The Gong Show

Written by Jerry Portwood on . Posted in Music, Posts

Morrissey fans, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but our beloved Moz is headed for Vegas. At least, that’s the idea I couldn’t shake as I watched him on stage last night at Hammerstein Ballroom. As he whipped his microphone cord, pulled his hands through his pompadour and sweat through his electric blue [&hellip
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Healthy Harmony

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

While Los Angeles art-spazz quartet Health has indulged some of the dance and Nintendo-core elements unfortunately proliferating like viruses in their respective post-indie rock and post-hardcore scenes, the band’s self-titled debut comes a lot closer to conveying the band’s powerhouse live presence and innovative writing style. It’s hardly novel to combine screams, stabbing keyboards, mushroom-cloud [&hellip
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Trentemøller at Rebel

Written by Howard Wong on . Posted in Music, Posts

In an impossibly packed room, Danish electronic darling Anders Trentemøller schooled an eager crowd with his music wizardry at Rebel NYC this past Saturday. Presented by Made Event, the show supports his release The Last Resort in a live band performance featuring his live partner DJ "Tom" Bertelsen, Henrik Vibskov on drums, Mikael Simpson on [&hellip
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Best Rehearsal Ever: Nada Surf At Union Hall

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



If there was ever a rock personality contest, Nada Surf would definitely win. Watching them perform is always such a delight, partially because they just seem to be genuinely having a great time when playing and of course because they write some of the best pop songs of our generation. I could have a running chainsaw lodged up the deepest recesses of my anus, and still enjoy a Nada Surf show. As bad as that internal shredding would feel, that unbelievably good feeling that comes from just watching Nada Surf perform "Inside of Love" would easily cancel it out.

At the start of their set at Union Hall in Park Slope on Friday night, lead singer Matthew Caws announced that the band originally thought of having the show in their living room, but only wanted to play in front of 150 people. This intimate show would act as a send off for the band as they head out for a long tour. The trio was as relaxed as ever, touching all of their bases with a set that perfectly mixed the best songs from their entire catalog. Personal favorite "Killian's Red" was accidentally skipped, when Caws lost track of the set list.  Luckily the band returned to it, and it was marvelous. As always "Inside of Love" and it's swaying rhythm was one of the biggest hits of the night, as well as "High Speed Soul," "Blonde on Blonde" and the set closing sing-along "Blankest Year." 

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Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather
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Momus Revisited

Written by Gerry Visco on . Posted in Music, Posts

Nick Currie, the artist currently known as Momus, was in New York City this past week, performing at Joe’s Pub.  Born in Paisley, Scotland, the multi-talented, eye-patch-wearing writer/singer/artist/blogger is a former downtown resident – he lived in Chinatown during 9/11 but left not long afterward in March 2002.   Currently living in Berlin, Currie returns [&hellip
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Innocence and Glee: Architecture in Helsinki at Blender

Written by Josh Heerter on . Posted in Music, Posts

If your breakfast cereal has tasted especially sweet lately, it’s probably the excess sugar that Architecture in Helsinki typically leaves behind in a billowy cloud of innocence and glee.  But wait!  If you’ve heard their new record, that sugar and glee may have turned to dust and sandpaper.  Lead singer Cameron Bird’s new tack of [&hellip
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Bowery Presents Launches Terminal 5

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



Traveling to the opening of Bowery Presents newest and largest venue, Terminal 5, I was reminded of how little I travel to this part of town. Along the way from 8th avenue to 11th, I noticed a large amount of luxury car dealerships, something that I would never find on my way to a show in the L.E.S or Brooklyn. There was no marquee out in front of the west 56th street, but the long line out in front of the building, along with security in bright yellow shirts, let me know that I had arrived. They were running a little late with opening doors, so thankfully the rain had stopped. At around 7:30pm, the doors of the new venue were opened for the large crowd of first timers. Unlike the other Bowery Presents venues, the front doors lead you directly to the main floor. Upon entering, the only instant reaction is to gasp at the size (3,000 capacity, 40,000 sq. feet, 3 levels, and 40’ ceilings). Bowery Presents has built this venue to be a step up in size from Webster Hall, to compete with Roseland Ballroom and Hammerstein Ballroom. And compete it will. Architecturally, Terminal 5 is more modern than any other Bowery Presents venue. The standing space of the main floor is somewhere between Webster Hall and Roseland in size, and there is a bar located in the back. The two wrap-around balconies are massive, and squared off, unlike the rounded balconies of their other venues. Each balcony contains 2 bars, plenty of comfortable couches, and seating along the rail.

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Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather
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Darkness Falls On Mercury Lounge

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



The bands that played Mercury Lounge last night may all have very different sounds, but they had one thing that really tied them together, they bring out a very, very dark mood.

First up was Gowns, a Brooklyn-based band that thrives on experimentation. Their sound has grown tremendously since their mediocre performance in April at Luna Lounge. Since then, they’ve added a bass player, and seemed to really develop their songs into something more substantial than just an experiment with noise. The mix of creative percussion and violin over simple strummed-guitar works well, as the band seems to generate noise, and then sculpt it into beautiful forms.

Next up was one of Matador Records most recent findings, The Cave Singers. The Seattle trio, touring in support of their lovely debut “Invitation Songs,” wowed the crowd with their bluesy folk. Singer Pete Quirk’s voice contains a certain kind of soul that comes very rarely, and when combined with ex-Pretty Girls Make Graves bassist Derek Fudesco’s hypnotizing guitar plucking and Marty Lund’s soft, rolling drumming, the sounds that emerges is an eerie one that could be easily be mistaken for being of an entirely different era.

Canadian rockers Black Mountain have been on tour with The Cave Singers for long enough to know that they’re a hard act to follow, but Black Mountain were the headliner for a reason. While for some reason (money) American classic rock stations have turned to Nickelback as the model for modern “classic rock,” there’s no doubt that Black Mountain should really be what they’re playing. They sound like a Grace Slick-fronted Black Sabbath, with Amber Webber’s haunting vocals, and Stephen McBean’s riffs often carrying the songs. Starting off with a cluster of new songs that stay true to their sound, the set really took off with the 1-2 punch of “Druganaut” and “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around” (which was definitely the highlight of the performance. This band embodies what modern hard rock should sound like. It’s too bad we’re so often subjected to crap like Puddle of Mudd, Kid Rock, and Nickelback.

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Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather

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Sunset Rubdown Continue The Canadian Music Takeover

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



Spencer Krug burst out into the music world in 2005 with his band Wolf Parade’s debut release Apologies To The Queen Mary. The critically praised album made the band one of the most talked about indie bands of the year. Not long after, Spencer Krug crazy with side projects, forming both Swan Lake and Sunset Rubdown. It seems that every musician from Montreal has 2 or 3 side projects. With every band and every release, Krug has gained more and more praise, and now with today’s release of the 2nd Sunset Rubdown album, Random Spirit Lover, expect even more praise. With a totally unique sound Spencer Krug and Sunset Rubdown are further expanding the boundaries of rock music, just like so many of the brilliant Canadian bands of the 21st century are doing. Random Spirit Lover is has the type of frantic energy needed for a generation of kids with A.D.D., and when it is combined with the dark instrumentation and lyrics, the listener is brought to a very strange and very unique universe—one that David Lynch may feel at home in.

The band was at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night for the first of 2 dates in NYC (The band will be at Bowery Ballroom tonight). The lights were kept dim, with a couple small lamps placed randomly upon the stage. One lamp sat upon Krug’s keyboard and shoot violently with his manic playing. Focusing mostly on the new material, the band played the complex songs with fine technical precision while Krug’s high nasally vocals told odd stories with emotions of pain and paranoia. The band sounded incredibly full, having just added a fifth member, and probably has never sounded full then on the triumphant “Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days.” Towards the end of the set the band seemed to lose clarity as far as the set list was concerned, and when 1/2 the band walked off the stage to wait for an encore, Krug and drummer Jordon Robson-Cramer stuck around. The rest of the band returned, and Krug joked about how it was a half-core, rather than an encore. The band played 2 more and said farewell to the cheering crowd.

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Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather
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