Monday, January 29, 2007

Perpetually Groovin'

I haven't seen a "jam band" in years, but on the recommendation of my brother (who went to the Savannah College of Art and Design with some of these guys), I checked out Perpetual Groove at The Knitting Factory last night. I'm not a huge fan of the music of jam bands, but I will say this - such bands have great, hard-working musicians and have fanatical crowds. Last night was no different on either count - PG are fantastic musicians and the crowd was fanatically dancing. I don't think I've ever seen a crowd like that at a Manhattan show (for instance, there was actual dancing, gasp, at a rock show). Actually, it was more like band party at Sigma Nu circa 1996 - a lot of tie dye and plaid and a lot of noodlin' and pot smoke. PG played a number of instrumentals, but also played a great cover of Fatboy Slim's "Praise You." They seem to tour a lot, and they're worth checking out.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It was Loaded with...

...a lot of British indie talent. The GBH-sponsored, Michael T-helmed indie rock night at Lotus - Loaded - was full of British bands last night. Alex Kapranos and Bob Hardy of Franz Ferdinand, members of The Cribs (who are recording a new album in NY, and which Alex is producing), and The Kaiser Chiefs were there - the Kaisers being the guest DJs last night. It's a fun night, even though Lotus seems to use the Meatpacking District's pain-in-the-ass means of getting in (a "special" wristband was needed to get in to the Loaded party). Even Alex - the front man of one of the biggest bands in the world - was confused by the entry policy. Nevertheless, good times. Michael T spins a great mix of new British rock, new wave, and classics. And the sound system there is great.

Monday, January 22, 2007

March in New York

I'll miss SXSW again this year, but thankfully New York benefits from all the foreign bands coming to the states. On their way in or way out, a fair amount of bands will stop here and play our venues. The Mercury Lounge already has a fair amount of good foreign bands lined up in March, including 120 Days on March 10, Fujiya + Miyagi on March 18, and The Fratellis on March 22 (ok, they're not that good, but the UK press seems to think so). I expect the Mercury to fill up the rest of March with good music.

Also, Kaiser Chiefs U.S. dates have been announced. The NME-sponsored tour will hit Roseland Ballroom on April 12. Yours Truly, Angry Mob comes out on March 27.
Another album that I inadvertently overlooked in 2006 was Cicada's self-titled debut. Obscure Sound reminded me of it (and has posted a few tracks to download). You may know Cicada from their incredible remixes of Editors (the Cicada mix of "Munich" is outstanding), Client, and Depeche Mode, among others. Their debut Cicada is electro pop greatness. Using the talents of Heidrun Bjornsdottir on vocals, the production duo of Aaron Gilbert and Alex Payne will keep you on the dance floor with Bjornsdottir's sing-song voice over the tight synth and electro bass lines. The Icelandic Bjornsdottir harkens a bit back to Bjork, but definitely keeps up with the trend of Scandanavian electro pop songstresses of the moment, such as Annie, Sally Shapiro, and Otur.

Cicada is only available in hard format as an import, but you get the album off of iTunes for the standard $9.99. It's worth picking up the CD though, as the cover art is fantastic.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More New Rave

Jesus Christ. Today's NY Times has an article entitled "Hope You Saved Your Glowsticks" about the "new rave" scene in London, and name checks The Klaxons and New Young Pony Club. Seems so official now, innit?

Incidentally, New Young Pony Club are playing the Fixed party on March 10 at Studio B, with Simian Mobile Disco. You should go.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mondo with Mahogany

Local pop-shoegazers Mahogany are guest DJ'ing at tonight's indie-pop fest Mondo. Starts at 10, and happens at Luke + Leroy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Starting 2007 off with a bang

There are a number of releases that I'm looking forward to in 2007, including The Good, The Bad, and The Queen, Interpol, Bloc Party, and a possible Radiohead release. Two others on my list are !!! and Kaiser Chiefs. Neiles Life has tracks from both Myth Takes and Yours Truly, Angry Mob (I love this guy - thanks!).

!!!'s "Heart of Hearts" is destined to be played on hipster dancefloors this side of the Hudson throughout 2007. A dark track of sorts, but it keeps you moving. Kasiers' "Ruby" solidifies their part in Britpop lore. Not much of a departure from anything off Employment, this upbeat, sing-along track feels like it came off The Great Escape and shows that the Kasier Chiefs will avoid the sophomore slump. (Incidentally, they will be DJ'ing at Lotus on Friday, January 26th)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bloc Party in New York

Is it worth $30 plus Ticketmaster fees to see Bloc Party at the United Palace Theater in March? I've seen them a bunch of times already, but their new songs sound pretty good. I hate to give in to Ticketmaster though - especially for a seated theater that's waaaayyy uptown. Tickets are on sale now.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Booka Shade's electro Movements

When writing my 2006 Best Of list, I completely forgot about Booka Shade's Movements. The album has great electro beats with some spacey funk thrown in. If you liked Mylo's Destroy Rock and Roll, you should run out to your local record store and purchase Movements immediately. Or if you like to pull only a few things from the iTunes buffet, go download "Night Falls," "Body Language/Interpretation," "Darko," and "In White Rooms." This Berlin duo will be in New York at Studio B on March 15th.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007's "Crazy"?

K-OS is set to release his new album, Atlantis - Hymns for Disco, in the United States on Feb. 20 and will do a short February tour to support (Webster Hall on 2/22). You've probably already heard his "Sunday Morning" - it's the track used in the Microsoft Zune "Welcome to the Social" commercials that you see in the movie theater, and the NFL also uses it to promote it's Sunday football. I think "Sunday Morning" is poised to be this year's "Crazy" - upbeat, infectious groove with memorable lyrics. We should hear it non-stop throughout the first part of the year, and then be sick of it by July.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Club NME in New York

Where will it finally find a home? At the CMJ week party at Chinatown's Grand Harmony restaurant, Club NME's flyers stated that it's monthly party would happen at the Gramercy Park Hotel starting in December. That didn't happen. Instead the December party was at Ruff Club at The Annex (with We Are Scientists). January's party will happen at the Hiro Ballroom on Thursday, January 25 (in connection with the GBH crew). I wonder what happened to their association with the Gramercy Hotel. Perhaps the hotel's ballroom is not officially ready yet. (On a slightly related note, the Gramercy Theatre is officially ready, as Stellastarr* is playing there on February 22.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Word Gets Around

Stereophonics are reissuing their debut Word Gets Around for the 10th anniversary of its original release. The reissue will contain a second disc of B-sides and whatnot. Word Gets Around is a fantastic album, and probably Stereophonics' best. "Local Boy in a Photograph," "A Thousand Trees," "Last of the Big Time Drinkers," "Too Many Sandwiches" - fantastic post Britpop Brit-rock.