Playing Soon

playing soon April 2, 2010

Can’t wait to spend Easter with Future Islands

Head over heels in love with Future Islands‘ upcoming album In Evening Air; mark it down for a definite purchase, it comes out on Thrill Jockey, May 4, 2010. You’ll be expected to develop a gigantic crush on singer Sam T. Herring’s voice; he sounds like a gaping wound you’re secretly ecstatic to have, as a testament to having lived, and his band, what with the dance-y electronica “post-wave” accompaniment, is pretty much the mantelpiece scar. A gorgeous ode to proper suffering is what it is! They’re playing Glasslands with another amazing band, Boogie Boarder, this Sunday.

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Download “Tin Man” by Future Islands
Download “
Bio Hassle” by Boogie Boarder

In the photo above, Boogie Boarder watches as Future Islands performs.

playing soon January 27, 2009

Canada's Torngat returning for Wordless

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Download “You Could Be | Canada’s instrumental three-piece Torngat is returning to New York on April 2nd for a Wordless show at Le Poisson Rouge with the International Contemporary Ensemble. I was really taken with them when they opened for Múm’s Wordless show at St. Apostle Church in the fall of 2007. I was disappointed with the choices Múm made for their set list in response to the gorgeous venue–they thought it would suit to be pallid and ghastly–but Torngat did something that chilled me completely, and I was to remain impressed with them forever for having done such a perfect thing in response to where they were…

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playing soon January 13, 2009

These United States! Presidents! Inauguration! Obama! Yay!


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Download “Honor Amongst Thieves | I’m heading out to DC for the inauguration this weekend, for what’s sure to be stressful, cheerful, overwhelming, magical times. The Obamas are walking at the parade even!, which scares the shit out of me, but everything will be fine and Michelle Obama will be divine. What’s more, on Saturday night These United States will play their special opening set at the Songs for Presidents show at Six and I Historic Synagogue, and it will be so good because they’ll squeeze their hearts out for their reinvigorated DC. I was so sure that Jesse Elliott was already fully immersed in reinvigoration that I asked him to have a one-word conversation with me this morning:

Will you be playing new songs? Maybe. Is Mark Charles of Vandaveer playing with you? Maybe. Are you playing a full-length opening set? ish. Just how are you feeling about the reinvigorated DC? Wow! When should we expect a new album? Summer.

A host of other bands are playing, of course: Nellie McKay, Denison Witmer, Jukebox The Ghost, J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer, Tim Fite, Jefferson Pitcher, Laura Burhenn, Joe Pug, Hiss Golden Messenger, Silver Darling, plus more. And the 44th song for the 44th President will be unleashed as well. Details.

Call the box office for no-fee tickets ($16 advance, $20 day-of): 202-408-3100

Websites: These United States, 43 Presidencies, Christian Kiefer

playing soon June 19, 2008

Imaad Wasif Is Coming!

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Download “Oceanic” by Imaad Wasif | After listening to Jeff Buckley’s Grace and Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk hundreds of times, you realize the dead does not grow old; it will let you indulge in its immortality that comes from having died, but it will not give you continuation, it will not give you a whiff of the present, and it will not get into deeper crevices with you. So the throne I would’ve sat Buckely on, had he continued to live, I’ve assigned to Imaad Wasif. He with his Two Part Beast promises to fill the void. I hope he lives up to my expectations when he is in town:

July 17 Brooklyn, NY Shangri-La
July 18 New York NY Cake Shop

ps. Jeff lives on another throne, but that one’s reserved for the dead.

playing soon June 17, 2008

Will you see Anni Rossi?

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Download “Wheelpusher” by Anni Rossi | Everyone seems to love the Ting Tings, but it’s opener Anni Rossi I’ve my eyes on while the two acts are in town for a date at Bowery Ballroom and Southpaw this week – though unfortunately for latecomers like me, both shows are sold out. Regina Spektor and Joanna Newsom comparisons are afloat, and to the extent that these comparisons are useful, they are true for violist/singer/songwriter Rossi, if only owing to the tradition of a stringed instrument (when the arrangement is viola-based), the temperament of some songs I’ve heard so far, and a singing style that can be considered whimsical. The degree of similarities are insignificant, however, but the description on Rossi’s myspace applies: “Great music for Family and Friends! Gather around the table.”

Photo by Shake it like a…

Bowery Ballroom – June 17 (tonight)
Southpaw – June 20 (Friday)

Black Mountain's "In the Future"

Download “Tyrants” (from In the Future)

inthefuture_cover.jpgWhen I picked up Black Mountain’s In the Future and asked my friend Lev if he’d heard of the band, his eyes popped in such diameters of familiarity and glee that I had to ask him to write up the review. Says he:

Release: January 22, 2008 (from Jag Jaguwar)

Whether intentionally sarcastic, or accidentally honey-tongued, the title of Black Mountain’s second full-length “In The Future” is a perfectly unfitting title to describe the music contained therein. The opening chords of “Stormy High” teleport you back to the smoke-filled seventies, doused in all of the psychedelic fervor, debauchery, and flower-power that gleamed so bright some-forty-odd years ago. Large doses of whirling organ, fuzzed out Gibson SG’s, and dual vocal harmonies drowned in reverb, undoubtably, and comfortably, place this record alongside some of the dusty vinyl in your dad’s record collection. The album’s song structures stick to such a relentlessly precise formula of combing abrupt moments of energy and drudging meditative breaks that the schizophrenic rhythm of the album sometimes begs for a shorter, more impactive musical delivery. Ultimately, this album will appeal to people either attempting to relive their youth under the guise of the seventies, or those assuming the seventies never ended.

Black Mountain’s playing Bowery Ballroom on February 22, 2008 with Bon Iver.

playing soon January 18, 2008

Balkan Brass This Weekend

Download “Dum Maro Dum” by What Cheer Brigade


New York’s brass outfit Zlatne Uste hosts the annual Golden Festival this weekend, bringing over 50 bands to upper Manhattan in celebration of Balkan brass. The festival starts modestly tonight at The Good Shepherd School from 7:30 PM, resuming the festivities there at 6:00 PM tomorrow, when bands will play three stages till 4 AM. See full schedule.

One of them is Providence’s What Cheer Brigade, who I saw at the center of an enchanted crowd gathered outside the McCarren Pool during last summer’s Man Man show. They will be playing the Auditorium at 3AM. Pictures from that first encounter:



More inside.

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playing soon January 16, 2008

Joanna Newsom BAM tickets!


If you missed buying Joanna Newsom tickets, like I did, for her show at BAM with members of Brooklyn Philharmonic, do not despair! Another date has been added the night before: Jan 31 it is, and good seats are still available.

concert review, playing soon October 4, 2007

Bowerbirds played Soundfix Records

Download “In Our Talons” (from Hymns for a Dark Horse)



The lounge area that is now part of Soundfix Records sits cozily past its music collection, and is a venue you want to take advantage of. The intimacy it provides is unlike any other record store’s, since there are tables over which specialty drinks can be had in a laid back atmosphere, away from all the records under bright lights of commerce; and the size of the room itself is just right. Bowerbirds took no more than 15 minutes to set up. After the most basic of sound checks, the acoustics proved its worth as well. Other events may prove otherwise, but the venue was a superb fit for this particular band (while handling my t-shirt purchase, singer Phil Moore said that he had previously been unaware of the store’s existence, but was glad to have discovered it through playing it; on stage he mentioned how good it felt to play a small venue after touring with the Mountain Goats for the past few weeks).

More after the jump.


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listen to this, playing soon September 21, 2007

Phosphorescent's Pride

Download “A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise”


Release: October 23, 2007 from Dead Oceanspride.jpg

As much as it’s filled with repetitious melodies and lyrics that aren’t the full force of poetry yet, Matthew Houck’s Pride, released under the name Phosphorescent, is a beautiful album. Indeed, the repetitions evoke a sense of containment, which effects a devotion that requires little or no straying. And so the voice stays on course one wistful song after the other, borrowing their solemness from hymns, though tucked away in the background of some are movements more energetic and spontaneous. There is also a successful employment of a choir throughout, which is apt for a project that sounds like it was produced for the singer’s own salvation, and which smooths the sound surrounding his flaking voice.

More after the jump.

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  • Aqua: Love TEEN. Man they can sing. Cool. Different.
  • Suraj Joshee: Sarahana, Loved the video. You captured the simple raw essence of the music and band really really...
  • Kevination: I love infectious songs.
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  • Jipes: Not at all, I’m really sorry if my comment seems odd but compare to people like Tallest Man on Earth,...