Friday, September 30, 2005

You Could Have it So Much Better?

I was anxious to hear the new Franz Ferdinand album, You Could Have It So Much Better... With Franz Ferdinand. After such an impressive debut, I was hoping they would avoid the sophomore slump. Productshop referred to Franz as the 00's Elastica - great debut, lackluster follow-up - not a ringing endorsement. With barbs like this in mind, I've spent a couple of days listening to You Could Have It, and I've gotta say, overall it may be a better album. I don't think there's an obvious stand-out track like "Take Me Out" (although "Do You Want To" comes close) but the album has a better overall balance than Franz Ferdinand did. However, Franz tries to push their muscianship a bit and throw in a couple of slow tracks - not a good idea, as they are clearly the weaker tracks on the album. My faves from You Could Have It are "Outsiders," "The Fallen," "You're the Reason I'm Leaving," "I'm Your Villain," and "Do You Want To." Let's keep it upbeat, shall we?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Rapture return

The Rapture are finally back in action. They're finishing up the follow-up to Echoes and will be in NY for two shows: Oct. 6 at Crash Mansion and Oct. 21 at the Bowery. Buy tickets here. They put on one helluva live show. I'm excited. So is he, and this guy, and that guy.

And why does a NY band have a domain and focus most of their website news to the Brits?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Back at it. Route 85a, Friday night

I'll be DJ'ing at again Route85a on Friday night from 11pm to 4am. No cover and cheap beer! 85 Ave. A between 5th and 6th. This is what I played last time. See ya there. [Update - here's what I played.]

Unsavory! September 30

Thanks to Small Dark Spaces for the photo and to James for the flyer construction.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

We Could Connect or We Could Not

I finally saw Lismore last Friday at their Pianos show. Very impressive. I wanted to see how their electronica/chill-out sound would translate live, and they did a superb job bringing the studio sound to the stage - especially the rhythm section. Lismore's debut cd, We Could Connect or We Could Not, has a Post-era Bjork sound with vocals reminiscent of Beth Gibbons, and if that's your thing, I'd recommend it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The end of Tiswas at Don Hill's

Following tomorrow night's Tiwas, the weekly party will be going on a slight hiatus. Tiswas, the longest running Britpop/IndieRock night in NYC, has been at Don Hill's for 8 years and will be moving to a new spot in the future. From Tiswas head Nick Marc:
"As for the future of TISWAS, we will be throwing a spectacular Anniversary Party next month to celebrate our ten years of existence at a venue to be announced both on the website and from this list in the near future. For the
remainder of this year we will be doing TISWAS as a monthly party and then in the new year the new and improved weekly TISWAS night will be launched at an exciting central location to be announced at a later date."

I hope Tiswas makes a strong comeback soon. It was a lot of fun on Saturday nights to brave the elements while heading to the barren wasteland called West Spring Street to hit up Don Hill's. A lot of fledgling bands played Tiswas on their way up (The Strokes, Interpol) and the party had some great DJs too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Madison Strays

One of my favorite NYC bands, Madison Strays, have posted new audio tracks on their site. Their music is in the dancerock-with-synth-and-Richard Butler-vocals vein. Listen to the new tracks here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

No CMJ for me

While all the music lovers in NYC were at various CMJ shows over the weekend, I headed to Chapel Hill to try to re-live college. Things are generally the same there, including beer prices ("$1 Miller Lites? I'll have 12 please"). I ate a ton of pulled pork sandwiches and egg and cheese biscuits. The football game was fun, but didn't turn out the way I had hoped as Carolina lost 14-3. Defense looked good, but the offense was anemic and couldn't get anything going. Luckily I had been drinking for 12 straight hours and didn't really care about the score by the end of the game. Sadly, the high point of the game was when the announcer stated: "A plethora of flags on the play." We all went apeshit and numerous Three Amigos jokes were thrown around. All in all, it was a good time. All of the grass and sun and subdivisions were unnerving though, and I'm glad to be back in NYC.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Adam Franklin on KEXP Live

"I now pronounce it with a D rather than a T." That's Adam Franklin's explanation of how his accent has changed since moving to Jersey City from London three years ago. Adam was at the Museum of Television and Radio on Monday afternoon for KEXP live in New York. He played four tunes for us acoustically (two Swervedriver tunes) and discussed what he's been doing since Swervedriver. He said that when he plays the powerful, feedback driven Swervedriver songs acoustically he has to change the key of each song because the songs are too hard to sing in their former keys. He also mentioned how nervous he was the first time he played solo - he was in Denmark and he and the other two solo performers (including Suni from the Ravonettes) tossed coins to see who would be the sacrificial lamb to lead off the night. He lost, but said he was thankful once he finished up first.

Adam is a true musician and you can see that in the way he plays and the songs he creates.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Standard night out

Friday night. Pre-gamed by listening to a friend DJ, then went to Sin-e to see Unlove (f/k/a/ Coma), then went to Route 85a to DJ, then did shots until 4:30am, and finished the evening with a cheeseburger at some 24hr diner. Yep, a standard Friday night out.

Here's my Unsavory! setlist from Friday.

And Unlove were incredible. Their sound can be tagged "shoegazer" because of the feedback and echo pedals, but they bring a little harder edge to the standard shoegazer sound. Kristina Zubkova has such an incredible voice and it works well with the ambient wall of sound. They're currently re-mastering an EP, which hopefully will be out soon. As for now, one can hear a couple of songs here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Depeche Mode in NYC

Depeche Mode announced their tour locations. They will be in New York on December 7 at Madison Square Garden. Opening will be NYC bloggers' favorite band to hate, The Bravery. (The Bravery at MSG? Weren't they playing Pianos just last summer?). I can't stand the poor sound at MSG, but I'll head out for DM.

DJ'ing. Friday. Route 85a

Yet again, I will be back at Route 85a to play the best in Britpop/Indie/DancePunk/Electro for you. I'm there from 11pm to 4am. Route 85a is located at 85 Ave. A between 5th and 6th Streets. See ya there.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Why is it that "Hollaback Girl" can be blended into such great mash-ups? I was at the Upright Citizens' Brigade Theater last night and they threw out a great Gwen vs. INXS "Hollaback-Need You Tonight" mix. It sounded extremely natural. I also have a Gwen vs. Front 242 "Hollaback Headhunter", which is really a drum and bass version of a bad hip-pop song. Love it.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Aziz Ansari is a fucking badass

Local improv comedian, Aziz Ansari, is a fucking badass. Performing weekly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, his show "Crash Test" last Monday involved Aziz and his roommate coming up with "The Shittiest Mix Ever," which he describes as such:

Zach and I had to choose the 5 worst songs we could think of for a 'shit mix' and then Merlin would declare who indeed had the shittiest mix. The loser would then have to walk around Washington Square Park blasting all 10 songs on a boombox. Here's how our final mixes turned out:

1. LFO - Summer Girls ("I like girls that wear Abercrombie and
2. Crazy Town - Butterfly
3. Kidz Bop Kids - All Star
4. Sixpence None the Richer - Kiss Me (Think "She's All That" or any other teen comedy featuring Freddie Prinze, Jr.)
5. Barenaked Ladies - One Week

1. Gloria Estefan - Conga
2. Paula Cole - I Don't Wanna Wait... (we had a spotlight and apt hug during this touching jam)
3. Saliva - Click, Click, Boom!
4. The Wiggles - The Monkey Dance (holy shit, Zach brought the house down with this one, expect an MP3 soon.)
5. Theme Song from "Blossom"

Needless to say, Zach was declared the winner."

While Aziz' songs were very annoying, I'd have to agree that Zach's were shittier. Anyway, Aziz is hilarious. He also performs with one of my favorite comedians, Rob Huebel ("Mauled by a tiger?!"), and Aziz' website includes short films that he and Rob put together. Check 'em out.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Listen to that beat

This song will make the kids dance - White Rose Movement's "Love is a Number." I'm currently loving this song, with it's Joy Division bass ("Transmission") plus Depeche mode synth sound. Stream the video here. WRM seems to be another 80's throwback band with their sound and high pitched vocals, but they have a little more hard rock edge to them (as heard in new single "Alsatian"). Take note.