see, nonetheless

    [Picture via Amrit (my camera died)]

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