Monday, January 30, 2006

Jazz on a Sunday Night

Ryan Keberle's Double Quartet
@Knitting Factory Tap Bar
New York, NY - January 29, 2006

Two trombones, piano, bass, drums, trumpet, French horn, and tuba make for good, decent, and eclectic Jazz. Muzak-style Beatles covers aside, this project has potential in the local Jazz scene.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Blue Republic's My Space Band of the Week: Holly Golightly

A legend in the mold of her mentor Billy Childish, Holly Golightly has been tearing up the underground garage scene for quite some time now, including well before she made an appearance on the White Stripes' 2003 album Elephant.
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She's coming with her band (which features another underground legend, Bruce Brand) as she regularly does, to Maxwell's next Saturday. In all likelihood she'll play such favorites as "Length of a Pipe" and "Walk a Mile" but in the meantime, check out "Time Will Tell" on my page before moving on to her page and her official site.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Making The Case For Billy

Billy Joel – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – January 26, 2006

This may seem a surprising show considering the concert reviews of the last half a decade but make no mistake – Mr. Joel is what radio-friendly pop music should have always been about. His hooks have almost always been solid without being saccharine. And live wise, he remains the embodiment of New York in popular music. He inherited the mantle of Tin Pan Alley serenader in the guise of the Beatles. He’s Springsteen without the musical bombardment. He’s Elton John without the flamboyancy. Most importantly, he’s Billy. He’s his own musical marker on American pop culture. He still has guts. Rather than play a slue of radio hits, he mixes his live show with album tracks like “Vienna”, “Zanzibar”, “Laura”, and “Sometimes A Fantasy”. And I dare anyone who hears 25,000 people sing “Piano Man” in perfect unison without a single error or mistake to not feel a chill, even if you’ve heard the song 100 times too many. Don’t take shit from anybody.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What An Organ Can Do

Hunchback – Cake Shop – New York, NY – January 21, 2006

What could be typical punk hardcore/thrash metal band is made uniquely different and appealing by an organ, giving off a garage band vibe.



Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blue Republic's My Space Band of the Week: The Yarrows

South Jersey's The Yarrows are coming to Williamsburg next Saturday to play at the Charleston.
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Before you come to check the band out, listen to a tune on my page, before heading over to their page and their official site. Then let's all meet up for a drink at the gig next Saturday.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Rock N Roll Frustration

It's just not fair goddammit. The Sirens are finally coming to New York...the same two nights as the Dirtbombs shows. Night 1 will be at Magnetic Field on Atlantic Ave by Henry Street in Brooklyn while the Dirtbombs are at Maxwell's in Hoboken. It is possible to get both shows in but it would require a lot of timing luck and unfortunately an expensive cab ride. Night 2 has a small glimmer of hope - the Sirens' My Space page says the gig venue is to be announced. Here's hoping they get on the bill with the Dirtbombs at Southpaw in Park Slope. Oh lord, please make it so. I'll keep you updated.
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The Sirens

And in other news, both Clap Your Hands Say Yeah shows for April at Bowery Ballroom are sold out. Gadzooks, man.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Getting Excited About A Band That Hasn't Been Heard Yet

The Raconteurs
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L To R: Lawrence, Benson, White, Keeler

Yeah that's Jack White hiding in the background. He's gotten together with some talented friends of his to bring a new sound and new band to excite the Rock N Roll world. It looks promising to say the least: White is co-writing and sharing guitar and vocal duty with Detroit pop rocker Brendan Benson who has the smooth vocal talents (as evidenced on tracks like "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" and "Spit It Out") to fuse with Jack's guitar mastery. The rhythym section is no less impressive: Bassist Jack Lawrence and Drummer Patrick Keeler are, if you just scroll a little bit down below, 2/3's of Cincinnati's the Greenhornes, the current Band of the Week. Mister Lawrence is also of course in Detroit's Blanche, a band I never stop talking about.

The first music is coming out in February, but as for now, only in England. After that, it's only a matter of couple months before the band plays in their home country. I predict a gig at Irving Plaza...that seems the right size place, factoring in the names and the hype.

This is more exciting than when news of Velvet Revolver broke...because at least this promises to be worth it! Mwahahah.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Confusion & Coincidence

As is often the case, one can confuse one band from another when the names are dropped in the same breath (as part of some "scene"), and they share similar names. So it's a good thing I investigated the different sounds of these bands before they came to New York, because they are all coming in the same short amount of time:

Animal Collective - Webster Hall - Thu 3/23; Bowery Ballroom - Sat 2/25
Arctic Monkeys - Webster Hall - Sat 3/25
Art Brut - Bowery Ballroom - Tue 4/4, Wed 4/5

Shit, they're even playing in alphabetical order. I am not crazy about Animal Collective but Arctic Monkeys and Art Brut are good happenin' rock n roll bands.

The only thing that would have made this more confusing is if the Arcade Fire dropped into town for a show.

While I'm at it, since there was no real point to this post, also check out these bands:
The Briefs
The National


Monday, January 16, 2006

Blue Republic's My Space Band of the Week: The Greenhornes

Dammit. 24 distracted me all last night (after my Bears failed to win) I forgot to do Band of the Week.

So I figured one band that could take the heat of being a band of the week for six days rather than seven would be The Greenhornes. Nothing fazes these guys. Cool as cucumbers, playing rock n roll smooth as silk, the Greenhornes could host a dance party or play a cafe...whatever they desire. Bass player Jack Lawrence does double duty as he's in Blanche. And he and drummer Patrick Keeler are part of the much anticipated Raconteurs, the new band with Jack White and Brendan Benson.

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Check out "Pattern Skies" on my page, before going to the Greenhornes' My Space Page and their official site.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Secret Shows and Secret Treasures

Bona Roba, The Patchwork Family (The Mooney Suzuki), Treasures of the Sea, Jonny Lives
New York, NY – January 10, 2006

The Mooney Suzuki, a band that I have never had the pleasure of seeing live in their proper name, played a not-so-secret show (hence how I was there) at Sin-é to showcase brand new songs for the next Suzuki album. Playing under the name of the Patchwork Family (but not really), the band (really just the lead singer/guitarist Sammy and guitarist Graham, reunited with their original drummer, Will) took a light hearted approach to the night. The songs are definitely in the vein of previous work, and done live, they sound solid. The Suzuki are continually moving towards pop but it is still based in rock-n-roll. The question will be whether the album will be raw like Electric Sweat or slickly produced like Alive & Amplified. Either way, this promo-gig was done smartly and received generally enthusiastic support from the crowd, give or take 1 or 2 critics. The rest of the night featured excellent bands. Opener Jonny Lives is a power pop master. Sharp and tight, the band delivers the hooks how they have to be. Closers Bona Roba are a fine, hard rocking garage band, who already sport a song so catchy I remember the name: “Cunningham Park”. But the real treat of the night was Treasures of the Sea. Sporting a clarinet, a small drum kit, a National Dobro Resonator guitar, and a female voice out of the 1920’s, Treasures of the Sea offers America’s darling original pop music: Ragtime, Dixieland Jazz and its course through the 1920’s and 30’s. Firing off covers as random as “You Are My Sunshine” and “Putting On The Ritz”, this exceptional little outfit takes a road less traveled, to a music world far away from most contemporary music. Sensational!

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Blue Republic's My Space Band of the Week

I should have started this last Sunday but it didn't occur to me. I am putting my page on My Space to use. Check out last week's first ever Band of the Week: The Bellrays, then check out this week's band: SSM.

To kick off the first week of the new year, The Bellrays: Los-Angeles based, this hot jumpin' band mixes the best of both worlds: Rock N Soul. I can say this is the best band to ever contact me on MySpace for an add. Check out "Revolution Get Down" and 3 other tunes on the Bellrays page. Boo-ya Bellrays!
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This week, we're heading to one of my favorite places for Rock N Roll, Detroit USA. The Motor City's latest gem is SSM (John Szymanski on keyboards and vocals, David Shettler on percussion, and Marty Morris on guitar and vocals. This trio offers hot electro-pop done the garage rock way. Well that's how I interpret it. However they wish to define it will work also.
I caught the boys on Friday, opening for Miss Alex White and I was sold. Check out "Sick" on my page and head on over to SSM's page via my Top 8 to check out other songs and various goodness.
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School's Out

Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra; SSM; DC Snipers)
@Magnetic Field
Brooklyn, NY - January 6, 2006

2006 kicked off with Chicago’s little darling, 20 year old school-skipping Alex White, whose marvelous voice was undercut by a mediocre sound set-up but nevertheless kicked rock n roll butt (with help from her Detroit-based backing band). Meanwhile, the Motor City’s latest supergroup creation, SSM (Szymanski, Shettler, & Morris) are an electro-pop garage thing and more than satisfy. Openers DC Snipers continue to leave a bad taste in my mouth with their name, and the songs, while essential garage rock fun, are a little too sloppy, and are played a little too sloppy. The band also suffered from broken instruments and frequent delays.