Giant Panda at the Met

Written by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on . Posted in Music, Posts


It might seem difficult—in a city with a prominent Jamaican presence such as NYC—to justify going to see a reggae group that consists of twentysomethings from the suburbs of snowy Rochester, New York. (It’s between Buffalo and Syracuse, in case that part of the state may as well be a foreign country to you.) But you might want to reconsider in time to catch Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad when they play the Met tonight at 10. Admission is free for college students (from ANY college on the planet, by the way).

The unorthodox setting alone would be worth the trip to the museum, but Giant Panda also serves as a sort of musical missing link towards understanding how reggae music became synonymous with jam bands thanks to generations of affluent, pot-smoking white youngsters crossing streams. Giant Panda may look the part, but they dig deep, and their sincerity sets them apart from the Trustafarian cliches that easily snag their peers...

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Immaculate Machine: The New Pornographers’ Younger Sibling

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts

Immaculate Machine were creating infectious pop songs, not unlike fellow Canadians New Pornographers, before keyboardist Kathryn Calder began playing with her uncle’s band. It seems that some of the brilliance of that band has rubbed off on her, and Immaculate Machine is ready to make a big splash in the music world. Their new album [&hellip
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Dillinger Escape Plan listening party with Car Bomb

Written by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on . Posted in Music, Posts


No one in their right mind would ever think of Northern Jersey as a place where culture originates, but it’s precisely that environment’s lack of culture that gave the Dillinger Escape Plan part of its drive to come up with one of the most furiously innovative and technically demanding sounds in music. With its first two releases, the 1998 EP Under the Running Board and the following year’s full-length Calculating Infinity, the Dillinger Escape Plan worked audiences from metal, hardcore, and even modern jazz and avant-garde camps into a tizzy, creating one of the biggest sensations in underground music to date.

Tonight at Club Europa.

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So-So Triple Threat: The Pipettes Are All Schtick and Hip Swivel

Written by Elizabeth Rhodes on . Posted in Music, Posts


I spent last night trying to pinpoint what makes British 1960s revivalist girl group The Pipettes so much more socially acceptable than British 1990s recently reunited girl group The Spice Girls. The Blender Theater at Gramercy was packed Monday with surprisingly equal proportions of male and female 20-somethings who didn’t blush when shelling out $18-20 for this particular dose of choreographed, cheeky escapism, but would never pay to see Scary, Sporty, Posh, Baby and Ginger.

Photo courtesy of ryandombal on Flickr see more of his work here.

Read full "Pipettes" review here.

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Menomena, Phenomena

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



When I arrived at Webster Hall, there was a short line of people waiting to go in, even though doors were supposed to be open slightly earlier. Apparently Portland, OR trio Menomena were unhappy with their sound check, and were working to get it right. The sound was never quite right that night (the bass was too heavy), but both bands performed well enough for most people to be able to look past that.

Illinois, a band that is actually from Buck’s County, PA, opened the show, immediately launching into their best song. The raucous, banjo-strumming anthem got their set off on the right path, with the band doing no wrong for the entirety of their set. Seeing them for the third time this year, it’s no surprise that Illinois’ combination of fun-loving attitude and well-crafted songwriting has them quickly winning over critics and fans. Menomena’s Justin Harris joined Illinois on stage for a couple of songs, playing sax.

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Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather
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Melt Banana at Europa

Written by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on . Posted in Music, Posts

Hell hath no fury equal to the whirlwind sonic power that Japanese four-piece Melt Banana can summon in the space of 20 seconds or less. The band, now going on its 15th year and legendary in the American and European underground, gets labeled many things: punk, hardcore, noise, art-rock, no wave, metal, etc. All of those labels apply, but none of them tell the full story about the band’s unique, delightfully furious, and irresistible sound.

Read full "Melt Banana" here.

Melt Banana plays Europa Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7pm.


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Black Angels Transform The Bowery Ballroom Into Vietnam

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



 “Hi, we’re Spindrift, and we’re from the United States,” claims Kirpatrick Thomas as his 7-piece band takes the stage in front of a modest crowd. It’s too bad there weren’t more people there to see Spindrift dominate the stage with a terrific mix of Ennio Morricone spaghetti-western drifting, Angelo Badalamenti’s dark, creepy compositions and a handful of LSD. The feeling created was one of a drifter, set out to meet his fate at a high noon shootout.

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Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather
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